Do pros use Pentax?

Discussion in 'Pentax' started by barry_barbas, Jan 29, 2009.

  1. I've been shooting with Pentax for 30 years, mostly advanced am. quality but have had a couple of professional gigs. I am currently shooting with a K10d. I bought it because of the lens compatibility with my older systems. I find I really never use my old lenses, so that as a decision to buy Pentax was not as useful as I thought it would be. Here's my question: Are there many pros out there that shoot with Pentax? It seems that all my peers are shooting with Cannon and Nikon, which have a much larger accessory and equipment base.
    Barry Barbas
     
  2. If Pentax works for you, even if you're not making use of the old lenses, why do you care what the pros shoot? I'm an amateur in a similar situation. If I found myself shooting in between Natchwey and Salgado, I don't think emulating their equipment would make me any better as a photographer. Their technique, certainly. If the genius of their vision somehow rubbed off on those near them, surely. But I don't think their choice of systems would help me. The founder of this site, Philip Greenspun, had it right: the most important attribute of Nikon and Canon for a serious photographer is that you can rent their equipment almost anywhere. If the ability to rent is not important, just decide whether Pentax makes the equipment you need.
     
  3. A friend who has shot stock for 40 years uses Pentax and is quite happy with it, but none of his work ever gets turned into large prints either. But there's nothing wrong with Pentax or the K10d in general they just have fewer "professional" quality lenses than Canon or Nikon, especially in zoom form. Most of Pentax's lenses are of decent optical quality but nowhere as good as Leica, Contax or Canon L. But from what I've seen their ED lenses are excellent they just don't make a lot of them. That's my guess as to the main reason, but also possibly support and perhaps durability of Canikon's professional bodies as well as their excellent high ISO image quality like the D3.
     
  4. My question is more about professional quality of the equipment. For instance, I bought a Sigma 18-200 from B&H. I had never handled or tested one. It turns out that I'm not as happy with the quality of it compared to Pentax DA or DA* glass. From the pros that have used Pentax vs Cannon, is ther a similar quality difference?
     
  5. I am a pro, and I DO use a K10D, and I will NOT change platforms (ok, I'm also too cheap to spend thousands on Canikon IS lenses).
    We currently have one DA* lens, and yes, compared to our Tamron 28 - 300, it's quality is much higher. There's the weather sealing, and the fact that it's much much faster than the Tamron.
    I would assume the Sigma lenses made for Canikon and Pentax to be of the same quality between them, and certainly not the same compared to the DA*.
     
  6. Barry, I'm by no stretch of the imagination a pro, although I have recently started to do some paying gigs too.
    But my understanding of the pros that I know who do shoot with Pentax is that they love certain qualities of the Pentax glass. So, yes! There can be a vast difference in lens quality. If you are not happy with your Sigma lens, try and send it back. I personally have come to swear by zooms with a small zoom range, and primes. I know some of the hobbyists on this forum love the mega zooms that they use, but I'm sure the capacity for quality improves with the less zoom needed to be engineered into a lens' glass.
    Maybe someone will weigh in on the Sigma version of that superzoom. I have never used it.
     
  7. From its beginning Pentax has never catered to the pro market, their focus has always been to provide the best quality for the money, and they still do. In fact when beginners ask for recommendations I almost always recommend the Pentax K200D as a best buy. But professionals do not care about getting "the biggest bang for the buck," for them it's always about image quality, speed, flexibility and durability which Pentax always runs a second (or third) to compared to Canikon. If you want the best and can afford to drop $10,000-$20,000 on the ultimate outfit then you should switch to Canon or Nikon, but if you just want better image quality in your lenses then stay away from the cheap super zooms that are nothing but a series of optical compromises (all super zooms are essentially junk regardless of who makes them, they can't help but be because of the laws of both optics and economics). My friend who shoots stock uses nothing but Pentax primes and they are all very good lenses. Buy one, say the 50 f1.4, and see if that doesn't do the trick for you.
     
