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Old Mar 1, 2006, 9:43 AM   #21
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> Can't afford AF primes ...

Pentax's AF primes are already quite affordable, relatively, especially for those used gear :-)

> The MF have such a shallow DOF I can't focus thru regular VF, have to use the magnifier.

It actually can, just "oscillate" and narrow down the magnitude. This requires more time to achieve each time but it works!

> I wouldn't be surprised if AF got it wrong once in a while.

But I must say the MZ cameras are far better. That's a sad thing for old Pentax fans afterall, and is no good to the current *ist D users too, anyway.

> Hey, RiceHigh, you get the firmware update b4 your testing??? (too lazy to read)

I don't know, as every time I found a problem for the first time is not during testing! Each time I tested *only after* I had seen something wrong in my photos. Anyway, if you read my this test page, you can read the EXIF info of the pictures to see what firmware version I have in the camera when I did the test:- http://www.geocities.com/ricehigh/DS...cy_on_KEV.html

BTW, I don't believe the AF errors can be something that is related to the firmware. It should be a hardware issue afterall.

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Old Mar 1, 2006, 2:29 PM   #22
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Geez, someone give him the way to check firmware version!!!

Others mentioned that; and my theory; they 'dummed down' the DS firmware so the 'd' model would be better.

Not joking, totally dif camera w/ v 2.0!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old Mar 1, 2006, 2:47 PM   #23
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Panzergnome, I have a similar problem with MF, can only get close enough for the DOF to do the rest (f5.6 or f8 is fine but wide open is hit or miss). Like you I see the price of AF prime lenses and realize I have to rely on my old MF stuff for now.

BTW, how come 50mm f1.8 Nikons are cheap, 50mm f1.8 Canons are dirt cheap, 50mm f1.7 KM are manageable and 50mm f1.7 Pentax are apparently gold lined?
sample pricing in Canada from one major camera store:
Canon f1.8- $120Cdn
Nikon f1.8 - $175Cdn
KM (out of stock)
Pentax f1.7 - $270Cdn !!!!!

You can buy a new Canon for less money than a typical Ebay price for an old F series Pentax, and usually they sell for close to the Nikon price. This I find puzzling and upsetting since a decent standard prime is far more expensive than a DA 50-200mm zoom (which I don't need).

Wish this was as easy to focus manually as my old ME Super.

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Old Mar 1, 2006, 9:20 PM   #24
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> Panzergnome, I have a similar problem with MF, can only get close enough for the DOF to do the rest (f5.6 or f8 is fine but wide open is hit or miss).

Yep.

> BTW, how come 50mm f1.8 Nikons are cheap, 50mm f1.8 Canons are dirt cheap, 50mm f1.7 KM are manageable and 50mm f1.7 Pentax are apparently gold lined?
sample pricing in Canada from one major camera store:

Because apparently there is some quality difference:-

> Canon f1.8- $120Cdn

Not focus scale, not so good coatings, five aperture blades only. Plastic lens mount.

> Nikon f1.8 - $175Cdn

This one looks fine to me by impression but then I haven't not taken a close look to it yet.

> Pentax f1.7 - $270Cdn !!!!!

It worths! Superb SMC coatings, nice color rendition, high resolution, high quality and made in Japan, 8 aperture blades for nice bokeh and so on!

> You can buy a new Canon for less money than a typical Ebay price for an old F series Pentax, and usually they sell for close to the Nikon price. This I find puzzling and upsetting since a decent standard prime is far more expensive than a DA 50-200mm zoom (which I don't need).

Well, we get what we paid for :-) Pentax's pre-digital AF optics are near the best glass on the planet, with an already very low price (when compared with true Zeiss and Leica etc :-))

> Wish this was as easy to focus manually as my old ME Super.

This will be very unlikely owing to the crop factor of 1.5X which results in a smaller viewfinder by a 1.5X factor in magnification also.

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Old Mar 27, 2006, 12:21 PM   #25
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Just wanted to put my food for thought on this topic. I've been a strong supporter of Pentax products since the early 80's with my first ME super. Also dabbled with a used Spotmatic F 50mm 1.8. I tend to keep my cameras for long periods before trading up. So went from ME Super to MZ-5 in 1996. Also have/had 50 mm 1.7 M, 28mm 2.8 M, 75-150mm 4 M, 28-70mm 4FA and 70-210 4/5.6F. Various Flash units, Pentax mainly. Althought I had the pleasure of using a new Nikon FA 50mm 1.8 around the mid 80's I have virtually used Pentax as most of my SLR since my teens. I find their products great bang for the buck and most importantly giving excellent results with what I think is better than average optics. When I upgraded to digital with the DS I have to say I was a little disapointed initially as I got a defective body on first purchase (refused to fire shutter - peramanent error code on LCD top panel). Second body showed image capture issue after only a month of use. Repair by Pentax HQ seemed to fix the problem. Now my ist DS is firing on all cylinders I have to say the results are great. I've never used any other brand to compare AF performance but I've never had a problem with Pentax AF performance either with the MZ-5 or ist DS. Exposure is a little tricky to judge in terms of accuracy. Now that digital cameras give histograms and instant review one could get fussy about perfectexposure. Although not perfect, I find the expsoure to be generally near the mark. I do find myself reviewing the histogram and tweaking the exposure compensation to retake a shot sometimes, but isn't that the whole point of having a histogram? IfI choose to ignore the histogram I would still feel comfortable with the overall results, especially when I can fine tune the image in PS anyway. I do agree though, that my confidence in reliability and long term longevity has wilted with my recent experiences with the ist DS. However, even Canon is not without it's problems...questionable AF accuracy and error code lock ups have been reported by numerous users. I'm just hoping that it's all down to DSLR in it's infancy. Companys are pushing products to market on extremely tight timelines withthe latestcutting edge specs. Once the digital technology, especially around the SLR sensor size and resolution plateaus, then maybe reliability will stabilize again. Ta ra.
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Old Mar 27, 2006, 3:31 PM   #26
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I also believe that the histogram is a very useful tool and I have my image preview set to the max of 5 seconds with the histogram on, so I can look at it before the picture saves. Often I hit the garbage can, delete itandshoot again with a different compensation on it. That's the nice thing about digital, you can try and try, then try again. It all cost the same. There is a very good article on Luminus Landscapes on using histograms, a very important tool- Bruce
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Old Mar 28, 2006, 12:37 AM   #27
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bper wrote:
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I also believe that the histogram is a very useful tool and I have my image preview set to the max of 5 seconds with the histogram on, so I can look at it before the picture saves. Often I hit the garbage can, delete it and shoot again with a different compensation on it. That's the nice thing about digital, you can try and try, then try again. It all cost the same. There is a very good article on Luminus Landscapes on using histograms, a very important tool - Bruce
Thanks for sharing your experience. Actually, I second your views.

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Old Mar 28, 2006, 12:40 AM   #28
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bper wrote:
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I also believe that the histogram is a very useful tool and I have my image preview set to the max of 5 seconds with the histogram on, so I can look at it before the picture saves. Often I hit the garbage can, delete it and shoot again with a different compensation on it. That's the nice thing about digital, you can try and try, then try again. It all cost the same. There is a very good article on Luminus Landscapes on using histograms, a very important tool - Bruce
Yep. I know many Pentax DSLR users often turn off the LCD to save battery power and indeed I (and you) do the difference :-) There is no point to not use the LCD and histogram for digital photography. And also, thanks for your tips, I have just changed the instant review time from 3 sec to 5 for my camera!

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