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03-29-2014, 11:56 AM   #1
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New to forum a DSLR with few questions.

Hi there I'm to DSLR's and am going to buy my first very shortly. I have searched the forum for guests I have found many questions. I thought I might ask a few here again with abit of background on what I want to do in photography.
First off I spend alot of time outside fishing in the summer and hunting in the fall. So you can imagin most of thr picture tsking will be wildlife and landscape/nature stuff. I also have a 3yr old son so there will be lots of pictures of him around the house and sports in the near future. I'd like to do abit of video also but this is secodary. Budget is decent and I always try to buy the best gear within reason.

1) K-50 or K-5ii - I like the extra battery power and external mic. Low light af seems better in the K-5ii also.
2) I am planning on getting the 18-135 wr lens no matter what package but if any one can think of reason I should get a completely different on that might suit my needs better I'm all ears.I have 3 manual pentax lenses here already to try that I got with a K1000 years ago. 50mm f2.8, 28mm f2.0 , and a 70-210mm f4-5.6 Will the 18-35 be fast enough for sports? Will the 135 be long enough reach for starting out I wildlife? Grouse, squirrels etc should be ok I'm think as they are pretty tame. How good of a shot will I get of a deer say 100 yds away?
3) What lens filters and protection should I get? Should I get one of the Hoya Kits with a UV, Poloroid, ND in it?
4) Solid tripod recommendations than are not overly expensive.

I'm sure I will have more questions down the road but this should be it until I get what I need for now. Thanks in advance for the help. Reading the various threads and sample pics from lenses has been great. This is something I have wanted to do for many years. I think I have a pretty good eye for pictures and will post a few I took with just a P&S.

Chris

03-29-2014, 01:09 PM   #2
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Go for the K5IIs if you can find one.

As for lenses, wildlife takes as long as you can afford and can carry. At 100 yards you will crop a photo of a deer with 500mm. So it comes down to what you are shooting most of the time. My grouse shots at 300mm are pretty good. Think bow hunting distances to get decent shots with 300-500mm.

As for tripods, get the best you can afford. Feisol makes good ones for a good price.
03-29-2014, 01:50 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply derekkite. I've been thinking getting another longer lens before hunting season (200-300mm in the $500 range) but maybe it would be better to save for a 1k lens or something. Bow range will be fine for most animals here even black bears but if Mr Buck comes in I'll have to let the arrow fly. lol

How good will cropped pics at 100yds out of a 300mm. I see a few deer pics on here that must be cropped but its hard to know how far the photographer was from the subject to give me a better feel of distance with a particular lens.
03-29-2014, 01:59 PM   #4
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Hi Chris, hope this helps answer your questions--

Cameras. Those are both great cameras! I've had the original K-5 for years and it's never held me back. Everything I've read about the K-50 seems like it will meet your needs just fine. It's hard to find a weather sealed DSLR under $800 and the Pentax K-50 is well under. It's the most bang for your buck.

Lenses. For wildlife, you want the PENTAX DA 55-300mm. It's a great lens and it's surprisingly affordable. The 18-135 is a great do-everything, all-purpose lens, but will limit you when shooting wildlife 100 yards away. You'll want a bit more reach. The ability to go up to 300 is just awesome and so fun to play with. Will work great for sports as well.
A good companion to the 55-300mm is the PENTAX 18-55 WR. Don't be fooled by the phrase "kit lens," it's totally legit. Those two lenses together will give you all the range you need. Or get the 18-135 as you suggested and have some overlap.

Filters. If you're worried about lots of dust, mud, and other crap flying up at you while you shoot, then get a UV filter for protecting the front element of the lens. But honestly it won't affect image quality, just saves the lens a little bit of wear. Using a lens hood (all the time) will save your lens more often, and it comes with the lens

Tripod. Hands down the best tripods for the money are Dolica. They spend no money on advertising but are top quality. Google "Dolica AX620B100". You can upgrade the ballhead to a pistol grip later if you want but the one that comes with it is perfectly fine for getting started with a tripod.

