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05-03-2010, 09:56 AM   #1
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Kit lens or DA 16-45mm F4.0 ED AL for my first Dslr K7?

Hi everybody, I am looking at a K7 to replace my previous nikon compact camera. I had owned that compact for years, and never known what Dslr means until half a month ago. I used to think photos were just something to remind me of the things I did, like memos, which is also simple and efficient. But after looking at my friend's Dslr and the IQ of his photos, I realized the only advantage of my compact was being compact, beside of that, no other pros. I want to record my life in a more artist way, not just sketching up what happens in a memo-like list. I want to be able to see the beautiful and touching moments of my life, like time could tick back.

Hope this explains my condition and motive to you. Does K7 sound like a good beginner Dslr to you guys? I've been looking at it for the whole yesterday and think it has pretty cool features. If you agree K7 is good for me, what kinds of lens I should go with, kit lens or other K lens? I found this smc PENTAX DA 16-45mm F4.0 ED AL is an awesome standard lens to start with.

Another question is that should I start with zoom or prime lens? Since I never mess around with aperture, shutter speed, focal length... before, it's hard to make a decision on which kinds of lenses to start with. I basically want to do some portraits and walkaround shootings on people and landscapes probably. Should I buy a 50mm/f 1.4 also? It's not expensive and gets many positive reviews from what I discovered. Or maybe a Da 14mm/f 2.8? A little pricy, but if it worths the money to me?

OK. That's for now. Either you having tons of experience or just starting to shoot, please give your thoughts. All your advices are welcome. Thank you in advance.

05-03-2010, 12:10 PM   #2
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i would not name the k7 a beginner's dslr as there are other Pentax cameras in the productportfolio that are closer to being a beginner's cam.

but if the k7 is a beginner's cam to you, why not start with DA 16-50mm/2.8 (for full wheather seal) and FA 31mm/1.8 (a nice lens ;-) )

The 16-45mm gives you great value for the money. I like this lens a lot.

i can't tell you anything about the 14mm.
05-03-2010, 12:23 PM   #3
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I think there are many answers to your question. Don't know what your budget will support but I'd suggest you consider the K-x with kit lens 18-55 and perhaps the 50-200 kit lens too. This is not to say that the k-7 isn't a good beginner DSLR camera (it really is much much more than that), it's really just to say that start a bit smaller, learn to use the tools then if you want to add lenses and / or upgrade to a k-7.

Pentax's kit lenses are generally recognized as being quite good for kit lenses. Also I read recently that beginners tend to prefer zoom lenses. Primes (fixed focal legnths) are a joy and a passion for many but require some thought as to their selection, purpose, and use.

So basically, I'd suggest learning to walk before running.
05-03-2010, 12:59 PM   #4
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Well, I find the K7 easier to use than the Kx (I have both!), as you have almost everything right under your fingers, no need to learn strange buttons combos.
The Kx is better in low light situations, so it's also a good choice if you shoot mainly indoors.
Last, the K7 is heavier and bulkier than the Kx (but still smaller than the competition!), so it's up to your personal taste.

As for the lens, if your main/only intent is for portraits, I'd suggest the tamron 28-75 (even against its APS-C specific 17-50 equivalents), as its focal range is perfect for casual portraits, while being still flexible enough to venture into other photographic realms.
Another good choice for a beginner would be a standard prime (never can go wrong with those), so I'd recommend either the pentax FA 35 f/2 (hard to find as it's been discontinued) or the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 : as they render scenes with a perspective quite similar to the naked eye (huge simplification, but still exact enough), they are a good tool to hone your eye and capture true to life scenes.

But in both case, get the 18-55 kit lens, as it's quite good for the price, and the K7-bundled version is weather-resistant (which can be good sometimes!). It will serves as your wide angle lens...

05-03-2010, 11:19 PM   #5
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Thanks!

Deimo
Thank you for the excellent lens you recommended. I will definitely trying them out someday, as I stride down the path of photography. I look at K7 because I happened to have friends I have known for years using this cam, and I was amused by their photos. So the day I started to think about buying a Dslr, I considered K7 immediately. So I think I just like this one regardless of how advanced it is, which I really don't know. I never think I can be pro once I hold a good cam in my hands. But I have a lot of good hope in this cam. I sincerely hope I can use it more efficiently as I learn more and more about photography.

Blackcloudbrew
Thank you. K7 fits my budget well. I just want to spend less than 1500 at the very beginning, if possible. I think it is reasonable to use the kit lens, since almost everybody who gave my advice told they are good for beginners like me.

