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06-09-2011, 08:01 AM   #1
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To Many Choices

I have an old Pentax Spotmatic II with numerous screw type lenses. I would like to buy a DSLR but am very confused as to which model to buy. It seems the K-r is better than the K-x and I have been told the k-20 is still a good camera. What I am looking for is a good overall camera with a zoom lense, but will be able to (when wanted) to use my old lenses on on the camera base. Am I still in the 70's technology or just old or should I just invest in a good camer and forget the lenses? I don't want to spend a fortune on the camera as well.
Looking forward to you replys and help.
Dave

06-09-2011, 08:18 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by kot2b Quote
should I just invest in a good camer and forget the lenses
I am guessing that with your SPII you probably have some SMC Takumars, never get rid of those. Get yourself the adaptor to use your screw mount lenses on the newer dslr body.

As for the body choice, a little info on the type of shooting you will be doing will help...


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06-09-2011, 08:44 AM   #3
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Keep the Takumars

I second the idea of keeping the Takumars. I have a Super Takumar 50mm, f/1.4 that I use on my K10D. I love it. Its super fast and sharp.

Like you, I learned using a Spotmatic, so manual focus and stop-down metering don't bother me.

I use the 50 in much the same way I did on the Spotmatic. Set the lens to M aperture mode and the camera to Av (or manual, if you prefer). Open the lens all the way. Compose and focus. Aim the center of the image at the spot you want to meter on. Press the shutter halfway. Wait for the SR "hand" to come on. Hold the shutter. Recompose, if necessary. Press the shutter the rest of the way.

As for adapters, many will tell you to only get the genuine Pentax adapter. I have a third-party (Bower, I think) adapter, that works fine for me. Beware of the really cheap adapters that have a large flange that sits outside the lens mount opening. This will prevent the lens from focusing to infinity. A genuine Pentax adapter and its clones fits entirely inside the lens mount.

This is one of the advantages of the Pentax system. The in-body shake reduction works, even with 45 year old lenses. Metering works, as well.

Most adapters have a little sheet-metal spring that locks the adapter onto the camera. I removed the spring from my adapter and leave it on the lens. This effectively turned my Super Takumar lens into a k-mount lens. In my case, friction is more than enough to keep the lens and adapter in place. I have never had even a hint of a problem with either one coming loose.
06-09-2011, 09:09 AM   #4
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They're all good cameras. The question is how much do you want to spend and what do you expect to get for your money. As for selling your lenses, I agree with the others. Keep them. Even if you invest in another brand body (perish the thought), you can buy an adapter to use them on just about any camera made (that's why they are so expensive right now).



06-09-2011, 09:16 AM   #5
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In direct answer to the OP's question about which DSLR body to get, it seems that the concern is which body will work better with the stable of older lenses. Any of your listed choices K20, Kx, Kr will work just fine with your older lenses although there are things to learn about using them. I don't own either the Kx or Kr but do own a K20 (and K5 for that matter). Personally, I'd opt for the newest of them the Kr as it is the most up to date of the three (it's generally always better to get the latest technology IMHO). On the other hand, an older K20 would be a very good choice as it was the top of the line camera and a used one still has a lot of life in it (no video though).

As far as zoom lenses go, you should be able to pick up the kit lens DA 18-55 with any of these bodies. It's a good one to start with.
06-09-2011, 11:54 AM   #6
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Keep the Taks and get the best DSLR you can afford. Remember that you need to set for "shoot w/o lens" and set for "Aperture Priority". The lenses will not have auto aperture, so you will need to open them up for focusing and then step them down for shooting. You will get great shots with them. Agree with blackcloudbrew.
06-09-2011, 02:04 PM   #7
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As everyone else has said - keep the old lenses. I've purchased several for my K-x and appreciate their character. If you're not sure if you will actually like digitalSLR photography than perhaps a used K-20 would be the best choice to begin with? As for a zoom lens - I think that the DAL 55-300mm is the best bang for the buck in the Pentax zoom lens stable. Really nice reach and the IQ is very good and its a bargain.
06-09-2011, 02:12 PM   #8
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Takumar Lenses

Now why'd ya'll tell him to keep those old lenses! Hell, I'd buy em' all right now. They're obsolete anyhow ..... LOL

06-09-2011, 04:20 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by joe.penn Quote
I am guessing that with your SPII you probably have some SMC Takumars, never get rid of those. Get yourself the adaptor to use your screw mount lenses on the newer dslr body.

As for the body choice, a little info on the type of shooting you will be doing will help...


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If they are SMC or S-M-C Taks, he would need either the Spotmatic F, ES or ESII to take advantage of open aperture metering.
06-09-2011, 06:52 PM   #10
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The thing to realize is that while the K-x and K-r are newer than the K20D, the former are both "entry level" bodies, and the K20D was top of line in its day. What generally hapens is that in terms of basic *features* (number & type of controls, quality of viewfinder, etc), an older top-of-the-line camera will be better than a newer entry level camera. But sensor technology improves rapidly enough that newer entry level cameras often outperform older top-of-the-line cameras in image quality.
06-12-2011, 04:46 PM   #11
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Thanks for your comments

For all of you who took the time to respond.......I thank you.
Basically I use the camera to take pictures during family and other events. I also take allot of close up pictures of model trains and also the real thing. Some of the time I need the telephoto lense to get the pictures I want as most rail road property is posted.

Like all of you have said, I have no intentions of getting ride of my lense, and if for some reason I do.......you will all be the first to know.

Still up in the air as what camera to buy or where to get the best deal. I have checked numerous camera shops on line and on E-bay.

Thanks again and still looking.

Dave
06-12-2011, 07:12 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by kot2b Quote
For all of you who took the time to respond.......I thank you.
Basically I use the camera to take pictures during family and other events. I also take allot of close up pictures of model trains and also the real thing. Some of the time I need the telephoto lense to get the pictures I want as most rail road property is posted.

Like all of you have said, I have no intentions of getting ride of my lense, and if for some reason I do.......you will all be the first to know.

Still up in the air as what camera to buy or where to get the best deal. I have checked numerous camera shops on line and on E-bay.

Thanks again and still looking.

Dave
Good luck, and don't be a stranger. I took the train tour at Disney in February with my son and bought my Tamron 10-24 just for that event.
06-12-2011, 07:24 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by kot2b Quote
Still up in the air as what camera to buy or where to get the best deal. I have checked numerous camera shops on line and on E-bay.
Dave,

Take a look in the forums marketplace. I'm sure you'll find a good offer on a used camera body.
06-13-2011, 06:50 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by erangel Quote
Dave, Take a look in the forums marketplace. I'm sure you'll find a good offer on a used camera body.
Seconded... If buying secondhand I'd go for a K20 as the viewfinder will be a lot easier to work with old m42 lenses than a K-x/K-r/K-m/*ist etc...
If you want new get the best you can afford (K7/K5)... It'll come with a fair-decent quality zoom lens anyway (pentax kit lenses are said to out-perform canikony anyway)

Keep the Taks! Keep the Taks! Keep the Taks! (or flog them and buy a K5/K-r and a selection of FA/DA Ltds...)
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