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Old Aug 11, 2006, 4:49 PM   #11
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What type of lenses/configuration of equipment will depend on what you like to take pictures of! I originally just got the kit lens and used an old manualKiron 80-200 macro lens. That was a good starter set of lenses and gave me some idea of the camera and what I might also want.

Right now I carry the DA 50-200 (my walk-around lens), a manual 24mm 2.8, a manual 50mm 1.4 (both small, 25 year oldlenses), and a Phoenix 10mm macro lens (very sharp, new, inexpensive lens). All are very light (I'm small so weight is a big issue) and cover everything I like to do. If I were more into indoor/street scenes, grand vistasor architecture, I'd probably use the kit lens more.

I want, but wonder if I'll be able to control, a 300mm f4 lens. Even with the IS on the FZ30, I couldn't reliably take good pictures at the long end of the lens without a tripod. But I love looking at bird pictures and would need something longer than the 200. It's not a logical desire at all, caused by lens envy, not a photographic need.

That's the problem, really. I could happily produce excellent pictures with only the kit and the 50-200 lenses. It's just that (fill in the blank) takes such wonderful pictures, and it would be so much fun to get (fill in another blank) and then look at what you can do with ....
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Old Aug 11, 2006, 8:25 PM   #12
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I get the impression that you are attempting to minimize your camera investment. If that is the case, Take a good look at the Pentax DL or K100 with the kit lens, the Pentax 18-55mm lens which is actually a very good lens, exceedinga lotof the other consumer DSLR kit lenses.

Then later add the Pentax 50-200mm telephoto lens which is a great lens.

MT
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Old Aug 11, 2006, 9:03 PM   #13
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I own a DL, got it with the 18-55mm last Christmas. I really like it BUT if I were buying now I would try to get the extra cash for the K100D, first because of its very valuable added features, second because I can pronounce K100D but *istDL gives me a little trouble.

Since Christmas I have shot almost 8000 images, of which at least half have been erased. I have shot portraits at a senior prom (for a local company), I have shot portraits for my town's sports hall of fame (including pictures of the event for the local paper), I have shot a local volunteer event, I have shot a wedding and I have created some publicity shots (again for the local paper) to promote a local theatre production I was involved with (a play about Amelia Earhart). This does not make me a professional but it does classify as a fairly active amateur, all with the most modest of dSLR. I recommend it to anyone looking for a start in photography.

Here is a sample shot with the DL and kit lens. A slight soft focus effect was added to smooth her complexion.


Ira
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Old Aug 11, 2006, 11:48 PM   #14
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Ira,

What or how do you do the soft focus?

Thanks,

Chad
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Old Aug 12, 2006, 11:07 AM   #15
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Two more questions. BTW, you all have been a huge help; thank you for taking time to post your suggestions! I can't wait to get a 'real' camera to replace my Canon A520 :-).

1) Should I get the 18-55mm lens kit or should purchase only the body and save the extra cash so that I can purchase something else to start out with?A few of you haveindicated that the 18-55mm is a fine starter lens, so maybe I will just go with that afterall.

2) Are there any recommended online camera stores? Are all the ones which advertise on this site reputable? (I would assume so.) I have been using shopzilla.com to search shops, alot have rock bottom prices. I assume the catch would be found in the shipping costs at these places.
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Old Aug 12, 2006, 5:45 PM   #16
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cjrenick wrote:
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Ira,

What or how do you do the soft focus?

Thanks,

Chad

Chad, The soft focus is by creating a duplicate layer in PhotoShop, adding a large amount of Gaussian blur to one layer and then erasing it from areas I want to keep sharp (eyes and lips especially).Then reduce the opacity of the blur layeruntil I get the look I want. It is described in detail in a fairly recent issue of PC Photo magazine but I don't remember which issue. Just PM me if you need more details.

Ira
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Old Aug 12, 2006, 5:50 PM   #17
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Contriver wrote:
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Two more questions. BTW, you all have been a huge help; thank you for taking time to post your suggestions! I can't wait to get a 'real' camera to replace my Canon A520 :-).
Remember that DSLRs tend to produce images that are not as heavily processed in the camera as a digicam so you may not be as impressed at first, but then you see the real improvement it makes.

1) Should I get the 18-55mm lens kit or should purchase only the body and save the extra cash so that I can purchase something else to start out with?A few of you haveindicated that the 18-55mm is a fine starter lens, so maybe I will just go with that afterall.
Do not pass up this lens, it is one of the best kit lenses out there and the only economical way to get into respectably wide angles of view.

2) Are there any recommended online camera stores? Are all the ones which advertise on this site reputable? (I would assume so.) I have been using shopzilla.com to search shops, alot have rock bottom prices. I assume the catch would be found in the shipping costs at these places.
You are on your own here, but I am sure that there are lots of users here with experience with the larger sellers like BH and Adorama. I have only dealt with Henry's in Canada, high prices but excellent service.
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Old Aug 12, 2006, 7:28 PM   #18
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Hi

Contriver wrote:
Quote:

1) Should I get the 18-55mm lens kit or should purchase only the body and save the extra cash so that I can purchase something else to start out with?A few of you haveindicated that the 18-55mm is a fine starter lens, so maybe I will just go with that afterall.

If this is your first dSLR or SLR, then yes, get the kit lens with the camera. If you have used SLR before and know what sort of lens you want, then get body only. Unless, of course, kit lens is the one you want

2) Are there any recommended online camera stores? Are all the ones which advertise on this site reputable? (I would assume so.) I have been using shopzilla.com to search shops, alot have rock bottom prices. I assume the catch would be found in the shipping costs at these places.

I have bought from B&H (http://www.bhphotovideo.com) and KEH (http://www.keh.com) numerous times and have no problems with them whatsoever. And they are pretty quick too. I ordered a lens on Monday night (melb time) and the lens got to me on Friday morning (melb time)!! It is pretty good effort considering I am half way across the earth!
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Old Aug 12, 2006, 9:22 PM   #19
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Contriver wrote:
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Eddie, are those Pentax brand lenses you are looking at?
Yes, both are Pentax brand, and both qualify for the current Pentax rebate program.

Current approx online pricing:
Pentax DA 16-45 @ $400 less $100 MIR = $300 Net
Pentax DA 50-200 @ $230 less $50 MIR = $180 Net
Pentax *ist DL Body @ $460 less $100 MIR = $360
Pentax K100D Body @ $620

If I had to pull the trigger right now, it'd be one of the bodies and both lenses, depending on funds, of course. In addition, I might opt for the kit lens, as body + kit is not all that much more than body only.

Eddie
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Old Aug 25, 2006, 12:27 AM   #20
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I love my DL

If there is one thing that keeps me from being completely satisfied, it's the awful, canada-only "silver" body. The rest of the civilized world gets the slick and sexy black one

Picture quality is fantastic. You have to see thise pics at full res to believe em.

here's a sample pic
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