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07-04-2019, 08:24 AM   #61
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobA_Oz Quote
How much of that is due to differences in the lenses used?
A few years ago I mounted on my K-30 the Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7 that was kitted with my Super Program in 1983. It clearly gave photos that were sharper than the Super Program gave me, even when loaded with Kodachrome 25. Lenses do make a difference ..... but so does the body.

07-04-2019, 10:38 AM   #62
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonathan Mac Quote
Before my last upgrade (to a K-3) I strongly considered a K-5II but ruled out the K-5 due to the reported focusing problems in tungsten light. I'm glad I went wit the K-3 but I'm still curious about what it's like to use one of the K-5 models. I lot of people seem to really like them.
I really like my K-5 II. I'm actually taking it outside for the first time in a year to shoot fireworks this evening. It's spent the last year on a tripod copying 35mm negatives. I could see myself upgrading to a newer digital for general use and the K-5 II staying on as a dedicated film copier but there's no camera sold new today that is interesting enough for me to want to move to (a mirrorless full frame Pentax with a control layout like the Nikon Df would have me saving my pennies and dimes, hard).

These cameras are pretty inexpensive these days. If you have an interest, grab a II or IIs. The only Pentax DSLR from before the K-5 II that would interest me at this point is the K-200 due to the sensor that camera used.
07-04-2019, 10:54 AM   #63
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dartmoor Dave Quote
Ied have to disagree with those who are saying that some of the earliest Pentax DSLRs were bad cameras because they didn't have SR. I've got an *ist DL2, which is the most basic DSLR that Pentax ever made, and I love it. No SR mechanism means that it's amazingly light for a DSLR, and after all I got by fine without SR for three decades of shooting film.
I agree. SR is certainly helpful, and I usually use it when available. Otherwise, it's no trouble to select a suitable shutter speed using the reciprocal rule. SR allows for slower shutter speeds, but a lack of it doesn't mean the camera is in any way "bad", IMHO.

QuoteOriginally posted by Dartmoor Dave Quote
And here's another heresy for you: when you're shooting with manual lenses, it can be easier to focus using a pentamirror camera than one with a pentaprism. Of course the pentamirror is slightly darker, but the viewfinder image "pops" into focus more obviously than it seems to with most pentaprisms. At least to my eyes.
Interesting that you mention this, David. I find the same thing with my GX-1L, but wondered if it was to do with the focusing screen. I didn't consider that it might be the pentaxmirror. Frankly, in my typical use cases, I've never found the pentamirror to be limited. A little darker, sure, but still good...
07-05-2019, 04:16 AM   #64
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QuoteOriginally posted by pres589 Quote
I really like my K-5 II. I'm actually taking it outside for the first time in a year to shoot fireworks this evening. It's spent the last year on a tripod copying 35mm negatives. I could see myself upgrading to a newer digital for general use and the K-5 II staying on as a dedicated film copier but there's no camera sold new today that is interesting enough for me to want to move to (a mirrorless full frame Pentax with a control layout like the Nikon Df would have me saving my pennies and dimes, hard).

These cameras are pretty inexpensive these days. If you have an interest, grab a II or IIs. The only Pentax DSLR from before the K-5 II that would interest me at this point is the K-200 due to the sensor that camera used.
The K10D and K-m used the same sensor but I think of the three, the K200D is the best. (Some K10Ds I think had banding problems and the K-m had fewer features than the K200D, although it was smaller and lighter.)

07-06-2019, 12:49 AM   #65
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Interesting that you mention this, David. I find the same thing with my GX-1L, but wondered if it was to do with the focusing screen. I didn't consider that it might be the pentaxmirror. Frankly, in my typical use cases, I've never found the pentamirror to be limited. A little darker, sure, but still good...

I'm glad to hear that it's not just me who has noticed it, Mike. My theory is that the pentamirror reduces the apparent depth of field (or the actual depth of focus at the focusing screen plane?) that you see through the viewfinder, so that the transition from obviously out of focus to obviously in focus is quite abrupt. With most pentaprisms there seems to be a wider zone of uncertainty on either side of being properly in focus. But of course it would be commercial suicide for Pentax to go back to making cameras with pentamirrors, and as you say it's also quite possible that it could be the focusing screen rather than the pentamirror that's making the difference anyway.
07-06-2019, 01:33 AM - 1 Like   #66
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I think the focusing screen might have something to do as well... The Pentax ME has a pentaprism and it is a bit easier to focus manually than the K-7, even without the microprism ring/split prism.

