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Old Jun 21, 2006, 12:59 AM   #1
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Folks:



Sorry if this is the wrong forum .. i am new.



Bit the bullet and bought a *ist DL camera kit tonight. Was planning on awaiting the K1000, but could not pass on the circuit city price of 483 with 1 year free financing. I hope as I grow with its use I don't regret going cheaper. My questions:



1) Bought a ScanDisk Ultra II 1 GB for 69.00, but it looks form other threads a less expensive card would do just fine. What's your opinion?





2) Notice that a pc darkroom is where we are heading what software package should I get and what graphics card should I use.



3)Last what about filters and other lenses. Anyone love any particular lens, filter system especially since the kit lens only stops to 3.5.



4) Any hints about fun features you just love if you use the camera



5)Should I but the replacement insurance policy $6.00 month minimum of 2 years?

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Old Jun 21, 2006, 1:58 AM   #2
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Welcome Bowenp, your'e definitely in the right forum. Bit by bit your questions will be answered by experienced and kind people. The only thing wanted in return is that you post the pictures when you feel that you got the grip of it. Sharign is what this forum is about.

As for lenses you've made the best choice of brand. There are loads of lenses, new and second hand, which will fit your camera. What is right for you depends on what you want to use them (there will be more than one...) for and how much you are prepared to spend. The best of the best are Pentax Star lenses (marked with a * in the name, just like *ist), but they are priced accordingly.

Most users in this forum have Photoshop Elements (2, 3 or 4) or Photoshop CS, but there are other programs on the market. If you start shooting RAW you will need a RAW converter, there are several of these and some are free to download from the Internet. When buying a new computer, look for hard drive space.

To be able to give best advice it would be good to know a little more about your previous experience. Are you a skilled film SLR user just gone digital, or are concepts like stop down, exposure, cropping etc new to you?

Once again welcome.

Kjell
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Old Jun 21, 2006, 2:58 AM   #3
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Welcome.

You shouldn't need any particular graphics card, anything with 128 megs or more will work just great.

You won't regret buying the DL, especially if you are just starting out. There are more functions on the camera than you will ever use in the first two years...

Start in Program mode and just get used to the feel of the camera, then start using Av and Tv mode to have more control over your shots.

Shooting in RAW, is not really important as a beginner and as you get comfortable you might decide to use that format occasionally. If you do you will need a program called Raw Shooter Essential (RSE) which is free to convert your photos from RAW to JPG.

Photoshop Elements 4 and Paint Shop Pro X are the most common programs here that are used to tweak your photos before showing the world.

Sandisk Ultra II i a good card and you can't go wrong, be careful with cheaper cards, yes they might work and then they might not at the critical time, you really don't w ant that to fail when you just taken your daughters best photo...:angry:

Filters and lenses, as a starter try and get astandard UV filter to put on the front of your kit lens and any other lenses for that matter. They are relatively cheap and they also protect the front element from scratches.

Your DL will pretty much work with any Pentax K mount and M42 Pentax lens, with limitations.

The older M42 screw mount lenses require a simple adapter which you can buy on eBay, Manual focus only and you have to stop down your exposure metering.

Any K mount lens (older style without electrical contacts) again you will have to manual focus and depending on the aperture ring you may or may not have to stop down to meter.

If the aperture ring has an "A" position then set it to that and the camera will work the aperture as if you had a new lens on. But you will still need to manual focus.

Lastly there are a heap of third party new lenses out there from Sigma, Tamron and so forth that make Auto Focus lenses that work just lovely with the DL.

Fun Features for me are night time long exposures of about 20 secs mounted on a tripod.

Insurance policy is a personal thing. I have never insured my cameras, some people do, your call.


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Old Jun 21, 2006, 5:06 AM   #4
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Bowenp wrote:
Quote:
Bit the bullet and bought a *ist DL camera kit tonight. Was planning on awaiting the K1000, but could not pass on the circuit city price of 483 with 1 year free financing. I hope as I grow with its use I don't regret going cheaper. My questions:

1) Bought a ScanDisk Ultra II 1 GB for 69.00, but it looks form other threads a less expensive card would do just fine. What's your opinion?
I personally, didn't see any noticeable improvement with the x66 SD Card that I bought over standard speed cards.

Quote:
2) What rechargeable battery set-up are people the happiest with and where should I buy the CR-V3..
I'm happily using AA Ni-Hi 2300 mA/hr batteries; these can provide in excess of 500 shots when used on a daily basis.

Quote:
3) Notice that a pc darkroom is where we are heading what software package should I get and what graphics card should I use.
Adobe Photoshop has got to be the best, but is pricey. As for graphics card, I wouldn't have thought it would make much difference. IMHO, high performance graphics cards are for 'gamers'.

Quote:
4) Last what about filters and other lenses. Anyone love any particular lens, filter system especially since the kit lens only stops to 3.5.
I don't see the need to amass a large collection of lens; after all only one can be used at a time. The Pentax 50-200mm DA lens is good additional lens to purchase on top of the 18-55mm kit lens.

Prime lens i.e. non zoom will provide superior performance.

Wide range zooms i.e. Sigma/Tamron 18-200mm lens will not match the performance of Pentax 18-55/50-200mm lens.

