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Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 01-19-2007, 11:23 AM  
Kit Lens Alternatives
Posted By ugaarguy
Replies: 18
Views: 3,041
Right now the Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 is leading the low light zoom search, with thoughts of a wide & fast prime also being entertained. From post I've read here I see that focal length overlap is good, and that giving up a little on the wide end to gain more on the long end can be good for a utility lens; all of these helping to minimize lens changes.

Pentax SMCP-FA 28-105 f/3.2-4.5 - I can't find much on this lens. At around $200 it looks like a friendlier on the budget than the approx $400 SMCP-FA 24-90 f/3.5-4.5 I've seen recommended here. I think that's what worries me though; what makes the FA 24-90 f/3.5-4.5 cost nearly $200 more than the FA 28-105 f/3.2-4.5? Anyway, I've now got a cross country drive coming up soon, and would like a lens with a bit more range than the 18-55 kit. So, it looks like a good daylight utility lens at a reasonable price would have more immediate utility than the fast zoom. Gotta love how circumstances influence lens desires. :cool:
Forum: Pentax Compact Cameras 01-14-2007, 02:55 PM  
Specialty Advanced Non-SLRs
Posted By ugaarguy
Replies: 8
Views: 2,761
Barondla, I took a look at the Optio 750. Definetly looks like it has the feature set of a nice compact like I'd like to see Pentax make. Take a body like that, keep the manual controls & optical viewfinder, add something like a 24 to 72mm 3x zoom lens with the K100/K110's 6MP APSc sensor and you'd have a serious compact. I wonder how many here would buy it if it was under $600 street price.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 01-13-2007, 11:49 AM  
Kit Lens Alternatives
Posted By ugaarguy
Replies: 18
Views: 3,041
Yep SpecialK, this camera thing is gonna be just like my firearms. You have to jump in and try something. After a little bit you see which charecteristics you want/need, and which ones you don't use. Buy it, get your use out of it, trade it in for something else until you find the keepers. This should be interesting.
Forum: Pentax Compact Cameras 01-12-2007, 11:59 AM  
Specialty Advanced Non-SLRs
Posted By ugaarguy
Replies: 8
Views: 2,761
I've read that Pentax is preparing to leave the P&S market, and focus mostly on dSLRs. While I think that the entry level P&S market is overcrowded, there is room in certain niches. I'll cite a Pentax & other manufacturers cameras and go into three areas where I think Pentax could excel in the with little competition.

Pentax Optio 43WR - Ultra rugged, all weather, extreme use cameras. I have an Optio 43 WR, and it's anawesome camera for outdoors use in decent light. The biggest feature that differentiates the 43 WR from competitors, and other Pentax weather resistant cameras is the matte black finish. At the time I got the 43 WR I would have settled for a 33 WR - except that the 33 WR has a bright silver finish. I won't upgrade the 43 WR, mostly because it still works well, and also because everything else is some bright fashion finish. Why is finish important? A matte finished, dark colored, ruggedized camera fits the outdoorsman. It doesn't look out of place at the hunter's camp, or in the fisherman's tackle box. An updated version of the 43 WR could be great if targeted at outdoorsmen who want subtle looking, but functional cameras.

Canon Powershot G7 - A co-worker has one. It's an SLR put into a compact P&S package. Good zoom range with decent aperture range, hot shoe, full SLR controls. It's a serious camera that goes anywhere in a pocket. Before deciding on my K100 is looked seriously at the G7 and tried to find alternatives - there isn't a compact that comes close. Pentax should give Canon a run for their money in this class that has no current competition.

Leica M8 - I've just recently discovered the range finding camera. They look very cool, but they're very expensive. The M8 is of course the only digital in this category. Pentax already has a great line of primes. How hard would it be to build a digital k-mount rangefinder body, and make view finders for theses existing lenses? Surely Pentax could do it for much less than Leica does.

