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08-06-2019, 10:22 AM - 1 Like   #16
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I am going to throw some support behind what macman24054 suggested. I would look to a new body and new lenses. You mentioned you are kind of technical and like new gear so if budget is not an issue and you are interested in getting in deeper, then go all in. Pick up a new KP or look at some higher end used bodies (K5,K3). Lenses are more complicated as personal tastes really come into play. Personally I would grab the DA35 and/or DA50 primes (affordable but very good), and then something wider like maybe a DA21 or DA15. I suggest that because as I get in deeper myself I find I am shooting primes more and more (better image quality and pushing me to think more about composition), but your taste and style may differ. If zooms are more your thing then I think maybe the 16-85mm might be the way to go for sharpness and weather resistance, but personally I would look for an F2.8 zoom (DA16-50, Tamron 17-50).

My 2 cents. It's a fun hobby and if you think you want to get in deeper there are lots of ways to do it. You don't have to buy everything at once. Buy some lenses now and a body later... New APSC camera should be coming next year so that might be worth waiting for. So many ways to do this.

08-06-2019, 10:31 AM   #17
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What are you missing at the moment. If you are happy, why change?
Do you feel that you need another lens/camera? Do you just want to keep up to date? In that case cameras age faster than lenses. Do you want better lenses? More light, better resolution? Well replace one or two of them? Anything special? Want an additional lens for macro work for instance... have you tried a flash?
08-06-2019, 11:59 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
. . . DFA 100mm Macro WR (or older used non-WR versions for less money): . . . The DFA 100 can go to 1:1 macro closeups if you feel you want such capability. 1:1 gets more demanding in terms of focus, subject movement, camera shake, etc. . . .
you may want to note that the cheaper and older D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro ( no WR ), FA 100mm F2.8 Macro and F 100mm 2.8 Macro

share the same optics as the D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR although the aperture blades are different :

" Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 WR Macro Review

Specifications

The lens covers the full 24x36mm format, not just APS-C. The aperture blades are rounded, delivering a smoother bokeh which is important for a macro lens. However, unlike its predecessor, it has no aperture ring.

Rounded blades

The optical design is the tried-and-proven formula of the previous generation D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro lens, which in turn had inherited the optical design from the well-respected FA 100mm F2.8 and F 100mm F2.8 macro lenses introduced in 1991 and 1987, respectively. None of these earlier lenses had rounded aperture blades. . . .

Read more at: Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 WR Macro Review - Specifications | PentaxForums.com Reviews
08-06-2019, 12:06 PM   #19
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Wow, this forum alone is a selling point for Pentax So many helpful replies in a short time!

I have carefully read through all, and looked up lenses and bodies that you have suggested. I thank you for your time and for the introduction to bodies and lenses I was not familiar with.

I don't think I should quote and reply everyone, but the majority have correctly questioned whether I have a real need for new gear - since I haven't really identified where my current comes short.

To be honest, I can't really pinpoint specific single factors I want to improve. Sometimes you just want to buy something new, right? It sounds shallow, but it applies to me, especially technology
If I were to buy a new body now, I think I would look for a higher resolution and better low light handling, because I have in a few cases been wanting for a better possibility to crop my photos, and as I said I have never gotten a good astrophoto off - although I believe that also has to do with my lack of a fast and wide lens.

Reading through your thoughts I conclude that there are good options for upgrades that would make a great difference from my current K-x in several areas, but at the same time, the K-x is capable of delivering great photos still.

I think, that for now - the rational thing to do would be to read more about the handling of the camera, photo theory and practice more with my K-x. And for the next step, buy better glass. My current lineup covers a wide range from 18-300mm altogether, however they are on the budget side of things and I am sure that perhaps getting a faster wide lens for example for astrophotography, and then maybe look into 1:1 macro options, are logical paths to go. Thanks for the input here.

Also, thanks to those who commented on my photos. Those 30-ish in the album link were so far the survivors of 300 photos from that trip. What I am trying to practice is to compose good images and I felt I was getting better even during the trip, because I just got out and shot many pictures. Most of the pictures that got discarded were photos where I got the exposure wrong, wrong focus (I also shoot some with a 50mm prime manual), or was just too boring. So - user errors mostly.

