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01-02-2008, 05:10 PM   #1
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New K100D Super Owner

Hi:

One of your compatriots whose username is Mike Bokeh, referred me here. I've been lurking for a couple weeks, scouring the forum for information. Thanks to this and the DPR Pentax forum, I pulled the trigger today on the K100d Super and the two base kit lenses, the DA 18-55 and the DA 50-200. Got a "super" deal on the kit at the local camera shop. I paid about $100 more than the best internet price I could get, but should something go amiss, wanted to be able to deal locally. The local shop had a discounted price, and with the mail in rebate, at least didn't feel taken in any way. They also set me up with a functional camera case, CVR batts, UV filters and they threw in a 2gb card.

On Amazon, I also ordered the Sigma 17-70 f/2.8 and Pentax 50mm f/1.4 lenses. Not here until next week, though. My plan is to sell here or somewhere, the 18-55 kit lens in favor of the Sigma. That will leave me with a good fast all purpose zoom, a good fast indoor portrait-type lens and then the DA 50-200 for a little more zoom. Oh, also got $125 in rebates coming, now that I've confirmed the camera and the lenses work.

I consider myself a middle of the road hobbyist, having shot for years with film and the Nikon FG. Haven't shot with that at all in years since I've been messing with point and shoot digitals for the last 10 years. Might sell it, might keep it. That camera gave me nearly all the pictures I have of my kids when they were young. Something sentimental about that.

At this point in my life, I couldn't justify the time commitment to learning all the nuances of the K10D. I've got two other hobbies that consume my free time. With one of them, Mike Bokeh is sort of a kindred spirit. So the K100D Super seemed just right. I agonized over that decision, though. I still have 10 days at the camera shop to return with no questions asked and swap it out for the K10D if I think I can master the Super in a hurry. Sounds like I'm still on the fence I guess.

I'm sure I'll have questions, but for now I'm just going to shoot some pictures and figure out the Pentax software.

01-02-2008, 05:32 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by mrpackerguy Quote
On Amazon, I also ordered the Sigma 17-70 f/2.8 and Pentax 50mm f/1.4 lenses. Not here until next week, though. My plan is to sell here or somewhere, the 18-55 kit lens in favor of the Sigma. That will leave me with a good fast all purpose zoom, a good fast indoor portrait-type lens and then the DA 50-200 for a little more zoom. Oh, also got $125 in rebates coming, now that I've confirmed the camera and the lenses work.

...
At this point in my life, I couldn't justify the time commitment to learning all the nuances of the K10D. I've got two other hobbies that consume my free time. With one of them, Mike Bokeh is sort of a kindred spirit. So the K100D Super seemed just right. I agonized over that decision, though. I still have 10 days at the camera shop to return with no questions asked and swap it out for the K10D if I think I can master the Super in a hurry. Sounds like I'm still on the fence I guess.
Sounds like you got a great deal. Congratulations.

I'd like to hear what you think of the Sigma 17-70. I have the Sigma 18-50 f/2.8 EX DC macro and like it very much. The 17-70 doesn't have a fixed f/2.8, does it? That's important for me and is why I chose the 18-50, but the range on the 17-70 is indeed very nice and it should be a terrific replacement for the kit lens.

The nuances of the K10D aren't all that much more complicated than the K100D, in fact, I think in many respects the K10D is actually easier to use. But the K100D Super is a fine camera, you've got some good lenses and I'm sure you'll enjoy the heck out of it. Have fun.

Will
01-02-2008, 06:36 PM   #3
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EXCELLENT NEWS !!!

Hey there, Mrpackerguy, I'm so glad that you joined the forums here, and that you bought a Pentax.

Believe me, you will not regret it.

The people here are very nice, and very helpful, and I've lerned a lot, especially about Pentax digital lenses.

I'll write more later.

Welcome aboard.

Mike
P.S. You just bought your camera, and already you have one more lens than me.

I'm jealous!
01-02-2008, 07:26 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
The 17-70 doesn't have a fixed f/2.8, does it?

Will
Thanks. No, I don't believe it does. But minimum focusing is just under 8" and I likes my macro. Main thing was to upgrade from the kit lens.

