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06-11-2010, 01:11 AM   #1
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K200D Questions from a former Pentax Film SLR User

This is my FIRST Post on the Pentax Forums - and am hoping some knowledgeable Pentaxians can answer a question. So here goes -

I'm on the verge of buying my first Pentax DSLR....

Some years ago, I shot quite a bit of film with my old Pentax MX's which were great and reliable cameras. So I'm fond of Pentaxes....

Went into a local Camera store and fooled around with a K-X which seemed extremely snappy and nicely put together.....except for one thing: I live in Oregon where it rains a LOT - so the idea of a weather-proof camera body is appealing. Unfortunately K-7's are a little bit out of my budget range. And being a fan of smaller camera bodies, the K20D and K10D's, though they're fine cameras, feel a little bit too large for me....

So I guess if I want a more compact weather-sealed Pentax DSLR...that leaves the K200D.

And since I can't get my hands on one at any camera stores (as Pentax no longer sells/carries it) - I'm hoping some of the K200D owners on this forum will weigh in with any real downsides which they've encountered while actually USING the cameras.

And - one other related question. My current and only digital camera is an Olympus digicam, the venerable C-8080 which has its downsides (including painfully slow 10-12 second RAW-writing times) - but its upside is that it has a semi-legendary Zuiko wide-angle 7.1-35.6mm zoom - which gives focal lengths equivalent to 28-140mm - and is probably one of the best lenses I've ever used.

So my digital Newb Question is: if I get a K200D, what's the most outstanding general/all-purpose Zoom for it?

Actually, I better qualify that since my budget's limited: is there an outstanding and also AFFORDABLE general purpose zoom that might mate well with a K200D?

Thanks in advance for any and all opinions.

Miguel

06-11-2010, 03:00 AM   #2
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See this thread (particularly the second page) to read what others have had to say about the K200D: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-digital-slr-camera-reviews/61300-pentax-k200d.html

As far as long zooms go, you should probably aim for a 28-200mm or 18-250mm Tamron. Keep in mind that lenses like these sacrifice image quality and light for the sake of a nice, convenient zoom range.

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06-11-2010, 06:21 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by MiguelATF Quote
So my digital Newb Question is: if I get a K200D, what's the most outstanding general/all-purpose Zoom for it?

Actually, I better qualify that since my budget's limited: is there an outstanding and also AFFORDABLE general purpose zoom that might mate well with a K200D?

Thanks in advance for any and all opinions.

Miguel
Thats an easy question, I had to convert my wife from ZLR's to SLR's because of her situation (she is one of a chairs of our local photo club), when I upgraded her from a 6MP ZLR I gave her my K200D and purchased for her a 18-250mm Pentax, she is perfectly happy with it with it's IQ and also happy for she doesn't have to change lenses on the field, actually I am using the kit sometimes too when I couldn't be bothered to bring my camera. It cost me 500 $ though, I didn't choose Tamron version because its turned out to be optical aberrations is not corrected by the K-7. Another thing is it's not produced anymore, but you can still find it somewhere new, like ebay or a small store.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/77388-18-250mm-pentax-tamron.html

That's my recommendation. Best of luck.
06-11-2010, 07:51 AM   #4
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Welcome aboard, Miguel.

If you are still considering the K200D, Adorama is your friend. They have this one used for a fair price, IMO.

http://www.adorama.com/US%20%20%20%20388677.html

HTH

06-11-2010, 08:01 AM   #5
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Most of us K200D are very happy with the camera. Nothing to complain about, really - it's exactly what the spec sheet says it is, and feels very good in use to me.

As for general purpose zooms, the obvious choice is the one that is usually sold with it: DA 18-55 (equivalent to 28-80 in 35mm FOV). Or get the WR version to have a fully sealed system, and add the 50-200 WR for more telephoto reach. If you'd rather spend more money to get one larger lens with a similar reach as what you are accustomed to, the Pentax or Sigma 17-70's or the Sigma 18-125 could make sense, although the diea of just getting an 18-250 could be appealing, too.
06-11-2010, 09:05 AM   #6
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If you're getting the K200 because it is weather sealed then it would seem daft not to get weather sealed lenses.

I'd get the 18-55WR, and, if you can afford it, the 50-200WR as well.
06-12-2010, 03:51 PM   #7
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I love my K200d. The only thing I lack is new technology.
This may seem like an obvious thing to say, but it is worth remembering that the K200d is an older model. It doesn't have Live View, video, fast shutter rates, big buffers, or any of the new stuff that Pentax has implemented recently.

