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10-06-2009, 09:57 PM   #1
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My old SMC lenses...which DSLR now?

I still have my Halliburton case, filled with my Pentax MX, and a host of very nice SMC lenses, including my beloved 15mm SMC. Is there anyone that can mentor me on which would be the best DSLR body, maybe an older body, that would allow me to again use, at minimum, my 15mm. I know that I'll not have auto-focus or exposure, but some of my best work was on the MX, which by definition was a manual camera. I'm in South Orange County, CA, and was hoping that maybe there's a neighboring Pentax user nearby that actually has my setup?

10-06-2009, 10:06 PM   #2
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Lucky you!

Any Pentax DSLR body will work equally well with those lenses - please see the M club, K club, A club, and Takumar club threads in the lens section!

You won't have AF, and you'll need to use the aperture ring to set the aperture, but you can use the green button to set exposure, and you can use focus confirmation to help you nail focus with MF.

So... you have the SMC (K) 15mm, huh? That's not worth very much. I'll take it off your hands for $50. You're welcome.





.
10-06-2009, 10:11 PM   #3
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Get with the program!!! The rest of us users are still looking for those lenses.
10-06-2009, 10:11 PM   #4
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J, thanks for the quick reply. Yes.... I make the same kind of offer when I'm at an antique car show; "Hey...... I'm only gonna' offer $500 once for your '57 Bel-Air...... and I'm overlooking the 1/2 inch tear in the seat cover in back! Think about it, but don't think too long!" Yes, your offer on the 15 sounds dangerously generous, but similar. (smile) I'm still using my Oly E20 for some product work, and don't want to over-buy on the body. What's the best value in say, a 10mp body for those lenses. I'm thinking of a $400 to $500 budget. Is that realistic?

10-06-2009, 10:25 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by alsterling Quote
J, thanks for the quick reply. Yes.... I make the same kind of offer when I'm at an antique car show; "Hey...... I'm only gonna' offer $500 once for your '57 Bel-Air...... and I'm overlooking the 1/2 inch tear in the seat cover in back! Think about it, but don't think too long!" Yes, your offer on the 15 sounds dangerously generous, but similar. (smile) I'm still using my Oly E20 for some product work, and don't want to over-buy on the body. What's the best value in say, a 10mp body for those lenses. I'm thinking of a $400 to $500 budget. Is that realistic?
You can get a refurbished K20D from Best Buy for $499 now. --> link

You could also get a new K-M for something like $400-450, or a K100D for $275 - $350, but it's only 6mp (but a fine camera.)

K10Ds are all around, check the marketplace section.

What other old lenses do you have besides the 15mm?
10-06-2009, 10:29 PM   #6
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In the $400-500 range I'd go for a K2000 or a used K10D/K20D. Any Pentax dSLR can make use of your lenses, so pick the one that appeals most to you. I use K-, M-, A-, FA-, and DA- series lenses on my K20D, as well as M42s.
10-07-2009, 12:07 AM   #7
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Note that the current batch of Pentax DSLRs have sensors smaller than the size of a 35mm film frame, so there is a thing called 'crop factor.'

A 15mm on a Pentax DSLR will have the same field as a 22.5mm lens on a 35mm film camera. 22.5mm focal length is still wide angle, but not as dramatic as 15mm.
10-07-2009, 04:26 AM   #8
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in terms of overall best performance on K series lenses, I woould look for a lightly used *istD to get started, and get a split image finder for it if you have trouble focusing.

the reasons are as follows.

- best metering of all top end pentax bodies with manual lenses (better than K10D, K20D and K7D)
- TTL flash, only the *istD and DS support older TTL flash which is needed if you want to do flash photography with these lenses.
- pentaprism vs penta mirror, means bigger brighter viewfinder.

As you do more and more, yoou could move to newer lenses and a newer body, but 6MP is enough to print 11 x 17 or 13 x 19 prints.

If you ever want out of MF lenses, me like everyone else would gladly take your collection

10-07-2009, 03:12 PM   #9
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Yeah, I have a feeling you'll be disappointed with the FOV of that 15mm on APS-C.

Lowell and I know we disagree on this, but I might as well again offer the counterarguments against the older pre-SR bodies. SR is a huge benefit that's pretty hard to overstate, although never having had it with film, it may be hard to appreciate. But between the cleaner high ISO performing of digital and SR, this opens up new worlds of lower shutter speeds than you previously may have had the opportunity to enjoy. Would be a shame to give up half that equation - the SR - unless the advantages of the older pre-SR bodies are really more significant to you personally. So I'm not saying Lowell isn't right about the thigs he lsits being advantages, I'm just saying that different people might weight them differently.

