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01-24-2007, 05:18 PM   #1
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k10d body and what lens?

I am waiting on a k10d camera and I didn't purchase the lens yet. I am new to photography and was wondering which lens to start with? I know this depends on the type of photography I will be doing, but truth is, I don't know.
I plan on taking pictures of everything when I get the camera!

I was wondering if the kit lens will be best suited for me until I learn to use the camera and it's features?

I am excited to get into photography and I don't know where to start...

01-24-2007, 05:37 PM   #2
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The kit lens is not great but there really is nothing wrong with it either except being a bit slow, f/3.5 -5.6. Thing is buting it with the camera, it's REALLY inexpensive. So you will be shooting right away. That said start saving your silver for the new lenses coming out in a few months, there will be a 16-50 f/2.8 and 50-135 f/2.8 these lenses are made for the K10D and should be spectacular. The 16-50 will have a field of view equal to a 24-75 on 35mm camera. The other being 75-200mm FOV
01-24-2007, 06:55 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info. What would the kit lens be good for? I mean, what type of photography would call for it?
01-24-2007, 07:25 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by xecutech Quote
Thanks for the info. What would the kit lens be good for? I mean, what type of photography would call for it?
The 18-55mm is a good general starter lens. For me it's great for snapshots and a good starter lens to get eased into using manual settings on the camera. Later, as you get better lenses, this kit lens can be used as a "crash lens" - a lens that you can take when you are afraid of your expensive glass getting damaged.

Just reviewing this before I post and I can't help but chuckle - when I asked the same question back when I was looking for my first lens and camera, my friends answered me in almost the same way that I am responding to you now.

01-24-2007, 07:41 PM   #5
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Thank you for the info. Instead of the 18-55, what lense would be the best all around lens? You know, if you could only have 1 lens with your camera.
01-24-2007, 09:47 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by xecutech Quote
Thank you for the info. Instead of the 18-55, what lense would be the best all around lens? You know, if you could only have 1 lens with your camera.
Check this site out.

Lens Buyers Guide - Digital Camera Resource Page - Forums

Good information on "walkaround" and "convenience" lenses.
01-24-2007, 10:42 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by KFrog Quote
Check this site out.

Lens Buyers Guide - Digital Camera Resource Page - Forums

Good information on "walkaround" and "convenience" lenses.
Was going to say that too. To add to KFrog, if you need to see some pictures taken with certain lenses, repost in this thread. I'm sure that someone here has the lens and can quickly post something up.

Happy hunting!
01-25-2007, 01:32 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by xecutech Quote
I am waiting on a k10d camera and I didn't purchase the lens yet. I am new to photography and was wondering which lens to start with? I know this depends on the type of photography I will be doing, but truth is, I don't know. I plan on taking pictures of everything when I get the camera!

This is a tough question, and in the end, you'll have to answer it for yourself - well or badly.

The factors that determine what you should get are these, in no particular order:

1. What you want to photograph
2. How important versatility is to you
3. What you can afford to spend

It might appear that I've omitted something: image quality. But image quality is not a factor - it's what you're trying to purchase. All of us always want the best image quality we can afford, given the lens we select based on its uses and its versatility. Once you know what you're doing, you can buy used and get really good stuff at bargain prices. But for new lenses, quality is generally directly proportional to price.


Versatility = zoom

If you could only buy ONE lens, then you'd really need to ask yourself what you want to photograph, because that would determine how versatile the lens needed to be. If I had to sell all but one of my current lenses, the one I would keep would be the Tamron AF 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 (IF) XR Di-II. This lens does it all, and does it pretty well - wide angle, mid-range, portrait, telephoto and even macro. If I did not have this lens already and if I could wait another month or two, I'd wait and get the 18-250 cousin of this lens that is supposed to be released in March.

