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05-03-2009, 10:53 AM   #1
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Greetings from NorCal

Hi Everyone,

My name is Daniel and am a young guy from the Sacramento, CA area. Been solely a P&S person but am tempted by the world of DSLRs. Seriously thinking about buying a K20d and buying a used 50mm/1.4 and seeing where that takes me. Been an amateur astronomer the past 9 years, and work at a telescope mirror making company, so I have a decent sense of optics.

These forums look fun, with lots of advice and some heated, albeit overall cordial conversations. I have learned from browsing these forums the past hour is that the 31mm Limited is the best thing since sliced bread (although I myself enjoy sinking my teeth into a grocery store Sourdough bread baguette) and the K20d is a very good camera with not as good AF as Canon/Nikon (but a good chance to learn MF). I hope and expect to learn more from you more experienced people.

Cheers

05-03-2009, 01:00 PM   #2
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Hi Daniel, welcome to these forums! I am an enthousiastic K20d user, so I would say, stop thinking, start buying....
05-03-2009, 05:28 PM   #3
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Hi Daniel and welcome,

Another NorCal Pentax user! I also use the K20D mostly - and can definitely recommend it.

Kevin.
05-04-2009, 11:29 AM   #4
Damn Brit
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Hi Daniel, welcome to the forum. One point about AF, Pentax may be slower than the other brands but in most cases, it is more accurate, so the 'not as good' statement is debatable.
I hope you go ahead and get the K20,it's a great camera and the 50mm f1/4 is a great lens to start off with although you might want to consider a zoom to start with. A zoom would help you decide which focal lengths you want to shoot at and you can pick your primes using that information.
Enjoy the forum.

05-04-2009, 01:42 PM   #5
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Hi Daniel and welcome to the forum. Great people here and good advice. Kevin
05-04-2009, 10:43 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
I hope you go ahead and get the K20,it's a great camera and the 50mm f1/4 is a great lens to start off with although you might want to consider a zoom to start with. A zoom would help you decide which focal lengths you want to shoot at and you can pick your primes using that information.
Enjoy the forum.
Sounds like interesting advice I'd never though about. My friend who is a Nikon person and a relative beginner (2 years) kind of sold me on primes (vs zooms) b/c of optical quality. But I do like your idea. If I were to get a zoom to start off with, should I just go with a zoom with the widest fl range or what? If I'm dead set on primes, I assume it doesn't matter what IQ the zoom gives me, because I'm only using it to learn how different focal lengths would frame shots right?

~Dan
05-04-2009, 11:12 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by dasuhu Quote
If I were to get a zoom to start off with, should I just go with a zoom with the widest fl range or what? If I'm dead set on primes, I assume it doesn't matter what IQ the zoom gives me, because I'm only using it to learn how different focal lengths would frame shots right?

~Dan
I moved up from the K10 to the K20 and I was surprised at the quality improvement. I have the Tamron 28-300 which isn't well known or regarded but it produces quite good shots. If you look at my photos in the gallery here, many of them are with that lens both on the K10 and K20.
18-250 is a good range to start with as you get the wider end. Depending on budget, you might find a good deal on the K20 with the 18-55 and the 50-200 as a kit (both lenses are considered the Pentax kit lenses). Although not the best around, the Pentak kit lenses are considered the best of all the brands.

Yes, basically you will be getting a zoom so that you can learn and take shots with varying focal lengths until you decide which primes you want/need but I think you will be pleasantly surprised at the IQ you can get. Just remember that these lenses will be slow as far as apertures are concerned so low light (indoors for example) photography won't be so good. That is where primes really come into their own, not necessarily on IQ.

It's also handy to have a zoom for the occasions that you are out and about, likely to take different kinds of shots and you don't want to carry extra lenses.

Last edited by Damn Brit; 05-05-2009 at 12:05 AM.
05-06-2009, 05:05 PM   #8
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I like Gary's idea of getting an inexpensive zoom lens or 2 to supplement your primes. If you haven't already, you might want to check and see if there are any Ritz Camera stores in your area that are going out of business--you might be able to get a good deal on both your body and lenses, assuming that they have what you're looking for.

The K20 is a great body--it has enough features that you won't outgrow it anytime soon.

Heather

05-06-2009, 10:31 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by dasuhu Quote
Hi Everyone,

My name is Daniel and am a young guy from the Sacramento, CA area. Been solely a P&S person but am tempted by the world of DSLRs. Seriously thinking about buying a K20d and buying a used 50mm/1.4 and seeing where that takes me. Been an amateur astronomer the past 9 years, and work at a telescope mirror making company, so I have a decent sense of optics.

These forums look fun, with lots of advice and some heated, albeit overall cordial conversations. I have learned from browsing these forums the past hour is that the 31mm Limited is the best thing since sliced bread (although I myself enjoy sinking my teeth into a grocery store Sourdough bread baguette) and the K20d is a very good camera with not as good AF as Canon/Nikon (but a good chance to learn MF). I hope and expect to learn more from you more experienced people.

Cheers
Welcome Daniel - good to see another Pentax in NorCal (I'm down in the foothills a couple hours south of ya)...

I think Gary's suggestion is a good one re. a zoom - they're just so versatile. You may find like many of us that you shoot zooms often at just the wide end and the long end, and a useful exercise with a zoom is to pick a focal length and just stay with it for a while - to see what you'd do with a scene if that were the prime you were using at that time (here's a thread discussing that approach).

Lately I've been shooting with primes fairly exclusively (just around the yard really), and I do get more into the act of photography with a fixed focal length. When I have a zoom on, it's too easy to just stop in my tracks the moment I see something interesting, zoom in on it and fire, whereas if you take the time to walk around and see how best to approach a subject, what background would work best etc., ... well, I get more out of the experience. You can do this with zooms, it just takes more willpower.

I would say get a zoom or two (from say 18mm to 200mm-ish - maybe the DA 18-55 II and a manual focus Vivitar Series One 70-210mm Macro (these old vivitars are very highly regarded but not too expensive)), and get a few manual primes like the Pentax-A or M 50 f/2 (or faster, but the f/2 is cheap and under rated imho) and the Sigma 28mm f/2.8 "Mini-Wide II" which I highly recommend (there's one or two in the marketplace right now).

Of course, there are so many possible combination, and as you said in response to Gary, you could use a cheap zoom (not as nice as the Vivitar I mentioned above) to get a feel for the focal lengths and subjects you're after. Or as you started out thinking, you could start cherry picking primes right off the bat - you'll have fun either way...
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