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08-05-2016, 05:10 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by filmamigo Quote
All due respect to Pioneer, but I can't recommend the K10D any more. For me, two killer features are missing: Live View (obvious) and the ability to fine tune your AF adjustments.

As the resolution of these cameras went up, I found that every lens has needed a little tweaking for maximum performance. Regardless of brand, each lens will have a little front-focussing or back focussing. Perhaps this is even more true because I buy a lot of used lenses. But even my brand new FA 77mm Limited benefits from a tweak to the AF fine tune.

The K10D didn't have AF fine tune, and I was constantly frustrated. The K20D was an improvement for me, but it was the K7 that really gave me what I needed -- AF fine tune and very usable Live View.

If you will only ever shoot manual focus, at apertures between f/8 and f/22, then ignore my post. But if you will ever put an AF lens on the camera, and want to shoot wide open, then my advice stands.
I appreciate your perspective filmamigo. However, I have never found the lack of live view to be limiting, even with the K10D. Actually, though your point is taken that focus errors at f8 or above are covered by dof, I actually find most people should be using manual focus at anything below f2.

I do use a lot of manual lenses, and even use auto focus lenses manually sometimes, particularly if focus is critical. I installed a split screen on my K10D and if one of my lenses is not focusing correctly it is fairly obvious. In fact, now that I think of it, I own the K5iis and have never fiddled with the lens adjustments. I am sure, as you have noted, that it would help, but it always seemed to be a lot of work to go through when I didn't really need it. I am not trying to be flippant but if I owned a lens that was that far out of whack I would send it back and get one that worked right. If Ricoh/Pentax has that much trouble making auto focus lenses work properly perhaps they should hire someone to help them.

Seriously though, over the years I have owned several auto focus cameras that were quite decent, and a few that were terrible. There have only been three autofocus cameras I can remember owning that seemed to always focus dead nuts on without any further adjustment. The Minolta Maxxum 9, the Canon EOS 1Ds MkII, and the Nikon F6. The only Pentax I can remember owning that was close was the Pz-1p, and it needed an occasional touch up. I still own the Nikon and the Pentax.

The weekend is almost here! Grab a camera and go have fun.

---------- Post added 08-05-2016 at 05:21 PM ----------

I guess it should also be added here that, though the newer cameras with the newer bells and whistles are very nice, not everyone can afford them. Though some may no longer be satisfied with the older equipment, it is still extremely servicable and will provide additional years of enjoyment for people who have limited funds.


Last edited by Pioneer; 08-05-2016 at 05:22 PM. Reason: typo
08-05-2016, 05:29 PM   #32
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If you can manual by eye, your bet is a K10D; CCD sensor has different color profile and ISO 100 is super clean. The O-ME53 Eyecup helps.

OTOH, I stopped trying to focus below f/2.8. I just couldn't do it any more.
08-05-2016, 06:44 PM   #33
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Pentax K 30 16 3MP Digital SLR Camera K30 Body 027075218109 | eBay <-- 200 OBO K30.

Pentax K50 Camera 2 Lenses | eBay <-- K50 with 150 bid.

Pentax K R 12 4MP Digital SLR Camera Body KR Black 914 | eBay <-- Kr 120 OBO

Pentax K 5 16 3 MP Body located in U S 0027075176546 | eBay <-- K5 250 OBO

Pentax Pentax K K 01 16 0 MP Digital Camera Black Body Only 027075215320 | eBay <-- K-01 with a bid for 129 now. They have ones in excellent shape on there for 229 buy it now.

There's some excellent choices for you, all cheap, all would serve you well.
08-05-2016, 07:08 PM   #34
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Another vote for the K01. If you use an aftermarket lcd viewfinder over the screen then you have focusing control second to none.
I also have a K30 and find the images from the K01 just that little bit superior (a very subjective call) . I think due to the very light AA filter on the K01 and no mirror flailing around affecting the image. After using this setup with manual lenses I have to say I consider optical viewfinders seriously overrated.

08-05-2016, 07:45 PM   #35
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My two bobs worth is all about the lens itself. It is a very fast lens and needs to be used accordingly. If the camera's focus confirmation system is too old then it won't do the lens any justice. You will end up frustrated with lots of missed focus shots. So, if you do go for an older camera then an upgraded and well tuned focus screen will be essential to overcome any mismatch in the camera's focus confirmation.

Perhaps a K30/50 is the way to go as a compromise between price and performance. Importantly, any focus screen upgrade for that camera can be transferred to a K-3/ K-3ii if you get the cash to upgrade to that level (much better option).
08-05-2016, 08:10 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramuk Quote
If you really want to use your 50mm 1.2, you need to be able to focus well. Pentax DSLRs with the default focussing screens will not help in using the lens at high apertures.
This is very important information.

If you do decide to go for a dslr (and my vote is for the K20D), you'll need to install a decent focusing screen, and you'll need to jump through all the necessary hoops to make sure it's shimmed properly. It's a bit of a PITA to get yourself set up, but once you've done so, your results will be consistently awesome.

