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04-05-2019, 06:17 PM - 1 Like   #16
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Your 18-135 is a great base to build your system around.

For a wider option, I would suggest the DA 15/4.0 Limited for its diminutive size, wonderful rendering and unrivalled flare resistance. It is wide enough for all but the most extreme applications.

I have owned the Sigma 8-16 and it is a fantastic lens. It is big and heavy though, and as others have said, the extreme width and the resultant perspective distortion requires some care to get good results. The considerably cheaper 10-20 might be a better option.

04-05-2019, 07:18 PM - 1 Like   #17
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I've been to Arches. In general, you can get close to a fair number of arches, so I wouldn't worry too much about the longer focal lengths there.

It can be VERY dusty (a lot of fine grain sand) there. I would be inclined to stick with the 18-135 zoom so as not to change lenses.
04-05-2019, 09:47 PM - 2 Likes   #18
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Lenses for Arches

Just returned from 2 weeks in Southern Utah parks. Took my K3. Used a 17mm Tak a couple of times - too wide. Used a DA 50 f1.8 a few times. Used a DA 55-300 several times for birds, details, etc. Used a DFA 100 macro about 15% of time. And a DA 21 ltd 80+ % of the time. The temptation to catch everything in one pix is strong - resist! Too much detail such as 3D effects are lost with ultra wide. I definitely agree to bracketing sunrise & sunset pix. Tried some panoramas - will see how well that worked out soon. I think your 18 - 135 will do quite well for you. A DA 55-300 is a potential second lens and useful elsewhere.
Weather was wet in Zion - lots of waterfalls to compensate. Snow in Bryce - good color contrasts to compensate there. Arches, Red Canyon, Capitol Reef & Canyonlands good weather but strong winds with dust at times. Most of the arches anywhere required a walk or hike to even see. Mesa arch was an exception. Decided to view sunrise at Delicate Arch (Arches) from Upper viewpoint instead of hiking to the arch. Walked out on the large 'slick' rock for better view. Good choice as sunset is time for that photo op. We did not want to hike the trail then drive out of the park at night, so no sunset pix. Trail for the Windows Section arches (in Arches) is easy enough. Trail to Landscape Arch (Arches) is longer with some challenging parts but worth it. Trail to Upheaval Dome (Canyonlands) is not easy if a bit wobbily. Mobs of people everywhere even at this time. Been to Canyon De Chelly & Monument Valley years ago and used the 17mm Tak and a 50 fi.4 on a Spotmatic for most all pix. Monument Valley sunrise can be mind-blowing spectacular but the colors change fast. Even without taking any pix, you will enjoy your trip.
04-06-2019, 11:07 AM - 1 Like   #19
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When I was out there 20 years ago, I used a 28-105 for nearly everything, and I rarely wanted for more.

Iíll join the chorus of 55-300 fans, though, for when you donít have the legs...

Iíll also suggest the 10-20 or 12-24 if you arenít used to super-wide.

A macro is another wildcard. Thereís lots of rock art and little stuff deserving of attention. There are fine choices at 35, 50, and 100mm depending on your preference...

-Eric

04-08-2019, 05:05 PM - 1 Like   #20
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Welcome!

At the risk of sounding as corny as the first line of a product manual, Congratulations on your purchase of the Pentax KP kit! Amongst many quality cameras on the market, you couldnít have done better. The KP is an ideal platform, and youíve bought into a community at Pentax Forums thatís anxious to help.


Iím glad to hear your trip is in December - this gives you time to prepare.


First and foremost, I suggest taking one or two photography classes in landscape or general photography. If you can, take them in person, such as at a local camera shop. Ignore the fact that everyone else uses a different brand - Pentax forces you to focus on the fundamentals, which is to your benefit.

The two topics you want to concentrate on the most - even if you have to study by yourself - are ďThe Golden SpiralĒ (Composition) and Depth of Field. Continue to think about them, even after you already know them.



Next is what you asked about - one or two lenses to buy or rent. As you know youíll need to get hands-on with them to understand what youíre capable of.


My essential kit is the FA*24/2, the FA*85/1.4, and the F*300/4.5. Why do I mention this? These are three vastly different lenses/focal lengths, but their fast apertures give me so much flexibility that I usually donít need the focal lengths in between. Experience with any one of them (or a similar lens) will change how you look at photography, and equip you for specific types of shots.

The other two lenses I canít avoid needing sometimes are a macro (the D FA 100/2.8 WR Macro) and a wider angle (the DA 10-17 Fisheye), so I carry them too.


