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11-28-2010, 11:55 AM   #1
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Hopefully buying my K-x tomorrow! Need accessory help!

I have decided on getting the K-x with the 18-55mm and the 55-300mm, as this seems to be the group consensus and isn't much more expensive than the other options. First of all, has anyone spotted some Cyber Monday deals or discounts on it? I'm hoping to get it at $650, and the cheapest I can currently find is $700.

All the equipment I currently have is a cheap Radioshack rechargeable battery kit, a 2GB cheap Sandisk SD card, and an older tripod. My question is: what is most vital to get right away, and what can I wait on? Here's what I'm thinking:

Flash: Maybe the Pentax AF360FGZ? I don't have ANY experience with external flashes, is this a fine unit to start with? Something cheaper with similar abilities would be great.
Bag: Really no idea with so many options. I'd want to carry 2-3 lenses (maybe the 2 kit lenses and a prime) and a flash along with the body.
Lenses: I was thinking maybe a 50mm prime for cheap off of eBay? Nothing too expensive yet. Which one should I go for?
SD Card: It seems like many people have like 10 individual SD Cards. Would one 8GB Class 10 be fine? Recommendations?
Batteries: Eneloops? Is there a Eneloop kit with a charger too? Or get a separate charger?
Cleaning: Would a single lens pen clean all I need? Is a Rocket Blower necessary?
Lens Hood: I think I'm going to stay away from the filter route. Do the kit lenses come with caps and hoods? I feel intimidated by this part, it seems like it would be easy to buy the wrong one.

I'm sorry about all the questions, don't feel like you need to answer them all. Thanks!


Last edited by Clambake; 11-28-2010 at 12:32 PM. Reason: Clarification
11-28-2010, 12:04 PM   #2
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I wonder if you would be better looking for the DA18-55 lens to start out with. Yes this is a Kit lens, but it comes rather economically, price wise, and it would give you the full range 18-300.
Primes are very recommendable but to start out perhaps the kit zoom is well worth thinking about, and then you would get a firm idea of what prime length to aim for.
11-28-2010, 12:20 PM   #3
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B&H Phototo has the K-x 2 lens kit (18-55 and 55-300) for $650 with free shipping. I ordered mine yesterday

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=pentax+k-x&N=0&InitialSearch=yes
11-28-2010, 12:34 PM   #4
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Sorry for the confusion. I forgot to mention that I would be getting a package including both the 18-55mm and the 55-300mm like this: Amazon.com: Pentax K-x 12.4 MP Digital SLR with 2.7-inch LCD and 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL and 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED Lenses (Black): Camera & Photo . I clarified the original post.

11-28-2010, 12:46 PM   #5
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Flash: no hurry to get an external IMO, try the built-in one (with a diffuser) first to see how far that gets you.

Bag: Lowepro for one has an extensive selection, quality stuff too, a Nova AW 180 might be in the ballpark as far as size is concerned. Their website has measurements and other info, but this is probably something you'd better to to get your hands on and maybe try fitting in what you are planning to carry so if possible go to a brick and mortar to check them out.

Lenses: 50mm 1:1.7 or 28mm 1:2.8 Pentax-A prime would seem like a good choice to try this in practice (with the APS-C crop the 28mm might be more general purpose, the corresponding M-series lenses would be cheaper but then the As are more convenient as auto modes work).

SD Card: 8G class 6 is probably the most basic thing worth getting, Transcend has worked for me, wouldn't go any cheaper. Bigger and faster is nice to have, but 2x8G class 6 cards is a cheap and fully adequate solution (it is good to have a spare).

Batteries: Eneloops definitely, two sets for a spare set and to allow for charging time (overnight or so). The charger sold with Eneloops should be ok, but one that charges the cells individually is better.

Cleaning: A rocket blower is mandatory! ;-) Seriously, you'll want to use that to get any grit off before applying other methods to minimize the change of getting scratches on the glass, lenspen sounds good, a microfiber cloth or pec pads and lens fluid is likely to be necessary eventually.

