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01-09-2009, 11:22 PM   #1
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Move up from a k100d super?

It's been one year since I stepped into DSLRs. And the k100dsuper with the kit lens was my first DSLR camera.

I've added through last year.. a used pentax 50mm-200mm telephoto lens and the fa 50mm 1.4

I'm trying to figure out for those who started at entry level, when is it time to upgrade the body?

At the moment, I rather opt for going after the DA* lens 16-50mm, and da* 50-135mm and a macro da 35 ltd rather than upgrading the body.

My usual style is taking a lot of candid shots indoor in low lighting. I do notice ALOT of noise at higher ISO for the k100dsuper.

Also. how do you know if one bought a bad lens. I'm quite uncertain on how to test if the lens isn't faulty.

Thanks

01-10-2009, 02:27 AM   #2
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Dammit Jill !!!

"I'm trying to figure out for those who started at entry level, when is it time to upgrade the body?"

Why do you want to upgrade? Are you not satisfied with the camera's performance? What is it you want or need in a DSLR that your K100D doesn't have? I think any DSLR will be noisy at high ISO's.

Don't fall into that "I must have the very latest." trap. That does not make better pictures. Knowing your camera well and learning the craft/art of photography will improve your photos.


"Also. how do you know if one bought a bad lens. I'm quite uncertain on how to test if the lens isn't faulty."

Look at the pictures you take with a lens, After ruling out errors made by you, the photographer - and there are a good number of possibilities - ask yourself if you could have done better.
> Did you use a tripod? Where you holding the camera properly? Did you select an appropriate shutter speed/aperture? Was the camera properly set up for the job you asked it to do? Did the subject move? And on and on ad infinitum.
If you still suspect the lens then try comparing it to other lenses of the same focal length and aperture. You might find that you are demanding the impossible of that lens.


"At the moment, I rather opt for going after the DA* lens 16-50mm"

Why? Is the kit lens not 18 to 55mm? I doubt that you will notice very much difference between the coverage of the Kit lens and the DA16-50mm.

If you have a lot of loose change you might consider the Pentax DA 12 to 24mm. It is an excellent lens that will provide marvellous wide angle coverage in close indoor quarters.

I reiterate - Dammit Jill ! Why???

Mickey
01-10-2009, 05:20 AM   #3
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well my brother also has the k100d super.
he too wants to move up.

he has not real problem withe the camera!
he knows how to use it and has some craking shot!

he only ever uses the AV settings and takes pictures of birds in flight normally.
he finds the K100d super not quick enough (i think thats what he said) and can only do 5 shots in a burst.

any recommendations?
i talked him out of nikon or canon....

he has a 18-55 and a tameron 70-300

thanks in advance guys
01-10-2009, 07:47 AM   #4
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There are at least a couple of ways to approach this...

1. Upgrade the glass first and then the body. If you're thinking about upgrading to the K20, at least you'll have some really nice faster glass to put on it. With the faster glass on the K100DS, you won't need to use high ISOs as often as you would need to use them now with the kit lenses.

2. Go for the new body and upgrade the lenses later. Since the K20 has the best high ISO performance among any Pentax body produced to date, you won't need to worry so much about noise when you do crank up the ISO.

Some other things to consider:
1. PMA is in March and it appears that Pentax will be introducing the newest bodies. Depending on your budget for the new body, you may want to wait and see what you think of these bodies before choosing between one of them or a K20.
2. You might want to take a look at some other constant 2.8 alternatives to the DA*16-50 if you're really concerned about getting a bad copy. The Tamron 17-50 and the Tamron 28-75 are both highly regarded and a good bit cheaper than the 16-50. Since you're shooting indoors most of the time, I wouldn't think that lack of weathersealing on the Tamrons would be a big deal.
3. Have you given any thought to adding a good flash & diffuser to your kit?

HTH,
Heather

01-10-2009, 08:22 AM   #5
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"My usual style is taking a lot of candid shots indoor in low lighting."

For that kind of photography, I prefer fast primes rather than zooms because they're less intrusive. The 50mm is a good start but you may want longer or shorter depending on the setting.

Also, I don't know where you are in terms of pp but improving your abilities there may be a better investment than new equipment (that's where I'm focusing my attention right now.)

