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Old Aug 26, 2010, 2:40 AM   #1
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Default Pentax K-x package choice

Hi All,

Just wondering which package is better deal. As some of you remember, I am mostly using the camera to take pictures and video of my daughter who will run around. I also planning to do some travel at the end of the year where there will be a lot of Chrismas night, fireworks, etc that I want to shot.

If I want to do some indoor shooting without flush, will I need to buy another lens and do you have any recommendation that is not too expensive?

$629 - Pentax K-x 12.4 MP Digital SLR with 2.7-inch LCD and 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL and 50-200mm f/4-5.6 ED Lenses (Black)

$699 - Pentax K-x 12.4 MP Digital SLR with 2.7-inch LCD and 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL and 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED Lenses (Black)

I thought about the Canon T1i, but I heard too many good things about k-x. The only thing I am concern is the screen size and the pixel. A little low. Should I worry?

Thanks
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Old Aug 26, 2010, 5:25 AM   #2
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The Pentax is a fine camera. The difference between 12MP with the K-x and 15MP with the T1i is only about 11%, but the LCD display on the Canon is bigger and better.

Between the two, the Pentax 55-300 is better than the 50-200.

For "indoor shooting without flush", you'll need a large aperture lens to let in more light.

From Pentax (for under ~$500) there's the 50mm f/1.4 for ~$360, the 40mm f/2.8 for ~$340, the 50mm f/2.8 Macro for ~$420. From Sigma, there's the 50mm f/2.8 macro for ~$300,the 28mm f/1.8 for ~$349, the 18-50mm f/2.8 for ~$419, the 30mm f/1.4 for ~$439, the 105mm f/2.8 Macro for ~$470, the 70mm f/2.8 Macro for ~$499, and the 50mm f/1.4 for ~$499. From Tamron, there's the 17-50mm f/2.8 for ~$414, the 90mm f/2.8 Macro for ~$410, and the 28-70mm f/2.8 at ~$499.

A large aperture will let in more light, but it will also limit the depth of field. For instance, at a focal length of 50mm and a subject distance of 6 feet, with an aperture of f/2.8, only about 6 inches wuill be in focus. But at an aperture of f/2.0, only 4 inches will be in focus, and at f/1.4, only 3 inches will be in focus. So a really large aperture will let you shoot with less light, but while a person's eyes may be in focus, their ears won't be. (Getting proper exposuure in low light on an out-of-focus subject isn't necessarily a good trade-off.) You may want to consider getting either the Sigma 18-50/2.8 or the Tamron 17-50/2.8 or 28-75/2.8 instead of the 18-55 kit lens, since either of the large aperture zooms will do everything the kit lens will do and more. (I've had good luck with my Tamron 17-50/2.8.) The problem is that if you don't buy the 55-300 as part of a kit (which would include the 18-55), it gets very expensive. But the Tamron 70-300 Di LD is almost as good, and it's less expensive than the Pentax 55-300 alone.
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Last edited by TCav; Aug 26, 2010 at 5:30 AM.
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Old Aug 26, 2010, 5:36 AM   #3
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why dont you want use flash
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Old Aug 26, 2010, 6:09 PM   #4
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The Kx is top-rated and has the best sensor available now, great for low-light / high ISO situations. The 55-300 is considered to be much better than the 50-200. Beyond the 2-AF-zoom kit, for low light you might consider one or more used fast manual prime lenses. AF zooms make it easy to take pictures. Manual primes teach you how to see. The kit lenses cover a wide range of focal lengths, so it's good to consider 'faster' (wider aperture) glass.

Before I recommend lenses, here's a sequential overview of Pentax lens series. Most that are called Takumar (except the Bayonet models) are M42 screwmounts, requiring an adapter. All others are K-mount (or PK) bayonets. M-type lenses are totally manual. A-type have aperture automation, a bit easier to use. F- and FA-type have autofocus. All of those work on full-frame film cameras as well as newer dSLRs. DA-type lenses are mostly for dSLRs only.

OK, the lenses. TCav recommended (among others) the FA50/1.4, which is a great lens. Two years ago it cost US$200; now it's over US$350. Ouch. The legendary f/1.7 models are almost as fast and are generally considered to be sprinkled with "pixie dust". An M50/1.7 can be had for about US$50; an A50/1.7 will be under US$100. A fabled Helios-44P 58/2 will probably go for under US$75. Similar lenses branded as Vivitar or Sears or Focal or Ricoh might sell for under US$20, although their optics won't be quite as brilliant. These lenses, called Fast Fifty's, are great for short telephoto and portrait work.

