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Old Jul 12, 2007, 3:51 PM   #1
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I'm looking to venture into the world of dSLR, and after scouring the reviews and forums, I think I've settled on a camera. I'm seriously looking to the Pentax K10D, unless someone can sway me otherwise. I haven't had a chance to physically hold the camera yet (the store clerk wasn't particularly helpful) but I was reasonably pleased with the Nikon and Canon equivalents in hand, but I love the features I hear on the Pentax.

I'm moving from a Canon S50 point and shoot - which has been through quite a bit of use. I love to take pictures of landscapes and architecture, in particular, night shots without a flash. I also enjoy the more photojournalistic stuff during weddings. I've gotten some great shots with this camera and a monopod, but it's not the easiest to work with on manual focus.

My wife and I are expecting our first child in September, and since I took over 1800 pictures of our week vacation in Europe, I can only imagine what I'll do when a kid arrives. We're looking for a camera and lens setup that can grow with us. Toss a kid into the architecture/landscape/wedding mix, I'll never take the camera down!

Are there any suggestions for lenses - in particular, night shots of architecture? There's some rebates for the camera body and the kit pentax lenses, will these work out well to start, or should I ignore the kit lense and move toward something else? Thanks!
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Old Jul 12, 2007, 10:35 PM   #2
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I would get the lens kit unless if you are really short on cash or if you have something that covers that range. The lens kit cost $20-30 more when you buy it as a kit.

The only pentax lens worth buying right now that will cover the same range is the Pentax DA 16-45mm which goes for $400-100MIR = $300. It is a very great lens and very sharp. The only thing about this lens is the speed, it is f/4.

If you look at 3rd party lens, Sigma makes a few lens that will work well. Sigma have the 18-50mm EX Macro f/2.8 which goes for about $420. This is a great one to buy if you want the stock zoom range but want more speed. Kinda pricy though.

Sigma also have another one the 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5. Another great fast lens at 17mm and give you a long zoom too. This lens goes for about $390.

Those are the only 3 lens that I can think of that would cover the range of the stock lens. They are better then the stock lens but they are also a lot more expensive.

Really the stock lens kit is not that bad of a lens. If you shoot at f/8 or so it is very sharp. Since you are shooting landscape it shouldn't be a big deal. I regret selling my kit when I sold my DS and bought just the K100D body.
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Old Jul 12, 2007, 11:32 PM   #3
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I'll second Pentax's kit lens, I'm still using mine for anything wide-angle and don't feel a great need for something else. I have a 24mm 2.8 manual lens (bought new in 1980) that I'll sometimes use (it took some nice night pictures in Las Vegas, hand-held), but for the most part I find the kit lens works quite well, especially for landscapes and anything outdoors. The SR does help me out quite a bit, but it isn't going to guarantee perfect shots with ridiculously slow shutter speeds- night pictures are always better with a tripod of some sort.

Another lens you'd probably like for night-time use is the FA 50mm 1.4 - a very fast lens with an excellent reputation. I have an earlier version of the lens, theM 50mm 1.7 (the kit lens that came with the Pentax ME camera bought in 1980) - it's super-sharp and lots of fun to use. The FA is auto focus/auto exposure while my M lens is manual focus/manual exposure (the M lens can often be found for sale under $50).

Depending on what you like to take for landscapes, you might want to get the DA 50-200 lens. It's often sold with the 18-55 as a 2 lens kit - its not expensive and has a very good reputation.

I would recommend handling the camera before you buy (or buy from someone who has a reasonably generous return policy) because cameras are such individual things, and using one you aren't comfortable with isn't any fun.

If your budget is unlimited, Pentax has two new lenses coming out at the end of the month/beginning of August - the DA* 50-135 2.8 and the DA* 16-50 2.8 - both will be faster lenses than the kit lens, but will be expensive (the DA* 16-50 is listed at B&H at $899). These should be wonderful lenses but if it were me, I'd buy the kit lens and the DA 50-200 first and get some experience with them first, before sinking a whole lot of money into lenses you might or might not use very often.
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Old Jul 13, 2007, 10:46 AM   #4
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Thanks for the advice! I appreciate the insight into those lenses. Hopefully I'll get to handle the camera this weekend - I went all over town yesterday and everyone was out! I'll just have to make a trip to Lincoln.

Part of the draw of this camera is the thought of finding some nice, old manual lenses at a pawn shop or a garage sale for cheap. I certainly can't afford all of those nice fancy lenses, on any camera system! I'll keep my eyes open for those recommendations.
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Old Jul 13, 2007, 5:49 PM   #5
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If you go looking at the used lens market, here's a short "primer" on Pentax lens capabilities:

- M42 lenses are screw-mount lenses and require an adaptor to work on a dSLR. They have no contact with the camera at all, soare completly manual
- M or K lenses are manual focus/manual exposure but are K-mount (as are the ones below)where the cameracan mechanicallystop down the lens at the timeyou take the picture with a lever
- A lenses are manual focus/auto exposure
- F lenses are auto focus/auto exposure
- FA lenses work pretty much the same as the F lenses - auto focus/auto exposure
- FAJ (not many of these around) are auto focus/auto exposure, but don't have an aperture ring (which F and FA lenses do). That means that the camera always controls the aperture
- DA lenses are newer andfor dSLR cameras only - they will have problems if you try to use them on a film camera.

It helps to know what capability a lens has when you are looking at used lenses. There are some good deals out there, but as the K10 and K100 have become popular cameras, the prices of top quality used lenses have skyrocketed. Common lenses, like the M 50mm 1.4 and M50mm 1.7 are really good buys because they are good lenses and readily available.
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Old Jul 20, 2007, 4:42 AM   #6
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conrad.matt wrote:
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I'm looking to venture into the world of dSLR, and after scouring the reviews and forums, I think I've settled on a camera. I'm seriously looking to the Pentax K10D, unless someone can sway me otherwise. I haven't had a chance to physically hold the camera yet (the store clerk wasn't particularly helpful) but I was reasonably pleased with the Nikon and Canon equivalents in hand, but I love the features I hear on the Pentax.
Don't worry. K10D is better in hand than Nikon and Canon equivalents.
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Old Jul 20, 2007, 7:35 AM   #7
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The Pentax K10D is a fine camera, and Pentax has a good selection of fast (large aperture) normal and wide-angle lenses. Any ofthe lenses mentioned here will work well for your architecture shots, but for indoor shots of your child, you should get a fast lens so you don't have to use the flash. The 50mm f/1.4 would be good, as would the 43mm f/1.9, the 35mm f/2.0 andthe 31mm f/1.8.
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