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05-02-2016, 05:08 AM   #1

Join Date: Mar 2013
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Full circle: from KS-2 to K-S2

I've spent weeks obsessing over camera shopping and comparisons. I'm sure some of you know what that can be like, when the quest gets into your head and you can't stop until you've found The One. I looked at everything too: Pentax, Olympus, Fujifilm, Sony. Mirrorless cameras with adapters. There were times when I was that close to pulling the trigger on one camera or another, only to have second thoughts.

One thing that weighed heavily on my mind was a wish to get back to the basics, to recapture the pleasure of my first "real" camera, the 35mm SLR that I learned photography on, and one which I still greatly enjoy using today. It was a Sears KS-2, which was actually a re-branded Ricoh XR7 that accepted Pentax-K lenses! Years ago, believing I was through with film forever, I sold my KS-2 on eBay. What a mistake that was! I eventually went back and picked up another KS-2 and a matching XR7.

So. . . It looks like a new Pentax K-S2 will bring me full circle, and I'll even be able to use the KS-2's lenses on it.

Right now I'm just wringing my hands a bit over the final detail: body color. I kind of like the looks of the forest green body, but it only comes as a kit. I know the kit lens has worked well for some people, but it does not appeal to me, and I sort of have my heart set on the 20-40mm LTD. Well, the kit lens adds $75 to the cost of the camera. I wonder if I could recoup that by putting the lens on eBay?

05-02-2016, 05:20 AM   #2
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nice choice, congrats! ive actually shot with all the brands you mentioned and, surprisingly to me, landed on the KS2 simply because i needed weatherproofing. while i do miss the digital bodies with analogue controls that i was using, i have really come to love the images i get from the pentax. just stunning color and 3d pop. and ive found i love the feel of it, including the grip, which i think is just perfect. i also love the placement of the vf--off center to the extreme left, like the rangefinder cameras i enjoyed using. i find that placement much more natural and comfortable, as opposed to squishing up to the center. and the reduced 'hump' and 'shaved off' left side add to the sleek look.

again by virtue of the WR requirement, i too chose the 20-40, and i am delighted with it. i know theres a good deal of criticism of this lens. but having used scores and scores of lenses, including leica and zeiss, i chalk up the negative discussion to either QC manufacturing issues, or the unfortunately commonplace 'forum negativity'. i was lucky enough to get a good copy and the rendition, sharpness and micro contrast are fabulous. and ergonomically, it pairs very well with the KS2, very compact, lightweight and versatile.

i chose the black with the orange base. just enough out-of-the-ordinary to make me happy. good luck!

Last edited by rbelyell; 05-02-2016 at 05:27 AM.
05-02-2016, 05:48 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tony Belding Quote
the kit lens adds $75 to the cost of the camera. I wonder if I could recoup that by putting the lens on eBay?
I would poke around there to see what they're currently bringing.
My black K-S2 was an Amazon warehouse deal, with kit lens, for $600 in May 2015.
I immediately sold the unused kit lens on eBay, it went for $200, but this was fairly soon after the release, I'm sure they sell for much less now.

Congrats on your choice!
I really enjoy mine.
05-02-2016, 10:21 PM   #4
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My story:

I've been interested in trying Tilt-Shift photography, but the "low-priced" Rokinon 24mm was running around $900 which seemed a little rich. So when I saw that B&H was selling a used (not that I could tell) 24mm Rokinon T&S lens for a little less rich $609, I bought it. I've been practicing with it trying to get tabletop surface scenes in focus. But to get a glancing view, I had to place the camera fairly low. At that height, seeing the back of the camera well enough to get the critical focus necessary to set the lens tilt and camera angles required impossible contortions.

Now previously, I'd played with a Lumix FZ200 (1/2.3 sensor), and was surprised at how often I found myself shooting with the camera at odd angles, because its swivelling viewfinder let me. So I've been watching the K-S2 for some time. Now finally I had my excuse reason for picking one up. I found a K-S2 body for $484. I think they can be had at Adorama or B&H for $475, good deals, but not nearly the steal that robcortl managed!

My feelings are swinging between "How did this happen?", and anticipation for trying out T&S and low-to-the ground macro shots (and selfies?) once the K-S2 arrives.

05-06-2016, 11:02 AM   #5

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Original Poster
Finally, the shot I've been waiting so impatiently to take. . .

Say hello to your namesake, Grandpa!

My first impression of the K-S2. . .

It is actually kind of small, and nowhere near as heavy as I'd been led to expect. I think it's slightly smaller than my old K100D, and definitely lighter weight when taking the batteries into account. Despite all the talk about the "world's smallest weather-sealed DSLR", I was skeptical. Yeah, yeah. . . They shaved off a millimeter here and another over there, but will it really make any difference? But now that I've held it in my hands, I think the result is pretty good.

However. . . The grip! That is one big, fat grip. Do keep in mind that I am a guy with full-sized guy hands and long-ish fingers. This grip is bigger than I prefer. I feel like I'm having to stretch my fingers around it to reach the controls. I must hold my camera differently from most other people. Everyone else seems to love a "chunky" and "hand-filling" grip, but I've never gotten used to them. I preferred the grip on my K-01. I probably would have preferred the grip on the K-S1. Ehh. . . I guess I'll get used to it anyhow. Maybe someday I'll learn to hold a camera like everyone else.

Then I unboxed the 20-40mm lens, and I wondered for a moment if they'd sent me the right thing. "I ordered a Limited, not a huge telephoto zoom!" Once I got it fully unwrapped I saw it wasn't really that huge, but still. . . A big larger than I had imagined. It's more of a mid-sized zoom lens, rather than a compact one as such. The build quality appears to be outstanding, as I expected, and I have to remind myself that they did fit weather seals and a focusing motor into it.
05-06-2016, 11:45 AM   #6
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Nice photo - I had no idea that our cameras are second incarnation of K-S2
05-07-2016, 05:17 AM   #7
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Neat concept - KS-2 to KS-2. My first "Pentax" was a Sears KS-1, and yes I still have it. Great little camera, and it still works. The lens is a Ricoh f2.8 28mm. I've bought Pentax ever since.

Thanks for reminding me.

Last edited by silvershoes; 05-07-2016 at 05:47 AM.
05-15-2016, 03:26 PM   #8
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Good story and photo. Thanks.

05-27-2016, 09:48 AM   #9
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Congrats! I love your photo, and I had forgotten about the Sears KS-1/KS-2. Now I know why the model name seemed to feel right in spite of also wondering what they were thinking. I find that the K-S2 does a great job rendering images. While My K-01's were always a little finicky about oversaturating the reds and smearing them, I find no such tendency with the K-S2.It's my go-to body for macro and now also for general carry-around. I do bring my K-3 to major planned events but I also bring the K-S2. Very satisfied with it.

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