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07-01-2012, 09:30 AM   #1
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Getting ready to purchase a Pentax K-5. My first Pentax. VERY EXCITED! Planning on purchasing from B&H. I THINK I will just get the kit lens to start out unless anyone has any other suggestions! Considered the 18-135 WR instead but not sure if it's worth the extra $400. Opinions? Also, what other items do I need immediately? Extra battery? Charger? Memory card, etc? Would love your recommendations on what necessities I need to start out. I would like to place my order soon and not sure what all I need. I see some sites offer "packages" that include case, battery etc. but I wonder about the actual quality of these items that are included in the package deal. Is it best to buy the "package" or buy separately? Any advice will be appreciated!

07-01-2012, 10:07 AM   #2
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Congratulations and welcome to the Forum!

The lens is a hard one - since it depends on what and how you wind up shooting. For that reason the kit lens is a good starting point. The WR is a nice feature since the body is sealed. Just remember its water resistant and not proof.

The rest of the question is pretty wide open - there is plenty of time and opportunities to go broke buying things. So maybe a couple of pointers first.
  • Battery - I upgraded to the K5 in January, and still have only one battery. Its something I probably need a second on. A charge is worth about 600 to 700 images. I do not know that you need to do this immediately. That said, a charge takes 6 hours - so recharge it over night.
  • SD Cards - Those, I have plenty. I have 3 - 4GB ones - somewhat small. They hold about 170 Raw images each. I find that they are plenty.
  • Charger - one comes with the camera.
  • Case - Personal preference - I do not use one. I keep an L bracket on mine since I do a lot of tripod work. It works for me.
  • Packages - are usually a waste of money, in that they are a number of very low cost items that they make additional profit on when packaged together. Camera, lens, SD card is all you really need to start shooting. From there you can see what you need and how you are going to work.
  • Carrying case / Backpack - Starting out, I really do not think you need anything. Based on what you have, use that - an extra backpack or what ever. As you acquire items, then you will find yourself looking for something that fits your needs.
Just charge up the battery, read the manual, go out and shoot items experimenting - the film is free....

07-01-2012, 10:14 AM   #3
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K-5's are great cameras. The only thing that you really need to get going is an sd card. I recommend as large as you can afford and class 10 with a transfer rate of 30-45mb/sec. Other items that might be useful are a better strap and a device for cleaning dust off the sensor. The stock strap is too short for me and also irritates the back of my neck. There is debate about the best way to clear dust from the sensor. The dust removal works (I set mine to function on start up) but it won't take care of everything all the time. I use a Giottos-type rocket blower but others prefer an Arctic Butterfly, or a sensor cleaning pen, or the Pentax lollipop. In any event you should use something designed for the task. Personally I wouldn't waste a dime on an accessory package. Good luck and welcome.
07-01-2012, 10:16 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcook Quote
Getting ready to purchase a Pentax K-5. My first Pentax. VERY EXCITED!
Congratulations! The weather-resistant kit lens is a good performer and tends to be a good value when included as part of a kit. Most photogs are going to want something longer than 55mm; if you don't see a need for longer than 135mm then the 18-135 might be the best choice. But if you think you would want to go longer still (for wildlife or sports, say) you might be better served with a two-lens kit, the 18-55 and the 55-300.

An extra battery is certainly handy. For still photography a couple of 8GB cards gets you far, and they don't need to be the fastest and most expensive cards, either. For video you'd probably want larger and faster. Personally I don't have a dedicated case for my DSLR, but you'll want some kind of camera bag to hold camera + accessories.

Agree with lammie200 that a Giottos blower is very useful.

07-01-2012, 10:24 AM   #5
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  • Rather buy 2 smaller cards than one big one; so 2x 8GB instead of 16GB, 2x 16GB instead of one 32GB etc. I use 2x 8GB with the K5..
  • A rocket blower to blow dust of the sensor; it will eventually happen although I haven't had a need for one on my K5 in over a year. With one lens, chances are slim but better have one just in case.
  • A lens pen or micro cloth or so to clean a dirty front element of the lens.

Welcome to the Pentax club.
07-01-2012, 10:59 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcook Quote
Considered the 18-135 WR instead but not sure if it's worth the extra $400.
Depends on what you want to shoot really. If you are looking to have one primary lens and not change out a lot then the 18-135 makes a lot of sense. If you are going to be buying other lenses and develop a full lens kit then the kit lens plus the 55-300 is a good starting point.

One battery is plenty unless you are shooting more than 500 pictures per day. A good 8gb SD card is all you need to start. Maybe a camera bag of some sort, but better to wait until you have the camera and try bags out at the store to see what fits your needs best. A good micro fibre cloth and a Giottos blower to keep things clean.

You also should think about processing and image management software as well file organization and backups.
07-01-2012, 11:15 AM   #7
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Do you think the $400 difference is worth it on the 18-135 vs 18-55? Is there much difference is image quality? I know these are not the top of the line lenses, but good all around usage. Would it be better to wait an invest in a little better quality or a prime lens? Also, as to image processing and management, I have Adobe Photoshop and using a Mac so I have only iPhoto. Any other suggestions on this. Interested in Photomatix but still researching it and don't know alot about that yet. Thanks!
07-01-2012, 11:41 AM - 1 Like   #8
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Since you haven't ordered yet, you might want to download the manual from the Pentax website so you can start reading it now and hit the ground running. K-5 (scroll down and click on Manuals)

07-01-2012, 12:03 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcook Quote
Do you think the $400 difference is worth it on the 18-135 vs 18-55?
If you are only going to get one lens then yes it is worth it. 55mm is too short for me anyway.

Here is the link to the lens review for the 18-135 in case you have not found it.

QuoteOriginally posted by mcook Quote
I have Adobe Photoshop and using a Mac so I have only iPhoto. Any other suggestions on this
Photoshop is more than enough of course. But for photographers I think Lightroom is a better choice. It does 90% of the image editing that a photographer needs and has better management and keywording tools.
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