01-03-2008, 10:38 AM   #5
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I spent about 7 hours yesterday with the new K100d Super and really like it. I was, however, a bit suprised that I was able to figure most of it out relatively quickly. That's not a bad thing. I'm no expert, not even an enthusiastic hobbysist as I've seen that term used.

But it's making me wonder if I should step up to the K10d. The camera shop I bought the K100d at has a 10 day no-questions-asked return or exchange policy. Seriously thinking about it.
01-03-2008, 11:52 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by mrpackerguy Quote
I spent about 7 hours yesterday with the new K100d Super and really like it. I was, however, a bit suprised that I was able to figure most of it out relatively quickly. That's not a bad thing. I'm no expert, not even an enthusiastic hobbysist as I've seen that term used.
Forgive me if I repeat myself here (repeating things I've said in this forum in other threads). All these cameras work in pretty similar ways. No matter what camera you're using, if you don't shoot in fully automatic mode, you're controlling basically three things: aperture, shutter speed, and sensitivity. Throw in focus and composition and you've got the entire craft of photography in a nutshell. More advanced cameras don't make these controls harder, they make them easier. I used to shoot manual with my Canon PowerShot S3 IS (a fixed-lens superzoom), but to do so I had to access menus quite frequently. My first DSLR, the Pentax K100D, was easier to use -- easier to control -- than the PowerShot S3 IS, and the K10D is easier to control than the K100D.


QuoteQuote:
But it's making me wonder if I should step up to the K10d. The camera shop I bought the K100d at has a 10 day no-questions-asked return or exchange policy. Seriously thinking about it.
The only good reason not to buy the K10D, in my opinion, is price. I get the sense that there are folks in this forum who actually have budgetary self-discipline and I admire them. But basically, a K10D is just a K100D with a few advantages: better ergonomics (because of the two e-dials and more other controls outside the camera), better processor, rugged weather-sealed body, etc. The claim that the K10D's high-ISO performance is dramatically worse than the K100D's is, in my opinion, just wrong -- and I speak as someone who has owned both cameras and shot a lot of high-ISO photos with both. The claim that the K10D's jpegs are soft is also based on a misunderstanding of what the camera is trying to do -- and you should be shooting raw anyway, so this for me is a non-issue. I suppose there are some folks who really want a smaller lighter camera and I could understand that as a second reason to prefer the K100D (after the price difference). But gosh, you give up a lot for those few ounces.

When I purchased my K10D, I still had my K100D for a short while, and I wasn't sure whether I'd keep the 10. Within a few hours of getting the K10D, I decided to put the K100D up on ebay. That turned out to be a mistake only because I later realized that I needed two cameras, so I now have an *ist DS (which I like well enough and tend to use as my carry-everywhere camera). But it took me almost no time to decide that the K10D was a keeper. I should add that the K10D's advantage is not really in the photos it takes. You can take terrific photos with almost any half-decent camera if you have a clue what you're doing -- and I've certainly proved that it's possible to take stinkers with great equipment, great lenses, beautiful subjects. The K10D probably does take somewhat better photos, in certain situations, if you're willing to pixel-peep to see the difference. But good light and good lenses have more to do with good photos than the body. The K10D is just a better body.

I never tell anybody what to buy. But if you're already leaning toward the K10D and just want a little encouragement, then I'm happy to give it. Buy the K10D, and start shooting with it immediately. By the third day -- maybe by the second day -- you will decide not to take the camera back. And if I'm wrong and you decide it's not for you, take it back.

Will
01-03-2008, 12:05 PM   #7
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Thanks. That's great advice, exactly what I was looking for. You're right, I would have another 10-day grace period if you will. During my 7 hours with the 100d yesterday, I shot both in RAW and jpeg. Having never shot in RAW, that was a bit of an adventure when it came time to work with it, having only ever worked with jpeg before coming from a Canon IS2. But I got the hang of it and had to spend some time with that Pentax software, too.
01-03-2008, 12:55 PM   #8
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about raw

QuoteOriginally posted by mrpackerguy Quote
Thanks. That's great advice, exactly what I was looking for. You're right, I would have another 10-day grace period if you will. During my 7 hours with the 100d yesterday, I shot both in RAW and jpeg. Having never shot in RAW, that was a bit of an adventure when it came time to work with it, having only ever worked with jpeg before coming from a Canon IS2. But I got the hang of it and had to spend some time with that Pentax software, too.
OK, quick note about raw. This too repeats stuff I've blabbed on about in this forum in the past and if you want the long version you can use the search tool.

