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06-07-2015, 09:50 AM   #1
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Brand new to cameras, strongly considering a K50

Hello!

I registered here because I've narrowed my search down significantly for my first real camera, something I've wanted for almost a decade.

Hopefully I can find the right deal and be a part of the community. It feels a little selfish but I'm mostly here for some guidance to start with. I have questions on lenses to pair with a K50 that wont restrict what I'm looking for as well as be an investment over the kit lenses.

Thanks, I look forward to obsessing about cameras and gear for the next decade!

06-07-2015, 11:20 AM   #2
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Welcome!

The 'kit' lenses (18-55 and 50-200) are actually quite good in good conditions and stopped down a bit. An alternative set of lenses that is somewhat better is the DA 18-135 paired with the DA HD 55-300 WR. You get a range of 18 to 300mm in a two lens kit and both are WR. This is what my wife shoots with along with the DA 35mm macro Limited.

The next step up would be the DA*16-50 f/2.8 and the DA*60-250 f/4. This is what I carry mostly. These are constant aperture zooms and of course are much heavier and more expensive.

Another lens to look at is the new DA 16-85 which has not been out long but is getting good reviews.
06-07-2015, 11:45 AM   #3
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Thanks Jastrax!

So B&H has a great deal on right now for a used K50 with the 18-135 for only $520.
My goal was to keep it under $700 total, so I'm thinking another lens (maybe the 30mm or 50mm entry level primes, possibly even the 40mm pancake because I can put it in my pocket while sightseeing) and maybe tripod/battery/case/etc.

I'm going on a 6000 mile road trip in a few weeks, so I was thinking the 18-135 would be great to walking around towns and the national parks, but I would like another great lens for portraits or cool bokeh effect snaps. The manual lenses might challenge me more and kind of force me to learn the camera and lens settings.

Another question is related to the camera. I originally was going with Nikon D3300, which has better "numbers", but a lot of people suggested the K-50 for better image quality and the weather resistance. What is it about Pentax cameras that you like so much?

Thanks again
06-07-2015, 12:01 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by fcweissbach Quote
It feels a little selfish but I'm mostly here for some guidance to start with
Welcome to the forum, not at all that all sounds very sensible to me, where better to get good information about Pentax kit.

06-07-2015, 12:40 PM   #5
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You're on the right track for sure. Get the K-50 with 18-135. It may be too early to get a prime as well until you know what type of focal length etc you want. But if you've got some room left in the budget, definitely grab one of the three you mentioned. If you buy used, you'll only be out transaction costs if you decide to sell later. The 40 just begs to be used and like you said allows the cam to fit in a jacket pocket. The 35 is a good all-rounder. However, I would say that the 50/1.8 will give you something the most different from the 18-135 due to its low light and shallow depth of field characteristics.
06-07-2015, 12:44 PM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by fcweissbach Quote
Another question is related to the camera. I originally was going with Nikon D3300, which has better "numbers", but a lot of people suggested the K-50 for better image quality and the weather resistance. What is it about Pentax cameras that you like so much?
I'm not all that familiar with the details on Nikon cameras. I can say that any modern camera will deliver images better than almost any of the photographers using them. You really cannot buy a 'bad' camera at this point. Nikon and Pentax usually use the same Sony sensors (not always but often) so even that is not much of a differentiation. So make your choice on the look and feel and usability of the camera. How does it fit your hand? Are the buttons easy to reach? What features are important to you?

I have picked up and tested both Nikon and Canon bodies in stores and I have consistently found the Pentax body to feel better made, have a better and more usable button layout and to have a superior menu format. Maybe that is just me but Pentax consistently has better ergonomics and attention to detail. The bodies are rock solid, weather resistant and just 'fit' better.

If you are looking in the future for exotic lenses like a 600mm f/4 then Nikon or Canon are probably better choices but if so you would be looking at the Nikon professional lines at $2-3 thousand for the body alone. For general shooting the Pentax line is great and has some very unique features. You can use all of the lenses made for k-mount or M42 mount going back to the late 1950's. Literally millions of lenses if you want to go that route. Pentax also tends to put 'high end' features in bodies that would be considered entry level or mid-level whereas with Nikon or Canon you have to buy into their professional lines to get them.