  8. 1. I'm a pro.
    2. A super zoom (yer 18-200) is handy, but generally slower and softer than a tighter range zoom, and WAY softer than a prime. Pentax DA*, FA* &, A* glass is killer - hands down. Typically, Pentax's "Pro" glass designated by the *, and is par with Canon L glass, etc. Superb. Pentax also excels in their 'mid-range' zoom offerings like the 16-45 f/4 DA. Notably better than the kit, but more affordable than the f/2.8 DA*
    3. Compare apples to apples with your lenses. Comparing zooms of VERY different ranges, zooms to primes, or kit to pro lenses isn't fair. I've made some beautiful images with the 18-55 DA kit lens, but side by side with the 16-50 DA* it's no contest.
    4. I make 30x40 prints that are tack sharp from my K10D & DA*, and I have about 45,000 shutter actuations between my 2 K10D bodies. - ABSOLUTELY PRO QUALITY PENTAX!
     
  9. I appreciate your comments and this forum. It is very helpful. I have noticed color bleeding from my sigma 18-250, which may be the softness that Matthew is speaking of, especially on brightly colored and highly contrasted racing bikes at Daytona. The mega zoom is nice for an all around single lens, but I have struggled to get the tack sharp images from it. I plan to pick up a DA* 200 and another K10 or K20 body. I should probably ebay the sigma. My old manuel 50mm 1.4 beats trhe image quality hands down.
     
  10. mountainvisions

    mountainvisions Moderator

    I think we go over this thread 3-4 times per year.
    Short answer yes, many people make all or part of their income off of Pentax cameras and lenses.
    Quite a few independent or freelancing pros shoot Pentax.
    Large prints, I feel like Mike is misinformed or his friend has poor technique. There is no limiting factor in Pentax cameras or lenses that limits print size. Actually, quite the opposite, Pentax lenses are quite good, and the sensors are also better implemented than Nikon and Canon.
    Case in point the K10D had better IQ than the Nikon and Sony cameras that used the Sony 10MP sensor. So again, misinformation is being spread.
    What's funny is Mike Jonston wrote an article about the quality of Pentax glass not that long ago. Which he compared it NOT to Canon L but to Leica and Zeiss. So someone is lying about Pentax lens quality. Not to mention PopPhoto called the 31mm Limited one of the 3 best AF primes ever. I'll gladly admit the standard FA lenses were pretty averagely built, but the FA*/A* series and Limiteds exceed are top notch. And even the lowly FAs do a pretty good job optically. Compare the 35mm f/2 or the 50mm f/1.4 to their Canikon counter parts, surprised?
    Also, how many Nikon and Canon pros never print bigger than 8x10? I bet quite a few.
    Not I don't have a problem with what Mike is saying, it's just not well informed.
    Mike, was the Pentax 67 and 645 system "professional". Or do you discount that system? You do realize how many professionals who filled the pages of National Geographic used the 645 and 67 system, right?


    It wouldn't be unfair to discount it, after all, Nikon and Canon catered to pros but never made a medium format system. I always bring that up because I think Canikonites forget that fact.
    At the end of the film era, I bought a Pentax ist 35mm film SLR, I believe it was the worlds smallest SLR, but on the literature, it said "blah, blah, blah, and also our PROFESSIONAL medium format camera system." My inference, possibly wrongly, was that Pentax didn't consider 35mm professional during the film era. The good news is a lot of professionals shooting medium format didn't either!
    I always point out the PZ-1P vs. the Nikon N90. The N90 was I believe the largest selling autofocus camera of the era with several million bodies sold, but when you compared the two cameras, the PZ1P was on spec with it in everything but the AF system, and in many ways actually a better camera. And when the AF issue was really looked at closely, the PZ-1P actually was on par with Nikon in all but focus points (having used both I feel comfortable in saying that).
    Gotta say, not bad for a camera from a company that wasn't even trying to produce a pro camera, or court a pro 35mm base. The N90 was used by quite a few "pros" before the F100 was introduced.
    BTW, do any pros shoot Hassy, Fuji, Leica, Olympus, Sony, or the others? Absolutely.
    Finally this theory that pros just drop exorbitant amounts of money on gear is absurd. I shoot next to guys who as of late last year were still shooting D2Xs, or Canon 1DIIs when the D3 and 1DIIIs were out for months or a year. Some of those cameras have tape holding doors closed, or covering ripped off gaskets. Working pros are cheap, they look at gear as a means to an end. They use gear with no love or appreciation, and tax write offs are over rated to anyone with real world expenses. It's a fantasy that pros run out and buy a new camera every time one is released and have unlimited funds to spend on equipment. Actually, that sounds more like the hobbyist/prosumer market
    I've said this before, there is nothing wrong with being loyal to the brand you love. I am loyal to Pentax, but spreading misinformation on another brand that you don't have intimate knowledge with is just not good judgment.
     
