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08-01-2016, 08:39 AM - 2 Likes   #1
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Worthy Pursuit?

My scenario is this - I have always had an interest in pictures and photography but my personal circumstances have never allowed me the luxury of purchasing a "proper" digital camera. I have now inherited a Pentax *ist D and three manual lenses - an F1.4 50mm Chinon, an F2.8 135mm and a Pentax 28-200mm zoom lens. So, am i going to be able to gain any satisfaction in getting into photography in a practical way with this equipment or am i just going to get frustrated and continue wishing i had something much better?? There is currently absolutely no chance of financing any additional equipment in the imminent future. Any advice from all you good forum users out there would be appreciated.

08-01-2016, 08:45 AM   #2
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Re: Worthy Pursuit?

QuoteOriginally posted by plank100 Quote
My scenario is this - I have always had an interest in pictures and photography but my personal circumstances have never allowed me the luxury of purchasing a "proper" digital camera. I have now inherited a Pentax *ist D and three manual lenses - an F1.4 50mm Chinon, an F2.8 135mm and a Pentax 28-200mm zoom lens. So, am i going to be able to gain any satisfaction in getting into photography in a practical way with this equipment or am i just going to get frustrated and continue wishing i had something much better?? There is currently absolutely no chance of financing any additional equipment in the imminent future. Any advice from all you good forum users out there would be appreciated.
It has been said that the best camera is the one you have with you.

Although you lack a true wide-angle among those three lenses I don't see why you cannot have fun and produce images you enjoy.

Remember that you can take great images with a toy camera like a Holga. There's no reason you cannot with the *istD, even if it's name is unpronounceable.
08-01-2016, 08:53 AM   #3
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Do a search on the sample photo page on this site. Plenty of good work with the *istD
08-01-2016, 08:59 AM - 1 Like   #4
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You certainly can get a lot of good use out of the *ist D. You'll have to get good at manual focus with those lenses, look into the Catch-in-Focus feature. You will also need to watch your exposure and won't be able to go as high in ISO as the modern bodies. That should not stop you from using the camera - and it may well lead you to get good at flash photography.

If you want an autofocus lens, bear in mind this does not support the motor-focused lenses like the 18-135. You can get any of the screw-driven lenses, though.

08-01-2016, 09:04 AM   #5
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You can also check out the full review of the camera at DPreview: https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/pentaxistd

It'll go over all the features and uses, and on the last page they've got a bunch of sample images.
08-01-2016, 09:27 AM - 1 Like   #6
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I will say this. I got back into Digital SLR's with a K100D Super and a pair of Kit lenses (18-55, and 50-200). The same 6mp sensor is in that camera as the *ist D.

Are you planning on sharing your pictures on the internet or printing? If sharing - the 6mp is plenty to make good images that you will enjoy. If printing - keep the pictures smaller and you'll still be happy.

Focusing manual focus lenses on that camera may be a challenge. Practice and try and see if it works for you. If not try selling off some of the lenses you have and picking up an 18-55 and 50-200. These are VERY inexpensive. I recently saw a DAL version of the 50-200 listed for $25 USD in the EU.

Keep your ISO low (400 or less) and shoot in good lighting.

Alternately look to a newer bridge camera or compact zoom equipped camera for now. The LX-7 I have is 10mp and makes images on par with my old K100D Super despite having a tiny sensor. Cameras have improved a lot over time. But nothing stops you from having a lot of fun and using an older camera to great impact.
08-01-2016, 09:38 AM   #7
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When I started out, I had tons of fun with 35mm film and a 50-mm lens. It was until 20 years later that I had something other than just 50mm.
08-01-2016, 09:38 AM   #8
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In some ways it is better to start on a lower level camera. You can see how much interest you truely have in photography. With exception of low light and large prints you can achieve the same results. I have a k100d I still pull out and use from time to time. Learning with a setup like you have will only make it easier for you to fully utilize the advances made in technologies. Just have fun learn and most importantly take photos.

08-01-2016, 10:18 AM   #9
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When it came out, the *ist D was Pentax's top-of-the-line digital camera so it's built really well. I think it's only 6 megapixels, but that's more than enough to make decent prints for most purposes. As others have said, the biggest drawback is that you'll need to use it fairly close to its base ISO to get the most out of it. I bought my wife an *ist D when she first wanted to get into photography, but these days she prefers to use her Q so I'm thinking of hijacking her *ist D and making it my everyday camera. lol
08-01-2016, 12:20 PM   #10
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You have nothing to lose - no film to 'waste' so I'd say give it your all and go have fun!

I think you'll get a lot of enjoyment out of the 50mm f/1.4 Shooting it 'wide open' at f/1.4 will be tricky to get focused correctly, but I think you'll like the results! Try focusing on something close to the camera and enjoy what happens to the background of the image!

All the best to you, and we're always here to answer any questions!
08-01-2016, 12:23 PM   #11
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Since it is digital you can "focus bracket" this isn't a function of the camera - just you. Take a shot and slowly adjust focus either way and take a couple more shots with different focus points. This will help overcome the limitations of the manual focus on that camera. Just barely nudge focus either way. Just a thought.
08-01-2016, 02:03 PM   #12
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Thank you all for your encouragement! I will persevere and see what occurs!!
08-01-2016, 02:36 PM   #13
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Those old CCD sensor cameras have a great "look" to the pictures. I think you will enjoy this, and it's a perfect tool for learning.

My "fun camera" is a K10D, only a couple years newer than the *istD, and also having a CCD sensor.
08-01-2016, 03:38 PM - 2 Likes   #14
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Well - the *ist D used to be my camera for business trips from late 2012 to late 2014. I bought it just for fun, to figure out, how a 10 year old technology would perform in comparison to the - at that time - contemporary K-5. What should I say, I was fascinated by the colors of the CCD sensor. Of course there are limits: AF is not up to todays standards - which doesn't matter if you use manual focus lenses. And even more important, the *ist D doesn't like high ISO - which doesn't matter either as long as you compare it with film rather than modern DSLRs. And the good old lady knows nothing of video and live-view - is that important for a SLR?

I want to encourage the thread opener. Although formally outdated, one can still take great pictures with the *ist D. Attached is a sample.
Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX *ist D  Photo 
08-01-2016, 03:45 PM   #15
mee
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Your camera has enough resolution for decent prints and sharing online.. you have no wide lenses but a nice collection otherwise. If its free then why not? jump in the water is fine.
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