Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
02-22-2021, 10:09 PM   #1
New Member




Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 4
Pentax ist DL - Looking for Advice

Hey folks,

I recently got given a Pentax ist DL for free out of the blue in perfect condition, it came with a Sigma 18-50mm 3.5-5.6 lens.
Up until recently, I have shot mostly film, however I have been doing more and more DSLR work and paid jobs. My wife is also quite the photographer as she works in forensics (taking pictures of all the gory stuff!) so we share just an average Canon EOS body. I have a large collection of M42 screw lenses for film photography, so I know I can get an adaptor for those to fit the K mount (maybe one that has an autofocus chip since there is no live view on the ist DL to help focus), but I wanted to know:

1. Is the ist DL worth using?
Someone said there was quite a following on these forums for this body due to its sensor type. I also know that camera bodies don't age the way other things do, and even old ones with good lenses produce great photos.

2. If it is worth using, can you recommend a wide angle, standard and zoom lens (non-manual, autofocus would be nice) for the ist DL?
I would ask for recommendations that don't venture into the expensive, as this is my off-brand camera, I don't want to invest crazy amounts in new lenses, I would be very happy with just some affordable basics of each type.

3. Can you recommend a adaptor to fit my M42 lenses to the ist DL body, preferably with an AF chip?
I was told there are two types of adaptors, one with an inward flange and one with an outward flange, or something like that, and getting them confused could spell trouble.

4. Lastly, the ist DL takes batteries (when i saw it, made me think back to trying to get a battery that would work in my SP1000 for the light meter, what a nightmare!!), would you recommend some high quality rechargeables?
What type is best in your experience, lithium, alkaline, etc.

Thanks a lot in advance for letting me bombard you all, glad I found these forums as it seems to be filled with some very cool people
- Isaac

02-22-2021, 11:39 PM - 1 Like   #2
Administrator
Site Webmaster
Adam's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 49,839
QuoteOriginally posted by SinfulLifestyle Quote
1. Is the ist DL worth using?Someone said there was quite a following on these forums for this body due to its sensor type. I also know that camera bodies don't age the way other things do, and even old ones with good lenses produce great photos.
Since you got it for free, I'd say it's definitely worth trying. However, a slightly newer body (such as the K-30) will significantly outperform it in just about all aspects with a very minimal investment, so the practical utility may be limited. Will leave it at that for now

QuoteOriginally posted by SinfulLifestyle Quote
2. If it is worth using, can you recommend a wide angle, standard and zoom lens (non-manual, autofocus would be nice) for the ist DL?

I'd stick to the Sigma lens. Many of the cooler AF lenses won't actually AF on the ist DL, but it's a great body for using all of your M42 lenses.

Here's a full list of all compatible lenses:
Pentax *ist DL - Lens Compatibility | PentaxForums.com

F, FA, DA, and D FA lenses will autofocus, unless otherwise noted.


QuoteOriginally posted by SinfulLifestyle Quote
3. Can you recommend a adaptor to fit my M42 lenses to the ist DL body, preferably with an AF chip?

There is no such thing as an AF chip in Pentax land, so no worries there. I recommend the genuine Pentax adapter, and I'm sure everyone else where will agree. It's a worthwhile investment (though it's also more than doubled in price over the years):
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/673977-REG/Pentax_30120_Mount_Adapter...981&

Adam
PentaxForums.com Webmaster (Site Usage Guide | Site Help | My Photography)



PentaxForums.com server and development costs are user-supported. You can help cover these costs by donating. Or, buy your photo gear from our affiliates, Adorama, B&H Photo, KEH, or Topaz Labs, and get FREE Marketplace access - click here to see how! Trusted Pentax retailers:

02-23-2021, 01:01 AM   #3
New Member




Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 4
Original Poster
Thanks for the information and clearing some stuff up!

It seems hard to justify an adaptor with it costing ~$100, that seems ludicrous.
I was able to adapt all my M42 lenses to my Canon with an AF chip for under $30.

