Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > What Camera Should I Buy?

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Sep 2, 2007, 11:26 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Western Canada
Posts: 3,076
Default

I've been researching the best camera/lens to get for over a year. Long time I know but I wanted to bring myself up to speed with all this new digital stuff..as I'm an old 35 mm buff.

I also want to be able to take sharp, highly detailed pictures that match the pictures that I get now with my 35mm Pentax K1000 with it's Pentax 35-105 Macro Zoom. I bought this lens back in '84 for about $ 375 Cdn. and the durability and sharp, rich pictures it's provided have set my personal standard...I want to be able to continue with any new equipment.

I've looked at the Nikon D80, Canon Rebel and Pentax DSLR's.

I think I've finally narrowed my selection down to the Pentax K10D or K100 Super...with either the Pentax 18-55 kit lens or the 16- 45 Zoom.

I lean towards the K10D because of the tougher build and more features. But the K100 Super I think would also produce excellent, tack sharp pictures..even with the 6.1 MP.

Anyone get either K100 Super or standard , or K10D and regret it...or are these cameras as good as I think they are ?

I have heard and read that the Pentax 18-55 zoom kit is an excellent lens and that the much more expensive 16- 45 Pentax Zoom is a bit of a disappointment.

In fact some that I've read say use the 18-55 and don't get the 16-45 as it's not worth the extra money?

Is this correct ?

Should I look at a aftermarket lens (similar in size to these two Pentaxes) like a Sigma or a Tamron, etc. as my 'regular' lens and if so which one and why ? I'm willing to pay the same as the cost of the Pentax 16-45 which is about $350 - 400 Cdn.

Like most of us, I've got a limited amount of budget and that's why I want to make sure I get the best stuff for my money?
lesmore49 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Sep 2, 2007, 3:04 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Tumbleweed, Arizona
Posts: 1,381
Default

Hi Lesmore,

I have a K100D with several lens, the 18-55, 16-45, 10-17 and the 50-200, along with a recent addition the 75-300. I like the wide end better and did acquire the 16-45 as a replacement for the kit 18-55. I do like the 16-45 much better than the kit, however the kit does do an excellent job. It just depends on you, and what you like.

That being said, and you coming from film, keep your 35-105 as it will fit on either the K10D or K100D regular or super (and will become image stabilized by the body). The difference is the 1.5 sensor factor (the ccd sensor is smaller than the 35mm film frame, so it essentially enlarges everything by a 1.5 factor as measured by the focal length), thus your 35-105 will be a 52.5mm to 157.5mm on the Pentax digital body. Of course the manual lens will stay a manual lens.

The K10D has more pixels for cropping, and more dials, buttons, wheels and the sort for selecting various settings, and is a bit heaver and bulker. The K100D is a simpler camera (I have an old Spormatic II) with fewer MP, but with a tad less noise at higher ISO settings, also physically smaller and lighter, thus closer to your K1000.

You should probably find a retailer to handle both bodies and see what works best for you. Also acquire a cheap SD card and take it with you along with your old lens. This way you can take pictures (.jpgs) with your lens on the new bodies and see what you like best. Please do note that Pentax does not sharpen nor process the jpgs as heavily as Canon and Nikon so they will appear different than what you may be use to. Shoot raw format then post process, or determine what you like in the jpgs and set the camera accordingly so as to get the output that you like best. You can probably get an sdcard 512K for about $10 mail order and a few days shipping. You may also want to buy a USB card reader (about $5 to $10) to read the card with. Windows (or free utilities) can handle the jpg on your computer.

Your lens selection (and their speed) is really up to what type of images you shoot. The kit lens is very good and relatively cheap when coupled with the body, but also slow. Also Pentax has a rebate program going for the last year and will probably keep going.

Mountain gal has both bodies and will hopefully post about her experiences.

I would keep my current lens, and build around it. There are very good lens on KEH and ebay that would be on either side of it, and over time acquire depending upon need.

Also check out the pentax and pentax lens forums here at Steves, for some additional information. Post this set of questions there also..

Hope that helps....
interested_observer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 2, 2007, 3:53 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
mtclimber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143
Default

Lesmore-

I have the standard Pentax K-100D and like its photo output a lot. I also use the Pentax 16-45mm lens with it and am very pleased with the performance of that lens.

Sarah Joyce
mtclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 2, 2007, 4:05 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Tumbleweed, Arizona
Posts: 1,381
Default

... the only negative I can come up with on the 16-45 is that it is a reverse zoom, meaning that at 16mm the lens is fully extended, and thus in a low light situation using the body flash, it projects a shadow of the extended lens "nose" at the bottom of the image. Using a flash unit solves the problem.

