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02-14-2013, 09:56 PM   #1
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Lens choices are intimidating me away from K-30

Hello all,

I am an advanced point and shoot user looking to buy the K-30. The K-30 is a brave new world to me. I started looking at all the different lens choices there are for the K-30, looking for a good, basic lens for a start. I'm hoping I can understand the different lens choices so that I can have a regular use lens with decent zoom, then a wide angle for outdoors. I am not advanced enough to understand or need filters. My main goal is to limit myself to a few lenses to keep my cash outlay reasonable, but still be able to take family pix's and decent close ups for wildlife.

So, for questions:
- Can I do what I initially want with 2 or 3 lenses only?
- Do I have to take a Photo class to learn how to use the many lens choices or can I learn as I go?
- How much more is the learning curve of the K-30 and its lenses vs a point and shoot zoom camera?


Thanks much,

02-14-2013, 11:32 PM   #2
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If you really want, you can use your K-30 like a point and shoot by selecting the green mode.

You could certainly take a class, but trial and error plus a lot of forum questions should get you on your feet just as easily. See these resources to learn more about what lenses are out there:

K-30 lens guide: Pentax K-30 Lens Guide - Pentax Camera News & Rumors - PentaxForums.com
Overview of all Pentax lens series: Pentax K-Mount Lenses Explained: The differences between various Pentax lens series
Currently-available Pentax lenses: All Current K-Mount Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
All Pentax lenses ever made: Pentax Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
Current Sigma lenses: Sigma Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database
Current Tamron lenses: Tamron Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database

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02-15-2013, 12:03 AM   #3
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Don't be intimidated by the number of lenses available, just learn the camera, the basics of shooting and forget all of the distractions which you need not concern yourself with at this point in your shooting and learning. The kit lenses that are available as a bundle with the body are very capable and quality and will be just fine. Maybe in a year or so, if you really take to it, you can upgrade to a higher quality, faster zoom or a few fixed focal length (prime) lenses for taking your shooting to a higher level, but don't get dragged into that at this point as you may find yourself dwelling on the gear instead of the fundamentals (and joy) of learning photography.

All of your questions you have at this moment will be answered through learning over the next few months and you will appreciate those revelations as they happen.

Jason
02-15-2013, 08:17 AM   #4
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So, for questions:
- Can I do what I initially want with 2 or 3 lenses only? I lived with one lens only for years on my other dslr. You can crop photos and that can be your zoom.


- Do I have to take a Photo class to learn how to use the many lens choices or can I learn as I go? Don't wory about its just a lens. Learn about shutter speed ,F stops, and iOS use.


- How much more is the learning curve of the K-30 and its lenses vs a point and shoot zoom camera? What do you know about photography? If you understand photography and understand basic techniques in manual setting you will be fine. You can use the k30 like a point and shoot just leave the setting on auto.

02-15-2013, 08:30 AM   #5
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I am a new K-30 owner as well and new to the world of dslr. For me, I chose the following to get me started.

- K-30 with the 18-135mm lens kit. This gets me a solid WR lens and a good overall walk around lens.
- 35mm f2.4 lens. This is a really affordable standard prime lens. I actually bought this lens before I even purchased the camera.
- 55-300mm zoom lens. This will give me the reach I might want for long shots.

Overall, I think I will be satisfied with this setup for a while and it should serve me good starting out.
02-15-2013, 08:52 AM   #6
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What is your budget?

Keep in mind that dSLR lenses are quite large, and if you want to do good wildlife photos you need big glass.
02-15-2013, 08:58 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by colonel00 Quote
- K-30 with the 18-135mm lens kit. This gets me a solid WR lens and a good overall walk around lens.
- 35mm f2.4 lens. This is a really affordable standard prime lens. I actually bought this lens before I even purchased the camera.
- 55-300mm zoom lens. This will give me the reach I might want for long shots.
I would agree with this initial kit, but substitute the 18-55 WR for the 18-135 to avoid budget busting...

Get the 55-300 as part of the kit for further savings. You can sell the 18-55 kit lens to help finance the WR.
02-15-2013, 09:58 AM   #8
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You are getting great advice about what gear to start off with, but look at getting the book Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson as well. It will help you learn about ISO, f stops and shutter speeds (the traingle). A very easy read that will have you shooting in manual mode in no time. Amazon.com: Understanding Exposure, 3rd Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera (9780817439392): Bryan Peterson: Books

02-15-2013, 10:05 AM   #9
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I don't know if your camera can do this. Learn to shoot in shutter priority and aperture priority and why. Play with your ISO and keep it down as much as possible. Grasp the concepts of tradeoffs between these three. When this is done then you are off to a great start with a DSLR.

After that then you should understand exposure and get to know your metering (in camera) and most importantly, recognize lighting situations. I like to photograph wildlife but I chase light before I chase wildlife.
02-15-2013, 12:35 PM   #10
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I can't offer any advice until I know what someone is looking for. Buying a DSLR means spending more money and carrying around larger, heavier equipment. What do you hope to get from that? What equipment do you currently use?