Perhaps for now I will just hold onto it as is, and if I stumble across any second hand lenses then lucky me
02-23-2021, 01:19 AM - 1 Like   #4
Pentaxian




Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Jersey C.I.
Posts: 860
QuoteOriginally posted by SinfulLifestyle Quote
Hey folks,

I recently got given a Pentax ist DL for free out of the blue in perfect condition, it came with a Sigma 18-50mm 3.5-5.6 lens.
Up until recently, I have shot mostly film, however I have been doing more and more DSLR work and paid jobs. My wife is also quite the photographer as she works in forensics (taking pictures of all the gory stuff!) so we share just an average Canon EOS body. I have a large collection of M42 screw lenses for film photography, so I know I can get an adaptor for those to fit the K mount (maybe one that has an autofocus chip since there is no live view on the ist DL to help focus), but I wanted to know:

1. Is the ist DL worth using?
Someone said there was quite a following on these forums for this body due to its sensor type. I also know that camera bodies don't age the way other things do, and even old ones with good lenses produce great photos.
The *ist cameras are well worth using. Despite owning three later bodies, one or other of my *ist cameras gets used regularly, both for infra-red photography, which they cope with surprisingly well, and for that somewhat elusive "CCD Sensor quality" which can seem somehow lacking in the newer cameras.

QuoteQuote:
2. If it is worth using, can you recommend a wide angle, standard and zoom lens (non-manual, autofocus would be nice) for the ist DL?
I would ask for recommendations that don't venture into the expensive, as this is my off-brand camera, I don't want to invest crazy amounts in new lenses, I would be very happy with just some affordable basics of each type.
The Sigma 18-50mm is a fine general-purpose lens. I have one, bought new for my *ist DS and it is contemporary with your body. If you want to go wider, the Sigma 10-20mm is a good choice, and likely to be cheaper than any Pentax-branded similar lens. For telephoto work, any of the major brands will perform well. I use Tamron, Sigma and Pentax-branded lenses. As to exactly which, this really depends on the nature of the subjects you're interested in and the depth of your pocket! Be aware that some newer lenses require separate power contacts to operate. These are not a feature of the *ist cameras, which only have "screw-drive" a/f capability.

QuoteQuote:
3. Can you recommend a adaptor to fit my M42 lenses to the ist DL body, preferably with an AF chip?
I was told there are two types of adaptors, one with an inward flange and one with an outward flange, or something like that, and getting them confused could spell trouble.
The Pentax-branded adaptor is the M42-PK adaptor of choice if you wish to retain infinity focus. As mentioned above, there is no "AF chip" for Pentax cameras. All my Pentax cameras have a little green hexagon in the viewfinder that lights up when focus is achieved, I'll assume this is also true of your body
Be aware, if your M42 lens doesn't have an "a/m" (auto/manual) switch, a slight modification will be necessary to the lens if you wish to be able to work at other than full aperture.

QuoteQuote:
4. Lastly, the ist DL takes batteries (when i saw it, made me think back to trying to get a battery that would work in my SP1000 for the light meter, what a nightmare!!), would you recommend some high quality rechargeables?
What type is best in your experience, lithium, alkaline, etc.
Panasonic 'eneloop' batteries are the rechargeable "battery of choice" for these older cameras. Although not having experienced performance problems with other brands personally, many have reported issues that have been resolved when switching to 'eneloop's. I now use them as my first choice. They also have a ridiculously long shelf life, retaining a useable charge for very many months, even when in the camera!


Last edited by kypfer; 02-23-2021 at 01:33 AM. Reason: spelling
02-23-2021, 03:17 AM   #5
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: SW Bavaria
Posts: 221
QuoteOriginally posted by SinfulLifestyle Quote
It seems hard to justify an adaptor with it costing ~$100, that seems ludicrous.
I was able to adapt all my M42 lenses to my Canon with an AF chip for under $30.
That was a bit of an unlucky link. I think Adam just wanted to show you, how the the adaptor without a flange looks like. You can get adaptors on fleabay from china for under $10. The quality of those is unsure. Mine works well, but you might not be so lucky. You can get a used original adaptor at a reasonable price with some patience. The problem is to find one, as most of the adaptors on sale are copies or in bad condition.
02-23-2021, 03:53 AM   #6
Pentaxian




Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Jersey C.I.
Posts: 860
QuoteOriginally posted by Papa_Joe Quote
That was a bit of an unlucky link. I think Adam just wanted to show you, how the the adaptor without a flange looks like. You can get adaptors on fleabay from china for under $10. The quality of those is unsure. Mine works well, but you might not be so lucky. You can get a used original adaptor at a reasonable price with some patience. The problem is to find one, as most of the adaptors on sale are copies or in bad condition.
Original adaptors are, apparently, still available, from authorised dealers. Bristol Cameras in the UK are advertising them as "available to order", see Pentax M42 To K Mount Bayonet Body Mount Adapter - Best Price at Bristol Cameras
02-23-2021, 04:14 AM   #7
Senior Member




Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Columbus Ohio USA
Posts: 150
The istd and k100d can take hand held IR shots without modifications. For that purpose alone it is worth having. You will need a IR filter.

