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02-17-2009, 10:49 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by chalion Quote
You could go with a Pentax-SMC 50mm manual F2 or 1.7, which you probably can find somewhere in the Marketplace forums for @ $30 USD for the F2, maybe $35-45 for the 1.7.
Thanks for the suggestion. I have a wide variety of lenses for my film camera because I never settled on a favourite type of photography. I like taking shots of bike races and events, as well as architectural shots, sometimes of details sometimes of the whole, as well as people (unposed). I also love playing with my macro when I get out into nature. As you can see, I will eventually need everything...

I was considering eventually working out what my film camera works best for, and where the DSLR works best. Does anyone use both? If so, how do you divide it?

02-17-2009, 10:54 AM   #17
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The logical plan is to identify some particular lens need, then get something that fits the need and your budget. I have to say, that's not what I did at all. I had some cash, so I started looking for a lens, and more or less at random, bought a Tamron 28-300mm super zoom. It does fill a need and it wasn't expensive, but I could have done better.

One popular suggestion is the Pentax FA 50mm f1.4. It's about $200 US, and a great value. The kit lens can only open up to f5.6 at 50mm, so the FA works much better in low light, like night shots or indoor photos without flash. It's useful for portraits. Not everyone likes a single focal length, 50mm is just a little longer than is useful and focusing at f1.4 and close distances can be tricky. It retains its value well so it can be sold for nearly its purchase price. I think buying and using this lens for a few months will help you figure out what lens direction you want to take. Even if you hate it and lose $50 selling it used, that's like a really cheap photo class, and you can save hundreds by not buying more primes.

An alternative prime lens option is a set of manual focus primes. I don't think it's for everyone but many people enjoy this path, including me. You can get a Pentax-M 50mm f1.7, a Pentax-M 135mm f3.5 and a Pentax-M 28mm f2.8 for maybe $150US. Again, you can always sell these for about what you paid, so it could be a cheap photo class. Using these lenses sacrifices some automation, camera features and is a bit more trouble.

A lot of people buy 70-300 zooms from Sigma or Tamron. Now Pentax has the DA 55-300, better quality at a higher price, or the inexpensive DA 50-200. I would consider the DA 55-300unless its price was totally out of reach.

A good flash can be just as useful as a lens. It's easier to figure out what you need here. If you take a lot of landscapes, a flash isn't going to be at the top of the list. Wedding photographers need at least two of the best possible flashes they can get. Once you use your camera for a while, you'll know if you need a flash.
02-17-2009, 02:46 PM   #18
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Lens advice

Hi, and welcome to the forum. Great choice on the K10D, that is what I use and I love it.

Spend a couple of months shooting with the kit lens and figure out what you like and dislike about it. Look at your favorite shots and and see what aperture and focal length are the most pleasing to you. Are your favorite shots wide open (smaller f-stop number) or do you like the greater depth of field when you stop your lens down (larger f-stop number)? Are your best shots at the wide end or the tele end? Do you like shooting indoors or outdoors? Do you like the flexibility of a zoom lens, or would you rather have the larger aperture of a prime lens?

Answering these types of questions will help you decide which lens is best for you. Here are some common popular lenses and questions you should ask about each:
  1. DA 16-45mm f/4 - very well regarded, but is the aperture large enough for me? Should I spend more money for the DA* 16-50mm f/2.8? Is 45mm long enough, or should I go for the new DA 17-70mm f/4? Am I happy with the performance of the kit lens, but want something longer? If so, should I get a lens such as the DA 55-300mm to complement the kit lens instead of replace it?
  2. FA 50mm f/1.4 - another well regarded lens, but will it drive me crazy to have to change lenses? Is it okay to miss shots because I can't zoom in or out? Are the highly regarded 21mm f/3.2, 35mm f/2, 40mm f/2.8, or 70mm f/2.4 focal lengths that I would use more? Is it worth it to spend more and get the infamous FA limiteds (31mm, 43mm, 77mm)?
  3. How about manual lenses? Am I okay with setting the aperture and shutter speed and manually focussing?

