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10-10-2009, 02:49 PM   #1
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Happy New K20D Owner

I am new to the world of DSRL. I just received my new Pentax K20D SRL camera. I am so excited. I have been taking pictures of everything that I can to get my feet wet.

I am a writer and I plan to use my camera in conjuction with my writing, writing is my primary focus.

I bought it with the kit lens 18-55mm ALII. Since I am so new I am pretty happy with the lens that I have as a everyday use lens.

I would like suggestions regarding a lens with a longer range or greater zoom as a second lens.

10-10-2009, 07:58 PM   #2
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Congratulations. Enjoy that new camera. What kind of budget do you new for that longer lens?
10-10-2009, 08:07 PM   #3
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On a Budget

I am on a tight budget especially since I don't know what I'm doing.

After I have enough experience to know what results I want to get, then I can invest in something really special.

Also I would like a lens to get really great close-ups. I know that I said that I wanted to get long distances shots. Can I do all this with two lenses or will I need three?
10-10-2009, 08:08 PM   #4
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Welcome phplady,
A fine camera you have
And what do you intend to shoot at this longer range.
For general purpose I would not look much further than Pentax's own DA 55-300 lens (see this website's lens review database for more info and reviews). Other budget lenses don't quite make the mark but there are better - these are of course a lot more expensive...

10-10-2009, 08:11 PM   #5
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Just saw your response.
How close up are you talking about?
There are dedicated macro lenses that do the best job at such closeups, but it's your choice of focal length that will determine which one you should get. There are 50mm, 70mm, 100mm or thereabouts and 180mm available - these aren't all that cheap, though.

Other lenses that claim they are 'close-focus' or macro (mostly zoom lenses) aren't true macros and don't give comparable results. There are other ways to get closeups, though, like the popular Raynox lens accessory, which helps to close in on the subject with reasonable results.
10-10-2009, 08:29 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by phplady Quote
I am on a tight budget especially since I don't know what I'm doing.

After I have enough experience to know what results I want to get, then I can invest in something really special.

Also I would like a lens to get really great close-ups. I know that I said that I wanted to get long distances shots. Can I do all this with two lenses or will I need three?
I'm a fellow Illinoisian with a suggestion.....

Tamron 70-200 or Sigma 70-200 for some great results (and a few extra dollars), otherwise look for a few legacy P/K/A lenses on the "Bay".

I have a "macro" lens that you can "borrow" if you like, just send me a PM.

Ray
10-10-2009, 08:51 PM   #7
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Thanks for the input!

I would like closeups on interesting plants. Also when I travel I love taking landscape shots.

I am not that familiar with the lens terminology, so please go easy on me.

But, never fear. I am teaching myself about photography the same way that I learned about computers. Now I'm able to repairs and build them from scratch.
10-10-2009, 09:37 PM   #8
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Probably then start with the basics like:

Pentax Beginner's Corner Q&A - PentaxForums.com
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-beginners-corner-q/323-some-useful...resources.html
There's also a page of acronyms and a glossary here which for the life of me I can't seem to find...

but then perhaps look into...

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/photography-articles/49478-what-focal-length.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/photography-articles/62522-exposure-shutt...rture-iso.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-articles/64298-pentax-lenses-explained.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/photography-articles/39743-understanding-...-kit-lens.html

10-10-2009, 09:40 PM   #9
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Thanks to all. I will check into all of the great information.
10-11-2009, 08:36 AM   #10
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The lens you already will do 1:3 magnification - meaning that if you set it to maximum zoom (55mm) and focus from as close as it will let you, objects will be be reproduced at a third of their true size on the camera's sensor. Of cours,e you never see the camera's sensor, so this might not appear to mean anything to you. But if you know the sensor is basically an inch across (and now you do :-), this tells you that the smallest object you can fill the frame with is 3 inches. That's actually enough for a lot of flower photography, so do explore what your current lens can do before deciding on another. But in order to be considered a "macro" lens - one that really does well at closeups - a lens should be at least 1:2 and preferably 1:1.

The inexpensive lenses I'd recommend for longer range would be the Tamron 70-300 or the Pentax 50-200 or 55-300. Those are listed in order from cheapest to best. The Tamron 70-300 can do 1:2, meaning you can fill the frame with an object only 2 inches across - somewhat better than what you can do now. If you get the 50-200, you can for very little extra money get Raynox 150 that attaches to the front and will allow it to do 1:1 - filling the frame with obejcts only one inch across.
10-11-2009, 03:28 PM   #11
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If you are on a tight budget, I will recommend the Tamron 70-300 LD Di. It is not the best, but for about $150 new, it is very hard to beat. I have one, and really like it. Here are a few samples with it and it's "macro" ability.





Also, the Kit lens focuses pretty closely. Here is a shot of a flower that is maybe the size of a Half Dollar coin.

10-11-2009, 06:14 PM   #12
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Evening,

On you landscapes, you already have the right lens to start out with - the kit lens which is 18-55. The 18 end is the wide angle end of the lens. If this is not wide enough, you can try "stitching", which is taking 2 or 3 individual images taken in succession panning across the view (overlapping each image by 25 to 30%) and then stitching them together (similar to scotch taping a couple of pictures together forming a panorama) with software on your PC. In this way, you really do not have to go out and buy a wide angle lens.

AutoStitch

Also, congratulations on your new camera - I upgraded in May to the K20 and having fun with it.

10-11-2009, 06:20 PM   #13
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For stuff like flowers and the like, the lens you have isn't bad at all, for a kit lens, actually. You're best off with a moderate aperture (probably around 11, optimally,) and somewhere in the middle of the zoom range. (like around 30-45 mm seems sharpest there from my playings-around.) You should find the lens allows you to physically get pretty close that way. While you're just starting out, I think the kit lens is enough of a 'macro' for some fun and learning. Not enough to satisfy the serious macro shooters (There are a whole lot of really good macro folks here: I'm not one of them. ) but I was surprised to find how useful it was. Considering my kit lens actually came free, and how back in the day a kit zoom was a 'macro' only in token, I consider it pretty outstanding for a start.

So I suggest you don't feel like you have to buy something before you start playing/learning. If you get really into it there are plenty of ways to improve your results.

Last edited by Ratmagiclady; 10-11-2009 at 06:27 PM.
10-12-2009, 10:09 AM   #14
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Thank you all. I will spend some time and take about a 1000 pictures, LOL.
10-13-2009, 02:53 AM   #15
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Lens with reach.....

I have the Tamron 70-300mm and it is superb value for the money. Never regretted the purchase for a second. I forgot to congratulate you on getting the K20d. Another great piece of equipment....as you may have guessed I"ve got one too!!!

Last edited by Daveinozbikes; 10-13-2009 at 02:59 AM. Reason: Craft......
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