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06-24-2010, 06:46 PM   #1
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I want a Pentax, but which one?

My head is spinning from all the research. I'm leaning away from the C and the N because, well I don't like the feel of the C's in my hand and the N's I like but are pricey (and heavier than I'd like). I also owned a Pentax K1000 that a teacher gave me in 1985. My first camera and I loved it dearly. I want that feeling back! LOL.

I'm an amateur hobbyist that's been away from photography for a long-time. I'll be honest. As much as I think I'll be out there being really artsy, I'll probably mostly be taking pictures of my fast moving kids inside our not well lit house or at the soccer field. A challenge in it's own right and probably the best practice for a learning photographer. When I do pry the younguns from my ankle and get out there in the world to do photography as an art, I will likely be roaming the streets of NYC taking candids of interesting faces and interesting city life moments. I also really want to learn to do macro photography because most inanimate things don't seem interesting to me unless I'm really, really, really close.

Now to the camera. I have none right now. And I have cheap (umm, frugal, hard-working) husband that's pushing for a smaller budget. I could probably push to $1k, but he'll want me closer to $600-$700.

I've looked at the K-x and K-7 as options. I'm also wondering about the K2000 and *istDL but don't really understand where the latter two fit in the "hierarchy" ... I just saw the k2000 really cheap somewhere . Then I see all this talk about K100D, K10D, D200D, K20D and my head starts to spin. Then I wonder what lenses would I get to fulfill my speed combined with indoor lightning needs plus my occasional macro and zoom-in-the-streets of NY so I don't get beat up with my camera up in a stranger's face needs.

In a "for dummies" version, can someone explain the different between the various Pentax DSLR bodies and which one would make the most sense for someone like me. And then explain what specific lenses I need/ could use ... then how do I "cheat" on the lenses so as to get my desired results without going over budget.



06-24-2010, 08:18 PM   #2
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The cameras through the K100DS are 6mp sensors. After that, they went to 10 and then 14.6 MP with the K10D/K20D/K-7.

More MP allows a bit of cropping off some of the image without affecting the quality too much, but introduces noise (grain) - generally.

The current K-x is 12MP and has very low noise - meaning you can use a higher ISO value which increases the sensitivity to light - very helpful in low-light situations such as indoors, or sports where you want a higher shutter speed to catch the action.

You can check the price of a new K-x - it is relatively inexpensive, but I think it only comes with 1 or 2 lenses (the 18-55mm and 55-300mm). The 18-55 is not what you want for indoor kids or sport shots. You could sell that lens and get...

A used 50mm lens with a large maximum aperture (small aperture number) such as f1.7 for under $100 that would let in a relatively lot of light with the trade-off of not a lot of depth of focus front to rear in the image, and it is manual focus. Something new with auto-focus may triple that cost.

The 55-300 is a good lens. The next level of better sports-oriented lenses will put you a little over $700 for something like a Tamron 70-200 which is physically much larger and heavier than the 55-300 because it lets in more light.

A used K100D, that has pretty good low-light performance, will be about 1/2 the cost of a new K-x. A budget zoom is about $200 new, but the Pentax 55-300 is worth the extra cost.

Hope that helps a little.

Check the Marketplace listings - two K100Ds are for sale as are a couple decent lenses.

Last edited by SpecialK; 06-25-2010 at 08:53 PM.
06-24-2010, 08:46 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Leftyplayer Quote
My head is spinning from all the research. I'm leaning away from the C and the N because, well I don't like the feel of the C's in my hand and the N's I like but are pricey (and heavier than I'd like). I also owned a Pentax K1000 that a teacher gave me in 1985. My first camera and I loved it dearly. I want that feeling back! LOL.

I'm an amateur hobbyist that's been away from photography for a long-time. I'll be honest. As much as I think I'll be out there being really artsy, I'll probably mostly be taking pictures of my fast moving kids inside our not well lit house or at the soccer field. A challenge in it's own right and probably the best practice for a learning photographer. When I do pry the younguns from my ankle and get out there in the world to do photography as an art, I will likely be roaming the streets of NYC taking candids of interesting faces and interesting city life moments. I also really want to learn to do macro photography because most inanimate things don't seem interesting to me unless I'm really, really, really close.

