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09-14-2012, 11:30 AM   #1
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Hi! :)

Hi Everyone! I am planning to purchase the K-30 with the 18-135mm lense within the next few weeks. It will be my first DSLR, so I spent hours upon hours trying to find the one that was right for me. After becoming quite unimpressed with Nikon and Canon's overall quality, offerings and customer service, I decided to look beyond the two big consumer names in digital photography and settled on the K-30.

I have always loved photography and have taken some very interesting shots on my camera phone, but I've been seriously craving better image quality and versatility. I am trying to learn as much as possible about photography before I get my camera and of course, I'm planning to spend much more time learning how to use the camera to the best of its ability once I get my hands on it. For any of you more experienced photographers and/or Pentax users out there, tips and tricks of the trade are welcome!

Nice to meet you! Thanks for reading!

09-14-2012, 11:58 AM   #2
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Welcome VP...............you'll find lots of good info here.............
09-14-2012, 01:07 PM - 1 Like   #3
mee
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*waves* welcome! :cD

K-30 is a hotrod of a camera.. you should have a lot of fun with it. The accessory side (and I'd say 3rd party lens market) of Pentax is weak right now but what is there is pretty good.

Remember, whichever company you chose (Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax, etc), you will be using lenses made for that company and it's mount type.

You'll also find the In-body stablization on Pentax means you can use a lot of nice (and affordable) primes from decades ago on your new shiny K-30 and still have them stablized. The SMC M 50mm 1.7 can be had for around 50 USD these days just as example..

Understanding Exposure,3rd Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera: Bryan Peterson: 9780817439392: Amazon.com: Books is a nice resource to understanding.. well.. exposure. Read the book, put your camera into manual mode, and make a lot of terrible photos.. 'film' is cheap on digital! ;c ) You'll learn a lot more out of making mistakes in Manual-mode and mitigating than starting out creating 'wonderful' shots in auto-mode..

Please avoid the Pentax Rumors part of the forum, unless you enjoy reading everyone bellyache and invent rumors to what they'd like.. it is a mess!
09-15-2012, 08:52 AM - 1 Like   #4
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You found the right spot. I think the K30 has TAv mode - that will be a good mode for quick adjustments and action. Also, if it has a USER mode set one up for fast action - there's a thread about that - turn off most in-camera processing, image stabilization, etc. to maximize your fps.

09-15-2012, 10:58 AM   #5
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Thank you everyone! That is very useful information. I have heard a lot of great things about prime lenses. I will definitely be purchasing one or two in the near future, especially the older ones at those prices.

I was wondering if it might be more beneficial to me if I purchase only the K-30 body, and then for about the same price as the kit lens I could purchase a zoom lens and a couple of primes. I would like something that I can grow with because I am a pretty fast learner when it comes to things I'm excited about. I also probably won't be able to make any other big lens purchases for a while so I'd like to get the most out of this purchase as possible. Do you have any suggestions as to which lenses I should go with or if maybe it would be best to stick with the kit lens at first? I will primarily be shooting in nature, so birds, forests, lakes, landscapes, outdoor portraits, street shots and kids. I will probably experiment with everything so I'd like to cover a broad range of capability. I would appreciate a little advice on the matter! Thank you!
09-15-2012, 06:50 PM   #6
mee
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QuoteOriginally posted by VesperPixie Quote
Thank you everyone! That is very useful information. I have heard a lot of great things about prime lenses. I will definitely be purchasing one or two in the near future, especially the older ones at those prices.

I was wondering if it might be more beneficial to me if I purchase only the K-30 body, and then for about the same price as the kit lens I could purchase a zoom lens and a couple of primes. I would like something that I can grow with because I am a pretty fast learner when it comes to things I'm excited about. I also probably won't be able to make any other big lens purchases for a while so I'd like to get the most out of this purchase as possible. Do you have any suggestions as to which lenses I should go with or if maybe it would be best to stick with the kit lens at first? I will primarily be shooting in nature, so birds, forests, lakes, landscapes, outdoor portraits, street shots and kids. I will probably experiment with everything so I'd like to cover a broad range of capability. I would appreciate a little advice on the matter! Thank you!
If you have the financial means then, yes, I'd skip the kit lens and purchase a different zoom and your primes. After I got my 18-200mm Sigma, I never use the kit 18-55mm. The kit lens is pretty good for what it is, but the extra reach of the sigma I have (which was professionally rated/reviewed as a rather unremarkable lens) is far more useful than anything the kit lens could offer.

OF COURSE if you are getting a Weather Resistant version of the kit lens, then THAT would be handy since it would make your camera fully sealed (camera AND lens). I wouldn't take the camera out in any sort of foul weather with a non-sealed lens!

If you are shooting photos of birds and such.. you will want a longer focal reach. minimum 200mm but longer is better. I wish I had more reach than 200mm even though it is pretty good.

Hmm you have MANY choices in this category too. I have not used many of the zooms out there so I can't discern between them.

I will say I've been happy with my sigma lenses (105mm Macro and the 18-200mm) but they are not weather resistant (dry, non heavily dusty day shooting only) and Tamron has rebates ongoing on many of their lenses until the end of the month.. so there is a more affordable option.

