Nerds Nerding Out,  photography,  travel gear

New Travel Camera: Pentax K20d

I’m really into photography. It’s basically the only thing I spend any large chunks of money on before the RV. Cameras, film, scanner, developing supplies, hi def monitor, lighting equipment, frames etc etc and it isn’t about to end just because I live in an RV. I’m pretty loyal to film (and no, I don’t and wont have the digital film argument with you) but I’ve known for a while that I need a digital SLR for blogging and occasionally work. Since I am a film person and have been a photographer for 12 years now I have trouble settling for what a point and shoot digital camera gives me. Long story short. I got a Pentax K20D!

Pentax K20d
Pentax K20d

I’m still learning all the hundreds of settings and playing with what it’s capabilities but so far I’m impressed! In all my stubborn film brained thinking, I really didn’t think a digital could impress me. I don’t aim for “stock photography”, studio/advertising photography or wedding photography and since I associate these things with digital, I have just avoided it. I was amazed that I could change the settings enough to make the photos look like I wanted and wasn’t stuck with “ridiculously clear and perfect” which I find fairly boring in most cases. Basically, If I wanted an exact replica of reality I would use a digital camera, if I wanted a photo that had mood and emotion, interesting tones and light – personality, I would use film. So far, even though I haven’t gotten out as much as I wanted to take photos, I’m seeing its capabilities to do both.

The first problem I ran into was using manual lenses with the camera. I didn’t get the camera with a lens because I already have a pile of Pentax lenses and why would I pay extra for a lens I don’t want. At first I freaked out a little but knew it was illogical for a company to make a digital camera that doesn’t use manual lenses if they ever wanted fans of their brand to stick with them. I found a blog that explained how but I lost it so I’ll let you know here too!

Basically, assuming you have the Pentax K20d, you need to find your menu button. got it? Scroll left to the C (Custom Setting) Scroll up to the bottom of the list, #36: Using aperture ring, select, scroll to #2: Permitted and you are a go. Really, that’s it. Sad thing is people have actually sold the camera because they thought this wasn’t possible. It’s probably in the manual for those of you that read those, I don’t usually but I may for this crazy thing.

Other things I like about it so far are its ability to use my lenses to their fullest ability. The DOF is spot on with the focus assist light, so nice to have as my eyes get crappier and crappier and whether using vivid, natural, black and white or whichever, you can customize them all with saturation, contrast, sharpness and more. I was able to make black and white photos look quite filmy by bumping the contrast and lowering the sharpness a little.

I really really need to get caught up on work and get out to take more photos with it but here are a couple so far – just testing it’s settings and such so don’t expect too much quite yet.

I can now blog with quality photos, here and on my other sites and An occasional fashion photography or portrait job wouldn’t be bad either. The possibilities are endless!



My other cameras, all film, include. Pentax 67 medium format. Pentax pz1p 35mm. 3 Brownie cameras, 127 and med format. A Lomo Smena 8, Holga, Polaroid (peel apart type) and a 110speed SLR. Trying to keep my collection smaller in the RV but that’s it at its minimum I think. I just donated a Duaflex, Brownie and some random accessories. My photography is at and on my website at

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