Why are we all complaining???

Started Jan 20, 2013 | Discussions thread
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wildkat2 Contributing Member • Posts: 899
Why are we all complaining???

A while back I bought an ME Super off ebay and while digging around for infomration on what batteries it needed (SR44) I stumbled across some information on the Pentax LX.  Oh how I lusted after the LX.  I read and re-read the glossy advertisement that I got at the local camera store (remember those?).  It was everything my K1000 was not.  Sleek, black and automated.  It was a "Professional" camera.

In the years since the LX was introduced (1980) a lot of things have changed.  The Soviet Union no longer exists and there is just one Germany instead of two.  In the camera world Minolta, Fuji, Contax and Yashica (to name a few) no longer make SLRs.  Yet like wars in Afghanistan, some things remain constant.  Light is exactly the same today as it was in 1980.  So are the most popular subjects of our pictures - people.  So if the LX was capable of professional results in 1980 and both light and people are no different then the capabilities of a LX are those needed for professional images.  Lets look at those specifications.

Year introduced 1980

Mount K

Meter range -6.5 - 20 EV

ISO range 6 - 1600

Exposure modes Av, M, X, B

Exposure compensation +/-2 EV

Exposure memory lock No

Shutter speeds (auto) 125 - 1/2000s

Shutter speeds (manual) 4 - 1/2000s

Shutter speeds (mechanical) 1/75 - 1/2000s

Self timer Yes

Mirror lock-up Yes

Auto bracketing No

Multiple exposures Yes

Winder External winder 2 fps, motor drive 1-5 fps

Built-in flash No

TTL flash Yes

P-TTL flash No

Sync speed 1/75s

Flash exposure comp No

Autofocus No

Viewfinder Exchangeable. FA-1: 95% (hor.) x 98% (vert.)

Viewfinder type Pentaprism, waist level, action finder, magni-finder

Diopter correction Yes

Exchangeable screen Yes

Depth of field preview Yes

Image size 24 x 36 mm

Battery 2 x S76

Battery grip/pack No

Size (W x H x D) 144.5 x 85 x 50 mm

Weight 570 g

A couple of things jump out at me.  First look at how sensitive the meter was!  -6.5EV!!  Thats the good.  Now how about the bad.  Imagine trying to sell a "Pro" camera that could "only" shoot 1/2000th of a second!  And "only" 5fps.  Lets not even mention how long it took to "clear the buffer" after 36 exposures.  And max 1600 ISO - although the ISO 6 is pretty impressive!  And how about that flash sync? 1/75th of a second.  Unacceptable.  Heck it didnt even have a 100% field of view Pentaprism.  Or a flash!  Oh and did I mention there as no autofocus.  Thats right, all manual.

Now the K-5II - the current "top of the line" yet not "professional" camera by Pentax:

Year introduced 2012

Mount KAF2

Meter range 0 - 22 EV

ISO range 80 - 512000

Exposure modes P, Sv, Av, Tv, TAv, M, X, B, User, Movie

Exposure compensation +/-5 EV

Exposure memory lock Yes

Shutter speeds (auto) 30 - 1/8000s, Bulb

Self timer Yes

Mirror lock-up Yes

Auto bracketing Yes

Multiple exposures Yes

"Winder" - 7fps

Built-in flash Yes

TTL flash No

P-TTL flash Yes

Sync speed 1/180s

Flash exposure comp Yes

Autofocus Yes

Viewfinder 100%  - Magnification: 0.92X

Viewfinder type Pentaprism

Diopter correction Yes

Exchangeable screen Yes

Depth of field preview Yes

Image size 23.7 x 15.7mm

Battery DLI-90

Battery grip/pack Yes

Size (W x H x D) 132.08 x 96.5 x 73.7 mm

Weight 739.9 g (with battery and memory card)

So other than the size of the "film" the K-5II out "specifications" the Pentax LX.  Yet some how, some way, "professional" images were taken with the LX (or similarly speced Nikon/Canon/Oly/Minolta cameras).  And not just a few professional images but ALL OF THEM.  There was not other option.  Yet somehow "we" dont think the K-5II is a "professional" system because of what?  A tiny difference in the image size?  Imagine for a second that you could go back in time and offer a "professional" a K-5II.  Do you think for a second that he/she would say "oh its not full frame?  No thanks."  Or if you could offer them a roll of film that had traded a slightly smaller negative to have a capacity for 2000+ pictures....and you could develop just the ones you shot while leaving the rest of the roll alone.  How many would have said no?  That right, none.  And of course all kinds of features we take for granted today - image stabilization, EXIF data, reviewing screens, etc - would have been revolutionary then.  I think most pros would have traded auto focus for not needing to fill out log books with exposure information!

The fundamentals of light and people (or flowers, trees, water and animals) have not changed one single bit since 1980.  Heck even the Rule of 1/3rds is still the rule of 1/3rds, not the "Rule of 2/5ths." So the next time you (and I am just as if not more guilty) complain about no Pentax Full Frame or our "slow" sync speed grab a 1980 copy (ie google) of Time or Newsweek or National Geographic and look at the images in there.  All of them were shot with cameras that had the same OR WORSE specifications than the LX.  Then say a little prayer for those poor slobs who had to "suffer" with those terrible, non-professional cameras...and get out a SHOOT!

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Very happy K5 & K200 owner!

 wildkat2's gear list:wildkat2's gear list
Pentax K200D Pentax K-5 Pentax K-01 Pentax Q7 Pentax smc FA 50mm F1.4 +21 more
Pentax K-5 Pentax K-5 II
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