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Old Mar 21, 2010, 8:41 PM   #1
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Default Should I buy the kit lens?

Hi! I'm getting ready to purchase my first DSLR. After researching and reading many comments on these boards (thanks!) I've settled on the Pentax K-X. So the question I have is...do I splurge now on one of the dual lens kits (I think I'd want the 55-300mm)?

I've read on here that the dual kits are really a good price, however I'd prefer to wait 4-6 months to purchase the second lens. I cold get a Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD Macro for ~$165, which is actually right at the same price as doing the dual kit.

But I realize I don't know much about DSLR's, and even less about lenses. So could someone offer some advice?

I want to photograph my kids playing (indoors & outdoors), some family gatherings (outdoors), vacations (Disney!), and maybe some nature (hiking).

Thanks in advance!
Mike
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Old Mar 21, 2010, 9:34 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by mjbens01 View Post
Hi! I'm getting ready to purchase my first DSLR. After researching and reading many comments on these boards (thanks!) I've settled on the Pentax K-X. So the question I have is...do I splurge now on one of the dual lens kits (I think I'd want the 55-300mm)?

I've read on here that the dual kits are really a good price, however I'd prefer to wait 4-6 months to purchase the second lens. I cold get a Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD Macro for ~$165, which is actually right at the same price as doing the dual kit.

But I realize I don't know much about DSLR's, and even less about lenses. So could someone offer some advice?

I want to photograph my kids playing (indoors & outdoors), some family gatherings (outdoors), vacations (Disney!), and maybe some nature (hiking).

Thanks in advance!
Mike
The Dual set will give you what you need for starters. There are better lens than the 18-55mm kit lens..such as the DA 16-45...but they will cost a lot more. The DA 18-55mm is the most bang for a buck out there. I still use it shooting my grand kids and at family gatherings. Is it the sharpest in it's focal range? No. But it is sooo much better than any point and shoot camera when matched with my K10D. You would be well advised to get the dual lens combo pack and then save a while to get any higher Image quality lens ..after you get comfortable with the camera and can tell more about how you shoot and what therefore you need. This combo will give you the full range of focal length from 18-300 mm and give you very good photos.

Here are a few I've taken with the Original version of the 18-55mm lens. Learn post processing and these two lens can match any of them.
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Old Mar 21, 2010, 9:51 PM   #3
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I'd probably get the dual lens kit - it sounds like you'll appreciate having the longer lens. When I bought my first dSLR (the Pentax DS) I got just the 18-55 kit lens and almost immediately wanted a longer lens, so I would have been happier with the dual lens kit (it wasn't available when I was buying). The DA 55-300 is a nice lens, I have the regular version and like it (there are differences between the DA-L and DA versions of the lens, but they are both optically the same).

There are a number of comparisons I've seen posted comparing the Tamron (also a very good lens) and the Pentax, my personal opinion is that the Pentax is a bit better because it has better control of purple fringing. They are both sharp and the Tamron can do 1:2 for macro while the Pentax is only 1:3.5. Since you haven't mentioned macro as an area of interest, not sure that would mean much for your use.

I guess you'll need to decide just how quickly you'll want the longer lens. If you don't think you'd want it right away then getting the Tamron later is a good alternative. But if you are going to want it right away, you'll be better off getting the 55-300 right away.
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Old Mar 21, 2010, 10:11 PM   #4
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Yes, I agree, the two-lens kit is an excellent starter package. I wish it had been available when I bought my first DSLR, which was a Pentax K100D.
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Old Mar 21, 2010, 10:47 PM   #5
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5 years ago when I purchased my K100 I picked up the equivalent of the 2 lens kit. I still have the K100 with the lenses in the truck for everyday shooting. I upgraded to the K20 and have my other lens set with it.

The two lens set covers just about everything - something for all occasions. I think that for most folks for general shooting, its probably all they will ever need. Overall they are relatively small and easy to carry.

I really do not think that you can go wrong....

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Old Mar 22, 2010, 7:51 PM   #6
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Default Thanks for the input!

Thanks!
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Old Aug 2, 2010, 2:38 PM   #7
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Default to buy or not to buy the kit lens

I suppose I'm too late to answer the original question, but if anyone comes across this later, I've written an applicable post about kit lenses and choosing the best lens for your dSLR and for the way you work:
http://dojoklo.wordpress.com/2010/01...-the-kit-lens/
Hope it helps!
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Old Aug 2, 2010, 5:07 PM   #8
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The DAL 55-300 is the kit version, and it does not have all the features of the da 55-300. But optically they are equal. The DAL 55-300 is a much sharper lens then the tamron 70-300mm. Optically the tamron 70-300 is a better macro lens then a long zoom, very soft on the long end.

So if you wait, you can only get the da 55-300mm as the dal 55-300mm is only sold in kit form. And the price is 200 dollars more 160 vs 360 for the DA
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Old Aug 2, 2010, 6:16 PM   #9
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adorama and pentax is running a promotion 50 dollars off either 55-300, and 100 dollar off a dslr when you trade in old digital camera working or not. So you can get 150 dollars off a kit. From Aug 1-15 only by phone or instore orders only.
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Old Aug 4, 2010, 11:09 AM   #10
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When researching my first dSLR purchase a couple years ago, I asked myself, "What do I want to do that I can't do with my good P&S?" The answers were: ultrawide, ultralong, and low light. Prices and praises brought me to Pentax. So with my K20D and AF360, I bought the DA10-17 fisheye, DA18-250 superzoom, and FA50/1.4 fast prime. Many (cheap) lenses later, and usually subbing a manual Zenitar 16/2.8 for the 10-18, those are what I use the most. I later bought the DA18-55 (cheap!) and use it, often for hanging various filters and add-ons.

I realize that a camera+lens-kit package is tempting. I realize that the 18-55 is underrated, and is generally a good lens. But I skipped the 18-55 because I thought I would need and use the 18-250 more. The problem with a 2-lens kit is that in going from a wide+normal to a long focal length, it's necessary to swap lenses. I've traveled across the USA and Mexico with my basic lens set, shooting in many situations, and I'd have missed many shots if I'd had to swap when shifting from a wide view of a village or festival, down to picking out individual details at the long end. I've recently returned from a long car-trip with 25 lenses packed, and I almost exclusively used the DA18-250, with the Zen 16/2.8 for not-bright small spaces and the FA50/1.5 for darker spaces.

Unfortunately, the DA18-250 is out of production. It can still be found, either in its Pentax or Tamron forms. It's the most flexible single lens I know of. A two-zoom kit means that you tend to look at scenes as being within the range of one or the other. A one-superzoom kit means that all scenes are meat for the lens. And you want to shoot kids indoors? The FA50/1.4 is superb, and/or a good flash will brighten things up.
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