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12-06-2010, 01:09 AM   #1
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Absolute Beginner Needs Help With Necessities. I am about to buy a Kx. :) Thanks.

Hi Guys,

I am buying myself a christmas present of a Kx this year. I am moving up from a Panasonic Lumix TZ10 (which I will keep as my p&s). I am willing to learn and take in all I can but regardless of this I am a 110% complete novice with a DSLR. I may have taken one or two photos with one but that is the extent of my experience.

Please let me also state that I am a self-employed artist so my budget is tight, I have saved for the camera & have a little left over for other items. This is the reason for my post. I would love if you could please suggest items that you consider to be necessary for my progression into the DSLR world.

I have had a some people ask what I would like for Christmas this year & have offered to buy me things to coincide with me buying my camera. I will be buying a kit w/ an 18-55 lens & have already been suggested a "fast fifty" lens for the type of shooting that I want to do which I think I can pick up pretty cheap. Other than this I would love suggestions on other lenses, filters, hoods, tripods, bags etc. (I think I have a bag picked already but welcome suggestions)

Other than what I have studied already I have no idea about lenses and other terminology
i.e. aperture, shutter speed, and ISO etc so please be gentle.

I like to shoot portraits/people mostly/concerts/music events so any advice that steers toward this would be great. I have attached a few photos that I have taken, I'm not looking for critique on those, I like 'em but it will give y'all an idea of how/what I like to do. (They're not the best quality as I've just lifted them from Facebook - resized etc.)

Thank you all so, so much for your help already.

- Marea

Last edited by marea; 12-06-2010 at 04:11 AM. Reason: forgot photos.
12-06-2010, 01:18 AM   #2
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Id suggest a 55-300 twin lens kit rather than a 50mm prime. You need a sd card (4gb min), a set of eneloop batteries and charger, a camera bag, and a rocket blower.
12-06-2010, 01:30 AM   #3
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An air blower (rubber bulb about the size of a large orange with a nozzle on it) is handy for carefully removing dust from the camera sensor. Rechargeable batteries compatible with your camera are another accessory that many people pick up early on. Longer term, some form of flash more powerful than the built in one.

There are discussion threads on most common accessories on the forum if you search for them.
12-06-2010, 03:01 AM   #4
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I'd keep it simple in the beginning, and you seem to be on the right track with a fast 50.

The 18-55 is okay for a kit lens, and although the 55-300 is better, judging by your shots (nice!), I don't think it's a range you're going to use all that much.

If you can find a deal on the body alone, I would go for that fast 50 you're talking about, and either the new 18-135 or 16-45.

Here in the states, the 18-55 is priced so low as part of the kit that people rarely pass it up. But if it's different in Sydney and you can pass it by and put the money (if significant) towards the 16-45 or 18-135, you'll have a better lens in your bag. And the 18-135 range is a real jack of all trades range. It covers (for me) 95% of what I would ever shoot.

And don't forget a circular polarizing filter:

Buy the size for your lens with largest filter size, and to save money, get step-up rings to so you can use that same filter on all of your lenses. But note that the HOODS have to be sized properly for this as well.

Last edited by Ira; 12-06-2010 at 03:08 AM.
12-06-2010, 03:22 AM   #5
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Nice shots!

I've been shooting a long long time but I got my first digital SLR only 2.5 years ago. The first lenses I bought were the DA18-250 superzoom and the FA50/1.4 Fast Fifty-- good prices then, not so affordable now. And since then I've gone totally overboard on lenses, mostly cheap old manual prime (non-zoom) lenses. I thought long and hard about what else I needed and I came up with this list:

* flash (Pentax AF360) and batteries (Eneloops are best) and charger
* 16GB SDHC memory card, which came with a USB port card-reader
* rubber-bulb air blower, lens pen, and official Pentax sensor cleaning kit
* a good sturdy tall tripod, a mini-tripod, and a remote control
* UV filters, which I immediately discarded because they're useless
* more batteries -- you can never have too many batteries

And something to carry everything but the big tripod. I've used a teardrop-shaped Ameribag to safely carry camera gear and small laptop around Central America -- it's defensible and doesn't look like a camera bag. My only advise on lenses is to start with a basic kit, shoot obsessively, and decide what you want to do that you can't do with what you have..

