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06-08-2008, 01:06 PM   #1
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About to purchase a K200D, need advise....

The weather sealing and the in-body IS was a big selling point. Seems like the most camera for the money to me.... one that will give me room to grow as a photographer.

This will be my first DSLR and I'm sure that the learnig curve will be fairly steep. I plan on taking pictures of my family and my son playing sports (youth soccer, football and basketball) as well as experimenting with nature shots and still life.

I'm trying to decide if I should I go with the kit lens or the 16mm-45mm f/4 lens that currently has the $100 rebate. What's the difference in picture quality of the two lenses? I hear that the kit lens is pretty good.

Once I get the hang of things, I plan on getting a larger zoom (probably some in the 200mm range). What would be the recommendation on a (variable) zoom lens?

Thanks in Advance.

06-08-2008, 01:38 PM   #2
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i'd say go with the kit lens. for what you're doing, the extra boost in IQ from the 16-45 will not be beneficial for the cost paid, and you'll risk slipping into LBA too quickly, lol.

i suggest the 18-55 and 50-200 or 55-300 as a good starter's kit, plus either an A or M 50mm lens, for indoor low light work
06-08-2008, 01:39 PM   #3
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As regards basketball (presumably indoors?), you may wish to make sure that an affordable fast tele is available.

As regards the kit lens (18-55 II), it is pretty good. Perhaps a bit soft.
If money were no object, I would've opted for the f4, but the 18-55 certainly provides acceptable family shots and decent shots of my boy playing soccer.

The background image on my web site (in the signature) was shot with the 18-55 II, using 1600 ISO. It's actually cropped quite a bit -- only about a fifth of the frame

As it is, the 18-55 and 55-300 (hopefully arriving tomorrow) should suffice 'til (oh please) a year end bonus arrives.

- Richard

Last edited by expatCanuck; 06-08-2008 at 01:45 PM.
06-08-2008, 04:48 PM   #4
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I say go kit lens as this is your 1st DSLR, once you decide what you'll be shooting then you can start looking at building your lens collection.

As for getting use to a DSLR, only your enthusiasm will motivate how fast you learn. Remember the best way to learn with digital is to shoot a lot.

btw i went with the 2 lens kit for my Hawaii trip at the end of the month hopefully i'll get some good shots to make my personal book.

06-08-2008, 05:44 PM   #5
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Browse the Pentax Photo Gallery once (the PPG, not the gallery here) - it's amazing how many incredible shots are in there that were taken with the 18-55 kit.
06-08-2008, 07:13 PM   #6
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[QUOTE=OniFactor;263366]i'd say go with the kit lens. for what you're doing, the extra boost in IQ from the 16-45 will not be beneficial for the cost paid, and you'll risk slipping into LBA too quickly, lol.

LBA??? Best Guess: Lens Buying Addict?
06-08-2008, 07:36 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mugsyman97 Quote
LBA??? Best Guess: Lens Buying Addict?
Ding Ding! Right on! You're learning fast!

If you'd like a little more reach the kit lens, then the Sigma 17-70/2.8-4.5 is a good choice. It's also a bit faster than the kit lens, which means you can shoot at lower light levels without a flash.

With that being said, the 18-55 II kit lens is nothing to sneeze at, either.

I concour with those who are saying that either the 50-200 or 55-300 are great choices for a telezoom. Another one that hasn't been mentioned so far is the Tamron 70-300/4-5.6, which a lot of people like and can be had for around $150 or so, new.

The FA50/1.4 would also be a good addition. I don't have it, but I've been toying with the idea of getting it, as I've seen some excellent images taken with it. Once you take a look for yourself, you won't believe that this lens costs around $200 brand new.

Since you're new, you may not know about's lens catalog, which lists lots of lenses and provides sample photos taken with them by real people, so you can see for yourself. They're organized by brand, so go to Camera Database and Museum at and then find the brand that you're interested in looking at and then scroll down the list of cameras and lenses until you find the one you want.

