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Old Dec 9, 2009, 1:59 PM   #31
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The 18-55 is a fine 'general purpose' lens.

For your plays, standing in the back would be a better idea. If you're close, you'll be looking up at the performers, and that will give you an odd perspective. The 55-200 would probably be a good focal length, but it's just too dim to get good shots with acceptably fast shutter speeds in the poor light of the interior of a church. For that, you'll need a lens with a larger aperture. Something like the Sigma 50-150/2.8 or the Tamron or Sigma 70-200/2.8 lenses that run from $700 to $800.
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Old Dec 10, 2009, 12:20 AM   #32
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So, I'd be better off with the most basic kit and saving up for next year's Christmas present being the nice lens I'll need for future use?
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Old Dec 10, 2009, 6:07 AM   #33
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So, I'd be better off with the most basic kit and saving up for next year's Christmas present being the nice lens I'll need for future use?
Yes. But if, in the mean time, you want the additional flexibility that a second lens would give you, don't spend a lot. Neither of those two lenses is particularly good, and neither of them will work well for your intended purposes, so spending a lot for one of them isn't such a good idea. But the prices for those kits is good enough that there aren't any cheaper alternatives for similar lenses.
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Old Dec 16, 2009, 12:13 AM   #34
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What about a vacation lens? One general, all-purpose lens with enough zoom range to cover most of what one would typically want for vacation shots?
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Old Dec 16, 2009, 5:13 AM   #35
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If you're talking about the superzoom lenses (18-200, 18-250, etc.), they are convenient, but they're not very good and they're expensive. If image quality is a concern, multiple lenses of less ambitious zoom ranges will give you better results than a superzoom lens. And they'll cost less. You'll just have to change lenses occasionally.

And they definately will not work for your plays and your Karate.
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Old Dec 16, 2009, 10:57 PM   #36
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Okie. Thanks! Amazon has a coupon for $50 off on either white or red with just the 18-55mm lens. That would make it <$510 shipped. I'm wondering which one will look "better" in the long run, the white or the red? I checked to see if the coupn applied to either navy or black, but it doesn't. Just red or white.
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Old Dec 17, 2009, 12:59 AM   #37
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I pulled the trigger and bought a white one. Figured the red would be too loud/bright.
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Old Dec 17, 2009, 6:31 AM   #38
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I pulled the trigger and bought a white one. Figured the red would be too loud/bright.
... and it wouldn't match any lenses.

Good luck with it! And come back and post some photos!
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Old Dec 20, 2009, 3:57 PM   #39
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These are shots from my A720IS from this year's play. This is what the lighting is usually like for church plays. These are all in Auto, some with flash on. Some with flash off. I really wasn't close enough to really get any benefit from my flash. There are plenty of manual modes on the A720IS, but I never tried to learn to use them. Now, that my kids are involved in stuff that's challenging (for me) to photograph, I want to learn to take a picture, as opposed to snapping a shot. I left them as thumbnails because they are the full-size images. I didn't do anything to them. Yes, I know they're bad. That's why I want to learn.



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Old Dec 20, 2009, 4:25 PM   #40
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These are from this morning! You haven't received your Pentax yet? That's too bad.

But remember that, even though the Pentax with the kit lens will do a better job than your Canon A720 IS did, you still need those other lenses we talked about.

The longest focal length for those shots was at 34.8mm, which is the equivalent of 210mm on a 35mm dSLR. The 70-200/2.8 lenses we talked about on the Pentax K-x would give you the equivalent of 300mm, so you can either zoom in some more or stand further back to get the same view.
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