Then again, it's film, which makes it non-applicable I guess...
07-06-2019, 02:05 AM - 2 Likes   #67
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It is interesting to compare the focusing screens of the early Pentax bodies with penta-mirror compared to pentax-prism up to the K-x:

The focusing screen of the earliest *ist D and *ist DS (as well as Samsung equivalent) was the LL60 and both had penta-prism
The focusing screen of the *ist DL's, K100D, K200D, K-m and K-x (all penta-mirror) was the LI60. It was larger and would not fit into the *ist D/DS nor K10D/20D!!!


The Pentax K10D and K20D had the LF80 (and penta-prism) but the screen was brigther.
There have been problems focusing with manual lenses and thus many prefered the LL60 (only the LL, the LI60 is too large!)


The problem is that the photos on Ricoh's website show wrong focusing screens, LF60 for LL60, and then there are Ll60's which have an L90 print on them.
I have an L60 here as well as an L90, both are 100% identical aside of the logo and both the larger size of the Ll60: 17,90 mm x 26,30 mm
L60 and L90 have this kind of frame around the actual screen.

LL60 and LF80 are 17,45 mm x 25,55 mm and thus same size as later natural bright matte of K5, but the nose is on the other side.
One could swap them if one took the nose off.


Same applies for the LL60, if one takes the nose off, it fits into all penta-prism bodies up to the KP.

I have done so once for a K5, the K5 was easier to focus with manual lenses.

But then I prefered Katzeye! Those where the best but this would be a different theme.

So the main difference is indeed the focusing screen as you guess, there never was a natural bright matte for the Pentax penta-mirror bodies!


The first natural bright matte was on the K10D, followed by the K20D, K7, K5, K-r, K30 and so on. And all of those use penta-prism.
07-06-2019, 03:04 AM   #68
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QuoteOriginally posted by photogem Quote
So the main difference is indeed the focusing screen as you guess, there never was a natural bright matte for the Pentax penta-mirror bodies!

Thank you, that's interesting and useful info. Looks like it's the focusing screen that makes the difference then (in hindsight I was pretty dumb to assume it was the pentamirror).

And now I'm wondering whether or not my Samsung GX-10 version of the K10D uses the same focusing screen as the Pentax version. My eyes aren't what they used to be, so I think I'll look around for a reasonably priced LL60 to try, just in case it makes a difference. I think the time is inevitably going to come when I'm going to have to switch to autofocus lenses, but I want to hang on with my Takumars for as long as I can.

07-06-2019, 05:17 AM   #69
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The focusing screen of the GX10 is the same! So you can use the LL60 screen in it. Just make sure you get the right one, it was only built into the *ist D, *ist DS/2 and Samsung GX1/s
but not the GX1L! The GX1L uses the L90 or L60, i.e. the larger version.


If ever you decide to go for a split image screen, careful: There are those sellers in ebay which offer screens which cannot be: Original Brightening Camera Focusing Screen for Pentax ist, DL/K10D/K20D

The orig. LL60 is very hard to find. Best chance to find a GX1/s or *ist D/DS/DS2

And this LF60 would be the wrong one
It says L60 but is offered as LF60! The photo shows the frame around the screen which makes it larger that the LL60!

Worse even here
They picture an L60 but offer it as the LL60, you can see the frame as well.

Last edited by photogem; 07-06-2019 at 05:24 AM.
07-29-2019, 09:36 AM - 1 Like   #70
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
The very first runs of the K5 had some pretty serious problems. I don't know if they ever got that camera straightened out or not, but it was fundamentally flawed in several areas in the beginning.
I think they must addressed most of the problems aside from the white-balance problems under florescent lighting. I bought my K-5 about a month before the K-5 II / K-5 IIs were released and have not had any complaints except for the florescent lighting issue. Overall its been a fine camera which I still have and use along with a K-3 & a KP.
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