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04-02-2010, 10:37 AM   #1
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Help! Many Questions!

Hey everyone, I am glad to have found this Pentax forum and be able to access the wealth of knowledge by its users! I am new to DSLRs, but after do many hours of online research, I have become very impressed with Pentax's reputation of quality and value compared to the competition. However, I am disappointed that I cannot find a Pentax retailer within the entire state! I'm the type that usually has to handle something before I buy it, but it seems impossible in this situation. My main uses for the camera are for patient dental photography, outdoor landscape photography (hiking, etc), traveling and family candids. So my questions are:

1) How important is the weather sealing / ruggedness of the K-7 vs. the K-x for extensive outdoor use?
2) Would the k-x iso quality be better for dental photography than the K-7? If so, is the K-x tough enough for prolonged every day use in a dental setting?
3) Knowing what I will use the the camera for, what would be the choice of lenses? I will probably need a ring flash too. What ring flash should I get?

Abes of Maine has the K-7 body + 18-55mm WR and 55-200mm WR lens kit + 2 year warranty + 8 gb sd card for $1160. Will those lenses suffice, or do I need a dedicated macro lens for dental photography?

Although that is a great deal, I don't want to invest much more money than that right now. Is it better to go with a K-x and get a nicer lens, or do the K-7 w/ kit and get better lenses over time.

Or should I wait for the fabled K-5 or K-8 LOL!

Answers to all or any single question is appreciated!

04-02-2010, 11:06 AM   #2
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HELLO NEIGHBOR!!!

The two main advantages of the KX over the K7 are low noise at high ISO levels (we're talking breakthrough levels), and low cost.

For durability, WR, commercial use, the K7 wins.

Both of course offer you the magic of being able to use old Pentax glass.

I work in Pompano but live in Coral Springs, so if you want to take a hold of the KX, I can meet up with you somewhere. I also have the Sigma flash ring and Tamron 90 macro lens.

And I swear--I'm not a mass murder or anything. I'm just an a-hole, but isn't everyone these days?
04-02-2010, 11:09 AM   #3
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If I were you, I'd buy the K-x.

For normal use, even daily in a dental office, it's more than sufficient. It's easier to learn than the K-7. When your photography skills improve to the point that you need/want more than the K-x, it can still serve as a backup body.

For dental use, you definitely need a dedicated macro lens and a ring light. Pentax has a nice 100mm WR. If money is not a problem, get that one. But a Tamron 90mm F/2.8 at half the price will serve the purpose.

Since you are new to DSLRs, I suggest getting the K-x with the kit lens (and a macro for dental works). You will soon know what other lenses you also need/want.
04-03-2010, 11:09 AM   #4
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Sound input, guys. It looks like the K-x is going to come out on top. Ira, thanks for your offer, and I'll keep that in mind if I doubt the K-x again.

One more question -- I keep hearing about the plethera of classic high quality pentax lenses that are supposed to work on the new bodies, but I can't find them anywhere. Obviously since dealers around here don't sell the Pentax bodies, they don't carry their lenses either. What do you guys find to be the best online source? Something tells me I will be disappointed with the kit lenses and I will want a nicer primary lens.

04-03-2010, 11:29 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vote4Pedro Quote
Sound input, guys. It looks like the K-x is going to come out on top. Ira, thanks for your offer, and I'll keep that in mind if I doubt the K-x again.

One more question -- I keep hearing about the plethera of classic high quality pentax lenses that are supposed to work on the new bodies, but I can't find them anywhere. Obviously since dealers around here don't sell the Pentax bodies, they don't carry their lenses either. What do you guys find to be the best online source? Something tells me I will be disappointed with the kit lenses and I will want a nicer primary lens.

You can hunt pawn shops, camera swap meets, yard sales, ect. For the most part though, your best bet is online for used lenses.

04-03-2010, 03:43 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vote4Pedro Quote
Something tells me I will be disappointed with the kit lenses and I will want a nicer primary lens.
Oh really? First, do yourself a HUGE favor and scroll through all of these pages with photos (there are a lot of them) that were made with the kit lenses.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/45425-kit-lens-club.html

Just about very brand of lens there is--Pentax, Tamron, others--has a "Club" here, a thread which only includes photos taken with that brand. The above Kit Lens Club with kit lens photos will blow you AWAY.