Remember, you can always sell your lenses quite easily on this site or others, so don't feel to much pressure when buying lenses. If you buy one you end up not liking too much, you can always sell it for close to what you paid. Lenses hold their value rather well.
02-17-2009, 11:26 PM   #19
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I actually like the idea of manual lenses, though I wonder if I would be missing out on anything. As you said, there are certain features that will be lost by using a manual. But that is all I have ever used, except on a P&S.

As for lens size, my Minolta came with a 45 mm f/2. That was all I shot with for a long time. When my mother bought me the 135 mm, I hated it. It took a lot of adjusting to. I think prior to that maybe I just went right up to what I wanted to photograph, but mostly I saw the world through a camera viewfinder and 45 mm lens. I was always framing what I saw even if I didn't have the camera with me, and a 45 mm lens was how I saw it. Took a lot to be able to see how it might look with a 135. I did eventually start using it, and loved the 28 mm she bought me for another birthday or Christmas.

After a few days of getting used to the camera (I pick it up tomorrow), I will go try some lenses. On the other hand, there is a race I'd like to shoot Saturday night, and I might need something different...

02-18-2009, 03:33 AM   #20
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Enjoy that K10!
You made a wise choice.
02-18-2009, 08:58 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by BassGrrl Quote
Heheheh! Not to go off topic here, but I thought Disney was the axis of evil!

I am loyal to an oooold Minolta SRT 200, and haven't kept up with the recent doings of the company. It never occurred to me the lenses might be usable on a digital. I figure I'm going to need new lenses regardless of the company, and as has been pointed out, I can use old Pentax manual lenses, which I have seen quite cheap.

There is actually a K10D for sale on here, it's just a matter of whether I can do this now. I would save on film and processing and have the opportunity to get creative before printing, as I don't have a darkroom (if I did, I might not be thinking about this so seriously). Also, since i don't have a scanner, I would be able to share photos more easily.

Thank you all so much for your feedback and suggestions (I did check out the Sony Alpha, but now that I have been exposed to the K10D and 20D, it just doesn't sound as good. But not because I am a loyal Minolta user.). Keep them coming if you like.

I may wait until I have more money, and see if I can get the K20D instead. of course, by tomorrow morning, I may decide that will be too far in the future...
Well, I actually came from where you did in that I had the Minolta SRT 200 (and still do) and had missed all the manual features in my trip through the digital world. At the time I got my K10d, I don't think Sony was making a dSLR, yet, and I am not sure it would work with the old Minolta mount anyway.

I do have to say that I love the K10d, and it is very similar to my old Minolta with just a few more features. Coming from a brief stint with P&S digital, I also grew to love the ability to change ISO on the fly and the K10d has given me the nice ability to change the aperture and shutter speed easily, which is what I had missed. I've also grown to appreciate the aperture priority and auto-exposure modes, which are useful when I need a quick shot, while the manual mode works well when I need really quick shots (and can hold the exposure constant).

I also know I'd love the K20d, and from what I've seen, it is quite a nice step up in quality from the K10d, which is saying a lot because the K10d is quite good (and I'll probably hold out until the K30 before I upgrade again)
02-18-2009, 10:08 AM   #22
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More lens advice

I agree with the poster above and wait a bit. Shoot and get used to you new camera. (And congratulations on a great purchase) After a couple of months of shooting you will have a better idea of what to get next. Pentax is famous for it's stellar primes, and of course there are other manufacturers that make good glass for K mount also, Tamron, Sigma and Tokina come immediately to mind. The 18-55 II is a good lens, especially for a 'kit' lens, and will give you some great shots. If you give yourself some time you will know better if you want wider, longer, faster, another zoom or perhaps a prime etc. Once you figure out what you most want next, then is the time to start looking at particular lenses. One of the best things about owning Pentax is that even the old screwmount lenses, with the addition of an inexpensive adapter, are fully compatible with your K10D. There are literally hundreds of options out there, especially between 300mm and 20mm. With the added benefit that they all can take advantage of the in-camera shake reduction. Some at VERY good prices.

NaCl(if you shoot for a while you will better know what you want)H2O
02-19-2009, 08:05 AM   #23
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I wonder how many of us go from the Minolta SRT 200 to the K10D, or other Pentax.

