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Old Aug 5, 2006, 8:10 PM   #1
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Hi,

I was comparing *ist DL vs Nikon D50 and siding with Nikon due to availability of lenses and potential to upgrade. The Nikon lenses with "VR" are extremely expensive. Does the AS feature on the K100D give access to this technology on cheaper lenses and effectively make it a better budget choice?

Thanks,

Bob
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Old Aug 5, 2006, 8:17 PM   #2
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Even if the Pentax did NOT have Image Stabilization, it is as good as the Nikon D50, and even better in some areas. With the IS, the Pentax is a much better deal for a budget user.

However, it of course depends on your needs, the Nikon provides a better upgrade path with professional bodies and more lenses.
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Old Aug 5, 2006, 8:58 PM   #3
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Iam curiouswhat makes the Pentax K100D better than the Nikon D50? I don't think that the CCD shake reduction feature is going to make the Pentax K100D any better than the Nikon with a fast F2.8zoom lens mounted on in my opinion.

Btw, I don't see Pentax range oflenses as that fantastic because there were limited choices with some of them looking rather primitive. Nikon dSLRs have plenty of choices + third party lenses such as Tamron, Sigma, and Tokina. The choices of lens for the Nikon and the chance to get a really good one for a good dealis enough to beat Pentax off the list IMO. Anyway, was there even a complete review of the Pentax K100D yet?

I suggest that you only go and buy the camera after you had finished reading a complete review of the camera. Sites like dpreview is one of the best place for such reviews and the Nikon D50 scores the highly recommended rating.

Nikon D50 + Tamron 17-50 F2.8 zoom lens is the best combination I can find so far for below US$1000. (The lens has the best MTF values to date).


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Old Aug 6, 2006, 12:37 AM   #4
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Hmmm... well it has mirror lock up, which I dont believe the D50 does. Also a spot meter(does d50 have that? I'm really not sure), excellent support with older lenses, good viewfinder, DOF preview, and it uses AA batteries(debatable as an advantage). Thats all I can think of off the top of my head, but there are probably some other things, not neccesarily things that make it better(I'm not actually sure what features the D50 offers), but still a good camera. I would say they are about equal, and the in body SR adds an advantage to Pentax... The f/2.8 zooms are supposed to arrive soon too, but the K100D will work with old manual focus primes and SR... just think, a stabilised 50mm f/1.4, 14mm 2.8, or pretty much any other lens with a K mount(or screwmount too I think).
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Old Aug 6, 2006, 1:51 AM   #5
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Hmmm... well it has mirror lock up, which I dont believe the D50 does. Also a spot meter(does d50 have that? I'm really not sure), excellent support with older lenses, good viewfinder, DOF preview, and it uses AA batteries(debatable as an advantage). Thats all I can think of off the top of my head, but there are probably some other things, not neccesarily things that make it better(I'm not actually sure what features the D50 offers), but still a good camera. I would say they are about equal, and the in body SR adds an advantage to Pentax... The f/2.8 zooms are supposed to arrive soon too, but the K100D will work with old manual focus primes and SR... just think, a stabilised 50mm f/1.4, 14mm 2.8, or pretty much any other lens with a K mount(or screwmount too I think).

Actually features like mirror lock up, DOF preview, and AA batteries are really minor things.

I learned that mirror lock uponly serve it's purpose in a narrow department between 1 second toabove 3 second long exposures where is won't be needed at faster or slower shutter speeds anymore. Shots like that (Very short long exposures) are better well off taken with a flash IMO since they are kinda in a limbo type of situation >>> Too long to hand hold, too short to be mounted on a tripod >>> You might as well get a faster lens to capture more light to hand hold, or use the higher ISOs (D50 is agood quality high ISO dSLR), or just use flash as I have said earlier -it is any time betterand more convenient.