For sharp, cheap primes go with the Pentax SMC M 50mm f/1.7 and maybe the Pentax SMC M 28mm F/2.8 for starters. You can find them here on the marketplace, on ebay, at goodwill, etc. Just make sure they don't have mold growth in them and you won't have problems... they are otherwise built like tanks (metal case) and have aperture rings so they can be used with extension tubes for a cheap macro setup!

Different lenses for different occasions though. For birding you will want 200mm+, For people/portraiture something between 50 and 105mm. For nature something very wide so 20mm or less.

I mentioned a large focal ranged zoom such as an 18-200 or 18-250 etc because you will get to practice different ranges and see what types of shots work at different focal ranges before spending extravagant amounts of cash on higher quality lenses.

Plus, its liberating to take one lens and go walking about without having to fool with a camera bag and multiple lenses.

One thing I have not hit on is the need for Post Processing (PP) software. Well, before I mention that, I should mention you might want to consider shooting in RAW mode (not RAW+JPG) as the RAW file can be converted at any time to a JPG or any other format. Plus, and this is the biggy, post processing software can 'save' under or (in some cases) over exposed photos as well as tweak colors, remove chromatic abberations, distortion, etc a lot easier as a RAW.

RAW is kind of like a digital negative of sorts. It is handy to keep and you can really alter your images through the use of them with a Post Processing application.

You have choices here, too. I prefer Adobe Lightroom. Actually, they have a beta version for free download that will work until end of October if you wanted to play around. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4.2 Release Candidate | photo management software prerelease - Adobe Labs

There is also the more affordable Corel Aftershot Pro Photo Management Software - Corel AfterShot Pro - Formerly Bibble Pro

PhaseOne Capture One raw converter | image editing software

DxO Optics Pro DxO Optics Pro - Introduction

The powerhouse, but very pricy, Adobe Photoshop Image editor software | Adobe Photoshop CS6

if on a Mac, there is also Apple Aperture Apple - Aperture - Pro performance with iPhoto simplicity.

etc etc there are others.. this is just the ones I could remember off hand.

The good thing is most, if not all, have trial versions so you can play and see which one fits you best.

I know you didn't ask about post processing software. However, I want to make clear that one shouldn't underestimate the power of post processing. You can have a substandard lens that has barrel distortion or chromatic aberrations and the software can fix that, in some cases such as in Lightroom automatically (by selecting your lens from a drop down menu). You can take a somewhat blah shot and really alter it into something interesting. Software is powerful.

oh there is a whole WORLD in photography awaiting your discovery.

ps: a LensPen Amazon.com: LensPen NLP-1: Camera & Photo and maybe a a Rocket Blaster Amazon.com: Giottos AA1900 Rocket Air Blaster Large - Black: Camera & Photo could be your equipment's best buddies.

Last edited by mee; 09-15-2012 at 06:56 PM.
09-15-2012, 11:22 PM   #7
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Wow, thank you! I will look into all of this stuff.

I won't have the money to buy processing software right away, but that's next on my list! I might give the Lightroom 4.2 beta a go in the meantime. It is pricey though, so maybe I should avoid it so I don't fall in love with it! Haha.

Just to have a matching WR lense, I will probably go with the kit lense. My instinct is to go with the 18-135mm kit and the 50mm prime to start and see where that takes me. I've been looking at some photos taken with that SMC M 50mm f/1.7 and they are really nice and sharp. The lens itself is very attractive looking to me, too. Those lenses are older than I am and they are still perfectly usable. That blows my mind.

Thank you sooo much for your help! It's a little overwhelming just getting into it and trying to figure out what you need and don't need right off the bat. I wouldn't have even thought of the cleaning tools. I really appreciate that you took the time to write all of that and gather the links.
09-16-2012, 07:30 AM   #8
mee
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Glad to help!

Make sure the kit lens you are getting is WR. I think most of the K-30 kits come with the Non-WR version of the 18-55!

18-135 is WR and a nice range imo and especially so for WR.

The cleaning tools were things no one mentioned to me but learned to need as time progressed (and lenses got dusty).

Yes, those old primes are well.. old. light is light and lenses are lenses (so long as they have the proper connecting mount). You probably realize this but just in case, be aware those old primes do NOT have autofocus... they are manual only. They do have a smooth focus ring though so it is not that big of a deal imo.

09-17-2012, 05:28 AM   #9
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The 18-135 is a nice weather-resistant walkaround lens, but if you'd rather get the 18-55WR and save money for some other lens, that's a viable solution. I will say the 18-135 has been a very useful zoom on my K-5.
09-17-2012, 04:49 PM   #10
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Hope you enjoy the K30 and whichever lens you end up with. There are many good options and even if you make a couple wrong turns it's all part of the enjoyment of this hobby. I have a few questionable lens purchases and I just decorate with them. There are still some great buys on older glass available. A50 1.7 M50 1.7 M100 2.8 M28 2.8 Vivitar 28 2.8 CF M200 4.0 are all good reasonable primes to start with. I can't imagine they did away with the green button on K30.
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