If you like your basic compact camera that has a 28-80 equivalent zoom, or something like that, but you want more resolution or better low-light images, then the kit lens will start you off just fine. If you have a megazoom camera, be aware that there's no such thing available for a Pentax camera: while you can get longer lenses, shorter lenses, faster lenses, and lenses that draw the light better, you won't be able to find a wide to super-tele simply because of how big that would be. Do you want macro abilities? Do you use flash a lot?

There are many things to know before good advice can be given.
02-15-2013, 12:46 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jasvox Quote
Don't be intimidated by the number of lenses available, just learn the camera, the basics of shooting and forget all of the distractions which you need not concern yourself with at this point in your shooting and learning. The kit lenses that are available as a bundle with the body are very capable and quality and will be just fine. Maybe in a year or so, if you really take to it, you can upgrade to a higher quality, faster zoom or a few fixed focal length (prime) lenses for taking your shooting to a higher level, but don't get dragged into that at this point as you may find yourself dwelling on the gear instead of the fundamentals (and joy) of learning photography.

All of your questions you have at this moment will be answered through learning over the next few months and you will appreciate those revelations as they happen.

Jason
Good advice ... learn at your own pace and enjoy it as it happens day to day ... J
02-15-2013, 07:27 PM   #12
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Thanks for everyone for their input. I appreciate the non-snarky answers for a newbie to the DSLR world.
As a bit more background I now have a Panasonic FZ-28. I love the camera, it has a very good zoom, although the FZ-28's zoom has been passed over by numerous super zooms.
When using the FZ-28 I've often thought more zoom, or something that would go wide for panoramic shots would be the next step. Hence my long research on the Sony's, D7000, K-30 or even the K-5 II. With each comparison of all the different models from different Mfg's, the K-30 kept coming up the winner.

Cheers,
02-15-2013, 08:35 PM   #13
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Gator - in your shoes I'd choose the DA 18-135 WR and DA 55-300 to go with the K-30. I have both lenses and am very happy with their image quality (IQ). The 18-135 is a great all round lens with quick and silent AF. and whose weather resistance matches K-30's WR very nicely. And for reach, the 55-300, although not WR and is screwdriven (i.e. you can hear the focus mechanism work), takes really great pictures at a distance. With a three-piece kit you'll have a great camera and be covered from 18-300. Fin!

Just hunt around for good prices. The K-30 can be ordered with a DA 18-135. But sold separately the lenses can be got for a minimum of around $450 for the 18-135 and $350 for the 55-300. Beware of crazy internet prices. Phone B&H and Adorama and ask, because their best prices for Pentax aren't shown on the net.
02-15-2013, 09:07 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gray Quote
Gator - in your shoes I'd choose the DA 18-135 WR and DA 55-300 to go with the K-30. I have both lenses and am very happy with their image quality (IQ). The 18-135 is a great all round lens with quick and silent AF. and whose weather resistance matches K-30's WR very nicely. And for reach, the 55-300, although not WR and is screwdriven (i.e. you can hear the focus mechanism work), takes really great pictures at a distance. With a three-piece kit you'll have a great camera and be covered from 18-300. Fin!

Just hunt around for good prices. The K-30 can be ordered with a DA 18-135. But sold separately the lenses can be got for a minimum of around $450 for the 18-135 and $350 for the 55-300. Beware of crazy internet prices. Phone B&H and Adorama and ask, because their best prices for Pentax aren't shown on the net.
+1 this is a good recommendation. In your situation you could also go with the18-55 over the 18-135, but I think coming from a point and shoot you will feel more comfortable with the range of the 18-135. As you get more experienced,you might decide on different lenses and there is a very good used marketplace right here on the forums.

As for learning, there are lots of places to learn. You can ask here on the forums, search for plenty of free videos and tutorials available online, or look for a local class. I know that the adult education classes from my local school district usually include a class on dslr and the local community college also offers one too. I would pick but how you think you would learn best.
02-15-2013, 09:55 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gray Quote
Gator - in your shoes I'd choose the DA 18-135 WR and DA 55-300 to go with the K-30. I have both lenses and am very happy with their image quality (IQ). The 18-135 is a great all round lens with quick and silent AF. and whose weather resistance matches K-30's WR very nicely. And for reach, the 55-300, although not WR and is screwdriven (i.e. you can hear the focus mechanism work), takes really great pictures at a distance. With a three-piece kit you'll have a great camera and be covered from 18-300. Fin!

Just hunt around for good prices. The K-30 can be ordered with a DA 18-135. But sold separately the lenses can be got for a minimum of around $450 for the 18-135 and $350 for the 55-300. Beware of crazy internet prices. Phone B&H and Adorama and ask, because their best prices for Pentax aren't shown on the net.
Plus another for this recommendation. The 18-135 is a lot higher priced than an 18-55, but it's a much better lens and is WR. If you get the 55-300 there are two versions, DA L and DA. The optics are the same but the DA features quick shift and comes with a hood. The 55-300 is a good lens (better than all the Sigma and Tamron XX-300s), but has noisy and slow auto focus, the quick shift allows you to manual focus quickly while in auto focus mode, and then nail it with auto focus with out scaring wildlife away.

And as Allison said, this site is a great place to learn!
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