Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home

Show Printable Version Search this Thread
12-28-2012, 06:23 AM   #1
New Member

Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 2
SLR Newbie --Overwhelmed

I received a K-30 for Christmas and really am excited to move beyond auto mode. Unfortunately, I only got the 18-55mm lens; however, I did buy a telephoto and macro lens attachment. The 18-135mm isn't quite in the budget now. Can I still get good pics with the lens I have, AND does anyone know of any good online classes or tutorials?

Thanks in advance! I'm really looking forward to being a part of this forum and learning from you guys.

12-28-2012, 06:57 AM - 1 Like   #2
Site Supporter
Rense's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Zetten - The Netherlands
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 8,822
Welcome Miss!

Don't be disappointed you got only the kitlens! You will see it performs amazingly, in fact it one of the best kitlenses of all brands out there...
I can't help with the online tutorials, but you will find loads of valuable info in these forums, and loads of kind people who want to help you out too!
12-28-2012, 06:58 AM - 1 Like   #3

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Charleston & Pittsburgh
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,683
If starting into dslr from scratch... Try to run though at least a hundred pics or so going through as many of the cameras settings as possible. Learn and and all limitations of the camera for each lens and accessory that one might have. Run through the entire aperature ranges, also the lens focal length ranges, shutter speed, iso speeds, etc... Best to learn them now in as much of a contolled enviroment than to have to experiement with them in the "real world".

...And although it takes up slightly more room on the memory cards - try to set the camera for raw+jpeg.

That should be a good start and keep you busy for a while.
12-28-2012, 06:58 AM - 1 Like   #4
Site Supporter
psychdoc's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Bham
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 943
Rent this book from the library, but its worth buying: Understanding Exposure, 3rd Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera (9780817439392): Bryan Peterson: Books

Also, if you live in the U.S, just find a local community college. They will have classes that are pretty reasonable and usually evening classes so it does not interfere with your day activities.

12-28-2012, 07:35 AM   #5
Veteran Member
GDRoth's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: S.E. Michigan, USA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 831
Scott Kelby has a set of books on entry level digital photography.............well worth the investment............or you can buy them one at a time

Scott Kelby's Digital Photography Boxed Set, Volumes 1, 2, and 3: Scott Kelby: 9780321678737: Books
12-28-2012, 07:42 AM - 1 Like   #6
Site Supporter
rbefly's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Denver, Colorado
Photos: Albums
Posts: 2,030
Moving Past Auto?

Hello Missbright81, Welcome to the Forum!
In addition to the good advice you're received so far, I'll throw out a suggestion;
For a few photos, set the mode dial on "Av". This is called Aperture Value, or Aperture Priority.
What this means is that you are selecting the aperture (F/Stop) on the lens, usually with the thumb dial, on mine it's the rear dial, but it could also be set for the front thumb dial. Either way, try changing the f/stop (you'll see it in the LCD and viewfinder display) and the camera will adjust the shutter speed to match.
Take a given photo at f/5.6, then adjust the f/stop to f/16, take the same shot. When you get home and download the work, look carefully at the difference between the two photos.
What you'll see, much better than I could explain here, is "Depth Of Field" (DOF).
The f/5.6 shot will have the main subject in sharp focus, but objects in front of and (especially) behind the main subject, will be more-or-less out-of-focus.
On the f/16 shot MORE of the objects ahead of or behind the main subjects will be in focus. Under certain conditions, EVERYTHING from a few feet in front, to infinity, will ALL be in focus.
Pretty cool, eh?
This is called "Selective Focus" using DOF, and is a very helpful and important part of photography. You direct the viewer's eye towards the important parts of a scene and minimize the "clutter" or unimportant parts.
For example, say you're shooting a candid portrait; You want the subject to be in sharp focus, but other distracting elements to "go away". A wide aperture (f/5.6 or wider, f/4.5, f/4/0, f/2.8, etc.) will do the trick. Some of the wider f/stops mentioned aren't available with the kit lens.
But with a scenic shot, you may want everything, near and far, to be in focus. Here you'll use a smaller aperture (bigger number, like f/16) to achieve this.
There's quite a bit more to this technique, but taking photos with different f/stops will get you rolling.
P.S., when (not "IF") you start wanting lenses with wider apertures like f/2.8, it's called LBA!
Good Luck!
12-28-2012, 08:04 AM - 1 Like   #7

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: New York
Posts: 3,313
These were my favorite resources when I got back into photography (as compared to casual point&shoot photos) 2 years ago:
  1. Youtube "Digital photography 1 on 1". A series of 200+ videos by Mark Wallace aka Snapfactory. Each episode is ~10 minutes.
  2. LIFE Guide to Digital Photography: Everything You Need to Shoot Like the Pros: Joe McNally, Editors of Life: 9781603201278: Books
You'll be able to do a lot with the 18-55 lens. Photos will be sharp enough for viewing onscreen and printing at moderate sizes. Learn what you like to photograph before investing in more lenses.
12-28-2012, 08:04 AM   #8
Veteran Member
GDRoth's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: S.E. Michigan, USA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 831
We are all eventually afflicted with LBA...............

12-28-2012, 08:33 AM   #9
Site Supporter
timmijo's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Delaware
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 235
The 18-55 kit lens is a wonderful lens that takes a little time to get to know in order to fully appreciate. When you first start out, it is adequate. When you begin to understand making adjustments, the kit lens responds beautifully and jumps up to "great". It will keep you busy for quite some time. Enjoy the learning process.
12-29-2012, 07:34 AM   #10
Loyal Site Supporter
chuck_c's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Westerville, OH
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,114
QuoteOriginally posted by missbright81 Quote
I received a K-30 for Christmas and really am excited to move beyond auto mode.
A good way "to move beyond auto mode" might be to start with the K-30 Operating Manual and get real familiar with what the K-30 can do and how to do it. That knowledge will go a long way towards working you through any books or tutorials you might choose.
12-29-2012, 11:12 AM - 1 Like   #11
New Member

Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 2
Original Poster
Thanks, Everybody!
« Pentax LX | Hello »

  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What film slr for a newbie? Cat among the pigeon Pentax Film SLR Discussion 26 05-05-2012 06:49 PM
Feeling overwhelmed? Lurch Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 6 05-09-2011 03:58 AM
Overwhelmed about lens choices cjbroadwell Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 32 01-03-2011 07:39 AM
Newbie looking for the right first time SLR suliabryon Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 27 09-09-2010 05:44 AM
People SLR newbie with a k-x Kadath Post Your Photos! 6 01-03-2010 06:28 AM

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:11 AM. | See also:, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]