08-06-2019, 12:25 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by daniekr Quote
. . . To be honest, I can't really pinpoint specific single factors I want to improve. Sometimes you just want to buy something new, right? It sounds shallow, but it applies to me, especially technology . . .
there are names for that

" Lens Buying Addiction "

" Gear Addition Syndrome "

Welcome to the club
08-06-2019, 12:56 PM   #21
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Wanting to upgrade to a far superior sensor is not a bad thing in itself. I am very satisfied with my K-70 which can be bought together with a pretty good lens (possibly used) for the price of a K body alone. Something to consider anyway.

The 100mm macro is incredibly sharp. Or at least my copy is.
08-06-2019, 01:10 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by daniekr Quote
I have never gotten a good astrophoto off - although I believe that also has to do with my lack of a fast and wide lens.
...
...perhaps getting a faster wide lens for example for astrophotography.
For astrophotography I might suggest looking at the options from Samyang/Rokinon. I personally found the resources at Lonely Speck to be very helpful. Lonely Speck – How to Photograph the Milky Way – Astrophotography Tutorials, Tools, Gear + Inspiration
08-06-2019, 02:08 PM   #23
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there's articles for that:

Astrophotography Series Announcement

A six-part tutorial series
By K David in Articles and Tips on Feb 22, 2015

Astrophotography Series Announcement

Astrophotography is one of the newest trends among photographers. Gone are the days of cold cameras, liquid nitrogen hypersensitization, and specialty high-reciprocity films. High-quality digital cameras with good high-ISO performance combined with fast, high-quality optics from makers like Pentax, Samyang, and Tamron are taking astrophotography out of the enclaves of astronomers and putting it in the hands of hobbyists, too. This six-part series will, over the next year, look at various elements of astrophotography.

Over the course of the coming weeks, you will be able to find the articles on our homepage at:

Articles and Tips | PentaxForums.com



Read more at: Astrophotography Series Announcement - Articles and Tips | PentaxForums.com

08-06-2019, 02:45 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by jgnfld Quote
The 100mm macro is incredibly sharp. Or at least my copy is.
Same here. My F 100mm f2.8 is the sharpest lens I own, and a pleasure to use. It's my first true macro prime. I had to re-learn how narrow the DOF can be at close focusing distances. Best results by cranking up the ISO on my K-5IIs and stopping down the lens. I look at some of the shots taken with this lens and think "wow, did I really take that?'
08-06-2019, 02:56 PM   #25
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How often do you use your 50mm f/1.7 prime lens? If you get your exposure and your manual focus right, this lens is capable of very fine image quality, which would give you some idea of the kind of improvement you might see by replacing your zoom lenses with better ones. The best zoom lenses can approach the quality of very good prime lenses. All this of course done with your K-x.

I am with those who say after 8 years of experience, and there is always more to learn, this shows long-term interest and justifies going into more advanced equipment. If you do not make use of "SCENE" modes, which appears to be the case, go for the KP. It is so much more advanced over the K-x in every way, you will be amazed. Its build quality is in the professional league, yet still compact, and a bargain at the price now available if you are here in the US. It is durable and should be with you along time. Then from there determine carefully, one by one, which will be your next upgraded lens. With this camera, you will be able to better see quality differences from various lenses.

A reliable way to go is for all-around use, the compact DA 18-135mm DC WR lens isable to produce fine quality images with a wide zoom range for versatility. Its fine weather resistant build quality (WR) match well with the KP's design. This lens offers fast, accurate, quiet AF. It can also do quite good closeups. With all that range, you can decide on the focal length where you most frequently might apply a fine prime lens, or a faster zoom lens for low light or fast action work, as well as lenses for other uses.
08-06-2019, 03:12 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikesbike Quote
How often do you use your 50mm f/1.7 prime lens?
Often, I like to put it on and go out and take random "everyday" pictures. But I screw up the focusing fairly often, it's often a little off. I've actually started playing around a little with the diopter (the slider that can adjust for eyesight) and not always blindly trusting the focus-indicator in the viewfinder, and things are starting to get better. I like the lens though, it both looks and feels more premium than my other two. I have however thought about getting a 35mm prime too, the 50mm often gets a little too close and I can't always work the object or adjust my own position enough.

