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09-07-2020, 09:43 AM   #1
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Accessories for DSLR newbie

Hi all, Iím a new almost owner of a Pentax K-70 ( refurbished body and lens from Pentax store in shipping process) Iíve decided to step up from point and shoot. Iím sure this has been asked many times, but any suggestions for making out an accessory list for someone starting out? It would be much appreciated.
Thank you

09-07-2020, 09:50 AM - 4 Likes   #2
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a better strap is always a thought - Peak Design's Slide is quite nice

a tripod and good head - consider used, especially if you have B&M shop local to you

a magnifying eye piece - if you do any close up or use manual lenses, this will help tremendously...
09-07-2020, 10:03 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Welcome! It will depend on what type of photography you do but as a general rule:

-An external flash unit with P-TTL capability

-Another vote for a good tripod. Don't waste money on cheap flimsy tripods you will end up discarding.

-A monopod can be very useful

-A good carrying bag

And of course, lenses, lenses, lenses!

09-07-2020, 10:04 AM - 1 Like   #4
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Agreed on all the counts, and I'll add a polarizer filter to the list.

To elaborate a bit more:
-I'm partial to a belt holder for hikes but I use the *much* heavier K-1; a sling strap will work wonders too.
-I have a small, travel-friendly Manfrotto Compact Advanced with three way head that can be had used for as little as 30Ä/USD and should work very nicely as long as there isn't a lot of wind. There are of course much better, sturdier options if you need such. Like Ismael, I'd strongly advise *not* to get a cheapo no-brand tripod with flimsy legs and plasticky head - those are as good as nothing the moment someone sneezes in your general direction.
-The Pentax O-ME53 magnifier is nice and helps a fair bit with closeups, but it is not a critical purchase if you want to maximize the impact of your money.
-A circular polarizer is one of those filters that really cannot be replicated in post processing, and helps reduce reflections on water or vegetation. I use a Gobe 3Peak CPL and I'm happy with it, but there are many good options around.
-If you are interested in flash use, play around with the built-in unit you already have included. If that's inadequate, a Metz 48, Pentax AF360 or similar works wonders for not a lot of money - they are commonly found lightly used.

Let us know what types of photography you're most interested in, there is niche equipment for everything

09-07-2020, 10:10 AM - 10 Likes   #5
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My suggestion: Go out and take pictures. If while doing that you think...oh "I wish I had X" then buy X. If not you will just end up with equipment that might be useful to other people but not to you.
09-07-2020, 10:18 AM - 2 Likes   #6
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Hi Gary, welcome to the forum. Great to have you with us.

What lens are you getting? Does it come with a lens hood? These are helpful in preventing strong light coming from the side from creating flare in the image which reduces contrast and can cause other problems. You might also want to consider getting a circular polarizing filter. It cuts reflections from water and metal just like sunglasses, and can help saturate colors on foliage and make clouds stand out in a blue sky. You'll need to know the filter thread size on your lens. Unless the lens is extremely rare for some reason, you should be able to look it up here on PF to get this spec.

Pentax Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
Pentax Lenses by Sigma, Tamron, Zeiss, and more - Reviews and Specification Database - Pentax Lens Review Database

Circular polarizers come in a range of prices from cheap to very expensive depending on brand quality and what size you need. I happen to like Marumi brand as a good compromise between price and quality. Really cheap brands aren't worth having since they will probably degrade image quality.

You'll probably also want to get some lens cleaning solution and tissues. You DON'T want to use Windex and paper towels! Lenses have special coatings that have to be treated with care, so be sure to get supplies that are designed for camera lenses. Many people use isopropyl alcohol; supposedly this is the main ingredient in many lens cleaning solutions.

I'll stop there since undoubtedly other members will have their own recommendations. Welcome to the DSLR world. It's a great place to be!
09-07-2020, 10:24 AM - 5 Likes   #7
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About the only things I would suggest you get is a simple (and cheap) bag to put the camera in and a couple of good, name brand SD cards. Everything else falls into the category of "might need" which often ends up being things you buy and never use. If you are completely new then you really don't know what you want. So wait a bit and don't buy things until you really need them.

