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From Keystone to K-x

01-03-2013 · By PF Staff in Influential Photo Gear

When thinking about the item that has been most influential on my photography, I have to start with the Keystone Instamatic I got when I was 8 - because that got the whole photography hobby started for me. The camera is long gone, and so are the pictures I took with it, but it looked something like this:  

I moved on to a Sears (actually a Ricoh) KSX-1000, and then to a K 1000SE (maybe the last K-1000 ever made :-) ). In the process, I proved that, while everyone on the forum says "good glass is forever", cheap glass can last a darn long time, too. :-)  

But, everything took a huge leap for me when I got my Pentax K-x in January of last year. I think the description speaks for itself, and everyone knows what it looks like, so I will move on to why it has made such an impact. Moving from film to digital has been a huge step, for many reasons:

  1. "instant gratification" - no more waiting for development
  2. I can take all the pictures I want for free (vs. roughly $0.40 per frame with film 
  3. Continuous shooting is a big help when shooting birds, insects, and lighthouses
  4. After shooting JPEG for the first year+, I am starting to shoot RAW and experiment with postprocessing.
  5. The green button - remember the cheap glass.

The camera was a birthday gift from my wife. We have been to some great places together, and we take the K-x just about everywhere we go, as you can see in the attached images. If you want to see more, here are my Pentax Forums albums: mblanc's Albums - , and here is my Flickr photostream: Flickr: matt.blanchette's Photostream. I thought I was a pretty good photographer before I got the K-x, but the improvement in my pictures is huge since I got the K-x. I think a lot of that is due to the camera itself, and a fair amount is that, since going digital, I take many, many more pictures than I did with film. Of course, that means "practice makes perfect", but it also means that when I compare today's pictures to the past, I am ignoring all my "non-keepers". ;-)

There really are only two things I don't like about my K-x: first, that it is not weather sealed, and second, all the various icons for Landscape, Portrait, Moving Object, etc on the mode dial. I have never used these and would just as soon have fewer clicks on the dial on the rare occasions that I select something other than M. Neither has been a huge issue for me, but the K-30 would make both a non-issue. And, since my wife does use the picture modes, and she stands to inherit the K-x if I win, the K-30 would be a big win for both of us.

Click an image to browse larger versions


- mblanc

PF Staff's avatar
About the author: Various writers regularly contribute articles to the Pentax Forums homepage blog. More recent articles are published under each author's forum username. We hope you enjoy our guides and news coverage!

Tags: k-x, pictures, shooting, camera, photostream, flickr, k-30, wife

More Posts in Influential Photo Gear | More Posts by PF Staff

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Medium FormatPro [Delete] Jan 3rd, 2013 5:18PM

The most important thing about photography; nice pics regardless of whatever camera used. But also a question… Any polarizing filter used in any of the examples?

And a few general observations… Item two in your posting. Not a bad price for 35mm based film, but… Even developing most film is not all that difficult. Just a matter of purchasing (light tight) drums and a changing bag. Then perhaps printing to something such as a contact sheet. ]

Also… Do you still presently own the Keystone? Noticed that you said the camera is long gone.

tessfully [Delete] Jan 3rd, 2013 9:11AM

I love that photo of your old camera, it brought back forgotten memories. I also really enjoyed your photos from your photo stream. I am not sure why your rating is only a two right now. I think this is an excellent blog. Thanks for sharing!!

MetteHHH [Delete] Jan 3rd, 2013 9:01AM

My first camera was an instamatic too! And I was seven when I got it. I LOVED those little square pics! :-)

I like your tropicbirds - I would really like to see some myself, one day. Thanks for sharing your story!