Dlacouture
I will put my hands on K7 to see if it fits. I've ordered one. Thank you for advice. The cam will come with kit lens. I am thinking about buying a prime in addition as you and blackcloudbrew recommended. Sigma 30mm f/1.4 really catch my eyes. How will it be to compare with FA 50mm f/1.4 made by Pentax? How will the performance of sigma lenses be different from Pentax lenses?
05-04-2010, 01:45 AM   #6
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I'd rather get the Tamron or Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 over the 16-45mm f/4.

Make sure you find good copies though.

My start up kit would be:

DSLR (I'd choose the K-X) - $500-ish

f/2.8 18-50 mm lens $350-ish

50 mm f/1.4 for portraits $250-ish

A nice flash, i.e. the Metz 48 $200-ish

A long lens like the Tamron or Sigma 70 - 300mm $150-ish.

All these being used from the market place.
05-04-2010, 01:50 AM   #7
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If you only discovered what dslr means half a month ago,
you would be better suited to the K-X.
05-04-2010, 02:27 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by TOUGEFC Quote
If you only discovered what dslr means half a month ago,
you would be better suited to the K-X.

Rubbish!!

I bought K-7 as my first ever DSLR.
Read the manual, play with it, take pictures, test different settings, hit green button if you mess it all up.
It's not difficult.

05-04-2010, 02:48 AM   #9
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Yes thats true, but it still doesnt change the fact that a K-X is the better camera suited for beginners.
05-04-2010, 03:13 AM   #10
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I simply don't understand all this fuss about advanced or easy to use cameras.

Just set the camera to AV. Set AV and shoot away.

The reason I chose the k-x is because with the price difference over the k7, the k-x is simply great.

For the price difference, you could buy a "normal" f/2.8 zoom and a nice hotshoe flash af360 or metz 48.
05-04-2010, 03:15 AM   #11
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I think the K-x or the K-7 would be fine if you are a beginner, you will get to know either camera and the shooting techniques which are shared by both anyway. Why not look at the K-x kit with the 18-55 and 55-300? I think you may find you like those two lenses, especially since you are coming straight from P&S.....it will be a very nice kit in my opinion (and a steal right now as far as price for this kit).

If you stick with it and progress, there will always be another body in the future with the latest and greatest you can advance with.

Jason
05-04-2010, 03:36 AM   #12
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JSJ
I am new to DSLR and just bought the K-X kit 18-55 & 55-300. THis kit is very good. For $750 you cannot beat it. After you can decide what lense you want. and if you buy extra lenses , do not buy lenses our are very similar to your kit
05-04-2010, 03:41 AM   #13
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The Tamron 17-50/2.8, the Sigma 18-50/2.8 or 17-50/2.8 or the 17-70/2.8-4.5 are all good choices for the K7.

Personally, I have used the Sigma 17-70/2.8-4.5 with the K10D and the results were fantastic, even indoors in low light.

When I got my K20D, I "upgraded" to the DA*16-50/2.8 and now still use the DA* with my K7.
05-04-2010, 04:01 AM   #14
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I think the K7 is fine for you. Shoot in program (P) mode to begin with and figure things out. As far as lenses, go with the kit lens and an FA 50 f1.4 to begin with. I guess the other lens I would consider from the beginning would be a DA 55-300 lens if it seems like you would want to shoot any birds, telephoto shots. Then, shoot for awhile. It will become apparent to you if there is a specific range where you feel like you want a prime.

Primes are fun, small and sharper over all then zooms, but their focal length doesn't change, so unless you want to buy one for every focal length (as I believe some have done on this forum) it is wise to wait and see what length works for you.

I think the most important thing is that the camera feels good to you and that you enjoy shooting with it. If you like the feel of the K7, then the Kx will tend to feel small, but I think you would be satisfied with either one.
05-04-2010, 05:29 AM   #15
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I agree with those that state that you can use it as a beginners camera. Use P (or Av if you want a bit more control about DOF and shutterspeeds).

I would not straight away buy a second lens. Practice with the kit lens and see where it limits you. You might want longer (shee, I wished that it was a bit bigger on the photo) and/or wider (shee, I wished that I could do a step backward to get everything in the picture) and/or faster and/or better quality.

For portrait work you should think about something that is slightly longer than 55mm (up to 100mm or so).
For dedicated portrait work, a DA*50-135 might do nicely. It will also complement the kit lens for the other purposes that you described. Not the cheapest option, however.
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