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10-19-2010, 04:52 PM   #1
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What to buy with my new (old) DSLR? Lens, bag, tripod, flash?

I am a enthusiast who is trying to make a decent portfolio. I have a Pentax K10d and a 28-80 f-zoom lens that I got a a garage sale. I thought that paired with my lowepro camera only bag and a $30 tripod would be all I needed to start getting those quality shots.

Buuuuut, I still have so many problems,

1) night scenes -I use the tripod and try every setting imaginable, try changing the aperture iso and shutter speed. I've one all the ranges and the only shots I like are the 15+ second shutter speeds with large aperture and low iso (as to be expected) but still with the tripod I'm still getting shake. Why is this? Do I need something better or am I missing something?

2) action scenes - I just can't get a clear picture no matter how high I set the shutter speed to (which of course required a high iso which I hate using)

3) I hate not having wide, macro, or telephoto abilities. It's a real pain.

Now those problems aside here is my next. With my current budge I have only about $100 to spend right now and about $50 a month in spendable money.

Please help.

I was thinking to get a new lens first but I'm not sure if that would be the most benificial. And if I got another lens I would need a bag that can carry more then 1 lens.

10-19-2010, 05:26 PM   #2
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The cheap tripod is the likely culprit on bad tripods shots. Try testing your camera on a table or chair or ledge or similar and see if the shot is sharp. Turn off SR for tripod or table shots.


As usual, you need to post sample images for any meaningful help.
10-19-2010, 05:33 PM   #3
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For the first point, when you are using a tripod make sure that you disable the in-body shake reduction. If you don't the camera will still try and counter an imaginary shake and cause the blur you are mentioning.

For the second point, could you post a photo with the exif attached so we could see what's going on?

And for the third point you could consider getting some older K and M mount lens? Of course you would have to be ok with manual focus. You can try looking at the Lens database on here and search on ebay once you find something intesting.

Hope this helps!

Jay
10-19-2010, 05:39 PM   #4
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I'd also suggest getting a wireless remote to help with the long exsposure shots.

10-19-2010, 08:31 PM   #5
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Thanks a bunch, I found a cheap wireless remote for under $10 shipped and bought it. Also I will try to post pictures as soon as I can.

Thanks for everyones help! I really appreciate it. If the tripod is the culprit does anyone have one they c. Recommend. I'd like a small enough one to carry long distances. Also under $100 of course as my budget is lacking :-(
10-19-2010, 08:32 PM   #6
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SR might be my problem tho, I think I kept it on for tripod shots. I didn't think it would crate a shake look when I'm not shaking it
10-19-2010, 08:52 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ehlacore Quote
Thanks a bunch, I found a cheap wireless remote for under $10 shipped and bought it. Also I will try to post pictures as soon as I can.

Thanks for everyones help! I really appreciate it. If the tripod is the culprit does anyone have one they c. Recommend. I'd like a small enough one to carry long distances. Also under $100 of course as my budget is lacking :-(
Every recommendation will be over $100. Except this one :-)

Amazon.com: Dolica AX620B100 62-Inch Proline Tripod and Ball Head: Camera & Photo: Reviews, Prices & more

Make sure everything is tightened down well on your existing one. Try hanging a weight like your camera bag from the bottom of the post if possible. Do not raise the center section if not necessary (seems to be the wobbliest part) and use the remote with a delay.
10-19-2010, 10:41 PM   #8
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Already advised is the remote (wireless or wired) for tripod use; set the camera to use the 2 second (wired or without remote) or 3 second (wireless) delay (Fn, arrow up, couple of times to the right) when using a tripod. The camera will flip the mirror up, wait 2 or 3 seconds and next take the picture. This allows the vibrations to die and it will also disable SR.

With action shots, do you have SR on? If so, do you wait for the hand to show up before taking the shot? Maybe switch SR off to test; you don't need SR at high shutterspeeds and shorter focal lengths (like faster than 1/250s and 80mm)

10-19-2010, 10:45 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
Every recommendation will be over $100. Except this one :-)

Amazon.com: Dolica AX620B100 62-Inch Proline Tripod and Ball Head: Camera & Photo: Reviews, Prices & more

Make sure everything is tightened down well on your existing one. Try hanging a weight like your camera bag from the bottom of the post if possible. Do not raise the center section if not necessary (seems to be the wobbliest part) and use the remote with a delay.
Wow, that tripod looks pretty sick! And well under $100!

I am seeing alot of complaints about broken heads and balls.... do you think I should worry? I:m seriously about to order this now (if they ship it to Japan that is)

Edit: It wont ship to Japan.... I found it on ebay and it costs $100 shipped. Is it worth it or are there other models I should look into on ebay?

I found this one, what do you think;

http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-TMK-144B-DSLR-SLR-Camera-Tripod-61-w-Ball-Head-/2805...item4151ed3e61

Last edited by Ehlacore; 10-19-2010 at 11:24 PM. Reason: Found new information
10-19-2010, 10:49 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
Already advised is the remote (wireless or wired) for tripod use; set the camera to use the 2 second (wired or without remote) or 3 second (wireless) delay (Fn, arrow up, couple of times to the right) when using a tripod. The camera will flip the mirror up, wait 2 or 3 seconds and next take the picture. This allows the vibrations to die and it will also disable SR.

