seeking some advice regarding a purchase

Started Sep 23, 2012 | Discussions thread
Gerry Winterbourne Forum Pro • Posts: 15,186
Re: seeking some advice regarding a purchase

I think you are right to pick the K-30. There are cameras from other makers that can produce equal quality but they are either (a) more expensive for a similar feature set or (b) less feature rich at the same price.

One thing you may not have picked up: there are two basic types of DSLR controls: a single control dial plus direct access to scene modes, with many controls via menus; oe two control dials and a lot of direct access controls. The twin-dial type takes more learning but then gives easier control of your shooting. The K-30 is a twin-dial body but has scene modes accessible via one screen, so it's a good hybrid of the two types. Equal-price models elsewhere are single-dial.

Don't worry about the moans about Pentax's limited lens choices. Unless you want fast long tele lenses for sports you can find anything you want from Pentax (one exception - if you want in future to shoot really wide angles you'll need to go third party, but Sigma makes the only 8mm lens so all other makes have the same limitation).

Don't worry about poor lens reviews. Reviewers look at the limits of performance that most of us very rarely need. The 18-135 you are considering, for example, gets mediocre reviews but search here for ozdean (Dean) and you'll find that he posts excellent shots with it. And remember that a convenient, WR lens means you are much more likely actually to have the camera with you. It's no use owning the best lens in the world if you leave it at home for safety.

Having read the other posts here and understanding your reluctance to risk second-hand, I agree with those who suggest 18-135 + 35/2.4 as lens choices. The zoom jumps out for your needs - versatile, WR and reasonably fast. It covers a lot of what most people want to shoot. I wouldn't buy either a longer or wider lens until you've used this lens for a while and find a specific use that it can't do.

The 35/2.4 sits in the middle of the 18-135 range, so why suggest it? First, it's a stop faster than the zoom's best, which can be important with kids to keep shutter speed fast. Even though it's not WR it is small so it's easy to protect and light to carry. It's angle of view is similar to the old standard lenses on film cameras and it is useful for a lot of different types of shot. I often go out with just a 35mm lens and no others. Finally, using prime lenses is a completely different experience to zooms - no fiddling with FOV - which some people love and some don't; and the 35/2.4 is a cheap way to find out if it suits you.

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Gerry

First camera 1953, first Pentax 1985, first DSLR 2006
http://www.pbase.com/gerrywinterbourne

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