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09-17-2015, 12:21 AM   #1
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Hi! New & would love some advice re what to choose!

Hello Everyone in Pentax land! For the past two months, I have been spending many happy hours reading and learning in PentaxForums. I have noticed that people are so very friendly and helpful! This is a great community! I am so impressed that people take the time to provide suggestions, comments, advice, photo critiques, website links, and so much more! What a great place to be! Special thanks to the moderators too!

I would now like to introduce myself, and also ask for some advice re my intended Pentax purchase.

I have shot film from 1970s to 2005 (SLR, Canon A1 and Canon AT1). I worked very hard for a few decades shooting landscapes and travel photos in film (mainly slides, which I will now be scanning). I have also done some macro (flowers) and abstract.

I started digital in 2005 with a good Canon PowerShot G5 (5mp), then later got a few Canon point & shoot Digital Elphs because they were so small and convenient. As a single mother in recent years, I found that most of my photos were of my son and my dog, and I had few opportunities to do creative work. Last year while I was camping, I upgraded to a lovely Panasonic Lumix ZS40 (30x optical zoom, Leica lens, wifi, GPS) but it is still just a point & shoot, although truly a convenient and versatile travel camera. My dog is getting very good at posing for me, although I have far too many photos of his backside as we hike the trails!!

I now want to upgrade to a DSLR, and decided in May 2015, after exhaustive (and exhausting!!) research to buy Pentax. Actually, I first found out about Pentax cameras while standing in the mist at Niagara Falls (Ontario side) some months ago, as I was trying to shield my Panasonic Lumix from the spray of water! I started chatting with a couple who were also taking photos, and they told me that they just love their Pentax K-5, including the weather resistant feature!

After much consideration, I would absolutely love to buy a Pentax K-3 II (or a K-3), and an SMC Pentax-DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] DC WR lens. However, my dreams are so far beyond my budget that it is ridiculous! I would appreciate some advice regarding how I should approach moving over to Pentax.

I live in Ontario, Canada, about one hour west of Toronto. I am quite comfortable buying used items, and am lucky enough to live near several cities where I can purchase used goods either privately or through camera stores. I would also be very happy to purchase used items from the members of the Pentax Forums. I am discouraged by the plummeting value of the Canadian dollar, which makes it more difficult for me purchase goods from the USA, but I would still consider purchasing goods from Pentax Forums members in the USA.

First, I would like to find out (although this may be a silly question) if any of my old Canon lenses can be adapted to work with a Pentax DSLR. I have read that any of the Pentax lenses, including those developed for film cameras, can be used on the Pentax DSLRs. I have a Canon 50 mm 1.4, a Tamron 24-48 3.5, a Tamron 28-200 3.8, a Vivitar 70-210 3.5 Macro. I am quite used to manual focusing, so that is not a issue.

Second, I would like to ask if I should invest in an older DSLR, such as K-7 or K-5, or even K-50, and one older inexpensive zoom lens to get me started. I have read that the lenses are more important than the camera, and that lenses last a very long time, whereas camera technology is outdated quickly. With this in mind, perhaps I can purchase a few used lenses over the next couple of years, and then upgrade my camera. Or am I viewing this backwards?

ANY and all advice would be much appreciated. I am sorry to trouble people with my request for advice, but I have searched and read extensively on this forum, and have not found information directly related to my two questions. Thus I am now asking for assistance if people could kindly spare a few minutes to help me. Thank you so very much!

09-17-2015, 02:53 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Hi Pamela, welcome and thanks for trusting us to answer your questions!
I live in New Zealand and spend a lot of time hiking mountain trails. I've found that my pentax k-50 is perfect for my hiking/photography mix. It's relatively small and light for a DSLR and the weather proofing and strong build make it the ideal camera for me.
09-17-2015, 03:20 AM - 1 Like   #3

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Hi Pamela, welcome. You are correct about this Forum: friendly and helpful.
You can't go wrong with a good used K5 or K50 (or K30 which is the same camera in almost every respect.)
If your budget can go to one of these bodies and the 18-135 so much the better. This lens is very versatile and on my K5 most of the time (but then I am pretty lazy!)
Have you found the thread about this lens? Here is a link in case you haven't.
All the best, and be sure to post photos when you get set up with whatever.
09-17-2015, 04:29 AM - 1 Like   #4
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That or go K-S1 - they are cheap as chips on eBay and a good camera if you can get past the LEDs. I've got the K-S2 which has the same sensor and it's excellent.

09-17-2015, 04:57 AM - 1 Like   #5
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A plus for the Marketplace at Pentaxforums is the availability of satisfaction ratings for individual buyers and sellers.
If you are considering buying used equipment from someone you do not know who is not selling through Pentaxforum's Marketplace, you might want to read someone's post here at Pentaxforums which gives detailed suggestions for evaluation of photo equipment at pawnshops and elsewhere. I do not have that link at the moment.
Also, as you may know, some people have been recommending purchase of a new K50, for which I hope you get a Canadian warranty -- and perhaps also even an extended Canadian warranty if you buy it from certain vendors.
Best wishes!

