My Pentax K10D DSLR’s first serious outing was in Chicago. Margaret and I had a getaway weekend downtown. A good part of our trip was spent walking around looking at the architecture.
It rained all day Saturday of our trip, but my K10D is weather sealed so I wasn’t worried about a little rain when I made a photo. Still, I kept the camera tucked inside my raincoat when I wasn’t using it. Sunday the weather cooperated better.
Target currently inhabits much of the former Carson Pirie Scott department store space. Its iron facade is stunning. On the K10D, this 28mm lens is equivalent to a 42mm lens on a 35mm SLR. From the opposite corner it let me get this much of the facade in, but no more. The facade runs all the way down the block, out of the photo to the right.
I made a dozen photos of the ornate Tribune Tower, which houses the Chicago Tribune and WGN Radio. Most of them were of details in dusty corners. Because the K10D meters only at the center with manual-focus lenses, I have to take extra care in metering in uneven light, such as that found in dusty corners. I haven’t mastered that yet.
Margaret had never been in the amazing Palmer House lobby, so we walked in for a few photographs. I stayed here with my son Damion when we visited Chicago for his 13th birthday seven years ago; see those photos here.
Conventional wisdom says that the K10D does film-like work with manual-focus lenses the closer you set ISO to 100. Shooting inside handheld, of course, ISO 100 is too slow. So I cranked it all the way to its maximum of ISO 1600 and hoped for the best. 2006-vintage digital cameras hadn’t sorted the high ISOs yet, and images could be noisy. The noise in these photos isn’t unpleasant, at least.
Because I’m used to shooting old film cameras, I never felt burned by manually focusing and stopping down to meter as I shot the K10D around downtown Chicago. It was a fully usable system.
Yet I picked up an autofocus 28-80mm Pentax lens for 20 bucks the other day and it’s currently mounted on the K10D. This lens gets mixed reviews for performance, but the price was right for me to find out whether I like using the K10D as a full-on auto-everything DSLR.