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03-12-2015, 03:36 PM   #31
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I have both a K20d and a K-r and I think the K20d is the higher quality camera. Pair it with the DA 35 2.4 autofocus prime and you have a killer combination for about 300 dollars. If all I have when I go out is those two, I am still happy.

03-12-2015, 03:40 PM   #32
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There is a post in the price watch section about a K50 kit for sale for 305 dollars.
03-13-2015, 05:47 AM   #33
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I would suggest, if your vision is an issue, to get a model with a top LCD. Adjusting your settings in the viewfinder might be really annoying, and the LDC is very easy to read - you can even keep your reading glasses on if you need.

Articulating screen - I think one of the mirrors you can attach to the camera would be the easiest thing.
03-13-2015, 08:00 AM   #34
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Meh. I have models with and without top lcd and bad vision. I agree it is a bit easier but not a killer for my specific vision.

03-13-2015, 09:51 PM   #35
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I would suggest you avoid the Kr/x or m series as there is less of a hand grip to them. And that is from a Kr user.
03-14-2015, 05:46 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by emalvick Quote
I would say that looking at the 100 and 200 may limit you just a bit. The 200 was quite similar to the k10d with a few limitations (I think it might have only had one dial and a little less customizability). I would probably just focus on the K10d, K20 or even K30 or K50.
IMHO, the main limitations of the K200D are the pentamirror viewfinder and the single control wheel. Otherwise, it's a great camera. Given what the OP mentioned about vision concerns, I would definitely suggest avoiding bodies with the pentamirror viewfinder because they are dimmer.

My own recommendation would be to take advantage of the current deals on a K30 or a K50 ( they are almost identical ). There's something to be said for getting a newer camera with a warranty. These cameras are solid performers, with most of the features of the flagship bodies including weather sealing, etc.

If you think you might want to use some of your older lenses on your new DSLR, the focus peaking feature of the K30/K50 might be VERY useful to you. I wish I could get more mileage out of it, but I'm usually shooting in bright light that washes out the LCD screen, and I'm rarely using a tripod.

( note: when in live view mode, the camera is displaying your view "live" on the rear LCD screen. Focus peaking is a feature which highlights what's in focus on the screen so that you can see exactly what's in focus and what isn't. It is a handy feature for manually focusing. But it requires that you use live view and look at the rear LCD rather than the 'normal' mode of using the viewfinder. )

If your shooting style is a bit slower and more patient than mine, and you can make better use of the focus peaking, it might be a big help to you in terms of your vision issues. To deal with the problem of sunlight washing out the rear LCD, you can get a sort of hood to shade it. There are a couple of different styles - one is a collapsible one that shades light from the top and sides, there's another that's more of a loupe arrangement that turns the rear screen into a big viewfinder. Either of those options will make your camera a bit bigger, but if they make the rear LCD more usable, and allow you to take advantage of the focus peaking, it may be a good option for you.

Installing a split-prism focus screen is another option, but probably more expensive compared to using the focus-peaking feature build into the camera body. I believe the K30/K50s are the cheapest DSLR bodies with the focus peaking feature.
03-14-2015, 06:01 AM   #37
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If you're really limited on budget and want an older DSLR I'd go with a used K-7. You can get one for $200 or even less now and it's still a very good camera for the money. It will struggle a bit with high iso shots but otherwise it's top notch and it's about the oldest I'd go for under $200. That being said if you can do $300-450 you could get a K5 for the money and it would be well worth it. You can get a K30 or K50 for the same but only a body or maybe a body and a kit lens. Amazon often has some crazy low deals in the Warehouse and they have a good return policy.
03-14-2015, 06:57 AM   #38
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Thanks for all the advice and guidance. I really gotta stay around $200 or less. The wife's Honda just went in the shop with VTEC pump problems among all the other unexpected expenses here lately. When it rains it pours I guess. I really like the idea of being able to use all my Pentax lenses. Canon really messed up when they obsoleted all their earlier lenses. I have got some nice K and KA 24mm, 50mm, 135mm, 35-70mm and 70-200mm lenses, all Pentax except for a nice Sigma zoom.

03-14-2015, 07:18 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bustedup Quote
The wife's Honda just went in the shop with VTEC pump problems among all the other unexpected expenses here lately.
This may sound like heresy on this forum, but perhaps you should put off your purchase for a bit until your financial situation improves, or at least there's less uncertainty. The deals on some of these cameras are only going to get better, and rather than make a choice that you'll regret, it might give you the chance to do a bit more research, and pick the camera that suits you best with a clear conscience. Narrow down your choice of a camera body based more on functionality rather than price, and then sit back and wait for a sweet deal to pop up. Once the full-frame body becomes available, there may be some fire-sale prices on APS-C bodies.