  11. My inference, possibly wrongly, was that Pentax didn't consider 35mm professional during the film era. The good news is a lot of professionals shooting medium format didn't either!​
    Exactly right. When I was in collage (mid 90's) I was DROOLING over a medium format system. The guy at the camera shop told me not to waste my money: Drop the bucks on FA* glass and good film, and I'll be happier. Looking back, I know he was right. I stopped looking at the 645 I couldn't afford and started drooling over the 80-200 f/2.8 FA* I couldn't afford...
    I have a 645 system at my disposal that I can borrow any time I want, and I've got a couple projects in mind that will warrant 6' posters (I've got a friend with a car museum). Short of that, 10MP and a DA* will take you a long way.
     
  12. Not only that, I believe that back in the 60s Spotmatics were *very* popular with professionals. And both the MX and the LX were marketed as pro bodies in 35mm K-mount.
     
  13. I'm a pro and have used Pentax for the last few years......
     
  14. Looking back at some old photo when I first switch over to digital, my first camera was a used Cannon EOS 1DS II purchased from a photographer( great camera with 50mm prime $8000 Canadian) cannon is the way to go everything else is junk everyone was saying. This camera scared me so bad that I could not leave the backyard without worrying that I my damage it. I decided to get a second camera for going out in the bush and taking photos. Went by Mcbain in red deer to see what they had and I seen they carry pentax. I took a look at the Pentax ist DS (ugly name) with a kit lens, not bad and the price is right $899, and with some of my old primes I had a great little system. The more I used the pentax the more I liked it. I took the pentax inside and took some portraits in controlled light shots to compare the ds to the EOS. The cannon is a better camera but In my mind its not 10X better that the Pentax as the price would suggest. With the leap in camera technology I could not wait 4 years to payoff the cannon.
    http://www.photo.net/photo/8554214&size=lg
    This is the first test photo taken with the pentax ds and kit lens under controlled lights and was the deciding factor in selling my Cannon. I reworked the photo in PSE6 and still very please with the photo even in the age of 10 & 15mp cameras. My point is that for the life of me I can not understand why so much time is wasted debating should I use Pentax should I switch to Nikon is pentax a pro camera? I think more logical questions one might ask is a $7000- $9000 system worth the investment to only have that standard meant 3-4 years later by a $1200 system???? and especially in these times
     
  15. Like Justin said, we go over this 3-4 times a year. I am glad it came up again...I was really starting to miss it...
     
  16. Actually, I wouldn't know if this came up 3-4 times a year since I have not been a P-net member for that long, but I do know it has come up three times since August when I joined.
     
  17. People who say Pentax is not fit for Pro work have wasted a ton of money on another system.
     
  18. I too have the film version of the *ist.... tiny camera... I bought the battery grip just to have something to hang on to.... I still like that camera.
    You can see the evolution from Canon to Nikon at sporting events. Just a short time ago the "white lenses" were all you would see on the sidelines of a football game. But now a lot more are shooting Nikon. It has a lot to do with how you look at cameras and brands.
    But as someone said it is all about your vision and not about what you use.
    Pentax has been a pioneer in the SLR market. They will always be a big part of what has happened. And since the medium format discussion came up. They made some great cameras, at a lot less than the "accepted" brands. And there was a time when Pentax glass was regarded at some of the best made. And I still believe they make glass that will hang with the other brands.
    I wish Pentax would make a digital version of the 645 that didn't cost as much as a new luxury car. I have two 645s that I use, but will probably sell one. But would like to keep it for the landscapes and such that I shoot out west.
     
  19. Few pro photographers used pentax in the film era, but I know a couple who were loyal Pentax owners. On the high end, Pentax lenses and pro film camera bodies seemed to be more costly than comparable Canon/Nikon products. The Pentax K10d and K20d match up just fine to Nikon and Canon and they are competitively priced. A good friend of mine recently retired from shooting weddings with his Pentax Spotmatic camera, 50mm f1.4 lens and a Vivitar 283 flash (used occasionaly). He shot only tri-x, developed and printed his own album photos and delivered only contact sheets as proofs. I guess he was a pro because that is where he made almost all of his income. He retired not because of the digital innovations, but he would rather spend weekends at home with his grandchildren. He was booked about 40 weekends a year and often for Saturday & Sunday.
     