Keep your K1000 as a second camera. Put the 28mm lens on it and set it to black and white for family fun.

03-29-2014, 02:00 PM   #5
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For hunting and fishing, you may well need two tripods! A light one for when you are doing all the carrying, and a nice tall sturdy one for when you are driving to the spot, or in a hide all day. So, check out the Sirui TC-025 as the light one, it is a recommended item by this site, and Heie did a masterful review of it recently. For the large one I recommend Manfrotto or other top brands reviewed on this site. Carbon fibre is a must have.

For lenses, you would have a good start by buying the Pentax DA* 16-50 for landscapes and family shots, or maybe the Sigma 17-70, but the 16-50 is more weather resistant. Then I would recommend the DA* 60-250 for long shots. The 18-135 is very good value, but you did say your budget is decent, so DA* lenses are a better choice. You could maybe throw a wide angle zoom lens into your bag too, for fun.

---------- Post added 03-30-14 at 05:07 AM ----------

Later on you could buy the 1.4x teleconverter for use with the long zoom.

You are gonna need a really good camera bag for all the gear we are gonna vicariously buy for you!

DON'T use filters, except for effect, such as ND or polariser - especially for long shots you need as pure quality as you can get.

Get a decent pair of binos too, I have Pentax 8x20, sometimes very helpful, very light.

Sadly, of all the above, I only have the Sirui tripod.

Sorry double post, I am on 7" tablet.
03-29-2014, 02:25 PM   #6
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Welcome!

Hello Chris, welcome to the Forum!
It sounds like you've got some big plans for this summer and fall, and bringing a good DSLR along means you'll be able to capture them properly.
I'm not much of a wildlife shooter, but have read many threads here and elsewhere about the gear needed. So, my suggestions will be second-hand. That's never stopped me before.
(1) For a new camera body, neither of your entries, I'll go with Derek's suggestion- the K5IIs.
While head-to-head it does give up focus peaking to the K-50, just one available option for the K5IIs (that's not available for the K-50), trumps it; Battery grip. Between that, slightly faster top shutter speed, better bracketing options and overall value, The K-5IIs would be my choice. They're $700 now at B+H, the K-50 is $500 from the same source. A substantial difference, I admit. Either will be great, but personally, I think you'll outgrow the fifty faster.
Put another way, until Ootober of 2013, the K-5's (all) were the flagship and compared very favorably to any APS-C DSLR from anyone. Many consider the IIs the best of all. The K-50, while somewhat newer, is still the middle of a 3- tier lineup, and until the remaining K-5's (any) are gone, the K-50 is # 2 out of 4 (K-500, K-50, K-5, K-3). JMO, YMMV.
(2) Moving along, No, 135mm isn't close to long enough. Double it? Still not there. The ante for this game is 300mm and I'm hardly the only person who will tell you this, merely the most inexperienced. Yep, 3 plus two '0's, and that's just to play, not to win.
My suggestion? Hold off on that purchase. Buy a good body and the 18-135mm zoom, a few accessories (more later), plus your manual glass. Drive that baby around the block for a couple thousand clicks and your future needs will be so clear, you'll be asking about specific lenses, models, prices and whether the Bokeh at f/4.0 is better than each of six other lenses you're looking at. Laugh if you must. It's called LBA.
(3) No filter packs, please! Yes, you must have a CPL, best one you can get, no exceptions. Go here Polarizing filters test - Results and summary - Lenstip.com, then buy a Marumi. That should stir things up. Seriously, best CPL, a couple of good ND's and a matching or OEM hood for the new lenses, screw-on metal hoods for the Legacy glass.
(4) Tripods. Whew! Where to start? I'll pass here, many threads on this and my tripod is so old it says 'Bogen' not Manfrotto. For once, I'll shut up.
Good luck!
Ron
03-31-2014, 07:22 AM   #7
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I think the 55-300 is the minimum and least expensive entry into long-distance wildlife. Even so, 100 yards is going to be heavy cropping territory... usually good enough for ID and some nice accomplishments, but not stunning shots. But getting past 300mm with Pentax is not easy, the DA300 plus new 1.4X teleconverter is probably the most attractive option. Beyond that, you're looking at some very long lenses from Sigma etc.

