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02-24-2009, 05:24 PM   #1
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Advice on some accessories for new user.

Hi Guys, I'm a new owner of a K200D + DA 18-55, (DA 50-200 coming today) and I'm just looking to get some basic accessories. If you can give me any advice. Pro's con's etc. Or if what I am picking is rubbish etc. Thanks.

First up is a second memory card. I currently have a Sandisk 4GB SD.
The price of a 8GB Sandisk SD and a 4GB Sandisk SD Ultra is about the same. So is there really any big deal in getting the faster card? I'm assuming that once I get past the 4 frame buffer burst that it might help a little but is it really noticeable at all?

Secondly I'm looking to get some cleaning gear. A blower and a brush. I'd also like to hear some advice on using these if at all on the sensor and lens etc.

Thirdly a range of filters for protection and effects.
Brand / Quality?
Do the x1,2,4,10 work well for Macro?
Can the IR ones allow you to do IR shots on a DSLR? I have been reading that there is an internal filter on the CCD that inhibits this?


Here are some EBay links on what I'm looking at currently.

8GB SD
Sandisk 8GB SDHC SD HC 8 GB G Secure Digital Card - eBay, Digital Camera Memory Cards, Photography. (end time 26-Feb-09 03:58:07 AEDST)

4GB Ultra SD
SANDISK 4 GB SD Karte Secure Digital Card Ultra II SDHC - eBay 4 GB, SD, Speicherkarten, Foto Camcorder. (end time 11-Mar-09 03:57:37 AEDST)

Cleaning Pen
Lens Cleaning Pen Kit for D80 D300 D70s D200 D100 D40X - eBay, Other Accessories, Photographic Accessories, Cameras. (end time 28-Feb-09 15:44:28 AEDST)

Blow Job Bulb
black Dust Bellow Blower Cleaner for Lens Filters CCD - eBay, Other Accessories, Photographic Accessories, Cameras. (end time 24-Feb-09 00:35:42 AEDST)

Cleaning Cloth
2pc 3M Lens Cleaning Cloth Camera Dust Remover Cleaner - eBay, Other Accessories, Photographic Accessories, Cameras. (end time 27-Feb-09 17:18:29 AEDST)

Filters
52MM LENS 28PCS LENS FILTER SET FOR ALL CAMERA 52MM NEW - eBay Kits Sets, Filters, Lenses Filters, Cameras Photo. (end time 23-Feb-09 04:18:37 AEDST)

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02-24-2009, 07:26 PM   #2
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A big rocket blower (not a tiny bulb thing). Maybe extra batteries. Bag of some sort ( I like ones without scratchy zippers).

Oh, that first card is only Class 2, slowest of the Classes. Amazon usually has good sales on cards. I have some of the Transcend Class 6. They cost about $2 more than that first one.
02-24-2009, 08:59 PM   #3
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I would second the endorsesment of the rocket blower. Here is a link to a good one.

Amazon.com: Giottos Rocket Air Blaster, Manual Air Blower with Extra-Large Rubber Bulb - 5.3" Long: Electronics

I would also recommend spending a little (or lot) extra on good filters. You can really see a degregation in image quality if you put a cheapie filter in front of your lens.

You might want to consider adding a fast prime for indoor low light shooting.

One word of advice about bags. There will never be the "perfect" bag. It will either be too small or too big or not easily accesible. A shoulder bag in good in some instances but in others a backpack works better.

Buy a bag for what you think your kit will be comprised of within the year but realize that you will most likely be adding another bag or two or three.....to your collection. LOL

And don't even get me started on tripods.........almost as problematic as bags!

Congratulations on your new camera and have fun.
02-24-2009, 09:01 PM   #4
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Check Amazon. You can get the rocket blowers in a kit that includes a lens pen and other cleaning supplies.

02-24-2009, 09:18 PM   #5
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I can't help with card suggestions. My DS is slow enough that no current card really helps.

The Giotto Rocket blower is very useful for blowing dust away and off the sensor. I find that my lenses need little cleaning but frequent dusting. For fingerprints I use Windex and a T-shirt. There's probably a rule against that.

