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05-03-2009, 10:58 AM   #1
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K10D Lense advice, and any usage tips please

Hi,

I've had my K10D for about a year now. I originally bought it to take some pictures of some high voltage science experiments. (trial and error with a film cam was getting slow and annoying)

My plasma photos

I also bought a Sigma DC 18-50mm 1:2.8 EX MACRO lense so that it could capture low light images effectivley. (it was reccomended to me by someone in Jessops, but then bought elsewhere for 100 less)

Since having it I found myself taking it everywhere and really enjoy taking pics with it. I am hoping to get some tips on using it in more everyday situations. I'll list some questions, please give any answeres you can, and extra tips are always great too.

1. I want some sort of telephoto lense. Similar to the one above, but maybe upto 300mm. Where do I buy them? I'm finding google product search is not working well for me. I want to take some wedding photos, bt also use for my science ones. budget <300
I need a flash too i suppose, similar budget for that

2. Theres so many settings! Why do I need them all? All I have ever change is the apature, ISO and exposure time settings.

3. How do I take advantage of a RAW file? They look the same as a high quality jpeg on my pc.

4. How do I get a shot of someone/something standing in front of a light source> Similar thing is taking a photo of a landscape... I can either get nice landscape with over bright sky, or nice sky with dark landscape.

5. Any more tips would be great.

I know theres lots of questions so in exchange for you answers I offer to answer any of those nagging science questions you may have as I do know a lot about that (unlike photography).

Thanks,

Rich

05-03-2009, 11:38 PM   #2
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1. don't know what the prices are over there, but in the sub $500 range for a x-300 zoom, you'll have to go consumer grade (not as fast aperture, not weather sealed). my choice would probably be the pentax da 55-300; heard it is sharp w/ good contrast and colors. also, quick shift (where you can manually override focus w/out changing cam to manual focus) has been handy w/ some of my other lenses. downside = not a very fast aperture so best used outside in bright light.

3. RAW gives me greater flexibility in post processing to more effectively address white balance or exposure issues. this relates to your other question regarding scenes w/ a wide dynamic range... sometimes RAW can give you a bit more headroom to gather up details from the dark spots. If your pics don't require any modification, that's why some people will shoot using RAW+ jpg so that if they are happy with the jpg, they don't have to mess around with the RAW file in post production and waste time.

Good luck w/ learning about your cam!
05-04-2009, 12:08 AM   #3
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1. Older telephoto lenses exhibit more chromatic aberration--but this can be fixed with post-processing. If you choose to go the cheap route, you can try ebay and buy a manual focus telephoto lens...or two.

4. Use fill-flash or read the following:
Dodging and burning - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

5. Google knows all.
05-04-2009, 09:44 AM   #4
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Thanks, The pentax da 55-300 looks good but the f4.0 is not so good like you said. It is available for around 200 here. I could pay another 100 possibly. Would this get me down to f2.8 ?

05-04-2009, 10:07 AM   #5
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Add another "0" to your budget, and you might even need to switch to Canon

You can buy the 300mm f/4 for less than 1000USD (have no idea about UK currency, sorry....) but if you need 300mm f/2.8, you'll have to pay around 4000USD

Amazon.com: Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM Telephoto Lens for Canon SLR Cameras: Camera & Photo

FAST LONG GLASS is not cheap.....

QuoteOriginally posted by rpmorrow Quote
Thanks, The pentax da 55-300 looks good but the f4.0 is not so good like you said. It is available for around 200 here. I could pay another 100 possibly. Would this get me down to f2.8 ?
05-04-2009, 10:08 AM   #6
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And the 55-300mm is only f/4 at 55mm (and maybe a little beyond that).