If you can get reasonably close to your subjects most of the time, then you might be happy with a single zoom lens with a range like this Sigma 18-125 F3.5-5.6 DC lens. There's a favorable review of the lens on the web page I've linked to and I've seen the lens spoken well of elsewhere. I haven't used it myself so I can't say for sure, but I suspect it's not any better in its range than my Tamron 18-200 - but at $279 (Adorama) it's $110 less expensive, and if you don't really need the extra 100mm telephoto capability, then saving that money makes good sense.


The importance of aperture

As much as I like my Tamron 18-200, the fact is that its maximum f/3.5 at 18mm and f/4.5 at 50mm isn't fast enough for shooting indoor sports without a flash, so I have a Sigma 28-70 F2.8 EX DG. Notice that the Sigma's zoom range is entirely within the range of the Tamron, but the Sigma gives me a fixed maximum f/2.8 at all focal lengths. The Tamron is more versatile, but the Sigma is much faster. When you start staying up late at night reading the listings for Pentax-mount lenses at Adorama, you'll discover that the aperture seems to have more to do with the price of a lens than almost anything else. Big aperture, big price.


Different tools for different jobs

As I mentioned in another thread here recently, I now regard the Sigma as my "indoor" lens, and the Tamron as my "outdoor" lens, although the Tamron is my default, all-purpose lens indoors or out. It does fine indoors if I can use the flash. Before I bought the Tamron, I had a Pentax 50-200mm lens that I should mention here; it's a good lens, well priced and very popular. Anyway, the point I am trying to make is that there does not seem to be a single lens that does absolutely everything. I need different lenses for different jobs. And the jobs are not limited to "indoors" and "outdoors."

I like to shoot birds. You can of course shoot birds with whatever you've got. But to get a usable picture with a 200mm focal length, you have to get really close to the bird and the bird needs to be very cooperative. A 300mm lens is much better - and it's better still if you can go beyond that. Decent 300mm lenses, especially zooms, can be had for under $400 or $500. Superior quality lenses in that range will cost a LOT more than that, so for me they're not an option. I have an smc Pentax-FA J 75-300mm F4.5-5.8 lens that I'm not excited about but which seems to take decent photos when I use it properly. I will probably sell this lens soon and replace it with something better, but right now it's hard to find something better that I can afford - this Sigma 300mm F2.8 prime looks pretty sweet, but at $2600, it's out of my league. I also have a Tamron 1.4x converter that helps my 300mm lens behave like a 420mm lens.

I won't mention macro lenses because I don't know much about them myself; many zoom lenses come with some macro (extreme close-up) capability built-in. These are good for taking close-ups of flowers or insects and other disgusting things.

Another subject I have no experience with at all is portraiture, although I think that can serve as a segue to the topic of primes. Once you've got the mid-range, the long range and the close range covered, you may start looking at primes - fixed-focal length lenses that don't really have range at all - in the hope of improving your image quality. Right now I'm lusting after a Pentax 70mm prime that looks like it would be really nice for shooting portraits or people generally, but it's not cheap and I will probably have to resist the temptation. I have a used Pentax 50mm f/1.4 prime that's quite nice, but manual focus. It wasn't expensive. But I'm not sure it's really all THAT much better than the zooms I've got. I've posted some simple comparison shots here. In the past, it was generally true that zoom lenses were not very good and that for really good photographs you had to use primes. That is no longer the case.


The big three and where to buy

Lenses for Pentax cameras come mainly from three makers: Pentax, Tamron and Sigma. I find Sigma's line to be somewhat bewildering - too many models that are too close to one another in specs for me to feel confident about what I'm getting. Pentax has a reputation for making very good lenses and as you probably know, almost any lens made by Pentax since the mid-1970s can be made to work with the K10D or the K100D/110D digital SLRs. Tamron is also respected. My sense is that they have all made great lenses, and they have all made the occasional stinker. I always look for reviews before buying. I have been inclined to prefer new lenses to old ones, and especially when buying new, it seems pretty clear to me now that, by and large, you get what you pay for.