With the new money from the Hoya merger I think they should let Pentax Imaging loose to go on the offensive. I may be completely wrong (particularly on the ragefinder idea I know next to nothing about), but those are my rambling thoughts. What do you folks think?
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 01-12-2007, 10:32 AM  
Kit Lens Alternatives
Posted By ugaarguy
Replies: 18
Views: 3,041
And there's my issue. The 40mm Limited at f/2.8 is already quite narrow in depth of focus. However, to shoot effectively in diminshed light without a tripod f/2.8 is right around the tightest aperture I want. Given the K100 does a pretty good AF sensor system, at least to my novice expectations. It's looking like f/2.8 may be the best compromise to get acceptable low light exposure, while still having an acceptable focus depth. Using things like center point focus with the half-press to lock focus, thereby targeting a focal point and then shifting the frame for composition will likely be a good way to operate under these conditions. It's a catch 22, but I'll have to the best I can with equipment and then adapt my usage to the conditions.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 01-11-2007, 02:03 PM  
SMC P-DA f/2.8 40mm Limited
Posted By ugaarguy
Replies: 10
Views: 7,897
Here are a couple shots I took while seeing what I, a novice, could learn to do with this lens. I'm quite happy with what it does even in my hands.

Attachment 650

Attachment 651
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 01-11-2007, 01:16 PM  
Kit Lens Alternatives
Posted By ugaarguy
Replies: 18
Views: 3,041
RBell, thanks for the link. Good apertures for the lengths listed, makes the decision tough. Of course I'll have to handle them once I get home and see how each lens feels.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 01-11-2007, 11:14 AM  
Kit Lens Alternatives
Posted By ugaarguy
Replies: 18
Views: 3,041
Thanks for the recommendations so far.

That sounds like a great idea, but don't the DA* lenses only have hyper/ultra sonic motors, and no geared drive capability from the camera motor? From what I've read that's what I gathered, and unfortunately my K100 doesn't have the K10's sonic motor lens compatability. If playing with photography edges out my other expensive hobby - firearms - then I'll have to look at a K10. I guess I'll give it until fall of this year as a one year evaluation period. :D

RBellavance, at what focal length does the Sigma 17-70 leave f/2.8? Would it be too much trouble to ask at what the lengths the aperture changes occur? Thank you.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 01-10-2007, 08:17 PM  
Kit Lens Alternatives
Posted By ugaarguy
Replies: 18
Views: 3,041
I recently posted a thread asking about both wide & tele zooms. While there is nothing really wrong with the 18-55 kit lens, the 40mm DA limited has really spoiled me as to what a really good lens feels like and how they shoot. The kit lens now feels plastic-ey, and bit rough around the edges when I handle it. I've done a bit more reading & looking at specs over and over.

I've narrowed it down to worrying about getting a replacement for the kit lens first, and dealing with the telephoto later. Most of my shooting is free hand, social pictures in varying light, often moderate to low; wider apertures quite helpful here. I also enjoy night scenes, but a tripod mitigates the need for wider apertures in this use. I've seen three lenses that appeal to me for this purpose. I'll go handle all three when I return from overseas service, hopefully within a month.

First, the Pentax DA 16-45 f/4. From reviews and specs it appears that it's a good step up from the kit lens, with gains in aperture except at the widest focal length, and only a slight loss of long end range.

Second, the Sigma 18-50 f/2.8. No gain or loss on focal length, but significant gain on the aperture.

Third, the Sigma 17-70 f/2.8 - 4.5. Improved aperture vs the kit lens, a bit more range at 70mm on the long end with only a slightly slower aperture than the Pentax 16-45. This looks to be a good compromise of improved aperture and wider zoom range.

With the expected renewal of rebates now a reality the Pentax lens beats the other two on price by about $100 US. For the extra $100 The Sigmas each offer their own benefits. Comments on any of three in terms of build & image quality, comparison amongst them, or alternatives in that price range appreciated. I hope that this new thread provides a clearer view than my previous one of what I'd like in my next lens. Forgive me if my questions are redundant or bothersome.

Thanks,
"Uga"
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-29-2006, 07:54 PM  
SMC P-DA f/2.8 40mm Limited
Posted By ugaarguy
Replies: 10
Views: 7,897
I've been using the this lens for candid shots in the shop. Conditions are tungsten lighting, no flash, and basic UV filter on the lens. With the aperture wide open it naturally has a thin depth of field. The lens gets a nice bright & clear focus on the subject with a nicely blurred background. It turns candids into near portraits. I keep finding more and more to like about this lens. :cool:
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-27-2006, 08:56 PM  
Wide & Tele Zoom Lens
Posted By ugaarguy
Replies: 7
Views: 3,260
I've had the P-DA 40mm f/2.8 Limited for all four days now, and I really like it. The 18-55mm kit lens hasn't been on the K100d body since the 40mm prime arrived. I really like the in the specs of the P-DA 70mm f/2.4 Limited. It's pricey, but looks darn nice. Fast and lightweight are very appealing. However, I'm still debating the added versatiilty of either a 28-200 aftermarket all around zoom, or compromising with something in the 28-ish to 125-ish range. It would be in the middle of the two above for speed & versatility with a lower price. Still a bit overwhelmed with all the options out there, but really seeing where the money goes on nicer - read more expensive - lenses. If any one can help me get some clarity I thank you in advance.

