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10-31-2007, 10:12 AM   #1
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Pentax/DSLR Beginner Seeking Gear Advice

Hello everyone.

I've been dabbling in photography for the past year or two already, but it's only now that I've decided to upgrade my camera to a DSLR. I'm pretty sold on getting a Pentax, and I've narrowed my choices down to:
  • K100D
  • K10D
  • *ist D
Right now, I'm leaning most towards the K100D because it's much cheaper and it's been getting great reviews. (obviously I don't exactly know what I'm supposed to look for in a good beginner DSLR)

My considerations on what to choose is basically: 1) bang for the buck; and, 2) how much I'll be able to maximize the camera's potential. You guys could probably help with #1, but I think only I can really tell what the answer to #2 will be... although if anyone could offer some guidance, that would be appreciated.

For the time I've been a photo-hobbyist, I haven't really been actively exploring the craft... it's just a simple hobby, although I've never lost interest. I'd say I have a good understanding of the basic concepts involved, but nothing too advanced.

Also, I've decided to pass on buying the camera with the kit lens. I'm just buying the body and will buy a good lens for it outright. Does anyone have any suggestions for a good, economic lens to pair with any of the three models above?

Thanks in advance!

10-31-2007, 10:17 AM   #2
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I'd choose between the K100D and the K10D.

Since you're more of a simple hobbiest, I'd stay stick with the K100 as it will be the best bang for YOUR buck and should meet your needs just fine.

As for getting a decent lens to couple with it I suggest the Pentax/Tamron 18-250mm. It's a great walk around lens and should give you ample room from the wide end to the telephoto end.

(Not sure if the Pentax version is out on the market yet, but it would appear the Pentax version is a rebadged Tamron with SMC coating?)
10-31-2007, 11:04 AM   #3
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If you do any indoor shooting w/o flash (and in-camera flashes suck as a rule), I would highly recommend the Pentax FA 50mm f/1.4, which can be had for under $200. It is 3 stops faster than most zooms, which is invaluable for shooting indoors. A great "upgrade" lens is the DA 16-45mm f/4, about $300-400. It may not have the range of an 18-250, but the images produced are GREAT. You pay a real price for a 14x zoom.
10-31-2007, 12:47 PM   #4
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Your pretty much in the same situation I was in last year. I ended up going with the K100D (although I was really lusting after the K10D I just didn't have the money).

Now almost a year later, I don't regret it a bit, it's a wonderfully easy camera to use and I've found it great to learn on (I've been impressed with the results I've gotten so far)...and using AA batteries is perfect for me as well, since I'm always fogetting to recharge things around the house anyway.

I may eventually step up to a K10D in the next year, but not because I can't do what I want with this one, just because by that time I may actually miss some of the things the K10 can do that I can't now (the multi-exposure function, dual wheels and ability to save RAW+JPG would be some examples).

As to lenses, I got the kit lens and have been well satisfied, for my purposes it has been a fine lens. Other than that I have mostly bought used where I can find them...haven't bought a new lens yet, and considering my budget may never do so. I wouldn't rule out doing the same...getting the kit lens (since it's so cheap in the kit) and then filling in with something else when you find the need or the desire to go in another direction (like a macro setup for instance).

10-31-2007, 01:31 PM   #5
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I totally agree with jester rm. I ended up buying the K100D about a year ago and have not looked back. A really great camera and I like the kit lens. I think you will really enjoy it!
11-01-2007, 02:53 AM   #6
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Hey, thanks for all the replies guys! I'm really leaning towards the K100D now, and it looks like that's what I'm gonna get. I'm really not too crazy about getting it with the kit lens, so it looks like I'll be getting only the body.

The most recommended lens I've got so far is the DA 16-45mm f/4. How would you guys classify this lens? Beginner? Advanced? I've read on it and it really sounds like it's a good buy. I hope I could find it cheap though. Any better, cheaper, more economical lens recommendations though? Thanks!
11-01-2007, 03:03 AM   #7
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I have to agree with jester rm, and kpfeilfle. I was in the exactly same situation some 1 year ago. Ended up with K100D. O don't think K10D was on shelves back then, maybe some rumours about it, but anyway it would have been too expansive for me. Since then I was wishing for K10D, but when the opportunity came (we were getting 2nd body for my fiance) we ended up with another K100D and 70-300 lens for the same price as K10D body only...
Do I regret? not a bit, I don't really need all the improvements of K10D over K100D, neither does my fiance. K100D is a great body, and it will keep you happy for very long time.
As for lens, DA 18-55 is good enough, possibly the best "kit" lens around. But if you can afford DA 16-45, it's a good choice...
11-01-2007, 03:54 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by lastdodobird Quote

The most recommended lens I've got so far is the DA 16-45mm f/4. How would you guys classify this lens? Beginner? Advanced? I've read on it and it really sounds like it's a good buy. I hope I could find it cheap though. Any better, cheaper, more economical lens recommendations though? Thanks!
DA16-45/4 is more a "prosumer" lens. It is about US$300+ more than the kit lens. I have owned it and sold it but I still got the kit lens (18-55). Don't get me wrong, 16-45/4 IS a better lens than kit lens but I just don't like it enough and don't think it is worth the US$300+ than the kit lens (IMHO of course).

cheers
Kenny

11-01-2007, 03:58 AM   #9
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Which one would you guys pick, the tamron 28-75 f/2.8 or the pentax 16-45 f/4? Which one has a better I.Q.?
11-01-2007, 08:28 AM   #10
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They're two entirely different lenses covering different focal lengths and having different speeds. I don't think you can make a valid comparison.
11-01-2007, 08:55 AM   #11
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If I'm looking for the most economical lens that could provide the biggest improvement on IQ from the kit lens, what should I be looking at? Still the DA16-45/4?
11-01-2007, 10:09 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by lastdodobird Quote
Hey, thanks for all the replies guys! I'm really leaning towards the K100D now, and it looks like that's what I'm gonna get. I'm really not too crazy about getting it with the kit lens, so it looks like I'll be getting only the body.
Good move. The kit lens is an excellent and useful lens, considering that you get it nearly for free. But many dslr users end up getting something else and seldom going back to the kit lens. Me, I'll never buy a camera with the kit lens again.

