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May I ask for some guidance please

Posted 29/12/2023 - 14:18 Link
Having owned and shot Pentax film cameras for over sixty years starting with an SV in 1961 (I still use one) and a bunch of others, I have had to admit to myself that old age and physical issues are persuading me to move to a Pentax digital SLR.
I am far too long in the tooth to get into the all-singing and dancing modern versions and all I need is decent autofocus, shake-reduction capabilities and image quality commensurate with age. Of course price is a major factor so I am looking for a camera/short zoom lens combination coming in at around 500 or less. I have trawled the net and I have seen a number of attractive offers but my lack of knowledge leaves me somewhat vulnerable
This is probably wishful thinking on my part, however I can think of no better place to ask for guidance than the collective advice here in the forum, so thanks in advance for your time and wisdom.
Posted 29/12/2023 - 14:25 Link
A K3ii would be a very nice option. I have K3 and I love it. Takes epic photos!! Hopefully sometime this year I'll jump to the K3ii.

You're looking at a good one with a low shutter count of about 450 to 500 quid'ish.

Well worth considering....
The Legendary Terry Pratchett once said:
At the beggining there was nothing....

Which exploded....
Edited by Spad: 29/12/2023 - 14:26
Posted 29/12/2023 - 14:32 Link
Thanks Spad, MPB have a couple of these at the moment 374 to 370 bodies only. I have no experience in lenses for these cameras though.
Posted 29/12/2023 - 14:40 Link
The best all round zoom lenses for these will be the 18-135 or 16-85 lenses.

There are so many users who swear by the 18-135 for example, it can certainly hold its own against some of the prime (fixed) lenses on offer.
All the gear with no idea
Posted 29/12/2023 - 14:43 Link
Any manual lenses you have, as long as they are bayonet fitting will work. Any M42 lenses will need a K ring adaptor.

When it comes to lenses.... it depends on what kind of money you are willing to spend. I can recommend the 50mm & 35mm Plastic Fantastic lenses as a starting point. These are both brilliant lenses for the money!!

50mm here

35mm here

As for a zoom, a lot of people hold this one in high regard.

If you become a Pentax User subscriber, you'll get 10% off from SRS Microsystems!

The K3ii's at MPB.... Check the shutter count. The lower the count, the better
The Legendary Terry Pratchett once said:
At the beggining there was nothing....

Which exploded....
Edited by Spad: 29/12/2023 - 14:47
Posted 29/12/2023 - 14:46 Link
MPB have a couple of these in at the moment, Pentax SMC Pentax-DA 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 ED AL DC WR. I assume they are compatible with the K-3 II? 120 - 140
Posted 29/12/2023 - 14:49 Link
HarisF1 wrote:
There are so many users who swear by the 18-135 for example, it can certainly hold its own against some of the prime (fixed) lenses on offer.

Piff n tosh..... ya can't beat a prime!!
The Legendary Terry Pratchett once said:
At the beggining there was nothing....

Which exploded....
Posted 29/12/2023 - 14:51 Link
Yorkie wrote:

Yes they'll be fine.

Yorkie, check SRS Microsystems as well.
The Legendary Terry Pratchett once said:
At the beggining there was nothing....

Which exploded....
Edited by Spad: 29/12/2023 - 14:52
Posted 29/12/2023 - 14:56 Link
It all looks promising, thanks again for the advice.
Posted 29/12/2023 - 15:27 Link
Re the 18-135 lens:

Yes this is a very good general all purpose zoom lens, the autofocus is nice and quite as the lens has a build in motor and doesn't use the noisy 'screwdriver' drive from the camera's body.

On the APS body, like the K3 ii, it's equilvalent to 27mm to 200mm in full frame terms, a very useful focal length range.
Edited by MikeInDevon: 29/12/2023 - 15:27
Posted 29/12/2023 - 20:13 Link
From my own research, information from other sources and final confirmation from you guys here, I decided to go with a K-3 II with an 18-135 lens and an order has been placed. It was also pointed out from a non-forum member friend that at least two of the lenses I use for my AF film cameras are also compatible with the K-3, a fact that escaped my attention but a bonus nonetheless.
Thanks once again for your help and advice folks.
Edited by Yorkie: 29/12/2023 - 20:13
Posted 29/12/2023 - 21:24 Link
Good choice of camera, a K3 (original version) has kept me happy for many years. Just a couple of things to note since you're coming from film cameras (you've probably worked them out already, but no harm in a reminder). First, don't forget to get a couple of memory cards (SD cards) and make sure you've got the means to read them. Second, a spare battery is always useful. No matter how careful you are to remember to charge the battery before going out with the camera, one day you'll forget and the battery will run out at a crucial moment (been there, done it, and not just once...). Third, the K3ii is actually an all-singing and dancing camera but you don't have to use all its capabilities, stick to what you are used to doing and all will be well!

Enjoy the wonderful world of digital. And feel free to ask any question you like here, we're a friendly bunch!

Edited by Lubbyman: 29/12/2023 - 21:25
Posted 30/12/2023 - 00:20 Link
If you do go for a K3 then the lens that is a marriage in heaven for it is the 55-300 PLM. The two will appear to be welded to each other since you won't want to remove it. You can go further with the (unfairly maligned) 18 - 55 kit lens. Between the two you have a phenomenal range with good quality results.
Both the *istDS and the K5 are incurably addicted to old glass

My page on Photocrowd
Posted 30/12/2023 - 07:55 Link
Anything from the K-5 II onwards will be fine. Bear in mind that anything other than the K-1 or K-1 II has an APS-C sensor, which is half the size of a negative from 35mm film, and results in a 1.5x change in the field of view for any lens, so a 50mm would have the field of view of a 75mm lens etc. The bonus is that longer lenses are longer still and the drawback is that wide lenses are far less wide. Your old lenses will work fine on a DSLR but with this "crop factor" and of course manual focus (which is much more difficult on a DSLR than on a film SLR).

As for lenses, it really depend on whether you like primes or zooms, prefer range or faster aperture. The 16-85mm is better than the 18-135mm but more expensive. The Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 will provide more speed than these others and excellent image quality for a reasonable price.

For primes, there are 35mm f/2.4 and 50mm f/1.8 plastic primes that are cheap and perform reasonably well. There are plenty of other options but it depends on what you want to shoot.
Pentax hybrid user - Digital K3, film 645 and 35mm SLR and Pentax (&other) lenses adapted to Fuji X and Panasonic L digital
Fan of DA limited and old manual lenses
Posted 30/12/2023 - 08:27 Link
Thanks for your advice Lubbyman, davidwozhere and Jonathan-Mac.

Re-reading my original post I realise that I have not been quite clear in that I am not a newcomer to digital but a newcomer to Pentax digital shooting - apart from my ancient Pentax Optio W80 which I picked up on an impulse buy whilst away without a camera (I know, I stood in the naughty corner for an hour as a penance ). I am reluctant to give up film shooting and darkroom work but eighty-one orbits around the sun have taken their toll and I have to redirect the energy to where I can get the most enjoyment out of photography

I'm hoping my new kit will arrive on Tuesday and I will celebrate by becoming a Plus Member to give a little back to the forum - and playing with my new camera of course.

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