Finally--and I could be wrong about this--, I'm expecting the global recession to suppress prices even more than today so I'd suggest prolonging your indecision.
01-10-2009, 08:35 AM   #6
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I have a K100D Super and my list of lenses are in my sig. I have no intention in the near future to upgrade. My Super is more than enough camera for me and I am still finding that I have so much to learn about photography. Until I can say that it is the camera, not my own skill level keeping me from getting the shot that I want then I will stay with my Super. I do not want features to mask my own shortcomings.
01-10-2009, 09:25 AM   #7
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Thanks for the suggestions.

Mickey. It looks like I'm looking for speed more than anything. I'm always on the go and candid shots, well, I got to be fast in low light that's for sure.

Heather- I'm going to try out going after faster glass and see if I notice a difference. Otherwise I'd just return them
01-10-2009, 11:22 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by dammit_jill Quote
It looks like I'm looking for speed more than anything. I'm always on the go and candid shots, well, I got to be fast in low light that's for sure.
Pentax are notorious for being slow in AF in low light levels - there is not that much improvement going from a K100D (Super) to even the top of the line K20D


note the horizontal scale of the K20D is misaligned it should be the same as all the others.
(crops from certified test results from Popular Photogrphy)

The other well known brands are faster in lower light levels - but we are still talking in the order of about 3/4-1 sec to auto-focus - which is simply NOT fast enough to catch any action.

This is the misconception that faster automation is a panecea for ALL problems.

So how did photographers from years ago ever manage to capture action with manual focus lenses?
and there are lots of example out there including acknowledged masterpieces....
Almost ANY AutoFocus is faster than we can focus manually
- so why aren't we doing any better? ...

Did photographers from years ago with manual focus lenses wait to see the shot and then tried to focus to take the shot?
I know, that sounded absolutely ridiculous -
of course not, they pre-focussed their lenses and waited for the shot
then it was only literally tripping the shutter.

Use the same technique - Pre-Focus - by light half depression on the shutter button, hold that focus, re-compose, and wait for the shot - when the shot is seen, fully depress the shutter button, then the delay or shutter lag is less than 0.1 sec which is faster than human reaction time
or any AF...... under any lighting condition.

QuoteOriginally posted by dammit_jill Quote
I'm going to try out going after faster glass and see if I notice a difference. Otherwise I'd just return them
You already have one of the fastest glasses avaiilable in the 50mm f/1.4 .....

QuoteOriginally posted by dammit_jill Quote
I do notice ALOT of noise at higher ISO for the k100dsuper.
Yes, well, noise at high ISO is inevitable -
The Pentax K100D (Super) is actually very good at high ISO -
there aren't that many dSLRs that are noticably better -
yes, some Full-Frame dSLR (but read expensive - and the Full-Framed Sony A900 is not that great in high ISO noise)
and perhaps the new Nikon D90 and D300 does show improvements
- but not much else.....


Last edited by UnknownVT; 01-10-2009 at 11:37 AM.
01-10-2009, 04:48 PM   #9
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Pentax PZ,

well my brother also has the k100d super.
he too wants to move up.


he only ever uses the AV settings and takes pictures of birds in flight normally.
he finds the K100d super not quick enough (i think thats what he said) and can only do 5 shots in a burst.

any recommendations?

Why oh why is he shooting in AV???

For birds in flight he should be using Tv (Time Value) and setting the shutter speed as fast as the prevailing light will permit.

When using AV most of the light is probably being read from the sky. That will result in a small aperture and consequently a slow shutter speed and possibly fewer shots per burst.
The birds will probably be blurred and under exposed.
With his technique I am surprised that he gets any usable birds in flight pictures.

Mickey

Last edited by mickeyobe; 01-10-2009 at 05:13 PM.
01-10-2009, 08:39 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by mickeyobe Quote
he only ever uses the AV settings and takes pictures of birds in flight normally.
he finds the K100d super not quick enough (i think thats what he said) and can only do 5 shots in a burst.

any recommendations?
Depends on what he means by "quick". If he means, he wants more shots per second, he's kind of out of luck with Pentax. Maybe the K20D in the super-fast lowres mdoe if that works for him, But all Pentax DSLRs are around the same frame rate. Some have bigger buffers than others, though. Also, if he means AF speed, that's also not one of Pentax's strong suits.