Last edited by smf; 09-17-2015 at 08:30 PM. Reason: Fix typo
09-17-2015, 05:00 AM - 1 Like   #6
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Sadly the Canon lenses will not work on a Pentax easily without optical compromises that aren't worth it. If you want to reuse them a Sony NEX or a micro 4/3 type Mirrorless camera might work.

Assuming Pentax is the go forward path then any used weather sealed recent body might work. What is your budget? The 18-55 kit lens is available in a weather resistant version for less money than the 18-135 but the 18-135 is a better lens.

Be aware that the ks1 is s great camera but it is not weather sealed.
09-17-2015, 05:46 AM - 1 Like   #7
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Used K5 bodies are so cheap now it's almost ridiculous. It would be a good place to start. If you can find a used 18-135 in your budget you'll be happier than with the 18-55.
09-17-2015, 06:24 AM   #8
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Pamela, I'm in Western Canada and do have a K-5 II and a K-3 I wish to sell. Both are low mileage, and are in great condition. If you're potentially interested in either, PM me. And for the moderators, I have no problem going through the selling/buying forum.

09-17-2015, 06:34 AM - 1 Like   #9
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If you have a little bit of patience, and wait for Christmas time, especially if Ricoh makes any FF announcement (or maybe even releases), I am pretty sure you will be able to pick up a few ASP-C bodies for even cheaper than what they are selling now (since a lot of users will most probably start selling their gear to start pilling up for the new FF bodies).

Regarding Canon lens, as mentioned by UncleVanya, while there are ways to convert Canon lens to Pentax, is really not worth it...
09-17-2015, 07:31 AM - 1 Like   #10
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Pamela, Welcome to the forums! It's great to have another lady interested in photography here. I went with Pentax after seeing photos from a friend's Pentax, and I'm so happy I did! I bought a used K10D here on Marketplace, just to see if I would like Pentax. Well, I loved the K10D so much, I bought another one. I think you'd be happy with just about any Pentax body, (be sure it's a weather resistant one), and go from there.

Please let us know what you decide, and of course; we'd love to see some of your Pentax photos!
09-17-2015, 07:40 AM - 1 Like   #11

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Skip the K-7 as it has poor high ISO performance and the cost of more modern bodies has gone down..
09-17-2015, 08:30 AM - 1 Like   #12
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I have a K-5 and there's nothing wrong with those IMO if you come across one cheap and decide it's for you. I have never had a problem with mine, and am completely satisfied with the pictures it turns out (any failures I consider my responsibility). I can certainly understand if you prefer to buy new and have warranty protection, but the -5 is in itself a good camera. I can't advise you on current-production purchases, as I'm not intending to trade up any time soon as long as it keeps working (and when I do it will almost certainly be to the full-frame).

If you decide to realise your dream of a K-3, bear in mind that the K-3-II does NOT have a built-in flash. If you like to take pictures of your child and dog, especially spur-of-the-moment candids indoors at night, that may be a handicap for you.

As others have said, Canon lenses do not play well with Pentax - but essentially every Pentax lens ever made does, and if you are comfortable with manual focus there is a wealth of lenses out there (often at ridiculously cheap prices) that you can use - not just Pentax, but also many third-party players. The Marketplace here is excellent, in my experience - never done me wrong yet. Many of the older autofocus lenses are also pretty good, and they will function beautifully on the modern bodies. Welcome to the fold.
09-17-2015, 10:22 AM - 1 Like   #13
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go see Joan at Burlington Camera Feel free to PM me too.
09-17-2015, 12:37 PM - 1 Like   #14
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Loads of good advice already given... so I'll just say welcome.
09-17-2015, 01:35 PM - 1 Like   #15
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Original Poster
WOW! Oh my goodness, I would like to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who so very kindly welcomed me to this Forum. I have never encountered such a warm welcome anywhere else! I am so grateful! I appreciate so much everyone taking the time to say hello, and to provide good advice regarding good options for starting with Pentax DSLRs.

Regarding using my treasured old Canon film lenses on a Pentax, I now understand that this is not really an option. After I posted my hello last night, I did find a converter on B&H for Canon FD lenses to fit Pentax K mount, but then I read elsewhere that the focusing and aperture controls are next to impossible, and image quality is degraded. So, I guess that I will keep my Canon A1 and lenses for occasional use with film. Pity- I really loved those lenses, and my Canon A1 has been my companion in many countries through many adventures. I did discover that one of my Tamron lenses did not play well with sand castles!!

Keeping everyone's advice in mind, I will look for used Pentax K-50, K-5 and K-3, and also wait until I find a used Pentax 18-135 zoom. It is hard to control my deep longings to buy all the Pentax goodies that look SO tempting, but my extremely limited budget reins me in!

I will also post some photos to this forum as soon as I have a wonderful new Pentax camera and lens! I am going on a camping and photo expedition next week in mid-northern Ontario, so it is very tempting to get the camera before I go. When I am hiking trails, it is very amusing to see that other hikers zoom past me while I am taking simply HOURS along the way, as I am concentrating on taking photos! It is a good thing that I hike alone!

Thanks again to everyone here who so kindly welcomed me. I will follow up with the few people who kindly asked me to PM them. Kind regards, Pamela Richardson

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