Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
11-04-2010, 10:00 AM - 2 Likes   #1
Pentaxian
mgvh's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: MD
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 855
My K-x Outfit: Recommendations for lenses/accessories

(I actually posted this entry on Steve's at the end of a lengthy discussion about what to get once I got my K-x. )

I got the K-x with 18-55 and 50-300 lenses kit back in September. Since it was my first DSLR, it meant, of course, that there was always something more to buy to complete the outfit. Being on a rather tight budget, I did a lot of research and shopping around. Here's my final outcome.

I have also provided links to the places where I bought the accessories. You'll be hard pressed to find them cheaper, and I've been happy w/ the quality and functionality of all the ones for which I've provided links. Prices include shipping.
  • K-x with 18-55 and 50-300 lenses kit (Price has since gone up at BH, but their prices seem to fluctuate daily. In general, their prices have been better than anything on Amazon. Btw, I have learned to denote it as K-x so as not to confuse it with an old Pentax film camera called a KX)
  • Got hoods for each from eBay: for the 18-55 and 50-300 (~$10 each)
  • Got a couple of lens cap keepers for $1 each
  • Got the Giottos Cleaning Kit w/ blower and brush from BH (~$12)
  • Already had tripod and monopod (but they will probably need to be upgraded some day since they were both fairly inexpensive ones. I do find I use the monopod a lot, and it is a great help just for stabilizing normal shots.)
  • The Pentax neck strap is fine, but it seemed to be in the way a lot of the time, so I got an Op/Tech Wrist Strap from BH. This is what is on the camera most of the time now, and I like it.
  • Found a remote control for the camera for $2.57 on ebay that works fine
  • After much researching, I ended up buying a Bower SFD926P flash (~$105). The head tilts and turns and has Autofocus TTL Power Zoom and has a built in reflector and diffuser.
  • I needed to get some more batteries. Eneloops come highly recommended, but I ended up getting 8 of these comparable (ie, like the Eneloops, they retain their charge longer while stored) Rayovac Rechargeable Hybrid NiMH Batteries for about $17 at Amazon
  • Picked up another SD card - a Transcend 16Gb Class 10 (!) for only ~$25 at Amazon (Transcend is regularly recommended as a reliable card)
  • I spent a lot of time looking for a camera bag. I decided I wanted a sling bag. I really liked the Case Logic 205, but no one seemed to have it in stock. (It is now in stock at BH for ~$56) It's a pretty compact bag, so I ended up getting something that's a bit larger, the Lowepro Slingshot 202 AW. (You may be able to get it a bit cheaper if you want to try bidding on ebay, but get it immediately for ~$65 here on ebay)
That really provides for a complete outfit, but...

Okay, I really love the 50-300mm lens, but I find the 18-55mm somewhat more challenging. I need to work harder at getting a sharp pic, and I find that for truly sharp images, it really needs to be stopped down to F8 or more. After poking around this and the pentax forum, it appears that one really might be better suited with a fast prime. So... because I need to keep this as cheap as possible, I've been doing some 'bottom fishing' on ebay. I found a SMC-Pentax A 50mm 1:2 for ~$20 on ebay. For that price I will be keeping it. It isn't necessarily sharper, but I can shoot at F2 or 4 w/ decent results. The lens that is more often recommended is a 50mm 1:1.7. Again, I'm working cheap, and I just recently won (but have not yet received) a SMC Pentax-M 50mm 1:1.7 attached to an old Pentax ME camera for ~$33. I'm hoping that will serve as my 'family portraits' lens. (The A lens w/ manual focus is quite easy to use. I'm hoping that this M lens and the green button will be just as easy.)
BUT, since the APS-C sensor has a 1.5 crop factor, to get something closer to a 50mm equivalent on a 35mm, I'm still poking around for an old 28mm 1:2.8. Those seem to be harder to find.
So, all told, I'm in for about $900, but I think I have a really decent DSLR outfit. The family is glad to have all their birthday and Christmas shopping for me already completed!

If anyone else has suggestions for inexpensive upgrades, I'd be happy to hear them.

11-04-2010, 10:13 AM   #2
Veteran Member
Docrwm's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Somewhere in the Southern US
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 11,275
Wow, you got yours about when I got mine and have gone through nearly the same process in betting accessories.

I got the Nikon lens cleaning kit as ALL the reviews I read said it was head and shoulders better. The lens pens in the kit (large and small) are great for finger prints in particular.

I was fortunate enough to have relatives give me their old Manual lenses 28/2.8, 50/2, and 135/3.5. They're great but I'm thinking A versions would be the best of both worlds (manual focus with easier metering).

Also got a Circular Polarizing filter for both the kit lenses. Shots on the water were INCREDIBLY improved by using it.

I also got a relatively inexpensive monopod that is really stable and easy to use based on recommendations here.

-Robert
11-04-2010, 10:35 AM   #3
Pentaxian
mgvh's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: MD
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 855
Original Poster
I missed the Nikon lens cleaning deal. Do you have a link? I got the Giottos because I read that their Rocket Blower is an impt thing to have handy when you need it.