You shoot raw whether you mean to or not: raw is what the camera's sensor sees. The only issue is, do you want to keep everything the camera's sensor sees and make your own decisions about what to do with it, or do you want to let the camera make irrevocable decisions about what to keep and throw away the rest (which is a LOT of stuff getting thrown away)?

Put that way, it sounds like a no-brainer: keep everything! But the question has some teeth, for two reasons. First, the camera's eensy teensy computer actually does a good job most of the time converting the raw data to a jpeg. The other reason is that raw files are quite a bit bigger than converted jpegs, so you get fewer photos on a storage card and your hard disk fills up quite a bit faster. There is also a third reason, or there used to be a third reason, namely, that dealing with raw files was difficult, because you couldn't even see the raw files until you had "converted" them to jpegs.

The third reason doesn't exist any more. In most of the post-processing apps you're likely to use now, there's virtually no difference between working with raw files and working with jpegs. You can view your raw images immediately and without conversion in LightZone, Lightroom, Aperture, Bibble, in the Pentax software, and just about every other program I can think of. I don't shoot many jpegs, but occasionally I have to open one in LightZone or Lightroom -- and often, I don't even notice at first what the file's format is. So if you have somewhere picked up the idea that "raw is hard", you can trash that idea now.

As for the other two putative disadvantages of raw, the first one -- that the camera does a good job of converting to jpeg for you -- is specious. Once the data has been thrown away and you're stuck with the jpeg, if you're happy with it, well, that's fine, but there's no question that you've surrendered a tremendous amount of options. I've taken really badly exposed images -- dramatically overexposed images in particular -- and been able to turn them into usable prints, because I save the raw data. And even when the image is perfectly exposed to begin with, if you save the raw data, you'll be able to tweak the image in post-processing much more than you would if you had only the jpeg data set to work with.

Which leaves file size as the only real knock against raw. I do wish raw files were smaller. But storage is relatively cheap these days, and personally, I find the advantages of saving raw files so clearly outweigh the disadvantage of the file size that it's not a difficult decision to keep the raw data. With my K10D, I shoot PEF/raw because the files are smaller than DNG, the other raw option. (The PEFs get compressed, and the DNG files don't.) I then batch convert to DNG in Lightroom and save even more space.

Anyway, good luck and have fun.

Will

01-03-2008, 01:23 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
Forgive me if I repeat myself here (repeating things I've said in this forum in other threads). All these cameras work in pretty similar ways. No matter what camera you're using, if you don't shoot in fully automatic mode, you're controlling basically three things: aperture, shutter speed, and sensitivity. Throw in focus and composition and you've got the entire craft of photography in a nutshell. More advanced cameras don't make these controls harder, they make them easier. I used to shoot manual with my Canon PowerShot S3 IS (a fixed-lens superzoom), but to do so I had to access menus quite frequently. My first DSLR, the Pentax K100D, was easier to use -- easier to control -- than the PowerShot S3 IS, and the K10D is easier to control than the K100D.
Very, very well put. I wish there was a way to tag favorite posts in this forum, because this'd be one of them.
01-03-2008, 02:05 PM   #10
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Will, thanks for your comprehensive input.

I'd agree with you - I've spent days envying guys on this forum raving about their K10Ds here, but I have realised the 'economics of enough' for me and find now that the K100D does the job for me, and quite efficiently after now mastering the menus. Only down point is no dust removal, so MrPackerGuy, you've made a great choice in the K100D Super and will find it would suffice quite well for a hobby enthusiast.

Will, the Sigma 17-70 is f/2.8 max at wide end, going up to f/4 until almost 70mm, where it becomes f/4.5. Not my favourite, but still a good set of glassware...
01-03-2008, 02:22 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Will, thanks for your comprehensive input.
Thanks for using the word "comprehensive." The word usually used to describe my posts is "exhausting."


