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04-17-2011, 11:56 AM   #1
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New to photography, is a k-r right for me?

As the title states i am looking to jump into the photography world. Have never had a dslr before. Mostly mid range point and shoots. Have never really messed with settings before, mostly left on auto. Pretty much brand new as you can tell. I am wanting a mid range slr so i figured the k-r is right about were i want to be. Also been looking at other manufacturers and such on dpreview.com. Pretty much have made mu choice on the k-r. Will be either shooting still pictures or moving pictures(go to the race track a lot).

Was thinking of going with the kit that includes the 18-55 and 55-300. Problem is i can not find this kit offered with a white k-r. I know a color choice may sounds silly not to just buy the black one but if im going to spend this amount of money i want to get the one i want. Does anyone know if i can get the package deal with a white k-r? if so from were?

04-17-2011, 01:19 PM   #2
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Pentax does not officially bundle the 55-300 with the white K-r. So any bundle of the 2 will be grey market. You might as well just buy the K-r with the 18-55 and then get the DA L 55-300 from eBay. It will end up costing you about an extra $100 over the cost of the black kit. You could also buy the kit with the 50-200 and sell the 50-200 & put that towards the 55-300.
04-17-2011, 01:59 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
Pentax does not officially bundle the 55-300 with the white K-r. So any bundle of the 2 will be grey market. You might as well just buy the K-r with the 18-55 and then get the DA L 55-300 from eBay. It will end up costing you about an extra $100 over the cost of the black kit. You could also buy the kit with the 50-200 and sell the 50-200 & put that towards the 55-300.
so the white is offered in a kit paired with the 50-200 but not the 55-300?
04-17-2011, 02:06 PM   #4
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I can get the white k-r from here for $529:
Pentax K-r with 18-55mm Zoom Lens (White)

Then the DA L 55-300 from here for $200:
NEW PENTAX smc DA L 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED Lens for K-r | eBay

Total would be $730, although i do not know how reputable these suppliers are

04-17-2011, 02:36 PM   #5
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If I were to buy my KR again I would try and find just the body and add my lenses separately. KR with the DA 35mm 2.4 is a fun starting point.
04-17-2011, 02:47 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by 1r0nh31d3 Quote
If I were to buy my KR again I would try and find just the body and add my lenses separately. KR with the DA 35mm 2.4 is a fun starting point.
True but im completely new to photography so i figured i would not see the difference in a great lens compared to a ok lens. Also after reading reviews it seems that the kit lenses are not that bad. Im trying to get a good starting point without spending a fortune as i don't know how involved i am going to get in this hobby yet.
04-17-2011, 03:16 PM   #7
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If you're new to all of this, personally I'd say go with the k-x and use the saved money for nicer glass or accessories. Haven't looked but i bet some deals might be out there to be had as it's been discontinued. K-x + a used tamron 17-50 f/2.8 would probably cost the same as a K-r + 2 lens kit new and I think would be a better start. Just an idea
04-17-2011, 04:24 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by tsweers89 Quote
I can get the white k-r from here for $529:
Pentax K-r with 18-55mm Zoom Lens (White)

Then the DA L 55-300 from here for $200:
NEW PENTAX smc DA L 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED Lens for K-r | eBay

Total would be $730, although i do not know how reputable these suppliers are
I don't know anything about the first one, but Prodigital2000 has a good rep. I read good things about them.

04-17-2011, 05:09 PM   #9
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What type of accessories should i purchase along with the camera? Like what type of memory card as there are many different types to pick from. Filters, i have no idea what to even look for. A tripod would be nice but are the cheaper ones even worth it? Cleaning kit?

Obviously there is a lot i still need to learn but id like to start out with everything i think i will need right off the bat instead of buying piece by piece as i go along.
04-17-2011, 06:19 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by tsweers89 Quote
True but im completely new to photography so i figured i would not see the difference in a great lens compared to a ok lens. Also after reading reviews it seems that the kit lenses are not that bad. Im trying to get a good starting point without spending a fortune as i don't know how involved i am going to get in this hobby yet.
I recently purchased a K-r for my son and am extremely impressed with it. In a lot of ways of out performs my K20D.

But believe me, you will very quickly begin to realise the limitations of kit lenses. My son captured some great sports shots yesterday, but only when he took off his 18-55 kit lens and started using my Sigma 17-70 F/2.8-4 and 70-200 F/2.8. Bear in mind that these are not long lenses (in fact they don't offer the same range as the 18-55/55-300 combo that you are considering), however there is simply no substitute for the flexibility offered by large apertures (F/4 or larger). They make low light shooting far easier and more importantly provide for a nice shallow depth of field. For sports/portraits etc they are the difference between having your subject 'isloated' against a nicely out of focus foreground/background ('bokeh') or not.

IMO, always spend your money on the best glass you can afford. Even if this means having to buy just 1 quality lens to begin with and then saving up for more glass later.
04-17-2011, 07:01 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by tsweers89 Quote
What type of accessories should i purchase along with the camera?
For a total beginner I would recommend a K-x or K-r with the kit lens. I got a 50-200mm to pair with this and it's a bit cheaper than the 55-300. I seldom use the 200mm and usually use it at 135mm or less. Either option is good for a beginner, or wait and save up for something nicer.

