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08-13-2007, 07:27 AM   #1
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Getting ready to order k100d... a couple questions

...and thank you all in advance for being SO helpful!! TOTAL newbie so feel free to roll your eyes cuz it's not like I can see ya

I am getting ready to order my camera and want to add "something."

Is THIS mislabeled? Is it a flash? And if it IS a flash... should I get it, the price is cheap! If it's not a flash... what the heck IS it?!

Pondering this lens... ( PHOENIX MF 28mm f:2.8 Wide Angle Lens 59.99) thought it would be kinda fun to have and it seems pretty inexpensive.

They also have Pentax SMCP-A Zoom 35-80mm f/4.0-5.6 for 69.99, but I am not sure I would want that lens because I eventually want a longer zoom than that.

Should I add any of these things... or just stick to the kit lens for now? I am going to this camera from a Fuji s6000 that has a fixed 28-300mm Fujinon 10.7x optical zoom lens and I am a little afraid I am going to miss that zoom

I pretty much take pics of kids, pets, some nature. Some indoors... some out!

Thanks again!

Last edited by lapeen; 08-13-2007 at 07:36 AM.
08-13-2007, 08:24 AM   #2
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As the only other Mainer on this forum let me welcome you. IMO you have made a wise choice. I'll leave the flash questions to somebody else because I don't use flash.
As far as the lenses are concerned, how much experience do you have shooting in manual mode? Is that something you would consider? If so, there are better and less expensive alternatives.
BTW, watch out for the upsell pressure you will get from Abes. Check out the K100D pricing at, b&hphoto, and Adorama. You might find better pricing and no upselling.


One other idea. If you are near Portland, Hunts Camera will normally match Abes & B & H pricing if you ask. You will have to pay sales tax but you gain having a local dealer to answer questions for you.

OK, One more thing. An old Pentax A 70-210mm f4 will give you the same FOV on the long end as your old camera. They are on ebay for $80 to $140.

Last edited by regken; 08-13-2007 at 08:36 AM.
08-13-2007, 08:38 AM   #3
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For the most part those are good questions lapeen

Yes, that sure looks like a flash to me. I have 1 Phoenix lens and think that it's great for the money, but I don't know how their flashes are.

That Phoenix lens looks like an OLD Pentax model.
I understand that both Phoenix and Pentax get their 100mm macro lenses from the same place, and they're essentially the same thing. There is a chance that this lens is the same sort of thing.
For $60.00 it's worth taking a risk on. I'd be tempted if I didn't have several lenses already on their way to me at the moment.

For what it's worth 28mm is the size that I use most often. It really compliments my shooting style.

If I was in your shoes, and happened to live close to the shop I'd see if they'd let me try all the lenses and flash in the shop.
Who knows, you might decide you like something else better.

It's what I usually do when getting new equipment these days.
08-13-2007, 09:58 AM   #4
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Of course Abe's of Maine is in New Jersey, so it's even further away than B&H or Adorama. I have dealt with them in the past and gotten just what I called for. However, I grew up in NYC and this seems to have inoculated me against pressure sales tactics.

The K100D and all the post *ist D Pentax DSLRs use a P-TTL system for automatic through the lens flash. (The flash sends a pre-flash whose light is measured and then the amount of light set.) This is highly accurate, but it means that you can't readily use a TTL flash. I think the Phoenix is a TTL, so it should probably be a non-starter.

If I were starting with a new K100D, I'd probably opt for the kit 18-55mm lens. Bought together as a kit it can be as little as $25 more than the body alone. It's not the best optic on the planet, but it's fantastic for the price.

Note: The K100D Super has been announced at a low price. It provides you with the chance to buy and use the new Pentax extremely quiet, fast, heavy and expensive lenses.

Larry in Dallas

08-13-2007, 10:23 AM   #5
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Colleen, One thing to be aware of... 28mm lens on a K100D is not wide angle. Due to the size difference between 35mm film and the size of the sensor in the digital camera the angle of view of a 28mm is roughly the same as a 42mm lens on film (35mm). That's why many digital photographers use them as "normal" lenses.
08-13-2007, 03:09 PM   #6
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Thank you for the welcome, Ken! We are neighbors! And thank the rest of your for your answers, you have all been very helpful! I have checked all over the Bangor area for a K100d to hold and get a feel for it, no luck.

I will be trying manual during my 'camera playtime' But I would imagine I will most often use P mode, or the kids mode so that I don't miss all the 'good stuff' while messing with settings.

I'd love a site (maybe there IS one that I haven't found yet) that lists all the lenses AND has examples of photos taken with them. Flickr does it some... but it's tedious.

My friend got her d40 from Abe's... they tried the upsell.... but I had warned her about it after reading reviews on epinions... their shipping was SO FAST. I got my Fuji from Adorama and was happy with them as well.... so it will come down to whoever is cheaper when I order.

I guess I will skip the flash for now... I hardly EVER use flash except for fill outdoors anyway.

As for the 28mm... still on the fence. I would like to see more photos that have people in them, and more close ups of kids and stuff (or does it distort). We are lucky to have lots of beautiful scenery here in Maine and my photos are often of the kids in the woods... at the lake.... apple orchard, etc. I am thinking (maybe incorrectly) that this lens would be good for capturing these scenes.

