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Old Sep 14, 2007, 7:40 PM   #21
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One more comment on prime lenses, while zooms are preferred for any sort of reportage, including weddings and travel photography, primes tend to be favoured by art photographers (since they tend to take more time setting up each shot) and available light photographers (who need the larger apertures available). If I am shooting a wedding it is likely the primes will stay in the bag (except for a couple of portraits with the 50mm f1.4 if there is time) but if I am wandering around an interesting location I will probably mount the 35mm f2 and only change lenses if absolutely necessary. (BTW the FA 35mm f2 is the sharpest lens I own). Too often we forget that some of the greatest photographic images in history were shot without a zoom lens and that primes can be a valid option for some photographers, but will just cause frustration for others.

Ira
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Old Sep 14, 2007, 11:14 PM   #22
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I certainly understand your approach. I like the wide end and I choose the K100D for pretty much the same reasons as you have listed. I am betting however in a couple of years that the K100D body size will be upgraded to something on the order of 10 to 12MB, until then I am having a great time with the 100, size, weight and mass.

I started out with the kit lens 18-55 and the 50-200, primarly because I have an old spotmatic and like Pentax lens. The 18-55 is a very good lens, and on other forums is referred to as probably the best kit lens available. I thought I would go up in quality to the 16-45 and indeed it is my favorite walk around lens - and still have both. It is larger and a bit heaver than the 18-55 and does a very good job. A possible reason for the "expensive disappointment" comment, is with the kit lens being as good as it is, there is not gigantic difference between the two in lens speed and general overall quality. I think that the 16-45 is sharper, but not 100x sharper, has less viginetting at 16, is a bit wider. However the 16-45 is twice the retail price of the 18-55 and with the kit, the lens can almost be free, thus when you are comparing the two, the price difference creates disappointment. So yes, I do understand the comment. Pentax has now come out with the 16-50 f2.8 which is a lot of $$$$$, and a faster lens, thus dropping the price of the 16-45 a bit. Is it worth an additional $400 to $500 - I don't know and will probably not be finding out any time soon.

That said, I would take the kit lens. I stayed with the 50-200 because of the 4x rule of thumb on zooms and it was a Pentax lens. Generally more than a 4x coverage of range, the lens performance becomes too much of a comprisme. However, if you want to go longer, then there is really nothing (from any vendor) - no 200 to 400/500, so the 70-300 is really a nice range and its right at the 4.2x mark. And 300 is for me the limit I can hand hold (with SR) and still get a reasonable image. You will have a gap at 50 to 70, but I really don't think that it is a problem. A gap in the middle of the range can always be cropped or you can probably move your location to get the frame of the shot you want.

I had a nice year end bonus, so I also picked up the 10-17 FE. I do like the lens a lot but it is a speciality lens (fish eye - well not as fish eyed as you may think). There is defishing software available. However, that said, I am saving up for the 12-24 that is fully rectlinear, as I believe that there is a place for both. I have found that the 10-17 is good for indoors - large cathedrals and museams interiors that wrap around you. Also for very large objects that are close to you - Statues and machinery, murals, etc. And the 12 - 24 better for general images - landscapes and the like. Also, I have to say that, I am extremely happy with stitching panaromas together, so please do not forget that option on the wide end.

Hope that helps....


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Old Sep 14, 2007, 11:33 PM   #23
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Yes, my bag is the one made by Lowepro. It's strap is well padded and shaped so you can only wear it cross-shoulder on your right shoulder. I love it because I can carry more weight than with a straight shoulder bag (weight is carried on the back like a backpack). The 200 has plenty of room in it - up until recently I was carrying a K10 with a Phoenix 100mm macro mounted, and a K100 with the kit lens mounted. Other lenses in the bag usually included the A*300, DA 50-200 or a K-mount Takumar 135mm 2.5 (rarely both), M 50mm 1.7, Giotto Rocket Air hand blower, scratch pad, pen, extra batteries, linear polarizer, case for the Phoenix matched adaptor, camera cap, extra rear lens cap, and a couple of extra cards. All that fits neatly into the Slingshot 200 bag but it ends up being the max weight I can handle, even cross-shoulder. The Slingshot 300 can hold even more equipment but it is way too big for me - I'd quickly fill it beyond my carrying capacity.

