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08-12-2009, 02:44 PM   #1
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Just bought a K20D

I just bought a K20D!

I've been wanting one for a while to make up for the problems I find in my K10D:
  • Lack of high ASA - I am an available light junkie. I must have half a dozen f1.2 lenses and an f0.95 lens along with a freezer full of 800, 1600, and 3200 speed film.
  • Lack of live view - I sometimes need a large VF for some things that I do. I have two speed finders for my Canon F1(N) cameras. I miss that.
  • Not enough pixel density - I am a big cropping fan. I always shoot too wide and crop down. I do much better that way with composition framing than getting the perfect composition in the VF. The K10D's pixel density is not quite enough for me.
So, with all the talk here about Pentax ending K20D production and Amazon being the US distributor, I popped over to Amazon .com to take a look. They had only four in stock. I bought one. It will be here Thursday or Friday. I can't wait.

Since I live in the small village of Los Angeles, I am not surprised that I can't find a Pntax distributor locally (sarcasm). I went over to Samys about three months ago, NO PENTAX STUFF. They said the Pentax agent stopped calling on them, so they dropped Pentax. None of the 10 camera stores within 10 miles of my house carry Pentax DSLRs. Recently Samys just put Pentax them on their web site as special order only. How sad. I hope I did not make a mistake.

-Lance

08-12-2009, 02:55 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by lmd91343 Quote
I just bought a K20D!
So, with all the talk here about Pentax ending K20D production and Amazon being the US distributor, I popped over to Amazon .com to take a look. They had only four in stock. I bought one. It will be here Thursday or Friday. I can't wait.

Since I live in the small village of Los Angeles, I am not surprised that I can't find a Pntax distributor locally (sarcasm). I went over to Samys about three months ago, NO PENTAX STUFF. They said the Pentax agent stopped calling on them, so they dropped Pentax. None of the 10 camera stores within 10 miles of my house carry Pentax DSLRs. Recently Samys just put Pentax them on their web site as special order only. How sad. I hope I did not make a mistake.

-Lance
CONGRATS! Nope you didn't make a mistake. Now I'm going to use the above to make a new post I have been wanting to make.
08-12-2009, 03:00 PM   #3
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I found the K20d to be a significant upgrade relative to the K10d. I shoot nothing but available light. Slap an FA ltd lens on the body and be happy.

I hate Samys. I still buy stuff from Bel Air Camera, but they no longer stock Pentax. Thankfully Pentax is plentiful on the interwebs - though Amazon is *not* the US wholesale distributor - they are a retailer just like Adorama, B&H, etc.
08-12-2009, 03:35 PM   #4
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Welcome Lance, and I'll second that it was no mistake going with the K20D - you'll find it a decent upgrade, and once you've got you lenses, you're set to capture all you need with it.

But an f/0.95 lens?!? Do show us the lens and what it can do!

08-12-2009, 03:39 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by nostatic Quote
... Amazon is *not* the US wholesale distributor - they are a retailer just like Adorama, B&H, etc.
I heard Amazon are taking over Medicare as well?
08-12-2009, 04:09 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by nostatic Quote
I hate Samys. I still buy stuff from Bel Air Camera, but they no longer stock Pentax. Thankfully Pentax is plentiful on the interwebs - though Amazon is *not* the US wholesale distributor - they are a retailer just like Adorama, B&H, etc.
Samys is not my favorite place either, but they are very large and have a huge selection. In addition they have almost every type of film made. Just about everything is found in that five story building.

I dislike Bel Air. I've had salesmen lie to me there. I don't shop there anymore. Oops, that's 11 camera stores within 10 miles that don't have any Pentax DSLRs.

Oh how I miss Studio City Camera Exchange!

-Lance
08-12-2009, 04:19 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by lmd91343 Quote
Samys is not my favorite place either, but they are very large and have a huge selection. In addition they have almost every type of film made. Just about everything is found in that five story building.

I dislike Bel Air. I've had salesmen lie to me there. I don't shop there anymore. Oops, that's 11 camera stores within 10 miles that don't have any Pentax DSLRs.

Oh how I miss Studio City Camera Exchange!

-Lance
Bel Air is almost walking distance from me, and I have one salesguy who treats me well so I just deal with him.

Samys on Fairfax is huge, the other locations aren't so big and I've gotten some serious attitude from guys at Samys (especially Culver City). That said I have dealt with some reasonable guys on the video counter.
08-12-2009, 04:33 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by nostatic Quote
I found the K20d to be a significant upgrade relative to the K10d. I shoot nothing but available light. Slap an FA ltd lens on the body and be happy.
I already have some fast and good lenses: FA50/1.4; Tak SMC 50/1.4 (cleared by UV); Tak 85/1.8; Tak 35/2 (67mm version); and Opteka 85/1.4. I'll use those a while before I spend some more cash on camera stuff. Wait, I'll save money by shooting less film now.... hmm...

