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05-05-2010, 07:13 PM   #1
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Advice

Hello,

I'm new to dslr photography and plan on purchasing a k-x early next month in time for my New York vacation. After spending many hours reading up on the k-x I have some questions however. I was wondering the following (more opinions than facts):

1. Many people suggest to stick with the kit lens until I find out what I like to shoot; then get additional lenses to suit those needs. Is this better than getting the kit with the 50-200mm as well as the kit lens

2. What is a good compact bag that looks good, holds the camera with kit lens, and other essentials, for a beginner like myself to carry around a city?

3. Should I purchase a UV filter to protect my lens? If so what kind?

4. Is a lens hood essential?

5. What is a cheap tripod that is sturdy enough for seldom use?

6. Are there any other accessories you would recommend among purchase of my camera?

7. Any books to read before I purchase my camera to get a better understating of Aperture, Shutter Speed, Exposure, ISO, etc...?

Sorry for all the questions. I am very anxious about getting my camera and want to learn everything I can before that day.

Thank you in advanced for the replies

05-05-2010, 07:29 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Chriswirth930 Quote
Hello,

I'm new to dslr photography and plan on purchasing a k-x early next month in time for my New York vacation. After spending many hours reading up on the k-x I have some questions however. I was wondering the following (more opinions than facts):

1. Many people suggest to stick with the kit lens until I find out what I like to shoot; then get additional lenses to suit those needs. Is this better than getting the kit with the 50-200mm as well as the kit lens

2. What is a good compact bag that looks good, holds the camera with kit lens, and other essentials, for a beginner like myself to carry around a city?

3. Should I purchase a UV filter to protect my lens? If so what kind?

4. Is a lens hood essential?

5. What is a cheap tripod that is sturdy enough for seldom use?

6. Are there any other accessories you would recommend among purchase of my camera?

7. Any books to read before I purchase my camera to get a better understating of Aperture, Shutter Speed, Exposure, ISO, etc...?

Sorry for all the questions. I am very anxious about getting my camera and want to learn everything I can before that day.

Thank you in advanced for the replies
Welcome! I'm a semi-recent K-x buyer, myself, so I'll give you my perspective since I've just gone through finding answers to the same questions.

1. Because the general consensus is that the DA 55-300mm is worth the price over the 50-200mm because of image quality and the longer focal length (50-200mm is a fine lens, however), I would go for the kit that includes the 55-300mm. If you can't afford that, consider saving for it. If you don't think you'll be able to afford it for a long time, go ahead with the 50-200mm. I'm very happy with mine.

2. I would just search the forums for bag threads since there are a ton of bags out there, and almost as many threads on the subject. Popular brands are Tamrac, Tenba, Crumpler, Kata, Lowepro. Check out the brands' sites to see what style might be best for you. (shoulder bag, messenger, sling, backpack).

3. Personal taste, really. I use UV filters on all of my lenses to protect them, particularly since I'm still still rather new at this. Some say it makes no sense to put cheaper glass on a lens with nice glass, but I think the protection is worth it. Hoya is a nice medium between price and quality. Hoya has various tiers of filters. Try for a multi-coated one.

4. No, but you'll want one to reduce flare and protect your lens from drops and clunks. There are cheap enough ones that are perfectly fine that it makes it worth having.

5. The Dolica Proline Tripod is what I have and would recommend. I got it because it was only $40 and nice quality. I found out about it on this forum. Some have had quality control issues with them, but that is immediately noticeable. Mine and many others' is fine.

6. A lens cleaning cloth and/or blower. Maybe a little IR remote if it interests you for while using the tripod. Get a couple or few 8GB SDHC cards. Eneloop batteries are popular with the K-x. I'll think about what else.

7. There are threads on this as well.
05-05-2010, 07:41 PM   #3
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Hi,

welcome to the forum.

QuoteOriginally posted by Chriswirth930 Quote
1. Many people suggest to stick with the kit lens until I find out what I like to shoot; then get additional lenses to suit those needs. Is this better than getting the kit with the 50-200mm as well as the kit lens
I general, that's good advice however you have more chances to find out whether you like shooting beyond 55mm if you actually have a lens supporting that. The 50-200 in a kit is such good value that I would recommend including it in a purchase. The fact that is is weather resistant and won't cost you an arm and a leg to replace should you chose to take it to risky locations, will make it useful even when you have added better lenses later on.


QuoteOriginally posted by Chriswirth930 Quote
3. Should I purchase a UV filter to protect my lens? If so what kind?
That's a much disputed one. You'll get a lot of diverging opinions. I personally like a UV filter (get a good one from B+W or Hoya) in situation where the lens may be exposed to salt water spray or sand. I clean the filter with much more piece of mind than I would cleaning the front element of the lens. In terms of physical protection a lens hood is probably more useful, but if you haven't got a hood on the lens the filter may protect the lens from the odd scratch.


