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10-01-2015, 05:00 PM - 1 Like   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by MilamBardo Quote
So, presuming the vintage lenses will perform on FF bodies, then it seems to me that Pentax makes a sound future investment, as my Dad can avoid all the APSC modern lenses, and stick to the old 35mm ones for now (and potentially lot of new FF will also release).
You have already shared that your dad lacks a strong background in photography. Depending your father's age, I would generally recommend against purchase for him with the intent of using vintage lenses lacking the "A" contacts. Depending on his vision, I would also recommend against non-AF glass. Fat fingered? That is a tough one. Here is my reasoning:
  • With lenses lacking the "A" contacts (Pentax-K, Pentax-M, and all M42 screw mount), you must rely on stop-down metering* or an external meter to set exposure. This is fiddly at best and requires close attention to what you are doing. I know there are comments above that claim otherwise, but I beg to differ. Most of the lenses on my shelf fall into that category (both K-mount and M42) and I am coming up on nine years experience shooting with them. Getting consistently good exposure with the built in meter is not really possible and the flow is multi-stepped. There are also issues with using flash...no more convenient automated P-TTL.
  • Using manual focus lenses having the "A" contacts (Pentax-A) is a big step up. The user will have full use of all exposure modes. Flash automation exist, but not as consistent as with later model lenses.
  • Manual focus can be a challenge, even with good eyesight. The viewfinder is not really optimized for that usage. Focus confirm is a good option, but the results are often not as good as expected.
  • AF lenses (FA, DA, or D FA as well as 3rd-party offerings) offer the best probability of success for a new/naive user and ironically, the best options to learn.**
Translation? Take him shopping with the intent being a super-zoom or dSLR two-lens kit.


Steve

* Stop-down metering includes both green button in M mode and full manual aperture operation in Av mode. They are essentially equivalent and both are cumbersome, M42 with manual aperture in Av mode being somewhat more so.

** M mode with the kit lens using the e-dials is not a whole lot different than using a K1000 mated to a Pentax-M 50/2.


Last edited by stevebrot; 10-01-2015 at 10:48 PM.
10-01-2015, 05:05 PM   #17
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The KS-2 with two lenses is 500 bucks at costco with a case thrown in I think. I have a K500 but really want the flip out screen because I like to hold it low to get shots of my dog. Also, the weatherproofness sounds like a good deal.

Last edited by paulcote; 10-01-2015 at 05:08 PM. Reason: adding reason
10-01-2015, 06:10 PM   #18
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I think it's a great idea to get your Dad a Pentax, you'll get the best camera for the price.and you can share lenses. And the fact that he wants a real camera, he should not have any problem learning it, at 60 he's not a relic if he was he would be scared a real camera.

I own a K-50, and have a K-S2 at work. The K-S2 does have a shallower grip, as far as between the grip and lens, maybe a little narrower, it doesn't seem like much. As far as controls they are very similar, I don't notice a difference when using them. I agree with Stevebrot that the M42 lenses are a little cumbersome to use, but they are manageable, especially for someone who wants to do it. And though manual focusing is hard, focus peaking (that is featured in both cameras) makes it a breeze when you are using a tripod. I never thought I would use live view for anything, but focus peaking changed that.
10-01-2015, 06:52 PM   #19
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Can get a K-5iis for a solid price too, used with a warranty is cheap at KEH right now and they rock when anything happens to a camera.

10-01-2015, 08:03 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by kmurphy220 Quote
Can get a K-5iis for a solid price too, used with a warranty is cheap at KEH right now and they rock when anything happens to a camera.
Only thing with that is, if the plan is old manual lenses, you'd miss focus peaking on the K-5IIs.
10-01-2015, 08:25 PM   #21
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Ah. I forgot. I never use focus peaking or even my live view lol. Should go for the K-50 then for sure.
10-02-2015, 12:30 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by MilamBardo Quote
Hello All and Sundry,

