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06-01-2011, 06:21 AM   #1
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Help Re: Lenses

Hey, I am new to having a DSLR, bought my K200D in 2009, but really have yet to master it. I currently have the following lenses & Flashes, and I am just looking for some adivce on what else I need. I only use the camera to take pictures of my two kids. 2.5 year old, and a 4 weeks old. I would like to get the best lenses and accessories that will help to capture my kids in the best way possible. Here is what I have: K200D
Pentax M 1:2 50mm lens
Pentax DA 1:3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL lens
Pentax DA 1:4-5.6 50-200mm ED lens
Flash AF 540FGZ
What should be next on my list?? Any help and suggestions would be appreciated

06-01-2011, 06:32 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by CourtBe2 Quote
Hey, I am new to having a DSLR, bought my K200D in 2009, but really have yet to master it. I currently have the following lenses & Flashes, and I am just looking for some adivce on what else I need. I only use the camera to take pictures of my two kids. 2.5 year old, and a 4 weeks old. I would like to get the best lenses and accessories that will help to capture my kids in the best way possible. Here is what I have: K200D
Pentax M 1:2 50mm lens
Pentax DA 1:3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL lens
Pentax DA 1:4-5.6 50-200mm ED lens
Flash AF 540FGZ
What should be next on my list?? Any help and suggestions would be appreciated
Your present kit is a "starter kit" but that does not mean it is a bad setup.

you want this to chase the kids, which I can understand at that age, so you don't want to be changing lenses every 2 minutes, therefore what you have suits that requirement more or less.

the short zoom for indoors, the ling zoom for out doors.

When you say you have not really mastered the K200 yet, or your present kit., what exactly bothers you about the photos?

It would be useful to know more about your issues before suggesting any new kit because it may not help.
06-01-2011, 06:44 AM   #3
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I would also spend some time reading the lens reviews so you get a better idea of what's out there as well: Pentax Reviews - Pentax Lens Reviews & Pentax Lens Database

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06-01-2011, 07:09 AM   #4
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Welcome here.
As mentioned, it is best to know exactly what type of lens you need for what application(s).
There are so many choices that you need to be specific about your photographic requirements.
Your kids will be tough subjects to capture, so light is important. A flash for indoors is a must - you already have the best one for the Pentax system - learn how to use that well. Your kit lenses should suffice for now, until you feel you have some mastery over exposure settings and need something that your current kit just cannot provide. If you're not sure about this yet, you're probably not ready to upgrade.

Just enjoy shooting your kids, get the practice and go from there.


Last edited by Ash; 06-01-2011 at 07:16 AM.
06-01-2011, 07:19 AM   #5
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When I say I have yet to master it, I just mean that I am still new... basically I can take a picture and I understand how it works, but some of the terms and what the lens do is still over my head. I am not up to date with the lingo, and tech terms, but I can make my camera do what I want. The pictures that i take are awesome, but I think that is more because of the camera, not really me. I want to be able to take pictures of my 4 week old and document her at this tiny stage, and I would like to be able to take some of my son and daughter together. I like to get in close so I believe the 50mm is the right lens for that. Then I tend to use the 50-200mm lens a lot too. I usually take the pictures outdoors or in our living room which has amazing natural light. The flash that we have is a great backup if it is cloudy. It swivels so I can make the light bounce of the ceiling or walls. I think it is a bounce flash? I am just looking to see what other options are out there, or if i perhaps have what i need! Honestly I am looking for any and all advice
06-01-2011, 07:21 AM   #6
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Also: I bought the camera when my son was born in 2009, but honestly I have never had the time to sit down and 'play' with the camera. So now I am trying to learn different techniques and skills with the camera. Anyone have any suggestions on what i should try? What mode is best to have my camera in? Seriously I know how new i sound! lol
06-01-2011, 07:42 AM - 1 Like   #7
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When I first got into photography, cameras typically were sold with a normal lens. Zooms were fancy new expensive things. There is something to be said for a normal lens. A normal lens gives a very pleasing perspective that is different from your 50mm. The larger aperture can allow shots in lower light levels, that the kit lens won't be able to get, but still have a wider view than your 50. The Pentax 35mm f/2.4 is a low cost normal lens for your K200D that is reviewed very well. Something to think about.
06-01-2011, 08:24 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by CourtBe2 Quote
I think it is a bounce flash?
Yes, using the flash's light to bounce off any reflective surface and onto your subject is bouncing your flash. It is highly advantageous indoors and enables you to shoot just about anything with confidence that you won't suffer from motion blur or underexposure. You need little more than this flash (when used effectively) for good results.

Whilst the DA 35 f/2.4 is a very good lens, a great 'starter' prime, you have basically all you need for now until you gain your confidence in using the kit you already have. Unless you're happy to spend $200 now for a new lens, I'd suggest going ahead with practicing and learning with your current kit.

06-01-2011, 11:13 AM   #9
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Until you can articulate exactly what about your current setup is failing to meet your needs, then I'd say your needs *are* being met. I had essentially that exact same combination my first few years too. The first change I ultimately made was to replace the 50 in my regular kit with the DA40, because I was finding the 50 just a bit too long. And of course, AF never hurts. These days, I suspect most people in that position would choose the DA(L)35/2.4. But if you're not seeing the 50 as too long for what you're doing, then there's no need.
06-01-2011, 09:17 PM   #10
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After owning several fun lenses and trying 'em on for size, what am I using now?
Rikenon(M)1:2 50mm lens
Pentax DA 1:3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL lens
Pentax DA 1:4-5.6 50-200mm ED lens, plus "a couple others"
Mine are WR kit lenses, that's very comforting to me. Next up for me are the DA35/2.4 and a Tamron 90mm macro. Maybe I'll keep them!

What went "wrong"? Nothing really, just still searching for perfection..
Should I say "don't knock 'em until you've tried.. everything else"?
06-03-2011, 01:58 PM   #11
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The basic question -- ask yourself, "What do I want to do that I can't do with what I have?" My answers, when I got the K20D and AF360, drove me to the DA10-17, DA18-250, and FA50/1.4, and later to a Raynox DCR-250 for macro. Then I started buying old manual primes, and was/am doomed.

So, do you want to shoot wider? Longer? Faster? Closer? For huge prints? And what's your budget? I find that much of my people-shooting is between 35-70mm, so I hate two-lens kits (18-55mm + ~50-200mm etc) because of inconvenient lens-swapping. My F35-70/3.5-4.5 is great in that area and cost me US$11 shipped. For chasing kids, maybe an 18-135/2.8 is best -- faster and with more comprehensive coverage. And some ~f/1.4 prime for those darker or speedier situations.

On shooting kids: Our dad shot my sisters and I with slow TLR's (75mm, f/3.5 or f/4.5) using slow ASA-100 film, rarely with flash, indoors and out. How? He trained us. We'd be dashing about. He'd say, "Hold it!" We'd stop. He'd snap. We'd continue our mayhem. Or he just made sure we were in good light when he shot us uncontrolled. Fast lenses and high ISO are NOT required.
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