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Old Feb 5, 2009, 12:37 PM   #21
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The K200D indeed has the green button (I had noticed that from Steve's review). :-)
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Old Feb 6, 2009, 11:26 AM   #22
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hi Fotografo35 -- You've already gottena lot ofexcellent advice, and there's not a whole lot I can add. But one thing to keep in mind: viewing a the histogrambefore taking a pictire can be very helpful, but it's not the be-all and end-all. Alsoremember that the larger sensor (or mor accurately, the larger photo sites on the sensor) of a gives DSRLs more dynamic range than cameras with very small sensors -- likeyour canon superzoom. While highlight clipping and darkening of shadows is still a majorissue with DSLRs, it's not as big a problem as with P&S and superzooms. I always view the histogram beforesnapping a picturewith my P&S, but i never do when using my Pentax K100D. Only occasionally with the K100DdoI have such completely blown out highlights or such dark shadows that they can't be rescued with some post processing.

Regarding the lens issue, I thought you might like to see a shot taken with the Sigma 70-300 APO DG. It is posted below. This picture was taken on a very, very foggy day off the coast of Maine. The original photo was very foggy, and it took some work on the computer to eliminate the fog. I think the "crunchy noise" is the result of that heavy post processing, so don't blame that on the lens. The lens was racked out to 300 mm, and I think i had it stopped down to f/11. At the long end, the Sigma lens is definitely soft, so if lighting conditions allow, it's best to stop down to F11 or 16. My wife has the Pentax 55-300 which she uses on her K200D; I believe the Pentax lens is definitely sharper, and a better lens all around.But that's not to say that the Sigma is a bad lens -- in myopinion, it's a good lens, and for the price it's an excellent bargain. But the Pentax 55-300 is better (in my opinion, at least), so only you can decide whether it's worth the extra money.
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Old Feb 6, 2009, 3:38 PM   #23
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mtnman wrote:
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hi Fotografo35 -- You've already gottena lot ofexcellent advice, and there's not a whole lot I can add. But one thing to keep in mind: viewing a the histogrambefore taking a pictire can be very helpful, but it's not the be-all and end-all. Alsoremember that the larger sensor (or mor accurately, the larger photo sites on the sensor) of a gives DSRLs more dynamic range than cameras with very small sensors -- likeyour canon superzoom. While highlight clipping and darkening of shadows is still a majorissue with DSLRs, it's not as big a problem as with P&S and superzooms. I always view the histogram beforesnapping a picturewith my P&S, but i never do when using my Pentax K100D. Only occasionally with the K100DdoI have such completely blown out highlights or such dark shadows that they can't be rescued with some post processing.

Regarding the lens issue, I thought you might like to see a shot taken with the Sigma 70-300 APO DG. It is posted below. This picture was taken on a very, very foggy day off the coast of Maine. The original photo was very foggy, and it took some work on the computer to eliminate the fog. I think the "crunchy noise" is the result of that heavy post processing, so don't blame that on the lens. The lens was racked out to 300 mm, and I think i had it stopped down to f/11. At the long end, the Sigma lens is definitely soft, so if lighting conditions allow, it's best to stop down to F11 or 16. My wife has the Pentax 55-300 which she uses on her K200D; I believe the Pentax lens is definitely sharper, and a better lens all around.But that's not to say that the Sigma is a bad lens -- in myopinion, it's a good lens, and for the price it's an excellent bargain. But the Pentax 55-300 is better (in my opinion, at least), so only you can decide whether it's worth the extra money.
Thanks for your input, mtnman. Trojan... and mtngal especially sure helped me majorly and I thank them for both. Trojan... showed the Tamron 70-300 mm Di LD could be a good lens under certain conditions and you've shown by your photo of the puffins that the Sigma 70-300mm APO DG could also be good. Mtngal said both were still good and so I duly considered both; even the reviews on both didn't show a clear winner to either the Tamron or Sigma side (except for 1 different factor in each's favor). What you said about the Pentax DA 55-300 mm being sharper was echoed by mtngal, you and several other reviewers, and so for the price difference (since I want to minimize post-processing where I can), I will be going with the Pentax DA 55-300mm zoom because of the # of users that say it does have a clear advantage in both using the full zoom range and sharpness over Tamron and Sigma-made counterparts. When I saw that the Pentax 55-300mm lens is only $285 compared to a Nikon 70-300mm that's going for ~$580...well, that really seals the deal (I cite the Nikon lens example only as a difference with the price comparison) for the Pentax lens. I mean...that REALLY makes the Pentax 55-300mm look like a REAL bargain. :G

