The GX10/K10D really is sealed! (longish)

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by Doug Jewell, Oct 9, 2007.

  1. Doug Jewell

    Doug Jewell Guest

    Went on a little jaunt in the Springbrook national park yesterday, and went
    to capture a few shots of Natural Arch and it's associated waterfall. On the
    hike down we could hear a bit of a rumbling noise that sounded a little like
    thunder, but since what little of the sky we could see was clear, we put
    down to being a jet flying overhead. Got down to Natural Arch, started
    taking shots, went into the cave area and took a few more, then noticed that
    it was raining quite heavily outside.

    Sat & waited, & waited, but it just kept getting heavier. Then I noticed
    that the waterfall had grown quite considerably, and a quick recon revealed
    that if we didn't leave soon and the rain kept up, we could possibly be
    trapped in the cave where we were sheltering. The camera went into the (not
    remotely close to waterproof) bag, along with the wife's IXUS, and we
    started the dash in the torrential rain.

    About halfway back to the car we started getting peppered with golf-ball
    sized hailstones, so we sheltered the kids under a large rock and waited
    until the hail stopped before continuing to the car. When we finally got
    there, we were drenched to the bone, and so was the camera bag. A moment of
    horror as I opened the bag to see the back of the camera sitting in about
    half an inch of water. Lifted it out, wiped it dry, opened the battery and
    mem card covers and they were both dry. Turned the camera on and working
    without a drama. Fortunately the non-sealed lens was sitting up, so other
    than a few drops on the front element it was basically dry.

    Unfortunately, the wife's ixus wasn't so lucky. Might put one of the Lowepro
    AW cases on my wishlist for Christmas too.

    Here are a couple of my shots:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gdaj/1517818003/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gdaj/1517827329/
     
    Doug Jewell, Oct 9, 2007
    #1
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  2. Doug Jewell

    Chon Kei Guest

    You have a couple of very nice pictures there Doug. The getting wet
    tale you tell is something anyone who owns a 20D, 30D or 40D camera
    should take note of. Pentax cameras have always had a decent build
    quality compared to Canon's "slapped together" approach.

    I think the number one consideration for anyone likely to "go bush"
    with a camera should be either waterproof cases or a sealed camera.
    Have you have any issues with limited dynamic range or noise in
    shadows with that camera Doug? How does it handle high ISO? Not much
    is said about Pentax cameras here. Pity because they are cheap and
    well built. I for one would like to know how they stack up.

    CK
     
    Chon Kei, Oct 11, 2007
    #2
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  3. Doug Jewell

    Doug Jewell Guest

    Yes and no - how's that for hedging my bets. Coming from film, I find the
    limited dynamic range in the highlights to be a perpetual frustration. I've
    had the camera for about 3 months now, and am starting to get the intuitive
    feel for what I'll have to do to exposure to keep things under control. I
    haven't thoroughly tested but I feel that it has less highlight range than
    Velvia, so not much!
    I frequently find myself dialling in about -1 exposure compensation. But to
    be fair, I've used Canon, Nikon and Olympus DSLRs and run into the same
    highlight problem with all. I think highlight range improvement is going to
    be the next-big-thing in camera design - I hope so anyway.
    Not bad at all. 800ISO shots are very acceptable. 1600 is getting a bit
    grainy, but still not too bad. I've even tried underexposing by 1 stop at
    1600ISO and bringing it back in post-processing (ISO 3200 equiv) and it's
    handled it fairly gracefully. It's certainly a gazillion times better than
    the Olympus E300 that I had. At 400 and below I can't see any issues with
    noise. At 800 and 1600, I guess it might be a little noisier than what I've
    seen from some of the canons, but not horrendously so. I don't find the
    noise that it produces to be ugly though, whereas some other cameras do
    produce ugly noise. I don't know the technical terms for what I'm seeing,
    just that I like what comes out.
    As far as I'm concerned, any image quality differences between any of the
    big brands are so minor that it's not worth caring about. I've used pretty
    much every current DSLR except for the top-level pro stuff that's worth more
    than my car, and really I don't see any significant image quality
    differences. That's not to say there aren't differences, for example Canon's
    produce images that I don't like the look of. I can't pick exactly what it
    is, but I don't like them - they kind of look "plastic". Perhaps they are
    too perfect?
    The reasons I bought the GX10 are as follows: (bear in mind that the samsung
    is just a rebadged Pentax K10d with minor changes).
    1) From the moment I first handled a K10D, I loved the feel of it. The
    position of the dials and buttons is perfect for me. The menu's are easy.
    All the commonly used functions are quickly within reach so I can continue
    shooting without having to look at the camera to see what I'm changing.
    2) I have a small but significant investment in Pentax glass, so a
    Pentax/Samsung was probably always going to be the choice - although I'd
    almost given up on them bringing out something of the K10D class - if they
    never brought out something decent I probably would have changed to Nikon or
    Minolta/Sony.
    3) Weather sealing in an affordable body was a plus - I've lost a couple of
    electronic film cameras to humidity in rainforests so without weather
    sealing there are a lot of places I go where the DSLR would have stayed home
    and one of my old manual film slr's or rangefinders would have done duty.
    This wasn't a huge thing for me, because when I purchased the DSLR it was
    always intended to be supplementary to film, not a replacement for it. After
    Monday's episode though I'm mighty glad I got a weather sealed camera.
    4) I got the Samsung instead of the Pentax because I was able to get an
    arrangement through work that saved several hundred dollars. Plus I think
    the buttons and menus on the samsung look better than the Pentax. I guess
    the "S" word doesn't carry the same prestige as the "P" word, but I use the
    camera to take photos, not to have other people swoon over the gear I use.
     
