What 'classic' digital pentaz SLR would you recommend


lxmike

Link Posted 10/05/2015 - 09:54
I have used pentax since the late 1970's. I have used a wide range of bodies and currently when shooting film use an Mx, (have a LX awaiting service too), for my 'serious' digital needs I currently use a Fuji X Pro 1 and and a X100. I have an old Pentax KD110 digital SLR which I have had since new and now I only use it for shooting images for 'ebay' etc. My question is this, what would you consider a recent, (ish) Pentax DSLR that is more at the top end of the market and considered a 'classic', ideally I would love a digital version of the Lx but thats only a pipe dream. Anyway, I do not mind buying second hand, I just need recommendations and pointing in the right direction, I have lost of experince of the film side of pentax but little knowledge regarding the DSLR side of Pentax. Thanks in advance for any help

wvbarnes

Link Posted 10/05/2015 - 09:58
I used a K5 for three years (15,000 plus shutter count) and loved it. Some bargains out there. I had the entry KX (very small) and KR before that and was disappointed in the lack of a real pentaprism and dust the cheaper pentamirrors attracted.

spinno

Link Posted 10/05/2015 - 10:01
My personal favourite was the K-10D...last of the CCD sensors I believe. Other preferred cameras were the K-50 and brace yourselves the K-500. Relatively easy to use but also capable of producing the images I wanted. I'm just sad that I can no longer use such a relatively large system because of health issues.
David

lxmike

Link Posted 10/05/2015 - 10:02
wvbarnes wrote:
I used a K5 for three years (15,000 plus shutter count) and loved it. Some bargains out there. I had the entry KX (very small) and KR before that and was disappointed in the lack of a real pentaprism and dust the cheaper pentamirrors attracted.

many thanks for the speedy reply and help

lxmike

Link Posted 10/05/2015 - 10:03
spinno wrote:
My personal favourite was the K-10D...last of the CCD sensors I believe. Other preferred cameras were the K-50 and brace yourselves the K-500. Relatively easy to use but also capable of producing the images I wanted. I'm just sad that I can no longer use such a relatively large system because of health issues.

thank you, l will now go away and staring researching all the recomendations

bforbes

Link Posted 10/05/2015 - 10:08
My favourite is the K5-IIs, the detail it can achieve is wonderful. I have a K3, but can not get away with it. A lot of people recommend the old K10 for is colour rendition they say it's down to the CCD sensor compared to the CMOS type used in later models.
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dangie

Link Posted 10/05/2015 - 10:34
Of course we shouldn't confuse "classic" with "the best" as in theory the latest models should always be better than the earlier models. My first digital Pentax SLR was the *istDL2. Actually quite a very good camera. Considering it was at the lower end of the market it had a top plate LCD which the equivalent Canons and Nikons didn't have. Then I stepped up to the K10D. Wonderful camera.

So for me it's between the *istDL2 and K10D
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richandfleur

Link Posted 10/05/2015 - 11:13
The digitals clearly (?) fall into happy and more workhorse type categories. I'd not want to say enthusiast and pro etc as it's way too subjective.

Right along though you'll find the ones with the extra buttons on the body for changing focus type (centre, wider area, whole frame) and metering modes, and the more simpler cleaner bodies where you have to menu dive to change those things.

You'd want to go sensor stabilised as a minimum, as that's a real Pentax strength in the digital realm, well for stills shots at least.

Of late you've got the earlier Hoya type era bodies, and then a jump to the Ricoh type styles. That's a bit rough, but basically it's everything up to the K-5 series and then the K-01 / K-30 style and onwards from there. Classic would be in the up to K-5 series in my opinion. Anything on from there gets focus peaking and I believe behind the scenes a new processing styles/coding language, but that's not really important.

K-5 or K-30 would be a good place to jump in, in my humble opinion as they say
Good luck whichever way you go.

johnha

Link Posted 10/05/2015 - 12:28
I have an EI-2000 (hybrid/bridge/DSLR) and have little knowledge on everything between it and the K-5. My choice would be either a K10D (I've heard good comments about these) or a K-7/K-5. The K-7 being the camera that introduced the chassis/spec forming the basis of the K-5(ii) & K-3(ii). The K-5 for keeping Pentax in the game during the Hoya/Ricoh transition.

