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04-16-2007, 03:54 PM   #1
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Is this all I need?

Another silly noob question. I'd just rather do one order than have to pay the UPS man multiple times.

K100D w lens kit
5 year warranty (are the Mack's worth the price)
Lowe Pro Bag
Hoya Filter set

Bogen / Manfrotto 715B Digi Black Tripod with Ballhead (Quick Release) - Supports 2.2 lb (1 kg)

Comes to grand total of 700 after rebate, about what I was wanting to spend. I've got a good collection of the other stuff (memory, readers, blah) and will get that local but nobody around me is even close to B&H's price with the rest of the stuff.

What's this teleconverter business I keep reading about.

Thanks!

04-16-2007, 04:18 PM   #2
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What you've got will work, but I'd consider a few things before pulling the trigger on that purchase.

What's in the Hoya filter kit? Consider the number, type, and quality of filters you get for the price. If the only lens I was going to buy with your kit was, uh, the kit, I'd look around for a $20-25 (new, used could be cheaper) UV, and a $30-35 circular polarizer.

Do a quick google on Mack warranties. The general discussion of extended warranties could go on for days; you'll find some who say "absolutely not", some "absolutely", and some "maybe." My general feeling on the Mack specifically is save your money, but otherwise, I'm a maybe. (Too many years as a Best Buy employee, and my fair share of service plans ).

That said, the tripod is iffy. A max load of just over 2 lbs, and a non-interchangeable head just doesn't give you much room to grow. It will work with the kit set up you're looking at, but I'd wager that you'll need something better if you get a longer, heavier, faster lens. Depending on the type of photography you want to do, you might be able to and be better off waiting and purchasing a mid-level tripod rather than an entry level.

The camera is good, the bag is probably good (I like Lowepro). Teleconverters basically multiply the focal length of any lens attached to them by a certain factor (most commonly: 1.4, 1.7, 2.0). They are very small and lightweight but have their own drawbacks. Usage depends on what you want to photograph.

Last edited by bdavis; 04-16-2007 at 04:29 PM.
04-16-2007, 05:28 PM   #3
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I'm mainly looking to do nature scenes as I do a lot of hiking.

I wasn't sure about the tripod, the guys at the local shop where of no help and I could find any definitive answers about what worked. But if I am going to go 100+ for a tripod, I'd like to work for a while.

As for the Hoya set: UV, Polarizer and a warming filter.
04-16-2007, 06:13 PM   #4
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Hiking? Sweet!

Yeah, on that tripod, I wouldn't spend the $90 bucks. I don't personally hike with a tripod (well, a full tripod), but I know that you'll probably want something more sturdy. It will be at the expense of weight, but think about setting the legs down among stones and scree, in the muck, and think about how well a 2lb tripod would do in the wind and elements? Save your pennies until you can afford something better, and don't fall in the trap of "starter" elements in your kit.

As an alternative, and assuming that you are reasonably nimble, I use a UltraPod, which is a teeny "table-top" tripod. I borrowed it, and stole it from the person I borrowed it from because I liked it so much. It runs about 15 bucks (maybe a little more from B&H, but you can get it at REI for 15), and would be an excellent stopgap while you save up for a full tripod. Camera support comes in handy while hiking, and I like the weight, simplicity, and durability of this item. A more expensive alternative is the Joby Gorillapod, which articulates and can wrap around things, but I haven't shelled out the 60 bones for it to try it (the SLR-Zoom model supports the weight of an SLR+Zoom/6.6 lbs).

Is this the filter kit you are looking at: Hoya 52 mm Introductory Filter Kit
These are low end filters, but are probably (maybe?) okay for the kit lens. The reason I caution you about low-end filters is because they can wreak havoc upon your pictures, causing ghosting, flare, and all manner of spots, when sources of light reflect off them. You can get these spots even if you aren't using the filters (sensors are shiny, among other reasons), but many find that using filters, and especially cheap ones without fancy coatings and design to minimize reflections, exacerbate the problem. As always, prudent use of lens hoods is advised.

