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10-07-2010, 08:43 AM   #16
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Get the 2 lenses kit: body + 18-55 + 55-300 and you won't regret a bit later .

$712 at Amazon

Amazon.com: Pentax K-x 12.4 MP Digital SLR with 2.7-inch LCD and 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL and 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED Lenses (Black): Camera & Photo

10-07-2010, 09:28 AM   #17
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Here's a different suggestion: Try trolling the image galleries here. I find looking at them gives me some ideas about what and how I want to shoot some of my own pictures. Many people keep their camera and lens settings attached.
10-07-2010, 10:53 AM   #18
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I have something completely different to say. I'll start by reaffirming that the kit lens is quite good, but your explanations of what you wanted to shoot are a good mirror of my own when I began.

Photojournalism:

For this purpose, you will want something in the 50mm + range, to get nice shots of POI's from a reasonable distance. The kit fails here on two levels. At 50mm, the kit is f5.6, which will seriously limit your ability to take pictures in low light where flashes are not permitted, and the kit, in my opinion, is weakest at 55mm (very soft).

Indoors:

Once again, the aperture of this lens is slow for indoor photography. You will find yourself shooting at 18mm to get enough light in, which has a very ugly effect on the proportions of people. You really want something in the 28mm to 50mm range to get "natural" shots of people on a digital SLR.

Buildings:

This will frustrate you a little. You want your lens to be WIDE, but you also need to pay for a quality lens, or your buildings will bend like in a funhouse mirror. The kit lens will have a mild fisheye quality that is not really acceptable for the types of architectural photography you might be thinking of doing.

Other than the odd photojournalistic opportunity, you won't really need to go above 100mm, so the 55-300 is a wee bit overkill. That lens is ideal for nature photography.

So a cheap solution? Hmm. The kit lens is a dime a dozen, and really does not tack too much onto the price of the K-X. You also might want to consider the new DA L 35mm 2.4 - it would be better for indoors work, and is a nice sweet spot between 50mm and 18mm. You could certainly shoot buildings with it (just stand further back), will be better than the kit for indoors, and will give you a nice focal length for snapshots. The lens will be a little short for portraits, but not really that bad. Here is a portrait I shot at 28mm.

All in all, I think the kit is good, but the kind of lens that you leave behind when you try something a little more specialized (the kit is truly a jack of all trades, master of none). Considering your particular interests, you will likely get much nicer photographs right out of the gate with the 35mm prime... I wish I had the option to buy this lens when I started out.

Just something to think about!

PS. The 35mm is not available quite yet, but will be very soon.

Last edited by paperbag846; 10-27-2010 at 11:57 AM.
10-07-2010, 01:53 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ken T Quote
Get the 2 lenses kit: body + 18-55 + 55-300 and you won't regret a bit later .

$712 at Amazon

Amazon.com: Pentax K-x 12.4 MP Digital SLR with 2.7-inch LCD and 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL and 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED Lenses (Black): Camera & Photo
The price has changed since you created that link. Amazon now has it available for $628.00.

I just ordered this kit today from B&H for $628.95. Pentax K-x Digital SLR with 18-55mm and 55-300mm Zoom 15801 -

10-07-2010, 02:50 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
Buildings:

This will frustrate you a little. You want your lens to be WIDE, but you also need to pay for a quality lens, or your buildings will bend like in a funhouse mirror. The kit lens will have a mild fisheye quality that is not really acceptable for the types of architectural photography you might be thinking of doing.
You are really pushing it here, the 18-55 has not THAT much distortion and the K-X can eliminate it in camera if it bothers you...
10-07-2010, 03:10 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by tomtor Quote
You are really pushing it here, the 18-55 has not THAT much distortion and the K-X can eliminate it in camera if it bothers you...
You might be right, I should temper my criticism. The kit lens is good. Additionally, my K20d does not correct for such distortions. I was unaware the K-X does. Also, the K-X handles low light quite a bit better than the K20d, so it might be better with the slower aperture.

