Help me shake the digital SLR camera body blues
June 20, 2010 10:03 PM Subscribe
About ten years ago, I was given a couple Pentax 35mm film SLR bodies, and some lenses, which I was happy with. Especially the SMC-M 50mm f/1.4 lens, with which I discovered bokeh and existing-light photography. But after a while, I got tired of having to store and process film, since I just put all the pictures into my computer anyway. So I got a *ist DS, since that was compatible with all my lenses. But my favorite prime lens has been turned into a zoom by the reduced sensor size. The closest equivalent I've found is the FA 31mm Limited, but that costs ~$1000 USD, and its not even f1.4, its f1.8. Given this issue, along with the fussiness of getting all the auto-exposure/focus stuff to work the way I want it to, and I'm really missing my film camera bodies. Or is there an alternative?
posted by Hither to Media & Arts (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Other irritations are that my M-series lenses are a pain to use with the digital body, particularly the exposure/metering. And on the whole, I don't like the autofocus, it seems finicky and unpredictable, though the DSLR manual focus is even worse given the non-split-image viewfinder.
Are there any alternatives to just reverting to film? Would switching everything to Nikon or Canon solve everything for me? On a smaller scale, I was thinking of replacing my M 50/1.4 with a SMC-A 50/1.4 that would at least address the metering issue, but I'm wary since that would be yet more time and money invested in Pentax gear without addressing either the lack-of-good-main-lens issue, or the focusing issue. I could also change the focusing screen to a split-image one as a small improvement, but I've heard thats detrimental to metering.
In general, I'd rather not spend too much (more) money to fix my mess, though I could sell gear to fund replacements.
Details of my setup:
Pentax MX and SuperProgram 35mm film bodies.
Pentax *ist DS body.
Tokina 28mm f/2.8 lens — not great, don't use it anymore
Pentax SMC M 50mm f/1.4 lens — was my favorite
Pentax SMC M 135mm f/3.5 lens — decent, but don't end up using it much
Pentax SMC A 70-210mm f/5.64 manual focus lens — nice though bulky
Pentax SMCP-DA 14mm f/2.8 ED autofocus Lens — love it, though its a shame it doesn't work with the film bodies.
Pentax AF280T flash — it gives me TTL metering and bounce flash, so I'm pretty content with it