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05-26-2008, 11:18 AM   #1
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My first DSLR pics. Recommend me some gear.

Got a K20D as first DSLR (and camera I've bought). Just knowing some basics, the relationship with the camera is fast easy and very comfortable. I know the basics of photography from reading, and I'm beginning a photography course, and my experience is some shots with my sister's P&S.

My second photo: (shows this lens boke capabilities)

Some 'sports' (learning to press the shutter button at the right time)

Some friends portrait: (shows the resolution this lens is capable of)

(a spontaneous shot that resulted good looking)

Recommend me on what to purchase next based on what I have and what I'm aiming for, if you have gone through a similar path yourselves or have enough experience:

Current gear: K20D + DA 40 ltd

Kind of photography I like:
- Portraits
- Travel
- Candid
- I aim to shoot some weddings/events (children parties) in the distant future.

Missing accesories:
Flash, grip, extra battery, extra memory cards.
I have an old, used tripod (wish it won't break, and with it the camera too).

I have a trip in a month, but not particularly rushed to buy lenses, unless it would do me very good now and in the future (planning to travel to Italy to visit a friend in the very distant future, so by then I should have a complete travel 'kit').

I've read that portrait is ideally done in 2 to 5 meters, so say a DA* 50-135 would do me good while at the same time allowing me to have a lens for travel/wedding?

I will definitely buy a lens for portrait, so that zoom is definitely an option. But there are some other nice glass to consider: VL 58mm or wait for DA*55 to compare against both.

For the normal and wide ranges I'm not particularly rushed, so I think I'll wait for DA*30 and DA15 to come out and compare against similar glass.

Owning the k20d and da40ltd made me realize that cheap glass just won't make justice to the sensor, and I'd be better with a compact megazoom for versatility and saving shutter actions.

Based on what I said (hope to not have bored you ), do you have any comments? Thanks in advance.

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05-26-2008, 12:49 PM   #2
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buy yourself an 18-250mm Pentax/Tamron

after a months worth of shooting analize your picture EXIF data and see which of the focal lengths you actualy used

then based on that, you can purchase higher quality glass to fit those focal ranges that you actualy end up shooting at.

i went the more expensive route and bought a bunch of primes, and have deducted that for now the Sigma 10-20, a Pentax FA43mm and a 40 dollar tokina 80-200 are all the lenses i need.
05-26-2008, 01:01 PM   #3
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16-45 f/f still reasonable choice i think.

if you love portrait you better hunt that beautiful da 70 limited also.

05-26-2008, 06:57 PM   #4
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I think the 50-135 would be a good choice. I don't have it myself, but it's gotten a lot of rave reviews around here, though. If you anticipate needing to go beyond 135 every once in a while, a teleconverter might also be a good idea.

Even though you are willing to wait on the 15 & 30, no release dates have been set for them yet, so there's no telling how long you'll need to wait. For that reason, I think you should consider getting a DA21 to cover the wide end, if you're into the small primes. If zooms are OK with you, then I second fearview's recommendation for the 16-45. I have the Sigma 17-70, which is the lens that I use most often when travelling since it has such a versatile focal range.

Once the 15 & 30 come out and you decide that you really do want them, then you can always sell the DA 21 (or whatever else you get to cover that range) and pick up one of those.

Since you're interested in the 30, why not consider the FA31 limited? If you want a piece of quality glass, then this is it.

If you're looking for small and lightweight, the DA21, 40, and 70 combination would be a great option, as you could fit the lenses in your pockets or small waist-pack while carrying the body around your neck or over one shoulder. I have the DA35 and eventually, I hope to supplement it with the 21 & 70 to have my own lightweight kit.

BTW, nice pics. I know that photography class is only going to help you get even better.


05-26-2008, 07:01 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gooshin Quote
buy yourself an 18-250mm Pentax/Tamron
It just happens that I have one for sale in the marketplace!

Thanks Gooshin!
05-26-2008, 07:28 PM   #6
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BTW, if you decide to go with the 18-250, then I would recommend that you download ExposurePlot. It's a freeware program that analyzes the focal lengths that you use; the only downside to it is that it works only with JPG files. This will help you determine the focal lengths that you want to put most of your lens money towards.

Even if you don't get the 18-250, it's still a handy program to have if you get any other zoom lens.

