Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
01-07-2011, 07:00 PM   #1
New Member




Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Atlantic Canada
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 23
Newbie looking to buy first Pentax...

Hello,
I'm about to purchase my first dSLR. I plan to do alot of outdoor photography (landscapes, nature, sports). I owned a film SLR many years ago but have forgotten most of what I learned about creating a good exposure. Which camera is a better "first timer", the K7 or K5? What other accessories should I consider as "must have gear" for someone just starting out in the world of digital photography? Which photo-editing software is the best and how user-friendly is it? Would I be better off to purchase the 18-55mm kit lens offered by most dealers or would the 18-135mm be a better choice for photographing wildlife and landscapes? Any suggestions are appreciated.Thanks, Rena.

01-07-2011, 07:13 PM   #2
Site Supporter
psychdoc's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Bham
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 943
Camera: Pentax k-r or k-x

Software: Photoshop Elements and buy the add on Photo Essentials 3 which has easy to use wizards that is great for a beginner.

Lens: someone who has used both the kit lens and the 18-135mm will comment. I dont have the latter but on the face of it, if it were my choice between the two, the 18-135 would be more versatile.

For landscapes people use both the wide ends and the longer ends depending on the effect they are looking for. Wildlife: I have no clue as I dont shoot wildlife but in general people use really long lenses...

Sports: it will help if you will be more specific as to what type of sports.

Welcome to Pentax.
01-07-2011, 07:33 PM - 1 Like   #3
Veteran Member
Ken T's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: California, USA
Posts: 537
IMHO k7 or K5 will be better for you to learn. or even K-20D . They have more controls than the K-x or K-r .

2 lenses 18-55 and 55-300 will make you happy . But 18-135 covers most of the range you need for snap shots of family members and things around the house .

I love Lightroom .
01-07-2011, 07:38 PM   #4
Veteran Member
KxBlaze's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: California
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,594
The best "first timer" camera would be the Kx but since you asked about the K7 or K5, the K5 is a much better camera.

The 18-135 is a better lens than the kit 18-55 but it is relatively short for wildlife. Most people would probably say you need at least 200mm for wildlife but I say 300mm is better and for landscape 18mm is ok but 14-15mm is better. Again for a beginner the Kx with the 18-55 and 55-300 is the best (just my opinion), but if you have the money then I would go with the K5, DA* 60-250mm, and the DA 15mm Limited.

As for post processing I would go with Adobe CS5 Master Collection. I have it and it is second to none but also costs an arm and a leg.

01-07-2011, 07:47 PM   #5
hcc
Pentaxian
hcc's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,533
You already received some advice. Let me add some comments based upon my own experience.

* You already have some SLR photographic experience. The K-x and K-r are both very good entry dSLRs. But I think that you would strive for more controls and the K20D, K-7 or K-5 would suit you best.

*Between the K20D, K-7, and K-5, the final decision will be linked with your budget. If you do not have any limit, go for the K-5. Alternately the K-7 is excellent value for money right now. The K20D is another alternative.
The main advantage of the K-5 over the K-7 is the high-ISO performances. If you do not need it, then stick to the K-7.

*For the PP software, you definitely need one. Why don't you start with Pentax Digital Camera Utility (PDCU) that comes free with the Pentax dSLR? There are more user-friendly softwares, but PDCU gives some excellent results.

*For the lenses, it all depend upon your style and preference. I would however advise you to go for quality lenses. A lens is an investment, it will not loose its value and you can continue to use it in a few years when you upgrade your camera.
- If you like an all-around lens, skip the kit lenses and go for the 18-135mm, although the DA18-250mm and Tamron 18-250mm would be also an excellent choice.
- I have a DA18-250mm and a few primes with my K-7 and I shoot mostly outdoor. I shoot mostly the DA18-250mm for 80% of my photographs. The flexibility of the lens is fantastic.


Hope that the comments will help ...

Last edited by hcc; 01-08-2011 at 12:04 AM.
01-08-2011, 05:13 AM   #6
Veteran Member




Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Fife, Scotland
Posts: 834
IMHO the 18-55 lens will be fine for landscapes and useless for wildlife. You might be able to get a kit with that plus the 55-300 which starts becoming useful for wildlife, but a genuine wildlife lens can be very long and very expensive. I believe the WR kit lens that comes with the K7 & K5 includes the lens hood. When I brought my 55-300 I found there were two slightly different versions, the DA and the DAL. The DAL was a kit lens, had a plastic mount and no lens hood, the DA had a metal mount and a lens hood. The difference was 20 so obviously I got the DA.