I only use filters for effect - polarizer and IR filters. It is extremely bright here and sometimes the polarizer helps me lose a stop or two, or turn the sky more blue. I have a Hoya R72 IR filter which is a lot of fun, but I'm not that great at processing the photos. I have seen some excellent work, though. The K200D is somewhat less sensitive to IR than the 6 Mp cameras but it's still possible. It has to be extremely bright out for me to be able to take a handheld IR photo at ISO 200. Processing the photos is somewhat of an art because the colors are not real.
02-24-2009, 09:51 PM   #6
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Here is an example of basic IR photography. I used a Pentax-F 28mm f2.8 lens on my *ist DS. AF will usually work but it may be slow. Manual focus is hard because IR light focuses differently, and you can't see through the viewfinder with the filter on. The first picture is the scene with no filter. It was taken at f8, 1/500 sec., ISO200.



Then I screwed on the Hoya R72 filter without moving the camera and took this picture at f8, 1/8 sec.



I always use RAW for IR, so I can change white balance and exposure. It's very easy to blow out the red channel which is 80% of the photo. Green leaves or grass will look white in IR, so I used leaves to set the white balance here. That's the only postprocessing I've done to this picture.
02-25-2009, 10:15 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by vk4akp Quote
Do the x1,2,4,10 work well for Macro?
Not really. You'll get *MUCH* better results for practically no more money with the Raynox 150 or 250.
02-25-2009, 05:27 PM   #8
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All great info thanks!

Hi guys. Thanks for all the great info so far. I'm really pleased to have found this forum it's been very helpful.

OK on the Rocket blower. Seems it's a bit bigger and the preferred type by Pentaxians. I've found one on EBay already for about $9.

Are those black plastic brush pens ok? They seem to be everywhere but I just wonder about the brush softness if it's a cheap Chineese thing?

Amazon is interesting. I have no idea about it though and living in Australia. Freight costs etc. But I might try a small purchase on there soon as a test. (I mainly use EBay).

I got my Pentax DA 50-200mm Yesterday. As I expected it's a bit short but for the price it was my only option. I really wanted the 55-300, but that's life. One day.

I still have to get right up on top of birds to take a picture full zoom, and this usually scares them. Which is sort of a good and a bad thing. Sometimes they fly off, other times they just look very alert which makes for a good shot.
Otherwise it's fine taking pictures of the horse, people, etc it's not too bad.

I must also give the guy in JB a big plug. Every other dealer in the area wouldn't budge much from RRP. JB were more then happy to match the internet price of $266 for the Pentax DA 50-200mm lens. They ordered Monday and I had it Wednesday morning. Good one JB, you've done it again! hehe

Back to SD cards, am I really going to see any noticeable difference in shooting speeds after the first 4 buffer frames between a normal SD card and an Ultra II? I can get double the capacity 8GB vs 4GB by going for the slower card. I haven't been able to find any actual specs between the Sandisk SD Normal, Ultra II, & Extream III. Anyone know the difference?

The Raynox stuff looks very interesting. Can I get these in a proper size that screws straight on? Or do I always have to use that adapter? How does it go for degradation of picture quality etc? I see they also have a wide angle adapter that I could possibly use instead of a fish eye lens as I will never be able to afford one.

Thanks also for posting those IR pic's and info. Very enlightening. I now have a better idea whats involved to set up a shot and also what losses are to be expected.
I really love the IR stuff and would like to at least have a go at it.
I love the peaceful and some what ghostly empty phantom zone feeling the pictures seem to give.

I have a new camera bag that was really a camcorder bag. It was a brand new one I bought some years ago and never used it. First I thought it would be too big, but I'm already starting to fill it up. hehe. I think what I more so need is some sort of padded lens and hood bags to help protect things from bumps etc.

Thanks again guys for all the good info. I look forward to hearing more.

~Ken
.-.-.

02-25-2009, 05:35 PM   #9
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On cards and Ebay.....avoid them. Lot's of fakes on there. Get them from a well know reputable dealer.
02-25-2009, 05:54 PM   #10
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No, Raynox does not close-up lenses in other sizes, although I suppose you could buy an appropriatey size stepping ring to allow it to screw on.

There *are* other makes of "achromatic" / "multiple element" (I think those are the operative terms) closeup attachments. Canon and Nikon both make (or made?) them, but I have no idea ide where one would find them. The Raynox definitelty seems most popular. And as I said, they work *much* better than the only slightly cheaper single element lenses you might find at your local camera store or on Ebay.
02-25-2009, 06:10 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by vk4akp Quote
The Raynox stuff looks very interesting. Can I get these in a proper size that screws straight on? Or do I always have to use that adapter? How does it go for degradation of picture quality etc? I see they also have a wide angle adapter that I could possibly use instead of a fish eye lens as I will never be able to afford one.
I don't know about other Raynox stuffs. My reply applies only to the 250, which I have.