As far as buying old manual Pentax and other glass for cheap, we don't need no stinking stores. It's all over eBay and other places, not to mention online stores like keh.com.
04-04-2010, 10:26 AM   #7
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Hey, great link! One thing-- I noticed that there were a lot of macro shots taken with those kit lenses, and they looked great. So why do I need a dedicated macro lens?
04-04-2010, 10:58 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vote4Pedro Quote
Hey, great link! One thing-- I noticed that there were a lot of macro shots taken with those kit lenses, and they looked great. So why do I need a dedicated macro lens?
They are not really "macro", which is generally considered to be 1:1 ratio (or better). However, you can focus pretty closely with the 18-55, and 12MP gives you lots of cropping room.

You can also get a diopter lens like the Raynox DCR-150 to get even closer. You clip it onto the kit lens (or whatever lens) while it's on the camera.

04-05-2010, 04:24 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by flippedgazelle Quote
You can also get a diopter lens like the Raynox DCR-150 to get even closer. You clip it onto the kit lens (or whatever lens) while it's on the camera.
One can also use a thread reversal ring, and mount a manual prime lens onto the kit lens for even closer shooting. A simple approach would be to get an inexpensive 28/2.8 lens (of any brand) with 52mm front thread, and a 52-52 reversal ring. The magnification formula is: MAG = primary / secondary. So if the kit is out at 55mm, MAG = 55/28 = 1.96, almost 2:1, which is much greater than with a DCR-150 or -250. Leave the aperture on the secondary (reversed) glass wide open, and control the aperture on the primary (kit) lens. That's how I recycle some of the non-Pentax glass I can't otherwise use...
04-09-2010, 08:52 AM   #10
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You can also rent lenses to test them out. I've used Camera Lens Rentals, they ship it to you. That way you can try a couple different lens lengths for those macros and see which works best for you before you plunk down the money.

The shorter macros can be interesting portrait lenses too, from what I've read. I've got a 100mm and it doubles as a nice telephoto in most situations. It's not well suited for snapshots, though.

I've used my standard DA 16-45 for some very close photography of insects, sometimes it's more convenient than that 100mm macro. It's also a fine lens for all-around snapshots.
04-09-2010, 09:00 AM   #11
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For dental, walkabout and family, the K-X should be fine. How rough is the hiking that you're likely to do with it though? If you're talking rain, sleet, snow and desert, the K-7s weather resistant metal body might be your better friend - for example I knocked my tripod over hiking last year with the k-7 and I should imagine that a plastic camera might not have weathered this challenge.

In terms of classic old lenses, look for Pentax SMC-A or Pentax SMC-M. Both of these are manual focus, the -a is somewhat more convenient. You can also look at older, Takumar, which have something called an M42 mount, for which you need to buy a converter. Pentaxforums has lens review section you'll probably find useful.
04-09-2010, 09:30 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vote4Pedro Quote
Sound input, guys. It looks like the K-x is going to come out on top. Ira, thanks for your offer, and I'll keep that in mind if I doubt the K-x again.

One more question -- I keep hearing about the plethera of classic high quality pentax lenses that are supposed to work on the new bodies, but I can't find them anywhere. Obviously since dealers around here don't sell the Pentax bodies, they don't carry their lenses either. What do you guys find to be the best online source? Something tells me I will be disappointed with the kit lenses and I will want a nicer primary lens.
You can get the lenses here too in the forum's marketplace.
You can choose from the wide array of lenses that the members are selling.
There are also marketplace resellers who actually just sell here first before ebay.
B&H has a used camera dept as well as Adorama, then there is also KEH.
If you want to see how much the lenses sell for used, try ebay and look at the "buy it now" or upto how much a certain lens usually sells after a bidding.
Good luck
04-09-2010, 09:47 AM   #13
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Pedro check out a Tamron 17-50 and an older MF macro in th 90-105mm range. Most bang for the buck.
04-13-2010, 05:55 PM   #14
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thanks for the suggestions everybody!
04-13-2010, 06:10 PM   #15
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KEH.com has a 100mm F4 SMC M Dental Macro for $235.

Pentax Lens Review and Specification Database - 100mm F4 Macro
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