To go or not to go ! (*ist D)


Link Posted 02/01/2004 - 18:42
Hi there !

I imagine that as many Pentaxists, I am at the crossroad and very anxious to go to digital, in spite of hours spent to browse forums to be put at ease ...
I have gone to Pentax 15 years ago, leaving my beloved Olympus OM-10 to experiment AF with great SF-X (and SF-Xn), then to upgrade to Z-1 (and wonderful Z-1P). Since then I remain with my Z-1s as most recent Pentaxís bodies didnít convince me (even the *ist, that I tried a few months ago in a shop). But then come the *ist D !
I am an aircraft photographer, and quick AF working trustfully with fast and long lenses is imperative. I use Pentax f:4.5/5.6 100/300 mm, Sigma f:2.8 80/200 and f:5.6 400 mm, for action shots, and Pentax f:3.5/4.7 28-80 mm and Sigma f :2.8 28/70 mm for indoor and long exposure pictures (sometimes with AF-500-FTZ). With the 1.5 optical conversion, that is looking tremendous (shooting with a f:2.8 300 mm or with a f:5.6 600 mm) !
While being not a professional photographer or journalist, my pictures are sometimes published in the specialized press (vintage aircraft), so I need to be sure that *ist D (I am probably the only one on Earth who likes its name !) will perform quickly and accurately with my zooms, lenses, and flash-light. I need a quality that enables me to keep on to compete my fellow aircraft enthusiasts, and to supply professional photographers when they are absent.
I know that aircraft photographers become to go to digital, and use different Canons very efficiently (see for examples). No Pentaxist at the time, the *ist D having been released between the two hemisphere airshow season ... Some posts read here and there about *ist D having worried me or filled with enthusiasm, I am really in the deepest fog to make my decision !

Thanks in advance for help,
Best wishes to all of you !


And congratulations to all of you for sharing your experiences, I obviously hope to be able to join you one day ...


Link Posted 03/01/2004 - 13:00
If you already have Pentax lenses, there is no other sensible option but to buy a Pentax digital camera. As there is only one at present, you won't need to spend long deciding which to buy.
From what I have seen, the weak points of the *ist D are:
JPEG pictures are slightly soft at normal setting. Solution: use the harder setting.
Compact flash card is a bit fiddly to extract if you have large fingers. Solution: Hold the camera on its side so gravity helps, and no doubt with practice you will not find this a problem.
Buffer smaller than some competitors so you can't fire off loads of pictures at high speed and at highest file sizes. Solution: if you really need to do this, get a different camera. However, in practice it is unlikely to affect more than one photographer in thousands. Most of us take the trouble to frame our pictures, and that will give the buffer ample time to catch up.
Against these few trivial points is the fact that it is beautifully made, very small and light (good if you use it in a studio taking hundreds of pictures in a session), has a very bright viewfinder, excellent focussing, and, most importantly, produces wonderful pictures with more natural colours than the competition.
I don't actually have one yet (!), but I have handled one, and read all the reviews. I'm just waiting for the price to come down, as it inevitably will.
Good luck.


Link Posted 03/01/2004 - 22:50
I've taken about 500 pictures with my *istD so far.

The images are all very smooth, vivid, and very much like film. The camera body has all the controls in a logical place (although I'd like to see the ISO, WB, and resolution controls taken off the shooting mode dial).

Having no legacy Pentax lenses, I chose the *istD over Canon, Nikon, Fuji, Olympus. I do not regret the choice.


Link Posted 04/01/2004 - 15:51
What I like most about the Pentax *istD is the flash compatibility. You don't have to buy new flashes for this camera, unlike some other maker's digital SLR cameras. You can even use third party flashes and ring flashes and maintain TTL flash capability. Why other camera makers cannot do this is a mystery to me. I also like the fact that Pentax KA mount lenses can be used but I do not like the fact that older M and K mount lenses without the A-setting cannot be used except at maximum aperture. It probably shouldn't cost more than a few dollars to include the mechanical linkage, since the ZX-5N and even the PZ-10 have this feature. I can only hope that Pentax will correct this unnecessary self-imposed shortcoming in the next digital SLR they bring out. A $2000 SLR camera should not mimic the lowly ZX-60 in denying the users their ability to use the wonderful M and K lenses.


Link Posted 04/01/2004 - 16:52
Thanks all of you for answers.
About action shooting, I don't picture continously but try to make the better possible image in a single shot, so yes smallest buffer than other competitors shoudn't be a problem to me.
It looks like the decision is well under way ! I have now to choose the better time to test *ist D in the nearest shop !
Best wishes
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