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Old Jul 23, 2008, 12:19 AM   #1
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After a brief brush with the world of Nikon at the beginning of July, I am now firmly ensconced in the Brotherhood of Pentax. Tuesday morning, I picked up a Pentax K200D package from Adorama that includes the 16-50mm and 50-135mm f/2.8 lenses, an AF360FGZ flash and a battery grip. Buying it this way cost me little more than the camera body with only the lenses and I'll get $350 back from Pentax.

Why the K200D as opposed to the K20D? It all basically boiled down to money. I could buy the K20D with the kit lens and perhaps the 55-200mm f/3.5-5.6 lens or get the K200D with these two faster lenses. I opted for the lenses with not a penny left to spare. But there is a method to my madness. Down the road - say, 18 months - when the K20D is replaced by the K30D (or whatever Pentax will call it), I can easily pick up a K20D body for a lot less money than these two lenses. Maybe even pick up the kit lens and use that on the K200D while the faster lenses go to the K20D. But, for now, I am more than satisfied.

Now, what about that Nikon D200 that I bought around Independence Day? Actually, it's a lovely camera - it's just not for me. Too big. Too heavy. Too complicated. It's not that I can't carry it around. It's not that I can't operate it. It's just not fun - at least not for me. I can see that if I made a living with photography a camera like the D200 would be an invaluable tool. I'm used to working with manual-control SLRs. But the D200 simply offered too many choices for literally every function - at least for me. I spent too much time thinking about the camera rather than simply enjoying the act of taking photographs. As a result, I could picture myself leaving it home when I really should have been taking it along on many occasions.

What's more, it was apparent that Nikon assumed that every image I took with the D200 would be taken as a RAW file and post-processed afterward. Now, there's nothing wrong with this approach and I like to shoot RAW utilize post-processing fairly often. Just not all the time. So pleasing jpgs are just as important to me as RAW files.

And then there's the issue of Nikon lenses. As with Canon, almost every lens I would be interested in adding to the Nikon kit would be at least $1000. The Pentax f/2.8 lenses were in the $600-$700 range. And it's quite possible these will be the most expensive lenses I will ever purchase. Perhaps there'll be a time when I'll require the abilities of a high-end Canon or Nikon. Or not. The cost of running in that league, frankly, offends me. So I returned the D200 to Adorama, where they took it back with a smile and no problems.

So... here I am, pleased and excited with my purchase and hoping to get some images up on this message board before too long. My thanks to everyone who enthusiastically offered me input as i worked on reaching a decision.

Steve
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Old Jul 23, 2008, 2:07 AM   #2
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Congrats with your new equipment Steve,

hope to see some shots soon.
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Old Jul 23, 2008, 3:24 AM   #3
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Enjoy it! A good decision based on what fits your needs and also what you would enjoy using.

I shoot two D200 cameras and use the CLS feature. I couldn't be more pleased with the results and I don't shoot RAW. I enjoy learning how to use the D200 the more I use it, especially the wireless flash system.

Tom
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Old Jul 23, 2008, 6:58 AM   #4
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vIZnquest wrote:
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Enjoy it! A good decision based on what fits your needs and also what you would enjoy using.

I shoot two D200 cameras and use the CLS feature. I couldn't be more pleased with the results and I don't shoot RAW. I enjoy learning how to use the D200 the more I use it, especially the wireless flash system.

Tom
Tom,

What is the CLS feature?

Biro: Just sent in for my rebates today..should have $325 coming back on my "Gear-UP" rebates! Looking forward to seeing some pix!
Jay
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Old Jul 23, 2008, 7:21 AM   #5
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Congrats and welcome!
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Old Jul 23, 2008, 9:57 AM   #6
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A well thought out reason for changing. And you are right - not everyone will be happy with the same camera (I hated the Panny FZ30 I owned for a month but it's been an otherwise popular camera). I have a friend who owned a D200 and took lots of fabulous pictures with it. However, its size and weight got to him so he started out looking for a pocketable to carry most of the time. He ended up buying a D40 and is MUCH happier. He still has the D200 and uses it on occasion, but less and less.

I think you made the right choice by going to the K200 instead of the K20. The K20 isn't as big and heavy as the D200, but its not all that much lighter or smaller. It's also one of the reasons I hang on to my K100 - its nice to have a light-weight, simplealternative. It still has the ability to change most of the same things the K10 does, but you have to use the menus more to do it. I tend to not bother, and still get lots of outstanding pictures.

Your point about the camera getting in the way of the joy of taking pictures is valid, too. I used to get annoyed with myself for changing something on the K10 and then forgetting to change it back. Or accidentally changing the mode selector or the focus point when I pulled it out of the camera bag. I don't know why, but I find I do that a lot less with the K20, perhaps I learned to check things after a year of the K10.

There are all kinds of good reasons for getting the K20 over the K200 (I wouldn't give up my K20, and find I'm using the K100 quite a bit less than I did when I had the K10). But there's also an equal number of reasons for choosing the K200 over the K20. It sounds like you won't regret your choice at all.

Looking forward to your pictures, and good choices of lenses, too.
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Old Jul 23, 2008, 11:07 AM   #7
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I agree with the others. Good choice Steve. Better glass is always a good choice if the body you choose will do the job. After all, it's just a tool. I also agree about the camera getting in the way of the photographic process. Better to able to concentrate on the job at hand, and not the tool being used. Of course, some thinking is required, but I find Pentax bodies are very ergonomically and user friendly making the photographing process easier. I'm never fumbling around trying to make changes with even the k100d. I just set the ISO, av, focus point and get on with it. The only adjustments I make are ev settings with the changing light situations. And that is no hardship on the k100. The only thing I wish worked better was the auto iso. Can't use ev comp in auto iso, so it's pretty useless on the k100d under changing light conditions...cheers...Don
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Old Jul 23, 2008, 2:00 PM   #8
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jelpee wrote:
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vIZnquest wrote:
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Enjoy it! A good decision based on what fits your needs and also what you would enjoy using.

I shoot two D200 cameras and use the CLS feature. I couldn't be more pleased with the results and I don't shoot RAW. I enjoy learning how to use the D200 the more I use it, especially the wireless flash system.

Tom
Tom,

What is the CLS feature?

Biro: Just sent in for my rebates today..should have $325 coming back on my "Gear-UP" rebates! Looking forward to seeing some pix!
Jay
Jay,

The CLS feature is an acronym by Nikon for Creative Lighting System. The (D200/D300/D70/D70s) has a wireless flash commander built in and can also use the SU800 (D40/D50/D2H/D2hs/DX/DXs/D3) for even more flexibility using speedlights (flash units) wirelessly. My icon posted was done using this feature with no lights in the room on and using two flash units to fire off and light the room so to speak. I have four that I use and place on stands with umbrellas or without depending on what I want to do with the light. It is portable and can be used anywhere indoors or outdoors. Basically, a studio on the go. That is my other interest in photography. One can from the camera decide how much light you want from each flash unit to make that desired shot. Daunting task at first but well worth the time and effort to learn and then get as creative as the mind can be.

This inspiration was fueled by Dave Black.
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Old Jul 23, 2008, 4:05 PM   #9
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very good logic steve,
also remember that every lens you get is IS buy the camera so you don't have to pay for it everytime you get a lens.. i've always thought C* & N* made a big mistake there and now they can hardly go back..

roy
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Old Jul 24, 2008, 12:03 AM   #10
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Welcome to Pentax, Steve. I don't know that this brandis all that much better than any other brand, (having said that I think its the best value for the $$) but I have found this forum to be one of my favorite spots on the net. All kinds of great people from all over the world who love taking pictures.

Glenn
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