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08-07-2019, 04:04 AM - 4 Likes   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by aslyfox Quote
1 I am not an expert [ just some one who posts a lot ]

2 IMHO, photography is a formula:

knowledge + experience + equipment = good photos

there are great photos posted in the forums taken by various camera bodies and lenses manufactured from long ago up to a few weeks ago

3 IMHO, I know of no camera body or lens that can guarantee success ( I am well acquainted with Operator Error )

YMMV

Perhaps, but, I think this needs some refinement

50% eye for subject + 25% knowledge + 20% experience + 5% equipment = good photos

If you have everything but the eye for the subject, you have technically correct boring photos.

It is the photographer who has an eye for the subject, who can take a great photo especially with the experience and knowledge on the limits of their equipment



For the OP, I still shoot with cameras older than the K-r and lenses from the 60’s and 70’s and enjoy the images quite a bit.

Older does not mean dead. My *istD which I thought was really great in 2003 still works, outside of a few hot pixels, and takes great images it’s just a little slow on the processing. I thought the processing was just fine when it was my prime body, but compared to a K1 MKII well, let’s just say it won’t win any races

08-07-2019, 04:17 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Perhaps, but, I think this needs some refinement

50% eye for subject + 25% knowledge + 20% experience + 5% equipment = good photos

If you have everything but the eye for the subject, you have technically correct boring photos.

It is the photographer who has an eye for the subject, who can take a great photo especially with the experience and knowledge on the limits of their equipment



For the OP, I still shoot with cameras older than the K-r and lenses from the 60ís and 70ís and enjoy the images quite a bit.

Older does not mean dead. My *istD which I thought was really great in 2003 still works, outside of a few hot pixels, and takes great images itís just a little slow on the processing. I thought the processing was just fine when it was my prime body, but compared to a K1 MKII well, letís just say it wonít win any races
that is why I said " IMHO "

nothing wrong with your view point as well
08-07-2019, 04:35 AM   #33
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Since you have bought used equipment before, I would suggest looking at the marketplace on this site. I have built up a nice system at a very good price. There are K-3 and K-5 bodies as well as many lenses all for very good prices and I have never had a problem with anything purchased from the marketplace. Good luck and have fun.


Jim
08-07-2019, 07:36 PM - 1 Like   #34
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I shoot with the K-r still and every time I think it's the camera I browse the flickr Pentax K-r group and get back to working harder with what I have.

For most of the 8 years I've had the K-r I shot with the kit 18-55 and a 55-300. I thought I needed a body upgrade, but on the advice of this forum moving to two prime lenses (f/2.4 35mm, and f/1.8 50mm) this year has made a huge difference in the image quality I'm getting with the camera since I was doing indoor work with the slow 18-55. I say this having ordered and then last minute canceled a KP. Absolutely getting the lenses and keeping the body was the best move for me since I'm very familiar with the operation of the camera itself at this point.

I've taken the $800 I would have spent on the KP, bought the primes, a copy of Luminar 3 to get into post-processing, a flash, and a book. I took photos for years without considering the total range of investments outside of getting the camera. I think it was absolutely the right move to diversify and learn more of the total imaging "pipeline" and techniques before going to another body. Now if/when I'm ready to change out bodies I can get that much more out of it.

Of course if you just want to spend money then go nuts!

P.S. It looks like you have some dust on your sensor. You can see it in the sky of IMGP3163 and IMGP3157. Suggest blowing it out or getting it cleaned.

08-08-2019, 07:59 AM - 1 Like   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by dieselpunk Quote
P.S. It looks like you have some dust on your sensor. You can see it in the sky of IMGP3163 and IMGP3157. Suggest blowing it out or getting it cleaned.
You're right, good spot :-) I cleaned it with my cleaning kit when I got home from vacation. I removed it from some pictures in post processing but didn't do it on all.

Also, good advice on the investments other than the body. I will probably do the same for now. I still have things to learn about the operation of this camera, and it still has a fairly low shutter count so it's a bit of a waste to leave it on the shelf for now I think.
08-08-2019, 09:11 AM - 1 Like   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by dieselpunk Quote
I've taken the $800 I would have spent on the KP, bought the primes, a copy of Luminar 3 to get into post-processing, a flash, and a book. I took photos for years without considering the total range of investments outside of getting the camera. I think it was absolutely the right move to diversify and learn more of the total imaging "pipeline" and techniques before going to another body. Now if/when I'm ready to change out bodies I can get that much more out of it.
I think this is a path well trodden. At least I recognise it all too well myself, going from staring almost exclusively on camera specs, then realising the importance of lenses, then, eventually, technique and composition as well as post processing.

