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Old Sep 26, 2005, 9:41 PM   #1
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Anyone who has followed my posts lately will notice that I have been torn between the Fuji S9000/9500 and the Pentax *istDS(DS2) (please ignore the temporary insanity about the Fuji S20). Well tonight I got out the old Pentax gear and started a comparison between autofocus performance, viewing ease etc.. between the S7000 and the Pentax MZ-7 35mm. No contest... the Pentax wins hands down (despite the awful penta mirror viewfinder of the MZ-7, OK so the DLs viewfinder is much brighter).

I have a fairly comprehensive set of manual focus (mostly non A-series) old K-mount lenses including:
1- XR Rikenon 28mm f2.8 - great "normal" lens for dSLR
2- XR Rikenon 135 f2.8 - equivalent to a 200mm f2.8 in 35mm when used on a dSLR
3- Takumar A (made by Pentax but without the SMC coating)28-80mm f3.5/4.5
4- SMC Pentax M 50mm f1.7 - great "portrait" lens for dSLR
5- SMC Pentax FA 28-80mm f3.5/5.6- myfirst AF lens, rather slow at the long end, this is the "silver" finish lens
6- Sigma 70-210mm UC ZOOM f:4-5.6 - my second AF lens, also slow but very compact, and quite sharp.
7- Phoenix (Samyang) T-mount 500mm f8.0 mirror lens (no aperture adjustment and the focus ring turns in the wrong direction on this one as well)
8- Takumar A 2X teleconverter
9- Sears (Samyang) K 80-200mm f4.0 (constant aperture) macro (better than it sounds, but the focus ring turns in the wrong direction) (Gave it too my youngest boy with a Ricoh XR-2 35mm camera body)

These will cover the 35mm equivalent of 42mm to 1500mm on a *istDS2

Note that the Ricoh XR Rikenon lenses are not the ones that jam on the autofocus Pentax bodies. I would like to replace the Sears 80-200mm with a Pentax or Takumar A series zoom, so it is off to eBay I go. Thanks for everything, I am already putting my pennies away.

Now I really wonder why I haven't been looking to Pentax all along.

Ira


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Old Sep 27, 2005, 5:22 AM   #2
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actually this will only cover 42mm-750mm which is great. i've also got a s7000 and the dslr wins hands down. you're not making a mistake. no amtter how good the prosumer P&S is it will never compare to a TTL slr... you're going to love it.
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Old Sep 27, 2005, 9:11 AM   #3
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500mm mirror plus 2X teleconverter X1.5 sensor size factorequals 1500mm

Ira
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Old Sep 27, 2005, 9:20 AM   #4
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Ira:

Congratulations on your decision (unless you change your mind again). :-)

If I were you (wanting to photograph weddings, etc., where flash is not always going to be allowed), I would have picked one of the DSLR models, too (either one of the KM or Pentax DSLR models, since you have lenses for both).

You'll have a lot more control over DOF, too (so that you can make yoursubjects can stand out from distracting backgrounds), which really puts the end result into a different category versus an Ultra-Zoom model.

Of course, sometimes more DOF is a good thing (in which case the non-DSLR models have an advantage). But, you've got you Fuji, too.

None are perfect for all conditions.



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Old Sep 27, 2005, 9:38 AM   #5
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JimC

I just got so caught up in the analysis that I ignored the most important factor, my own needs. The Fuji is an excellent camera, and would make a good choice if I didn't already own lenses. The KM 7D is too expensive and the 5D is still a no-show here, perhaps before I actually make a purchase the influx of Sony money may make it a valid choice for me, but I cannot even get to see one through a glass right now, so it is out.

The Pentax *istDS2 looks like a positive evolution of an already sound camera design, features have been added instead of removed (the DL exists for that end) and I have not heard of many regularly occurring problems with this camera so I have confidence in it. I have also gotten to use a DS and was quite impressed with the viewfinder (which seemed better than the Canon 20D, we won't even mention the Rebel 300D, that is a peep hole, not a viewfinder). I appreciate the use of AA batteries, and the only real negative is that I do not have SD cards, or an SD card reader, so I will need to purchase at least one big card with the camera.