Always use a UV filter to protect the lens. I've tried the new Hoya digital filter & whilst it does appear to reduce flare, I don't think that it's worth the higher price over conventional multi-coated filters.
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Old Jun 21, 2006, 6:11 AM   #5
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I'm fairly new too to the whole Pentax system (I have a DL too)
but here are my experiences up till now:

-About the SD card, I've experienced no problems with cheaper cards. (I use a -20$ 60x Corsair 512MB card and a 66x Toshiba 512MB, and they both work fine)
Sandisk Ultra II is a high standard though, and you will have the knowledge that your card will never let you down.

-As for lenses, the kit lens isn't bad, but there are better things out there...
My lens shows some serious vignetting at 18mm, but this is quickly corrected by zooming in a little further, even if it is a few mm.

In time, you'll probably feel the need for a telelens and a macro lens (if you like macro shots)
I suggest you look on ebay, where you can get them pretty cheap.

Have fun with your new camera!

TDN
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Old Jun 21, 2006, 9:26 AM   #6
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You've already received some good advice, I don't have much to add.

I use the Sandisk Ultra II also (have 2 of them, I used to own a Panasonic FZ30). The main advantage a high speed card gives you is if you use a card reader (I do) - the transfer rate between your card and your computer is faster. I rarely use continuous mode so I don't know if having a faster card clears the buffer faster or not.

I've been using Adobe Photoshop for a number of years (since Photoshop 3) and love it. I'm currently using Photoshop CS2 and Adobe Camera Raw (ACR for short) to convert raw images. I'm not as happy with it, but I'm slowly getting abetter handle on it. The PhotoLab that comes with the camera doesn't do too badly, I'll sometimes use that if I get frustrated with ACR. If you happen to have a connection with a school, Adobe offers a discounted academic version (has the full program), making it more affordable.

I have a bunch of filters my father used when he had a Pentax ME Super. Most of them aren't really needed because you can do lots of effects in Photoshop. Besides getting UV filters, I'd recommend getting a polarizer first, then maybe a neutral density (or a graduated neutral density) if you do landscape stuff and specifically want to blur water in stronger light. I don't have a graduated ND filter and have only once in a while wanted one. I have a ND and never use it (not being around waterfalls much). Maybe some day...

Lenses all depend on what you are going to use your camera for. I happened to have a couple of M (as in manual, old K-mount) 50mm lenses, one of which is a 1.4. That one is excellent in low-light conditions and it's really sharp. I've also happily used some other lenses that I bought 20-25 years ago. The first thing I did (because the telephoto zoom lens I had was a bit softer than I liked) was to buy the Pentax DA 50-200, and it's very nice - that and the kit lens will make a nice combination. Then it seemed like I was always wanting a macro lens and so it goes.
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Old Jun 21, 2006, 10:48 AM   #7
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mtngal pretty much covered it.

I have owned and used Pentax equipment since about 1980 (took a brief side trip into Minolta Maxxum a couple of years ago). I do not own a lot of olderlenses but enough to give some simple suggestions:
1- Figure out what photography you like before getting carried away with lens buying, the 18-55mm and 50-200mm DA lenses will do most people for pretty much everything.
2- F and FA lenses have auto-focus, A-series lenses are manual focus but will use the auto exposure modes, M-series or earlier are used instop-down metering mode (which means you must remember to push a button before you shoot). I would stick with A, F and FA until you are well versed in the cameras use.

Filters, see mtngal's suggestions, they are right on.

Software....., my Photoshop Elements is so old it doesn't even have a number, but it works quite well. For RAW conversion there is the Pentax software and RAW Shooter Essentials (which is great and free). Paint Shop Pro X is also a good choice.

Enjoy your camera.

Ira
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Old Jun 21, 2006, 11:33 AM   #8
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I just bought a DL too.

My coworker shoots weddings on his high end Canons using Ritek cards from Newegg.

I bought the 66x 1 gig Ritek for only $27 shipped at Newegg. So far we have both been happy with speed and performance of the Ritek cards.

Batteries..based on reviews I bought the Maha Powerex batteries and charger from Thomas Distribution. So far around 500 shots or so using 2300ma batteries. Checking screen every few shots but very few flash shots.

Software...still exploring that myself. I just downloaded the free Raw Shooter Essentials program and a friend gave me PS7.

That's where I'm at now.
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Old Jun 21, 2006, 2:14 PM   #9
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Hi fellows - Thereis a lot of free photo software out there to try if you don't want to spend the bucks for Adobe or Photoshop. I have Paintshop Pro 8, but use Irfanview for most of my working with jpegs. Its a free program and those that use it really like it. Also if you do RAW, don't overlook Silkypix. You cantry the full version for two weeks free, then it reverts back to a more limited free version, although still quite good. These are just a couple of options for you to try and I am sure the fellows here can recommend many more. It's really a neat world out there right now, with so much software available to try, much of it free or very low cost.

One other option to your battery question is try AA Lithiums. These are more reasonable then CRV3'sand many people carry them in there bag, because they never loose there charge and are good in cold weather. They will give more shots then the average rechargables, but are throw aways. They sell for about $10 for four. I think I paid $16.88 at Walmart for an 8 pack of Energizer lithiums. Have fun, you made the right choice- Bruce
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Old Jun 21, 2006, 2:58 PM   #10
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Since everyone Else has Pretty much answered your questions. I will just add my welcome To the Forum.

BK

I will add one thing- dont worry about a Graphics card. Photo work Will require lots Of HD Space and RAM.
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