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Hybrid System

The first camera I ever purchased was a beloved entry level Pentax K1000. It served its purpose very well, and before too long I upgraded in the Pentax line. It only took a couple years until I discovered that I needed to be using a large format camera for the type of photography I was doing. After about a decade of that, I found that there were times a downsizing was ok, and for that I had a Pentax 6×7 camera. When the time came to go digital, I resisted, but then eventually caved in where it made sense to get a Pentax DSLR, so I could continue using some of the lenses I still owned.

At the time, Pentax had not developed full frame sensor cameras, so the only thing I needed was a wider lens for the smaller sensor. That Tamron lens had some nice results, but after a couple years I noticed there were focus inconsistencies. I was still using film around then, happier with those results overall.

Annoyed with the lens issues, I thought it was time to believe the rhetoric that only Nikon and Canon made real cameras. I purchased a Canon camera that produced horrible results, so I returned it. Then I bought an entry level Nikon. It came with a kit lens, but I thought at some point I would go full frame, so I also bought an extreme wide angle zoom capable of covering the larger sensor. The focus was great, but the files seemed to be noisy, even at 100 ISO. I started to take both the Nikon and Pentax out together and compare them side-by-side. To my surprise the results from the Pentax were nicer than the Nikon, using the older Pentax lenses. I soon sold off the Nikon. So much for the hype.

After a couple more years, Pentax finally got with the program and had a full frame sensor. They never had ultra wide zooms when I used film, so that was the only addition to shoot with that camera. Although I was happy with the results, the lens is one of those that has no filter threads. I wanted to use ND filters where the light was too much for the situation, and that wasn’t an option. When I sold off the Nikon, I still had the wide zoom. I had tried a couple times to sell it, only to get some lame offers.

Pentax and Nikon mounts are very similar, but mount in opposite directions. It is possible to insert a Nikon lens into a Pentax body, but not to the point where it locks. I have carefully taken a couple photos with this combination, but there is no aperture control. The reverse situation of a Pentax lens on a Nikon body does not mount at all.

Early last year I was looking at my unused Nikon lens and decided it either had to go or become useful. I was intrigued by the direction of digital cameras towards mirrorless, but didn’t want to invest in a whole line of lenses. When I saw that Nikon had made an adapter for its DSLR lenses, they got my attention. The real game changer came from someone else, however. Due to the narrowness of the camera body on the mirrorless, there is room for an adapter now. Thank you, Fotodiox!

So I haven’t really figured out what to call my hybrid system. Is it Niktax? Or Penton? The Nikon body is even small enough to fit inside an old Pentax lens pouch. Eventually I will probably replace the Pentax lenses with Nikon equivalents, but I’ve been using manual lenses most of my life and have no problem operating that way.

Go Small Or Go Home

There have been a number of times in the last couple years – most notably during my recent injury recovery – where I didn’t pack a camera for a hike. Using only my iPhone for pictures, even with an app that allowed for manual control and RAW capture, ultimately left me disappointed. A friend suggested I look into a newer phone, but after much research I realized that even the latest and greatest still have the same root of the problem. A tiny sensor.

flowers, sunset, desert

When I have an image that I really like, I want to print it, and want to see it large. I had not looked at point-and-shoot cameras for many years, and thought I should check out that market. A larger sensor and a real lens was what I was interested in, and eventually found what I was looking for in a Panasonic Lumix LX10 with a Leica lens. I was looking to replace using a phone, but the results of this camera could almost make me stop using my real camera. Almost.

Red Rock Canyon, Nevada, Steve Bruno

In comparison to an iPhone, there really is no comparing, so I’m looking at results next to a full frame DSLR. There is a slight amount of noise that I don’t get with full frame, but that can be easily fixed in processing. The lens is somewhat wide angle, but doesn’t have the coverage of the extreme wide angle lens I use most of the time. And the macro capabilities of this lens don’t get as close as my favorite macro lens. That’s about all I can think about on the cons of this camera, unless it’s possible to be too small or too light.

flowers, moonrise, Red Rock Canyon, Nevada

I have already posted some photos taken with this camera, including some of the nighttime shots on a recent post. Those, and all on this page are hand-held. It also takes some excellent quality 4k video. Now when I go on a hike where I wasn’t expecting to see something photo-worthy, I won’t be disappointed because I packed light. My friends have never been too vocal about it, but every time I’ve stopped and pulled out a tripod, they were probably thinking, “Go small or go home”

Red Rock Canyon, clouds, Steve Bruno, landscape photography

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