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09-01-2014, 10:03 PM   #1
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Student Photographer here

Hello all,

I go to school in New York and I'm hired to take pictures for the website of my college. Basically, my 7y/o Nikon d40 doesn't cut it anymore, and Pentax totally turns me on.

I'm in the market for a used 5-iis and waiting for one in the low 500$ range. I've narrowed it down between that and the k50, but I think the resolution boost from the iis will be pretty great. I shoot many dark classical music concerts and I'm thinking of getting a used sigma 17-50 f/2.8 because it's cheap(ish) and has great reviews. Although I won't be able to take close-ups of performers—and correct me if I'm wrong—I'm thinking the crop factor will make up for that. I want all the light I can get. Also maybe a 0.6 ND grad for outdoor events. I'm also really into astrophotography and think the lens can do good there too.

Also thinking of the sigma 18-250 as a college-budget one-lens-solution but am really tempted by that f/2.8.

Just wanted to introduce myself and say I am totally open to suggestions that completely contradict what I've said above— I mostly have no clue what I'm talking about.


09-02-2014, 12:50 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum Jarred, good to have you on board with us. Good luck in your search for new gear.
09-02-2014, 01:56 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by hijg Quote
I mostly have no clue what I'm talking about.
Welcome to the forum, well that should just about open the flood gates around here for advice.
09-02-2014, 02:01 AM   #4
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I've had a K-5IIs. No AA filter, better ergonomics, top LCD, and magnesium alloy are the reasons I'd go for it over a K-50.
If you haven't already, check out the O-GPS1 for astrophotography.

09-02-2014, 03:10 AM   #5
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Welcome Jarred.

Given your preference for low-light photography, a fast lens would seem more suitable than a superzoom. For walkaround and astrophotography, a 17-50 f2.8 would be a good option. (The Tamron is highly rated - consider that too.) For concerts, you will want extra reach: one of the 70-200 f2.8 lenses might be suitable. Maybe choose one now (and perhaps an inexpensive manual focus prime), and get the other when you can afford it.
09-02-2014, 03:55 AM   #6
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Hi Jared!

Don't sweat the megapixels. And for low light, consider a fast prime. Much cheaper, and you'll really appreciate the extra half stop of light.
09-02-2014, 05:56 AM   #7
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Go with the HSM Sigma for classical concerts, it with save you from being annoyed with screwdrive noise.
09-02-2014, 09:28 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the tips—

Definitely convinced to the a 17-50 (probably sigma for the HSM) , and maybe even a fast prime too to go with my 5-iis. I'll let you know what my setup is once I make the big buy!

09-02-2014, 11:15 AM   #9
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I can say that my Da* 55/1.4 is my main lens for concerts, especially at dark venues, so maybe a future investment. For the tele end a future investment may be any of the Sigma 70-200 (hsm) or even the Pentax 50-135. But your current plans looks really good and there is a lot potential growing out there.

Have you thought about a flash to bounce in the ceiling (or similar) if doing portraits of musicians not on the scene? A cheap trigger can also prove useful for doing detail shots of instruments or similar before or after concerts.

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