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Help: Pentax Spotmatic versus Nikon 4300 digital?

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Anonymous
April 11, 2005 3:55:42 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems,rec.photo.equipment.35mm,alt.photography (More info?)

Can someone here help me compare the quality of pictures taken
with my old 35mm Pentax with a modern digital camera, which I
haven't used in years, to a modern digital camera.

Unfortunately I can't easily arrange to view the results of both
camera taking pictures of on similar scenes.

The details of what I am trying to compare are below and my
question to you specialists here is ... which of these two cameras
is likely to give the best pictures?

Thank you for any advice.

Bill

++++++++

I am an amateur "picture taker". ("Photographer" is too grand a
word to describe me.) I take "general" pictures - people,
buildings and streetscapes. The prints I would like are in colour
and would be about 7x5 inches with maybe a rare enlargement to 9x7
inches.

35 MM CAMERA ---- My Pentax is Spotmatic model SP with a 55 mm
f/1.8 Super Takumar lens. I have an old 75-150 Tamron zoom lens.
These are 42mm screw-thread lenses. Today I guess I would use
Fuji 35 mm 200 ASA negative film.

DIGITAL CAMERA ---- A friend has a modern Nikon 4300 digital
camera which has a 4 Megapixel capability and is about a year old.
Looking through his pictures they seem better than I had expected.
I'm assuming that the Nikon 4300 is a reasonably good choice out
of the digital cameras at its price.

++++++++
Anonymous
April 11, 2005 3:55:43 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems,alt.photography (More info?)

"Bill S" <s_b@emercom.com> wrote in message
news:96357957ED4C951D7E@204.153.244.156...
> Can someone here help me compare the quality of pictures taken
> with my old 35mm Pentax with a modern digital camera, which I
> haven't used in years, to a modern digital camera.
>
> Unfortunately I can't easily arrange to view the results of both
> camera taking pictures of on similar scenes.
>
> The details of what I am trying to compare are below and my
> question to you specialists here is ... which of these two cameras
> is likely to give the best pictures?
>
> Thank you for any advice.
>
> Bill
>
> ++++++++
>
> I am an amateur "picture taker". ("Photographer" is too grand a
> word to describe me.) I take "general" pictures - people,
> buildings and streetscapes. The prints I would like are in colour
> and would be about 7x5 inches with maybe a rare enlargement to 9x7
> inches.
>
> 35 MM CAMERA ---- My Pentax is Spotmatic model SP with a 55 mm
> f/1.8 Super Takumar lens. I have an old 75-150 Tamron zoom lens.
> These are 42mm screw-thread lenses. Today I guess I would use
> Fuji 35 mm 200 ASA negative film.
>
> DIGITAL CAMERA ---- A friend has a modern Nikon 4300 digital
> camera which has a 4 Megapixel capability and is about a year old.
> Looking through his pictures they seem better than I had expected.
> I'm assuming that the Nikon 4300 is a reasonably good choice out
> of the digital cameras at its price.
>
> ++++++++
>
>

You are in real danger of starting the film v digital debate again here, but
as a former Pentax SLR user, and now 99% digital user I think I can be a
little helpful.

As with any photogtaphy the lens is key, so if you go digital get a camera
with a good lens. I started off with a Canon A40, now I have the
300D/Digital Rebel SLR.

The Canon A40 was only a 2Mp camera, that is 1600x1200 pixels. Printing
at 7x5 this would give a printed resolution of 228dpi x 240 dpi which is
quite adequate when printed at a lab or on a modern photographic Ink Jet.
There is no point going above 300dpi printed resolution as you will see no
difference. So if you plan to print 9x7, ie 2700x2100 then 5.5Mp would
be as much as you would ever need. Modern digital cameras have wider colour
range than film and apply a degree of sharpening in software, both of these
make for a more satisfying printed result. (Film fans please note...I said
satisfying, which is subjective, and we are talking "amateur picture
taker". )
I have done direct comparisons and nearly everyone prefered the digital
pictures to the film versions of the same scenes.

Aside from the quality of the lens with a digital camera you need to look at
the compression applied to the pictures when they are saved as JPG, and the
noise from the sensor. I was talking to a "Pro" in a retail outlet at the
weekend and he reported that they are getting unhappy users coming in saying
they "upgraded" their 2Mp camera to a 5Mp camera and that the prints are no
better or even worse. It seems the higher resolution chips, which are the
same size, are in some cases suffering from more "noise" than the lower
resolution chips. Also to get a reasonable number of pictures on a emory
card they run a higher default compression ratio when creating JPGs.

I strongly recommend that you take a few shots with any camera you plan to
buy and then get them printed. If you like the results whether they are
"better" or "worse" than something else really doesn't matter.

In my opinion if you go for a 4Mp digital with a quality lens and a minimal
file compression option you will be very pleased with the results.
Anonymous
April 11, 2005 3:55:43 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems,rec.photo.equipment.35mm,alt.photography (More info?)

Bill S <s_b@emercom.com> wrote:

> Can someone here help me compare the quality of pictures taken
> with my old 35mm Pentax with a modern digital camera, which I
> haven't used in years, to a modern digital camera.

You can use your M42 lenses on just about any digital SLR, with an
adaptor. If you can afford a DSLR body, that's the way to go.
Related resources
Can't find your answer ? Ask !
Anonymous
April 11, 2005 5:11:25 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems,rec.photo.equipment.35mm,alt.photography (More info?)

"Bill S" <s_b@emercom.com> wrote in message
news:96357957ED4C951D7E@204.153.244.156...

> Can someone here help me compare the quality of pictures taken
> with my old 35mm Pentax with a modern digital camera, which I
> haven't used in years, to a modern digital camera.

