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02-11-2010, 11:57 PM   #1
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What are essential accessaries I should obtain?

Hello again
I have a Pentax K-x and I was wondering what accessories should I set money aside for as I advance in photography.
(example...External flash, hood, certain filters etc)

As of now I have a kit lens and I also just bought a Pentax-FA 50mm f/1.4. I ordered a UV haze filter tripod extra rechargeable batteries a carry bag and tripod.

What else should I save up for? Im in no hurry to get more but I enjoy having goals to work towards

02-12-2010, 12:35 AM   #2
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So far you've mentioned,
External flash
Hood
Certain filters. We'll come back to this one.

You need an all around zoom for when you're just too tired to carry everything, 18-250mm or something.
You will need a good normal zoom: 16-50mm.
A complementary zoom for the tele region: 50-300mm.
A portrait lens: 50-135mm
A few good macro lenses: 50mm, 90mm, 150mm.
You might also need a really strong tele for those occasions when you go bird watching: 1000mm. And for that you might need a tele-converter: 1.5x, remember that the lens has to start at at least F4 so you can use the lens fast even with the tele on.

And now filters. All of the above will need a protection filter. UV or skylight. The price increases exponentially to the radius of the front lens.
Your normal and portrait lens might need some extra filters like a polarizer and stuff like that.

Ok, over to the flashes.
One flash is definitely too little. You need at least three and a light stand for each flash. In addition you will need Pocket Wizards, one for every flash.
Each flash needs numerous assortments of gels, snoots and grids so you can light your objects in just the right way and color.
Softboxes and umbrellas are also a must. You will need shoot through umbrellas and reflector umbrellas.

You need four different types of camera bags depending on how much of your gear you will carry with you and you will definitely need a Pelican Case for those long distance assignments when you travel abroad.

Oh yes, and did I mention the back up cameras?

Happy spending.
02-12-2010, 12:50 AM   #3
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haha, I am actually unsure if Stardusts response is serious or not...

I would avoid thinking too far ahead until you have worked for some time with the gear you have.... it will probably become clear where your equipment limitations lie and hence what the logical adds need to be.... i.e. dont rush into buying things unless you feel that you need them.... photography is also quite personal so while stardust maybe needs a 1000mm lens + TC you may find you do not (I certainly dont...)
02-12-2010, 01:02 AM   #4
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One definition of essential is: absolutely necessary; indispensable

I think unless you are making a living with photography, other than a camera and a lens and a good book on photography, there is really not much that is truly essential.

Lets face it, if you are into photography as a hobby for the fun of it, then whatever you buy is because you "wanted" it - not because you needed it. If you want it and you can afford it, then go for it - anything that will give you a smile on your face when you are using it. Anyway it is way better than spending money on something that is illegal or dangerous to your health.

What you have to do is to ask yourself: what is it that I want to do? Do I want to do macro photography? Do I want to learn to do PP? etc. etc.. Once you figure out what you want to do then you will know what equipment you should be looking for.


Last edited by ma318; 02-12-2010 at 08:35 AM.
02-12-2010, 01:05 AM   #5
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Original Poster
My initial response is....wow
I am not going to be a superhero photographer Lol
Thank you for all the information though. I meant for more of a personal recreational photographer.

I have no idea what a snoot is by the way...

I was thinking more along the lines of. Are external flashes necessary? Do all my lenses need hoods? What filers should I use etc

XD
02-12-2010, 01:21 AM   #6
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start with a tripod and some ND filters & polarising filters
02-12-2010, 02:36 AM   #7
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It definitely depends what you want to do. At first all I wanted were fast primes for available light photography. Then all I wanted was something wide. Now all I want is flashes, light stands and ND and polarising filters - to the extent that I sometimes wish I'd stopped chasing lenses sooner and started chasing lights.

Once you know what you want to shoot what you need should become obvious. I wanted to do long exposures so I got a tripod, only to find I needed a cable release. I wanted to use old manual focus lenses and thus decided I 'needed' a split prism focus screen. Now I want to do more product and portraiture, so I'm buying lights.

Finally, no one actually needs UV filters. Some argue it protects the front lens element, others argue that that's what hoods are for and that UV filters (particularly the cheap ones) just degrade your images... I'm in the second camp. I think the money I could spend on UV filters is better spent on filters that actually affect my images positively.
02-12-2010, 02:39 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by CrossStealth Quote
My initial response is....wow
I am not going to be a superhero photographer Lol
Thank you for all the information though. I meant for more of a personal recreational photographer.

I have no idea what a snoot is by the way...

I was thinking more along the lines of. Are external flashes necessary? Do all my lenses need hoods? What filers should I use etc

XD
An external flash unit with AF assist lamp will...assist AF, in low light. So it's useful, even if you don't intend to use the flash part of the unit.

02-12-2010, 02:48 AM   #9
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For me, a body, zoom lens(es) covering from 18mm to 200mm, a fast prime lens, an external flash with a diffuser, and a good tripod are essential. But this is just what I think is essential for my style of photography. Also, I passed this line a while ago and now cannot part with "luxury" items I have collected I highly recommend buying a new item as a solution to your problems with your current gear. For example, after not being able to shoot satisfactory portraits indoor (i.e, low light) for a couple of occasions, it is probably a good time to buy an external flash with bounce/swivel functions.
02-12-2010, 08:13 AM   #10
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You've already got all the equipment you need to CAPTURE great photographs, but you don't mention what you have for post processing. A copy of Photoshop and a high quality printer would be next on my list.
02-12-2010, 08:29 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by LensScribe Quote
Now all I want is flashes, light stands and ND and polarising filters - to the extent that I sometimes wish I'd stopped chasing lenses sooner and started chasing lights.

