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Old Jun 26, 2010, 9:49 AM   #21
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Another source for used equipment is the Marketplace over on the Pentax Forums.
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Old Jun 26, 2010, 2:17 PM   #22
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All good information... You guys have any good luck finding gems on the cheap out there in auction land? eBay that is...?

Another question... Probably a dumb one... 2x Teleconverters and .5x wide angle adapters...I would assume these are trash? There was a phoenix one out there for teleconversion at 2x, that stated it would af if max f stop was 4 or greater. Woould something like that work on my dal 55-300 lens at 3.5 to 5.x...

Just wondering

extension tubes... Is there a preferred type, style or make...is there a certain one to avoid?

Last edited by mackloon; Jun 26, 2010 at 3:33 PM.
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Old Jun 26, 2010, 4:47 PM   #23
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Mac :

EBay - yes you can get some bargains. For ca. $350 I picked up a CZJ 135 / 3.5, two x Takumar (Old Pentaxes) 50 / 1.4, Tak 135/3.5, Tak 300/4, Vivitar 24mm / 2.8, two x Vivitar x2 TCs, M42 extension tubes, Rollei flash and a whole bunch of Hoya filters etc.. Best know what you want and what you should pay first though - I always find it better going for a package than individual lenses.

TCs etc. - unless it is a big name I would avoid them. I find the Vivitar x2s are OK, they don't degrade the image too much but you lose a helluva lot of light so need bright sunny days to get the best out of them ! Personally I think the x1.4 or x1.7 are much better and I'd try to get a Pentax / Vivitar / Kenko.

Phoenix are Chinese and although some of their cheap stuff is great value for money I don't know anything about their convertors.

Extension Tubes - since they are just hollow tubes without any glass (some, more expensive ones, retain some electrical contacts for use with Pentax DSLRs) it doesn't really make a difference - since they are for macro and therefore usually manual focus, personally I wouldn't buy with anything expensive until you are sure macro is 'your thing'.
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Old Jun 26, 2010, 7:55 PM   #24
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I think I am just going to score a set of extension tubes, and a set of uv filters. I gave tried some macro shots with the 18-55 and I wish I could get a little closer.

I assume the extension tubes will help that.

Dude I work with said I should get 2 sets of those opteka filters for protection and to try out before buying better. What is anyone's take on that?

Last edited by mackloon; Jun 26, 2010 at 8:00 PM.
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Old Jun 27, 2010, 12:10 AM   #25
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When it comes to camera bags, I prefer some sort of sling bag over a backpack. My experience with hiking is that if its in the pack it'll stay there, I want my gear accessible. I bought the Lowepro Slingshot 200 and have been quite happy with it - it's a good size for me and will hold quite a bit of gear (camera with lens mounted, 4 other lenses, flash and miscellaneous other things). I'm on my second one, the stitching on the first one gave out because I constantly over-loaded it.

I also have a Kata 3N1 bag and highly recommend them. The straps can be arranged either as a backpack or as a sling bag with the ability to use either shoulder (Lowepro slingshots have to be carried on the right shoulder, access on the left side of your body). I have the 3N1-30 bag, it's huge (really too big for me, but the DA*300 doesn't fit in the Lowepro 200). The -30 bag is big enough for camera with lens mounted, 6 other lenses, flash and quite a bit of miscellaneous other stuff. You can get an optional tripod carrier that attaches to the bag and can hold my Series 2, 4 section CF Gitzo. I don't think it would work with a 3 section tripod of the same series.

Last week I was wandering in the local camera store by my office and noticed that Tamrac now has a true sling bag. They have the Velocity series but they are really more like messenger bags and I thought it was awkward getting into some of the spots in the bag. I was really impressed with the Tamrac, it's a 3N1 type bag that you can either wear as a sling bag or as a backpack, with pockets for the straps that you aren't using and access from both sides of the bag (Lowepro only has access on one side). The Tamrac comes with a pouch and strap for a tripod, which I thought was very cool. However, I suspect that my tripod might be too big for it, though (at least the size I looked at). I was really impressed with the bag, I'll look seriously at it when one of my other bags fall apart.

I also have a (relatively) small shoulder bag for when I want to go light. That can hold camera with lens mounted and several small to medium sized lenses along with some miscellaneous stuff.

If you are going to use the extension tubes with the kit lens, make sure they have the electrical contacts so the camera can talk to the lens. The kit lens doesn't have an aperture ring so the camera is the only way you can set the aperture. It doesn't matter if you are using a lens that has an aperture ring - then you can use it as a manual lens (I sometimes use an FA or an A lens with my extension tube, which doesn't have contacts. They then work just like a manual lens).
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Old Jun 28, 2010, 1:37 AM   #26
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I was looking through extension tubes tonight and I was having problems finding the ones you mentioned with electrical contacts so AF and aperture can be done through the camera. Maybe I am blind or looking under the wrong rock. Can someone link the tubes that will support this?

Thanks

- mackloon
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Old Jul 1, 2010, 6:38 PM   #27
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Hello... I have been reading up and shooting as much as possible. I have a question about lens hoods... I had a scare/slight fumble with my kx the other night which gas prompted me to get a set of lens hoods for the dal18-55 and dal55-300. I was wondering if it really mattered which one. I like the flower pedal style and I was wondering if someone could link the cheapest, yet functional recommendation.

I was going to buy a pair of the cheapy, flower pedal ones found on eBay for about $3 a pop. But I figured I should check with the masses.

Let me know what your take is...?
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Old Jul 1, 2010, 11:49 PM   #28
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Lens hoods are good. The petal style will be good for the 18-55 as you aren't as likely to get vignetting with the wide angle. I don't have a recommendation - I haven't yet bought any for the lenses I have that don't have them, almost all of mine came with some type of hood/pull out hood.
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