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11-03-2008, 03:41 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Focus speed is a factor of many things, but some important ones are how much light is reaching the AF sensors (which is a function of maximum aperture)
I played with the AF in badly lit rooms and it only starts hunting when it would be too dark to make a proper picture without flash anyhow. If the light is that low you typically can afford a not so snappy AF since any subject movement would result in blur anyhow.

QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
The DA40 focuses *much* faster than either - it has pretty much everything going for it (relatively large aperture, high contrast, very low mass, small turning radius).
You forgot "Quickshift". On the minus side, I've read that it is a very good lens, but nothing exceptional. From a prime, I would expect better IQ, or not bother and choose a really good zoom (say Tamron 17-50) instead. Yes, I know, the Tamron 17-50 isn't a pancake.

P.S.: Just a quick note that Marc is the much more experienced photographer between us and that I highly value his postings. From time to time, I happen to disagree with him on but in the vast majority of cases I have nothing to add to his very helpful postings.

11-03-2008, 03:52 PM   #32
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I know this isn't necessarily about the 18-250, but I'll just add that I spent a week in Peru with just the K100D and 18-250 and I got many more shots than I might have missed, including many shots at night and inside dimly lit cathedrals. That's the beauty of the Pentax bodies with SR, you can shoot the lower shutter speeds and get some great shots.

As for IQ differences, unless you're shooting posters or doing some extreme cropping, it isn't obvious in real-world shooting. It's there, but you have to look for it.

Check out my set from Peru to see real-world, full sized examples.
Peru - a set on Flickr
11-03-2008, 05:01 PM   #33
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Before I begin this little rant I just want to note that my comments are not directed at Marc per se, but rather at the general consensus among many that a super/utility zoom can not possibly take great pictures.

QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
True. Although as I mentioned elsewhere, you should also consider that the 18-250 will force you to miss shots as well because it does not have a wide enough maximum aperture, because its AF is relatively slow, because the focus ring is not as precise as that of a higher quality lens, because of the lack of quick shift, or even perhaps because you are that much less likely to have the camera with you than you might with a significantly smaller lens.
Actually, AF on the DA18-250 is just as good as the DA*50-135 in mediocre light; at least in so far as you would notice in practical use.

I just did a test to be "double plus good sure" with the two lenses and my K20D. The exposure for the shot was 1/15s f/5.6 ISO200 @ 135mm and a range of ~25ft from my office desk to the window in the nursery. Both lenses achieved focus at just shy of 2sec from minimum focus setting. The 18-250 actually spun up faster than the 50-135 but had micro adjustments at the end which took about 200ms by my estimation. So if the camera had locked on the initial spin up from "zero" the 18-250 at 135mm would actually have been FASTER at its f/5.6 max aperture than the 50-135 at its f/2.8. Go figger.
Here's the shot from the 18-250 (resized for web only):
[imgwideleft]http://www.perzactly.com/posts/jdg03712.jpg[/imgwideleft]
The shadow on the left is a bookshelf in my office, the shadow on the right is the office door.

The whole missing shots due to low light performance really isn't valid in my opinion. The time it takes you to switch out lenses to go from one prime to another, or short to long zoom, will cause more "lost shots" than any lens' individual AF performance. But with that in mind - the Penron 18-250/3.5-6.3 is not intended to be used as a low-light without flash lens. It is an f/8 and Be There daylight utility zoom, and if you use it for that purpose there is no other lens on the market for Pentax or any other brand now or at any time in the past that can beat it. But anyone trying to use it for anything else has wasted their time and money.

QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Plus you have to accept that many of your shots will be compromised a bit in IQ over what is possible with higher quality lenses. As it happens, all of these issues are most pronounced indoors in low light.
Sure they will, just like the IQ is lower from the DA18-55/3.5-5.6 kit compared against the DA*16-50/2.8 or one of the limited primes. You shouldn't use a sledge hammer to cut diamonds either.

Please understand that I am not preaching the DA18-250 as the messiah of lenses. It just happens to be one hellofa good piece of optical engineering that deserves a bit more recognition for what it is and what it really can do.