It's somewhat easier with the Nikons, but certainly NOT cheap to get past 300mm in any camera brand.

The 18-135 is a nice walkaround lens, though.
03-31-2014, 11:58 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by gastch Quote
Thanks for the reply derekkite. I've been thinking getting another longer lens before hunting season (200-300mm in the $500 range) but maybe it would be better to save for a 1k lens or something. Bow range will be fine for most animals here even black bears but if Mr Buck comes in I'll have to let the arrow fly. lol

How good will cropped pics at 100yds out of a 300mm. I see a few deer pics on here that must be cropped but its hard to know how far the photographer was from the subject to give me a better feel of distance with a particular lens.
This is pretty close to 100 yards away using a 400mm lens, not cropped.



I think 300mm and cropping would be fine for deer at that distance. Coyotes, Canada geese or red-tailed hawk are OK. Smaller than that, you'd want to be closer or have a longer lens. Then you have issues of cost, portability, tripod use, etc.

My 400mm is an older manual focus Tokina prime.

03-31-2014, 12:23 PM   #9
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For most of your stuff, you can live and die with the 18-135. As for long lenses, for wildlife, unless you can afford a DA 560 at $7,000 the DA*300 ƒ4 with a 1.4 converter, $1400 and $600 gets you 420 ƒ5.6. The Sigma 300 2.8 is about $3500 and the Sigma 500 4.5 is about $5k. Older Pentax options will be the same or more.

A DA 55-300 would get you started, but the DA*300 with HD DA 1.4 TC is the cheapest way to get into the high quality IQ game without mortgaging the house. My own solution was an old A-400 ƒ5.6... to go with a DA*60-250 with 1.4 TC. SO the A-400 with 1.7 gives me 680 ƒ9.3... but it takes a lot of light to use it. and it's only really worked for me a few times.

A-400 from maybe 30 meters.


A-400 from 75 meters.


DA*60-250 +1.4 TC at 350mm, 40 meters.


DA* 60-250


You can spend a lot of time messing around with long glass, but there's just no cheap solution. That's why so many settle on the 55-300. It's a great lens for the price, and gets you started cheap. And your images will be good enough to sell if you get something decent. It gives you a chance to hold off on expensive glass until you explore things a bit.

As for your F 70-210, it's a nice lens, a bit slow for use with a TC it will work with a TC in good light. It is noisy enough to scarre wildlife though, and it almost rips the camera out of your hand when it locks focus.

F-70-210 images.




I haven't done a lot with it.. but
here's my slideshow...

Last edited by normhead; 03-31-2014 at 06:56 PM.
03-31-2014, 05:49 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by gastch Quote
First off I spend alot of time outside fishing in the summer and hunting in the fall. So you can imagin most of thr picture tsking will be wildlife and landscape/nature stuff. I also have a 3yr old son so there will be lots of pictures of him around the house and sports in the near future. I'd like to do abit of video also but this is secodary. Budget is decent and I always try to buy the best gear within reason.

