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05-24-2012, 06:38 PM   #1
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Hello from a Newbie

Hello everyone! Just thought I would register and pop in to say hello. I will try to frequent the forms as much as I can. I have been looking at some of your photos on the forum and wow!!! I am very impressed!

Now a little about me... I am brand new to DSLR photography. I took some classes on photography many moons ago (like in junior high school) but have not taken photos really since then. Back then it was 35mm film only. The only pictures I've taken since were the point and shoot kind. Given I have some cool point and shoot shots from numerous islands and about 30 countries

I have always loved photography though but until now I never got into it as I would have liked.

I have recently invested in my very first DSLR camera. After a LOT of deliberation I have settled on a Pentax K-5. It is en-route to my home right now. (hurry up UPS guy!!!)

I have 3 lenses that I got to accompany my K-5 (so far)...and they too are on the way.

I am one step above a rank amateur in that I am a rank amateur who has read a bunch of books about photography. The bookstore's stock spiked when I started buying photography books....In other words I have been reading for well over 6 months (at least) before I ever spent a nickel on actual camera equipment. Its more like a year and six months to be honest...

Eventually I might invest in some higher end lenses, but before I do that I think it best to learn my way around first.

My camera fixation started as a kid (really) but about 2 Christmases ago my old faithful point and shoot bit the dust and I got another camera given to me as a present. My old pointer and shooter became victim to some sand dunes somewhere in Africa and then the flash just went kaput.

The gifted one was a nice camera (still have it) but it frustrated me to no end... so I started looking into it more and more. I bought another point and shoot, and now I am getting my first DSLR.

I deliberated getting a Canon...then I saw the price list.

I have one more splurge item to buy before my next splurge craving hits... I want a sigma 150-500...after that I will be all set up until I learn more and then I will undoubtedly want to buy more stuff.

All in all I am about learning. I want to learn SKILL. I want to learn tricks and techniques and really learn stuff and then instead of paint brushes or writing poems, I can express my artistic side with my gadgets and do-dads...

I also think its highly interesting that I can use some of the older pentax lenses...I would be interested in getting a small collection of those and going full manual. I like it because it shows skill. I might be able to reasonably assemble a good collection without selling a kidney.


I am sure I will have a million questions once my camera arrives...I will use what I already know and play with the camera and then start building from there....

Thanks guys!!!

05-24-2012, 07:57 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forums. I can recommend full manual. Auto is ok and partial auto is also but I enjoy full manual to much to give it up
This is a great place to get answers
05-24-2012, 10:15 PM   #3
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Welcome aboard! Yes, reading is good. A carpenter friend told me The Carpenter's Rule is: measure twice, cut once. That's about it with photography. Study, plan, have an idea of how things work, before blowing money on stuff. Then when stuff starts accumulating, at least it has some purpose. That's what I tell myself whenever I look at the zillions of lenses I've bought over the last 4 years.

Reading is good. Are many good books about photography. Are many insights available. One insight: Many classic photographers came from fine-arts backgrounds (and many didn't). A good way to train the eye is to learn to draw. I only draw flies, so I concentrate on studying the history of graphic arts, display typography, and photography of course. The old art-school method: learn by copying masters. That works with cameras too. Find images you love and try to replicate them.

Reading is good, and leads to the heart of art|craft: practice practice practice. Digital cameras are SO much better than film. Shooting digital is free, gratis, no-cost. Shooting digital allows (encourages) chimping, instantly reviewing a shot so we can adjust and re-shoot as needed. Think of every shot as a problem to be solved, a problem of many variables, with almost an infinity of solutions. Shooting digital allows (encourages) trying many possibilities.

What to shoot? Start with obsessions. Do you have obsessions? If not, develop some. Such are the most fun to photograph, stuff you really care about, stuff you're driven to record. If we don't care about what we're shooting, our indifference shows in the results. Yawn. Of course, an obsession may also be a a yawn for others. Oh look, another Kewpie doll. Yawn.