QuoteOriginally posted by Chriswirth930 Quote
4. Is a lens hood essential?
You can take photos without it, no doubt. However, in any situation where the light is not coming from behind you, a hood will help to increase the contrast in an image and avoid flare patterns. Use one if you can. Note that the hoods that come with zooms are not very effective for anything but the lowest focal length. Still, there are better than nothing.


QuoteOriginally posted by Chriswirth930 Quote
6. Are there any other accessories you would recommend among purchase of my camera?
Spare batteries, memory cards, blower for sensor cleaning. And consider buying some post-processing software. I used Picasa for a long time and was happy with it but there are a lot more opportunities with Lightroom, for example.

Sorry for not having addressed all of your questions but I'm convinced some others will chime in soon.
05-05-2010, 07:46 PM   #4
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I just bought the K-X

here what I have done
1) K-X kit with 2 lenses 18-55 & 55-300.(this one is better that the 55-200) per many peoples. Cost $750
2)Bought a Black Experts selects Bag, I can put it on my back $69
3) Yes bought UV and polariser lens Zeiko. Kit $12
4) No lens hood for now
5) Bought a Soligor tripod T170BK. $40
BlacksPhoto - Product (Soligor T170 Heavy Duty Tripod)
6) I will be looking for a IR remote and I am getting ACDsee Pro3 photo software $199
7 Bought Digital Photography bundle from Scott Kelby $58 and will buy Edition 3 of Exposure in August
I bought 2 used lens Sigma 105 macro($400), Sigma 17-70($230) and bought a new Tamron 10-24($449). I also bought a manuel pentax lenses f1.8 50mm for $50

I feel I am well equip at a reasonable cost and will be able to enjoy in almost all situation.
I know I do not have the best but I was not looking for the best but for good balue for my money

Total cost with taxes $2400 CDN.

Hope this could help you

PS all price are in $CDN $

05-05-2010, 08:14 PM   #5
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Thank you for all the replies so far. In response to the dual lens kt. I was able to find a white kx (color I want the most) for $460 while the lowest i could find the white kx with the 55-300mm lens is $720. I am aware after reading that the 55-300mm lens is of great quality. My question on this matter however is

1: In general travel photography such as my vacation to New York will there be a lot I won't be able to capture if I only had the kit lens vs. the 55-300mm lens?

2: Because the Tamron 70-300mm lens is over $100 cheaper than the kit with the 55-300mm lens would this be a better option for someone on a budget (Quality vs. Price)?

3: If not the Tamron 70-300mm lens, is there another comparable lens I would be able to purchase after the fact that would be of relitive quality to the Pentax 55-300mm lens, such as the sigma 70-300mm lens? (This way I could have the camera while I saved up for the lens as well as explored what type of photos I most like to shoot)
05-05-2010, 08:21 PM   #6
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All the advice so far is fine. I would also recommend getting a couple of sets of NiMH rechargeable batteries and a good charger. There are two basic kinds of NiMH batteries. The ones you can get anywhere, which are great for your everyday use. Get 2500 mAh or higher. There are also somewhat costlier versions that hold their charge longer and are good backups. For the latter I use Sanyo eneloops. The general name for the second kind are pre-charged. They're also fine for everyday use, just bit pricier.

If you're going to be shooting any kind of landscapes or on or around water, you might also look at getting a circular polarized. With any filter look for multi-coated, as those control glare better.

As for UV filters and lens hoods, I once dropped my camera lens down. The UV filter was shattered. The lens hood cracked, but was glue-able. The lens itself survived just fine. Enough said.

michael mckee
My Port Townsend A City in Photographs 365
05-05-2010, 08:23 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Chriswirth930 Quote
Thank you for all the replies so far. In response to the dual lens kt. I was able to find a white kx (color I want the most) for $460 while the lowest i could find the white kx with the 55-300mm lens is $720. I am aware after reading that the 55-300mm lens is of great quality. My question on this matter however is

1: In general travel photography such as my vacation to New York will there be a lot I won't be able to capture if I only had the kit lens vs. the 55-300mm lens?

2: Because the Tamron 70-300mm lens is over $100 cheaper than the kit with the 55-300mm lens would this be a better option for someone on a budget (Quality vs. Price)?

3: If not the Tamron 70-300mm lens, is there another comparable lens I would be able to purchase after the fact that would be of relitive quality to the Pentax 55-300mm lens, such as the sigma 70-300mm lens? (This way I could have the camera while I saved up for the lens as well as explored what type of photos I most like to shoot)
You won't miss a doggone thing with the kit lens. I have the Tamron and love it. I might go for one of my other lenses for a paid gig but for a vacation lens you can't bet the bang for the buck. Get it. Enjoy it.