If you are dead set on a white Pentax, then get one, you know you won't be happy with a black one. I recommend a white one with the kit lens. I remembered a seller on Amazon that used to bundle the K-x with the 55-300 and it looks like they still have them in stock for a reasonable price. Note that I've never bought anything more expensive than a battery from them, but they seem pretty legit:

Pentax K-x Digital SLR Lens Kit w/ DA L 18-55mm and 55-300mm Lens (White) | BeachCamera.com

or save a little bit of money and get the 50-200mm lens instead:

Pentax K-x Digital SLR Lens Kit w/ DA L 18-55mm and 50-200mm Lens White | BeachCamera.com

QuoteOriginally posted by tsweers89 Quote
Like what type of memory card as there are many different types to pick from.
I recommend this one specifically, or another size (4GB, etc) from the same manufacturer. Don't skimp here.

SanDisk 8GB Extreme SDHC Class 10 Memory Card SDSDRX3-8192-A21

I have the exact same card, but I paid $50 for mine and it seems they recently dropped the price in half. They are the best in memory cards right now, super fast and reliable.

QuoteOriginally posted by tsweers89 Quote
Filters, i have no idea what to even look for.
Don't waste money on filters, they just degrade your image quality. Some polarizers are nice for specific things but I don't recommend one for a beginner. Prevent damage to your lenses by being careful and always using a lens hood and lens cap. Pentax lenses also have good coatings on them that help a bit. Most of the filter effects from the 35mm film days are achieved in post production now. If you go to the beach or sandy/dusty areas frequently you should consider a UV filter to prevent particle abrasion, but this is a worse case scenario that I don't imagine the average person will encounter often.

QuoteOriginally posted by tsweers89 Quote
A tripod would be nice but are the cheaper ones even worth it?
A cheap tripod would be better than no tripod. I picked up a half broken but still usable tripod from my local thrift store for $5 and haven't bothered to buy a new one yet. It needs to be functional enough that you trust your camera and lens investment not to fall over and break... Tripod is not required for a beginner unless you plan to mostly shoot landscapes and architecture.

QuoteOriginally posted by tsweers89 Quote
Cleaning kit?
You can pick up a generic cleaning kit for $5-20 all over the internet. Things I would look for are a lens cloth, lens brush, and particularly a rocket blower. I seldom need any of these things and went without them for the first few months I had the camera. Since you want everything up front and these are cheap so I'd buy a basic cleaning kit.

Good luck!

[edit]

Forgot to mention that if you go with the K-x you should buy and use rechargeable AA batteries. I like these ones so much I use them in all of my electronics now and have a couple of dozen of them in use now:

Sanyo Eneloop AA NiMH 4-Pack with AC Charger SEC-MQN064N B&H

You might also consider a camera bag of some type but those can be found anywhere.

Last edited by HEEGZ; 04-17-2011 at 07:06 PM.
04-17-2011, 07:06 PM   #12
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If you wind up with a K-r with the kit lenses you described, here's a couple of newbie tips along the lines of your comment about buying stuff at the outset:
1. Get the AA battery adapter and a set of Eneloops with the charger. The batteries come pre-charged so you can play with your new K-r as soon as the box arrives rather than waiting for the kit battery to charge. Besides, you're gonna want the extra batteries eventually anyway.
2. Those two kit lenses are different diameters which matters for filters and such. Example, you decide you want a polarizing filter and you get the bigger one and a step-up adapter so that you can put it on the smaller lens too... now here's the not so obvious part (to me), grab a second 58mm lens cap for those times you decide to leave the CPL on the 18-55mm lens.

The comments about lenses are not incorrect. It really depends on what you're going to use the K-r for. The problem is: Coming from a point-and-shoot world, it's tough to realize just how much fun it is to shoot things you never thought you would. I just made the same leap to shoot sports... turns out, shooting everything else in my daily field of view is tons of fun too! So, yes, you will want better lenses. If you don't need a 200 or 300mm zoom for anything specific right away, I can see real merit in getting a "nicer-than-kit" everyday lens like the 17-50mm and 17-70mm examples listed above.

That being said, I'm having a blast with my K-r with the kit lenses you mentioned. Don't be afraid of shooting in manual. There's lots of advice in these forums, read it, then let the camera "teach" you what works and what doesn't.
04-17-2011, 08:02 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the info guys, this forum has been great. Never thought id get this many responses in the first day. I can tell im going to be here a lot.
04-17-2011, 08:27 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by tsweers89 Quote
Thanks for all the info guys, this forum has been great. Never thought id get this many responses in the first day. I can tell im going to be here a lot.
This is one of the best forums I've found on the internet. I'd be interested to know what you end up buying.
04-17-2011, 08:34 PM   #15
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I think im going to go with just the k-r with the single kit 18-55 lens and save my money and see what type of lens i should invest in down the road. To me the first and for most is that i get use to the camera and learn about set-up and such so i don't just leave it in auto all the time. I am a newbie so i have lots to learn. So i think ill start there and see were it take me.
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