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Old Sep 19, 2010, 10:56 AM   #11
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All good suggestions above. Before I bought my first dSLR a couple years ago, after many decades of shooting film and digicams, I asked myself: What do I want to do that I can't do with what I have? (Which was a good P&S.) The answers were: ultrawide, ultralong, and low-light. So with my K20D and AF360, I bought a DA10-17 fisheye zoom, a DA18-250 walkaround superzoom, and a fast FA50/1.4. I quickly supplemented those with macros and many old cheap manual lenses from eBay, heh.

But the 18-250 is still my most-used lens. On a recent multi-week drive around the USA SouthWest, my shots were probably about 80% with the 18-250, 10% with a Zenitar 16/2.8 fisheye (faster than the 10-17), and the rest with the FA50/1.4, M28/2.8 (Grand Canyon mostly), and a modded Nikkor 85/2. The 18-250, discontinued but available used in either the Pentax or Tamron versions, does most stuff well. I need wider and/or faster at times.

My ideal minimal kit would be the 16/2.8, a 24/2, 35/2, 50/1.2, 85/2, 135/2.5, and the 18-250. And I could lose the 35/2 and 135/2.5, with regrets. But that's just me. Your mileage may vary, etc. Back in the day, an 'everyday' lens was what was built on the camera, and the equivalent for your Kx would be a fast 28mm.

I have just 6 autofocus lenses (DA10-17 & 18-55 & 18-250, FA50/1.4 & 100-300, Lil'Bigma 170-500) and ~90+ manual lenses. AF zooms are great for shooting quickly. Manual primes teach you to see and grow your soul, or something like that. The 18-250 is for grabbing whatever pops up in front of me. The others in my minimal kit are for considering and making pictures. Stop, look, think, move, shoot, repeat as needed. It's like the difference between a Leatherman and a scalpel.
Too many film+digi cams+lenses, oh my -- Pentax K20D, ZX-M, M42's, P&S's, more
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Last edited by RioRico; Sep 19, 2010 at 10:58 AM.
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Old Sep 19, 2010, 11:49 AM   #12
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As you can see from my list of everyday kit above, I prefer shooting with primes than zooms. I shoot pictures most days and as you can imagine, I'm often changing lenses - like about every other shot. The first thing I do when changing lenses is note which way the wind/breeze/air current is coming from and put my back to it, using my body to shield the camera from it. I always have the camera on the neck strap.

I change lenses using a two handed method - getting the new lens ready and aligned properly, holding it in my right hand. Then I use a finger to push the release button and rotate the mounted lens with my left hand, removing it and putting on the new lens in an instant, so there's almost no time that the camera is exposed. I make sure the camera is not angled upwards, but don't bother having it faced completely downward as I can't manage my two handed method that way.

I've only used the rocket blower so far, using this method I haven't had to do anything else. I've owned 5 different dSLR cameras (sold 2 as I've upgraded, still own 3, one being the K100). I've never yet had to wet clean any of them, just used a rocket blower (like Scott, I have one that lives in my camera bag, an essential item). That's not to say that I might not have to at some time, just that I haven't since 2003 when I bought my first dSLR. I'm not as careful as he is about the lenses, though.

Just my opinion, but I think that, with care, dust isn't a big issue. Certainly not big enough to stop me from shooting with whatever lens I feel like, wherever I feel like using it (i.e., out hiking, on city streets etc.). I do draw the line at changing lenses in the rain without shelter and when there's significant sand blowing around (i.e., sandstorms or when watching an off-road race from close-up).
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Old Sep 19, 2010, 3:15 PM   #13
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im right there with mtngal, primes are my favorite to shoot. I must say I do have my sigma 24-60 ex 2.8 lens on my camera quite a bit, its good for landscapes, cars, and architecture (on wide end) and portraits and macros (on long end) (not super macro, but flowers etc. due to the 4" or so close focusing at both ends) Very sharp, crisp lens and great in low light. One of the only zooms Ive used yet that is pretty much as sharp as a prime, but the zoom range is quite narrow.

for landscapes, cz jena 28mm 2.8, cz pancolar 1.8 (great for shooting over roads and bushes to get the right shot at low light)

also like the cz pancolar 1.8 for low light portraits and group photos, product photography in my house (lighting set up is limited, two halogens and 3 lamps but my house is like a cave)

I also have a super takamur 50mm 1.4 and a pentax SMC 50mm 1.4, Pentax smc 50mm 2.8, and pentax -A 50mm 2.8, but I do not use these much anymore. now that im thinking of this I might sell them

use my cz 200mm 2.8 for birds and long range portraits, like it for nature landscapes as well

I use a vivitar 90-230 close focus for macro and longer range birding but this is being replaced (just bought a tamron 300mm SP 2.8 )

for super macro i use a reversed pentacon 35-70

This doesnt help much because I switch lenses a lot.