Also it is a constant f4 lens, and could be faster. Recently. Pentax has announced and has started delivering a 16-50 f2.8 lens for additional $$$. This lens is physically larger - see
http://nedbunnell.blogspot.com/2007/...-vs-16-45.html

Nikon and Canon lenses are also bit more expensive than Pentax. As you observed, third party lenses can be a bit less. Hoya recently acquired Pentax, and they also own Tokina (see their 10-17, 12-24 lenses that look and perform very similiar to the Pentax, and do NOT come in a Pentax PK mount - as Tokina is Pentax's partner for the design and building of these pentax lenses)
interested_observer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 2, 2007, 4:08 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
mtngal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Frazier Park, CA
Posts: 16,052
Default

I do have both the K10 and K100 cameras. I have the kit lens and haven't felt a need to upgrade it, but then, I tend not to do much low-light wide angle stuff and what I do end up taking is easily handled by a SMC M 24mm 2.8 lens.

I like both cameras and use them interchangeably quite often. The biggest advantage the K100 has for me personally (at the moment) is its lighter weight - I've been using some heavier lenses recently and sometimes find the K10 with them harder to keep still. It has other advantages as was pointed out above, but the weight issue is the one that's more important to me at the moment. The K10 has a number of controls that are on the camera body that I use all the time, but are in menus with the K100.I oftenwon't bother going into the K100's menus and changing them, and still get excellent pictures, so while they are nice to have, I don't think they are the end-all/be-all must have things.

Best thing to do is go to a camera shop and handle both cameras. They feel quite a bit different and you might find you like one over the other.
mtngal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 2, 2007, 6:15 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
mtclimber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143
Default

lesmore-

There you have it! Head out to that camera store, and let us know what you think??

Sarah Joyce
mtclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 2, 2007, 9:43 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Western Canada
Posts: 3,076
Default

Thanks to everybody for the suggestions. It sounds like the people who have the 16-45 Zoom is worth the extra money...over and above the kit 18-55.

I never thought about the idea suggested, of taking a card and trying out both the K100Super and K10D with both lens at the camera shop...but this seems like a good idea to take pictures of the same subject with different bodies and different lens and then making a decision.

The fact that the K100 Super is lighter than the K10D makes me think...as I am no spring chicken and while, I still am quite active...looking down the years I can see that Mother Nature will take her toll....and extra weight, even if it seems relatively insignificant will certainly be a factor as I intend to take the camera and lens out on my regular walks.

I'm really taking my time with this decision. I've had my 35 mm and medium format stuff for years and I've been happy with the equipment.

Whatever I get, will have to (hopefully) last many years, will be used regularly and the end product (pictures) are always subject to my , probably too critical eye. I'm my worst critic.

I appreciate all the information...as it has been very helpful, leading me towards an informed decision.

Please continue to provide more info.

Thanks, Les
lesmore49 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 2, 2007, 11:22 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Tumbleweed, Arizona
Posts: 1,381
Default

Hi Lesmore,

Its hot (111) here in Aridzonia - so I am playing on the computer today more than usual. Several things come to mind from your post....

Medium format - if you are using a Pentax 67/645 system, then your medium format lenses are also useable on both the K10D/K100D, along with your 35mm lens.

Digital vs Film
- Digital media is cheaper, so your probably going to find yourself burning off many more shots that you did with film. That is going to probably tax your computer system - especially disk storage. Your going to want to pick up some large USB disk units (your can find 320GB units for under $100 on sale). The software that comes with the Pentax units is ok, however if you take any raw formatted images at the store, your going to need to convert them to jpg so take a look at the trial version of software from Bibble Labs. http://www.bibblelabs.com/. I would suggest taking at least one image in raw format and a similiar one in jpg. In this way, you can modify the raw image and compare it to the jpg. In this way, you can see for yourself the jpg out of the camera and what you can do with the raw, so that you can get the image you originally intended. - just some suggestions. Note the K10 allows you to shoot in a combined raw+jpg format, so that it saves one of each - the K100 does NOT provide that option.

Other Opinions - There is a professional fashion photographer in Paris that switched from Canon to Pentax, that thinks very highly of the K10. He has won numerous awards. Ben---- and I forget the rest of his ID. Then there is this other gentleman who has posted to the Pentax and the Landscape forum that has a K10D also, who has a very harsh opinion of the K10 - based on his specific observations. However his landscapes of the Golden Gate and the various fortifications on the north shore, are nothing short of absolutely stunning - using the K10. I believe that he is a retired professional photographer and he is not perfectly happy with the unit. I tried to do a quick search, but didn't come up with anything. So for what ever camera make or model, you will find a range of educated opinions.

I am an engineer, but selected the K100 because it was a simpler and lighter camera body. At times I would love to have 10mp. But, I also wanted to get away from the technical side of the camera settings and dwell on taking pictures, with an SLR but a less complex system, so that I could enjoy the various vacations rather than always concrentrating on the setup of the camera.

