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10-26-2013, 05:45 PM   #1
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Reasonably High ISO Older Bodies?

I'm doing a little leg work on finding an older model used DSLR body with decent high ISO performance. I've shot a folk music performance season multiple years and have done so with both a Panasonic G1 and 3200 ISO film in various bodies without using flash. Problem is shutter speeds to stop movement and the usually wider open apertures.
I'd love to be able to close the aperture down a stop or so from the usual wide open apertures and/or get a little faster shutter speed. The speeds are really too slow at about a 1/30th at times or less and I have to time my shots to get any keepers or sharpen things up.
My lens choices are in manual Pentax, 50 f2 and a 135 f3.5, and I have some AF Nikon stuff, 50 f1.8 (new this season) 70-210 f4-5.6 and a 35 f2 for my film bodies. My Panasonic thru adapters takes all my lenses plus my Panny 45-90, but it's still pretty slow shutter speeds.
This endeavor is more a favor, and fun, then anything so I'm not looking to spend gobs of money here. I just need something to freeze the action and I don't care about auto focus or 12800 iso's. The Panasonic has done only reasonably well and I loose alot of shots because of movement or because they need sharpening to save so I'd love to find something giving me a good 3200 iso performance. Right now everything goes online but I really want to shoot some for print and maybe make a buck or two. I'm starting here in the Pentax forum because of the lenses I have.

10-26-2013, 05:47 PM   #2
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I think a K-X would be your best bet, Those had good high ISO performance for their vintage, but shouldn't be too expensive now. Or you could grab a K-01, they are pretty darn cheap too.
10-26-2013, 05:56 PM   #3
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A K-x would cost about $250 to $300 right now. A K-5 around $500.

This was shot 1/40s @ 300mm f/5.8 ISO 2000 handheld with a K-x.




This was shot 1/160s @ 260mm f/5.8 ISO 20000 handheld with a K-5.


10-26-2013, 06:15 PM   #4
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The K-x is a capable low light camera.

I don't know what folk concert lighting is like, but I've taken it to concerts with changing stage lights and grabbed some good shots. If you have fast lenses then that would certainly help.

This one is one of my favorites. It was shot at ISO 1600, f/5.6, 1/250, and 170mm


10-26-2013, 06:22 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by wacrider Quote
I'm doing a little leg work on finding an older model used DSLR body with decent high ISO performance. I've shot a folk music performance season multiple years and have done so with both a Panasonic G1 and 3200 ISO film in various bodies without using flash. Problem is shutter speeds to stop movement and the usually wider open apertures.
I'd love to be able to close the aperture down a stop or so from the usual wide open apertures and/or get a little faster shutter speed. The speeds are really too slow at about a 1/30th at times or less and I have to time my shots to get any keepers or sharpen things up.
My lens choices are in manual Pentax, 50 f2 and a 135 f3.5, and I have some AF Nikon stuff, 50 f1.8 (new this season) 70-210 f4-5.6 and a 35 f2 for my film bodies. My Panasonic thru adapters takes all my lenses plus my Panny 45-90, but it's still pretty slow shutter speeds.
This endeavor is more a favor, and fun, then anything so I'm not looking to spend gobs of money here. I just need something to freeze the action and I don't care about auto focus or 12800 iso's. The Panasonic has done only reasonably well and I loose alot of shots because of movement or because they need sharpening to save so I'd love to find something giving me a good 3200 iso performance. Right now everything goes online but I really want to shoot some for print and maybe make a buck or two. I'm starting here in the Pentax forum because of the lenses I have.
The K-x is decent, so if your budget is really tight I'd recommend going for that. But the K-5 is the best, and it's not very expensive these days ($400's), so that might also be a option.

Adam
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10-26-2013, 07:13 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by wacrider Quote
and I don't care about auto focus or 12800 iso's.
Something to note about High iso, you don't have to use it. But the higher the top end, the better the performance at around 1600 or 3200. Or at least that seems to be the case with the Pentax line. I shoot concerts for the fun of it and my K100d does just fine for me. attached is a shot at 300mm f 5.6 and iso 1600. I like it but a camera like the k-x could nail the same shot at 3200 and get much less noise!!

If you want to make some cash, go with the highest performance you can afford!!
Joel
10-27-2013, 09:01 AM   #7
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I've decided to throw a money wrench into the whole decision and just upgrade from my G1 and buy a better body for a primary working digital body. I still have a budget being in the $800 area +/-. Of primary importance will be good stabilization and the ability to use manual lenses besides the iso requirements. I'll upgrade my lenses selection as I go along.
10-27-2013, 09:23 AM   #8
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The K-5 IIs is selling in the $800 range used. But if you already have Nikon AF lenses you might do better with a D7000. It's not really practical to adapt Nikon AF lenses to a Pentax.

10-27-2013, 09:47 PM   #9
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One thing to think about is the KX does not have the focus indicators in the viewfinder. Could be a pain for manual focusing.
Here is:

K200d
ISO 1600 pushed 1/2 and 1 stop respectively




K-X (digital one) ISO 6400 pushed 1/2 stop

Last edited by john5100; 10-28-2013 at 07:48 AM.
10-28-2013, 04:07 PM   #10
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Thanks John for the pic's. Very nice.
10-29-2013, 01:17 AM   #11
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price versus IQ and high ISO performance ( best value for money on used market):
K-30 ( large bright viewfinder)
K-r
K-x ( I had no problem with lack of AF indicator, even with manual focus lenses)
K-5......and then is getting expensive
10-29-2013, 01:33 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by i_trax Quote
price versus IQ and high ISO performance ( best value for money on used market):
K-30 ( large bright viewfinder)
K-r
K-x ( I had no problem with lack of AF indicator, even with manual focus lenses)
K-5......and then is getting expensive
K-01 should be on top of that list I think. For concerts - an external lupe/viewfinder will be needed too - so that's another $30 or so .

K-01 all the way imo. Not only an IQ on par with K-5, but also - excellent high ISO performance, and weaker AA filter - which means generally sharper images , AND a bigger plus imo : QUIET SHUTTER - that is also not be dismissed for concerts unless you want to flap with the mirror so the surrounding listeners will carry you out

--manntax
10-30-2013, 08:55 PM   #13
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Here's one that I pushed to ISO 3200. I was just for fun...

10-31-2013, 07:50 AM   #14
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Another vote for the K-x... There was one here on the forum recently for $175. Maybe it's still there, dunno.
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