However, as a portrait lens, I will maintain that the kit lens preforms poorly. Another method would be to pick up a cheap manual focus 50 or 55mm for portraits in low light, as they can be found for 50 dollars and are fantastic for that purpose. The kit lens + manual focus 50mm would run you about the same as the 35mm 2.4.
10-07-2010, 03:36 PM   #22
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Invest in lenses

My experience has been that I am now on my third Pentax DSLR (*istDS, K10D and K20D) and will shortly upgrade to the K-5.

Camera technology is advancing fast and you might expect one to last a couple of years at the most. Lenses will generally be a longer term investment. I bought both kit lenses (18-55 and 50-200) with my first camera, but soon decided to upgrade and no longer own these.

I now use a Sigma 17-70 as my general purpose lens and this lives on my camera most of the time. Most of my "keeper" lenses have been older manual focus designs. I have several Pentax 50mm - M, 1.7 ($30), A 1.7 ($55) and A 1.4 ($80) as well as a Pentax A 28mm f2.8 ($75). For Macros, I use the Vivitar 105mm f3.5 ($300). My most used zoom is the Tamron Adaptall 70-210 f 3.5 (bought "new unused" for $95) followed by the Pentax 35-105 f3.5 ($110). On one holiday trip, I just stuck the 50mm A1.4 on my K20D and was surprised by how versatile it was. I have just acquired a Voigtlander 40mm and plan to repeat the one prime lens exercise on my next holiday.

If you are comfortable with manual focus (which I prefer for a lot of photos), this can be an affordable way to experiment with what lenses suit your shooting style best.

But watch out - if LBA strikes, you are doomed!

Mike
10-07-2010, 04:44 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Herr Trigger Quote
The price has changed since you created that link. Amazon now has it available for $628.00.

I just ordered this kit today from B&H for $628.95. Pentax K-x Digital SLR with 18-55mm and 55-300mm Zoom 15801 -
Wow ! They changed prices quick . This morning I checked B&H and they had the kit for like $825 .

10-07-2010, 05:43 PM - 1 Like   #24
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used bodies

QuoteOriginally posted by lovemehate Quote
I have no ideas what my options are, i was going to get that pantax Kx with 18-55mm pack.
thats 620usd + tax

but everyone Is saying just get a cheaper body and a better lens...I dont know what 18-55mm Is good for. I dont know what kind of lens I should even look at anyway
I will make a post here giving my sense of the used body options for Pentax in late 2010; I hope it might be a little help for the OP and anyone who looks up this topic later.

To me, given current and near-future k-x pricing, the only "cheaper" body options are used bodies, and only certain ones. Most beginning DSLR users (around where I am anyway) start with a new body which has the advantages of a warranty and a reasonably up-to-date feature set. Note for instance that none of the used options below would allow you to shoot video! And low-light or fast-action shooting will be better with the k-x than with any of the following.

However, if you do want to save money on your first body, in order to invest in lenses, here are your cheapest options in Pentax in late 2010:

1) a six-megapixel camera such as the *ist ds, *ist dl, or K100D. Of these, only the K100D has "image stabilization", which makes it easier to take pictures with slightly longer exposures (useful in low light). These cameras are 4Y old + technology, produce lower-resolution image files, and save either raw image files or jpegs, but not both at the same time (which can be useful when you are starting out). If you can find a K100D body in good working order, though, that is one of the cheapest effective options.

(Also note that these cameras shipped with the early version of the kit lens -- it doesn't really matter at 6MP, but if you are thinking of upgrading to a more advanced camera but keeping your kit lens, at some point you may see weaknesses in this early version. But a replacement kit lens later on is still cheap enough, so it isn't really a big issue . . .)