1) K-50 or K-5ii - I like the extra battery power and external mic. Low light af seems better in the K-5ii also.
2) I am planning on getting the 18-135 wr lens no matter what package but if any one can think of reason I should get a completely different on that might suit my needs better I'm all ears.I have 3 manual pentax lenses here already to try that I got with a K1000 years ago. 50mm f2.8, 28mm f2.0 , and a 70-210mm f4-5.6 Will the 18-35 be fast enough for sports? Will the 135 be long enough reach for starting out I wildlife? Grouse, squirrels etc should be ok I'm think as they are pretty tame. How good of a shot will I get of a deer say 100 yds away?
3) What lens filters and protection should I get? Should I get one of the Hoya Kits with a UV, Poloroid, ND in it?
4) Solid tripod recommendations than are not overly expensive.
Chris
Chris, welcome to the forum, one thing you'll find beside good advise is that everybody loves to help spend your money, so you get a lot of responses on a thread like this. And though there are differing opinions, they are all useful, there's more than one way to skin a cat.
1) sounds like you've already decided, you can't go wrong with either, both are weather sealed.
2) Great lens, you can't go wrong with it. Good for outdoor sports, too slow for indoor unless it's really really well lit. Wildlife, well no, I agree with others here that 300 is minimum, but if you are shooting from a blind and wildlife gets within a few yards you may be fine. The two Weatherized choices are the DA*300 and the DA55-300WR, they are quite different in a few ways. I have the DA55-300 (older non WR version, they say the optics are the same. With good lighting it is a very capable lens, I used it 90% of the time at 300mm, but having zoom can be nice.The lens is pretty lightweight and small. The biggest drawback is the slow and noisy autofocus, but that can be overcome using quickshift to get close and then kick in the AF. Without doing this it will scare birds and wildlife away. A few months ago I got a DA*300. It is much heavier and larger than the zoom but still easily handheld. It's fully capable of good photos wide open at f4, to me it's much more useful in the woods because you just don't always get that much sunlight. It has silent autofocus, but is a lot more expensive than the zoom.
3) In my opinion UV filters can only degrade image quality. If you use polarizers of ND filters, stay away from cheap ones. And know that there are counterfeits out there too, beware of buying on ebay from China. A polarizer may be very useful when fishing.
4)There's a plethora of good tripods out there, if you have a chance to go to a camera store with a lot of tripods look them over and feel how study they are. I was lucky enough to be able to do that and came away with an Induro that was sturdier than other tripods twice it's price. Pay attention to the weight ratings of the tripod and head, I recommend going well past the weight of your kit, both my tripod and legs have capacities over 17 pounds. Also make sure you get a tripod that's tall enough for you.

Whatever you end up with may not be perfect but you'll make it work. Don't overthink it or you'll never get anything.
03-31-2014, 06:26 PM   #11
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Start with the 18-135 and see where you need to go from there. I use a 135mm all the time, but I Get really close for that...birds come to my feeder 10 feet away. But I also use it for some longer distance shots, up to 20 or 30 yards sometimes, but them I'm cropping pretty hard. I agree a 300mm is a good range for wildlife, but you can get some usable shots if you know how to let the wildlife get close. But I'm still trying to get a Woodduck to come close enough for the 135...lol

Also in a boat sometimes you do get more photo chances. IF you just sit there and watch...Around here I'm pretty sure I can get plenty alligator shots if I were to hop in a boat, and probably can get close enough for a 135. Also if you know of spots with nature trails or long piers over a lake, those have possibilities for lenses with less reach.

Once you get some experience at it and find it's something worth putting a bit more money into, I'm sure these guys will be glad to help you spend it...

Oh...here's why I like the 135 at close range...

About 20 feet away and 15 feet up, 135mm Makinon cropped at 1600x1200 if I remember correctly. Not big enough for much of a print, but good at computer viewing size.



Closer in at 8 feet or so, cropped at 2048x1536, everything resized to 1024x768 for monitor viewing. No other editing done.

04-01-2014, 05:59 AM   #12
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All very good suggestions I really have not much more to add but a few things.

1) K-50 or K-5ii - I like the extra battery power and external mic. Low light af seems better in the K-5ii also.

