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11-17-2008, 05:31 AM   #16
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A lot of good suggestions above and I have all of them. I don't think anyone has mentioned a flash yet. The pop up is OK but you really need more power if you are taking anything more than simple snap shots. The AF360 FGZ or AF 540 would fill the bill.

Tom G

11-17-2008, 11:01 AM   #17
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I don't know if she has specific filters she is wanting, but I'd wager a guess that most photographers don't use filters nearly as much with digital as they might have with film. So unless you know of specific needs she has, it seems money spent on filters could easily be money wasted.

There are those who will put a UV filter on all their lenses as form of protection, others who refuse to risk even the slightest loss of image quality, and that's a religious issue. I personally am happier without them, and she isn't already using them, I wouldn't be assuming she wants to change.

Landscape photographers still have use for polarizers and occasionally neutral density filters. And closeup filters are still nice for budget macro photography. Pretty much everything else one used to do with filters is more easily and cheaply done via post processing. But those cheap closeup filters do a very poor job.

So instead of the set you mentioned, you might consider a Raynox 150 or 250 closeup attachment, which is still under $50 but is *much* higher quality. And then a separate polarizer or ND filter if she expresses a specific desire for one (the polarizer is probably the more generally useful).

However, my #1 suggestion would be to assess her software needs. A good image organizing application and image editing application (possibly wrapped up in one, a la Lightoom, Elements, ACDSee Pro, etc) could be the most beneficial thing to add to her collection.
11-17-2008, 05:40 PM   #18
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I like the idea of a tripod, as well. I think this tripod (head/leg set) should do her well without breaking the bank:
Bogen / Manfrotto | 190XB Tripod Legs (Black) | 190XB,486RC2
That set will last her a long time.

As for the Gorillapod, I see nothing wrong with getting her one, but I would give the full-size tripod priority over it, though. As a matter of fact, I have a Gorillapod SLR Zoom tripod on the way; I'm hoping it'll get here before Friday, so I can take it with me on my trip to Maryland. I got it figuring that it would be good for trips like this upcoming one where photography won't be the main goal.

Again, HTH.
Heather
11-17-2008, 07:54 PM   #19
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I didn't see this suggestion. My second lens purchase was a telephoto zoom. I really liked the Pentax DA50-200mm zoom and it's not that expensive (should be a tad over $200). That lens and the kit lens give her a good two-lens setup that will cover a wide range of applications.

The Tamron 70-300 is $160 at Adorama and it's a great lens for the price. Plus, the "macro" capability (it will focus at a close distance when zoomed out) will give her plenty of options for playing around.

AF017P700 Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD 1:2 Auto Focus Macro Zoom Lens with Hood for Pentax AF, 6 Year USA Warranty

The Pentax 50mm f/1.4 lens is very nice and would allow her to take some nice shots indoors since it needs less light than the kit lens, or either of the zooms I've mentioned. She'll get it one day anyway.

More memory cards are always a safe choice. I'd suggest a 4GB SDHC card from Newegg.com. Just pick one that has a decent price and lots of good reviews.

As for camera gear, stick with the well-known places such as B&H Photo, Adorama, Beach Camera, Buydig, and Amazon. There are a lot of camera "deals" out there that are really scam operations, most based out of Brooklyn, NY.

Finally, you may be able to get a good deal on the Pentax AF-360 flash. It's a decent flash (I have one) and gives you more options with lighting.

Have fun shopping. Make sure she prints some of her shots and hangs them on the wall. Also, get her to post some here.

11-17-2008, 09:19 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by krus82 Quote
She loves doing people so an external flash would just be the ticket, any you recommend? I thought about getting her this tripod any thoughts on it?
Amazon.com: Joby GP3 Gorillapod SLR-Zoom Flexible Tripod for Digital SLR Cameras: Electronics

Are there any good used camera stores online or should I be shot for just asking, lol?
Those tripods are neat and light, but a little difficult to get level and they're not very tall. I think that one is only about 10". However, I can't recommend a regular model.

For a Flash, the Pentax ones are great, but not cheap. The AF-360 is good because you can bounce if off the ceiling (the light that is). The AF-540 swivels too and adds more power. The AF-360 is on for $170 on Amazon.

Amazon.com: Pentax AF 360 FGZ Flash for Pentax and Samsung Digital SLR Cameras (w/ case): Electronics

MIght have to pick one up myself!
11-18-2008, 12:13 AM   #21
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Another Gorillapod user here. It is *not* a replacement for a regular tripod but you can do some amazing things with it. I have wrapped its legs around the top of a chain link fence with a telephoto on.
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