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08-04-2013, 10:52 PM   #16
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The lens is very versatile, but not ideal for indoors lowlight use. You must expect to use very high ISO or a flash. Of course, the K30 has excellent high ISO performance, but I would still say you would need something faster for that.

For landscapes it's less of a problem since the scenery is mostly stationary. Then shake reduction will help you with the longer shutter speeds. Or even better, you'll use a tripod. Should, really.

And yes, the K30 supports a remote, both wired and wireless.

08-05-2013, 09:30 AM   #17
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Thanks for your feedback. Im not sure exactly what you mean by something faster? What exactly makes a lens good for dark indoor and outdoor performance?

Last edited by Newtophotos; 08-05-2013 at 09:55 AM.
08-05-2013, 11:22 PM   #18
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By fast I mean low F value. In low light you have four options for getting a proper exposure.

- Add more light (use a flash)
- Set a higher ISO value (but that adds noise)
- Set longer exposure time (but increase the risk for motion blur)
- Set a larger aperture opening, that is lower f-stop.

The 18-135 has between 3.5 and 5.6 as its widest opening, depending on which focal length you're at. A lens with f-stop 2 or less will be better for use indoors unless you use a flash or are willing to accept noisy pictures using high ISO values.

A 17-50 f/2.8 might be an option for something that can work "everywhere" (although no WR).
08-06-2013, 09:14 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by savoche Quote
By fast I mean low F value. In low light you have four options for getting a proper exposure.

- Add more light (use a flash)
- Set a higher ISO value (but that adds noise)
- Set longer exposure time (but increase the risk for motion blur)
- Set a larger aperture opening, that is lower f-stop.

The 18-135 has between 3.5 and 5.6 as its widest opening, depending on which focal length you're at. A lens with f-stop 2 or less will be better for use indoors unless you use a flash or are willing to accept noisy pictures using high ISO values.

A 17-50 f/2.8 might be an option for something that can work "everywhere" (although no WR).
Thanks for your feedback. If I were to add a second non-adjustable lens for capturing people and landscapes in low light which is better:
1. 35mm DA L f/2.4
2. 50mm DA f/1.8

08-06-2013, 10:53 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Newtophotos Quote
Thanks for your feedback. If I were to add a second non-adjustable lens for capturing people and landscapes in low light which is better:
1. 35mm DA L f/2.4
2. 50mm DA f/1.8
Both are good. But the real answer is "it depends".

The 50 is faster, and is probably better suited to portraits. But it needs quite a lot of space if you want group photos or full body shots.

Personally I prefer 35mm as an allround focal length, but others will prefer 50. I would recommend trying out a zoom at different focal lengths and see what suits you.

For landscapes both and none. Small f-stops gives small depth of field, so you will usually want to use 5.6-11 anyway. Almost any lens will do. In low light there is really no substitute for a tripod when it comes to landscapes. Nor in good light for that matter
08-06-2013, 08:50 PM - 1 Like   #21
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The K-30 with the 18-135 WR is a killer combo for a beginner. It's got great enough high ISO capability to balance things out with the small built-in flash too.

You can think about upgrading lenses after you've exhausted all possible combinations with the starting kit; LBA is hard to control once it kicks in!
08-07-2013, 05:49 AM   #22
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Thanks for your feedback. I ordered the K-30 with the 18-135mm lense. I'll try photos at 35 and 50mm and see if a second lense is something I'd like to order as well.

I have my first vacation in a while in one month. Although I realize it takes a long time to be skilled enough to take amazing photos like what I've seen on this forum, I'd like to get pretty good at shooting pictures before I leave. What are some good ways to quickly ascend the learning curve? Are there any good online videos, or tutorials? Maybe a good physical book? Maybe it's best just to get out there and ask the forumers to critique what my best photo attempts?

Also is there a good suggestion for a traveling tripod? I'll be visiting some scenic landscapes and architecture and I'd like to move beyond the blurriest that always occurred with my point & shoot.
08-07-2013, 05:57 AM   #23
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Well, first make sure you use a fast enough shutter speed. The classic rule is to match your focal length with shutter speed. I try to double it to make sure I don't introduce any camera shake.

Secondly, don't overlook a sturdy bench, wall, rock, etc - all are pretty good tripod substitutes when you are traveling.

Lots of people like gorillapods, I would buy the strongest one, the gorillapod focus. They can come with a ball head, but I think it is a pretty dinky head - I'd get something different or just skip it altogether and angle the legs for composing.

Finally, there are tons of tripod companies, cheap but decent ones too. You can get a Manfrotto, a benro, and induro, and on and on. You should go on the b and h website and scroll around. I have a feisol 3402 that I bought specifically because it packs down under 22" but with the center column extended it goes far above eye height. I tend to not use the center column but I have the option.

Anyways, buy used. you'll save a ton of money. B and H, adorama, KEH, and even amazon all have used inventories. Not to mention our own PF marketplace and of course, ebay.

