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bondy100 Oct 21, 2007 4:27 AM

Hello Boys and Girls.

I used to be a keen photographer in the film days.

These digicams are great, but they are full of stuff I don't need or want. All I want is a camera with a good quality fixed focal length lens. I don't want 6x zoom as zoom means compromise,(f2.8 at best),size and weight.

Pentax boasts that their DSLR cameras can uee"any Pentax lens ever made". So here is my question.

If I get a Pentax DSLR body only and put an old F1.8 lens on it. will it work?But wait! The chip is probably the size of my little finger nail so do I need a 28mm lens? 35mm?? If it works Will I be able to manually focus?

If I am on the right track. Which body would give me manual focus and shutter speed control?

Thanks for any feedback.

JimC Oct 21, 2007 7:33 AM

They're a little larger than that (size of your little fingernail) in a dSLR. Non-dSLR models do use much smaller sensors. But, most of the entry level dSLR models use APS-C size sensors.

With the entry level dSLR models, you will have a narrower angle of view (more apparent magnification) for any given focal length lens, compared to a 35mm camera.

To see how they compare on an entry level Pentax, Nikon or Sony dSLR (which all use Sony APS-C size sensors), multiply the focal length of a lens by 1.5x to see what focal length lens you'd use on a 35mm camera for the same angle of view.

For example, a 50mm lens on one of these dSLR models would give you roughly the same angle of view as a 75mm lens on a 35mm camera (50mm x 1.5 = 75mm).

In the entry level Canon dSLR models, you need to use 1.6x instead.

So, if you want a lens that's approximately comparable to a 50mm lens on a 35mm camera, go with something around 30 or 35mm.

The smaller sensors is the main reason you see most of the bundled "kit" zooms starting out at around 18mm with the entry level dSLR models (because it will appear to be a longer lens).

As for manual focus, sure. You can manual focus with virtually any of the dSLR models around, even with an Autofocus lens (just flip a switch from Autofocus to Manual focus). Older Manual focus lenses are very popular with Pentax users (metering still works, focus confirmation with many lenses and more).

On the downside, the standard focus screen in dSLR models is not a split prism type screen.

VTphotog Oct 21, 2007 8:26 AM

Not much to add to what JimC has mentioned, except that when using manual focus, the Pentax, (and others) will give you a focus confirmation in the viewfinder. I have found it to be at least as accurate as I can see.

Of the current models, the K10D is probably closeest to what you are looking for. It has more 'bells and whistles' than the others, but, conversely, is more able to be used as a full manual camera as well. I chose the discontinued *ist D over the newer models for some of the same reasons you mention, not feeling the need for anti-shake, but wanting the option of the PC sync jack for external flash.

Best advice I can give is to read carefully several reviews before making a decision.

BTW: the reviews here at Steve's are quite good, but the specifications of the k100 models show the PC sync as included, but the reviews tell you it isn't. Believe the review.


mtngal Oct 21, 2007 10:19 AM

I often use my old SMC M 50mm 1.7 lens on my K10 (like last night) and it stilldoes a very nice job. You can get third party split screens for the Pentax cameras for manual focus, but I haven't bothered - the K10's screen (for that matter, the K100 is too, but the K10 is better)is adequate to "see" the focus and the camera's beep is usually pretty close. Since my old lens is manual focus/manual aperture, I set the aperture on the lens, then push a button on the camera body that lets the camera meter, then focus and take the picture. The button becomes second nature quickly and I sometimes find myself pushing it when I'm using one of the Auto exposure lenses.

bondy100 Oct 22, 2007 2:34 AM

Great replies guys. thanks for the info.

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