  20. Having a Pentax DSLR and having tried various Canons and Nikons in shops and those owned by friends, I've felt that the Pentax autofocus system is generations behind. The Canons and Nikons just simply blow away the Pentax.
    That alone would be reason enough for me to switch if I needed to.
     
  21. I think it depends, to some degree, on where in the world we are discussing and the demands made on the cameras.
    I was fortunate to spend a bit of time with a couple National Geographic photographers in the late 1970's and early 1980's. At that time these guys broke down the three main companies in North America to reflect the use of the cameras in question. Canon was for the sports and nature/wildlife guys, Nikon for the media, extreme (as it was later to be called) sports and "on the sidelines" war types and Pentax for the "hard core" (in the thick of it) war, severe back country sports (think, Mt. Everest climbing) and all around BA (as in Bad Ass) types. You could deflect bullets as you ran across the battlefield, pound pitons on the way up the Mountain and dispatch a grizzley bear, all with the same camera and still make the photos with it as proof of your "B.A.ness".
    Keep in mind that these fellows used a fleet of Pentax Spotmatics each and considered themselves the original B.A.!! types. Might be some hint of a Masters of Psychology disseration to be found studing this group. In any case I would consider them "Pros" of the first order.
    Things may not be the same today but if you look to photographers from Asia, Europe and various other non-North American geographical locations you will find "pros" using Pentax equipment in their day to day work. Not all list their equipment but I have noticed more than a few note their preference.
    I have a few friends that make their living from photography, a couple use Pentax and are loath to consider switching. Not that they are Pentax loyalists but the equipment was chosen for many of the same reasons those of us on this forum chose. Another professional friend has just been "forced" to switch from Pentax to enable him to utilize the hugh communal collection of lenses and accessories available to him through a new business partnership. It has not been a particularly heart felt switch and was nearly derailed.
    However, as others have said, the equipment used has little to do with the professionalism of the user. So if we all want more Pentax's used by more professionals, get out there and use those K100D's, K10D's, K20D's and start flogging those shots gang. There is plenty of talent flowing around here to take the world by storm. Remember, "Those that sit around thinking about something are very often passed by those doing that very thing."
    I'll work to do my little part. I've just signed up another "Pentax documented" wedding for mid March.
     
  22. mountainvisions

    mountainvisions Moderator

    Scot,

    I am probably the only one that appreciated that pound pitons line.
    Yeah, a lot of people consider a camera crap build if you CAN'T get double use out of it as a big wall hammer. For me, I'm not that rough on my gear, although I do appreciate gear that can handle some abuse. I've seen enough reports of K10Ds taking some abuse and keep ticking. Even the recent post of the guy that dropped his 3 feet onto concrete and has an issue with the SR buzzing, the camera still worked!
    Anyway, as people have alluded to, a camera is a tool, if the tool is effective for your needs than it's what you need. For me, I've rarely regretted Pentax as my choice because it's largely been exactly the tool I needed.
     
  23. I am pro ... do use pentax D / DS / 2 x K10d / K20D.also SFXn / 2 x Z1p / MZs / 67
    I love the quality of their prime lens.
    And noone believe I shoot FIA-GT with a DS ;)
     
  24. "Few pro photographers used pentax in the film era..."
    I must be an exception to this, having used the P6x7 for 20 years now. Most of their lenses are great. But it's more about the photographer's eye than the equipment.
     
  25. "Few pro photographers used pentax in the film era..."​
    Yeah, funny how nobody remembers that Pentax was the best selling 35mm SLR for a LONG time - in fact, they were the first to reach the one million mark in 1966, and the 10 million mark in 1981. I won't even start on all of the Pentax (Asahi) firsts that we all think of as commonplace on an SLR today.
    If you consider the mid to late 90's "The Film Era" you might be closer to true...
     
