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06-01-2010, 10:33 AM   #1
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upgrade dilemma!

Hello,

I have a K100D that I have been using for 3 years or so now. It's a nice camera but I feel like it's time to upgrade...

I was using a Sigma 17-35mm but just sold it, also sold my 50mm f2 that I never used, now I have:

- 18-55mm kit lens
- 70-210mm dad's old manual lens (works fine but manual is a pain sometimes)
- opteka fisheye converter: bought for $30! really like this thing although it's a pain to screw it into the lens + I realise it's not the best fish eye out there!

I use my camera mostly for city breaks and landscapes, I do like taking portraits though but I'd rather have as less lenses as possible so not often bring all my lenses.

My question is basically is it better to have a better body with a decent lens or poor body (k100d) with good lens?? would there be a point for me updating to K200D or Kx or they remain entry level cameras?

Options are:

1) K7 + kit lens = good body with decent lens
2) Kx + 16-45mm = decent body with better lens
3) second hand K20D or K200D + kit lens + fish eye or wide angle lens (tamron 10-24mm, sigma 10-20mm or pentax 10-17mm or 12-24mm!?)
4) keep my K100D and only buy good lenses that cover everything!?

I really want a proper fisheye as I really enjoy shooting wide lanscapes and buildings... don't think the 16-45mm would be much more wider than the 18-55mm kit lens...?

Although I liked my sigma 17-35mm I always found the 35mm too short and ended up frustrated, if I want to shoot wide I'd rather have a proper wide angle, and then the kit lens (or 17-70mm) for normal pictures...?

Thanks!!
P

06-01-2010, 10:49 AM   #2
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What is best for you depends on what you feel is the restriction of your current kit. If you have no problem with AF, 6mpix, high ISO, operation speed, etc of the K100d, I dont see a need to upgrade body. If you have problem with high ISO, get K-x, if you need WR and faster AF, get K-7.

If you dont have any problem with K100d, but just feels the need to upgrade, I'd recommend 16-45 + 10-17 as it would upgrade your current kit lens, and the 10-17 would open up lots of possibilities

I see you dont have a fast 50 yet? You know that you dont have to bring all your lenses when shooting, right? just have what you feel like using for the day...
06-01-2010, 10:51 AM   #3
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if you want a fisheye, look at the 8 mm samyang (AKA vivitar, bower, Pro optic et al.)

I bought the pro Optic version for 279 at adorama, and it is a lot of fun for the money. Only down side is no rear slide in filters, but it seemed to be pretty good shooting into the sun anyway, and this is something to consider with 180 degree FOV.

as for the camera, how big do you view/print.

Most monitors are 100dpi approximately, and even the 3000 x 2000 image from a 6 MP camera will be about double the resolution of a 22 inch monitor.

Also you can print full frame from 6 mp easily up to 13 x 19 so I am not sure what you need extra.

Good lenses will always outlive the camera body (IMO) so I would go for the lenses first or in xome combo with the body upgrade
06-01-2010, 11:06 AM   #4
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I recommend a used k20d, which is very good and cheap enough.

06-01-2010, 12:11 PM   #5
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thx for your reply!

I don't think I "really" need an update as I believe the only limit I have is me! That said I wouldn't mind cropping images sometimes. I rarely print the pictures (a bit of a shame).

I guess I could do with 2 new lenses (possibly 10-17 and 16-45) but I'm a bit worried I won't see much difference with the kit lens and the fisheye is a big investment moneywise (compared to the "gadget" I have), there is a filter issue as well I think (with the 10-17 or maybe the 12-24).

As per the 8mm fisheye, I find fixed focal very frustrating as there is always something you don't want on the picture and you can't get rid of it!?

I am still very confused, I wonder if I can sell mine for a decent price and just pay an extra to get a K20d or Kx, is there a major difference between those two?

Also have a 28-80 from my MZ30, might start using it a bit as well as quite polyvalent (and could take portrait!)
06-01-2010, 02:27 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by boudou701 Quote
My question is basically is it better to have a better body with a decent lens or poor body (k100d) with good lens??
Of all the words I might use to describe the K100D, "poor" is not one of them.

Bottom line, a camera body is just a light-tight box fitted to a lens and with a means of recording captured light.

So, if you're a casual photographer who enjoys taking good snapshots, then I would say a good quality lens is more important than the latest camera body with all the latest features.

But only you can decide what is best for you.
06-01-2010, 02:43 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by MPrince Quote
Of all the words I might use to describe the K100D, "poor" is not one of them.
Ditto. I upgraded my K100D only because I realized I wanted a camera with more advanced-user friendly features -- USER mode, dual-dial control, etc. Nothing wrong with the camera. The K-x is of course a couple of generations newer and nicer in many ways, but personally at this point were I you I'd go for the lens upgrade.

