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10-13-2010, 05:38 PM   #1
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New Pentaxian, tons of newbie questions (K-X v. K-R)

So I recently bought the two lenses K-X kit online along with a Sigma Multi-coated UV filter and a cleaning pen. Any other accessories I should be looking into (such as what new neck strap should I buy)?

My other question pertains to the K-R. I was lead to believe the main differences were a better LCD (more colors), an optical viewfinder, and a higher price tag, but the ISO shots I'm seeing in the K-R thread look AMAZING, yet I thought the K-X and K-R shared the same sensor. So I guess my question is, is the IQ difference that great between the two (say a big enough of a difference to go ahead and refuse delivery tomorrow and purchase a K-R instead)?

10-13-2010, 08:17 PM   #2
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So far, at least in the US, the K-r is vaporware. Nobody has touched one.

Not so in other countries, as we've seen today.

I say buy the camera you need when you need it. There will always be something better on the horizon. The K-x was an incredible camera a year ago and it will be incredible for years to come. I bought the K-7 in January, knowing there would be a new camera sometime this year.

I'd recommend returning the UV filter and buying a nice bag. I like the Kata Sensitivity V, but there are tons of good choices. Your camera includes a strap in the box. I don't know what a cleaning "pen" is, I've always used a microfiber cloth when cleaning was necessary. Sometimes a Pec Pad with some lens fluid, but that's rarely needed with microfiber cloths. They're very good at licking up fingerprints, etc.

The LCD on the back of the K-r is higher resolution than the K-x, but that doesn't make a difference in shooting. The optical viewfinder is the same (as far as I remember), and you're right it's more expensive.
10-13-2010, 11:10 PM   #3
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Amazing images are more due to the photographer than due to the equipment.
10-14-2010, 02:10 AM   #4
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Thank you for the responses. I'm a little more calm about accepting the K-X now.

The pen I referred to: Amazon.com: Nikon 7072 Lens Pen Cleaning System: Camera & Photo

10-14-2010, 03:40 AM   #5
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Hi: I've been shooting film for over a half-century, and digital for the last decade, but I was SLR-less when I got my K20D a couple years ago. Other than the body and lenses (and many lenses since) my first kit consisted of:

* flash with diffuser, batteries, charger, more batteries
* tripod, wired and wireless remotes, mini-tripod/clamp
* lens pen, and Official Pentax sensor-cleaning kit
* 16GB SDHC card with included mini USB card reader
* UV filter, which I quickly stopped using

At first I carried my stuff in old daypacks I had laying about; then I tried a couple dedicated camera bags; but all were too clumsy one way or another. Now I use my large Ameribag, a teardrop that's easy to swing over shoulder or neck, and is quite defensible, and IT DOESN'T LOOK LIKE A CAMERA BAG. That's important in many urban and other crowded locales in the Americas I've traveled.

Gear that I bought that never really worked for me includes: angle viewer; flash bracket and grip; teleconverter.

Further stuff that's been very useful includes: hoods for every lens; polarizing and neutral density filters; Raynox close-up lens; bellows and macro tubes; screwmount lens adapters (for most of my lenses); a 2TB drive in RAID-1 configuration to store all my images.

Don't agonize over your Kx; it'll still be one of the world's best cameras in a couple years.
10-14-2010, 04:02 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by mrmp3 Quote
Any other accessories I should be looking into
Do you have good batteries (Eneloop or another precharged type) and a decent charger?

Drop the filter and get hoods for your two lenses.
10-14-2010, 08:44 AM   #7
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The K-X has the same sensor as the Nikon D90 (or very close), and takes wonderful pictures. THe camera will break long before it becomes obsolete, and upgrading to a K-R will not change the image quality. I'd say the K-X is the better deal of the two. Congrats!
10-14-2010, 01:32 PM   #8
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Thanks again for more replies. Thinking about ditching this UV filter now with that kind of response lol.

I forgot about the batteries, will definitely look into picking up the Eneloop (sp?) brand.