If I were going on a long road trip I would get the DA 18-135 and the DA 55-300. That gives you a two lens kit with focal lengths from 18 to 300mm. You might be able to find a used DA L 55-300 and keep close to your price range. That lens comes in three versions DA, DA L and HD DA WR, They are all optically identical but have different features. The HD version is the newest but is out of your budget. The DA L version is the 'kit' version and is often found used at good prices.
06-07-2015, 01:13 PM   #7
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I'm going to keep you within your budget and say 18-135 and 50 1.8 for low light and bokeh effects.

But how about something like this....

K-50 Lens Kit Black w DA L 18-55, 50-200 WR | Pentax

That leaves you $150 to get something like this

Shopping Cart | Pentax

OK, it's a little over 700, it's not the upgrade on the kit lenses you wanted, but it's doable. Otherwise I see a lot of futzing around in your future. The 50 1.8 is the only real quality lens, but, that can be your narrow DoF portrait lens.
06-07-2015, 01:22 PM   #8
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You guys are really helpful. It is going to be tricky figuring out exactly which lenses to get, but I have it narrowed down. I may go with the 18-135 and the 40mm or 50mm at the moment, because those are so cheap, and keep an eye out for a used 55-300 as my next to get a good telescoping lens to see if that is where my interests lie. Those 3 additional lenses are all good ideas.

I checked ebay and found a used K3 with a 18-135 in really good condition from a reputable seller for only $670. I probably wont pickup a second lens right away, but I'd feel pretty secure about not having to upgrade the camera in the future. Would it be worth spending an extra $150 to go with the K3? I know the biggest differences is the 16MP vs 24MP, K3 is a little faster, better ISO (though most things I've read say it's almost meaningless because you get so much distortion in that headroom), and some ergonomics like bigger display and digital readout on top.

The difference really comes down to if I would rather have the K50 and 2 lenses now, then deal with upgrading the camera in years if I get more into it, or get the K3 and one lens now, and only worry about lenses for a while longer.

Thanks you!

06-07-2015, 01:23 PM   #9
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late last year it came down to the K-50 and sony A58......the k-50 won out......wr, built in intervalometer and k-mount really helped seal the deal.....great camera and now it's at a super price!!! good luck with your choice and happy shooting!
06-07-2015, 01:34 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by fcweissbach Quote
Thanks Jastrax!

So B&H has a great deal on right now for a used K50 with the 18-135 for only $520.
My goal was to keep it under $700 total, so I'm thinking another lens (maybe the 30mm or 50mm entry level primes, possibly even the 40mm pancake because I can put it in my pocket while sightseeing) and maybe tripod/battery/case/etc.

I'm going on a 6000 mile road trip in a few weeks, so I was thinking the 18-135 would be great to walking around towns and the national parks, but I would like another great lens for portraits or cool bokeh effect snaps. The manual lenses might challenge me more and kind of force me to learn the camera and lens settings.

Another question is related to the camera. I originally was going with Nikon D3300, which has better "numbers", but a lot of people suggested the K-50 for better image quality and the weather resistance. What is it about Pentax cameras that you like so much?

Thanks again
Afternoon, Just about any modern DSLR will serve you well. It's nearly impossible to make a bad selection. Nearly any comparison can be skewed to any desired result. Having said that, here are a few points - since you asked...
  • Image Stabilization - Canon and Nikon put their image stabilization in the lenses, making the lenses heavier, more complex and they cost more. You have to purchase the IS lenses each time to maintain stabilization. Pentax, Sony and Olympus use in body stabilization that is able to be applied to any lens mounted. Also, Canon and Nikon have to make twice as many lens models - one with, one without, so they naturally have a larger lens library. Now to be fair, they both do offer lenses that Pentax does not - very long telephoto (at large prices), tilt/shift (for architectural perspective correction), more macro lenses along with more teleconverters.
  • More models - with more models, Nikon needs to differentiated them from one another - with feature sets. Pentax, traditionally has a high end and a low end, with only a few features separating them. Some of these feature discriminators are megapixels. In truth 6MP will provide excellent images and prints. Where the separation occurs is how large you really want to print. Also, with more resolution (megapixels) it provides additional cropping options - in order to print or view just what you are interested in (within an image). With the K50 at 16MP you can print excellent prints at 20" x 30" large. Another side issue with more megapixels is noise (which looks like grains of sand in the image). The more resolution, the more pixels, the smaller the pixels, the more closer together they are, that generates noise from one pixel to another. Pentax's K50 (and K30, K500, K5, K5II and K5IIs along with the K-01) all use the Sony 16MP sensor, which is wonderful with noise. It is a bit less nosier than the K3's ( at 24MP) sensor under ISO 3200 (which is essentially the photographer's setting the sensors sensitivity to the light, where the lower the ISO the better the image quality). Bottom line is that Pentax tends to put more features in their models across the board and tends to charge less.
  • Ergonomics - This is going to vary from person to person. Most folks find that the "feel" of the camera and the layout of the buttons and menus are better with Pentax. To be fair, you will hear this from Nikon and Canon users too. I really don't know if there is an objective measure on this.
  • Video - Pentax does do video, but Canon, Nikon and Panasonic implements it better.
Here are some comparisons - if you have not run across them already....Both cameras are very similar. Actually the K50 also compares very favorably with the D5300, too.

