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02-25-2010, 08:54 AM   #1
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Few newbie questions~

Hey everyone,

I'm quite literally just getting started on this DSLR jazz.
I ordered the Pentax K-x last night after almost every review recommended it as a camera for beginners.
I'm super excited and can't wait for it to arrive.


My main problem right now has to do with lenses.
I've looked over the main Pentax site at some, but they all might as well be in a different language.
Example: Pentax DA 50-200mm f/4-5.6 ED Lens
I understand the 50-200mm is the zoom, but the rest is right over my head.

Just wondering if the kind people here would be able to point me in the direction of a good site for beginners.
If I can figure out all the technical jargon like aperture, exposure, etc means I think I'll be good to go. ^^;

Oh and one last thing:
How big of an impact does the lens have on image quality?
I know the kit lens isn't supposed to be the greatest thing ever, but will there be a noticeable difference after I buy my first lens?


I'm sure these questions probably look silly, but I'm trying to learn.

02-25-2010, 09:50 AM   #2
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as most will say... pick up a copy of this book....Understanding exposure: how to shoot great photographs with a film or digital camera [Book]
... great intro into photography... will really help you understand all the basics......
i too have a k-x (and an older k200d)... fine intro digital slr camera body...
best advice... buy the best lenses you can afford..... makes a big difference......
check out the lens reviews here in the forum.... both pentax and other brands... take some time and read the reviews.... also you can check out the forum marketplace.....
the 18-55 II version lens is not bad.... and would suggest the 55-300mm pentax lens for bringing in those distant images.... good news is that this lens has dropped in price on ebay and here in the marketplace forum...
best of luck.... ask all the questions you want... we're all here to help..... dave m
02-25-2010, 09:57 AM   #3
graphicgr8s
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I recommend, and have, all 3 of Scott Kelby's Digital Photography books. Actually bought them for a relative and started reading and had to have them.

For now, since you're a newbie the kit lens should be just fine. I wouldn't start buying lenses right away until you know what you really want/like to shoot. The kit will get you fine potographs. Still use it most of the time myself. And yeah I do have better lenses. But I like it.
02-25-2010, 10:06 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by afromouse Quote
Hey everyone,

I'm quite literally just getting started on this DSLR jazz.
I ordered the Pentax K-x last night after almost every review recommended it as a camera for beginners.
I'm super excited and can't wait for it to arrive.


My main problem right now has to do with lenses.
I've looked over the main Pentax site at some, but they all might as well be in a different language.
Example: Pentax DA 50-200mm f/4-5.6 ED Lens
I understand the 50-200mm is the zoom, but the rest is right over my head.

Just wondering if the kind people here would be able to point me in the direction of a good site for beginners.
If I can figure out all the technical jargon like aperture, exposure, etc means I think I'll be good to go. ^^;

Oh and one last thing:
How big of an impact does the lens have on image quality?
I know the kit lens isn't supposed to be the greatest thing ever, but will there be a noticeable difference after I buy my first lens?


I'm sure these questions probably look silly, but I'm trying to learn.
The f4-f5.6 has to do with the maximum lens opening which will affect your exposure and depth of field (DOF). Two new terms, Right? Google is your friend. I've given you a couple links. Don't know how good the sites really are, but the basics are the same regardless of the camera.

ED refers to the design of the glass. The lens will usually contain one or two glass elements that are designed such that flaring and alignment of light passing through the lens are better controlled. Lenses also have special coatings that are intended to help in controlling light passing through.

Another important term you will run into wrt lenses, is IF. Internal focus. There are a lot of other terms as well. DA for instance, Autofocus (and optimized for Digital SLRs. You can find more about it here (I've done some of the google'ing for you).

The lenses have everything to do with image quality. Good snapshots can be taken with most lenses. If you want killer photos, the lens becomes more important than the camera. Also, of course, the person standing behind the camera has a lot to do with it too.

WHen you Get your camera. You'll take it out of the box and you may notice a clunking sound as you shift the camera side to side or rotate the camera, or.... DON'T worry about it. It is normal. You paid for a camera with internal image stabilization and the noise you are hearing is that mechanism. Just charge your batteries, put your lens on, and enjoy the camera. If your camera does Not take pictures, THEN worry about the internal noise.

Enjoy your new camera.



02-25-2010, 11:34 AM   #5
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Kelby

As a COMPLETE newbie, I can't say enough about the Kelby books. I'm glad I read those before I made my lens purchases.
02-25-2010, 12:23 PM   #6
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K-x website

As a newbie to the world of photography myself, I also purchased the K-x as a first digital SLR camera. Since getting it, photography is my obsession. I really enjoy everything about the K-x so much that I started a blog for it to share what I learn.

www.kxuser.com

Check it out and let me know what you think.

As far as books that I purchased when I first started. I bought

The Digital Photographer's Handbook and Digital Photography Masterclass
02-25-2010, 01:41 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by afromouse Quote
Hey everyone,

I'm quite literally just getting started on this DSLR jazz.
I ordered the Pentax K-x last night after almost every review recommended it as a camera for beginners.
I'm super excited and can't wait for it to arrive.


My main problem right now has to do with lenses.
I've looked over the main Pentax site at some, but they all might as well be in a different language.
Example: Pentax DA 50-200mm f/4-5.6 ED Lens
I understand the 50-200mm is the zoom, but the rest is right over my head.

