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Old Feb 17, 2009, 11:41 PM   #1
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Hi,

I plan to buy a dSLR camera in the near future & am wondering what the most versatile lenses would be to get. I will be taking mostly photos of family, my pets, travel, nature (flowers & scenery) & may try some still life at some point. Is it better to just buy the camera body & choose a lens I know I will want rather than the one that comes with the camera? I don't plan to buy all the lenses right away so want to start with one that I will use the most & gradually acquire others. Besides, wide angle, standard & telephoto,& macro I'm not sure what other kinds of lenses there are.

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Old Feb 18, 2009, 8:17 AM   #2
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jvanwees wrote:
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I plan to buy a dSLR camera in the near future & am wondering what the most versatile lenses would be to get. I will be taking mostly photos of family, my pets, travel, nature (flowers & scenery) & may try some still life at some point. Is it better to just buy the camera body & choose a lens I know I will want rather than the one that comes with the camera?
Absolutely. From what you say, I think you could probably get away with the standard kit lens. The advantage of the kit lens is that it is simple and covers most requirements. But kit lenses are fairly dim so you won't be able to do much in the way of low light photography without a flash, and optical quality of the kit lens varies from manufacturer to manufacturer so if you decide on one brand of dSLR you might opt for a lens that is better than the kit lens.

jvanwees wrote:
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I don't plan to buy all the lenses right away so want to start with one that I will use the most & gradually acquire others.
Excellent strategy.

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Besides, wide angle, standard & telephoto,& macro I'm not sure what other kinds of lenses there are.
Nope. That covers it, except for some special purpose lenses like Tilt/Shift lenses, but those are for very specific applications and cost a lot.
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Old Feb 19, 2009, 8:54 AM   #3
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The salesperson at my local photography store recommended a Pentax K200 camera which comes with a 18-55 lens. I would also get a 55-300 lens for it eventually. Is there any other lenses that I would need for anything? I plan to do some close up photography esp. of flowers but he said I could use the 55-300 for that although would that mean I would need to use a tripod most of the time for photographing flowers?

Can you get a lens specifically for macro that is small & not so cumbersome to carry around as the 55-300 & that you wouldn't have to use a tripod for that is not super expensive. He said true macro lenses are about $1000.
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Old Feb 19, 2009, 1:33 PM   #4
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As less expensive telephoto zoom lenses go, the Pentax 55-300 is nice. But if you're interested in macrophotography, you might want to consider the Tamron 70-300 Di LD or the Sigma 70-300 APO instead. They are cheaper, as good optically, and can focus closer. The Pentax is capable of 1:4 magnification (the subject is projected on the image sensor at 1/4 its actual size), but the Sigma and Tamron are 1:2 macro lenses (the subject is projected on the image sensor at 1/2 its actual size).

And since the Pentax has sensor shift image stabilization in the body, there is less of a requirement for using a tripod. That does not mean that you will never use a tripod, but you cna do things handheld that you can't with a system that isn't stabilized.
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Old Jun 2, 2009, 12:32 PM   #5
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If you are interested in doing macro photography I would recommended you get a dedicated macro lens. No they do not cost $1,000.
Pentax make a 50mm f/2.8 1:1 Macro for about $400
or a 100mm f/2.8 1:1 macro for about $520.
Sigma and Tamron also make dedicated macro lens for around that price or lower.

If you are on a budget and want to shoot macro, I would look into older manual focus lens. When shooting macro, AF is not that important anyways. You can find a really good used macro lens for $100-200.
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