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11-07-2010, 11:39 AM   #1
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What to get next?

Hi everyone. My first posting here.

I got my first DSLR last august, the K-x. I'm not entirely new to photographing however. My previous camera was Panasonic DMC FZ7 and you could shoot in full manual mode with it (even manual focus). It took pretty good photos thanks to Leica optics (f2.8 at wide end of the zoom) but with smaller sensor and only 6mpix was getting a bit old.

I'm quite pleased with my K-x but I soon realised that getting a new camera doesn't make you any better at photographing So I'm still learning.

Initially I bought Tamron 70-300mm with the K-x kit. I really like it actually. F5.6 is not that bad in the 200-300 range.
Recently I spent a week in Prague and bought two old russian made m42 lenses from a local camera shop. Helios 58mm f2 and Industar 50mm f3.5 (funny looking little lens). Haven't tried them that much yet.

Now I'm wondering what to get next. Friend of mine is a semi-professional photographer (canon enthusiast) and he suggested to me a basic list: decent flash (metz 50 or something), fast normal zoom, fast tele-zoom and fast prime. He is probably right but what to get first?

I have a budget of course. I just can't afford pentax 50-135mm f2.8 even if that would be an excellent addition. The same goes for pentax 60-250 f4. That's why I have been eyeing tamron 17-50 f2.8 and maybe 70-200mm f2.8 too. For the prime I can go pentax. But what to get? FA50? DA35? DA40? DA55 is again too expensive for me.

Flashes I haven't looked into yet. I have to admit that I'm quite a noob when it comes to flashes so I don't have a clue.

Any help is appreciated. As I said, I'm a DSLR newbie.

11-07-2010, 12:01 PM   #2
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What I can recommend as far as primes go is the FA35mm, which you can get used for a very affordable price. It's a stellar lens, on which they based the new plastic DA35mm.

SMC Pentax-FA 35mm F2 AL Lens Reviews - Pentax Lens Review Database

The Tamron combo sounds good. When I need a set of zooms, I usually take the Pentax 28-70mm together with the 80-200mm. I do own the 50-135mm, but don't really like the zoom range as much as that of the other two, because it's not long enough at the tele end and not wide enough at the 50mm end. Sort of a bad compromise IMO.

I don't have the DA* 60-250mm , but it sounds like an amazing zoom range. I'd recommend it if you could ever get your hands on one later on.

Adam
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11-07-2010, 01:28 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
What I can recommend as far as primes go is the FA35mm, which you can get used for a very affordable price. It's a stellar lens, on which they based the new plastic DA35mm.

SMC Pentax-FA 35mm F2 AL Lens Reviews - Pentax Lens Review Database

The Tamron combo sounds good. When I need a set of zooms, I usually take the Pentax 28-70mm together with the 80-200mm. I do own the 50-135mm, but don't really like the zoom range as much as that of the other two, because it's not long enough at the tele end and not wide enough at the 50mm end. Sort of a bad compromise IMO.

I don't have the DA* 60-250mm , but it sounds like an amazing zoom range. I'd recommend it if you could ever get your hands on one later on.
Thanks for the tip on FA35. I hadn't really considered it. The 50-135 is the classic zoom range of 70-200 just made for the aps-c sensor. Tamron 70-200 would actually be roughly 100-300 on full frame when mounted on K-x.
11-07-2010, 02:05 PM   #4
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35 is a very useful focal length, and even though the new 35 has a plastic mount, the images I've seen from it are outstanding, and it's cheap. The FA 35 would be fine as well, but the DA 35mm macro Limited is one of the best ever, if you can afford it, and it will also give you macro to play with: much fun.

11-07-2010, 02:52 PM   #5
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I'd start looking at flashguns and wireless triggers on (the) auction site...

You have 4 lenses right? (kit 18-55mm + Tam 70-300mm +58mm f2.8 + 50mm ) That's a fair amount to be playing with...

Play with light for a bit get a metz AF48 (or 2!!) and some cheap triggers...

Bear in mind I've been playing with flashguns in the dark all week and having a blast!! :-)
11-07-2010, 03:07 PM   #6
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Just to point out... I ain't got a Metz... Couldn't afford... got a YongNuo 560 and a 2nd hand pentax 240 (I think...) with some cheapo YN-04 wireless triggers...

