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11-06-2015, 08:03 AM   #1
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Pentax dslr interest

Pentax Forum members,

Most of the info I need has probably been covered ad-nauseum. However, I am computer illiterate and not very good at searching. I am also a dinosaur and still using b&w film and scanning. But my output has diminished so much that it is time for me to consider a dslr just for the convenience of instant feedback.

I have been a nikon user for many years and, of course, figured I would just buy a nikon dslr and use my old lenses. I soon discovered nikons did not meet my needs. After some rudimentary research, I decided that pentax might be the camera for me.

I need ibis and weather sealing. I need a decent handgrip, either built-in or third party. I donít need autofocus or fast lenses. I will cross those bridges when I need to. I have read, I think, that practically any pentax mount lens ever made will work on the dslrs. My lens requirements are 35mm to 200mm equivalents. With that in mind, I would like to hear from members recommending the best camera and lens combinations that will meet my needs taking into account excellent image quality and of course, price.

I shoot primarily landscape, but I will take pictures of anything that looks interesting.

TIA,

George Wilt


Last edited by flatop222; 11-06-2015 at 08:17 AM. Reason: poor spelling
11-06-2015, 08:34 AM   #2
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I'm sure you will get some excellent suggestions here. Welcome too.

I will say that you are not a dino for using film/scanning. People still do this and some - like me - have gone back to it for some of my photography just because it's a great look and as valid as digital IMHO.
11-06-2015, 08:38 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by flatop222 Quote
... and of course, price.
We would need to know your budget first
11-06-2015, 08:40 AM   #4
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The bodies definitely have you covered in terms of in-body satbilization and weather sealing. You can start with a ridiculous deal of ~$250 on a K-50, or you can go straight on up to the current flagship of K3II for closer to $850. When it comes to lenses, you're right. There's half a century or more of lenses which will mount right up and work just fine. The currently produced lenses run the gamut focal lengths and apertures, a lot are even full-frame even though there isn't a FF body yet, but even the currently-offered APS lenses should still meet your focal lengths with equvalence taken into account. And since you're more of a manual focus guy, there are plenty more out of production models and non-Pentax brands which will work with or without adapters if you're willing to do full manual control. The rest of it will come down to your needs.

What will be your primary subjects? Are you architecture and landscape? Are you portraiture? Macro? Sports? Nature? What are some of your favorite settings and lighting conditions? Do you prefer spontaneous shooting or do you like to spend a bit of time composing a shot and waiting for just the right moment?


Last edited by disord3r; 11-06-2015 at 08:47 AM.
11-06-2015, 08:53 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by flatop222 Quote
Pentax Forum members,

Most of the info I need has probably been covered ad-nauseum. However, I am computer illiterate and not very good at searching. I am also a dinosaur and still using b&w film and scanning. But my output has diminished so much that it is time for me to consider a dslr just for the convenience of instant feedback.

I have been a nikon user for many years and, of course, figured I would just buy a nikon dslr and use my old lenses. I soon discovered nikons did not meet my needs. After some rudimentary research, I decided that pentax might be the camera for me.

I need ibis and weather sealing. I need a decent handgrip, either built-in or third party. I donít need autofocus or fast lenses. I will cross those bridges when I need to. I have read, I think, that practically any pentax mount lens ever made will work on the dslrs. My lens requirements are 35mm to 200mm equivalents. With that in mind, I would like to hear from members recommending the best camera and lens combinations that will meet my needs taking into account excellent image quality and of course, price.

I shoot primarily landscape, but I will take pictures of anything that looks interesting.