Let me attempt to summarize at the end of this exceedingly long post:

After studying Composition and DOF, immediately get your hands on a couple of lenses. If you can afford it, Iíd suggest the D FA 100/2.8 WR Macro plus either the FA*24/2 or DA21/3.2
(each of these lenses has also been recommended by somebody else in this thread). While I think you may gain even more (learning and capability-wise) from the FA*24ís faster f/2 aperture, the DA21 (even the HD version) is an excellent value thatís hard to pass up, whether new or used.

While these overlap focal lengths you already have, they provide at least three advantages you canít duplicate with your zoom:

1) Their faster apertures provide advantages you have to use to appreciate
2) They create higher quality images without requiring much stopping down
3) They force you to concentrate on a specific focal length, which is important right now
4) The Macro is so good it can double as your affordable medium-long Portrait (~70-100mm) lens

Your DA18-135 is a nice lens, but these will help you expand your photography.
04-08-2019, 07:20 PM - 1 Like   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by AstroDave Quote
I've been to Arches. In general, you can get close to a fair number of arches, so I wouldn't worry too much about the longer focal lengths there.

It can be VERY dusty (a lot of fine grain sand) there. I would be inclined to stick with the 18-135 zoom so as not to change lenses.
This is a very important consideration. This is a great reason for choosing your DA 18-135mm. Its versatility with high quality and very good build make it a very useful tool, especially in such circumstances. You might now spend a lot of money on an otherwise very fine lens which you wind up not using much. You would be better off doing what you can do with your wide-range DA 18-135mm than risk getting debris in your camera by lens changing under adverse conditions.

But if you decide on expanding your lens kit, take into consideration what other uses in which you will be employing a particular lens. A very logical approach would be- if deciding upon expanding wide angle, and compact carrying is a major concern, it's the DA 15mm LTD for sure. If compactness is not an issue, the DA 12-24mm f/4 or Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 would provide a lot of flexibility. As to telephoto, can't beat a Pentax 55-300mm for value and performance, and you get WR.

As to composition, etc. look at a lot of landscape shots to get a feel as to how they are done. Go out and do some practice landscape shooting. Foreground is very important. Having something in the foreground that is clear also enhances depth perception and sense of size and distance. Depth of field tends to be more with less need to stop down aperture in wide angle shots. But this takes some practice, and some time on location to get what you are after.

Wide angle also tends to create a false perspective in many ways, one of which is to elongate a scene so distant objects appear much farther away and smaller than in reality. So f you should be shooting an arch, for instance, and you want to also capture distant objects in your frame, be sure to remember this factor. A telephoto shot will do the opposite and compress the scene. Shooting the same scene with telephoto perspective by backing up to get in what is necessary for effect, the distant objects will seem closer and larger than reality when seen with the arch, which is the mains subject. Your DA 18-135mm can do both to a fair degree. Having both a yet wider angle lens and a yet longer telephoto lens would provide the capability to enhance both effects.

Last edited by mikesbike; 04-08-2019 at 07:38 PM.
04-10-2019, 12:04 PM   #22
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We are planning on a day trip this Sunday so I can practice with the 18 - 135. Headed into the Texas Hill Country - Enchanted Rock area, Willow City Loop, and Wildseed Farms. Willow City Loop has some nice overlooks along the drive with interesting views, lots of water crossings, winding roads, snakes (saw 5 or 6 huge ones last time...like 5 foot long snakes, yikes!), other wildlife, tons of wild flowers (hopefully). Will bring the tripod as well to practice setting that up.

I am leaning towards purchasing the 12-24 and the 55-300 PLM. I have looked at tons of photos from a variety of lenses, and I like the look of the photos from those lenses the best. I like to have options, so I think at this point in time I might feel restricted by using a prime lens. Zooming in and out is a familiar process from point and shoot cameras. I am sure I will try out primes in the future though.

Headed to Houston for some baseball games the end of the month...I suspect that 55-300 may find its way into my camera bag so I can bring it to the game...for practice, of course.

Following the Astros to NYC in June...will bring the camera to practice while we are out and about in CT.

For our December trip, we will not be in a hurry. And I don't mind lugging a bunch of lenses around...not as heavy as throwing hay or stacking feed sacks!! All of our tours are private, so we won't be on anyone else's time frame.

Thanks for all of your suggestions!!
04-10-2019, 02:34 PM - 1 Like   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by roxiemyhorse Quote
I am leaning towards purchasing the 12-24
I find that the DA12-24 is passable for landscape as long as you are lucky and there is some interesting sky :




If there isn't it is very easy to end up with some really boring shots :




It is great for architecture :




But beware of including people at the edges of your shots - unless you don't care that they'll end up looking somewhat wider than they are ,,,




04-10-2019, 03:06 PM - 1 Like   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by roxiemyhorse Quote
. . . Headed to Houston for some baseball games the end of the month...I suspect that 55-300 may find its way into my camera bag so I can bring it to the game...for practice, of course.

