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11-20-2008, 03:50 AM   #1
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Upgrade or better lense

Gidday all. I'm new to the forum, so please forgive this if it's been asked a few times.
I have a K100D which I love. It came with the Sigma kit lenses 18-55DC @ 55-200.
Next year I will be going to Africa for about 3 months and am tossing up the idea of getting a Pent 55-300 zoom or buying a K200D and using the existing Sigma lenses.
I like my K100 and like the pics it produces, but I hear so much from people about getting 10 or 12 meg cameras. A4 biggest I would print.
Any advice would be appreciated. Not a big camera buff, but plan to travel for a couple of months each year for hols.(gov't worker lots of leave, tho not money)
Thanks in advance.

11-20-2008, 04:50 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum, I always say bodies come and go, fast glass is forever, well with Pentax thats true, maybe not some other manufacturers, we know who they are.
11-20-2008, 04:53 AM   #3
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Your camera is more than capable of producing A4 prints, where the extra mega pixels would be useful is if you wanted to heavily crop any of your images.

There are other advantages to upgrading your camera body of course but personally I would go for the longer lens and the Pentax 55-300mm seems to be regarded as the best consumer zoom for the price though I'm not sure how suitable it will be for Africa as most of the animals are active early morning or evening when the light is low. Problem is that you will have to spend 3x as much for the Sigma 100-300mm f4 (or if it ever arrives the Pentax 60-250mm) and these lenses are going to be much heavier.

You should be able to recoup some of your money selling off your 55-200mm.

Saying all that I'm hoping to get the Sigma 100-300mm for when I go to Zambia next year. Where are you planning to visit?
11-20-2008, 06:19 AM   #4
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That kit zoom is still a great tool. distorted_vision managed to get a great collection of photos using this zoom.

11-20-2008, 10:28 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dags Quote
I like my K100 and like the pics it produces, but I hear so much from people about getting 10 or 12 meg cameras.
People who don't know better, sure. Most serious photographer know more pixels are not necessarily better. Sure, a little more resolution (but you're probably limited as much by your lenses as by the sensor). And of course, you can crop more. But you risk more noise, too, and have to deal with bigger files and slower processing times.

Quality wise, I have no experience with the Sigma 55-200. But if you're thinking about the possibility of wildlife, either a longer lens or more pixels from cropping would allow you to get more closeup shots of distant wildlife. So results would be "similar" either way - although I strongly suspect the Pentax 55-300 would also be higher quality than what you have now.

Still, if it were me, rather than either of these, I'd be looking at getting at least one lens for low light, Africa or no, because I cannot imagine photography without one. Something with a maximum aperture of f/2.8 or better. Browse these forums and you'll see no end of discussions about FA50/1.4 versus FA35/2 versus DA40/2.8 versus DA35/2.8 versus the various manual focus options (used).
11-20-2008, 11:35 AM   #6
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For the record, I'm using my 14 MP K20D at 10 MP, because I really don't need more pixels. I wanted a body with the features that interested me. So don't upgrade the body just "because"... Do it if you want features your current body lacks.

Now, regarding lenses. I've heard that the Sigma "kit lens" is really nothing impressive, so this would probably be one of the first things to replace. In Africa you will see many animals, sure, but also gorgeous landscapes, and that's something that shouldn't be forgotten.

Pentax has a range of weather sealed lenses, including a 16-50 mm that you might consider, but these will cost a pretty penny. Tamron and Sigma each offer equivalent lenses, not weather sealed, but less expensive. Sigma and Pentax also offer a 17-70 lens that are pretty good.

On the tele end, if you want to keep expenses under control, the Pentax 55-300 or Sigma/Tamron 70-300 could be good choices (the latter two being less expensive).

You can also look at the used market and find some good deals.

The 55-200 is a decent lens, but apprently not on par with the others tele I mentionned.

For me, the Sigma kit would be the first to go. You could also consider a prime, such as the great and inexpensive Pentax 35 mm f2.

Happy shopping!
11-20-2008, 11:51 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dags Quote
Gidday all. I'm new to the forum, so please forgive this if it's been asked a few times.
I have a K100D which I love. It came with the Sigma kit lenses 18-55DC @ 55-200.
Next year I will be going to Africa for about 3 months and am tossing up the idea of getting a Pent 55-300 zoom or buying a K200D and using the existing Sigma lenses.
I like my K100 and like the pics it produces, but I hear so much from people about getting 10 or 12 meg cameras. A4 biggest I would print.
Any advice would be appreciated. Not a big camera buff, but plan to travel for a couple of months each year for hols.(gov't worker lots of leave, tho not money)
Thanks in advance.
I have the K200D - great body IMO - but if I were in your position I'd get the lens. That 6mp sensor is still capable of good output; I have 13x19 prints from my *istDS that are excellent. You're going to want as long a lens as possible for your African trip, and the Pentax seems to be a good performer on the long end.
11-20-2008, 12:12 PM   #8
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You might want to take what you would spend on the K200D, save up some more, and look at one of the 70-200 f/2.8 lenes and a 1.4x TC. Not dissing any of the consumer zooms, but you'll probably want as much reach with as much speed as possible. This combo will give you the same reach, but one stop faster.

11-20-2008, 01:34 PM   #9
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Pretty much everything I've read and heard goes for the glass answer unless you are going to make prints the size of a small building. OK that maybe a little over the top, but get the best glass you can afford.
11-20-2008, 01:42 PM   #10
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I too was recently faced with this same decision. I had a K100D and my best lens was a manual focus 50mm. The answer for me had always been save for a better lens.

But then a offer to upgrade to a K10D that I couldn't refuse appeared, and I did upgrade.

Two things I like most about the upgrade are: having more dials and buttons available on the camera; and the larger view finder.

I found with the K100D that I would often just make do with certain settings instead of digging into the menu to change them temporarily. Now I can just flip a switch or dial. I have more control.

Using eye glasses, manual focus, and the K100D was difficult. The view finder was just too small. With the K10D I'm given a bigger brighter view finder which allows me to enjoy my best (yet inexpensive) lens more than ever.

Megapixels was not and still isn't a great concern for me.
11-20-2008, 01:47 PM   #11
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Thanks for the info. Looks like I'll be getting a new lense or two.
Woodworm, I'll be heading to Namibia and then up to Zambia. Hoping to get a photo of the elusive leopard.
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