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11-25-2012, 08:44 PM   #1
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Jumping at the deep-end!

Thanks to this forum, it helped me make my decision on what to buy. While I have owned Minolta 35mm film SLR (bought it from BH 14 years back), I never really got to use it. It is still in pristine condition. So I am still a relatively newbei. I had always wanted to get into photography as a serious hobby. Finally decided now is the time and started on Thursday researching various SLRs. Given my experience with Minolta (they seem to have best value for SLR at the time) that went out of business, I was strongly inclined to go with something mainstream - read Cannon or Nikon. I was 90% sure that I would be going for Cannon Rebel T4i. I also checked the Cannon DSLR line up at the local Costco and T3i. Costco.com was offering good deal on T4i. I am aware that is more about the lens and less about the body when it comes to SLR. I spent most of Friday studying reviews and comparisons between Cannon and Nikon entry level DSLRs. Especially on the dpreview.com That is when I came across the K-30.

K-30 review started changing my mind. T4i with touchscreen and better HD recording support still was a slight favorite. Then I chanced upon K-5 II. I had decided I won't spend more than a grand. However K-5 II specs were attractive. I spent most of Friday night and Saturday researching everything there was to know about K-5 II on this forum. I was ready to order by Saturday evening from BH but decided to sleep over it. I had selected the DA*55mm/F1.4, which was available for $516.00 from BH (with new DSLR). No one had it even remotely at that rate. Around 6pm EST, it suddenly started showing as temp out of stock at the BH. I was still researching lenses, but was sure DA*55mm/F1.4 was the lens I wanted given its spec. I tried to call BH on Saturday to inquire about the lens going out of stock late in the day but they had already closed. I was checking both BH and Adorama for used lens inventory for K mounts, multiple items, prices, reviews etc. I was also looking at what type of second hand lenses could be found online including ebay. This forums helped a lot with M42 to PK mount adapters. I plan to buy some M42 lens on ebay. I bidded on two and lost. But the winning bids were only a couple dollars higher than mine and less than $50.00. Sounds like a bargain. I am a first time ebay user and not fully familiar with its auction processes.

In meant time as I joined for friends for some dinner on Saturday night, I noticed on my smartphone that ebay had a very attractive deal on T4i ($599.00 including two lenses, etc). After returning home late Saturday night I continued to look for alternative lenses the deal for DA*55mm/F1.4 was over at BH.That is when I came across the pentaxforums review of DA*55mm.F1.4 and other prime lenses. After reading I thought the 50mm/F1.8 which was priced at $209.00 at Adorama was a better deal than DA*55mm/F1.4. The rest of early Sunday morning was spent deciding whether to buy battery grip, I had it in my shopping basket from previous night. I was also tracking simultaneously that the K-5 II with 18-135mm lens deal on BH wasn't going to suddenly get out of stock like lens. My backup was Adorama which had similar deal but priced $50.00 higher. After weeding through the posts about battery grip, original vs after-market, I decided not to buy it for now. I can always buy it later if needed. I have small hands. I was buying extra battery anyways. I called BH first thing when they opened. The sales rep confirmed that they were out of stock with DA*55mm/F1.4, but expected it soon to be back. They would honour the $519.00 price on the back order they said.

Finally I decided to go with 50mm/F1.8 at Adorama for $209.00 and pass over the DA*55/F1.4 lens. I instead invested that money in buying a Manfrotto MX294 Kit at the local costco, along with ordering Adobe Lightroom from BH.

Ending up my thanksgiving having spend close to two grand on all the photography equipment I would need. I know I could have started at K-30 or T4i and spent only 60% of that amount. But I was looking for something that will last at least 5-10 years. I don't think I fancy a FF.

I did read difference between K-5 II and K-5 IIs (regarding moire, resolution, etc). I am still now sure how much that difference is and how much effect it has on photos. Hence decided not to go with the IIs though it is selling at the same price as the II.

Thanks to many whose posts gave me valuable insight in to making my decision.

11-25-2012, 09:09 PM   #2
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I'm happy to hear that you found the site so helpful! Enjoy your new toys!

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11-25-2012, 09:20 PM   #3
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Welcome Aboard. It's been an amazing long-weekend for Pentax gear. You bought it at the very best time of year. Have fun.
11-25-2012, 09:31 PM   #4
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Outstanding!!

11-25-2012, 09:33 PM   #5
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Very good choice, the K5II is more of a photographer's camera, the T4i is packed with gimmicks to coax people away from point and shoots.
11-25-2012, 09:43 PM   #6
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Thanks all for warm welcome. I bought the Manfrotto tripod ($135) from Costco store but they also have Dolica tripod online. Dolica is carbon fiber, lighter and almost half the price right now ($80). Both are on deals at $15 and $20 less respectively.

Any experience. Which will be a better buy?

Manfrotto Aluminum Tripod 3-way Head Bundle MK294

and

Dolica Proline 60" Carbon Fiber Tripod with Ball Head Bundle ZX600B103

I have an option of ordering the Dolica and then returning one of them. Any advice ?
11-25-2012, 09:46 PM   #7
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welcom to the club
11-25-2012, 11:01 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by k5ii Quote
Thanks all for warm welcome. I bought the Manfrotto tripod ($135) from Costco store but they also have Dolica tripod online. Dolica is carbon fiber, lighter and almost half the price right now ($80). Both are on deals at $15 and $20 less respectively.

Any experience. Which will be a better buy?

Manfrotto Aluminum Tripod 3-way Head Bundle MK294

and

Dolica Proline 60" Carbon Fiber Tripod with Ball Head Bundle ZX600B103

I have an option of ordering the Dolica and then returning one of them. Any advice ?
I have a manfrotto and have had a Dolica, but not the exact models you mention. I found I liked the build quality of the Manfrotto more than the Dolica, but the Dolica was perfectly usable. If you do a lot of hiking, weight is obviously a big deal so that might make you want to go w/ the carbon fiber model. Also, in terms of speed of setup, ball heads are quicker for me to set up. But if you plan on shooting a lot of video, the 3 way pan head may be helpful. That said, Costco's return policy is very forgiving so I would just order both and return the one you don't like as much.

Congrats on your new cam!

11-25-2012, 11:11 PM   #9
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If you feel you might need the height, the Manfrotto is the way to go. I have a cheap aluminum Dolica that is a 62" model, it is a little shorter than I would like and having 4 section legs makes it a little unstable when at its highest.
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