View Full Version : Took the leap

12-05-2006, 08:20 PM
Just placed an order for the K100D. I was impatient ans spent the extra for faster shipping. This will be my first DSLR or SLR of any type. My old camera was a Canon A620. It was a good camera but it didn't like hitting a concrete floor from 5' up.

I was all set to buy a Nikon D50. I had played with and drooled over it. Then I made the mistake of going into our local Ritz Camera. I wouldn't buy there because of high prices, but it was nice to be able to handle more than what best buy and the like carry. They had the Pentax cameras. I'd been reading reviews and it was on my short list but wasn't going to buy without being able to hold one. When I did hold it I was very impressed. It was very comfortable.

Other than buy more lenses, batteries, memory etc., what's the best tip for a new DSLR user? What books or instruction DVD's can you recommend?

12-05-2006, 08:44 PM
I'll bite:

Color correct your monitor and work out a plan for making external backups (either DVDs or external hard disk).

Sign up for a photo-hosting site (Smugmug has no size limits but is expensive). Ficker seems to satisfy many (free).

I've really enjoyed printing and giving free albums using Costco clear 8 1/2 x 11 acid free sleeves ($8 per 200) + 1 inch 3 ring binders. I get the best impact by deliverying it the same or next day. Displaying at least a couple of your best photos in a nice frame is gratifying too.

Brian Peterson's "Understanding Exposure" is about he most recommended book I've seen, although I have not read it. I've focused on books about composition and portriat photography. Also, check out Luminous Landscapes (http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/understanding-series/understandexposure.shtml). They have great articles.

Oh; and congrads! Pentax is a great camera company! Many many great old lenses to snatch up for peanuts. Their new DSLR looks fantastic.

12-05-2006, 09:02 PM
I just had my girlfriend pick me up a book from wolf/ritz called Magic Latern Guides Pentax K100D/K110D by Joe Farace. So far it seems like a decent book. Also comes with Quick Reference Wallet Cards. Understanding Expoure seems like a good one. You can get it on amazon.com too. I think theres a new version out too.

I'll be picking my K100D up next weekend hopefully. Probably order online unless ritz/wolf will price match. Expensive bastards.. lol :mad: Where did you order you camera from? Right now circuit city, beachcamera, bhphotovideo.com have good prices after the rebate.

I also ordered a manual lens on ebay, Watching a few others too. Figure if the price is cheap, and they look to be in great shape, why not buy them now. Most are old manual lens, which I don't mind at all as long as the glass is money.

12-05-2006, 09:23 PM
I purchased the camera from Buydig.com. Even with 2 day shipping it came to $578. It also has the $50 rebate. So $530 total isn't to shabby for my first DSLR. It'll free up money for some book and/or video instruction. Beach Camera also had the same price but shipping was a touch more, just a touch though.

Both had good ratings at resellerratings.com so I figured one was as good as the other.

12-05-2006, 11:01 PM
I forgot all about buydig.com Maybe I'll try there.

12-07-2006, 01:30 AM
Some of these photo forum sites have know-how sections jammed with nice reads.

Some examples:

Here's a book list, categorized.

PBASE has a wealth of photo gallaries. It's almost depressing to see the mountian of photos better than I'll ever take, but enlightening at the same time. :)
They have some wonderful online magazines with great articals and photographer excitement. Some great links are embedded there too.

12-07-2006, 01:32 PM
Wow thanks for the links. Some of them look quite facinating.

12-07-2006, 02:59 PM
Wow thanks for the links. Some of them look quite facinating.

Part of photography, IMO, is ideas derived from others. PBASE can be a pleasure to browse. Example here (http://www.pbase.com/drhangar/sept_2006__rainy_weekend).

Note: I've added all those links to my signature. I've visited them all before, and several others, but keep loosing the links since I use so many different computers.

Anyone know of a portal site that allows a personal favorites list? I'm guessing My Yahoo or MySpace has something like that, haven't explored it, but a recommendation would be great.

12-07-2006, 04:52 PM
Those are some super pictures. I'm a long way from images of that quality, but it gives me something to strive for.

12-07-2006, 08:33 PM

I recently started looking at DSLR's with the Canon XTi in mind as I had lots of Canon-film stuff for 25 years. I also looked at Nikons.

First, my budget could not realistically handle either of those choices though they are great cameras. When you add in their expensive name-brand lenses (also great) it just was not do-able. And the Nikons are just too big for my hands.

So after much review-reading I went with the Pentax K100D body only from Beach for $513 (-50). At the same time I got the Pentax 10-17mm for $419 (100!) What a great lens. Although it does the fiseye thing if desired, it zooms out to about a 26mm equivalent making it a "normal-looking" super wide :-)

I got a Sigma 18-50 f2.8 from Sigma4Less for the extra f-stops and reputed sharpness, and a Sigma 70-300 APO from Adorama for $239 (the APO is the only "good" version of that budget lens I understand.)

The major advantage of the K100D is I don't have to spend extra for stabilization in every lens, so my 3-lens system actualiy was not economically unrealistic. If I had gone Canon or Nikon, I'd have to add easily $1000 more with no real image improvement.

I could not be happier without spending someone else's money. I have an A620 as well, though I have yet to drop it :-) Love the flip out LCD.

12-07-2006, 08:50 PM
Love the flip out LCD

Yeah, I'll kind of miss that feature, but not too much.:D

12-13-2006, 07:37 PM
Other than buy more lenses, batteries, memory etc., what's the best tip for a new DSLR user? What books or instruction DVD's can you recommend?

I have Joe Farace's book on the Pentax K100D/K110D (http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&EAN=9781600590863&itm=7) in the Magic Lantern Guides series published by Lark Books. It's not expensive and I find it much more useful than the user's manual that came with the camera. The manual tells you the what and the how; Farace's book tells you also the why or why not.

I've just purchased the Pentax 50-200mm lens, but I'm wondering if I would not have been better off getting a Tamron 28-300....

I have used Flickr since it was in early beta and I like it, but recently, I've started using Picasa to organize my photos, and I find Picasa Web Albums to be easy to use, especially with Picasa on my computer. It's not social like Flickr, but I didn't care much about that aspect of Flickr. I tried Smugmug and liked the fact that I could edit my pages (to some extent), but it just didn't grab me enough to woo me away from Flickr or Picasa Web Pages.

Will Porter
Dallas, Texas

12-13-2006, 08:52 PM
You can get that Pentax 50-200 for as little as $157 after rebate, and it is a good quality lens that is light and compact. I probably would have gotten it except I wanted as many mm's as I could get for a reasonable price. My Sigma is over 10 inches long to the end of the lens shade at 300mm and close focussed - somewhat conspicuous if you are trying to be stealthy :-).

I'm bit leary of 10x lenses as something usually suffers. A 28-300 would certainly cover a large portion of your shots. However, I have no experience with Tamron, a brand many people like. As always, every manufacture makes cherries and lemons.