QuoteOriginally posted by MPrince Quote
I do like taking portraits though but I'd rather have as less lenses as possible so not often bring all my lenses.
No need to take all of your lenses with you -- pick one or two and bring those on an excursion.
06-01-2010, 02:52 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by MPrince Quote

Bottom line, a camera body is just a light-tight box fitted to a lens and with a means of recording captured light.

So, if you're a casual photographer who enjoys taking good snapshots, then I would say a good quality lens is more important than the latest camera body with all the latest features.
Well said. I entirely concur. The real question is what you can afford. If you're budget is really tight, I would go with the 16-45. And if you really need to go wider, you can experiment with stitching photos together and creating panoramas in a PP program such as Photoshop Elements. Then you can turn the 16-45 into a virtual ultra wide angle lens and turn your K100D into a virtual 12+ or even 20+ mp camera.

06-01-2010, 06:44 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by MPrince Quote
Of all the words I might use to describe the K100D, "poor" is not one of them.

Bottom line, a camera body is just a light-tight box fitted to a lens and with a means of recording captured light.

So, if you're a casual photographer who enjoys taking good snapshots, then I would say a good quality lens is more important than the latest camera body with all the latest features.

But only you can decide what is best for you.
Yep! My K100D super is no slouch and it beats the other newer DSLRs of the other brands.
From what I've seen from the other cameras, the K100D super just beat them at low light..except for the K-x of course.
That is also one reason why I'm toying with the idea of a K-x as an upgrade since I don't need expensive fast lenses on the K-x!
06-01-2010, 10:19 PM   #10
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Quality lenses will make any body perform better, and will retaining value. Bodiesm, on the other hand, tend to loose value no matter what, over time. The K100D is still a very decent camera.

That said, I would acquire glass now and consider bodies later, as Pentax glass has certainly not been falling in value. I would also try to buy used lenses, as I think you can acquire well cared for lenses off the market place here at the Forum.

Bodies - I upgraded from a K100 to the K20 right when the K7 was announced, just over a year ago. That has worked out well for me, and I am thinking that there is no real reason to switch to a K7. I think that is the real strategy in terms of upgrading bodies - new body, great price and with the K20, Pentax added an additional 2 year warranty. Pretty difficult to beat. I also saw that after the K7's delivery, the K20 supply tended to run out, and the new body price rose.

The 16-45 is the only lens that I think has actually dropped in price - due to the number of lenses that Pentax has brought out in its range; the 16-50, 17-70, 18-250, 18-55. Also, its the oldest, however its quality has not diminished. It still performs very well. I think the way to judge if its wide enough is to look at the field of view for each of the lens, and see if you consider if its wide enough. You have your choice of primes 14/f2.8, 15/f4, and zooms 16-45, 17-170 and 18-55. There is also the Zentiar 16/f2.8 along with the 10-17. Plus, the budget buster 12-24/f4.

The suggestion about stitching is a good one. Its easy, fun, slightly different, can be done handheld as well as on a tripod, and its a very good way to turn any lens into a wide angle.
06-01-2010, 11:22 PM   #11
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Yeah, I am also in the similar situation. I also feel body price drops over time but Pentax lenses seem to go higher. So I conclude I should try to buy a lens I want now instead of later.
06-02-2010, 02:40 AM   #12
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mattdm, just for the sake of clarity I admit authorship of the first quote in your post, but the second quote belongs to boudou701.
06-02-2010, 04:17 AM   #13
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I would get a used K20 with the 16-45 and wait on the fish eye. I do think the camera makes a difference. If you are mostly shooting static things, you might not notice much of a difference from the K100 to the k20/K7, but if you are shooting things that move, there would be a noticeable improvement in auto focus function. Also, as you mentioned in your initial post, there is quite a bit of room for cropping.

If you are planning on getting the 16-45, then I would skip the kit lens. The one exception is if you are getting a new K7. Then, the ability to have a completely sealed package is one that is hard to pass up.

Glass is the most important thing, but a new camera now and then (even if it is used) certainly doesn't hurt either.
06-02-2010, 04:36 AM   #14
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I have upgraded the 18-55 kit with the 16-45mm - wow, what a difference, don't hesitate. You will see a big improvement not only in the extra 2mm wide but general sharpness and contrast. The pics really pop with that lens!
06-02-2010, 05:08 AM   #15
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Wanna be...

... an "expert?" (If not, why bother changing your kit?)

As my Greek friends say, "It's easy... no problem."

1. Retire your K100D.

2. Immediately get Adobe Lightroom 3, beta 2 (upgrade when released), DA 15 and DA 70 (these lenses, only), and a K-7.

3. Commit not less than 10,000 hours of disciplined study and experimentation toward becoming their master. Once this is done (and NOT before), add a lens.

You can do it! (Although I doubt you will.)

…my 2 cents…

Enjoy the season,
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