QuoteOriginally posted by Bustedup Quote
I really like the idea of being able to use all my Pentax lenses.
Some of those old lenses are highly regarded ( you can look up user reviews of the ones you own in the lens review section ). Unfortunately, it can be a bit of a hassle to use some of them. For old lenses that do not have the "A" setting on the aperture ring, you have to use the green button mode for setting shutter speed, which isn't always accurate. You can also set your exposure manually by metering via DOF preview, but that is only supported on flagship models at the present time ( ie. not supported on K30/K50 ).

Another thing to remember is that with pre-F series zoom lenses, the camera body can't read what focal length you've zoomed to, so if you want the SR to work properly, you have to manually dial in the focal length every time you change it.

So yes, you can use your old lenses on a modern DSLR body, but it can be a bit fiddly at times. If your shooting is slow and methodical, it may not be a big deal. If you're shooting on the run with changeable light, it can be frustrating. Also, some of the old lenses don't perform as well with a digital sensor as they did with film - the impression I have is that this tends to be more of an issue with wide angle lens than at the other end.

Just pointing out that when it comes to using legacy glass, it isn't all rainbows and unicorns.
03-14-2015, 09:08 AM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by arkav Quote
IMHO, the main limitations of the K200D are the pentamirror viewfinder and the single control wheel. Otherwise, it's a great camera. Given what the OP mentioned about vision concerns, I would definitely suggest avoiding bodies with the pentamirror viewfinder because they are dimmer.
A discussion in another thread reminded me that there's a couple of other features I like in my newer camera vs my old K200D.

I couldn't configure my old camera to do back button focusing, and it didn't have TAv mode. These aren't as big as the viewfinder and control wheel shortcomings mentioned earlier, but they aren't insignificant either.

More fuel for the fire!
03-14-2015, 10:58 AM   #41
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Just get the K20d then for 200 or less. It's a seriously fun camera. Dont believe the hype that you need to be able to shoot in ISO 6400 to say you have a good camera. In the days of film everybody made things work with ISO 400 or less, even the pros. Upgrade in a year if you want to and youll only be out like 50 bucks for a year's use.
03-14-2015, 06:50 PM   #42
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Have you tried using "Catch In Focus" with your manual lenses ('A' lenses anyway)? It's a neat trick and allows you to use the viewfinder.

QuoteOriginally posted by arkav Quote
IMHO, the main limitations of the K200D are the pentamirror viewfinder and the single control wheel. Otherwise, it's a great camera. Given what the OP mentioned about vision concerns, I would definitely suggest avoiding bodies with the pentamirror viewfinder because they are dimmer.

My own recommendation would be to take advantage of the current deals on a K30 or a K50 ( they are almost identical ). There's something to be said for getting a newer camera with a warranty. These cameras are solid performers, with most of the features of the flagship bodies including weather sealing, etc.

If you think you might want to use some of your older lenses on your new DSLR, the focus peaking feature of the K30/K50 might be VERY useful to you. I wish I could get more mileage out of it, but I'm usually shooting in bright light that washes out the LCD screen, and I'm rarely using a tripod.

( note: when in live view mode, the camera is displaying your view "live" on the rear LCD screen. Focus peaking is a feature which highlights what's in focus on the screen so that you can see exactly what's in focus and what isn't. It is a handy feature for manually focusing. But it requires that you use live view and look at the rear LCD rather than the 'normal' mode of using the viewfinder. )

If your shooting style is a bit slower and more patient than mine, and you can make better use of the focus peaking, it might be a big help to you in terms of your vision issues. To deal with the problem of sunlight washing out the rear LCD, you can get a sort of hood to shade it. There are a couple of different styles - one is a collapsible one that shades light from the top and sides, there's another that's more of a loupe arrangement that turns the rear screen into a big viewfinder. Either of those options will make your camera a bit bigger, but if they make the rear LCD more usable, and allow you to take advantage of the focus peaking, it may be a good option for you.

