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10-27-2010, 05:55 AM   #1
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Pentax k-x a few questions

Hello everybody, I have recently purchased a Pentax K-X and I am very happy with it. I was wondering if you could help me with a few questions.

I don't have very steady hands and have been taking various pictures of labeling and book spines but they have all come out a bit blurry when taking pictures hand held. I would like to take this camera with me on my next holiday without lugging around a tripod. Has anyone used the stabilizing sigma lens? Would they perform better than body stabilization?

I'm also finding it hard understanding zoom lenses. I know that 50 - 200m would mean a 4x zoom lens in compact camera terms. I understand in telescopes a smaller eyepiece give you better magnification. Is it the same with lens? Would a 18 - 200mm give you more zoom than a 75 - 200mm or would they both be the same when zoomed to 200mm?

Final question! Can you recommend a macro lens for a beginner. It will be for flowers/insects?

Thanks for your help.

10-27-2010, 08:54 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by rasith Quote
I'm also finding it hard understanding zoom lenses. I know that 50 - 200m would mean a 4x zoom lens in compact camera terms. I understand in telescopes a smaller eyepiece give you better magnification. Is it the same with lens? Would a 18 - 200mm give you more zoom than a 75 - 200mm or would they both be the same when zoomed to 200mm?
All lenses that can do 200mm, when zoomed to 200mm will give the same result.
A prime 200mm a xx-200mm or a say 150-400mm. All the same at 200mm.
The only thing that changes is the image quality (IQ), that depends on the build of the lens.

Here you can learn a bit about focal length :
Wiki: Focal Length

And also, don't mess up digital zoom and optical zoom which can both exist on a compact camera.
On a DSLR, you only have optical zoom. But I don't know anyone who refers to a 50-200mm as a 4x zoom lens.
Since a 100-400mm would also be a 4x zoom lens, but they have nothing to do with eachother.
We always use the focal length (range, if there is one -> no range in a prime lens since it has a fixed focal length).

QuoteOriginally posted by rasith Quote
Final question! Can you recommend a macro lens for a beginner. It will be for flowers/insects?

Thanks for your help.
for flowers, a 35mm, 50mm, 60mm or 70mm will do.
For insects, you need a bit more distance, otherwise, they'll flee (if they can ).
So maybe look for a not too heavy one if you have shake-problems.

Like those ones:
Tamron 90mm
Pentax 100mm
Sigma 105mm


About SR (or OS as Sigma says), I don't know if it is a good thing to use
both body SR and lens SR.. maybe someone else could answer this?
10-27-2010, 09:22 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by rasith Quote
Hello everybody, I have recently purchased a Pentax K-X and I am very happy with it. I was wondering if you could help me with a few questions.

I don't have very steady hands and have been taking various pictures of labeling and book spines but they have all come out a bit blurry when taking pictures hand held. I would like to take this camera with me on my next holiday without lugging around a tripod. Has anyone used the stabilizing sigma lens? Would they perform better than body stabilization?

I'm also finding it hard understanding zoom lenses. I know that 50 - 200m would mean a 4x zoom lens in compact camera terms. I understand in telescopes a smaller eyepiece give you better magnification. Is it the same with lens? Would a 18 - 200mm give you more zoom than a 75 - 200mm or would they both be the same when zoomed to 200mm?

Final question! Can you recommend a macro lens for a beginner. It will be for flowers/insects?

Thanks for your help.
Hi rasith and welcome to the forums. Can you post some examples of your blurry shots with the exif intact? That way we can see what you've done. There maybe an easy fix (if the shots were taken inside, maybe the shutter speed was too low for example) If we can see what you've done we might be able help you fix it. I would suggest that before you buy another lens.

As ezechiel has said 200mm is 200mm. Doesn't matter if the lens goes from 18 to 200 or 70 to 200 or even 100 to 200. Pictures taken at 200mm will all have the same magnification.

As for a macro suggestion, I would suggest you try a clip on diopter first. Macro photography is kinda specialized and many ppl don't care for it much after they've tried it for a while. The diopter solution gives you the ability to practice macro photography without spending a lot of money on a macro lens. Raynox makes excellent diopters, both in 150 and 250 flavors. The 250 will give you a good feel for macro photography and it costs only a fraction of what a lens would cost. Do a search in the lens forum, I think there is a whole thread devoted to the Raynox diopters.

NaCl(and $60 is much better tha $300)H2O
10-27-2010, 01:58 PM   #4
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Thank you for all the info. It seems like the shutter speed was a bit slow on the blurry pictures so I increased it and I'm getting much crisper text now in my photos. I had a look at some diopters and I think they'd be the perfect way to practice some macro.

Thanks again.

10-27-2010, 02:43 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by rasith Quote
Thank you for all the info. It seems like the shutter speed was a bit slow on the blurry pictures so I increased it and I'm getting much crisper text now in my photos. I had a look at some diopters and I think they'd be the perfect way to practice some macro.

Thanks again.
The rule of thumb for shutter speed is 1/"Equivalent focal length". With a 100mm lens, that would mean a shutter speed of 1/150s (to account for crop factor). You can possibly cheat that a bit, depending on how solid you can hold, and Shake Reduction helps also. You need to add light, use a tripod, get faster (wider aperture) lenses or use the K-x's high ISO ability to get the shutter speeds up. Until you figure out your gear and abilities, maybe try the 1/"actual focal length" as a baseline (i.e. 1/20s with your kit lens set for 200mm). Of course if your subject is moving, you have to account for that with increased shutter speeds.

Forget about "4X zoom", it is virtually irrelevant with a DSLR.

I recommend the Raynox 150 rather than the 250 for macro. It's a lot easier to manage and will provide more than 1:1 magnification with your 50-200mm. 1:1 macro means that a 1" subject will fill the frame. That's enough for most anyone. Getting closer is a real specialty.
10-28-2010, 03:45 PM   #6
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Dust?

Hi all today I was taking some shots with plain white backgrounds and have noticed a worrying line. The camera is brand new and I put on the lenses very quickly. The dust screen always shows something different. I've attached some photos. Do you think it's just dust?
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