  26. I shoot both Canon digital/film and some Pentax film so I feel semi qualified to speak on both.
    Pentax was a great company made mediocre by ongoing poor management decisions. In 35 mm it mainly focussed on amatuers thinking medium format was for pros. Over time as demand for pro photography shifted from weddings and event photography to photojournalism the 35 mm format became dominant at least among photojournalist professionals, and as film quality improved it become the dominant system for everything except for pros who required very high quality and very big enlargements - often advertising and art.
    Nikon and Canon offering full 35 mm systems became the dominant choice in 35 mm for pros. And as it was easy to offer amateur bodies along side this, most aspiring amateur also shifted to Nikon and Canon in the knowledge that they could grow into a full pro rig with a wide range of lens choices if they ever needed to. Why invest in an amateur system that lacks the full range of a pro system, when you can just as easily invest in another amatuer system that does have the capacity to grow?
    Canon became dominant once they got their EOS system full sorted. Its AF system combined with USM lenses was more than a decade ahead of Pentax and well ahead of Nikon until recently. In fact Pentax is only just answering this with its SDM lenses.
    Canon and Nikon now also offer affordable FF digital, and while you can do good work with APS-C digital, you can do better work with FF. Noise levels, resolution, DoF control and viewfinder size are all better with FF digital.
    Finally you can roughly compare Canon and Nikon pro lenses against Pentax lenses at Photozone. If you do your homework there it seems fairly obvious that Canon has in most cases best in class with normal and telephoto zooms and telephoto primes, closely followed by Nikon with Pentax running third. Nikon seems to have the edge with wide angles, closely followed by Canon with Pentax running third again.
    Common problems with Pentax 'pro' lenses seem to be poor edge sharpness at wide apertures, CA and fringing. Some also seem to suffer from indifferent quality control.
    While this may seem a harsh assessment it is not that surprising. The laws of economics apply to all manufacturers and Pentax suffers from lower volumes compared to Canon and Nikon making it hard to produce low price, low volume, high quality lenses. Something has to give.
     
  27. Barry, why don't you use your old lenses? If they fit, give them a spin.
    "It seems that all my peers are shooting with Cannon and Nikon", "From the pros that have used Pentax vs Cannon, is ther a similar quality difference?" I'm more garage sale than gallery sale, but I'd weigh in with this: Pentax. I owned a Canon briefly; it was the kind of camera system that really made me feel like it was always stopping just short of my expectations. For some reason, I never got this feeling from a Pentax. I like their systems, and always find myself coming back to them.
    When it seems like everyone else is shooting everything else; well, I wouldn't worry about that. They probably don't worry about Why did that guy show up with a Pentax? Although, I did have one press photographer staring at my 645 one time; my inherent sexiness was probably part of that; I just can't help it that I make already great cameras look that much better to the pros.
    What kind of accessories were you looking for that were not available for the Pentax systems? They have pretty much got every focal length someone could want. What would be needed? As it is, I end up picking and choosing. There was this video I saw in another thread that showed this photographer toting around a lot of equipment. He had an assistant to help him carry all that stuff. I guess maybe I get into bringing a lot of stuff when I start to add in the light kit; but, basically, there's already a good collection of stuff available; if you are carrying more than four lenses at a time, and one of the cameras is not a TLR, you might want to check that packing list. Maybe for an international trip or something, where you know you would be separated from everything. But, really, what's missing? Pentax has been cranking out cameras and accessories for many years; there's all kinds of backwards compatibility from microscope to telescope. What more could someone need?
    There are a bunch of times when one can do well with two lenses and some common accessories. I'm not trying to be too critical or anything. But, if these other companies have a more extensive catalog; okay, why? Have a look at some 645 lenses and accessories. They only make a few lenses for that system; I have some of these; pretty much covered. Maybe sometimes autofocus would have been nice when the camera is on a ringlight because it can be tough to use the two-touch with the strobe body right there. Might have preferred a more traditional manual crank advance for the 645. But really, what do these other companies have that is so great?
    Maybe someone could use a Leica as a chick magnet or something. Sooner or later, though, she'd guess that if she spent time with me, we wouldn't be heading back to my Central Park West condo or anything. The Pentax system can work okay. I'd encourage you to proceed with confidence. Otherwise, it's kind of like arguing over shoe color. Which one is best? I think Pentax is best. The other dude got sucked into someone else's marketing scheme.
    For the lens quality, I have never seen a real problem with my Pentax lenses. Ever. I'm sure there's someone who could cough up an engineering test analysis or something that would show some other design is superior in some respect; but, really, I don't see it. I can hit the photo gallery and pick out some postprocessed photos; but, I don't scroll through there and say, Hey! There's that Leica "glow"! Obviously, this one should get a 6/7 because it was clearly taken with Canon's new auto-everything telephoto. Never happened. Maybe once I wondered if one fella used a Nikonos underwater.
    Well, you can see; I'm diehard Pentax. I'd suggest, though, that there's a good chance that your old lenses are good enough. If you feel they served you well before, there's no reason why they can't now. I wouldn't worry about the latest products to come out. I think yesterday one photographer posted a thread about a lighting question, and I realized he had a camera with no hot shoe and no PC socket. I have no idea how that photographer is going to trigger an off camera flash. Somewhere in The Latest Innovations department of some camera companies, someone took at nap at the desk at the wrong time. Proceed with confidence. Fire up those old lenses!
     
