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09-13-2014, 06:28 AM   #1
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Going Retro Camera?

...so cameras seem to be gaining megapixels and getting more refined with faster AF and higher ISO....etc
Is this necessarily a good thing for creating creative images? I'm not so sure.

I had been looking to upgrade to a K-3 once Photokina has come and gone this year but now I'm thinking more of concentrating on using my FA and limited lenses with my old 10MP CCD sensor K200D instead.
I like to change things up every now and then...thoughts?

09-13-2014, 06:39 AM - 2 Likes   #2
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Depends. Better high ISO performance is great for certain uses, genres. Fast AF can also be very useful. On the other hand, all of these features and gizmos can be distracting, taking away from the basics that make a photograph great. "But, I took that photo with the fastest AF! f1.4 lens! 36MP sensor! No digital noise! Top notch post processing! Bracketed for HDR!" - "sure, but that doesn't mean the photo is.. good"
09-13-2014, 07:38 AM   #3
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As photographers (who are constantly bombarded by marketing from camera manufacturers) it is easy for us to get caught up in new camera tech and forget that current and older cameras are still capable of helping us capture great images.

When I first made the transition from film to digital for weddings I was shooting with 6mp DSLRs and when I go back and look at those old images they still look great.

Although I rarely use my K7 anymore because it has higher ISO noise and records less detail than my K-5 IIs, I recently found some old photos that I took with the K7 and thought they looked GREAT. When I found those old shots I wasn't obsessed with the ISO noise nor did I start criticizing the detail because the subject matter, composition and lighting in each shot were the things that caught my attention.

It's safe to say that digital cameras get better with every generation, but that doesn't mean the older cameras stop working.

Taken with K100D Super:


Taken with K10D:


Taken with K7:
09-13-2014, 07:54 AM   #4
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My K20D is still a great camera, but it does not come close to the awesome K3 that I bought earlier this year. Used with a flu card for architectural shots and landscapes it is terrific.

09-13-2014, 07:55 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by peterjcb Quote
...so cameras seem to be gaining megapixels and getting more refined with faster AF and higher ISO....etc
Is this necessarily a good thing for creating creative images? I'm not so sure.
I think better AF and high ISO performance are always a good thing. That said, my main DSLR is still a K-x, and I'm perfectly happy with it. I had a K100D and really liked it too, but moved up to the K-x mainly for better high ISO performance. Good thing, because I shoot concerts every once in awhile, and it certainly helps.
09-13-2014, 08:23 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by peterjcb Quote
...now I'm thinking more of concentrating on using my FA and limited lenses with my old 10MP CCD sensor K200D instead.

That's not a bad thing at all, depending upon how you see your pics being ultimately used. If you're doing photography for personal enjoyment or even making and selling prints...10MP can work quite well. But if you want to submit them for publication, someone might say, "Oh....only 10MP. Um...we need something higher rez." They would be wrong, of course, but that doesn't buy you any sales. Bottom line...if you're thinking of using what you've got and waiting, you can't go wrong. Whenever you get ready to buy, there will always be a "latest and greatest".
09-13-2014, 08:39 AM   #7
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I personally kinda like the high (er) iso 800 "noise" from the K20d sensor in B&W. Looks a lot like Tri-X of old !
09-13-2014, 08:45 AM   #8
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Todays cameras will correct about 90% of possible photographer's errors, like light measuring and evaluation, focusing, EV selection depending of situation (shutter speed - aperture combination) and several other "in camera" adjustments to do.

Then, with the digital era, photography "lost" about 50% of the whole technical process, by getting rid of the film developing and photo printing (darkroom) that could make a big difference between fail and success when taking pictures.

On top of that, digital made us lazy and careless, by giving us "instant" results and removing the whole "film + processing" issue.

Think of it like when "cooking". By using better kitchen appliances but still preparing only frozen, canned, pre-cooked, "shake n' bake"... cann still let you get away with a decent meal. I bet that a $0.99 hand can opener can do about the same needed job as an electronic "designer" $199 "Sharper Image" can opener. Could you taste the difference?

09-13-2014, 09:11 AM   #9
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New tech does have it's advantages and once in a while an upgrade can be a great thing, but that being said I don't need half the bells and whistles on my new K-30's and I know that. I actually didn't buy a K3 because I felt the K-30 was the best camera for my needs at the best price and basically for the same money, a little less actually, I was ultimately able to get 2 K-30's and 2 WR lenses rather than just buying myself a new K-3 body. Unless I actually need a new body because my main camera is dead, which actually was the situation this time because my K-x finally bit the dust, I seldom will upgrade the camera bodies I have.