With action shots, do you have SR on? If so, do you wait for the hand to show up before taking the shot? Maybe switch SR off to test; you don't need SR at high shutterspeeds and shorter focal lengths (like faster than 1/250s and 80mm)
What is (Fn, arrow up, couple times to the right)?

With Action shots I do have SR on, I pretty much have been keeping it on the whole time since my hands are not the steadiest in the world.

I will try to look for the hand also...

Every post you all respond I learn something new, thgis is great.
10-20-2010, 12:08 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ehlacore Quote
What is (Fn, arrow up, couple times to the right)?

With Action shots I do have SR on, I pretty much have been keeping it on the whole time since my hands are not the steadiest in the world.

I will try to look for the hand also...

Every post you all respond I learn something new, thgis is great.
The 4 way controller on the rear of your camera. You press the FN button (next to the SR switch) to activate it's functions. You press UP (there are no arrows on the K10d) to access the shooting modes. There you select single frame (default), continuous (which may help with your action shots), Delay (either 2 or 12 seconds) that automatically disables SR, or the remote options, one with a 3 second delay.

These functions are also where you set your White balance, flash mode, and ISO. For what it's worth, and especially on the K10d, the wrong White balance can affect your results with an autofocus lens. Auto White Balance is among the worse I've seen on any of the Pentax flagship dSLRs. You would do well to set it manually to best approximate the actual conditions.

And yes, show us some photos, with EXIFs (exposure info) in tact to demonstrate the issues you are having. The K10d IS capable of an action shot but it requires practice to master (which I never really have but I do get lucky once in awhile).



If you want a decent longer range zoom, look into the Tamron LD Di 70-300. These Can be found for under $100 US Used.

Tamron Di 70-300 pictures by jjkyle - Photobucket

Show Tamron - a set on Flickr

10-20-2010, 01:56 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ehlacore Quote
SR might be my problem tho, I think I kept it on for tripod shots. I didn't think it would crate a shake look when I'm not shaking it
I look at it this way: SR is designed to shake the sensor, albeit in a way that is to counteract any shake of the whole camera. While SR generally does a good job, it is not absolutely perfect and may actually create a little bit of shake on the sensor when there is no actual shake on the camera, so it is better to turn it off when no shake should occur. (The camera does this automatically, though, when used with delay as explained above.)

With tripods, an unfortunate fact seems to be that heavy and/or expensive (carbon fibre) ones are the least shaky ones. The best thing would probably be looking for a sencond hand quality piece locally. Failing this, and if you could live with a heavy one, you could try searching for "Goldphoto" (or maybe "Triopo") on Ebay (you should at least find a Polish outfit called "foto-tip", these guys ship worldwide, cheap). These would seem to be replicas of highly respected brands where the price at least seems to good. I just got a Goldphoto YH324 myself and it seems sturdy enough, but there are some signs of corner cutting with the construction, and only time will tell if this is reasonably durable as well. The Manfrotto 055 series which this imitates is an excellent - but pricey - tripod. The Triopo ones would seem to look like the even fancier Gitzos, but I have no direct experience of these, (the real ones or the clones). High end Slik tripods, like Pro 400 and up, seem decent too (but, again, would be rather heavy).
10-20-2010, 03:14 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ehlacore Quote
What is (Fn, arrow up, couple times to the right)?

With Action shots I do have SR on, I pretty much have been keeping it on the whole time since my hands are not the steadiest in the world.

I will try to look for the hand also...

Every post you all respond I learn something new, thgis is great.
Fn should have rung a bell. As it did not, I suggest that you get a bit more familiar with your camera by (re)reading the manual. As you bought this in a garage sale, you might not have it in which case you can download an electronic version from Manuals and Literature - Official PENTAX Imaging Web Site (anyway useful to do searches)
10-20-2010, 03:17 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
This seems similar:

Triopo C-258 Titanium-Alloy Tripod with KJ-2 ball-head bei eBay.de: Tripods (endet 23.10.10 15:11:34 MESZ) (@US$ 72,99 with worldwide shipping). Is it only me or do these resemble some Gitzo model ?

The TMK-144B seems a bit light, probably shakier. But then it is really a guess based on the pictures and actual weight (1.24 kg with the included head) and load capacity (2.5 kg). The above one seems significantly sturdier @ 1.43+0.33 / 5.5 kg for a similar height (former: 154 cm w. head, latter 150+9.5 cm).

The nasty thing with cheap, potential bargains is that they can turn out to be total waste of money. I suppose one could look these as a gamble, where, at a minimum one gets the pleasure of playing the game (with the GoldPhoto tripod I think I ended up ahead, no jackpot, though ). [BTW: For a head I ordered a GoldPhoto offering from Ebay as well, but this is yet to arrive, it is interesting to see what outcome with that is .]
10-20-2010, 04:04 PM   #15
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Great information! I will start looking into all these asap! And I will download the manual!
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