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Old Oct 31, 2007, 11:17 PM   #1
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Hi photogurus,

My name is Sai and i'm from India.

My first post. No better section than this to introduce myself, cos this is where i feel at home (planning to buy the K10D). The last time i visited steves-digicams was when i was researching for a camcorder (two years back... bought a Pana GS400).

Biking is my passion which has made me clock more than a 100K kilometers on my two wheeler. Photography is a necessity and a interest which i would like to nurture, making it a hobby / passion. There is no other way to capture your experience and re-live it later.

I am a n00b as far as photography is considered. I owned a Panasonic DMC FX-01. Mother nature did not like it any way... I remember putting the camera in a cover, rolling it completely and putting it inside my bag. But to my horror, when i pull it up once the rain stopped, i found the camera in a puddle of water inside the cover.

Any mistake and its result is just another learning opportunity. And i would be an idiot in case i committed the same one again.

I always wanted a DSLR, not because i've driven my point and shoot to its max, but because i believe that expressing oneself through photoes he/she shoots is much more satisfying, and the only way is the SLR way. Besides whats better than freezing the good moments in life on a picture to be savoured for eternity.

I researched a lot and fell in love with K10D just because of the special attention given to protecting the camera from the elements AND the features comparable to the best in the 'next class of cameras'.

It would take memonths if i'm lucky and manage to get somebody to buy the camera and get it back to India. But its just not good to start to participate in a forum only when you WANT help. So, an initial step in that direction and hope you all are ok with such a long post.

The first thing i started to search here was for lens information and observed many experiencedones advicing to go in for the kit lens first, and then 'grow' with the camera and be a better judge of what's required. After loosing the FX01 and given the dusty environs here, i am paranoid about changing lenses often. So, the best i could do is to TRY figure out what my requirements are:

a) Capture nature while on a biking trip
b) Sometimes use it at home for family photoes
c) Capture more nature while on a biking trip

Its hard to describe, it would be much easier if there was a genre for bikers and photography put together.

I've scanned through roughly 200 threads so far. Did not find any biker... any body there??:-)

What would your advice be? I am posting some the pics i took and request for some suggestions.

I'm sooo lonely….

Me and my biking buddy

This is where i lost my camera to the magnificent water falls.

Fooling around (this was on a mobile phone camera)

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Old Nov 1, 2007, 3:49 AM   #2
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Sai, Welcome to the forum. This is already an international forum, but I don't remember anyone from India! Great shot of the falls. The lonely tree could use a littlesatuaration to pull out that yellow strip, but it is still a nice shot.

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Old Nov 1, 2007, 8:20 AM   #3
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again, welcome to the board, sai.
100k on a bike??? WOW
looks like two lenses are what you need. they have just came out and are weather sealed. try the DA*16-50 and the new *50-135. the problem with them are they cost about as much as a new k10 body each. use the kit lens as your knock around lens.

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Old Nov 1, 2007, 12:06 PM   #4
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Hi Sai,

Welcome to the Pentax DSLR forum!

If the weather sealing is the top priority, then Roy's suggestions are presently the only alternatives available, but the two DA* lenses are pretty large physically, so might not be the best for packing away on a bike trip. A largish plastic bag with a hole pre-cut for the lens and some duct tape (a biker's staple) can go a long way to protect your gear if you choose to not go this route, and a large, heavy-duty zip lock bag would be a good idea for packing the camera if rain is anticipated, regardless of the weather sealing. Perhaps not the most elegant solutions, but dry is always better.

The new Tamron (or newly announced Pentax version of the same lens) 18-250 f3.5-6.3 might be an alternative that could be a good one-lens solution. It's not cheap, but it's not as expensive as either of the DA*s. It's very compact for the incredible Focal Length range, so it's very packable and versatile, but it's not very fast, so you might want to add something like an FA 50 f1.4 for low light shots. Don't be too afraid of lens changes

Since you have some time before you commit to your lens selection, you might want to take some time to try to determine what kind of shots you like to take. I've always been a telephoto kind of person. I tend to look at a scene and notice details within the scene that I want to isolate and capture with the camera. Long FL lenses do this for me, sometimes the longer the better. If you really like close ups and macro shots, this might be your favorite perspective. I like to shoot birds. . .

Many others are just the opposite. They see the scene as a whole, and want to capture as much of it as possible. Wide angles are the ticket here, and many shooters only go as long as about 50mm or 70mm for portrait work (for the perspective), and never want anything longer. If you really like landscapes and panaramas, you might be a wide-angle type of guy.

If you can plant yourself in one camp or the other, you might be able to narrow down your lens choice. Whatever you do, I'd suggest that you try to get the best possible lens in the range that you choose.

