Advice needed to upgrade Pentax K1000

Discussion in 'Pentax' started by Colin Chisholm, Aug 2, 2003.

  1. Greetings, all. I'm a long-time lurker who needs some advice. I have been
    pursing photography as a hobby for about 15 years. The problem is that I
    have starting seeing some limitations in my current equipment in regards to
    some types of photographs.

    I'm currently using a Pentax K1000 with both a 50mm and 28/80mm lens. This
    camera has been wonderful in helping me develop a clear idea of what I want
    a photograph to look like and then how to achieve that look. Unfortunately,
    the fully manual nature of the K1000 makes it very difficult for me to take
    more spontaneous pictures, usually involving people, which is an area I
    really feel I'd like to explore.

    Here's what I'm looking for. I'd like a 35mm film SLR camera which will run
    the gamut from fully automatic to fully manual. I'd like autofocus,
    auto-exposure and auto-shutter but the ability to selectively turn off a
    combination of those features.

    As an example (and I don't know if this sort of thing is possible): I'd
    like a camera that I can manually lock in a low f-stop to achieve shallow
    depth-of-field but allow the camera to handle the autofocus and exposure.
    Or manually set the explosure and auto everthing else. Or manually set the
    focus and auto everything else. You probably get the idea.

    I use Fuji Velvia 50 exclusively in natural light conditions. I'm willing
    to spend around $2,000 for both a body and at least one multi-purpose lens
    (like my trusty 28/80mm). I'm certainly not adverse to spending less but I
    really don't know what the market is like.

    Let the advice begin. I can't think of a better place to look for it. :)
    Colin Chisholm, Aug 2, 2003
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  2. Colin Chisholm

    Polytone Guest

    Get the Canon Elan 7e and a 28-135mm/3.5 USM IMAGE STABILIZER zoom lens, and
    a 50mm 1.4 prime. Under $1000 us dollars.
    Polytone, Aug 2, 2003
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  3. On Sat, 2 Aug 2003 22:08:24 +0000 (UTC), Colin Chisholm

    Despite whatever fully auto camera you decide to buy, don't sell the
    K1000. After the shine has worn off the gadgetry, you'll be picking
    up the K1000 again.

    Peter (former K1000 owner)
    Peter Charles, Aug 3, 2003
  4. Colin Chisholm

    Hickster0711 Guest

    Most all of the newer crop will do that and more for waaaaay less than $2,000.
    And they're about as much fun as watching paint dry. Try one, but don't be too
    fast to throw away the K-1000. Bob Hickey
    Hickster0711, Aug 3, 2003
  5. Colin Chisholm

    Gordon Moat Guest

    Simple enough request. You could even do this with some of the Point-and-Shoot
    cameras on the market, some of them with very good lenses, and not much shutter
    lag. Actually, either shutter priority, or even aperture priority would get you
    there as well, leaving lots of used SLR choices.
    Autofocus is not always fast, and under some lighting conditions not very
    accurate. The other issue to consider is that many autofocus lenses have poor
    manual focus feel, or really small focus rings that make manual focusing
    inconvenient.. Auto exposure is another matter, and many cameras have that
    capability, including some over twenty years old.

    One of the least shutter lags can be found on rangefinder cameras, including a
    few version of Leica M series. However, a rangefinder is a very different
    camera to operate than an SLR. Some people like the ergonomics, and being able
    to see your subject while you are pressing the shutter. Unfortunately, longer
    lenses are few, and tougher to use; there are few zoom lens choices, and auto
    exposure is not very common. The newest Leica M7 is aperture priority capable,
    and the Konica Hexar RF is another option, though lenses for both lines are
    I would think you would be better off manually focusing, so you can select
    where you want to focus, rather than have the camera so it. However, if your
    eyes are not as good as they use to be, then autofocus might be a better
    option. With the fixed aperture, that is normally called aperture priority, and
    is a feature on many different cameras.
    If you are good at manually focusing, and still enjoy it, then stick with
    manual focus cameras. Only at the top of the range of choices are the viewing
    screens either changeable, or contrasty enough to allow good manual focus. Take
    a trip to a camera store, and try to manually focus some autofocus cameras. See
    if you actually like the manual focus of the range of choices, and especially
    check out the high end cameras, even if they are above your spending limit.
    There are some great used choices as well. If you stick with Pentax, the older
    LX model is a great camera, and many of the older lenses give very nice
    results. It is only manual focus, but since you are already use to that, you
    may find you really like it.

    My first SLR was a K1000, and I sold it to get into Nikon manual focus gear.
    Probably too many choices, but a good crossover camera of manual and auto, with
    the ability to use manual focus and autofocus lenses, is the Nikon F4. You
    might be able to get into one well within your price range, and have a good
    amount of money left for some nice lenses.
    With the new stuff, check out the top of the line of Canon, Nikon, Pentax, and
    Contax (if available in your area). After you look at the top of each line,
    then make a comparison with the slightly lower cost models. Remember, the
    lenses are more important than the bodies, so bias any decision to allow room
    for buying good lenses.