QuoteOriginally posted by mikesbike Quote
If you do not make use of "SCENE" modes
Except for shooting some insects in the sports mode, I never use them. I have never really tried them though.

You make an intriguing case for the KP. I think I will spend a little time now trying to shoot a lot of different stuff with the K-x and then making up my mind. As I said I recently picked it up again after a hiatus so to justify spending $$$ I need to make sure the interest is there for the longer term

I'm in Norway. There are virtually no Pentax dealers here..... Canon and Nikon are the only options in popular stores. The only store I could find with a KP, a "niche" pentax store in the capital, prices the KP body only at 9000 NOK (thats 1010 USD). That might be an OK price for a camera of that quality, but it's sure a lot of money. I'm no stranger to buying second-hand though, I bought my K-x through ebay in 2011. My only regret is not getting the red one.

Last edited by daniekr; 08-06-2019 at 03:21 PM.
08-06-2019, 05:26 PM   #27
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I don't think you would have made this post if you did not have an itch to invest in some new equipment. With options of upgrading the camera or the lenses, I honestly think the camera would be a bigger upgrade if you go to the newer models. One thing I've not seen mentioned or more likely missed is the weather sealing of all of the current Pentax cameras, which I believe was not present in the kx, but if that makes a difference none of your current lenses are weather resistant. If you go to any of the newer current cameras, K-1, KP, K-70, the upgrade will be immense, you will see big differences in capabilities, leading to great image quality. I'm a KP user, I love the tilting screen, the low light capabilities, the autofocus, and all of the other improvements over the K-50 I was using. Another feature the kx did not have was focus peaking, which is a very useful tool when using a tripod, especially with manual focus lenses.

Of course the kx is still capable and willing to accept new lenses. I still have a K-50 also, but I must confess I haven't used it much since a hike last fall when I carried a long lens on the KP and the 18-135 on the K-50.

You're going to be OK either way, I personally feel the camera upgrade should be first, unless you feel that a specific lens is really needed. And by the way you have some pretty good photos on Flickr!
08-06-2019, 08:16 PM   #28
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I completely understand your decision to stay with what you have for now and continue to practice, experiment, and learn all you can. At the same time keep yourself informed about the newer technologies. At some point you will come across situations where you are trying to do something that the K-X and your lenses won't easily allow and realize it would be highly likely some feature in a newer camera or lens will let you accomplish it. It's when your reach that point, it might be worth considering an upgrade. As I said before, your skill level may be higher than you think. Your shot of the starburst sunset with the waves crashing show's me a good level of artistry and skill. That is an extremely difficult shot to pull off and you did it. Incidentally, keeping 30 out of 300 (10%) photos is not a bad ratio. I'm sure there are many here, me included, that have a much smaller percentage of keepers.
08-06-2019, 10:01 PM   #29
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oddly I would suggest upgrading the body.....the 2nd time today to suggest so mostly based on the age of the body and tech inside......the other person who asked about upgrading (lens or body) is using a K-r

it's weird because glass is always considered the better choice

good luck with your choice and happy shooting!
08-07-2019, 03:18 AM - 1 Like   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by DWS1 Quote
You can get a K70 new right now for about $600 USD, or a better deal with the DA 18-135mm for about $800 USD.
In Norway that would be more like $800 and $1,000 - but it's still a couple of hundred less than a KP, so a good suggestion.

Even better, perhaps, is to look out for a used K-3 or K-5; they crop up every now and then. (I can't remember having seen any KP or K-70 on the local markets at all.)

Yes, the sensible thing is to stick to the Kx for a bit longer and work on picture taking skills, but we all know that new gear is part of the fun - for quite a lot of us, anyway!

@daniekr - if you are in Oslo from time and you're interested in testing a K-3 or K-1 or some lenses, give me a shout.
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