I bought an 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 SMC Pentax-DA AL lens for my Pentax K10D DSLR, and by golly, I think I might finally have found a lens this camera likes.
I tried a 35mm f/2 SMC Pentax-FA AL lens but it didn’t play well with the autofocus. I also tried a 28-80mm f/3.5-4.7 SMC Pentax-FA zoom lens and while it focused better, the photos it gave me didn’t wow me.
But those are both film-era lenses. This DA AL lens is not only from Pentax’s digital era, but it is the lens that most often accompanied this camera in a kit when new.
It focuses cleanly and quickly, and within the limitations of this 12-year-old camera’s firmware it returns good results.
I shot RAW but these photos needed little help in Photoshop to look good. I boosted shadows in the final photo above, tweaked color temperature in a couple of the others, and corrected minor lens distortion in them all. Zip zap zoop and they were ready for the blog. That’s just how I like it.
What’s leading me to try the K10D again is my last road trip. I do love my Canon S95 but in direct sun, like most point-and-shoot digicams, the screen washes out. I was frustrated one too many times trying to compose on that screen.
It’s just easier to compose in a real viewfinder. Typical of DSLR viewfinders, however, the K10D’s is small. And it shows an area slightly smaller than what the camera captures, so I’m learning to move in a touch closer to compensate.
It’s a tradeoff. The S95 has the strong advantage of slipping into my pants pocket. The K10D is large and heavy, so I sling it over my shoulder.
I’m on vacation this week and am at the moment at the Midwest Byway Conference, which is on the National Road in Richmond. I brought the K10D along to see how it behaves. Photos to come, eventually.