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02-27-2018, 07:42 AM - 57 Likes   #1
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My 65 year photography journey ends with the KP !

I have always had a deep rooted passion with photography from a very young age of about 12.
It all started when I watched a gentleman spend a couple hours composing a shot overlooking the Missouri River with a large field camera in Sioux City Iowa.
The Gentleman's name was Lee Russell , and he worked for the Sioux City Tribune that summer in 1941.

Mr Russell also had a small photography studio he shared with another photographer downtown next to the Barber shop that my father frequented.
It seems Mr. Russel had noticed a young girl intently watching him work on several occasions. She had endless questions about the "How" , "What" , and "Why" of capturing images with such a large and strange device.
Little did I know they were both members of the Homeless Mens Bureau and sat on the same county committee every month.

One day the following Spring my father came home with a small package just for me ! I was just tuning 13 and it was 1942 . Times were really tough back then and any gift was very hard earned. Mr Russell's enlightenment had somehow prompted my father to buy it for me because of my fascination with his photography work.

When I opened the package I could hardly believe my eyes , my very own Zeiss Ikoflex Camera !
I was in another world , and still can remember running around town doing every imaginable task just to buy more film. Mr Russel introduced me to processing that year , oh what a smelly affair !

My first Pentax was purchased for me by my Husband the day he proposed marriage about ten years later in 1953. He was a very smart man , and knew a simple engagement ring just wouldn't do it for this Lady, Ha ha !
It was a Pentax Asahiflex. Yes , it did the trick ! I married him the following week and stayed that way for over 62 years until his death a few years ago.

I have owned nearly every Pentax made to date , and used the heck out of every one of them. From the Asahiflex to the Spotmatics , H-1 , EX , MX , LX , PZ1 , and some I have even forgotten the names of.
The one model I never used or owned was the K1000. I dont know how that one slipped past , but it did.


I made the switch to digital a few years back with a new Pentax K30. That turned out to be the very first unhappy experience with any Pentax. It kept breaking down and getting sent back for repairs repeatedly.
I finally got disgusted with it and gave it to a young man in Showlow Arizona that knew what the problem was and said he could fix it . Good riddance !


And now this leads me here to this KP forum.
After the brief love affair with the K30 , and a replacement K5 that I used for nearly 5 years.....I saw the KP.
As soon as I saw the picture on B&H last year I knew I was going to investigate.
When I finally got one in my hands while in their store last year it was all over with , I bought one.
It has everything cosmetically that I could want. It looks like a Camera design from decades past. Somewhat of a cross between a 67 and a LX ! That is so Sexy to me !
I really liked my MZ-S film body , but this KP far outshines it too.


The features are so lovely too. I originally wanted a K-3II before handling the KP , but with a different screen that articulates , but no such luck.
When nothing new looked like it was in the works , I went ahead and bought 1 more of the KP models , so now I have 2.
I knew when I saw the looks and specs that this was MY camera , my very last camera.

Im using one PK body heavily , and keep one for a spare to avoid going through anything similar to the K30 fiasco ever again.
Have since sold , donated , and gifted all my old film bodies and gear , and even the K-5.
I did keep all my M42 Pentax lenses and K mount Pentax lenses that Ive acquired over the years.
Of course my old Zeiss isnt going anywhere , nor the Asahiflex my husband caught me with...Haha.

This Old Lady may only shoot in JPG , but the KP is HelenJo Approved !

02-27-2018, 08:00 AM - 3 Likes   #2
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What a sweet story, thank you for sharing.
02-27-2018, 08:08 AM - 2 Likes   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
What a sweet story, thank you for sharing.
I am so happy to have been directed to this site by another forum member. The Camera Guild I belong to here is so boring , boring , boring.
02-27-2018, 08:13 AM - 1 Like   #4
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What a wonderful story! I can only guess how many beautiful pictures and wonderful memories you have gathered over the years! Here's hoping for many more still!

02-27-2018, 08:16 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Quite a Pentax experience HelenJo. I myself did and still have a Pentax K-1000.
02-27-2018, 08:28 AM - 5 Likes   #6
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HelenJo, thanks for sharing such a wonderful story of your life with photography! I was always fascinated with photography also, always "borrowing" my mother's 99cent Brownie, before she finally got me my first camera, a Brownie Hawkeye! Thru the years, my passion never wavered, always having cameras, and even setting up a professional color darkroom, when the local camera shop owner had told me I could never just jump into color, until I worked with B&W! I loved how I could work with the images, and the highlight was when the Thunderbird Team photographer needed some enlargements quickly, for the show they were doing in town! I was also a pilot, so I was in heaven, that weekend, as he allowed me to follow him around as he took photos! I was very fortunate that my husband that I was lucky enough to be with for just under 30 years, fully supported my photography, also.


I'm 76, and have lots of pain in my knees and back; but when I pickup my K3, all the pain disappears, and I'm transported to looking at a beautiful world thru that camera!

