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Old Mar 30, 2011, 11:05 AM   #1
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Default First D-SLR Decision


I have been shooting a Canon S2-IS for a number of years and finally decided to upgrade to a D-SLR. I still have my old Pentax K-1000 and have a couple of additional lenses, an Albinar 80-200 and a JC Penney 135mm.
I understand you can use these lenses on a Pentax camera such as the K-x although settings would be manual. (not much different from the K-1000). Is focusing an issue using these older lenses ?
Also have a Sakar Auto 278 flash.

From what have been reading the only down side to a K-x is the absense of AF points in the view finder.

Or.. would it be better to go for a kit with an additional 55-300 lens and forsake the older lenses ($649 at buy.com) ?

My budget tops out in the $600 - $700 range which puts me in the Pentax K-x, Nikon 3100, Canon Rebel XS entry level cameras.

I mainly shoot pics of the grandkids, nature, and the fresh water angelfish that I breed.

thanks in advance for any advice...

Last edited by pentaxgeek; Mar 30, 2011 at 11:45 AM.
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Old Mar 30, 2011, 8:55 PM   #2
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the price with the 2 lenses are quite good and if you need the reach, you can not get a sharp 300mm zoom for under 350 dollars.

the 2 kit lens will cover a vast majority of general photography needs in good lighting. Form landscapes, to shooting birds from afar. Birds in flight a faster AF lens makes a big difference and longer then 300 helps.
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Old Mar 30, 2011, 10:40 PM   #3
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I bought my pentax k-x with the 55-300mm lens about 6 weeks ago. I absolutely love it. It is my first dslr and I have found it to be incredibly easy to use. I have also used a couple of old manual lenses and it wasn't too difficult to figure out. I've found that it's best to use those lenses to take pictures of non-moving objects, but otherwise it's been a lot of fun to experiment with the old manual focus lenses.

So far, I have taken pictures of my kids in a variety of settings...including school plays and basketball games. I have been more than happy with my results. I've gotten some fantastic outdoor shots of the kids and dog. I have even gotten some really good wildlife shots with the 55-300mm lens. It's been so much fun. For me, the k-x has been more than adequate. I'm sure that, as my knowledge and skill level increase, I may find that I need something with more features, but for now, I'm enjoying the heck out of it.
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Old Mar 30, 2011, 11:22 PM   #4
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Thanks for the feedback. Sounds like for the money the K-x is my best bet....
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Old Apr 2, 2011, 4:39 PM   #5
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Manual focus does take some practice, but it's not that difficult. Sometimes manual focus isn't a disadvantage for moving subjects, if they are ones that lend themselves to pre-focus (track and some motor sports come to mind). Then you can pre-focus and then just wait for the action to come to that point - you don't have to worry about your AF picking the wrong point or perhaps missing focus completely. Of course, there's all sorts of moving targets that won't fall into this category but it's one technique that's good to know about. There are split screen focus screens that you can find for sale, but I've never bothered - a little time spent focusing, checking the picture, looking through the viewfinder to see when the camera thinks something is in focus and what it looks like was enough for me to feel like I could focus accurately.
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Old Apr 12, 2011, 12:35 AM   #6
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So I get my K-x / 300mm lense kit today and WOW. What a difference from my Canon S2-IS. I shot some pictures of my angelfish and there was a night and day difference !

i even took my tripod outside and took a nice moon shot. Never thought I could take a moon shot where you can see the craters and it does not look like a fuzzy ball of light....

I tried my old Sakar flash and it did not seem to sync well. Do I need to manually set the camera for 1/60th of a second to sync with an older flash?
Do any of the new external flashes made for the K-x allow you to point them at an angle to you can get an
indirect flash ? the built in flash is nice but sometimes causes reflections when shooting my fish.

Last edited by pentaxgeek; Apr 12, 2011 at 12:49 AM.
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Old Apr 12, 2011, 4:01 AM   #7
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Set shutter up to 1/180 and close the aperture according to the distance of the object as it is set out on the index in the back of the flash.
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Last edited by sakisf; Apr 12, 2011 at 4:46 AM.
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