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11-27-2013, 04:37 PM   #1
MX1
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Nikon FF and Pentax

I just finished playing around with the Nikon Df. I am not a pro, just an average shooter. The easy to hold squared off body shape and manual dials on the Nikon really sparked an interest for me. When Pentax does a full frame model, what are the chances they will have a non-rounded body and manual controls for iso and shutter speed? I shoot manual lenses so this would be a real bonus and is the sole reason I have not gone to digital yet.

11-27-2013, 04:45 PM   #2
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Lots of people hope Pentax will make a retro DSLR, but I really doubt it will happen. The market is just not big enough for cameras with manual dials and optimized for manual lenses.
Though Pentax had a big role in the development of the SLR and would definitely have a lot of tradition to draw from.

Every once in a while a rumor thread pops up about something like the LX-D or some other mythical Pentax FF retro DSLR. No evidence of it happening, so far.
11-27-2013, 04:53 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by MX1 Quote
I just finished playing around with the Nikon Df. I am not a pro, just an average shooter. The easy to hold squared off body shape and manual dials on the Nikon really sparked an interest for me. When Pentax does a full frame model, what are the chances they will have a non-rounded body and manual controls for iso and shutter speed? I shoot manual lenses so this would be a real bonus and is the sole reason I have not gone to digital yet.
Very low, I'd say. You can't enter the market with a niche product IMO...

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11-27-2013, 05:20 PM   #4
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Not to mention that some kind of niche product would also cost much more to bring to market. Whereas a FF version of the K-3 would be much easier to do and would cost much less.

11-27-2013, 05:58 PM   #5
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If you haven't tried it, try a k20d. Very inexpensive now. No it doesn't have a shutter speed dial, but coming from film it was the most similar to my pentax K1000/Nikon FM2, and still is. And of course couple it to M42 and K/M lenses.
11-27-2013, 06:59 PM   #6
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I think K--01 might be a better body than K20D for that purpose imho.
11-27-2013, 07:07 PM   #7
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Same Thing, Different Name?

Hello MX1,
Digital cameras have dials for shutter speed, aperture and (if you want it) ISO. They're called thumb wheels.
On Pentax DSLR's (don't know about other brands), the front wheel controls shutter speed, the back one controls f/stop (with 'A' enabled lenses; on fully-manual lenses you must move the actual aperture ring) and you can enable the thumb wheel to control ISO, also.
The main difference is the thumb wheels are located where your right forefinger and thumb normally rest in shooting position.
Not on the top deck like film SLR's, where you (generally) have to move the camera away from your eye to adjust them, or use both hands. Since I still shoot film as well as digital, I've found the thumb-wheel function much easier, faster and more intuitive than top dials.
The ISO function, in particular is handy with the wheel; because, as you know, digitial allows the user to change sensitivity between shots, not film rolls!
If the upper deck dial placement is the only thing holding you back, freedom is only a thumb-click away.
And I agree with the previous posters, if and when Ricoh/Pentax produce a full frame camera, it won't be a small-market niche' or token nod to the retro crowd. That's a mistake they can't afford to make.
JMO, YMMV,
Ron
11-28-2013, 07:56 PM   #8
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It has nothing to do with "retro" look, rather it is a case of FFF, Form Follows Function. Squared corners give better grip surfaces, and moving controls to the top deck gives more room for fingers to hold the camera.

11-28-2013, 08:25 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by MX1 Quote
It has nothing to do with "retro" look, rather it is a case of FFF, Form Follows Function. Squared corners give better grip surfaces, and moving controls to the top deck gives more room for fingers to hold the camera.
Up to a point, I agree with you. However, my LX feels a lot more secure with its accessory grip in place than otherwise, and likewise my K2DMD with its motor-drive grip. Both of those were pre-cursors to the built-in grips on later Pentax film SLRs (and others), and the digital models followed that lead, for good reason.

