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06-17-2011, 03:14 PM   #1
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Have K7, Lens..now Ceaning Kit? Bag? Software?

Hello All,

So I finally had a chance to test out the K7 & Tamron 18-250 and so far so good. I received such good advice on here I figured I'd ask a few more questions.

I plan to buy a cleaning kit and in my research found rocket blowers and Lens pens, but last time I used my Film SLR all I ever used was lens wipes. Never heard of a pen. So knowing that things have changed, is there an all inclusive kit I can buy, or do I need to locate the pieces individually? If so what is recommended? Should I get a lens Pen?

I need a Bag, and i have a small one I used for my film Program Plus that I can use for now, but at Best Buy ran across some Camera Backpacks. I want a bag I can use when on a trip in Europe but also don't want to look like a full Tourist either. The backpacks seem like a good idea since I imagine I can also have other non camera items in there. Any recommendations? I'll only have the camera, 2 extra lenses and whatever I use for cleaning.

I only have the software that comes with the camera plus whatever is bundled in windows 7. I also downloaded Photo Me to get info on shutter counts to see how many when the camera arrived, but unsure what else I can do with it. I know Photoshop is the gold standard, but also know its a huge program that is quite involved to learn. Is there a watered down version geared toward photography? Also I hear PS has lens profiles to aid in correction. Are there other photo programs out there that have this that may be easier to learn?

Should I bother with Filters? The lens hood seems to be pretty good at protection. I only have a clear filter on my 50mm that I took off my program plus.

Any help or suggestions would be great.

Marc

06-17-2011, 03:20 PM   #2
Ash
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Simply put - get the accessories you will need/use.
Cleaning kit - useful (for the lens). Leave sensor cleaning to the experts if you can't remove spots with the camera's mechanisms.
Bag - vital for your hiking trips - lots of padding, get the bag that you will find versatile for your needs: backpack or sling-type shoulder pack are generally great for walking around with.
Software - pretty important, though your Pentax's own software is as good as most free/cheaper packages. For your purposes, it's right for you to get used to and master.
Filters - the only one I'd suggest is a circular polarised filter - good to limit glare/reflection and saturate the blue skies more dramatically.
06-17-2011, 03:33 PM   #3
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Let me share my own experience and add to Ash's excellent comments.

I have a K-7 and my first lens was the DA18-250m.

Bag: I have the Lowepro Toploader TLZ1 which fits nicely the K-7 and 18-250mm, the battery charger, an extra card, some cloth and a couple of extra small things. The bag is perfect for 1 camera + 1 lens. I have also a Lowepro Pro runner 200AW which fits nicely one camera and 7 lenses. With a couple of lenses, it gives enough space for personal effects. I am very happy with both bags and can recommend them.

Filter: none.

Software: I use PDCU. The image quality output is good. It's free.

Rocket blower: definitely. However I also suggest that you set your camera to auto-clean at each startup. Does not cost much and will help to kee the mirror clean for a long time.

Hood: the 18-250mm hood is perfect for its compactness when not in use. The hood definitely helps to reduce flare (based pon my own limited tests).


Hope that the first hand experience with the same gears will hep...

Last edited by hcc; 06-17-2011 at 05:20 PM.
06-17-2011, 04:52 PM   #4
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The lense that you have is a great one, fast and very clear. If you are looking for a free better than basic program for correction and filters download Picasa from Google. You can use Picasa to crop your images. HOwever I use photoshop or Corel Photopaint to resize and print.

there is so much on that camera Nikon useres beware.

06-17-2011, 10:04 PM   #5
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I tend to travel internationally very light. I never check luggage so light and small is mandatory. For cleaning, I only take a small microfiber cloth to keep the LCD clean, a small rocket blower for the mirror/sensor and a lenspen for lenses. The LP has a dry cleaning pad on one end and a retractable soft brush on the other. I am very careful when changing lenses so that is all I ever need.

You asked about a stripped down version of Photoshop for photographers. That is called Photoshop Elements and it is very good but not free like some of the other suggestions above, running under $100.00. Elements runs fine on my laptop and has all the features I need. I can also recommend Faststone Image Viewer which is free for the download. I hate the Organizer in Elements so use FSV for sorting, viewing and image resizing. The e-mail/resizing function alone is reason enough to use FSV. I just resize everything I want to e-mail home to 800x600 and never have bandwidth problems.

As for cases, I have a couple of different LowePro Nova AW bags. For light travel with few or no extra lenses and little other gear, the 160 handles my body+18-250mm just fine and the whole thing slips into my lightweight daypack for toting around. The advantage there is that when packed away, it doesn't look like I am carrying a camera, just a small daypack. For the plane, the 160 fits in my rolling carry-on, leaving room for clothes and such.
06-18-2011, 06:49 AM   #6
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Having travelled extensively, I don't recommend a backpack. While in San Jose, Costa Rica, downtown and in a dense crowd my back up camera was stolen. I never felt it being removed. A friend had his camera and wallet taken the same way in Prague.
06-18-2011, 08:10 AM   #7
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+1 on using PDCU. Ensure you install the latest updaqte for it. For other software you have 2 days to try out and provide feedback on PhotoDirector and get a free copy. Take a look at PhotoDirector 2011 Beta Version ? Professional Quality Photo Editing Software
If you choose a sling bag or backpack get one with the zip closest to you and some s It's possibly a little more intuative than PDCU andwill do non-destructive edits

I had never used a lens pen until recently but I like it. You can get kits with a huge blower, lens pen and wipe.
Consider a lens hood. Ones that reverse take up less room.
If you get a backpack or sling bag ensure it has a zip near you that is covered and has some sort of extra security to make it difficult for theft from it when you wear it. Most now do.
06-18-2011, 09:38 AM   #8
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i have the Lowepro Flipside 300 backpack and it's great. the zipper is on the side that is in contact with your back when wearing, so the only way to get in or out (for you or a thief) is to remove the bag from your body.

there's a free (open source) photoshop alternative called Gimp that may serve you right: GIMP - The GNU Image Manipulation Program

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