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12-03-2009, 09:11 AM   #16
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Those 2 lenses cover the range of most things you will ever want to photograph. For a lot of people, that all they ever need. Although they are good lenses, you may decide you want something a little faster for low light, maybe a macro for close ups, maybe something even longer, an ultra wide angle, etc. Shoot a lot of pictures with your new kit and I'm pretty sure that within a few months you will have a good idea of what you would like to add to your lens bag. They aren't redundant because they do the particular job much better than a couple of zooms. The kit zooms are kind of like the crescent wrench in a mechanics tool box.

12-03-2009, 12:06 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Optical Illusion Quote
Since it's pretty clear that the consensus is that the primes are better in general, but the main advantage is speed, it clouds the story for me since I'm under the impression that I will not generally need fast lenses with a K-x (due to good high ISO performance).
You can certainly start out with that assumption. Depending on what kind of photography you see yourself doing, though, and how demanding you are of the results, you might find it overly optimistic. Time and experience will tell.

FWIW, I find "typical" artificially lit indoor interiors tend to shoot at 1/30", f/2.8, and ISO 1600 (rough generalization). Shooting at focal lengths toward the long end of the 18-55 - which you'll be a using a long for candids and so forth - you're going to be limited to f/4.5. That means ISO 4800 to get the same shot. Doable, but despite the hype about the K-x high ISO performance, you'll probably find results will not as good as ISO 1600 on other cameras. Or you could slow the shutter, but even with SR, 1/30" is borderline as it is unless your subject is holding perfectly still. So either way, you'll be paying a price for shooting low light with the kit lens. And of course, those exposure figures are sort of average generalizations. There are situations where the light is worse, and you'll be saying hello to ISO 12800 more often you'd probably like.

The other reason to own at least one fast prime is for the creative possibilities of shallow DOF. Luckily, the actual focal length tends to be not so important, so even if 50mm isn't your favorite lengths overall, having a 50 as your only lens to experiment with super shallow DOF effects isn't so bad, really.

QuoteQuote:
I can afford an $80 prime once and a while
Such is the beauty of Pentax - there are actually several primes you can get for $80 that can open up new worlds of shooting for you. But no hurry on any of that.
12-03-2009, 11:58 PM   #18
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Great feedback...thanks. Very interesting about the high ISO usage. Maybe I am getting the wrong impression about the K-x... seems like it's in 'new' territory for good high ISO results, but maybe it's just moderately better than the competition. So perhaps getting that M1.7 50mm will be useful after all...

However, my inclination after reading your posts and checking prices on the 55-300 seperately, is to get it in a kit... There was a two lens kit offered for $750, which makes the 55-300 about a $150 adder - can't get it for that after the fact it looks like...

Now my next problem is I want a non-black K-x... and it doesn't look like I can get a red/white/navy one with that 2 lens kit... I guess I'll wait and see if it's offered soon.
12-04-2009, 11:48 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Optical Illusion Quote
Maybe I am getting the wrong impression about the K-x... seems like it's in 'new' territory for good high ISO results
That's the hype, but when I've looked at images, I see at best maybe a one-stop improvement over other models. Nothing to sneeze at, to be sure, but not enough to completely eliminate the desire for f/2.8 or better.

12-04-2009, 01:45 PM   #20
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I think you have answered your own question in your second sentence. I originally bought the 18-55 and the 55-300 bundled with my K20. I then bought the DA* zooms and now have started collecting primes.

The kit lenses are small, light, versatile and capable of taking a very reasonable picture. They are also good if you are going into a situation where they might get damaged.

The DA* zooms take a better picture and are useful when you have an idea how far away your subject is but don't know exactly.

The primes come into their own when you have more control of the composition of a picture.

They may overlap in focal lengths, but not necessarily in function.

Last edited by Oggy; 12-04-2009 at 03:51 PM. Reason: Better wording.
12-04-2009, 01:53 PM   #21
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I recently bought the K2000 kit as a complete newbie to anything that wasn't a stick-it-in-yer-pocket tiny thing. The lenses that came with the K2000 give me so much more control and creative umph than a tiny Kodak point-and shoot.

I dare say that, some time, I'll expand my lens' repertoire, but it's at the mercy of the economy at the moment. At least with a K-mount, a fair few older lenses should be useable, should I find any going cheap.
12-04-2009, 04:33 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
That's the hype, but when I've looked at images, I see at best maybe a one-stop improvement over other models. Nothing to sneeze at, to be sure, but not enough to completely eliminate the desire for f/2.8 or better.
Agree, though you might say at high ISO it has a whole stop over a K-7 or K20D, Pentax's previous best in this regard...which each offered a good 2/3 stop improvement over a K10D or K200D...so so if you're coming from one of the 6- or 10-megapixel models like K100D, K10D, or K200D, it's almost a game-changer, enough so that people can seriously consider using slower zooms where they wouldn't have even considered it before. Makes one a little excited for the future--if they wring another stop out of these APS-C sensors they won't be able to sell any more flashguns or fast lenses.
12-04-2009, 06:18 PM   #23
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It's actually the K200D I had in mind in saying the pictures I've examined closely suggest at best a one stop advantage. It's tough to say for sure, because there are few good apples-to-apples comparisons, and of those, none really have the type of contrast & lighting that is typical of what I would be tending to shoot at high ISO (tungsten lighting with strong light/shadow patterns). All evidence the deep shadows will be more than a stop better with the K-x, but deep shadows are the part of a picture I care *least* about in most cases - I often apply a curve to push them into almost complete blackness.

Anyhow, no doubt there will be *fewer* situations where a fast lens (or flash) is needed. I just wouldn't assume the need has gone away totally.

12-04-2009, 06:41 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Anyhow, no doubt there will be *fewer* situations where a fast lens (or flash) is needed. I just wouldn't assume the need has gone away totally.
No, I don't see a reduced demand for fast lenses--just better low-light results with them.
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