By 300mm, it's f/5.6

QuoteOriginally posted by rpmorrow Quote
Thanks, The pentax da 55-300 looks good but the f4.0 is not so good like you said. It is available for around 200 here. I could pay another 100 possibly. Would this get me down to f2.8 ?
05-04-2009, 11:12 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by rpmorrow Quote
2. Theres so many settings! Why do I need them all? All I have ever change is the apature, ISO and exposure time settings.
As it should be 99% of the time. But most of the settings change how the camera behaves, not how the image looks, and can be useful to customize the camera to behave the way you want. But the defaults are probably fine.

QuoteQuote:
3. How do I take advantage of a RAW file? They look the same as a high quality jpeg on my pc.
They will, because in order to display on a PC (or print), it's basically converted to JPEG internally by your software anyhow. The difference will be visible when you try to do much post procesisng, such as to make major changes to exposure or color. You'll find that doing so in a RAW processing program provides much better results than doing so with an ordinary JPEG editing program.

QuoteQuote:
4. How do I get a shot of someone/something standing in front of a light source> Similar thing is taking a photo of a landscape... I can either get nice landscape with over bright sky, or nice sky with dark landscape.
Yes, so take your pick, and shoot it that way. That's life when trying to reduce something with huge "dynamic range" (the difference between lightest and darkest areas) down to the relatively tiny dynamic range of a photograph.

If you want to see some detail in both sky and landscape, shoot the darker scene then lighten the shadows in your RAW processing program (and here is where the advantages of RAW over JPEG will become clear - RAW will allow you to recover more detail with less noise).
05-05-2009, 11:41 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by rpmorrow Quote
I need a flash too i suppose, similar budget for that
One or more good flashes are essential. I'm quite happy with my Pentax AF360, which can be triggered wirelessly off-camera, at least with my K20D.

QuoteQuote:
2. Theres so many settings! Why do I need them all? All I have ever change is the apature, ISO and exposure time settings.
Ah, all those controls! I'm always popping into my K20D menu to change drive mode (single vs continuous, shutter delay, etc) and changing JPG settings for digital filter effects, and selftimer/intervalometer, and multiple exposures, etc. All just more ways to bend the camera to my will. Reading the manual closely, and noting questions and suggestions on forums here, always gives ideas for new ways to abuse, er I mean use the camera.

QuoteQuote:
3. How do I take advantage of a RAW file? They look the same as a high quality jpeg on my pc.
Every time I shoot RAW+JPG I ask myself the same question, and I usually go back to shooting JPG only. But that's just me.

QuoteQuote:
4. How do I get a shot of someone/something standing in front of a light source> Similar thing is taking a photo of a landscape... I can either get nice landscape with over bright sky, or nice sky with dark landscape.
If someone is backlit, you can 1) overexpose (change the EV) so they're correct and the background glares, or 2) shoot with fill-flash so everything is exposed as you wish, or 3) fix it in PP (postprocessing) with something like PaintShopPro's FILLFLASH tool, but that doesn't look nearly as good. Sometimes it's the only way to retrieve a shot, however.

For the sky-landscape problem, there's the Graduated Neutral Density Filter, where half the glass is clear, the other half dark. Orient it on the lens to darken an overly-bright hemisphere. The one I got with an oddment lot on eBay says Chromofilter M2 France. Availability in your locale may vary.

05-12-2009, 05:38 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by egordon99 Quote
if you need 300mm f/2.8, you'll have to pay around 4000USD

FAST LONG GLASS is not cheap.....
... or you can pay $500-600 US for a very nice 300mm f/2.8:


Tamron 300mm f2.8 f/2.8 SP Adaptal 2 for Nikon lmc643r - eBay (item 310141073517 end time May-15-09 18:40:25 PDT)

TAMRON 300MM F2.8 SP-ADAPTAL-NIKON-CANON-MINOLTA-PENTAX - eBay (item 160334116103 end time May-14-09 10:30:52 PDT)

Tamron SP 300mm F2.8 LD IF Tele Manual Adaptall Lens - eBay (item 270386041016 end time May-12-09 19:26:48 PDT)

Last edited by OregonJim; 05-12-2009 at 05:45 PM.
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