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Old Nov 29, 2007, 11:01 PM   #1
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I have a 1970's vintage Pentax Spotmatic II in amazing shape, but it's not digital, and I'm soooo ready for digital. But many threads warn of gloom and doom on the standard 'packaged' lens. I have many M42 thread mount manual lenses, and actually tried them on a K10D body. But my feelings are mixed. They just don't seem to take advantage of the power of the camera. WWYD (what would you do).
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The newest DSLR newbie...and shaking in his boots.
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Old Nov 30, 2007, 12:38 AM   #2
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About 50% of my lenses are M42 mount and they all make full use of the K10D!! I actually like many of my M42 mount lenses over my newer ones, lol. It really all depends on what lenses you have.

As for the K10D + Kit lens, not a bad combo at all honestly! The kit lens is no "Pro" level lens, but it works darn well and is decently built. Far better then Canon's kit lens and about the same build wise as the Nikon, but I would say a bit better optically.

I actually switched over from Canon + excellent lens line up to a Pentax K10D so I could use my M42 mount lenses and K mounts and have IS/SR on each and every one of them!
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Old Nov 30, 2007, 12:56 AM   #3
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I've only got my 3 favorite lenses (and all in perfect condition), all SMC Tacumar; the standard 50mm F1.4, a wide angle 28mm f3.5 and a 135mm f3.5. But I've got a bunch of other lens accessories, a 2x auto teleplus doubler, and a set of 3 extender rings (for macro if I remember correctly) from Asahi Pentax. Gosh, it's been way too long since I've shot Ektachrome...I'm in such a new world...but everything I've read about the K10D says it's the Spotmatic II of the new millenium.

Would I go wrong just getting the K10D body and experimenting first? I do like the idea of all the additional features of the newer lenses, but when buying new glass for this amazing camera I want to be sure what I'm getting. Would one Pentax K adapter be enough? When I tried out the camera at the local shop the adapter stayed in the body nicely.

I really appreciate all the support from the forums. Amazing group. Thanks!
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Old Nov 30, 2007, 8:14 PM   #4
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One adapter should be fine. I only have one and it stays in the camera when I am using my M42 mount lenses.

I don't see why just buying the body and using your existing M42 lenses would be a bad idea. Personally, I really missed MF and enjoy having full control over everything when using the older lenses.

As for not getting the kit lens at all.. depends on what you like to shoot. I do quite a bit of landscapes and 28mm does not cut it on the wide end of things, which is why I chose to get the kit lens. The lens is only like $80-$100 more then the body by itself and IMHO it is worth every penny. But if you think 28mm will be wide enough for you and don't have the need/desire for an AF lens right now, then just get the body and use your existing lenses. Just make sure to read the manual and everything so you know how to set the image stabilization/SR to work with the older lenses.
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Old Dec 1, 2007, 9:00 AM   #5
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Hi Rormeister, Welcome to the boards. I have a K100D (also an old Spotmatic II) and as you have lenses you like, buying the K10D body only is just fine. As you have seen a K to M42 adapter is necessary, and your all set. The K10D body will not make you lenses automatic, you will need to focus and meter manually but you knew that already. One bonus (depending on your viewpoint) will be the ability to trap focus - the body will tell you when it thinks the image is in focus (with a small red box in the viewfinder and a quite beep) as you manually focus. Of course, all the lenses will be stablized with the shake reduction.

In that you like the M42 lenses, take a look on ebay as there are a ton of the older M42 lenses and they are going for not that much, as most of the buyers are looking for the K mounted lenses, thus you can add to your collection pretty cheaply.

The last item, is that this forum tends to be for the Point and Shoot. If you scroll down a bit further you will come across 2 additional forums, the Pentax/Samsung and the Pentax Lens boards that deal with the SLR bodies, such as the K10 and K100. These boards are among the most active on Steve's site.

Hope that helps....
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Old Dec 1, 2007, 10:51 AM   #6
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Thanks for the points and especially the re-"focus" of my attention, whoops...in my excitement to see Pentax, not to mention K10D posts, I neglected to see the P&S piece. Luckily it looks like I'm not the first...nor last...to make this blur.

For now, I'll go the straight M42 route. My favorite part of capturing images with the SPII was the manual nature (and easy at that) of composing the shots. I am really glad to have a forum to bounce ideas off, especially seeing such amazing enthusiasm for this camera.

Thanks!
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Old Dec 1, 2007, 1:02 PM   #7
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This is not intended to redirect you or anything, however did you look at the K100D or K100D Super? The reason I even bring this up, are your Spotmatic comments. I went with the K100D about 16 months ago, just before the K10 arrived at the stores. The reason for the 100 vs the 10 was simplicity and weight.

If you like the simplicity of the SP II then the K100 may appeal to you a bit more. All Pentax bodies can use any Pentax lens (K or M42). The K10 is (from what I hear) a wonderful camera that will even keep your coffee warm (just kidding). It has a lot more manual control up front on the body, and thus is a bit more complex to use. The K100 tends to use the menus a bit more for setup.

The K10 is a bit larger and heavier, is 10MP vs 6MP (I have not found it to be a problem, but there is less real estate to crop from). The K10 can store both JPG and RAW where as the K100 only stores one or the other....

The main differences that I have found (and they are rather minor):
  • The K10 notes the camera position (landscape or portrate) in the EXLIF, thus the image brower displays the image in the correct orientation automatically. (The super model may correct this oversite.)[/*]
  • The frame burst rate is very large for the K10 (almost unlimited), vs 3 frames for the K100. I like landscapes, so if I take a panorama, after 3 frames, I need to wait about 10 seconds for the buffer to flush to the memory card.[/*]
  • The K10 has the ISO 100 where as the K100 only goes down to ISO 200[/*]
  • The K100 has better noise control (due to the 6MP sensor) at higher ISO speeds 1600 and 3200.[/*]
  • There is a difference in the viewfinder between the two models.[/*]
One major item that you will find between the SPII and the entire digital line of camaras (any manufractuer) is the sensor size. Pentax due to its sensor size has a 1.5 multipler (Canon has a 1.6, Oly has 2.0, etc). This is due to the digital sensor being smaller than a full 35mm film frame. Hence your lens focal lengths are amplified (or multiplied) by 1.5. Thus your 50mm f1.4 m42 lens is now a (or takes an image of a) 75mm f1.4 on the digital format. This is great for telephoto, however for wide angle it presents a problem.

The kit lens is absolutely excellent. Much better than what Canon and Nikon offers. Again, with your interest in the M42 mount, ebay presents quite a few bargins there since they are overlooked. The Pentax Lens forum has quite abit of information and people offering background on both the K and M42 lens.

Mtngal in the other forum (Pentax dSLR) has both bodies and can address the various body differences directly.

The camera prices have dropped quite a bit. The lens tend to maintain their value. You can find the K100D for $350 to $400 on the net. The K100D Super is at the high $400, with the K10D starting around $550 and up.

Hope that helps....
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