I.Glisin, thanks for the post reminding me of the compromises of such a wide zoom range, it was quite helpful.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-25-2006, 06:43 PM  
Wide & Tele Zoom Lens
Posted By ugaarguy
Replies: 7
Views: 3,260
Well I've been reading over here more in the last couple days and have a some questions. I've got the Pentax 18-55mm kit lens, and now the f/2.8 40mm limited to handle night shooting.

Now I need to get an idea of what longer focal length lens to start saving toward. The standard Pentax 50-200mm f/3.5 - 5.6 looks nice, and is a great price at around $220 US even without the rebate. I've read that the Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5 - 6.3is a very good lens, and that would save switching between the two Pentax lenses since it covers the same range, although slightly slower at the long end, but it comes with a $400 US price tag. I also saw the Tokina AT-X 28-200 mm f/3.5 - 5.6 for $270 at B&H. While not quite as wide, the Tokina does cover most of the same focal range, and is a little faster than the Tamron at the long end. I have no idea how good this lens is though.

Thoughts on those three lenses? Alternatives up $400 US (would like to stay close to the Tamron's price, but I'm willing to spend maybe $100 more if it's that big of a step up).

Could two or three primes between 50 and 200mm work better for the same or less money - at the cost of the convenience of not having to switch lenses? Then again, the idea of a dSLR is the ability to swap in lenses that suit the situation right?

Basically, I've no idea what to do, and would appreciate discussion & insight on the matter.

Thank you all.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-25-2006, 04:09 PM  
FA 50mm F1/4 & Don't shoot the Piano PLayer
Posted By ugaarguy
Replies: 22
Views: 3,277
While looking for telephotos at Adorama I saw that they have these in stock @ $170 after rebate. Not quite what Beach had them for, but not too much more either. I know many here are looking for this particular lens so I thought I'd share the info and link. 20817 Pentax SMCP-FA 50mm f/1.4 Standard Auto Focus Lens

Edit: I just looked back at the link, and it's now showing as out of stock. I dunno know if it was a glitch earlier or what, but sorry for the false alarm.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-25-2006, 02:27 PM  
SMC P-DA f/2.8 40mm Limited
Posted By ugaarguy
Replies: 10
Views: 7,897
First are three sample pics I took free hand at my test, testing bokeh of the lens as requested. Pics were taken at f/2.8, f/4.0, and f/5.6 using aperture priority and letting the K100D handle the shutter speed, flash was not used. The fourth pic is of a friend holding a torch type butane lighter. It was taken free hand, no flash, night scene mode, SR turned on of course. All pics taken full resolution 6MP JPEG, then resized to 25% for ease of posting /uploading. If pics with a subject in focus further from the lens are better let me know and I'll see what I can do.

Attachment 463
Attachment 464
Attachment 465
Attachment 466
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 12-25-2006, 01:37 PM  
What is the deal with the Pentax SMCP-FA 50mm f/1.4 lens?
Posted By ugaarguy
Replies: 11
Views: 3,000
No experience with the 50mm primes, as I'm new to Pentax and have just started playing with photography again. However you can see my post over in the lenses subforum for my thoughts on the SMC P-DA 40mm f/2.8 Limited. So far I think it's a great lens.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-25-2006, 01:04 PM  
SMC P-DA f/2.8 40mm Limited
Posted By ugaarguy
Replies: 10
Views: 7,897
Well the title says it. The lens arrived here yesterday in the Middle East where I'm deployed. Everything about it works very well for my rather unique requirements. With the 40mm Limited lens attached my K100D fits in a uniform cargo pocket. The reduced overall size & weight makes the K100 carry and look like a bigg P&S. I work nights here and, when scheduling allows, also work nights state side since that fits my natural tendency of being a bit of a night owl. The lens is bright & fast so it performs quite well at night with it's wide aperture. Sometimes at night / low light I can't use a flash, so again the speed of the lens is great, and the K100's integral SR further aids in taking pics in less than ideal light conditions.