Pentax smc P-DA 50-200mm f/4-5.6 ED Lens Sample Photos and Specifications
Pentax smc P-FA 50mm f/1.4 Lens Sample Photos and Specifications
Tamron AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1: 2 Lens Sample Photos and Specifications

Also, if you go to the lens discussion subforum here, then you can search for lenses that way, as people do post their samples here, as well.

06-09-2008, 08:40 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the great feedback.....

I may get both the 16-45 and the kit lens to see which I like best. At their current pricepoint, I could probably resell either on ebay without taking much of a loss.

The variable zoom lenses that are recommended seem very reasonably priced.... LBA already kicking in.

Now, what flash to buy???

06-09-2008, 11:55 AM   #9
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you will find that basketball is very difficult to get good results. the lighting is low and uneven in color. For this I use my FA50/1.4 at f2 with ISO set to 800. custom white balance. results are mediocre.

A better zoom range would be 28-75 or 50-135 depending on the size of the gym. My son's grade school basketball games barely leave room on the sidelines for spectators. So the 28-75 would be fine. The Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 has a great reputation and the f/2.8 would give you a good compromise between depth of field, and faster shutter speed to stop action. But you will still probably need ISO 800-1600.

for soccer, and football, the action is going to be farther away. If the games are during the day, a slower f4 lens would be fine. If you are trying to get night shots under lights, then prepare to pay the big money, and for Pentax there arent all the options.

the DA*50-135/2.8 would be expensize and a little faster than needed for outdoors and a little short. a 70-200 or 80-300 f4 would be perfect. You could start searching for the manual focus pentax A70-210/4 or I think maybe there are Tamron and Sigma options...

I use old manual focus primes, but I havent had much practice following the action at soccer games. Baseball is easy to pre-focus on the action. Football and soccer is harder, but autofocus may have trouble as well. how can the camera know if you are trying to focus on the quarterback in the center of the field or the reciever standing in the foreground? Same with soccer... which player in the scene is the focus? You will need to practice selecting the AF point and following the action... or alternatively practice manual focus.
06-09-2008, 12:04 PM   #10
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IMO the perfect starter kit considering the rebates would be:
Tamron 70-300 macro (for long-end telephoto and macro capabilities)
Pentax FA 50 f1.4 (or similar) for portraits and low-light pics

A good flash wouldnt harm but you can cross that bridge later.

Hope it helps
06-09-2008, 12:31 PM   #11
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if you are going to do a lot of indoors sports where you need a fast lens, but also good reach(basketball etc.), the upcoming (august-september-ish?) Sigma 70-200 2.8 HSM might be a good choice for a second lens. This lens also does well with teleconverters when you need that little extra.

We just have to wait and see if existing Sigma TC's support HSM on Pentax though... You also have to be patient and wait a couple of months before it gets released as well.

If you don't need it, the aforementioned Tammy 70-300, Pentax DA 55-300 or the Sigma 70-300mm APO would do just as well for a starting photographer in situations with good light.
06-09-2008, 03:19 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mugsyman97 Quote
I may get both the 16-45 and the kit lens to see which I like best. At their current pricepoint, I could probably resell either on ebay without taking much of a loss.
I did exactly that to get a feel myself. In terms of image quality, I did some brick wall shots and found that the kit lens II is softer than the 16-45 until f8, then they are about even. Contrast of the 16-45 is better. Vignetting of the kit lens II is visible at 18mm wide open and gets better until f8 when it's gone. Vignetting of the 16-45 is about 1/4 as obvious.

In terms of usage, the 16-45 is big compared to kit lens II. It takes some time to get used to the weight and size for me. Kit lens II feels more low key and is better for candids because of the reach. 16mm vs 18mm is huge difference if you're in a room. The manual focusing ring of the kit lens II is easier to find than the 16-45 (because it turns during auto focus, have to let go and find it again every time). The lens cap of the 16-45 is poorly designed because it's impossible to take off when I put the hood on.

On other major point that might only apply to me, is that my kit lens II front focuses seriously in indoor yellow light. My manual focus green dot also FFs in yellow light when coupled with my A50/1.7 so I believe it's the camera (or just Pentax AF in general). The 16-45 does not FF in the same light, so either it's something with the design, or my 16-45 is faulty! In natural light, both lens focus perfectly.

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