Installing a split-prism focus screen is another option, but probably more expensive compared to using the focus-peaking feature build into the camera body. I believe the K30/K50s are the cheapest DSLR bodies with the focus peaking feature.
03-14-2015, 07:58 PM   #43
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Watch this one... if it stays low - BUY IT.
Pentax K K10D DSLR Camera with Pentax 50 200mm F 4 5 6 Ed Lens and EXTRAS | eBay
03-15-2015, 05:38 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by jgnfld Quote
Have you tried using "Catch In Focus" with your manual lenses ('A' lenses anyway)? It's a neat trick and allows you to use the viewfinder.
I believe "Catch in Focus" ( CIF aka "Focus trap" ) works with any lens. In fact, it's much easier to use with a manual focus lens since you can just configure the body for CIF whenever you've got AF enabled, and you just switch between 'normal' manual focus and CIF with the external Focus mode switch. With an auto-focus lens, it's a bit more of a hassle to switch between normal autofocus and focus trap because you have to dive into the menus. Too bad you can't assign CIF to one of the external buttons.

Personally, I only use CIF in some special circumstances, and very rarely now that I'm using an autofocus macro lens ( because I'd have to go into the menus to enable it ). But I have experimented with it in the past. Choice of focus point might make it awkward to use in some scenarios. You'd have to frame your shot, select your focus point, and then take the shot while adjusting focus ( or moving your body if you're shooting macro or near macro ).

My suggestions about using the rear screen + focus peaking were specifically for the OP because he said he has some vision problems. I agree that CIF is another option, but you can't really adjust the autofocus calibration for old manual lenses. Even if we assume that the autofocus is reasonably accurate without adjustment, relying on CIF can be tough if you can't see what the autofocus is locking on. I've spent time tweaking the AF on my K30 for my various lenses, but it's academic if the camera locks onto the wrong object. Even with the excellent viewfinder of the K30, it can be hard to see exactly what the camera has locked onto into some scenarios.

If my vision was such that I couldn't really see what the camera is locking on through the viewfinder, I think I would find using CIF very frustrating. But if the OP's vision isn't too bad, and his shooting is slow and methodical, setting the camera up, selecting an AF point, and then using CIF might be a viable option.

I do rely on my viewfinder, but I'm tempted to get a split prism focus screen one of these days. I miss the viewfinder from my old MX.
03-15-2015, 07:15 AM   #45
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I only have 'A' manual focus lenses, so I didn't want to overgeneralize!

Agree with a lot of your comments (I have a K-50). It has a simple switch to set AF vs. Man--doesn't the K-30??? That said, I find focus peaking has errors as well and you have to pay a lot of attention to exactly how far you are through the focus peaking process to get it exactly on perfect focus.

As for what the AF catches, I only use spot metering with this trick...found that out RIGHT away! Was able to get a passable handheld picture of Jupiter and its moons once with a 130mm+1.4x TC combo this way even.

It's not a be-all-and-end-all, but it can be a useful trick especially outdoors at distance I find. Worth a try out for him, anyway, I think.

QuoteOriginally posted by arkav Quote
I believe "Catch in Focus" ( CIF aka "Focus trap" ) works with any lens. In fact, it's much easier to use with a manual focus lens since you can just configure the body for CIF whenever you've got AF enabled, and you just switch between 'normal' manual focus and CIF with the external Focus mode switch. With an auto-focus lens, it's a bit more of a hassle to switch between normal autofocus and focus trap because you have to dive into the menus. Too bad you can't assign CIF to one of the external buttons.

Personally, I only use CIF in some special circumstances, and very rarely now that I'm using an autofocus macro lens ( because I'd have to go into the menus to enable it ). But I have experimented with it in the past. Choice of focus point might make it awkward to use in some scenarios. You'd have to frame your shot, select your focus point, and then take the shot while adjusting focus ( or moving your body if you're shooting macro or near macro ).

My suggestions about using the rear screen + focus peaking were specifically for the OP because he said he has some vision problems. I agree that CIF is another option, but you can't really adjust the autofocus calibration for old manual lenses. Even if we assume that the autofocus is reasonably accurate without adjustment, relying on CIF can be tough if you can't see what the autofocus is locking on. I've spent time tweaking the AF on my K30 for my various lenses, but it's academic if the camera locks onto the wrong object. Even with the excellent viewfinder of the K30, it can be hard to see exactly what the camera has locked onto into some scenarios.

If my vision was such that I couldn't really see what the camera is locking on through the viewfinder, I think I would find using CIF very frustrating. But if the OP's vision isn't too bad, and his shooting is slow and methodical, setting the camera up, selecting an AF point, and then using CIF might be a viable option.

I do rely on my viewfinder, but I'm tempted to get a split prism focus screen one of these days. I miss the viewfinder from my old MX.
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