If you really get excited about this hobby there are long, long lists of 'stuff' you can buy. But first, focus on learning the camera, if you add things like flashes and filters and other lenses that all takes time to learn and distracts you from the most important thing which is learning photography and your camera.

Once you have that figured out come back and ask:
What is the best strap system to use?
What is a good camera bag for the gear I have?
What are ND filters and do I need one?
What are circular polarizers and when do I use one?
What flash system should I get?
What telephoto lens should I get?

09-07-2020, 10:58 AM - 5 Likes   #8
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I'll buck the trend here.

I can count on two hands the number of times I've used a tripod. In truth probably one but I was erring on the high side. That's not my shooting style, yet I have two very good ones with ball heads plus a monopod, I suppose just in case? :/

I have at least a dozen camera bags of different sizes, backpacks, chest straps, wrist straps, spending a lot of time looking for "the one" when I was starting out.

I'd suggest getting a good system to start with. Don't cheap out on the basics since you'll probably be unhappy and buy something better anyway. Someone above mentioned a belt and I'd 100% agree since it keeps your hands free until the camera is needed and it won't swing around like it does on your neck or across your chest. Particularly nice with a heavier lens since it puts the weight on your hips. I use one with two holders for two cameras if I need 'em, and I often do. Add a camera strap for more comfort and security in hand and easier stowing and removing from the belt. My preference is Spider Pro, and the pair, belt and handstrap, can be purchased for under $150 and maybe far under if you look carefully. I bought my last belt and holder for less than $70 on Ebay, new, and the handstrap is regularly available for $30 if you're not too picky about color. Spend any time out with your camera and you'll find times you need to put it down. I prefer on my side at the ready. The belt holder can be locked, and no one is cutting it and dashing off.

A polarizer filter is a good idea as others suggested, and buying just one well-reviewed filter for your largest lens and adapters to fit for the smaller ones is the smart way to start out IMO. Do some research before buying, perhaps take a look at Hoya and B&W who both have reasonably priced but very good ones. Forget about filters such as ND's, or glass that serves no purpose other than supposedly protecting your lens and taking your money. Use your lens hood which is all you need. Wait on other filters until you can figure out why you would need them.

Depending on where and how you shoot either a slingbag (LowePro makes a great one) or a backpack is convenient. Avoid anything that ties up your hands or lacks padding. I started with a side bag, moved to backpacks, and eventually settled on a sling bag since I tend to want fast easy access to "stuff" on a shoot and a sling can be moved from my back to front in a second.

An external flash can probably be put off for a while until you decide you really have a use for one. I never fired a flash at all in the first year of owning a DSLR. I probably used even the pop-up flash only a couple of times for some fill light. TBH the flash on the K70 is reasonably bright and could potentially cover all your light needs for awhile. Find out what your photo interests are first.

The magnifying eyepiece? If you have good eyes you probably won't need it or use it if you buy one, but they're cheap if you find the camera viewfinder too small. I have one, old eyes and all.

Resist the urge to buy gear before determing that it has value for you, particularly cheaper stuff. It adds up, and not only that tends to multiply when sitting on the shelf. Photo gear is like buying a pair of rabbits.

Last edited by gatorguy; 09-07-2020 at 11:33 AM. Reason: speeling
09-07-2020, 10:59 AM - 4 Likes   #9
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First, take a deep breath. Make your list based on what sort of photos you want to take. The camera, lenses, and other stuff are tools to do a job, don't let the tools dictate the job. Indoor photos of family and cats obviously is different from shoot vistas from mountain tops. As has been mentioned, aside from the box, the glass, the card, and a sack to put it in (if you are going anywhere), a tripod may be important. As mentioned, quality is a focus but don't overbuy, well maybe better than underbuy. Do research and read the specs and reviews. The used market can save money. In that regard a little more cost to deal with a reputable business may save a lot of frustration.ALSO, and I speak from experience, gear that interacts with the camera is not usually universal. Ask the vendor or address questions to the gobs of experience available on this forum before you buy. As someone mentioned go out and shoot and let your experience tell you what you need. AND the K-70 is the best camera in the world. It is what i use so it must be!
09-07-2020, 11:03 AM - 3 Likes   #10
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Shoot and try things. When you miss the shot ask what could help and is it worth it in terms of price and hauling it around.
For me a solid sd card and extra battery is essential. One charging, one in the camera. These are always used.
Everything else is based on you and what you shoot. A person on a boat shooting whales needs a good handstrap and polarizing filter but a tripod on a moving boat isn't very helpful. Shoot stars and a tripod is essential. Shoot in a studio and lights become important. Your kit is personal. Unless you have an open wallet and a warehouse, it is better to get things as you need.
09-07-2020, 11:13 AM - 5 Likes   #11
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the best " accessory " I would suggest is the EBook


