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10-08-2009, 04:35 AM   #1
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New Pentax K7 owner here!

Hello everyone!

I am new to the Pentax forums, although I have been reading pentax forums for years. Anyways, I have finally upgraded from my Pentax SF1, which I could say, provided me with many years of quality photos, to the new Pentax K7. I am expecting delivery of the camera today!!!

I mainly shoot my grand kids playing varsity sports at the college level, indoor birthdays and the usual pet photos.

Anyways, besides this wonderful camera I purchased the following lenses for myself:

Pentax DA 16-50mm f2.8
Pentax DA 50-135mm f2.8
Pentax DA 55-300mm F/4-5.8

For my darling wife who is a point-n-shoot aficionado I purchased:

Pentax DA 18-250mm F/3.5-6.3

What else can I buy? a flash or another lens? I appreciate any and all comments!

10-08-2009, 04:59 AM   #2
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You have an amazing set-up there, but if you want to get more out of the system, I would suggest a fast prime, like the FA31/1.8, FA43/1.9, DA*55/1.4 or FA77/1.8 just to be able to enjoy the pentax prime rendering, the bokeh (Out of focus) and for low light capabilities.

What are the lenses you have from the SF1 days, they could be fun as well...

P.S: Flash is a must...I like the Pentax 540. So, my vote at the end has to go for the flash.
10-08-2009, 05:06 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forum.
You'll e sure to find a wealth of information that will help you in your transition from film to digital. You have invested in some fine glassware for the K-7.

What do you intend to capture most? This will determine what other accessories you should also get. Low-light photography would benefit from a good flash like the Pentax AF-540FGZ. Landscapes would benefit from a tripod. Portraiture can be reasonable well captured with your DA* lenses - 16-50 for full-body portraits, 50-135 for head & shoulders... unless you also like prime lenses - pcarfan has suggested some beauties there.

Well done on getting your wife in the act too!
10-08-2009, 10:08 AM   #4
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Thank you. It save me a lot of hours on lens research. I placed an order for the DA 55. I will eventually buy the set of FA 31,43, & 77 to round up my collection.

I plan on shooting the grand kids, they are grown up and in college playing varsity soccer, field hockey, etc...

At times there are night games and one of the things I will need to do is setup with a tripod. By the way is the Pentax AF-540FGZ compatible with the K7? I placed it in my cart to buy with the DA 55 but I want to make sure since it doesn't list the K7 as compatible on amazon.

Once again, thank you for all the great advice!

10-08-2009, 10:23 AM   #5
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For sports, you may want a bit longer reach, like a sigma (older better version) 70-200mm 2.8 and monopod.

The AF-540FGZ is compatible with the K-7, they must not've listed it because the K-7 came out afterwards.

btw, I am extremely jealous of your equipment. You're going all out with nice zooms AND nice primes!

I want a superzoom for a similar purpose as well!

Last edited by Eruditass; 10-08-2009 at 10:28 AM.
10-08-2009, 10:52 AM   #6
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how about waiting for the k-x

and get the k-x for the xyl to use with the 18-250 so you don't have to share your k-7 ?
10-08-2009, 10:55 AM   #7
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Good choice! The DA 55 is a really nice lens.

Now, I know lens choices are personal but if you went to improve image quality on the long end, I highly recommend the DA 60-250mm F4 instead of the 55-300mm you got.

- Itai
10-08-2009, 12:45 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by pcarfan Quote
What are the lenses you have from the SF1 days, they could be fun as well...
Can't emphasize this enough. Half the pleasure of the Pentax system is getting to use old manual lenses.

10-08-2009, 02:01 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by dkennedy Quote
Hello everyone!

I am new to the Pentax forums, although I have been reading pentax forums for years. Anyways, I have finally upgraded from my Pentax SF1, which I could say, provided me with many years of quality photos, to the new Pentax K7. I am expecting delivery of the camera today!!!

I mainly shoot my grand kids playing varsity sports at the college level, indoor birthdays and the usual pet photos.

Anyways, besides this wonderful camera I purchased the following lenses for myself:

Pentax DA 16-50mm f2.8
Pentax DA 50-135mm f2.8
Pentax DA 55-300mm F/4-5.8

For my darling wife who is a point-n-shoot aficionado I purchased:

Pentax DA 18-250mm F/3.5-6.3

What else can I buy? a flash or another lens? I appreciate any and all comments!
Wow, some investment!
I guess you'd want a good flash, have a look at the 540 or the Metz 58 for indoors with your grand children, take one that can do bounce flashing I like those results some much better. Mattdm did a very good paper on Pentax compatible flashes.

For the rest, I'd work with the setup for some time before I'd purchase anything else.... there is so much more....

Some of the options, there is enough to spend your money on:
- A good computer, with a very good display a VERY GOOD software. I like Adobe's Lightroom a lot. Very good in organizing, cleaning, workflow, etc.
- Macro facilities, there are several routes possible here. Add-on lenses, macro lenses, rings, ...
- Bags, backpacks, slingshots, etc.
- Tripods, monopods, etc.
- Flashes, slave flashes, remote triggers, umbrellas, ...
- A DBG-4 grip with extra batteries
- Wide angle and / or fish eye lenses
- Field backup and/or image tanks
- Filters (there are many)
- And, of course, you can always spend another couple of mil on lenses, primes, long lenses, portret, low light,.,.,.,.