BTW, I also only shoot in JPEG.
02-27-2018, 08:29 AM - 3 Likes   #7
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I follow this forum regularly, and although I rarely comment, your lovely post was one of the nicest and most inspiring I have read in a long time. May your journey with Pentax and photography continue for many more years!
02-27-2018, 08:40 AM - 1 Like   #8
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Great story, and a worthy approval of the Pentax KP. I'm a new KP user and I too am very impressed with it. The image quality, build quality, ergonomics, customization, etc., are all very impressive. I'm looking forward to spending a lot of time with the KP moving forward. Take care, and enjoy your cameras.

02-27-2018, 08:43 AM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by csa Quote
HelenJo, thanks for sharing such a wonderful story of your life with photography! I was always fascinated with photography also, always "borrowing" my mother's 99cent Brownie, before she finally got me my first camera, a Brownie Hawkeye! Thru the years, my passion never wavered, always having cameras, and even setting up a professional color darkroom, when the local camera shop owner had told me I could never just jump into color, until I worked with B&W! I loved how I could work with the images, and the highlight was when the Thunderbird Team photographer needed some enlargements quickly, for the show they were doing in town! I was also a pilot, so I was in heaven, that weekend, as he allowed me to follow him around as he took photos! I was very fortunate that my husband that I was lucky enough to be with for just under 30 years, fully supported my photography, also.


I'm 76, and have lots of pain in my knees and back; but when I pickup my K3, all the pain disappears, and I'm transported to looking at a beautiful world thru that camera!

BTW, I also only shoot in JPEG.
Its quite nice as we get older in some ways. I find I have much more freedom in expressing myself and no longer have to beat around the bush in whatever I pursue.
I have some pain too , but its nothing a good hot soak in the Jacuzzi at the club wont cure. Ive been very blessed with excellent health.
Every year just before my birthday my husband would ask me what 2 lenses I wanted this Year. I started running out of Lenses to choose from...haha.
At my age I simply dont have time to pursue Lightroom and digital processing , so I stick with JPG only.
02-27-2018, 09:03 AM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by HelenJo Quote
The Camera Guild I belong to here is so boring, boring, boring.
Not much chance of that happening here, this thread and your original intro post with all that banter going on, I feel I've known you for years already.

I must admit I do shoot multiple brands, my intro to Pentax was much later than yours with LX's back in the early eighties whilst in the Middle East. Those "sealed" Nikon F3s I was using at the time were forever getting sand in the works, especially in the film gates, putting scratches right across the emulsion. Now this took a fair while and involved a paint brushes on the prints to correct (no PS or LR in those days). The problem was so bad, I owned four of the beasts, two in use and two in being cleaned and swapped over every couple of weeks or so.

The local in country camera shop lent me a couple of LXs to try, no sand problems... hence my love affair with Pentax began right there, in fact I still have a couple of those LX bodies about the place.

The rest of my history Pentax wise, K10Ds, K20Ds and then a long long long wait for FF K1s to come onto scene, now a happier Pentax bunny again.

Last edited by Kerrowdown; 02-27-2018 at 09:18 AM.
02-27-2018, 09:21 AM - 1 Like   #11
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What a lovely story, HelenJo! Thanks for sharing it with us

You've certainly had some journey with both your photography and the cameras you've used for it!
02-27-2018, 09:40 AM   #12
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Thanks for sharing your story. I have a K-5 (on my second body with the K-5) but have been eyeing a KP. If you have any photos to share, I'd love to see them.
02-27-2018, 09:48 AM - 3 Likes   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kerrowdown Quote
Not much chance of that happening here, this thread and your original intro post with all that banter going on, I feel I've known you for years already.

I must admit I do shoot multiple brands, my intro to Pentax was much later than yours with LX's back in the early eighties whilst in the Middle East. Those "sealed" Nikon F3s I was using at the time were forever getting sand in the works, especially in the film gates, putting scratches right across the emulsion. Now this took a fair while and involved a paint brushes on the prints to correct (no PS or LR in those days). The problem was so bad, I owned four of the beasts, two in use and two in being cleaned and swapped over every couple of weeks or so.

The local in country camera shop lent me a couple of LXs to try, no sand problems... hence my love affair with Pentax began right there, in fact I still have a couple of those LX bodies about the place.

The rest of my history Pentax wise, K10Ds, K20Ds and then a long long long wait for FF K1s to come onto scene, now a happier Pentax bunny again.
I did actually try the K-1 briefly. Although it is impressive I just didnt like it. For me it was too big , and I actually prefer the shallower depth of field my lenses render on Aps-c.
There is always a trade-off of various formats , pluses and negatives. What works for one , doesnt necessitate the needs by another.

It was a very hard change going from Film to digital. Took me over a year to finally accept that it IS a huge advantage. Although I could learn and use various post processing methods , I stick with the old way of trying to get the image right before I ever hit the shutter release.

Many here consider post processing to be synonymous with good photography. However in my world its two distinct realms. A good Photograph and good Photography are not the same.
02-27-2018, 11:01 AM - 1 Like   #14
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Hi Helen😊
Lovely story, thank you, and I agree about getting the shot right in camera. As someone who started in the late seventies with a Russian Zenith slr, I too had to learn to “get it right” or waste film. The habit is hard to shake.

Andrew
02-27-2018, 11:04 AM - 1 Like   #15
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I would suggest using the option to capture raw with a button press after taking it if you have difficult lighting (white balance or highlight shadow balance issues) so that you can tinker with just those.
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