At the moment my bag isn't that heavy - I only have the K100 with the DA*50-135 mounted, the A*300, kit,and the Vivitar Series One 105mm macro lenses with the normal collection of accessories.

One more thing you should buy right away is some type of hand air blower. You could spend money on a Giotto Rocket Air or borrow a turkey baster, just something that you can use to blow the dust off the sensor.
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Old Sep 15, 2007, 12:36 AM   #24
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Arizona, nice!

That does help, and I haven't had a negative response to the idea. The more I think about it, the more over ambitious it seems to go too big/pricey too fast. I don't even know what I'm doing yet with a DSLR. The only thing I have a decent handle on is composition (decent, not great). That being the case, I think you folks have helped me get on the right track.

I like the 70-300 mainly because it has macro (I know, not TRUE macro) possibilities and the extra reach. With my panny and a 1.7 TC, I think I was at around 750mm equivalent, so that's hard to give up. Especially since we made a trip to Yellowstone/Teton this summer and it really helped with the moose, bear, etc. If I wasn't worried about that extra reach or macro, I'd definitely jump on the 50-200. But the 70-300s seem to have a good reputation for the money on these boards.

Here's a few Flickr photos, just to kind of show what I like to do.

http://flickr.com/photos/[email protected]

I really like most of the pics, but at 11x14 (Adorama had a sale) the noise was TERRIBLE. I knew after YNP and GTNP I needed to upgrade. The pink clouds over theMt. Moranat Oxbow Bend in GTNP was taken right next to three gentlemen with bigtime DSLR setups. I had to apologize for getting drool on their cameras!

btw, my wife also seems to like the idea of spending $700 up front (includes accessories) instead of $1000, and she said she'd give me a yearly allowance for lenses...WOO_HOO!!!

Thanks again
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Old Sep 15, 2007, 8:54 AM   #25
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I think K100D with kit lens and the very nice APO 70-300 mm Sigma should be an excellent choice as a beginning system - and it will keep your wife happy!
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Old Sep 15, 2007, 10:57 AM   #26
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I like your images, very nice. One thing that I have not really done is to print large images - yet. So the 6mp has not really been a factor. However, your indicating that you might be printing - and pretty large at that. In looking at your posted images, I can see them on the wall, and possibly prinited as large as possible. That is where I think that you will see the difference between the two Pentax bodies in your application. Obviously, the K10 would do a better job.
(There is approximation software to take relatively small images and add the additional pixels to provide a better print in a larger size. So there is a way around this, but again I have not had the need to use this.)
The printing quality is more of sensor size (MP) than lens quality - however yes - better lenses produce better images. However once the image is taken by the sensor, you only have so many mega pixels to work with, especially if you crop the image. I believe that your lenses (no experience with Tamron), are more than sufficient for this type of printing. Another, part of image quality is sensor noise. The K100 has less noise at the higher ISO (film speeds) than the K10, thus the K100 would have a bit better chance of better quality in low light situations (without a flash or tripod).

Believe me, I am all for keeping the wife happy - I forgot my wife's birthday last Saturday, however I am still among the living (as she is off to a gunea pig show in CA this weekend, while I am home painting with the boys).
The K10 body only can be had for $699 (B&H photo) minus the rebate
The K10 kit is around $800 minus the rebate
The Tamron 70-300 is around $200
With some shipping and nothing else, your $1K budget is at the mark (considering the Pentax rebates). Then there is my fall back - lunch money......

Another item of difference between the K10 and 100 is multiple images. I thought (and forgot to consider the ramifications of bracketing or HDR). I have taken a number of HDR images (a quick succession of 3 images - one normal, one over exposed and one under exposed) with good results, however it takes about 10 to 15 seconds to write to the memory card. If your going to do sets of HDR and stitch them together, each panel becomes 3 images, thus a HDR panaromic of a normal 3 image set now becomes 9 images. The K10 has a faster write to memory so that your able to do a continous 2+ frames per second. This does help a lot if your doing hand held as opposed to a tripod.

