Help: Pentax Spotmatic versus Nikon 4300 digital?

Discussion in 'Pentax' started by Bill S, Apr 11, 2005.

  1. It's a mixed blessing: For people like me (i.e. eccentrics who love film
    and great cameras), it's the chance to buy the cameras I've always
    dreamed of.

    At least for that reason, I LOVE DIGITAL!

    "Daddy! Daddy!! A nice man at the market took our old Leicaflex and
    180mm Apo-Telyt and gave me a MAGICAL camera with 20x digital zoom and
    anti red-eye function!!!"
    "Well done Jack! YeeeHaw!! Now we can take some really good pikkers!!!"
    Chris Loffredo, Apr 12, 2005
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  2. Bill S

    Sander Vesik Guest

    It has a 1/1.8" sensor (which is not actually bad for compact digicam,
    bad is 1/2.5", 1/2.7" and smaller).

    The lens is 9 elements in 7 groups (one aspherical) and uses Nikon SIC
    coating which as far as I can tell is the same coating as that used
    on SLR Zoom-Nikkors.
    Sander Vesik, Apr 12, 2005
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  3. I'm not sure I agree. The ME-super is still going, on average, for between
    50-65 pounds on ebay (make sure you check 'completed items'), which is only
    about £10 less than it was 4 years ago. This may be nothing to do with
    digital, but actually the ME-Super suffers from electronic problems at
    around this age. LX's in poor condition (cosmetically) are still going for
    upwards of £200, so no change there.
    Yes, Spotmatic prices are crazy - the lens, too!
    Duncan J Murray, Apr 13, 2005
  4. Bill S

    Chris Down Guest

    "Duncan J Murray"
    The cameras, ME Super's, going for over £50 generally have a lot of extras
    going with them, flash, zoom etc., basic cameras with the standard 50mm
    lens are going for about £30 only.
    Not had any electronic problems with either of my two ME Super bodies, but
    both winders diesrecently.
    But whatever the exact prices it is hardly worth the bother of trying to
    sell them at those levels.
    Chris Down, Apr 13, 2005
  5. Bill S

    Bandicoot Guest

    "Duncan J Murray"
    wrote in message [SNIP]
    I don't often see them in poor cosmetic condition - an awful lot of people
    seem to be getting the leatherette replaced before selling them, and
    sometimes touching up the enamel too. I understand why, but sometimes I'd
    rather get a cosmetically poor camera and make my own decisions on how much
    I want to tidy up its appearance. I suppose sellers feel that most people
    will assume that a camera that looks well used has been misused - which is
    often the opposite of the real situation.

    Bandicoot, Apr 15, 2005
  6. Bill S

    Alan Browne Guest

    There is a difference between a patina of loving use and a camera that
    is dinged due to abuse.

    -- r.p.e.35mm user resource:
    -- r.p.d.slr-systems:
    -- slr-systems FAQ project:
    -- [SI] gallery & rulz:
    -- e-meil: Remove FreeLunch.
    Alan Browne, Apr 15, 2005
  7. Bill S

    Jeremy Guest

    I am a long-time Spotmatic user. Even today, my only 35mm SLRs are my SP
    IIa, ES, ES-II and SP-F, and I have 15 SMC Takumar prime lenses.

    They are wonderful with slide film. But, I have found myself using my
    digicam more and more. The Pentax gear has better resolution and the prints
    can be enlarged much bigger than those from my digicam. Since I rarely go
    beyond 8 x 10 however, it is a moot point. And, since I do not shoot
    professionally, I have no concerns over the issue of salability. So I
    believe that you and I are in much the same position with regard to our

    I have found that the ability to edit my digital images has made them much
    better-looking than those produced by photofinishers on automated printing
    equipment. With digital, I control the color saturation, color balance,
    contrast, brightness. I can adjust sharpness and I understand that the
    newer versions of PhotoShop even have the ability to compensate for
    pincushion and barrel distortion, with settings unique to each lens. Also,
    I do a lot of architectural photography, and I can use the deformation tool
    in my editing software to correct perspective, much like one would do on an
    expensive perspective control lens (Pentax PC lenses are available only in
    K-mount, not screwmount.)