Resolution, contrast, and elimination of flare will be much better with any
semi-decent digital camera these days - BEFORE you drop either camera on the
ground. Don't count on any non-SLR digital camera (of ANY make or model) to
stand up to the same type of beating that an old Spotmatic, pre-plastic
K1000, Nikon F or Leica will take. I have gone through 3 new digital cameras
in less than one year, while the USED Nikon FM-2 I purchased while in the
military in Japan lasted for 18 years.
Anonymous
April 11, 2005 6:14:44 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems,rec.photo.equipment.35mm,alt.photography (More info?)

In article <96357957ED4C951D7E@204.153.244.156>, Bill S
<s_b@emercom.com> wrote:

> The details of what I am trying to compare are below and my
> question to you specialists here is ... which of these two cameras
> is likely to give the best pictures?

If both cameras are working properly and operated properly, you'll see
sharper, better exposed images from the Pentax.

However, for the proposed print sizes and uses, you won't actually see
much of a difference.
Anonymous
April 11, 2005 6:49:47 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems,rec.photo.equipment.35mm,alt.photography (More info?)

"Bill S" <s_b@emercom.com> wrote in message
news:96357957ED4C951D7E@204.153.244.156...
> Can someone here help me compare the quality of pictures taken
> with my old 35mm Pentax with a modern digital camera, which I
> haven't used in years, to a modern digital camera.

My opinion : they have different pro's.

Your pentax will take the highest resolution 'pictures', especially if you
use slide film, colour neg 100, or 400 (don't use 200 - it's a poor
compromise, generally). However, to the average eye, the digital camera's
photo will often look better in every way - they appear noise-free
(clean-looking), bright, clear colours, and also even look sharper than the
equivalent in film. Due to the decreased latitude of digital, there will be
less noise than colour negative, especially in the shadows.

However, many of these advantages are mostly due to the ability to process
the image from the CCD (all images need to be, even RAW files). What is
wrong with that? For your friends who look at the photos, it's only a good
thing. But actually, you'll notice that distant objects disappear (due to
lower resolution), near objects often have halo's due to
slight-oversharpening, and textured objects end up looking like they're made
out of plastic with scattered sand (this is very noticeable with grass in
the distance). Also, while we may not be able to easily see see artefacts
now, a few years down the line and we might be quite averse to these
artefacts, and the photos may compare poorly with photos taken with film
around the same time. Particularly in terms of realism.

There's no real way of improving the apparent quality of photos taken on
film, because the grain is completely random, and doesn't neatly fit into
pixels (computing being the most sensible way of editing them). This means
no proper noise reduction, and sharpening is not as effective, either
(sharpening the grain is easy, sharpening the form is much harder). Colour
and contrast can be adjusted quite easily in photoshop. With film you've
only really got the one chance to get the sharpness and grain under control,
and that is before you take the shot.

Conclusion : You'll have a harder time with Pentax, because film is less
forgiving, but the Nikon will have these artefacts I mentioned (all digital
cameras have), which may grate with you after a while, particularly as you
realise that it reduces the realism of your photos. With film you'll know
that it's captured more detail, and if you can ignore the grain, you'll have
pictures that are more true to life.

In my opinion.

Duncan.
P.S. I'm ignoring all the other obvious benefits of digital, which are not
related directly to quality.
Anonymous
April 11, 2005 7:57:35 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems,rec.photo.equipment.35mm,alt.photography (More info?)

Stan de SD wrote:
> "Bill S" <s_b@emercom.com> wrote in message
> news:96357957ED4C951D7E@204.153.244.156...
>
>
>>Can someone here help me compare the quality of pictures taken
>>with my old 35mm Pentax with a modern digital camera, which I
>>haven't used in years, to a modern digital camera.
>
>
> Resolution, contrast, and elimination of flare will be much better with any
> semi-decent digital camera these days - BEFORE you drop either camera on the
> ground. Don't count on any non-SLR digital camera (of ANY make or model) to
> stand up to the same type of beating that an old Spotmatic, pre-plastic
> K1000, Nikon F or Leica will take. I have gone through 3 new digital cameras
> in less than one year, while the USED Nikon FM-2 I purchased while in the
> military in Japan lasted for 18 years.


A compact zoom lens on a 4mp P&S digital camera having more resolution,
contrast and elimination of flare than a 55 mm f/1.8 Super Takumar lens?!?
Really now!
Anonymous
April 11, 2005 8:10:37 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems,rec.photo.equipment.35mm,alt.photography (More info?)

"Chris Loffredo" <me@privacy.net> wrote in message
news:3bve01F6i98kqU1@individual.net...
> Stan de SD wrote:
> > "Bill S" <s_b@emercom.com> wrote in message
> > news:96357957ED4C951D7E@204.153.244.156...
> >
> >
> >>Can someone here help me compare the quality of pictures taken
> >>with my old 35mm Pentax with a modern digital camera, which I
> >>haven't used in years, to a modern digital camera.
> >
> >
> > Resolution, contrast, and elimination of flare will be much better with
any
> > semi-decent digital camera these days - BEFORE you drop either camera on
the
> > ground. Don't count on any non-SLR digital camera (of ANY make or model)
to
> > stand up to the same type of beating that an old Spotmatic, pre-plastic
> > K1000, Nikon F or Leica will take. I have gone through 3 new digital
cameras
> > in less than one year, while the USED Nikon FM-2 I purchased while in
the
> > military in Japan lasted for 18 years.
>
>
> A compact zoom lens on a 4mp P&S digital camera having more resolution,
> contrast and elimination of flare than a 55 mm f/1.8 Super Takumar lens?!?

I will concede that I should have compared zooms with zooms, and fixed
lenses with fixed lenses. However, as good as the Takumars were for their
days, newer glasses with better homogeneity do have better curvature, and
aspheric lenses reduce chromatic abberation. In addition, the coating
technology has improved greatly, and flare is better controlled than in the
past. What is lost with the fixed lenses is better control of distortion, as
well as overall sturdiness - most of the newer lenses won't take the
abuse...
Anonymous
April 11, 2005 10:45:42 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems,rec.photo.equipment.35mm,alt.photography (More info?)

