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02-08-2013, 05:57 PM   #1
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going to the grand canyon armed with my k-30 and an 18-55 mm kit lens...any pointers?

Hello!
I was wondering if getting a couple filters would help? I am a noob, but I am also a perfectionist. I want beautiful pictures.
I was thinking it may be pretty bright out....What you guys think about picking up a circular polarizer or a neutral density filter?
If so which ones would u recommend?
I was told to buy a very large polarizer and an adapter, so that no matter how many lenses I end up acquiring I can just use the same polarizer...what do you think of that advice?
Or any other interesting advice you have, please let me know
Thanks!

02-08-2013, 06:03 PM   #2
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I would suggest another, or different, lens for better image quality. 70mm seemed to be long enough but something wide, such as a 12-24, or 15, would be very useful.

Seriously though, do not walk around the rim with your eye in the viewfinder.
02-08-2013, 06:14 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by spectamaniac Quote
Hello!
I was wondering if getting a couple filters would help? I am a noob, but I am also a perfectionist. I want beautiful pictures.
I was thinking it may be pretty bright out....What you guys think about picking up a circular polarizer or a neutral density filter?
If so which ones would u recommend?
I was told to buy a very large polarizer and an adapter, so that no matter how many lenses I end up acquiring I can just use the same polarizer...what do you think of that advice?
Or any other interesting advice you have, please let me know
Thanks!
The polarizer and or ND filter is a good idea, I couldn't comment on the one polarizer idea. Do you have any other lenses? If it were myself I would want to cover 10-300mm since you'd most likely be shooting a lot of landscapes, that will give you the wide vistas and the more detailed intimate landscapes, and also any wildlife. How about a tripod? Yes it may be quite bright for much of the day, but the early and late lights will most likely be the best., a tripod will be nice at those times, and of course a wireless remote to fire while on the tripod..
02-08-2013, 06:25 PM   #4
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Lol @ specialK, I will keep my footing solid when shooting, thanks
I do not have any other lenses, and as much as I am itching to buy a new one ( I have been looking through ebay/craigslist/amazon every day for the last week hoping to find a cheap gem) I kind of want to force myself to learn as much as I can, and master my kit lens before moving on. If I was to buy a new lens I am torn between a nice fast wide angle, because I love landscapes, or a super long lens because I ultimately want to shoot lots of wild animals.

That said, if you guys have any ideas of specific budget lenses for sale at the moment, or ones that go on sale semi frequently to look out for, that would be awesome too.
I am shooting everything full manual so I can learn, occasionally I auto focus for comparisons.Therefore, old or manual, or even prime lenses are fine, I am interested in all of em..

02-08-2013, 06:27 PM   #5
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Oh, also, I will have a tripod, and I will shoot in sunrise and sunset, warm light times.
02-08-2013, 06:50 PM   #6
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I toured the Grand Canyon with my K110D, an18-55, and polarizer. I was traveling light, got some great shots, and didn't miss my other lenses.
02-08-2013, 06:54 PM - 1 Like   #7
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One low priced lens I would recommend is the Tamron AF (IF) 28-105mm 1:4-5.6, it also was made badged as a Pentax (not the Powerzoom) or a Promaster. I actually had two of these from bidding on two auctions at the same time. I had a Promaster and a Tamron. I gave the Promaster to my daughter, and kept the Tamron until I bought a new K-30 with the 18-135 lens, which made the Tamron redundant. Anyway, the Tamron and Promaster were both very sharp, and I only paid around $40 for each. I know there is at least one on ebay right now. I did get good deals on those by buying them with film cameras, they will normally go higher when listed in the lens category. KEH has a Pentax branded one for $75. Usually the Promaster will sell cheapest, but it is the same lens.
02-08-2013, 06:57 PM   #8
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Awesome, I can afford that.. I will keep my eye on it!

02-08-2013, 06:59 PM   #9
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Good to know Rusty!
02-08-2013, 08:57 PM - 1 Like   #10
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You might be surprised by the quality of what you might get with the 18-55 kit lens, particularly if you have the hood that should go with it. At moderate apertures (say f/8) and other than maximum or minimum focal length, the kit is very capable. If you want to get some additional glass for the trip a longer zoom (say the DA 50-200 or DA 55-300) would be the obvious complement.

That being said, probably the best thing you can do to help insure the quality of your photos from the trip is to invest in a sturdy tripod and dare to shoot in the early/late light.

Oh...and one more thing. If your trip is in the near future, be sure to dress warm. The south rim is about 7000' and quite cold this time of year.


Steve
02-08-2013, 09:22 PM - 1 Like   #11
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Use your kit lens and shoot at f/5.6 and f/8. Try to avoid 18mm. That kit lens is very good in these range.
02-08-2013, 09:28 PM - 1 Like   #12
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Since you have a tripod, consider shooting multiple shots and stitching them together later in software, to simulate a very wide angle lens. The idea is to use the lens at something like 24mm where it's optically better than at 18mm. Then you'll combine shots to create a wider field of view.

Some basic steps:
Remove a polarizer, it'll just make the sky more uneven.
Set the lens to around 24mm, or at least not all the way to 18mm.
Decide on what you want to capture and whether to have the camera vertical for a taller image, maybe doing two rows.
Choose an exposure and focus that are good enough for the whole scene.
Switch to M mode and set the camera to the settings you chose. Turn off AF. Make sure ISO is fixed.
If you're shooting JPG, set the white balance to a fixed setting too.
Now you can start shooting, overlapping each shot by about a third.
You might want to do it again if you're not sure every shot worked, since it's your first try.

It's a cool effect when it works. It'll fill up your cards and take some battery power, so be prepared. It takes some software and processing power, so I usually wait fot the home PC.
02-09-2013, 12:40 AM   #13
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Thank you for all the tips guys!
02-09-2013, 12:59 AM   #14
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Definitely get a good circular polariser. I'm not sure a ND will be all that useful on a Grand Canyon trip, but it may be later.

As for size, 52mm is not a size used by any of Pentax's premium lenses. A 58mm (fits FA31, DA*55, DA55-300), 67mm (DA*50-135, DA*60-250), or 77mm (DA*16-50, DA*300) with the appropriate stepping ring would be a good idea. Remember that the bigger the filter the more you pay.

As for lenses, wait. The suggestion of stitching panoramas is an excellent one. There is free software out there to help with this; I have just downloaded Hugin and it seems to do the job quite nicely.
02-09-2013, 02:00 AM   #15
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You could pick up a 28mm f2.8 prime A or M for around $75 +/-. It duplicates the focal length, but the Image Quality should be better than the kit, and its a small light lens that is easy to carry.

Another thing that you could do is practice stitching panoramas. You can use Microsoft ICE that can be downloaded free.
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