    If you are particular about your results, and if you don't mind having to
    edit your own images on the computer, you just may find that the digital
    camera will yield results more in line with what you want than will the film

    I have found that it is not just a simple matter to compare the two systems,
    because even though my Pentax lenses are superb, the digital is much smaller
    and easier to take with me, and I have much more control over the final
    print. Also, I often shoot only a couple of frames at a session, and it
    really is easier using digital, as I don't have to fill up a roll before
    getting it processed (or have to sacrifice 3/4 of a roll of unused film,
    just to process the few images that I took).

    So, if you are not a pro and do not require the fast speed and wide range of
    focal lengths that SLRs offer, if you shoot relatively few images at a time,
    if you want to take a proactive stance and edit your own images so look the
    way YOU want, if you appreciate the smaller, lighter and easier-to-carry
    characteristics of a modern digital camera over the heavier weight of an
    SLR, and if you don't intend to make prints larger than, say, 8 x 10, you
    just may find the digital camera to be more appropriate for most of your
    photo needs.

    If you can have both, that might be the best solution. I use my digicam for
    most of my routine stuff, but I still have the Pentax film bodies and lenses
    for those situations where they would be preferable.

    One final point: I have determined that digital photos always come out much
    better after editing. I've never been happy with the images as they came
    out of the camera. If you do not want to learn PhotoShop or Paint Shop Pro,
    and if you just want to take the picture and let someone else handle the
    video analysis and printing, you will probably obtain better results using
    film. Digital images do require a bit of post-shoot tweaking, especially
    when the camera is a consumer model. Many outdoor shots tend to be somewhat
    dark, but they can be nicely corrected on your computer, prior to printing

    Look at the photos of items offered on eBay to get a feel for what I
    mean--many of the images are dark, sometimes out-of-focus, and the color
    balance is way off. These are typical of amateur shots, with no editing.
    Jeremy, Apr 15, 2005
  8. Bill S

    Jeremy Guest

    You are, technically, correct. But to obtain the full benefit of film, the
    scans should be on an expensive drum scanner--something that is too
    cost-prohibitive for all but the most important shots.

    At smaller print sizes, the differences between film and digital are slight.

    The long-term problem is that film may be able to be scanned better, and at
    lower prices, in the future, and the film images may be better than can be
    obtained today. With digital, the image quality is locked at whatever it is
    today--it can't be improved later.

    That having been said, the typical amateur, who shoots at low volume, prints
    at sizes no larger than 8 x 10, and is not producing art designed to last
    for generations, probably will do better with digital.

    One redeeming quality about digital is that people are inclined to take a
    lot more shots than they would with film. And any shot is better than no
    shot at all. I have taken more digital shots in 5 years than I took with my
    5 film bodies in 30 years.

    I enjoy my film bodies and lenses, but if I were getting into the hobby
    today for the first time, I'd go digital without blinking an eye.
    Jeremy, Apr 15, 2005
  9. Bill S

    John Francis Guest

    What's the permissible ding rate per year?
    I've got an MX that has served me well for almost 30 years, but during
    that time it has accquired a significant ding in the pentaprism housing.
    John Francis, Apr 15, 2005
  10. Bill S

    Alan Browne Guest

    After near 30 years a few dings count as patina...

    As long as the VF optics remain firmly fixed and aligned then it's up to
    the buyer what confidence he puts in the 'dinged' look. I suspect
    however that you're not going to sell it...

    -- r.p.e.35mm user resource:
    -- r.p.d.slr-systems:
    -- slr-systems FAQ project:
    -- [SI] gallery & rulz:
    -- e-meil: Remove FreeLunch.
    Alan Browne, Apr 15, 2005
  11. Bill S

    Bandicoot Guest

    My most dented camera is a Pentax Spotmatic that isn't ever going to be
    sold for a number of reasons. One of them is that that big dent, acquired
    on a fall in the Andes, would probably be in my head if it wasn't in the
    pentaprism housing...

    Bandicoot, Apr 16, 2005
  12. Bill S

    grolschie Guest

    Don't get the Nikon 4300. I own one and it sucks for focusing in low light.
    The 4200 has an AF assist lamp, and so does the 5200. :)
    grolschie, Apr 17, 2005
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