Now to the camera. I have none right now. And I have cheap (umm, frugal, hard-working) husband that's pushing for a smaller budget. I could probably push to $1k, but he'll want me closer to $600-$700.

I've looked at the K-x and K-7 as options. I'm also wondering about the K2000 and *istDL but don't really understand where the latter two fit in the "hierarchy" ... I just saw the k2000 really cheap somewhere . Then I see all this talk about K100D, K10D, D200D, K20D and my head starts to spin. Then I wonder what lenses would I get to fulfill my speed combined with indoor lightning needs plus my occasional macro and zoom-in-the-streets of NY so I don't get beat up with my camera up in a stranger's face needs.

In a "for dummies" version, can someone explain the different between the various Pentax DSLR bodies and which one would make the most sense for someone like me. And then explain what specific lenses I need/ could use ... then how do I "cheat" on the lenses so as to get my desired results without going over budget.

Welcome!

Wow... All that for under $1000.. I'm not trying to be snarky but you'll be wanting to narrow in your expectations for right now and get a kit that you can add to easily. Fortunately, Any pentax DSLR will fit that basic bill. The Kx and the K7 are the current latest and greatest. For your Current budget however, the K7 is out of reach.

With your current desire in use, I would get a Kx Body, a DA-L 55-300 for the soccer field type stuff, and something like a Tamron 17-50 f2.8 for the indoor kiddie shots. For your macro desires, a Pentax M 50mm f1.7 and a Reverse 49mm to K adapter. At current rates, this may put you just a Little bit over budget but it will provide you with 99% of what you need to fill your photo wishlist. If the soccer field is still a ways off into the future, wait on the 55-300.

06-24-2010, 08:57 PM   #4
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Evening - Welcome to the Forum!!

To start off with - what SpecialK said. Good advice.

To amplify a bit - Pentax has 2 lines of cameras - entry level and semi pro.

Entry level went (from oldest to newest)
*ist DS and DL -> K100D -> K100D Special -> K200D -> Km or K2000 -> Kx

Semi Pro (from oldest to newest)
*ist D -> K10D -> K20D -> K7

In terms of pricing - I believe that the 2 lens kit for the Kx runs around $700 to $800 (depending on the telephoto lens). That would include the Kx body with the 18-55 kit lens and the 50-200 lens or 55-300 lens.

PS - if you still have your K1000 film camera, you can use your lens from that body on any of the newer Pentax bodies. I am guessing that its a 50mm f2, which would work perfectly well. It would still be a manual focus, but the lens would be image stabilized and the body would indicate when it thinks that the image is in focus (beeps) as you manually focus.

hope that helps...

06-24-2010, 09:51 PM   #5
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That helps A LOT!

K-x it is.

Now, keep talking to me about lenses/ accessories, including alternatives such as third party lenses that could save me money (would I lose quality)?
06-24-2010, 10:11 PM   #6
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Use the system that you are getting for a while - 4 to 6 months. The 2 lens system (or whatever you wind up getting) should hold you for just about everything. Shoot with it and then down load the images to your PC. See what you have done, and it will lead you to what adjustments you need/want to make. During this period you will also be learning the camera body.

Then, through natural selection, you will start to identify what you feel you need. For instance, shooting kids indoors, the kit lens may not be fast enough, you may want a flash or maybe a faster lens (for shooting in ambient light). If its a lens, then depending on the focal length, wide angle or normal or portrait, you can look at the offering and based on budget and needs (or whatever), select Pentax or Sigma or Tameron, or Zeiss (thought I would throw that one in for effects).

Running out and getting a ton of stuff is not going to help - other than crash the budget. Figure out other ways to do things - promotes learning - like, rather than buying a wide angle lens - try stitching. Stuff like that. As time goes on, you will acquire the items that you feel you need as the needs arise. You have to understand that this may well be a life time acquisition binge - take it slowly, LBA.....

