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05-31-2013, 02:26 PM   #1
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Starting From Scratch

Greetings fellow forum members,

This is my first post. I'm a painter and have very specific needs that probably differ from most photographers. I use my camera to document landscapes, while on painting excursions, for reference purposes back in the studio. I also use it to photograph completed paintings for publication and use on the web. In the past, I've hired professional photographers to make 4"x 5" or 8" x 10" transparencies of my best paintings, which measure up to about 36" x 48". I never exhibit my photographs and, since acquiring a Canon S90 two years ago, no longer make prints for reference, preferring to use a computer monitor instead. Before I purchased the Canon point & shoot, I had been using a Nikon FM film camera, purchased new in 1980, along with a Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 manual focus F series lens.

I'm now fully committed to digital photography but am unhappy with the quality of the images captured with my S90. I would like to assemble a high quality digital camera system capable of capturing images that are as close as possible to my natural vision (hence the use of a high quality "normal" lens). Members of other forums have recommended a full frame Nikon or Canon DSLR and a 60mm macro lens for copy work. I'm wondering if the dynamic range of the Pentax K-5 II sensor would be adequate for the tasks I have described. Also, are there lenses in the Pentax line that would satisfy my needs? Any thoughts you have would be appreciated.


05-31-2013, 03:09 PM   #2
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Honestly for the limited purpose you've described I am 100% sure that even K-01 will be more than adequate.. with live view you can frame easily and being comfy in your studio you can take time to compose the shot as good as possible. Not to mention K-01 price which is simple a steal at this point. Also even for lenses you can go the simplest route - pick one of those brilliant manual Pentax SMC lenses - since you will want to rely on manual focusing for best detail and sharpness. I'd say 24mm or even 35mm lens will be great for this - hell - even those fantasti m42 lenses with adapters ( super takumar 35mm 3.5 known for fantastic color rendition e,g ) - or even old carl zeiss lenses - like flektogon 35mm f 2.4 - with appropriate m42->K adapter will do the job splendidly ! Not to mention Focusing assistance you get from K-01 ( zoom on focus or focus peaking ) - all in all - this is what I suggest- :

K-01 + some primes (24mm, 35mm ) , and oyu are good to go - exceptional Image quality with dynamic range (soot in RAW) that will amaze even film shooters (myself :P) paired with exceptional price !

PS: for taking the pictures of paintings you probably want to have some nice lighting setup as well - but still K-01 can work your up to and above ISO 1600 - so that should help a lot.

my two cents
05-31-2013, 03:29 PM   #3
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The best combination for you would probably be the K-5IIs + FA31 if you want the closest to natural vision. On older Full Frame cameras 50 was the "normal" but on APS-C cameras its 32 or so and the FA31 is the closest. The DA35/2.4 is MUCH less expensive and a very nice lens. If you want 1 lens to do both the natural vision and copy work then the 35/2.8 Macro may well be your best choice. It has a very flat field so the image your are copying is as accurate as possible. It does macro so you can focus very closely and enlarge a good bit. It is also close to the field of view on the APS-C camera that will produce an image near what your eye would see.

Two advantages to the APS-C over the full frame cameras you have mentioned are that the cameras are less expensive and smaller. The K-5 models have the added benefit of being weather resistant when paired with a WR lens.

The thing you do not mention in your post is a tripod. For high quality landscapes, architectural and macro photos a solid tripod is not optional.
05-31-2013, 11:41 PM   #4
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Welcome to the forum, check out the camera reviews on this forum, which may help you decide.

06-01-2013, 10:16 AM   #5
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Bonjour from France and welcome to PF ... looking forward to an image or two soon ... good luck, J

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