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11-13-2008, 11:46 PM   #1
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Lens Advice please...

I currently have a K100DS which I have had a great time with.

For the last couple of months I have been considering upgrading to a K200 or the K20.

I am still new to it all, only 1 years worth of experience.

My reasons are I crop a lot and more MP would help with less noise. I am out and about a lot so a sealed camera would be a god send.

So I have read and read and read about all sorts of cameras, inc Nikon D60 and Canon EOS450D. I driving myself slightly mad with it all now!

NOW, I am thinking....what about a decent lens to go with what I have. Learn and play with that before getting a new body.

I am finding my 18-55mm (F3.5-5.6AL) can't handle low light and I am in the woods a lot with the children right now and not getting what I want no matter how many ways I shoot.

I also have a Sigma 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 for SA and Pentax 35-105mm F-4-F5.6.
So nothing thats good for low light.

I also want sharper images which I have been told will involve a better lens.

My question is tho, which one! There are so many. I know I need a low F number but thats it. Its all a bit mind boggling so I'd appreciate advice on this.

So to conclude, do I get a new body or a new lense

11-14-2008, 12:11 AM   #2
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If your priority is low noise then a k20d is the way to go. This way you can bump up the iso in low light conditions and maintain low noise. Although maybe you should invest in a flash gun for those low light situations?

To get sharper images you should look at prime lenses like the Pentax FA 50mm 1.4 which is quite cheap and allows you to shoot in low light conditions.

Btw, more megapixels on a sensor=more noise. Try not to crop so much and the noise will be less obvious!
11-14-2008, 02:53 AM   #3
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I agree that a K20D sounds good.

As for a lens or two, it does vary on the subject matter you will be photographing. Your needs are very different to my own. By the sounds of it, you are wanting portraiture lens and the fixed primes seem to be the best answer.

They are not that expensive, pending on your needs and budgets.

The other thing to do is experiment, digital is great for this as a thousand shots can be fired off and it does not matter that 99% of them are no good. It is by this we learn. Look at all the online galleries in the style of pictures you like to take yourself and look at the lens choices they made. The methods they used are another story but being new, you have no set in bad habits and are free to experiment.

All experience is good experience, even the bad things because we learn from them!
11-14-2008, 03:02 AM   #4
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It sounds that the K20D could be your choice, which is capable to shoot nicely with higher ISO values. In dark woods I have used often 400-1600 ISO. In my opinion the noise in K20D is acceptable to up to ISO 800 and sometimes depending what you want, up to ISO 1600.

11-14-2008, 09:05 AM   #5
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If you start with a 50mm 1.4, you can learn a lot about what you need (is it to long for the indoor stuff you do? To wide for the woods? Remember to use your feet to zoom...) and best of all it's cheap and you can probably sell it without to big a loss if you decide to jump ship.
11-14-2008, 09:53 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Amanda Quote
My reasons are I crop a lot and more MP would help with less noise.
I singled this one point out, because it may be the basis for the whole discussion..

Do you crop a lot because
- you are lens limited and can't get close enough with the lenses you own. Your list does not suggest this.
- skill limited, by this still learning about composition and fixing framing errors or improving composition with crops. This could be a possibility, and just because you have more resolution, you could be looking for something you won't get
- you don't take the time moving around for better positions and framing. This could also be in-experience and a new camera won't fix this either
The latter two will come with time. You yourself said you are having fun and still learning.


Do you have noise because you are always pushing ISO?

With respect to the K200D vs K20D if noise is the issue, the K20D would be much better with it's sensor, the K200D has the same sensor as the K10D and at higher ISO your present body may actually be better.

Faster glass would also help, and it improves focusing speed in low light, and would allow you to drop the ISO a little, therefore you could get some less grainy results with faster lenses, but they will cost you, possibly more than the K20D would.
11-14-2008, 11:53 AM   #7
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Any or both of their (Pentax) 2.8 DA* lenses 16-50 and 50-135, start with the one you'll use the most wide or long either of the 2 will complete your "weather sealed" system
11-14-2008, 12:45 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Amanda Quote
I currently have a K100DS which I have had a great time with.

For the last couple of months I have been considering upgrading to a K200 or the K20.

My reasons are I crop a lot and more MP would help with less noise. I am out and about a lot so a sealed camera would be a god send.

NOW, I am thinking....what about a decent lens to go with what I have. Learn and play with that before getting a new body.

I am finding my 18-55mm (F3.5-5.6AL) can't handle low light and I am in the woods a lot with the children right now and not getting what I want no matter how many ways I shoot.

I also have a Sigma 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 for SA and Pentax 35-105mm F-4-F5.6.
So nothing thats good for low light.

I also want sharper images which I have been told will involve a better lens.

My question is tho, which one! There are so many. I know I need a low F number but thats it. Its all a bit mind boggling so I'd appreciate advice on this.

So to conclude, do I get a new body or a new lense
Amanda, your problem sounds, as whether the unsharpness of your images is mostly produced by long shutter speeds. This increases camera shake (= blurred images) and ofcourse the kids are moving all the time, too (= blurred subjects). I think, lens quality comes a long way behind that basic problem.

You have basically three options to counter camera shake and subject movement:
- higher ISO setting
- using flash
- using a faster lens

For moving kids in the woods, I don't think, a fast prime lens (like the 50/1.4) would be my preferred choice. I use a 18-50/2.8 for that and pump up the ISO to 400 or 800. I often use a flash too (but using a longer shutter speed, to allow available light fill the background).

If you often need to crop, you are simply to far away from the action. It is very impractical to use a longer (tele) lens, even a zoom, if you are out with the kids, because you will often find yourself too close to the action, then. My suggestion would be, to participate in the action with your camera. Move with the kids. That not only remedies the need for cropping, you will make much better photographs as well.

The situation is a bit different for a hiered photog, because he can stay at a more convenient distance, but I assume, you are in the wood, to accompany the children (family?).

A Pentax K20D will help you a bit, as its high ISO performance is very good, indeed. You can use it up to ISOI 1600 easily, but even at ISO 3200, the images are very printable at standard sizes. But you can at least try to improve your technique with your old camera before spending loads of money. If you get sharp images with your K100, with higher ISO and accordingly higher shutter speeds, ten you may think about a better camera. But the K20D will not lead automatically to sharper images.

Ben

11-14-2008, 03:44 PM   #9
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The older version of the Sigma 18-50 2.8 is available at Cameta Camera through Amazon for about $279.
11-14-2008, 04:17 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I singled this one point out, because it may be the basis for the whole discussion..

Do you crop a lot because
- you are lens limited and can't get close enough with the lenses you own. Your list does not suggest this.
- skill limited, by this still learning about composition and fixing framing errors or improving composition with crops. This could be a possibility, and just because you have more resolution, you could be looking for something you won't get
- you don't take the time moving around for better positions and framing. This could also be in-experience and a new camera won't fix this either
The latter two will come with time. You yourself said you are having fun and still learning.
I single these points out, because some people should print them and stick them onto their camera.

Nice advice Lowell (once again)
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