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09-21-2008, 05:33 PM   #1
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Need advice with new k200d

I just purchased the k200d with the kit 18-55 lens. This is my first DSLR and so far, I love it. However, I have found something out that I did not think of prior to purchasing this camera.

Prior to my purchase, I had a film camera and lens capable of a 1.7 aperature. I have found that I love shots with the lower aperatures. I like the blurry background on the shots. I really like this when taking shots of 4 year old twins in my family as well as shots of flowers, my dog, etc.

Advice needed: How do I get this with the k200d? The lens I have is f/3.5-5.6. I have not been able to get the f stop to 3.5 on any shot when using the manual settings or Av. As I change the focal length, then the f setting usually increases. I must have a big misunderstanding on how manual mode works with DSLR

Next item I need advice on: What should be my next lens? I am looking at the DA 18-250 F/3.5-6.3 lens. I like the board range of 18-250. But since I like to take blurry background pictures, I am worried about the aperature ability. I guess my goal in the next lens is a general purpose lens. I want the ability to have lower aperature settings, but do not want a lens that is used for only one type of shot.

Money is an issue. I have a budget, but am willing to spend alittle more if I know I will get more bang for my buck.

Any advice will be much appreciated. I will be taking a trip to Seattle in November for work. I will have some free time while there and hope to use my new camera and lens alot.

09-21-2008, 05:58 PM   #2
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55- 5.6
18- 3.5

it's next to impossible, i say that just incase someone has done it?

You can do as i did and add the 50-200(4/5.6) or the newer 55-300 (4/5.6?), the 18-250 is good but makes you 18-55 obsolete unless you sell it which you might not make much towards the 18-250. they all will give you the "look" that you want though.
09-21-2008, 06:16 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by amyf Quote
I just purchased the k200d with the kit 18-55 lens. This is my first DSLR and so far, I love it. However, I have found something out that I did not think of prior to purchasing this camera.

Prior to my purchase, I had a film camera and lens capable of a 1.7 aperature. I have found that I love shots with the lower aperatures. I like the blurry background on the shots. I really like this when taking shots of 4 year old twins in my family as well as shots of flowers, my dog, etc.

Advice needed: How do I get this with the k200d? ...
For the situation you describe you could consider one of these Pentax prime lenses: FA 50mm f/1.4 or 35mm f/2.0.

They are relatively inexpensive and will give you the shallow depth of field which you seek.
09-21-2008, 07:00 PM   #4
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Another option would be a constant f2.8 zoom like the DA*16-50, Tamron 28-75, Sigma 24-60, 24-70, and 28-70.

If you don't mind manual focusing, then you can pick up an A50/1.7 or A50/2 easily for less than $100.

HTH,
Heather

09-22-2008, 05:00 AM   #5
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Thank you to all for your thoughts.

It sounds like I can't get everything I want with just one lens. I know I was dreaming, but it was worth a shot asking those you know best.

I wanted to avoid the need to take several lens with me when I travel. As you know, it just makes the flying much easier the less I take.

But it sounds like if I want to get the "look" I am seeking and the ability to zoom in on subjects, I will need to buy multiple lens.

I will check out the ones all of you have listed. I am sure I will have more questions as I research. I am new to this world, but eager to learn....I just wish my bank account was just as eager to jump in.
09-22-2008, 06:34 AM   #6
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Ah, you you are a "one" lens shooter, it makes things a lot clearer.

Take a look in the lens section for images from the 18-250, either from Tamaron/Pentax you can also see some images from Flicker, there was one person here that posted a few from his travels and he loved it as a 'travel" camera.

Now if those images are pleasing to you then by all means sell your 18-55 and invest in that lens. The only draw back to that with the K200D is low light shooting but if it's mostly family photos at this time, i would suspect capturing the moment is more important vs the overall quality?

