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02-02-2010, 07:14 AM   #1
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I never made the DSLR jump at home (finances!) but will hopefully be approved at work to make a purchase. I'm going to be shooting parts, some very small (small bolts and such), and I want to bring this in at between $1,000 and $1,300.

1) I see the K2000 body going for around $500, but don't see the K-X body only. Since I'll be doing mostly tabletop macro work, any difference between the two in this regard?

2) I'm looking at the Pentax smcP D-FA 50 2.8 macro, which Ritz has for $600. Does the price sound right, and any better suggestions?

3) Both the 2000 and K-x will take my M42 to K adapter ring, right? So I can use my old Taks on it?

Thanks for your insights!

02-02-2010, 07:18 AM   #2
graphicgr8s
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
I never made the DSLR jump at home (finances!) but will hopefully be approved at work to make a purchase. I'm going to be shooting parts, some very small (small bolts and such), and I want to bring this in at between $1,000 and $1,300.

1) I see the K2000 body going for around $500, but don't see the K-X body only. Since I'll be doing mostly tabletop macro work, any difference between the two in this regard?

2) I'm looking at the Pentax smcP D-FA 50 2.8 macro, which Ritz has for $600. Does the price sound right, and any better suggestions?

3) Both the 2000 and K-x will take my M42 to K adapter ring, right? So I can use my old Taks on it?

Thanks for your insights!
Either camera will work for you. The adapter ring works on any pentax camera. Just use a genuine Pentax adapter. Costs more but in the long run you'll be glad you did.
02-02-2010, 07:25 AM   #3
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Quick look at B&H and a K-x with kit lens is ~$550 and the D-FA 50 macro is $420. I would expect Adorama and such to be comprable but it's worth checking. If there is any chance the camera will be used for general purpose photography you might as well get the kit lens (new or used) too.
02-02-2010, 07:34 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
I never made the DSLR jump at home (finances!) but will hopefully be approved at work to make a purchase. I'm going to be shooting parts, some very small (small bolts and such), and I want to bring this in at between $1,000 and $1,300.

1) I see the K2000 body going for around $500, but don't see the K-X body only. Since I'll be doing mostly tabletop macro work, any difference between the two in this regard?

2) I'm looking at the Pentax smcP D-FA 50 2.8 macro, which Ritz has for $600. Does the price sound right, and any better suggestions?

3) Both the 2000 and K-x will take my M42 to K adapter ring, right? So I can use my old Taks on it?

Thanks for your insights!
I would think that a K20 or K7 would be better with live view, and also I would look for a MF macro, perhaps in the 100mm range.

this is still possible within the budget, and a 100mm macro gets you a better working distance.

sometimes a 50mm macro is too close for small items and you have problems with shadows and lighting because it is so close


also look for a really sturdy tripod, and a macro focusing rail.,


If this is goig to be a routine function you should be properly equipped.

02-02-2010, 07:43 AM   #5
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Unless you have a copy stand and lights get a ring flash to go with the camera kit. It's really the best way to take photos of small parts.
02-02-2010, 08:12 AM   #6
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What are the picture quality requirements in your case?
You might be ok with a K-X kit + Raynox DCR-150 macro lens.
You will also need a table mount macro focusing rail and suitable lighting system (depending on the distance from the lens to the target).
02-02-2010, 08:21 AM   #7
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You might also look into a deshadow box like this one from Adorama:

DSB16T Adorama De-Shadow Box, Portable Still Life Studio In-A-Bag, with 16" x 16" Soft Light Box, Halogen Lamps, Blue Background Sweep, Table Top Tripod & Custom Carrier
02-02-2010, 08:42 AM   #8
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You could save some money on the lens choice by considering the third-party macro lens options. If you're set on a 50mm macro, the Sigma 50mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro is available for $299 on Amazon. It's a well-regarded lens, and is hard to beat for the price.

But I agree with the post above that 50mm may be a little short for small parts work. I find that by the time you get close enough for a 1:1 macro, you've got your camera's nose in the way of whatever light you're trying to use for the scene (a ring flash would take care of that, of course). Instead, you may want to consider the D-FA 100mm macro, or lenses like it. For only about $450, the Tamron AF 90mm f/2.8 Di SP is a tremendous lens. You woudn't be losing anything to the Pentax lens optically, and you gain a focus limiter. When I got the lens, I was a bit bummed about missing quick-shift focus with it (compared to the D-FA, which has quick-shift). But once you realize that most macro work is best done with manual focus anyway, it hardly matters in use.

02-02-2010, 09:01 AM   #9
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I think the K-x and the K-m are very nearly priced so I would definitely get the K-x.
If you find a cheaper K-m then that is the way to go since you will be mostly doing tabletop macro.
Just use the money you will save to buy better lenses.
Consider manual lenses for macro as you can control the focusing better and you will definitely need a macro rail (indispensable for macro) and a very good tripod (indispensable too).
Good luck!
02-02-2010, 09:43 AM   #10
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THANKS TO ALL!!!

VERY HELPFUL STUFF!!!
02-02-2010, 10:04 AM   #11
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Yeah, a 50mm macro for screws and bolts and such will most likely be too short. I'd go for something in the 90-100mm range. You can easily build a very good lightbox for ten bucks or so worth of materials.
02-02-2010, 10:07 AM   #12
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Liveview will likely be very helpful for your application, and for that the K-x is your best bet. As suggested a longer macro (90-100mm) would probably a better bet for lighting as well. Good luck!
02-02-2010, 10:14 AM   #13
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Live View and soft box... so go with the Kx. The live view is really good.

Agree with the others about a Longer Macro lens the 90mm tamron or any of the 100mm ones.

But as Mike said. You might be able to get away with the $ 650K x 2 kit combo on amazon and use a raynox 150 on the 55-300 to get your close up shots.

Get that amazon Kx 18-55 and 55-300 kit for $650.
02-02-2010, 12:57 PM   #14
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K-x + Tamron 90mm macro + Sigma ring flash. You should be within budget. You can opt for the lightbox as well.
02-05-2010, 01:23 PM   #15
Ira
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QuoteOriginally posted by pcarfan Quote
K-x + Tamron 90mm macro + Sigma ring flash. You should be within budget. You can opt for the lightbox as well.
All ordered, plus a tripod and M42 adapter.

I passed on the light box for now. I'll rig something in the meantime.

Gotta figure out a way to suspend small bolts--maybe fishing line or something.
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