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11-26-2010, 09:01 AM   #31
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it is a higher price point but Sigma has the 18-125 for around 339 at BH photo, it would give you some extra reach and keep it to one lens which means no fumbling for lenses and missing the shot. not super fast but aside from a manual focus 50 you're not going to get speed and price.
I'm also pretty certain that lightroom has a lens profile for it so you can optimize your pics from it (if you use lightroom 3.2 anyway)
Personally I'd buy the Pentax version for the WR but your camera isn't weatherproof anyway so the close to $200 bump isn't worth it

11-26-2010, 10:42 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by huskybusky Quote
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.
Personally, I agree with the posters who have said that the wide end is great in cities, though the options at that end aren't really in your price range.

However, since what you have noticed so far is that the detail for buildings has been too small, I think we need to meet you where you are. A wide lens (like a 10-20 or 12-24) only gives you the chance to make things even smaller . . .

Now, the first thing I have to ask is: are you shooting jpeg or raw? Are you looking at pictures on computer, magnifying and cropping? Because even with a 10MP image there is a considerable opportunity to isolate the interesting parts of your picture in post-processing, even when you couldn't do that when you took the picture (because of your lens, distance from your subject, and so on). If you shoot in raw (or raw + jpeg) you have the opportunity to do quite a bit with your picture after you take it, and you will not have lost any detail to jpeg compression.

On the other hand, if you are relying a lot on what the pictures look like in the rear lcd, well, the rear lcd on the K200D is not all that good, and even at max magnification in it may be difficult to tell whether the detail in your picture is something you can use. Which is another reason to rely on post-processing instead.

My one other comment would be that, if you really do want to zoom in with a lens, buying something like the Tamron or Sigma 18-200 might be the best idea. Quality is not necessarily as good as the 18-55 (version II), but I doubt you would notice the difference, and the convenience of zooming without changing the lens can be a big deal. And those lenses are definitely in your budget, which the new Pentax 18-135 WR or the Sigma 18-125 may not be.

When I was a DSLR beginner, my first trip was to South America. I got on mostly with the 18-55, but I remember going to a nature preserve and being frustrated by constantly switching out at 50mm to a telephoto zoom, then back again. It seems to me that you have enough to learn right now that the additional decision to switch lenses is more complexity than you need. For the same reason, I am not sure that a prime lens would be a good choice for you for this trip. I love prime lenses, and if I were headed to Europe right now I might take only a DA 15 and a DA 35, with maybe a 70 or 85 if I could afford one. But once again, I think prime shooting is more complexity than it's worth for you right now.

If you learn to compose the pictures you want, use ISO 800 or even 1600 at times so that your pictures don't come out too dark, and deal with basic issues of cropping and de-noising in post-production, I think you will be able to let go of your anxiety and enjoy your pictures from your trip. Then after that you can look at prime shooting, artistic depth of field effects, and start to obsess over image quality issues . . .
11-26-2010, 11:37 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by MetteHHH Quote
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!
Good avice. Back in the film days, my travel rig was a 28mm, 50mm and an 80-200 zoom. The kit 18-55mm lens gets you a field of view up to the short end of that zoom. I would come back with hundreds of slides, and you could count on my fingers the number of slides I took longer focal length than about the field of view covered by the 18-55.

My last trip to Spain this summer was similar. Moreover, I loaned my K100d to a friend (who is at about the same photographic place as the Original Poster) along with an 18-55 and a DA50-200 for a trip to France. The DA50-200 hardly made contact with the camera body. After a number of shots where she was getting used to the camera and lens, she was taking great photos.

I would echo the advice that one not load up on lenses to learn, but spend a lot of time learning the camera. Lean how to use the zoom and the autofocus (starting with turning it on); learn the exposure modes, learn about shake reduction, etc. etc. There were things that my friend didn't find time to do until she got there, and she missed some shots early on. My own experience was that you will not outgrow the kit lens as fast as others who are into lenses would lead you to believe.

If you do really want a longer tele, Adam's advice is spot on. It will just about double the space you need to carry your camera equipment, though.
11-26-2010, 12:26 PM   #34
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The 18-55 will be your most used lense. If you have US$200 to spend (as you said) then the Tamron 70-300 can be picked up for roughly half that and then you can spend the other half on a decent (light) tripod (you'll need it for the low light situations you will meet aplenty in Winter in Europe - in fact in January you will find it relatively dark even during the day).

BTW - you only really need the 70-300 if you want to be shooting street candids or detail from a distance. Take a simple but good diffuser for your in-camera flash.

11-26-2010, 12:33 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by huskybusky Quote
Hey guys and girls, first and foremost i'm extremely jealous of you lot taht can take beautiful photos as it seems as hard i have no clue where to begin.

I'm hoping to change that on my trip to europe.

I currently have a k200d i purchased a while back that came with a 18-55 DA II lens.

Now i'll be heading to europe in january(winter time) and am hoping for any advice on lens i may need.

It would be for taking photos of the sights buildings and scenery, really just heading to the main touristy attractions.

I'm not looking to spend too much, hoping to keep it around $200 if possible.