06-07-2015, 01:56 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by fcweissbach Quote
Hello!

I registered here because I've narrowed my search down significantly for my first real camera, something I've wanted for almost a decade.

Hopefully I can find the right deal and be a part of the community. It feels a little selfish but I'm mostly here for some guidance to start with. I have questions on lenses to pair with a K50 that wont restrict what I'm looking for as well as be an investment over the kit lenses.

Thanks, I look forward to obsessing about cameras and gear for the next decade!
I'd recommend going with the 18-135mm as your first zoom and adding either the 35mm or 50mm prime, or both. The former is a good walkaround lens, while the latter is great for portraits. The 18-135mm is well worth the money, in my opinion, compared to the dual-lens kit. It focuses quickly and silently and lets you stick with a single lens rather than having to swap.

Pentax K-50 DSLR Camera with 18-135mm Lens (Black) 10916 B&H

Unfortunately, bundle deals on the primes are gone, but they can both still be had in the low to mid $100's.

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06-07-2015, 03:06 PM   #12
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What if instead of the K-50 and 2 lenses (18-135 and a 50 or 30) I purchased the the K-3 used with a 18-135? Would the upgrade be worth it for the camera or should I still stay with the cheaper camera and an extra piece of glass?

---------- Post added 06-07-15 at 03:11 PM ----------

The cost of the used K3 with 18-135 would be the same as the K50 with the 18-135 and the 35mm prime.
06-07-2015, 03:25 PM   #13
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I was the same had a choice between Pentax and Nikon both are excellent cameras and either one you choose will be an excellent camera and do the job for you.
I obviously went the Pentax I had a rough start with Pentax with a faulty camera and poor timing but that can happen with any camera. The only thing I find is the lens choice is not as great with Pentax and if you are buying for the WR capability there are only a few lens that fall into that category but choice is getting better with more being added and honestly there are covers you can get for them and your camera. If you decide Pentax I recommend the 18-135mm WR and 55-300 WR for a start these 2 lenses saw me across the other side of the world in Alaska through rain cold etc.

In all honesty in just under a year I rarely use either of these lenses I have upgraded to a k-3 and the sigma 24-60 F2.8 and the Sigma 50-500 but with time you will get to know your wants. The most important thing I don't think anyone has said yet is invest in a cleaning kit and a set of lens pens no matter which way you go. Change your lens in one wrong place and the specs will annoy you to no end if you are like me 😜

Also have to mention we have some of the kindest most generous people here I had a few angels that offered me a lend of a camera without barely knowing me when my k-50 died, the Pentax mob are mostly generous kind people. That is sometimes a good enough reason to choose a brand.
Best of luck in your choice all I can suggest is go play with both and choose whatever feels natural and comfortable to you.

---------- Post added 06-07-15 at 03:27 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by fcweissbach Quote
What if instead of the K-50 and 2 lenses (18-135 and a 50 or 30) I purchased the the K-3 used with a 18-135? Would the upgrade be worth it for the camera or should I still stay with the cheaper camera and an extra piece of glass?

---------- Post added 06-07-15 at 03:11 PM ----------

The cost of the used K3 with 18-135 would be the same as the K50 with the 18-135 and the 35mm prime.
Yes yes and yes the upgrade is definitely worth it my k-50 barely gets used anymore it's my back up
06-07-2015, 03:33 PM   #14
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If you have a choice to go with e a K-3 and 18-135 at a good price I'd go with that. Then you can start your collection of primes.

DA_18-135-small_flowers Slideshow by Norm_Head | Photobucket

DA_18-135 Slideshow by Norm_Head | Photobucket
06-07-2015, 05:31 PM   #15
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Okay, I think I'm sold! Does anyone see any issues with this auction? Cosmetically the camera looks great. I'll pull the trigger and pickup some stuff like cleaning kits and a bag from B&H after it goes through.

Thanks again. Can't wait!
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