Following the Astros to NYC in June...
I hope you have fun at the ball park ( s )

if you haven't, you might want to check what is allowed into the stadiums:

Minute Maid Park Information - Security | Houston Astros - bag size and prohibited items

Minute Maid Park Information Guide | Houston Astros - what is allowed regarding cameras

Yankee Stadium Policies and Procedures | New York Yankees - bag size and prohibited items

Yankee Stadium Information Guide | New York Yankees - what is allowed regarding cameras

Last edited by aslyfox; 04-10-2019 at 03:17 PM.
04-10-2019, 03:22 PM - 1 Like   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by roxiemyhorse Quote
I am leaning towards purchasing the 12-24 and the 55-300 PLM. I have looked at tons of photos from a variety of lenses, and I like the look of the photos from those lenses the best. I like to have options, so I think at this point in time I might feel restricted by using a prime lens. Zooming in and out is a familiar process from point and shoot cameras. I am sure I will try out primes in the future though.
That sounds like a good plan. The most important factor is that you like the images from a lens you choose, such as as the DA12-24.

Those lenses will get you familiar with the focal lengths. You will be able to concentrate on that and composition.


Eventually youíll look at subject isolation (Depth of Field) too. That was my idea behind suggesting the D FA 100/2.8 WR Macro. There are many other lenses (some more expensive, some much less expensive) of f/2.8 or faster at similar focal lengths that will achieve the same purpose. Examples include the (manual focus) M or A 100/2.8 (non-Macro), the F or FA 135/2.8, FA and earlier 100/2.8 macros, the FA 77/1.8, and the DA 70/2.4.
04-10-2019, 03:28 PM - 1 Like   #26
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The DFA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR is more than a Macro lens, as is it's older and cheaper " relatives ": the DFA 100mm F2.8 Macro, the FA 100m F2.8 and F 100mm F2.8 macro lenses


be sure to check the in depth review: Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 WR Macro Review - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews
04-10-2019, 03:41 PM - 1 Like   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by kh1234567890 Quote
I find that the DA12-24 is passable for landscape as long as you are lucky and there is some interesting sky :




If there isn't it is very easy to end up with some really boring shots :




It is great for architecture :




But beware of including people at the edges of your shots - unless you don't care that they'll end up looking somewhat wider than they are ,,,



I'm pretty sure the advice is good but it is more about 12mm shots than the 12-24 specifically. I like the 12-24 on APSC precisely because it starts out just a bit wide (around the same perspective as a 35mm on 35mm film) and then goes deeply wide (wider than a 20mm on 35mm film). This offers considerable flexibility in framing.



Generated by http://tools.sportscard.trade

I might have been able to shoot this a little narrower but I had already tried several lenses including my 20-40mm. Sometimes you need WIDE...
04-10-2019, 04:12 PM - 1 Like   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by roxiemyhorse Quote
...I am leaning towards purchasing the 12-24 and the 55-300 PLM. I have looked at tons of photos from a variety of lenses, and I like the look of the photos from those lenses the best. I like to have options, so I think at this point in time I might feel restricted by using a prime lens. Zooming in and out is a familiar process from point and shoot cameras. I am sure I will try out primes in the future though.
Those are good choices. Primes are nice but in those locations, you often are severely restricted about where you can shoot from, by rules or terrain. I might bring primes along on a repeat visit with specific shots in mind.
04-10-2019, 04:29 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by aslyfox Quote
I hope you have fun at the ball park ( s )

if you haven't, you might want to check what is allowed into the stadiums:

Minute Maid Park Information - Security | Houston Astros - bag size and prohibited items

Minute Maid Park Information Guide | Houston Astros - what is allowed regarding cameras

Yankee Stadium Policies and Procedures | New York Yankees - bag size and prohibited items

Yankee Stadium Information Guide | New York Yankees - what is allowed regarding cameras
We go to Minute Maid all the time. I do have an email sent to MMP asking about camera parameters.

Not bringing it to Yankee Stadium. We will have Astros gear on, and will probably have food and/or drinks poured on us.

We will have a great time no matter what!

Last edited by roxiemyhorse; 04-10-2019 at 04:34 PM.
04-10-2019, 05:10 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by roxiemyhorse Quote
We go to Minute Maid all the time. I do have an email sent to MMP asking about camera parameters.

Not bringing it to Yankee Stadium. We will have Astros gear on, and will probably have food and/or drinks poured on us.

We will have a great time no matter what!
if you don't mind, please, let us know if the rules on cameras and lenses are different from those posed on the stadium's web site which I linked to

I find that the clear plastic bag closed with a zipper is good against most accidents, I also put a garbage bag around it to help

now deliberate attempts to damage, that would be a different situation indeed.
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