As for the DOF preview, I was told that itis a next to useless feature on APS-C dSLRs due to the smaller than 35mm viewfinder. Users told me it was a useless feature on their APS-C dSLRs. I might have to believe that since the LCD is alwaysmuch betterto let youpreview your capturedimages (And you can delete as many times as you like).

Regarding AA batteries, it is not better than the propriety batteries that comes with most dSLRs. In fact, the propriety batteries of dSLRs last much longer and are easier to managed. For example, you can capture 1000+ shots on the Nikon dSLRs with a single charge on their propriety batteries (2000 without flash). This is so much better IMO.

When you go for a dSLR, you should be looking for things like high ISO performance, dynamic range, image with goodper-pixel sharpness, image details, speed/performance, design comfort, robustness, and lens options. This are the things you should be looking for on a dSLR. Afterall, that is why most photographer choose the dSLRs for (And for me as well). The Nikon D50 scores highly on those and you can get a really good glass for it.

Regards.







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Old Aug 6, 2006, 10:36 AM   #6
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Well image quality will not be much of a consideration as the Pentax and Nikon use the same sensor and good results can be had from either. I have no reservations about using ISO 1600 with my Pentax *ist DL(Pentax DSLRs have long been applauded for their low noise at high ISO) and I think that most other image quality differences are due to different settings... shoot raw mode and neither camera will have a clear advantage.

Good glass can be had for the Pentax, but its major disadvantage is the glass can be hard to come by... the good glass comes more in the forms of fast primes rather than fast zooms too(although I dont consider f/2.8 all that fast). The Pentax Limiteds are excellent lenses and most of their other lenses are highly rated too... but availability can be a problem sometimes. Pentax lenses are generally pretty cheap and light though.

As I said the AA's are debatable as an advantage. Managing 8 AA batteries is kind of a pain... but I like the fact I can use alkaline AA's if I REALLy need to. If I go hiking and run out of power in my camera I can just borrow from a couple of flashlights to take those last few shots I would miss otherwise. I'm a person who doesnt like proprietary things either, 10 years from now I dont doubt AAs will still be around, but Li-Ion have a limited shelf life and manufacturers probably will have moved on to a different shape of battery... but there is no denying Li-Ions have many advantages too. The AAs last remarkably long in the Pentax DSLRs, but still pale compared to a Li-Ion... NiMh batteries also lose charge slowly while sitting so if you leave a fully charged batteries laying around after a month they will have lost quite a bit of charge, but I usually charge batteries before an important shoot anyways, Li-Ion or AAs.

As for design and build I think both DSLRs are excellent, I prefer the Pentax somewhat but I've handled the Nikon and thought they were both better than the 350D. This varies a lot from person to person though.

I cant comment on AF speed and such... because I only use manual focus lenses on my Pentax. I've been buying all my lenses for under $100 and getting top notch optics. My shooting style does not require much for speed and I much prefer the feel and control of manual focusing. For compatability with old lenses the Pentax cant be beat. I think the Pentax has a better viewfinder... I have not compared it side to side with any other cameras though to see how much of a difference it is.

Basicly what I'm saying is they are both excellent cameras(and I'm comparing the *ist DL to the D50) and there is no clear winner between the two... but for the budget minded I think the Pentax system may be a bit cheaper, and now that the K100D will make pretty much any lens you can mount to the camera be stabilised I think Pentax may have an advantage(for the budget minder person who wants IS). It makes cheaper lenses IS, and expensive lenses IS, it even makes off brand lens IS... but lens availability can be a problem in some places.
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Old Aug 6, 2006, 2:49 PM   #7
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BenjaminXYZ wrote:
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I don't think that the CCD shake reduction feature is going to make the Pentax K100D any better than the Nikon with a fast F2.8zoom lens mounted on in my opinion.
A fast wide open aperture is no substitute for low shutter speeds. In low light, you cannot always get away with just using a wider aperture. i.e you cannot use f2.8 for all shorts. First of all, 2.8 is not all that fast, but the main problem is that DOF becomes razor thin for wide apertures. So you cannot take a shot inside a grand catherdral in low light with that narrow DOF.