Another thing, having gear that is limiting in some way or other isn't necessarily a bad thing - or at least not all bad. It forces you to think, to plan, to find ways to work around the limitations; be it a sensor without the huge dynamic range of a K-1 or just a single prime lens. It's a bit like learning to drive with an underpowered stick-shift - you are forced to plan further ahead

QuoteQuote:
Of course if you just want to spend money then go nuts!
I think many of us here are well acquainted with that phenomenon, too

QuoteOriginally posted by daniekr Quote
I still have things to learn about the operation of this camera, and it still has a fairly low shutter count so it's a bit of a waste to leave it on the shelf for now I think.
Yep, it's all one long, continuous learning process. It wouldn't be much fun if it was easy, would it

Oh, and there are some really good tips to pick up in this thread: What single thing improved your photography the most? - PentaxForums.com
I hope people will keep adding to it!
08-08-2019, 05:24 PM - 1 Like   #37
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So much generosity, wisdom and experience in this thread it makes you proud to be a member of this forum.

I would also add my compliments on the photos in your Flickr album. I see a good eye and good skills there. Keep reading (there's a wealth of information on this site alone), study what others do (well or badly) and keep practising and you'll see continued improvement.

I don't think you need to apologise for wanting to upgrade your gear. Most of us can look back and see where a new camera or a new lens enabled us to get better photos - not because they make us better photographers (gear doesn't do that), but because they allow us to make more of our skills and sometimes they give the opportunity to develop new ones.

For me, each body upgrade from the 6mp K100D Super to the 16mp K-30 and then to the 24mp K-3 was a big leap - each allowed me to get shots I could not have got with the previous camera. In particular, as you are interested in insects and wildlife, more pixels means more ability to crop. But it's not just that:
- The removal of the AA filter also helps resolution.
- The more modern bodies like the K-70 and KP offer much better high-ISO capacity (I now have the KP and it is very impressive in this regard).
- The K-3 and the KP also have much better exposure metering.
- Any of these bodies will also offer big improvements in autofocus speed and accuracy, even with screw-driven AF lenses - that is particularly true of the K-3 and KP.
- For macro shooting (as well as for landscapes), an articulating screen (with good LiveView) is also a big advantage, so you can shoot more easily from low or high angles.
- Shake Reduction has improved with each generation of cameras. The KP is insanely good - here's an example at 0.8 seconds handheld:

(BTW, this article is compulsory reading to improve handheld shooting: Making the Most of Long Exposure Handhelds - Introduction - In-Depth Articles)

So I think you would gain appreciably from a new body. The KP would be the obvious choice, but if that is too expensive, you would get 80% of the features and performance from a K-70. A used K-3ii or K-3 is another option - they are robustly built and are a fairly safe buy second hand. The ergonomics of the K-3 series are outstanding IMO - although they are shaded by the KP/K-70 in high-ISO performance, they are still fine and capable cameras.

You would also gain from better lenses. There are several obvious potential replacements for the 18-55: DA 16-85 might be the top choice (the extra width could stave off a craving for an ultrawide lens), but a DA 18-135 would be more affordable, especially if bundled with a camera. Either is very capable as you can see from these threads:
DA 16-85 WR,show us what it can do. - PentaxForums.com
DA 18-135 WR, Show us what it can do - PentaxForums.com
The Sigma 17-70 C f2.8-4 is another one to consider. Or the f2.8 zooms, like the Pentax DA*16-50, Tamron 17-50 or Sigma 17-50 (if the extra aperture is more important than a wider focal range).

Like others here, I think a macro lens in the 90mm to 105mm range would open new horizons. The Pentax DFA 100 WR is the gold standard. If that is too expensive there are plenty of other good cheaper lenses like the earlier Pentax 100 macros, the Tamron 90 or the Sigma 105. Getting the DFA 100 was a "wow" moment for me. Not just for macro but also for landscapes, flowers and animals. See this thread for some ideas: Pentax-D FA 100mm f/2.8 WR Macro - PentaxForums.com

How you would prioritise these purchases is for you to weigh. But if you go for a K-70 you may be able to get a good deal on a bundle with a DA 18-135 and that would resolve two issues at once. Meanwhile keep an eye out for a macro at a good price.

Hope to see more contributions from you Daniel.

Last edited by Des; 08-09-2019 at 02:09 PM.
08-11-2019, 06:57 AM - 1 Like   #38
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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 ...

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.
...
Knowledge is not the product of reason; reason is only a data-processing engine. Reason makes inferences, deductions, logical syllogisms, analysis and synthesis, and produces conclusions on the basis of things already known. So the fact that your desire is non-rational is not really an issue. And doing the rational thing when your mind knows something else would be better is a trap people frequently fall into merely because of our cultural worship of rational thought. ("Not that there's anything WRONG with that.") If your reason governed your aesthetic sense, you'd be a lousy photographer (or ice-skater, or architect, or...). Do what you know is right regardless of what reason tells you. As Gene Rayburn used to say on "The Match Game", "Go with your first instinct. After all, what the audience [i.e., reason] is telling you may be rotten answers." Or as we used to say in the world of software engineering, "garbage in, garbage out" - when reason is relying on bad data, the conclusions will be bad. Gut-instinct, woman's intuition, hunches, "holy spirit", or whatever, it doesn't care what you call it, it works.

