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01-06-2013, 11:08 AM   #1
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On-line Courses on Basics ?

I have a new K-5, but am overwhelmed with the settings and controls. I really need to spend some time learning the basics. The earliest college course I can take locally is months away. Any suggestions for an on-line course? I see there are a few out there, but am skeptical on choosing one without a recommend.

Also, when looking on Craigslist or ebay, how do I know that a lens will be compatible with the K-5? That is, will a manual lens that fits a cannon AE-1 for instance, be able to fit the K-5. I read the thread about converting old manual lenses for use with a Pentax, but were manual lenses manufactured for one brand of camera only?

Thanks in advance.

Right now I have to go find Jessie and warn him about Hank being on to us...


Last edited by Heisenberg; 01-06-2013 at 11:38 AM.
01-06-2013, 11:27 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Basics of photography are covered in this book. Usually available in any library:
Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with a Film or Digital Camera (Updated Edition): Bryan Peterson: 9780817463007: Books

As for settings and controls, here is an e-book, that some people have used which is slightly more comprehensive than the manufacturers manual:
PENTAX DSLRs: Download a free sample of the Pentax K-5 e-book before you purchase.
01-06-2013, 12:00 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Here is a thread about lens adapters.

Most mounts have a shorter flange focal distance than K-mount so need optically corrected adapters. M4/3 and NEX are better for adapting old lenses than K-Mount.

Flange focal distance - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
01-06-2013, 12:42 PM - 1 Like   #4
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This book was recommended to me when I got my first SLR in the early 80's. It was / is still a great help.

The Joy of photography: Bernard Quint, Martin L. Taylor, Eastman Kodak Company: 9780201039160: Books

I bought this one after I got my DSLR. It helped update things into the digital age. The Joy of Digital Photography (A Lark Photography Book) (0661741005787): Jeff Wignall: Books

Digital is actually easier than film was. With digital you get immediate results and your settings for each shot are saved in the EXIF data. It's a lot easier than shooting a roll of film then waiting to get it processed then trying to remember the settings that produced the best shots!

Have Fun and Enjoy your new camera.

Last edited by kkoether; 01-06-2013 at 10:07 PM. Reason: spelling
01-06-2013, 03:57 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by kkoether Quote
This book was recommended to me when I got my first SLR in the early 80's. It was / is still a great help.

The Joy of photography: Bernard Quint, Martin L. Taylor, Eastman Kodak Company: 9780201039160: Books
I was given that book for Christmas in the early 1980's not long after I got my SLR. Then about 5 years later a roommate I had ripped the pages with nude shots out of it for his activities of self abuse. It made me so mad I about beat him within an inch of his life. I spared him the beating in lieu of a replacement. (Seriously I am generally a passive and easy going guy, but it bothered me a great deal that someone I trusted enough to share a home with saw fit to rummage through my things and destroy them like that.)

Now I have 2 copies of that book. One in perfect condition, and one that has been vandalized.

A great book to help n00bs learn about photography. Light. Composition. Process. Equipment. Medium. Technique. Everything is covered. It helped guide me in my early days of serious amateur photography. I read the book cover to cover several times, and refer to it even today for bits of info that I have forgotten.

Fantastic recommendation!
01-06-2013, 11:19 PM - 1 Like   #6
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Can't speak too much about online courses but, if you're looking to learn a bit, adorama has a TON of developmental videos on their learning center. I recommend Adorama TV. More specifically, I recommend "exploring photography" with Mark Wallace:

AdoramaTV - Exploring Photography from Adorama Learning Center
01-07-2013, 01:44 AM - 1 Like   #7
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Hiesberg, have a look at this it will teach you all the basics, it's free and it's sensibly written and explained, I use it for basic class room free night class courses. it was written by this guy but is no longer on his web site, but you view his work here John M. Setzler, Jr.

Last edited by adwb; 01-07-2013 at 08:00 AM.
01-07-2013, 07:18 AM - 1 Like   #8
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Here is a link to a web resource someone posted elsewhere on the forum. I stumbled upon it while browsing through the threads the other day. It has tons of pages with articles to help the (in my humble opinion) steep learning curve undertaken when starting out in digital photography. Even though it is not brand or model specific, it has helped me correlate what I had mastered with a film SLR to all the gimcracks and geegaws on today's DSLR.

I hope it helps you too.

Cambridge in Colour - Photography Tutorials & Learning Community

01-08-2013, 03:45 PM - 1 Like   #9
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Posts: 2,152 has some good tutorials as well. I read a lot of them when I was starting with film, but I'd imagine they would help. And NO, and AE-1 lens will not work on the OP's K-5. Look for Pentax SLRs, or Ricoh, and you should be in good shape with their lenses.
01-08-2013, 06:14 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Navmaxlp Quote
I recommend "exploring photography" with Mark Wallace
I second that recommendation -- excellent resource.

Re lens compatibility, short answer is buy only autofocus K-mount lenses. These are made by Pentax, of course, but also by third-party makers such as Tamron & Sigma. Naturally, the third-party makers produce lenses for different camera systems, so if buying a third-party lens make sure it is for Pentax K-mount. Any lens made by Canon is only for Canon cameras; likewise for Nikon.

Long answer is there is a vast array of manual-focus lenses you can also get, if you like that sort of thing.
01-08-2013, 06:49 PM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Racer X 69 Quote
Cambridge in Colour - Photography Tutorials & Learning Community
+1 on that - even with a good working knowledge I've found this site to be very helpful.
01-08-2013, 09:23 PM - 1 Like   #12
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If you really want an on-line intro course, Rick Sammon has an Intro to Your DSLR session on Kelby Training On-line that isn't bad. If you pay for a month, you would have plenty of time to digest that and several other introductory courses before the time runs out.

I agree that Bryan Peterson's books are good for the beginner but for someone who is struggling with what all the buttons and levers are, a good video can be very helpful.
01-10-2013, 11:56 AM   #13
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Looked in my area for "Live Body" classes by the way. Plenty available. Many general purpose. Then there's the Canon REBEL only and Nikon D model only classes. Guess not enough Pentaxians for a class huh? Ought to be. What I did like (this is Washington DC) is there are some photo safaris in the local area to get some good practice with expert advice. Will have to do that.

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