Pentax as first DSLR?

Started Jul 17, 2013 | Discussions thread
Alex Sarbu Veteran Member • Posts: 8,700
Re: Pentax as first DSLR?

Unexpresivecanvas wrote:

yardcoyote wrote:

The person who first taught me to shoot had a Spotmatic and I'm pretty sure he used that lens as his day to day prime-- a wonderful lens on a wonderful camera. That Spotmatic led directly to my purchase of a K-1000-- bayonet mount lenses and match needle metering through the lens were huge advances then. I followed that bouncing needle for many, many years: it was an incredibly subtle tool once you learned to understand it.

Wish Ricoh/Pentax would build a simple K mount digital SLR body that worked just like that. Full manual, with a bouncing needle meter and film emulation. Set it to Tri-X, mount up the old 85mm and go to town-- except at the end of the day you'd suck your images out through a USB cable rather than heading to the darkroom. A fantasy, certainly, but a pleasant one.

Hi Yardcoyote,

It seems you are not totally sold on the idea of an APS-C camera. If I read this post well, what can satisfy that craving that you have for the old times is a camera like the Canon 5D.

Just because it's old, and it lacks modern features? It isn't anything like that Spotmatic/K-1000.

I would recommend a FF DSLR for its larger viewfinder (and for those who thinks a shallow DOF is very important). Of course, the price to pay (beside the risk in buying an 8-year old model) is that you have to remove the aperture lever on the lenses.

My advise is you should go to a store that sells both Pentax and used Canon gear and if you find a Canon 5D ask for quick instructions and try it in manual mode (Av or Tv or fully Manual). Also try the Pentax K-30 or the K-5. Take with you a compact flash and a SD memory cards. Then, try to shoot with two lenses with equivalent effective focal length: 50mm in Pentax and 85mm in Canon. Then, take lots of shots of people around, objects, displays, take pictures of posters, so on. Then, take the two memory cards home and put them in your computer and compare the results of both cameras.

Also compare the functionality of the two cameras. I don't miss that much stuff from my previous K-5. i have both the K-5 and the 5D for a while and after I got the 5D and used itfor one month I realized I didn't need to keep two systems. Then, I went fully with Canon.

In-body stabilization which will work with yardcoyote's lenses, better white balance, decent back LCD... comparing the functionality might not work in your favor. So why don't we let him decide?

I am not afraid of the durability of the 5D as the mirror issue is still covered for free by Canon if it hasn't been fixed by a previous owner. The 5D was a top of the line camera in 2005 and still is an excellent performer in terms of image quality and reliability.

Actually, the top of the line was the 1DsMkII. As I said, this camera was a significant addition - the first affordable 135mm DSLR; but let's not make it more than it is (too late for that, though).

If you are not into electronic gimmicks and complex algorithms but you like simplicity, the 5D is the closest experience you can have to shooting film in the digital age. The auto-focus is very precise, it has more of the things a serious and knowledgeable photographer will ever need and it has a quality and the images that produces have a distinctive look. Not the yellowish thing that falsely Alex Serbu says but a very special color that is still appreciated by thousand of photographers that still use this camera.

You're repeatedly accusing me of falsehood, using strawmen here and there, yet you hype that old camera to no end, even claiming it's "almost unparalleled", and a sports camera.

Not everyone is liking (insert random brand here)'s colors; but you're only listening to extremely happy 5D users. I know 5D users (mostly, ex-users) who weren't happy about everything, even if they overall liked the camera a lot.

For portrait, nature and landscaping it is still one of the better cameras around the price range of $500. You can't buy any FF for $500 that can help your photography as the Canon 5D.

You can't buy any other FF for $500, period. You can get the 5D that cheap because it's old; some even had the shutter replaced because of usage.

If you don't like it at the end, you just can sell it for the same price. Canon lenses have a very large market as it is a more popular brand. Try to sell used Pentax stuff and good luck with that. Pentax is a a very small niche of the whole photographic market.

It is important you understand the differences between APS-c and full frame. The main reason is that FF provides better image quality in general and second, the lenses work as intended and there is way more control for depth of field. If you decide to go that way, there are very good primes brand new from Canon for less than $150 dollars.

Of course, the 5D doesn't have all the bells and whistles of newer cameras, but you will need at least $2,000 to buy a new Nikon D600 or the entry level Canon 6D In that case, you wil be better served with any APS-C, as long as you understand the limitations and also the advantages. All the APS-c offerings in the market are very good and as iI said before, if you like Pentax, it will serve you well. But there is a realm beyond APS-C that no that many people understand or want to accept.

How about the realm beyond 135? And the realm beyond that realm? Where do we stop?


 Alex Sarbu's gear list:Alex Sarbu's gear list
Pentax K-5 IIs Pentax K-1 Pentax smc DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited Pentax smc DA 70mm F2.4 AL Limited Pentax smc DA 35mm F2.8 Macro Limited +6 more
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