Here are a couple shots I am particularly proud of from this little lens:
[imgwideleft]http://www.jimgillispie.com/photos/371319685_vMbTF-XL.jpg[/imgwideleft]

[imgwideleft]http://www.jimgillispie.com/photos/399261673_aguGc-XL.jpg[/imgwideleft]
11-03-2008, 11:59 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
I played with the AF in badly lit rooms and it only starts hunting when it would be too dark to make a proper picture without flash anyhow.
There's hunting, and there's taking more than a fraction second to focus. There are definitely lighting conditions where the zooms take *much* longer to achieve lock than the DA40.

QuoteQuote:
On the minus side, I've read that it is a very good lens, but nothing exceptional.
Opinions vary, to be sure, as they do with most lenses. But some reviews rate it as one of the sharpest lenses Pentax makes. Certainly, it is *tons* sharper than the zooms we are talking about. Anyhow, the way to make the call isn't by reading but by looking at sample images. Ideally ones created under controlled circumstances in comparison with other lenses, and actually, I'm planning on putting something like that together at some point (same for my other favorite lenses).

11-04-2008, 03:30 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Anyhow, the way to make the call isn't by reading but by looking at sample images.
For sure.
I've looked at many sample images from various lenses and there are two that impress me:

1. Pentax FA 31mm Ltd. That's a sharp lens! Nice colours!
2. Voigtlander Nokton 58mm. That bokeh is creamy indeed.

Surely there are many more "one in a million" lenses but I haven't seen a sample image from the DA 40 yet that blew me away.

QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Ideally ones created under controlled circumstances in comparison with other lenses, and actually, I'm planning on putting something like that together at some point (same for my other favorite lenses).
Looking very much forward to that!
11-04-2008, 04:11 AM   #36
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I'm happy with my K200D, it has the same resolution as the K10D (the same sensor in fact). The higher resolution of the K20D I just don't need for my purposes.

The new K-m seem a little limited for me, and the water sealing of the K200D is comfortable.

But the main advantage in my opinion is the standard batteries used. I can get AA batteries in any shop nearby should my rechargeables run out on me.
11-04-2008, 08:41 AM   #37
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Anyway I would suggest a K-m for its improvement in the AF function which is now better when focusing in the dark.The other factor which urges me to buy a K-m is its mobility as carrying a heavy camera on travel is totally a disater for a teenage.Despite it doesn't provide a live view function it is still a good bargain.
11-04-2008, 09:50 AM   #38
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I'd like to try the K200 and K2000 so I can make my decision. As mentioned here- you can read so much, one has to actually try it.

However, I went to my local "pro" shop (Samy's Camera, Santa Ana) and unfortunately they had no Pentax DSLRs on the shelf.

I certainly hope the K2000 will change Pentax' fortunes and allow it to gain some market share but it's pretty hard to do that with lack of availability in local stores. There is still something to be said for B&M shops.

11-04-2008, 10:34 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentHassyKon Quote
I'd like to try the K200 and K2000 so I can make my decision. As mentioned here- you can read so much, one has to actually try it.

However, I went to my local "pro" shop (Samy's Camera, Santa Ana) and unfortunately they had no Pentax DSLRs on the shelf.

I certainly hope the K2000 will change Pentax' fortunes and allow it to gain some market share but it's pretty hard to do that with lack of availability in local stores. There is still something to be said for B&M shops.
Sammy's in downtown LA has actual Pentax gear on the shelf that you can get hands-on with. They even have a pretty good selection of Pentax lenses. Nice store, check it out sometime.
11-04-2008, 12:03 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by GaryM Quote
Sammy's in downtown LA has actual Pentax gear on the shelf that you can get hands-on with. They even have a pretty good selection of Pentax lenses. Nice store, check it out sometime.
Only problem is that since I'm in So OC, they're about an hr away (assuming no traffic).
11-04-2008, 02:29 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentHassyKon Quote
Only problem is that since I'm in So OC, they're about an hr away (assuming no traffic).
What part of OC are you in? I may be making my way down there this weekend and I'd be more than happy to let you try my K200D and see if you like it.

Send me a PM and let me know.

