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07-25-2010, 03:03 AM   #1
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New Guy With A few Questions About Pentax

I know nothing about photography, but am quite the artist, design websites, and quite handy with photoshop. I'm been taking photos for friends for years with expensive point & shoot cameras. Through encouragement from wife and friends, I want to take photography more seriously.

So I'm looking to buy a DLSR and have decided on the Pentax K-X. Everywhere else I go, everyone keeps pushing me towards Nikon & Canon, but after some research I still think the Pentax K-X is best way to go for me.

So here I am.

Right now I'm looking at the Pentax K-X bundle with 18mm-55mm & 55mm-300mm lens. I'm also wanting to get a compatible prime lens. Perhaps 50mm or is it 55mm? I don't know exactly. Where are some of the best places to to purchase these lens. Also, which lens are compatible with the Pentax K-X.

I was also wondering about the Pentax K-7. Should I keep saving and get it instead? I just now heard of it while writing this post. Is it a entry level camera or a pro camera?

Should I keep saving and just buy a pro camera starting out, or go with a entry level? I tend to take photos of anything I find interesting & beautiful (which is alot), whether it be people or the great outdoors. Although I don't do alot of traveling, or not far at least.

Anyhow, all opinions welcome, just don't tell me to get a Nikon or Canon

07-25-2010, 05:45 AM   #2
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Well this is a Pentax forum. Many of us are strongly opposed towards Canikon's Jedi mindtricks. Having said that many of us will suggest that the feel and design of a camera has importance for some and should be considered when thinking about purchasing a camera. If you do not like the feel of the tool in your hands and how you interact with it, it may lessen your experience. But if a person is coming from having little to no experience with an slr style camera, they simply may have no problem adapting.
Both the K-x and the K-7 are very good cameras. (sticks his tongue out at Canon and Nikon) You are encouraged to at least hold many cameras from many manufacturers that may be in your price range but of course pay particular attention to Pentax.
The K-x is a hell of an entry level camera! Of course in comparisons with other more feature packed cameras of the Pentax family, it does have some limitations and lacks some features. But you, your photography and the K-x will all be able to grow and expand beyond mere point and shoot photography. The K-x is very, very capable of producing great images from nearly anyone.
The K-7 is a little more feature packed and for some, it takes some experience and attention to use it to it's best potentials.
The K-x is not weather sealed. But when was the last time weather ruined your point and shoot camera? The K-x is still durable and operational to a degree in all kinds of weather. It's just that the K-7 is more durable and better protected against the elements

Last edited by Nowhere Matt; 07-25-2010 at 05:51 AM.
07-25-2010, 05:57 AM   #3
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Pentax slr cameras have long been using what is termed the K mount or PK mount in regard to lens to body connection. A great many lenses that are described as K mount lenses will work on your camera. Look around the forum after a period of time and read several topics on lenses to get tons of other opinions and suggesting. Right now you will do good to use the two lenses you have in mind and then you will have collected and managed some of your own different experience and will be better armed to make decisions about what lens to get next.
Take a few hours and look around the forum. Some of your questions have been approached a number of times and are still relevant but the information is still there.
Welcome to the forum and hopefully you will choose Pentax.

Last edited by Nowhere Matt; 07-25-2010 at 06:02 AM.
07-25-2010, 06:39 AM   #4
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After shooting film for many years, and digicams for a decade, but never Pentax, I decided a couple years ago to get my first dSLR. My question was, "What do I want to do that I can't do with what I have?" The answers were: ultrawide, ultralong, and low light. I came to a Pentax K20D because it looked to have a longer happy-usage life than the competition, but first because Pentax had the lenses I wanted that I could afford. So my original kit was the K20D, the DA10-17 fisheye, the DA18-250 superzoom, the fast FA50/1.4 prime, and the AF360 flash.

Since then I've bought only three more AF lenses (the bargain DA18-55 kit lens, the underrated FA100-300, and the overpriced Lil'Bigma 170-500) -- and many many many old manual lenses, mostly primes. It's still possible to buy superb old glass at bargain prices. But beware: Delving into vintage glass can become an obsession, an addiction, the infamous LBA (Lens-Buying Addiction). So what if I have twentyeight 50mm lenses -- that's not excessive, is it?????

Welcome to the madhouse.

Anyway, my point is that my original camera decision was driven by lenses, not by marketing nor packaging. I did look at the K20D kits that were offered, then decided on my own lens set. A two-zoom kit leaves an ambiguous zone, a cusp for changing lenses. For me that's at 17-18mm, for others it's at 55mm, or whatever. I approach shooting with different mindsets in different zoom ranges, and I find myself shooting enough in the 50-60mm range that I wouldn't be comfortable switching between an 18-55 and 55-300 there. Yes, I'm happy with my 18-250. On a recent road trip I mostly used the 18-250, assisted by a manual Zenitar 16/2.8 ultra-wide-angle. What lenses will you be happy and comfortable with? I dunno. Buy many lenses and find out. It's only money.


Last edited by RioRico; 07-25-2010 at 06:52 AM.
07-25-2010, 07:03 AM   #5
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You probably have found www.pentaxphotogallery.com. Pictures say thousands of words and that site is what helped me make a decision to switch to Pentax.

Those other camera brands don't always make good lenses.
07-25-2010, 07:52 AM   #6
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Firstly welcome to the forum, as for equipment you will find as you go on, that your needs will push you into both CBA & LBA.