Finally, no one actually needs UV filters. Some argue it protects the front lens element, others argue that that's what hoods are for and that UV filters (particularly the cheap ones) just degrade your images... I'm in the second camp. I think the money I could spend on UV filters is better spent on filters that actually affect my images positively.
A decent flash is very nice to have, though they can be spendy if you're just starting out. I like my af360 - it doesn't do swivel (but does tilt - up and down), but works wirelessly which easily makes up for lack of swivel as you can position the flash where you wish (so long as it is in line with the camera's flash, which controls the wireless flash). ND and polarizing filters have their place as well, ND allows longer exposures (an example of their value is to provide the flowing effect of water over falls - by lengthening the exposure it becomes a solid stream instead of splashing water). Polarizers are also good for landscape work outdoors, as they can provide a deeper contrast, especially for the sky.

Finally, on the subject of UV filters, I strongly agree with Lensscribe's sentiment - not necessary, degrade images and hoods provide ample protection (if your 50mm doesn't have one, go on ebay and get a 49mm metal hood and you'll be set).

One like this would do, just search 49mm hood:

Metal Screw Mount Lens Hood for 49mm Lens - eBay (item 280441757854 end time Feb-19-10 17:41:51 PST)
02-12-2010, 08:34 AM   #12
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Don't worry, if you're like most of us, you'll end up buying all the things you listed and more... :-)

No one yet has said why you'd need this or that (at least when I started to write this), so I'll try.

As to what to get first, it depends on what kind of photography you're enjoying at the moment:

- If you take lots of pictures outdoor and live in a sunny area, then a polarizing filter may improve your pictures: when used correctly, it will give you beautiful dark-blue skies while keeping whatever is in the foreground properly exposed. Keep in mind that the effect will be maximum when used 90 degrees to the sun, and you'll get almost no effect if the sun is right in your back or in front of you. (a polarizer can also be used to reduce reflections on water or shiny surfaces, and can sometimes increase color saturation)

- If you like taking pictures at night/evenings while walking in your city (you know, when you're forced to use high iso / low shutter speed...) then at one point you'll want a tripod. Using a tripod would permit you to use longer shutter speeds without fear of camera shake. Main benefit: you can now increase your depth of field (close down your aperture, use F8, F11 etc...) now all of a suden YOU can decide the amount of "in focus" you want in your picture. At the same time you also have the choice to reduce your iso setting, which will result in less noise in your photo. Slow shutter speeds will also give you interesting effects like trailing car lights, "ghosts" passersby etc..
I've talked about night shots here, but lots of landscape photographers use tripods all the time in daylight...

- If you take a lot of picture indoors, at parties, family events etc, then an external flash may help: you don't worry about low shutter speed/camera shake anymore, you can balance your subject exposure with the ambiant light, you can create effects etc etc. External flash with tilt/swivel is a must as it allows you to bounce light to walls, ceiling etc, thus giving you a softer, more natural lighting.
Some may argue that you don't need flash if you can use a fast prime (those lenses that open at f1.4 or 1.8). I think it's a question or preference. I use one or the other depending on the circumstances, or the mood I want to convey.

Oh, one more accessory I almost forgot :
- if you don't have an unlimited budget, then a Pentax M42 to K-mount adaptor will be your best friend... it will open to you a whole world of (relatively) cheap but high quality second hand lenses :-) (think Takumar, Carl Zeiss Jena, Vivitar etc..)

Those are the first items that came to mind and I don't want to make this post too long so I'll stop there for now.
Hope it was usefull.
Don't hesitate to ask if I have been unclear on certain points.

Oups, I just re-read your post and saw you've already ordered a tripod... oh well, maybe it will help someone else
02-12-2010, 08:58 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by CrossStealth Quote
Hello again

What else should I save up for? Im in no hurry to get more but I enjoy having goals to work towards
The post of Stardust is quite humorous.

Unfortunately, many new photographers end up buying everything he mentioned. And, in about a year, wonder how they ended up with all of this stuff.

Good thing for folks like me as I get to pick up some barely used good stuff (which I probably don't need) at good discounts.

My suggestion....

Buy yourself a good flash unit, a good tripod and one good walk around zoom.

You didn't mention if your K-x was a kit with only one lens or if you picked up a 2 lens kit.

As you advance in your photography you'll find out what accessories and equipment you need by the type of photos you do most.

Good luck and have fun.

Last edited by Ed n Georgia; 02-12-2010 at 09:07 AM.
02-12-2010, 11:00 AM   #14
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I agree with basic advice to by what you need when you need. There's a perfectly good chance you'll nee nothing other than you already have, but as you learn what you can do with what you have, you'll become aware of what you can't do, and *then* you can start wondering what additional equipment would enable you to do those things. From your other post on converting the 50 into a zoom (not possible), it sounds like you are discovering 50mm or 55mm isn't long enough for some subjects. So you already know now you want a telephoto lens (doesn't necessarily have to be a zoom - do learn the difference between those terms). There are zillions of threads discussing the various telephoto lens options already, both here and in the SLR Lens forum - read through those and you'll probbly not need to ask any other specific questions on that topic.
02-12-2010, 11:07 AM   #15
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Essential accessories?
In my opinion, it is really a personal question. Since everyone has different shooting techniques and different style. For one person who does wildlife photography will need a good telephoto lens while one who specializes in macro will not need one.

Some good things to have is remote wired/wireless, sturdy tripod, bag/case. And most essential good comfortable clothing. Nothing like trying to take pictures in winter while you hands are freezing. I don't think the SR will be enough to save you.
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