That said the digital darkroom is an amazing tool, that can save/enhance what wasn't possible in film without getting expensive.
09-22-2008, 10:18 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by amyf Quote
Prior to my purchase, I had a film camera and lens capable of a 1.7 aperature. I have found that I love shots with the lower aperatures.
I don't suppose that was a Pentax film camera? And I don't suppose you still have it? If so, there's your lens right there - except it's apparent focal length will have changed due to the crop factor, so it might seem too long now.

QuoteQuote:
As I change the focal length, then the f setting usually increases. I must have a big misunderstanding on how manual mode works with DSLR
No, just a misunderstanding of how (most) zoom lenses work. Manual mode is still manual mode, but you can't set an aperture that the lenses doesn't support. The lens you have can go up to f/3.5 only at the widest end. That's how it was with film, too.

QuoteQuote:
I want the ability to have lower aperature settings, but do not want a lens that is used for only one type of shot.
Why not? Isn't that what you had on your film camera? Seems to me a zoom that can do "most" shots by covering a big focal length range, and one well-chosen wide-aperture (aka "fast") prime for the shots where you want the shallow depth of field.
09-22-2008, 10:26 AM   #8
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You can surely use a fast prime for more than one type of shot. Don't want a shallow DOF? Then stop that sucker down!

09-22-2008, 11:09 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by amyf Quote
Prior to my purchase, I had a film camera and lens capable of a 1.7 aperature. I have found that I love shots with the lower aperatures. I like the blurry background on the shots. I really like this when taking shots of 4 year old twins in my family as well as shots of flowers, my dog, etc.

Advice needed: How do I get this with the k200d? The lens I have is f/3.5-5.6. I have not been able to get the f stop to 3.5 on any shot when using the manual settings or Av. As I change the focal length, then the f setting usually increases. I must have a big misunderstanding on how manual mode works with DSLR
You don't say if your old lens (the one that was "capable" of f/1.7) was a prime or not. Probably was. I can't off the top of my head think of ANY zoom lenses that are this fast, at least not current zooms for Pentax.

Forgive me if you know this already - but it sounds like perhaps you haven't quite sorted this out yet. With respect to aperture, there are two kinds of zooms: those whose maximum aperture varies with the focal length, and those whose maximum aperture is the same regardless of the focal length. The zooms with a variable maximum aperture - like most kit lenses - may be very good lenses (I'm quite fond of my Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4.5) and they are generally less expensive. Apparently there's something about the mechanics of lens building that makes it a bit easier to increase the focal length if, at the same time, you allow the lens to stop down a bit. Anyway, your kit lens can go to f/3.5 at 18mm, but can only go to f/6.3 at 55mm. At a focal length in the middle, say, 35mm, the maximum aperture is going to be somewhere between f/3.5 and f/6.3. When you see lenses like this listed, you should always see two aperture settings listed.

A fixed-aperture zoom can HOLD the aperture at a given setting, even while you change the focal length. The DA* 50-135 f/2.8 can stay at f/2.8 all the way from 50mm to 135mm. My Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 can stay at f/2.8 even as I zoom in tight on the subject. Another excellent and relatively inexpensive zoom lens with a fixed aperture is the Pentax 16-45 f/4. Personally I think Pentax ought to use this lens as their kit lens. The fixed aperture makes life MUCH easier on those of us who do a lot of shooting in manual exposure mode, and many of us really don't like to use zooms that do NOT have a fixed max aperture.


QuoteQuote:
Next item I need advice on: What should be my next lens? I am looking at the DA 18-250 F/3.5-6.3 lens. I like the board range of 18-250. But since I like to take blurry background pictures, I am worried about the aperature ability. I guess my goal in the next lens is a general purpose lens. I want the ability to have lower aperature settings, but do not want a lens that is used for only one type of shot.