Just wondering if the kind people here would be able to point me in the direction of a good site for beginners.
If I can figure out all the technical jargon like aperture, exposure, etc means I think I'll be good to go. ^^;

Oh and one last thing:
How big of an impact does the lens have on image quality?
I know the kit lens isn't supposed to be the greatest thing ever, but will there be a noticeable difference after I buy my first lens?


I'm sure these questions probably look silly, but I'm trying to learn.
That is your main problem .
You get the book Understanding Exposure by Brian Peterson and the 2 lenses 18-55 anh 55-300 along with your K-x then you're good to go .
02-25-2010, 09:33 PM   #8
graphicgr8s
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ken T Quote
That is your main problem .
You get the book Understanding Exposure by Brian Peterson and the 2 lenses 18-55 anh 55-300 along with your K-x then you're good to go .
Gee guess I've wasted a lot of time lo all these years. Never realized it was that simple. And I didn't really need all those other lenses and whatnot. Not to mention all the books I've bought and borrowed not only on exposure but posing etc.

02-26-2010, 09:14 AM   #9
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I think he meant that's all I need to get started. =]


Just want to think all of you for taking the time to share your tips and experience.
It has helped me a lot and I ordered a few books last night ~ Now if only my camera would get here!

Thanks again, everyone.
02-26-2010, 10:29 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by JoCoChica Quote
As a COMPLETE newbie, I can't say enough about the Kelby books. I'm glad I read those before I made my lens purchases.
I think he has some serious flaws for newbies. As just one example, he suggests you shoot aRGB which is gonna lead you down a path of extreme frustration.
02-26-2010, 02:35 PM   #11
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I found this link by searching google when I first got my K-x. Easy to understand, covers the basics, and best of all, free.

Since then, I've been too busy playing photog, but when I get around to it I'll probably read some of the books mentioned in this thread.
02-26-2010, 04:27 PM   #12
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Thanks, einstrigger!

This will help a bunch. =]
02-26-2010, 06:37 PM   #13
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Once again, advice spews forth from me...

I haven't been a newbie for a long time; I can't recommend any specific new books. Just read, read, read. When your camera and kit lens arrive, they will have manuals, filled with jargon -- but read and reread them anyway. Make the time to go to a public library and read everything they have on photography. Especially look at books with photos that grab you, and that tell and show how those shots were made. (I love the old TIME-LIFE LIBRARY OF PHOTOGRAPHY series). If anything you read sounds crazy or stupid or baffling, ask about it here -- we can handle it.

Don't buy any more lenses right away. Find how your kit lens works. Shoot a LOT -- the only cost is your time, and recharging the battery. That kit lens is an amazing tool. Learn how to make it do exactly what you want. What you SHOULD buy is a Pentax flash. Memorize its manual too. Photography literally means "writing-drawing with light." There's a truism: "Amateurs worry about cameras. Pros worry about lenses. Photographers worry about light." Find out where light comes from and where it goes, and what it feels like, and you'll do great.

Other stuff to buy: a remote control or two (wired and wireless), and a tripod (a STURDY tripod -- cheap wigglers suck). A can of compressed air to clean the guts. A cheap mini-tripod for the flash, for better lighting. And, alas, a photo editing software package, because nobody's shots are perfect, and they always need to be massaged (or beaten to a bloody pulp). I won't recommend any specific product (although I favor PaintShopPro) -- free editors are included with many printers and other hardware, and free demos are easily downloaded.

When you ARE ready to buy more lenses, ask yourself: 1) Where do I want to go? 2) What will get me there? 3) What can I afford, and be happy? My answers led me to Pentax: an ultrawide zoom, and a fast prime (just one focal length), and a 'walkaround' ultrazoom. My later answers led me to a great cheap old macro lens (for ultra-closeups), various fast and cheap manual primes, then way too many other lenses... but that's another story. Think hard about just what sorts of pictures you want to take and make. Don't read marketing hype -- read user reviews, especially the complaints. Pentax Lens Review and Specification Database - Main Index here is very very helpful.

OK, it's time for me to stop spewing. Have fun.

Last edited by RioRico; 02-27-2010 at 04:12 AM.
02-26-2010, 08:37 PM   #14
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I came across this site and thought that it would help beginners....

Aperture, shutter and ISO value | SLR Camera Simulator

Before you do anything check the box for link aperture/shutter
then move the sliders, looking at the picture, and also check how the icons for the shutter and aperture look as you slide the sliders.
Also, click on the "test shutter" button at various shutter speeds

Notice that at slow shutter speeds the picture blurs
Notice when the aperture is large (small f number) the background blurs.

Now unclick the link aperture/shutter box and play with it some more....

_________________________________

Here is another simple camera simulator that may help also...

http://www.photonhead.com/simcam/shutteraperture.php

_________________________________

Now after you understand the relationships with the above camera simulators, then you might find the next camera simulator a bit more interesting (or very confusing if you did not spend enough time with the simple simulator)

SLR Simulator | Simulates a digital SLR camera

_________________________________

... also - what RioRico said!!!!


have fun!!

Last edited by interested_observer; 02-26-2010 at 08:45 PM.
02-26-2010, 09:04 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by kxuser Quote
As a newbie to the world of photography myself, I also purchased the K-x as a first digital SLR camera. Since getting it, photography is my obsession. I really enjoy everything about the K-x so much that I started a blog for it to share what I learn.

www.kxuser.com

Check it out and let me know what you think.

As far as books that I purchased when I first started. I bought

The Digital Photographer's Handbook and Digital Photography Masterclass

Your blog has now been added to my fav's list ... I like !
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