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10-08-2008, 01:55 PM   #1
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Gear List

Hi all!
I'm wanting to get back into photography (as a hobby) after having been out of it for many years. I was hoping to run a list by you to see if you think my choices would be good ones. I have a limited budget and wanted to stay under 2000 for everything. I mostly like landscapes but want to explore the occasional wildlife or even close-ups.
My excuse for running this by you guys & gals is I don't have a lot of time for making bad purchases I.E. learning from my mistakes. I just want to go out and experiment and have fun! I've always enjoyed fooling around with all the gear so carrying several lens is not a problem.
This is what I have so far, please note I would also purchase UV filters where appropriate.

Pentax K200D
18-55 kit lens
SMCP FA 50mm 1.4
DA 11-17mm f3.4-4.5 (I know but should be fun!)
DA 50-200mm F4 or DA 55-300mm F4 (help me choose please)
Lowe Pro Fast pack 250
8G card
Rocket Blaster
I have a micro cloth for ex. cleanings
I have a Bogen tripod (kinda heavy but....)

Anything I'm missing? I was thinking a polarizer for the 50mm? Dust brush?
Thanks for your comments.

Jim

10-10-2008, 06:25 PM   #2
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Your list looks good. The Pentax kit lens is considered one of the best, if not the best of the kit lenses in DSLR land. As for your telezoom, go with the DA55-300--you won't be sorry. Not only is it's IQ great, that extra 100mm at the long end really does help with the wildlife pics.

You mentioned that you're interested in trying closeup, but didn't include a dedicated macro lens. If you're really on a budget and consider a 1:2 macro OK, then you might want to check out a MF lens--either the 50/4 or 100/4 will be fine and won't break the bank.

A polarizer is a good idea--if you want to get the most flexibility out of it, then buy for the size of your largest diameter lens (52 or 58mm, depending on which telezoom you get) and get a 49-52 or 58mm step up ring so you can use it with all of your lenses, with the exception of the fisheye.

HTH,
Heather
10-10-2008, 06:41 PM   #3
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why must you get everything at once?
maybe start with just the K200D + 18-55 kit / 50-200 kit and see where you want to progress from there

the 55-300 is a nice lens and will give you much more reach than the 50-200 and it's faster as well
10-10-2008, 08:55 PM   #4
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Looks like a good kit to me. I don't know the price difference between the 50-200 and 55-300, but if it's not much, I'd go with the longer zoom. However, if you have to stick with the 50-200, you won't be dissappointed with the image quality.

Another option would be to get the 18-250 and skip the 18-55/55-300 combo. Cost is about the same, but I think the 18-250 focuses closer than either of the other lenses. This can be a cheap substitute for a dedicated macro. It's only 1:3.5, so it's nowhere near the 1:1 of a true macro, but you can still get some good closeups with it.

10-10-2008, 11:30 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jimdandy Quote
This is what I have so far, please note I would also purchase UV filters where appropriate.

Pentax K200D
18-55 kit lens
SMCP FA 50mm 1.4
DA 11-17mm f3.4-4.5 (I know but should be fun!)
DA 50-200mm F4 or DA 55-300mm F4 (help me choose please)
Lowe Pro Fast pack 250
8G card
Rocket Blaster
I have a micro cloth for ex. cleanings
I have a Bogen tripod (kinda heavy but....)

Anything I'm missing?
Eneloops
Transcend with SDHC card reader

Rocket Blower (might as well get a kit)
Pentax AF360
PTLens (fisheye and other lens correction)

DA 55-300mm instead of the DA 55-200mm.

The FA 50mm is cheap but spending $172 for the AF360 flash instead might prove more beneficial in the long run.

The Sigma 50mm f2.8 macro is only about $70 more than the FA 50mm. This would give you a pretty fast prime lens and the macro you are missing in your list.Photozone only has a Canon review of the lens.
10-11-2008, 07:35 AM   #6
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Thank you so much for your replies.