2) k-m/K2000 (same thing). This was the entry-level model right before the k-x, and used a 10MP sensor (step up from 1). The build quality of the body may or may not be as good as the earlier 6MP cameras. It does have image stabilization and raw+jpeg mode, unlike the 6MP cameras above, and shipped with the improved kit lens. However, it doesn't have an LCD on the top of the camera to tell you your settings -- neither does the k-x, but the cameras listed here as options 1) and 3) all have the top LCD. In my opinion, if you haven't shot with a DSLR before, you probably won't miss it. The k-m was not as successful on the market as a k-x -- and is frankly not as good a camera -- but it is possible to find it at a lower price on the used market.

3) K10D/K200D. These two cameras are quite different, but sell for around the same price. One thing they have in common, which is different from all the cameras in 1) and 2), is that both the K10D and K200D are weather-resistant. I dare say that they are the least expensive weather-resistant cameras available on the used market, and the K200D at the time of its introduction was the least expensive weather-resistant camera body ever made. However, if you don't have a weather-resistant lens to go with it, there is a gap in the rain- and dust-protection where you want it the most, and the cheapest weather-resistant lens is a version of the 18-55 which will set you back at least $150 -- and that lens did NOT ship as the kit lens with either of these cameras. So if you are trying to save money, you will quickly discover that whatever you saved compared to a _used_ k-x, say, is immediately consumed if you pick up a weather-resistant 18-55.

Otherwise, these cameras have a 10MP sensor like the k-m/K2000. The K200 has some slight improvements in higher-sensitivity (lower light) and jpeg processing over the K10D, but it is nowhere near as good as the k-x in those areas. The K10D is larger than the K200D and has more control wheels (=less time in menus); if you are interested in a medium-sized camera (still bigger than the cameras in 1) and 2) take the K200D, and if you don't mind a big camera to get excellent controls, take the K10D.

So as I see it, these are the current used options for Pentax bodies at the low end. These are not huge savings compared to the k-x -- none of them will save you enough money to get a new prime lens, or a top-quality zoom -- but option 1) could save you enough to pick up an 18-200 zoom or the new 35mm prime, easily, and even option 3) might let you pick up an extra used lens, compared to the full price of the k-x kit. So I am not advising you to spend less on the body, but if you do, this should be helpful.
10-07-2010, 06:21 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
You might be right, I should temper my criticism. The kit lens is good. Additionally, my K20d does not correct for such distortions. I was unaware the K-X does. Also, the K-X handles low light quite a bit better than the K20d, so it might be better with the slower aperture.

However, as a portrait lens, I will maintain that the kit lens preforms poorly. Another method would be to pick up a cheap manual focus 50 or 55mm for portraits in low light, as they can be found for 50 dollars and are fantastic for that purpose. The kit lens + manual focus 50mm would run you about the same as the 35mm 2.4.
That' what I suggested. The Penta-A 50f2 isn't at all bad and can be had regularly for around $20.
10-07-2010, 06:34 PM   #26
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lenses

QuoteOriginally posted by lovemehate Quote
then let me ask, Is it better to just go with a cheaper option? I mean am really trying to get the best picture , image stabilization ...and have the option to make videos (I dont care about HD)
but the video isent that important.

I would use It mostly for some kind of
photojournalism
Indoors and outdoors photos of people/models
buildings
black and white

thats it really i dont care much for sports or landscapes

so there are better things on the way? Within the same price range?
The only things I would note about this -- based on my own shared interests -- is that indoors photos go better with a faster (larger aperture) lens, and buildings go better with a wider (longer focal length). But the OP will not be able to buy lenses for both of these within his budget without going to manual-focus prime lenses.

That said, in my experience an f2.8 is already a notable improvement over the kit lens, and f2.4, f2 or f1.7 would be even more so. So to me a new 35/2.4 autofocus lens or a used 28/2.8, 35/2, or 40/2.8 would be useful for indoor work, and I have even used the 28/2.8 with moderate success for buildings . . . yes, a 50/1.7 would also work somewhat indoors, but I find it gives me too narrow a view with a crop sensor; unfortunately the Pentax offerings below 28mm tend to be more expensive and not ideal for indoors.
10-07-2010, 08:18 PM   #27
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Another interpretation of "cheaper body, better lens" is to get a camera body-only and then upgrade to something better than the kit lens. With Pentax, the kit lenses are pretty good, so that advice may not be completely necessary. However, you could get a K-x body and then buy the 18-55 WR. The K-x isn't weather resistant, so the WR lens doesn't help you any but you would get a metal mount vs. the plastic mount DA L 18-55 that comes as the K-x kit lens. Completely a personal preference, and I don't know how much more that would cost you over the K-x/DA L kit, probably $50 or more. May not be worth it to you, and I don't think there's any difference optically between the DA L 18-55 and the DA18-55 WR.