Yes, getting a Circular Polarizing filter is a good idea. I'll add that to my list.
Thanks.
11-04-2010, 10:51 AM   #4
Veteran Member
paperbag846's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2010
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,396
The 28 2.8 is a good deal sharper than the kit. Also look for the 28 3.5, which is reportedly even sharper. I have no first hand experience with the 28 3.5. The 28mm is a great "normal" length, the 50 is good for portraits. I would suggest you have no need for both a 50 1.7 and 2.0, sell the 2.0. The 1.7 is best used at 2.0 anyways.

Use hoods with these lenses, or you will think they have horrible contrast! They actually do quite well, but require a hood as they tend to flare up.

I would also suggest you spend the extra 30 or so dollars and buy the A version of the 28 2.8, it helps alot with changing light (you can use AV mode). Ditto for the 50, but looks like you got a good deal on the 1.7.

11-04-2010, 10:59 AM   #5
Veteran Member
jolepp's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Finland
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,196
As far as CPLs go it seems that the multicoated Marumi is reasonably priced quality item:

Polarizing filters test - Introduction - Lenstip.com
Polarizing filters test - supplement - Introduction - Lenstip.com

You might want to get a 58mm one and then a 52mm and 49mm step up ring to use it on all your lenses.

For experimenting with macro on the cheap you might consider a reverse mount adapter (~$5) or an ElCheapo tube set (~$10) to use with your prime(s) (Chinese / HK ebay sellers offer these around the quoted prices including shipping :-).
11-04-2010, 12:17 PM   #6
Veteran Member
Docrwm's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Somewhere in the Southern US
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 11,275
QuoteOriginally posted by mgvh Quote
I missed the Nikon lens cleaning deal. Do you have a link? I got the Giottos because I read that their Rocket Blower is an impt thing to have handy when you need it.

Yes, getting a Circular Polarizing filter is a good idea. I'll add that to my list.
Thanks.
I have the same Rocket Blower myself.

The Nikon kit I got was cheapest at the time at Amazon. Nikon Lens Pen Pro Kit for $18.09 at Amazon:
Amazon.com: Nikon Lens Pen Pro Kit: Camera & Photo: Reviews, Prices & more
but its $17.49 at B&H right now:
Nikon Lens Pen Pro Kit 8228 B&H Photo Video

I've got a tube set on order to use with my M50/2 for Macro shots. I think it makes the most sense as a start and is relatively cheap at $8 shipped.
11-04-2010, 05:10 PM   #7
Veteran Member
Docrwm's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Somewhere in the Southern US
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 11,275
I'd love to see the Op/Tech Wrist Strap from BH that you bought in operation. I'm having trouble envisioning how useful it would be on the K-x.
11-04-2010, 06:25 PM   #8
Pentaxian
mgvh's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: MD
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 855
Original Poster
I like the wrist strap because:
- it fits much more easily in the bag
- I like to have a little security when I shoot, and I can slip it on quickly with no impediment to working the camera
- I've worried about dropping the camera when attaching it to the monopod or tripod plate. I can leave it on my wrist when attaching, and once it's on, quickly slip it off

>> So, I basically use it for a bit of security for not dropping it, and it is conveniently unobtrusive.

11-04-2010, 06:29 PM   #9
Veteran Member
Docrwm's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Somewhere in the Southern US
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 11,275
QuoteOriginally posted by mgvh Quote
I like the wrist strap because:
- it fits much more easily in the bag
- I like to have a little security when I shoot, and I can slip it on quickly with no impediment to working the camera
- I've worried about dropping the camera when attaching it to the monopod or tripod plate. I can leave it on my wrist when attaching, and once it's on, quickly slip it off

>> So, I basically use it for a bit of security for not dropping it, and it is conveniently unobtrusive.
Thanks, it sounds like a nice option. And the price is sure right. I might just try it.
11-04-2010, 06:52 PM   #10
Junior Member




Join Date: May 2010
Location: Hawaii
Posts: 28
Maha Powerex MH-C9000 WizardOne Charger-Analyzer (amazon)

This charger will do wonders for your LSD/Hybrid batteries. I easily get 200+ extra shots from each charge compared to my old charger. I wondered how people were getting 1000+ shots from a single charge. A good charger is one of the contributing factors.


ACMAXX 2.7" HARD LCD ARMOR PROTECTOR (ebay)

This is what I have on my K-x and recently put it on my new-to-me K200D that already had a few scratches on the LCD. I like it.
11-04-2010, 06:59 PM   #11
Veteran Member
Docrwm's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Somewhere in the Southern US
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 11,275
QuoteOriginally posted by typical8o8 Quote
Maha Powerex MH-C9000 WizardOne Charger-Analyzer (amazon)

This charger will do wonders for your LSD/Hybrid batteries. I easily get 200+ extra shots from each charge compared to my old charger. I wondered how people were getting 1000+ shots from a single charge. A good charger is one of the contributing factors.


