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Old Feb 20, 2009, 4:01 PM   #21
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Sounds good. Is that 75-300mm lens the Tamron or Sigma? Let us know what happens.


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Old Feb 20, 2009, 4:55 PM   #22
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When I got home & checked the prices the salesman gave me yesterday I was confused & called him to question the package prices. It turns out I would only save about $83 if I got a package with the 18-55 and 50-200 lens & I think the 50-200 lens in the package is not as good of quality. I would only save about $60 getting the 55-300 lens & $25 for the package with the 75-300. So now I am back to thinking I should just get the camera with the 18-55 lens it comes with & order the better quality 55-300 lens in the future.
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Old Feb 20, 2009, 5:34 PM   #23
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The Tamron 70-300 Di LD and the Sigma 70-300 APO are better and cheaper than the Pentax 55-300. Plus the Tamron and Sigma lenses are 1:2 macro lenses while the Pentax is only 1:4.

See the Lens Test Results at PhotoZone.de:

Pentax SMC-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED

Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 LD Di macro
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Old Feb 22, 2009, 1:49 PM   #24
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I'll second what TCav wrote. As I mentioned in my longer post earlier, the Pentax 55-300 lens is not macro rated. So if you want macro capability, I advise you go with the Tamron or Sigma. And, by the way, if you go for the Sigma, make sure the APO letters are in the lens name. There's is another 70-300mm Sigma lens out there that isn't as good.

If you're sure you want the camera, then I say by all means buy it with the 18-55 kit lens and start having fun. You can always buy more lenses, flashes and whatever later. You may have a much better idea of what you want and need even a month or two down the road. And buying a little bit at a time might also be easier on the budget. Most of us fool ourselves all the time into believing we're not spending that much on our photographic habit by purchasing in this manner. :G
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Old Feb 22, 2009, 6:10 PM   #25
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Biro wrote:
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I'll second what TCav wrote. As I mentioned in my longer post earlier, the Pentax 55-300 lens is not macro rated. So if you want macro capability, I advise you go with the Tamron or Sigma. And, by the way, if you go for the Sigma, make sure the APO letters are in the lens name. There's is another 70-300mm Sigma lens out there that isn't as good.
And if you go for the Tamron, make sure the Di letters are in the lens name. There's is another 70-300mm Tamron lens out there that isn't as good.
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Old Feb 22, 2009, 9:41 PM   #26
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You have certainly received a great deal of wonderful advice - from all the experts here on the forum. There are a lot of dSLR cameras out there, and none of them are bad - they are all capable of taking very good pictures. I am partial, in that I use an older Pentax K100D and the K200D is a step ahead. It does not have all the bells and whistles - of the top of the line K20, however it has more capability than my K100 which has been a wonderful learning platform for over 3 years now.

Actually, I think that starting out with a single lens, is a bit better than 2, since you can concentrate on the basics and learn the body - what it does, how it does it, what you like to do and what you thought you liked but have changed your mind. Your thoughts on getting a 55-300 possibly as a second lens is good, much better than going for the 50-200 and then realizing that you feel you need for 300. If you start out with 2 lenses, I think that you will be swapping back and forth and trying to do too much and it can get confusing as to what worked where and with what lens.

I have never gotten into Macro photography (probably my loss) so my lenses are simpler since I never had the need to support it.

In that you have endless landscapes available to you, the kit lens is excellent. At 18mm is does have wide angle capability which does landscapes very well. Additionally, you can take adjacent panels and stitch them together (with software) and that is something additional to learn. If you go back to the main forum and scroll down you will see a Panorama/Stitching forum. That has great advice and suggestions for free or low cost software to help.

There is also a VERY active Pentax SLR forum here on Steves. The folks who frequent the area are extremely knowledgeable, active and eager to help and answer questions on ANY topic. Beginners are always welcome!!!! So if you decide on a Pentax - you need to come back and partake in the fun.

As with any camera vendor, your buying essentially into a system (body and lenses). None of them are perfect for everything, some are better suited than others for specific types of photography. However, for the best price performance in genreal photography, I think you will find it is difficult to beat Pentax. There are a lot of lenses available - both new and used from both Pentax and third party lens manufactures for just about every need.

The one thing I would suggest is to make sure that the camera - which ever brand feel good in your hands and to your eye. A great camera that you hate to use, will not get used.

Rule #1 is to spend only what you feel you can afford. There are always techniques to get around not having some item of equipment. You can go broke very quickly by buying everything in sight, or your can start with the basics and make adjustments to compensate for not having some capability. I still do not have a flash unit (just use the pop up when absolutely necessary) - but I like to use ambient light with longer shutter speeds (using either the stabilization or a tripod (which set me back $10 - I am looking for a better one, but until them, this will due just fine). There are always work arounds - and that is a valuable thing to keep in mind. It also leads to additional learning about the camera and photography in general. It will also help you to decide what would be valuable to spend money on, and what characteristics and functionality is important to you.

However the most important thing is to - enjoy!!!
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