As for your choice, the K100D is an excellent camera and you won't be unhappy with it. But the K10D is an even more excellent camera, and with the price drops, it's ridiculously cheap now. I think you can get a K10D now for less than I paid for my K100D a year ago. I just checked on Amazon.com -- a good vendor -- and if I'm reading this right (it's hard to believe!) you can buy a K10D body only for $636 -- and then get $100 rebate from Pentax, bringing the total cost to $536. The difference in cost between a K10D and the K100D right now is pretty small. And remember, the K10D is a better and newer model. I have owned both models.

If the $100 or so difference in price really matters (and I understand!), then don't feel bad. The K100D is a terrific camera, too.


QuoteQuote:
The most recommended lens I've got so far is the DA 16-45mm f/4. How would you guys classify this lens? Beginner? Advanced? I've read on it and it really sounds like it's a good buy. I hope I could find it cheap though. Any better, cheaper, more economical lens recommendations though? Thanks!
Lenses don't really come in beginner and advanced categories. There are price differences, but I suppose you could classify lenses by price as consumer-market lenses (decent but affordable) and pro-market lenses (excellent and costly). But they all work pretty much the same way.

Now, Pentax sells a number of lenses that are optically pro quality, but which don't have a pro-market price tag. The 16-45 f/4 is one of those lenses. The max aperture is a bit slow for some uses (weddings, indoor sports are two that matter to me) but for shooting in good light, it's an excellent lens. I have been making a feeble attempt to sell my own 16-45, but now I'm thinking I'll just hang on to it and leave it on my second camera as the default lens. It's too good to sell for very little.

Alternatives to the 16-45 as an alternative to the kit lens? Oh, there are lots of 'em! The Tamron 18-250 has already been mentioned, but I get the impression it may be a bit out of your price range. You could also consider that lens's predecessor, the Tamron 18-200, which was also very good, and can be had now for at least $100 less. The Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 is a fine choice as an all-purpose lens, not wide and not long, but very decent in between where most folks do most of their shooting. I'm trying to keep my suggestions to lenses that I think can be had for under $400. And if you were willing to do something a bit daring for a newbie, you could throw caution to the wind and buy the Pentax 40mm f/2.8 limited. I have not owned this one myself but it's reputed to be outstanding and sells for under $250 (and I think even comes with a rebate). Remember, 40mm on a Pentax dslr provides a perspective and angle of view very close to that of normal human vision. Personally I'd go with a zoom, though, and get the prime later when you really know why you want it. ;-)

Will
11-01-2007, 10:35 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by lastdodobird Quote
Hello everyone.

I've been dabbling in photography for the past year or two already, but it's only now that I've decided to upgrade my camera to a DSLR. I'm pretty sold on getting a Pentax, and I've narrowed my choices down to:
  • K100D
  • K10D
  • *ist D
Right now, I'm leaning most towards the K100D because it's much cheaper and it's been getting great reviews. (obviously I don't exactly know what I'm supposed to look for in a good beginner DSLR)

My considerations on what to choose is basically: 1) bang for the buck; and, 2) how much I'll be able to maximize the camera's potential. You guys could probably help with #1, but I think only I can really tell what the answer to #2 will be... although if anyone could offer some guidance, that would be appreciated.

For the time I've been a photo-hobbyist, I haven't really been actively exploring the craft... it's just a simple hobby, although I've never lost interest. I'd say I have a good understanding of the basic concepts involved, but nothing too advanced.

Also, I've decided to pass on buying the camera with the kit lens. I'm just buying the body and will buy a good lens for it outright. Does anyone have any suggestions for a good, economic lens to pair with any of the three models above?

Thanks in advance!
My advice would be to get the K10D with the kit lens. Believe me I have lots of lenses and still use my kit lens. It's IQ is very good, and it has excellent color rendition. I think it's the best bang for the buck lens in my bag. And along with the K100, K100super or K10D it's ridiculously inexpensive.

The reasons for the K10D are several:
--It's a bit more sophisitcated than the K100, a camera you can grow into
--Supports the newer lenses with in the lens focusing motor, I think this is the future as far as lenses go.
--Weatherproofed which the K100 is not
--Brighter viewfinder
--$100 rebate as a kit.
In addition you could get the DA 50-200mm (which also has a rebate). Those two lenses will be able to handle most of what you would want to shoot. After you've been shooting a while you will be able to make a better determination on the focal lengths you most like to shoot at and can upgrade to a faster zoom or some primes.

NaCl(don't knock the 18-55, it's an excellent lens for the money)H2O
11-01-2007, 10:55 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by lastdodobird Quote
If I'm looking for the most economical lens that could provide the biggest improvement on IQ from the kit lens, what should I be looking at? Still the DA16-45/4?
In my mind, the Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-45. DC MACRO is a better alternative. Longer reach, just as fast, and IQ on the same level.
11-01-2007, 12:57 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Deni Quote
Which one would you guys pick, the tamron 28-75 f/2.8 or the pentax 16-45 f/4? Which one has a better I.Q.?
I will completely agree with what JamesD said. I will also state the Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 is probably the best deal out there for IQ vs. cost. I have it, and many people on this board have it, and there's very little negative criticism ever uttered about it. It was my 1st lens, and I bought it instead of the kit lens.
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