Pentax istD

I've taken the plunge and found a Pentax digital SLR that seems to play well with my existing Pentax mount lenses. Here are a couple photos from my *istD (generally acknowledged as one of the sillier camera names).

The photo at right was just a throwaway shot -- I've liked the way the Navy Memorial looks at night for a long time, but this time (with a new camera in my hands) I stopped to snap the shutter. I'm astounded how well it turned out for handheld, no tripod (I did lean on the fence). Could be a really good sign of things to come.

After a whole day, I'm still happy with the camera. I've had a chance to read the manual and I think I've got a general idea how it works. My existing lenses with "A" aperture settings work well set that way. Otherwise they are always wide open (as far as I can tell). And the viewfinder is really designed for auto focus (which my lenses aren't). We'll see how well I can focus them manually without my familiar split screen.

January 7, 2005.
January 8, 2005. January 8, 2005.
January 29, 2005. This uses the wide angle lens I picked up. Because the CCD sensor is smaller than 35mm film, while my existing lenses work fine, they are a bit more on the telephoto side. So I didn't really have a wide angle when using the digital camera. I've corrected that with a 14mm lens.
My telephoto seems to work fine. I know it's a pigeon, but no eagle happened to land right in front of me today. February 2, 2005.
February 2, 2005. February 2, 2005.
February 26, 2005. Interchangable lenes do come in handy -- the extension tubes seem work fine.
This is available light at ISO 800, still looks pretty good and the white balance is about as good as possible for such a mix of sources. March 05, 2005.
March 21, 2005. And this one pushes the limits, ISO 3200 hand held 1/8 at f/2.8 with a 7 watt flouresent light behind a thin blanket for illumination. I'm still very much impressed.
June 18, 2005. June 18, 2005.
This is a building on King Street, Firehouse Square (I think, Firehouse something -- I'll have to check on that.) Pretty early in the morning so the light is kind of nice. I think it's a tad underexposed in automatic mode, but would be easy to lighten it just a bit. This is a bit later the same day on Cameron. I really liked the color of the door. I should have moved the two trash cans out of the way... Also could have used a tripod for this telephoto shot.
March 12, 2008. I've been following the blog of Tim Bray because I like a lot of what he has to say about technology and programming. He also happens to have an *istD. But he's not happy with the low light performance of the camera. I really can't complain, as that first photo shows. This is a more recent shot: ISO 3200 f2.8 1/6th of a second exposure. This was in a movie corner in the Natural History museum -- really very dark. And I think this photo is just fine. Yes a little grainy, but did you catch the ISO 3200 above? Look at how black the black walls are: not gray, not grainy, just black.
So Sarah just got something for me from my wish list -- really it was on my wish list a reminder to me. But I'm very happy to be the owner of a Pentax 35mm F2.8 Macro limited. It's a very nice lens; maybe I'll go back to primes... At any rate the photo on the right is first I took with it; just to say it works. It was late and I had to get up early in the morning so I just propped an LED flashlight on the camera bag pointed at the silical gel packet that came with the lens. I really like the sharpness (F3.5 @ 1/90 second) for such a close shot. And, as before I'm really impressed by the rich, dark blacks. And the Bokeh, which is all the rage now, is very smooth as well. December 2, 2008.
March 7, 2009. Here's another take from from the 35mm Limited: the first crocus of the 2009 season.