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02-19-2019, 07:58 AM   #1
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Choosing First DSLR

Good morning, I am trying to choose my first DSLR camera. I think I want to go with the K-70.

I would like to take better pictures than a point and shoot offers. My interests are sweeping landscapes (think Grand Canyon and Monument Valley), wildlife (including our house panthers) and macro. I don't seem to take a lot of "people" photos...unless the person is accompanied by a cat

I see 2 "kits" available for the K-70, one has the 18-135mm and the other has a 18-55mm lense. Which of these 2 lenses would you recommend?

I was also looking at purchasing this:
Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM ELD SLD Aspherical Super Wide Angle Lens for Pentax Digital SLR Cameras

Are there any additional lenses that you would recommend? Is it advisable to buy any lenses used until I figure out which ones meet my needs?

Thanks for your advice...I am looking forward to this new hobby.

Jen

02-19-2019, 09:24 AM - 4 Likes   #2
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The K-70 is a fantastic starter camera, especially if it's image quality that you're after. The 18-135mm will offer better durability, more versatility (with the added reach), and slightly better image quality, so it would be my recommendation. The 18-50mm is a basic (but ultra-compact) kit lens.

It's hard to go with with the 10-20mm either, IMO.

An alternative to consider would be the DA 16-85mm. With its added field of view at the wide end, this could serve as an all-in-one lens for you, and it also delivers better image quality than the 18-135mm.

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02-19-2019, 09:38 AM - 3 Likes   #3
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K-70 is a good choice. I would go for the DA 16-85 for landscapes as Adam said, and then if the money allows maybe the DA 55-300 WR (for landscapes and wildlife) and DFA 100mm WR for macro.

Also, I would recommend to take a look at some prime lenses. When I started out with photography from scratch, I ditched the kit lens immediately and then shoot with only primes for like 2-3 years. I think using a prime lens can have a positive impact on your development, since it makes you more disciplined and you need to pay more attention to composition and positioning without the flexibility of a zoom.

Later edit: prime lenses usually have some advantages over zoom lenses, meaning better image quality and larger apertures allowing for a more creative approach (as somebody said below, it's more fun). Of course it's a trade-off, zooms have more flexibility and allow you not to change lenses all the time, which is really not something you want to do if the weather is bad for instance.

if you're looking for prime lenses, my first thought would be to recommend the DA 15mm Limited. Just take a look here: The 15mm Limited controls my mind - club - PentaxForums.com

Good look with your new hobby and please share some of your results here, there are a lot of dedicated threads.

Last edited by Hattifnatt; 02-19-2019 at 04:52 PM.
02-19-2019, 09:55 AM - 2 Likes   #4
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Get a decent zoom and an inexpensive 35 or 50 mm AF lens. You are probably used to zooms, but the large aperture prime will be most fun.

02-19-2019, 10:15 AM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by roxiemyhorse Quote
Good morning, I am trying to choose my first DSLR camera. I think I want to go with the K-70.

I would like to take better pictures than a point and shoot offers. My interests are sweeping landscapes (think Grand Canyon and Monument Valley), wildlife (including our house panthers) and macro. I don't seem to take a lot of "people" photos...unless the person is accompanied by a cat

I see 2 "kits" available for the K-70, one has the 18-135mm and the other has a 18-55mm lense. Which of these 2 lenses would you recommend?

I was also looking at purchasing this:
Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM ELD SLD Aspherical Super Wide Angle Lens for Pentax Digital SLR Cameras

Are there any additional lenses that you would recommend? Is it advisable to buy any lenses used until I figure out which ones meet my needs?

Thanks for your advice...I am looking forward to this new hobby.

Jen
I'm sorry. I'm going to need more information on the house panthers.
02-19-2019, 10:22 AM - 2 Likes   #6
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I would strongly suggest a K-70 along with the 18-135mm - it's range and sharpness is WAY preferable to the 18-50.
If you're looking into a 10-20, Sigma also as a variable aperture lens with the same focal range that can be had for cheaper (12-20mm f/4-5.6) and performs nearly as well.
I would strongly suggest buying lenses used, as lenses last a long time. However, I would suggest buying bodies new.
Also, I found that a relatively cheap flash (ie: AF-360FGZ ) does wonders for capturing photos of the carpet monsters!
02-19-2019, 10:35 AM - 1 Like   #7
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Welcome to the forum

lots of folks willing to help you out

how familiar are you with SLR or DSLRs ? this could help us give advice.

are you aware of the user and in depth reviews of the Pentax Camera bodies under " Cameras " and Pentax and other lenses under " Lenses " ?

and there is a comparison tool as well:


Pentax K-1 II vs. Pentax K-3 II vs. Pentax K-70 vs. Pentax KP - Pentax Camera Comparison - PentaxForums.com

Since you live in the US, I would consider renting equipment to help you figure out what you want to buy, check out this thread:

Information on Businesses that offer cameras and lenses for rent - PentaxForums.com


then you can decide if you want " experienced " or new
02-19-2019, 10:40 AM - 4 Likes   #8
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It's easy for us to spend your money I suggest starting with just the 18-135, use it for a while, then decide which additional lenses you need.