In general use the lens is very clear and bright. After playing with it for a day I'm also findng that the 40mm focal length is great for all around use. Every now and then I do miss some of extra width that the 18-55 kit lens offers, but those occasions are few and far between. Overall I'm impressed with the portability, light weight, easy handling, and speed that a medium focal length prime offers. I really like this lens :D
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 12-08-2006, 01:59 PM  
Will PRIME be in other Pentax?
Posted By ugaarguy
Replies: 3
Views: 1,500
So the K110 is discontinued in the US. Will they replace it? I doubt it. I wasn't even looking at Pentax when I started looking at DSLRs last month. When I saw the K100 with a better feature set than the Nikon D50, and for $100 less I was hooked. The shake reduction was the final volley that sank Nikon's ship for me. Sure the K110 was yet another $100 less, but the extra $100 to have the SR on any lens I mount to the K100 just made sense.

Nikon is now stripping down the D50 even further into the D40 to try compete with their name in the K100's price range. Sadly, I think many folks will assume that the D40 is better than the similarly priced K100 because of the name. Anyone who does a little research on the web though will see that the K100 offers way more. I think Pentax sees the issue at it's core. US buyers who want a big time name at a low price will buy the Nikon D40, no matter what the K110 sells for. Opposite them, the US buyer who does their research and chooses Pentax will most likely pony up the extra bucks for the K100 with SR because those buyers will understand the value it is. No doubt the K110 can kick either Nikon's rear on features and performance alone, but I just don't think it's selling that well against it's K100 big brother.

Of course now that the K110 is discontinued in the US that means low numbers imported. Watch the K110, and not the K100, become the next K1000 cult following Pentax.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 11-19-2006, 04:13 PM  
Poll: Why did you buy a Pentax DSLR?
Posted By ugaarguy
Replies: 362
Views: 53,569
The K100D brought me to this forum. My camera experience started with a Nikon N65 SLR musta been about 5 years ago. At that time I believed the Cannikon hype, that they were it. The N65 offered better features than whatever Rebel was out at the time for a bit less money. Then film and film development costs got crazy for an amateur who likes to take alot of pictures. It was time to go digital. I'm the USAF, so deployments to dusty, sandy places are a part of life. I'm stationed in SW Idaho, which is also a dusty place. Further, I occasionally do whitewater rafting, fish a fair bit, and am out doing recreational shooting (firearms) or just bumming around in the woods & sage brush, so I wanted a rugged camera. I bought a Pentax Optio 43WR, which has been a great camera, albeit limited as P&S cameras are.

So now I'm deployed again, and realize that I really miss the way an SLR handles, the quick zoom on the lens, MF options, quick shooting, just the SLR experience. I knew dSLRs were getting cheaper, so I started looking. For a camera with lens Canon offered nothing under $700, so they were out. Nikon's D50 looked ok, and then I read about the D40 set to replace it. I saw the K100 & 110 and looked into them. It was clear that Nikon was hurting and made the D40 to try to compete with the K100 on price & the Nikon name. Too bad for Nikon that Pentax blows them away on features. With the current rebate I bought a K100 for less than the pre-order price on a D40.

I voted for price and features as to why I bought a Pentax dSLR. Those two say it all - VALUE - more features for less money. Shake Reduction in body that multiplies the savings with every lens I buy in the future, vs. the big boys huge premuim per lens for image stabilization. I can't say I hate the big boys, but I strongly dislike how they try to sell a name, and not a product. I like how Pentax will challenge the status quo. They didn't get into the mega-pixel war; they maximized a good 6 MP sensor by putting top notch hardware around it. Innovation. Quality. Value. I can't wait until my K100D gets here in the mail.
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 11-19-2006, 03:26 PM  
Another Newbie
Posted By ugaarguy
Replies: 4
Views: 680
Hi y'all,

New guy here, thought I'd say hello. I just ordered a K100D and I'm eagerly awaiting it's arrival here in the Middle East where I'm deployed with the USAF. Looks like a great forum, and I look forward to learning from you folks.
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