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01-05-2016, 09:28 AM   #1
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Hi from the UK

Hi I have joined this forum because I will be upgrading my wife's camera (Lumix) sometime between April and June of this year prior to a return (our 3rd) visit to the US in August of this year - Las Vagus, especially for the Grand Canyon and then on to San Francisco.
I started off looking at the Canon, but a reviewer suggested Pentax and after looking into them, I have decided to go down that route instead.
Whilst originally I was going for the K-S2 I have changed my mind and will be going for the K3 providing it is still around and has not increased significantly in price by the time I am ready to buy.
As for lenses I have looked around, put out feelers, asked questions and had as many different answers as questions. This includes an answer to a question I posed in a beginners forum (a general photography forum) where I was told to go away as I did not know what I was doing.
I have chosen the following
Pentax 18-55mm every day usage
Pentax 35mm for wide and portrait
Pentax 55-300mm for telephoto - I thought it might just be a useful one to have and would be put to good use at the Grand Canyon

I am also getting a Lowepro Flipside back pack and a MeFoto A1350 tripod

It is my wife who takes photos but I have (after doing all the research work and paying for the upgrade) decided I will join her and this site has given me a lot of background to the components I have chosen.
My main interest however is building my own computers with photo and video editing in mind.

01-05-2016, 09:33 AM   #2
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As a fellow computer builder and recent Pentax convert, welcome!
01-05-2016, 09:36 AM   #3
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Hi Real Ale. Welcome aboard the forum.
01-05-2016, 09:46 AM   #4
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Welcome to the forum, all I would say is... get your new set up long before you go away.

That way you'll know all about camera and lenses and wont be fumbling about on your trip.

01-05-2016, 09:57 AM   #5
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Welcome to the forum!
I've also built computers
I'd recommend getting the 18-135 or 16-85 instead of the 18-55 as they are better lenses for the cost.
01-05-2016, 10:02 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by bertwert Quote
Welcome to the forum!
I've also built computers
I'd recommend getting the 18-135 or 16-85 instead of the 18-55 as they are better lenses for the cost.
Hi Thanks for the advice I will certainly look into it. It is nice to get recommendations.

---------- Post added 01-05-16 at 10:07 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Kerrowdown Quote
Welcome to the forum, all I would say is... get your new set up long before you go away.

That way you'll know all about camera and lenses and wont be fumbling about on your trip.
To be honest I am hoping to get the set up in April / May at the latest, but on occasions emergencies crop up that put a financial delay on plans.
01-05-2016, 01:08 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Real Ale Quote
I am hoping to get the set up in April / May at the latest
Well that gives you two/three months of play time before you go on your trip, enjoy.
01-05-2016, 08:20 PM   #8
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Welcome to the forum and best wishes for a Happy New Year.

01-06-2016, 12:49 AM   #9
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Welcome to the forum.

If you are buying the K3 in the UK, you might save yourself a few pennies by monitoring Amazon France (apologies if I am telling you stuff you already know): earlier this week, they had two lightning deals on the K3, one for the body only at 649 Euros (~480 GBP) and also a kit with the 16-85mm lens for 999 Euro (~730 GBP). That's the cheapest I have seen it without going down the route of grey imports from outside the EU.

The 18-55mm lens that came with my K-r was the first item I replaced - as I am sure many do - therefore you will probably find an 18-55mm can be picked up cheaply second hand (again, apologies if I am stating that which you already know).

I travelled San Francisco, Vegas and the Grand Canyon myself about 18 months ago. I am sure you will love the experience. If your itinerary allows it, Monument Valley is also a very worthwhile visit (we stayed in one of the lodges that overlooks the valley - fabulous stuff).
01-06-2016, 07:31 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dickie Quote
Welcome to the forum.

If you are buying the K3 in the UK, you might save yourself a few pennies by monitoring Amazon France (apologies if I am telling you stuff you already know): earlier this week, they had two lightning deals on the K3, one for the body only at 649 Euros (~480 GBP) and also a kit with the 16-85mm lens for 999 Euro (~730 GBP). That's the cheapest I have seen it without going down the route of grey imports from outside the EU.

The 18-55mm lens that came with my K-r was the first item I replaced - as I am sure many do - therefore you will probably find an 18-55mm can be picked up cheaply second hand (again, apologies if I am stating that which you already know).