06-24-2010, 10:30 PM   #7
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K-x is an awesome choice that 12 megapixel sensor does serious work on low light!
06-24-2010, 10:34 PM   #8
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Regarding lenses, I'd suggest asking more specific questions - like what in particular you don't think the kit lenses will do for you already, what makes you think that, and how much you are willing spend to do it. And ask those questions in the Lens or Beginner's forum, not this one.

06-24-2010, 10:42 PM   #9
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Good advice from Interested_Observer.
I've got my K200D for 1 and 1/2 year now and I started with the Tamron 28-300 mm. My husband has a Pentax too and he already had the 2 kitlenses, so that's why I bought the Tamron.
After about 9 months (sounds like a pregnancy) I bought the Tamron 90 mm f/2.8 macro and I've got a Helios 44-2 58 mm.

I'm glad I did get the Tamron 28-300 from the beginning, it had everything I needed, a little bit wide-angle (not a lot) and zoom.

Good luck with making your choice.
06-25-2010, 08:16 AM   #10
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If I were starting, looking at what you want to shoot, I would get the kx, Tamron 17-50 f2.8, DA 55-300, and probably an AF 360 or Metz 48 external flash. I think that set up would take care of most all of your shooting needs for quite a while. As for cost, it would run over, but you could space out purchases to make it fit your budget. Remember that you are better off buying the lens that you will eventually end up with anyway, rather than buying several intermediate lenses that you don't like and finally buying the one that you do.
06-25-2010, 01:47 PM   #11
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As a former K1000 shooter who now has had a K-X for about 3 weeks, I am thrilled with it. I knew I would get a Pentax because I knew the lenses I had for the K1000 would work on it. The camera kit blew my budget and I wanted a macro lens. I compromised a bit until the budget gets healed up. I got a set of macro filters for around $30. They work for me for now. Also, since you are in NYC, I would be checking out the pawnshops for lenses and maybe even a camera body.
06-26-2010, 12:37 AM   #12
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recommend a kx 2 lens kit too
06-26-2010, 07:46 PM   #13
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I think the kit lens does a very good job. Yes, there are faster and sharper lenses but the 18-55 is quite good and the price can't be beat. Use the camera for a while and then you will have a much better idea of what you want to do what lenses to get.
06-29-2010, 09:37 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
Evening - Welcome to the Forum!!

To start off with - what SpecialK said. Good advice.

To amplify a bit - Pentax has 2 lines of cameras - entry level and semi pro.

Entry level went (from oldest to newest)
*ist DS and DL -> K100D -> K100D Special -> K200D -> Km or K2000 -> Kx

Semi Pro (from oldest to newest)
*ist D -> K10D -> K20D -> K7

In terms of pricing - I believe that the 2 lens kit for the Kx runs around $700 to $800 (depending on the telephoto lens). That would include the Kx body with the 18-55 kit lens and the 50-200 lens or 55-300 lens.

PS - if you still have your K1000 film camera, you can use your lens from that body on any of the newer Pentax bodies. I am guessing that its a 50mm f2, which would work perfectly well. It would still be a manual focus, but the lens would be image stabilized and the body would indicate when it thinks that the image is in focus (beeps) as you manually focus.

hope that helps...
Awww..and I thought the 2 lines of Pentax were those that are weather-sealed and those that aren't.
I vote for a K100D super (not weather-sealed though but very good low light capabilities) and lotsa lenses!
06-29-2010, 09:56 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Leftyplayer Quote
That helps A LOT!

K-x it is.

Now, keep talking to me about lenses/ accessories, including alternatives such as third party lenses that could save me money (would I lose quality)?
The 18-55 kit lens should be good enough for starters. For zoom you could go with Pentax's 50-200 kit lens, or with the Tamron 70-300 which is cheaper and has a Macro option.

Pentax K-x with both kit lenses

Tamron 70-300 with macro


This is the route I was going to go until I decided on the K-7, and spent twice as much.
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