The kit lenses come with caps but no hoods, get bayonet fixed ones, either the genuine Pentax (pricey) or 3rd party (ebay).
11-28-2010, 12:48 PM   #6
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Wait on the flash until you shoot a lot with natural light. Using flash is tricky, the K-x has incredible high ISO, and you have the built-in flash anyway.

For a bag, I always recommend going to a store and checking them out in person, if you can. A huge bag that holds a ton of stuff is useless if it's too huge.

If you're not doing video now, any cheap SD card will do you. And you can get by just fine with disposable Lithium AAs for awhile.
11-28-2010, 02:28 PM   #7
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If you can't find the K-x + 2 lens kit for <$700 then I'd recommend going with the K-r + 2 Lens kit for $749 shipped from Amazon right now.
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-k-r-forum/123928-where-buy-k-r-bla...ml#post1283879

I linked to an article several months ago that reviewed the SD cards available and the results were that the Transcend Class 10 and the SanDisk Extreme 30MB/s Class 10 were the top two in all the technical areas but won clearly in the read/write categories. The SanDisk was faster, by a good bit, in read/write but is also significantly more expensive. The Transcend Class 10 is more affordable and significantly better than several others at the same price.
Amazon.com: SanDisk 8GB Extreme SDHC Class 10 High Performance Memory Card (SDSDX3-008G-P31): Electronics
Amazon.com: Transcend 8GB Class 10 SDHC Card (TS8GSDHC10): Electronics

My essentials Kit for my K-x:
Takumar or SMC 50mm or 55mm Manual Lens
Amazon.com: Nikon Lens Pen Pro Kit: Camera & Photo
Amazon.com: Giottos AA1900 Rocket Air Blaster Large (Black): Camera & Photo
Amazon.com: Maha Powerex MH-C9000 WizardOne Charger-Analyzer: Electronics
Amazon.com: Sanyo Eneloop Ni-MH Charger and 8 Rechargeable AA and 4 Rechargeable AAA Batteries: Electronics
Amazon.com: Dolica AX620B100 62-Inch Proline Tripod and Ball Head: Camera & Photo
Amazon.com: Bryan Peterson's Understanding Photography Field Guide: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera (9780817432256): Bryan Peterson: Books
Amazon.com: Lowepro Toploader Zoom 55 AW (Black): Camera & Photo
Amazon.com: Lowepro Lens Case 1 (Black): Camera & Photo

The Kit lenses do NOT come with hoods. I bought Chinese copies via eBay and the 58mm for the 55-300 is fine. The tulip hood for the 52mm 18-55 was a bit loose on mine but worked. Reviews are here:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/accessoryreviews/JJC-LH-RBA-52mm.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/accessoryreviews/showproduct.php?product=844

Last edited by Docrwm; 11-28-2010 at 02:42 PM.
11-28-2010, 02:47 PM   #8
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I'd start off with a decent card (I use the Transcend that Docrwm mentions), a rocket blower and a DA 35 f2.4 (along with the kit lens and the DA 55-300). I feel like it is a more useful focal length than a fast 50. It may actually be better to wait on a prime till later...

Then I would shoot a lot and see what things you struggle with. I would wait on an external flash. I really like using a flash (in a sense it makes all your lenses faster); however, it just adds one more to figure out.

As far as hoods goes, neither one of the DA L lenses comes with a hood. While hoods are not mandatory, they can really help out improving contrast and reducing flare if you are shooting into the sun (or around bright lights).

I really think that is what I would start with. Once you shoot for awhile, you will figure out the deficiencies in your kit and figure out what gear will help you improve it. Maybe you are a closet Macro shooter and will need something for that, or maybe you really like Strobist stuff. Whatever is the case, it is best to wait to buy a bunch a stuff. Have fun shooting!

11-28-2010, 03:05 PM   #9
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Raynox DCR 150 close-up clip-on lens. It'll give you superb macro photos up to 2X on your 55-300. $50 delivered from ebay, etc...

Dave
11-28-2010, 04:45 PM   #10
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A bag to hold whatever else you have. You need 2 of them - one that holds everything (body, lenses, charger, spare battery, cables, cleaning stuff, etc, with a spare spot for expansion ) to keep it all together, and a smaller one that holds 2 lenses for shorter outings.

