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02-17-2013, 09:01 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by garythesnail Quote
Please bear in mind that I'm not a photographer before reaing on



But they don't need to though - do they?

What would it take to make the transition between a KX / MX / LX to a pentax DSLR more 'natural'?

In my mind, it would involve a nice clunky-but-smooth shutterspeed dial, an 'artificial' clicky aperture ring on the lens mount (does anyone do this already? It would seem logical to me to do so), retain a multi-function wheel thingy for dual use as film-speed setting and exposure compensation dial.

Then bung the rest of the auto / program type functions via a screen on the back and / or an LCD display on the top plate.

An MZ-S style tilted top would be practical for an LCD display, but that could spoil the whole film-analogue-esque experience for many.

The whole 'heavy' build-quality thing isn't really relevant either (although I prefer the metal bodies to hold) - MX, K1000, P30 and P30t all operate in the same manner (with the P30s, it's easier to change the shutterspeed). The ME Super is a ibt different though due to the buttons


. . . . I'll go hide under a rock now
I guess the Pentax K-01 is the closest looking digital camera to an old film camera.

Paul's (Monochrome) got one so he can elaborate.

Phil

02-17-2013, 10:22 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by garythesnail Quote
What would it take to make the transition between a KX / MX / LX to a pentax DSLR more 'natural'?

The whole 'heavy' build-quality thing isn't really relevant either (although I prefer the metal bodies to hold) - MX, K1000, P30 and P30t all operate in the same manner (with the P30s, it's easier to change the shutterspeed). The ME Super is a ibt different though due to the buttons
QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
I guess the Pentax K-01 is the closest looking digital camera to an old film camera.

Paul's (Monochrome) got one so he can elaborate.

Phil
Gary: If I may expand your query a bit to include the K1000 - First, the K1000 was an afterthought, not an intentional design introduction. The K bodies were the KM, KX and K2. Pentax added the K2DMD above the K2 and the K1000 below the KM the next year.

At first the K1000 was a commercial failure - until photography teachers clued in to the idea that it really is a simple, light-tight box that you attach a lens to. That was a Business School, serendipitous, unintended consequences, Case Study surprise. Since so many people learned photography on a K1000 we all think it would be good for Pentax to try again - but we can't know in advance what the surprise will be. What if the K-01 was that attempt? (I've read a few people speculating on that idea). You can't seek timeless - you must use you best judgement in all things, be patient and let the sublime come to you.

I really think the digital paradigm just doesn't lend itself to a direct transfer from analog in general and K1000 in particular. There is no simple, interchangeable lens digital camera because there cannot be a simple, interchangeable lens digital camera.

  1. First, since we don't put a roll of film in a chamber we aren't locked into a single ISO any more. That fact begins a cascade of changes that, IMHO, can't be turned back.
    1. In a film camera your only variables are aperture, shutter speed and (Usually quite limited) exposure compensation. That means there are two or at most three controls, usually on top of the body, and on the lens.
    2. Once we can digitally adjust sensitivity by altering the processing of the signal from the sensor the variable set increases exponentially (and I do mean logarithmically, not metaphorically).
  2. Photography as a paying enterprise has evolved dramatically. At the time of the K1000 sports/action as a genre was in its infancy. SI wasn't the force it is today, and capturing for internet publication (which has a half-life of an hour) didn't exist at all. Photographers need to shoot and adjust their settings at lightning speed and move on.
    1. That dramatically extends the controls concept of thumb wheels and back buttons - we simply need more input mechanisms to control all these choices real-time.
    2. Thumb wheels and back buttons require a firmer grip with the right fingers, so we now have protruding grips.....
    3. Which completely change the body shape and feel. We no longer grip a camera with the left hand beneath the body and the right holding it lightly. All the grip force is on the right hand.
  3. I won't even begin to write about chimping the LCD versus using an MX or LX (or for that matter KX or K1000) viewfinder, and all the Menu choices and what that change does to the K1000 idiom.
I don't think we can put the genie back in the bottle.

All that being said, if you hold a camera with the classic grip as illustrated in the K1000 User Guide, a K-01 does feel remarkably similar to a larger film body. I use a KX the most - like Phil - and the K-01 feels similar in the hand. The top controls are solid and the click stops are definite, not mushy. The on/off switch suggests the shutter lock button of the 70's. The finger grip is small, like a SuperProgram or LX Grip B.

I have seen a review of the K-01 suggesting its design emulates a Leica Digilux 1 (which the reviewer hated)




so there is already at least some reference to other cameras intentionally. Looks familiar, doesn't it? The design tries to appeal to hipsters, I think.

I don't believe Pentax will offer a low-spec digital K1000-reference camera, or any nostalgic reference camera aside from the MX-1 type concepts. You just can't go back there.

But an LX had some technological innovations that are still unmatched, especially as regards off the film metering. I wouldn't be surprised if Pentax offers a Full Frame camera with truly ground-breaking innovative features - that will be their reference to their past - the innovation, not the nostalgia.