-Lance

08-12-2009, 04:49 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Welcome Lance, and I'll second that it was no mistake going with the K20D - you'll find it a decent upgrade, and once you've got you lenses, you're set to capture all you need with it.

But an f/0.95 lens?!? Do show us the lens and what it can do!
I have the "Dream" lens. It stays all the time on my Canon 7s. I have some IR shots I took with it a bit ago at Descanso Gardens. I think I scanned some of the negs. I'll be using it Friday morning with C41 color. I'll post one or two on Friday or the weekend. It's a tough lens to use wide open. I can't hand hold it wide open because the DOF is so narrow (one cm). The bokeh is great. With the lack of anti-halation backing on IR film causing a glow, the narrow DOF and the soft OOF, it takes great IR shots with the 950 filter. It makes IR look even more unworldly. It is so much easier to do IR with that lens on an RF. You can see through the eyepeice and have shorter exposure times.

I just found the IR negs, Right where I put them. I'll scan them Friday or over the weekend. With film IR, I am lucky to get one usable neg out of three!

My avatar that I will load is a self portrait using that lens reflected in my toaster.

-Lance

Last edited by lmd91343; 08-12-2009 at 05:06 PM. Reason: found negatives
08-12-2009, 07:38 PM   #10
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Cool. This will be a new experience to many, I'm sure.
It's not everyday you hear of such a setup...
08-12-2009, 11:27 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by lmd91343 Quote
I just bought a K20D!

I've been wanting one for a while to make up for the problems I find in my K10D:
  • Lack of high ASA - I am an available light junkie. I must have half a dozen f1.2 lenses and an f0.95 lens along with a freezer full of 800, 1600, and 3200 speed film.
  • Lack of live view - I sometimes need a large VF for some things that I do. I have two speed finders for my Canon F1(N) cameras. I miss that.
  • Not enough pixel density - I am a big cropping fan. I always shoot too wide and crop down. I do much better that way with composition framing than getting the perfect composition in the VF. The K10D's pixel density is not quite enough for me.
So, with all the talk here about Pentax ending K20D production and Amazon being the US distributor, I popped over to Amazon .com to take a look. They had only four in stock. I bought one. It will be here Thursday or Friday. I can't wait.

Since I live in the small village of Los Angeles, I am not surprised that I can't find a Pntax distributor locally (sarcasm). I went over to Samys about three months ago, NO PENTAX STUFF. They said the Pentax agent stopped calling on them, so they dropped Pentax. None of the 10 camera stores within 10 miles of my house carry Pentax DSLRs. Recently Samys just put Pentax them on their web site as special order only. How sad. I hope I did not make a mistake.

-Lance
you made a mistake. now you are going to die.
08-13-2009, 07:43 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
you made a mistake. now you are going to die.
That's probably the best argument for going down the Nikon path instead!

-Lance
08-13-2009, 07:46 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by lmd91343 Quote
That's probably the best argument for going down the Nikon path instead!

-Lance
Go down that path and you'll get eaten alive?

*now this is a good time to go to Canon*

I also just noticed how ridiculously cheap the K20D is now. They probably would of earned more money if they kept the price at $700.
08-16-2009, 05:23 PM   #14
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Infrared from my f0.95

QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
But an f/0.95 lens?!? Do show us the lens and what it can do!
Here are are couple of infrared shots from Descanso gardens. They were made with Kodak B&W IR film with the aperture at f0.95. The focus point was not close, so the narrow DOF was not expressed. But the lack of anti-halation backing haloing can be seen around the tree edges in magnification. That along with the very smooth OOF/Bokeh add to the unworldly feeling from IR tones. Notice the oof of the flowers in the bottom right corner in the first photo.

Forgive my lack of better DOF example or color rendition photos. My negs are organized by date in giant Tupperware boxes. They are not organized by equipment type or subject. I'll take out my Canon 7s with the f0.95 lens along with my K20D to the Japanese tea garden here. I'll load 100asa color neg in the Canon and try for some shots that demonstrate the f0.95 uniqueness.



08-16-2009, 05:38 PM   #15
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Got the camera!

I got the camera delivered, put in a charged battery, put on my FA 50/1.4, and tried a bunch of stuff.
  • The camera feels just like my K10D. Maybe it feels better. It cost several hundred dollars less!
  • I like the bigger screen.
  • I very much like the higher sensor sensitivity (6400 vs 1600). Indoor shots are much easier.
  • The anti-shake seems more effective. I don't think it is speed related.
  • I tried the live view. It is not as good as I hoped for. I used it for some IR test shots. Wow IR with an SLR. No more changing bags. No more wasted film. Only 1/3 of my shots were technically correct (exposure and focus) using an RF camera. That's only nine shots a roll.
  • Downside, the write to card time at max resolution is much longer than the K10D.
  • Downside II, the expanded DR does not seem to offer much. It looks like it under exposes by maybe half a stop. I get a little less highlight clipping and slightly darker exposures overall.

-Lance
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