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11-28-2010, 09:43 AM   #16
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In my view too many lenses is a disadvantage while you are 'finding your feet' - the standard sort of kit zoom I assume you got with your camera provides reasonable image quality, flexibility, and there is no need (until you want something longer) to be changing lenses in the field.

My advice is to get out, take pictures, and look at them back home on the PC very carefully. Ask yourself what is in the image that is good, what shouldn't be in it, what is distracting, and so on. In short start developing your 'seeing' eye - what's the point in the sharpest image in the world if it's uninteresting or positively boring?

You are in the UK so Open University courses are available at a reasonable price. Look into T189 - it's last presentation is coming up but it will both start developing your eye for an image and teach you the basic technicalities. You also get a copy of Elements with it, and being a student opens the door to big discounts on Photoshop, Office, Windows and (I suspect) other software. My last OU course cost me 120, and I saved about 300 on Photoshop CS4. Like most OU courses it was also interesting!

Another thing to consider is joining a Camera Club. The PAGB is the umbrella organisations for camera clubs in the UK and their website will help you find a club near where you live - probably several - visit them and see what feels right for you as they vary hugely in size and 'feel'.

Member Federations

There is also the Flickr Photography Critique group which unlike most Flickr groups has a lot to offer if you want to improve your images:

Flickr: Photography Critique

PS I forgot to mention - make sure your basic screen calibration is OK. It's so frustrating to think your images are too dark, lighten them and wonder why they have blown highlights or vice versa when the problem is the screen.

http://www.photofriday.com/calibrate.php

Google will find lots more sites discussing monitor calibration.

12-05-2010, 05:55 AM   #17
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I've bought a zillion lenses in the last couple years, almost all being old manual primes. No, I don't keep them all -- about 40% were for resale, to help pay for the keepers, which tend to be M42 screwmounts. I have bought many different brands, although many of those brands are just rebadges from a few makers. I haven't found that many with bad optics or builds -- sadly, some of those born luzers were Pentax.

Most problems come from damaged lenses, not lousy designs or manufacture. Still, nearly all lensmakers have their turkeys. Lensmaking is a business. Some businesses make good money by making and selling cheap crap -- not exclusively, just enough. And some businesses try to ride on the past glory of their names. The most flagrant example: I wouldn't buy a Vivitar-brand lens made after 1990. But for most lenses you just have to look at the review database here, and google the lens for more comments.
12-05-2010, 07:42 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bane Quote
Hi All!

I'm wondering your opinions on what makes of lenses to avoid?

There bound to be some rotten lens manufacturers out there!

Cheers!
I just avoid anything other than Pentax.
It seems to be a good strategy.
12-05-2010, 08:36 AM   #19
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One thing worth noting is there really isn't so much in the way of 'brands to avoid by name' when it comes to current AF offerings: while there were once a fairly big number of manufacturers who might cut corners on turning out older designs, often sticking various labels on them, that doesn't seem to be as practical a venture these days.

12-05-2010, 03:32 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
I just avoid anything other than Pentax.
It seems to be a good strategy.
Take my A35-80. Please.

[/rimshot]

Truly, Pentax has unleashed a few dogs. The A28-80, A35-80, and M40-80 all bark and whine and scratch at fleas. Mine did, anyway. I paid good money for the A28-80 and M40-80 because I thought they would be worthwhile, and I took major losses when I sold them. All my Sears glass is better than those woofs.
12-05-2010, 07:25 PM   #21
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I have heard very few good comments regarding legacy zooms. This seems to be one area that CAE has made big improvements.
12-05-2010, 08:03 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Take my A35-80. Please.

[/rimshot]

Truly, Pentax has unleashed a few dogs. The A28-80, A35-80, and M40-80 all bark and whine and scratch at fleas. Mine did, anyway. I paid good money for the A28-80 and M40-80 because I thought they would be worthwhile, and I took major losses when I sold them. All my Sears glass is better than those woofs.
Apparently, my life long antipathy towards zooms has served me well.
12-05-2010, 10:14 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by abacus07 Quote
I have heard very few good comments regarding legacy zooms. This seems to be one area that CAE has made big improvements.
I can vouch for just a few legacy manual zooms. The Vivitar Series 1 70-210 is legendary, if large -- I'll keep my V1. Samyang made some 70-210/4 and 80-200/4 (or 3.9) zooms in M42, PK-M and -A, Nikon, and other mounts, badged as Sears, Albinar, whatever, that are quite decent. I sold three and kept one. My Tokina RMC 35-135/3.5-4.5 (Nikon mount), and Sears-Tokina 55-135/3.5 (M42), and Promaster-Tamron 60-300/4-5.6 (PK-A), and even the Takumar-A 70-200/4, are all quite decent. Being quite cheap helps too.

My current lens inventory is 175 total, 20 of which will (hopefully) be sold, leaving me with 155 lenses to put on my K20D... and just 6 of those are legacy manual zooms. And only 8 are newer AF zooms. My priorities are elsewhere. Yes, newer zooms are mostly MUCH better than the oldsters. I just can't afford them. (Except the F35-70 that fell into my lap for US$11!)

12-08-2010, 07:22 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
My current lens inventory is 175 total, 20 of which will (hopefully) be sold, leaving me with 155 lenses to put on my K20D...
Do you have an adapter for that? Like a stereo adapter, but with 150 mounts?
12-08-2010, 07:23 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nick Siebers Quote
150 mounts?
flyscopic vision!
12-08-2010, 10:17 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Parallax Quote
one of the biggest reasons to use a Pentax camera, is that you can use Pentax glass.
With the ability to use any Pentax lens, new or old, why chose otherwise?
12-09-2010, 05:03 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nick Siebers Quote
Do you have an adapter for that? Like a stereo adapter, but with 150 mounts?
I'm working on it.

No, I'm not. I have enough equipment.

Do, I don't have enough. Good idea. I'll start tomorrow.

QuoteOriginally posted by r0ckstarr Quote
With the ability to use any Pentax lens, new or old, why chose otherwise?
Unfortunately those [expletive deleted] Canon, Sony and Olympus users have found that Asahi glass is great and are buying it all, driving up prices for the rest of us.
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