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06-21-2011, 05:50 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChooseAName Quote
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. .
+1 on the flash. Mine is just a tilting one, but our rooms are quite small, and (not coincidentally) have white walls, which are ideal for bouncing light off, so you might be able to get away with just a tilting one. You can get lighting that's a bit one sided if you're too near the wall, but in our house at least it's manageable. And any flash is better than no flash:

No flash:


Flash:


I have a filter on one lens as it was on when I bought it, and no filter on the other. I treat my camera quite badly I suppose; it's often in a rucksack jumbled in with nappies and wipes and snacks, sometimes with no lens cap. The image quality of the pictures I get from grabbing my camera out of the rucksack and firing without having to unzip a camera bag and take the lens cap off and so on is much higher than on the shots I've missed trying to undo my 'proper' camera bag

06-21-2011, 06:19 AM   #32
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I like the little lens pen brushes to knock off dust. A good small-sized bag is essential for longer days out, it should hold two lenses, extra batteries and your emergency cleaning supplies like that lens brush. A small first-aid kit in that bag is also worthwhile.

Lens-wise I'd consider a macro if you like that kind of shooting. This doesn't have to be expensive - keep your eyes open for bargains when they pop up.
06-21-2011, 06:36 AM   #33
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I'm really going to advise against the camera bag. Shoot me down, but I think you can spend the money better elsewhere.

When I go out with my daughter I have enough to carry without a camera bag too! I generally dump my k-7 in the "daddies big blue bag" as she calls it, along with oaty bars, fruity bars, drinks, nappies, wipes, a tennis ball and countless other sundries. I reason that a magnesium body and weather sealing should be able to cope with all that. I might feel differently if either of my lenses were ones I'd spent a lot on I suppose, but having it there on top of the flotsam of baby-life means I can grab it whenever I need it, and be shooting in a few seconds. The odd time I've put my little Loewpro thing inside the rucksack it' not as easy or quick, although admittedly I did it yesterday as we were on the beach.

Generally, somewhere in the rucksack, is the other lens in a lens wrap. I don'' carry a spare battery or card, my 8GB card is enough for more keepers than I can manage in a day, and so is the battery.

At home the camera is always out. It lives on a high shelf after the unfortunate incident that lead to the death of my K10d (but that's what insurance is for) and in the car it hangs off the head rest over the back of my seat. So really it has no need for a bag. If I had to choose between a bag and a flash, I'd chose the flash in, er, a flash.

No doubt there are people on the forum who have cleaner gear than me, and whose cameras don't have some scratches on the screen - or on the bottom from trying to prop it up on gravel for a timed shot - but I bought my camera so I could document my daughters life, not to polish it. It's clean enough
06-21-2011, 10:21 AM - 1 Like   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by joshfishkins Quote
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?
A Nikon or similar lens pen has a microfibre scrub on one end and a light brush on the other. Use the brush to whisk away dust; use the scrub (gently) to remove any waterstains or fingerprints from the glass. Acid from fingerprints can eat into glass. Depending on usage, you may need to dust hourly and scrub annually.

A rocket blower also removes dust from the lens, but more importantly from the dSLR's mirror box. Remove lens; aim blower at mirror; shoot. Then use the sensor-cleaning option in the SET-UP menu to raise the mirror, and shoot at the sensor -- gently but thoroughly. I hold the camera body back-up so dislodged dust falls out.

The Official Pentax sensor-cleaning kit O-ICK1 has a 'lollypop' with a sticky surface, used to remove blobs and sticky stuff from the sensor as needed. Depending on use, that may be weekly or annually. That DIY kit cost much less than a single professionally cleaning, and can be used many dozens of times.

Again, the frequency of any cleaning depends on use. I may scrub a lens with the pen fairly often on wet foggy days, especially if I've aimed up. I usually use the sensor-cleaning kit before and after long trips like my recent multi-month journey -- during the trip, I used the rocket blower. When does the sensor need cleaning? Use the Dust-Alert function in the SET-UP menu to see if the sensor looks mucky!

Dust and gunk land on dSLR sensors, and that just can't be avoided. Fixed-lens and film cameras don't catch internal dust. Lenses catch dust and gunk and need cleaning -- a lens pen is much gentler than the old lens-cleaning tissues!

06-22-2011, 01:37 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
A Nikon or similar lens pen has a microfibre scrub on one end and a light brush on the other. Use the brush to whisk away dust; use the scrub (gently) to remove any waterstains or fingerprints from the glass. Acid from fingerprints can eat into glass. Depending on usage, you may need to dust hourly and scrub annually.

A rocket blower also removes dust from the lens, but more importantly from the dSLR's mirror box. Remove lens; aim blower at mirror; shoot. Then use the sensor-cleaning option in the SET-UP menu to raise the mirror, and shoot at the sensor -- gently but thoroughly. I hold the camera body back-up so dislodged dust falls out.

The Official Pentax sensor-cleaning kit O-ICK1 has a 'lollypop' with a sticky surface, used to remove blobs and sticky stuff from the sensor as needed. Depending on use, that may be weekly or annually. That DIY kit cost much less than a single professionally cleaning, and can be used many dozens of times.

Again, the frequency of any cleaning depends on use. I may scrub a lens with the pen fairly often on wet foggy days, especially if I've aimed up. I usually use the sensor-cleaning kit before and after long trips like my recent multi-month journey -- during the trip, I used the rocket blower. When does the sensor need cleaning? Use the Dust-Alert function in the SET-UP menu to see if the sensor looks mucky!

Dust and gunk land on dSLR sensors, and that just can't be avoided. Fixed-lens and film cameras don't catch internal dust. Lenses catch dust and gunk and need cleaning -- a lens pen is much gentler than the old lens-cleaning tissues!
I've been a member of various forums for years now, and this is the first one where I feel it really is OK to ask any question and not get slated for being 'an ignorant newbie'. Thanks for the informative and non patronising post - it is appreciated.
06-22-2011, 03:53 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by joshfishkins Quote
I've been a member of various forums for years now, and this is the first one where I feel it really is OK to ask any question and not get slated for being 'an ignorant newbie'. Thanks for the informative and non patronising post - it is appreciated.
Hay, we're all clueless n00bs at some point(s). Over a half-century on, I'm still clueless on many aspects of photography. But what I learn, or at least what I think I know, I can spread around; and earn brownie points (I'm in if for the lulz); and then learn some more. Ask me about actinic light sometime, eh?

PFC is an endless ongoing seminar, of the "there are no stupid questions" sort. A few trolls maybe, but honest questions are usually easy to discern, and they're asked because of real needs. All this stuff ISN'T always easily found in manuals, so you won't see many RTFM responses here. This isn't 4chan/p/.
06-22-2011, 06:03 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Hay, we're all clueless n00bs at some point(s). Over a half-century on, I'm still clueless on many aspects of photography. But what I learn, or at least what I think I know, I can spread around; and earn brownie points (I'm in if for the lulz); and then learn some more. Ask me about actinic light sometime, eh?

PFC is an endless ongoing seminar, of the "there are no stupid questions" sort. A few trolls maybe, but honest questions are usually easy to discern, and they're asked because of real needs. All this stuff ISN'T always easily found in manuals, so you won't see many RTFM responses here. This isn't 4chan/p/.
I second that. I just asked a silly question about manual setting of focal length on a mirrored lens and got a straightforward answer without anything snide or with a tone in response from several people. There are a few here who are out to prove they are superior, but aren't people like that found everywhere? I just put them on ignore and keep reading.
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