Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
01-29-2011, 06:37 PM   #1
Forum Member
hray's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: New Mexico
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 79
Going from K1000 to K-x; lens help, please?

I’m a hobby photographer, who started in the 1980s with a Pentax K1000. I haven’t done much with it in the last 10 years, and am now ready to go digital with a Pentax K-x.
My interests vary from wildflower macro photography to telephoto bird photography, with portrait work on my child and dogs in between. My old lenses were a Sigma 35-70 and a Sigma 70-210.
Would a hobby-level enthusiast with only film background be satisfied with the K-x kit lenses, 18-55 and 55-300? Would a 1.4x or 2.0x teleconverter be useful? I really want to keep under $1000 to start with, so buying a body and 2-3 high-end lenses is not an option (I’m newly retired: more time, less money…)
Would my manual Sigmas work well? I've never had autofocus except on our point&shoot snapshot camera, so having to focus wouldn’t bother me.
Any suggestions on a reasonably priced macro setup for the K-x?
Thanks in advance for your views!

01-29-2011, 06:58 PM   #2
Millionth Poster!
Scottnorwo's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Stafford, New York
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,070
Your Sigmas will work fine, though some limitations on the camera's full abililities. the kit lens are great lens. My 55-300 almost never comes off my camera and I get some very satifactory results. You should have a wonderful time with your equipment. Congrats on your recent retirement and share your shots here, lots of wonderful people here.
Welcome to the forum
01-29-2011, 07:00 PM - 1 Like   #3
Veteran Member
Mike Cash's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Japan
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 6,952
Your old Sigma lenses are still perfectly usable on digital Pentax SLR cameras. If they don't have an "A" setting on the aperture ring you will have to do an extra step when metering, but it is not burdensome.

The focusing screens in modern digital cameras are optimized for autofocus, so while the idea of manual focus may not bother you the actual attempting to manually focus with the stock focus screen will almost certainly frustrate and annoy you. Aftermarket focus screens are available which restore the old-fashioned split-prism and microprism collar in the middle of the viewfinder and make manual focusing a breeze. They start from about $30 or so and are easy to install.
01-29-2011, 07:29 PM   #4
Site Supporter
Ex Finn.'s Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Southern Maryland.
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 6,278
The kit lenses should keep you busy for a good while. I doubt that you will need a converter, the 55-300 does a good job bringing in far subjects.
Welcome BTW.

01-29-2011, 08:16 PM   #5
Forum Member
hray's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: New Mexico
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 79
Original Poster
Thanks, Mike Cash, I had no idea that the focus screen could be changed. The thought of messing with the insides of a new, $$$ camera is a little disturbing, but I've found reasonable instructions.

Fortunately, my old Sigma lenses do have an A setting, so I'm good there.
01-29-2011, 08:24 PM   #6
Forum Member
hray's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: New Mexico
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 79
Original Poster
Good to hear about the 55-300; I enjoyed your So. MD wildlife/bird photos in the gallery; your white-tailed deer is great. I'm located in east-central VA.
01-29-2011, 08:35 PM   #7
Veteran Member
Mike Cash's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Japan
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 6,952
QuoteOriginally posted by hray Quote
Thanks, Mike Cash, I had no idea that the focus screen could be changed. The thought of messing with the insides of a new, $$$ camera is a little disturbing, but I've found reasonable instructions.
The very thought of doing it is a little disturbing, sort of akin to the idea of a do-it-yourself root canal. Fortunately, though, it really is very easy to do and only takes a couple of minutes. I've changed them on my K100D, K20D, and just a few days ago on my new K-5. I'm a died-in-the-wool manual focus guy and as soon as I came home from the store with the K20D I sat down and ordered a split-prism screen. For the K-5 I actually ordered the screen several days before I went and bought the camera. Changing the screen is one of those things that anyone would naturally have reservations about doing, but after you've done it you'll think, "Is that all there is to it? What the heck was I worried about?"

By the way, the screen won't interfere with using autofocus lenses, so don't worry about that.
01-29-2011, 09:01 PM   #8
Pentaxian




Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Oklahoma USA
Posts: 1,502
The kx and 18-55/55-300 kit would be superior to what you have now for most purposes. Only if you use the kx and find you're missing some capability (faster or wider lenses, for example) would you need additional equipment.