QuoteQuote:
Why oh why is he shooting in AV???

For birds in flight he should be using Tv (Time Value) and setting the shutter speed as fast as the prevailing light will permit.

When using AV most of the light is probably being read from the sky. That will result in a small aperture and consequently a slow shutter speed
Not at all! With Av mode, *he* (not the camera) picks the aperture. If he wants the fastest shutter speed he can get, the obvious way to do that is to use Av mode and select the largest aperture his lens allows. Then the camera will automatically go for the faster shutter speed. Clever, actually. Although since exposure shouldn't really change much when shooting BIF, really, Tv, Av, or M mode would all work equally well.
01-10-2009, 09:18 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote
Did photographers from years ago with manual focus lenses wait to see the shot and then tried to focus to take the shot?
I know, that sounded absolutely ridiculous -
of course not, they pre-focussed their lenses and waited for the shot
then it was only literally tripping the shutter.

[snip, snip...]

You already have one of the fastest glasses avaiilable in the 50mm f/1.4 .....
The quick-focusing rings on many newer Pentax lenses are good for this. If you can get it close to focused with the QF ring, the lens is a lot less likely to hunt when you're ready to shoot.

One thing I forgot to mention in my previous post--keep the 50/1.4.

Heather
01-11-2009, 03:57 AM   #12
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Marc Sabatella,

You are right and I was wrong.

After more than 60 years of enjoying the freedom and necessity of setting both aperture and shutter speed on film cameras, my mind often reverts back to "the good old days".

Depending on the subject matter I could opt for shutter speed or aperture control and often vary either to suit my needs.

It can be done on my K100D but it is more complicated.

Furthermore, as you can tell from my first letter, I am not too keen on switching cameras every year. In over 50 years of taking pictures I only used three cameras. With prolonged use and familiarity they became extensions of my mind and hands so using and setting them, while still requiring thought, became almost automatic.

OK. I am digital now. I had better start thinking like a nerd. Or is it a geek?

Mickey

Last edited by mickeyobe; 01-11-2009 at 04:07 AM.
01-11-2009, 02:52 PM   #13
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thaks guys.....

what my brother want is a came he can take more shots in a burst.
sohe can take more pictures of say a bird land then can pick out the good oens as ifhe can take more shots he is more likely to get a better shot.....

we are using class 6 memory cards which have helped but the bodie iteself cannot take more than 5 in a bunch then reverts to 1 per second!
thats his only problem with the cam!
the cam is great, and he gets some amazing shots that his to be farther-in-law cannotget with his mega bucks nikon!

is the K10 or 20 better at burst shots?
01-12-2009, 08:13 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxPZ Quote
thaks guys.....

what my brother want is a came he can take more shots in a burst.
sohe can take more pictures of say a bird land then can pick out the good oens as ifhe can take more shots he is more likely to get a better shot.....

we are using class 6 memory cards which have helped but the bodie iteself cannot take more than 5 in a bunch then reverts to 1 per second!
thats his only problem with the cam!
the cam is great, and he gets some amazing shots that his to be farther-in-law cannotget with his mega bucks nikon!

is the K10 or 20 better at burst shots?
The cheap 'n' cheerful K-m/K2000 is actually the fastest Pentax SLR at 3.5 fps but only captures 4 frames at that speed. The K20D captures about 40 JPEG frames at 3 fps before slowing, but also has a 21 fps burst mode at 1.6 mp resolution. The K10D can do unlimited JPEG:s, also at 3 fps.
01-12-2009, 09:52 PM   #15
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So I was looking at my Flickr again and what I'm able to do with it, and thought... "for an off-and-on enthutiast, I'm not doing too bad with my current equipment!" I'm constantly learning about post processing and that I'm able to do good work with what I have anyways.

But I still just ordered my macro lens to see how I'll like playing with it. But certainly, it'll be lens first upgrade, then body waaay down the line. 6mp makes it so it doenst take up so much space on my HD =P That's one way of me looking at it!
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