Bill S <s_b@emercom.com> wrote:
>
> I am an amateur "picture taker". ("Photographer" is too grand
> a word to describe me.) I take "general" pictures - people,
> buildings and streetscapes. The prints I would like are in
> colour and would be about 7x5 inches with maybe a rare
> enlargement to 9x7 inches.

Either should do fine for your purposes. I'm a film
person, but you should use whatever you feel more
comfortable with.

> 35 MM CAMERA ---- My Pentax is Spotmatic model SP with a
> 55 mm f/1.8 Super Takumar lens.

I've got a Pentax s3 with an SMC Takumar 55/1.8, and it is
about as good as 35mm cameras come. There's no reason to
expect anything less than first class results.

> I have an old 75-150 Tamron zoom lens.

This should probably be ok, though I would be surprised
if it were anywhere near as good as you super-takumar.

> Today I guess I would use Fuji 35 mm 200 ASA negative film.

Film, exposure, developing and printing are big variables
in quality you can do something about.

Films are uniformly pretty good, but it is worth trying
out some of the fancier colour negative films such as
Fuji Reala 100, and Kodak High-definition 200.

Colour negative films all show finer grain when exposed
a little more than the meter reading at the ISO speed.
This is particularly true for the faster films. You
might try setting the meter to 125 for 200 speed films,
or to 250 for 400 speed films. You should do your own
experiments, but you may be surprised at the difference
it can make. (The speed rating system for colour negative
films hasn't changed much since ASA 80 was fast for
a colour negative film. The higher speed and greater
overexposure latitude of modern C-41 films makes it a good
idea to derate them by about 2/3 of a stop or so.)

Some D&P places will do a much better job at printing
your pictures than others. This doesn't always bear
a strong relationship to the prices they charge: it just
requires someone running the machine who knows and cares
about doing a good job. It is very much worthwhile trying
out different places to have your developing and printing
done.

Peter.
--
pirwin@ktb.net
Anonymous
April 11, 2005 10:46:43 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems,rec.photo.equipment.35mm,alt.photography (More info?)

Stan de SD wrote:
> "Chris Loffredo" <me@privacy.net> wrote in message
> news:3bve01F6i98kqU1@individual.net...
>
>>Stan de SD wrote:
>>
>>>"Bill S" <s_b@emercom.com> wrote in message
>>>news:96357957ED4C951D7E@204.153.244.156...
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>>Can someone here help me compare the quality of pictures taken
>>>>with my old 35mm Pentax with a modern digital camera, which I
>>>>haven't used in years, to a modern digital camera.
>>>
>>>
>>>Resolution, contrast, and elimination of flare will be much better with
>
> any
>
>>>semi-decent digital camera these days - BEFORE you drop either camera on
>
> the
>
>>>ground. Don't count on any non-SLR digital camera (of ANY make or model)
>
> to
>
>>>stand up to the same type of beating that an old Spotmatic, pre-plastic
>>>K1000, Nikon F or Leica will take. I have gone through 3 new digital
>
> cameras
>
>>>in less than one year, while the USED Nikon FM-2 I purchased while in
>
> the
>
>>>military in Japan lasted for 18 years.
>>
>>
>>A compact zoom lens on a 4mp P&S digital camera having more resolution,
>>contrast and elimination of flare than a 55 mm f/1.8 Super Takumar lens?!?
>
>
> I will concede that I should have compared zooms with zooms, and fixed
> lenses with fixed lenses. However, as good as the Takumars were for their
> days, newer glasses with better homogeneity do have better curvature, and
> aspheric lenses reduce chromatic abberation. In addition, the coating
> technology has improved greatly, and flare is better controlled than in the
> past. What is lost with the fixed lenses is better control of distortion, as
> well as overall sturdiness - most of the newer lenses won't take the
> abuse...
>

Which newer glasses? Top line (and extremely expensive) lenses in many
cases might be better than older models, but that isn't the type of
equipment the OP seemed to be asking about.
Many lenses of not extreme aperture or length (not talking about zooms
here) WERE better in the past: A lot of supposedly "improved" modern
glasses are simply cheapened.
So which modern prime lenses actually do control flare better than
decades old Pentax SMC, Zeiss T* or Rollei HFT? Also, lens geometry
plays an important role in flare reduction.

Comparing a zoom equipped 4mp digital P&S with a good Pentax + original
lens (even if vintage) is a no-brainer (at least quality-wise)

All that said, the OP's requirements, "7x5 inches with maybe a rare
enlargement to 9x7", can be met by just about any decent camera, 4mp
digital or not...


___________________________________
"Daddy! Daddy!! A nice man at the market took our old Leicaflex and
180mm Apo-Telyt and gave me a MAGICAL camera with 20x digital zoom and
anti red-eye function!!!"
"Well done Jack! YeeeHaw!! Now we can take some really good pikkers!!!"
Anonymous
April 12, 2005 12:42:22 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems,rec.photo.equipment.35mm,alt.photography (More info?)

On Monday 11 April 2005 03:55, Bill S wrote:

> Can someone here help me compare the quality of pictures taken
> with my old 35mm Pentax with a modern digital camera, which I
> haven't used in years, to a modern digital camera.
>
> Unfortunately I can't easily arrange to view the results of both
> camera taking pictures of on similar scenes.
>
> The details of what I am trying to compare are below and my
> question to you specialists here is ... which of these two cameras
> is likely to give the best pictures?
>
> Thank you for any advice.
>
> Bill
>
> ++++++++
>
> I am an amateur "picture taker". ("Photographer" is too grand a
> word to describe me.) I take "general" pictures - people,
> buildings and streetscapes. The prints I would like are in colour
> and would be about 7x5 inches with maybe a rare enlargement to 9x7
> inches.
>
> 35 MM CAMERA ---- My Pentax is Spotmatic model SP with a 55 mm
> f/1.8 Super Takumar lens. I have an old 75-150 Tamron zoom lens.
> These are 42mm screw-thread lenses. Today I guess I would use
> Fuji 35 mm 200 ASA negative film.
>
> DIGITAL CAMERA ---- A friend has a modern Nikon 4300 digital
> camera which has a 4 Megapixel capability and is about a year old.
> Looking through his pictures they seem better than I had expected.
> I'm assuming that the Nikon 4300 is a reasonably good choice out
> of the digital cameras at its price.
>
> ++++++++

FYI: The average 35mm film camera using 100 speed film is roughly
equivalent to a 22 megapixel digital camera. But rarely is the full
resolution of a film camera used. A good 4 to 6 MP digital will
deliver 8x10 prints that are almost indistinguishable from those made
with film.

