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04-03-2013, 05:12 PM   #1
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A NY Shopping List

Hi All,

My (much) better half has booked us tickets to New York for the fall and we'll be staying within walking distance of B&H Photo... oh boy oh boy oh boy!

I realize it's a ways off, but if I'm gonna drop some $$ at B&H, I need to start saving my allowance now. I like to shoot landscapes, family, airplanes and the usual "travel" shots. Current toys are below....

Current Body: Pentax K-30

Current Pentax Lenses: 18-55, 18-55WR, 18-135WR, 55-300, 35-80(scavenged from a dead film body), 50mm macro (manual everything)

Other Lenses: Sigma 70mm macro, Tamron 18-200

Flash:None... the in camera one not withstanding. The film era Vivitar doesn't count either

Tripod: An antiquated Velbon in need of a head... the current head didn't survive the trip to Australia

I'm leaning towards...
A) A wide/wide zoom and a tripod or...
B) A tripod, flash or...
C) A tripod, inexpensive primes

... but I'd be interested in opinions. How would you spend my allowance (ball park $1000) for me?

04-03-2013, 05:27 PM   #2
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I'd be after a DA 15 mm or a sigma 10-20 and a tripod. But that's just me thinking that for the landscape stuff I do I'd like something wider. That and looking at the "15 mm controls my mind" thread.

But, the inexpensive primes is an appealing option too. Heck, with $1000 beans you should be able to get, say, the DA15 and the "plastic fantastic" DA35, and a cheap tripod? Don't know.

Have fun buddy.
04-03-2013, 05:29 PM   #3
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By the way, could you sell off the 18-55 (seeing that the 18-55WR is essentially the same lens)? Or even both 18-55s seeing as you have the 18-135WR which is fairly capabe in the same range?
04-03-2013, 06:02 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Brisboy Quote
By the way, could you sell off the 18-55 (seeing that the 18-55WR is essentially the same lens)? Or even both 18-55s seeing as you have the 18-135WR which is fairly capabe in the same range?
Thanks...

I could sell the 18-55 AL... I only bought it because the local camera store had it on a "manager's special" for $49 so I'm not out of pocket for too much and looking at the local used market, it's not worth very much second hand.

Similarly the 18-55 WR is a bit redundant with me having the 18-135WR. Having said that, it has better IQ than the 18-135 and is nice and compact for days when I want something splash proof and a bit smaller.

I will admit the DA15, Sigma 10-20 (or 8-16) do catch my eye everytime I prowl around the B&H site. I've run into situations where 18mm just isn't wide enough.

Decisions, decisions....

04-03-2013, 06:13 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by CP140 Quote
B) A tripod, flash or...
Since you are traveling to and from that region of Canada to NYC also consider that: If you are flying you might have an issue with the tripod. Most airlines do not allow tripods in the cabin. To place it in the belly of the plane is to take the imminent chance of it somehow disappearing. Which means one best options would be to actually ship the tripod back.

This coming from the same general airline industry that now allows some small knives, gold clubs, and ski poles.
04-03-2013, 06:22 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Medium FormatPro Quote
Since you are traveling to and from that region of Canada to NYC also consider that: If you are flying you might have an issue with the tripod. Most airlines do not allow tripods in the cabin. To place it in the belly of the plane is to take the imminent chance of it somehow disappearing. Which means one best options would be to actually ship the tripod back.

This coming from the same general airline industry that now allows some small knives, gold clubs, and ski poles.
Good point... my idea if, I get a tripod, is to pack it inside the checked luggage. My "needs a head" Velbon travelled to Australia and backthat way... the head didn't survive due to a User Interface problem... stripped housing where the Pan/tilt arm screws in.
04-03-2013, 06:41 PM   #7
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The Sigma 8-16 is really quite good. It makes sense to buy one new, since used ones don't get discounted much, and I don't think many people want to sell them. Don't bother with any of the other wide zooms if you're looking for better IQ.