As for my old lenses, they greatly limit the features of the camera but they take excellent photographs, and that is what it is all about. Most of the time I will probably just leave the 28-80mm on the camera anyway since 42mm to 120mm covers most of my photography anyway.

If I lived in the US heartland I would probably buy a KM 5D but here in Canada's outer reaches (1.5hour time difference from New England States), I would prefer to stick with products which I can easily get and just as easily return.

I may still change my mind, but only for a different dSLR, the S7000 represents my last EVF purchase for the foreseeable future (but never say never).

Thanks for following the madness.

Ira
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Old Sep 27, 2005, 10:37 AM   #6
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Yep, it's a darn shame that KM decided to shut down their Canadian operations. But, I feel confident that a soluton will be put in place for distribution and service of their models in Canada.

BTW, Steve should be posting the 5D review pretty darn soon (it was virtually finished the last time I checked).

Based on user reports I've seen so far, it's the one to beat in the under $1000 DSLR category for image quality (not even taking AS into consideration). Heck, I recently saw one user that boughtmutiple DSLR models in this market niche (using them at the same time), deciding on the 5D and returning the rest (he liked the images from the 5D the best,compared to the 8MP Rebel XT and Nikon D50). I've even seenone Pentax DSLR owner report that hedecided to switch to this new KM model (mostly for the Antishake).

Of course,when comparing models that are so similar (Sony 6MP CCD),chances are, the harder it is to decide between them, the more likely any of the choices will meet your needs. A lot of the rest is just "pixel peeping" and "splitting hairs" (although I personally view Anti-shake as being a huge advantage, and the image processing algorithms in the 5D appear to be pretty darn nice from what I've seen so far).

P.S.

I also like the images from the Pentax DSLRmodels (I think their image quality is underrated by most reviewers, and I like theergonomicsfor such small cameras). The viewfinder in the *ist DSis also very good compared to other DSLR models in this price range (I haven't personally tried the newer DS2 yet).
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Old Sep 27, 2005, 2:39 PM   #7
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JimC

I don't expect the DS2 will be much different from the DS in handling, except for an even better viewfinder and the bigger LCD. The continuous focus option doesn't excite me that much, I just want to be able to use my lenses anf AA NiMH batteries.

I am not writing off the KM, my son has two of my lenses right now but I can easily get them back if I decide to go this way. My KM lenses cover 19mm-200mm or 29mm to 300mm in 35mm equivalent. Not as extensive as the Pentax but the lenses are all autofocus. If the reviews and user response to the 5D is good enough I can still be sold.

Seriously I have even looked at some of the two lens deals from olympus, all modern stuff for a very nice price covering 28mm to 300mm equivalent with slightly faster glass. Especially with the E-500 on the way.

Like I said I am now firmly on the DSLR path with Pentax in the lead, but there are always options.

Ira
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Old Oct 12, 2005, 4:53 PM   #8
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Maybe you can help me since you have the same dilema. Im shooting an MZ-7 film and want to switch to digital. I have been researching the new pentax's but what IS the big difference between the istds and the istds2? is there a big price jump also?

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Old Oct 12, 2005, 7:58 PM   #9
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funbug

From what I can gather the price is pretty much the same, the DS2 has a much larger LCD, better jpeg processing and continuous focus available in all modes. Other than that just about all of the other features are very similar, minor improvements but nothing earth shattering.

Unless I got an extremely good deal on a DS I would get a DS2. I would pass on the DL, too many shortcuts, not enough price drop.

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Old Oct 12, 2005, 10:11 PM   #10
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Ira.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"I have been trying to assimilate all the reviews and specs of the *ist series and come to a final decision. Thanks for the info and confirming mysuspicions you've been a great help. Thanks alot.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"Funbug:|
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