Additionally, Anti-shake comes in really handy when you go with a really narrow Aperture for landspace situations. Try taking a shot at F18 with a shutter speed of 1/10 with no tripod or Anti-Shake. Sure you can raise the ISO but then you get grain/noise.

IMHO, you need all three to be able to take the best picture in any scenario. 1) Anti-shake for low shutter speeds; 2) Fast lens for wide open apertures; and 3) High ISO.
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Old Aug 7, 2006, 4:17 AM   #8
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Sorry guys, this is going to be a complex reply. :arrow::!Allow me to break them down and answer them all one by one).

I have a lot of variables I need to solve in here;

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Well image quality will not be much of a consideration as the Pentax and Nikon use the same sensor and good results can be had from either. I have no reservations about using ISO 1600 with my Pentax *ist DL(Pentax DSLRs have long been applauded for their low noise at high ISO) and I think that most other image quality differences are due to different settings... shoot raw mode and neither camera will have a clear advantage.
I know they are both using 6.3 mega-pixel CCDs>>>But the Nikon one has a dimension of 23.7 x 15.5mm and the Pentax one at 23.5 x 15.7mm - they are a bit different in size. Yup both types were made by Sony but they seems different somehow...Lets see>>>

Located in the link below this paragraphis a comparison between the Nikon D50 and the Pentax *ist DS (The higher end version of the DL one if I am not mistaken). Anyhow, all Pentax dSLRimage qualities must be just the same. (Correct me if I am wrong). Link>>> http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond50/page21.asp

As you can see, the Nikon D50 shows a clear detail advantage over the Pentax dSLR (Both are 6 mega-pixel dSLRs). If you take a look further>>> http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond50/page17.asp

The Pentax is already getting noisy at the higher ISOs wherebout the D50 still remains clean higher up. A quote from the page>>> "Additionally there's no loss of detail in the D50 images which hints to either a very good noise reduction system or minimal noise reduction."

So it is a rather confusing matter to learn that they are similer as you said. They have their differences as far as I can see...

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Good glass can be had for the Pentax, but its major disadvantage is the glass can be hard to come by... the good glass comes more in the forms of fast primes rather than fast zooms too(although I dont consider f/2.8 all that fast). The Pentax Limiteds are excellent lenses and most of their other lenses are highly rated too... but availability can be a problem sometimes. Pentax lenses are generally pretty cheap and light though.
Do you have any recommendations? I don't seems to be able to find one if I would to consider Pentax (Which I was considering short while ago).

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As I said the AA's are debatable as an advantage. Managing 8 AA batteries is kind of a pain... but I like the fact I can use alkaline AA's if I REALLy need to. If I go hiking and run out of power in my camera I can just borrow from a couple of flashlights to take those last few shots I would miss otherwise. I'm a person who doesnt like proprietary things either, 10 years from now I dont doubt AAs will still be around, but Li-Ion have a limited shelf life and manufacturers probably will have moved on to a different shape of battery... but there is no denying Li-Ions have many advantages too. The AAs last remarkably long in the Pentax DSLRs, but still pale compared to a Li-Ion... NiMh batteries also lose charge slowly while sitting so if you leave a fully charged batteries laying around after a month they will have lost quite a bit of charge, but I usually charge batteries before an important shoot anyways, Li-Ion or AAs.
Great infos. :idea:

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As for design and build I think both DSLRs are excellent, I prefer the Pentax somewhat but I've handled the Nikon and thought they were both better than the 350D. This varies a lot from person to person though.
I agree, the built quality of the Pentax and Nikon are both above the Rebel XT based from researching. However, certain reviews also states that the Nikon D50or D70s are a level above the Pentax dSLRs in build quality. (Not my opinions).

