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02-03-2016, 10:07 AM   #1
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Expertise welcomed, yeah it's me, the new guy

Hello new family!

Well, where do I start? Never owned a DSLR, but after some extensive research I found myself looking away at those overpriced Nikons and Canons and saw the light towards Pentax. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure Nikon has some good Cameras and so does Canon, but we ended up here--so that's all I'll say about that. Anyways, I'm looking to get a K3 soon enough and hunting down some good starter lenses. Hoping to catch some good sports stuff and make myself useful during ceremonies. Also, I'm in the military, so hopefully I can capture the traveling I come across as well. What I know I want is low f-stop telephoto lenses which are priced out the roof, but eventually I will get there. any pointers and wisdom you have, please feel free to share! ooh rah!

02-03-2016, 10:47 AM   #2
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Lenses: good, fast, cheap (pick any two.).

Pentax has (in zooms) roughly two lens lines. The consumer zooms such as the DA 18-135, 16-85, and 55-300 and the 'professional' ones such as the DA*16-50, DA*50-135 and DA*60-250. They are also introducing a third range labeled 'DFA' which are new and designed to work on both APS-C (like the k-3) and on full frame or 35mm sized sensor cameras. These lenses so far consist of the DFA 24-70, DFA 70-200 and DFA 150-450.

The DA 'consumer' range is quite honestly quite good optically though they are slower than the other ranges. But they are also a lot lighter and a lot less expensive.

If you are new to DSLRs and photography I would suggest you look at the DA 55-300 and either the DA 18-135 or DA 16-85. This gives you a nice 2 lens kit that will get you started and still be useful even if you move to bigger and more expensive glass later. The 16-85 in particular has produced very good results for me, so much so that my far more expensive DA*16-50 is not getting much use lately.

You might also go here: Pentax Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database to see all of the Pentax lenses and reviews of them. Take the reviews with some caution, opinions vary for many reasons.
02-03-2016, 10:49 AM   #3
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The lens I wish I had started with back in 2006 with my K100D is a lens I have now. I've learned a lot, and learned that I need to learn a lot more. It's a generic 28mm f2.8 manual prime. Aperture control only available via ring on the lens, no A position, the camera has no control there. I've had to learn where the lens takes sharp pictures as far as aperture. Using the Live View function on my K5-II (K100D is long gone, but not by choice) and then learning how to "see" through this lens using the viewfinder as it's much more tricky than a modern lens. What the Green Button on the back of the camera is for. How to get settings reasonably close before I even try to take a shot, so I have less adjustment to do in the heat of the moment.

Based on all of that, my honest suggestion is to get an old prime lens that lacks an A position on the aperture ring, and to not spend too much. A Pentax M 28 f2.8 for instance.

Maybe this advice won't prove popular with others here on the forum. But for me personally, I've learned more using my "junk lens" in the last six months than I had in years of idly playing with cameras. And I do have a mild sense of accomplishment after going out with the thing and coming back with pictures that I'm happy to show off and get feedback on.
02-03-2016, 10:52 AM   #4
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I have been using a k3 for over a year, and it has worked flawlessly. One thing you should do right off the bat is turn all or most filters off. Especially the aa filter simulator. (this is if your shooting raw.not sure about jpeg) It kills the sharpness when on. turn shake reduction on only when needed. The18-55 kit lens covers most anything you would want. Its an f3.5 - 5.6 but as long as its not too dim indoor lights you can get pretty good photos. That or the 18-135mm lens usually comes with the camera. Definitely buy the camera with a kit lens included. It took me a year before i bought another lens.
If you dont mind changing lenses often, i believe that prime lenses produce better photos than most zooms. ebay has good deals on lenses especially the old takumars....manual focus though......But $30 for a 135mm f2.8 telephoto? Ill deal with the manual focus for a while at that price. The k3 has settings so it will meter for proper exposure when using a manual lens. It meters by the aperture you have the manual lens at. Not perfect, but gets you close.

One other thing, pentax has a low cost 35 and 50mm lens. Around $100 each. The 50mm is f1.8 and turns out some awsome bokeh. I dont have the 35mm though. The focus is a little slow and pretty noisy, but for the price its definately worth especially with an f1.8 aperture.

02-03-2016, 01:53 PM   #5
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You've received some good advice thus far.

Remember the non-Pentax lenses. I have a Sigma 28mm f1.8 macro, it's big but it's nice. It's also more useful wide open than I would have expected, and the K5 registered it as f1.7 so plenty of light. It also has a built-in slide clutch so popping into manual is the fastest possible. They make a similar lens in 30mm.

The 18-135 is a nice lens. It's very useful as a walkaround.
02-03-2016, 10:03 PM   #6
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Hi aamendoza93. Welcome to the forum. Good luck with all your purchases, and post some photographs soon taken with your new gear.
02-04-2016, 04:31 AM - 1 Like   #7
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Welcome from Alabama! All lenses render images differently and its hard to determine just what you will like. I guess this is why I purchased so many and have sold none IMO off all my lenses, I would recommend the DA*16-50 and DA*50-135
02-04-2016, 06:41 AM   #8
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One thing I'll point you to are the pancake lenses. They're not WR lenses, but the Limited series are very nice and very compact. The newer sensors are very light-sensitive so you don't really need the super-fast apertures. Trade-offs are size/weight for higher aperture.

One member here, Heie is active military and takes his gear on deployment to some inhospitable regions. Have a look.

02-04-2016, 10:41 AM   #9
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Welcome to the forum. Explore, learn and post your best shots.
02-11-2016, 09:06 AM   #10
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Welcome, lots of good advice already given, so I'll say enjoy your Pentax photography once you get your kit.

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