When im out and about I usually have my CZ 200mm 2.8 strapped on my K20D and my sigma 24-60 2.8 or my vivitar 90-230 on my K Ist so I can get long range and macro shots.

So mostly I suppose im going to be using my tamron 300mm 2.8 sp and my sigma 24-60 2.8 ex because mostly im doing nature so itll cover both long end and short end

When theres a special shot where I want a particular landscape, I will pop on my cz prime

I still am wanting a nice backpack to carry my lenses around.

I think I have too many lenses but I cant seem to part with any of them

So bottom line as others said, it depends on what you do and which lenses work best for you. With all honesty I could do without my sigma 24 60, so my primes would get more use again, but its such a convenient lens to have and I barely am losing any sharpness when I shoot with it. the benefit of the cz primes, 28mm and 50mm's are the size, weight, and compactness.

I try to think ahead of what Ill be shooting so I dont have to carry much around with me.
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Old Sep 22, 2010, 6:25 AM   #14
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Actually, the Tamron 18-250 is available. http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listi...&condition=new
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Old Sep 22, 2010, 2:49 PM   #15
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I guess an 18-250 would be the everyday lens..it has a wide range from moderate wide angle to telephoto and everything in between.

But it's pricey.

I use my KM (K2000) for an everyday camera body. Usually have the 16-45 attached.

A lot of the time I first figure out what I will be taking a pix of and pack that lens.

It could be the 12-24, 10-17 Fisheye, 50 Normal F 1.4, Macro 50, 55-300, 35-105 Macro zoom....sometimes even the 18-55.

But if I'm just going for a drive or a walk...I usually take my 16-45..wide angle to normal...and hope I don't see a far off, magnificent bird of prey...LOL....
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Old Sep 23, 2010, 12:20 AM   #16
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Over on Pentax Forums the question was asked, What's you favorite camera/lens combo? I mentioned my most-used pairings (K20D + DA18-250; ZX-M + Lentar-Tokina 21/3.8; an M42 body + Vivitar Series 1 Version 1 70-210/3.5) but then I got to my FAVORITE lens, the one that's most interesting to use. It's an 'everyday' lens for weird days. Here's what I wrote:
K20D + Schneider Betavaron 3,5...11/0.08 fixed-focus enlarger 50-125/4-5.6 zoom on 30mm tubes. A 25-50mm helicoid would make use a bit easier and I wouldn't have to add more tubes for macro work.

That brutally sharp and heavy (800g+) Betavaron is a wonder. I focus by moving and zooming. Every move changes the framing, so shooting an image requires a slow fore-and-back dance. That's why I want a helicoid. The lens setting are marked for production darkroom work, not for photography. Zoom levels (presumably an enlargement scale) are 3.5, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. Aperture marks (presumably brightness levels) are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Not an f-stop to be seen. I'd have to do photometry tests to calibrate the aperture, but why bother?

Forget all about f-stops and focal lengths in general or macro shooting. The only important number, in Av mode, is the shutter speed; for all else, just wing it. The five iris blades close to a star-like opening but bokeh is creamy. I've found nothing else like it in ~55 years of shooting. Oh yeah, I got it on the bay for US$70, marked down from US$3500. Such a deal!
Too many film+digi cams+lenses, oh my -- Pentax K20D, ZX-M, M42's, P&S's, more
The opposite of LIBERAL is not CONSERVATIVE, but ENSLAVED.
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Old Sep 23, 2010, 4:36 AM   #17
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I guess my normal lense is the one I'm using that day - and of course that depends on what I plan to shoot (macro, people, street, architecture, landscapes, low-light & so on).

However as a general walkabout lense then you probably have it already in the form of the 18-55. There are much better quality lenses than that of course from Pentax, Tamron & Sigma (16-45, 17-50, 17-70, 24-70, 28-75 and a 28-80 from Tokina plus many others) but those ranges are very popular for a reason.

Personally I think the new Pentax DA* 18 - 135 is going to be perfect for almost every situation unless you need macro or length !
Pentax : 15 Ltd, 77 Ltd, 43/1.9 Ltd, Cosina 55/1.2, DA*300/4, Contax Zeiss Distagon 28/2.8, Raynox 150/250, AFA x1.7, Metz 50 af1.

Nikon : D800, D600, Sigma 500/4.5, Sigma 120-300/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 - 21/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 - 35/2.0, Nikkor 85/1.8G, Sigma 50/1.4. Nikon x1.4 TC, Sigma x2.0 TC
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