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05-06-2015, 09:57 PM   #1
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Is my k30 kit ready for shooting special events?

Hello Pentaxians,

I love my pentax K30 camera and the following is my kit.

1) Pentax K30 camera with 18-135mm WR lens.
2) Pentax 50mm f1.8 lens
3) Metz 58 AF-2 Flash
4) Manfrotto tripod 293 with RC2 ball head.

I was requested by my family member to shoot for their occasion which involves their small kid. It would be inside a temple and hence there should be ample of light unless if its cloudy. Am bit nervous since its an important event for everyone and I don't want to screw up anything. Hence wanted to check if my existing kit is suffice or if I need to go for an additional glass with premium quality if required.

Regards,
Jai

05-06-2015, 10:10 PM   #2
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There's isn't one setup that's better than other, its all relative (the skills of a shooter matter more than gear). I've shot children b-day parties with a K5/iis, a tokina 28-80 f2.8( 99% of the time), a Sigma ex 30 f1.4 and a 360FGZ. The K30 is great dslr, I'd recommend a f2.8 normal zoom (like a Tamron 28-75/f2.8 or a 24-70/f2.8) its focal range is quite useful for group shots and good enough for close up/isolation. The DA 50/f1.8 will come in handy inside bouncing castles or indoors where the light is not optimal. I don't have personal experience with the 18-135 but from what I've seen is very flexible, fast and quiet AF and more than capable optically. Ideally you'd want to add a mid range fast zoom like the 50-135/2.8 (the AF is a bit slow), or a Sigma/Tamron 70-200/f2.8 for freeze/action shots but those are expensive lenses ( more of a wedding photog arsenal)
I think you're ready, good luck....
05-06-2015, 10:18 PM   #3
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Hi! I have a K-30 and two small children myself. If it were me, I'd slap the 50/1.8 on the camera and go. It sounds like there might be a ceremony of some kind, in which case you might not be able to move around as much as you'd like with a prime lens. You might want a faster zoom than the 18-135, but if the ceiling is low enough and you can get close enough, you can always bounce your flash and not have to worry about shooting at high ISOs or large apertures. I find most people want a non-blurry photo to remember the event, so do what you must to get at least one great shot.

I'd personally leave the tripod at home as my children are never still enough to warrant a tripod (even the one who isn't old enough to walk!).

Here's a photo from a recent wedding I shot with the DA* 50-135 and the K-30. The venue had very mixed lighting but Lightroom helped save the day:
05-07-2015, 12:45 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by K McCall Quote
Hi! I have a K-30 and two small children myself. If it were me, I'd slap the 50/1.8 on the camera and go. It sounds like there might be a ceremony of some kind, in which case you might not be able to move around as much as you'd like with a prime lens. You might want a faster zoom than the 18-135, but if the ceiling is low enough and you can get close enough, you can always bounce your flash and not have to worry about shooting at high ISOs or large apertures. I find most people want a non-blurry photo to remember the event, so do what you must to get at least one great shot.

I'd personally leave the tripod at home as my children are never still enough to warrant a tripod (even the one who isn't old enough to walk!).

Here's a photo from a recent wedding I shot with the DA* 50-135 and the K-30. The venue had very mixed lighting but Lightroom helped save the day:


Very nice shot.

05-07-2015, 01:02 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by jaikumarr18 Quote
It would be inside a temple and hence there should be ample of light unless if its cloudy.
You might be disappointed; if the temple is like a church, it's always darker than one thinks But nothing that increasing ISO or use of flash can't solve. Maybe consider adding a flash bender to diffuse the flash light in case bouncing is not possible (high ceilings or colored ceilings) .