08-07-2013, 09:27 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Newtophotos Quote
Thanks for your feedback. I ordered the K-30 with the 18-135mm lense. I'll try photos at 35 and 50mm and see if a second lense is something I'd like to order as well.
As a previous poster said, it is a very versatile combo, even indoors. An f/2.8 lens is two stops faster than f/5.6. But you can get more than two stops of ISO from the 16 MP sensor in the K-30 and its contemporaries, more than enough to offset the "degradation" of the slower 18-135 mm lens. You will be able to take shots in lower light, that you would have had no chance to capture a few years ago with any zoom lens.

QuoteOriginally posted by Newtophotos Quote
I have my first vacation in a while in one month. Although I realize it takes a long time to be skilled enough to take amazing photos like what I've seen on this forum, I'd like to get pretty good at shooting pictures before I leave. What are some good ways to quickly ascend the learning curve? Are there any good online videos, or tutorials? Maybe a good physical book? Maybe it's best just to get out there and ask the forumers to critique what my best photo attempts?
SD storage is cheap, so take a lot of practice shots before you go, indoors and outdoors, with and without flash. You only have a month, so I'd suggest you explore hyper-program mode, and don't worry too much about learning all the other shooting modes for now.

And yes, by all means, if you have specific concerns, post your photos or your questions in a new thread here, asking what went wrong, or what you could have done better. Everyone on PF loves to critique.

Once you are on your vacation, keep it simple. I have a boatload of lenses and you might grow your own collection, but you really don't want to carry too much stuff with you when you are on vacation, especially if the camera is new to you. You will spend more time fussing with your lenses and changing your options than concentrating on composing your shots, which is the real key to good photos. If you haven't mastered all the various shooting modes, it is okay to shoot in Program mode, or even Auto mode, don't let others shame you into thinking you have to shoot in an all-manual mode!

QuoteOriginally posted by Newtophotos Quote
Also is there a good suggestion for a traveling tripod? I'll be visiting some scenic landscapes and architecture and I'd like to move beyond the blurriest that always occurred with my point & shoot.
You might receive more responses to this question, if you post a new thread in the accessories forum.
08-07-2013, 09:44 AM   #25
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One other suggestion. The Pentax user manuals are very good, and they actually provide you with a hard copy! Go through as much of it as you can before your trip. You don't have to try everything, but at least know what your options are.

You can bring the manual with you on your trip, or download a PDF version off the Pentax website onto your mobile device, for reference when you are back at the hotel.
08-07-2013, 11:05 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tanzer Quote
As a previous poster said, it is a very versatile combo, even indoors. An f/2.8 lens is two stops faster than f/5.6. But you can get more than two stops of ISO from the 16 MP sensor in the K-30 and its contemporaries, more than enough to offset the "degradation" of the slower 18-135 mm lens. You will be able to take shots in lower light, that you would have had no chance to capture a few years ago with any zoom lens.

SD storage is cheap, so take a lot of practice shots before you go, indoors and outdoors, with and without flash. You only have a month, so I'd suggest you explore hyper-program mode, and don't worry too much about learning all the other shooting modes for now.. If you haven't mastered all the various shooting modes, it is okay to shoot in Program mode, or even Auto mode, don't let others shame you into thinking you have to shoot in an all-manual .
Great advice! What is exactly is degradation of the lense? Is it that performance suffers at higher zoom levels?
What is hyper program mode? Is the standard flash strong enough for most pictures? Also, is there a certain SD card class I should buy? I plan to take very few videos.
08-07-2013, 12:11 PM   #27
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Sorry, when I said "degradation of the slower 18-135 lens", I simply meant that the light throughput was less than the faster f/2.8 zooms, like the DA*16-50 and similar Tamron and Sigma competitors. Yes, the f/stop and transmission does become slower at higher zooms, but I wasn't specifically trying to make any point about that. After all it only goes as slow as f5.6, which is 2 stops slower than f/2.8. And at wide angles the discrepancy is less.

You can read about HyperProgram when you get your camera. It lets you shift the shutter speed or aperture from the camera's metering, which assures you will never be too far off. This way you are still aware what exposure settings the camera is using, but can still tweak the settings as much as you like without severely under or over exposing the shot.

16 GB is pretty good and standard and at the lowest price points per GB these days, and you can fit a lot of JPEGs. But if you shoot RAW or JPEG+RAW, you are probably better off with a 32 GB card. Or multiple cards. Go with Class 10, probably doesn't matter whether it is 30, 45, or 90 Mbps, so long as it is Class 10.
08-08-2013, 12:57 PM   #28
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I really appreciate all the advice, the camera and lens come today and I'm really looking forward to putting all that I've learned to use

One more question though, was this possibly not a good lens choice? A photozone review of the lens states its overpriced and not good for architecture or landscape shots. The article suggests the DA SMC 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 or the DA 17-70mm f/4 as possible alternatives. Would a beginner be better served by either of these two lenses instead of the DA 18-135mm? Here is the review which reads mostly very critical of the 18-135mm:

Pentax SMC-DA 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] WR - Review / Lens Test
08-08-2013, 12:58 PM   #29
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Sorry - double post!
08-08-2013, 10:45 PM   #30
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The general consensus here is that that particular test is of little value. They seem to have reviewed a subpar lens. Most people here can tell a very different story. Do a search and you'll see lots of great examples of what this lens is capable of.

Don't worry, and enjoy your new kit
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