I travelled San Francisco, Vegas and the Grand Canyon myself about 18 months ago. I am sure you will love the experience. If your itinerary allows it, Monument Valley is also a very worthwhile visit (we stayed in one of the lodges that overlooks the valley - fabulous stuff).
Thank you for the info - I had not thought of looking at Amazon France, well worth a viewing, anything to save a few pennies. The following may be posted in the wrong forum but I have no doubt someone will put me right and move it if necessary. I am considering ditching the 18-55mm as this is not the first time I have heard that it is often that the 18-135mm is purchased instead. This works out at 200 than current costing. The 16-85mm which bertwert also mentioned is 400 dearer and I would have to dump the 35mm if I went for that. I would welcome any comments on this.
01-06-2016, 08:01 AM   #11
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Welcome from Alabama I recently visited the Grand Canyon in July with my daughter and grand daughter. I had the same task of what lenses to use, i had a bad case of LBA and have just about every prime and some very nice zoom lenses. My trunk was large enough to take all my lenses, stored in Pelican cases but found out that you have to park quite a distance from the Canyon, making swapping lenses out a pain. I ended up leaving my DA*16-50 on my K30 and DA55-300 on my K50. 95% of my pictures were taken with the DA*16-50 and i did not miss much, over 500 pictures taken

Last edited by kjphilippona; 01-06-2016 at 04:39 PM.
01-06-2016, 04:02 PM   #12
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Welcome aboard. You may want to get and even wider angle zoom lens too. Something in the 12-24mm range. The Grand Canyon is simply bigger than you can ever imagine. No matter what camera or lens kit you have you cannot duplicate the feeling you have when you first see it. If you don't have a wide angle lens you can also take a series of photographs ans stitch them together. So don't despair. I used to go the Las Vegas a few times a year as I had family there. Only went into one casino and earned a quick $40 playing blackjack. Then the Bass Pros Shop next door opened for the day.

I like Las Vegas a lot even without the casinos. Plenty to do and see there. Red Rocks, Mt Charleston and of course the Grand Canyon to name a few. You are not that far from Bryce and Zion National Parks in Utah either. In the American west, nature exists on an epic scale. When I go out there, it is more a what am I willing to miss rather than what do I want to see.
01-07-2016, 12:42 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Real Ale Quote
Thank you for the info - I had not thought of looking at Amazon France, well worth a viewing, anything to save a few pennies. The following may be posted in the wrong forum but I have no doubt someone will put me right and move it if necessary. I am considering ditching the 18-55mm as this is not the first time I have heard that it is often that the 18-135mm is purchased instead. This works out at 200 than current costing. The 16-85mm which bertwert also mentioned is 400 dearer and I would have to dump the 35mm if I went for that. I would welcome any comments on this.
I replaced the 18-55 with the Sigma 17-50mm f2.8, and I have not experienced the convenience of the likes of an 18-135mm or the 16-85mm. I wanted the faster lens, and 50mm@f2.8 gives a half-decent attempt at a portrait lens. If I need more reach, I swap for a different lens.

If the Amazon France deal on the k-3 + the 16-85mm comes up again (730), that is cheaper than many places sell the k-3 and the 18-55mm, so if you decide that's the lens for you, keep your eyes peeled for it.
01-07-2016, 01:47 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Real Ale Quote
Hi I have joined this forum because I will be upgrading my wife's camera
...
I have chosen the following
Pentax 18-55mm every day usage
Pentax 35mm for wide and portrait
Pentax 55-300mm for telephoto - I thought it might just be a useful one to have and would be put to good use at the Grand Canyon
Welcome to the forum!

Trust you'll have a good time photographing with Pentax gear - indeed many do, as this forum is testament to.

Just wanted to make a short remark about using 35mm for portrait work.

In case you weren't already aware, "typical" portraiture work is done using lenses around 50mm upwards, till 85mm or thereabouts; and that with fairly large max lens aperture, eg f1.8 or wider.

This gives a certain "look" to the results, eg compressed sense of depth, shallow DOF, strong isolation from background.

This is NOT at all to say that 35mm can't do portraiture, but it would give you a different result, a different genre of portraiture; perhaps you had in mind taking photos of small groups of people, as opposed to single individual?
01-07-2016, 06:51 AM - 1 Like   #15
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Thank you for all the Advice - Swapping Lenses

Hi everyone, many thanks for all your welcomes and advice which I really appreciate.
I am dropping the 18-55mm lens and replacing it with
1) 18-135mm at current costing
or the
2) 16-85mm if it comes up again at 750 Amazon France
or
if you guys think that I would be better dumping the 35mm for the 16-85. There is really no way I can afford both at current UK prices. I chose the 35mm for:- low light, portrait - single to max. of 4 people and because I have read a lot about the benefits of having a fixed lens to telephoto.
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