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11-26-2010, 02:43 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by huskybusky Quote
One thing i'm worried about is the zooming in. i'm still finding i can't get any detail on shots with my 18-55mm and everything seems far away and small. I really don't want to miss taking full frame shots of large areas/buildings.
You need to get closer. The one way is to use your feet (not always possible); the other way is indeed using a tele (as suggested by Adam and also not always possible).

Maybe this Lens focal length calculator will help; for the earlier mentioned Eiffel Tower you need to be 250 meter away with a 18mm lens and camera in portrait position (like the picture on Eiffel Tower - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia )

And maybe, maybe you are expecting to much from any lens.

Can you post one or two photos that you're not happy with some info about distance, the used focal length and the used aperture

11-26-2010, 05:15 AM   #17
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Get a faster prime. Cheapest auto focus option would be the DA35, but a used A 50mm f1.4 would work well too. Just a lot of places where flash is not an option and you need to get your aperture wider to get a good photo. Maybe getting a used 50, along with the DA 16-45 would cover most of the situations.

I personally, hardly ever use a telephoto lens longer than about 150mm. I have the DA 55-300 and it is a very nice lens, but unless I specifically am going out to take photos of wildlife, I seldom use it.
11-26-2010, 05:45 AM   #18
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I suppose the Pentax / Tamron 18-250mm mentioned above would be an ideal travel lens. Unfortunately it is not available new. The 18-200mm Tamron could be an inexpensive alternative which can be had new for ~$200. The 18-55 + 55-300 combination would surely be better for absolute IQ, but the 18-200 should be nice enough and very convenient for travel.
11-26-2010, 06:00 AM   #19
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I'm just curious: which countries will you visit?

I second the 55-300 lens suggestion.

11-26-2010, 06:03 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by hcc Quote
If you really wanted to purchase another lens, I would suggest a fast prime lens with large aperture (like a 50mm f1.4) for the low light conditions of European winter.
I agree--it would also improve your chances with interior shots. To keep it within your budget, think about a used A series lens.
11-26-2010, 06:05 AM   #21
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unless yoou are going to the countryside, the present setup is not too bad.

if anything, but it won't come cheap is to consider an ultra wide zoom, or perhaps a prime.

I find in older towns and cities, you need to get much wider,

the field of view of your present kit lens is not bad, and exceeds all but the most expensive bridge cameras, so no don't trade the camera for a P&S.

if you are budget limited, you could opt for some of the samyang ultra wide lenses, (either 8mm fisheye or 14mmF2.8) these are manual focus, but easy to use, have an A setting so automatic aperture modes work, and are an inexpensive way to get wide lenses.
11-26-2010, 06:05 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by huskybusky Quote
thanks for the tips.

I'm actually finding it hard to believe the 18-55 will be enough in terms fo zoom.

I jsut took a couple of shots of buildings say only 30 metres away and they show up really small and not very detailed even at full zoom.

Another issue i'm finding is under cloudy weather my k200d doesn't automatically flash and the photos come out dark.

AS you can see i'm still in the VERY early stages of using a DSLR and that's one reason i'm considering selling this and buying something like a panasonic LX3 or similar.

Should i stick with it as i only have 4 week to learn or ditch it and have a chance of getting half decent photos over horrible DSLR ones.
Huskybusky, I am getting involved here again, because I think the advice you are getting is nice, sensible advice, but simply not targetted at what I believe are your needs!

I recommend NOT buying another lens, and NOT exchanging what you have for a p&s. The fact that you are even considering a p&s convinces me that what you need most is really to get better acquainted with the gear you have rather than to buy more stuff!

So, In summary:
-you are disappointed that photos of buildings seem too far off, and want more zoom power
-you are disappointed that your flash does not fire automatically in poor light conditions

If you exchange your gear for a superzoom/ultrazoom p&s, you can get zoomed-in grainy noisy details of architectural details in Paris, and you can join the host of tourists with p&s cameras who flash their little flashes at Sagrada Familia in Barcelona from 30 meters away, for absolutely no reason. Honestly, that always makes me wince. Or you can keep what you have - maybe get a gorillapod like I suggested? (great toy!) - and get to know your gear. That WILL produce more memorable shots, at the end of it.

If you want good shots of buildings, city scenes, friends and parties, you can get that with the kit lens. At 55mm, you don't need to go _that_ close to a building to make it fill out the picture frame. Try experimenting with different angles and frames, and read the manual a bit, there is a lot of newbie advice in between the more technical stuff.

But if you really want to be able to pick out details - individuals in a crowded street, architectural details, etc. - then I suggest getting a versatile zoom lens, like the 18-135mm that is being released in bundle with the K5. That one sounds great!

I think if you do bring a 55-300mm, you will just end up being frustrated at having to exchange lenses all the time, and that one will rarely let you get a shot of the _whole_ building at once, or the whole table in the pub/restaurant etc.

I don't think you need more lenses, just more practise with good motifs - and I am sure your trip to Europe will provide you with that!

I hope you have a great trip over here! And honestly, spend your money having fun on the way rather than lugging along unnecessary gear!

(Also, feel free to completely ignore all that I said. Maybe I misunderstood your situation - but it is the best advice I can come up with... )
11-26-2010, 07:01 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by huskybusky Quote
I currently have a k200d i purchased a while back that came with a 18-55 DA II lens.

