Back to experimenting with the Pentax K10D

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.

VW at the curb

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.

garden thing

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.

Birthday flowers

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.


6 thoughts on “Back to experimenting with the Pentax K10D

  1. Dan Cluley says:

    That is the lens I got to go with my Kx and I’ve been pretty satisfied. I’ve got a manual focus 80-200 for really long shots and a 28mm that opens up to f2.8 for low light situations, but I took about 100 shots yesterday at a couple of car shows and never needed anything but the 18-55.


    • That’s great to know. I’m in a hotel in Richmond, IN, right now about to wrap my three-day trip and on days 1 and 2 this lens performed well. I’ll use it the rest of the day today too.


  2. I recently picked up a Canon Powershot G5X for a song. The electronic viewfinder is surprisingly good, though the extra bump it brings stops the camera from squeezing into jeans pockets (it does fit in a jacket). It’s certainly easier to justify taking everywhere than a small gear bag with at least one extra lens (if not more like two or three). Plus it has ample dials and dedicated buttons to offer a more manual experience when desired.

    We are packing for a year abroad now and I’m trying to figure out how to bring the DSLR and more than whatever lens I put on the body. The g5x doesn’t even raise a question. I also would really love to shoot this old Zeiss Ikon in its country of origin, but space demands might make that impossible.


    • I can carry something as small as a G5X on a strap off my wrist! No problem. It is tricky to figure out what gear to take abroad. You will make your best choice and still not guess fully right.


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