I've been doing lots of research, of course thats how I got to this list, and feel I should revisit my first item. The K200D seems like it would be a good fit but I want to re compare it to the Sony A200. If I remember correctly the latter goes down to ISO 50 and I just read where Carl Ziess is making the lenses for Sony. Sorry to not be more dedicated to Pentax at this moment but we each have different reasons for the choices we make.

I forgot to mention I have a 50 1.4 from my old kit (Pentax Super Program) so I could eliminate that from the list.

I'm still tossing and turning over the lenses but I think your right, hwblanks, my old kit has a 60- 300 f4 and would get more bang for the buck with that length. Your "spot on" about a close up lens! MF ? Medium Focal Length? Thank you so much for your suggestion on matching the polarizer to the longest lens, I didn't know about a "step-up ring". I also read about Macro Rings but not sure how they are used.

To k100d, I'd rather not say why I would like everything at once but lets just say time is not on my side. I'm not rich and just the opposite of spoiled. So it's time to live a little and 2000$ is doable, right now it's my main incentive to get back to work. I'm hoping to get a kit together by Thanksgiving. We'll be headed to my father in-laws and he will take me hunting (Camera only for me) if I ask. They also have a great old weathered barn and lots of other opportunities for pictures I can imagine in my head.

rfortson, pricing on all this stuff has consumed me lately. I found great deals at a couple of sites but after further research found out you definitely shouldn't buy from them. It seems Adorama has the largest selection of Pentax lenses and they have a great reputation. I didn't know that about the 18- 250. One of my main concerns now on all these lenses is speed. I just can't afford to go faster but I'm concerned about dedicating so much focal length to F4 and higher.

No one mentioned the 11-17 and after reading more from this site think the 12-24 would give me a more useful range. I've never owned a wide angle lens and not sure if it's worth the money; if I would see myself using it. If I were to wait on something it may be this lens. I think my odds are better at a one time purchase (blood letting) to convince my wife and myself, although she won't mind it's me I have to convince!

Thank you for taking your time and posting your thoughts I can tell each of you knows alot! I'm jealous!

Jim
10-11-2008, 01:33 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jimdandy Quote
If I remember correctly the latter goes down to ISO 50
Could be, but that doesn't mean it performs better at ISO 50 than the K200D is at ISO 100. Any sensor will perform best at whatever it's native sensitivity is, and a sensor will a lower native sensitivity will not necessarily perform beter than one with a higher native sensitivity. All you can really know is that an given camera will perform better at its own native sensitivity than at a higher one.

QuoteQuote:
I just read where Carl Ziess is making the lenses for Sony.
On the other hand, Pentax makes lenses for Pentax. I think you'll find that's saying something, too.

QuoteQuote:
MF ? Medium Focal Length?
MF = manual focus. One of the great advantages of the Pentax system is how well the cameras work with all the wonderful old manual focus lenses out there. I've got excellent quality primes in focal lengths of 28, 50, 100, 135, and 200 - and the total cost for *all* of them was only around $250.

QuoteQuote:
I just can't afford to go faster but I'm concerned about dedicating so much focal length to F4 and higher.
See above. My 50 is f/1.7. My 28 & 100 are both f/2.8. The 135 is f/3.5, and the 200 f/4. And did I mention all of them *combined* cost only about $250?
10-11-2008, 01:34 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by rfortson Quote
Another option would be to get the 18-250 and skip the 18-55/55-300 combo. Cost is about the same, but I think the 18-250 focuses closer than either of the other lenses. This can be a cheap substitute for a dedicated macro. It's only 1:3.5, so it's nowhere near the 1:1 of a true macro, but you can still get some good closeups with it.
If it only does 1:3.5, then it does *not* focus closer than the 18-55. Because the latter does 1:3, and of course achieves this at a much lower focal length.

10-11-2008, 05:14 PM   #9
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Poco, Thank you, I have enloops on my list, just the AA but I'll check to see what size the Flash takes. I don't need a reader, built into laptop, plus have several multi readers. I did add the Micro Tools cleaning kit you suggested.
I also added the flash. That Strobist web site is awesome!
With the above items plus card, camera w/kit lens,12-24 and 55-300 and FastPac bag I'm at $1918.00. So I'll have to let the 50 go and see if my old one is any good. I guess close-up will be somewhat lost but you can't have everything.

