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01-24-2012, 11:49 PM   #1
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My first new(ish) pentax in many years and 1st DSLR (K20d)

Its new to me at least. Just bought a fairly like new K20d body only with whatever normally comes with them originally for $464 shipped, if that's a bad deal please try to pop my happy bubble gently because I'm positively thrilled to have it though it won't get here till probably next week.

My last pentax was the last camera I was really serious about, it was a Super Program (apparently that's a model) 35mm. I inherited it when I was younger complete with a pile of stuff from an even older pentax 35mm (most of which I have never identified) and loved to take pictures, eventually 35mm just lost its appeal with all the costs involved and I saw the "new" Dslr's that had started coming out and though that when the quality was acceptable and the cost of used was affordable I would buy one. As you can see I am VERY patient.

I picked the K20d because it was the best price point I could see, I was originally looking at used K10D's but for $150 more it appeared the more refined K20d was the choice to go with. I chose the body only because If I had my way I would just jam the CMOS sensor into my old 35mm camera and I like my old lenses. The one I always used for everything was my SMC Pentax-A 1:3.5 35-105mm. I had no idea what any of that meant when I bought it used for about $50-$75 (a good deal back then) a million years ago with a big dent in the outer lip that didn't effect function but makes it impossible to screw filters on the threaded inside ring. I only learned later it was the perfect balance of zoom and wide angle with a macro all thrown into the same weapons grade armored housing.

Now after more than a decade of cheap point and shoot I will finally be able to pull out the big guns again and take some real pictures, this time without the serious budget constraints of 35mm film. Hopefully I can figure this thing out fairly easy, I never used half of the stuff on that old Super Program anyways.

In short I have a Pentax, and I am happy.

01-25-2012, 12:32 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum and to the world of DSLR's. The K20d is a wonderful camera and had it not been for the release of the K5 I'd be still calling it my main camera. Choosing the K20 over the K10 was wise, IMHO. I loved my K10 too but the K20 brought in more good stuff to play with plus a reasonably functional Liveview feature.

My goodness if you still have that A-35-105 that's a great lens with the K20 and is very sharp to boot.

Do take the time to read through the K20 manual. It can do a lot and while you might not use them all, it's good to know what it can do if you want it too. The main thing is that going from film to digital is a big step and you will need to learn things about it. You do have a good machine though. Welcome.
01-25-2012, 06:24 AM   #3
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I have that same 35-105 lens. It's awesome. It's image quality is basically as good as a really good prime lens. Probably the best image quality I've seen in a zoom. I'd hang onto it.

I wouldn't worry about mastering a DSLR. If you can use a 35mm camera, it's operationally the same thing.

I think you're going to love your new DSLR, by the way... Have fun!

Bob :-)

Last edited by GibbyTheMole; 01-25-2012 at 06:46 AM.
01-25-2012, 08:28 AM   #4
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Welcome to the club! You're going to love being able to bump your ASA up a couple of notches without losing much quality, as well as being able to get instant feedback on your shots. Like some of the previous folks, I, too, have the 35-105. For me, it's a darned near perfect lens for my DSLR. However, if you liked it on your film camera, you might not like its range on your DSLR. I wouldn't let that stop me from using it, if I were you. I'd just add some kind of wider zoom to compliment it.

01-29-2012, 09:53 PM   #5
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Camera arrived, only played with it indoors with the aforementioned lens a bit, I like it so far though the manual focus has the same problem I hear the AF does in low light. Kinda hard to see what the hell is going on with the stock screen (used to whatever you call the multi part job in my old 35mm) but I sorta have the hang of it now.

Main oddity I noticed is the range of focus for foreground to background (focal length?) seems to be awfully narrower than I remember it being, I took pics of alot of close stuff and I maybe had 3 inches tops for depth of focus everything else was varying ranges of fuzzy. As I recall I mostly just took pics of small objects with no interest in what was around them (like a flower or something) or things far away so perhaps this lens always did that.
01-30-2012, 12:12 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by PPPPPP42 Quote
Camera arrived, only played with it indoors with the aforementioned lens a bit, I like it so far though the manual focus has the same problem I hear the AF does in low light. Kinda hard to see what the hell is going on with the stock screen (used to whatever you call the multi part job in my old 35mm) but I sorta have the hang of it now.
Yup, low light is a challenge with the K20D or any APS-C camera. That's one reason many cry for a FF Pentax, because the finder is larger and brighter. My old eyeballs are delaminating so I cheat as much as possible. My manual-focus aids are:

1) A katzeye-clone split-screen gets me in the vicinity of focus.
2) The focus-confirm ation green hex lets me know when I'm there.
3) CIF (catch-in-focus) snaps the shutter when center focus is achieved.

Sometimes light is insufficient even for that. So I'll use zone-focus / hyperfocus, and/or I'll guesstimate or pace-off or actually measure the distance. If the camera is on a tripod, I'll use LiveView to nail the focus as best as possible.

QuoteQuote:
Main oddity I noticed is the range of focus for foreground to background (focal length?) seems to be awfully narrower than I remember it being, I took pics of alot of close stuff and I maybe had 3 inches tops for depth of focus everything else was varying ranges of fuzzy. As I recall I mostly just took pics of small objects with no interest in what was around them (like a flower or something) or things far away so perhaps this lens always did that.
That's called DOF (depth of field), the range of distances from the lens that seem acceptably in focus. The DOF of a lens on an APS-C frame seems thicker than the same lens on a 135/FF frame when filling the frame with an image -- another reason some folks want a FF Pentax, to exploit the thinner DOF. But DOF will be thin with any fast (wide aperture) lens. Here are the basic trade-offs of DOF:
* For thicker DOF, use tighter aperture, and/or shorter focal length, and/or further lens-to-subject distance.

* For thinner DOF, use wider aperture, and/or longer focal length, and/or closer lens-to-subject distance.
Hope this helps!
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