Other essentials: a bag to put it all in with room for the manual and other odds and ends. Spare battery, large memory card, spare large memory card, and (depending on your point of view) UV filters to protect the front of the lens. Some of us swear by those, some swear at them.

Second-line essentials (e.g. slightly less essential) - Cokin-style circular polarising filter, P size or bigger. You will find that the kit lens has a 52mm filter thread and the 55-300 has a 58mm thread. The Cokin-style systems let you use the same filters on lenses with different size filter threads for just a different adapter ring which is $ when the filters can be $$$. You want the P size at a minimum.

Third-line essentials (e.g. even less essential) - more Cokin-style filters, this time NDs. I like to do relatively long exposures and these let me do that without stopping down to f36 which doesn't produce such sharp results as bigger apertures (smaller f-numbers). However what filters you need depends on what sort of photography you do. Some people like the graduated ones, some do not. So they are something to bear in mind for when you have got to grips with the basics of your camera.

Agree with starting with the PCDU for post-processing, you might need some extra HDD space for your PC but that is cheap these days for both internal and external HDDs. If you want to change from PCDU then Photoshop (CS5) is the bees knees in many ways, but expensive unless you can find a way of qualifying for a student licence. When I was using Elements I found it was missing some things I considered essential, and PaintShopPro was better in most ways than Elements.
01-08-2011, 05:34 AM   #7
New Member




Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Atlantic Canada
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 23
Original Poster
Thank you for the tips for the lenses. My sporting events will be horse shows. During the hot summer the show rings are dusty so I was looking for the environmentally sealed capabilities of the k7 or k5 and the respective WR lenses. I also live near the ocean and we have alot of foggy, drizzly days as well. I was told by a local salesperson that my best choice would be either of the 2 cameras. I have been keeping an eye on the price of both cameras and the k5 is starting to get closer to my maximum budget. I am also looking for video capability, although full HD is not my top priority. I would like to take this camera on trips to the Caribbean and again, the weather-sealing features appeal to me.
01-08-2011, 06:03 AM - 1 Like   #8
Site Supporter




Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Bronx NY
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,611
Welcome

Hi Rena and welcome. I see you are from Atlantic Canada, so you get just a bit of rain now and then. I'd suggest one of the weather sealed cameras, either a K20D (used) or a new/used K-7 (I think you can find them new if that is your preference) or a new K-5. My individual preference would be to go with a used K20D and spend the rest of my allotted cash on lenses. It really is all about the glass. I don't own the 18-135, but from all reports it is a superb lens. The kit lens is good for what it is, an inexpensive consumer zoom, but it simply isn't in the same quality category as the 18-135. On the other hand the two lens kit of 18-55 and 55-300 is very versitile. For wild life you will definitely need something at least 200mm. For starting out, the 18-55 kit lens will be good enough for your landscape shots.
Other stuff: eventually you will want to get a flash and a tripod, but I suggest that for the first few months or so just concentrate on getting to know your camera and lens(es). You will need a bag, but it doesnt have to be a dedicated camera bag, for years I worked with a over shoulder style messenger bag, in fact, I'd still be using it if it weren't for the fact that all the weight on one side of my body started playing havoc with my back. If you do get the two kit lenses, get hoods for them . Hoods help protect the front element from scratches and dings, help provide protection against flare, and increase contrast on your shots. And as another poster suggested, a circular polarizer filter is a very good investment, whether you use the conklin system of individuals is up to you. An extra battery or two is a good idea as is two or more high capacity SD cards. All this should be enough to get you comfortably started.

NaCl( looks complicated but really isn't)H2O


Last edited by NaClH2O; 01-08-2011 at 06:06 AM. Reason: spelling/word choice
01-08-2011, 06:39 AM   #9
Veteran Member
Ivan Glisin's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Belgrade
Posts: 656
QuoteOriginally posted by rena Quote
I was looking for the environmentally sealed capabilities of the k7 or k5 and the respective WR lenses.
As others have said, both K-7 and K-5 are fine cameras. K-5 is better at high ISO or for shadow recovery and HDR, but if you are not expecting to use very high ISO or shoot landscapes and simulate 4- or 5-stop ND graduated filters in post processing, K-7 would do.

