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08-25-2012, 09:04 PM   #1
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Back in the viewfinder again

I've just acquired my first DSLR and I'm finding myself falling in love with photography all over again. I was an avid photographer for many years, shooting with manual focus Minolta gear in the '80s and '90s. My interest in photography waned with the death of film in the early 2000s and I just never warmed to digital point-n-shoots. I was always frustrated with their limitations and my tendency to over-think their capabilities. The few times I used others' DSLRs, I knew that's what I wanted, but I've never really been able to justify the cost until I scored a Pentax *ist DL on eBay this week. It came with the 18-55mm zoom lens and all of its original accessories in the original packaging--including all of the little baggies. The only indicator that it wasn't factory fresh is the protective film had been removed from the top and rear display screens. My luck continued a day or two later when I found a Sigma UC 70-210mm zoom in decent used condition for $15 and a Pentax auto focus dedicated flash model for an old Quantaray flash I've had sitting around here for about 12 years or so. All together, it makes a pretty nice starter kit for well under $200.

I'm still learning the ins and outs of my new gear and really enjoying its intuitive interface and the degree of control it offers. Sure, it's only 6 megapixels, but for my modest needs and budget, it's a wonderful gateway back into 'real' photography. I fell like I've come home after being away for far too long.

08-25-2012, 10:00 PM   #2
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Hope you are happy with it.Since you used manual lens you might be ab able to find a couple cheap primes locally
08-26-2012, 12:13 AM   #3
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A word of caution about that flash unit: Film era flashes tend to do Bad Things© to modern DSLRs. You may want to check the voltages that flash has and if they're too high, avoid using them on the *ist. You could wind up frying something.

I don't know the URL offhand, but theres a website that lists flash voltages and the recommended voltages for the cameras out there.
08-26-2012, 03:16 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sagitta Quote
A word of caution about that flash unit: Film era flashes tend to do Bad Things© to modern DSLRs. You may want to check the voltages that flash has and if they're too high, avoid using them on the *ist. You could wind up frying something.

I don't know the URL offhand, but theres a website that lists flash voltages and the recommended voltages for the cameras out there.

Is this the site you mean? Photo Strobe Trigger Voltages

Oh, and welcome, I hope you have a lot of fun with your kit. Nothing wrong with 6mp, you just can't crop as tightly so have to compose more carefully; with your film experience you'll be fine.

08-26-2012, 12:31 PM   #5
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Thanks for the heads-up on the flash. I checked that list and the Quantaray QTB-7500A is rated with a trigger voltage of approximately 5v and is listed as "EOS safe". I'm not sure how that translates into Pentax. I bought the flash new at Ritz Camera in 1999 and in reading that site, it seems most of the higher trigger voltage flashes were made prior to 1992. The good news is I don't know how much I'll actually need that flash as the camera seems to have pretty good low light capabilities.
08-26-2012, 04:59 PM   #6
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5v is fine: 300v like some older flashes are isn't. Flash gives you more control over the whole image, but I believe that for most things ambient/natural light is best - timing is all! (+ correct metering, but learning that - that's the fun part...)
08-26-2012, 06:49 PM   #7
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Welcome to the Forums and congratulations on scoring the DL. I have had mine to a little over 6 years and still love the shots I get with it. I hope you get as much enjoyment from yours as I do mine.
A word on the DL. for some reason they are finicky on the batteries.. Each DL seams to have it's own preference on brand for some reason. Mine likes coppertops- rechargeable and / or alkaline. , but eats energizers. Others seem to like only Eneloops, others like Energizers and eat Duracells. If you run into battery issues don't freak, just try another brand.
QuoteOriginally posted by E-man Quote
Sure, it's only 6 megapixels, but for my modest needs and budget, it's a wonderful gateway back into 'real' photography.
As said earlier nothing wrong with 6 megs
6meg is fine for enlargement to 8x10 with a bit of cropping. I haven't tried larger tho so not sure about how large you can go.
08-26-2012, 08:38 PM   #8
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Thanks for the tips. I'm having a lot of fun learning the ins and outs of the camera and lenses. Here are some of the first shots I've taken with it. These are uncropped and unedited. I'm sure my technique and results will improve with practice.


"Artie"


I'm just amazed at the fine detail on the feather.


Great depth of field. I love the way the texture of the wood shows up.


Morning Glory in the Afternoon

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