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02-26-2009, 12:25 AM   #16
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Not sure what prices your #1 and #2 choices are, but these are very different. Pentax-M is an old (late 70's to early 80's) manual-focus push-pull design, sort of a predecessor of the A70-210/4 that was mentioned earlier. Though it is a smidge faster than the Tak 70-200/4-5.6 you mention, you'll need to focus manually and use stop-down metering (can be less inaccurate) in M mode. The Tak will be a little slower at the long end but I suspect that you might prefer the convenience of full compatibility with your camera--use of autofocus and all exposure modes.

If you haven't looked already you might want to also check KEH. When they say a lens is excellent it is, and if they say it is BGN, it's probably a match for much of what you'll find on e-bay.

02-26-2009, 01:06 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by AndrewG NY Quote
Not sure what prices your #1 and #2 choices are, but these are very different. Pentax-M is an old (late 70's to early 80's) manual-focus push-pull design, sort of a predecessor of the A70-210/4 that was mentioned earlier. Though it is a smidge faster than the Tak 70-200/4-5.6 you mention, you'll need to focus manually and use stop-down metering (can be less inaccurate) in M mode. The Tak will be a little slower at the long end but I suspect that you might prefer the convenience of full compatibility with your camera--use of autofocus and all exposure modes.

If you haven't looked already you might want to also check KEH. When they say a lens is excellent it is, and if they say it is BGN, it's probably a match for much of what you'll find on e-bay.
Ok,

The Takumar 70-200 will come out to be ~65 shipped
The eBay Pentax-M 70-210 is $30 shipped

Finally on KEH they got the SMC P F (BGN) is $54 shipped or I can get a new one off eBay for $76...

Gah! my head is spinning!
02-26-2009, 09:51 AM   #18
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Bear in mind that KEH is also probably better about accepting returns. The M will probably take good pictures, and it obviously doesn't cost much to try it but ultimately you would probably be happier with a newer lens that is 'A'-capable (all autoexposure modes, 'A' on the aperture ring). It takes some extra patience to deal withstop-down metering and its exposure accuracy issues, though there's something to be said for the old well-built lenses and slowing down and taking your time making exposures.

One other thing, the k-mount "takumars" (or any other Pentax lens that doesn't mention SMC) were generally lower-cost budget items that lack the best "SMC" lens coatings. While they may not be terrible, you can generally expect better performance from the SMC versions--better light transmission usually shows up as improved contrast and flare resistance.
02-27-2009, 08:47 PM   #19
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I've dealt with KEH before and they've got a great return policy--no hassles. Here are some possiblities for you that I found at KEH:
The Tamron and Sigma 70-300s are decent lenses and can be found used for under $100, no problem and they have closeup capabilities, as well.
KEH Camera: Pentax Auto Focus - Non-Mfg Zoom Lenses - 70-300 F4-5.6 TAMRON LD TELE-MACRO (58)(472D) 35MM SLR AUTO FOCUS ZOOM TELEPHOTO LENS
KEH Camera: Pentax Auto Focus - Non-Mfg Zoom Lenses - 70-300 F4-5.6 SIGMA DG MACRO (58) WITH HOOD, CAPS, 35MM SLR AUTO FOCUS ZOOM TELEPHOTO LENS

HTH,
Heather

03-03-2009, 04:36 PM   #20
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Need Purchase Advice on *ist DL

Thanks for the input!

Well, after going out with my camera for a few days and taking pictures with the kit lens, I must say I'm pretty timid to get a manual lens or one that isn't fully compatible with my camera.

With that experience, I decided to shell out the extra cash to get the Pentax SMC DA 50-200mm... I will have to get the other lens as I get better and know how to use the lens and what to do with my shots!

Now..onto the flash.

Is there any particular flash unit I should be looking out for with the *ist DL? I've noticed that the built in flash puts out some harsh light, and also seen some DIY diffusers / bounce.

