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07-02-2010, 09:50 AM   #1
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I'm aiming for these kinds of pictures

Thought it might make sense to post the types of pictures that I'm aiming for as I seek advice on what gear to get. I took these with a superzoom (Sony HX1) that just isn't satisfying me. A DSLR should do better, I think. But I need to plan wisely which one and what gear to get with it since full budget is $1k total (and even that's stretching it). I've gotten some great advice already and am leaning toward the K-x. Not sure what lenses I could fit into the budget to get these images to not have so much noise when I print at 8x10 (they give crap prints and I do want to print some stuff down the road at at least 8x10), and to catch the critters when they're moving as in the running picture.

I know these aren't very good and that's a lot to do with skill level. I will continue to learn. I just want to have the right equipment to give me a fighting chance. Ideally, I'd have $10K to throw away on a hobby, but I don't. So hopefully showing you these pictures will help you help me.

Thank you!












Last edited by Leftyplayer; 07-02-2010 at 12:33 PM.
07-02-2010, 09:56 AM   #2
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This one I completely missed the mark on every front, but just showing examples of what I'd LIKE to capture well

07-02-2010, 10:45 AM   #3
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I got my DSLR recently, and have found so many things to learn.

From what I learned, I think you can look at lens with large aperture, like 2 or below. Starting from there, you can look at 35/2, 50/1.7, 50/1.4 or something like them. With a large aperture, you can maintain the shutter speed high where the light is not so bad. But it seems you like shoot children playing indoor at lowlight. I doubt you can catch up with their movement (they are so energetic!) in that condition without the help of flashlight.
07-02-2010, 10:57 AM   #4
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Yes, I would definitely recommend the Kx for you... Your budget will still have some room for nice lenses. I think with your kind of shooting, you'd be happier with a zoom lens than primes (although I could be mistaken). So here's what I would recommend:

K-x
18-55mm lens
possibly the 55-300mm
360 Flash unit

all that would fit in your budget and it would be a killer setup compared to your P&S.

07-02-2010, 10:59 AM   #5
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You really should downsize your images before posting. Generally, the longest side of the posted image should be 900 pixels or less (I like 750-800 pixels). This thread will help you with this.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/6-how-posting-uploading-...de-images.html

You can edit your post with the downsized images and you will find more people will comment.

Tim
07-02-2010, 11:09 AM   #6
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I'm just a recent hobbyist as well, so my suggestions might be wrong.

I see low-light situations: I suggest a fast lens (F2.8 or below)
I see close focusing: it looks like you're 5 or 6 inches away on some of these pictures
I see very wide-angles: you probably need something under 50mm

You could go for either a zoom lens or a prime. My guess since you're starting you might want the zoom to give yourself a bit more selection.

I tried thinking of your budget of under or around $1,000 for both the K-x and Lens, and here are my suggestions:

Prime: SMC Pentax-DA 35mm F2.8 Limited Macro
Zoom: Tamron SP AF17-50mm F/2.8 XR LD ASPHERICAL (IF)

Of course, I don't have either of these lenses but I wish I did!

Flickeroo
07-02-2010, 11:41 AM   #7
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Hi Lefty Player and welcome to the forums

Like some others, I'd definitely recommend the K-x. You can find several offered second here on our marketplace forum. I would get either the tamron 17-50 F2.8 or the tamron 28-75 F2.8. I would probably go with the second lens as most likely the Pentax 18-55 F3.5-5.6 will come with the K-x, and that focal length duplicates pretty closely the first tamron mentioned. If you have anything left in your budget think about getting a good second hand exterior flash unit.
One point, it would be nice if you would post your pics one on top of the other instead of side by side. That way you don't have to scroll all over the place to catch the full note. It's ok because you are a newbie, but if you do it again... (j/k)

NaCl(K-x, and one good lens will get you started, flash and other stuff is extra)H2O
07-02-2010, 12:07 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by NaClH2O Quote
Like some others, I'd definitely recommend the K-x. You can find several offered second here on our marketplace forum. I would get either the tamron 17-50 F2.8 or the tamron 28-75 F2.8.
(j/k)

NaCl(K-x, and one good lens will get you started, flash and other stuff is extra)H2O
The K-x and Tamron 28-75 would make a pretty good single lens combo for what you shoot.

You'll have to sell the kit 18-55 because you can't get the (new) body only (I'm pretty sure). The flash idea (bounced off the white ceiling) will help immensely.

