Thinking of a swap to Pentax...

Discussion in 'Pentax' started by ibargureni, Jun 19, 2009.

  1. Hi, I have been using a Nikon D70s for 5 years and have been really happy with it, but it was stolen with the lens I most used. I bought a minimal second hand kit (Olympus e500 with kit lens) because I was abroad when my camera was stolen, but now I'd like to improve my system ;).
    As I don't have a high amount of gear invested in either system, I have been considering different brands, and I've found the Pentax system quite interesting quality wise and at a reasonable cost. I've been looking at different combinations to start up. I mainly use standard and wideangle lengths (I previously had a 17-35mm 2,8-4 and a 50mm 1.8, which suited my style quite well). This is my projected set-up:
    - Pentax k20d: I find this body quite interesting and the build quality seems to be really high.
    - Tamron 17-50mm 2.8: I prefer to spend a bit more over the standard kit lens in a larger aperture lens, as I like to take photos in available light. I have read quite good reviews about this lens, and combined with the SR and the quite good high ISO performance (yes, I'm aware of the so called banding, but I don't find it to be such a big problem in the k20d) it should be really interesting.
    - Tamron or Sigma 70-300: I don't use these focal lengths so often, so I feel any of these lenses should suit my needs. I have looked at the Pentax 55-300, but I think it is quite expensive to the use I'll give to it. However, I could sell the Tamron/Sigma in the future in order to buy that lens if I don't feel confortable with it.
    So, what do you think about my "project"? I am willing to start using whatever I decide to buy now that the weather starts to become better!
    Thanks for reading and any suggestions are really welcome.
  2. Loritz (are you Basque, by the way?),
    It's not like anyone here is going to tell you DON'T BUY PENTAX!!!!!!! This is, after all, a Pentax forum. If you've researched your options and you feel Pentax is a good option for your needs, then go ahead. The K20D is certainly a great camera that will not fade away in 1 or 2 years, either mechanically or technologically, and the price is certainly right at the moment (and you get a 3 year warranty to boot).
    As for lens choice, I will only comment on the 70-300mm choice. Back in the days before Pentax had the DA 55-300mm, I bought the Sigma 70-300mm APO. It's a good lens, and I have few complaints about it, but if I were making the same decision today, I would choose the Pentax over the Sigma (or Tamron). For $100 or so more, I think it's worth it. I don't say this because I'm a fanboy (I have plenty of 3rd party lenses), but because I believe you should buy the best you can afford that will fulfil your needs.
    Let us know what you decide to purchase, and if you do go with Pentax, don't be afraid to ask questions and post some pics. We're a nice bunch :)
  3. Hi, Miserere, actually, my name is Ioritz, and I am Basque!!! How did you discover it? I'm amazed :-0.
    Thanks for your suggestions. I have been looking at the Pentax DA 55-300, but I can't find it for less than 400€, wheareas the Sigma/Tamron can be found for around 150€, so the difference is quite big, and I am already stretching my initial budget with this kit... I have been thinking about another kit including the Pentax lens and the kit standard zoom (18-55), which is cheaper than what I have projected, but in the end I felt it was more interesting to cover correctly the lengths I most use. For now I don't use so long lenses too much, so I think I could follow your same track if I find using those focal lengths a lot.
    Regarding the Pentax community, I find it really helpful (as is the Nikon community). Comparing both (even if I know this shouldn't be done...) I feel in the Nikon related forums, quite often the answers are too "proffesional", meaning that their solutions involve expensive gear, etc. whereas as far as I've read the Pentax forums seem to be a bit more oriented towards amaterurs (I consider myself an amateur, by the way). I hope I didn't offend anyone with these satements ;-).
  4. Loritz,
    What do you shoot? Pentax is a great camera; I recently switched (back) from Canon.
    • Pros: Weather sealing, cost, lens compatibility, overall feel, great image quality up to about ISO 800, built-in wireless flash control (on latest and greatest models, including K20D).
    • Cons: slow autofocus, some noise at high ISO.
    Get the Pentax 16-50/2.8 and don't look back. Then you won;t have to wait for good weather to go shoot.
  5. Ioritz, welcome to Pentax!
    The cameras are durable; they last a long time; and there's a history of being able to use a wide range of lenses. Lenses 50 years old will probably fit on that contemporary DSLR. There are also a lot of lens mount adapters out there, so the selection is even wider. I know I've picked up used manual lenses for less than 25% of the cost of their contemporary autofocus equivalents. Even more lenses to choose from.
    If you look at a lens, and you don't like it, then just shop around some more. They've got everything from underwater fisheye to super-zoom Hubble telescopes that will fit that Pentax camera. It's a matter of selection and spending; you are unlikely to have an outright availability problem.
    You may want to check into some lens mount adapters for any older equipment that may still remain.
    I think the equipment is so good that it's basically "a thousand dollars off" on everything. The durability alone is worth the choice. You will get weather sealing in that contemporary Pentax that is as good or better than what you would find in a camera that cost $2000 more. Once you get used to the structural strength in these cameras, others may look a little prissy.
    For the film cameras: I've jumped out of planes with these cameras; survived crashes with these cameras; used them in environments hotter than 125F for months; dust, dirt, and immersion. Anything short of a direct hit with something strong, hard and fast is probably going to be brushed off by a lot of units.
    You'll enjoy the durability of that camera.
  6. Thanks for your comments!
    Bob, I have looked at the excellent 16-50 2.8, but it's too expensive for my current budget. If I happen to have more "spare" money in the future I think I will consider it.