ACMAXX 2.7" HARD LCD ARMOR PROTECTOR (ebay)

This is what I have on my K-x and recently put it on my new-to-me K200D that already had a few scratches on the LCD. I like it.
I've got the 9000 charger sitting right here. So far, no improvement in the # of shots for me. Mind sharing what settings you are using for eneloops? Thanks.
11-04-2010, 07:23 PM   #12
Junior Member




Join Date: May 2010
Location: Hawaii
Posts: 28
QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
I've got the 9000 charger sitting right here. So far, no improvement in the # of shots for me. Mind sharing what settings you are using for eneloops? Thanks.
i saw marked improvement after cycling the batteries. i didn't use any other special settings.
12-07-2010, 11:48 PM   #13
Pentaxian
mgvh's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: MD
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 855
Original Poster
I'm the OP. Some updates...
  • For a wide angle lens, I was able to get a Vivitar 28mm 1:2.8 MC Wide Angle for quite cheap. It's fine and can do low light shots better than the 18-55, but I'll try to get something better someday. (Maybe a Pentax 28mm 2.8... or further down the line, I read good things about the Pentax DA 16-45mm)
  • Kind of by accident but for only $15, I found a Vivitar 80-200mm 1:4.0 Macro Focusing Zoom MC. I had to cut down the flange to make it fit on the K mount, but that was no big deal. It's a serviceable lens, but as a telephoto it offers no advantage over the 55-300mm kit lens. What I do use this one for is macro shots, and it does quite well in this line of work.
  • For about $30 I picked up a Pentax SF1, flash, a case. I'll try to sell those, but on the camera was what I really wanted: a SMC PENTAX F 1:3.5-4.5 35-70mm. I really like this lens. It's small, fast, lightweight, and it covers a lot of ground for many of the photos I take. What's more, it also has a macro function which does a great job. I like it better than the 18-55mm kit lens, but I miss the wide angle. (And that's where that 16-45mm might be nice some day...)
  • I found that the Lowepro 202 sling bag can carry almost all my stuff. That's good, but it's not the kind of bag I feel like throwing on when I want to go for a bike ride and take my camera with me. I'm hoping for that smaller CaseLogic 205 for Christmas!
  • For an upcoming trip, I wanted a compact monopod. I got a nice Induro model I reviewed here.
So, I'm really pretty well set except I'm still looking for something someday to cover the wide angle end of things...

Last edited by mgvh; 12-08-2010 at 10:23 AM.
12-08-2010, 08:54 AM   #14
Veteran Member
Docrwm's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Somewhere in the Southern US
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 11,275
QuoteOriginally posted by mgvh Quote
Some updates...
  • For a wide angle lens, I was able to get a Vivitar 28mm 1:2.8 MC Wide Angle for quite cheap. It's fine and can do low light shots better than the 18-55, but I'll try to get something better someday. (Maybe a Pentax 28mm 2.8... or further down the line, I read good things about the Pentax DA 16-45mm)
  • Kind of by accident but for only $15, I found a Vivitar 80-200mm 1:4.0 Macro Focusing Zoom MC. I had to cut down the flange to make it fit on the K mount, but that was no big deal. It's a serviceable lens, but as a telephoto it offers no advantage over the 55-300mm kit lens. What I do use this one for is macro shots, and it does quite well in this line of work.
  • For about $30 I picked up a Pentax SF1, flash, a case. I'll try to sell those, but on the camera was what I really wanted: a SMC PENTAX F 1:3.5-4.5 35-70mm. I really like this lens. It's small, fast, lightweight, and it covers a lot of ground for many of the photos I take. What's more, it also has a macro function which does a great job. I like it better than the 18-55mm kit lens, but I miss the wide angle. (And that's where that 16-45mm might be nice some day...)
  • I found that the Lowepro 202 sling bag can carry almost all my stuff. That's good, but it's not the kind of bag I feel like throwing on when I want to go for a bike ride and take my camera with me. I'm hoping for that smaller CaseLogic 205 for Christmas!
  • For an upcoming trip, I wanted a compact monopod. I got a nice Induro model I reviewed here.
So, I'm really pretty well set except I'm still looking for something someday to cover the wide angle end of things...
Thanks for the update. Sounds like you're playing around with options like I have. I got a rebagged Sigma 28-90 Macro lens that I like and have gone with a tripod in addition to the monopod I purchased initially. I know what you mean about bags, I'm still looking for the perfect one.......
12-08-2010, 04:47 PM   #15
Forum Member
antzutd's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: London, UK
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 50
this is very useful information, thank you
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
50mm, bh, camera, ebay, k-x, kit, lens, lot, outfit, pentax, pentax help, photography
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Looking to replace my K-x kit lenses - recommendations please iankh Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 21 04-26-2010 09:26 AM
Just picked up a K2000. Any recommendations/advice on lenses and settings? philthy Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 9 06-02-2009 01:18 AM
Recommendations or know Issues - Macro Lenses Noisychip Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 6 03-17-2008 01:14 PM
Pentax Announces New DA* Lenses and Other Accessories Adam Homepage & Official Pentax News 51 10-09-2007 06:34 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:26 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top