--
Stefan Patric
NoLife Polymath Group
tootek2@yahoo.com
Anonymous
April 12, 2005 1:20:49 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems,rec.photo.equipment.35mm,alt.photography (More info?)

["Followup-To:" header set to rec.photo.digital.slr-systems.]
On Mon, 11 Apr 2005 11:55:42 +0100, Bill S <s_b@emercom.com> wrote:
> Can someone here help me compare the quality of pictures taken
> with my old 35mm Pentax with a modern digital camera, which I
> haven't used in years, to a modern digital camera.

Dear God no. (Nothing personal.)

Since your performance requirements are modest, I suggest that you
go for the camera that you most enjoy lugging around with you and using.

--
Ben Rosengart (212) 741-4400 x215
Sometimes it only makes sense to focus our attention on those
questions that are equal parts trivial and intriguing.
--Josh Micah Marshall
Anonymous
April 12, 2005 6:29:11 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems,rec.photo.equipment.35mm,alt.photography (More info?)

"Chris Loffredo" <me@privacy.net> wrote in message
news:3bvnt6F6ieg7gU1@individual.net...
> Stan de SD wrote:
> > "Chris Loffredo" <me@privacy.net> wrote in message
> > news:3bve01F6i98kqU1@individual.net...
> >
> >>Stan de SD wrote:
> >>
> >>>"Bill S" <s_b@emercom.com> wrote in message
> >>>news:96357957ED4C951D7E@204.153.244.156...
> >>>
[SNIP]

> > In addition, the coating technology has improved greatly, and flare
> > is better controlled than in the past. What is lost with the fixed
> > lenses is better control of distortion, as well as overall sturdiness -
> > most of the newer lenses won't take the abuse...
> >
>
> Which newer glasses? Top line (and extremely expensive) lenses in
> many cases might be better than older models, but that isn't the type
> of equipment the OP seemed to be asking about. Many lenses of not
> extreme aperture or length (not talking about zooms here) WERE
> better in the past: A lot of supposedly "improved" modern glasses are
> simply cheapened.
>
> So which modern prime lenses actually do control flare better than
> decades old Pentax SMC, Zeiss T* or Rollei HFT? Also, lens
> geometry plays an important role in flare reduction.
>

There's plenty of currently produced lenses with coating that is less good
than the oldest version of SMC, including from the 'big players'. Current
SMC remains at the top, especially in its ghostless incarnation, with T* and
Fujinon EBC probably the closest rivals, and the oldest SMC is still
entirely competitive with the best now produced.

I'd be extremely surprised to find a P&S digital with a significantly better
coated lens than an SMC Takumar, and still more so to find any with better
overall flare performance and contrast, given the wide range zooms they
stick on these things.

That's not to say that it couldn't be done, just that no one seems to be
doing it currently - maybe the little Contax digital with the fixed lens
might be in the running here, but that's hardly a mainstream product: cost
is the issue. The digital P&S market is simply not sufficiently quality
conscious to for such things to be economic.


Peter
Anonymous
April 12, 2005 4:45:22 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems,rec.photo.equipment.35mm,alt.photography (More info?)

> That's not to say that it couldn't be done, just that no one seems to be
> doing it currently - maybe the little Contax digital with the fixed lens
> might be in the running here, but that's hardly a mainstream product: cost
> is the issue. The digital P&S market is simply not sufficiently quality
> conscious to for such things to be economic.

I think I agree - I've heard that Pentax SMC's coating on compact cameras is
not meant to be as good as on their K mount lenses. Also, I compared a
Pentax Espio SMC zoom compact versus a Pentax SMC-A 35-70mm zoom against a
sunset in Hong Kong. The results were completely different, with more flare
and less contrast in the compact. However, it wasn't a fair test, as the
multisegment metering of the compact resulted in a more exposed photo than
from the centre-weighted of my SLR.

Duncan.
Anonymous
April 12, 2005 6:53:46 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems,rec.photo.equipment.35mm,alt.photography (More info?)

On Mon 11 Apr 2005 22:20:49, Ben Rosengart wrote:
<news:slrnd5lqhh.9qh.br@panix5.panix.com>

> ["Followup-To:" header set to rec.photo.digital.slr-systems.]
> On Mon, 11 Apr 2005 11:55:42 +0100, Bill S <s_b@emercom.com>
> wrote:
>> Can someone here help me compare the quality of pictures taken
>> with my old 35mm Pentax with a modern digital camera, which I
>> haven't used in years, to a modern digital camera.
>
> Dear God no. (Nothing personal.)
>
> Since your performance requirements are modest, I suggest that
> you go for the camera that you most enjoy lugging around with
> you and using.


Heh! I think you are right about my requirments and that is why I
am not looking at some super-duper digital SLR.

However what surprised me more than a little was the very low
prices my old Spotmatic + lens is fetching on eBay.

I had fondly thought I might have sold the Spotmatic + lens and
been able to buy a Nikon Coolpix with the income. However I see
that the selling price of the Spotmatic is lower than the
secondhand price of Nikon 4300s!

It hardly seems worth selling the Spotmatic but in truth I use it
very little but I would use a digital camera a lot (mainly to load
pictures onto my PC).






