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02-24-2011, 06:06 AM   #1
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K-?

First post: Please bear with me. I'll try not to bore you

From mid '70's till early '90's photography was an ever increasing part of my job including processing all of my B & W and transparency work. I did most aspects but particularly architectural, publicity and records. I was working at a semi pro level, so I supposed I'm not a complete beginner.

When I changed jobs the photography side was less important in my new role and as the kids were still very young I got a Sony Hi-8 camcorder. Stills took a back seat.

When digital photography began to get a hold I lost a little more interest. Sitting on front of a computer couldn't be as pleasing as the darkroom. Could it?

Recently I've started to get an itch, brought about by numerous things with one being the cost to my business of photographers doing what I used to and sometimes not very well.

I'd like to get back into it a bit (lot) more. Possibly picking up where I left off back in the dark ages. As my only experience of digital is snaps with a compact, if you haven't nodded off, :ugh: I'd be interested in your thoughts.

I have a budget that would allow me a K-5 with the 18-55 and 50-200 kit lenses.
Also, I still have a lot of my gear including my M series SMC 20mm F4, SMC 28mm F2.8, SMC 50MM F1.4, SMC 100mm F2.8 lenses, which seem to have good reviews on here.

I will increasingly have more time on my hands (retirement, although a few years away seems to be approaching faster each day). Also I wouldn't want to have to upgrade in a couple of years because I didn't make a bold enough decision now. I would also like video capacity.

So my questions are: Do I go for the K-5 and kit lenses? Or is it overkill and go for a K-7 and save some cash? Or a K-x and save even more?

Also are my M series lenses worth hanging on to and are they of any practical use with a digital. Or do I get rid of my 35mm gear (if there is still a market) and put the money towards the new kit?

I would very much appreciate any views, observations and advice.

Thanks

Jim

02-24-2011, 06:38 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimD Quote


When digital photography began to get a hold I lost a little more interest. Sitting on front of a computer couldn't be as pleasing as the darkroom. Could it?

I have a budget that would allow me a K-5 with the 18-55 and 50-200 kit lenses.
Also, I still have a lot of my gear including my M series SMC 20mm F4, SMC 28mm F2.8, SMC 50MM F1.4, SMC 100mm F2.8 lenses, which seem to have good reviews on here.

So my questions are: Do I go for the K-5 and kit lenses? Or is it overkill and go for a K-7 and save some cash? Or a K-x and save even more?

Also are my M series lenses worth hanging on to and are they of any practical use with a digital. Or do I get rid of my 35mm gear (if there is still a market) and put the money towards the new kit?

I would very much appreciate any views, observations and advice.

Thanks

Jim
Hi and welcome back to photography Jim

my 2 cents

is sitting in front of a computer as fun as the darkroom - nope not even close, but it smells less and general post work is quicker. also a number of effects that were difficult in the darkroom are a breeze in lightroom/PS etc

Your M lenses - keep them they will be very useful. I have quite a spread of older lenses and they are all great on digital( bear in mind there is a crop factor so as an example the 50 will give you a field of view equivalent to a 75 on your 35mm gear, so more of a portrait length.

as for the k5-k7-kx thing it sounds like you are pretty competent so i would lean towards the 5 or 7. not sure I'd jump on that kit bandwagon. the 18-55wr is decent for the price and gives you cheap WR but it is limited in it's performance despite all the raves. I have one, it's as good as i would expect but nothing stellar. perhaps instead of the 5 with the 2 kits you could look at a 7 with the 18-135 wr which will give you better performance and wr over a range equivalent to 28-200 on 35mm. Still not prime lens performance but you have 3 good primes for that. alternately start with a k5 or 7 and get a single better lens like the 16-45 f4 or the 17-70 f4, or one of the tamron 16-50 f2.8 which is a great mid price zoom. no wr on any of these so it depends on your shooting style and need for wr
02-24-2011, 07:26 AM   #3
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Welcome back to photography! You've got a greay set of M lenses already, and yes they will be very useful on whichever DSLR you choose.

In my opinion I think the K-5 is still a bit inflated price wise, while the K-7 has reached a nice steady-state price. That said, unless you're interested in very-low-light or sports, I'd recommend the K-7. As for the K-x/r option, both cameras are great, but being that you're used to old SLR's, I think you'd find at least the viewfinders frustrating.

For lenses, I agree with the last poster that the 18-135 is a better "kit" than the 18-55 & 50-200. Not only is the IQ better, but the DC motor is smoking fast. For a good cheap tele, I'd recommend the 55-300.