Now I'm just looking around for a camera bag to hold the 2-3 lenses (2 lenses if a bag will allow storing the Pentax body + lens attached or 3 if the compartments are only for straight lenses/body-independent storage + accessories).
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Old Feb 7, 2009, 11:41 AM   #24
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I'm sure you'll be pleased with the Pentax 55-300. I don't know of anyone who isn't satisfied with it. As for camera bags, mtngal is right (as usual) -- it's a very personal thing. I use a tamrac backpack for major trips, but if you want to take a pic, you have to stop, and remove it from your back. For just walking around, I use a Slinger Pro bag from Adorama, which can slide forward allowing quick and easy access -- much easier than taking off a backpack. Mt wife uses a tamrac sling bag which she likes a lot. But the fact that someone likes a certain bag doesn't mean that you will. I also live in an area where there are no camera shops nearby, so I often order stuff via the web without trying it first. But for camera bags, it's a risky way to go.
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Old Feb 8, 2009, 6:27 AM   #25
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no offence..!!
but!! you folks that can type are great!!
guess i should have taken it in high school..
now tho, I'm missing my left hand's index finger..
LOL, but it's the truth..



LOL,
roy
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Old Feb 13, 2009, 1:12 AM   #26
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mtnman wrote:
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I'm sure you'll be pleased with the Pentax 55-300. I don't know of anyone who isn't satisfied with it. As for camera bags, mtngal is right (as usual) -- it's a very personal thing. I use a tamrac backpack for major trips, but if you want to take a pic, you have to stop, and remove it from your back. For just walking around, I use a Slinger Pro bag from Adorama, which can slide forward allowing quick and easy access -- much easier than taking off a backpack. Mt wife uses a tamrac sling bag which she likes a lot. But the fact that someone likes a certain bag doesn't mean that you will. I also live in an area where there are no camera shops nearby, so I often order stuff via the web without trying it first. But for camera bags, it's a risky way to go.
Well, once Circuit City closed, that was the only place around here that had Tamrac bags to check out. Can't think of another place (we don't have CostCo) that sells sling bags or camera bags in general. So I'm forced to order something online.

I'm about ready to place my order, but I'd like input if that's possible on these I've found so far as possibilities. Remember that I'm considering a Pentax K200D with either the body separate or one of the following lenses attached inside the bag (or all 3 in separate compartments: the 18-55mm kit lens; the FA 50 mm 1.4; DA 55-300 mm. I know I've included backpacks, but these are in my price range (I didn't want to go over $60):

Tamrac 5273 (http://www.adorama.com/TR5273GR.html)

Tamrac Adventure Messenger 4 (http://cameras.pricegrabber.com/bags-cases/m/19958066/search=adventure%20messenger%204/st=product/sv=title/)

Tamrac 5564 (http://www.tamrac.com/5564.htm) but it's $64.63. :?

Tamrac 5502 (http://cameras.pricegrabber.com/bags-cases/m/88933103/search=Tamrac%205502/st=product/sv=title/)

Kata DR461 (http://www.adorama.com/KADR461.html) this one looks interesting for possibly $39.90 AMR

I've been at my 'hours of research' again and now it's late so my brain is fried. If anyone can say yay/nay to any of these in terms of them being enough storage for what I've listed or any other helpful input, that would be great. I'd love to have something to see for a post so I could possibly place my order for everything by early afternoon. :G
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Old Feb 13, 2009, 3:48 PM   #27
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Update: I've reviewed each lens and gotten the following information on them:

1) 18-55 mm kit lens = 2.7" long
2) 55-300mm = 2.8" diameter/4.4" long
3) FA 50 mm 1.4 (l x d) 1.5" x 2.5"

I'll check the bags I've listed against this, but if anyone would like to chime in and offer a 2nd/3rd opinion, I'd appreciate it. :-)

Also: while I've found 2 really old threads on here (2004, 2005) on Mack Camera warranties, does anyone here normally get them/recommend them for their cameras and lens purchases? I've had 2 cameras (one of them is my S3 IS) that I've gotten the warranties for but never had trouble (i.e., never used the warranty). So my question also includes from anyone who HAS had to use their Mack warranty, what was their level of service and was it a good/bad experience? While I've tried to find threads on the net, I've found one very public catfight + one public blog posting about Mack being really good for service...whereas I've found about 4-5 older threads from 2004-2008 saying people had lousy customer service from Mack and while there were even Mack replies, in few cases except the catfight + public blog posting, there's only those 2 + one old Mack experience that's good (from here, one thread). It's slightly more negative but the problem is there's no overwhelming evidence to tip it either way (to avoid or to buy for sure).

The reason why I ask is obviously it would save me some money and 2-3 posters in other places on the net have said that "if the camera or lens is going to have problems, the defects normally show up inside the first few months and during the first year," so that's why I'm asking anyone that since I'm stepping up to a major purchase here if in their experience in buying Mack extended warranties would be recommended on the camera body + kit lens and 2 other lenses.
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Old Feb 13, 2009, 5:22 PM   #28
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fotografo35 wrote:
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Well, once Circuit City closed, that was the only place around here that had Tamrac bags to check out. Can't think of another place (we don't have CostCo) that sells sling bags or camera bags in general. So I'm forced to order something online.

