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06-01-2012, 10:51 PM   #1
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Need guidance

Hi guys.

I recently received an old pentax P30T with a pentax-A Zoom 28~80mm lens.
Im not heavy into photography. I own a sony cybershot point and shoot camera that produces a neat photograph for its size. Looking to pick up a DSLR.
I'm a beginner in every sense of the word in photography
What would be a good pentax DSLR with this lens?(Dont see the need to pick up a new lens just yet)
All and any suggestions are welcome

06-01-2012, 11:24 PM   #2
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Get a used K-x, or K-r. Good buys for the price.
06-01-2012, 11:33 PM   #3
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Welcome aboard! What camera to buy depends a bit on your budget. Tell us how much money you have, and we'll spend it for you! If your budget is fairly low, a Kr or older Kx is a good starting point. If you have a well-paying job, a K5 or new K30 may be just right. Here is a page for comparing features of Pentax dSLRs: Pentax Cameras | Pentax K-30 vs. Pentax K-r vs. Pentax K-x - Pentax DSLR Comparison

I'll suggest that your A28-80 isn't the best lens for starting with dSLR photography. Newer lenses support both autofocus (AF) and shake reduction (SR), both of which help shooting in less-than-bright light. A Kr or other camera will usually have an AF kit lens included, usually the useful DA18-55.

A common complaint by newcomers is that they can't get sharp shots with their dSLR. But dSLRs are not like P&S cams. The major difference is the frame (sensor) size, and how that impacts pictures. A small P&S cameera has a very short focal length lens. It might be labeled as "25-125mm equivalent", but it's actually something like 5-25mm. Such short lenses have very thick depth-of-field (DOF), which means that much of what the lens sees will look in focus. Our dSLRs have much larger sensors and use longer lenses, which mostly have much thinner DOF. That's why many of us use AF and SR to help get crisper shots.

One last thing: Photography is filled with jargon, language that well-describes what we have and how we use it. Much of mastering photography is just learning the jargon. Think of Pentax Forums as an extended language seminar. Get to know the funny words and acronyms, and it all starts to make sense. Eventually. I've been at it for 5+ decades and much of it is still a mystery to me. Duh...

Have fun!

Last edited by RioRico; 06-02-2012 at 06:19 AM.
06-02-2012, 05:42 AM   #4
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i bought a k-r last at christmas time and ive loved it for my needs as an amateur starting up in photography. as riorico said its all about understanding the jargon. best thing to do would be to buy a kx/kr and just experiment with it read the manual play with different settings have fun and post your photos up here so the more experienced guys/girls can point you in the right direction!
have fun

06-03-2012, 03:11 AM   #5
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Thanks guys. Lots of information to process.
Special thanks to @RioRico

RioRico, is the A28-80 a more professional, tougher lens to work with?

Last edited by Nikhibhai; 06-03-2012 at 03:19 AM.
06-03-2012, 09:25 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nikhibhai Quote
RioRico, is the A28-80 a more professional, tougher lens to work with?
A-series zooms (some are very good and some aren't) are several generations old in terms of zoom design. The A28-80 isn't really highly regarded as a lens -- here are the reviews: SMC Pentax-A 28-80mm F3.5-4.5 Reviews - A Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database . Not terrible, just not superior.

I use A-zooms in particular circumstances: when there is plenty of light, or when I want to use flash, or when I'm using a tripod and the zoom doesn't exhibit zoom creep (gravity forcing a change in focal length). I have no problem with manual focus -- I shot for 40 years before I got my first AF setup -- but a major plus with Pentax dSLRs is SR, shake reduction. This allows shooting at lower shutter speeds.

All AF lenses for Pentax support automatic SR, but A-type and older zooms don't. SR can still be used, but it's problematic. With non-AF lenses, the camera's SR system (what I call the SR'bot) must be told the lens' focal length (FL). Tell it the right FL, and it's wonderful! Tell it the wrong FL, and it can make pictures blurrier. So with an A-zoom I can either:

1) re-enter the FL every time I zoom; or
2) enter some average FL but suffer at the extremes ; or
3) stay at the entered FL -- or
4) just switch SR off and shoot with faster shutters in adequate light.

I usually choose #4, sometimes #3, never #1 or #2.

A-types have advantages over earlier lenses. Aperture can be controlled by the camera, so they can be used in all Auto metering+exposure modes. They work with pTTL flash. They just don't AF, and they don't auto-SR.

So, back to your question: Is the A28-80 tough to work with? It's tougher than with a newer AF lens, yes. No problem, if you're aware of and don't mind working within its limits. As a first lens for a first dSLR, it will likely be disappointing. That's why I highly recommend starting with a decent AF lens, of which there are MANY, and many are cheap. And as mentioned, most dSLRs come with a kit lens attached, usually the DA18-55. Become accustomed to the DA18-55, then see what can be done with the A28-80. Have fun!
06-03-2012, 09:35 AM   #7
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I agree - the lens you have is nice to have for nostalgia's sake, but not worth buying a camera for, and when you do buy camera, you'll want a more appropriate lens for it. Not only is it not very good optically, and manual focus only, but it isn't wide angle on a Pentax DSLR. It would be like if your current P&S camera was stuck and couldn't zoom out more than half way. For the extra $50 or so it costs to get the DA18-55 that comes with most new DSLR's, it's a no-brainer.
06-04-2012, 10:06 PM   #8
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Thanks a lot...A much clearer picture in my head now

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