    Gordon Moat
    Alliance Graphique Studio
    Gordon Moat, Aug 3, 2003

  6. The camera you want is a Pentax ZX-5n (i'm surprised no one in this
    thread has suggested it). What you want is Aperture Priority, Shutter
    Priority, and Full Program mode as well as Manual mode. You can get
    this for considerably less that $2000. The ZX-5n still has a solid
    re-sell value, so try it out then go to the MZ-S only if you find the
    ZX-5n insufficient.
    Pentax makes some very nice mid-range AF zooms, and there's still a
    wide array of super sharp manual focus lenses. Keep what you have and
    add to it.

    headscratcher, Aug 3, 2003
  7. Also consider the MZ-M (ZX-M), although manual focus it does have a full
    collection of exposure modes and is cheap (and is in many ways better
    than some low end AF bodies).
    John Halliwell, Aug 4, 2003
  8. Colin Chisholm

    Jeremy Guest

    x-no-archive: yes

    I would advise you to first settle on a line of lenses before you sort
    through camera bodies. The photographer's tool is his/her lens.

    I would prefer having only a couple of excellent lenses, rather than a ton
    of 2nd or 3rd-tier stuff. I also am oriented to keeping my lenses for a
    long time--if you are willing to start over in 5 years then you may not have
    to focus on doing it right the first time. Only you can answer this
    question. What is right for me may be completely the opposite for someone

    I've used Pentax M42 screwmount lenses for the past almost 30 years, and
    have been pleased with their performance, especially in view of their
    relatively low prices. Unfortunately this line has been withdrawn from the
    new market for decades, so I don't think they would be appropriate to your
    needs today.

    I've been intrigued by the line of Carl Zeiss lenses made for the Contax
    bodies. Nice lineup of first-rate prime lenses from a company that
    manufactures for several different camera lines, as opposed to Leitz, which
    builds primarily for their own Leica brand. (that may not be an important
    factor to everyone--you must decide for yourself).

    If I were to do it all over, today, I'd probably go with the Contax RTS III
    and several of those Carl Zeiss prime lenses. Others may differ with me
    regarding whether this approach represents the best value for the money, but
    I do not believe that anyone will suggest that you could ever go wrong with

    Check this link for more information on how these Zeiss lenses are made:
    Jeremy, Aug 4, 2003
  9. Colin Chisholm

    ROBOHAT Guest

    If the camera does not have to be new, why not try an ME super of MEF? You
    already have the pentax lenses. These bodies can be had for $100 or less most
    of the time. You may be pleasantly surprised.
    Autofocus is OK but you dont really need it. Watch a good wedding photog work
    sometime. Chances are he is using manual focus for the shots that count.
    ROBOHAT, Aug 4, 2003
  10. I alsmost lost my lunch on that statement.

    Try Leica R9 and Leica R lenses if you're interested in the best body there is.

    Otherwise, keep your ignorant rantings to yourself.
    Michael Scarpitti, Aug 4, 2003
  11. Colin Chisholm

    Alan Browne Guest

    Your devotion to Leica is amusing, but the R9 is not top SLR dog.
    Either of the F5, EOS-1v or Maxxum 9 blow it away handilly. The only
    advantage that the R9 has is the use of R series lenses, and that is
    something to talk about. But the body...

    How fast is the R9 shutter. 1/8,000. Not bad, but the Maxxum 9 is
    faster. 1/12,000.

    What is the exposure compensation resolution of the R9? Only 1/2 stop
    huh? Okay if you're shooting snaps on print film I guess.

    Max sync? Only 1/250 huh? 1/300 on the Maxxum 9.

    Built in film motor speed of the R9? What? Only 2/sec? Ha-Ha. Oh,
    you need an expensive add-on widget to go faster? Okay (giggle).

    Is the viewfinder of the R9 only 93%. Pity, eh?

    How many spot metering points on the R9? Oh it's not really a spot but
    a heavilly weighted centre? I see. And just in the centre, eh? Okay.

    Auto Bracketing is half steps too, I guess. Hmm. Oh, AND you need the
    expensive add on motor drive widget to do this? ooops.

    A "mechanical" cable release for the R9. How ... quaint.

    Remote control of the R9... cool.... oh? need the winder gadget again,
    eh? Ah. too bad.

    Built in flash? None on the R9 you say. Hmmm. With the built in flash
    on the Maxxum 9 I remote control other flashes ...TTL, not just slave.

    The R9 is indeed a fine SLR, but it is just shy of the top marks.

    Alan Browne, Aug 5, 2003
  12. Colin Chisholm

    Paul W. Ross Guest

    Consider a Pentax ZX-M. You can use your old lenses, if you wish. You
    have manual over rides on all the automation. Keep the old Pentax as a
    spare body or for B&W photography. In point of fact, I have a ZX-M,
    and am looking for a good K-1000 body as a backup and for B&W, using
    the newer ZX-M for color work. Manual is a good thing.
    Paul W. Ross, Aug 5, 2003
  13. Colin Chisholm

    Alan Browne Guest

    So, tell us which one is and say why ... in precise terms.
    Alan Browne, Aug 5, 2003
  14. Hey Collin,

    I went through the same exercise, but with a Pentax ME-Super. It died
    on me while visiting Scotland, so I went for a Pentax MZ-7, which I
    eventually gave to my wife, then I got an MZ-5n off of Ebay. It was
    well-priced, and has allot of features you'll eventually start using,
    such as depth-of-field preview, auto-bracketting, etc. It's being
    discontinued so you could get one for a song.

    Either camera would do you fine; although I do like the extra pro
    features of the MZ-5n.

    All my old lenses fit, and the newer auto-focus lenses are great. But
    heed what ROBOHAT said: auto focus isn't always appropriate. I would
    also recommend a 50mm prime lens, and an all-purpose lens such as
    Tamron's latest 28-300mm ultra-zoom ("XR" I think they call it). I
    have the older model; it's quite good for most situations.

    jim h


    More than photographs: free downloads, prizes, a bit of humour...
    Jim Hutchison, Aug 6, 2003
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