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10-16-2013, 04:49 PM   #1
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Istds as k30 backup?

I found a good deal on a low shutter count *ist ds that I'm thinking about picking up.
Here's my thought process
1. Will give me a camera for my kids to learn on if they're interested.
2. Supports ttl flash's
3. A backup is always good
4. I've read that it does pretty darn well at low ISO's
5. I can keep a k-m42 adaptor in it and use it as a "simple" manual camera.

While I think the k30 will for the most part remain my primary, keeping the ist as a dslr-42 camera sounds pretty good. I also have some less expensive auto focus zooms I can stick on there when the kids want to try it out.

Ideas, opinions?

10-16-2013, 04:58 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by link81 Quote
I found a good deal on a low shutter count *ist ds that I'm thinking about picking up.
Here's my thought process
1. Will give me a camera for my kids to learn on if they're interested.
2. Supports ttl flash's
3. A backup is always good
4. I've read that it does pretty darn well at low ISO's
5. I can keep a k-m42 adaptor in it and use it as a "simple" manual camera.

While I think the k30 will for the most part remain my primary, keeping the ist as a dslr-42 camera sounds pretty good. I also have some less expensive auto focus zooms I can stick on there when the kids want to try it out.

Ideas, opinions?
The ist DS is antiquated. Unless you really want the TTL flash or want to give it to your kids, I think you'd be better off getting a used K-x, K-r, or even a K-30 if you can get a good price.

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10-16-2013, 05:01 PM   #3
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I know the ist is over 10 years old. But, honestly some of the pictures I've seen from them are amazing. ( granted it's the photographer more then the equipment)

It really would be a kids camera first an a m42 camera second. Keeps the kids grubby clumsy hands off my precious :-)
10-16-2013, 05:19 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by link81 Quote
I know the ist is over 10 years old. But, honestly some of the pictures I've seen from them are amazing. ( granted it's the photographer more then the equipment)

It really would be a kids camera first an a m42 camera second. Keeps the kids grubby clumsy hands off my precious :-)
I hear you on that. I am thinking about picking one up too so my 8 year-old can learn with and I can use as well. I know it's only 6.1MP but it was one of my favorite Pentax bodies.

10-16-2013, 07:14 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
The ist DS is antiquated. Unless you really want the TTL flash or want to give it to your kids, I think you'd be better off getting a used K-x, K-r, or even a K-30 if you can get a good price.
This is just not correct, Adam. I have both a K-5 and an *ist DS, and if I really want a nice picture under good conditions, I will reach for the DS every time. The 6 MP CCD sensor produces lovely images, ones that I personally prefer to those from my K5. Now I may have a bad K5, who knows, but the DS was better than a K20d I had for a while as well.

I put an S-type screen in mine, to make it easier to manually focus with fast lenses. You can get one for a K10 or K20 pretty readily, and they are interchangeable. I would highly recommend one for the OP.
10-16-2013, 07:18 PM   #6
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Thanks for the confirmation that I'm not crazy. (Alright I'll leave the jury out on that one:-)

I have a busted up me super I might pull the screen out of any try and from it down to fit the ist. I have a micrometer and can check thickness difference. Maybe I'll get lucky. Worst case I'm out nothing but some time. Best case I have a free split screen :-)
10-16-2013, 07:27 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nick Siebers Quote
This is just not correct, Adam. I have both a K-5 and an *ist DS, and if I really want a nice picture under good conditions, I will reach for the DS every time. The 6 MP CCD sensor produces lovely images, ones that I personally prefer to those from my K5. Now I may have a bad K5, who knows, but the DS was better than a K20d I had for a while as well.

I put an S-type screen in mine, to make it easier to manually focus with fast lenses. You can get one for a K10 or K20 pretty readily, and they are interchangeable. I would highly recommend one for the OP.
I didn't say it couldn't take good pics- it's just old and you can do much better without spending very much more

6Mp images look very nice out of camera! But if you scale the K-5's files, they will look at least just as good. The DS2 was my first Pentax and I really enjoyed it!

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10-16-2013, 08:24 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by link81 Quote
Thanks for the confirmation that I'm not crazy. (Alright I'll leave the jury out on that one:-)

I have a busted up me super I might pull the screen out of any try and from it down to fit the ist. I have a micrometer and can check thickness difference. Maybe I'll get lucky. Worst case I'm out nothing but some time. Best case I have a free split screen :-)
That screen idea is crazier than the camera idea. My bad experience may have affected my judgment on that. I think the ME screen is pretty solidly in the camera too.

Kids will think no live view is weird. I think many who didn't start out with one will agree with Adam. Operation is sometimes slow and some features aren't there. It's hard to say what a fair price would be. No question, the shots are great, though.

10-16-2013, 10:07 PM   #9
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The *ist DS is superior in one unheralded way. It is 100% Pentax branded: PENTAX on the front, PENTAX on the back, PENTAX on the strap, PENTAX Corporation on the baseplate.
10-16-2013, 10:57 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
The *ist DS is superior in one unheralded way. It is 100% Pentax branded: PENTAX on the front, PENTAX on the back, PENTAX on the strap, PENTAX Corporation on the baseplate.
One of my favorite cameras.

Seriously, it may only be 6 mp but the tonal quality of the images really is very nice. If your enlargements do not exceed 8x10 it will work great. If you go much further then that things do start to break up.

While I do agree with Adam that it is old technology, and that the K5 images can produce similar image quality if you down sample, the reality is that very, very few people actually do this.

It is very light, compact and surprisingly tough. Split image focus screens are readily available making it very easy to use manual focus without having a noticeable affect on the exposure algorithms.

IMHO it makes a wonderful backup or even a great first digital SLR.
10-17-2013, 04:34 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pioneer Quote
Seriously, it may only be 6 mp but the tonal quality of the images really is very nice. If your enlargements do not exceed 8x10 it will work great. If you go much further then that things do start to break up.
I have several 11"x14" prints hanging on my wall that were taken with my DS and the kit lenses. I've also find the image quality to be more than acceptable at ISO 1600.

ISO 1600


Hanging on my walls




If the price is right, I say go for it.

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10-17-2013, 05:09 AM   #12
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1600 isn't bad, i see a little grain, but nothing you'd really notice in 4x6 or 5x7. Those other 2 are amazing.
The camera has 8x shutter clicks, and is just under a hundred bucks. That seems to be below average ebay price. So its not a screaming good deal, but i don't think its a bad one either.

I really like that it is 100% pentax, not sure why, but i do.
I also like that it has a standard DC 5v input jack, unlike the k30 which requires an adapter to use a power supply. Opens up some easy possibilities for really long shutter exposures or interval shooting.

I'm thinking of the camera as more of a fiml camera then a dslr, pray and spray isn't really an option here at 2.8 fps for 5 shots

QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
That screen idea is crazier than the camera idea. My bad experience may have affected my judgment on that. I think the ME screen is pretty solidly in the camera too.
yeah, no kidding, i got it out, but its a good thing the me was junk anyway, because its never going back together.
10-17-2013, 05:56 AM   #13
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I've had two of 'em. I don't care how old they are, they're a fine camera that takes great photos. They're not as good at high ISOs as a K-x, (which I now have) but otherwise, you can't go wrong with it as long as the price is right. I wouldn't go over $125 on the body, though.
10-20-2013, 04:16 AM   #14
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I also love my istDS. In terms of usability an improvement over the K-30.
10-20-2013, 08:33 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by kadajawi Quote
I also love my istDS. In terms of usability an improvement over the K-30.
the istDS is a usability improvement over the K-30? how so? Please explain more if you could, i'm intrigued.
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