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10-19-2009, 08:31 AM   #1
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Pentax k2000's are being discounted.

Hi. Brand new to the forum.
I've been ghosting it for a few weeks now to decide which camera I would be interested in.
My camera needs to be small and light because my wife will be using it as well. So I was looking at the K2000 and the Kx.
But after these deals...
Sam's Club - Pentax K2000 10.2MP Digital SLR Camera

Amazon.com: Pentax 10.2 MP Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm Lens - Black (K2000): Electronics

I really couldn't resist a $400 K2000. Should arrive by the weekend.

I do have 2 basic newbie questions for you all though:
1) There seems to be a lot of emphasis placed on how cameras look with their highest ISO. Why is this so important? High ISO's always look grainy to me.

2) I'm just getting the kit lens with the K2000. What would you recommend for a second lens. We've been doing fall scenery shots lately with the point and shoot, so that will be a must....and I'm partial to portraits.

10-19-2009, 08:42 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winnie Quote
I do have 2 basic newbie questions for you all though:
1) There seems to be a lot of emphasis placed on how cameras look with their highest ISO. Why is this so important? High ISO's always look grainy to me.
Well, it's important because the higher you can go in terms of ISO without excessive graininess, the more usable the camera is in low light.

QuoteQuote:
2) I'm just getting the kit lens with the K2000. What would you recommend for a second lens. We've been doing fall scenery shots lately with the point and shoot, so that will be a must....and I'm partial to portraits.
Well, to match the 18-55, I'd strongly recommend the Pentax 55-300. It's another very good consumer zoom that will greatly extend your reach. There are of course hundreds of other options, however.
10-19-2009, 08:48 AM   #3
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A couple of responses - I don't think it is necessarily a focus on how high an ISO a camera is capable of, but rather what ISO is useable without noticeable degradation and good, useable retention of image detail. This is where comparisons come in handy, because you can compare with other manufacturers to see whether they apply alot or just alittle noise reduction (alot of noise reduction results in a smeared image and loss of detail generally). Good ISO levels allow for lower available light shooting (without flash).

There are so many directions you can go with a 2nd lens! If you shoot alot of portraits, many would probably recommend a 50mm lens (and there are many versions with both auto and manual focus available). The kit lens should serve you pretty well for scenery. If you are looking for a further reach, the 50-200mm would also be good on a budget, with the 55-300mm a significant step up from there. If you are into landscape you could also get a lens that is a much wider angle lens than the 18-55mm kit (the 16-45mm, 12-24mm or sigma's 10-20mm) but then we are getting into lenses that cost as much as the camera you just purchased!
10-19-2009, 09:03 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winnie Quote
I do have 2 basic newbie questions for you all though:
1) There seems to be a lot of emphasis placed on how cameras look with their highest ISO. Why is this so important? High ISO's always look grainy to me.
You might be a newbie, but you're already wiser than most who should know better :-). OK, sure, some cameras look less grainy than other at high ISO, and peopel make a huge deal out of these differences, but in the real world, the differences are usually pretty slight.

QuoteQuote:
2) I'm just getting the kit lens with the K2000. What would you recommend for a second lens. We've been doing fall scenery shots lately with the point and shoot, so that will be a must....and I'm partial to portraits.
The most obvious limitation you'll see with the kit lens is that it stops at 55mm. Not sure if these numbers mean anything to you, but think of that as being like a relatively weak pair of binoculars. If you want to take pictures of distance objects and make them look bigger, you'll need a telephoto lens - something like the 50-200 or 55-300 that picks up where the kit lens leaves off.

Once you get a feel for those lenses, then you'll have a better idea if there are other ways in which you are feeling limited (like inability to get fast shutter speeds in low light) and that will prompt your next purchase.

10-19-2009, 09:19 AM   #5
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QuoteQuote:
I do have 2 basic newbie questions for you all though:
1) There seems to be a lot of emphasis placed on how cameras look with their highest ISO. Why is this so important? High ISO's always look grainy to me.

2) I'm just getting the kit lens with the K2000. What would you recommend for a second lens. We've been doing fall scenery shots lately with the point and shoot, so that will be a must....and I'm partial to portraits.
1) High ISO allows photos to be taken in extended lighting conditions. IE: dusk or dawn, city photos at night, etc. Good "High ISO" performance makes your night shots look better.

2) Scenery: The kit lens will work fine for scenery. Try it and you will see.
2) Portraits: A NIFTY FIFTY. You would like a 50mm for portraits. A Pentax F 50mm 1.7 would work well for you. It is auto focus (wife will like auto focus), sharp enough even for picky users, and cheap (compared to other AF lenses of it's type).
The f1.7 max aperture will allow blurring of the background that is so nice for portraits. They seem sell for less than USD 200. The FA 50mm f1.4 is also nice, but costs more.
GP
10-19-2009, 09:34 AM   #6
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Welcome and congratulations...

on your new camera. You are getting into Pentax DSLR photography at a great time. When I bought my first one, about three years ago, it cost about $600 for a 6 Megapixel body and kit lens.

I second all the advice you have gotten so far but I want to add one more suggestion: join a local camera club! You will learn more, faster, with some first hand contact with photographers in your area.

This is certainly no knock on this forum, which is a tremendous resource that I access every day. But making contacts with local folks will provide you with opportunities that on-line communications just can't offer. For example, most club members will let you look through their cameras/lenses and even take some pictures. It's the best way to see just how much difference there is between a 200 and a 300, for example. Or how much brighter an f2.8 is compared to an f4. Just like here on the forum, club members take pleasure in sharing their expertise.

Some clubs have outings where travel expenses can be shared. Having a group with you provides some physical security as well as technical support when you're out in the field.

Take a look at your local papers and, if you're lucky enough to be near an independent camera store (not a Mega-retailer) stop in and inquire if there's a club in your area. You'll be glad you did.

Sig
10-19-2009, 12:08 PM   #7
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The K2000 is a fun camera and capable of taking some nice shots. The first day out with mine, I took a shot that the local papaer published on the front page (ok only 4 people probably get that papaer, but still...).

ENJOY!
10-20-2009, 09:39 AM   #8
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Original Poster
Thank you all for all the advice and welcome responses! I'll continue ghosting the forum to learn more, but you might see me post a question here and there when I don't quite understand something.
And I think I will check to see if there's a local shutterbug group.

Thanks guys.

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