Last edited by monochrome; 02-17-2013 at 05:17 PM.
02-17-2013, 03:04 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by garythesnail Quote
What would it take to make the transition between a KX / MX / LX to a pentax DSLR more 'natural'?
There are no digitals that will work without batteries as the KX/MX and partially the LX.
There are no digitals with the MX's glorious finder. In fact, I am not sure there are any other cameras - past or present, with a finder equal to the MX.
There are no cameras - past or present, that have the metering range of the LX and can aperture priority auto expose as long as the LX can.
02-17-2013, 04:55 PM   #19
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A good eyepiece finder is essential, and EFVs still have too much lag for easy manual focus. The only optical finders that compare to film cameras are the too-big FF dSLRs or digital rangefinders.
All the focus aids try to compensate for modern finder deficiencies, while a good MX or LX finder is still better, once you learn to simply judge sharpness.

02-17-2013, 08:19 PM   #20
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I bought a used K200D, basically all I can afford or want to risk at this point, copied all the info about using old K-mount and screwmount lenses, so will see how that feels. Far more good ideas coming along here -- and yeah, I'd love a new Leica, but don't see that happening. Glad to get the many comments about keeping the film camera working as well, that's my inclination.
02-18-2013, 08:16 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by ankh Quote
I'd love a new Leica, but don't see that happening.
FWIW used Fuji X100 cameras are now selling for around $700, stellar 35mm equivalent f/2.0 (fxed) lens included.

IMO this digital camera has much to recommend itself to traditional 35mm film camera users.

Aperture and shutter speed controls are in their proper places, as on a classic Leica or Pentax 35mm film camera.
The X100's unique hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder offers the best of both viewfinder and SLR-type viewing.
It provides full exposure information without the visual clutter typical of most digital cameras.

The X100 is a compact camera with APS-C size sensor - the same used by most much larger and heavier DSLRs.
The quality of the JPEG output from the camera is phenomenal - little or no manipulation is required.

Chris

Last edited by ChrisPlatt; 02-18-2013 at 08:49 AM.
02-20-2013, 03:07 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by TomB_tx Quote
A good eyepiece finder is essential, and EFVs still have too much lag for easy manual focus. The only optical finders that compare to film cameras are the too-big FF dSLRs or digital rangefinders.
All the focus aids try to compensate for modern finder deficiencies, while a good MX or LX finder is still better, once you learn to simply judge sharpness.
I shoot all manual focus lenses, and much prefer the digital viewfinder of the K 01 (with focus peaking enabled) to any DSLR viewfinder. I find all DSLR viewfinders somewhere between unusable and cramped (crop-sensor DSLR) to disappointing and a wasted opportunity (any FF DSLR). I haven't used a Katz-eye on any DSLR before, but again, focus peaking does the job for me.

That said, we are in agreement on the MX and co. I probably still shoot 95% film, 5% digital, largely because I like the experience better and generally hate post-processing.
02-21-2013, 01:12 AM   #23
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One of my favorite film cameras is the KX that I have used for about 7-8 years. Two years ago I added a K-5 to my collection, still using only manual lenses, here are some reflections.

When talking about the feel of the camera the K-5 has a number of drawbacks. The viewfinder is a sad story compared to the very intuitive KX. The match needle exposure system is in my opinion unparalleled when it comes to simplicity and ease of use. The K-5 (and just about every other modern camera) uses an electronic reading in the viewfinder, it does the job, just not as good as the match needle.

As you will be using manual lenses aperture control is no problem. However, shutter speed is. The K-5 has a front scroll wheel for setting the exposure. It is positioned very much like the exposure knob on the KX so you won't have trouble finding it with your finger. It can be set to change shutter speeds in full stops just like the KX. But as it is electronic you can never get the same feel for it as you have with the KX. It reacts differently if you scroll quickly than if you scroll slowly. The KX reacts exactly the same at whatever speed you scroll, making it very predictable and easy to set even without checking the shutter speed.

Those are the two things that immediately spring to mind when comparing the feel of the KX compared to (in my case) the K-5. There are of course many other differences than these.

Hope this helps.


Last edited by Jimfear; 02-21-2013 at 01:13 AM. Reason: oops, quote was not supposed to be there...
02-25-2013, 01:43 PM   #24
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> The match needle exposure system is in my opinion unparalleled when it comes to simplicity and ease of use.

No kidding. I'm amazed this isn't simulated in the digital viewfinder -- what else are computers for?!
I'd have thought someone could emulate a split-image focusing aid by picking data from two points on the sensor, for that matter.

Obviously still stumbling with the K200D, after my first day.
I pulled out my Leica IIIf for the old comfortable feeling of taking pictures without being confused.

I gather one gets past this point.
02-25-2013, 02:07 PM   #25
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Old film KX

Digital match needle - that's a good point guys, but we DO have a spirit level, aircraft navigation style. What more could you ask for?


Talking about the old KX meter; did you have any problem where it wouldn't switch off? It should auto-off when the lever is returned flat against the body and/or when the rotary switch on the top is turned. Mine failed on both counts so I took it to a local Pentax "expert", as recommended by camera shops. He "fixed" it and charged a reasonable fee; it worked for a while then failed. In hindsight I should have sent it to Pentax's UK people. Too late now as that was over 25 years ago!
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