I would echo what @Des said with regards to the photography; my preference would be for the KP with the lenses you've got (but then that's just what I did, and very happy I am with that decision). The K-3 II is roughly equivalent but the two are aimed at different styles of photography, different "niches".

I don't regard myself as a "collector". But I believe in what I call "the niche theory of acquisition". I've got a box of hammers in my garage: different sizes of ball pein hammers, carpenters' hammers, sledges, dollies, welding hammers, etc. Each has a different function in the real world and is optimized to meet a specific sort of need. I see lenses the same way. I don't have a lot of lenses, but those I do have meet every need I think I'll have in the next ten years or so.

In your purchasing decisions, go for value, not for "whiz-bang", and not for "cheap". Whiz-bang that exceeds your needs is wasted money, and buying cheap is also wasted money (you don't necessarily get what you've paid for but you certainly don't get what you haven't paid for) because less-than-adequate gear won't do what you need and won't hold up over time.

Take your time and be mindful of your own thought processes and the ideas that seem to spring to mind spontaneously. Watch yourself thinking and see how you feel about it. Things will crystallize for you by the time "Black Friday Deals Time" rolls around.

08-11-2019, 01:55 PM - 1 Like   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by daniekr Quote
new lenses or upgrade body
Why give yourself the heartache... just do both.
09-05-2019, 07:58 PM   #40
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I started my digital photography journey with a Kx, awesome little camera, used it for two years and I did end up feeling my hands were tied with functionality, automatons, and most importantly.....weather sealing. I handed my Kx down to my daughter who still uses it today. I moved on to a K5 and have no regrets there, I used it for at least five years exclusively, one of my favorite lenses I saved up and bought is the DA 18-135, this lens is and was always been an awesome performer. I still have this camera and lens and still use it, but I now have two K3s (selling one at the moment, look me up in the mayketplace) these are awesome cameras, but I still have a special place in my heart for my K5. Over the years I have saved up and bought more lenses, old ones and new. I now mostly use the DA* 16-50, and 50-135 f2.8 lenses for majority of my work, and so they have taken over for my DA 18-135. I still that lens on either my K5 and my K01 which I picked up for fun and it turned out to be an excellent more compact camera to use with 18-135 as a walk around ser up. Recently I picked up the DFA 100mm f2.8 WR and am really impressed with that lens.
But even though the KX is a great little camera, you might want one with more features, but depth, and weather sealing, I'm sure all mentioned Pentax cameras will serve you well, lenses are where it's at for me...
09-05-2019, 11:33 PM   #41
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Well I must say your livery is almost the same as mine....
Kx with 18-50 DA, 70-300 DA Sigma and and a Rikenon prime 50mm f1.7

I've had the Kx since 2010 and use it for astrophotography too. All the advice generously handed out here regarding patience I concur. Learning the craft is more important than the gear!


As an aside, when I moved from my Olympus OM1 to a KD100 then to the Kx I noted my photography seemed to go backwards a bit. After a couple years I looked over my portfolio of film prints of yesteryear and they were far better composed! It seems the facility of shooting digital without concern of film cost made me lazy! So I dug out the OM1 and bought film. Someone gave me a Patterson developing tank and went out shooting for a while developing the film in the kitchen sink and scanning the negs. With film I retrained myself in photographic patience and composition. Now when I take the Kx out instead of shooting 10-20 rapid fire shots of a subject hoping one or two are ok I now do maybe 2 or 3.that ARE ok and BETTER composed. Your photos suggest to me that you have this ability to patiently compose.

As for astrophotography the Kx is nominal and will produce pleasing starscapes including the Milky Way with foreground landscapes. The Kx sensor however is a bit slow and grainy compared to the current ones and this would be my main reason for upgrading the body. I still submit Kx starscapes and moonscapes to our astronomy society website and sometimes they get published even though many of the members have the latest Canon Mark $$$ full frame etc etc.

The Rikenon 50mm f1.7 I specifically got for astro photography for its large aperture. For capturing maximum number faint stars it is the physical aperture that matters not the f-ratio. Compared the 8.9mm diameter aperture of the 18-50 DL set at 50mm the Rikenon at f1.7 lens diameter 29mm captures 10.9 times more star light. This enables shorter exposure and thereby reducing if not eliminating star trialing While star count is dependent on physical aperture the Milky Way glow depends on f-ratio. So for astro photography get the widest aperture lens. In practice I close the Rikenon to f2.8 to sharpen stars at the edges of the field. However I still can get good starscapes with the DA lenses even if they show some trailing due to the longer necessary exposure times.