Money is an issue. I have a budget, but am willing to spend a little more if I know I will get more bang for my buck.
I completely understand the desire to have a super-zoom like the 18-250. But keep in mind that this comes close to defeating one of the biggest advantages of the SLR format, which is the ability to use different lenses. If you really want the maximum of versatility, you should consider getting a high-end compact, fixed-lens camera. There are some really good cameras available now in that category, with amazing zoom lenses. Unfortunately, the smaller sensors in those cameras mean you're stuck with greater depth of field than you may want. But the superzooms for your DSLR generally aren't super fast, that is, at the wide end of the zoom range the focal length is seldom faster than f/3.5 or something like that.

Anyway, if you want to blur your backgrounds, you need to open up the aperture. How wide you need the aperture to go depends. But if you really like shallow depth of field, you probably want to have a lens that goes to f/2.8 or f/2 or f/1.4 or whatever, at the focal lengths you prefer. Others have already suggested that you look into the Pentax 50mm f/1.4. However, I think that you may find this just a bit too long - remember, 50mm on our Pentax dslr bodies has the same field of view as a 75mm lens on a traditional 35mm film camera, and that's moderate telephoto. For photographing children (for example) something wider will probably be easier to use. I suggest that you look at the older Pentax FA 35mm f/2. Sells currently on Amazon for under $300 and it's a nice lens. There are a couple other 35mm primes from Pentax that are even better but also more expensive. The Sigma 28 f/1.8 is the same price as the DA 35 f/2, and the Sigma is a little faster, wider, and may even be a slightly sharper lens.

There are lots of other lenses to recommend but I'm trying to keep in mind your tight budget.

Will
09-22-2008, 05:42 PM   #10
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Gosh, you guys are great!!!! I am happy I joined this forum....so much information!!!

Yes, my film camera is a pentax and I still have it. I have two lenses, a Pentax-A 1:4 70-210mm and a 1:1.7 50mm. I need to try this again. When I first received my k200d, I tried to attach the 70-210 and it was blurry. I could not get it into focus so I assumed it would not work. Any help with this?

If I can get the above lenses to work, I will hold off on spending any more money.

If I can't get them to work, I think I have narrowed down my choices due to your suggestions.

Pentax FA 50 f/1.4 - I can get this for $199.95 (within my budget)
Sigma 55-200 f/4-5.6 - I can get this for $149 (again within my budget)

I can afford both now. I considered the DA 55-300 for $349.95, but at little too much for me at this time.

I like the FA 50 f/1.4 some of you suggested. This gives me the "look" I enjoy in some of my pictures. I like the 55-200 because I can have the zoom capabilities I like to have.

Again, I am still learning and apprecciate your thoughts on this.
09-22-2008, 06:13 PM   #11
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I found a setting that says "Use aperture ring." This is whether to permit or prohibit taking pictures when aperture ring position is other than A. This was set to prohibit. I changed it to permit (I don't have aperture ring...at least, I do not see one on my lens). Both lenses now work with my k200d. Gosh, you guys saved me a lot of money!!!

This allows me to take my time and take more pictures to see what other lenses, if any, I really need. I am curious how the pictures will come out with these older lenses.

Anyway, thanks everyone for your input.
09-22-2008, 06:25 PM   #12
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Doh, why didn't you say so...LOL

QuoteOriginally posted by amyf Quote
Gosh, you guys are great!!!! I am happy I joined this forum....so much information!!!

Yes, my film camera is a pentax and I still have it. I have two lenses, a Pentax-A 1:4 70-210mm and a 1:1.7 50mm. I need to try this again. When I first received my k200d, I tried to attach the 70-210 and it was blurry. I could not get it into focus so I assumed it would not work. Any help with this?

If I can get the above lenses to work, I will hold off on spending any more money.

If I can't get them to work, I think I have narrowed down my choices due to your suggestions.

Pentax FA 50 f/1.4 - I can get this for $199.95 (within my budget)
Sigma 55-200 f/4-5.6 - I can get this for $149 (again within my budget)

I can afford both now. I considered the DA 55-300 for $349.95, but at little too much for me at this time.