-Yale
11-05-2008, 12:48 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by Venturi Quote
Before I begin this little rant I just want to note that my comments are not directed at Marc per se, but rather at the general consensus among many that a super/utility zoom can not possibly take great pictures.
And I'll be the first to say, I *don't* believe such a lens cannot take great pictures, Clearly, under the right circumstances, it can.

QuoteQuote:
Actually, AF on the DA18-250 is just as good as the DA*50-135 in mediocre light; at least in so far as you would notice in practical use.
Could well be, but the 50-135 is also pretty slow focusing. There are definitely lenses that focus faster. Not that this in itself is all tha significant - msot f my lenses aren't AF at all.

QuoteQuote:
The whole missing shots due to low light performance really isn't valid in my opinion. The time it takes you to switch out lenses to go from one prime to another, or short to long zoom, will cause more "lost shots" than any lens' individual AF performance.
That depends on your shooting style. Me, I do a lot of shooting in jazz clubs. I can mount the M100/2.8 and shoot away and pretty much never wish I had a different focal length mounted. And that f/2.8 gives me *tons* of shots I wouldn't get at f/4, much less f/5.6.

Anyhow, my point wasn't to say thag in any absolute measurable sense, the factors I listed cause you to miss *more* shots with a superzoom lens. Just that there will be *some* missed shots, which is a fact that is often overlooked.

Nice shots, BTW! I feel similarly abut my 18-55 and 50-200: while in many respects they don't stand up to my primes, they still can take great pictures, and there are situations where I prefer using them to my primes for the advantages the zooms give me. But there are other situations where I prefer using the primes for the advantages *they* give me.
11-07-2008, 08:46 AM   #43
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I see that prices for Pentax DSLR in USD$ are correlated with the current state of the US Stock Market
with 18-55 (BH photo, as of this morning)
K20D : $790
K200D : $570
K2000 : $700

Costco currently has the K20D for $899 and the K200D 2 lens kit for $749

Looks like I should wait for any Thanksgiving promotions, especially for the K2000. I'm hoping retailers will bring that down to $450 or so as I think the K200 will go to ~$500 with the K20 ~$700-750. Obviously this is all wishful thinking on my part, but we'll have to wait and see.
11-09-2008, 01:11 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
.............. The big deal breaker for me with the K-m would be the lack of the DOF preview, which is the only way to view the metering on manual lenses. You can hit a button to have the camera stop down the lens long enough to set an appropriate shutter speed, but you can't then scan about the scene and see what the meter reports as you do so. The LX probably showed a meter display all the time, but the DSLR's don't when using manual lenses - they can only show meter info while stopping down. So I think the K-m would not be a good choice for anyone planning on making extensive use of manual lenses. It would come down to the K200D or K20D (or K10D if you don't mind buying a discontinued camera).

Coming from the LX, you'd probably ind the viewfinders of any of these disappointing, but the K20D or K10D are definitely better than the K200D.
..
whoa there...
It took me a while to digest the above info in Bold Italics.
So...
On the K2000 - metering with Pentax-M lenses involves some button gyrations - right? Sounds like I can't even meter without pressing additional buttons.

While on the K200/K20 - no button gyrations?

On the LX, one see's aperture and shutter speed info. If one is on Manual mode, LED will light green once you are in the correct aperture/shutter speed combo for proper exposure. The other issue I can see here is that the camera will no longer act like a P&S - not an issue for me as I understand shutter speed/aperture relationship to exposure but this will be an issue for my spouse in terms of usability.
11-09-2008, 03:31 AM   #45
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PentHassyKon, I think it is important to note that there are limits to backward compatibility with legacy lenses, particularly the M series, which has been discontinued for about 30 years already (circa the late 70s, early 80s).

The Pentax K-m first and foremost is directed towards new users with full and complete functionality with modern AF lenses. To me as much as there are wonderful M series optics, it makes better sense to move on and use DA or FA series lenses to reap the full benefits of being able to use every exposure and metering mode.

The lack of an optical preview is not a major issue imo, yet another reason to use newer lenses with this camera. On the K-m, there is still a digital preview, which can be allocated to the (Help) button.
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