The next least expensive fast lenses are 135/2.8's, of which zillions are available, cheap, as are fine 28/2.8 and 35/2.8 lenses. But these 28's and 35's are only slightly faster than the 18-55 kit lens at those focal lengths, and if the 18-55 is stopped down to f/8, it is just as sharp. Yes, 24/2 and 28/2 and 35/2 (and faster) glass can be had, but usually for over US$100, and the Kx's speed might make them unnecessary. It's best to use the 18-55 awhile, see what focal lengths you tend to shoot at, before buying anything in that range.

Another popular range for fast glass: 85-105mm. These are often either portrait or macro lenses, both of which can get expensive. I was lucky; I got mine (85/2, 90/2.8 macro, 100/2.8) for under US$10 each. Again, shoot with a kit zoom awhile and see if 85-105mm and 135mm are comfortable focal lengths for you, before spending money there.

The other neighborhood to consider is WIDE, wider than 18mm anyway. Unfortunately, old wide manual glass is scarce, and new wide glass ain't cheap. The lenses I chose for my K20D a couple years ago were the DA10-17 fisheye, DA18-250 superzoom, and FA50/1.4 Fast Fifty. The 10-17 is great but it's not for everyone. Some prefer non-fisheye (rectilinear) zooms like 10-20 ro 12-24. The least expensive decent wide manual lens is the Zenitar-K 16/2.8 semi-fisheye, for under US$200. I use that more than I do the 10-17.

Summary: The 18-55 and 55-300 kit is a great start. A Fast Fifty is great for low light and portraits. A fast 135 gives a bit more reach. A Zenitar 16/2.8 gives a wider view without breaking the bank. We'll talk about macros some other time, eh? And you really should consider flash, and a good tripod and wired remote. Good luck!
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Old Aug 26, 2010, 11:57 PM   #5
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If you shoot in the low light get the fast 50mm 1.4. It actually gets more difficult to take with MF in low light. Since the K-x like most dslr now do not have a split prism. You will have more focus errors with manual focus.

The 2 lens kit is a very good set up to start with. And the 55-300 is allot better then the tamron 70-300 at the longer ranges between 200 to 300mm.
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Old Aug 27, 2010, 12:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raylee011 View Post
...
I thought about the Canon T1i, but I heard too many good things about k-x. The only thing I am concern is the screen size and the pixel. A little low. Should I worry?...
The "low" pixel thing cracks me up. Why is that that people seem to think that more is better? The fact is, when it comes to MP, more often than not more is not better because manufacturers are not increasing the sensor size. So, the more MP they squeeze onto the sensor, the more image deterioration will occur. Sure the new image processors are doing a better job processing the image but in the end, it's up to the sensor to retain the data. Unless there is a real need to enlarge the image beyond 18x20 for printing, a 12 MP camera will easily do the job (and probably better than a 14-16 MP camera). Add to that the fact that the Canon does not offer IBIS (crucial if shooting with MF vintage lenses) and the Pentax becomes a clear winner.
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Old Aug 27, 2010, 8:32 PM   #7
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Ok, I made up my mind and ready to order it. So, do I need to order the UV protection thing? I am getting the 2 lens kits:Pentax K-x 12.4 MP Digital SLR with 2.7-inch LCD and 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL and 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED Lenses

which size do I need? How about SDHC? What size should I get? I have a 8GB right now. How about beg? Where do you buy that?
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Old Aug 27, 2010, 8:57 PM   #8
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Ok, I am ready to order the one with 55 to 300mm kit lens. Beside this, do I need to order the UV protection for both lenses? How about SDHC card, would class 10 be better? How about beg, where do I get it?
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Old Aug 27, 2010, 9:01 PM   #9
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By the way, can you tell me which UV protection do I need to buy. I just want to order everything at once.
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Old Aug 27, 2010, 9:04 PM   #10
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No do not waste the money on a UV protector. It will only degrade your shots, and if shooting toward a bright light source. It can cause flares and ghosting. Get the hoods for them on ebay about 11 and 13 dollars for them. The pentax can take full advantage of the Class 10 so it is really worth the money if you shoot action with a long burst of shots.

Bags is a personal thing, their is a ton of options and styles. I like crumpler, tamrac, lowepro, and couple of other brands. But you really should go to a camera store to see what style of bag fits you best. ie backpack, slight pack, or shoulder bag.
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