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06-10-2011, 08:00 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by justinr Quote
With regards to filters a UV filter (sometimes called a skylight) is highly recommend to protect the front glass of each lens.
Highly recommended by filter salesmen, yes. Do a search on this forum or elsewhere and you'll see that there is a considerable body of opinion that says these are counterproductive. Yes, in certain rare cases they might be what saves your lens, but mostly, just good common sense is all you need, and common sense won't degrade your images. This is, of course, a very old debate, but it's important newbies be made aware it *is* a debate, and they shouldn't assume that everyone recommends these.

06-10-2011, 08:26 AM   #17
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Wow, lot of good info...thanks for all the advice. Looks like I know where I need to come for help!
06-10-2011, 09:43 AM   #18
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Not having a UV filter would be highly recommended by lens salesmen I'd have thought, but each to their own.

Rare cases seem to apply to my shooting whenever I take the camera outdoors to use, which is about 99% of the time. It's not just bird poo but dust, water, bits of hedge, pokey out bits that are found everywhere and so on. To me they are utterly invaluable and any slight degradation in IQ is nothing to finding myself with a scratched lens or damaged glass coating which is more than likely as I am not the most patient of fellows.
06-11-2011, 01:04 AM   #19
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The OP says he is in St Andrews (his profile says Dundee!) and that is on the coast. East Fife has fantastic beaches with some great images to be found, and having damaged my glasses lenses visiting them in windy weather I'd strongly recomment he gets some UV filters. I found the Hoya HMC on Ebay (in Edinburgh) for a very reasonable price - all the vendor sold was Hoya filters.

Also, I've had quite a few images in camera club cometitions, all from the SLRs (ME Super, E510, K7) have been taken through a UV filter and I've never, ever had the judge suggest that image quality was lacking. Artistic quality yes, but a UV filter doesn't make any difference to that.




More from Fife at: Fifescapes - a set on Flickr

06-11-2011, 05:41 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by justinr Quote
It's not just bird poo but dust, water, bits of hedge, pokey out bits that are found everywhere and so on.
None of which have ever harmed any of my lenses or those of most others who choose not to degrade their images with UV filters. Yes, it's *possible*. It's also *possible* I will be hit by a car every time I cross the street. Doesn't make me want to wear full body armor everywhere I go just in case.

Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 06-15-2011 at 08:38 PM.
06-12-2011, 01:24 AM   #21
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I am not trying to insist that you or anyone else should use a UV filter to help protect the lens. We all have a different approach to how we go about our craft which is only to the good but for somebody who has just spent good money on moving up to a dSLR and may not be used to handling or caring for cameras then the extra protection they provide is well worth the cost and any slight reduction in IQ I would have thought.

Personally I tend to be a bit rough'n'ready with cameras often shooting in dirty air or rain which is why I appreciate the weather sealing of the K5 so it seems somewhat self defeating to leave the most important piece of glass naked to the elements whilst protecting every other part of the camera.
06-16-2011, 03:54 PM   #22
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fast prime for the baby (aka cheap ones are the 50 1.8 or the 50 1.4, the 35mm are better but they're hella expensive)

multi purpose zoom for traveling (18-250 or 18-270).

Honestly I use the kitlens alot (18-55), but eventually you'll want a multi-purpose zoom, swaping lens around isn't fun when dust gets into the sensor ect...
06-17-2011, 12:06 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by MRJV Quote
I bought it mainly because I have a Eurpoean Vacation coming up as well as a baby on the way. Most will be around the house and mostly playing around. Are the hoods all the same or is there one you can recommend?
I can't speak regarding the vacation part, but I can speak regarding the baby. Like clockwork247 said in the previous post, for a baby, I would get a good fast prime (fast meaning a large aperture). The FA 50 f/1.4 is probably your best bang-for-the-buck.

For a lens that you're going to be using mostly indoors, I don't think you will have great need for a lens hood. Hoods are mainly used to reduce lens flare and other stray light.

If anything, I would save up for a flash. Having a flash has greatly increased the quality of light in my photos. Be sure to get one where you can tilt and swivel the flash head - it makes a big difference not having to point the flash directly at the subject, like all on-board flashes do. For a while before I got my Metz 48, I would hold an index card in front of the on-board flash. Not elegant but better than nothing. You might also try on-board flash diffusers, or something called a Light Scoop. I've never used it but it sounds like it would be useful for someone who's shooting indoors but can't quite afford a flash. I seriously considered the Metz 48 and the Sigma EF-530 (and its similarly named variant(s)).


