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06-25-2012, 01:32 PM   #1

Best Pentax DSLR for a teenager?

Hi everyone,
I am around 16 years old, and have made the decision to buy a DSLR. After playing around with several of my friends' cameras, including a K20D, K7, Nikon D3100 and a Canon T3i, I decided that the Pentax cameras seemed to be the best design, as far as control layout and backwards compatibility. I currently have saved about $250 towards buying a camera, and I can probably convince my parents to split part of the price with me. Right now, I am leaning towards a used older higher-end camera, such as a K10D or K20D, and was wondering if the K20D's higher image quality is worth the higher price. I already have several Adaptall lenses, currently used on my Nikon F2, and recently picked up a Pentax 18-55 kit zoom for $5. Basically, my question is:
Which camera should I buy, and what would be the best lens that I could get for little money? (I don't mind manual focus, but I would prefer A-series lenses with open-aperture metering or M42 lenses that are always stopped down to the shooting aperture)
In addition, I really don't care about having video mode or any fancy auto modes. Live view would be nice, but not really important.
Thank you, and I look forward to officially joining the forum once I purchase a Pentax camera.

06-25-2012, 01:48 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by First Poster Quote
Thank you, and I look forward to officially joining the forum once I purchase a Pentax camera.
No need to wait. You're welcome any time.
06-25-2012, 02:04 PM   #3
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Between the K10D and the K20D, the latter has undoubtedly much more to offer including a significatly higher pixelcount and resulting image files that can stand comparison to the K-5 right up to ISO800. For the price difference which should really not be much anymore: get the K20D. As to cheap lenses, you already have the 18-55 so try to pick up somthing complementary to that, say a used 50-200mm of which the non-WR version can now be found on Ebay for small amounts.
06-25-2012, 08:58 PM   #4
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Welcome Andre

I would go with the K20d over the K10d.

You should take a look at the comparison, if you haven't already ---> Pentax Cameras | Pentax K200D vs. Pentax K20D vs. Pentax K10D - Pentax DSLR Comparison -

I think the higher price of the K20d is well justified by more MP, a higher iso range (although if you go 800 or over, things get noisy, but still an improvement over K10d), pixel mapping and auto-focus adjustment (not vitally needed, but nice bonuses to have), and option for using live view.

My advice to anyone and everyone is when buying lenses, to look around on Ebay at old Pentax film cameras and at the lens that are included with them in the sale. Many times, you will be able to find what you want for a much better. If the camera comes with an additional lens/lenses that you don't want, just sell it to earn some money back. That is how I built up my manual lens kit back when I started out with my DSLR.

A nice M42 lens set-up that won't cost you a fortune would be Takumar 28 3.5, 50 1.4 (50 1.8 is also a good option and a lot cheaper), and 135 3.5. If you want something a bit longer, 200 4 is also a good, cheap lens. Another word of advice, go for the original/genuine M42 to Pentax adapter- those cheapy Ebay ones from Asia aren't always a perfect fit so they are hard to get in and out of your camera.

A good A series set-up will most likely run you a bit more than M42 lenses, but if you could find any of the following at good prices, then you'd be good: A 28 2.8 (if you're willing to give M series lenses a try, the M 28 3.5 is also a good option), A 50 2 (you can't go wrong with it, there are tons of cheap used ones floating around, but if you want something a bit better and faster, there are the 1.4 and 1.7 to consider, and of course, there is also M series 2, 1.7, and 1.4 which are cheaper if you're willing to give up the "A" setting on the A lenses), and a zoom/s to fill the remaining gaps and fill the telephoto range A 35-70 4, 35-105 3.5, 70-210 4.

06-25-2012, 10:02 PM   #5
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The Samsung sensors of which the K10D was the first, went downhill after the K10D. I'd stay with the K10D. It was not till the Kx was introduced that things started looking up again. The pecking order is 645D > K5 > K-01 > Kx > Kr > K10D > K20D > K7 > Q (highest to lowest left to right).
07-02-2012, 04:41 AM   #6
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Some people prefer the color rendering from the K10D to all of the later cameras. Until your ready to spend bigger bucks for less high ISO noise, the K10D might be your best bet.

P.S. K200D is a wothy competitor also.
07-02-2012, 07:24 AM   #7
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so you budget is 250 or 500?
either way the money can not buy any brand new pentax dslr
but you can get a very good used k-7 body for about 500 and k200d body for 250
assume you only use kit lens right now..
I suggest you buy wr kit lens. that cost 200 brand new. you can get used one about 150.
so at end, I think k200d + 18-55 wr is probabaly the best buy for you right now. cost you about 400 bucks total.

you can consider k20d but k20d is more expensive than k200d. and k200d is more compact, perheps better suited for teenager.
07-02-2012, 11:50 AM   #8
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Hi Andre, you may care to read my story too, there are some interesting pieces of advice there.

07-02-2012, 05:03 PM   #9
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I am pretty much in the same boat as you, Andre--sixteen with about $250 saved up for my first DSLR. However, my situation is between the K-x vs the K20d. Good luck!
07-03-2012, 03:09 AM   #10
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K200D is definitely worth considering, produces excellent images and has the bonus of taking AA batteries.
07-03-2012, 07:36 AM   #11
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K200D or K-x would be be my recommendations.