Real quick, Barnes & Noble/Borders are the big time online bookstores (along with Amazon), Newegg is for computers, is there an equivalent for camera gear? Right now I'm strictly looking at Amazon because some of the places on Nextag, which may have the cheaper prices also have reviews claiming they are merely baiting and switching (promise a price, call you up, want you to get the add-on accessories, if you refuse, your order becomes indefinitely delayed) such as Fumfie, so I'm nervous to shop anywhere else.

EDIT: What's a good price for an Eneloop set of batteries and charger?

EDIT2: Good type/brand for tripod?


Last edited by mrmp3; 10-14-2010 at 01:58 PM.
10-14-2010, 02:12 PM   #9
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B&H Photo, Adorama, TriState, Cameta Camera (ebay), I've dealt with all of them and have nothing but positive to say on any of them. Chances are pretty fair that when you buy on amazon, your purchase is actually handled by one of these outfits. I know amazon does keep stock on hand but the photo stores also sell Through them. You just need to make sure that whatever Camera equipment you buy New (body, lenses, tripods, etc) comes from an Authorized seller for warranty purposes. As for a tripod, tell us what you want to spend and we'll make sure you spend every penny .

10-14-2010, 03:59 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
B&H Photo, Adorama, TriState, Cameta Camera (ebay), I've dealt with all of them and have nothing but positive to say on any of them. Chances are pretty fair that when you buy on amazon, your purchase is actually handled by one of these outfits. I know amazon does keep stock on hand but the photo stores also sell Through them. You just need to make sure that whatever Camera equipment you buy New (body, lenses, tripods, etc) comes from an Authorized seller for warranty purposes. As for a tripod, tell us what you want to spend and we'll make sure you spend every penny .

Hahaha it must be becoming readily apparent that I am totally new at this camera thing.

I don't really know what higher cost gets me in regards to tripods, so I guess I want something that stays level, has some sort of gauge (or bubbles) to see if I'm level or not, and height adjustable (such as down to a really short height and up to a height in the 5' - 6' range). Not sure I need anything else in a tripod, but if there is your more than welcome to inform me.

I also had (again) another question. The HD video I presume isn't compressed at all. What's a good program to keep the HD but compress it a bit so that I can upload it on Vimeo or YouTube?

EDIT: Just thought of another question, what are the sweet spots for the 18-55 and 55-300 lenses? I also hear the 55-300 > 18-55, what exactly is better about it?

And real quick, I want to say THANK YOU for answering these questions. Most other forums, if your question isn't asked in the main forum, it doesn't get answered. And if you post in the main forum, people get pissed you didn't use the Q&A forum. So thank you all very much.

Last edited by mrmp3; 10-14-2010 at 04:12 PM.
10-14-2010, 04:39 PM   #11
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The 18-55 is very sharp at 35mm and about f/5.6 - f/11.0. It's got a good range from about 24-43mm if you're 1-1.5 stops closed from wide open. At 55mm and wide open, you'll get a "dreamy" or "soft" effect. It's not necessarily unusable, but if you want sharp close-ups be aware of it. Check slrgear.com (the AL II SMC DA version is tested) and look at the sharpness graphs for a good visualization of the sweet spots.

I think it's hard to compare the 55-300 to the 18-55. They have different uses. The 55-300 can isolate subjects from the background more easily simply from the longer focal range. I like it for casual pictures of birds and large bugs (butterflies, dragonflies) in and around the backyard that I can't get with the 18-55. I like landscapes with the 18-55 when I want a big-sky feel. I don't know that I've really compared sharpness between them since the subject distance is usually so different between what I'm shooting with each one.