QuoteOriginally posted by jaikumarr18 Quote
Am bit nervous since its an important event for everyone and I don't want to screw up anything.
Just tell the family that "you're a beginner" so they can adjust their expectations. Unless you're a pro in which case you would not have asked the question and wouldn't be nervous

Good luck and enjoy the event.
05-07-2015, 02:12 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone for the support. That is the main reason I went with Pentax even though none of my friends opposed it

@Stavri, the 200mm lens will be bit challenging in tight places I think but not too sure. The problem I have is, its hard for me to make people move to get the clear view on the picture since its going to be my relatives and they will take me for granted... lol. I always wanted to buy a professional grade lens and may be a 200mm lens will be a good option bbut not sure if it will be used much for this occasion.

@Keitha McCall, that is an amazing picture. Btw when you meant slap, I believe you were just asking me to blindly use that for the occassion.

@sterretje, I got Stofen Omnibounce diffuser and I believe that should work . I also got built in diffuser flap in the Metz 58 but am not sure how good they are.
05-07-2015, 07:19 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimC1101 Quote
Very nice shot.
Thanks so much! I just wanted to show that the K-30 is very much to the task of capturing once-in-a-lifetime shots, even with less than ideal lighting,

---------- Post added 05-07-15 at 09:26 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by jaikumarr18 Quote

@Keitha McCall, that is an amazing picture. Btw when you meant slap, I believe you were just asking me to blindly use that for the occassion.
I have to admit that if I were in your situation - and this is based purely on how I shoot and how I think - I would probably end up using the 50mm lens for 95% of the shots and would only break out the zoom or the flash if I absolutely had to (because you couldn't get close enough, etc).

By the way, the shot I posted was also of a family event, and I know just how high those expectations can be! I usually try for a couple of great shots - ones worthy of framing - and then once you know you've got that, you can relax and get creative.
05-07-2015, 09:22 AM   #8
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Its all in the skill of the photographer. You're good to go with what you have. The only thing I would suggest is a wider angle high speed prime to be able to capture some close ups, but you should be able to get them from your 18-135 lens if you shoot at higher ISO.

You can shoot up to ISO 3200 without flash & still get some good jpegs from the camera. Use ISO 6400 only if you can't use flash in a tight pinch. You can get much better results after processing higher ISO RAW files. Set your camera to shoot in jpeg & RAW.

I do a lot of low light photography with my K-50 & get some extremely good results within ISO 800 to 3200. Knowing how to post process the DNG file is the key, though. The noise grain from the DNG file is quite pleasant looking up to ISO 3200. The image quality & noise grain starts dropping off at ISO 6400, but I can still get a very good looking looking 8x10 print out of a processed DNG file. I think I would be able to get a decent looking 11x14 print quite easily.

So if you're confident enough in your skills, you'll be good to go!

05-07-2015, 09:14 PM   #9
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@ Keitha : Thanks for the info. To be honest, I did not get much chance to play with my Metz 58 even though its been 6 months since I bought it. But as you said I will use it only if I require it at all cost.

@The Squirrel Mafia: i agree with your point but I had mixed results with bumping up the ISO. I thought wide angle lens are good for landscape, interiors and architecture but not sure if they are good for portraiture. But they will be good for taking picture of large group I think. My 50mm f1.8 lens is soft when taken wide at f1.8 but I love the bokeh though. I was looking for some sharp lens with very good bokeh mainly for portraiture and occasions.

---------- Post added 05-07-15 at 09:34 PM ----------

Do you think Pentax SMCP-FA 77mm f/1.8 Limited Lens will add any benefit over my existing kit?
05-10-2015, 02:52 AM   #10
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Purchased Zoner photo studio pro 17 for photo editing and I believe am set for the task
05-13-2015, 08:35 AM   #11
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I'm a nightclub photographer and run a K30 at ISO 800 with the DA 18-55 v1 lens (Aperture depends on the look the client wants and the ambient lighting). I need the versatility of wide to standard/mid range because at one moment you're shooting a group, then it's cramped when you see a great candid to capture etc.
I use a light modifier (softbox) on a Vivitar Series 1 DF-383-PEN flash.
I've had nothing but praise from clients.
Here's some samples of different scenes. All at the same venue.








In a nutshell, the k30 right out of the box is very capable. It mostly comes down to the people in front of and the person behind the lens.
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