the OP might want to look at this

Useful Pentax/Photo Resources, About
This section is intended to help you with any basic questions you may have about Pentax or photography, as well as technical issues you may be experiencing with your gear. Newbies are welcome here! Feel free to ask any question, no matter now simple (or seemingly obvious), but please post each question in a separate thread!

Thanks, and enjoy this section! I hope you find it useful.

While you wait for someone to answer your thread, these pages may prove to be very valuable resources: Lens Review Database
Pentax Lens Series Explained
Pentax & Photography Artices
The Pentax Camera Lens Compatibility Chart
Lens compatibility tool
Photos of K and M42 mount variations (photos of pentax k-mounts) -
How to use/meter Manual & M42 Lenses on all Pentax DSLRs (K-1, K-3, K-5, K-30, etc) -
Pentax Reviews | In-Depth Camera, Lens, Flash Reviews |
Recommended Pentax Gear | Pentax Cameras |
Pentax Cameras | Pentax K-5 vs. Pentax K-r vs. Pentax K-x - Pentax DSLR Comparison -
Firmware Update Guide
Homepage Articles & Tutorials
Beginners question about noise (clunk) in a Pentax DSLR -
PENTAX Lens Technology / Lenses / Products | RICOH IMAGING
Shutter count tool

Read more at: Useful Pentax/Photo Resources, About - Page 2 -

have fun with your photography and as you do, you will determine what else you may need
09-07-2020, 11:19 AM - 3 Likes   #12
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Thank you all, for such good advice. I am writing this all down and doing internet look ups. As one member asked what kind of photography interests me. I seldom shoot indoors, aside from shooting my cats or a friend. I mostly shoot urban and city streets and interesting architecture and details. I also head out to the country side and shoot nature in assorted settings. No so much wildlife.the lens Iím starting with is the Pentax DA 18-135mm lens,after reading many comments that itís a good start. My work I post on Instagram as @gar_kopp. Again thank you for such a warm welcome and so much worthwhile advice. I plan to spend a good deal of time learning from these forums.
09-07-2020, 11:19 AM - 3 Likes   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by aslyfox Quote
the best " accessory " I would suggest is the EBook


the OP might want to look at this

Read more at: Useful Pentax/Photo Resources, About - Page 2 -

have fun with your photography and as you do, you will determine what else you may need
That might be the best advice of all. Great suggestion. I've bought an e-Book for every one of my Pentax cameras. Invaluable, especially when it comes to suggested settings and why.
09-07-2020, 11:24 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gary Kopp Quote
the lens I’m starting with is the Pentax DA 18-135mm lens,after reading many comments that it’s a good start.
Excellent choice for a first lens. IMO don't by another one until you see where it's lacking for you, and it may once you discover where your true interests lay. I think it's a lens that will always have value for you no matter what your goals are.
09-07-2020, 11:31 AM - 1 Like   #15
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First, congratulations on getting a K-70! I just recently moved up from a Panasonic Lumix FZ300 (SLR-like superzoom camera) to the K-70 and love the image quality of my new Pentax. My initial lens purchased with the camera was the 18-135mm Pentax DA zoom, but I soon ended up buying a number of additional lenses.

The first thing I got was spare batteries. I got the Wasabi brand equivalents, and they seem to be working well so far. The next I would suggest, is an inexpensive, but decent camera bag or holster that will hold as a minimum, your camera and lens, spare batteries, microfiber cleaning cloth, etc. I say inexpensive, because you will probably want to step up once you've been out shooting a few times. By then you will have a better idea of what style you might prefer.

As far as lenses, etc, as others have already noted, once you get out shooting, you will have a better idea of what you will need, based on the kind of photography you want to do.

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