I agree with Ira that you should shop for a bag in person. Make sure there is not a zipper that will scrape the LCD, or that the pockets are useless or too small, etc.

You might get a larger card, too.

I'd wait on anything else until you get a better feel for what you want/need.

And a Giotti rocket blower, if nothing else.
11-28-2010, 04:49 PM   #11
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I second the rocket blower- best fifteen buck investment ever.

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11-28-2010, 06:25 PM   #12
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Unless you get lucky and find a real bargain on a prime i would recommend that you save your money and shoot with the 2 kit lenses for a while...that way you'll start to see what you like (wich focal distance you use more, wich type of fotography you like,etc..) once you spend some time with your 2 lenses you'll start to see if you need a faster lens for night or indoor shots, etc..

-Probably you'll be comfortable for some time with those 2 lenses + the tripod..if you still feel that those lenses dont provide the expected results in some situations you can start saving money for a specific lens that will (it would be too soon to start with the LBA...you'll, at some point, suffer it but the 2 lenses are enough to grow and learn until then).
-+1 for the blower.
-If you dont intend to do video 4 GB is enough to start (you'll end up having 2 or 3 sd cards and up to 12 GB but you dont need them right now.
-External flash isn't necesary..dont start gathering lots of equipment, stay simple until you learn how the camera works..you'll outgrow what you got and end up buying more stuff, but at this point you dont need it.
-Examine your tripod and be sure it still works flawlessly, you dont want your camera to suffer an accident.(if it is a good one, it probably will, even if it's from the bronze ages).
-A travel bag will be enough for now..mine holds the camera,the 2 kit lenses and my beloved vivitar 55mm macro...when LBA will finally manage to drive me crazy and make me go on a shopping frenzy i'll consider a backpack (there's always the solution of putting the travelbag inside a backpack with my sweater in it).
-And finally as said before get batteries or you'll end spending more money on disposables.(since the ones that wok fine, lithiums,are VERY expensive...)
11-28-2010, 10:48 PM   #13
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Wow! I'm blown away with all the great responses. First, thanks to BradH with the link to B&H where I can pick it up for $650. If nothing's cheaper tomorrow, that's what I'll go with. I agree to hold off on a flash and other lenses. So, this is what I'm thinking:

Two Transcend 8GB Class 10 cards (only $.30 more than Class 6!)
A Sanyo Eneloop 8-pack + a nice charger (Maha? La Crosse?)
Would this kit work for cleaning? It has a Lenspen and a Rocket Blower. Amazon.com: Giottos Rocket-Air Blower Professional AA1900 Large + Lenspen Lens Pen Cleaning System + Accessory Kit for Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax and Sony Digital SLR Cameras: Camera & Photo
Also, do I need an LCD protector? Does it scuff up easily? Amazon.com: GGS DSLR LCD Optical Glass Screen Protector for Pentax K-X Digital SLR Cameras: Camera & Photo
I'll head to a camera shop to look for a bag (thanks Ira), though both of jolepp and Docrwm's suggestions seem like great possibilities.
Where could I buy those two Pentax knockoff lens hoods? JJC LH-RBA 52mm - Pentax Accessory Review Database - Flashes, Grips, Camera Bags and JJC LH-RBG 58mm - Pentax Accessory Review Database - Flashes, Grips, Camera Bags
Is there another inexpensive option for lens hoods for the two lenses?

Thank you all for the help! I've been waiting quite a few months to purchase this camera

Last edited by Clambake; 11-28-2010 at 11:22 PM. Reason: found a better deal on sd cards
11-28-2010, 11:38 PM   #14
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A wireless remote maybe?
11-29-2010, 03:21 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clambake Quote
...
Would this kit work for cleaning? It has a Lenspen and a Rocket Blower.
...
Where could I buy those two Pentax knockoff lens hoods?
...
The cleaning kit looks good. I have found the 3rd party hoods on Ebay (most convenient for me), I seem to recall using the Pentax part# to search for them.
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