The DA15 is also fantastic, as is the DA10-17 FE. I only picked up the Sigma recently, because I've begun taking interior (bathroom) shots. The Sigma is really strong from 10 to 16mm (way better than the others at 10mm, I think). The sharpness is very good - a great match for the K-5 IIs - and the long depth of field is incredible. But of course it's not as good as the DA15 at 15mm. Still, there's nothing else like it.
04-03-2013, 06:51 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by CP140 Quote
My (much) better half has booked us tickets to New York for the fall and we'll be staying within walking distance of B&H Photo... oh boy oh boy oh boy!
I don't have much to offer for suggestions. I think you'd do well with the tripod & DA15 combo.

However, I can imagine what you really might have been thinking while posting:

CP140: My (much) better half has booked us tickets to B&H Photo for the fall and we'll be staying within walking distance of some other sights...
CP140 Better Half: Yes, honey, we WILL see something else other than camera gear.
CP140: For sure. Just come and get me when you're ready to return home... I'll be in the lens section...

Enjoy!

04-03-2013, 07:12 PM   #9
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I'd get a limited and a tripod.

I'd look at exif data from your zooms and see what sort of focal lengths you tend to shoot at most of the time... Probably you've got 70mm covered with your sigma (as far as focal length goes anyways) so I'd look at the 40mm ltd and below.

I'd look at used gear very seriously and consider going to Adorama instead of B and H as they almost always have a lot more used pentax gear and Adorama is really just as good a shop as B and H, its just less impressive.

I used to own the 21mm and I miss it - a nice landscape lens, a nice walk around lens, for me, it was a great useable focal length. I think about rebuying it all the time!

Don't expect to go to B and H and get into an awesome conversation with a salesperson about Pentax. The guys there are typically not that into it. Living in NY I go to B and H every now and then to play around - I was there about 2 weeks ago hoping that they had a 560mm on the lens shelf and it was absent... Also, I tend to find that the guys at the used desk are much more likely into actually talking to you about your photography and what is available on the market. They'll actually help you process your choices and help you make a decision. While there are guys behind the big lens desk that will do that, I find that they are fewer.

I'd get a tripod over a flash, but if you do a lot of indoor/portrait photography maybe you'd like the flash better. Now isn't a great time to buy a pentax flash as it seems like they are going to come out with a new version of the 360 in a bit... I have the cheaper of the two Sigma flashes and it is nice - the more expensive model gets you more feature/function...

But, as far as tripods go, I wouldn't cheap out. Spend a bit of money one time, you'll have that tripod for a really long time. My tripod has lasted me for 5 years, through an Oly body, a Panasonic, and now my K5. I'd look at a Kirk Bh-3 ballhead as it is cheapest of the really good ballheads that comes with a plate (its what I chose and I've been happy). Then, I'd get the best legs I could afford.

Anyways, lots of choices, lots of options with $1k to spend. (get a 31mm!!)
04-03-2013, 07:46 PM   #10
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we should get the NYC pentaxians together for a trip from B and H to Adorama!
04-03-2013, 08:45 PM   #11
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Also check out there used (1) camera/lenses and (2) tripods/heads--the latter (used heads) often includes interesting stuff. And the (2) are available to look at w/o seeing sales person.
04-04-2013, 12:54 AM   #12
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The way I see it is, a lens is a lens is a lens, whether you buy it online or in person.
What I would suggest is to make use of the pilgrimage by reserving some money aside for impulse stuff; that bag you were wondering but weren't sure, but it looks fabulous in person; or that item you didn't even know existed but you must have it now you have seen it. Also make sure you check out the event space schedule, there will probably be at least one event that interests you.
What I am saying is, B&H is much more than an Amazon with shelves. Spend some time to watch the conveyor system, get into an argument about the poor AF performance of a camera with one of the staff, wait in line to talk to the staff behind the counters, some of whom can be cold and only answer questions you ask, but maybe you will find the chatterbox who will bring out 5 different cameras or lenses and discuss with you their intricate differences.
In the isles, if they approach you and ask if you need help, don't say "umm, just looking" but let them. Some of those people can be one of the ones that may help you see an item you never thought was essential, but there it is.
Take it easy on the candies, and - did I mention before? - check out the event space schedule.

