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11-19-2010, 07:31 PM   #1
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Recommended accessories for Pentax k-x

Hi,

I just bought a Pentax k-x with the 18-55mm & 55-300mm kit lens. This is my first DSLR and I would like advice on what accessories should I get (camera bag, lens hood, filters, etc.). I will be traveling with this camera in a couple of weeks and I want to make sure I have the basic accessories. Thanks!

11-19-2010, 08:41 PM   #2
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11-19-2010, 09:54 PM   #3
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Since you have the best 2 basic lenses already I would say a bag is a must. If you buy other accessories you'll have nothing to hold them in. So get a bag first then everything else in order of importance to you.
11-19-2010, 10:11 PM   #4
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definitely grab at least a UV filter for each lens. much better to crack/scratch/mark a filter than your front element!

11-20-2010, 06:55 AM   #5
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Hi,

Thanks for your answers!

I am now to get a couple of Hoya 58mm UV multi-coated glass filters for both of my lenses. A quick question. Is 58 mm the right size for both of my lenses (18-55 and 55-300 mm)? I noticed that there filters with different sizes and I am not sure what size is the appropriate.

The second thing is the camera bag. I am interested in a backpack. I like the LowePro SlingShot 202 AW but it is out of my budget right now (~$90). So far, I think the most cost-effective bag I have seen is the AmazonBasics Backpack
Amazon.com: AmazonBasics Backpack for SLR Cameras and Accessories (Black): Camera & Photo
Any other suggestions?

Thanks
11-20-2010, 08:51 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by imaspy Quote
definitely grab at least a UV filter for each lens. much better to crack/scratch/mark a filter than your front element!
Forget the filters. They do more to degrade images than about anything else except poor exposure. I've never scratched or broken a filter so what am I protecting the lens from?

You'll need a bag - buy larger than you think because eventually you'll get bit by lens buying addiction (LBA). Get the rocket blower - you'll need it to clean your sensor and blow dust off your lenses. Sometimes you may get a greasy spot on your lens so you might want to get a Lens Pen. Micro fiber cloths will work but you should make sure there's no dirt or dust on the lens before you rub it. Cloths eventually get dirty which is why I like the pen. The camel hair end also works to brush things off your lenses that the rocket blower doesn't remove.

Depending on your travels you might want to get a Gorillapod Zoom or a bean bag so you can take longer exposures than you can hand hold. The flash in Adam's guide is a good one but it will take all of the time between now and leaving for your trip to learn to use it well. And even then you may end up in a mode for either the camera or the flash where it won't work as intended and you'll be stumped. Been there, done that. Up the ISO on your camera and use the Gorillapod or bean bag and figure out the flash when you get back. You can always use the pop-up flash on the camera with a tissue over it as a diffuser for quick portraits.

Get a book like Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson. Read it twice and take it with you. You'll find your photos improve daily. Have fun. Don't let trying to get great photos interfere with why you're traveling. Let the photography be a supplement. And post some shots when you get back.
11-20-2010, 09:00 AM   #7
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I say Camera bag is the next accessory then filter. Or both at once.

For filter thread. the 18-55 is 52mm. the 55-300 is ????? Don't own one so I don't know off the top of my head.

But the filter thread will be mentioned on the lens itself so you can take a look. Usually symbolized as a circle with a slash in it.
11-20-2010, 09:35 AM   #8
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18-55 has a 52mm filter thread, 55-300 a 58mm one. As you have seen there are two schools of thought with these: those that consider the protection to be worth a bit of image quality loss, and those who don't. See: UV filters test - Introduction - Lenstip.com for a review (simple summary: Hoya HMC UV(C) is relatively inexpensive yet got top marks).

A bag is good to have (Lowepro for one has an extensive selection, a Nova 160 AW could be nice to start with, and could be relegated to a daypack later if you decide you need a larger one), cleaning supplies (blower, microfiber cloth, cleaning fluid, brush) are another. Eneloop Nimh AA cells are highly recommended (as is a firmware update to 1.01 or later). Also, consider getting lens hood(s) for your lenses as an inexpensive means to avoid flare and improve contrast (the Pentax ones are good, but a tad expensive compared to generic ones).

11-20-2010, 05:14 PM   #9
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Thank you for all your advice. I will get a camera bag large enough just in case I get affected by LBA I will also play safe and buy a UV filter at least for the 50-300 mm lens because it is the most expensive, and the other cleaning tools. Finally, I already ordered B. Peterson's book, so I will be all set for my upcoming trip to Panama! (I will post some pics once I am back).
11-20-2010, 06:41 PM   #10
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Yoy already received some advice. Let me add my own experience, of someone who has been travelling to Europe, Asia and Australia for 10 weeks in the last 12 weeks.