Some People also like the color rendition of ccd sensor compared to cmos. You can Google the difference

Panasonic eneloop are often considered the best. The word on the street is that the ikea rechargeable are rebranded eneloop at about 1/2 the cost.

I have the k100d which is the 6mp model after the istd. I primarily use it for IR and some photos in good light. My other cameras are a k3 and kp
02-23-2021, 05:34 AM   #8
Senior Member




Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 135
The *istDL, like all Pentax DSLRs, does have an "AF chip". It is of course the AF system built in to the camera and uses the green hexagon in the viewfinder to indicate that it thinks you are now in focus, even with manual focus lenses.

Given you have lots of M42 mount lenses it would seem to me to be a bargain to buy one adaptor to be able to access all of them. One slightly subtle point - the purpose of the M42 to K mount adaptor is to convert your camera body to M42 mount, not to convert your lenses from M42 to K mount. Sure it looks like it does that but many people get a bit of a shock when they first install it by fitting it to the lens then lens to body but then find they can't remove it in the same way as normal K mount lenses. The adaptor should lock in the body and you simply unscrew the lens before attaching the next one. So you could have fun just using it as an M42 bodied DSLR - a digital Spotmatic indeed.

As everyone else mentions Eneloop AAs are the battery of choice with non-rechargeable Lithium AAs a good if expensive alternative. The CR-V3 is a variant of the non-rechargeable Lithium AAs, essentially an encapsulated twin pack version. They fit the *istD but I can't remember if they fit the DL.

Stick to a maximum of ISO800 unless you are a big fan of digital noise.

02-23-2021, 07:28 AM   #9
Seeker of Knowledge
Loyal Site Supporter
aslyfox's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Topeka, Kansas
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 20,655
a couple of threads that might be of interest:

QuoteQuote:
GAS attack: CCD vs. CMOS why choose one over the other ?
GAS attack: CCD vs. CMOS why choose one over the other ? - Page 3 - PentaxForums.com

QuoteQuote:
The CCD Sensor Cult. I mean Club...
Not too many people shoot them anymore, as no one's making them at this point... but the CCD sensor cameras have a loyal following (some would say obsession) from its fans (crazy? luddites?).

If you love the images you get from your CCD sensor camera, be it a tiny point and shoot or a giant sensor 645D or even a full medium format back, post here and wax poetic about the virtues of a technology that was replaced by a lower cost, video-friendly alternative (CMOS)...
The CCD Sensor Cult. I mean Club... - Page 34 - PentaxForums.com
02-23-2021, 08:00 AM   #10
New Member




Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 4
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by steephill Quote
The *istDL, like all Pentax DSLRs, does have an "AF chip". It is of course the AF system built in to the camera and uses the green hexagon in the viewfinder to indicate that it thinks you are now in focus, even with manual focus lenses.

Given you have lots of M42 mount lenses it would seem to me to be a bargain to buy one adaptor to be able to access all of them. One slightly subtle point - the purpose of the M42 to K mount adaptor is to convert your camera body to M42 mount, not to convert your lenses from M42 to K mount. Sure it looks like it does that but many people get a bit of a shock when they first install it by fitting it to the lens then lens to body but then find they can't remove it in the same way as normal K mount lenses. The adaptor should lock in the body and you simply unscrew the lens before attaching the next one. So you could have fun just using it as an M42 bodied DSLR - a digital Spotmatic indeed.

As everyone else mentions Eneloop AAs are the battery of choice with non-rechargeable Lithium AAs a good if expensive alternative. The CR-V3 is a variant of the non-rechargeable Lithium AAs, essentially an encapsulated twin pack version. They fit the *istD but I can't remember if they fit the DL.

Stick to a maximum of ISO800 unless you are a big fan of digital noise.
I do believe this as well, and it seems funny to me that even when using our digital EOS body, I spend most of my time attaching manual lenses because I much prefer the quality and control.
The one weakness of my EOS body is that the adaptor I currently have just arrived, and despite the info saying it had a AF chip in it, the damn adaptor doesn't so I have to manually focus and try to make it work with live view.
If what everyone is saying is true, and the istDL can indicate focus without a chip-adaptor, as a built in function, I may simply buy the M42 adaptor and make the Pentax the body I use for manual lenses, and the EOS body my automatic lens body.
02-23-2021, 08:42 AM   #11
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
UncleVanya's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2014
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 18,495
I will Wade in and say that good third party m42 to K adapter without flanges can be found - but you need to know what to look for. I have a Pentax original equipment adapter as well as a Kalt I bought as New Old Stock. The Kalt needs a tool to dismount, the Pentax doesnít (clever bugger has a way to access the locking spring). Many cheap adapter exist that can be complicated to remove from the camera.