DA 18-135 WR seems to be the best for your needs, however it is expensive. If you can afford it get it.
01-08-2011, 11:01 AM   #10
Inactive Account




Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Michigan, USA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 7,484
QuoteOriginally posted by rena Quote
Thank you for the tips for the lenses. My sporting events will be horse shows. During the hot summer the show rings are dusty so I was looking for the environmentally sealed capabilities of the k7 or k5 and the respective WR lenses. I also live near the ocean and we have alot of foggy, drizzly days as well. I was told by a local salesperson that my best choice would be either of the 2 cameras. I have been keeping an eye on the price of both cameras and the k5 is starting to get closer to my maximum budget. I am also looking for video capability, although full HD is not my top priority. I would like to take this camera on trips to the Caribbean and again, the weather-sealing features appeal to me.
Sounds like your decision is made. K5 and DA18-135. I don't own the lens (yet) but it is one lens I haven't read of any problems with (yet). The K7 is a great camera until the light is gone and you don't want to mess with a tripod and long exposures.

01-08-2011, 12:00 PM   #11
Site Supporter
psychdoc's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Bham
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 943
QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
My sporting events will be horse shows.
I don't know much about the lighting in horse shows or how fast the horses move. But you are likely to need a faster lens than the 18-135... You are going to be looking at buying two lenses I am afraid. The 18-135 for everyday use and another lens for sporting events. Many people use a 70-200 f2.8 lens from sigma or tamron. I dont shoot horse shows, but for my daughters dance recitals and my son's basketball and other games I use a 50-135 lens from Pentax. It is WR. It is not as long as the 70-200 but suits my needs and boy does it take nice pictures.

Don't get too caught up in lenses at this stage. The k5 plus 18-135 seems to be a good recommendation for starting out since you seem to have the budget.
01-08-2011, 02:57 PM   #12
Veteran Member
DaveHolmes's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Yorkshire
Posts: 1,501
From what you've said about where you live and what you want to do I think the K5 with 18-135mm WR is your best bet...
With the weather sealing of both the camera and lens, the K5's awesome lowlight ability and the pretty much 'nearly does it all' range of the 18-135mm... I think you're going to have a lot of fun!!!

I'd be adding the price of a tripod to my budget for those Seaside-sunset/sunrise shots too...
01-08-2011, 05:19 PM   #13
New Member




Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Atlantic Canada
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 23
Original Poster
Thanks to all for your recommendations...I just checked a Canadian supplier in Vancouver, BC and they are now selling the K5 body for $1399 and the K5 with the 18-55 WR lens as a kit for $1595...I haven't been able to find someone selling the K7 as a kit with the 18-135 WR lens yet...I'll keep scouring the internet for the best deal...Pentax offers a 2 year warranty on purchases from authorized dealers in Canada...I'd rather buy new and have some warranty protection for awhile instead of buying used...Thanks again for all your insightful comments.Rena
01-08-2011, 05:25 PM   #14
Inactive Account




Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Michigan, USA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 7,484
QuoteOriginally posted by rena Quote
Thanks to all for your recommendations...I just checked a Canadian supplier in Vancouver, BC and they are now selling the K5 body for $1399 and the K5 with the 18-55 WR lens as a kit for $1595...I haven't been able to find someone selling the K7 as a kit with the 18-135 WR lens yet...I'll keep scouring the internet for the best deal...Pentax offers a 2 year warranty on purchases from authorized dealers in Canada...I'd rather buy new and have some warranty protection for awhile instead of buying used...Thanks again for all your insightful comments.Rena
Getting new for the warranty is a smart idea IMO unless there is a considerable savings. Re the K7 with 18-135, I don't think you are too likely to find the two in a kit.

01-08-2011, 06:05 PM   #15
Veteran Member
DaveHolmes's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Yorkshire
Posts: 1,501
QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
Getting new for the warranty is a smart idea IMO unless there is a considerable savings. Re the K7 with 18-135, I don't think you are too likely to find the two in a kit.

But you will find K7 body only and the lens separately...
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
camera, landscapes, pentax help, photography, purchase
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
help for a newbie...DAL lens hood and filter questions, not sure what to buy johnior Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 5 12-08-2010 11:18 PM
Newbie looking to buy used pentax dslr + everyday use lens for under $500 US demondias Welcomes and Introductions 7 08-09-2010 12:29 PM
a Vietnamese newbie wonders where to buy pentax dslr in USA? hdsilver Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 12 02-02-2010 06:14 PM
Newbie Suggestion to buy body only or not phillipcun Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 13 01-20-2008 06:05 PM
NEWBIE** Looking to BUY a K100 or K10D rvguy Welcomes and Introductions 0 07-07-2007 06:01 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:20 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top