And, in the end, you'll need a bigger closet.... I know...
10-11-2009, 02:20 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by opiedog Quote
and get the k-x for the xyl to use with the 18-250 so you don't have to share your k-7 ?
This is a good idea, I never gave this a thought until I read your reply!
10-11-2009, 05:38 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by dkennedy Quote
This is a good idea, I never gave this a thought until I read your reply!
you can have the whole k-x set including the 3 kit lenses for 800-850 I think. atleast the lens goes with the body colors.

btw, there is a wide selection of colors for the k-x bodies, so all I can say is, choose what's best for your personality.

I can see myself getting one !!! must resist !!!
10-16-2009, 05:47 PM   #12
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I assume your extensive 'kit' has arrived and you're busy familiarizing

I too just got my K-7 along with a PENTAX DA 18-250mm AL
I have to say that so far I am disappointed in this lens. CA/PF is quite bad and the sharpness quite poor.
I'll give myself more time before I fully give up on the lens, but first impressions last (as they say).

I'd be interested to read your own findings and opinion of the 18-250
10-17-2009, 03:50 AM   #13
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I have the DA 18-250 as well, and yes, under certain high-contrast situations you can get some CA (purple fringe). It's been minimal enough to not show up in prints or even in shots reduced for web viewing. If I hunt and pixel peep, I will see it.

I only have three lenses, so there isn't a bunch I can compare this too, but I have found the flexibility and range of the 18-250 to be awesome and comparative quality to be pretty good especially when stopped down just a tad. My other lenses are the Pentax A 50mm 1.4, and the Tamron 28-75mm 2.8. The next lens on my list is probably going to be the DA 55-200 WR or maybe the 55-300...still thinking.

Nonetheless, I went out to Amish Country near my home last weekend and the 18-250 was the perfect- just grab it and go lens. I just took one small bag and was able to balance my photography with the other events and people quite well- no tripod even. The photography was only part of the trip, as it should have been. So I didn’t want to lung extra equipment or change lenses.

My father recently passed away after beating cancer, (the 'cure' killed him actually)and we had been planning this little trip together for some time. I inherited my interest in photography from him, and decided to stick with the plans and go. I posted some of the photos in the user gallery and on my blog.

These photos won't win any awards, were taken using in camera jpeg (I'm not much on PP) but I did make some greeting cards from them. The prints were stunning, and I will enjoy sharing and using them. Anyhow if you want a lens with such a broad range - wide to 13x tele, I think that you can expect some comprimises compared to primes and such.

I am thinking about learning more about shooting raw and PP, but I'm not sure where to start.

Last edited by Sew-Classic; 10-17-2009 at 04:27 AM.
10-17-2009, 03:57 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by sledger Quote
I too just got my K-7 along with a PENTAX DA 18-250mm AL
I have to say that so far I am disappointed in this lens. CA/PF is quite bad and the sharpness quite poor.

I'd be interested to read your own findings and opinion of the 18-250
First let me congratulate you with your very fine camera. I'm sorry that you are not pleased with the results though.
Let me see if I can be of some help here.

You are disappointed, I'd like to know where you are coming from and comparing it with.
A good chance that you aer not comparing apples with apples...

I have the Tamron version of the 18-250mm, and while not the best lens I have, it has its uses.
I must say I first was disappointed with it after comparing it with my Lumix TZ5 Leica lens results, that "cheap" point and shoot lens doing 12x zoom, is so much sharper..

Also your K-7 does not deliver very sharp pictures out of the camera by default, like most P&S cameras do.
It can deliver that if you like, but you'd need to tweak the camera options, or (as a better choice) do that in post processing.
Most DLSR's do not deliver sharp pictures by default out of the camera.

However, working with a much, much, much better and larger APS-C sensor, that's the price you pay working with large zoom range lenses....
There is simply no alternative with that zoom range for DSLR cameras. The best I've seen is a Canon lens that does 28-300mm, lowest Internet price I found was around 2250.
Sigma, Tamron, Sony etc. their 18-250mm range lenses all have this quality. I'm sorry, this is it.

So, what options do you have to improve IQ?

1. Get yourself a copy of a good post processing software. For instance Lightroom. You can get rid of CA, vignetting etc and sharpen the pictures making it so much better (shoot RAW for better results).
2. Get yourself better lenses... that is going to cost you... a combination of the DA 17-70 & DA 55-300, or a combination of the DA*16-50 & DA* 60-250.
3. Go for primes. Lots of options here. This option will give you the best results if you go for quality lenses. Also there is a very large second hand market in old but very sharp Pentax lenses.

I suggest you download a trail version of Adobes lightroom first, see what results you can achieve.
In case you have problems, send me a PM for copy of a RAW file and I'll see what I can do with a few Lightroom clicks.

- Bert
10-17-2009, 04:22 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by sledger Quote
I assume your extensive 'kit' has arrived and you're busy familiarizing

I too just got my K-7 along with a PENTAX DA 18-250mm AL
I have to say that so far I am disappointed in this lens. CA/PF is quite bad and the sharpness quite poor.
I'll give myself more time before I fully give up on the lens, but first impressions last (as they say).

I'd be interested to read your own findings and opinion of the 18-250
Make sure you shutter speed is high enough for the longer focal lengths. Shutter has to be ~ 1/focal length, so if you are shooting at 250mm the shutter has to be ~ 1/250, but with SR you can get away with slower shutter. The 18-250 is very sharp upto 125 or so, and beyond is acceptably sharp.
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