Oh, two more things - if you buy a bunch of stuff, at the exit you can ask for a canvas tote or a backpack. And do check out the used section.
And speaking of used, if you see something you really like but you already have something like it, they will buy your old gear right then and there (you have to go around the corner) for an OK price.

Have fun.
04-04-2013, 05:27 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by CP140 Quote
Good point... my idea if, I get a tripod, is to pack it inside the checked luggage. My "needs a head" Velbon travelled to Australia and backthat way... the head didn't survive due to a User Interface problem... stripped housing where the Pan/tilt arm screws in
Last calendar year (2012) I traveled enough paid miles to go two times around the planet - unfortunately. That doesn't include all of the times that I've taken the voluntary bump, for free travel to be used later. I have enough of those types of "miles" to travel anywhere in the world.

And no matter which airline I use I seem to have a rather regular problem in having checked bags go to the "wrong side of" the planet; or just plain get lost indefinitely. So please be sure to check the limitations and built in insurance limits on checked items. It would not hurt to add to those limits to make sure that everything is covered.

In closing for now... Too bad that the photography industry cannot tactfully address groups such as the TSA and then ask them about tripod or even unipod exemptions.
04-04-2013, 05:35 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by CP140 Quote
Current Pentax Lenses: 18-55, 18-55WR, 18-135WR, 55-300, 35-80(scavenged from a dead film body), 50mm macro (manual everything)

Other Lenses: Sigma 70mm macro, Tamron 18-200
You got a lot of overlap. You could sell one kit lens (the non-WR) or both since you have the 18-135, maybe sell one macro (the focal length you use less often) and I'm willing to bet you almost never use the 18-200 since you have the 18-135.

QuoteOriginally posted by CP140 Quote
The film era Vivitar doesn't count either
No? You probably refer to a 283 or 285, both are good flashes. Do you wish to shoot with a flash more often? Do you wish a manual flash for studio, a PTTL flash?

QuoteOriginally posted by CP140 Quote
I'm leaning towards...
A) A wide/wide zoom and a tripod or...
B) A tripod, flash or...
C) A tripod, inexpensive primes

... but I'd be interested in opinions. How would you spend my allowance (ball park $1000) for me?

If your tripod is still good, get a good head to go with it instead of throwing it away. Your lineup is lacking in wide primes, but it's hard to decide for you what you will want to use.

It's hard to decide for you. My take would be to sell a bunch of lenses, get a fast 50, a wide prime (21 comes to mind) or if you enjoy zooms a higher-IQ zoom to complement your 18-135, maybe a 17-70 or 17-50 f2.8. Look at the end-of-line tripod heads from companies like Vanguard (great bang for your buck). As for a flash, it again depends on your needs but the cheapest all-around flash will be a Sigma 610 Super, so you could look at that one.
04-04-2013, 11:43 AM   #15
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Thanks all for your comments and ideas.

My tripod, although functional, is a wee bit short and a little light. I bought it when I was a kid back in the early 80's and I've gotten taller since then. As far as tripods go, I'm thinking of getting decent, taller tripod and a good head. (Need to do some research there) When I travel, I can just swap the head back and forth to the lighter more portable tripod. Thanks for the comments about lost luggage too... mine disappeared for 5 days when we went to Portugal few years ago... I had to walk down to the local shops and mime "Shaving" because my razor was in my bag.

I've only had the 18-135 for a couple of months now and it's seen a lot of use. I'll have to see how much I use the 18-200 this summer as it's the "rainy" season right now.Definitely something to consider though.

Yes, a wide is something that would round things out for me quite nicely...and I'll poke around Adorama too. I visited B&H two years ago and had a good experience there.

Again, thanks for the comments everyone.
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