Another strategy Iíve seen used is to take the lock spring off the cheaper adapters and use a removable thread locker to secure them to the lens and then treat as if they were k Mount native lenses that donít lock. This works if you are careful Iím told... but it weirds me out.
02-23-2021, 08:52 AM   #12
New Member




Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 4
Original Poster
Could I just clarify on the point of adaptors for manual lenses and autofocus:
If I attached a M42 lens to the istDL body using the Pentax adaptor, the camera will indicate if the lens is in focus or not
(the role typically filled by the AF chip on the M42 to EOS adaptors for example), rather than simply relying on my own eyes?

I may just go fork out a little more for a Pentax branded mount, rather than run the lottery of 3rd party I think!
02-23-2021, 09:42 AM   #13
Senior Member




Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Columbus Ohio USA
Posts: 150
I have the k100d which is one model newer but I think the differed in the type of memory card and shake reduction.

On the k100d I use back button focusing with the OK button. When using if I have the body switched to af while using manual lenses if I press and hold the ok it with beep and a octagon appearing in the view finder when in focus. I think you can also set it up with catch in focus where the shutter will not fire until you have focus

This is with manual k mount lenses but it should be the same for m42
02-23-2021, 10:40 AM - 1 Like   #14
Pentaxian




Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Jersey C.I.
Posts: 860
QuoteOriginally posted by SinfulLifestyle Quote
Could I just clarify on the point of adaptors for manual lenses and autofocus:
If I attached a M42 lens to the istDL body using the Pentax adaptor, the camera will indicate if the lens is in focus or not
(the role typically filled by the AF chip on the M42 to EOS adaptors for example), rather than simply relying on my own eyes?

I may just go fork out a little more for a Pentax branded mount, rather than run the lottery of 3rd party I think!


Exactly correct!
Pentax have made a reasonable effort to maintain a degree of backward compatibility with their earlier lenses, the very reason I moved to Pentax when my "other brand" screw-mount film camera died Ö I already had the lenses
You may read reference to the magic Pentax "Green Button" performing all sorts of wonderous things when in manual mode on the later cameras. This is true, but what may be less well realised is that the functionality was included on the early cameras in that the AE-L button performs an alternative role when in manual mode
If you don't have a manual, it's available for download from Ricoh at http://www.ricoh-imaging.co.jp/english/support/man-pdf/istdl.pdf
02-23-2021, 11:03 AM   #15
Seeker of Knowledge
Loyal Site Supporter
aslyfox's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Topeka, Kansas
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 20,655
to save time here is a direct link to the manual pdf

http://www.ricoh-imaging.co.jp/english/support/man-pdf/istdl.pdf

and the owners reviews:

QuoteQuote:
Description:
The Pentax * istDL resembles the *istDS2 but was offered at a lower price point made possible by replacing the pentaprism with a pentamirror and removing some features, hereunder TTL flash support and display of the active AF point in the viewfinder. It has 3 autofocus points where the DS2 has 11. . . .
Read more at: Pentax *ist DL - Pentax K-mount DSLRs - Pentax Camera Reviews and Specifications

and here is a link to a very helpful chart which shows how the various Pentax Camera bodies work with the various Pentax lenses:

QuoteQuote:
Pentax K-mount Lens Compatibility Chart
Copyright 2006-2020 Mosphotos.com. All rights reserved.

Last edited by aslyfox; 02-23-2021 at 11:08 AM.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
adaptor, af, body, camera, chip, dl, dl2, dslr, flange, forums, ist dl camera, k-5, k100, lens, lenses, light, mf, microprism, pentax ist dl, photography, type
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Pentax ist DS and ist DL problem Neven Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 6 05-20-2015 09:15 AM
*ist DS or *ist DL size jct us101 Pentax DSLR Discussion 7 02-02-2009 02:18 PM
What does it mean - *ist in the name of Pentax *ist D/DS/DL ogl Pentax News and Rumors 16 05-02-2008 06:05 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:42 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top