07-02-2010, 12:07 PM   #9
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*Definitely* resize your images before posting. In certain rare cases it might be necessary to show images larger than screen size, and when doing that, the IMGWIDE and IMGTALL tags should be used, but that's not intended to be a susbtitute for sizing images prperly in the first place (600x900 or so max dimensions).

Anyhow, yes, a better camera can take better pictures, but the skill of the photographer plays a far bigger role. Spending some time learning the basics of photography (how exposure works and how and why to control shutter speed and aperture, for example - also how to control focus and flash effectively) would probably allow you to get *much* better results with the camera you already have. Simply switching camera but shooting in the same manner with a DSLR won't magically fix most of what could use fixing in these.
07-02-2010, 12:49 PM   #10
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Thank you all for the suggestions. I've taken notes. And apologies on the size/ format of the pictures. I think I've corrected them now and will not make that newbie mistake again - I appreciate your patience on it.

I actually think I have seen the K-x body only. So maybe that with the Tamron 28-75 f2.8 and a flash may get me started, or so it sounds.

Marc, 100% agree with you. Knowing what I'm doing is THE most important factor. And, luckily, I'm pretty nerdy so I plan on studying up and practicing. I suppose I want to move forward with the DSLR purchase not so much thinking I'll instantly get better pictures, but rather because I'd like to get all that practicing done on the camera itself, that way I learn both the skills as well as the camera simultaneously. Also, the superzoom is mostly for the spouse's use. And, finally, because, well, I really really want it LOL. But no worries, I'm not deluding myself into thinking I'll suddenly become a photographer because I got a better camera. Suggestions on a comprehensive book to build my skills from the ground up are appreciated.
07-02-2010, 01:02 PM   #11
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I'll just add two comments to what's already been said. First you don' need spend $10K to take good pictures. Have a look in the Marketplace at some of the used lens and camera body prices. You can get a very nice and flexible bit of kit for under $1000. Lastly, if selecting your lens I'd look at the focal lengths you have chosen to shot with on your superzoom, should give you an idea of what your eye is drawn two.
07-02-2010, 01:04 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by NaClH2O Quote
Like some others, I'd definitely recommend the K-x. You can find several offered second here on our marketplace forum. I would get either the tamron 17-50 F2.8 or the tamron 28-75 F2.8. I would probably go with the second lens as most likely the Pentax 18-55 F3.5-5.6 will come with the K-x, and that focal length duplicates pretty closely the first tamron mentioned. If you have anything left in your budget think about getting a good second hand exterior flash unit.
One point, it would be nice if you would post your pics one on top of the other instead of side by side. That way you don't have to scroll all over the place to catch the full note. It's ok because you are a newbie, but if you do it again... (j/k)

NaCl(K-x, and one good lens will get you started, flash and other stuff is extra)H2O
Agree with NaCl, that is the first combination that comes to mind. Should be able to get those shots without breaking the bank.
07-02-2010, 03:57 PM   #13
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I can't see the sample shots on my iPhone so forgive if I miss the mark on my advice. I want to point out that the shooter on a restricted budget who still wants quality lenses would do well to consider Takumar lenses. Take a look at the Takumar Club thread in the Lens section for some examples of what can be done with some very cheap yet excellent quality legacy lenses.
07-02-2010, 05:22 PM   #14
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I'll take a look at the Takumar lense info. Would the difference be that they need to be focused manually? For many situations, I can handle that.
07-02-2010, 07:30 PM   #15
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I'm not familiar with your P&S camera, but I know that some of the newer ones have very little shutter lag, not much different than a DSLR. And with regard to autofocus speed, pentax cameras aren't known for that. And DSLRs generally, and particularly lower priced ones, aren't as conducive to manual focus as many 35mm cameras were.

So I'm not sure that a DSLR is going to be a huge improvement for what you want to do. If you look at even experienced photographers with the best equipment trying to capture what you are, they're going to have a lot of very poor pictures (as bad or worse than your worst examples) for every one you'll ever see. Sometimes you may have to just take a lot of pictures, learning along with way.

DSLRs certainly have some advantages, such as optical viewfinder, larger sensor for lower noise at higher ISO, and sometimes more adjustability (particularly with regards to aperture.) But it might be that the biggest improvement you can make could come from simply taking more pictures with the equipment you have.

Paul
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