You need absolutely:
1- a good bag for your camera and lenses, the battery charger (+electricala dapater), the USB cable,...

2- a good quality SD card (eg Sandisk Extreme III 16 or 32 Gb), or better 2 good quality SD cards,

3- a hood.

4- a LCD screen protector.

The bag is the most important and it is best to go to your local store with your camera body and lenses. Most good stores will help you, as much as they can, to get the best equipment and you want a bag that is confortable to carry as well as to use in your travel. Bring your camera, your lenses, your accessories.... Try them in the bag, see how the weight is distributed when you carry it. Is it easy to access your equipment while you walk? while you shoot?

The SD card(s) is the next most important accessory (in my opinion). Go for quality (eg. Sandisk Exteme III). You do not want to loose your best shots because the card failed 2 days before the end of the trip..... You can buy it, online but check also with your local store.

The LCD screen protector can be very simple (I use a piece of transparent plastic), but will prevent any scratch on the LCD when you carry it around your neck.


In my travels, I take also with me a computer to backup my photos and post-process them rapidly. I do not use filters. I use a cheap LCD screen protector, on my camera LCD, to prevent scratches on the screen.

Before you travel, do not forget to get the latest firmware for your K-x and to install it.

Lastly neither kit lenses are outstanding in low-light conditions. Will you shoot in dark places, at sunset, sunrise, at night? Although the K-x is renown for good High-ISO photographs, I would recommend you to consider a large aperture lens (low f value) like a fast prime lense (eg 50mm f1.4) for dusk and dawn shooting. Take a small fast prime that you can fit easily in your jacket pocket.

Hope that the comment will help....

Last edited by hcc; 11-21-2010 at 04:49 PM.
11-21-2010, 06:56 AM   #11
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Hi hcc, Yes, I was forgetting the hood. I saw some generic, cheap ones on ebay, so I will try one of those. Regarding the fast prime lens, it seems that there are more expensive that my budget can afford now (at least the 50 mm f1.4). I am thinking that I could try to get a used one. I saw some on ebay but I would like to know if there are other options to get affordable, decent quality fast prime lenses. Thanks for your advice!
11-21-2010, 08:47 AM   #12
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Except for what's mentioned above, I will add something to clean lenses (pen, clothes), a rocket blower and a sensor cleaning kit.

QuoteOriginally posted by apakoh Quote
I will get a camera bag large enough just in case I get affected by LBA ...
No bag will ever be big enough
11-21-2010, 09:34 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by apakoh Quote
...
I would like to know if there are other options to get affordable, decent quality fast prime lenses. Thanks for your advice!
Older, manual focus Pentax primes are of high quality and relatively cheap, e.g. Pentax-A 50mm 1:1.7 (auto exposure works with the A-series lenses) or Pentax-M 50 1:1.7 (this is cheaper, but auto modes do not work, so you'd need to use M-mode with "stop down metering", see: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-lens-articles/110657-how-use-manua...7-k-x-etc.html and Comprehensive Pentax Lens Listings - Pentax Lens Review Database).
11-21-2010, 02:41 PM   #14
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Forget the filter, I never understand why people are so anxious to buy a UV filter. I would not use UV filters if someone gave them to me, and I have lenses a lot nicer than a 55-300. Hoods actually help image quality while protecting your lenses. SO use that money you were going to drop on filters and buy the Pentax hoods.

Also buy a bag and a rocket blower and a spare SD card.

Then start saving for a prime...
11-22-2010, 02:27 AM   #15
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I would make sure I have:
  • A bag to put everything in that is easy to carry
  • A spare battery (remember to charge it!)
  • A spare memory good-size card (4GB or more)
  • A UV filter on the front of each lens - they have saved mine when I got sand and salt everywhere as it was blowing around, my glasses were ruined. I was also glad one was on when I slipped on some wet rocks and dropped the camera on some rocks.
  • (possibly) a screen protector for the LCD on the back. The one on mine has a ding on the edge but the screen is fine.
Beyond that I'd say it depends on your photography. A tripod and ND filters are essential for me as I like streaky / blurry water shots, but not everyone.

If you do go down the tripod route, go to a shop and try them out. Make sure the battery can be changed without having to loosen or remove the quick release plate. If you will be using it outdoors in uneven places then one where the legs can splay at different angles is very useful, though not quite as stable as the ones where there is a brace between them.

In digital photography you don't really need many filters as most effects that filters used to be used for can be done afterwards, but ND filters (some people swear by graduated ones) and a polarisier are the ones that are most useful IMHO.

The other thing that might be useful is a remote release - it's what I'm thinking of getting for my K-7. On the tripod I set the camera to 2-sec delay as the act of pressing the shutter sets up some slight movement whereas with a remote that shouldn't be a problem.
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