The K-x has such terrific high-ISO capabilities it is considerably more versatile.
07-03-2012, 08:21 AM   #12
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There really is no good recommendation for lenses as it depends on what and how you shoot. The best starter lens for one person isn't going to be the best for another. I'm far from an expert but I do have some experience buying cheap lenses. A longer kit lens like the 50-200mm might compliment your lens well if you want to start with auto focus. A auto focus tamron 28-200mm might be a good all around lens too till you can get more lenses. There are 5 versions of the tamron and all seem to be decent though the first seriously lacks macro ability or close focus at all. I have tried the second and fourth version and liked them both. manual primes might be a good place to start (forget about auto focus primes, they can not be found cheap). 28mm 2.8, 50mm 1.7, 1.8, 1.9, 2.0, 135mm 2.8 lenses are all common and can be found quite cheap (the 28mm 2.8 probably being the most expensive). That would cover your lower range and its probably your best bet to get very good quality glass cheap. Don't discount non pentax brands such as vivitar, chinon, ricoh, sears etc. There are some very good quality manual lenses that are not pentax brand. Later you can add some longer zooms (28-200/35-200/28-210, 70-210 etc) or even some shorter zooms like maybe 28-85mm.

Honestly, I have not got the best deals when I went looking for a specific lens on ebay though. Rather I have by far got the best deal when doing general searches (some even as general as "lens" or "vivitar") just to see what I stumble on. Add ones that look interesting to your watch list, look them up here (see the top of the forum page where it says lenses and there is a drop down for lens reviews), and just google like for instance sear 50mm 1.7 (sometime adding the word forum or review to the end of that search helps). Find some cheap ones, bid low, don't get upset if you loose a lot as long as you win once in a while (and are slowly getting decent lenses cheap).

In the end if you are patient you can get decent or better manual glass dirt cheap (under 10$ shipped) and the more lenses you get the more you will know what you want. Having a couple of lenses that cover a broad range such as a shorter and longer kit lens like the da 18-55 and 50-200mm, a super zoom like the tamron 28-200mm or manual lenses to cover the same range (don't plan on finding cheap manual lenses below 28mm though) will be enough to let you get a feel for what you want and need. Don't discount buying a film camera off ebay either (that often can be bundled with a couple of nice lenses). Its not uncommon for a film camera body with lenses to sell cheaper than the lenses alone would sell for. With any of it, be patient and do not get bothered if you loose a lot on ebay. I might win 1 out of 10 if I'm lucky (sometimes a lot less) and have maybe 100 lenses (many were under 10$ shipped). Once you have a few, have put them to use, and know better what focal ranges you want, need or use, and if you need fast lenses at certain ranges etc, you can look for some better ones if you like (which can still be had quite cheap sometimes).
It wouldn't hurt to ask here occasionally if there is a lens you are interested in and found cheap, and can not find info on it (sometimes there are elusive lenses where not a lot is know about them but if people know they will often help).

Hope that didn't confuse things more.
07-03-2012, 08:53 AM   #13
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Start with the kit zoom. It's good and versatile.

For a prime, I'd start with a 50/1.7, preferably an A version to help in metering quickly. A 28/2.8 would be a good next step. Lots available at good prices. An M 100/4 macro can also be had for relatively little $$ down the road.

The 50-200 zoom is a capable performer and perfect for practice. Highly recommend for those using longer focal lengths. Excellent value.

Good luck.
07-03-2012, 09:32 AM   #14
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If money is tight, rebadged Samsung DSLRs (GX10, GX20) are considerably less on the used market than the Pentax-branded equivalents (K10D, K20D). Apart from the less desirable marque, they are functionally identical.

Lenses? In my experience, current focusing screens are fine for framing, but offer no assists for manual focusing. If you're new to it, I'm not sure I'd recommend getting a cheap manual focus lens - you may simply find it frustrating (and manual focus lenses with automatic aperture aren't even all that cheap). The 18-55mm lens is perfectly good to be starting out with. Good AF lenses to aim for are the 35mm 2.4 and 55-300 F4-5.8.
07-03-2012, 10:32 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by selar Quote
The Samsung sensors of which the K10D was the first, went downhill after the K10D. I'd stay with the K10D. It was not till the Kx was introduced that things started looking up again. The pecking order is 645D > K5 > K-01 > Kx > Kr > K10D > K20D > K7 > Q (highest to lowest left to right).
I think you have a few details wrong here. The sensor in the K10D is by Sony, not Samsung. The only Pentax DSLR's with Samsung sensors were the K20D and the K-7, both of which outperformed the K10D by most objective measures, although a few people subjectively prefer the rendering of the Sony sensor in the K10D (at low ISO only) despite the fact that it is measurably inferior in most of the ways that can be measured.

Anyhow, each DSLR model Pentax introduced has improved on the IQ of its predecessor - again by virtually every objective measure - with the sole exception of the K-7, which was indeed a slight step down in quality for still images (in exchange for a corresponding step up for video). Ad as for K-r versus K-x, they share the same basic sensor design, so IQ is largely the same, but the more recent K-r is clearly the better camera overall. The only real advantage the K-x has over the K-r is price.

And while the IQ of the K-x and K-r is for the most part slightly better than that of the K20D or K-7 (more clearly better than the K10D), the K-x and K-r are far inferior cameras in terms of actual operation.

Again, subjectively, any given person might happen to prefer one camera over another for their own personal reasons, but when it comes to things objectively measurable and that most people can thus agree on, your ranking is pretty far off from reality.

Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 07-03-2012 at 07:21 PM.

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