Gravitating from film to DSLR-need advice

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by zenspector, Jan 27, 2010.

  1. zenspector

    zenspector TPF Noob!

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    Cheers to all. I am new to this forum and could use some advice on my DSLR choice. I am still pretty much old school with my photography-shooting 35mm slides and negative film for some forty odd years now. Started with a Minolta SRT-101, moved to an Olympus OM2 (great camera) until I dropped it in a creek in New Zealand in 1980 (still worked for weeks). Then I went Nikon and stayed there until moving to a Leica M6 eight years ago. My gear has to be tough and dependable. I appreciate fine machinery and optics, and I use them well and for a long time. Light weight and handling are also necessary. I began to hate my Nikon F4, no matter how great a body it was, because of the size and bulk. Still have and regularly use an FM body. Now that I am accepting digital, my requirements for gear don't change. After research, I have narrowed my choices down to the Pentax K7 or Nikon 300(300s). I am leaning toward the Pentax mainly for size and the fact that a photo friend is a long time user and I have access to a lot of great glass which the K7 will accept. Sorry to be so windy. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    Welcome!

    Don't you have a lot of glass from your Nikon collection? It will work on a D300(s), not sure if you knew that or not.

    Food for thought... and yes, I'm a D300s shooter. :)
     
  3. zenspector

    zenspector TPF Noob!

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    Yes, I do have some fine Nikon glass. I did not think the DSLRs would accept the old lenses.
     
  4. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    You bet!

    In fact I'm doing a project right now called 'Around the world with one crappy lens', it's an old manual focus Sears lens made for Nikon. It won't even meter on some newer bodies but it did on my D300s. I was also able to program in the max/min aperture and use the aperture ring on it.
     
  5. zenspector

    zenspector TPF Noob!

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    Very cool! Thanks! Definitely food for thought. Looking forward to following your project.
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    Yes, Nikon DSLR cameras are mostly compatible with lenses, going back several decades. So if you have the glass, it would make a lot of sense to get a compatible camera.
    There are some small/light DSLR cameras, but take note that Nikon's 'entry level DSLR' cameras do not have an internal focus motor like most other modern Nikon SLR bodies.

    Did you know that Leica has digital rangefinder bodies? That would certainly fit the bill as something that is tough, dependable, light weight and easy to handle. And if you have the lenses, you are half way there. Of course, like the film bodies, they digital ones are not, in any way, cheap. I believe the M8 is the current model but the M9 is just about to hit the market.
     
  7. zenspector

    zenspector TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, I considered an M9 until I saw the price. A little steep for me right now. I really like what I see with the K7, but sadly no shop in Georgia sells Pentax any more, so I haven't been able to handle one. Manager at Wolf's main store in Atlanta said Pentax just doesn't sell in the south, but sells like hotcakes in the NE and Colorado westward. I find that a bit odd.
     
  8. NateS

    NateS TPF Noob!

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    Well, if you are shooting film (Full Frame) and going to digital with a D300s, do you realize that the sensor is smaller and your images won't look the same throught the viewfinder. I don't know how much you know about digital so not sure if you know about the crop sensor's vs. Full Frame sensors. Basically, the sensor on the D300s is smaller and will appear more zoomed at each focal length than you are used to. In example, throw a 50mm on a D300 and it will be about the same viewing as a 75mm lens on your F4. So...just be aware that your lenses won't give you the same field of view on a D300s as they will on your film bodies.

    To get a full frame body you would have to go with the D700 or above. Of course, then your in for more money and the bulk of the body that you hate is going to be coming back.

    Oh and if you already knew about crop vs. full frame, then my apologies, clarifying "Justin Case".

    Oh, and I find this funny because I'm in the opposite boat...I have digital and am looking into going film. If you hate the size of your F4, why not look into an F100?
     
  9. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    M8 or M8.2?
     
  10. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Check into the image quality of the Pentax K-x, which although only a $599 body, has moved right up to the top of APS-C low-light and High-ISO image quality, according to the reviews at dPreview. What Pentax has going for it is as a brand overall is small size, light weight, in-body stabilization,some neat prime lenses, and some zoom lenses in focal length choices that other makers do NOT offer. Pentax is devoted to the APS-C format, so they have a 60-250mm f/4 ED-IF DA* lens, as well as a 50-135mm f/2.8 DA* lens, and the prime 200mm f/2.8 DA*, plus a neat 40mm, as well as a 10-17mm fisheye zoom.

    The 60-250 is like a 92mm-383mm lens on 35FF.

    Pentax might not sell well in some regions; it sells well in Japan, and it does sell well to outdoorsy types who want SMALL yet capable sealed bodies and lenses, like the DA* series of lenses, which are pro-grade optics. Pentax is a brand of cameras and lenses that appeal to a somewhat discriminating audience that wants things that are, well, different from mass-market products. Like the 60-250mm f/4; I would LOVE to have a 60-250mm f/4 and I would LOVE to have an autofocusing 50-135 f/2.8 Canon or Nikon lens, but neither manufacturer makes those offerings. Pentax does! I Do however own the 1984-vintage Nikon 50-135mm f/3.5 zoom lens, and I can tell you that that focal length range on a 1.5x crop-frame body is a real joy for a walkaround lens--far better than a 70-200mm lens. The bottom end at 50mm is MUCH,much more versatile inside of 30 feet than 70-mm is. With a 50-135mm lens, you can cover many outdoor events, like parades, near-range baseball, stage shows,etc with just one lens, where with a 70-200, the lens is simply too long once things are inside of 30 feet or so.
     
  11. djacobox372

    djacobox372 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    be aware, in order to use older ai/ais nikon lenses and still have metering you need a single or a triple digit nikon dslr (d3 or d300 for example, not a d60 or d90).

    i personally love the fact that i can use old mf lenses on my d700, saves a ton of $$, heck i just bought a 600mm ais lens--to buy the same quality modern lens id be spending $4000 more then i paid!
     

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