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.
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|Here's another take from from the 35mm Limited: the first crocus of the 2009 season.|
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