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08-28-2012, 07:30 PM   #1
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Newbie seeking advice

Hello all,

I'm new to the board and a returning student to photography. Back in the mid 90s when I was working on my undergrad I used a K1000 for all my photography classes. (I'm now an art director) Sadly I sold it once those classes were complete to help cover more tuition.

I've been wanting to get back into taking photos just for personal pleasure and several point and shoot digital cameras have left me a little cold. That's when I realized I had forgotten how to take a photograph. It wasn't the camera's fault.

So today I purchased that tried and true K1000 that I loved back then. Sometimes it's better to go back and start over and I couldn't think of a better camera to start over with.

I bought a set locally that has the following:

PENTAX-M 1:2 50mm Lens
TAKUMAR Bayonet 1:4.5 80-200mm Zoom Lens
VIVITAR 135mm, 1:3.5 Lens
STAR-D 28mm, 1:2.8 MACRO Lens

So my question is, are these good lenses? Do I need any additional lenses? Should I look at replacing any of these with something different?

Also, I know the K1000 is a great camera but I want to keep my eyes out for something more robust as my skills improve. I have friends that are Nikon users and they recommended a F4 or an FE or FM3. All of which I know are great cameras, but what would be the Pentax equivalent? The top of the line Pro level SLR.

I don't mind grabbing a F4/FE/FM3 but I've got 4 Pentax lenses now so it seems to make sense to get a body that will take those lenses.

Thanks everyone, looking forward to being part of the Pentax community.

08-28-2012, 08:26 PM   #2
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None of those lenses are particularly amazing, they are all entry level, but all of them should be perfectly usable if they are in good condition. They will at least give you a starting point to figure out what you need and want.

By a "robust" camera, what do you mean? One with more automated features to make it easier to use?
08-28-2012, 08:39 PM   #3
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It would depend on your approach, and budget.
The MZ-S (click for review) is by most opinions, the pinnacle of Pentax Auto focus Film SLR's for features etc. It just comes at a cost.
Similarly the Pentax LX gets raving reviews as the best Manual Focus film SLR but also commands a high price tag.

As for the lenses; They will be fine for the moment, just get yourself out shooting and that will help you work out where you need to fill gaps or replace lenses.
08-28-2012, 09:58 PM   #4
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Unless you enjoy doing your own developing and printing give a DSLR a try.Film cameras are cheap these days even the advanced models with auto focus and controls,sometimes even going for less than the K-1000 but the cost of film and developing if one takes quite a few pictures can be as much as a new DSLR.Most Pentax DSLR's hold up as well or better than film cameras as far as the number of pictures they will take without maintenance.All the lens you have can be used on all digital Pentax models from the first made to the newest model

08-28-2012, 11:50 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by SCADjacket Quote
I know the K1000 is a great camera but I want to keep my eyes out for something more robust as my skills improve.
K1000, KX, KM... built like tanks... heavy as well.
Nikon... sure... costly... YES!
Bang for buck is still Pentax... try finding a body and the basic 3 lenses inside of $300 from Nikons.

If you are coming back to film, then you just need dependable.
Going all manual is... my opinion... best way to learn...again... and so stay away from auto for a while.

Try some Sunny 16 and learn some hand metering techniques to get the feel of lighting conditions, exposures and the impact to tones.
Depth of Field, Field-of-View, Angle of view... being creative with it.

QuoteOriginally posted by Boker Quote
Most Pentax DSLR's hold up as well or better than film cameras
At one half of the areana, true... and film is the other half. I use my Pentax digital as sometimes an advanced meter preview device for a tricky film shot, but that is on time/cost/critical shots. Pure shooting is just the film camera and maybe a meter... brain power for the rest of the process.
08-28-2012, 11:57 PM   #6

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As already mentioned, the MZ-S and LX are generally considered the top Pentax film cameras. I don't have either one, but the LX, as well loved as it is, often needs an adjustment or repair. Not that it's unbearably expensive, but it does happen.

I do have the PZ-1, which is generally considered the next-best film camera (or the PZ-1p). But I think I like my ZX-L just as much. Older film cameras like my K2 can be fun too. Make sure you look them up in the Pentax Digital Cameras and Film Cameras - Pentax Camera Reviews and Specifications if you're thinking of getting one.

It's true that the Pentax DSLRs are good, and they can use the same lenses. If you were buying new today, consider the K-30. If you're buying used today, consider the K-r, K-x, or K200D. If you're willing to wait, there may well be a cheaper model coming out soon - we'll probably know next month around Photokina. If you're willing to spend more money, one or two more expensive models are expected this year or soon afterward, including a probable full frame model which will have the same image plane as your K1000 (but it may take a while to come out).

As far as lenses, and A (or M) 50/1.7, F (or A) 24-50/4, and F70-20/4-5.6 makes a great set. The F models are Auto Focus, so you'd probably want an AF SLR or DSLR.
08-29-2012, 07:11 AM   #7
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What you have now will work fine for giving yourself a refresher course in photography, I wouldn't shell out any money for lenses or bodies until I was sure I was improving and it would be worthwhile to invest in more equipment. Keep your eyes open, if you happen to spot a 50mm f1.4 or f1.7 cheap, grab it. Ditto for a 200-300mm prime. Otherwise, don't worry about lenses, cameras etc for now. Get a good flash, make sure you have good UV filters, (that does make a difference with film) and get out there and shoot. Once you've been at it for a while, you're sure you plan to stay with photography, you can see an improvement in your overall ability, then you might want to consider sinking more money into equipment upgrades.

I had a K1000 years ago, loved it. Started with a KX, then the K1000, then several Me's and ME Supers. If I could find the K1000 I'd try to fix it, I'm considering trying to fix up the old KX and use it too. Misplaced the K1000 years ago, no idea where it is now...still have all the others. I got several of the ME and ME Super cameras at yard sales, 5 bucks a pop at most, and every one came with a good 50mm I now have a half dozen nifty fifties in f1.4, f1.7 and f2 varieties. Never did find a f1.2 though...But the ones I do have all work quite well, I stilll use most of them now and then, even the f2 gets pulled out at times.

As far as your lens range, you have everything from 28mm to 200mm covered, no need I see for anything else until you know it's worthwhile. Use what you have, see how it does, then after a few tries if you see one just doesn't cut it, think about a replacement. the only one I see that I might be concerned about is the Star D 28, I don't know enough about Star D to know if they are decent or not. But then I've seen Vivitar lenses that were duds and a couple of Lentar lenses, (90-230 and 135mm) who I had never heard of, that are great...
08-30-2012, 11:21 AM   #8
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Thanks a ton for all the great feedback. Gonna take my K1000 out this weekend and start shooting. It's been a long time and it almost feels like starting from square one, but it should be a lot of fun.

08-30-2012, 09:41 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by SCADjacket Quote
Thanks a ton for all the great feedback. Gonna take my K1000 out this weekend and start shooting. It's been a long time and it almost feels like starting from square one, but it should be a lot of fun.
This is a blast from the past. You are giving me fond memories of my K1000 days. Enjoy.
09-01-2012, 08:53 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by SCADjacket Quote
I know the K1000 is a great camera but I want to keep my eyes out for something more robust as my skills improve.
If by "robust" you mean sturdy... well, the K1000 is a tank... I recently heard a good story about one being used to hammer tent pegs...
Hope you have a lot of fun with it, & discover the joy of remembering "how to take a photograph".
You might enjoy this thread:
09-02-2012, 03:58 PM   #11
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I'm missing the K1000 and KX from my film colection... My favourite is the MX by far and paired with an M50-1.4 it's simply stunning to use...


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