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04-25-2009, 07:06 AM   #1
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Upgrade to k20d ?

I have been using a k100d with m series 40-80mm f 2.8, f4 macro and a 28mm f2.8 and mostly shot in raw. Right now I am in the process of shooting a large inventory of violin family instruments under small scale studio setting. I am 85 percent happy with the results and they are more than adequate to publish on our home page but the photos are still not as detailed as I would like and they also lack the dept of field. For general use I have been happy with, and taken photos that are very good with all of the different lens using the k100d.
My question is will I get more bang for the buck buying the larger megapixel k20 or would my money be better spent on a lens. (i use the 40-80-mm for 80 percent of all shots) Will the K20d exceed the quality of my existing lens? Do not think I want to spend the money on large format. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Tom

04-25-2009, 10:26 AM   #2
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Some sample pictures would help. Unless you are planning on printing posters, more pixels is probably not the answer - 6MP is already more than enough for most uses. Lack of detail would be more likely to be a result of camera shake, poor lenses, or poor focus. You mention not enough DOF - that suggests you simply need to shoot with a smaller aperture (larger f-number). I don't know much about the zoom, but the other two lenses you have are capable of very sharp results if they are in proper working condition.
04-25-2009, 10:57 AM   #3
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I went from the K100D to the 20D, and there is a noticeable difference (I would hope so). However, the K20D will also show off the strength or weakness of the lens, so you may be investing in another lens as well. You may be able to offset the cost a bit by selling some of your other equipment.
05-02-2009, 08:48 AM   #4
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If DoF is a problem then this is down to the lens, not the camera. For a shallower DoF get a faster lens, perhaps with max aperture F2 or lower. There are several Pentax primes that would fit the bill.

05-02-2009, 10:46 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonathan Mac Quote
If DoF is a problem then this is down to the lens, not the camera.
Or it could be the photographer simply not having realized he can control DOF by selecting an appropriate aperture - and not realizing that a DSLR will always have shallower DOF than a P&S camera (but more DOF than, say, medium format film). Since he has not responded yet, it's hard to say...
05-02-2009, 10:50 AM   #6
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QuoteQuote:
thorcar:I am 85 percent happy with the results and they are more than adequate to publish on our home page but the photos are still not as detailed as I would like and they also lack the dept of field.
QuoteQuote:
thorcar:My question is will I get more bang for the buck buying the larger megapixel k20 or would my money be better spent on a lens. (i use the 40-80-mm for 80 percent of all shots)
I agree with Marc--the 28mm f2.8 is more than capable of doing what you want--try taking more shots with this lens, stopped down to f11. Since you are shooting indoors (most likely) you will do best with a tripod. I have shot with the M 28mm f 2.8 and it is nice and sharp and will do the job for you--start taking most of your shots with it, instead of with the zoom for this job you describe--you will be %100 satisfied. I think the 28mm will focus as close as .3 of a meter.

Marc is also right that 6MP is more than enough already. I love my K20, but for what you are looking to do here you do not need to upgrade cameras. That K100 is a fine camera & that 28mm is a fine lens. Good Luck!
05-02-2009, 07:23 PM   #7
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If the problem is due to your technique, it's possible that the K20 will exaggerate it.
05-02-2009, 09:49 PM   #8
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Agreed.

Although the K20D has a higher pixel count, unless you are using this for very large final prints that will not be noticeable.

Aperture determines depth of field and so determines apparent sharpness on a complex 3-D object like a violin (unless deliberately trying for an artistic effect from an intentionally restricted DOF, of course).

A soft flash using a lightbox or bounced flash +/- some reflected light, with use of a tripod if necessary, together with a fairly tight iris (f8-f16) should give you all the depth and clarity you need without changing equipment.

Kevin.

05-05-2009, 11:57 AM   #9
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Both the Pentax-M 40-80 and the 28/2.8 are capable of quite sharp images. (I use the 40-80 as a general walkabout lens on my K20D.) I agree with the above comments. More megapickles are nice but not necessary. You need tripod (shake reduction OFF, remote or timer ON), small aperture, soft lighting, neutral background. There's a book from 2005, EBAY PHOTOGRAPHY THE SMART WAY, that nicely covers the basics of product photography.
05-14-2009, 04:55 AM   #10
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Tom, I have a K100DS and some M series lenses, including the 28mm. They all produce very sharp results if you follow the sage advice the others here have given, especially the three major points: small aperture, accurate focus technique and tripod. You could also add to that higher speed. Make sure your shutter speed is enough that it won't cause any camera shake, especially if your tripod is on the light side. I don't have to tell you that the K100 makes one helluva clack when that mirror goes up.
If you're having trouble focusing manually, you might want to try using a clip-on viewfinder magnifier. I've found it's improved my focus more than I thought possible , especially in low-light situations.

Sounds like a very interesting project. As others have said, your K100D is fully adequate for the task, as are your lenses.

BTW, how are you processing your RAW shots? As you no doubt know, they won't be at their best straight from the camera.

Last edited by Wombat; 05-14-2009 at 05:06 AM.
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