Last edited by ChooseAName; 06-17-2011 at 12:10 PM. Reason: Added flashes that I'd considered
06-17-2011, 12:15 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChooseAName Quote
I can't speak regarding the vacation part, but I can speak regarding the baby. Like clockwork247 said in the previous post, for a baby, I would get a good fast prime (fast meaning a large aperture). The FA 50 f/1.4 is probably your best bang-for-the-buck.

For a lens that you're going to be using mostly indoors, I don't think you will have great need for a lens hood. Hoods are mainly used to reduce lens flare and other stray light.

If anything, I would save up for a flash. Having a flash has greatly increased the quality of light in my photos. Be sure to get one where you can tilt and swivel the flash head - it makes a big difference not having to point the flash directly at the subject, like all on-board flashes do. For a while before I got my Metz 48, I would hold an index card in front of the on-board flash. Not elegant but better than nothing. You might also try on-board flash diffusers, or something called a Light Scoop. I've never used it but it sounds like it would be useful for someone who's shooting indoors but can't quite afford a flash. I seriously considered the Metz 48 and the Sigma EF-530 (and its similarly named variant(s)).
I agree with you regarding the FA50/1.4 - terrific and under-appreciated lens that you can get for a reasonable price IMHO. I love mine and use it all the time.

I disagree about the hood not being necessary indoors. It sounds weird but on the FA50/1.4 in particular the design has the front element right up to the edge of the housing where the 1.7 model is very recessed within the housing. When you put a hood on the 1.4 it sharpens up the 1.4-2 range a great deal - even indoors.
06-17-2011, 03:06 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
I disagree about the hood not being necessary indoors. It sounds weird but on the FA50/1.4 in particular the design has the front element right up to the edge of the housing where the 1.7 model is very recessed within the housing. When you put a hood on the 1.4 it sharpens up the 1.4-2 range a great deal - even indoors.
Thanks for the correction. I keep a rubber hood on my 50 all the time and I extend it even indoors, out of habit.

To the OP, well, hoods are not too expensive, but if you are willing to spend a couple hundred dollars on not-a-lens, a flash would most improve your keeper rate.
06-17-2011, 03:39 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChooseAName Quote
Thanks for the correction. I keep a rubber hood on my 50 all the time and I extend it even indoors, out of habit.

To the OP, well, hoods are not too expensive, but if you are willing to spend a couple hundred dollars on not-a-lens, a flash would most improve your keeper rate.
Theres a great thread here someplace looking at the difference at various f-stops of the lens with and without a hood. Its an eye opener.
06-18-2011, 10:12 AM - 1 Like   #27
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My late entry: I've been shooting a long time, but I got my first dSLR kit just 3 years ago. With my K20D and AF360 flash, I got a DA10-17 fisheye, DA18-250 superzoom, and FA50/1.4 Fast Fifty. Except for supplanting the DA10-17 with a Tamron 10-24 ultrawide, that's still my basic kit, 200+ lenses later. The superzoom is for everyday walkaround (and no lens-swapping between 18-55 and 50-300 lenses!); the ultrawide is for tight spaces; the Fast Fifty is for low light or action. Throw in a Raynox DCR-250 for near-macro shooting, and most situations are covered. (All my other lenses are for more specialized work and play.)

I already had some accessories, and I bought some new ones.

* I had tall (ground-level) and short (table-top) tripods. I bought wired and wireless remotes, for 'podded shots.
* I bought cleaning tools: rocket blower, lens pen, and the Official Pentax sensor cleaning kit -- those are VITAL!
* I bought extra SDHC cards and batteries -- also vital. You can't have too many. I also bought a flash diffuser.
* I had a large teardrop shoulder-sling Ameribag; it's defensible, hauls all I need, and doesn't look like a camera bag.

* I bought 'protective' UV filters -- and tossed them; they are unnecessary outside of hostile environments (spraying saltwater, sand, mud, blood, beer, etc) which I try to avoid. Hoods are better protection, and improve image quality too. Don't worry about filters now. You can think about neutral density and polarizing and infrared and actinic and other useful/fun effects filters later. Concentrate on learning photography for now.

