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Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 02-24-2015, 01:06 PM  
DPReview gives a nod to the Pentax FF
Posted By beagley
Replies: 124
Views: 15,967
K-S2 looks very interesting as an upgrade from my K-2000. I like the compact size. But I will get the FF when available - - IF - - it allows me to use the full un-cropped lens circle of my DA (APS-C) lenses. I am a wide angle addict, don't care if the edges are soft.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-24-2015, 12:44 PM  
Pentax-M 20mm f4 Help Me decide?
Posted By beagley
Replies: 13
Views: 1,402
Back in the (FF) film era, 20 mm was my 'normal' lens, so I have 3 of these: 4.5 SMCTakumar screw mount, the 4.0 pentax-M, and the 2.8 FA autofocus. The M is wonderfully small and light, but I found myself carrying the extra weight of the FA because of the extra speed and the autofocus. The autofocus might be especially important for street work.
The price you mentioned seems a little high to me as I bought mine used in 1998 for about half that. Well, prices go up and this is not the most common lens. Don't however succumb to 'last chance' fears. In today's online market, you can find multiple examples of everything.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-10-2014, 06:59 AM  
Desire for compact ultra wide
Posted By beagley
Replies: 60
Views: 7,186
These are all possible solutions. I like the (so far non-existent) 12 mm Ltd best.
I have experimented with pinhole (soft romantic look). I love the fisheye zoom, but I don't use it often enough to justify carrying it regularly. A smaller system would meet my request, but fewer pixels would somewhat defeat the purpose.

My current workaround is to take several overlapping views and stitch them together in Photoshop ( doesn't work well with people or anything moving.)
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-10-2014, 05:49 AM  
Desire for compact ultra wide
Posted By beagley
Replies: 60
Views: 7,186
My greatest unmet photographic need is an ultra wide lens that fits in a pocket. I love my 15mm but would like something wider. The Pentax 14 and the 12-24 zoom are too big and heavy for field use. Design of the perfect lens would prioritize wideness and sharpness and compactness, with less concern for speed (max aperture) and price. Pentax used to make a FF 20 that was tiny. The other makers have also gone to wide zooms. But really, when you want wide, you want wide, so the zoom adds little.
Forum: Pentax Full Frame 01-27-2012, 08:30 AM  
How to push the Pentax Full-Frame Idea and get that FF out faster...
Posted By beagley
Replies: 1,493
Views: 171,881
Pentax has a history of offering cameras that were smaller and lighter than the competition. Pentax MX was half the weight of the Nikon F2. The film *ist was incredibly light. What a coup it would be if Pentax came out with the smallest lightest Full Frame DIgital SLR.

I agree with those yearning for more high end lenses, but what I want most is on the wide side: Either a 10 mm prime for APS-C or a 12mm for Full Frame. Not a zoom, because zooms are heavier, slower, and they are seldom used at anything but the widest setting
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-06-2011, 07:28 AM  
Poll: Wich lenses to put R&D money in?
Posted By beagley
Replies: 204
Views: 27,724
Thanks for running the survey. I most wanted to vote for an ultra-wide 10 or 12mm prime with design emphasis on image quality and weight (rather than speed or price). No zooms here please, they are too slow, heavy, and sharpness varies unpredictably with different combinations focal length, aperture, and distance of focus.
Forum: Product Suggestions and Feedback 12-18-2010, 07:10 PM  
Sticky: Dear Pentax
Posted By beagley
Replies: 1,329
Views: 394,554
I shoot mostly wide angle and like to travel light. The 15mm limited is my current favorite lens, but it's not really wide enough. Could we please have a 10mm prime with design priority on sharpness and compactness (max aperture and price are less important). I would also love a prime fisheye. The fisheye zoom is a great lens, but I have to leave it home most of the time because of size and weight limits. Finally, Keep up the Pentax tradition (going back to the 1960s) of packing pro features into smaller bodies. That's why I first chose Pentax (1963) and why I have stuck with them.
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 12-18-2010, 11:32 AM  
Special Event Pentax Holiday Giveaway: 35mm Lens (Entries go here)
Posted By beagley
Replies: 206
Views: 36,820
Read my review to learn why the ZX-5N is my favorite Pentax of all time (I have used 8 different models)

Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 12-18-2010, 11:12 AM  
Pentax MZ-5N/ZX-5N
Posted By beagley
Replies: 9
Views: 38,652
Pros exposure control, lens compatibility Cons primitive autofocus Rating 10 Price (U.S. Dollars) not available Years Owned 11 yrs

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
Compact autofocus 35mm film SLR with program, aperture preferred, shutter preferred, and metered manual exposure modes.

Camera Review
Overall, this is probably the best film camera Pentax ever made, even though many individual specs are bested by other models. For example, it is compact for an autofocus body, but the film *ist is substantially smaller and lighter. It has a solid, professional feel with stainless steel lens mount, but an earlier generation's SV or Spotmatic is solider still.

Lens compatibility - It has better compatibility with older lenses than most later models, allowing one or more auto-exposure modes with any lens Pentax ever made. This contrasts starkly with the *ist, which will not even meter accurately with lenses that do not have an auto mode. The only downside is that newer lenses with no aperture control ring can't use aperture-preferred auto.

Autofocus - This was my first autofocus SLR and I was very impressed at the time. However, it does not have anything like the speed and confidence of today's systems. It seems to be insensitive to the contrast in horizontal lines and you will often find yourself tilting the camera to get the sensor to respond.

Exposure control - The place where this camera really wins is operating speed. Unlike any other auto program camera I have ever seen, it doesn't require changing a menu setting, or even turning a dial to change exposure modes. If you have a lens with an aperture control ring that has the auto setting, you can set both the shutter and the lens to auto for full program automation of exposure. When you want to specify the aperture, you don't have to go to a menu, press buttons, turn a wheel or look at a screen, you simply turn the aperture ring to the lens opening you want - and this act puts you in aperture-preferred mode. Conversely, if you want shutter preferred mode, simply move the shutter speed dial from auto to the value you want and start shooting. I can't emphasize how much difference this small time saving can make in a shooting session with fleeting opportunities. Finally, if you want full manual, you don't have to set a mode, you just set both shutter and lens to the values you want, just as Oskar Barnack would have done a century ago, but without ever having to take your eye away from the eyepiece. This is very important in some shooting situations.

To be fair, we have gained a lot of sophistication with the addition of data screens and multiple program modes, but there is a steep learning curve with every new camera and operating speed never quite equals that of the ZX-5n. I hope whoever designed this camera won a prize. It was recently available online for $95 - $180 (with Lens). Mine is not for sale.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 02-18-2009, 10:42 PM  
Can you use digital lenses on autofocus film cameras?
Posted By beagley
Replies: 13
Views: 3,807
I know the digital lenses would not cover the full film frame, but this might look really good for certain wide angle shots. Has anyone tried whether the digital lenses will mount and operate on late model film cameras such as Zx-5n or ist*?
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-18-2009, 10:11 PM  
Lens to Pentax Program A PLEASE!!!
Posted By beagley
Replies: 3
Views: 4,314
Having used 5 different Pentaxes over 46 years, I would recommend the Zx-5n as the ultimate film reflex. It mounts and meters with any Pentax lens (Other models like the ist* film reflex will mount older lenses but you have to switch to manual mode and have to guess the exposure - no meter) What I especially like about it is that you can change from full auto mode to aperture or shutter preferred auto without pressing any buttons or looking at any menus. Change the shutter speed dial from A to an actual value or change the lens aperture setting from A to an actual F-stop. Or if you set both the speed and the aperture, you are in full manual mode. In other words, You aren't slowed down by having to first change modes before you can adjust the settings. Specifying a setting automatically changes the mode. It makes the camera much faster to operate than any other I've used.

As for lenses, I keep the 20mm 2.8 on the camera 75% of the time. Also love the 43mm 1.9 limited
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