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Category: Mark’s Camera Bag

Surprise from Dad

Last night was Dad’s birthday.  We gave him his gifts and then went out dinner at Boston Pizza.  As we sat down, there was a cloth bag of stuff and I through Mom had something she was going to surprise him with.  Inside was two packages and Dad gave me one.  It was a grip for my Pentax K-5 II.  I had wanted one since I got the camera but couldn’t afford it.  Then Pentax stopped making them so they got more expensive.  Don’s Photo didn’t have any old ones in stock so I had hoped to get one used this summer or fall.  Dad found a replica one that had good reviews and ordered it for me.  He gave it to me last night.

The other weekend, Oliver was in Don’s Photo at the end of the day and was telling me about this incredible Canon camcorder.  It costs $2500 new and ever since then Oliver has been shoveling snow like a madmen.  He gets paid $2 a snowfall.  He wanted the Canon Vixia HF R700 camcorder which just cost $200.  I think in his mind if he could just produce a few Hollywood blockbusters, he can get the Canon XF 100.  Makes sense to me.

Dad had a Canon HF Vixia R200 camcorder at home that we rarely used.  He preferred some other gear.  He bought Oliver this adorable Lowepro Adventura SH 110 II case, some SD cards, and gave it to him.  Oliver did even want to eat supper, he wanted to leave right then and film an epic adventure.  Since that camcorder (all camcorders?!) aren’t great with batteries, Dad ordered him in some extras.

Speaking of batteries, I will pick up a few extra batteries for my grip but it also came with a AA battery holder so I can use some AA batteries if all else fails.

New Lens: Pentax smc DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6ED AL IF DC WR

Pentax smc DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6ED AL IF DC WRDad told me of a lens that came in used into Don’s Photo in Saskatoon that I might be interested in.  It was the Pentax smc DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6ED AL IF DC WR.  I wanted it right away.  It’s weather resistant, and offers a focal length that is equivalent (in 35mm format) from 27.5 to 207mm.  Dad has the same lens and I love borrowing it when I can.

It means that I am retiring my Tamron 18-200mm lens.  It has a great range but focused slowly and was noisy.  Two things I hated about it.  The image quality isn’t bad but this is a definite upgrade. 

I’ll have it on my camera this summer as we hike Lake O’Hara and some of the best trails in Banff and Yoho National Park.

Sigma 70-300mm lens for Pentax

I babysit Oliver all summer long.  Well technically the dog is in charge but if there is something she can’t do because of a lack of opposable thumbs, I have to do it.

I don’t really babysit Oliver anymore, he is pretty chill but Dad cut me a deal and said that if I take care of him and the dog, I could pick out a lens I want.

The first couple of lenses I wanted are only made for Canon and Nikon.  After suggesting them both Dad and I cried a little bit.  I then asked for a 70-300 lens so I can shoot some outside sports.  Dad was cool with that and tonight on the first day of school, he gave me a Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro Telephoto Zoom Lens.

Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro Telephoto Zoom Lens for Pentax DSLRs

I am taking yearbook for credit this year and this means that I can get some better shots of activities and sports around Bedford Road Collegiate Institute and the city.

My new Pentax K-5 II DSLR

Pentax K-5 II DSLR camera

So on Friday, dad came home from work and we were talking when I noticed a Pentax K-5 II box on the chair.  I asked him what was up and he just said, “look at the invoice”.  I did and it had my name on it.  I opened up the box and there was a Pentax K-5 II in it.  I was more then blown away and was really happy to see it. 

My Pentax K-30 is incredible but this is better.  It has better JPG quality, faster autofocusing, and a better build quality.  I am going to sell my K-30 (as soon as it gets back from some warranty work) and order myself the grip to go with the camera.  I’m pretty excited by it.

I put on my Tamron 18-200 lens on it and I could tell right away how quickly it autofocused.  It looks like it will be an incredible camera and a fun camera to take exploring with me this summer in Banff.

Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di-II Macro Lens

Dad and Mom suprised me today with a new lens as a gift for taking care of Oliver.  It’s a Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di-II Macro Lens for my Pentax K-30. 

Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di-II Macro Lens for Pentax

It’s not the best lens in the world, no all around lens really is but it’s good for heading out and exploring the city or going on hikes when weight is at a premium.

I was suprised to get it.  I enjoy taking care of Oliver and I am not really a guy who enjoys wandering the mall so chilling out with Ollie is cool and he has been really good.

If you want to see what else I carry in my camera bag, here it is.

Pentax DA 40mm f/2.8 XS Lens

As thanks for babysitting Oliver for some of the summer, Dad and Mom gave me a Pentax DA 40mm f/2.8 XS Lens they picked up at Don’s Photo.  It’s a pancake lens and is the coolest lens I have ever seen.

Pentax DA 40mm f/2.8 XS Lens

Since I am using a APS-C sensor, it works out to be a 60mm Focal Length and was designed by Marc Newson who designed the look of the Pentax K-01.   It should be a great discrete lens to go on my camera when I do some street photography.  It’s pretty well rated and loved so I am really looking to try it out.  There will be lots of photos posted here.