Both are good lenses compared to other lenses in their focal length and aperture ranges.
10-14-2010, 05:07 PM   #12
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I suggest that you don't buy anything (other than bateries) until you feel the need to. not everyone needs a tripod, a flash or even more than a couple of lenses.
build your kit based on your needs, not the other way arround.
QuoteOriginally posted by mrmp3 Quote
My other question pertains to the K-R. I was lead to believe the main differences were a better LCD (more colors), an optical viewfinder, and a higher price tag, but the ISO shots I'm seeing in the K-R thread look AMAZING, yet I thought the K-X and K-R shared the same sensor. So I guess my question is, is the IQ difference that great between the two (say a big enough of a difference to go ahead and refuse delivery tomorrow and purchase a K-R instead)?
the K-r does seem to have a better LCD but you'll need to see it to know how much it is of significance to you. the viewfinder is exactly the same as the K-x AFAIK.
the K-r and K-x don't share the same sensor but it is unknown yet how much of a significant difference there is. you will easily find in this forum threads about the K-x with equally AMAZING photos at high ISO. you should also decide for yourself if shooting at high ISO is of much use to you because it is not essential to everyone.

just my opinion
10-14-2010, 06:07 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by mrmp3 Quote

EDIT: What's a good price for an Eneloop set of batteries and charger?
I got two sets of Eneloops for my K-x through Amazon, they cost $10.59 and $10.49 shipped. This was within the last 6-12 weeks.

I have a La Crosse BC-900 charger. Very versatile, a lot of bang for the buck. Again, it was Amazon, around 4-5 years ago, however.

I got an Op/Tech Pro strap from Adorama, cost me $15.28 shipped. Read the reviews on Amazon. They're pretty convincing.

Concerning the ISO performance of the K-r, I heard that it was about 1 stop better than the K-x's. I'm finding the ISO performance of the K-x to be amazing. So much better than my eyes! It's fantastic. I don't use flash at all now. One stop better would be great, but not a giant improvement by any means. The better LCD would be very nice, but as mentioned, it won't improve your photos. Personally, I prefer the K-x's AA utilization. That's an optional extra with the K-r, so if I ever get a K-r I'll be looking to get the AA adapter.

I second the advice to get lens hoods. You can get decent ones relatively cheaply on eBay. I also got the Giottos Rocket Air Blaster, Manual Air Blower with Extra-Large Rubber Bulb - 7.5" Long from Adorama $9.99 shipped. Great device, I'm thinking of getting another. Doubt I'll be buying any more compressed air!

Last edited by Muse; 10-14-2010 at 06:19 PM.
10-15-2010, 04:46 AM   #14
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differences between k-x and k-r are (almost) concerning practicality..the image you could take with a k-x will probably be the same with a k-r

don't mind it, just enjoy your camera
10-15-2010, 09:18 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by mrmp3 Quote

EDIT2: Good type/brand for tripod?
I understand the urge to go out and get the best all at once. You can spend yourself broke pretty quickly that way. I too would suggest slowing down. A spare set of batteries and a bag to carry the stuff you need around (an old back pack, etc.) is all you really need (even an old diaper bag works well - go check out goodwill). Take pictures and make mistakes (don't worry - they are free). You will learn quickly, what you like and what you don't. Also, you will learn what you need based on the style and the type of images you take. That will lead you to your acquisitions. Asking now will only have everyone tell you what their particular style of photography needs are. Go take some images and run in to some problem, then ask questions based on that, then you will have good discussions on what you are doing, and the replies will be based on what you are doing (or not doing).

A tripod, you ask - well, my answer is somewhat opposite to most. I found a really cheap one (under $10) and used it for several years (very little at the beginning, then much more so). I hated several features about it and liked very much others, and learned quit a bit in terms of what I felt I needed. So my suggestion is - if you feel the need, look on Craigslist for something under $10 - it will be a plastic and aluminum one with a 3d pan head, and it will work ok. You may never use it (so you are only out 10 bucks). If you wind up using it a lot, that it makes sense to get a better one. Then, you will know what you like and what you hate, along with what you need. Good tripods and heads can be quite expensive. So, with some experience, you will become an intelligent buyer.

Right now you want to go out and use the camera and lenses and see where you gravitate to in terms of photography. You may hate it and the camera will get little use, or .......

Also - on the Kx - its a really great camera. Even folks with the K7 have bought it to get the high ISO capability. There are very few limitations you will run in to with it. Just, don't get caught up in the needing features - i.e., if only my Kx had this I could do that... There is always another way to solve the problem with what you have, you just need to look for it and figure it out.

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