04-16-2007, 06:28 PM   #5
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Oh, and you'll find plenty of advice about tripods if you search a bit. To be brief, conventional advice generally says, 3 sections (legs) are more sturdy than 4, although they don't collapse as small. I especially like legs that are shapes other than circular, or that have tracking grooves so that the sections don't twist inside each other. Look for nice hardware, and feet on the ends of the legs.

There are several types of heads. I like ball heads for monopods, and pan/tilt for tripods. I'd look for a head/leg combo that can support a minimum of 6.5 lbs to about 10-15. (More than that, and it will probably be very heavy, and overkill for most applications). What the legs are made of is a personal choice, and depends on what you want to pay/carry, and to some extent on how rough you'll be on it. I'm about to pull the trigger on a mag-fiber (carbon) tripod because it's light and I'm a weight weeny, but holy cow is it expensive.
04-16-2007, 07:05 PM   #6
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Hi,
The advice about not being "sucked into" starter type products is very valid. So on your kit I would say that the camera & lens is on the right track, but would not bother with the filters or the tripod.

Learn what there is to learn about your Pentax 18-55 lens without the confusion of filters. Why do I say that?.....some $200 worth of Hoya filters sit in my Delsey Pro back pack, rarely used, particularly since I started adding Pentax lenses to my kit over Sigma.

I would suggest buying a monopod over a tripod. I have the Manfrotto with the 222 Manfrotto head and it is a great system, particulary for hiking. I was talked into this set up by a local camera shop saleman, and I thank him every time I'm out hiking, its a very versatile unit.

Some have talked about hiking poles with a camera thread on the top.

Good luck.
04-16-2007, 07:17 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by amcneice Quote
Another silly noob question. I'd just rather do one order than have to pay the UPS man multiple times.
I understand, but on the other hand, you might find that actually having the camera causes you to reconsider some of the other purchases. If you really knew what you were doing, it might make sense to buy everything at once. But it sounds as if you're not sure. [/quote]


QuoteQuote:
What's this teleconverter business I keep reading about.
A teleconverter is a piece of equipment that increases the zoom factor of a telephoto lens. The teleconverter looks like the part of a lens that attaches to the camera body - except that there's no lens. You attach the teleconverter to the camera body, then mount the lens to the teleconverter. Result? If you have a 1.4x converter, you're 200mm lens now works like a 280mm lens; your 300mm now works like a 420mm lens. There are optics in the teleconverter. If the teleconverter is good, the result can be very good, too. For example, I took this photo of a rare whooping crane a month ago using a Tamron 70-300mm lens with a Tamron 1.4x teleconverter. The EXIF info unfortunately doesn't record the presence of the teleconverter and reports the focal length as 300mm; but it was actual equivalent to 420mm. This photo of a mockingbird was taken with a Kenko 2x teleconverter - an effective focal length of 600mm. Hand held! (Yay, shake reduction!) Why use a teleconverter rather than get an honest-to-gosh long lens? Because the teleconverter is much cheaper. What's the downside? Well, the main downside is that the teleconverter lessens the amount of light that makes it to the sensor. A 1.4x converter is usually said to cost you one stop; a 2x converter is said to cost you two stops. It also seems pretty likely that a consumer zoom lens + a teleconverter doesn't have optics that are as sharp or excellent as a more expensive dedicated zoom. I'd rather have a real 400mm or 500mm lens for shooting birds. But until I can afford such a lens, the teleconverter is very useful.

Will
04-16-2007, 07:21 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by GWP Quote
Some have talked about hiking poles with a camera thread on the top.
When a real, true, good quality one of these comes on the market, I'll be first in line. Unfortunately, this multi-tasking tool comes up rather short at the moment, neither a good stick, nor support.

04-16-2007, 08:06 PM   #9
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You might want to take a look at some of the walking staffs that also double as mono-pods. I have a Tracks Sherlock that converts to a mono-pod by unscrewing the top ball. I've included a link to Amazon that has some pics of the stick.