I would think my general use of flash would be for indoor photos and photos of people if that should affect my decision on which type of flash to get?
03-09-2009, 07:14 PM   #21
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Hi there fellow istDL owner - all I can say is that I love my little ist DL to bits and have taken my most brilliant shots with this 'beginners' camera. I have had mine for about5 years now and it has taken a real beating up in the northwest of western australia. Regularly over 46 degrees and lots of beautiful red dust to find its way into the camera. It just keeps ticking over and I've only had it professionally cleaned twice since I've owned it.
It takes such true and rich colour and captures exactly what you see with the naked eye.
I bought a K200D last year on the advice of an 'expert???', and from the beginning the colours it produced were no where near my little istDL. The shots turned out washed out, lifeless and nothing like the fantastic colours you get up here. I went to all sorts of 'experts', manufacturers, professional people, asked people online on this site etc and mucked around with every setting and dial on the camera to try to get it to match my istDL, but it never could. When everything had been tweaked and fiddled with, with little or no results, I gave it to my friends in disgust as they had a little finepix camera, and they were quite happy to take it off my hands.
Thing is, I have never had to change a setting exept for the iso on the istDL, since I bought it and it has taken fantastic shots since day 1!!! I say go for it!!!
03-09-2009, 07:24 PM   #22
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The *ist series cams also support TTL flashes. Lots of scope here to pick up a cheap TTl flash that will give you the right exposure on any mode.

Of course, the P-TTL flashes are great too, just in another league in price and functionality.
The older AF series Pentax flashes suffice here though - like the AF208T, which is a fraction of the price of the AF540FGZ.

Suzanne's observation is interesting - didn't expect that.
My K10D's been great, same sensor as the K200D, and results have been very good for me.
I'm yet to see if my purchased *ist D will give me similar results, but I'm sure it will be a great backup body.
03-09-2009, 09:08 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
The *ist series cams also support TTL flashes. Lots of scope here to pick up a cheap TTl flash that will give you the right exposure on any mode.
This isn't quite true; the *ist D, DS, and DS2 are compatible with older TTL flashes, but the DL and DL2 are not.

03-09-2009, 09:35 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by jubei951 Quote
Now..onto the flash.

Is there any particular flash unit I should be looking out for with the *ist DL? I've noticed that the built in flash puts out some harsh light, and also seen some DIY diffusers / bounce.

I would think my general use of flash would be for indoor photos and photos of people if that should affect my decision on which type of flash to get?
The main thing you want to do so that flash doesn't look harsh is to avoid direct flash. Basically, direct flash, near the lens is just about the worst way to use flash. Accessory hotshoe flashes give you more power, mounted further from the lens, and give you the capability to bounce the flash for more diffuse (soft) light. You can mount diffusers but by bouncing (say off a ceiling) the light is diffused off a large reflective area rather than in a small point source. Another factor is balancing with ambient light. Basically make the most of the available light and flash power by raising ISO and not stopping down the aperture too far and keeping the shutter speed on the lower side will allow at least some ambient light (natural and/or artificial) to blend with the flash light.

*ist DL is designed for use with P-TTL flashes like the AF-360FGZ and AF-540FGZ. The primary difference between the two is that the 540 is more powerful and features a head that can both bounce (tilt vertically) and swivel (rotate horizontally). The swivel head can be useful for bouncing in other directions such as against walls to the side or behind you...and also allows you to bounce vertically off the ceiling while the camera is oriented vertically. I have found that either one of these flashes, simply pointed vertically and bouncing off a typical white-painted residential ceiling does a lot to make pictures much less 'flashy'. I like the swivel on the 540 a lot so this was my first flash. I later picked up a used AF-360FGZ for ~$150 to use as a second flash for travelling lighter or when using multiple flashes, triggered wirelessly. There are some third party flashes that may be a bit cheaper--for example, there's a Sigma flash with a swivel head that is generally priced lower than the AF-540FGZ. Metz also makes some P-TTL flashes though I don't think they are particularly bargain-priced. There may be some inexpensive alternatives that are P-TTL enabled but these lower-priced models usually sacrifice some typical P-TTL features like high-speed sync (enables shooting at reduced power at shutter speeds higher than 1/180), wireless (multiple flashes) and possibly some other modes like trailing curtain sync and auto flash.

Auto Flash - when I say 'Auto Flash' here I'm referring to an old form of flash automation where instead of using the camera's built-in light meter through the lens to determine flash exposure, it instead uses a small thyristor sensor on the front of the flash body. These flashes have been around for a long time and can still work quite well--and the flashes can be bought at much lower cost. A pretty good choice here is the old Pentax AF-280T which can be bought in great shape for < $50, it offers a swivel/bounce head in a relatively compact design, and offers both manual and auto modes (The TTL mode won't work properly on your *ist DL, it was designed for older film cameras). Basically you manually set the ISO on the flash, and the flash can modulate its power for 'correct' exposure within the constraints of aperture and subject distance.

Anyway this is a fairly big subject area so I'd prefer to hear what you're thinking before going into more detail.
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