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11-20-2009, 07:07 PM   #1
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I need a little guidance.

Hi everyone. I have a panasonic FZ28 right now and want to move up to either a K7 or Kx.
What I would like to know is what lens would I need to get to be equall to or greater than, the one my current camera uses. The info I am finding says the lens is 27mm-486mm (35mm equivalent).
I don't know very much about lenses at all but I was hoping that by moving up to an SLR that one of the benefits I would get would be better telephoto performance. I don't want to break the bank and I thought at first that something like 45-200 or 55-300 would be better than what I had.
So please someone fill me in on what I might need to know.

11-20-2009, 08:53 PM   #2
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I think I may have answered my own question but...
If I was looking at say the DA 55-300, and wanted to compare to what I have, I would multiply these numbers by the focal length multiplier (1.5 on the K7 I think) then compare the two?
So at full zoom the 55-300 would be 450mm.
That means If I want more zoom than the lens on my current camera, I could get somthing that goes to 400mm?
Am I getting close or way off?
11-20-2009, 10:00 PM   #3
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Been there

Hi Gordzilla,

Your multiplication is correct, your assumptions may be a tad off.

Over two years ago I came from the FZ7 superzoom to the K10D, so I know where you're coming from. You're right on the 55-300 being roughly equal in length to your superzoom (450-486 when calculated for a 35mm camera). However, to go to 400mm or 500mm will cost you quite a bit. Affordable consumer zooms top out at 300mm. Longer than that and you start pushing the $1000 mark (maybe that's affordable to you, and that's fine). However, with the much larger sensor compared to your Panny, you can crop your photo taken at 300mm and get closer (virtually) than your Panny could, with still better image quality. I really worried about the loss in telephoto length, but haven't missed the extra few mm's. If you really need the extra range, then you are shooting a more specialty subject (wildlife, birds, sports), and you'll probably want to shell out for longer glass at some point anyway.

Hope this helps a bit, and welcome to the forum!


ps - the 55-300 is a very good lens...I own it and love it...if you want to go even less expensive, you can get the Tamron 70-300 for $100-150.
11-20-2009, 11:57 PM   #4
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To add to the above, the lenses you'd need to get longer than 300mm lens are also mostly *huge* (except for mirror lenses, but you might be disappointed at the quality). Not sure where you got the idea that a DSLR would be the way to get "better telephoto performance", but that's just not likely to be true at all.

11-21-2009, 02:22 PM   #5
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My brother-in-law has the FZ28. I have a K200D. I bought a DA 18-250mm for a vacation lens. This lens as is close as Pentax gets to what you have with your camera ( 27mm to 375mm in 35mm film terms ).
If you want a do it all camera - keep yours. In comparing pictures with the brother-in-law, mine look better, but the FZ28 pics still look good.
Where my K200 DSLR shows what it can do better than the FZ28 is in low light with a 50mm f1.4 or a 35mm f2.0. Or flash photos with an AF360 flash unit ( off camera remote controlled flash ).
You need to decide what you want the camera to do for you.
11-21-2009, 02:41 PM   #6
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Another option you may consider is a good teleconvertor if you don't want to spend a ton for a large telephoto.
11-21-2009, 03:26 PM   #7
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If you forgive me for my assumptions but most likely you want zoom for zoom's sake, in the mine-is-bigger-than-yours sense. Which is what consumer camera manufacturers have been giving the public.

Really, let me tell you: 300mm is all you'll ever need for almost all situations. You will learn quickly that lots of zoom makes for poor photographs in most situations. 300mm allows you to easily catch surfers on a wave or birds 30 feet away.

As a quick exercise to realize the futility of your quest lock your camera to halfway zoom - 9X - and take a picture. Then to full zoom - 18X - and take the same picture again. Notice how all this extra zoom gained you little in the way of making the subject appear bigger in relation to what one might expect in light of the huge numbers being thrown around
11-21-2009, 04:27 PM   #8
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I find that around 200mm appox. I need a tripod or monopod as It's difficult getting a steady shot. I have had some good shots hand held but the ratio of deletes to keepers is way in the delete's favor. Only with a very fast shutter can I avoid motion blur, even with shake reduction. It really shows with a crop.

Plan on buying a tripod if you want to use an SLR with long lenses. There are lots of benefits to using a DSLR but there is also a learning curve that goes along with it. I'm not too familiar with Panasonic model numbers but my daughter's college crew coach uses a Panasonic with the 18x zoom and I have seen some stunning shots from that camera. Don't be quick to toss it aside.