    Doug Jewell, Oct 11, 2007
    #3
  4. Doug Jewell

    Tony Polson Guest


    That's true of just about any DSLR.

    The Fuji FinePix S5 is better than most DSLRs in terms of dynamic
    range. However, it still doesn't come close to the dynamic range
    offered by high quality colour negative film such as Kodak Portra 160
    or Fujicolor Pro 160.
     
    Tony Polson, Oct 11, 2007
    #4
  5. Doug Jewell

    Peter Chant Guest

    I'm just a bit concerned that I've recently taken some photos on FP4+ pulled
    to 80ISO and still got burnt out highlights - or at least to dense for may
    scanner. If I were skilled enough, but I am not, I think there is still
    detail on the neg, it's just too much for the scanner. Actually looking at
    the neg again there is perhaps still a little too much contrast, perhaps I
    should have downrated further!

    Can't use old Velvia 50 for toffee, always burnt out highlights. Fared
    better with Velvia 100 and rather like Provia.

    Does the above mean that at the moment digital is not for me?

    Pete
     
    Peter Chant, Oct 12, 2007
    #5
  6. Doug Jewell

    Paul Furman Guest

    Any thoughts on the value of the 40mm/2.8 pancake versus the 50mm/1.4? A
    friend asked & I recommended the 50 unless he's desperate for
    compactness and requires something close to a normal focal length. It
    seems the 50 offers more variety departing from the kit lens. The only
    real strong point of the 40 I can see is the non-polygonal stopped down
    OOF rendering. I figure the kit lens is at about f/4 at 40mm (vs 2.8)
    but really that's not as compellingly different than the 50 at 1.4 which
    would really be more exciting and worth bothering with.
     
    Paul Furman, Oct 12, 2007
    #6
  7. Doug Jewell

    Doug Jewell Guest

    Haven't used either, but from what I've heard both are very sharp. So
    personally I'd be inclined to go for the extra 2 stops of the 50/1.4.
     
    Doug Jewell, Oct 12, 2007
    #7
  8. Optically any 50/1,4 (Pentax has had many versions of this lens)is
    better than 40/2,8. Angle of view is of course different, but if that is
    not the determining factor 50/1,4 is the one to prefer. If Your frend
    really needs a lens around 40 mm he/she should have a 43 mm 1,9 Limited.
    I use a M 50 mm f1,4 and even though this is not the very best 50/1,4 it
    is still superb. I have also used a 40/2,8, it is okey but not great.

    Väinö Louekari
     
    Väinö Louekari, Oct 12, 2007
    #8
  9. Doug Jewell

    jean Guest

    I wish Canon had a lens like that Pentax pancake lens, put that on a Drebel
    and you get a nice high performance small (ish) camera. For size only, it
    makes perfect sense.

    Jean
     
    jean, Oct 12, 2007
    #9
  10. Paul-

    I have both. The 40mm f/2.8 "pancake" lens is not a KA lens, so is more
    difficult to use with an AF body. My 50mm f/1.4 is a KA lens, so all I
    have to worry about is manual focus.

    I think my 50mm has an edge in sharpness over the 40mm, if both are set
    to the same f/stop.

    If you don't have either, I'd recommend looking for a 50mm f/1.4 AF lens
    to go with an AF body. It looks larger sitting next to the pancake
    lens, but the difference may be trivial when mounted on the body.
    Especially compared to a zoom!