Basically ANY tips and help are appreciated.

I was in Paris 3 weeks ago with the K200d and it's a perfectly good body but the 18-55 might be too wide for a lot of shots; Paris looks quite small, and it is when wandering in the small little streets away from major tourist areas, but there are lots of huge areas where you want something a bit more "focused" (IMO) for better images.

But, I'd say do not buy a new lens and/or accessories, keep it small and light and spend the extra $$ on good food and wine!

18-55 :



18-55 :



or with something longer : (not in your price range, da*50-135, but there are other options, see other answers )



11-26-2010, 07:36 AM   #24
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I would suggest a DA16-45 or a DA17-70 or a Sigma 17-70.

Wife has the sigma 17-70 and it has been really useful so far as a travel lens. In fact sometimes i wish i have 2 copies - one for her and one for me

I think a slightly wider angle than the 18mm will prove to be really useful for a trip like this.
11-26-2010, 07:58 AM   #25
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thanks for all the tips guys..I'm reading it all and taking it all in before i ask any more silly questions.

For the guy that asked which countries im visiting..well i have around 20 days and i'm thinking 5 days each country between france/spain/italy/england.

My first time to Europe and going in apparently the worst winter in a while but i know I'll have fun.

If anybody feels like contributing any more it is helping me so much i promise and thanks to everyone so far I'll hope to pass on whatever i learn here someday .

Oh and don't get me wrong I'm happy to buy another lens for the price i set($200-300)..money isn't the HUGE issue, normally I'd spend more but just the damn return tickets cost me $3000 so I'm not in excess of hobby money right now.

So yeah any lens that can and will help me at that price range I'm more than happy to purchase and in the meantime I'll be spending quality time with my camera and manual learning the ins and outs.

I personally myself didn't want to buy a high end P&S either but i thought of that as an option as i'd heard people raving about the LX3 and such and also it'd keep me away from asking so much help from random strangers. Like who am i to take up your time and i really do appreciate every post thus far.
11-26-2010, 08:13 AM   #26
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for your level of experience I'd look at the 55-300 Adam mentioned. I have been to Europe many times and the range this would give would cover almost all scenarios. A Gorillapod is also a good investment. At this time of year it's dark early and the christmas lighting and decorations would be nice to capture a small tripod would allow you to use lower shutter speeds and still get a sharp shot without the noise of higher iso shots. I last travelled with 4 primes and a 24-70 f2.8. you could likely find several primes for the $200 but none would be AF and it doesn't sound like you are ready for MF manual exposure that m42,k and M lenses would require.
I too have considered a ps for travel but the small sensor and poorer image quality has always put me off. you will find the 18-55 is more suitable for 90% of what you will shoot. streets in europe are narrow and you are not likely to be able to frame larger buildings from great distances (aside from some Public buildings or castles that are away from cities)
11-26-2010, 08:15 AM   #27
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btw if i were to buy a ps in the current crop it would be the lx-5 or the g-12, but i'm holding out for the fuji x-100 (no zoom wouldn't fit your needs but looks to be an ideal street photography tool)
11-26-2010, 08:33 AM   #28
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huskybusky

I don't know exactly where you are visiting in each country, there are lots of country and city photographic possibilities.

All I can offer is my advise, which is based upon travelling frequently to europe, plus living in france for 2 years in the 1990's.

I will give you just a couple of examples here, of recient trips.

2007, spent 17 days in france on holidays, took sigma 10-20, tamron 28-75F2.8 and sigma 70-200F2.8 plus TCs. took maybe 20 shots out of 2000 with the 70-200
2008 spent 2-3 days in prague after a conference, took sigma 10-20, tamron 28-75F2.8 and a K135F2.5. Used the 135mm for maybe 10 shots out of 1500.
2008 had a free day in paris, took sigma 10-20, tamron 28-75 and vivitar 85F1.4 Used all 3 frequently took a few shots only with the 85 plus 1.7x TC
2009 had a free day in paris, took M42 lenses from 24mm through 85mm.
2010 spent 10 days in prague, vienna and budapest. Took 8mm fisheye, sigma 10-20, tamron 28-75 and vivitar 85F1.4.

Simply put, I stopped carrying long tele zooms when I know I am not going specifically out in the country, there is just not a lot of opportunity to use them in cities.

when I lived in france in the 1990's I shot film, and the widest lens I had was a 24mm. I found frequently that it simply was not wide enough to fit many buildings in the viewfinder. either streets were too narrow, or there were too many fisual obstructions when you back up enough to fit the subject in the view finder.

24mm on film is equivelent to 16mm on a pentax digital. while you addimtantly need to learn about your kit and what you can and can't do with it. If you are going to spend time travelling, I think if any lens deserves to be added to the kit at this point, the wide angle will be the most useful. They are especially great for indoor shots, churches, castles, abbey's etc...
11-26-2010, 08:47 AM   #29
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+1 on Lowell's recommendation.

For my upcoming trip, I am just bringing along my DA14 and DA35 Ltd. Wife will just be using the Sigma 17-70.
11-26-2010, 08:50 AM   #30
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+1 on lowells also

i always take my DA14 (and last trip 1 24-70, M28 M50 andM200 because i knew i needed the 200 for a concert i was shooting for a friend)
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