If you're still on the fence when it comes time to actually get the camera, the suggestion that you get it with the kit lens is a good one. The DA 18-55 is a pretty good lens that you can get so cheap bundled with the body that it's hard to pass up. You can shoot with it, and determine if you want something in the same FL range, but maybe better and faster, or you might find that you're always looking for something longer.

Be warned though -- this is the path to LBA -- but now that I think of it, just getting a Pentax DSLR is just about a sure path to this affliction. :O

Feel free to ask more questions, even if you think they are kinda dumb. The people are friendly here, and there's a wealth of knowledge and experience to be gained from the members. We were all at the stage that you're at at one time, so the "been there, done that" factor is very high. :-)

Good luck with your purchase, and I hope to see a lot of images from your biking adventures in the near future.

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Old Nov 2, 2007, 12:46 AM   #5
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Glenn, Roy, Scott,
Thank you all for a warm welcome. Feels good. Many tend to seterotype people from India (i'm being very straight forward), but its not the case here. Thanks again.

Getting the camera / lenses to India is not a problem. But its the afterservice i am scared of. Also, my budget right now will not give me any scope for a LBA :-)

I gave some thought to what scott said and tried to slot myself into one of the two camps he has described and after a fast scan of all the pics i have on the computer... i think i am a wide angle guy.

Anyways, i'll first use the kit lens. Guess it will take me a lot of time to drive the kit lens to the max and then justify a new lens (LBA can wait till then). The best accessory i could buy right now would be a light weight rugged tripod which i can carry on my trips. What do you say?
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Old Nov 2, 2007, 9:39 PM   #6
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Hi Sai,
The usefulness of the tripod will really depend on the kind of shooting you do. I rarely use mine and shoot almost everything hand held unless I am using my one very heavy lens or trying to get shots of the moon (again). If I was starting out at this point and only had a camera body and the kit lens I would expand my lens selection and buy a flash before I added the tripod.

Don't rule out the K100d either. It is a very nice camera and, while it does not have the weather sealing, it does have digicamstyle scene modes that might be useful as you learn the camera. You might also look at a weather sealed camera bag as the first accessory after the camera too.

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Old Nov 3, 2007, 12:59 AM   #7
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Get the tripod. Not an expensive one but a sturdy tripod. I shoot lots without one and the AS comes in handy...But the sharpest ones will come with the use of a tripod...You seem to shoot landscapes and from what my Father used to tell me( he was a frequent visitor to your country) it is a great country for them. The tripod lends itself to those landscapes. Wild life or sports or busy street scenes are better with hand held. I wish I still had my Honda Magna and I'd like to journey with you...The finest trips the Wife and I have ever made were on that bike....After nearly 125,000 miles I sold it and have regretted it to this day!


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Old Nov 3, 2007, 2:32 AM   #8
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Hi Dawg. A biker speaks at last!

Democracy is a very tricky thing. Guess only politicians run the democracy... i say this because we do not have the privilege of buying any of the good bikes out there.

Say, i want to import a CBR 600 RR. Then i am supposed to cough up
a> 100% Customs Duty
b> 300% 'fine' to get it to a street legal status. So, if the bike costs me 5000 USD, then i end up paying nearly 22000 USD which if of course a big joke.

I have a toy when compared to the Magna, cos the power is 20 BHP :lol:

I have a tripod which i use when taking videos with my Pana GS400 but its bulky AND it tells every body on the road that this guy on the bike might have a good camera... so lets rob him!

I need a tripod with stealth powers :-)

Tim, thanks for the K100D suggestion. But my sights set on the 10D and i dont want a demotion. I've come to a point where basically EVERYTHING can wait until i get the K10D and the kit lens.
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Old Nov 3, 2007, 3:22 AM   #9
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Hello Sai and best wishes from New Zealand.

I regret I have never visited India though I have flown over your country a few times, of course the view is very poor from up there!:-)

Regarding your 'stealth' tripod, I understand there are many clever artisans in your country, perhaps you can make something to fit a tripod head to, for example, the handle bars of your bike? Then your bike becomes the tripod! Just a suggestion.

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Old Nov 3, 2007, 9:55 AM   #10
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The K10 and the kit lens is a nice combination (I still use my kit lens). The slight gap between the camera and the lens doesn't have a seal, so I wouldn't put it in the same situation where you lost your other camera (electronics just don't like water). The K10's weather sealing does seem to work fine walking around when it's snowing but I've never tried it in rain (we don't see much rain at all). I think they call the camera (with one of the two weather sealed lenses) weather resistent, not water proof. If you are going to be getting into situations often where the camera is sitting in a puddle of water, you might want to look at getting an underwater camera enclosure/bag. They are pretty expensive, but much cheaper than a new camera! If you can keep it from sitting in water, then the other (and cheaper) options would work.
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