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View Poll Results: The Pentax K-X with 18-55mm & 55-300 leses is:
an excellent choice that will meet your needs for years to come 450.00%
a good choice but you will soon need or want to upgrade one or more components 450.00%
The camera is a poor choice   00%
The 18-55 is a poor choice   00%
the 55-300 is a poor choice   00%
Consider a totally different bundle   00%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 8. You may not vote on this poll

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02-21-2011, 05:15 AM   #1
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Hello from Nova Scotia

I got my start in photography with a Zorki 4K and a couple of extra lenses, plus some cheap darkroom kit for B&W. Then moved up to a Ricoh XR2 SLR which served me well for many years. With the digital revolution, I couldn't afford an SLR so I used a cheap point and shoot for the ease of getting pictures onto the web etc. That has now died ( probably shouldn't have taken it down a pot-hole and I will soon be able to move up to some dSLR kit.

I expect that this will have to be a one-time buy for me, so I am looking for a camera that I will be happy with and a couple of lenses that will cover a wide range of subject matter. One option I am looking at and leaning towards is the Pentax K-X with DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL & 55-300 F4-5.8 ED (Black).

What does DA, AL, and ED mean? I also sometimes see SMC used as a prefix. Is this something different again? Do camera manufacturers deliberately try to obfuscate the marketplace with all these abbreviations?

02-21-2011, 05:39 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forums :-)

The k-x with those kits lenses is quite a bargain; having had the same I can recommend it (sadly, the body is in warranty repair now, but I think this is just bad luck of getting a unit with a problem rather than an indication of the quality of them in general). DAL in practice means a stripped down version of DA where the differences are plastic mount (as opposed to a metal one), lack of quick-shift focusing, no focus distance scale and that a lens hood fitting the bayonet is not included. The most important thing, the optics should be the same though. As for SMC, that stands for Super Multi Coating which should be among the finest as that sort of thing goes. In practice this helps to avoid flare and improve contrast and is especially important to have on the back element of a lens with a DLSR as the sensor surface is more reflective than film. I understand that Pentax has chosen to apply SMC there even with the older lenses from the film era which makes them that more attractive. Unlike other manufactures Pentax is unique in that all their film era lenses continue to work with the DLSRs and since the K/M/A series (prime) lenses in general are of fine quality yet inexpensive and relatively plentiful they are a big part of the value proposition (provided one does not mind manual focus).

Last edited by jolepp; 02-21-2011 at 08:13 AM. Reason: typo fix
02-21-2011, 07:31 AM   #3
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Welcome Derek.
I'd suggest reading these for starters - it might answer some of your questions:

I'm sure the K-x will suffice for some time... but the kit lenses may give you variable mileage.
02-23-2011, 05:54 PM   #4
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I agree with Ash... the lens review is the place to start as there is so much available and good info too.

02-24-2011, 08:24 AM   #5
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Welcome, though i answered #2 for many the 2 kit package does meet all their needs for a long time. For me i would end up upgrading lenses. depends on how you shoot and what you want to achieve. that being said i don't think there is a better value in the marketplace from any brand to get someone off to a great start with DSLR photography, once you have used and mastered the kit you will be better able to judge where you should invest in better lenses based on the focal lengths you most commonly shoot at

Welcome to the forum
02-24-2011, 03:56 PM   #6
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Hi, and welcome from another newbie. I picked #2 above, but my real answer is, "it all depends." I picked the 18-135 instead, bought a used 55-300, and have added a few used primes. I think I might be happy for some time, but there sure is a lot of LBA out there, and I'm having a struggle fighting it off.

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