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I think the Pentax has a better viewfinder... I have not compared it side to side with any other cameras though to see how much of a difference it is.
I know that the IST DS2 model with the Pentaprism TTL viewfinder is certainly better, but I am not sure about the other models. (Hope someone or (you)can be very sure about it to provide info). Based on research, I keep hearing peoplesay there isa downgrade on the TTL viewfinderin the new K100D model (Which is using the Pentamirror version?). Maybe just because they heard the word"Pentamirror???"

What do you (Guys)think?

Code:
Basicly what I'm saying is they are both excellent cameras(and I'm comparing the *ist DL to the D50) and there is no clear winner between the two... but for the budget minded I think the Pentax system may be a bit cheaper, and now that the K100D will make pretty much any lens you can mount to the camera be stabilised I think Pentax may have an advantage(for the budget minder person who wants IS). It makes cheaper lenses IS, and expensive lenses IS, it even makes off brand lens IS... but lens availability can be a problem in some places.
Isn't theimage sensorbasedIS less effective than the optical ISversion?

Nevertheless, it is better to have IS than none at all. (But it won't be my deciding factor). I prefer superb ISO performance and fast lenses to collect plenty of light. (IMO)

Regards.

Code:
A fast wide open aperture is no substitute for low shutter speeds. In low light, you cannot always get away with just using a wider aperture. i.e you cannot use f2.8 for all shorts. First of all, 2.8 is not all that fast, but the main problem is that DOF becomes razor thin for wide apertures. So you cannot take a shot inside a grand catherdral in low light with that narrow DOF.
The Tamron 17-50 mm F2.8 zoom is sharp at the F2.8 aperture range, so I don't see that as a problem. Besides that, I think that a dSLR with good highISO performance (eg. D70s, D50, EOS 350D etc.)will be betteroffturning up it's ISO coupled with a fast lens for such shots as the CCD based IS will still not produce sharp results. (Expecially if you are zooming in). My opinion.

As for the narrow dept of field issue, can't you focus at the far end of the eg. grand catherdral? The far away shotshould be fairly sharp with the nearer objects in soft focus right?

I have seen wide open F1.4 shots taken by primes aimed at landscapes and all the details are visible. (Not blurred) I think it is all down to the focus; If you focus near, the camera will put the background intosoft focusin a split second, if you focus at the far object, the camera willrapidly focus on it and it will be sharp with the nearer objects allin soft focus isn't it? (Isolating objects). On the other hand, I have seen F1.4 - F1.8wide opened shots taken oflong distancedlandscapes with everythingfocus in it. I guess there is an infinityfocus setting that works for long distance shots or landscapes. So your big and longcatherdral shotsshouldn't bea problem with a wide aperture (I mean, you can still take the shot nicely).

Code:
Additionally, Anti-shake comes in really handy when you go with a really narrow Aperture for landspace situations. Try taking a shot at F18 with a shutter speed of 1/10 with no tripod or Anti-Shake. Sure you can raise the ISO but then you get grain/noise.
As I have seen, it is possible to take landscape shots with wider apertures. Obviously a smaller F willprovide sharper shots. However in your situation, I think the handshake will blur your dedicated landscape shot more with a CCD based IS than me with a wider aperture and slightly higher ISO on a high ISO performing dSLR. (eg. the D50 with the sharp constant F/2.8 aperture Tamron 17-50 zoom)



Regards.






























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Old Aug 7, 2006, 9:04 AM   #9
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For the record I dont dispute the D50 being an excellent camera... but I think the Pentax is also a great little camera. I'm not going to say one is better than the other, as it depends on your needs and preferences.
Code:
BenjaminXYZ wrote: Sorry guys, this is going to be a complex reply. :arrow::!: (Allow me to break them down and answer them all one by one).