Information is just as important as gear. Read everything you can about photography. Read magazines, library books, online forums and courses and Wikis, EVERYTHING. And study your camera manual very closely. Have fun!
12-06-2010, 04:15 AM   #6
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
judging by your shots (nice!),

QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Nice shots!
Thank you!

I have had a look on Ebay for a 18-135 lens, I can only seem to find Canon/Nikon, ie: Canon EF-S 18-135mm IS f3.5/5.6 WhiteBOX Express AU (eBay item 110609087782 end time 08-Dec-10 19:43:01 AEDST) : Cameras

Would these be compatible with the Kx?

Thanks for all of the rest of the suggestions, peeps. I really appreciate it.
12-06-2010, 04:49 AM   #7
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The K-x is not compatible with lens from Canon and Nikon. The 18-135mm that you are looking for is the Pentax 18-135mm. It's a new lens that just became available a few weeks ago. It's about as expensive as your camera though. Check out the review of the lens on this site, the link to it is pretty much at the top of every single pentaxforums page !

Pentax Camera are K-mount. So, you want to be looking at PK, PK/A K mount lenses. You can also buy older m42 lens, they will work just fine with the use of an adapter.

Enjoy your new toy and eneloop batteries is the first accessories you should buy BTW. If you are shooting like crazy in the first few months, and I am sure you will, rechargeable batteries is the only way to go.


QuoteOriginally posted by marea Quote

Thank you!

I have had a look on Ebay for a 18-135 lens, I can only seem to find Canon/Nikon, ie: Canon EF-S 18-135mm IS f3.5/5.6 WhiteBOX Express AU (eBay item 110609087782 end time 08-Dec-10 19:43:01 AEDST) : Cameras

Would these be compatible with the Kx?

Thanks for all of the rest of the suggestions, peeps. I really appreciate it.

12-06-2010, 05:41 AM   #8
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Hi marea and welcome to the forums! I would echo the suggestion for the DA 55-300mm. I'd say that's enough lenses for an beginner. Not that you can't handle more, but more because if you are new, you really don't know what focal length ranges you REALLY like to shoot in. To that problem there is a nifty solution. There is a small little program FREE!!! called Exposure Plot that looks at all the photos you give it and sorts them by focal length, f/stop, aperture etc. It's a great tool in helping you decide where you want to go next. Linky here. Other than that I'd also recommend a rocket blower, extra batteries (enloops are more expensive but are the best and will save you LOTS of headaches) couple 3 SD cards (get good quality ones, nothing worse than losing pics because a card went south). Camera bags are so much personal preference that I can't recommend one to you. What I like you may hate and vice versa. A good flash is good, but I'd get used to my camera and shooting with it first. One final recommendation: Brian Peterson's book Understanding Exposure of all my gear and stuff and online sites and the whole of it, I think that book helped my shooting more than any other single purchase/gift.
So here is my recommendation, keeping in mind your budget.
1. Understanding Exposure
2. Download "Exposure Plot" (it's FREE!!!!!)
3. Rocket Blower
4. Enloops batteries
5. Sandisk SD card (or other "good" card, make sure you get the real deal, there are lots of substandard fakes out there...especially on eek bay)
6. Pentax DA 55-300mm lens.

NaCl(good luck, have fun and post your shots!)H2O

PS: Like your shots!

Last edited by NaClH2O; 12-06-2010 at 05:43 AM. Reason: added PS
12-06-2010, 05:47 AM   #9
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There are some incredible shots that have been done with the 18-55 kit lens, but on the whole, most people eventually demand more.

But in the beginning, if that's where the deal is, you'll definitely get your use out of it, if it's a REALLY low cost addition like in the states.
12-06-2010, 05:47 AM - 1 Like   #10
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Welcome aboard.

You have to have an SD card and they vary a lot in both speed and price. 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. SanDisk 8GB Extreme SDHC Class 10 High Performance Memory Card (SDSDX3-008G-P31): Electronics Transcend 8GB Class 10 SDHC Card (TS8GSDHC10): Electronics

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

Last edited by Docrwm; 12-06-2010 at 09:40 AM.
12-06-2010, 06:45 AM   #11
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honestly my list is smaller:

No other lens...