Usually I will put money into new glass before a new body. I actually contemplated buying used K-5's and K-7's too but in the end the price on my K-30's was just too darned good to make that worthwhile. I got them for little more than the price of a used K-7 and for less than most of the K-5's I saw. Buying them was just a no brainer scenario really. Here I am almost done with my WR kit and I have two cameras and two lenses for the price of one K-3? I think I did good. Very good, even if my new babies are not a top of the line K-3....
09-13-2014, 09:51 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by peterjcb Quote
...so cameras seem to be gaining megapixels and getting more refined with faster AF and higher ISO....etc
Is this necessarily a good thing for creating creative images? I'm not so sure.
You can never have enough light sensitivity or dynamic range and there is always too much noise. Megapixels I don't care about. I want to be able to shoot in available light, however dim - ISO 6400 or 12800 is not good enough





09-13-2014, 10:25 AM   #11
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I share you sentiment. I remember way back when I had my K20d and all sorts of manual old primes, shooting was fun. I'd buy an old lens, (like the Yashinon 50mm f1.7, sand off its tab in the back) and go for an outing. Shooting was organic, engaging and more satisfying. I don't have that same feeling with the K3 and AF lenses, stressing over AF points, front/back focus issues, constantly chimping. Maybe I just miss shooting with MF lenses.
09-13-2014, 10:51 AM   #12
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You've got the best of Pentax's last CCD based cameras and a solid, modern, CMOS based camera so I'd say go for lenses. If you really feel the need for another camera look for something that expands upon the range of applicability that your current cameras already have. Thing is, your list of cameras indicates to me that the only direction for you to go in that regard, is either digital MF or, if you really want to go "retro", film in either MF or 35mm.

Purchasing more lenses, like traveling more, is something you'll never regret. Sort of.

Hmmm....

Maybe purchasing a ticket to take you and your current gear to someplace wonderful is another option; someplace "retro" like Papua New Guinea. I understand life there is still pretty close to the stone-age.

Last edited by MD Optofonik; 09-13-2014 at 10:59 AM.
09-13-2014, 02:22 PM - 1 Like   #13
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I have a k5 and an *ist DS. 4 times out of 5 I prefer the pictures from the DS, For higher ISO - K5, but otherwise I love me some CCD images.
09-14-2014, 09:37 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by rburgoss Quote
Todays cameras will correct about 90% of possible photographer's errors, like light measuring and evaluation, focusing, EV selection depending of situation (shutter speed - aperture combination) and several other "in camera" adjustments to do.
In green mode yes, sort of. Outside of green mode, my K-3 operates pretty much the same as any multi-mode program exposure film SLR from the 1980s. When I made the switch to dSLR with the K10D, there was essentially no learning curve. Almost all of my film experience was directly transferable to that camera.

QuoteOriginally posted by rburgoss Quote
On top of that, digital made us lazy and careless, by giving us "instant" results and removing the whole "film + processing" issue.
That is why we shoot in RAW and process in Lightroom (or similar) in a fashion that is directly analogous to the traditional wet darkroom. The combination allows for creative options similar to, but often much more powerful than what was possible with film technique. There is nothing "lazy" about it, though the process is often faster. Any image worth working with will require some PP and that generally will require at least 20 minutes time and sometimes much more. If a print is involved, multiply that time by 10.


Steve

(...not obvious from my sig, but I do a lot of film work...)

---------- Post added 09-14-14 at 09:46 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Stavri Quote
Maybe I just miss shooting with MF lenses.
So why did you stop? I replaced my K10D with a K-3 just this last Spring and with the exception of a few focus screen hiccups, the new camera works quite nicely with non-AF glass. Missed focus is more of a tragedy due to the higher resolution, but that comes with the territory.


Steve
09-14-2014, 01:05 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by rburgoss Quote
Todays cameras will correct about 90% of possible photographer's errors, like light measuring and evaluation, focusing, EV selection depending of situation (shutter speed - aperture combination) and several other "in camera" adjustments to do.

Then, with the digital era, photography "lost" about 50% of the whole technical process, by getting rid of the film developing and photo printing (darkroom) that could make a big difference between fail and success when taking pictures.

On top of that, digital made us lazy and careless, by giving us "instant" results and removing the whole "film + processing" issue.

Think of it like when "cooking". By using better kitchen appliances but still preparing only frozen, canned, pre-cooked, "shake n' bake"... cann still let you get away with a decent meal. I bet that a $0.99 hand can opener can do about the same needed job as an electronic "designer" $199 "Sharper Image" can opener. Could you taste the difference?
Boy, have I found the camera for you...

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