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10-27-2012, 04:08 AM   #1
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The Long and Winding Road

My first near miss with Pentax was in the days of film SLRs. I had narrowed my choices to Pentax ME or Olympus OM and more by chance than any other reason, I went with Olympus. The Olympus and a handful of primes served me well for many years. When the kids came I had less time for photography and it was mainly my wife taking the pictures on her Pentax K-1 and a single 50mm prime.

Fast forwarding to the digital era, I got back into photography with a Minolta S404, a Minolta A1 then a DSLR the KM 5D. Konica bought Minolta and then Sony bought Konica. My first Sony SLR, the A700 along with the Zeiss 16-80 was an excellent combination. All was well, but then Sony began its migration to electronic viewfinders. I tried one on the A55, but found the EVF too limiting.

The one thing I did like with the A55 was the superb 16MP Sony sensor. I was happy to find two other cameras used the same sensor. The Nikon D7000 and the Pentax K-5. I priced them out and the D7000 came out a less expensive and Nikon appeared to have a bigger range of lenses. So you may have guessed by now - I went with the Nikon D7000.

After 18 months with the D7000 I found itís really easy to accidentally change settings and the metering can be pretty erratic for landscape work, often requiring -1EV compensation or more. While the Nikkor 16-85 I had been using was a pretty good all round lens, it couldnít match the contrast from the Zeiss. I started looking at other Nikon choices, but Nikon appears to be heavily pushing itís users to full frames and I just donít want the extra weight of a digital full frame camera.

I might have hung out with Nikon a little longer, but then by chance I came across gallery of gorgeous landscape photographs in pbase. These pictures were taken with Pentax Limited primes and had the contrast and clarity I was missing on the Nikkor 16-85. As it happened Pentax had just reduced the pricing on the K-5 series and from reading the reviews, the K-5 a) appeared to have reliable, conservative metering and b) had better placement of the controls I needed.

To end the story, my K-5 IIs will be arriving early next week. I started out with 17-70 f4 and the 55-300mm f/4-5.8 as my starter kit, but those Limited primes are definitely beckoning!

Richard.

10-27-2012, 05:35 AM   #2
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Welcome, I hope it all works out for you. The members of this forum can give you a lot of help learning your new camera and lenses. Before I bought a DSLR I had a Konica-Minolta superzoom which was a good camera. I was happy I did not invest in their DSLR system after Sony took over, because of the Sony products that I had that just did not hold up, and we had some Sony P&S cameras at work that had terrible IQ. Anyway I have been happy with Pentax, great IQ and sturdy equipment, much better build than anything comparably priced from the big 2.

I don't have the 17-70, but I have the DA55-300. The 55-300 is obviously not a fast lens, and the autofocus is noisy and slow, despite this it delivers nice sharp photos. The quick feature lets you defeat the slow and noisy AF when that is a problem. Use the quickshift to get close to focus, then hit it with AF to get the focus quietly and quick.
10-27-2012, 06:47 AM   #3
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Tom, thanks for the reply. I will be primarily using the 55-300 for theatrical shooting, but the lighting is usually strong enough that I can get good results around f5.6 using iso 3200. Thanks for the tip on with quickshift and AF - I try to avoid making too much noise when I am in the audience.
Richard.
10-27-2012, 08:55 AM   #4
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Welcome Richard. While you are waiting to save up the $$ for those new LImited primes, I might suggest trying out some of Pentax's older primes some of which are available for very few $. Any lens Pentax made over the last 60 years will have an adapter to fit it to the K mount or already has the K mount. I would recommend perusing some of the images in the Lens Clubs section especially those in the Takumar club as well as the M, A, F, and FA clubs. The Takumar lenses are so good that the N and C users are buying them too. I took this with a 40 year old S-M-C Takumar 85mm f/1.8. I don't really brag all that much. Really.



10-27-2012, 10:22 AM   #5
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Very nice shot Steve. I started looking through the lens database - there are quite a few lenses there! My first prime will likely be the 15mm Limited, since I shoot at lot of landscapes at that focal length. My wife still has her K1000 (I think I said K-1 previous post.) I believe this may be a K-mount, so I will be able to try out the SMC 55mm f2 she has. She also has a Vivitar 135mm f2.8 that I can try also, although I am not sure on the quality of that one.
10-27-2012, 02:13 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by richard_b Quote
Very nice shot Steve. I started looking through the lens database - there are quite a few lenses there! My first prime will likely be the 15mm Limited, since I shoot at lot of landscapes at that focal length. My wife still has her K1000 (I think I said K-1 previous post.) I believe this may be a K-mount, so I will be able to try out the SMC 55mm f2 she has. She also has a Vivitar 135mm f2.8 that I can try also, although I am not sure on the quality of that one.
Those lenses will definitely work on your K-5 with no adapter, you will have to change a setting in the menu to allow use of aperture ring.
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