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04-27-2009, 08:21 AM   #1
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K2000 Manual Operation Questions

I have a couple of questions about the manual operation of the Pentax K2000. I currently own a Pentax *ist DS. It shares a slew of manual K-mount & M-42 screwmount lenses with my older Pentax film cameras. I shoot only with these lenses, in manual focusing & metering modes, using the DSLR as a digital back, utilizing none of the automatic features. Such being the case, I have two primary concerns about the K-2000 which don't seem to be addressed in the reviews I've seen. First of all, how is the shutter speed changed when in manual mode? On my DS2, its the convenient right hand thumb wheel on the upper righthand rear of the camera. The K-2000 has this same wheel, but I don't see it being mentioned as a shutter speed dial in capture mode. Also, is it as easy to manually focus a lens, as my DS2 has a PentaPrism, while the K-200 has a Penta-mirror system. If not , is the difference very noticeable?

04-27-2009, 10:34 AM   #2
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On *all* Pentax cameras with a single wheel, that wheel is shutter speed when in M mode. When using an auto-exposure-capable lens (eg, A, F, FA, DA), you use it to set aperture using the wheel plus a button, but it's shutter speed normally. So in this respect, the K2000 is just like the DS.

As for the prism/mirror issue, I went from the DS to a K200D (same viewfinder as K2000), and agonized over that decision mostly for that reason. What I found was that although in an A/B comparison - looking through one then the other quickly - I could easily see the difference in size and in brightness (although to a lesser extent with brightness depending on the lens). But if you just stuck one in front of my face without me knowing which was which, I couldn't relably tell - the difference wasn't *that* great. Realistically, I find focusing manually no harder with the K200D than I did with the DS. Although I have since added the O-ME53 viewfinder magnifier, which makes the size of the viewfinder similar to that of the DS. Similar story there - the difference isn't huge, and it's easy to think it's not worth it, and maybe it isn't, but I do think I end up with a higher percentage of usable shots when focusing in difficult conditions with the magnifier than without.

The real limiting factor with manual focus for me is the fact that the focus screen shows too much in focus when using large apertures (it is incapable of showing very shallow DOF). So it will always be the case that there are things that appear in focus in the viewfinder but aren't in the picture - at least, at apertures f/2.8 and larger. That's what still can make MF a struggle at times for me, not so much viewfinder size or brightness.
04-27-2009, 12:31 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
The real limiting factor with manual focus for me is the fact that the focus screen shows too much in focus when using large apertures (it is incapable of showing very shallow DOF).
To be fair, and just so that nobody gets the wrong idea, that's true of all modern cameras with microprism focusing screens.
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