TIA,

George Wilt
What is your budget? Give us a range to narrow the choices down.
11-06-2015, 09:49 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by flatop222 Quote
EDITED FOR BREVITY I need ibis and weather sealing.
I need a decent handgrip, either built-in or third party.
I donít need autofocus or fast lenses.
practically any pentax mount lens ever made will work on the dslrs.
My lens requirements are 35mm to 200mm equivalents.
Yes, old Pentax mount lenses will work well but they will not be weather sealed. All the weather sealed lenses are relatively modern and include autofocus. Your profile says you live in NJ. Make a trip to B&H in Manhattan to see whether the K-50 or K-3 fits your hands better (then order online to save sales tax). Assuming that the K-50 is comfortable for you:

Here's a weather sealed body and 2 lens kit Pentax K-50 DSLR Camera with 18-55mm and 50-200mm Lenses 10905

Or a single lens kit that includes a better lens Pentax K-50 DSLR Camera with 18-135mm Lens (Black) 10916 B&H. This covers the full 35-200 equivalent you want with a single weather sealed lens.

You can later consider adding prime lenses for even better image quality., but I think you'll be happy with the 18-135 above compared to what you get with old lenses on film. Most prime lenses are not weather sealed.
11-06-2015, 10:00 AM   #7
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if you are coming from film it is worth noting that an aps-c sensor camera has a 1.5 factor on the lens. A 200mm will have a field of view of a 300mm. When you say you want 35mm on the wide end you may want around 22mm since 22*1.5=33. I believe you really want around 20-135 when you say 35-200. On a full frame camera 35mm is a film camera 35mm field of view. It is worth clarifying.
11-06-2015, 10:22 AM   #8
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Given an unlimited budget, my top recommendation for a WR landscape starter kit would be the K-5iis along with the DA 16-85 and the DA* 60-250. That would easily run you well over $2,000, but would provide superb quality running from 16mm (FF equivalent 24mm) all the way to 250mm (FF equivalent 375mm).

You can save money by going with older used glass, although, because of the crop factor, going wide will involve some cost (and you may need to purchase newer lenses designed for APS-C to cover the wide end of things). Also, as mentioned by a previous poster, no WR with the old lenses. But if you want a cheaper kit using prime lenses, my top recommendations would be, for the camera, a K-50 (~$300), and for the lenses: a used DA 21 (~$275), an M 28 f3.5 (~$60), a K 35 f3.5 (~$120 [although hard to find]), a K 55 f1.8 (~$50), and an M 135 f3.5 (~$35).

11-06-2015, 10:46 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by flatop222 Quote
Pentax Forum members,

Most of the info I need has probably been covered ad-nauseum. However, I am computer illiterate and not very good at searching. I am also a dinosaur and still using b&w film and scanning. But my output has diminished so much that it is time for me to consider a dslr just for the convenience of instant feedback.

I have been a nikon user for many years and, of course, figured I would just buy a nikon dslr and use my old lenses. I soon discovered nikons did not meet my needs. After some rudimentary research, I decided that pentax might be the camera for me.

I need ibis and weather sealing. I need a decent handgrip, either built-in or third party. I donít need autofocus or fast lenses. I will cross those bridges when I need to. I have read, I think, that practically any pentax mount lens ever made will work on the dslrs. My lens requirements are 35mm to 200mm equivalents. With that in mind, I would like to hear from members recommending the best camera and lens combinations that will meet my needs taking into account excellent image quality and of course, price.

I shoot primarily landscape, but I will take pictures of anything that looks interesting.

TIA,

George Wilt
For price/quality ratio and "passion factor" = Pentax is excellent. Would say a K-50 + DA 16-85 or better yet, the reduced cost K-3 with a prime bundled in and you'll make a wonderful rediscovery...

---------- Post added 11-06-2015 at 10:48 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by northcoastgreg Quote
Given an unlimited budget, my top recommendation for a WR landscape starter kit would be the K-5iis along with the DA 16-85 and the DA* 60-250. That would easily run you well over $2,000, but would provide superb quality running from 16mm (FF equivalent 24mm) all the way to 250mm (FF equivalent 375mm).