As for where to buy, the stores I've had good success with include Adorama, B&H Photo, KEH.com (good for used lenses), Sigma4Less, and Amazon.com. I find Adorama's site the easiest to use. And of course there's also eBay.

Hope this is helpful. Good luck!

Will

01-25-2007, 04:14 PM   #9
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Will, I really really appreciate your reply. I am overwhelmed that someone would take so much time answering a total newbies questions! I really appreciate it.
I have alot of research to do before I make my next purchase. I guess I wanted 1 lens that can cover it all and it sounds like your Tamron could cover as a do it all lens, I will look into that one next.

Thank you to all of you and I look forward to visiting the site, it's been daily now, and more when I get my gear!

If any of you have computer questions, I can help you out, just pm me. If you have camera questions.... better ask the pros here cause I am a total newbie!
01-25-2007, 07:45 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by xecutech Quote
Will, I really really appreciate your reply. I am overwhelmed that someone would take so much time answering a total newbies questions! I really appreciate it.
I have alot of research to do before I make my next purchase. I guess I wanted 1 lens that can cover it all and it sounds like your Tamron could cover as a do it all lens, I will look into that one next.
)
I agree. Will has posted some of the most valuable and useful information I have come across on this forum. Read some of his other posts and you'll see what I mean.

KFrog
01-25-2007, 09:20 PM   #11
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QuoteQuote:
I guess I wanted 1 lens that can cover it all...
Those don't exist, hence 200 choices:-(

When they make the 10-1,000mm f1.0 tilt-and-shift macro soft-focus (APO version of course), then they will be close.
01-25-2007, 09:45 PM   #12
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first thing I would look at before you go any further is your budget.
get the best you can afford, but don't over look the kit lens.
my wife has the 18-55 and it gives good shots. If you plan to stay under 8x10's you will likey not see to much difference in sharpness unless you compare it to a REALLY good lens.
as you will find out with more time, there really isn't an outstanding lens that can do it all. that is why the DSLR's can have different lenses.
If you have the money, a good walk around lens is a great start. I have the sigma 17-70mm 2.8-4.5 which I love. others on this board I am sure have their favourates as well.
are you going to do more indoor or low light shooting without a flash? then look for a telephoto that has a low F2.8. if you are not to conserned about low light photography, then choose a tele that would suite your shooting. fixed focal length lenses give outstanding photos, but for a first lens I would suggest a little bit more flexability of a tele (or zoom if you want to call it that)

once you get a good walk around flexable lens, then with some photos behind your belt, you will likely decide which type of photography you enjoy most, then get yourself a specialty lens like a dedicated macro, for example if you like that kind of stuff.

like I said, budget first, get what you can afford. if you can afford to, get the kit lens 18-55mm as it is a great deal for the price, and a good walk around lens until you figure out which type of photography you like the most, then invest in a high quality lens that suits this.

hope this helps

randy
01-25-2007, 11:32 PM   #13
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Thank you slipchuck, and I have read alot of your posts here and respect your opinions as well. I have done some research and have decided to get the kit lense until I learn the camera's features and then research the Sigma 17-70 you mentioned.
I plan on shooting outside quite a bit, and would like a good lense for vacation photos as well. I will more than likely take photos of family members at home as well.
I noticed the dedication to your son Nicholas, did he have cancer? I don't mean to intrude, but I kept seeing that in your sig and felt moved to ask.
01-25-2007, 11:55 PM   #14
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I followed the link in your post and got my answer, I am very sorry to hear of his passing. I couldn't imagine having to make that decision as a father.
I am also going to do some research on being a donor, just in case it could help someone in the future.
If any of you haven't followed the link and read about his son, you really should take a moment and check it out. My heart goes out to you and your family.
01-26-2007, 02:21 AM   #15
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I have an FA 31mm limited and that one stays on my camera most. It really depends on what you shoot most.
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