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02-06-2012, 11:09 PM   #1
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First world problem

So I'm expecting to get ~500 back from taxes in a week or two, and im thinking of adding to my camera collection in some form. Anyone have any suggestions on what i should get? Right now I have a K-5 with an 18-135 WR, a 35 f/2, and a couple of manual film lenses. I have a good bag, good tripod. I was thinking of getting an external flash and potentially a battery grip, but im open to other options. Would love to hear your thoughts.

02-06-2012, 11:34 PM   #2
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External flash is good if you shoot in conditions where you would use it, otherwise a waste of money if it just stays in the bag.
You have a good general purpose zoom and a nice fast prime, but you have no really good wide angle (which might be DA 12-24 or the Sigma 10-20)

Maybe the DA*16-50 or the Sigma or Tamron equivalents if you want to upgrade image quality.

You also have nothing at the long end. Take a look at the DA 55-300. That would pair well with your 18-135.
02-07-2012, 05:06 AM   #3
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What do you shoot?

If you do a lot of outdoor in remote areas, the battery grip is a must because it give you more battery options.

On the other hand, some fast primes woudl add nicely to your camera: 50 mm f1.4, or 85 mm f1.4. While the K-5 has excellent high-ISO performances, these fast lenses will give more options in low light and for indoor. I would suggest to start with a fast fifty: the FA50m f1.4, the excelent Vigtlander Nokton58mm f1.4, and even the Carl Zeiss 50mm are excellent options. (The last two are MF with outstanding IQ.) If you shoot a lot of portrait, the FA77m f1.8 or some 85mm (Sigma 85mm f1.4, CZ85m f1.4) are viable choices.

I hope that te comments may help, but you need to give more details on your real needs....
02-07-2012, 05:10 AM   #4
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My pants come equipped all the battery options I have ever needed.

I've never understood buying a big-assed grip and having all that extra weight and bulk attached to the camera full-time just to save the trouble of reaching into a pocket and pulling out another battery.

02-07-2012, 05:24 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
My pants come equipped all the battery options I have ever needed.
I've never understood buying a big-assed grip and having all that extra weight and bulk attached to the camera full-time just to save the trouble of reaching into a pocket and pulling out another battery.
The battery grip can accept Pentax proprietary battery as well as AA batteries. When you shoot outdoor in remote areas without electricity, it is much cheaper to use AA batteries and often the only way to keep the camera working.

This is not about the size of the pants (or pockets) but plain practical issues for those of us working in remote areas with limited electricity supply.....
02-07-2012, 05:38 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
My pants come equipped all the battery options I have ever needed.

I've never understood buying a big-assed grip and having all that extra weight and bulk attached to the camera full-time just to save the trouble of reaching into a pocket and pulling out another battery.
Not just about power, it's also about ergonomics. It's much easier for me to hold the camera, particularly in the portrait position, with the grip. Having a place for an extra SD card has also saved me from loosing shots recently.
02-07-2012, 07:38 AM   #7
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What do you want to do that your current kit can't handle? Getting one or more flash units and learning the proper use of them sounds like a good idea; that's the phase I'm in now. As suggested above you might also like a lens faster than f/2 (if you don't already have that with your old manual lenses).
02-07-2012, 09:04 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by hcc Quote
What do you shoot?

I hope that te comments may help, but you need to give more details on your real needs....
Flickr: nsolarz13's Photostream There's my flickr to give you an idea. Personally, I don't see myself having one particular "thing" i focus on shooting.

02-08-2012, 01:35 AM   #9
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Even if you don't use a flash often, a decent flash is a useful accessory. I use my AF540 4 to 6 times a year (often outdoors) and I'm happy not to have to rely on the built-in one. Make sure you get one with tilt and swivel head (for indoors bouncing).

pTTL can make life easier but is not an absolute requirement; automode actually is (in my opinion) and variable power is probably nice to have when you go more advanced (I have not gotten there yet). Although the K5 has its own AF assist light, the AF assist light of a flash can help focusing at longer distances in my experience with K5 and AF540.
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