11-21-2009, 04:33 PM   #9
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I would suggest getting the camera with the Kit 18-55, and then maybe buying a Tamron 70-300 LD Di. The Tamron will set you back about $150 new, and is a pretty darned good lens for the money. Not as good as the Pentax 55-300, but at about half of the price. Plus it does 1:2 macro, and quite well I might add.
11-21-2009, 08:39 PM   #10
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Thanks for the replies all. I am really glad I asked before just going ahead. It would have been a little dissapointing finding out later that I had some incorrect assumptions. It doesn't change anything for me really except I now know I won't be getting shots of a bee's nostril from 100 yards. I will still be getting A DSLR but Now I'm in a little less of a hurry.
I wanted the long lens for some shots that I just can't pull off right now.
For example there is a beaver pond not far from my home where there lives a whole family of beavers as well as many types of birds and associated marsh life. It is commonn to see these beavers out playing but they always stay on the farside of the pond which is inaccessable and probably say 200 ft away. I can get "see those ripples, that's him" shots but not much else.
Another would be heards of elk that always seem to be on the other side of the gorge or canyon. Or the groups of seal playing on a small outcrop of rock 150-200feet or so from shore but they take off when approched by boat. That kinda thing.
I am getting a tripod anyway, mostly for some low light shots I have been trying but also I figured I'd need one when I got some loger lenses.

Oh well Thanks anyway. Now I know, and knowing is half the battle!
11-22-2009, 12:45 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by gordzilla Quote
I think I may have answered my own question but...
If I was looking at say the DA 55-300, and wanted to compare to what I have, I would multiply these numbers by the focal length multiplier (1.5 on the K7 I think) then compare the two?
So at full zoom the 55-300 would be 450mm.
That means If I want more zoom than the lens on my current camera, I could get somthing that goes to 400mm?
Am I getting close or way off?
Actually, that camera has a focal length equivalent to 28-486. It does this with an impressive level of sharpness across the entire focal range (OK, a little soft at the long end but...)

My point is, your point and shoot will compliment a DSLR. Keep the Panasonic for when you need the zoom range and get a DSLR for shorter focal lengths and more control over focus.
11-22-2009, 07:06 AM   #12
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Hi Gordzilla,

A couple of years ago I can from a Lumix TZ5 (32-435mm FF equiv) to a K10D + 18-250mm which I bought for a Tanzania Safari.
We brought both camera's.
My sister in law just got a TZ35 and we have compared results.

Boy, these Lumix Leica lenses are so VERY sharp! You are spoiled there.
Also the Lumix shake reduction is extremely effective.
To my opinion the Panasonic TZ series is one of the best choices for a general purpose point and shoot camera.

Still, my Pentax gear still makes much better pictures. You can see it on first sight.
That's mainly due to the much better and much, much larger sensors. Unfortunatly large sensors need very large and heavy glass.....
Due to its size and complexity to manufacter good large lenses, extremely wide range zooms are only available for small sensor camera's.

You can see the better APS-C/DSLR results directly in vividness of colors, so much less high light blow outs, much better dynamic range, much less noise and a better overall resolution compared to the Lumix cameras.
And it should, it has a different price tag and you should be compensated for carrying all that heavy equipment around!

The largest zoom range available for APS-C camera's that I know off are the Tamron 18-270mm and the Canon 28-300mm lenses.

Yes, cropping is an option.
And also you should be aware of the fact that on the long end of a lens 100mm more or less will give you less "zoom power" then you might think.
Try playing with the Tamron lens selection tool: Focal length comparison tool, Tamron USA and see if you can live with 300mm. I know I can.

Check out: Picasa-webalbums - Bert - Tanzania 1-9-... for some K10D Tanzania wildlife results and Picasa-webalbums - Bert - Kafue and Picasa-webalbums - Bert - South Luangwa for some of the K-7 and my DA*60-250mm results.

You will see that 250mm is more than sufficient in most cases, and that cropping is an option with good lenses.

- Bert
02-26-2010, 11:27 PM   #13
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I thought I would drop an update just for the heck of it. I just picked up a K7 today with the DA 18-55 f3.5-5.6 wr, DA 55-300 f4-5.8 ED. I already had on hand the smc-m 50mm f2 and an old M42 bushnell 400mm f6.3 and an adapter to go with it that i had been playing with on a K1000.
I am pretty stoked.
02-27-2010, 08:22 PM   #14
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Congratulations and good luck. Most of all, have fun.
02-27-2010, 10:31 PM   #15
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Wow. You will not get much sleep, I guess. Reading the manual, taking photos, reading the manual again, taking more photos, ...

Congratulations and show us some beavers once you're up to it.

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