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10-10-2018, 10:11 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by GlennG Quote
What is your budget? Before I saw the reply from pres589 I was thinking along those lines as well. With this combination you will likely get the best pleasure and image quality per dollar spent, so this will give you a good gauge whether you will want to continue with this hobby. I think the strategy mentioned in the post is good. As I started in DSLR I bought starter lenses, but I wish I would have started with upgraded lenses. My 2 cents worth also.
My budget will be $500 max.

10-11-2018, 12:52 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by Motikant Quote
My budget will be $500 max.
Options:
1. One of the bodies you have mentioned in a bundle with a DA 18-135 for <$450. Spend what's left on a flash.

2. One of the bodies mentioned bundled with a Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4 for <$400. Spend what's left on a flash and/or tripod.

3. One of the bodies mentioned bundled with an 18-55 kit lens for <$300. Get a cheap prime - like the Pentax DA 35 f2.4 or DA 50 f1.8 - second hand for about $100, or a manual focus prime like the Pentax-A 50mm f1.7 for $50. Spend the rest on a flash and/or tripod.

If you are lucky the seller will throw in an SD card or two and a spare battery, and maybe a carry bag.
10-11-2018, 04:06 AM   #33
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I would take a used K30 or K50 with a 17-70 or a 18-135. These combinations should be below 500 usd and offer enough to start with.
Then you can figure out your photographic style and decide whether you need a more expensive body or glass
10-11-2018, 04:18 AM   #34
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There is nothing wrong buying from eBay. I buy there a lot. But as you have said your knowledge is limited. Also looking at the eBay prices that are listed look to be the cheapest for each product listing. Cheapest is a good place to start looking but not necessarily the best to buy.

Let me give you an example. I just purchased a K-5 last week on eBay(already own a K-3 II). It was listed as 37k shutter count and good condition. Normally I would ask a ton of questions but the auction was ending in an hour. Also I really didnít think my bid had a chance of winning with my bid. I ended up getting it for $118. It came without a battery or charger but I knew that also. When it arrived I looked it over and found some issues. I found a couple of issues the view finder was a non Pentax replacement and the diopter adjustment lever was missing. None of these is a big issue and it falls within the description of good condition. I didnít have a problem as the price was great. Havenít gotten any good shots (I did take test shots just not good ones) yet as the weather hasnít been agreeable. But I can tell you that I love how it handles and the location of af switch.

So I would personally recommend that you buy from Adorama, B&H, KEH or Roberts this time around so you can learn. Then buy from eBay in the future.

PS
Welcome to the forums.

10-11-2018, 04:33 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by Brooke Meyer Quote
K5Iis or K3, something with two wheels. Forget this beginner stuff. That's like trying to learn to play on a beginner guitar that's a lot harder to use than a good one.

Skip all the junk stuff and learn to shoot manual mode. Then you have full control. It's 3 things to learn, ISO aperture and shutter.


Entry level cameras make it really hard to control your image or at least make the one you want by burying the essential controls. I spend a lot of time in my basic photography classes helping folks unearth the controls they need.
+1 and then some.

I am no manual-only purist, but many photographers started on a bare bones but fully manually 35mm camera, like a K-1000, and the lack of automation instilled an understanding and gave them skills that made them better image makers. Bells and whistles are great, but the reason I started digital photography with a K-5 was to have fully manual control in order to get the image I wanted to get (through trail and error oftentimes), not relying on a program line in the camera. As a beginner, having control over the three essential points in the triangle, shutter, aperture, and ISO, and gaining an understanding of how each affects the other, and the final result of the image, is what makes the difference between taking snapshots versus making photographs. I'll add that while autofocus is great to have, and I use it very often, manually focusing generally slows down making of an image. In most cases, that slowness allows the photographer to really consider the image in the frame, and to adjust composition and truly identify, and capture what in the frame makes that image interesting. Also, there are times and places where the best AF will not lock onto the subject the photographers desires, so knowing how to manually focus quickly and accurately is a great skill to develop.

I hope the OP will enjoy using a DSLR, but entering into any hobby in a budget conscious way is a good idea. IMO, the K-5/K-5ii option is the lowest price of entry, but if the OP needs a lens, a bundle including the 18-135mm within budget is a good deal. Also, the OP might benefit from looking at the many threads on PF dedicated to almost every lens compatible with a Pentax camera, with hundreds of examples.