    Fred
     
    Fred McKenzie, Oct 12, 2007
    #10
  11. Doug Jewell

    Sander Guest

    There's no problem at all using the DA40mm f/2.8 Limited on an AF body
    and it works just fine in all exposure modes and with autofocus.

    The older M40mm f/2.8 is a bit different in that respect but I found
    that using M and K lenses on the digital bodies isn't difficult at all.

    I haven't seen any reference to DA or M from Paul so he'd have to
    specify which lens he's referring to.

    Sander
     
    Sander, Oct 12, 2007
    #11
  12. Doug Jewell

    Paul Mitchum Guest

    Hand-held photography after the sun has gone down is always a plus:
    <http://www.flickr.com/photos/mile23/343528344/> That's with the FA
    50/1.4 (at f/2).

    Either of those lenses will be a good replacement for the kit lens. The
    DA 16-45/4 is also much better than the kit lens, and is a more direct
    replacement, though it's not as compact.

    Ultimately, though, if you have a Pentax body and you don't have the FA
    50 (or most of it's predecessors), you're missing out.
     
    Paul Mitchum, Oct 12, 2007
    #12
  13. Doug Jewell

    Paul Furman Guest

    And it's AF, and reduced to 40mm from 43mm for 60 eq. on APS... pretty
    cool. My 45P Nikkor is MF. Is there a small Pentax DSLR or is it sort of
    D70 sized?

    Still the 50/1.4 makes more sense as a first addition to the kit lens.
    The friend got the Samsung btw.
     
    Paul Furman, Oct 13, 2007
    #13
  14. Doug Jewell

    Paul Furman Guest

    I didn't know the 43 pancake was f/1.9
     
    Paul Furman, Oct 13, 2007
    #14
  15. Yes, 43 mm FA Limited is f1,9, it is relatively expensive though but a
    wonderful lens.

    Väinö Louekari
     
    Väinö Louekari, Oct 13, 2007
    #15

  16. I carry my cameras in small dry bags of the sort used in river rafting. These
    seem to work just fine in the rain. Once can get "cold condensation"
    on surfaces inside the bag, but I've never had actual liquid in them.
    Of course I can't take pictures in the rain and keep the cameras dry
    this way.

    Doug McDonald
     
    Doug McDonald, Oct 13, 2007
    #16
  17. Since you have one of those, I'll ask you. There are certain Nikon
    optics that have a kind of cult following, and the pancake is one. I've
    tried the 180 and I've seen lots of images from the 28/1.4, so I'm
    convinced those two really are exceptional designs. Does the 45P
    actually have some intrinsic quality that makes it superior to a 35 or
    a 50? I've wondered about this (the street price) a long time, but just
    like the FM3A, I suspect it's based on conventional wisdom rather than
    real-world results.
     
    sheepdog 2007, Oct 13, 2007
    #17
  18. Doug Jewell

    Paul Furman Guest

    No, I don't think it's all that extraordinary, honestly. It's a good
    lens but I love my 35mm f/2 AI lens, it's so damn sharp! I got the 45
    because I didn't have a 50/1.8 & wanted something more interesting, with
    better bokeh... well the 45 does have rounded aperture blades & the OOF
    rendering is OK but hardly unbreakable. Mainly it's size is handy, I
    could jam my D70 in my coat pocket with it mounted... in fact, I lost
    the D70 with that lens on when it spontaneously began rolling down a
    steep hill... perfect shape for rolling... and smashed into a rock. The
    45 has that nice smooth manual focus control, well built metal body, and
    I thought it was interesting to see what a simple optical formula might
    provide. I don't have a 50/1.8 so I can't compare, it does have nice
    contrast & good sharpness, although not breathtakingly sharp. I like the
    subtlety of the small size for street shooting.
    It's a fine, well built lens, and specialized, so the price is not at
    all unreasonable. The 50 is certainly a better bargain.
     
    Paul Furman, Oct 14, 2007
    #18
  19. Thanks for the information.
     
    sheepdog 2007, Oct 14, 2007
    #19
  20. Doug Jewell

    Pete D Guest

    There is I think at last count 5 small Pentax D-SLRs that have been
    produced, DS, DL, DS2, DL2, K100D. You can pick up the earlier versions for
    a few hundred dollars and they have pretty much every feature you could ever
    need including spot metering and MLU, etc. Good enough for 12x18 prints and
    bigger depending on the subject and will meter with any lens you can
    actually attach.

    Cheers.

    Pete.
     
    Pete D, Oct 15, 2007
    #20
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