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Old Aug 21, 2007, 3:02 PM   #1
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I'm taking a long time to make a decision regarding a new DSLR.

I've been reading a fair amount an one question that pops into my mind is what's more important a lens or a camera. I have a family, fair amount of expenses and therefore try to stay within a budget regarding my hobby...photography.

I have an old Pentax K100, which as many know is a basic, very capable and durable SLR. I bought a number of lenses for it over the years and have always been impressed by the pictures, especially with the Pentax 35-05 Macro Zoom which I paid $ 375 (new) back in '84.

As a result of this experience I'm thinking that as a long time amateur..it might be an idea to get a basic, but good DSLR, such as a Pentax K100 Super, Nikon D40 or similar Canon rather then a Pentax K10D, Nikon D80 or Canon 30D.

Then concentrate on getting top quality lens...such as the Pentax 16-45 Zoom rather than the Kit 18-55...or the Nikon/Canon equivalents.

What do you think ? Does this make sense or am I losing something by not getting a K10D, D80 or 30D ?

I plan to keep the body for quite awhile and in reference to the K100 Super...I've noticed it may only have 6 MP's but the pix seems fine to me.

I prize sharpness and durability...I also like to be able to manually control the camera rather than always bowing to a completely automatic point and shoot type of style.
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Old Aug 21, 2007, 3:18 PM   #2
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lesmore-

The choice of the K100D Super or the standard K-100D would allow you to use that Pentax 35-105mm short tele. The Pentax 16-45mm lens is also excellent, and I use it as my "kit" lens. With the current Pentax Summertime Rebate Programthere isa $50 rebate on the standard K100D and a $100 rebate on the Pentax 16-45mm lens. The Rebate is for purchases made between August 1st to September 30th 2007.

Concerning your question: The camera and lens must work together. Without both you have no photo. However, I will agree that good glass, always pays big dividends.

Sarah Joyce

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Old Aug 21, 2007, 6:30 PM   #3
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If I had a substantial investment in Pentax lenses (and hadn't just won the lottery) I'd pick a dSLR that would let me use the lenses I've got.
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Old Aug 21, 2007, 9:23 PM   #4
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One of the reasons I chose a Pentax dSLR is that I had a number of good (but not great) primes, and I could save money by buying Pentax. I don't regret that choice for a minute.

I also happen to be kind-of a fan of the 6 mp sensor (I have both the K10 and the K100). The K100 can take some outstanding pictures with a good lens and I use it not only as my back-up camera, but also as my alternate camera. I'll keep a wide angle or macro on it and a longer telephoto on the K10 - I don't look at it as a "lesser" camera at all when it comes to image quality. The K10 has some extra bells and whistles and the 10 mp come in handy for birding and wildlife, but for the most part it doesn't matter to me which camera I use.

Just my opinion, but I'd opt for better lenses and a less expensive camera. Those lenses will last much longer than the camera body will (one of the lenses I used today on the K10 I bought new in 1980 or 81). The kit lens is pretty good but not the fastest - I still use mine quite often and for what I use it for, its fine (though I do have an M 24mm 2.8 for low-light situations). The 16-45 f4 has a very good reputation, and now there's the brand new DA*16-50 2.8 (very expensive). If you are interested in any of these new DA* lenses then get the K100 Super - the lenses have a new (for Pentax)in-lens focusing system that is very quiet. The K100D doesn't have the capability of using this system, though the lenses will focus like any other AF lens using the in-camera motor.
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Old Aug 21, 2007, 11:07 PM   #5
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mtngal wrote:
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One of the reasons I chose a Pentax dSLR is that I had a number of good (but not great) primes, and I could save money by buying Pentax. I don't regret that choice for a minute.

I have some Pentax and Takumar bayonet lenses (also M42) such as the 50mm macro and 28 mm W/A Takumar bayonet. My best lens though is the 35-105 Pentax....great lens, built like a tank and judging by the performance..must have great glass.

But, even so, I have thought about making a break with pentax as going into digital would be a perfect time, if I wish. However reading about both the K100D Super + standard and K10D..Pentax still seems to offer more me..whether I have previous Pentax equipment....I think at this moment, anyway.

I also happen to be kind-of a fan of the 6 mp sensor (I have both the K10 and the K100). The K100 can take some outstanding pictures with a good lens and I use it not only as my back-up camera, but also as my alternate camera. I'll keep a wide angle or macro on it and a longer telephoto on the K10 - I don't look at it as a "lesser" camera at all when it comes to image quality. The K10 has some extra bells and whistles and the 10 mp come in handy for birding and wildlife, but for the most part it doesn't matter to me which camera I use.

I'm thinking of getting into bird photography...ie; K100D Super and Pentax 75-300 mm lens (I'm on a budget)...so I hope this combo would give me good , sharp quality?