  28. jtk

    jtk

    www.strobist.com
    www.lightstalkers.com
    http://www.sportsshooter.com/
    http://nppa.org/news_and_events/news/2009/01/poynter.html
    Check em' out. You'll find 90% pros using Nikon and Canon DSLR, with a tiny minority (lightstalkers) using film, therefore Leica.
     
  29. jtk

    jtk

    ... check these professional classifieds:
    More Koni Omegas (1) than Pentax. http://www.sportsshooter.com/classifieds.html
    More Mamiya 6 than Pentax: http://www.lightstalkers.org/keywords/posts/for_sale/1
    I went from Nikon F to Canon F1 in the late 70s because Canon had slightly more accurate viewfinder and F1's advance was precise, framelines vs sprocket holes... important for audio-visual oriented photographers who used Wess mounts...plus, it reduced automatic slide mounter damage. Pentax advanced sloppily and its viewfinder was too inaccurate for professional work, assuming one shot slides.
    Viewfinder inaccuracy was one of the main reasons the commercial photographers I knew in San Francisco never used Pentax. They did start to use a few Konicas, for some reason. Naturally, virtually everybody had a Leica M or two, if just for fun.
    Once Pentax became known for its viewfinder (and promoted itself as "small," which was unimportant to pros), it was doomed among professionals. Lovely cameras, nonetheless, if not as rugged as Nikon F series. A friend did good work with his Asahi in Vietnam.
    I use K20D because it's rugged and I like the primes. I'd have gone with Canon or Nikon if I only wanted zoom lenses. If I wanted to get back into professional photography I'd switch to D700, making the relatively small necessary investment. Cheaper by far than the kit auto mechanics need, or the knives and frying pans professional chefs accumulate.
     
  30. This thread could go on forever...
    I know a guy that was a pro rodeo circuit photographer from the 70's through the late 90's. He's shot with just about everything under the sun over the years including Nikon, Canon, Minolta, Olympus, and others. While different cameras might have different things that he likes, at the end of the day the only camera he has ever sworn by was the Pentax K1000. Rugged and reliable, it kept snapping while the others were in the shop.
    There are plenty of Pentax shooting pros that frequent this forum, and there are more Pentax shooting pros that don't.
    My bottom line: Shooting with Pentax cameras means I can afford to charge my clients less (important in the current Air Capitol economy) and my cameras are PAID FOR.
     
  31. jtk

    jtk

    Matthew, certainly some pros use Pentax DSLR, and many have used K1000 et al. However, if they're actually professionals in 2009, they're using the tools they need to do their jobs. For many that rules Pentax out if they're at the front end of seriously investing to do photojournalism (from strobist.com to Magnum), sports photography, weddings (ask about Pentax on P.N Wedding forum), product photography etc. The key word is "serious." DSLRS of all brands are so CHEAP compared to tools of other professions that price distinctions don't count for much if one is "serious".YMMV.
    Charging clients less is a sure-fire way to kill a business. There's always somebody cheaper, and there's always somebody more expensive. High price suggests high quality, right? When times are tight, many survivors raise prices.
     
