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06-10-2012, 11:28 AM   #1
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Camera body for lenses from my film days

Hi everyone. I currently shoot a Nikon D40 that I've had for 5 years or so, but I have a bag full of glass from when I used to shoot film with my MESuper (nothing expensive or special, but decent enough quality). I'd really like to be able to use the glass so I've recently been thinking about getting a second body to do that. I really like the D40, and in fact have used most of the Nikons up to a D300 and haven't found anything that really takes better photos from them till I got to the D300. What I'd like to find is an older Pentax that is comparable photo quality wise to the D40 that I can use my old lenses with and won't cost me an arm and a leg. FWIW, I've used some of the newer Pentax cameras and they are a treat with outstanding quality and will be high on my list as I upgrade, but for now it's just not in the budget.

Thanks..........

06-10-2012, 11:37 AM   #2
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Any of these older Pentax DSLRs should be at least equivalent to the D40.

Pentax *ist D - Digital SLRs - Pentax Camera Reviews and Specifications

Pentax *ist DS - Digital SLRs - Pentax Camera Reviews and Specifications

Pentax K100D - Digital SLRs - Pentax Camera Reviews and Specifications

Pentax Cameras | Pentax *ist D vs. Pentax *ist DS vs. Pentax K100D - Pentax DSLR Comparison - PentaxForums.com

The *istD would be a step above. The *istD would be about equivalent, the K100D adds in-body stabilization.


The K10D would be somewhere between a D200 and a D80

Pentax K10D - Digital SLRs - Pentax Camera Reviews and Specifications

You should be able to get a *istDS for less than $200. A *istD or K100D for around $200. The K10D can be found for less than $300.
06-10-2012, 11:42 AM   #3
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you can find a used k20d for about 300 and it'll beat the crap out of your d40 in IQ, build quality, handling, etc. Not the best low light ever compared to newer bodies, but it does amazingly well despite its age and handles like a dream, especially once you throw a battery grip onto it (I shoot tons of portraits). If I didn't do so much low-light event shooting and just stuck to portraits and landscapes, I'd actually consider selling my K-5 and downgrading to two k20d bodies. In addition to its advantages to your d40, it also has an advantage over newer pentax bodies as well: it supports tethering.
06-10-2012, 12:33 PM   #4
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I'd recommend a K10D. There are several listed on the marketplace right now:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/search.php?q=k10d&do=process&forumchoice[]=24

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06-10-2012, 01:18 PM   #5
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It is not so much a budget solution, but with manual lenses you will probably appreciate focus peaking feature, which only appeared on the latest Pentaxes: K-01 and K-30.
But if you just want something in the league of D40, then I can assure you that no Pentax DSLR in history was worse than D40.
06-10-2012, 01:28 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the suggestions. The D40 might have been the low end on Nikon's scale, but I've taken some nice photo's with it over the years, mainly with the cheap little 55mm kit lens. Here's a link to my tiny website with pics on it, and they are very amateur, but I don't think they are completely bad by any means.


S. Moore Photography
06-10-2012, 04:25 PM   #7
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Very good photos indeed. You surely know how to handle a camera!
06-10-2012, 05:47 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by elho_cid Quote
Very good photos indeed. You surely know how to handle a camera!
Thank you. I've been in a situation to basically make due with what I've got (D40, kit 55mm, no tripod yet) and my location (TX panhandle) which is possibly the farthest from 98% of anything interesting to photograph. I've been reluctant to buy any more glass for the D40 as if I upgrade I'm not sure that's the path I want to take yet. I mainly am interested in close-up and landscape and zero interested in portraits at this point in my life. I like to get out when I can and be alone to decompress from life.

06-10-2012, 08:10 PM   #9
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Either K20D used (excellent price vs features), or if you want a bigger tech leap and impressive high ISO work wait till the K5 replacement comes out and buy a K5 used (probably $650-$700ish at that point), I don't see any of the models released in between those two to either be cheap enough to compete with the K20D or good enough to compete with the K5.
Actually for pure cheap the K20D will probably get pushed even farther down in price when the K5 replacement hits the shelves, with my faster glass (especially fast primes) I can usually stay within the limits on the K20D with moving targets indoors even when its pretty dark. For anything landscape its not going anywhere so just use a slower shutter speed 2 second delay and tripod. I don't really see a reason to buy older than the K20D even though most of the earlier cameras are excellent. (though I consider both a front and rear dial critical in manual mode since I use mostly all A lenses so that rules out the 100 series models for me)
06-12-2012, 06:43 AM   #10
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K10 or K20, If you can stretch your budget a bit more, would be my recommendations.
The K10 AF can struggle in low light, but it reads as though you'll be using manual lenses anyway.
It's a lot bigger than a D40 though.
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