If you don't want to be bothered, then look at mirrorless. But a mirrorless in your budget range would probably be a m4/3 which isn't a great use for that lens. It'll be a few more years before affordable second hand apsc or FF mirrorless cameras become available.
08-05-2016, 11:15 PM   #37
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Are you sure that you have the Pentax-A 50mm f1.2? Just checked your first postings on this forum and the lens that was on your LX is a Pentax 50mm f1.2 M version. The A version has the A setting on the aperture ring next to the f22. If it is indeed the A version you can use most exposure programs and control the aperture from the body, that would be great but the M version is optically the same so that also is a great lens.

If it is not the A version you will have to use the green button a lot of times. I didn`t own the K-01 but borrowed and used it for a week and the position of the green button is not great; it is far away from the trigger. It is almost impossible to press that green button without moving your entire right hand, not very ergonomically designed. Especially in case you want to use more M version lenses, I cannot really recommend the K-01.

Regardless of the position of the green button on a K-01, the body itself also is an ergonomical disaster... it looks nice but the designer hasn`t been interested in what photographers think about it, he told so himself during interviews. The same guy (Marc Newson) designed a speedboat, furniture, bikes and cars and likes to make design statements. This is the reason for the K-01 to have been produced for only 1 year... It is cool by the looks, but pales in functionality compared to the LX that you might still own.

BTW I use a LX with 55mm f1.2 Revuenon lens, and was searching for a cheap Pentax dslr too!

During this summer holiday I`ve bought a used K-30 and it is waiting for me at a family member since I`m abroad. Don`t even know if it has the aperture failure that is sometimes reported, but that is no problem with M lenses anyway and even A lenses can be used without their A setting. I don`t believe that all K-30 bodies will have or will develop this malfunction, so many have been sold and there are plenty of very happy owners. The K-30 can be used in Live View with focus peaking, just like the K-01, but also has a viewfinder that is as good as the finders in the K-5 and K-3 models. The green button is RIGHT NEXT to the trigger and the body is very easy to hold even with only your right hand! The sensor is exactly the same as the one in the K-01 .

Last edited by Barabas; 08-06-2016 at 12:25 AM.
08-06-2016, 03:39 AM   #38
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Just a quick (and obvious) point -- I guess you are happy to have a 50 1.2 because you can use it at 1.2. That is its main point of difference. If you are using it at 1.2 then AV mode will work fine.

08-06-2016, 03:41 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by Barabas Quote
Regardless of the position of the green button on a K-01, the body itself also is an ergonomical disaster... it looks nice but the designer hasn`t been interested in what photographers think about it, he told so himself during interviews.
It is funny how peoples opinions vary -- I think it is a butt-ugly camera but its performance is what counts.
08-06-2016, 03:45 AM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by Barabas Quote
I didn`t own the K-01 but borrowed and used it for a week and the position of the green button is not great; it is far away from the trigger
True but I have always had to pull my head away from the K30 to find and reach the green button and that creates a serious problem that took me ages to understand. that is light pours in through the viewfinder stuffing up the reading. Not so with the K01 - you can meter it at arms length.
08-06-2016, 06:40 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by GUB Quote
True but I have always had to pull my head away from the K30 to find and reach the green button and that creates a serious problem that took me ages to understand. that is light pours in through the viewfinder stuffing up the reading. Not so with the K01 - you can meter it at arms length.
Well you can also meter the K30 at arms length, no problem. It does have a viewfinder though... that you cannot find the green button easily is a complete mistery to me.

For sure the performance counts but the ergonomics count just as well, for me personally even more so! I think what is more important for a succesful photo is to pull the trigger at the right moment with the right framing in the right circumstances, and what is right for someone is all very subjective. Performance only doesn`t guarantee a nice photograph, that`s for sure.

The K-01 -because of its design- already is a collectors item I think, while a K30 or K50 or K10D or whatever will probably never be... still I`m glad to have found a reasonably priced K30 (225 euro incl. Pentax-A 50mm f2.8 macro).

Hope you will have some luck finding what you are looking for, DanDan!

Last edited by Barabas; 08-06-2016 at 07:38 AM.
08-06-2016, 01:03 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by Barabas Quote
Well you can also meter the K30 at arms length, no problem
Only if you cover the eye piece
08-06-2016, 01:27 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by GUB Quote
Only if you cover the eye piece
That's incorrect. The OVF is blacked out by the mirror when you enter Live View mode. No light gets through.
08-06-2016, 01:42 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
That's incorrect. The OVF is blacked out by the mirror when you enter Live View mode. No light gets through.
You made me go out and check this - K30 --So in M mode with the sun behind me pointing at a shaded area I get 1/1600 sec with viewfinder unobstructed and 1/80 with my thumb over it. Should I be changing a setting on the camera somewhere so it meters off the sensor?
Edit - Ahh you think I am wanting to run the camera in LV whereas I had the habit of pulling the camera away from my eye to see the the effect of the green button metering change on the lcd screen. It proved to be a bad habit.
08-07-2016, 07:25 AM   #45
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Thanks to everyone for all the good input and camera suggestions (especially VoiceOfReason for concrete suggestions, but some of those cameras went super quick on eBay). Also, thanks to those who put in their thoughts on ergonomics and more detail (sound), very helpful. I've been following the discussion and don't want to multi-quote everyone in a giant post, but I'll try to address most things because there's a lot that's been discussed.

