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05-18-2019, 06:31 AM   #1
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Pentax IST ds

We just bought a Pentax ist D's and are totally clueless. Our first problem I guess is the memory card. We have a large SD card and a smaller 1gig one but this one is a mini card in an adaptor, neither card will format so we can't try anything yet. Also we can't connect the camera to the pc.
Any help will be greatly appreciated.

05-18-2019, 06:51 AM   #2
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ist ds

Please see

Software Downloads : Support & Service | RICOH IMAGING

As I remember a firmware upgrade is required for the newer larger cards. So check which firmware you have via the link instructions and update the firmware. This is very important only use fresh good quality batteries when upgrading the firmware and do not turn it off until the instructions tell you to. If you turn it off mid update you will own a brick not a camera and you would need to send it in for repair. Start there and your problems should be solved.
05-18-2019, 06:52 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Hello Scott, is the card locked? I've had similar experience with the insertiion and removal of the card, the lock slides to locked position.
05-18-2019, 06:58 AM - 1 Like   #4
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Here is the link to that camera in the database: Pentax *ist DS - Pentax K-mount DSLRs - Pentax Camera Reviews and Specifications There is a link at the bottom of the page for the camera manual in pdf. As noted above this camera can use only SD cards unless the firmware is updated. I believe SD cards were a maximum of 2GB. In order to update the firmware you will need a working memory card, so locating an older, small SD card will be required I think. The info page suggests that after the firmware update you can use SDHC cards.

What firmware version is on the camera?

05-18-2019, 06:59 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Ricoh and earlier Hoya/Pentax discourage the use of adapted microSD cards.

What firmware version is installed on the camera - press the menu button while powering up the camera, the version should be displayed on the rear LCD. You need version 1.02 or higher for support of cards larger than 1 GB. Sort of a Catch 22 if you don't have smaller cards and you need to update from earlier than v1.02 The latest is v2.03.

I suggest you purchase an SD card of 1 GB or less (if you can find one).

You may have to go into the setup menu and change the Transfer Mode to either PC or PC-F in order to connect the PC or Mac. You do have the appropriate cable?

Firmware and user manual downloads from Ricoh Imaging Japan:
Software Downloads : Support & Service | RICOH IMAGING
http://www.ricoh-imaging.co.jp/english/support/man-pdf/istds.pdf

Please make sure your battery is fully charged or you have an AC adapter connected before attempting to update the firmware.
05-18-2019, 07:05 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
I suggest you purchase an SD card of 1 GB or less (if you can find one).
They are getting hard to find, but a computer repair shop may have a drawer full of old cards and sell or give you one.
05-18-2019, 09:05 AM   #7
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I've just checked and it's on version 1.00.

Will I need an old small memory card in order to do the update?
05-18-2019, 11:12 AM - 1 Like   #8
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Just google SD cards and find a seller who still has cards of 2 gb. They will work fine and give you plenty of shots per card.
When you get one, format it in the camera before using it.


Last edited by pentasonic49; 05-18-2019 at 11:26 AM.
05-18-2019, 11:28 AM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Scott pascall Quote
Will I need an old small memory card in order to do the update?
Yes, you will need one to do the update.
05-18-2019, 12:32 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Scott pascall Quote
I've just checked and it's on version 1.00.

Will I need an old small memory card in order to do the update?
Yes. Here's a card that would do the trick:

amazon: Transcend 2 GB SD Flash Memory Card (TS2GSDC): Electronics

(you can probably also use this card outright with the camera, since the DS produces fairly small files to begin with)

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05-19-2019, 12:30 PM   #11
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A 2 gig card or two will be fine for your 1st Ds, way back when they first came out, cards were so expensive that after buying my 1st Ds and a Sigma 18-125, I could only afford a 256MB SD card. My second card was a 512 MB, about 6 months later.
05-23-2019, 01:27 AM   #12
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Wahey it works. Thanks everyone. Next question is is it possible to view through the LCD screen at what I am looking at to photograph or is that just for looking at the picture I've taken
05-23-2019, 03:02 AM   #13
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CCD sensors did not allow live view. I think the K-7 was the first Pentax to have that feature.
05-23-2019, 06:07 PM   #14
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The *ist DS is sort of like a film camera. No "live view" on the rear screen. The screen isn't very high-resolution anyway. You can raise ISO but 800 on up is pretty grainy. Autofocus is not fast. The sensor doesn't have a lot of dynamic range (in current terms). When I use mine today, I try to get exposure exactly right, focus exactly right, framing exactly right, because you can't easily fix those things later. When things are right, the pictures are great. I have a nice 24"x36" print from one. If you stand a foot away from it, sure, you can tell it's 6Mp. Just don't do that, and don't tell anyone it's 6Mp.
05-24-2019, 05:25 AM   #15
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I understand focus is so it's not blurry. I don't understand anything else at all. Is there a video somewhere I can learn from? Also where would I find lenses for a long distance shot and a night shot to capture the northern lights please
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