I have a lot of variables I need to solve in here;



I know they are both using 6.3 mega-pixel CCDs>>>But the Nikon one has a dimension of 23.7 x 15.5mm and the Pentax one at 23.5 x 15.7mm - they are a bit different in size. Yup both types were made by Sony but they seems different somehow...Lets see>>>

Located in the link below this paragraphis a comparison between the Nikon D50 and the Pentax *ist DS (The higher end version of the DL one if I am not mistaken). Anyhow, all Pentax dSLRimage qualities must be just the same. (Correct me if I am wrong). Link>>> http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond50/page21.asp

As you can see, the Nikon D50 shows a clear detail advantage over the Pentax dSLR (Both are 6 mega-pixel dSLRs). If you take a look further>>> http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond50/page17.asp

The Pentax is already getting noisy at the higher ISOs wherebout the D50 still remains clean higher up. A quote from the page>>> "Additionally there's no loss of detail in the D50 images which hints to either a very good noise reduction system or minimal noise reduction."

So it is a rather confusing matter to learn that they are similer as you said. They have their differences as far as I can see...
Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
The do have their differences... and I will give the D50 an advantage here, but I dont think its a huge one. There was a lot of fuss on the Dpreview forums about how Phil used bright mode instead of natural to test the DS and that gave it a disadvantage... I recently had my DL in bright mode and I think I agree that bright mode is worse. You can check on my thread on DPreview and draw your own conclusions http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=19428806, sorry its not a better test but it was an accident to begin with. The jpg processing engine in the DS(and DL) is not that great, but when used in Raw mode the camera improves quite a bit(mentioned in the *ist DS review on DPReview)... I have heard reports of the K100D having an improved jpg engine but I have nothing to back that up as there really are no reviews comparing them.
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Do you have any recommendations? I don't seems to be able to find one if I would to consider Pentax (Which I was considering short while ago).
Quote:
Well if you are looking for zooms Pentax does not have a lot to offer(although there are some third party lenses I think). Any one of the FA limiteds are supposed to be excellent lenses(especially FA31 and FA77), I believe Pentax lenses are generally very highly rated, but availability has been an issue with them. I do believe Pentax is supposed to release a 16-50 f/2.8 zoom in the near future though, and a few other lenses. Here is a link to their lens roadmap for their digital only lenses http://www.digital.pentax.co.jp/en/lens/roadmap.pdf.
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I agree, the built quality of the Pentax and Nikon are both above the Rebel XT based from researching. However, certain reviews also states that the Nikon D50or D70s are a level above the Pentax dSLRs in build quality. (Not my opinions).
Quote:
I would volunteer to drop a D50 and DL from various heights to see which one breaks first... but I dont have that kind of money but The Pentaxes seem to have excellent build quality, and I prefer the ergonomics. But the Nikons also have seemtoexcellent build quality, and ergonomic preferences vary from person to person.Some people really like how the XT feels in their hand, but I dont like the shape of the grip(many people argue that you can get used to it, and I agree, but why not take the one that feels better in my hand from the start?).
Code:
I know that the IST DS2 model with the Pentaprism TTL viewfinder is certainly better, but I am not sure about the other models. (Hope someone or (you)can be very sure about it to provide info). Based on research, I keep hearing peoplesay there isa downgrade on the TTL viewfinderin the new K100D model (Which is using the Pentamirror version?). Maybe just because they heard the word"Pentamirror???"

What do you (Guys)think?
Quote:
Well actually if you can be patient for a week or so I can give you a direct comparison between the DL and DS. My friend wanted a camera like mine and I found a good deal on the DS so I bought myself one of those and I'm selling him my DL in almost new condition. I have not done any comparisons with the DL to the D50 or 350D, but I've read in a couple of reveiws and heard reports that the DL viewfinder is still pretty good. So unfortunatly I cant provide much info here, hopefully somebody will have done some comparison. I think the DL(and K100D)has as] .88x mag viewfinder and the D50 has .75x? I'm not sure on these number though, the DS has a .95x viewfinder though.

Code:
Isn't theimage sensorbasedIS less effective than the optical ISversion? 