And so my current thoughts were that the KS2 looks pretty damn good for a beginner. It has the added bonus of Wifi, screen articulation, big 100% pentaprism Viewfinder, and yet, as far I can tell, can also take all m42s with no problems. Can someone confirm that this is the case?. The one and only problem that I foresee is that my Dad has Very Fat Fingers. I have just gone into Jessops today, and held the ks2, and there is not much space between the grip and lens, and I'm wondering if this might end up being a problem. Does anyone else have big fat Gimli fingers and also own a KS2?
The Pentax DSLRs are a bit tiny. K-50 will be a bit better than K-S2 for a grip. However, I think other brands, with bigger cameras are more comfortable if one has large hands. Unfortunately those are usually expensive high-end cameras.
I have fairly large hands, so I will post some thoughts for your consideration.


I think K-50 is a very valid choice, but one more thing to consider would be to buy an older, used camera. Perhaps your father won't use WiFi and articulated screen that much and it would be good to save money.

Some options to consider:
- Olympus E-1, which can be bought for $60
- Olympus E-3, ~$200, which is the most comfortable camera to hold in my opinion.
- Canon 20D, for $80, it has a decent grip and APS-C sensor.
- Pentax K-5/K-7, a little nicer to hold than either K-50 or K-S2

The lenses for Olympus Four-thirds are dirt cheap these days. You can get a very high-grade 14-54mm for $100. All those cameras have nice viewfinders, especially the E-3.

I wouldn't get a Nikon, because their used cameras are expensive. K-50 is a better deal than any used Nikon. Don't get any of the entry level Canons or Nikons, those grips are atrocious. The lowest grade Nikon for holding ergonomics would be D7000 and D100/200/300. For canons it would be cameras with designations lower than 70D, e.g. 20D, 7D etc.
10-02-2015, 01:36 AM   #23
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I'd get dad a nice bridge camera and let him have fun taking pictures.

He'll get decent quality, you'll get a happy dad who doesn't have to call you every time he messes up a setting or something. And a bridge camera won't have any fat finger problems, since they're built pretty similarly to a DSLR.

I went through a lot of tech gifts for my dad before I realized I needed to look at what was best for him, not project what I thought he should be using.


The Pentax X-5 has a 22mm-580mm equivalent zoom, (so... like 15mm to 390mm on a pentax DSLR), it has good shake reduction, a tilting LCD for shooting from the ground, an EVF so he can hold it up to his eye when there's too much glare for the LCD. It can't shoot raw, which is a negative for someone who'd want to do serious post-production work, but is probably a positive for a casual user. And it focuses at 1cm, so if he likes taking closeups of flowers or something, it's going to work better than any DSLR would without spending a lot of money on accessories.

(The XG1 has more telephoto in the zoom, but seriously, how many people can even handhold 580, let alone 1250?)

This link might help for size comparisons between cameras.
Compare camera dimensions side by side

---------- Post added 10-02-15 at 04:43 AM ----------

You can get a used X-5 for about $120 on eBay, or $235 brand new:
http://www.amazon.com/Classic-ultra-wide-angle-International-Version-Warranty/dp/B0091AD4GW/

And he'll never have to buy a lens. Spend some of the savings to get him some nice photo paper from Inkjet Photographic Papers Premium Photo Paper by Red River if he has a photo printer, or some credit at a good photo printing company like Nations Photo Lab - Professional Photo Printing and Digital Photo Finishing so he can enjoy the pics he takes on paper.

10-02-2015, 03:28 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by MilamBardo Quote
Hello All and Sundry,

Does anyone else have big fat Gimli fingers and also own a KS2?
The space is tight on the K-S2. I have a bump on my first joint on the middle finger and its always brushing the lens and mount when grabbing the camera, but once holding on it has plenty of room due to the contours on the handle. Just took out my calipers and measured. At its narrowest from the mount base to the grip its just shy of 16mm at ring finger location, at the center of the molding in the grip its just shy of 18mm. I measured 18mm and 18mm on the k5 for the same measurements and 19mm and 20mm on the Kx. Is there any way you could get him to hold and handle one? The KS-2 has fast reliable auto focus and that flip screen with live view is great for composing down low or over head shots, but it does need to be comfortable in the hand.