QuoteOriginally posted by roxiemyhorse Quote
My interests are sweeping landscapes (think Grand Canyon and Monument Valley), wildlife (including our house panthers) and macro.
Landscapes: There are a lot of different ways to take landscapes. You can take expansive views with an ultrawide lens but such shots often show a lot of sky and require the weather to cooperate; an all-blue or all-gray sky is boring. See how 18mm wide works for you. If you find a need for wider you can then add the 10-20 you mentioned, or something else. The Pentax DA 15 is a magical lens; legendary flare resistance with good colors and contrast.


Wildlife: The 18-135 should work for the cats. You'll learn how to deal with relatively dim indoor light. Long term for outdoor wildlife consider any variant of the 55-300 as a minimum wildlife lens. Further upgrades get expensive: DA* 300, 150-450, used Sigma 50-500 , etc.

Macro: Any variant of the Pentax 100 will be very sharp and offer 1:1 macro. As a budget alternative, there are extender tubes or adapter lenses that can let a non-macro lens focus at closer distances. DCR-250 Super Macro conversion lens for D-SLR cameras, 4K and HDV Camcorders

02-19-2019, 10:53 AM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
It's easy for us to spend your money I suggest starting with just the 18-135, use it for a while, then decide which additional lenses you need.




...Landscapes: There are a lot of different ways to take landscapes. You can take expansive views with an ultrawide lens but such shots often show a lot of sky and require the weather to cooperate; an all-blue or all-gray sky is boring. See how 18mm wide works for you. If you find a need for wider you can then add the 10-20 you mentioned, or something else. ...
I have the slower version of the Sigma 10-20. I find myself using it far more at close range than at landscape ranges. The 16mm end on the Pentax 16-85mm is pretty wide and that tends to be the one I use for landscapes more.

The Sigma 10-20 and Pentax 55-300 lenses appear quite often used in the marketplace forum. The 16-85 not quite so often in my looks anyway.

There is or at least was a 55-300 PLM (the best version for wildlife in my opinion) for a good price in the marketplace and may still be there now.

Added: Whoops, it's gone. More will appear though not necessarily the PLM version so much.
02-19-2019, 10:55 AM - 4 Likes   #10
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Thank you for the advice...I am just learning about DSLR cameras.

House panthers....per request....hope I uploaded correctly....
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02-19-2019, 11:06 AM - 3 Likes   #11
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It was not long ago I was at the same point as you. I cannot offer comparisons being a relative newbie with DSLR, HOWEVER, I can relate my own experience. First weasel words, your future kit is just a tool to build what you want, beautiful images. You need to look at a lot of reviews and instructional stuff. There is a lot on this forum and i have great faith in the equipment reviews within. I have the K-70 and don't be put off by "entry level" of "beginner." It is a great box. Lens do make a difference but some early advice here said there are no bad lens but some are better. The DA L 18-55 kit lens does fairly well at focal points in the middle, at least mine does. The extremes can be OK but soft. The 18-135,, if it suffers the same would give much more middle to play with. I went with a cheaper/less expensive lens to be able to afford the 55-300 PLM WR. I cannot believe there is anything close to this in the price range. It is the lens on my camera. From flying birds to flowers and sitting butterflies it works for me. I have the Rokinon 16mm as a wide angle for landscapes and find it serves very well. As others have mentioned you can shoot almost anything with most every lens. Experiment. Again, research might save you money and frustration. Have fun!
02-19-2019, 11:09 AM - 2 Likes   #12
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There is about a 200 dollar difference between the K70 and the KP if you have the funds the KP is a very nice compact camera. The 18-135 is a great walking around lens.
02-19-2019, 11:13 AM - 2 Likes   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by roxiemyhorse Quote
..Is it advisable to buy any lenses used until I figure out which ones meet my needs?
Probably yes just because it's cheaper.

It's best not to have too many choices If you only have a couple of lenses to start, it's easier to learn individual strengths and focal lengths. Then add in lenses to extend your capability later. You might find something that doesn't work for you, and selling that lens. If you bought it used, you can often sell for close to the same price you bought.
02-19-2019, 11:15 AM - 2 Likes   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by FozzFoster Quote
. . . I would strongly suggest buying lenses used, as lenses last a long time. However, I would suggest buying bodies new. . . .

I have had very good luck buying " experienced " equipment [ but not my cameras bought new on sale ] from the forum's market place and you can filter it to show where the item being sold is located:

The Pentax Marketplace | Buy & Sell Pentax Cameras and Lenses (United States) - PentaxForums.com

Be aware that Gear Acquisition Syndrome GAS and Lens Buying Addition LBA is real

Last edited by aslyfox; 02-19-2019 at 11:23 AM.
02-19-2019, 11:30 AM   #15
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Awesome advice!!

Can anyone tell me what a "prime" lense is? I have been poking around this website after work the last couple nights...there is a lot of good info here.

My former hobby was dressage (a discipline of horseback riding) for 30 years. My horse died 2 years ago and I have been very bored. I like taking pictures...so photography wins as a new hobby.

While I do not have an unlimited budget, we like to buy quality stuff that will last. About 10 years ago we bought what seemed like a really nice Nikon point and shoot...at 3 years it quit focusing. They said it was more expensive to fix than replace, so not a real fan of Nikon. It was a nice camera and it was not abused in any way. Bought a nice Canon point and shoot a few years ago and that has lasted well. Better pictures mean a better camera...so here I am in DSLR-land.
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