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02-14-2013, 03:49 PM   #1
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Longtime KX (film) user; move to digital?

Looking for comments from folks long familiar with the KX film camera, which I've used along with a Leica IIIf since I was, well, younger --- as I'm starting to wonder what digital Pentax will feel comparable. I've read everything I can find, but would like to know from people who know the old camera what new ones feel similar.

02-14-2013, 04:58 PM   #2
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I've owned a KX since 1977.

Frankly I have to consider the engagement of the right thumb in the dSLR control ergonomics (which IMHO requires some sort of right hand integrated grip) and my conclusion is - don't expect to transfer your muscle memory from a KX. A dSLR is a completely different paradigm, though you might hold it left hand supporting in the classic two hand grip.

If you really forced me to answer I would reply the K-01 is as close as it gets.

But that's just me.
02-14-2013, 05:48 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
I've owned a KX since 1977.

Frankly I have to consider the engagement of the right thumb in the dSLR control ergonomics ....
I didn't even think of that, thanks. I expect two hands and eight fingers -- I was thinking I'll still be manually setting exposure and focusing -- I'm used to stop-down-to-meter, open-up-to-focus -- and I'll be doing that on whatever body I get.

I've read up on how-to(s) for the kinds of lenses I have
(screw mount in K-adapter, K manual, and one KA lens, at the moment)
and I find descriptions of how they're used on variousPentax DSLRs.

But it's a bit hard to imagine how it'll feel. Much appreciate the thoughts.
02-14-2013, 06:32 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by ankh Quote
But it's a bit hard to imagine how it'll feel. Much appreciate the thoughts.
Which aren't a bad thing. It is a paradigm shift, sure, but you can get very close to the analog experience. I got the K10D for the same reasons you are thinking about. The digital paradigm is actually fun -

I read here that the *istD is the closest Pentax digital analog to film including the metering experience.

They all feel different in the hand, though. It's that big RH grip.


Last edited by monochrome; 02-14-2013 at 08:37 PM.
02-14-2013, 08:30 PM   #5
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The only digital I've found that works like a film camera for manual operation is the Leica M9 (now the M-E). Mine is a joy, and your IIIf lenses will work fine on it.
02-14-2013, 08:32 PM   #6
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Never hold s KX before but shoot with my P30t for a long time before buying my first DSLR: K-5. Metering on the P30t is great. Always reliable when using good judgment. Viewfinder is also a big difference: sizewise, brightness and microprism are far better.
Regarding controls... i find k-5 so intuitive and well layed-out that the transition was not difficult at all. One handed operation is great (even though I am left handed..) and the few things I did not like about the layout at first kind of started to make sense now (perhaps it is only habituation... I still do not like the review button on the left, forcing the user to use the left hand. I wish I could switch it with the Liveview button (two hands when using liveview usually...) Not to forget the e-dials and button customization...

Personally, I think that if you would like to recreate the "KX expierence" on a DSLR you will certainly acomplish it with the K-5 (never used another DSLR) (not taking the grip issue into account)

hope it helps.
cheers,
Francisco
02-14-2013, 09:02 PM   #7
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Shape wise the boxy body of the K-01 comes pretty close to a classic film SLR. It also handles small to medium sized manual focus lenses very well.

In manual mode you should be able to adapt to any of the current Pentax bodies fairly quickly. They have the same shutter/aperture/ISO settings as the classic film bodies, just in slightly different places.
02-15-2013, 08:37 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steinback Quote
In manual mode you should be able to adapt to any of the current Pentax bodies fairly quickly. They have the same shutter/aperture/ISO settings as the classic film bodies, just in slightly different places.
What he said. My transition from my Ricoh XR7 to the K10D was essentially painless.


Steve

02-15-2013, 03:17 PM   #9
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Don't "move" from film to digital. Just ADD digital to your repertoire. 35mm isn't dead yet! I have several PK-mount film bodies which share lenses with my latest buy - the K5. Best of both worlds and the 35mm is useful as a backup camera too! As a general purpose 35mm AF I tend to use the Z1. I have an old Kx, bought new in around 1977, but the mirror lockup failed as did the meter off-switch! It means the batteries would run down when I put the camera away. I kept it but bought a Chinon CE4 with powerwind and more sophisticated metering. I used my SMC 50mm f1.4 lens on it! Plus the tele and wideangle. Now they all work happily on the K5 too because I can remember how to manually focus and set the aperture. Clever eh?
02-15-2013, 04:35 PM   #10
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I agree - keep using film. I use both, but shoot more film than digital - mainly because all the film cameras I coveted years ago are now available used at pretty low prices. I still prefer the older cameras - Pentax before 1968, Leicas (especially 1930s-50s), also 60s era Nikon and Canon, and recently picked up a Hasselblad.
02-16-2013, 07:44 AM   #11
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I originally added a K200D to my Pentax film kit and, after intially finding the metering process with my old manual lenses awkward, thought shooting with it was nice. I think the real challenge is adjusting to the habit of reviewing images after they are taken. I like the idea of checking for proper exposure so I've never tried turning off the image review feature on my DSLR. That was the big change for me - instead of pressing the shutter release and moving on I got in the habit of reviewing each image for several seconds and it took time for me to adjust to that. Shooting and reviewing images are two very disjointed tasks.
02-16-2013, 11:30 AM   #12
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I have owned and used 35mm film cameras for nearly 40 years.
The Pentax KX is probably my all-time favorite 35mm SLR. I now own two.

I have never been interested in a DSLR. I am put off mainly by the controls.
IMO they are unnecessarily complicated. Further no two models operate alike.

IMO something like the Fuji X100 offers a far more film camera-like experience.

Chris
02-16-2013, 01:16 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
I am put off mainly by the controls.
IMO they are unnecessarily complicated.
I am with you Chris. I see no reason why a digital camera need be more complicated to use than, say, my Pentax Super Program. Even better would be a compact, no frills, no AF, manual metering option similar to a KX.


Steve
02-16-2013, 05:14 PM   #14
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Agree about dSLRs. That's why I love the Leica M9 - simple to use in full manual just like a film Leica. I carry both and don't have to think switching between them.
Switching between the K-5 and a KX or such is not as easy. Too bad that in the latest interview with Pentax they said they were no longer considering somethine like a digital K1000.
02-17-2013, 04:11 AM   #15
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Please bear in mind that I'm not a photographer before reaing on

QuoteQuote:
. . . . . . Pentax they said they were no longer considering something like a digital K1000.
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
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