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03-05-2011, 09:02 AM   #1
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Old Film SLR to Digital SLR

I have 2 old Pentax cameras, a Pentax Me Super and a Pentax PZ20 (to give you an idea of a) how far behind I am in learning & camera upgrades, and b) the type of lenses I have (bayonet mount).

As digital came into play I have since had a Sony, and 2 Olympus cameras (due to cost.)
I would like to upgrade to a Pentax digital SLR and be able to use my existing lenses, and look for recommendations/feedback as to what would be a good body/camera to get. I understand the bayonet mount lenses can be used with the K series cameras and was actually looking at the K100D, then read about the K100D Super which is an upgrade from the K100D. I was also looking for a higher megapixel (the K100D is a 6.1, but understand that this is still a good camera.

Any comments would be appreciated.

03-05-2011, 09:50 AM   #2
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How much are you thinking of spending? And do you aspire to A3 prints from your images?

What you should have learnt using the ME Super will stand you in great stead for a digital SLR - you should understand about controlling exposure and depth of field, which people who have only used point & shoot often don't. I use my K7 like I used an ME Super except I get to check my results on the back screen immediately, and on the good screen at home once I've downloaded. I should put some effort into learning a bit more about the camera, but I used an ME Super for quite a few years so using a camera that way (set to Av) is something I'm very comfortable with.

Hopefully your old lenses are 'A' lenses - they have an 'A' setting on the aperture ring, which means the camera can deal with the stopping down. Without it they are more complicated to use.

However, I'd suggest looking for a camera with the 18-55mm kit lens, it's a fair lens and versatile, plus AF turns out to be rather nice to have once one has learnt to control it! Manual focus is fine when you have time to set things up, for fast-moving action AF has advantages.
03-05-2011, 10:01 AM   #3
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I went from the" Spotmatic" to the "K10D" and would highly recomend it over the others you mentioned. I think it is the perfect transition for film to digital. They can be had for a good price now days, sometimes on this very site. If money isn't an object the K5 will work, the silver one even looks vintage (more or less )
03-05-2011, 11:53 AM   #4
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If cost is a concern then I would seriously consider a K-x, which is what I currently have. For one, it is one of the beasts in low light situations. I actually had an opportunity to compare it side-by-side against a relative’s Canon T1i, which itself is a nice camera. IQ wise, for me they both produce excellent images but I prefer the color rendition of the Pentax. I like the feel and weight of the K-x. It just fits better on my hands (XL Boxer’s Mitts). The T1i felt too light and “plasticky” for my taste. It felt as if it can easily break, IMO.

03-05-2011, 12:01 PM   #5
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You don't say whether your Sony or Olympus were DSLR, but I assume not. The K100D is a fine camera; you don't need the K100D Super unless you have lenses with the Supersonic drive motor (SDM). I went from the ME Super to the 100D and used my old lenses without a problem. Although I felt my pictures improved with the K10D and again with the K7, I always find some great shots I took with the older cameras when reviewing my database.

As others have said, how much you want to spend will play a role in your choice. For my money the best value in older Pentax DSLRs now is the K10D or K20D, if you desire the ruggedness and weather-sealing. If those are not a consideration have peek at the K-x or K-r. And don't overlook the kit lenses - it's much harder to see technological improvements in lenses but they are there nonetheless. Much as I have a fondness and comfort level in my old lens collection I still keep the modern ones on my camera most of the time.

I'm always a generation or 2 behind and from the wallet's standpoint that suits me just fine. It doesn't appear you're too concerned about using older equipment either. Good luck in you decision!
03-05-2011, 01:09 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxDilemma Quote
I understand the bayonet mount lenses can be used with the K series cameras and was actually looking at the K100D, then read about the K100D Super which is an upgrade from the K100D. I was also looking for a higher megapixel (the K100D is a 6.1, but understand that this is still a good camera.

Any comments would be appreciated.
The only difference between the K100D & K100D Super is that the Super has SDM and can use the DA* Lenses.

At current prices I would be looking at the K10D instead of the K100D.