* I already had much photographic and software experience; you can gain experience too, by reading and practicing. Read everything you can about photography, new and old. Read up on lenses, exposure, composition. Borrow library books. And obtain and learn to use an image editor, whether GIMP or Lightroom or PhotoShopElements or PaintShopPro or whatever. Post-production is an integral part of the picture-making process.

So those are the basics for a photography kit: camera and lenses and hoods; cleaning tools; tripods and remotes; flash and batteries and charger; bag; books; bravura. Especially books and online reading. Over a half-century of shooting, and I'm still learning new tricks! Keep asking questions here.

Last edited by RioRico; 06-18-2011 at 10:19 AM.
06-20-2011, 10:48 PM   #28
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A couple comments from a fellow Newbie...

1) Make sure the bag you have is convenient and comfortable. The first bag I bought held everything securly, but I could not stand using it or walking around with it - so my camera and a few lenses banged around a basic backpack or messenger back for a year or so. I finally just got a great bag that has room for everything I need and is comfortabble to wear all day (a Kata 123-Go-20). I went to a local camera shop with my equipment and they let me test out all there bags until I found the one I liked

2) I never really cared for the neck strap, so I picked up a hand strap from Pentax (Digital Cameras and Accessories - Official PENTAX Imaging Web Site). The convenience of having your camera right in your hand at all times is great, and it is a lot more comfortable than you might think!

3) I chose Pentax because I had a SMC-A 50mm f/2 from an old K1000 - the faster lenses mentioned above are better, but even if you just buy a cheap (very cheap!) f/2 you will love using it. (I'll eventually replace mine with and f/1.4 but for now the f/2 is great.)

Have fun with your new camera!

-Bryan
06-21-2011, 01:55 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
My late entry: I've been shooting a long time, but I got my first dSLR kit just 3 years ago. With my K20D and AF360 flash, I got a DA10-17 fisheye, DA18-250 superzoom, and FA50/1.4 Fast Fifty. Except for supplanting the DA10-17 with a Tamron 10-24 ultrawide, that's still my basic kit, 200+ lenses later. The superzoom is for everyday walkaround (and no lens-swapping between 18-55 and 50-300 lenses!); the ultrawide is for tight spaces; the Fast Fifty is for low light or action. Throw in a Raynox DCR-250 for near-macro shooting, and most situations are covered. (All my other lenses are for more specialized work and play.)

I already had some accessories, and I bought some new ones.

* I had tall (ground-level) and short (table-top) tripods. I bought wired and wireless remotes, for 'podded shots.
* I bought cleaning tools: rocket blower, lens pen, and the Official Pentax sensor cleaning kit -- those are VITAL!
* I bought extra SDHC cards and batteries -- also vital. You can't have too many. I also bought a flash diffuser.
* I had a large teardrop shoulder-sling Ameribag; it's defensible, hauls all I need, and doesn't look like a camera bag.

* I bought 'protective' UV filters -- and tossed them; they are unnecessary outside of hostile environments (spraying saltwater, sand, mud, blood, beer, etc) which I try to avoid. Hoods are better protection, and improve image quality too. Don't worry about filters now. You can think about neutral density and polarizing and infrared and actinic and other useful/fun effects filters later. Concentrate on learning photography for now.

* I already had much photographic and software experience; you can gain experience too, by reading and practicing. Read everything you can about photography, new and old. Read up on lenses, exposure, composition. Borrow library books. And obtain and learn to use an image editor, whether GIMP or Lightroom or PhotoShopElements or PaintShopPro or whatever. Post-production is an integral part of the picture-making process.

So those are the basics for a photography kit: camera and lenses and hoods; cleaning tools; tripods and remotes; flash and batteries and charger; bag; books; bravura. Especially books and online reading. Over a half-century of shooting, and I'm still learning new tricks! Keep asking questions here.
I'm getting my K-x on Thursday (cannot wait!) but am a little perturbed by the cleaning kits mentioned several times in this thread. How often do you need to clean the lens (and yes I appreciate that it will depend on shooting environment), but for general day-to-day shooting indoors and on my local moors, will I need a rocket blower or other cleaning things? What should I be wary of doing?

Sorry if this is a total newbie post, but then I am...!
06-21-2011, 05:23 AM   #30
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Frankly you should almost never clean a lens.
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