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Old May 4, 2010, 9:36 PM   #1
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Default Intro SLR - Probably the Pentax KX... Which Lenses?

Looking for an intro SLR and I think the Pentax K-X fits the bill. Looking for a camera to take on vacations and easy to use. Need lenses to take great vacation picks like the grand canyon and alaska.

I am leaning toward getting the kit with the 18-55 lens and an additional tamron 18-200 and selling the kit 18-55, leaving me with one lens to use for everything. The reason is that switching lenses during vacations where there is rain and dust scares me.

Option two is the kit with 18-55 and 50-200 but again, switching lenses scares me and two lenses is cumbersome.

I am questioning how the tamron lens is also.....

Any input would be very helpful!!!!!!
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Old May 4, 2010, 10:07 PM   #2
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I would go with the 2 lens kit with the 55-300 over the 55-200. You may find you need the extra reach sometimes. And for 680 at BH, it is a great deal for an extra 60 dollars for 100mm more reach.
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Old May 4, 2010, 10:09 PM   #3
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Here are some samples of the 55-300mm at 300mm

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/wi...hest-bump.html
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Old May 5, 2010, 9:56 AM   #4
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If you want to get a one lens solution, it seems that the Tamron 18-250 is much better than the 18-200 and well worth the extra cost. That would be my recommendation if you don't want to switch lenses. My recommendation is based on pictures I've seen posted here rather than direct experience since I don't have either lens.

Instead I go on vacation taking along a large camera bag full of lenses and have a blast (I know, I'm sick I guess). I don't worry about switching lenses except in the rain without shelter - as far as dust goes, turn your back to the wind and use a two handed lens switch maneuver where the new lens is all ready lined up and next to the camera in your right hand before removing the old lens. Then slip the new lens over the camera opening as you remove the old one. Last weekend I was at the California Poppy Reserve, walking their trails and used 4 different lenses, changing them often. I've changed lenses at the beach (though I'm careful about it) and when hiking and snowshoeing.

If you don't go for the one lens solution, then I'd echo the recommendation for the kit with the DA 55-300 over the 50-200, it's a very nice lens optically. I have it and it's an excellent light-weight lens, great for travel photography.
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Old May 5, 2010, 11:52 AM   #5
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Although I don't have any of the lenses mentioned above if I was starting from scratch again then (based on postings on this and other forums) I'd go for the Tamron 18-250 to get me started. Very decent width for when you can't go further back or need to get a whole group / building into the shot and impressive reach too. It's looks very sharp for the money and more than covers the range of the 2 lens solution you have suggested. Google reviews for the lens and see what others say and check out their shots.
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Old May 5, 2010, 9:18 PM   #6
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Hi craboi,

Welcome to the forum!

I would say the top choice would be a 2 lens kit with the DA 18-55 and the DA 55-300. You'd get the widest range of Focal Lengths (FL) and the best speed (widest apertures at a given FL). This would, however be the most expensive kit overall.

2nd choice, for me, would be the 2 lens kit with the DA 18-55 and the DA 50-200. You'd still get a wide range of FLs with good speed, and it would probably be the least expensive kit.

3rd choice would be the kit with the body and the DA 18-55, add the Tamron 18-250, and sell the kit lens. I would recommend this lens over the Tamron 18-200. The consensus seems to be that the 18-250 is a considerably better lens. The downside to this very good lens is the f6.3 max aperture at the long end. It's fine outdoors, but might let you down a bit as light levels get lower.

I have the DA 18-55, DA 50-200, and DA 18-250, and they are all very good lenses. The only reason I don't have the DA 55-300 is that I'm a birder and already have a number of lenses that cover 300 -- but don't think I haven't considered getting one anyway! It's a very compelling lens -- wide FL range and sharp.

6 years ago, the prospect of dust on the sensor was a major concern, and a great deal of forum bandwidth was dedicated to discussing the best wet cleaning procedures and such. Since then, the manufacturers have stepped up with effective sensor coatings that discourage dust form sticking, and have added pretty good sensor cleaning functions into the cameras. Dust problem posts on most DSLR fora have all but disappeared in the past few years.

You still should be careful, mounting lenses with the camera facing down, not facing into the wind, and using procedures like Harriet (mtngal) described. I constantly change lenses, but have never had to wet clean a sensor (fingers crossed. . . knock on wood. . .)

Hope to see you back here once you get your new camera!

Scott
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Old May 6, 2010, 2:43 AM   #7
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yeah i'm considering the tamron 18-250mm myself as a walkabout lens - range is great and seems image quality is good - for you it would be a good choice as noted if your thinking about indoor photography might want to consider the tamron 17-50 f2.8 aswell for when your safely indoors away from dust etc
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Old May 6, 2010, 5:37 AM   #8
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Another vote for the Tamron 18-250. The lens is sharp and accurate. With the Kx, I also get great high ISO shots. Below is a ISO 6400 with the Kx and 18-250 with some noise reduction.
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Old May 6, 2010, 5:39 AM   #9
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Tamron 18-250 is a great lens for outdoor work. Good color and contrast, nice and sharp especially when stopped down a bit. I used it almost exclusively for many months, until I started buying more specialized lenses for a variety of purposes, and was almost always happy with the results.
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Old May 6, 2010, 1:08 PM   #10
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I go on vacation and always take at least 20 lens and change them out many times a day. On my last one while walking on the beach with surf around my knees I changed lens several times. No problem if you don't drop them!! LOL
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