Pentax Cameras | Pentax K100D vs. Pentax K100D Super vs. Pentax K10D - Pentax DSLR Comparison - PentaxForums.com
03-05-2011, 03:02 PM   #7
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Unless you are on a really tight budget, get the Kx or Kr. The K100D Super is a fine camera, but it is several years out of production and any one you find is going to be used.
03-05-2011, 10:02 PM   #8
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I think all cameras will be nice. Some points to consider (from the top of my head)
  1. Pentamirror versus pentaprism; some people prefer the latter for manual focus lenses as it's a bit brighter
  2. Wired remote; Kx and Kr don't have a connection for wired 'remote'. Kx and Kr only have wireless (IR) remote and the eye is in the front of the camera which can be an issue
  3. AF point indication; Kx does not have it. Coming from a film camera you will probably mostly use center focus and it will not be a big issue (most of the times); focus subject in center and recompose
  4. AF assist light; useful for focusing in low light. External flashes can provide this functionality. Only cameras that have it are K5, K7 and Kr
  5. Low light performance; Kx, Kr and K5 are the kings in the Pentax camp. I guess you barely used ISO800 and higher in your film cameras so possibly also not a big issue; you're not going to believe what hit you there

QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
The only difference between the K100D & K100D Super is that the Super has SDM and can use the DA* Lenses.

At current prices I would be looking at the K10D instead of the K100D.

Pentax Cameras | Pentax K100D vs. Pentax K100D Super vs. Pentax K10D - Pentax DSLR Comparison - PentaxForums.com
If I'm not mistaken, K100D can also use DA* glass; falls back to screwdrive in that case. Same for the K10D with first firmware version.

So only lenses that are SDM only are going to be a problem.

03-06-2011, 09:34 AM   #9
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My daughter took my K100D Super. The main thing that bothered me about it was the speed, or lack there of. It's way slow compared to a K-R. It's still capable of taking fine images though, and the cost is low. The super has a few refinements over the K100D like SDM and sensor cleaning at start up and maybe some other subtle features, I just can't remember it all. There is an aftermarket battery grip available for the K100 from ebay, if you need it.
03-06-2011, 04:51 PM   #10
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The only reason to get a K100d (super or not) over the K10d is
1) You want it to run on AA batts,
2) high ISO is slightly better than the K10d,
3) you like the size better and/or
4) you want to squeeze every dollar until it screams

Otherwise, the K10d is a more advanced camera with higher resolution and a great deal for the money for just a little bit more. What I find interesting is that the K200d often costs more than the K10d.
03-06-2011, 09:01 PM   #11
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Many thanks !

Wow, I never expected such a wonderful and timely response and I am grateful to all of you for your knowledge. In reading all comments and more information on those recommendations, I am considering both the K7 and the K20d based on my own and in going forward.

I really wasn't interested in going higher than $800 but I am tired of using all the compacts and I would prefer to continue with the investment I have already started. To answer most of the questions if i can cypher through them and respond property, my Olympus and Sony were compact digitals. Only a couple of my lenses are A lenses - Those I have (and various filters not listed) are below:
SMC Pentax-FA 28-80mmm
SMC Pentax-A 28mm
SMC Pentax -M 50mm
Sigma high spd zoom 80-200mm; and a Hanimex Auto 2x converter.

Now, on to reading more ...thank you again!
03-07-2011, 06:36 AM   #12
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Since you have only one SMC M lens the K20D would be fine to start with and get experience in the digital reflex world. Everything you could do with the ME Super can be done with that K20D. One of the things required in the digital world is to learn how to post proces the pictures with the computer.
The K7 is a little bit better when it comes down to the metering of that SMC M lens when using the famous GREEN BUTTON, but the K20D will do as well.
Of course the K20d will look enormous against your ME Super, but all the controls are easy to find and to use.
03-07-2011, 08:13 AM   #13
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I'd recommend a k20d with basic alII kit lens via one of the many web deals that run for the refurbished models.

figure @500$ for the camera and lens with a 90 day warranty.

I was an ME super shooter back in the day and got back into photography with a k100d and have since upgraded to the k20d.

the k20d is far advanced over the k100d and you can't go wrong at that price.

be prepared to be blown away by it.
03-08-2011, 05:05 AM   #14
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Thanks again for the continued info and followup. Definitely helps.

PD
03-08-2011, 06:09 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxDilemma Quote
I really wasn't interested in going higher than $800...
...then get a K-x with kit lens (budget say, $500) and don't look back.

WARNING: Keep the 'Garden of Eden' story in mind. If you want to avoid being ruined forever, don't go near a K-7, or K-5. They will seduce you and you will not be happy until you get one. Deed done... you are now doomed!

Cheers... M
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