If you don't use flash much, then TTL is a non-issue. Only a couple of the pentax bodies have metering issues with older lenses. The K100D and K200D in particular are fine, and I'd expect the K-x to be also. And while yes, the D and DS have slightly bigger viewfiners, I think it a pretty slight difference compared to the huge difference between any of the DSLR's versus what you are presumably used to. To the extent you might notice the difference between the K100D, K200D, or K-x and the *istD or *istDS, an O-ME53 magnifier on the former would fix it.

So you might not find those advantages of the D or DS quite as big as Lowell does, and you might the advantages of SR correspondingly bigger. That's something everyone has to decide for himself, although it's really tough to even do that until you have firsthand experience in all these matters.

I can just say that I willingly gave up TTL and a tiny bit of viewfinder real estate for SR, and considered this the best tradeup I ever made.
10-07-2009, 03:23 PM   #10
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marc

not so much a disagreement as priorities.

for me, a camera that meters well and maximizes the use of K mounts is more important at the moment for the OP.

eventually he will also get a SR body because pentax does not sell anything else now days.

the reason I proposed an *istD (and there is one in the market place for $200 today) is that soon they will be hard to get in good, (<1,000,000 actuations)
10-07-2009, 04:12 PM   #11
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I'm trying to assimilate all the info you guys are sharing. It should help to say that when I do shoot now, it's usually interior architectural or product photography. I have a portable 3 umbrella studio flash system that I can use outdoors or in, even remote running off of a battery unit and an inverter. But I always prefer natural light when possible. And because I'm not doing action work anymore, I have the ability to test my lighting. I always have my laptop handy to view and scrutinize my shots. So...... most important to me is taking full advantage of the field of view, especially as you can imagine with the 15mm. I almost immediately gravitated to the K20D, but would appreciate any re-evaluation based on the fact that my primary concerns are with shooting objects, not people. Speaking of which, during my time in Southeast Asia, our combat photo unit's motto was..... "We killum with filum." My website, www.601st.com, which I dedicated to our photo flight stationed in Ubon, Thailand
10-07-2009, 04:55 PM   #12
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There's an istD in the Marketplace for sale at the moment - https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/photographers-marketplace/75741-sale-orig...ipro-body.html

BTW, cheaper than a Mazzer Mini . Welcome to Pentaxforums.

I have a k200d along with an LX.
Since you're used to fully manual I don't think you'll have a problem. You'll just have to learn how to meter using the green button on a k200d.
Biggest difference already mentioned is that Digital APS-C sensors are smaller than film - which is equivalent to a 1.5x multiplier on your film lenses. Also, no split prism unless you install one aftermarket.

I believe APS-C are 16x24 mm vs 24x36mm. So just think of it as though you cropped your film neg in the middle.
10-07-2009, 06:39 PM   #13
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istD a strong contender

I had an opportunity to chat with one of the forum members, and the key reason for going with the older istD is if it were substantially lower in cost than the 20 @ $500 plus. And it appears the istD is running in the $200 range. Since I do mostly non-action photos, and don't need speed or image stabilization, being able to drop from $500 to $200, if the camera is primo, makes some sense. I'd really love to mount my lenses on that istD body to see what it'll do. I'm not in a pressing rush, but I think I have my strategy now. I did look at the link to the istD in the marketplace. Looks good, but again, I'd prefer to actually try out the combo with both the istD and the 20D bodies. PentHassyKon, give me a call or email me with your contact info. I'm guessing you're nearly a neighbor?
10-07-2009, 09:14 PM   #14
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Some might call this heresy here, or at least the wrong forum for it, but check out a Canon 5D if you want to use your 15mm like you are used to. All the Pentax digital bodies will crop.

They are going for around $1000 now, but aren't *too* much bigger physically, and all your lenses will work exactly as you are accustomed to, and with a $15 adapter, you'll have a very usable camera all the way up to ISO 3200.

-12mp
-Full-frame
-3fps (not that you care much)
-Much better viewfinder than any of the crop body cameras out on the market, with better focus screens available from Canon and aftermarket companies



Just something to think about...
10-07-2009, 09:52 PM   #15
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second the 5D full frame suggestion,

and if a Pentax dSLR I'd go for a *istDs over the *istD
- faster writing speed ( the *istD is slowly! )
- bigger LCD
- better handling
the *istD has the advantage of two wheels and more dedicated buttons, but the second wheel you won't miss when using M42 lenses
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