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09-27-2015, 10:49 AM   #1
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New to the DSLR world and looking for advice!

Hey everyone!

I'm looking into getting a DSLR camera and stumbled across the Pentax brand. I've never heard of this brand before my research, but it seems to be pretty great, especially for the price! I've never had a DSLR camera so I'm not looking for anything super fancy. All I really take pictures of are my dogs, my family, and some nature pictures on hikes/when I'm camping.

I'm pretty settled on getting the K-50 after reading reviews and browsing the forum some, but I'm torn about what bundle to get. Right now, Amazon has the K-50 with the 18-55mm lens and the 50-200 mm lens for $408. I've read on here that the 18-135 mm is a better choice, but that package is $629. Is the 18-135 mm lens worth an extra $220? I'm in grad school right now so my budget is pretty tight. I'm trying to get the most bang for my buck. Any advice would be great!

Also, if anyone uses their camera to take pictures of their dogs, I would love to see some example pics.

09-27-2015, 12:12 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum, my Pentax kit is not the modern so I'll let someone else reply who has knowledge of these lenses.
09-27-2015, 12:23 PM   #3
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The used price of an 18-135 is less than $300. You might want to wait Get one later, but buy a flash now.
09-27-2015, 12:34 PM   #4
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Welcome! The 18-55 and 50-200 are likely DAL variants (current lenses are DA or DAL types) so have plastic mounts. Check that they have WR on them as well (Weather Resistant) the new versions are but not all the old (yet often still unsold) ones were. The 18-135 is a DA variant, has WR, and a metal mount.

You can always start with the 'kit' lenses and shop the marketplace here if later you want to pick up the 18-135. Good move on the K-50, awful lot of camera for the price!

09-27-2015, 01:38 PM   #5
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Welcome

Welcome to the Forum (and to Pentax). You have much enjoyment ahead.

I have the K50 and the two kit lenses, 18-55 and 50-200. These are buget lenses made to come bundled as more entry-level (read less-expensive and plastic) gear. Though I have more advanced lenses, I continue to be amazed by the great shots these lenses can provide. I will often take them on travels/hikes/etc. when I am unsure of the weather or other conditions. I also wouldn't have a heart attack (well, maybe I would faint) if I happened to be clumsy and lose one in the river. Everytime I think of selling one of these, I get a series of shots that astounds me for the level of quality usually attributed to these lenses. (You won't find me dissing plastic, either. I have the plastic fantastic 50mm that does wonders for indoor portraits).

Having said that, there are numerous times I wish I had one lens (the 18-135) instead of two to carry. I haven't tried this lens, but certainly the reviews are very good and it's a step up from the budget lens category. For the the types of shots you've indicated you're likely to pursue, I don't think you could possibly go wrong in choosing this more expensive bundle. The WR is also worth its weight in gold, btw.

Your choice of the K50 is a very good one. The price is ridiculously low now for a high quality camera that will provide fabulous shots and has everything you'll need for a long time to come. I keep my K50 as a second for a reason. Good luck to you!
09-27-2015, 01:42 PM   #6
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WR is great, but the fact is it is only useful if you use it. Plastic mounts are just fine - I wouldn't think twice about it.

Honestly either path is great - and I prefer my 18-135 but I had the 18-55/50-200 combo for a long time.
09-27-2015, 01:49 PM   #7
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You asked for dog pictures? I just remembered this one I took just after opening the box with my new K50 bundle. I literally slapped on the 18-55 lens and snapped this photo of my pup watching me. It's one of my favorites. Not too shabby for grabbing a camera out of a box and shooting what was set at the time: Auto exposure, ISO 3200, and 1/40 of a second! Makes me laugh every time.
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09-27-2015, 01:53 PM   #8
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18-55, 50-200 then step into the world of LBA after getting used to the K-50

09-27-2015, 01:53 PM - 1 Like   #9
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Here's an example dog shot made with my DA 18-135 and a flash.

09-27-2015, 02:17 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
WR is great, but the fact is it is only useful if you use it.
I forget that not everyone gets drizzled on nine months out of the year. But, frankly, I like the idea of having gear that is also resistant to dust, dirt, sand and other bad conditions.

Tonight, however, when I've read of so many Pentax folks with cloudy skies for the eclipse, we are sunny and clear! Occasionally the rain gods give us a big break.
09-27-2015, 02:35 PM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kath Quote
I forget that not everyone gets drizzled on nine months out of the year. But, frankly, I like the idea of having gear that is also resistant to dust, dirt, sand and other bad conditions.

Tonight, however, when I've read of so many Pentax folks with cloudy skies for the eclipse, we are sunny and clear! Occasionally the rain gods give us a big break.
LOL - Touche!
09-27-2015, 03:18 PM   #12
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The kit lens do fine. Use them for 6 months or so, and then assess. By then you have a feel for focal length most used, and other priorities ( zoom with wider range, more apeture, or a prime or 2, etc)

Welcome to dslr photography, and careful its addictive
09-27-2015, 03:42 PM   #13
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One thing you can be aware of, your photos may very well look terrible at first. It's because a DSLR takes some skill to use. Try reading the book "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson. It helped me tremendously.

One additional fun thing to try relatively early is to get a "fast 50". The Pentax 50mm/1.7 is quite low cost, and very nice. Before you commit to it, you can get in the rotation for the "traveling nifty fifty". It's a 50mm/1.7 owned by the forum that we ship around to different people. Look here to get on the list: Link.
You might find manual focus quite fun. I do.
09-27-2015, 04:32 PM   #14
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Thanks everyone for the replies! I'm still new to the forum thing so I'm not sure how to embed multiple quotes in one reply.

The kit lenses are DAL, but they are WR which is a necessity for me. I want to be able to take pictures in rain, snow, etc. without worrying.

Love the dog pictures that people posted! They're adorable. I have 4 dogs that I currently am using my iPhone to take pictures of, so I'm looking forward to being able to play around with the K-50 and learn how to work a DSLR.

I think I'm going to go with the base kit and add the 18-135 later if needed. That's one thing that has drawn me to Pentax, since the lenses are so interchangeable. Right now I would rather have two basic lenses that I can experiment with and see what I like, then splurge on a nice lens later once I figure out what I want. I really appreciate all the advice!

Do Pentax cameras often go on sale around Black Friday/Cyber Monday? The $408 for the K-50 and two WR lenses seems like a great deal to me, but knowing my luck they'll go on sale more right after I purchase it.

Also, are there any accessories that you guys consider necessities? Thanks for the warm welcome!
09-27-2015, 04:45 PM   #15
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