Sherlock Travel Staff
04-16-2007, 09:04 PM   #10
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Pass on kit lens.
- I would recommend just about any other lens. Cameta Camera may have a Sigma 18-50 F2.8 left for $300. Or the Pentax 16-45 has good reviews and is the same price after rebates (though a stop slower at f4).

Pass on filters.
-Eh.

Pass on bag.
-You will want to shop for this in person for your personal arrangement of stuff (allow for a little expansion).

Pass on warranty.
-Just my feeling.

Pass on tripod.
- Another thing to shop personally.
04-16-2007, 10:14 PM   #11
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If you are hiking and taking pics of nature I would look at the 50-200 (not in stock at BH, maybe order the whole deal from somewhere else?). The rebate on this lens when bought with a K100D is $150 which makes it a steal (both the camera must be on the SAME receipt) as for the other things I wouldn't be as concerned about them at the moment. A bag is a good thing, finding somethign that works locally sounds like good advice. As far as the Kit lens goes it really is pretty decent especially for the money. Unless you want to drop another $300 (after rebate) on the 16-45 I would stick with the kit.
04-16-2007, 10:15 PM   #12
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I'd suggest the DA50-200 and the K100D with 18-55mm lens which should be available for $700 after rebate?

The filters, bag, tripod, and warranty won't be as useful as the nifty and cost effective 50-200 lens.

Later, you can defer a couple of nights out with pizza and beer and pick up a camera bag. Ditto with getting filters. The tripod takes more savings, but a little scrimping.
04-17-2007, 04:05 AM   #13
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If you're going to get a tripod, I would recommend also purchasing the CS-205 cable release to use with it. It's a must-have if you ever do exposures over 30 seconds. And it's a nice-to-have for long exposures less than that.
04-17-2007, 07:14 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdavis Quote
Oh, and you'll find plenty of advice about tripods if you search a bit. To be brief, conventional advice generally says, 3 sections (legs) are more sturdy than 4, although they don't collapse as small. I especially like legs that are shapes other than circular, or that have tracking grooves so that the sections don't twist inside each other. Look for nice hardware, and feet on the ends of the legs.

There are several types of heads. I like ball heads for monopods, and pan/tilt for tripods. I'd look for a head/leg combo that can support a minimum of 6.5 lbs to about 10-15. (More than that, and it will probably be very heavy, and overkill for most applications). What the legs are made of is a personal choice, and depends on what you want to pay/carry, and to some extent on how rough you'll be on it. I'm about to pull the trigger on a mag-fiber (carbon) tripod because it's light and I'm a weight weeny, but holy cow is it expensive.
I almost bought the Manfrotto 055 MF3 - I asked to see one but the guy initially brought out an MF4 instead. Not much more money, quite a bit smaller collapsed size (like you said), and for the life of me felt as sturdy as the 3-section legs in side-by-side comparison. The lowest section of the 4-section 055 is the same diameter as that of the 3-section model 190. I went with the MF4 and haven't regretted it. I had to order the spike feet separately however. I think the way these mag fiber legs are put together, IMHO, you don't notice any loss of stability between 3 sections and 4, at least with the 055 model.

To the OP: if you get a chance to fondle one of these mag fiber tripods, you'll want to do without something for as long as it takes to add one to your kit.
Re. filters, if you do a lot of landscapes while hiking the two filters I'd recommend are a polarizer and a graduated ND.
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dbh
04-17-2007, 03:56 PM   #15
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Buy the camera with the kit lens, bag, UV filter, memory card, and nothing else.

Build up a library of 2000 frames. When I say that, I don't mean shoot 2000 pictures, then delete some, but really take 2000 properly exposed images, not including camera tests, and clicking your shutter button when you're bored.

At this point, you'll decide if you want if/how you want to use flash, if you will be opting for a tripod or monopod, what lenses you'll need, what specialty filters will help you, and what other accessories may be beneficial.

Prioritize these items, start saving, and buy them when you can.
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