So for the type of pictures I see that you have taken, these are the two main instances that would be consideration points between the two bodies.

On the topic of the 16-45 - When I purchased my K100 Kit ($800), the difference between the body and kit was $15. Now I see its about $100+. The 16-45 sells for $400 ($300 with the rebate), so the question is - for really no difference in lens speed (f stops) how much additional Image Quality, sharpness, reduced vignetting, etc. is worth $300, and the initial response was - more was expected.

In terms of wide angle, 18mm is actually pretty wide (well its 18 x 1.5 = 27mm in 35mm terms). Again, remember you can turn the camera vertical (to get additional height) and take images, and stitch them together (in software) to get wider, while doubling or tripling your pixel count (minus overlap). In this way, you can stay with the kit lens and do 180 degrees or even 270 degrees - as wide as you want. Plus there is stitching software that handles the vignetting.

Hope that helps...
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Old Sep 15, 2007, 11:02 AM   #27
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I just looked at your album. I definitely think you should start out with the kit and the 70-300 - so many of your wonderful pictures are at the longer end rather than truly wide-angle (could be more a limitation of your current camera). Keep the wife happy (think of how you can play up being the responsible husband!), get the two lenses and then spend a while getting to know them. In several months or so you'll have a better idea if you really need a dedicated macro lens or a wider lens than the kit lens, or perhaps a fast prime of some sort.
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Old Sep 15, 2007, 11:43 AM   #28
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Thanks Observer for your remarks, they make sense. I actually have been waffling between the k10 and k100.

mtngal, you have both, correct? If you had the money to get either, assuming 18-55AND 50-200 or 70-300 as lenses in either case, which one would you choose?
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Old Sep 15, 2007, 8:02 PM   #29
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I have both and up until this week tended to use both interchangeably. If hiking I'd keep a long telephoto on the K10 and either a wide angle or macro on the K100 (depends on where I was) with the other lens in my bag. Because of tennis elbow and a reluctance to give up my heavy big lenses I'm strictly using the K100 now and it doesn't bother me at all. When the arm gets sorted out I'll probably go back to carrying both much of the time - but that's because I got spoiled having two camera bodies not because I think the K10 takes superior pictures.

Unlessthere were some over-riding reason for getting the K10 - i.e., a feature only on itthat was onmy must-have list - I'd get the K100. The 6 mp sensor is excellent, andthe camera is easy to use (and I've never used the scene modes - I use P so I can change things as I like but still leave things up to the camera if I want a quick snap). The K10 is a much "fussier" camera and because there are more controls on the body, it is easier for things to accidentally go wrong. You have to think about things more. I love having the weather seals on the K10, but had no trouble snowshoeing with a DS (which is still going strong). The list goes on.

Buy the K100 and have a great time using it for a year or two. Then think about upgrading to whatever camera replaces the K10.
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Old Sep 15, 2007, 9:50 PM   #30
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I appreciate your advice and if I hadn't discovered something today, I'd follow it for sure. This may sound strange, but I have a problem with my left arm from birth (it's called Erb's Palsy). Not to go into too much detail, but I went to a camera shop to feel the cameras today and realized that I can't twist my arm into position to shoot "properly," i.e. left hand cupping under the lens if it's a shorter lens. I've never really noticed before because my p&s was so small I just supported with my left hand on the side. Anyway, I realized today that the K100 has no real spot to grip it on the left side when shooting, which is the only place I can grab a camera as heavy as an SLR. It's only got a gel-like strip for the grip. The K10D has ample space to grip on the let side as the shape actually curves in front to provide a spot for the finger tips to grab. I'm sure you know this as you have both cameras, but I realized today I won't be able to comfortably hold the K100d, which seems like a big problem. I'm not sure what to do, $300 extra for the grip? That seems excessive. Argh!
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