On a side note, i am an absolute DSLR beginner and i pretty much shoot off auto. Would it be better for me to sell this and buy a high end p&s for around $500? Or add a half decent zoom lens if its possible for $200 to this kit?

Also any help with filters and such i'd need for i guess the lower light conditions during winter in Europe.

Basically ANY tips and help are appreciated.
You can do fine with the 18-55 and a 50-200 or 55-300.

I went to Greece a couple months after I first bought my camera, and I only had the 18-55 and 50-200. They are a great set for lightweight traveling when you aren't on a photovacation.

You don't need super fast lenses in the winter time, the sun is still shining during the day, and the night isn't any darker.
11-26-2010, 12:40 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
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.
It really depends on your style of shooting as well. I use my long zoom as much in the city as I do my 16-45. Depending on what I'm shooting.
11-26-2010, 01:17 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by alohadave Quote
You can do fine with the 18-55 and a 50-200 or 55-300.

I went to Greece a couple months after I first bought my camera, and I only had the 18-55 and 50-200. They are a great set for lightweight traveling when you aren't on a photovacation.

You don't need super fast lenses in the winter time, the sun is still shining during the day, and the night isn't any darker.
So obvious you aren't British / European
11-26-2010, 03:14 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
So obvious you aren't British / European
Too true! These days, the sun just travels along above the horizon, rising at 9am and setting at 4am. And believe me, the night are a LOT darker!

Basically, with a bit of cloud cover and the low angle of the sun, so little light gets through some days that it doesn't feel like daylight at all.

But then you might just stay out of Scandinavia! Italy, Spain and France do get daylight even in winter...

11-26-2010, 04:39 PM   #39
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my memories of winter in london are grey at best, i spent a winter there and blue sky sunlight was rare to say the least (toronto is not much better
11-26-2010, 06:54 PM   #40
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QuoteQuote:
currently have a k200d
and - - -

QuoteQuote:
Personally I'd buy the Pentax version for the WR but your camera isn't weatherproof anyway so the close to $200 bump isn't worth it
Wrong. The K200D is a WP body.
11-26-2010, 07:19 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
my memories of winter in london are grey at best, i spent a winter there and blue sky sunlight was rare to say the least (toronto is not much better
It's no different in the summer. The only thing about winter is to see how screwed up the Brits get in the event there are one or two snowflakes on the ground
11-26-2010, 07:42 PM   #42
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so i see people agreeing about the widle angle prime lens, i assume that's the path to go? or are some of the zoom lens mentioned still an option?

is there any wide lens you can recommend around $200 that i can look to be purchasing ASAP so i can get as familiar with it as possible before i leave.

oh and I'm hoping to see some snow over there but not too much as i've heard all the transport shuts down, one thing i am expecting is to freeze my backside off.

..not to mention I've heard only bad things about traveling in January but I'm determined to have fun !!
11-27-2010, 01:07 AM   #43
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I'd take exactly what you have now. It won't be until you've been shooting for longer that you will develop your own style and really know what equipment you need.

It's not a bad idea to start out with a general purpose zoom like you have right now. Stick with it, learn what you like about it and don't like about it, then upgrade later. I started with a Nikon D200 and 18-70mm, now I only like to shoot primes (it took me a while to learn this, I've had lenses from 17mm to 400mm in that time).
11-27-2010, 01:09 AM   #44
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Oh yeah, I forgot to mention. If you take any filters along I'd recommend a graduated neutral density filter for any bright skies. You'd probably want a tripod too, that's the first thing to buy if you don't have one.
11-27-2010, 01:13 AM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by huskybusky Quote
so i see people agreeing about the widle angle prime lens, i assume that's the path to go? or are some of the zoom lens mentioned still an option?

is there any wide lens you can recommend around $200 that i can look to be purchasing ASAP so i can get as familiar with it as possible before i leave.

oh and I'm hoping to see some snow over there but not too much as i've heard all the transport shuts down, one thing i am expecting is to freeze my backside off.

..not to mention I've heard only bad things about traveling in January but I'm determined to have fun !!
Actually no. I think most people agree that (with all due respect) at your current level of expertise you have the right lense already in the 18-55 which will give you a great range for everything from landscapes & buildings to portrait.

IF you really wanted to add another lense to your kit then I'd repeat my advice from above (again especially that of the tripod - which you may need a lot in low light, and flash diffuser (for use indoors for portraits, dinner & evening shots).

QuoteQuote:
The 18-55 will be your most used lense. If you have US$200 to spend (as you said) then the Tamron 70-300 can be picked up for roughly half that and then you can spend the other half on a decent (light) tripod (you'll need it for the low light situations you will meet aplenty in Winter in Europe - in fact in January you will find it relatively dark even during the day).

BTW - you only really need the 70-300 if you want to be shooting street candids or detail from a distance. Take a simple but good diffuser for your in-camera flash.
In any event I'd avoid primes at the moment for two reasons, a quality prime is going to exceed your budget and you may not yet have the skill set to get the best out of it. I think you may find a prime very frustrating if it's for use on your European trip.
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