Just my opinion, but I'd opt for better lenses and a less expensive camera. Those lenses will last much longer than the camera body will (one of the lenses I used today on the K10 I bought new in 1980 or 81). The kit lens is pretty good but not the fastest - I still use mine quite often and for what I use it for, its fine (though I do have an M 24mm 2.8 for low-light situations). The 16-45 f4 has a very good reputation, and now there's the brand new DA*16-50 2.8 (very expensive). If you are interested in any of these new DA* lenses then get the K100 Super - the lenses have a new (for Pentax)in-lens focusing system that is very quiet. The K100D doesn't have the capability of using this system, though the lenses will focus like any other AF lens using the in-camera motor.

It sounds like you agree that a basic body can do an excellent job and save money for better lens? That was my experience with my K1000 , hoping it would be the same wih the K100D.

The K100D worries me a bit...just having 6 megapixels...although a friend has a Canon 30D with just 8.2 megapixels and I have to say...his photos of birds (uses mid range Canon 75-300 (?)) and at 8.2 MPs...his photos blow away 10 MP Cameras. I'm hoping for the same quality...maybe I'm hoping unrealistically...I don't know?

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Old Aug 22, 2007, 12:38 AM   #6
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I'm not all that good as a birder, though I've taken several with the K100 that I'm proud of. Here's a thread with a picture taken by someone who is very good at birding (not me) taken with the 6 mp *istDS: http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...mp;forum_id=80. If you look up his profile you can find other threads where he's posted awesome pictures of birds and other wildlife, mostly taken with the DS and some outstanding lenses (he does have top quality glass).

In comparison, mine are more humble, these weretaken with the K100 and a A*300 lens: http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...mp;forum_id=80.

The Sigma 70-300 APO has a better reputation than the Pentax 75-300. When I decided I wanted a 300mm lens, I waited until I found a used A*300 for a reasonable price since I wasn't willing to compromise on sharpness and I already had the DA 50-200. If you want to break the bank you can always get the Sigma 50-500 - there's someone who regularly contributes outstanding wildlife pictures to the Pentax section with this lens.

If you decide you want to change to a different manufacturer, you should be able to sell all of your old lenses, including the M42screwmounts (they work on the Pentax digital cameras with an adaptor). The market for Pentax lenses is quite high right now, you should be able to get quite a bit for them.
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Old Aug 22, 2007, 8:21 PM   #7
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mtngal wrote:
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I'm not all that good as a birder, though I've taken several with the K100 that I'm proud of. Here's a thread with a picture taken by someone who is very good at birding (not me) taken with the 6 mp *istDS: http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...mp;forum_id=80. If you look up his profile you can find other threads where he's posted awesome pictures of birds and other wildlife, mostly taken with the DS and some outstanding lenses (he does have top quality glass).

Loon looks lovely. Detail seems crisp.

In comparison, mine are more humble, these weretaken with the K100 and a A*300 lens: http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...mp;forum_id=80.

Very Impressive pictures..I especially like the flying gull...looks like a 3D picture. Gives me a good idea of the K100 and the Sigma 70-300 APO lens capability. Very sharp...I wouldn't hesitate to get a Sigma lens after seeing your's and Roger's pictures.


The Sigma 70-300 APO has a better reputation than the Pentax 75-300. When I decided I wanted a 300mm lens, I waited until I found a used A*300 for a reasonable price since I wasn't willing to compromise on sharpness and I already had the DA 50-200. If you want to break the bank you can always get the Sigma 50-500 - there's someone who regularly contributes outstanding wildlife pictures to the Pentax section with this lens.

The 50-500 Sigma of Wacky Roger, coupled to his K10D and Roger's skills are a top quality combination. I've seen many of his pictures and Roger's pix are consistently sharp and very impressive.

If you decide you want to change to a different manufacturer, you should be able to sell all of your old lenses, including the M42screwmounts (they work on the Pentax digital cameras with an adaptor). The market for Pentax lenses is quite high right now, you should be able to get quite a bit for them.

I'm planning to keep all my old film equipment , which includes: Zeiss Super Ikonta, Leica 11f, lot's of old Pentax, Mamiya 220, Yashicamat. Lot's of memories from the past 40 years of picture taking. I want to put them in a display cabinet in our house. Can't bear to get rid of them if you know what I mean.
Thanks for the advice, I enjoy reading your posts.

Les
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Old Aug 22, 2007, 9:59 PM   #8
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Just as a note - mine were taken with a Pentax A*300 f4 lens that I bought used last summer. They used to go for around $500, but have been running something between $800 - 1,000 on ebay fairly recently.
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Old Sep 21, 2007, 5:59 PM   #9
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Thank you for the info. Great lens...but at $ 800-1000...too expensive for me.

mtngal wrote:
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Just as a note - mine were taken with a Pentax A*300 f4 lens that I bought used last summer. They used to go for around $500, but have been running something between $800 - 1,000 on ebay fairly recently.
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Old Sep 21, 2007, 7:33 PM   #10
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I'd be more inclined to spend on the lenses. The better ones have a measure of durability and will retain at least a fair percentage of their purchase price over the course of a few years.

A camera body will become yesterday's news in a couple years and the value on the used market will be a tiny fraction of its original purchase price.


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