["Followup-To:" header reset]
Anonymous
April 12, 2005 8:59:03 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems,rec.photo.equipment.35mm,alt.photography (More info?)

"Bill S" <s_b@emercom.com> wrote in message
news:963697884BE5151D7E@204.153.244.156...
> On Mon 11 Apr 2005 22:20:49, Ben Rosengart wrote:
> <news:slrnd5lqhh.9qh.br@panix5.panix.com>
>
>> ["Followup-To:" header set to rec.photo.digital.slr-systems.]
>> On Mon, 11 Apr 2005 11:55:42 +0100, Bill S <s_b@emercom.com>
>> wrote:
>>> Can someone here help me compare the quality of pictures taken
>>> with my old 35mm Pentax with a modern digital camera, which I
>>> haven't used in years, to a modern digital camera.
>>
>> Dear God no. (Nothing personal.)
>>
>> Since your performance requirements are modest, I suggest that
>> you go for the camera that you most enjoy lugging around with
>> you and using.
>
>
> Heh! I think you are right about my requirments and that is why I
> am not looking at some super-duper digital SLR.
>
> However what surprised me more than a little was the very low
> prices my old Spotmatic + lens is fetching on eBay.
>
> I had fondly thought I might have sold the Spotmatic + lens and
> been able to buy a Nikon Coolpix with the income. However I see
> that the selling price of the Spotmatic is lower than the
> secondhand price of Nikon 4300s!
>
> It hardly seems worth selling the Spotmatic but in truth I use it
> very little but I would use a digital camera a lot (mainly to load
> pictures onto my PC).
>
>


Sad to say that film camera prices have dropped through the floor recently.
I bought my Pentax ME in 1981 for £115.00. For almost the next 20 years I
could have sold it again for about the same money. I actually bought a
second body myself about 7 or 8 years ago so that I had a home for my lenses
if the old body died.
I just looked on eBay and ME Supers are going for about £25.
This shows just how far prices have dropped. Until recently just about every
photography student in the UK had was told to get the ME Super or the manual
equivalent (ME has aperture priority Auto in addition to manual) as their
first camera.

Dream of a camera to use.. ahem...

Just looked at Spotmatic prices... just a bit more than the cost of a
roll of film.. Suggest we hang on to our kit for 50 years then try selling
to a museum.
Anonymous
April 12, 2005 11:58:50 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems,rec.photo.equipment.35mm,alt.photography (More info?)

Bill S wrote:
> On Mon 11 Apr 2005 17:46:43, Chris Loffredo wrote:
> <news:3bvnt6F6ieg7gU1@individual.net>
>
>>Which newer glasses? Top line (and extremely expensive) lenses
>>in many cases might be better than older models, but that isn't
>>the type of equipment the OP seemed to be asking about.
>
>
> I am the Op and I am not, as you suggest, comparing my old Pentax SMC
> 55mm lens with a lens from a modern digital SLR.

I realised that, and mentioned that you probably weren't interested in
the top line & expensive lenses.


> Instead I would like to compare the old lens with something like a
> Nikon Coolpix 4300 which I think was very recently discontinued but
> which ended up at approx $250 in the US and about £200 in the UK.

Which is also what I said; it is very unlikely that a compact zoom on a
4mp P&S digital will do better than you 55mm lens.

If you want speed and convenience, go for the digital. If you want
maximum quality, stick with the pentax (and maybe get a good lens or two
for it).

Since you mention that you probably won't exceed 9x7 inches in your
prints, the quality advantage of the Pentax is very unlikely to show
itself - excepts in extreme (i.e. against the light or time exposures)
situations.
The Coolpix 4300 is certainly not a toy. Up to 9x7 inches in most
conditions, you'll probably find the results good or even very good.
The Pentax has the edge on posters and dodgy light situations.
YMMV!
Anonymous
April 13, 2005 12:02:40 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems,rec.photo.equipment.35mm,alt.photography (More info?)

Bill S wrote:

> On Mon 11 Apr 2005 17:46:43, Chris Loffredo wrote:
> <news:3bvnt6F6ieg7gU1@individual.net>
>
>> Which newer glasses? Top line (and extremely expensive) lenses
>> in many cases might be better than older models, but that isn't
>> the type of equipment the OP seemed to be asking about.
>
>
>
> I am the Op and I am not, as you suggest, comparing my old Pentax SMC
55mm lens with a lens from a modern digital SLR.


I realised that, and mentioned that you probably weren't interested in
the top line & expensive lenses.


> Instead I would like to compare the old lens with something like a
Nikon Coolpix 4300 which I think was very recently discontinued but
which ended up at approx $250 in the US and about £200 in the UK.


Which is also what I said; it is very unlikely that a compact zoom on a
4mp P&S digital will do better than you 55mm lens.

If you want speed and convenience, go for the digital. If you want
maximum quality, stick with the pentax (and maybe get a good lens or two
for it).

Since you mention that you probably won't exceed 9x7 inches in your
prints, the quality advantage of the Pentax is very unlikely to show
itself - excepts in extreme (i.e. against the light or time exposures)
situations.
The Coolpix 4300 is certainly not a toy. Up to 9x7 inches in most
conditions, you'll probably find the results good or even very good.
The Pentax has the edge on posters and dodgy light situations.
YMMV!



___________________________________
"Daddy! Daddy!! A nice man at the market took our old Leicaflex and
180mm Apo-Telyt and gave me a MAGICAL camera with 20x digital zoom and
anti red-eye function!!!"
"Well done Jack! YeeeHaw!! Now we can take some really good pikkers!!!"
Anonymous
April 13, 2005 12:05:15 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems,rec.photo.equipment.35mm,alt.photography (More info?)