I would discourage you from from using your old manual focus lenses, unless they provide a functionality you can't get from the kit lenses. Coming from MF 35mm I thought MF on digital wouldn't bother me either, but at least the low-end digitals (kx, etc.) the viewfinders and screens aren't as good for focusing as the old cameras were. But even if they were, it's unlikely you could focus as fast as a camera can. I know I can't, after 40 years and tens of thousands of frames of practice.

Paul

01-29-2011, 09:36 PM   #9
Veteran Member
Mike Cash's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Japan
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 6,952
I would encourage you to use your old manual focus lenses. My daily shooting lenses are all Takumar lenses from the 1950s through the early 1970s, predating your K1000. You'd be surprised at how quickly and accurately you can manually focus, if you install an appropriate focus screen. I can certainly understand how someone who tried to manually focus with the horrible stock focus screen would have the exact opposite opinion, though. With the Katz-Eye focus screen I can usually nail the focus very quickly. With the stock screen it takes forever to manually focus and I usually miss the focus anyway.

If I wanted the camera to do everything for me I'd just buy a soulless superzoom point and shoot. But I prefer to have a bit greater involvement in the process and I'd just much rather do the focusing myself.

If nothing else, it saves me the hassle of reading all the numerous threads whining about autofocus problems. I have never yet had a Takumar with a front focus or back focus problem, nor have I had to miss a shot while the autofocus system "hunted" for focus, nor have I later discovered that the camera focused on a spot other than where I thought it had.

It has nothing to do with "low-end" cameras, by the way. The stock focusing screen on the top-of-the-line K-5 is a total piece of sh*t for manual focus. The screens lack focusing aids and in general are very low contrast, making it nearly impossible to see when a scene pops into focus. As I said earlier, they are optimized for autofocus lenses. They are utterly worthless for manual focus.

Among other things, I shoot dance performances with Takumar lenses....manual focus....and I refuse to accept the notion that manual focus is inferior or limiting. Here are over 1,000 examples to show what I'm talking about. I defy anyone to tell me the process was too slow to keep up with the action or that the "obsolete" lenses and focusing method compromised the results in any way.

Last edited by Mike Cash; 01-29-2011 at 09:54 PM.
01-29-2011, 09:37 PM   #10
Veteran Member
Hypocorism's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Melbourne .au
Posts: 623
QuoteOriginally posted by hray Quote
Would a hobby-level enthusiast with only film background be satisfied with the K-x kit lenses, 18-55 and 55-300? Would a 1.4x or 2.0x teleconverter be useful?
I think you'd be over the moon with a Kit like that. Both those lenses are surprises in what they produce, and esp for the great value bundled prices around now.

Bah, forget the Converter. Consider that you're moving int a world of "1.5x crop sensor" now, what that translates to is say; a 300mm lens effectively works like a 450mm. And I'm sure you'd understand that steady hand holding a 450mm (decent reach, and due to its smaller Angle of View), is enough trouble in itself, without the loss of light gathering penalty from a TC sitting behind the already small-aperture lens.
Also there aren't any affordable or quality TCs available for Pentax, not like the mega$$$ ones available for Canon and Nikon.

QuoteOriginally posted by hray Quote
I really want to keep under $1000 to start with, so buying a body and 2-3 high-end lenses is not an option (I’m newly retired: more time, less money…)
Same here, and I built my play-toys kit on basically the same base gear and budget constrained principles.

QuoteOriginally posted by hray Quote
Would my manual Sigmas work well? I've never had autofocus except on our point&shoot snapshot camera, so having to focus wouldn’t bother me.
Any suggestions on a reasonably priced macro setup for the K-x?
Psst... Auto focus is a huge bonus , don't underestimate that such 'modern conveniences' are detrimental to one's creativity and or quality photography in any way. In fact things like that only give you scope to concentrate energies in the less mundane areas.

Being a macro addict who's recently been down the same road on cheap-seats Pentax cameras and gear, I honestly think that you could fit yourself up nicely and stay within that 1,000 bucks ceiling initially, and not have to play the manual this manual that workarounds game that can be fun and good experience for the young, but can get monotonous when you want to actually do something and have a life as well.

One important point to consider is that if you definitely want a K-x then you'd better act quick - and by that I mean yesterday!
K-x was freely available with the 18-55 + 55-300 at super deal prices up until just recently, but seems like stocks have dried abruptly and you might find the combo very hard to find.
(and buying the 2-lens "bundle" means fairly hefty saving against separate items)

However that also means the K-x successor, K-r, has become more affordable, and believe me (I have both now), K-r is definitely the hands-down more desirable better featured weapon to own and use.
The extra premium over K-x price is probably worth it IMhO, because you intend to live with the camera for a long time.