You can save money by going with older used glass, although, because of the crop factor, going wide will involve some cost (and you may need to purchase newer lenses designed for APS-C to cover the wide end of things). Also, as mentioned by a previous poster, no WR with the old lenses. But if you want a cheaper kit using prime lenses, my top recommendations would be, for the camera, a K-50 (~$300), and for the lenses: a used DA 21 (~$275), an M 28 f3.5 (~$60), a K 35 f3.5 (~$120 [although hard to find]), a K 55 f1.8 (~$50), and an M 135 f3.5 (~$35).
+1 on the discontinued K-5iis. That is one hell of a camera. For an APS-C and a 16mp sensor, it is close to a miracle this thing. BTW, I like it very much indeed...
11-06-2015, 11:42 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the quick replies.

I guess I could have been a little more specific.

Budget - as low as possible which is not a very good answer. I do value excellent lenses highly and they don't need to be large aperture since I am usually shooting closer to diffraction than shallow depth of field. I am not expecting that I will be buying anything new. I want to enter digital as inexpesively as possible to determine if it is for me.

I shoot landscape primarily but anything that looks interesting is fair game.

I am aware of the crop factor and that the older lenses are not weather sealed. I have used my nikon lenses in heavy rainstorms and just took care to wipe them off as soon as possible and never had any problems. I am sure that pentax lenses are just as well built as the nikons, but that is a chance I will probably be willing to take.

And yes, after I have done some more research, I will pay a visit to B&H even though I live much closer to Philly.

I hope this helps some.

George
11-06-2015, 12:19 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by flatop222 Quote
Budget - as low as possible which is not a very good answer. I do value excellent lenses highly and they don't need to be large aperture since I am usually shooting closer to diffraction than shallow depth of field. I am not expecting that I will be buying anything new. I want to enter digital as inexpesively as possible to determine if it is for me.
I'd go for the K-50 as others have recommended. Even new it's around $290, with possible freebies. Get the 18-55mm kit lens and DA 55-300mm and you should be covered.

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11-06-2015, 12:46 PM   #12
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Welcome to Pentax.

Check the Marketplace on this site too, as there are deals to be found and as a general rule, the people who sell here can be trusted to have taken care of their gear and know a lot about it. As others have said, the 18-135mm will suit you as a one-stop deal for a 35-200 equivalent field of view lens (and you may even be able to find it bundled as a kit lens with a lower-end body), plus it has weather sealing, while a two-lens 18-55 and 55-300mm set (which can be had weather-sealed or not as cost allows) will cover you for just about everything focal length-wise.

QuoteOriginally posted by flatop222 Quote
I am also a dinosaur and still using b&w film and scanning.
I've been shooting a lot of film over the last six months after going all-digital for about five years, and I'm seriously considering getting into home developing, so you are not the only "dinosaur".

All K mount lenses (bar the rare-as-hen's teeth 35-70 AF zoom from the early 80s) will work on current DSLRs, but there are tricks to getting the earlier models (pre A series) to meter correctly (and tutorials on this site to tell you how to go about it). If you want to go even further back in time, you can get a K mount/M42 screw-mount lens adapter, which opens up a whole new world of optical possibilities. And to pre-empt the obvious question from a previous Nikon owner, although some of us here have toyed with putting Nikon lenses on Pentax bodies, it seems to be something that's only for the experienced and brave of heart.
11-06-2015, 12:52 PM   #13
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Costco has the KS2 with 18-50 and 50-200 wr lenses for (I believe) less than $700. Check their online catalog.
11-06-2015, 12:58 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
I'd go for the K-50 as others have recommended. Even new it's around $290, with possible freebies. Get the 18-55mm kit lens and DA 55-300mm and you should be covered.

I agree, but purchase the WR versions of the lenses.




QuoteOriginally posted by gifthorse Quote
Costco has the KS2 with 18-50 and 50-200 wr lenses for (I believe) less than $700. Check their online catalog.

But for likely just a little more cash than the option above, this KS2 kit would also be good. Again, make sure the lenses are the weather resistant (wr) versions.
11-06-2015, 03:32 PM   #15
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I also recommend the k50. Love mine. The current pric. Is very low for what the camera can do.

I shoot a lot of film and even have my own darkroom. which imo is still the best way to do b&w photos/prints.
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