I longed for the simpler times, now I long for the affordable days...

Aug 27, 2013
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Miguel Tejada-Flores
Dammit, Miguel, now I have a serious case of LBA!! I want the 21mm and a 70mm pancakes, and a 100mm macro (although the Tamron 90mm would be fine, too)

Like you, I couldn't bear getting rid of my older Pentax K200D body; I had two of them, made the mistake of selling the first one and had to buy a second to replace it. They are very affordable these days as I'm sure you know because of their supposedly antiquated sensors but damn are they splendid cameras. And then, wouldn't you know it, I actually sold the 2nd one - after I bought my KP (when the prices were reduced on them a bit more than a year ago). I was initially dubious whether the KP's relatively brilliant newer CMOS sensor could give me the same colors as my K200D but in fact it has equalled - and in some cases, surpassed - them ... so I only have one Pentax body now but it is in my admittedly prejudiced opinion the finest DSLR I have ever shot with.

The 70mm lens is one of Pentax's hidden gems - a tiny pancake with superb qualities. It's on my short list of lenses-to-buy-one-day. But the 21mm is semi affordable - especially if you can find a good lightly used copy - and it more or less has been glued to my KP....until I recently purchase yet another remarkable Pentax lens - the truly minimalistic DA 40mm Ltd, the smallest (a pancake too but a really thin one) of Pentaxes minmal masterpieces. The 21mm gets more use but the DA40 is quite astonishing.

For other users who aren't familiar, Pentax has a long history of engineering and making relatively compact 'pancake' lenses with superior optical qualities. Their DA Ltd series has acquired its own reputations among Pentaxians for years. You could almost say their lenses are dangerously good: once one has shot with them....it ruins you in certain ways. And, yes, I know it sounds sacreligious but I prefer Pentax glass to quite a few of the equally wonderful old Leica lenses I used to shoot with, on my relatively ancient inherited iii series.

Bottom line: whatever one has or likes to shoot with....the camera is only part of it. It's really about the lenses. Although, a nice camera doesn't hurt either, obviously.
Aug 27, 2013
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Miguel Tejada-Flores
The photographer whose work I have followed - and admired - for years - and who for most of those years has used one or another Pentax DSLR body - but who for many years seemed to shoot a lot with the DA21 - is Tyler Monson.

Some years ago, he spent 113 hours in Reykjavik, Iceland - and shot a series of photographs mainly with the DA21 - which he then put together in a cool photo-essay-slash-photoblog: 113 Reykjavik
A lot of his more recent work can be seen in his current photoblog: Here Now, Gone Before Long

He's worth checking out, in my opinion.

You can find all sorts of helpful and opinionated opinions about the Pentax KP - and detailed reviews of and comments about almost all of the Pentax lenses at PentaxForums dot com

The other outstanding and relatively small (not quite a pancake but almost) lens in the Pentax lineup is the DA 20-40mm zoom, a small zoom whose performance tends to approach and rival that of some fine primes. I keep thinking I need to get one, one day.

The other thing which has always appealed to me is that, in spite of the outstanding optical characteristics of many of Pentax's finer lenses, they tend to be a little less pricey than offerings from Nikon, and significantly less so that some of the finer Zeiss and Leica optics. Which have their own obvious charms, let it be said. But the original poster, mike3996, spoke eloquently not only of simpler times but more affordable lenses....and Pentax, thanks-be-to-the-photographic-deities, still seems to be producing semi-affordable great glass.
Jan 31, 2011
Newcastle, Australia
I had two of them, made the mistake of selling the first one and had to buy a second to replace it.
Same here. I should never have sold the first, I sold it with its 18-55mm lens and the Tamron 70-300 I had bought, and although I have another of those, its just not as good as the one I sold. Hardly ever use it now. The second K200D needed sensor cleaning so I got someone at the local camera store to do that, I would have wrecked it. Made a huge difference.

I take your point about the KP, I'm tempted to buy a body and just see if I like it. Its a bit lighter than the K5 so thats a good thing.
Apr 2, 2018
I like this little Pentax discussion going on here. :) Definitely not in the market for a PASM DSLR right now but maybe, just maybe, if my gears locked in a right way, I certainly could see myself entertain an APSC Pentax camera.

But I came here, you guessed it, to lament and ramble about a situation with my gear.

The brutal truth is that Leica serves me well. Yet I continue to think that with my finances it's somewhat fiscally irresponsible of me to shoot a system this expensive. Fujifilm attracts me particularly strong right now, but what does it exactly offers me?

-- snip --

(1... 2... 3, no, 4 times I rambled up a big sick of words and 4 times I erased it all. 1200 words, the last version. All removed because who does that word salad serve or entertain, no one.)

Short story short, (trying to keep the rest under 100 words):
- if Leica is too expensive: then don't buy Leica lenses. (Duh) Buy Voigtländer, Zeiss or even Canon M39 lenses instead. 50 Lux ASPH isn't a miracle worker necessarily, anyway.
- if I desire dual body action but it'd be expensive and heavy to carry: don't. Practice lens changing instead so that it'll eventually becomes a no-obstacle job, second nature.

All in all, in both cases I opt toward convenience and safety instead of experimentation. Would serve me well to learn to deal with lens changing because it'd save me big time.
Oct 20, 2012
The Netherlands
Ad Dieleman
Would serve me well to learn to deal with lens changing because it'd save me big time.
Long, long time ago I had my first serious SLR system, Minolta XD7's and 1.7/50, 2.8/28 and 2.5/100. I quickly discovered that lens changing is something you need to practice. So I did, until I got to the point that I could do it while walking. I still change lenses the way I always did, but now I usually take the time to stand still if I can. Morale: it really pays off to practice until you've got a procedure that you can perform without thinking. I never, ever carry more than 1 body but I carry a few lenses and I change lenses a lot, sometimes tens of times during a shoot.

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