But most of all, I lust for high-ISO performance. I see noise starting to appear at ISO 400, and consider ISO 800 to be about the top end in usability. I've used ISO 1600, but it loses a LOT of dynamic range and sharpness. Compared to the new sensor of the K-x, the K200d's high ISO performance leaves something to be desired.

That being said, the K200d is a very capable no-frills DSLR with no real replacement (yet). It may not have all the (somewhat gimmicky) features, but it does what it does very well.

I find that my main use for a DLSR is single focus, single shot. No 10 shot bursts, no video, no lightning fast AF, no Live View... Just compose and shoot. The other stuff, I occasionally wish I had. But 90% of my usage, the simple compose and shoot, is the K200d was designed for and great at.
06-12-2010, 10:07 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kryosphinx Quote
I love my K200d. The only thing I lack is new technology.

I find that my main use for a DLSR is single focus, single shot. No 10 shot bursts, no video, no lightning fast AF, no Live View... Just compose and shoot. The other stuff, I occasionally wish I had. But 90% of my usage, the simple compose and shoot, is the K200d was designed for and great at.
Funny, K200D was my first DSLR, coming from film & MF cameras, I've used K200 about 1.5 years, factors you've mentioned did not bother me at all. To me the only thing was missing in the K200D was flash PC sync. I get around this with Off Camera Shoe Flash Cord.

P-TTL Off Camera Shoe Flash Cord for Pentax K10D K200D - eBay (item 110546099436 end time Jul-12-10 16:00:34 PDT)

I still think its a great shooter for serious photographers, the biggest plus of K200D was being last CCD sensor DSLR of Pentax. I miss K200D's vibrant colors.
In my gallery almost all photos taken with K200D.

06-12-2010, 10:32 PM   #9
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The k200d will always have a special place in my heart

I will always praise that camera....
06-12-2010, 10:38 PM   #10
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Nice Responses

Good responses....thanks to one and all!

It's funny because, coming from a film photography background, perhaps I'm less demanding in some areas. I could care less about Video - and though I'm partially used to AF/automatic focusing by now, I have strong habits of either checking my focus manually - or sometimes shooting with wide angles and presetting my f-stops to ensure a certain depth of field - a shooting technique I copied from some well-known photojournalists - all of which kind of adds up to not requiring a lot of the latest techno bells & whistles.

Optical image quality is important for me - though I guess ultimately that's a question of how much I'm willing/able to spend on a lens.

And probably the truth is, put a great lens on just about any Pentax DSLR and it can give you a great picture.

I'm used to having cameras be very well built though. People talk about 'build qualitiy' - all of my old manual Pentaxes (both MX's and before that Spotmatics) were incredibly solid and reliable. They didn't have the physical heft of larger Nikons but were no less solid. I'm spoiled too by my current digicam, an Olympus with a magnesium body which feels like a tank. Looking over the specs, the K200D weighs in a 630 grams which if I'm not mistaken makes it the heaviest of Pentax's series of smaller-bodied DSLR's (K10D's and K20D's are equally solid but bigger) - with the exception of the K-Z which has almost identical dimensions....but is even heavier. To me, heaviness is a simple measure of build quality - but the K-7's also too 'heavy' for my budget now. So I'm leaning more strongly towards a K200D.

One more question while I'm at it - a lot of people buy extra cameras or camera bodies for 'backup'. I used to do the same thing with my mechanical/analog MX's, I always took multiple bodies along, both for the luxury of having different (prime) lenses already in place on each body - and also 'just in case' one of them happened to 'fail'. Which almost never happened to me.

I know the theory is the same. But my general question - for K200D users and also other modern Pentaxians is - how often have any of you actually experienced major failures while shooting....to the point where if you didn't have your backup, you wouldn't have been able to finish the shoot?

A simpler way of asking this question is - do modern digital DSLRS - with sensors and electronics and firmware and multiple advanced functions - have more of a tendency to 'fail' then older analog cameras?

I've destroyed a few laptops by accidentally dropping them from tables, etc. No fun. I imagine if I dropped a K200D from a table, even its tougher weatherproofed body wouldn't save it. And, yeah, I've damaged and destroyed lenses by dropping cameras (never pleasant) - but usually the cameras kept working fine even when the lens was seriously damaged. Is the same true of modern (digital) Pentaxes?