Here's a link to the download...
ExposurePlot download and review - generate EXIF photo statistics from SnapFiles

05-27-2008, 09:01 PM   #7
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I would consider waiting a bit to see what you find yourself wishing you could ask your lens to do that your current very nice lens isn't doing.

Having trouble with low light, or shooting wide-open for super-narrow depth of field and still not blurring things enough? Get something faster.

Trying to take pictures of faraway objects that you can't get close enough to? Get something at a longer focal length.

Constantly tripping or banging into walls while backing up to take in the whole scene? Get something at a shorter focal length.

Constantly leaning in to photograph little things, and running up against the limitations of your lens's closest focusing distance? Get a macro lens.

There are lenses that can take care of more than one of these problems at the same time, of course, depending on what you're looking for.

Overall, I feel like it's easy to get caught up in a "this lens looks cool, or is supposed to be good, so I'll get it" mindset, and sometimes its better to first develop a sense of what you as a photographer ask your equipment to do, and then get that.

Of course, if you already know you want to shoot portraits, and you have some idea of what style you want those portraits to be in, then of course you can get recommendations right away on what the good portrait focal lengths are and what the good lenses at those focal lengths for the pentax system are, and likewise with your other requests, but if you're still getting used to your new camera (and to a kind of camera you don't have a lot of experience with) then it might be good to give yourself time to figure out what kind of photographer you are.

Of course, there's something to be said for just making a good guess and jumping in, and this all depends on how much money you have to throw around - I'm a starving grad student so I tend to buy very cautiously, but if you have more disposable income than you know what to do with, a somewhat more aggressive approach may be warranted.
05-28-2008, 01:37 PM   #8
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For travel photography I can only recommend one lens, the DA 16-45 f4.. It is a tried and true quality piece of glass. I have shot quite literally 50,000 images and in all honesty, 85% were taken with that lens and each time it just shines. It controls CA/PF amazingly well (non-existent) It's extremely sharp, usually compared to primes in regards to sharpness. It's got a great price, good lens hood, and is not too heavy or too large. Almost forgot it focuses extremely close, AND, if you experiment, you can get tack sharp images from it at f22 with the subject 1/2" from the front element.

You'll see plenty of arguments for some of the newer lenses like the DA* 16-50 or the DA 17-70 but, you'll find the best all-around reviews for the DA 16-45..

05-28-2008, 01:44 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by q10 Quote
but if you have more disposable income than you know what to do with, a somewhat more aggressive approach may be warranted.
I like that, "somewhat more aggressive"
05-28-2008, 02:49 PM   #10
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You do need a wider angle for travel. If 16mm is wide enough, go with either the DA 16-45 or DA * 16-50 (depends on how much you're willing to spend). Or you could get the DA 12-24 or even DA 14 prime.

Portraits can be done well by the FA 50/1.4 (best value for money), DA 70 or FA 77 ltd - there are lots of others, though, but these are ones that lots of people rave about.

If you like your lenses compact, then keep the small primes (if you're OK with switching lenses), otherwise you could reconsider getting primes and just stick with 2 lenses, a wide angle zoom and a mid to long telephoto zoom.

Lots of combinations to choose from here, but don't let the lens buying addiction bug get to you!
05-29-2008, 09:00 AM   #11
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Location: Portland, Oregon
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Current gear: K20D + DA 40 ltd

Kind of photography I like:
- Portraits
- Travel
- Candid
- I aim to shoot some weddings/events (children parties) in the distant future.
Portraits benefit from tighter framing... so a little longer than the DA40
  • FA50/1.4
  • FA77 ltd
  • DA70
  • DA*50-135

Travel... some suggest zooms for versatility... I suggest primes for light weight...
  • Zenitar 16mm/2.8 Fisheye
  • DA21 ltd
  • FA31ltd
  • FA35/2

Candid: you have the best lens there is for candids... the DA40.. so small it wont feel like you are pointing the camera at anyone, you can take it with you anywhere, normal field of view, so you could should from the hip.

Wedding and childrens parties... now you are in trouble. For events you cant afford to be switching lenses when the action is unfolding, and you cant control the lighting so now you are looking at fast zooms and external flash.
  • DA*16-50
  • DA*50-135

Last edited by kmccanta; 05-29-2008 at 10:05 AM. Reason: wasnt done yet...

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