Bill S wrote:

> However what surprised me more than a little was the very low
> prices my old Spotmatic + lens is fetching on eBay.
>
> I had fondly thought I might have sold the Spotmatic + lens and
> been able to buy a Nikon Coolpix with the income. However I see
> that the selling price of the Spotmatic is lower than the
> secondhand price of Nikon 4300s!


It's a mixed blessing: For people like me (i.e. eccentrics who love film
and great cameras), it's the chance to buy the cameras I've always
dreamed of.

At least for that reason, I LOVE DIGITAL!


___________________________________
"Daddy! Daddy!! A nice man at the market took our old Leicaflex and
180mm Apo-Telyt and gave me a MAGICAL camera with 20x digital zoom and
anti red-eye function!!!"
"Well done Jack! YeeeHaw!! Now we can take some really good pikkers!!!"
Anonymous
April 13, 2005 2:41:23 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems,rec.photo.equipment.35mm,alt.photography (More info?)

In rec.photo.equipment.35mm Bill S <s_b@emercom.com> wrote:
> On Mon 11 Apr 2005 17:46:43, Chris Loffredo wrote:
> <news:3bvnt6F6ieg7gU1@individual.net>
>
> > Which newer glasses? Top line (and extremely expensive) lenses
> > in many cases might be better than older models, but that isn't
> > the type of equipment the OP seemed to be asking about.
>
> I am the Op and I am not, as you suggest, comparing my old Pentax SMC
> 55mm lens with a lens from a modern digital SLR.
>
> Instead I would like to compare the old lens with something like a
> Nikon Coolpix 4300 which I think was very recently discontinued but
> which ended up at approx $250 in the US and about ?200 in the UK.
>
> The Nikon Coolpix 4300 has a 3x zoom lens with 8-24mm coverage
> (equivalent to 38-114mm in 35mm).

It has a 1/1.8" sensor (which is not actually bad for compact digicam,
bad is 1/2.5", 1/2.7" and smaller).

The lens is 9 elements in 7 groups (one aspherical) and uses Nikon SIC
coating which as far as I can tell is the same coating as that used
on SLR Zoom-Nikkors.

--
Sander

+++ Out of cheese error +++
Anonymous
April 13, 2005 7:14:35 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems,rec.photo.equipment.35mm,alt.photography (More info?)

"Chris Down" <noreplies@email.com> wrote in message
news:r7T6e.22832$vv2.5862@newsfe2-gui.ntli.net...
> "Bill S" <s_b@emercom.com> wrote in message
> news:963697884BE5151D7E@204.153.244.156...
>> On Mon 11 Apr 2005 22:20:49, Ben Rosengart wrote:
>> <news:slrnd5lqhh.9qh.br@panix5.panix.com>
>>
>>> ["Followup-To:" header set to rec.photo.digital.slr-systems.]
>>> On Mon, 11 Apr 2005 11:55:42 +0100, Bill S <s_b@emercom.com>
>>> wrote:
>>>> Can someone here help me compare the quality of pictures taken
>>>> with my old 35mm Pentax with a modern digital camera, which I
>>>> haven't used in years, to a modern digital camera.
>>>
>>> Dear God no. (Nothing personal.)
>>>
>>> Since your performance requirements are modest, I suggest that
>>> you go for the camera that you most enjoy lugging around with
>>> you and using.
>>
>>
>> Heh! I think you are right about my requirments and that is why I
>> am not looking at some super-duper digital SLR.
>>
>> However what surprised me more than a little was the very low
>> prices my old Spotmatic + lens is fetching on eBay.
>>
>> I had fondly thought I might have sold the Spotmatic + lens and
>> been able to buy a Nikon Coolpix with the income. However I see
>> that the selling price of the Spotmatic is lower than the
>> secondhand price of Nikon 4300s!
>>
>> It hardly seems worth selling the Spotmatic but in truth I use it
>> very little but I would use a digital camera a lot (mainly to load
>> pictures onto my PC).
>>
>>
>
>
> Sad to say that film camera prices have dropped through the floor
> recently. I bought my Pentax ME in 1981 for £115.00. For almost the next
> 20 years I could have sold it again for about the same money. I actually
> bought a second body myself about 7 or 8 years ago so that I had a home
> for my lenses if the old body died.
> I just looked on eBay and ME Supers are going for about £25.
> This shows just how far prices have dropped. Until recently just about
> every photography student in the UK had was told to get the ME Super or
> the manual equivalent (ME has aperture priority Auto in addition to
> manual) as their first camera.


I'm not sure I agree. The ME-super is still going, on average, for between
50-65 pounds on ebay (make sure you check 'completed items'), which is only
about £10 less than it was 4 years ago. This may be nothing to do with
digital, but actually the ME-Super suffers from electronic problems at
around this age. LX's in poor condition (cosmetically) are still going for
upwards of £200, so no change there.

>
> Dream of a camera to use.. ahem...
>
> Just looked at Spotmatic prices... just a bit more than the cost of a
> roll of film.. Suggest we hang on to our kit for 50 years then try
> selling to a museum.

Yes, Spotmatic prices are crazy - the lens, too!
Duncan.
Anonymous
April 13, 2005 8:45:33 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems,rec.photo.equipment.35mm,alt.photography (More info?)