Miguel
06-12-2010, 11:23 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by MiguelATF Quote
I know the theory is the same. But my general question - for K200D users and also other modern Pentaxians is - how often have any of you actually experienced major failures while shooting....to the point where if you didn't have your backup, you wouldn't have been able to finish the shoot?
In general yes, digital cameras tend to last not as long as film cameras, but the difference in shutter click is exponential. If you're casual (one roll per week), you'll probably shoot a year's worth of film rolls in a month. I've never had a camera fail on me so far though (three years of use of K100d, around 30k clicks, fingers crossed)

Regarding manual focus, it's much harder with DSLR since the viewfinder and focusing screen is nowhere near the Pentax Ms...

For an all rounder zoom, I recommend either 18-250, 16-45, or 17-70 (sigma or pentax). I wouldn't recommend 28-200 as the wide end isnt wide enough imho (only 43mm in film). 28-70/2.8 is another story though, as the 2.8 way more than makes up for it... It depends on what zoom you usually use in film days.

Since you're buying K200d for the sealing, you might want to start with 18-55 WR though. Even though DA limiteds are not sealed. I've heard reports that they can stand quite a bit of rain, just be careful not to expose them for hours out in the rain (covering inbetween use)
06-13-2010, 02:28 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by MiguelATF Quote
I know the theory is the same. But my general question - for K200D users and also other modern Pentaxians is - how often have any of you actually experienced major failures while shooting....to the point where if you didn't have your backup, you wouldn't have been able to finish the shoot?
Miguel
I think I understand you, Digital cameras are not like Microsoft windose, they electronics and software does not jam under normal conditions, not at all. Unless they go broke at this minute, never heard of such a case. No need to worry about electronic/software jam.

My main main concern is not to keep camera under the sun a lot like more than 10 minutes, if you do it heats up that you can feel Also with harsh sun lens barrel grease goes thinner as than supposed to be the than it leaks to lens blades. In the field I even use my own shadow to help preventing camera heating up. But this is an issue of all cameras.

In the serious cold (O C and below), batteries fail even almost full Eneloop ones, then I change the rechargeables to not rechargeable Alkaline ones, they serve better in the cold, why is that, it is a long story.

So! you'll need at least two backup set of batteries when you go to snowy mountain top where your finger tips doesn't feel. As I needed coupla times. Guess Canadians knows this better.
06-13-2010, 05:50 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by MiguelATF Quote
I know the theory is the same. But my general question - for K200D users and also other modern Pentaxians is - how often have any of you actually experienced major failures while shooting....to the point where if you didn't have your backup, you wouldn't have been able to finish the shoot?

A simpler way of asking this question is - do modern digital DSLRS - with sensors and electronics and firmware and multiple advanced functions - have more of a tendency to 'fail' then older analog cameras?
Miguel
I changed from MX bodies to Pentax K200d and Samsung GX20 (rebadged K20D). I have had three major embarrasments with MX bodies in 25 years of use. Twice they were caused by the film not turning on the sprocket causing the films to be washed out. There is a clear warning about this in a 1979 book about Pentax cameras but none in the MX manual. The third failure was light leakage, caused in turn by age drying the light sealing black foam.

With the K200d there was a single failure caused by battery problems. The batteries showed up as being full on the meter but the camera was unresponsive, taking erratic pictures. This has happened once since November 2008 when I bought the camera. The 80% successful solution is to use Eneloops batteries (I was using those when the camera behaved badly).

On the Samsung GX20 the OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation) function has embarrassed me on three occasion since purchase in May 2009. Samsung Romania has been unable to fix the problem saying that it doesn't exist. This is bunk.
06-15-2010, 02:53 PM   #14
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Never had an issue with my K200D, but haven't dropped it from any tables, either!

I've looked hard at the K7 but will wait until something approaching the K-x sensor appears in a sealed semi-pro body. The K200D is doing everthing I ask of it, and shooting RAW and learning layers in photoshop has given me a definite boost in dynamic range and keeper rate (I can get a stop or almost two back if I have underexposed the shot a bit).
06-16-2010, 02:50 AM   #15
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K200D is an excellent camera for it's category, and a joy to use ... no issues with it what so ever over the time I used it ... use Sanyo Eneloops (suggestion) to avoid any battery issues ... and you pretty much set ...

For lens, since you ask for 'most outstanding general/all-purpose Zoom' I would probably recommend the 18-55 WR (complements the weather sealing) and/or the 18-250 (makes it a versatile light combination). Another option would be a Tamron 17-50/2.8 ...
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