From what I read, the Minolta manual lenses can't be used on the Sony, so I don't feel bad about not being able to convince myself to get one instead (only because then I would not need new lenses. I have wanted the K10D since I first read about it).

So, emalvik, when do you use the SRT and when do you use the K10D? I definitely don't want to get rid of the Minolta, and expect over time I will see which is better for what kind of shot, but I am curious about what other people think, especially those with the same cameras.

I also have a question about batteries. I saw some very cheap on ebay, but does anyone know of they are any good? I know there is an issue in general with off-name batteries from China, but are there any that people have found work fine, without exploding or leaking or dying after a week?

02-19-2009, 08:46 AM   #24
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Ironically I just dusted off my old Minolta SRT 200 just this morning before I read this post. I bought it in the late '70s and have taken numerous pictures with it mostly in slides. Upgraded to a Pentax SF-1 in the late '80s and recently took the splurge into digital photography with the acquisition of a K200d.

Though the metering seemed to still work on the Minolta, I too would like to know where one can get a replacement battery for it.
02-19-2009, 09:03 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by RielTime Quote
Ironically I just dusted off my old Minolta SRT 200 just this morning before I read this post.
Though the metering seemed to still work on the Minolta, I too would like to know where one can get a replacement battery for it.
I took the battery out of my camera, since I can't find the packaging I swore I'd keep on hand for easy reference access... It is the Energizer EPX625G. Make sure you get the right one, because the fellow at the camera store gave me another, which worked only intermitantly. I got it at a reputable camera store here, but they might even be available in the battery section of your drug store.
02-19-2009, 10:24 AM   #26
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625=trouble

Minolta and just about every other camera maker used a wonderful battery with a long life and a very stable voltage. Unfortunately it used mercury for its magic, and the mercury version hasn't been available for a long time. There are a few replacement options but they each have compromises. Here is one thread on batteries:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-film-slr-discussion/49562-px625-re...nts-where.html

The K10D battery is a common size, fortunately. I don't know anything more about them.
02-19-2009, 11:46 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by BassGrrl Quote
I have decided to live within my means, and got the K10D and lens. Since I saved some money in the process, I could always get a good lens! Now the question is, which lens? The body comes with what I suspect is the kit lens, 18-50 mm II, he said (I pick it up tomorrow, so I haven't actually seen it).

Any recommendations on what lens, keeping in mind I should not spend a lot just yet, but want something I'll want to keep?

Cheers all, I am so excited about my new purchase (and trying to convince myself it makes sense, despite already having a hefty investment in a film camera and lenses).
good decision, K10D is great camera.

for the start, try playing with the kit lens, it's not bad at all - sure, there are better lenses around, but this one can produce amazing photos.

if you want some more reach, 50-200 is not bad choice, or maybe you wand some decent fast glass for low-light action - something like FA50/1.4, for example.
personally, i chose FA50/1.4, since i don't really like longer reach, and i wanted really fast glass i can use on my film bodies.

it's up to your preferences and finances.
02-19-2009, 05:05 PM   #28
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I have two spare batteries for my K10D that I bought through Amazon. They have worked well for me, and were CHEAP, $9 if I remember correctly. Here's the link.

Amazon.com: Konica Minolta NP400 NP-400 1500mAh Li-Ion Battery: Electronics


Also, if you are looking for a decent zoom with some reach, check out the Tamron 70-300 LD Di, for the money, it is damn near impossible to beat, I have one, and love it !!
I believe they are going for around $140 new now, I paid $170 for mine about 2 years ago..and have NO regrets.

Last edited by Stratman; 02-19-2009 at 05:11 PM.
02-20-2009, 12:32 AM   #29
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And don't forget to save some money for software or at least get familiar with the free software that's available. I'd write more, but it's late and my eyelids are g e t t i n g h e a v y zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
02-20-2009, 12:35 PM   #30
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Yikes!

Batteries, software, and LBA has already kicked in as well! Not a cheap hobby (or whatever). Oh, well...

Why, what software? I have Adobe Photoshop CS3. What else am I going to start craving? Back in the day, we just found free darkrooms. Software and the computer don't have quite the same romantic feeling as huddling over the trays together in a darkened dark room. Of course, no more chemical headaches, either.
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