Rocket Blower
Lens Pen(or lens cleaning item of choice)
Eneloop AA with good charger (One that has a different channel for each battery)

that is all you need to start...

The tripod, remotes, bags, hoods, ect are all nice... but honestly you may find that if you need to choice between a dollar in your pocket vs a dollar on more equipment it may not be worth it for you....
12-06-2010, 03:34 PM   #12
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Just received mine on Friday. I got the kit with the 18-55 and 55-300 lenses. Here's my list of "got to have now".

Bag (can't shoot it if I don't have it with me)
Lens pen
Rocket blower
HDSD card (8 GB minimum)
Personally I prefer non-rechargeable batteries, but that's just because I'm lazy

Here's my later list:
Fast 50 lens
Fast 35 lens
Better tripod

I also highly recommend Understanding Exposure. I've read this many times and it taught me more about shooting on manual than anything else.

Best thing to do before investing in a bunch of stuff is shoot, shoot, shoot. Take the camera out and play with it, pixels are cheap! Find out what you can do with what you have, make note of what you want to do that you can't. Once you know where your kit falls short, you can start filling in the nice to haves and the extras. Most important, learn how to use the manual settings and have fun!
12-06-2010, 03:45 PM   #13
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Here is another good thread on accessories for a k-x:
12-06-2010, 04:48 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by icywarm Quote

The tripod, remotes, bags, hoods, ect are all nice... but honestly you may find that if you need to choice between a dollar in your pocket vs a dollar on more equipment it may not be worth it for you....

I have to say... Tripod is essential!! If you don't have a tripod... There is a piece of your camera missing!!

You'll love your K-x... Tis a cracking camera!
12-06-2010, 05:03 PM   #15
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I realized something some time ago, and maybe you should give it some thought..when buying a body you're getting into a system, the most important part of it are lenses...pentax lenses , new pentax lenses are usually expensive, and pentax lacks of the budget line and conformist (good but not top notch lenses) other systems have (ie: Canon and Nikon..)..
So you buy your Kx body, wich is the best bang for the buck entry level dslr..a great body for fair prize but you don't have so much choices in lenses...give it a careful thought now that manual pentax lenses have started to become more expensive.
Don't get me wrong, you WON'T REGRET buying the Kx, you'll get a great body and kit lens, better than the ones you would get from other brands for the same prize. BUT you'll start putting money into a system, an aps-c minded system (i won't start valuing if this is a disadvantage or not..i don't think so but there are lots of opinions here...) where you won't get so much lens choice and definitely there will be no budget option for some of the focal lengths...Mind that this can also be solved through 3rd party producers like Sigma, Tamron, Samyang,with different pros and cons.. And there are still bargains out there in third party manual lenses but the prize of pentax glass has skyrocketed...
I just feel that it ain't the same (not that i regret buying my loved one but sometimes when i see 200 decent nikon or canon lenses this comes to my mind...).
If you want pentax and start building a decent kit you won't NEED anything else.My list:
-i would consider good tripod first of all (lifetime value..)
-55-300 as part of the kit.
-A fast fifty IF you find a bargain (thats fifty for it..)..since for closed spaces it would be better a fast wider prime (maybe 30mm or even 25-28...)
-Bag,blower,sd card,rechargeable bat...
-Shoot like crazy!! and after you grow decide wich thing you need or want to shoot.

Random final thought:
Maybe if Samsung started producing more lenses(mind i don't know much about this particular point... just a thought) ..there's an affordable 30mm out there...and a 20 mm too..don't know about their quality though...

Edit: and before someone points it out i haven't discovered earth here, just that as a Noob i didn't give it much thought. Now that i'm still a noob but a slightly more instructed one, i realize i didn't think of these things when i bought my Kx..i only had the "best bang for the buck" and "amazing performance" (wich is true) from the reviews...
Maybe i would have liked someone telling me decide with all the cards in my hand..(Probably i would have chosen the Kx, video is a feature that for me matters since my partner needed it, and Kx's price is very appealing...).

Last edited by Coeurdechene; 12-06-2010 at 05:29 PM.
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