The adapter is good to attach to filter thread from 52mm to 67mm diameter. You could force it to attached to a 49mm but the "ears" that grip the filter thread will break (don't ask me why I know ). It's better to use a step up ring (e.g. 49-to-52) for lenses with filter thread smaller than 52mm.

The Raynox lens itself can be screwed on a 46mm filter thread, IIRC. You can use a step down ring (whaterver-to-46mm) to attach the Raynox lens directly to the main lens. But I don't see any reason to do this.

I'm sure there is some degradation of the image quality. But it is minor compared to the fun to get out of the Raynox.

I have two macro lenses, one can go down to 1:2 and another can go down to 1:1. But on a hiking trip, a Raynox is much lighter and takes up much less room.

Besides, I can use it with my Canon G5.
02-26-2009, 05:28 AM   #12
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I would keep it simple....

Get rocket blower, use as needed....forget about the other stuff for now unless you feel you cant live without them for some odd reason.

And the cards...you have a 4gig now, that should be plenty unless you are about to embark on a holiday somewhere and plan to take over 700-800 shots. And oh yeah...with SD cards...buy local in case of defective card.

I generally try to shy away from huge storage cards and stuck to 2 and 4 gig cards...if one screws up, I'd hate top lose hundreds and hundreds of shots. This is just my preference only.

Jason
02-26-2009, 10:15 AM   #13
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The Rocket blower is a good item and you have the cards covered. I prefer PNY cards as I have used many of them for quite a while and never had one fail yet. For filters, stick with better ones, such as Hoya, or Tiffen. There are lots of debate in the forum about whether a UV filter should be on a lens or not. I use one because I am outside and around water and mud and do get crap on the front from time to time. A circular polarizer is usefull to have. One accessory not on your list should be a tripod if you don't have one. An inexpensive one will do for a start but a little heavier than the $20 one in Walmart.
02-26-2009, 10:57 AM   #14
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Hmmm my 2 cents worth in no particular order...

- Giotto rocket blower is a must

- External flash (the on-board one is quite anemic), this will be great for dark or indoor shots, and works wonders as fill flash to bring out fine details in daylight.

- Polarizer filter (get the best quality you can afford here, you do get what you pay for), we all love dark rich skies, and removing reflections.

- Graduated ND Filter, this helps avoid blown out skies when the scene is darker

- Tripod or monopod, I use my monopod a LOT more than my tripods as I like "action" photography.

- Second SD card, a 4gb class 4 is more than good enough

- Second set of rechargable batteries and a GOOD charger/conditionner

- Microfibre lens cloth + lens cleaning fluid, no matter how carefull you are you'll get finderprints and smudges on your lenses... clean them properly! (noooo windex and t-shirt!) Keep the cloth in a sealed plastic bag (ziplock) to be sure it doesn't pick up invisible dirt which will scratch your lens when you use it.


I'm personally not a fan of UV filters. Of course there are 2 camps on this one, but my reasoning is that unless your UV filter is top quality, you are just adding another layer of glass in front of a quality lens which can add reflections. Of course this depends on the environment in which you are shooting... if there is a risk to the lens then by all means protect it!!!

73's de Pat
02-26-2009, 04:45 PM   #15
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OK, Will be ordering a Rocket Blower & Brush Pen on EBay today.

I've found some nice 3M cleaning cloths. Please advise if there is a better option.

Can I clean with distilled water, metho, Windex? Or is there a better proper option?

Still deciding between a 4GB Ultra II and a 8GB normal Sandisk SD card. I only want to spend $20-$25 on another SD card at this point. I would love to try a Ultra II first before buying then I would know. But I can't see that happening.

Thanks for the info on good brands of filters? If you would like to list all the known good filter brands I'd be keen to know. This was something I wondered about when searching EBay for filters. I would like to get some to play with. I was hoping to get a package deal on filters that included +1;2;4;10 ,Circular Polariser, UV, IR, & Clear/Safety (5).

I've been looking at a brand called `Digital Optic'.

I'm OK for batteries and charger. I've been buying a few Varta Ready2Use NiMi's they are 2100mAh and don't self discharge for 6-12months. Nice batteries. I also have a great pair of 10x AA/AAA Charger conditioners that charge in 7-14hours so don't fry the batteries like a fast charger does. BTW if anyone wants to know anything about batteries just ask. I come from Ham radio and technical fields so can offer much info in this area's.

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