In 1979 Pentax launched the ME Super as a manual focus, aperture-priority automatic
SLR with an electronic focal plane shutter. It was small, light, and by all
reports had excellent ergonomics. It used the by-then ubiquitous K-mount lens
system and was sold successfully through '84. Fast forward to 2007 and
Pentax Imaging launched the K100D Super D-SLR with a few of the innovative features
found on their more advanced, higher-priced camera, the K10D.
Since its introduction I've recommended the Pentax K100D to people who
were looking to move up from digital point-and-shoot cameras and all of them--even
those with initial reluctance because they weren't familiar with Pentax--have
thanked me for it. And why not? The K100D and K110D are well-made, easy-to-use,
inexpensive D-SLRs that provide a gateway to more than 24 million K-mount Pentax
lenses already out there, and that doesn't even count those made by third-party
companies! The Pentax K100D Super is the newest member of the K-series of D-SLRs
and it combines shake reduction, dust removal, and full compatibility with SDM-series
In 1835 Louis Vasquez and Andrew Sublette founded a fur-trading
adobe outpost they called Fort Vasquez that was located on the South
Platte River between Brighton and Greeley, Colorado. Image was captured
with a Pentax DA* 16-50mm f/2.8 ED/AL (IF) lens at 19mm. Exposure
was 1/640 sec at f/8 and ISO 200. The original black and white image
was sepia toned in the digital darkroom to give an antique look.
(Above): Whenever I see large "bears," I always take
a picture of Mary with them. Proving that the DA* 16-50mm f/2.8
ED/AL (IF) lens can be used for portraits, this photograph was made
in Shutter-Priority mode at 50mm (75mm in 35mm terms) with an exposure
of 1/100 sec at f/8 and ISO 200.
All Photos © 2007, Joe Farace, All Rights Reserved
The K100D Super uses the "trickle-down" theory of digital imaging.
Some of the capabilities of Pentax's capable, semipro K10D trickled down
to the entry-level K100D series of D-SLRs, producing the feature set for the
K100D Super. The imaging sensor's low-pass filter is coated with a vapor-deposited
fluorine compound to reduce dust attraction. Then the camera uses the K10D's
super high-frequency Shake Reduction (in body Image Stabilization) mechanism
to remove dust particles. Any dust shaken from the CCD falls onto an adhesive
sheet located at the bottom of the Shake Reduction unit, stopping it from jumping
back onto the imager. I guess that last part is similar to how the DUST-AID
cleaning system works and all of my files from the K100D Super were as clean
as Martha Stewart's kitchen.
Sometimes photo ops are where you find them. I was carrying the
Pentax K100D Super with a DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED (IF) on my daily
walk when I saw this backlit fireplug decorated with a splash of
red paint and highlighted by the little blue flag. Exposure was
1/250 sec at f/4 and ISO 200 with -1/3 stop exposure compensation.
(Right): My favorite place to test a camera's highest ISO
settings is in my train room where I photographed this articulated
O-gauge Union Pacific "Big Boy" locomotive negotiating
a curve at ISO 3200. Exposure was 1/15 sec at f/2.8 with a +1/3
stop exposure compensation in a room with all the lights out and
some early morning daylight peeking through the blinds. Noise was
visible but was crisp and controlled.d