Last edited by wstruth; 10-02-2015 at 03:38 AM.
10-03-2015, 04:00 PM   #25
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So many replies from everyone - thanks so much for being so helpful.

QuoteOriginally posted by wstruth Quote
The space is tight on the K-S2. I have a bump on my first joint on the middle finger and its always brushing the lens and mount when grabbing the camera, but once holding on it has plenty of room due to the contours on the handle. Just took out my calipers and measured. At its narrowest from the mount base to the grip its just shy of 16mm at ring finger location, at the center of the molding in the grip its just shy of 18mm. I measured 18mm and 18mm on the k5 for the same measurements and 19mm and 20mm on the Kx. Is there any way you could get him to hold and handle one? The KS-2 has fast reliable auto focus and that flip screen with live view is great for composing down low or over head shots, but it does need to be comfortable in the hand.
Yeah, I think this leans me toward the K-50. Having held both in the shop, I do think that my Dad might struggle to get a comfortable grip. And the more I think on it, and thanks to some of the replies above, I'm thinking he probably won't even use a fully manual lens, so As and up I think. It is a shame, though, as you can get the K-S2 for only 150 more.

I have tried to get my Mum to persuade him to "try out" his present before the day, but he adamant that he wants a surprise, so this means I can't get him to hold it first, unfortunately.

The other camera that has crept into view is the Nikon D5300\5200, although I would personally hate a viewfinder with less than 100% coverage. Probably won't be that important to my Dad, though. So, not completely sure yet.
10-03-2015, 06:37 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by MilamBardo Quote
So many replies from everyone - thanks so much for being so helpful.



Yeah, I think this leans me toward the K-50. Having held both in the shop, I do think that my Dad might struggle to get a comfortable grip. And the more I think on it, and thanks to some of the replies above, I'm thinking he probably won't even use a fully manual lens, so As and up I think. It is a shame, though, as you can get the K-S2 for only 150 more.

I have tried to get my Mum to persuade him to "try out" his present before the day, but he adamant that he wants a surprise, so this means I can't get him to hold it first, unfortunately.

The other camera that has crept into view is the Nikon D5300\5200, although I would personally hate a viewfinder with less than 100% coverage. Probably won't be that important to my Dad, though. So, not completely sure yet.
Did you hold the D5200? It has a very small grip.
10-04-2015, 12:06 AM   #27
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Really - get something your dad will enjoy using, not something you think he should enjoy using. It's not about you, it's about him. You'll both be happier with the result if you just get him a nice bridge camera.
10-04-2015, 06:19 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by rrstuff Quote
Did you hold the D5200? It has a very small grip.

No, hadn't tried it out yet - popping down town today, though. I think the issue with the k-s2 was the proximity of the grip to the lens. Is this the case with the d5200?

---------- Post added 10-04-15 at 02:21 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by narual Quote
Really - get something your dad will enjoy using, not something you think he should enjoy using. It's not about you, it's about him. You'll both be happier with the result if you just get him a nice bridge camera.

My Dad is quite tech savvy, though. He bought an IPad long before most people, and was trying to use photoshop ten years ago. I think people might be right that going for manual lenses will be a step too far, but I foresee him wanting to change lenses, especially when he sees what he can do with a 50mm prime.
10-04-2015, 06:50 AM   #29
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+1 on the K-50 for large hands/fingers. I have both, and largish hands. I find the K-50 more of a camera I can "grip" rather than the K-S2 being smaller and a bit more difficult to hold comfortably.
10-04-2015, 07:56 AM   #30
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I can't compare the K-50 and the K-S2, but I just got the K-50 a few days ago. I'm a camera novice and have been pleasantly surprised with how easy it is to use. I got the K-50 with two kit lenses for $404 on Amazon and I think that was a great deal. I saw the K-S2 deal at Costco shortly after purchasing, but decided I would rather save the extra money it would cost and save up for another lens like the 50mm prime. I think the K-50 is a great first DSLR. At least it has been so far for me. And it is a pretty good size. I have small hands, but I think my dad (who also has fat fingers) would have no problem holding it and working it.
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