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05-30-2009, 07:05 PM   #1
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Prospective new pentaxian

Hello all, nice forum you have here.
I'm hardly even afraid of being flamed
So, I've never owned an SLR, im not really a very experienced photographer, but I do enjoy it.
To date I have owned a couple higher priced digitals, Olympus C2100 (stolen), C5050 (dropped, sob) and a Canon S5IS.
I got along pretty well with the first two but that Canon, it's making me crazy. I think I maybe just got a lemon but Im pretty sure if I made lemonade from it that would go wrong too! lol

So, here I come to the local store, I've found a k20d body and (i think this is right) a 18-250 smc pentax lens. The k20d is $1100 and the lens is about $430 from what I remember. (canadian dollars )
I have a graduation to attend in a week, and a wedding in a month. The sales person seemed to think that the lens would be pretty ok for shots inside a church and hall and gymnasium.
I guess I'm looking for someone to tell me if I'm making a mistake with this arrangement. btw, I think I can work him down some on those prices.

I've done enough reading about cameras and feel kind of overwhelmed. A couple friends of mine own k20d's which is one big reason I'm leaning hard toward this camera, at least theres someone to talk to right? haha.

Anyway, thanks for reading and commenting if you have some thoughts.

05-30-2009, 07:47 PM   #2
Damn Brit

The price you mentioned for the K20D seems high to me.
05-30-2009, 08:24 PM   #3
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I agree with Gary--that is too much money for the K20. I paid more than that for it, but that was over a year ago, when it was hot off the press. I would not even try to talk him down, because his starting point is much too high, IMHO.

You can get one here Pentax | K20D SLR Digital Camera (Camera Body) | 19381 | B&H for a lot less, and this is one of the most reputable on line dealers. Even after shipping to Canada, it would be cheaper. There are many other places on line, perhaps some of our Canadian members have some good advice since you are out of Canada.

Your choice in camera is excellent though--love my K20. BTW, there are plenty of us to talk with ere as well.

EDIT: Oh, I just bumped into this thread--it is perfect==have you read through it yet?
05-30-2009, 08:32 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by justfoo Quote
So, here I come to the local store, I've found a k20d body and (i think this is right) a 18-250 smc pentax lens. The k20d is $1100 and the lens is about $430 from what I remember. (canadian dollars )

I have a graduation to attend in a week, and a wedding in a month. The sales person seemed to think that the lens would be pretty ok for shots inside a church and hall and gymnasium.
Sort of OK. Shooting indoors there is seldom a lot of light. Meaning you really need a lens that has a wide maximum aperture, expressed as a low f-number. f/2.8 is good. the lens you are look at would be more like f/5.6 when zoomed in toward the 250mm end. You'll get pretty slow shutter speeds and will have difficulty getting sharp pictures. You can get lucky, but you'd get luckier more often with a lens designed for the purpose.

Graduations and weddings aren't concerts, but a lot of the issues are similar, so you might find the following useful:

Marc Sabatella: Concert Photography - Equipment

05-31-2009, 04:37 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by justfoo Quote
The k20d is $1100 and the lens is about $430 from what I remember.
I don't know about the typical price for this lens in Canada, but in New Zealand that would be a steal.

I'd get this lens, if you can imagine wanting a very versatile lens for good light shooting (it even does decent close focusing) with some very good sweet range behaviour and some compromises at the extremes.

However, I guess for shooting inside a church or similar places with low light, other lenses would be much better. At 250mm, the lens has a maximum aperture of f/6.3. At 18mm it is a useful f/3.5 but then you are unlikely to use either of these extremes. Also prepare to having to stop down in order to avoid vignetting. I'd venture and say you might be able to get a few keepers (if people keep still and you can keep the camera steady) but definitely a faster lens would be very much advisable.
05-31-2009, 05:27 AM   #6
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don't know about prices, shop around, as others have said. keep in mind though, i personally favour brick and mortar shops, even if the price is a bit higher, for the peace of mind and convenience; to each his own.

i agree you need a faster (brighter) lens, and you also need time to get used to the camera and lens, if those are serious asignments, and see what you can do with it, what works for different situations and what doesn't. a flash might also be a good investment if you are allowed to use one (but it also means a second learning curve to handle untill the first assignment).

overall, the k20d itself is a great camera, actually many of us here are wondering if pentax is really able to blow our mind again with the k-7, after spoiling us with the k20d (personally i am excited, it sounds like they are about to, but the jury is still out).

ps: you are unlikely to get flamed, unless you act like a troll or something similar. you can even ask about different options you have in mind, from different brands, and many people here will be able to help you, very honestly and to the point. this is a photographers forum, first and foremost, i dare say. wellcome
05-31-2009, 10:19 AM   #7
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Even in Canada, the asking price for the K20D is way too high. For the lens, it seems decent, but it is not the lens I would get for what you intend to do with it. If you want to buy Canadian, check the prices on-line at Prodigital 2000.
05-31-2009, 11:09 AM   #8
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Welcome to the forum.
The K20D is a great camera, but the retail price has certainly come down now to well below your CAD$1,100 quote. Also, the salesperson might be misleading you to think that the 18-250 will serve well for closeups in low light situations like churches and gyms. It's a fine lens but just not cut out for the task you want for the reasons mentioned before.

Flash may not be appropriate (depends on how close you will get to the 'action') and so a 'fast' lens that has a large wide open aperture is best - at least f/2.8 (ie. the number should be 2.8 or smaller). These lenses are more expensive, especially at the telephoto range of focal lengths, so be realistic about how much you'll spend on such a lens.

A few suggestions include:
1. Tamron 28-75 (not a big zoom range, but not so costly and highly recommended for general purpose),
2. Pentax FA 50 f/1.4 (a fixed focal length lens, but again highly recommended for being a cheap way of having a very fast lens), and
3. Pentax FA 100 f/2.8 macro (another fixed focal length, but also a cost effective fast telephoto lens which has the bonus of being a very close up, ie. macro, lens)

Not everyone would agree with these suggestions as they aren't actually the best suited in your situation (low light concert/event photography) as would a 70-200 f/2.8 lens, but I'm bearing in mind that you're relatively new to all this and wouldn't necessarily be jumping straight into high-end gear with an unlimited budget.

05-31-2009, 07:01 PM   #9
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I own an 18-250 Pentax lens and it suits me fine at the moment because I like its versatility. It is not the fastest nor the longest but for me it gives me plenty of options without the need for carrying a big camera bag around with several lenses etc. If you see yourself wanting to concentrate on specific areas of photography then there are lenses which are designed for those applications eg macro, wide angle, telephoto etc ini which case you are faced with a decision that all of us have to make regarding lens choice. You mentioned that you have a wedding and a graduation to go to in the next few weeks. I agree that the lens you mentioned is not ideally suited for those circumstances but nevertheless might give acceptable results if conditions are perfect.
I would suggest that you talk to your friends and see what lenses they have and try them out. You might find that they have something that is suitable and for a slab of beer you might have the solution to your immediate problem. They might also like to borrow your 18-250 if the need arises. Standard fee applies of course!!!

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