I initially got the K50, It's a very good camera and would suit your purpose well. However with the reduction in price of the k5 ll's sueded me to pick one up and am I ever glad I did. There are a few things some people like that are missing that are included with the K50 like scene modes & focus peaking & faster live view focus but the K5 ll or lls more than make up for that with features like better IQ, dynamic ratio, quietness, mirror up lock etc. and the additional buttons, dials & convenient layout is superior. Having to use the info button and LCD to make changes is fine but not having to for quick common adjustments is so much better

2) I am planning on getting the 18-135 wr lens no matter what package but if any one can think of reason I should get a completely different on that might suit my needs better I'm all ears.I have 3 manual pentax lenses here already to try that I got with a K1000 years ago. 50mm f2.8, 28mm f2.0 , and a 70-210mm f4-5.6 Will the 18-35 be fast enough for sports? Will the 135 be long enough reach for starting out I wildlife? Grouse, squirrels etc should be ok I'm think as they are pretty tame. How good of a shot will I get of a deer say 100 yds away?

Since I originally bought my K50 with the much maligned two kits lenses( I haven't shot anything a little unsharp mask hasn't made to look very good) you wouldn't go wrong with the 18-135mm wr. I researched and went with the Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC macro for my main walk around lens and use the kits for inclement weather. Like others to start off with I too would suggest the DA 55-300mm wr for wild life with maybe picking up a decent 1.4 teleconverter unless you can afford to go with a Sigma 50- 500mm or Sigma 150-500mm which are good but nothing like the ones costing thousands of dollars. I might suggest trying to pick up a Pentax 50mm F1.4 or Ricoh 50mm F1.4 manual lens, either can be fun to use.

3) What lens filters and protection should I get? Should I get one of the Hoya Kits with a UV, Poloroid, ND in it?

I suggest forgetting a UV unless you want a cheapie just for frontal protection that you remove every time you want to snap photos. For polarizing filter I might suggest taking a look at a Marumi it has a top rating equally with the B&W. ND filter right now for affordability the Tiffen Variable ND is rating well. I can't say on graduated ND as I don't use any.

4) Solid tripod recommendations than are not overly expensive.

This is an area that will bode many a suggestion, I agree if you can afford carbon fiber then go for it. Getting a decent one is paramount I suggest you first look at the height of the tripod without center extension to your height for two reasons, one the more you have to raise the center column the more movement the tripod allows (bad for sharp shots), two nothing more of a PIA then bending over to use your tripod at full leg extension in order to keep from raising the center column and losing stability. Another suggestion if your going to do macro or floral shots etc. then get one with the center columns ability to lay sideways and the legs can virtually lay flat on the ground. For that I would suggest looking at the Vanguard series or Manfrottos. Both are very good and neither will break the bank The Vangurad runs less expensive but the Manfrotto to me is better built hence the price difference.

Anyway that is just my take.

Last edited by Oldbayrunner; 04-01-2014 at 06:13 AM.
05-17-2014, 02:59 PM   #13
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Decided to wait till fall and expand the budget with a K-3 and a good walk around/portrait/video lens. Then in the spring get a 300 lens when the budget is is replenished.
So question being what should be my first lens say in the $500-1000 out the door in canadian dollar range. Reason I mention currancy is we don't get the deals like in the south amd the exchange sucks again. Secondly what about 300 or a 400 lens say max $1300. This might be to much gear for a new guy but I don't beleive in upgrading all that much but only adding to as the need comes along.
05-18-2014, 09:53 AM   #14
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The Sigma 150-500 turns out some rather nice images and runs @$900 USD.
Tripods... you have three factors and you get to choose two. Weight, strength and cost. You can go cheap, sturdy and heavy or expensive, sturdy and light or cheap, flimsy and light. Definitely go for sturdy and then select cheap or light depending on budget and how much carrying you'll be doing.
11-06-2014, 04:45 PM   #15
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Ok guys I'm days away from ordering my K-3 and 18-135 and thought I would bring this thread back to life with a question. I'm reading about issues with shutter runaway with the K-3 and how firmwear update 1.11 kinda does a work around fix and for a real fix you have to send the camera away to get fixed. Should I be worried about this? Does this happen with alot of copies or the case where you here more about the negatives than the positive?
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