For me the spec of a classic Pentax DSLR should include - Twin dials, toplate LCD, Hyper modes, SR, SDM/DC compatibility and weather sealing.
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McGregNi

Link Posted 10/05/2015 - 12:29
From what I've picked up since becoming a Pentax user, the K2OD represented the peak of the older styling high-end bodies, and the K7 took over and introduced the newer (now classic?) body. The K3O was a design and styling change over the earlier consumer and mid range offerings.

The K3 builds on the older K7 approach, and the K5O sort of reverses the styling of the K30 and is actually more traditional in shape. The K-S1 and K-S2 represent a really new approach to styling, a different ethos to the other range.
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richandfleur

Link Posted 10/05/2015 - 12:36
Oh yeah, forgot to mention the crop factor thing. I wish someone had explained this to me earlier, but basically all Pentax DSLRs (for now ) have smaller sensors than the equivalent film area, which means they see a smaller field of view than the same lens does on a film camera.

In practise this means your lenses will still fit on a new digital body, but they will appear to be larger zooms than they were previously, by roughly a factor of half again. So example wise, a standard 50mm lens will be around a 75mm lens on the new body, and you'd need a 35mm lens on digital to give the film angle of view as a 50mm lens on a film body. For a given lens the perspective doesn't change, only you're seeing a cropped field of view.

In practise it's not so much of a big deal, but it's worth knowing about.

LochNess

Link Posted 10/05/2015 - 12:51
bforbes wrote:
My favourite is the K5-IIs, the detail it can achieve is wonderful. I have a K3, but can not get away with it. A lot of people recommend the old K10 for is colour rendition they say it's down to the CCD sensor compared to the CMOS type used in later models.

I would go for the K5ii with its low light capabilities. It may not produce quite the same level of detail in RAW files as the iis as it retains the anti-aliasing filter, but it is a really solid workhorse in the Classic sense. Its also notable, as looking at some other manufacturers recent products, that the 16mp sensor still appears to have a bit of life in it. The K5 is also a good candidate, but I think that the tweeks that resulted in the K5ii make the ii a better one.

The K3 could be a posssible future candidate with its 24mp sensor and innovative anti-aliasing solution, now that that they appear to have sorted out the mirror flopping issue in 1.11. and providing that they can sort out the current LCD luminance problem introduced in 1.20 (sooner rather than later). The K3ii (the "Astro") does add a number of new features which those interested in photographing stars or stationary objects such as buildings and still life from a tripod will find advantagous but, for general use, the K3 has all the essentials.

Daronl

Link Posted 10/05/2015 - 13:08
My Classic choice:

I have come to think of the K5 IIS as the modern day ME Super; I have number of Pentax bodies including a K3 and also a Canon FF but I just carry that K5 IIs everywhere,

I just took the bold step (for me) of going on holidays to southern Italy with only the K IIs , the much under-rated 18-135 WR, a polarising filter, UV filter, a ND Grad (screw in), a spare battery and a 64Gb card, the camera and lens were protected in a tight fitting neoprene case

Normally I would take two bodies, a lens for every eventuality, a ring flash and a Metz 58, tripod, and so on.

On this trip I did not feel "naked" and even managed one or two good bird photographs and a couple of good insect shots.

The set up was so convenient and just freed me up from the toils of a 20 kilo back pack. I didn't miss anything really and the 18-135 coupled with the K5 IIs was just great for much more than just the general holiday shots

I can't imagine parting with that K5 IIs no matter what comes or goes (or the lovely little 18-135) .
Daronl

stu62

Link Posted 10/05/2015 - 13:37
My first dslr was a ds the wif decide she was going on holiday with her mum in 2008 so I bought a new k10 Grand Prix while she was away which I kept till October last year when I had a accident with it
I now have a k5 but to me it is still not as good as the k10

bwlchmawr

Link Posted 10/05/2015 - 14:19
K10 or, for something lighter and simple, but with the same sensor, K200.
At low ISOs nothing can touch that old sensor. It's also lovely to hold and use and, in my opinion, even better built than the K5.
Mine still feels like new and performs as well as as it's ever done, but, sadly, it's not an LX or Spotmatic so can't be mended by a blacksmith with one arm; like all things electrical, its days must be numbered.
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