Its a condition that many suffer, but it doesn't hurt too much.
07-25-2010, 08:10 AM   #7
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I had owned a Spotmatic with 5 non-zoom Takumars in the 70s. Then I owned Canon from the mid-80s, until I bought the K100 a few years ago.

I selected the K100 not because of any affection for Pentax, but mostly because of the 16-45mm. For under $900 I could get the body, 16-45mm, and 50-200mm. There was really nothing from Canikon close in that generation of equipment that would get me past 18mm. I wasn't sold on digital so it was a new experience for me. But I got used to it very quickly and now don't miss film at all. Since then I've been satisfied with Pentax for the kind of pictures I take and for the amount of money I'm willing to spend. After a couple of years I added other lenses, but the 16mm got me pictures over those two years that I wouldn't have gotten with the competitor's 18mm kit lenses at the time.

If I had a lot more money, I'd investigate the high-iso and full-frame options that Pentax doesn't have. So you should look that if it's in your price range.

Incidentally, I may be the only person on the forum who feels this way, but I'd have almost no use for those five SMC Takumars, even if I still had them. I shot tens of thousands of Kodachromes with those Takumars and from my Canon zooms, and you'd have to look awfully hard and maybe still not see any quality difference. The ability to frame precisely with a zoom just so far outweighs any difference you could see by pixel-peeping for me. But you should investigate for yourself and make up your own mind. It really does depend on what you're photographing. You should't just go out and get an old fixed focal length lens because everybody here but me thinks they're the greatest things ever. 90% of what I photograph is relatively static (except for wind blowing leaves or clouds moving, for example.) I'd rarely use a lens opening over f4 even if I had one. I sometimes used the 50/1.4 Takumar at 2.8, and very occasionally at f2, but that was about it, and you have to consider that that was often iso 25.

Paul
07-25-2010, 03:30 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Xarcell Quote
I'm also wanting to get a compatible prime lens. Perhaps 50mm or is it 55mm?
If you're already sure tha you personally will find that a useful focal length, go for it - but be aware that many if not most people would say it's not overly useful. If you're not already sure, I'd suggest waiting until you have more experience to be able to decide what focal length you personally would find most useful in a first prime.

QuoteQuote:
Where are some of the best places to to purchase these lens.
B&H and Adorama are usually the best places to get Pentax lenses. But be sure not to be fooled by the "list"prices they first show when you look at an item - you have to add to cart to see the actual price.

QuoteQuote:
Also, which lens are compatible with the Pentax K-X.
Any lens that says it's for Pentax.

QuoteQuote:
Should I keep saving and just buy a pro camera starting out, or go with a entry level?
That's a question on one can really answer for you, but my advice is, get a camera now and start shooting. If eventually you outgrow it - not likely for several years - then you can think about upgrading.

07-25-2010, 04:52 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Xarcell Quote
Right now I'm looking at the Pentax K-X bundle with 18mm-55mm & 55mm-300mm lens. I'm also wanting to get a compatible prime lens. Perhaps 50mm or is it 55mm? I don't know exactly.
I would suggest starting with just the 2 lens kit. As time goes on, and you find out where you interests lie exactly, then would be the time for the next lens. Based on your type of photography, you may never need a 50 or 55, say if your interests are landscape or wide angle.

07-25-2010, 04:54 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Xarcell Quote

I was also wondering about the Pentax K-7. Should I keep saving and get it instead? I just now heard of it while writing this post. Is it a entry level camera or a pro camera?
The KX is a wonderful camera and there is no reason that you shouldn't buy it. My advice is to go with whichever camera your budget can afford. The K7 works well with beginners as well. That being said, remember, in the long run lenses are more important (in most ways) than the body.

If you are willing to learn to shoot manual focus only, you can get a 50mm prime lens for about $50. the smc-M 50mm f/1.7 is an excellent lens (I have it myself) and can be had for $50 or less. If you want an auto-focus lens, the FA 50mm f/1.4 is pretty common ($175ish-$350) or you can use the new 55mm f/1.4 ( $600+ which is overpriced IMHO).
07-25-2010, 06:10 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Xarcell Quote
Right now I'm looking at the Pentax K-X bundle with 18mm-55mm & 55mm-300mm lens. I'm also wanting to get a compatible prime lens. Perhaps 50mm or is it 55mm?
You already received some useful advice.

Any Pentax K-mount lens can be used with the K-x.

There are many nice fast prime lenses around 50-55mm. Both Pentax and 3rd party. A fast prime can shoot with large aperture: it is excellent in low-light and works also great in daylight conditions. I have the Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f1.4. It is MF and has beautiful IQ. It is highly recommended by many Pentaxians and the price is very reasonable for the IQ. I love the sturdy lens and it has become a favorite.

Where to buy? Adorama and B&H are renown, well-reputed sites. If you get the right link, you can support this Forum when purchasing there:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/welcomes-introductions/101547-do-you-buy-...taxforums.html.

Hope that the additional data will help.
07-25-2010, 08:11 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by kerrowdown Quote
Firstly welcome to the forum, as for equipment you will find as you go on, that your needs will push you into both CBA & LBA.

Its a condition that many suffer, but it doesn't hurt too much.
Kerrowdown,

I think if I purchase another lens right now it may be very painful for me...not from the joy of a new piece of glass to play with, but the pain of my wife throwing it at my head! lol
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