QuoteOriginally posted by ramuk Quote
I have two thoughts,

1. The lens you have, is worth quite a bit of money. I suspect you can sell the lens and get yourself a nice used k50 + a prime like da 50mm 1.8, a decent zoom like 16-45 and maybe with a little more money get a 55-300 too. That should cover most of your shooting/learning needs.

2. If you really want to use your 50mm 1.2, you need to be able to focus well. Pentax DSLRs with the default focussing screens will not help in using the lens at high apertures. I think the mirrorless cameras are the cost effective solution. A used Samsung nx-30 for example should be gettable for around $225. A pk adapter for around $10. This will allow you to use the 1.2 at 1.4 if not fully open. Sony and Fuji too should have similar equivalents. This setup means you can invest relatively cheap amounts of money for good quality lens (for example old takumar lenses) as long as you are comfortable using manual focus( the evf makes it much easier).

All the best.
Selling my LX/50mm 1.2 combo could easily help fund a kit purchase, but it belonged to my Father and I can't make the mistake of selling his Pentax stuff again! I already made the mistake of selling his K1000 kit to help fund my Nikon purchase and deeply regretted it. Although I feel slightly bad it's not getting used and could be better put to use by a Pentaxian which would put me at ease. I was planning on asking about non-Pentax bodies that worked, but I've decided that I want to stay within Pentax for sure.

QuoteOriginally posted by Skodadriver Quote
You might just scour the Pentax (or Samsung) DSLR cameras being sold for a while, hope to get a similar bargain K10D (or 20D or K7) and bank on recouping your outlay by selling it on when you have a better idea of what you would prefer in the way of resolution, weight, size, Optical or electronic viewfinder, max shutter speed etc.
While you are waiting you can read up on the other Pentax cameras for future choice.
I think this is a great idea. I should just stay within my budget now, pick up something cheap and then see in what ways the body limits me and what lenses I lust after in the future!

QuoteOriginally posted by Barabas Quote
Are you sure that you have the Pentax-A 50mm f1.2? Just checked your first postings on this forum and the lens that was on your LX is a Pentax 50mm f1.2 M version. The A version has the A setting on the aperture ring next to the f22. If it is indeed the A version you can use most exposure programs and control the aperture from the body, that would be great but the M version is optically the same so that also is a great lens.

If it is not the A version you will have to use the green button a lot of times. I didn`t own the K-01 but borrowed and used it for a week and the position of the green button is not great; it is far away from the trigger. It is almost impossible to press that green button without moving your entire right hand, not very ergonomically designed. Especially in case you want to use more M version lenses, I cannot really recommend the K-01.

Regardless of the position of the green button on a K-01, the body itself also is an ergonomical disaster... it looks nice but the designer hasn`t been interested in what photographers think about it, he told so himself during interviews. The same guy (Marc Newson) designed a speedboat, furniture, bikes and cars and likes to make design statements. This is the reason for the K-01 to have been produced for only 1 year... It is cool by the looks, but pales in functionality compared to the LX that you might still own.

BTW I use a LX with 55mm f1.2 Revuenon lens, and was searching for a cheap Pentax dslr too!

During this summer holiday I`ve bought a used K-30 and it is waiting for me at a family member since I`m abroad. Don`t even know if it has the aperture failure that is sometimes reported, but that is no problem with M lenses anyway and even A lenses can be used without their A setting. I don`t believe that all K-30 bodies will have or will develop this malfunction, so many have been sold and there are plenty of very happy owners. The K-30 can be used in Live View with focus peaking, just like the K-01, but also has a viewfinder that is as good as the finders in the K-5 and K-3 models. The green button is RIGHT NEXT to the trigger and the body is very easy to hold even with only your right hand! The sensor is exactly the same as the one in the K-01 .
Thanks for this, I went and checked and you're right here, I definitely have the M version (no A setting on the aperture ring next to f22). Your sentiments on the K-30 really make it appealing if I plan to use my 50mm 1.2 with it. But why did Pentax have to hire a designer for the K-01? If they just mimicked old SLR designs in a mirrorless format (like other companies are doing) I think they could have hit a home-run. I really like the Fujifilm designs. It seems like a no-brainer to bring back a loved SLR design with an optical viewfinder and focus peaking that excels with legacy glass.

QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
I think you are right about that The K20D was the camera I learned on for a few years before I got anything else. Good luck and don't forget to come back and post pictures
If I get something I'll definitely come back and be active, but being this place without a camera tempts me far too much!

Alright so I've had some time to mull over the K-01 and I think it's not ideal as a main body (I see it more suitable as a complimentary body for someone with a primary DSLR, but maybe I'm wrong). The lack of optical viewfinder and WR are big deal breakers, but it's also not suitable for zoom lenses and I like I said, I still want something that is future-oriented (even though I love me some primes and it would be ideal for my 50mm right now).

After reading this thread I'm almost very tempted to grab an older body with the cheap modern nifty fifty (1.8) to eliminate the focus problems we've been hashing out. Is that a dumb idea?
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