Opinions on Pentax *ist DS used with older Pentax lenses?

Discussion in 'Pentax' started by Tony Polson, Jan 28, 2005.

  1. Tony Polson

    Tony Polson Guest

    I shoot digital, medium format and 35mm film, in descending order.
    For 35mm film photography I use a rangefinder camera most of the time,
    but I keep a Pentax outfit for those occasions when I particularly
    need an SLR, or want to use a focal length I don't have in the
    rangefinder outfit.

    Although I use the Olympus E System, which I am extremely happy with,
    I would also like to have a digital option when I am carrying the
    Pentax outfit. It simply isn't an option to carry the Olympus outfit
    as well, so I thought I would ask how Pentax users were getting on
    with the *ist D and DS ...

    The 6.1M pixel count is more than enough for occasional use, which is
    all I would need, and I don't doubt the quality of the results. What
    I would like to know is how well the *ist D/DS handle with K and KA
    lenses and one or two screw mount lenses used with adapters.

    All I need in the way of exposure modes are metered manual and
    aperture priority. Are these modes available with K/KA lenses? What
    limitations are there? How easy is manual focusing with the screen in
    the *ist D/DS?

    I have handled *ist D and DS camera bodies and like the compact size.
    They seem easy to use. I like simplicity and don't like picture modes
    so I would probably go for the D over the DS - both are the same price
    but there's only one D left, so I need to decide now.

    Any thoughts and observations would be most welcome.

    Tony Polson, Jan 28, 2005
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  2. Tony Polson

    John Bean Guest

    KA: all modes are supported with aperture ring in "A" position.
    Pre-K: metered manual only, but a single button press sets the shutter
    M42 manually stopped down: as pre-K, plus aperture priority mode.

    Note: aperture priority mode works with any lens but only stops down
    automatically with "electric" lenses (KA/FA/J etc) and others will be used
    at the viewing aperture. So K lenses would always be wide-open, M42 lenses
    will be whatever you set them to. Manual mode of course does stop down any K

    The screen is bright and very fine, manual focusing is very good indeed
    especially with a fast lens.
    John Bean, Jan 28, 2005
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  3. Tony Polson

    Tony Polson Guest

    Thanks for that, John.

    Any thoughts on the difference between the D and DS?

    Is the (sometimes) bundled 18-55mm kit lens worth having, or is the
    16-45mm f/4 a better bet?

    Tony Polson, Jan 31, 2005
  4. Tony Polson

    John Bean Guest

    Yes, a few ;-)

    I weighed it up and settled on the DS. There are a few of things I would
    have preferred from the D:

    Two command wheels (for manual mode)
    CF rather than SD ('cause I had lots of CF)
    Program mode shift (yes, I admit to using "P" mode sometimes)

    But then I would have given up:

    Faster, in all respects
    Instant histogram display
    Several hundred pounds

    There's other missing features that I wouldn't use anyhow but may matter to
    some, but I was swayed towards the DS and it has exceeded my expectations by
    a considerable margin. Now that doesn't happen every day :)
    I had to buy the DS with the 18-55 "kit" lens, but it also surprised me by
    being *much* better than I expected. There is no doubt the 16-45 is the much
    better lens from what I've heard, but I'm not a zoom sort of person, I'll
    stick with my old (and not so old) primes.

    John Bean

    If you put tomfoolery into a computer, nothing comes out of it but
    tomfoolery. But this tomfoolery, having passed through a very expensive
    machine, is somehow enobled and no-one dares criticize it (Pierre Gallois)
    John Bean, Jan 31, 2005
  5. Tony Polson

    Tony Polson Guest

    That's very useful, thanks. I'm not a zoom person either. That's
    sensible in relation to Pentax lenses, because on the whole, Pentax
    zooms have not been great. The only Pentax zoom I like is the SMC
    PENTAX-A 35-105mm f/3.5, which is a very fine lens with good
    sharpness, low distortion and creamy smooth bokeh. I have the SMC
    PENTAX-A 70-210mm f/4 but it is optically very ordinary.

    My favourite focal lengths with film are 24mm, 35mm and somewhere
    between 85 and 105mm - I currently use a Tamron 90mm macro. I
    therefore need shorter focal lengths that give similar angles of view.
    I will obviously use my 24mm f/3.5 K as a digital substitute for 35mm,
    and my 35-105mm f/3.5 A zoom will cover the portrait range. But I
    need something around 16mm to cover the same angle of view as a 24mm
    on film, hence my question about the 16-45mm f/4.

    Any comments from people who own or have used the 16-45mm f/4 would be
    much appreciated. I am particularly interested in the performance at
    the wide end. especially the sharpness and rectilinear distortion.

    Tony Polson, Jan 31, 2005
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