  32. jtk

    jtk

    ...that said, Pentax K20D, like the film cameras that went before, is a FABULOUS tool for "serious" amateurs. Mine feeds into Lightroom and an Epson 3800. I'm in love :)
     
  33. As others have said, who cares about "pro level" if the camera does the job? I have a K10d, bought in large measure because of its viewfinder, markedly superior to comparable Canikons. You see, I'd been spoiled by my Pentax MX and LX.
    Of course being able to use my current lenses was an inducement; I'd hate to have to retire them, especially the 50mm f1.2.
    I think anyone would agree that the LX was pro level. Gasketed, solid metal construction, interchangeable backs, viewfinders - including high point action finder, screens, a winder, a motor, bulk film backs - all graced by one of the finest finder views in capitivity.
    TTL exposure metering has let me take pictures on EI 400 with an f4 18mm at night with exposures of 5 or 6 minutes, and since light is measured off the film a passing cloud makes no difference.
    Two weaknesses: no AE exposure lock and a x synch speed of 1/75th. Had Pentax developed the camera properly it would have competed well with Nikons beyond the F3 which was current when the LX was introduced.
    Whether or not the K20d is pro level is moot. If people make money with a camera it's a pro camera. I'm not going to worry about the other guy shooting Canikon, if it does the job for him - or her - well and good. The LX and the K10d are good enough so that I can't blame my photo failures on equipment, so I am forced to grow. Isn't that the sort of thing we all want?
    Good shooting to all, and be careful out there....
     
  34. In 1963 I got an Asahi Pentax H1a, later an H3v, then my first Spotmatic SP when they were introduced. I've never needed a Nikon or a Canon. When I began using DSLR's I naturally bought the *istDS, then got a K20D.
    I guess I'm a pro, though I'm not sure how that term is defined. Do I make 100% of my living from photography? 75%? 50%? The answer is sometimes, but certainly not always. I've always had another job (college professor - best kind of job as it interferes hardly at all with photography, plus you can teach it in an academic setting if you're so inclined).
    I believe that if you make a photograph that evokes some type of emotional response in the viewer, then it's a successful photograph, and it hardly matters to the viewer what camera or what lens was used. Others will define a successful photograph in terms of whether or not it sold and produced revenue for the photographer. In either case, only people on forums like this will care about whether it was a Canon, Nikon, Pentax, or Leica (yes, I have an M6).
     
  35. For many years, mainly in the analogue area, I worked, as a pro, with the Leica M5 and the Pentax LX side by side.
    The Leica was/is superior for handheld-low-light-full-open-aperture-reportage work, while the LX was/is a sublime real pro system camera allowing the more 'refined' work on 35 mm film. Along with these, I worked, and still do, with Hasselblad (MF) and Linhof (6x9 cm, 4"x5" and 13x18 cm sheet).
    90% of my pictures ar published, by offset printing, in books, folders and magazines (food and lifestyle).
    Right now, as a pro, I shoot mainly on MF and 6x9 (slide-) film for the real super quality demanding jobs. And with a K10d for the jobs I used to shoot on 35 mm colour film, what is hardly 25% of all. BTW, B&W is still done on film, I find digital B&W is not good enough, for the time being.
    The real advantage of the K10d is that I can still use my 'analogue' arsenal of lenses (I have 11 of them) and accessories (macro bellows, IR triggering, and other 'things'), just the camera body changed.
    Pity enough, the Leica rests on the shelf...
    Nobody, not the publisher, the editor, the designer, the author, the printer, the scanner operator nor the prepress and even the pro-lab guy, could not tell the difference between Pentax and Leica, unless the negative/slide was extremely enlarged, directly compared and 'nitpicked' .
    The two systems, M5 and LX, were designed (and build) for different applications and use, that is why I had them side by side.
    But right now, with the K10d, I do both kind of work, on pro jobs, and nobody is complaining.
    In the publishing houses, I have colleagues shooting N**N and C**N, and when the press-design guys are comparing pictures, for the 'content' of them, they cannot tell any differences, by brand, about sharpness, colour and contrast, and actually they do not care!
    The big advantage I have is, that my 'little' Pentax is costing 1/4 of the big ones and is, at the end of the run, performing more than good enough. AND, there is still some budget left for buying film...
    It is not the camera brand, but what you do with it, that matters.
    And yes, nit-pickers can be found everywhere, but who cares?
    Have a good time with your Pentaxes,
    Philippe
     

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