"Duncan J Murray"
<duncan.murray@remove.this.bit.medical-school.and.this.bit.oxford.ac.uk>
wrote in message news:D 3j9h0$8tv$1@news.ox.ac.uk...
> "Chris Down" <noreplies@email.com> wrote in message
> news:r7T6e.22832$vv2.5862@newsfe2-gui.ntli.net...
>> "Bill S" <s_b@emercom.com> wrote in message
>> news:963697884BE5151D7E@204.153.244.156...
>>> On Mon 11 Apr 2005 22:20:49, Ben Rosengart wrote:
>>> <news:slrnd5lqhh.9qh.br@panix5.panix.com>
>>>
>>>> ["Followup-To:" header set to rec.photo.digital.slr-systems.]
>>>> On Mon, 11 Apr 2005 11:55:42 +0100, Bill S <s_b@emercom.com>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>> Can someone here help me compare the quality of pictures taken
>>>>> with my old 35mm Pentax with a modern digital camera, which I
>>>>> haven't used in years, to a modern digital camera.
>>>>
>>>> Dear God no. (Nothing personal.)
>>>>
>>>> Since your performance requirements are modest, I suggest that
>>>> you go for the camera that you most enjoy lugging around with
>>>> you and using.
>>>
>>>
>>> Heh! I think you are right about my requirments and that is why I
>>> am not looking at some super-duper digital SLR.
>>>
>>> However what surprised me more than a little was the very low
>>> prices my old Spotmatic + lens is fetching on eBay.
>>>
>>> I had fondly thought I might have sold the Spotmatic + lens and
>>> been able to buy a Nikon Coolpix with the income. However I see
>>> that the selling price of the Spotmatic is lower than the
>>> secondhand price of Nikon 4300s!
>>>
>>> It hardly seems worth selling the Spotmatic but in truth I use it
>>> very little but I would use a digital camera a lot (mainly to load
>>> pictures onto my PC).
>>>
>>>
>>
>>
>> Sad to say that film camera prices have dropped through the floor
>> recently. I bought my Pentax ME in 1981 for £115.00. For almost the
>> next 20 years I could have sold it again for about the same money. I
>> actually bought a second body myself about 7 or 8 years ago so that I had
>> a home for my lenses if the old body died.
>> I just looked on eBay and ME Supers are going for about £25.
>> This shows just how far prices have dropped. Until recently just about
>> every photography student in the UK had was told to get the ME Super or
>> the manual equivalent (ME has aperture priority Auto in addition to
>> manual) as their first camera.
>
>
> I'm not sure I agree. The ME-super is still going, on average, for
> between 50-65 pounds on ebay (make sure you check 'completed items'),
> which is only about £10 less than it was 4 years ago. This may be nothing
> to do with digital, but actually the ME-Super suffers from electronic
> problems at around this age. LX's in poor condition (cosmetically) are
> still going for upwards of £200, so no change there.
>
>>
>> Dream of a camera to use.. ahem...
>>
>> Just looked at Spotmatic prices... just a bit more than the cost of a
>> roll of film.. Suggest we hang on to our kit for 50 years then try
>> selling to a museum.
>
> Yes, Spotmatic prices are crazy - the lens, too!
> Duncan.
>
>
The cameras, ME Super's, going for over £50 generally have a lot of extras
going with them, flash, zoom etc., basic cameras with the standard 50mm
lens are going for about £30 only.
Not had any electronic problems with either of my two ME Super bodies, but
both winders diesrecently.
But whatever the exact prices it is hardly worth the bother of trying to
sell them at those levels.
Anonymous
April 15, 2005 6:48:21 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems,rec.photo.equipment.35mm,alt.photography (More info?)

"Duncan J Murray"
<duncan.murray@remove.this.bit.medical-school.and.this.bit.oxford.ac.uk>
wrote in message news:D 3j9h0$8tv$1@news.ox.ac.uk...
[SNIP]
> LX's in poor condition (cosmetically) are still going for upwards of
£200,
> so no change there.

I don't often see them in poor cosmetic condition - an awful lot of people
seem to be getting the leatherette replaced before selling them, and
sometimes touching up the enamel too. I understand why, but sometimes I'd
rather get a cosmetically poor camera and make my own decisions on how much
I want to tidy up its appearance. I suppose sellers feel that most people
will assume that a camera that looks well used has been misused - which is
often the opposite of the real situation.


Peter
Anonymous
April 15, 2005 2:43:17 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems,rec.photo.equipment.35mm (More info?)

Bandicoot wrote:

> I want to tidy up its appearance. I suppose sellers feel that most people
> will assume that a camera that looks well used has been misused - which is
> often the opposite of the real situation.

There is a difference between a patina of loving use and a camera that
is dinged due to abuse.

--
-- r.p.e.35mm user resource: http://www.aliasimages.com/rpe35mmur.htm
-- r.p.d.slr-systems: http://www.aliasimages.com/rpdslrsysur.htm
-- slr-systems FAQ project: http://tinyurl.com/6m9aw
-- [SI] gallery & rulz: http://www.pbase.com/shootin
-- e-meil: Remove FreeLunch.
April 15, 2005 9:05:16 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems,rec.photo.equipment.35mm,alt.photography (More info?)

"Bill S" <s_b@emercom.com> wrote in message
news:96357957ED4C951D7E@204.153.244.156...


> 35 MM CAMERA ---- My Pentax is Spotmatic model SP with a 55 mm
> f/1.8 Super Takumar lens. I have an old 75-150 Tamron zoom lens.
> These are 42mm screw-thread lenses. Today I guess I would use
> Fuji 35 mm 200 ASA negative film.
>
> DIGITAL CAMERA ---- A friend has a modern Nikon 4300 digital
> camera which has a 4 Megapixel capability and is about a year old.
> Looking through his pictures they seem better than I had expected.
> I'm assuming that the Nikon 4300 is a reasonably good choice out
> of the digital cameras at its price.
>


I am a long-time Spotmatic user. Even today, my only 35mm SLRs are my SP
IIa, ES, ES-II and SP-F, and I have 15 SMC Takumar prime lenses.

They are wonderful with slide film. But, I have found myself using my
digicam more and more. The Pentax gear has better resolution and the prints
can be enlarged much bigger than those from my digicam. Since I rarely go
beyond 8 x 10 however, it is a moot point. And, since I do not shoot
professionally, I have no concerns over the issue of salability. So I
believe that you and I are in much the same position with regard to our
needs.