Marc Sabatella, Thank you very much I didn't know that about sensor mating. BTW the Sony goes to ISO 100 (read too many specs I guess). When it comes to branding I'm sure it's just the era and area I was raised in. Back then we were lead to believe Nikon was at the top and Leica was even better. Of course Zeiss was tops for glass. After reviewing the Sony it may be less expensive for the body but the lens are even higher. I'm jealous of your terrific bargain hunting abilities. I'm just never in the right place at the right time. I always get the short end of the stick when it comes to buying used or bargaining someone down. I'm better off buying with as many warranties as possible. I have seen an older "Gear up for Savings" coupon I wish I knew if it were coming around again anytime soon.

Thanks for the comments I better let this go, don't want to wear out my welcome. Hope to purchase just after Nov 3.

Jim
10-11-2008, 08:18 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
If it only does 1:3.5, then it does *not* focus closer than the 18-55. Because the latter does 1:3, and of course achieves this at a much lower focal length.
DA 18-55mm - Maximum magnification: 0.34X
DA 18-250mm - Maximum magnification: 0.28X
DA 55-300 - Maximum magnification: 0.28X


K200D + DA 18-250mm
- $1,039.99


K200D + DA 18-55mm
- $629.99
DA 55-300mm - $319.32
K200D + DA 18-55mm + DA 55-300mm total - $949.31


DA 12-24mm - $525.20
DA 55-300mm - $319.32
K200D body only - $529.99
K200D + Da 12-24mm + DA 55-300mm total - $1374.51

K200D + Da 12-24mm + DA 55-300mm total above - $1374.51
Sigma 24-60mm - $199.95
K200D + Da 12-24mm + Sigma 24-60mm + DA 55-300mm total - $1574.46

$1574.46 for 10.2 MP camera plus 12-24mm f4, 24-60 f2.8, and 55-300mm f4-5.8, is not bad.

Last edited by poco; 10-11-2008 at 08:48 PM.
10-11-2008, 08:27 PM   #11
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I think he is talking about the 10-17 fisheye when he typed "DA 11-17mm f3.4-4.5 (I know but should be fun!)"
Go with the 55-300 you won't regret it.
10-11-2008, 08:47 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jimdandy Quote
I did add the Micro Tools cleaning kit you suggested.
The sensor in the K200D needs E2 cleaning fluid. I don't think the link I posted is the E2-KIT4A-F kit, so be sure to order the right one.

Be sure to read the instructions

QuoteOriginally posted by Jimdandy Quote
I don't need a reader, built into laptop, plus have several multi readers.
The card plus reader was cheaper at $14.99 than the $17.28 for just the card alone when I posted the link. Looking at the link now, the price has gone up to $32. I bought both, card alone, and card plus reader. I bought the card with reader after buying the cards alone of coarse. Just look around when buying as the prices seem pretty dynamic.

Last edited by poco; 10-11-2008 at 09:02 PM.
10-12-2008, 06:53 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jimdandy Quote
Hi all!
I'm wanting to get back into photography (as a hobby) after having been out of it for many years. I was hoping to run a list by you to see if you think my choices would be good ones. I have a limited budget and wanted to stay under 2000 for everything. I mostly like landscapes but want to explore the occasional wildlife or even close-ups.
I'm extremely happy with my main kit; DA 16-45mm, FA 50mm 1.4, DA 55-300mm. Just add a Raynox DCR-150 to the 55-300mm for macro. That's 24mm to 450mm equivalent, a great low light and portrait lens and up to 1.67:1 macro.

- You already have the fast fifty.

- 16 mm is noticeably wider than 18. I haven't felt a need for more, especially given the cost of a super-wide. The image quality of the 16-45mm easily beats the 18-55mm, and it's especially strong at the wide end, even at F4.

- For wildlife, 300mm is bare minimum. I have the 18-250mm, and it's a very good lens but it has no more range at medium distance than the 50-200mm, and 200 mm is just plain too short for wildlife. The 55-300mm's IQ is exemplary, especially at the long end and even wide open.
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