STILL HAVING LOTS OF FUN!!!
11-07-2010, 03:37 PM   #7
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One of the attractions for me has been older lenses. What about a Takumar or M lens in the 1.4 or 1.7 range for your standard?
11-07-2010, 05:13 PM   #8
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Before you spend loads of cash on lenses (which is an admirable and enjoyable experience ) have a think about:

a) what focal lengths you use and enjoy most (check the exif of your favourite images, or dl some software which lets you look at aggregate stats)

b) what subjects you enjoy most (landscapes, street, portraits, etc)

c) how you feel about zooms vs. primes.

As you already have four lenses you should probably keep playing until you feel a strong need to move in one direction. As you said, the glass is only as good as the person behind the VF.

11-07-2010, 05:23 PM   #9
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I would first get a flash. It can be a 'cheapie' as long as it has a reasonable guidenumber (I would say 30 or so or higher) and a tilt/swivel head.

Next I would opt for a fast prime in the 30-35mm range. DA35/2.4 or the FA31 (probably out of reach).

And after that you can replace your zooms with faster ones.
11-07-2010, 05:26 PM   #10
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Your friend was probably suggesting the Metz 58. It is their top of the line flash and will do everything but cook and serve you dinner. I've been coveting one since they were first released but cannot justify it. My Pentax guns do just fine for me.

As for lenses, decide what you can spend, what you want to do with it, and get the best you can afford. Decide whether or not you need the f2.8 of the 70-200 (I mean Really need it) over the 70-300. I would go with replacing the Kit zoom with one of the 16/17-50 options. I'll agree that the FA35 f2.0 is a nice lens as are the rest you list. Of all of them, the 35 is probably going to be the most budget friendly. Don't pay anymore than about $350-$360 for one however. Used (the only way you're likely to find one) does not equal bad.

Welcome aboard and good luck with your new Lens Buying Addiction (it's inescapable).

11-07-2010, 11:43 PM   #11
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Yeah, I should've told what I shoot mostly. There's two things really: I have two young daughters, 2 years and 4 months old. The younger is quite static subject to shoot but the older is going all over the place all the time.
Then I love to shoot old buildings and some nature too.
Fast normal zoom would be ideal for the children, I guess? Or maybe a fast prime?
Then a good wide angle prime for the buldings?

The fast tele-zoom is probably not a priority right now.

And it was the metz 50 that my friend suggested (it's a new version of the metz 48, I just checked their web site). But I guess any decent flash would be good enough to get better indoors photos of my children?

BTW, I love the low light capabilities of my K-x. It really helps when taking photos indoors with the kit lens.
11-08-2010, 04:28 AM   #12
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If you want to get nice pics of kids indoors you generally need a fast prime (as you said, fast fifty which can be had for reasonable prices second hand) that has quick AF.

I have no idea what the K-x AF is like, but I've had good experiences with my F series 50mm f1.7 both in terms of IQ and AF speed. I'm not overly convinced by the idea of doubling up with a 17-50 and a fast 50. I've done it and frankly I tend to just keep the zoom on (I suspect you will even more because of the K-x's high ISO abilities - I have a K10D ).

If you like architecture and landscapes, plus you want shots of your kids, maybe a Tamron/Sigma 17 - 50 f2.8 is the right call (or the DA* if you can afford it)? I would go with either one of those (a fast zoom or a fast prime) and a flash.
11-09-2010, 01:59 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by MadMan Quote
I have two young daughters, 2 years and 4 months old. The younger is quite static subject to shoot but the older is going all over the place all the time.
As a father of a very active 2 years old girl I suggest Tamron 17-50. I've tried it and will buy one at the moment someone buys my DA 17-70.
Constant f2.8 aperture: it's enough for indoors with the recent cameras having great high ISO capabilities, plus you can't really keep active children in focus with larger apertures (I can use f1.6-f2 on my Sigma prime only if my daughter is eating / sleeping / busy "reading" a book); 17-50mm range is perfect indoors; fast focusing speed really helps for shooting active chidren.

All in all, I think Tamron 17-50 is one of the best and cheapest (at least here) zoom options for active children. Plus it's a great walkaround / general lens, you can use it for "old buildings and some nature too".
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