Another option would be to skip the 18-55's and get a 16-45 f/4. It's significantly more expensive than the 18-55's though. You lose 1/2 a stop at the wide end but gain a full stop at the long end. The lens is almost as expensive as the camera though, and if you're just starting out you probably won't produce any better results with the 16-45 than the 18-55.

Just a thought. I hear Nikon folks offering this kind of advice more often, but their kit lenses aren't as good as the Pentax 18-55. Their kit lens may go unused after they've made a few upgrades, but the Pentax 18-55 could remain a viable part of a lens collection indefinitely.
10-07-2010, 08:38 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by clutch Quote
Another interpretation of "cheaper body, better lens" is to get a camera body-only and then upgrade to something better than the kit lens. With Pentax, the kit lenses are pretty good, so that advice may not be completely necessary. However, you could get a K-x body and then buy the 18-55 WR. The K-x isn't weather resistant, so the WR lens doesn't help you any but you would get a metal mount vs. the plastic mount DA L 18-55 that comes as the K-x kit lens. Completely a personal preference, and I don't know how much more that would cost you over the K-x/DA L kit, probably $50 or more. May not be worth it to you, and I don't think there's any difference optically between the DA L 18-55 and the DA18-55 WR.
Note that the 18-55 WR also has the quick shift mechanism between auto and manual focus, and comes with a lens hood. That said, if money was the major concern I might look for a used 18-55 version II non-L lens -- the updated formula without bells and whistles, which you can get for about $50 (used) if you look carefully. It also has the metal mount, quick shift, and the lens hood, though it wouldn't be so useful with a WR body.
10-07-2010, 11:43 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Impartial Quote
but option 1) could save you enough to pick up an 18-200 zoom
I don't think the 18-200 superzoom qualifies as a better lens than the kit. The 18-250 might.
10-08-2010, 07:56 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by lovemehate Quote
wow thats a lot of Info to take In,
I guess am still going for the Kx...It did have a plastic cheap feel to the body, so When I was looking at It In a shop I felt a little turned off, but thats not a big deal.

I Guess am not trying to get over my head with all the lenses, I just want to make sure I get the right thing for that price range.

But thanks for all your help so far. I guess that kit will be more then enough for now
I to have been looking at the Pentax KX as my first DLSR and after a lot of research i narrowed it down to 3 cameras, Pentax KX, Canon 1000d and Nikon D3000. So armed with this info i went off to my camera shop to try them out and get a feel for them. After nearly an hour in the shop i came out knowing that i wanted a Pentax KX. It felt great in my hands unlike the canon, it wasnt to heavy and was just the right size for me. It didnt in any way feel cheap in my hands and to be honest the canon and nikon felt more cheap to me.
Also the Pentax Kx offers far more for your money than any other entry level DLSR.
Sony is another option only because there is so many models available in the 500 and under bracket.

QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
I've held several Nikon and Canon entry-level dSLRs in my hands recently and I just don't get it when people say the K-x feels cheap. Honestly, the K-x felt more substantial than ANY of the Canikon entry level models I handled.

If you are just starting out the 18-55 + 55-300 with a nice manual A prime like the 50/f1.7 or a 28/f2.8 will allow you to shoot a LOT of different things and learn the camera system while taking some solid shots IMHO.

Good luck.
I agree Docrwm the Pentax KX felt great and did not feel cheap at all. I just could not get on with the Canon 1000d or the Nikon D3000.
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