Anyway, welcome, and have fun.

PS -- How to accumulate zillions of lenses without selling body parts or robbing minimarts: I have a couple rules for buying lenses and other gear.

* Ask yourself: What do I want to do that I cant' do with what I have?
* Bid low; bid often; lose 99% of auctions; don't fret, another will be right along.
* If it cost less than a burger, buy it; if it costs more than a supreme pizza, think about it.
05-25-2012, 06:53 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
* Ask yourself: What do I want to do that I cant' do with what I have? * Bid low; bid often; lose 99% of auctions; don't fret, another will be right along. * If it cost less than a burger, buy it; if it costs more than a supreme pizza, think about it.
I follow rules 2 and 3. Rule 1, the answer is usually how do I know till I get it . That allows me to get more.

05-25-2012, 10:59 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by patrick9 Quote
I follow rules 2 and 3. Rule 1, the answer is usually how do I know till I get it . That allows me to get more.
I usually invoke rule #1 when I hit part (c) of rule #3: If it costs more than a luxury dinner out with your partner(s), ask here about it!
05-26-2012, 07:02 AM   #6
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Thanks guys!!!

I am already loaded up with questions (mainly about lenses)...

Maybe I will shoot em here first then start another thread where we can get more responses in the technical category.

On ebay I see all kinds of 'pentax lenses' for sale but many are different brands (not pentax)...They say my camera is reverse compatable with the exception that anything with a 'screw mount' will need an adapter. I assume that's a plain old ring adapter... I can only assume the rings are relatively cheap since I haven't looked them up.

Are those other brands 'off brands' aka sigma, which will work on pentax but isn't exactly pentax?

I have seen stuff made in russia and all kinds of places but on Ebay the lenses are 30 years old and still they want $200 for them...

I am tossing questions already I know but I am unfamiliar with the format...

First if I go 'lateral' IE since Pentax's lens line is limited and buy NEW lenses (but from other manufacterers) which other manufacturers make lenses that will work on my K-5 (with all the functionality still intact)?

For example if I buy the sigma 150-500mm the auto functions supposedly will work just fine. It will be like a modern pentax lens was slapped on there with all the functions of that. (That lens is on my list of to gets)

1. going lateral for 'new stuff' what are my options?

2. going backwards I need a dang history lesson on lenses...

3. This is more of a technical question...but it will help me answer #2. Once I get the answer I might need to add a couple more lenses to my wants. One of the lenses I got coming has an aperture F 3.5-5.6...

I see other lenses that have all the way from F 1.4, F1.7, F2.4 and so on and so forth.... really what kind of difference is there between these F stops and their abilities/functions?

Will a 1.4 make THAT big of a difference to a 1.7 and then to a 2.4 and so on and so forth?
05-26-2012, 10:15 AM   #7
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I posted a thread on the beginers forum about the lenses...
05-26-2012, 12:10 PM   #8
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Best place to ask about lenses is the LENS forum. Meanwhile, some general rules:

* Even the greatest lensmakers produce optical turds. Price is no guarantee.
* Faster is often (but not always) better. Older and slower can be fascinating.
* Rough truism: Easy lenses for TAKING pictures, hard lenses for MAKING pictures.
* Auctions: Bid low; bid often; lose 99%; don't worry, another will appear soon.
* Lenses do not produce pictures. Photographers produce pictures. Lenses help.

A point was just made on another thread about how to shoot SHARP landscapes: A kit lens on a tripod can produce better, sharper pictures than the finest glass handheld. Technique matters more than the tools. Vision matters even more. A perfectly-shot image of boring crap is still boring crap. (That's one reason I usually don't post pictures here, eh?)

05-27-2012, 06:27 PM   #9
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As RioRico said the lens forum is a great place to learn about individual lenses. I usually look one I am interested in up there read the remarks and check out the photo's taken if they are posted. Just be sure that you look up the correct lens as some manufacturers over the years may produce different variants of the same lens . The quality may not be the same from one variant to another.
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