In the end, get one good quality lens and body, learn the strengths, weaknesses and quirks of the combination over a few months of routine shooting and I look forward to seeing the results.
10-11-2018, 05:16 AM   #36
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K-70 is my recommendation. I exchanged my K-S2 for this, and haven't looked back - despite similarities, its a far better camera especially for low light situations, and so easy to master. They can be purchased used occasionally on ebay for quite low prices if you are prepared to wait. It is the best value for buck current Pentax by a long way.

I still have my K-5 (for it's fast buffer) and K-3ii (for it's extensive functionality), but these are seldom used now. (Partly because I also use a K-1)

As others have pointed out, lens choice has to be factored in, and this is where the cost escalates if image quality is important. Some inexpensive lenses are quite good value for money: 18-55, 18-135, 50/1.8 and 35/2.4, but soon you'll want the 16-85 or 17-70 and DA Limiteds which are lovely. With these quality lenses you will get the most out of your camera - technically. And there are lots of lovely manual focus lenses available for a snip - I recommend the auto aperture A series.

That said, if you enjoy photography you will be happy with whichever Pentax you choose. Good hunting.
10-11-2018, 05:47 AM   #37
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Flash. When I bought the K3II I bought the little AF201 as the K3II has no pop-up. It's pocket-sized but pretty versatile. Its only drawback is the long recharge cycle. With only two AAA batteries, that's to be expected. I have used it for macro support in manual mode and it recharges quickly when using it at reduced power. Its advantages over the pop-up you'll get in the K5 are the ability to bounce flash, and somewhat stronger strobe, plus with controls on the flash it's easier to manipulate.

The 360 flashes are substantially more versatile, but more expensive and substantially larger.

A K5II for $265 is outstanding. They're built to last, so I wouldn't worry about durability.
10-11-2018, 06:57 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by steve_k Quote
There is nothing wrong buying from eBay. I buy there a lot. But as you have said your knowledge is limited. Also looking at the eBay prices that are listed look to be the cheapest for each product listing. Cheapest is a good place to start looking but not necessarily the best to buy.

Let me give you an example. I just purchased a K-5 last week on eBay(already own a K-3 II). It was listed as 37k shutter count and good condition. Normally I would ask a ton of questions but the auction was ending in an hour. Also I really didnít think my bid had a chance of winning with my bid. I ended up getting it for $118. It came without a battery or charger but I knew that also. When it arrived I looked it over and found some issues. I found a couple of issues the view finder was a non Pentax replacement and the diopter adjustment lever was missing. None of these is a big issue and it falls within the description of good condition. I didnít have a problem as the price was great. Havenít gotten any good shots (I did take test shots just not good ones) yet as the weather hasnít been agreeable. But I can tell you that I love how it handles and the location of af switch.

So I would personally recommend that you buy from Adorama, B&H, KEH or Roberts this time around so you can learn. Then buy from eBay in the future.

PS
Welcome to the forums.
Makes sense as i don't want to have a camera with missing components or anything like that. Will try to stick to reputed sellers. Thanks for the input.

---------- Post added 10-11-18 at 07:06 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by robgski Quote
+1 and then some.

I am no manual-only purist, but many photographers started on a bare bones but fully manually 35mm camera, like a K-1000, and the lack of automation instilled an understanding and gave them skills that made them better image makers. Bells and whistles are great, but the reason I started digital photography with a K-5 was to have fully manual control in order to get the image I wanted to get (through trail and error oftentimes), not relying on a program line in the camera. As a beginner, having control over the three essential points in the triangle, shutter, aperture, and ISO, and gaining an understanding of how each affects the other, and the final result of the image, is what makes the difference between taking snapshots versus making photographs. I'll add that while autofocus is great to have, and I use it very often, manually focusing generally slows down making of an image. In most cases, that slowness allows the photographer to really consider the image in the frame, and to adjust composition and truly identify, and capture what in the frame makes that image interesting. Also, there are times and places where the best AF will not lock onto the subject the photographers desires, so knowing how to manually focus quickly and accurately is a great skill to develop.

I hope the OP will enjoy using a DSLR, but entering into any hobby in a budget conscious way is a good idea. IMO, the K-5/K-5ii option is the lowest price of entry, but if the OP needs a lens, a bundle including the 18-135mm within budget is a good deal. Also, the OP might benefit from looking at the many threads on PF dedicated to almost every lens compatible with a Pentax camera, with hundreds of examples.