Also, to take up your point about Form Following Function, we're talking about the human interface, and the finger grip in modern DSLRs is a good example of its application, unless you're left-handed of course but at least your left hemisphere gains the advantage of being trained to increase your right-handed dexterity (if you'll pardon the expression), thereby improving your chances of staving off senility for a bit longer . In any event, the squaring of corners becomes a little less important, as a result of the (rounded) grip.
11-28-2013, 08:47 PM - 3 Likes   #10
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Yes, It Does

QuoteOriginally posted by MX1 Quote
It has nothing to do with "retro" look, rather it is a case of FFF, Form Follows Function. Squared corners give better grip surfaces, and moving controls to the top deck gives more room for fingers to hold the camera.
It has everything to do with retro looks. Why add a big, tall SLR-like pentraprism, if it's empty? No flash, no reason for it to be there except for appearance. Why add a shutter speed dial that has no 1/2 stop increments? Because it looks retro. Have to menu-dive for 1/2 stops, not very old-school. Why advertise the retro look and tout the use of legacy glass, then put a fixed focusing screen in, one that can't be user-changed?
Form follows function is correct.
But with the DF, form follows marketing. Function didn't make the cut.
Not having any video capability in a $2,700 FF DSLR is functional? Did eliminating it make the camera better for manual use somehow?
All the resources for modern video are already in place. If the truly 'retro' crowd doesn't want to use it, don't. Adding another extra button or dial on a camera that already has 23, won't hurt the sales. Not having video capability for those that do want it, does.
If squared-off body contours are so much better, better call Canon, Nikon (every DSLR body except the DF), Pentax and everyone else with the news. You've got a scoop. Everything those makers have done for the past 20 + years is wrong.
It's a niche-marketing ploy, plain and simple. If you like the look, buy it and enjoy it. But don't try to fool anyone into thinking it's some sort of answer to a problem that doesn't exist.
Ron
11-28-2013, 09:57 PM   #11
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You might have more grip with controls on the 'top deck' but when I move my fingers to control those buttons I have less grip... which means, overall, a much better chance of dropping the camera with the old school design.
11-28-2013, 10:52 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by MX1 Quote
It has nothing to do with "retro" look, rather it is a case of FFF, Form Follows Function. Squared corners give better grip surfaces, and moving controls to the top deck gives more room for fingers to hold the camera.
Using manual lenses on my K5-II is much easier than it was on my old film K2. The thumb wheels are way easier to adjust shutter speed or iso settings than the controls on the old film camera.

The K5 also fits far more securely in my hand. Flat surfaces with squared corners definitely do not give better grip. Modern cameras are shaped the way they are for ergonomic reasons much more than for any particular 'look'. If the thumb wheels on a Pentax DSLR are stopping you from holding it securely, you are doing it wrong.
11-29-2013, 08:49 AM   #13
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Perhaps for those of you who are professional or live with the camera at your side, the modern form of the DSLR is preferred. I am a hobby shooter and thus do not rifle off shot after shot after shot. Using film requires careful consideration and conservation of resources. When holding my MX with motor drive it is easy to hang on to it without even using my thumb as the grip on the drive is deep and squared off allowing it to hang from the fingers. When shooting the thumb is placed on the back of the camera. DSLR does not allow this without slipping on the grip or resting the thumb on a button or two.

When the K-01 came out I looked at it online and realized the grip would be too small and not deep enough to hang on to the camera without using a full fist grasp.

As for a "retro" viewfinder, I need something due to sight problems. The point and shoot Cannon (SX 200IS) I have is an exercise in faith when I shoot since the only time I can see the display clearly on the back is in low light conditions, otherwise it is point, hope, and shoot. If a viewfinder is needed, why not have it look good, too? Maybe it is a "retro" thing, or perhaps a "retro" styling preference I have. I come from a family of artists so my values are probably skewed.

When using the MX film camera it is easy for me to hold, compose/focus through the view finder and shoot. Not fancy and simplistic in approach, I know, but has worked for over 30 years quite well this way. The Nikon performed well in this manner and would be a real choice if cost of entry wasn't out of reach.

I have never used half-stop so don't know what I am missing. Just adjust shutter and f-stop to get what I want. Guess I am just a point and shoot guy after all! lol

I have never shot video, and never plan on it. Everyone I know that has a DSLR or point and shoot does not use the video function. They only take pics. It is of no importance to me.

Gosh, as I write this it has occurred to me the "retro" styling of the Nikon is what I am familiar with and prefer. So rbefly is correct, it is a retro thing. I like the looks as it is familiar to me, I like the function as it is familiar to me.

As said before, I will wait and see what Pentax comes out with, and shoot film till then.
11-29-2013, 02:17 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
LX-D or some other mythical Pentax FF retro DSLR. No evidence of it happening, so far.
Aye, but I live in hope...
11-29-2013, 02:30 PM   #15
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I sure hope that Pentax doesn't do that. I would prefer a K3 with a full frame sensor. Very comfortable for shooting, very easy to change settings. And no crippling of settings. That's the big thing with Df is that Nikon basically gives you half a D800 for the same price.
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