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Old Apr 8, 2008, 8:33 PM   #1
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I'm thinking of buying the Pentax 10D body and separately purchasing a "normal" lens. Question:

1. Prices on the internet for the body seem to vary pretty widely. I'm wary of choosing based on the lowest price. Any advice on howto check out an on-line retailer for reliability??

2. Any recommendations for a "normal" lens for the Pentax 10D? My budget for camera and lens is between $800.00 and $900.00.



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Old Apr 8, 2008, 9:30 PM   #2
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bafuller wrote:
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1. Prices on the internet for the body seem to vary pretty widely. I'm wary of choosing based on the lowest price. Any advice on howto check out an on-line retailer for reliability??
Many here like http://www.resellerratings.com/

bafuller wrote:
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2. Any recommendations for a "normal" lens for the Pentax 10D? My budget for camera and lens is between $800.00 and $900.00.
That depends on what you mean by normal. The K10D all by itself will run at least $700, and that doesn't leave much for a lens. The kit lens is not a bad place to start, but if you want something faster, longer, or wider, it'll cost you. The Pentax 50mm f/1.4 might be within your budget, but anything else will be at least $300 for just the lens.
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Old Apr 8, 2008, 9:47 PM   #3
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Buy.com has the K10D body only for $624 + shipping.

Abe's of Maine (actually located in Edison, NJ!) has the K10D + kit lens for $727 + shipping.

I am not nearly the expert nor connoisseur that TCav is, but I think the Pentax kit lens is nice, and it is considered by most "experts" to be good - for a kit lens. In my experience, it exhibits noticeable vignetting @ 18mm wide open (f3.5) and is pretty mellow - though still there - by f8. Once you zoom in a bit, there's no vignetting to be found.

Of course, the most important question is, what kind of photography do you plan on engaging in? I think that will most determine your next lens purchase.
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Old Apr 8, 2008, 9:52 PM   #4
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Go to www.resellerratings.comfor good information about stores. There are a number of horrible camera stores on the internet, but also a number of good ones. I've been totally satisfied with B&H Photo-Video. They might not always be the cheapest, but their service is wonderful.

As far as normal lenses - it depends on your needs. I've been completely happy with Pentax's kit lens - the DA 18-55 - which often comes with the camera and usually adds less than $100. It's a good buy because it's so inexpensive and is one of the better rated kit lenses (I still use mine). If you need something faster, there's the DA 16-45 f4, which gets good reviews but is significantly more expensive. Just my opinion, but I'm not convinced that its worth the extra money (it's around $400). If you are going to spend that much money, I think the DA*16-50 f2.8 at around $700 is a better buy - you get a much faster lens. Since I'm completely happy with the kit lens and don't have a need for a fast lens in this range, I'm not tempted. If I were to upgrade, I'd probably look at either the Sigma or Tamron offerings that match this range - both are cheaper than the Pentax lenses.

There are a number of prime lenses that are really awesome that are in the normal range. Faster lenses will be more expensive. Limited or lenses identified with a "*" are better quality. If you really want to save money and don't mind manual focus, you could get the kit lens and then pick up an old M 50mm 1.7 lens for around $50. They were the kit lens for film cameras in the 1980's and are manual focus/manual exposure so they would be more work (and not for everyone). But they are very good lenses and don't cost much.
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Old Apr 9, 2008, 2:37 AM   #5
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Perhaps I'm missing something.

A "normal" lens is usually regarded as a fixed focal length at 35,40 or 50mm equivalent. Divide by the crop factor for Pentax and we are looking at something like 24, 28, 30, 35mm actual focal length.

So what's available for Pentax in that range?

One obvious choice is the Sigma EX 30mm f1.4.

There is also a very nice looking (expensive) Pentax 31mm f1.8.

A Samsung 35mm f2.

Pentax 35mm f2.8 Macro.

As well as a few Sigma f1.8 lenses at 20,24,28mm but I'm not very keen on them because of the horrible AF.

If you are willing or able to go manual focus then of course the new Zeiss Distagons are available in 25 f2.8, 28 f2, and 35mm f2. I would probably look at the 35mm f2 Distagon as my first choice if you can get reasonable MF abilities from the Pentax viewfinder.
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Old Apr 9, 2008, 9:08 AM   #6
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Huh, I never knew the definition of a "normal" lens.

I think those of us who responded previously assumed by "normal" the OP meant "commonly useful". I guess we'll see when he responds.
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Old Apr 9, 2008, 9:22 AM   #7
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I wouldn't delay too long.

It looks like most vendors are now sold out of the K10D. Adorama.com still has some left at $799. But, B&H, buydig.com, and most popular vendors are all out. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the online vendors claiming to have stock are sold out now, too.

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Old Apr 9, 2008, 9:26 AM   #8
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brokenbokeh wrote:
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Huh, I never knew the definition of a "normal" lens.
There are differing opinions as to what the definition of the term "Normal lens" is. The most popular is that it refers to a lens that most closely reproduces the viewing angle of the human eye. On a 35mm film SLR, that is most oftena lens with a focal length of about50mm, while on an APS-C dSLR, that is more like 28mm.
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Old Apr 9, 2008, 12:54 PM   #9
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I was assuming TCav's definition, and also assuming that as a first lens, a zoom over a primemight be more desired (but that's not a safe bet and why I mentioned that Pentax has a number of excellent offerings when it comes to primes). It never occurred to me to think of "normal" as only a prime. Interesting point - is prime a normally accepted part of the "normal" definition?
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Old Apr 9, 2008, 2:34 PM   #10
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Only loosely.

"Normal" is the focal length which closely approximates the diagonal of the negative/sensor.

So on 35mm film it's around 43mm, which sits neatly between 35mm and 50mm - so both of those are commonly accepted as "normal". Or indeed 40mm. By contrast on an 8x10 field camera "normal" is about 280mm.

For many years these "normal" lenses were the kit lenses for most SLR cameras, but at some point zooms started becoming more common. I guess most SLR kit zooms covered 28-80mm or so. They are usually referred to as "standard" zooms I reckon.

And therefore IMO the collocation is simply that "normal lens" more commonly (though not exclusively) would refer to a prime and "standard zoom" be more common when referring to a zoom that covers the moderate wide to short telephoto.
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