K-r body + those two lenses as a Kit are readily available at both Adorama and B&H photo for <USD840 (incl free ship to US address):
14664 Pentax K-r Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm and 55-300mm Zoom Lenses, 12.4 Megapixel CMOS Sensor, 720p HD Video, Black
Pentax K-r Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm and 55-300mm 14664

K-r comes with a rechargeable Li-Ion battery+charger too (unlike K-x, it uses 4x old AA size) so no extra ongoing outlay reqd there.
All you'd need to add to start taking pics is a SD memory card, size and price of your choice (Class 6 speed min reqd.)

Now for the good bit, basic macro tools.

I'm sure you'd know of the usual Bellows, Extension Tubes, Diopters... and now with digital, fairly affordable specialist 1:1 Macro lenses that aren't even dedicated, they can serve as pretty decent portrait lenses too because they're 'sharp'.

OK to separate:

1. I wouldn't bother with Bellows, Tubes or making old lenses work at this stage, they can be a big pain and you can look into those adventures down the track. Let's get something active first.

2. A good 1:1 dedicated macro lens breaks your budget unfortunately, so I'd leave that for a down the track decision too. There's a lot of range and options to choose from, and that deserves time and consideration, and some beyond starters experience will help you a lot there too.

3. Diopters, or screw on-the-filter-thread lenses. Normally these would be a non-consideration, because most are worthless garbage. But... there is one brand and type available that is well made and produces amazingly good optical performance for a diopter thingo -- Raynox DCR-150 and DCR-250.

DCR-150 Macro conversion lens for D-SLR camera
DCR-250 Super Macro conversion lens for D-SLR camera

Now take a look at some of the lovely stuff here;
Raynox 150 and 250 - Flickr: Search

Current cost is pretty decent for what they do too, @ USD50.00 and USD 42.95 each;
DCR150 Raynox DCR-150, Macro-Scan 1.5x Super Macro Conversion Lens, with Snap-on Universal Mount for 52mm to 67mm Filter Diameters.
DCR250 Raynox DCR-250, Macro-Scan 2.5x Super Macro Conversion Lens, with Snap-on Universal Mount for 52mm to 67mm Filter Diameters.

Either or both of those would still keep within your $1,000 total spend and would compliment the 2 Pentax Kit lenses very nicely, adding fairly affordable and convenient quite decent quality close focus abilities to your arsenal.
Of course later on you're probably going to want a good macro-friendly tripod too, and maybe a cheap off camera flash, so all pennies saved now by buying 'value' gear that still performs great, without requiring silly hoops-jumping effort to use it, is worthwhile IMhO.

Oh yeah, your 2 existing old Sigma lenses might find some use later on in the grand scheme too, but I wouldn't put much effort there just to save a few dollars up front and sacrifice the opportunity and real pleasure that modern stuff will bring. You've earned it at this stage of life.


Fwiw: Although I have by now slowly accumulated all the usual macro gear (all on the cheap), incl 3 fairly good macro/close focusable lenses, I added both those Raynox to the toys-bin recently because they're just so good and convenient for a price that doesn't break the bank.

Hope you find the info useful and best wishes in your decision making anyway, whichever way you go.

.R. -- who is "not young enough to know everything any more" and prefers to leave the hoops-jumping to those who need the experience.

Last edited by Hypocorism; 01-30-2011 at 12:57 PM.
01-29-2011, 10:18 PM   #11
Veteran Member
Mike Cash's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Japan
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 6,952
QuoteOriginally posted by Hypocorism Quote
.R. -- who is "not young enough to know everything any more" and prefers to leave the hoops-jumping to those who need the experience.
That would seem to be referring to me. While it is none of your business, I am 45 years old, came up on 35mm film before autofocus was around, and don't consider myself young enough to think I know everything. Apparently, and blessedly so, I also am not yet old enough to think I know everything and to think it gives me license to be a condescending snot about it.

I have nothing against autofocus and use it myself sometimes. But the simple fact is that I can buy manual focus lenses with superb image quality with my meager budget and don't have $500~1000+ to spend on modern autofocus lenses of similar quality. So I make do with $10~$200 lenses that most have turned their backs on. I'm not going to pay huge bucks just to have the camera focus for me when I am perfectly capable of doing it myself for free.