I have found that the ability to edit my digital images has made them much
better-looking than those produced by photofinishers on automated printing
equipment. With digital, I control the color saturation, color balance,
contrast, brightness. I can adjust sharpness and I understand that the
newer versions of PhotoShop even have the ability to compensate for
pincushion and barrel distortion, with settings unique to each lens. Also,
I do a lot of architectural photography, and I can use the deformation tool
in my editing software to correct perspective, much like one would do on an
expensive perspective control lens (Pentax PC lenses are available only in
K-mount, not screwmount.)

If you are particular about your results, and if you don't mind having to
edit your own images on the computer, you just may find that the digital
camera will yield results more in line with what you want than will the film
cameras.

I have found that it is not just a simple matter to compare the two systems,
because even though my Pentax lenses are superb, the digital is much smaller
and easier to take with me, and I have much more control over the final
print. Also, I often shoot only a couple of frames at a session, and it
really is easier using digital, as I don't have to fill up a roll before
getting it processed (or have to sacrifice 3/4 of a roll of unused film,
just to process the few images that I took).

So, if you are not a pro and do not require the fast speed and wide range of
focal lengths that SLRs offer, if you shoot relatively few images at a time,
if you want to take a proactive stance and edit your own images so look the
way YOU want, if you appreciate the smaller, lighter and easier-to-carry
characteristics of a modern digital camera over the heavier weight of an
SLR, and if you don't intend to make prints larger than, say, 8 x 10, you
just may find the digital camera to be more appropriate for most of your
photo needs.

If you can have both, that might be the best solution. I use my digicam for
most of my routine stuff, but I still have the Pentax film bodies and lenses
for those situations where they would be preferable.

One final point: I have determined that digital photos always come out much
better after editing. I've never been happy with the images as they came
out of the camera. If you do not want to learn PhotoShop or Paint Shop Pro,
and if you just want to take the picture and let someone else handle the
video analysis and printing, you will probably obtain better results using
film. Digital images do require a bit of post-shoot tweaking, especially
when the camera is a consumer model. Many outdoor shots tend to be somewhat
dark, but they can be nicely corrected on your computer, prior to printing
them.

Look at the photos of items offered on eBay to get a feel for what I
mean--many of the images are dark, sometimes out-of-focus, and the color
balance is way off. These are typical of amateur shots, with no editing.
April 15, 2005 9:14:05 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems (More info?)

"Stefan Patric" <writeme@addressbelow.com> wrote in message
news:FlI6e.38703$Xs.7356@fed1read03...
>
> FYI: The average 35mm film camera using 100 speed film is roughly
> equivalent to a 22 megapixel digital camera. But rarely is the full
> resolution of a film camera used. A good 4 to 6 MP digital will
> deliver 8x10 prints that are almost indistinguishable from those made
> with film.
>

You are, technically, correct. But to obtain the full benefit of film, the
scans should be on an expensive drum scanner--something that is too
cost-prohibitive for all but the most important shots.

At smaller print sizes, the differences between film and digital are slight.

The long-term problem is that film may be able to be scanned better, and at
lower prices, in the future, and the film images may be better than can be
obtained today. With digital, the image quality is locked at whatever it is
today--it can't be improved later.

That having been said, the typical amateur, who shoots at low volume, prints
at sizes no larger than 8 x 10, and is not producing art designed to last
for generations, probably will do better with digital.

One redeeming quality about digital is that people are inclined to take a
lot more shots than they would with film. And any shot is better than no
shot at all. I have taken more digital shots in 5 years than I took with my
5 film bodies in 30 years.

I enjoy my film bodies and lenses, but if I were getting into the hobby
today for the first time, I'd go digital without blinking an eye.
Anonymous
April 15, 2005 9:27:06 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems,rec.photo.equipment.35mm (More info?)

In article <d3ojts$s0h$2@inews.gazeta.pl>,
Alan Browne <alan.browne@freelunchVideotron.ca> wrote:
>Bandicoot wrote:
>
>> I want to tidy up its appearance. I suppose sellers feel that most people
>> will assume that a camera that looks well used has been misused - which is
>> often the opposite of the real situation.
>
>There is a difference between a patina of loving use and a camera that
>is dinged due to abuse.

What's the permissible ding rate per year?
I've got an MX that has served me well for almost 30 years, but during
that time it has accquired a significant ding in the pentaprism housing.
Anonymous
April 15, 2005 9:27:07 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems,rec.photo.equipment.35mm (More info?)

John Francis wrote:

> What's the permissible ding rate per year?
> I've got an MX that has served me well for almost 30 years, but during
> that time it has accquired a significant ding in the pentaprism housing.

After near 30 years a few dings count as patina...

As long as the VF optics remain firmly fixed and aligned then it's up to
the buyer what confidence he puts in the 'dinged' look. I suspect
however that you're not going to sell it...





--
-- r.p.e.35mm user resource: http://www.aliasimages.com/rpe35mmur.htm
-- r.p.d.slr-systems: http://www.aliasimages.com/rpdslrsysur.htm
-- slr-systems FAQ project: http://tinyurl.com/6m9aw
-- [SI] gallery & rulz: http://www.pbase.com/shootin
-- e-meil: Remove FreeLunch.
Anonymous
April 16, 2005 6:21:02 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital.slr-systems,rec.photo.equipment.35mm (More info?)

"Alan Browne" <alan.browne@FreeLunchVideotron.ca> wrote in message
news:2bT7e.85639$db3.893474@wagner.videotron.net...
> John Francis wrote:
>
> > What's the permissible ding rate per year?
> > I've got an MX that has served me well for almost 30 years, but during
> > that time it has accquired a significant ding in the pentaprism housing.
>
> After near 30 years a few dings count as patina...
>
> As long as the VF optics remain firmly fixed and aligned then it's up to
> the buyer what confidence he puts in the 'dinged' look. I suspect
> however that you're not going to sell it...
>

My most dented camera is a Pentax Spotmatic that isn't ever going to be
sold for a number of reasons. One of them is that that big dent, acquired
on a fall in the Andes, would probably be in my head if it wasn't in the
pentaprism housing...


Peter
!