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11-25-2006, 12:34 PM   #1
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Long for the good old days of bright viewfinders and manual focusing

This might take a little time. I'm trying to select between the K10D and the K100D. I know, I know, it's been discussed here and on other forums but I can't get a K10D into my hands out here on the frontier to check the viewfinder.

What I want is something like the old SLR viewfinders that were bright and had a nice focusing screen for manual focus. Sometimes I really hate AF. My present Panasonic is a nightmare to AF in dim light and manual focus is a joke, primarily due to the lousy viewfinder.

Is there anyone here who can tell me if the K10D is better for manual focus than the K100D? I'm an old guy on sort of a fixed income so the $500 difference is important to me although I'll pay it if the K10Ds viewfinder is significantly brighter.

This will be my first DSLR so I'm hoping to hit a home run with this one.

Thanks in advance, Photodan

11-25-2006, 02:02 PM   #2
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I can not comment on the K10D but I use a lot of old manual lenses on my DL. Even if the viewfinder is not as bright as my analog camera the manual focusing works well. I find my old M50mm 1.7 spend a lot of time on my camera.

Cheers

Eddie
11-25-2006, 02:12 PM   #3
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The K10D's viewfinder has a 0.95x magnification, that's the same as the old, manual Pentax ME.

However, the frame you see is smaller, roughly 16 x 24mm times 0.95, whereas the Pentax ME would be 24 x 36mm times 0.95.

The K100D's magnification is 0.85, so the viewfinder frame is a bit smaller.

The focusing screen doesn't have any focusing aid such as split image or micro prisms. Manual focus is possible, but requires some patience.

You can, however, get a screen with focusing aid form a third party, search for Katz Eye on this forum.
11-25-2006, 03:27 PM   #4
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for what I heard the view finder is a new style (I think the name is pentaprism) which is supposed to be much brighter then the k100.

I think I am the opposite of you wanting the "good old days" of manual focus back....
In the good old days when I could party for 3 days non stop and still see razer sharp are now in my past.....
I don't enjoy my old manual focus SLR because of my getting-older-eyesight doesn't allow to many shots in focus.
another reason I am convincing myself I NEED the k10...

good luck with your decision.
as far as between the k10 and the 100, if the k100 was 8mp instead of 6, I would have more then likely chose the k100.
the k10 just have to many options that are dial based instead of burried in a menu to pass up

cheers

11-25-2006, 04:04 PM   #5
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PentaPrisms are actually old style, both the D and the DS, use a PentaPrism.
11-25-2006, 04:09 PM   #6
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The K10 rocks

I have a DS and a K10, and I've used (albeit briefly) the D, DL, and K100. The D, DS, and K10 have without question a better viewfinder. I tested a K100 in the store and without thinking about it, instantly noticed the difference between my dirty old DS and the K100. (Yes, I used the same lens back-to-back in both.)

I have heard that the DL/DL2/K100/K110 are better than comparable models from the other manufacturers.

But the pentaprism in the K10 is much bigger and clearer.
11-25-2006, 04:15 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by peted Quote
PentaPrisms are actually old style, both the D and the DS, use a PentaPrism.
thanks for the correction

cheers

randy
11-25-2006, 06:43 PM   #8
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As I suspected

Well, my fears seem to be confirmed. Appreciated the good advice from everyone. I'll go for the extra size, feature set and viewfinder of the K10D.

Of course, no one can ever tell my wife what it cost, okay?

Yep, I knew my old Nikormat ELs had pentaprisms, I suppose that was all there were in those film SLRs back then. What was that focusing screen I liked so much called? A fresnel screen maybe?

Thanks again, Photodan

11-25-2006, 07:16 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Photodan Quote
Well, my fears seem to be confirmed. Appreciated the good advice from everyone. I'll go for the extra size, feature set and viewfinder of the K10D.

Of course, no one can ever tell my wife what it cost, okay?

Yep, I knew my old Nikormat ELs had pentaprisms, I suppose that was all there were in those film SLRs back then. What was that focusing screen I liked so much called? A fresnel screen maybe?

Thanks again, Photodan
Seriously the cost of the original camera is only a small part of what you will end up spending. I guess I am lucky, when I told my good lady wife that I was looking at getting a K10D she said I just better keep taking her to lots of great places to take photos, no other justification needed. She did actually ask how I was paying for it but I told her that she was buying it for me for early Christmas.

To be honest I think you would be really happy with the K100D, the K10D is better but if you really do not need the extra performance save your money and put it into lenses and other accessories, also remember that the K10D has no scene modes, that will steepen your learning curve as well.

Good luck.

Pete D
11-26-2006, 05:40 AM   #10
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Another Option

QuoteOriginally posted by Photodan Quote
Well, my fears seem to be confirmed. Appreciated the good advice from everyone. I'll go for the extra size, feature set and viewfinder of the K10D.

Of course, no one can ever tell my wife what it cost, okay?

Yep, I knew my old Nikormat ELs had pentaprisms, I suppose that was all there were in those film SLRs back then. What was that focusing screen I liked so much called? A fresnel screen maybe?

Thanks again, Photodan
I'm dead serious about this, too - if you're really going to use manual focus lenses (I do a LOT), you can consider the *istD or *istDS, they're both phenomenal cameras with pentaprisms and a delicious focusing screen. They're also tremendously well-built and easy to hold steady, so with good technique you can hand hold each of them pretty well without SR.

The prices I've seen for used *istD cameras lately is so obscenely low, I'm considering one myself.
11-26-2006, 07:08 AM   #11
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You can also add a Katz Eye Focus screen to any of these cameras, that will add an optical split image range finder, with a microprism collar. The matte behind the rangefinders also has a bit more "bite", making manual focusing much like on your old Nikkormat.
11-26-2006, 11:33 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by carpents Quote
The prices I've seen for used *istD cameras lately is so obscenely low, I'm considering one myself.
I poked around on eBay to check the prices on ist cameras and found them to be as high or higher than the brand new K100D? Of course I'd never pay those prices but still, sellers seem to be getting them.

Dan
11-26-2006, 06:46 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by carpents Quote
I'm dead serious about this, too - if you're really going to use manual focus lenses (I do a LOT), you can consider the *istD or *istDS, they're both phenomenal cameras with pentaprisms and a delicious focusing screen. They're also tremendously well-built and easy to hold steady, so with good technique you can hand hold each of them pretty well without SR.

The prices I've seen for used *istD cameras lately is so obscenely low, I'm considering one myself.
I "grew up" with LX's (remarkably bright viewfinders) and MX's. I find that my DS2 is easily usable for manual focus; I've no experience with the K100D or DL.
My K10D arrives tomorrow - from what I read it should be as good as a DS2. I'll know soon.

Jerry
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