Nevertheless, it is better to have IS than none at all. (But it won't be my deciding factor). I prefer superb ISO performance and fast lenses to collect plenty of light. (IMO)

Regards.
Quote:
It could very well be... but the original question was for the budget minded, so I would say if you want IS and have a budget, Pentax is a great choice. I shoot at ISO 1600 probably 50%(maybe not that much, but a lot) on my Pentax... and I dont think it has poor ISO performance. Fast lenses are nice too. I have a 50mm 1.4 mounted to my camera 90% of the time, but I probably dont have a shooting style like most others.

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The Tamron 17-50 mm F2.8 zoom is sharp at the F2.8 aperture range, so I don't see that as a problem. Besides that, I think that a dSLR with good highISO performance (eg. D70s, D50, EOS 350D etc.)will be betteroffturning up it's ISO coupled with a fast lens for such shots as the CCD based IS will still not produce sharp results. (Expecially if you are zooming in). My opinion.

As for the narrow dept of field issue, can't you focus at the far end of the eg. grand catherdral? The far away shotshould be fairly sharp with the nearer objects in soft focus right? 

I have seen wide open F1.4 shots taken by primes aimed at landscapes and all the details are visible. (Not blurred) I think it is all down to the focus; If you focus near, the camera will put the background intosoft focusin a split second, if you focus at the far object, the camera willrapidly focus on it and it will be sharp with the nearer objects allin soft focus isn't it? (Isolating objects). On the other hand, I have seen F1.4 - F1.8wide opened shots taken oflong distancedlandscapes with everythingfocus in it. I guess there is an infinityfocus setting that works for long distance shots or landscapes. So your big and longcatherdral shotsshouldn't bea problem with a wide aperture (I mean, you can still take the shot nicely). :)
Quote:
Not sure about the D70s but in the DPReview page the d70 had noise performance similar the the *ist DS... the only recent DSLRs I've seen that had pretty poor high ISO performance were the Olympus cameras though. You cant deny the advantage of being able to stop down a couple of stops though... and its not just landscapes, still life and portaits will benifit from SR too. Good ISO performance and fast lenses are great... but dont forget you can combine both of those with the stabilisation too.
Code:
As I have seen, it is possible to take landscape shots with wider apertures. Obviously a smaller F willprovide sharper shots. However in your situation, I think the handshake will blur your dedicated landscape shot more with a CCD based IS than me with a wider aperture and slightly higher ISO on a high ISO performing dSLR. (eg. the D50 with the sharp constant F/2.8 aperture Tamron 17-50 zoom)



Regards.
Quote:






Wellbeing able to stopdown a couple of stops can be a great advantage, dont forget you will have a stabilisedlens from 12mm and up(I'm not sure the fisheyezoom can be stabilised or not) and not all of these lensesare sharp wide open. I wouldfind itgreat to have SRwith my 50 1.4 because I often shoot at f/2 or 1.4, ISO 1600, and a shutter speed of around 1/10 or 1/20... regardless of that I wont be buyng acamera with image stabilisation anytimesoon(with digital I can shoot a few shots and one of them will be sharp enough).


So to answer theoriginal posters question...yesPentax does give access to ISon pretty much any lens you can mount, so you have the oppertunity to have some VERY cheap stabilised lenses(of varying quality), making it a very good budget cam. But youroriginal reasons for looking at Nikon still stand... Nikon does havebetter lens availability and a better upgrade path(although Pentax was my main choicedue to how well it works with old manual focus lenses, thats not most peoples shooting style).


P.S.
Sorry if the formatting is weird or some of my answers don't make much sense... I was in a hurry while writing the reply.

















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Old Aug 7, 2006, 9:49 PM   #10
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Thank you all for your replies and particularly to Sarah forsummarising the answers tothe original question!

Hoping to get our hands on a K100D this week (hard to find in Australia) and assuming my wife likes the feel we'll be going in that direction.

Cheers,

Bob


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