.M -- who never knew that twisting a focus ring constituted "hoop jumping".
01-29-2011, 11:06 PM   #12
Veteran Member
Hypocorism's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Melbourne .au
Posts: 623
QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
That would seem to be referring to me.
It was not. Please refrain from such callow voices-in-head accusations, indeed, if you claim tolerance, understanding and maturity with any sincerity, then surely you would realise that doing so is most unbecoming of that calibre.

Or are you just "new to the Internet" as you seem to choose your present demeanour to exude?


.R. -- My inferiority complex isn't as good as yours.
01-29-2011, 11:21 PM   #13
Veteran Member
Mike Cash's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Japan
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 6,952
QuoteOriginally posted by Hypocorism Quote
It was not. Please refrain from such callow voices-in-head accusations, indeed, if you claim tolerance, understanding and maturity with any sincerity, then surely you would realise that doing so is most unbecoming of that calibre.
When you were a kid did you have a bicycle with coaster brakes? You display a skill at backpedaling that certainly must have come from practice at a very young age. If it wasn't intended for me, then your composition skills are on a par with your critical reading skills....Where did I claim tolerance, understanding and maturity? Either with or without sincerity? Kindly keep your straw men to yourself.

I am the only person in this thread to actively encourage the original poster to continue to make use of his current lenses, so I fail to see who else you could have intended your gratuitous snotty remarks for.

QuoteQuote:
Or are you just "new to the Internet" as you seem to choose your present demeanour to exude?
Online since 1997. Had I known it was a contest I would have made an effort to show up sooner. Is it your practice to make everything a contest of who has been at something the longest? The need to find some validation for your positions based on something as trivial as that is itself indicative of an inferiority complex that needs take a backseat to no one's.

At least when I have something to say I put my name on it. How much maturity does it require to insult people from behind a netnym?

Last edited by Mike Cash; 01-29-2011 at 11:38 PM.
01-30-2011, 11:17 AM   #14
Pentaxian




Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Oklahoma USA
Posts: 1,502
I think there is a difference between discouraging use of the lenses the OP has and discouraging manual focus in every case, although I still maintain that even with similar screens, the average 35mm viewfinder experience is superior to at least my pentax k100/200 experience. Notably, the viewfinder displays on the k100/200 are horribly dim compared to the 35mm cameras I'm familiar with, and are essentially invisible in some situations.

There are very good quality, low cost, more-than-substitutes for the two lenses the OP owns. By all means if you own a somewhat unique, difficult-to-replace lens in m42 or K mount, use it. And it's nice that Pentax lets you do that. But the lenses the OP has are inadequate for general purpose photography on the wide end, and don't seem to offer anything unique that would justify their use over the kit lenses.

Paul

Last edited by tibbitts; 01-30-2011 at 11:28 AM.
01-30-2011, 12:23 PM   #15
Forum Member
hray's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: New Mexico
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 79
Original Poster
Thanks for the input; good points to think about!

Thank you all for your input on all sides; I didn't mean to incite a minor riot!

I think I will just go with the camera and two kit lenses and play until I see what I can get them to do; that should keep me busy for a while. This has convinced me to hang onto the old lenses, and will play with them, too. It's great to know that there are so many options open (Thank you, Pentax!)

I'll probably be posting as I come to more decision points--now back to reading the forums! This is a SUPER site.

Best wishes,
hray

2/2/2010: Update: minor change of plans...involving dental work, home repair and the income tax calculations...the K-x will have to wait for a little while. Instead I will borrow my DH's little non-Pentax POS (er...I meant PNS...) and learn all I can about the digital workings, which should flatten the learning curve later. Thanks, all!!

Last edited by hray; 02-02-2011 at 06:33 AM. Reason: Updated info
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
camera, k-x, k1000, lenses, macro, pentax, pentax help, photography, sigma
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
K1000 lens to kr costas60 Pentax K-r 6 01-15-2011 09:46 AM
Osawa K1000 lens on Kx Rmagers Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 5 07-29-2010 04:52 PM
K1000 Lens Suggestions? NecroticSoldier Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 3 02-23-2010 04:13 PM
Zoom lens for K1000 Brianog Pentax Film SLR Discussion 3 07-10-2009 07:07 AM
For Sale - Sold: K1000 with Lens pswoods Sold Items 0 01-21-2009 08:08 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:43 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top