18-55 vs 16-45 - I would pick up the kit if you come to a Pentax decision (either body). Use the kit lens for a period of time, and come to your observations on it. If you feel you need something else, then make a selection based on your own knowledgable and critical eye.
interested_observer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 3, 2007, 12:41 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Western Canada
Posts: 3,076
Default

interested_observer wrote:
Quote:
Hi Lesmore,

Its hot (111) here in Aridzonia - so I am playing on the computer today more than usual. Several things come to mind from your post....

Medium format - if you are using a Pentax 67/645 system, then your medium format lenses are also useable on both the K10D/K100D, along with your 35mm lens.
[line]
I have used a Pentax 6 X 7 (rented one for a weekend)...fantastic camera...no, my medium format is a Mamiya 220 Pro- F and Yashicamat.
[line]


Digital vs Film
- Digital media is cheaper, so your probably going to find yourself burning off many more shots that you did with film. That is going to probably tax your computer system - especially disk storage. Your going to want to pick up some large USB disk units (your can find 320GB units for under $100 on sale). The software that comes with the Pentax units is ok, however if you take any raw formatted images at the store, your going to need to convert them to jpg so take a look at the trial version of software from Bibble Labs. http://www.bibblelabs.com/. I would suggest taking at least one image in raw format and a similiar one in jpg. In this way, you can modify the raw image and compare it to the jpg. In this way, you can see for yourself the jpg out of the camera and what you can do with the raw, so that you can get the image you originally intended. - just some suggestions. Note the K10 allows you to shoot in a combined raw+jpg format, so that it saves one of each - the K100 does NOT provide that option.


[line]
Thanks...although I have a Pansonic Lumix digital...my computer knowledge and how it hooks up to digital picture storage, editing is almost zero. I think I'm going to have a steep learning curve with all this computer/digital stuff. Thank you for providing the link...I will check it out.

[line]

Other Opinions - There is a professional fashion photographer in Paris that switched from Canon to Pentax, that thinks very highly of the K10. He has won numerous awards. Ben---- and I forget the rest of his ID. Then there is this other gentleman who has posted to the Pentax and the Landscape forum that has a K10D also, who has a very harsh opinion of the K10 - based on his specific observations. However his landscapes of the Golden Gate and the various fortifications on the north shore, are nothing short of absolutely stunning - using the K10. I believe that he is a retired professional photographer and he is not perfectly happy with the unit. I tried to do a quick search, but didn't come up with anything. So for what ever camera make or model, you will find a range of educated opinions.

I am an engineer, but selected the K100 because it was a simpler and lighter camera body. At times I would love to have 10mp. But, I also wanted to get away from the technical side of the camera settings and dwell on taking pictures, with an SLR but a less complex system, so that I could enjoy the various vacations rather than always concrentrating on the setup of the camera.
[line]
Quote:
[line]

It took me a long time, back in the '60's and 70's to figure out all the f stop/ shutter speed stuff and I think I became quite proficent. But the electronic side is quite new and the greater range of options on the DSLR will require some learning, on my part, so it becomes automatic in my mind.

Like you..I want to dwell on taking pictures.
[line]
[line]
Quote:
18-55 vs 16-45 - I would pick up the kit if you come to a Pentax decision (either body). Use the kit lens for a period of time, and come to your observations on it. If you feel you need something else, then make a selection based on your own knowledgable and critical eye.
[line]
Quote:


I have heard that people feel the 18-55 is a very useful, well built for a kit lens and it's quite low in cost. Really hard to pass up.


Thank you for you're carefully considered advice. Very much appreciated. Please don't hesitate to offer more.

BTW, I'm writing from Western Canada (Prairies) and it was about 72 degrees F, today. I've only experienced temps of over 110 F, once to my knowledge and that was in Montana, a few years ago. Temps of 110- 115 F would be difficult for this Prairie boy. I'm more used to -30 to -40 temps ( occasionally) during the winter and I want to take the new Digital out in...at least - 10 to - 15 F for brief periods. Hope they can handle the cold.

Les
lesmore49 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 3, 2007, 10:21 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,543
Default

lesmore49 wrote:
Quote:
I have heard and read that the Pentax 18-55 zoom kit is an excellent lens and that the much more expensive 16- 45 Pentax Zoom is a bit of a disappointment.

In fact some that I've read say use the 18-55 and don't get the 16-45 as it's not worth the extra money?

Is this correct ?
Everywhere I've looked (photodo.com, photozone.de, slrgear.com, etc.) all indications are that the 16-45mm f/4.0 is superior to the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6, and worth the extra money. In fact, if there's a decision to be made, I think it would be whether or notto spend the extrea money for the 16-50mm f/2.8. If I were you, I'd pass on the K10D and get the K100D so I could afford the 16-50.

If you go with the kit lens, then, later on, buying another lens that will do the same thing only better is a hard sell, both to yourself and to a significant other. Generally speaking, the kit lens is just good enough to sell the camera. I think everyone should always get the best lens for the job, and that's usually not the kit lens.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 9:44 AM.