I'm about ready to place my order, but I'd like input if that's possible on these I've found so far as possibilities. Remember that I'm considering a Pentax K200D with either the body separate or one of the following lenses attached inside the bag (or all 3 in separate compartments: the 18-55mm kit lens; the FA 50 mm 1.4; DA 55-300 mm. I know I've included backpacks, but these are in my price range (I didn't want to go over $60):

Tamrac 5273 (
http://www.adorama.com/TR5273GR.html)

Tamrac Adventure Messenger 4 (http://cameras.pricegrabber.com/bags-cases/m/19958066/search=adventure%20messenger%204/st=product/sv=title/)

Tamrac 5564 (http://www.tamrac.com/5564.htm) but it's $64.63. :?

Tamrac 5502 (http://cameras.pricegrabber.com/bags-cases/m/88933103/search=Tamrac%205502/st=product/sv=title/)

Kata DR461 (http://www.adorama.com/KADR461.html) this one looks interesting for possibly $39.90 AMR

I've been at my 'hours of research' again and now it's late so my brain is fried. If anyone can say yay/nay to any of these in terms of them being enough storage for what I've listed or any other helpful input, that would be great. I'd love to have something to see for a post so I could possibly place my order for everything by early afternoon. :G
The Tamrac 5273 backpack seems it will fit my needs for sure, although it's really big, with it saying its capacity will fit "most SLRs with a lens attached up to 7" long, 4-5 additional lenses and accessories." Indeed, the bag as arranged seems to have a camera body alone + 6 lenses (3 or 4 small-slightly medium + 1 medium zoom + longer zoom by appearance).

The Tamrac Adventure Messenger 4 (5534) is a toss-up, as at Amazon it appears the the K200D with the 55-300 mm lens attached would fit (http://www.tamrac.com/5534.htm), but it's not certain if the insides could be arranged to fit the two smaller lenses.

Have to leave for now. Will document more in hopes of getting some additional input from you guys. :G

(Added)

Also appears like the Tamrac Velocity 7x would just fit my needs with the 55-300 mm telephoto attached + the 50 mm 1.4 and 18-55 mm kit lens at the side (http://www.tamrac.com/5767.htm). That one's $57.95-$59.95. hmm...

It almost seems the Explorer 2 would be just enough (http://www.tamrac.com/5502.htm), but I'm not certain about the height (having the K200D body + 4.4" long 55-300 mm zoom attached). That's $39.95 (http://www.adorama.com/TR5502BL.html). ULP! Actually if the height of the body (http://www.adorama.com/IPXK200D.html?searchinfo=k200d&item_no=23) + lens is right (body = 3.7" h + 4.4 = 8.1") :shock: Must be out for this one then since it's only 7.75" h.

The Explorer 400 (5564) is slightly out of my range for what I wanted to spend, but it does satisfy the min height requirement, since it's 8.5" h and the body + 55-300 mm lens attached would be ~ 8.1" h.

Time for a break. Feel free to weigh in, folks. :G

(added)

Oddly enough, the Kata DR-461 is the best deal of them all and the Tamrac 5273 isn't even quite the same (and a lot more) in dimensions. Here's what I found:

The Kata DR-461: 10.4" w x 4.33" d x 11.8" h

Tamrac 5273: 8" w x 4.625" d x 11" h

I'll note the Adventure Messenger 4 could work too, at 11" w x 4" d x 9" h Oddly enough, it's the same base price as the Kata DR-461 ($48.95-49.99) before MIR. The difference is the former is a shoulder bag and the latter is a backpack.

So the Kata is much wider and a shade higher internally, with the interior depth not a significant factor to impede the camera body or lens storage. The Kata also has a 5-yr warranty just like the Tamrac 5273.

So the dimensions from the camera body + lenses seem to make the Kata DR-461 the best choice for price + space. So it seems the one I can (or will) go with is the Kata. :-)
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Old Feb 13, 2009, 11:56 PM   #29
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By the way: on the extended warranty question...I'd still like anyone getting a Mack extended warranty (if they've had to use it for repairs). At the same time, I just remembered and verified that my AMEX card will extend the normal manufacturer warranty for 1 additional year--so on the 1-yr warrantied items, I'll get 2 years when I charge it to my AMEX card. :-) I'll probably just go that way.
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Old Feb 14, 2009, 12:11 PM   #30
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I don't have any experience with Mac warranties - I haven't bought one. The only electronic thing I've bought a warranty for and been glad I did was for a laptop computer.

As far as the camera bag - I have a Tamrac 603 bag that would work well. I just don't like backpacks because you have to take them off to get anything out of them. A shoulder or sling bag work much better, and since you don't have a huge amount of weight involved, a shoulder bag might be best for ease of use.
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