With this in mind my next choice would be to upgrade to a K70, not just for astrophotography but general image quality improvement.


But no hurry....

Just waiting for the K70 to go out of production when the prices will drop.

Martin

Last edited by marty-0750; 09-06-2019 at 12:10 AM. Reason: Typos
09-06-2019, 07:18 PM   #42
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I am also a long-time film shooter, though I never got into developing my own. I carried over my habits into DSLR use, being economical in my shooting so I am not into spray and pray. But it is nice to be able to shoot from various angles and sometimes bracket exposure without having to worry about expense. My camera bodies therefore remain in the moderate to low use category.

I owned a K-r for a number of years as my lightweight alternative to my flagship bodies- the K20D, then the K-5 and K-5 IIs. I eventually replaced the K-r with a much superior KS2. All bought new from closeout deals. Last year I added the KP during a special sale. It is exceptional in a number of ways, and is now my most often used body. Each of these 3 models offer certain advantages depending on what kind of circumstances I will be facing. All of them offer very useful upgrades over the K-r. This does not mean the K-r is not a good basic DSLR, or cannot produce a good photograph, but things like a superior VF and both thumb and finger dials allow an enhanced shooting experience, not to mention other more advanced controls, a better SR system, etc. etc. and of course advancement in IQ.

Last edited by mikesbike; 09-06-2019 at 07:24 PM.
09-07-2019, 05:09 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Perhaps, but, I think this needs some refinement

50% eye for subject + 25% knowledge + 20% experience + 5% equipment = good photos
I'd go even further, having taken out clients who were apparently acknowledged by friends as someone having a great eye. At first I wondered if that was because she was a really hot babe and friends were flattering her. But I looked at a her images, and she really did have an impressive eye, and saw camera angles and perspectives that few can match. She used a cheap point and shoot and being self taught, there were many styles of shooting and photo genres of which she as completely un-aware , but with her little camera and her eye she took pictures that would put many of the big spenders I've come across to shame.

She understood her camera and what it could do and exploited it to the max. I wish many more technically oriented shooters working with much more expensive equipment could do the same.

Some of us who have photographic training might suggest that without a creative eye, you shouldn't even be investing in expensive equipment, knowledge or training. All that stuff serves the creative eye. That why when I applied at Ryerson I had to submit 12 photos. They make sure your work is interesting using what you have, before they bother trying to train you to do more with it. People lacking a good creative eye turn expensive cameras capable of stunning results, into snapshot cameras.

Last edited by normhead; 09-07-2019 at 05:18 AM.
09-07-2019, 05:38 AM   #44
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I'd like to throw out another thought. First and foremost, there is absolutely nothing wrong with acquiring more/ new/ different gear. It's a lot of fun playing with a new toy. And the quality of Pentax has done nothing but get better over the years.

But my suggestion would be to take the money and put it towards a tank of gas (train ticket for my European friends) and find someplace new. Perhaps a new museum or zoo or park or whatever kinda sorta interests you.

As so many have pointed out, there's nothing "wrong" with your current rig. It'll still take quality* pics. We've all, how do I say this, felt the need for a "fresh new angle" in our bag of tricks. A new lens, new body, flash, whatever. If there's nothing you can point to specifically maybe it's just that feeling of fresh and new that needs to be scratched?

*Quality within what parameters we tell it to.
09-07-2019, 06:29 AM - 1 Like   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by RookieGuy Quote
I'd like to throw out another thought. First and foremost, there is absolutely nothing wrong with acquiring more/ new/ different gear. It's a lot of fun playing with a new toy. And the quality of Pentax has done nothing but get better over the years.

But my suggestion would be to take the money and put it towards a tank of gas (train ticket for my European friends) and find someplace new. Perhaps a new museum or zoo or park or whatever kinda sorta interests you.

As so many have pointed out, there's nothing "wrong" with your current rig. It'll still take quality* pics. We've all, how do I say this, felt the need for a "fresh new angle" in our bag of tricks. A new lens, new body, flash, whatever. If there's nothing you can point to specifically maybe it's just that feeling of fresh and new that needs to be scratched?

*Quality within what parameters we tell it to.
Or to put it another way... there's no correct answer. For many the answer is going to be, which of the choices is going to get us out there shooting more. Sometimes it's a new lens, sometimes, it's a new body, sometimes it's pursuing photo ops. Sometimes it's nothing more than bit more determination. It's not the same for anyone of us all the time. To everything there is a season. We all have to decide for ourselves "What should be the next big thing?"
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