As for the UV filter. Or any filter really. Back in my film days every lens had a UV or skylight.
One night I was out doing some moon shots and kept getting ghosts. Took off the filter and my ghosts were gone. Never put a filter on a digital again. I use hoods all the time except with on camera flash (rare, since I have 6 off camera).
05-05-2010, 10:46 PM   #8
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My quick story
In the 80s I bought a camera with the standard (in those days) 50mm/1.7 lens. After shooting for about half a year, I figured out that I was missing the wide angle; at that stage I did not miss a tele for what I was shooting. So I bought a 28mm.
An other half a year later, I started to feel the need to get things closer, so added a 70-210 telezoom.
And about a year after that I felt that for indoors work I had to switch a lot between 28mm and 50mm which was not always convenient and I added a 35-105.

So I'm one of those people that advise to shoot with what you have to figure out what you're missing. That advise is intended for those who bought the camera with a single lens and straight away want to buy a second lens.
Having said that, a kit with 2 lenses can hardly be beaten price wise (warning, check the prices of lens hoods).

If you now already know that you will be interested in wildlife or know that you want to get 'things closer', I would advise to get the kit with 2 lenses. If you don't know yet, leave it. The money that you save can be used later towards something that suites your needs better (lens, flash, ...); it might work out more expensive (if you indeed decide to buy that 55-300 afterwards) but on the other hand you are more free to take the right decision later (in which case you probably have saved money).

05-06-2010, 05:24 AM   #9
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Hi, K-x? Good choice!

There is a recent other thread on this forum on a trip to New York and what to bring.
You may want to read that.

The general understanding is: wider lenses are better in NYC than longer lenses.
However, I assume you are not buying this camera for just one trip...

Depending upon your budget, I'd look at a 10-20 / 12-24 or similar lens.
Tele may be nice as well on a trip to Ellis / Liberty Island and on top of the Empire state.

I'd buy the 55-300mm since it seems to be a much better lens and it will give you 100mm extra.

My last NYC trip I used a 16-50mm f2.8 lens only. Note that the 2mm difference at the wide end of a lens is more than you may expect it to be.

What I'd leave a home is: a tripod, unless it is a micro model.
What I should take with me:
- A small shoulder bag, not necessarily a camera bag, that can safely contain a small water bottle as well.
- Comfortable shoes!
- A soft hat with which you can take photos
- Extra batteries
- Extra memory cards
- Small laptop for understanding your mistakes as soon as possible ;-)

Have a nice trip!

- Bert
05-06-2010, 06:36 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by bymy141 Quote
- A soft hat with which you can take photos
05-06-2010, 06:41 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
You didn't get the hint about the hat?

Here's my interpretation:

Rules for on-board flash
  1. Don't use it.
  2. See #1.
  3. If you have to use it, don't wear a hard hat or cap that will nudge the flash downwards when you look through the viewfinder. Otherwise it won't fire and you'll go nuts trying to find out why.

P.S.: Make sure you get Eneloops (or similar hybrid accumulators). They last a lot longer in the bag and in the camera and will cause you the least trouble. It is worth getting a proper charger as well. The ones that are sold with the accumulators are basically designed to kill them as quickly as possible. You want a charger that doesn't charge them too fast so that they don't get too hot. Maha, LaCrosse, Ansmann are good brand names.
05-06-2010, 07:57 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by bymy141 Quote
- Small laptop for understanding your mistakes as soon as possible ;-)
Indeed, that is nice, although not the easiest to do in NYC. I'll be stealing my mum's iPad for all my trips for that very purpose.
05-06-2010, 10:05 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
You didn't get the hint about the hat?

I'm not a hat person anyway, but that's funny! Never thought about that.
05-06-2010, 06:59 PM   #14
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Thanks for all the replies. In response to the sigma and tamron lenses are these good deals for someone on a budget? If the kit lens will be fine for new york i would like to take just that and then save up after for better lenses (i.e. Sigma, tamron, other good budget lenses anyone can recomend) what are your all views on this?
05-07-2010, 02:04 PM   #15
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I don't like the Tamron 70-300 as much as the 50-200, so given the choice, since both are about the same price, I'd go for the 50-200. Others do like the extra reach of a 300, but I find that simply shooting at 200 and cropping does about as well.

As for whether you'd "need" it, all you "need" is food, water, and air. The 18-55 will let you take lots of great pictures, too. There will be "some" pictures you can't get with it, though, and a telephoto zoom will let you take "some" of those. But there will be other pictures you still can't get and would need a different lens for. And no matter how manylenses you have, there will probably always be a few pictures you can't get without yet another lens.

But if you're having trouble imagining the difference between 18-55 and 55-300, think of the latter as a pair of binoculars for your camera. Asking whether you need the 55-300 is like asking if you need binoculars. If you imagine yourself takings pictures of small objects that are far away, then yes, you'd need them. I suspect most people don't visit other cities to take pictures of small distant objects though.

Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 05-07-2010 at 06:00 PM.
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