Good luck and best of luck getting back into photography!
02-24-2011, 08:06 AM   #4
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fwiw..... i would already have the k-5, but the focus issues for a 1500 pro body (per pentax) just doesn't make it for me...... the k-x, is a capable dslr, not weather sealed, but the iq is very good, the high iso shot capability is well documented... and buying the k-x new for 500 or so, would free up some serious $$ for some nice af lenses....... best of luck and welcome back, dave m

02-24-2011, 09:54 AM   #5
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If you are comfortable using manual lenses then do not get the kit lenses. Buy better lenses in the future perhaps, after getting some shooting experience.
02-24-2011, 10:35 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimD Quote
Also are my M series lenses worth hanging on to and are they of any practical use with a digital. Or do I get rid of my 35mm gear (if there is still a market) and put the money towards the new kit?
After buying the M20/4 I haven't used the kit lens for a year and sold it. I like it on digital even more than I liked it on film. If you want to utilize AF and automatic exposure, you can buy some digital lenses, but the kit lens only advantages are price and convenience.
If you would miss the wide angle of the M20/4 on cropped sensor, try DA14 or DA15.
02-24-2011, 11:33 AM   #7
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I never sat in a dark room developing photos (I'm young, but not that young). Digital cameras have been around most of my life and my first "real" camera was my current kx. I personally think that PP on a computer is a part of general digital photography and I enjoy doing it. Obviously my opinions are mine and mine alone. Having said that I would go with the K5. It is not over kill if you are sure you can afford it. The K5 is pretty much better in every way than the K7 especially in high ISO performance (important to me). I suggest doing some searches for photos from the K7 and K5 and decide for yourself and then decide if the K5 is overkill.
02-24-2011, 02:54 PM   #8
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Hi JimD and welcome to the forums. Definitely keep the M's you've got a good collection and they will work perfectly on your new digital camera. Obviously they won't auto focus or give you automatic aperture, but they will meter reasonably well on the K-x, K-7 or K-5 (they don't meter so well on the K10D or K20D) There is a trick to using the old manual lenses however, it's not terribly hard read the sticky at the top of the forum on how.
The K-5 and possibly the K-r have some focus issues in low tungsten light environments, if you are planning on shooting a lot in that environment I'd suggest getting a K-7 instead. Note that not all K-5 owners have this problem. I personally don't shoot much in that kind of environment so I will be getting a K-5 as soon as my tax return comes thru, but everyone is different. The advantages of the K-5 over the K-7 are much greater dynamic range, much better predictive AF, and much better high ISO capability. (unlike film cameras, you can change ISO with the turn of a dial) However there is the verified pesky front focus problem in low tungsten light.

NaCl(hope that helps more than it confuses)H2O

02-24-2011, 03:21 PM   #9
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welcome Jim!
I see you are getting a lot of different advice so let me join and confuse you some more.
You being an experienced film photographer and feeling comfortable with manual lenses (I assume) I recommend you to get a K-7 body only which you can have for a good price now, and enjoy your marvelous M lenses.

on a side note, I used only consumer zooms on film cameras and now I use only manual primes with digital, go figure
02-25-2011, 02:29 AM   #10
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Thanks for your advce so far. Some interesting opinions.

Still undecided. I'll obviously hang on to my M lenses now.

Your thoughts on a K-7 with a DA 16-45mm F4 and either DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED or DA 50-200mm F4-5.6 ED WR.

All combinations come to within my budget. Just
02-25-2011, 03:32 AM   #11
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All good thoughts so far. The intended purpose is also important. If not for a weather-sealed capability, I'd even suggest a K-r (if you don't mind the single e-dial) or go simple with a K20D. The K-7 is a fair advance from the K20D in terms of user interface and focusing ability, and for not much more second hand. So a K-7 with 16-45 and 55-300 are excellent choices. All the best in deciding.
04-18-2011, 11:01 PM   #12
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Oh my god! What have I done?

After some weeks of deliberation, following prices, reading member's posts, etc........ I've just blown more cash than I intended to.

I've just picked up a K5, a DA 16-45mm F4 and a DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED.

I got it from one of the UK's Pentax specialists who guarantee that their stock is new and post sensor stain.


Had a play with it last night and still reading through the manual but I hope you guys have plenty of patience......I feel lots and lots of questions coming.


JIm
04-18-2011, 11:15 PM   #13
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Congrats Jim, sounds like you made some nice equipment choices. Once you get comfortable with the camera,don't be afraid to try the manual lenses on it as well. You will be pleasantly surprised. Enjoy.
04-18-2011, 11:17 PM   #14
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Good luck and happy shooting.

QuoteOriginally posted by JimD Quote
Oh my god! What have I done?

After some weeks of deliberation, following prices, reading member's posts, etc........ I've just blown more cash than I intended to.

I've just picked up a K5, a DA 16-45mm F4 and a DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED.

I got it from one of the UK's Pentax specialists who guarantee that their stock is new and post sensor stain.


Had a play with it last night and still reading through the manual but I hope you guys have plenty of patience......I feel lots and lots of questions coming.


JIm
04-18-2011, 11:24 PM   #15
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Well done Jim.
I'm sure you'll find the gear worth the investment.
The 16-45 and 55-300 lenses are as good as you can get for value for money - and their IQ are both excellent.
The only lens I'd add to your working collection (if you needed autofocus) would be an FA 50 f/1.4 for low light and thin depth of field work.
Enjoy.
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