I also REALLY like that FA 1.4, but pricewise it's not gonna happen for a couple months after getting the camera... or maybe xmas.

I know these are famous last words but I really don't want to own a ton of lenses at this point in my life. 3 tops is what I am thinking right now. I don't want a camera bag that weighs 657 pounds, or pick and choose and then do the whole "I wish I brought the ____ lens" thing.

Last edited by lapeen; 08-13-2007 at 03:15 PM.
08-13-2007, 03:45 PM   #7
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You better hurry up and order it soon so you can have it for the folk festival. I have a M28 f3.5 which IMO is the best 28mm Pentax ever made. Since you are in Bangor I'd be willing to lend it to you so you can see for yourself if it suits you. For that matter you can borrow any of my lenses (one at a time) to see what suits you the best. Send me a PM or email if I can be of any help.

08-13-2007, 04:02 PM   #8
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Sounds like you have a plan. You might stay away from phoenix lenses though. Not really a good lens. It's better to spend a few bucks more for a Tamron, Sigma, or something else...

08-15-2007, 02:37 PM   #9
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I'm not sure how that specific 28mm lens fares, but if you're not either, and just wanted the novelty of a 28mm lens, check ebay....there are tons of 28mm 2.8's and unlike the old 50mm's, no one seems to really want them. I got my 28 2.8 for about 10 bucks I believe (manual, and not a Pentax, but still, decent enough)

60 bucks actually sounds kinda expensive for that, but if it's new rather than used, it may be worth it. If you don't care, I'd check ebay.
08-15-2007, 05:51 PM   #10
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I have a Tokina 28 MM fully manual lens, and i like it, sharp, and good color, and built very well. Here it is mounted on my K110D.
And here is a shot i took with it Sunday afternoon.
08-15-2007, 06:49 PM   #11
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I would stay away from Abe's or Beach Camera.

Go with B&H or Adorama. If I weren't a New York State resident (read: get nailed with sales tax) I would not even look anywhere else for my camera equipment orders.

As to that flash, it's a "92-P TTL" flash, NOT a "P-TTL" flash. Depending on what kind of manual/auto functionality (There IS a difference between "auto" and "TTL" capability when it comes to flashes. "Auto" usually means the flash has a light meter on the flash unit itself so it can automatically expose without any input from the camera, TTL means the flash needs to get metering info from the camera.), it may be utterly useless with newer Pentax DSLRs that only support "P-TTL" flashes. To my knowledge, the only P-TTL flashes on the market are the Pentax AF-340FGZ, AF-540FGZ, and the Sigma EF-500 series. The Pentax AF-200FG and Sigma EF-530 are coming but I don't think they are out yet.

If you don't get a P-TTL flash, you should consider a flash with "auto" capability and good manual controls. People over at Strobist really love the Vivitar 285HV (NOTE: Be careful with any used 285s, many have trigger voltages that will fry a DSLR. The new 285HVs are perfectly safe) or the Sunpak 383.

I have a 285HV and use it far more often than my AF-540. In most situations, my AF-540 has been relegated to a secondary slave flash. The 285HV is actually easier to use (While in theory the AF-540 "thinks for you" with P-TTL, most of the time it thinks wrong and it's frustrating trying to override it. The 285HV is "stupid" but has no problem doing EXACTLY what you tell it to do.) in my experience.
08-16-2007, 06:01 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stratman Quote
I have a Tokina 28 MM fully manual lens, and i like it, sharp, and good color, and built very well. Here it is mounted on my K110D.
And here is a shot i took with it Sunday afternoon.
LOVE that photo... now I REALLY want a 28mm!!

Also... why not Abes's? My friend just got her d40 from there and as long as you can stand strong against the upsell... they seem ok. VERY fast shipping.

I would go with Adorama first, that's where I got my Fuji, but if Abe's was a lot cheaper (and they have free shipping)... I don't see why not go with them.

thank you for the flash info. I am going to skip the flash for now until I have 1/4 of a clue
08-16-2007, 07:18 PM   #13
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The Phoenix flash is not recommended for the digital cameras. The flash sync voltage is pretty high, if I remeber correctly. If at the store I could measure it for you. It also won't be fully dedicated. It was built for film cameras and is being liquidated by the distributor. Avoid it. Could damage the camera.
You already have the 28mm lens in the Pentax 18-55. Use it first and see if you like 28mm. If not buy what you need. The 50 1.4 is a beautiful lens. Add it later if desired. Enjoy the new camera.
08-16-2007, 10:37 PM   #14
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I'll second barondla's advice and expand upon it a bit, if I may.

Before deciding on any particular prime (non-zoom) lens to buy, first try setting your zoom lens to that prime's focal length and do a lot of shooting with it at just that one setting. So, for example, if you think you want a 28mm, set your 18-55 zoom at 28mm and leave it there. Remember, with a prime lens you zoom with your feet, meaning you walk backwards or forwards to get what you want into the picture. When I first thought I might want a 135mm prime and wondered if that length was actually useful for me, that's what I did. I took my 75-300 zoom, set it at 135, and shot at nothing but that all day. This can save you some money on buying a prime lens only to find out that while it is nice it just doesn't fit your needs and goes largely unused.

And while the 50/1.4 has achieved something of a legendary status, there are other 50mm primes which are cheaper and turn in respectable images. I use a 50/2, which does a decent job and is cheaper than dirt.

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