I like the FA 50 f/1.4 some of you suggested. This gives me the "look" I enjoy in some of my pictures. I like the 55-200 because I can have the zoom capabilities I like to have.

Again, I am still learning and apprecciate your thoughts on this.
You don't need to buy new lenses for a long time then LOL

Firstly, you have some VERY NICE "A" lenses don't EVER sell those!!!!!!

KA mount

The KA mount is derived from the original K mount. It allows the lens' aperture to be set by the body, and thus permits shutter priority and program auto exposure modes. It was introduced in 1983, and is supported by A-series and P-series bodies; Pentax lenses that support it are marked 'SMC Pentax-A'. It is completely backward-compatible with the original K mount.

The aperture on the lens is set from the body by the same stop-down lever found on the original K mount, but on KA lenses this lever is proportional to the area of the aperture opening, rather than the diameter as on previous lenses. This allows the body to easily set a specific aperture, since the relationship to F stops is linear. The lenses add an 'A' setting on the aperture dial, which gives the body control of the aperture. Other, numeric settings are used for manual aperture modes—aperture priority and full manual mode.

Six electrical contacts are added to the bayonet ring. One is slightly recessed and allows the lens to indicate whether the aperture ring is set at 'A' or not. If it is, a pin on the lens extends slightly and makes contact, while if the lens is at any other setting the pin is retracted and does not make contact. The other five contacts are used to encode the lens' aperture range. Each contact on the lens is either conducting or non-conducting, providing a binary 1 or 0, respectively. Two contacts encode the lens' minimum aperture—f/16, f/22, f/32 or f/45; although no Pentax K-mount lens has ever had an f/16 minimum aperture, OEM lenses often have. The other three contacts encode the lens' maximum aperture; their meaning is dependent on the minimum aperture indicated by the lens.


SOURCE


*edit* Doh, i was too slow LOL enjoy your found again new lenses LOL
09-22-2008, 06:53 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by amyf Quote
I found a setting that says "Use aperture ring." This is whether to permit or prohibit taking pictures when aperture ring position is other than A. This was set to prohibit. I changed it to permit (I don't have aperture ring...at least, I do not see one on my lens). Both lenses now work with my k200d. Gosh, you guys saved me a lot of money!!!

This allows me to take my time and take more pictures to see what other lenses, if any, I really need. I am curious how the pictures will come out with these older lenses.

Anyway, thanks everyone for your input.
Sounds great that you got the lenses to work, but I think you should not have had to adjust the "use aperture ring" setting (but changing it is fine). Your "A" series lenses should in fact have an aperture ring. It is the rotatable ring closest to the camera side, that should have an "A" on it. It might not be rotatable if it has a lock to keep it in the A position...

If you set them to the "A" position then your camera can control the aperture automatically (either when you set the aperture with the camera controls, or automatically in P mode etc.). If you want, you can choose the aperture by manually rotating the ring, but then you need to change that setting to "permit" "use aperture ring" just like you did.

Sorry if this is confusing, just trying to make sure that you are using the aperture selection properly...
09-23-2008, 02:59 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by sewebster Quote
Sorry if this is confusing, just trying to make sure that you are using the aperture selection properly...
Don't be sorry. I appreciate the information and welcome the learning opportunity. I am a little confused, but that is OK. I need to let this information bake while I play around with my camera. This way I can fully understand.

A few of you mentioned that I might find the 50 f/1.7 that I have to be a little long. I was not sure what you meant by that until I played around some last night. I do find it to be a little long.

I am also starting to understand the joys of the prime lens. I was not sure what that meant and I did not even know that I had one already. I am starting to get it!!
09-23-2008, 04:17 PM   #15
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Thanks again everyone. I have played around with my lenses and camera. I have found the "A" on my zoom lens, but I don't have the "A" on my 50mm.

I was able to change the "use aperture ring" when using my zoom so that my camera can control the aperture automatically just as you said.

I just need to change the "use aperture ring" setting again so that I can use the 50mm lens. No big deal.
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