QuoteQuote:
I'd agree with you - I've spent days envying guys on this forum raving about their K10Ds here, but I have realised the 'economics of enough' for me and find now that the K100D does the job for me, and quite efficiently after now mastering the menus.
I think that is PERFECTLY reasonable. Money matters, indeed, it is the single most important consideration for most of us. If I were a millionaire, I'd be awaiting the arrival of my new Nikon D3 along with about $20,000 worth of new lenses. And I'd probably have my assistant scheduled to place an order for a Pentax K20D as soon as it becomes available, you know, just as a backup camera.

And the ergonomic benefits of the K10D matter more to those who (like me) shoot LOTS of photos than they will to many people -- even some very serious photographers -- who actually have the time to stop and think before pressing the shutter.

The K100D (super or mere mortal version) is a very fine photo-taking tool. I had one and liked it very much. As I said, I now have a *ist DS and I like it very much too and have taken some good photos with it. I can't at a glance usually tell whether a given photo was taken with the K10D or the *ist DS. In fact I tend to keep my single best lens -- the Pentax 35 f/2 -- on the *ist DS and they make a fine team.


QuoteQuote:
Will, the Sigma 17-70 is f/2.8 max at wide end, going up to f/4 until almost 70mm, where it becomes f/4.5. Not my favourite, but still a good set of glassware...
As I said, it sounds like a great replacement for the kit lens and I like the range. Me, I'm now stuck on the advantages of zooms with fixed apertures. Since I shoot in manual most of the time, once I set the aperture and the shutter speed, I want 'em to stay put, even if I zoom in or out. But I sometimes wish I weren't so fussy.

Will
01-03-2008, 03:12 PM   #12
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Probable new K100D Super owner

I'm a new member and thanks for the great information.

I'm strongly looking at the K100D Super/18-55mm lens kit as an upgrade from my beloved ME Super & K1000SE with 28-70, 70-210 & 50mm F1.7 lenses, autowinder, and Vivitar 283 flash (have to check the voltage on that yet) and PHD 3MP digital.

I normally shoot ISO 200 film but occasionally shoot wedding photos and use ISO 100 film. My concern with the K100D Super is that it only goes to a 200 setting and has 6MP. Some say that that won't cut it for 11x14 enlargements while others say that isn't an issue with good internal camera software. What's the experience of others enlarging shots at ISO200 from the K100D Super?

Are there other things I'd likely miss going form my old Pentaxes to the K100D Super?

Unfortunately, the budget can't handle the K10D.

Your thoughts and recommendations are appreciated.

Thanks

Tirec

Last edited by Tirec; 01-03-2008 at 03:40 PM.
01-03-2008, 03:41 PM   #13
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Hi Tirec,

When first looking for a dSLR, I also wondered why the K100Ds started at ISO 200, when most others started at 100. After shooting with it for over a year, perhaps half of my 12,000 shots at ISO 200, I've never experienced a problem with noise, getting long exposures or otherwise. The camera performs very well.

Enlargements? Don't know what other users have experienced, but I've done one 11x14 and several 8x12 enlargements, and only notice slight softening of the images printed - but that could also be focusing issues!

Overall, though, I was advised that blowing up pictures taken with a 6MP camera is fine at 8x12, but at 11x14 may start to show signs of pixelation. Haven't seen this yet - probably more softening than anything else.

If blowing up images to 11x14 and larger is important to you, then you may wish to consider saving up for the K10D - you won't regret the purchase. Having said that, I'm also quite pleased with my K100D even printing to this size, but that's because the majority of my printed work is 8x12 and smaller.

Have a look through this forum or eekBay if you can find a K10D body second hand within your budget...
01-03-2008, 03:46 PM   #14
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Finally got around to processing some of the RAW images I took. There's a definite "Wow" factor for me coming from the Canon IS2, just on the level of detail. At least two of a hundred shots turned out. One reveals the gist of Mike Bokeh and my other obsession, though the composition on that bass shot is admittedly poor.


01-03-2008, 05:17 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
But good light and good lenses have more to do with good photos than the body.
Will
Very well said, Will.

Mike
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