In the end, get one good quality lens and body, learn the strengths, weaknesses and quirks of the combination over a few months of routine shooting and I look forward to seeing the results.
Wise words. Thanks for the inputs.

10-11-2018, 07:23 AM   #39
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$500 max? K-5 II or IIs and a Tamron 17-50. Horse trading could get you a new 17-50 and a decent to great copy of the K-5 II/IIs. I wouldn't pay a nickel more for an s over a regular II but that's my own biases showing. Learn and build from there.
10-11-2018, 07:34 AM - 2 Likes   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by Motikant Quote
My budget will be $500 max.
That's pretty tight! But doable.

Within those constraints, I would get:

Arizona Dave's K-5 - $180 in the forum marketplace (actually I would probably splurge on his K-5 IIs but I'm taking the budget constraint seriously)
Tamron 17-50 f2.8 - $228 at KEH, exc with caps and hood. This is not starter glass, despite the low price; it has a fixed fast aperture and produces excellent images, and you'll be able to use it for a long time.
Sandisk 32gb SD card - $11 on Amazon
Extra batteries - $25 on Amazon

Total: $444 before any tax or shipping. Put the remaining $$ to your first months of Adobe CC for Lightroom and Photoshop.

And then the next lens I'd start saving for is a $200-300 macro prime.

Last edited by zjacreman; 10-11-2018 at 07:44 AM. Reason: Removed a Promaster lens that I was mixing up with a different, better lens.
10-11-2018, 07:49 AM - 1 Like   #41
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What he said. ^

My wife still happily shoots her K-5 and Tamron 17-50. I try and get her interested in newer gear, but honestly the K-5 was a top 5 camera when released and is still rated higher in some places than new off the shelf cameras from some brands, and is still top 50 in IQ. Plus having been a premium quality body, it has held up really well. Look for one in the forum marketplace would be my advice putting together a system for under $500. Get a kit lens, lenses for that camera now go for around $50 and look for a decent longer lens to go with it. One of the old DA 55-300s and you have pretty much a complete system that should last for years. The Pentax kit (18-55) was known as the best kit available at the time, from any manufacturer. I lived with it for more than 5 years before I looked for better.
10-11-2018, 08:04 AM - 1 Like   #42
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Unless you're doing serious macro the AA filter removal in the -s model isn't a big concern. The K5 suited me fine shooting macro when I started. Actually, the K10 was where I started, and it was good.
The 55-300 will suit you fine, but I would consider the 18-135 over the 18-55 a significant upgrade if you can afford it.

$180 for a K5 is a steal. I'm still using mine, now with the DA300 (not in your budget) to get images like these:



10-11-2018, 08:13 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by zjacreman Quote
And then the next lens I'd start saving for is a $200-300 macro prime.
To expand on my reasoning here, I would look for a macro prime (probably 90mm, 135mm full-frame equivalent) next because they're basically all of extraordinarily high quality and can do double-duty for macro and portraiture.
10-11-2018, 08:17 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by zjacreman Quote
To expand on my reasoning here, I would look for a macro prime (probably 90mm, 135mm full-frame equivalent) next because they're basically all of extraordinarily high quality and can do double-duty for macro and portraiture.
My wife's favourite on her K-5 is a Tamron 90. DxO rates it on a number of systems, and it's very highly rated on every system it has a mount for. It's an amazing lens. IN my tests the Tamron 90 and DFA 100 macro were top of the class, but I paid half for my 90 than I did for the 100 macro, and it's just as good a lens. My wife likes that 90 so much she uses it as walk around lens.

The the 90 won this particular poll, 27-25.
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/366573-macro-bokeh-test.html

I got mine second hand and paid more for all my other macros. Best results for the best price. I like that in a lens.

Last edited by normhead; 10-11-2018 at 08:29 AM.
10-11-2018, 08:33 AM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
Unless you're doing serious macro the AA filter removal in the -s model isn't a big concern. The K5 suited me fine shooting macro when I started. Actually, the K10 was where I started, and it was good.
The 55-300 will suit you fine, but I would consider the 18-135 over the 18-55 a significant upgrade if you can afford it.

$180 for a K5 is a steal. I'm still using mine, now with the DA300 (not in your budget) to get images like these:



Those shots are pretty incredible.
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