    John, regarding older lenses, that's a field I find very attractive. I have some older Nikon mount lenses and I even bought the 105 f2.5 Nikkor "Gem" to use it with my previous Nikon body. The use of these lenses becomes quite slow, but I like "to fight" to obtain the image I want. If I finally buy the Pentax I'll look into these older lenses, for sure. By the way, I love the sturdy feel of these bodies!
  7. i would second someone's rec. on the 55-300. i dont use long lenses much and just picked this up (to upgrade over the 80-320) for a trip and have played around with it a bit and am truely impressed. for a normal range zoom, i got the tamron 24-75 'beer can' - 2.8 through the entire range and only a few hundred. good deal. i have them all on the k10 but i would recommend the k20d as it is so low in price now. you'll definitely be happy with this camera
  8. Loritz, with that surname you couldn't be anything but Basque :)
    Do you live in Spain? You're lucky, Pentax has a strong store presence in Spain which means you can go and try out equipment before buying. On the downside, you have to pay a bit more for it. The differences in price between the Sigma and Pentax lenses was here in the US, but you have to make your decisions in euros .
    Like John said, there are a lot of old Pentax lenses in the used market, even in Spain (and many US sellers will mail to Spain) so you can pick up great optics in metal bodies for a fraction of their modern equivalents, especially if you like prime lenses (awhich most Pentax shooters do). If you're already having a look around at the used Pentax lens market, I would recommend looking for SMC-A lenses, as these have electric contacts on the mount that allow you to use all shooting modes on a K20D. The only thing you loose is autofocus and matrix metering; and unlike with Sony, you still get the benefits of in-body shake reduction.
    Regarding your comment on the differences between Nikon and Pentax replies to questions, I think Pentax users are very price conscious, which makes us look for cheaper ways of doing the same thing. Having a mount like the K-mount that is backwards compatible all the way to M42 screw lenses helps in being cheap photographers.
  9. Wait for K7. I like my K20 just fine but it can't focus or meter worth a damn compared to the K7, to gather from people who've used both.
  10. Yes, wait for the K7 - :) - that's the camera that's on the top of my shopping list.
    And, if you become an appreciator of history - get a pentax m42 adapter and try out some of the old glass. The super takumars, the old zeisses - you'll have quite an adventure ahead with a good Pentax body and accessibility to 40+ years of lenses.
    Welcome to our forum Ioritz.
  11. Mmmmm.... talking of Basque... reminds me of a time .... well over 20 years ago, when I was away at school... there was a beautiful boy from Basque ... who's name I can't remember. He would sit and play the guitar, and sang love songs in Catalan.
    Back when I didn't know what Catalan was... anyway - what a day for a memory from happy times, when the young could sit and enjoy singing and music, and not think of work and life's responsibilities.
    I wonder what happened to that boy.
  12. Rose, are you sure you're not confusing something? In the Basque country they speak Basque, while it's in Catalonia (Catalunya) where they speak Catalan.
    But hey, maybe this very special, cute, guitar-strumming Romeo was a polyglot ;-)
  13. Hi Ioritz,
    Your people make the best cheese in the universe. Here in the northwestern US we only get a handful of Basque cheese styles. There are fewer finer tasting experiences than homegrown Walla Walla sweet onion soup with manchego melted atop. In fact, I'll trade you a sack of Walla Walla sweet onions for 20 lbs of Basque cheese. I'll even throw in a used polarizing filter as an incentive :)
    Anyway, to answer your question the 17-50mm Tamron will serve you quite well. You may have to use the AF focus adjustment on the K20D to ensure accurate focus. I did, but it works OK now. The color rendition of the Tamron I find less appealing than that provided by most Pentax glass, but it is good enough and tweakable in software. Anyway the lens is super sharp and light weight and well built.
    Either of the 70-300 lenses you are considering should serve you for a few years at least. I've had the lower-end Tamron for a few years now and it pretty much always surprises me at how well it works. Again the focusing may be a bit slow or off for sports shooting, but it is acceptable for just about everything else. That's a lot of range for the money and it will enable you to enjoy your camera.
    The K20D is awesome. Great color and handling. I've not had metering or AF issues generally with the camera. The spot metering works quite well too. For the money it is difficult to surpass.
    One final thought for a future Pentaxian; Pentax zooms are fine and good (expecially the DA* 50-135mm) but the special quality about Pentax are the single focal length lenses. The Limited series are very special and quite addictive. In your shopping around, beware trying out one as you may end up with several while your zooms languish on the back shelf.
  14. Hey, thanks for all the replies! This forum is really active!
    Well, I see we basques are a bit known over the world... nice! hehehe. Rose, that boy could have done a career in music, as we have quite a lot of famous (for us, obviously) folk singers singing their own songs while playing the guitar (Benito Lertxundi, Mikel Laboa, Xabier Lete, etc.). I am quite young (I'm 23 years old), but those singers are still famous.
    Returning to our subject, I have been trying a k20d this afternoon and I've liked the feel and simpleness of the controls. I am quite convinced on this body... I see the K7 seems a nicer body, but I need a camera now, and it'll be a long time till it comes close to my budget, so I feel the k20d meets my demands, as I don't soot sports frequently, so AF speed isn't that critical. Regarding the 55-300, I'll see if I can stretch my budget... I'll see I'll see.
    I see I'll have to start studying the kinds of lenses Pentax has made over the years in order to know their characteristics (after learning all the Nikon acronyms.... Ai, AiS, AF-D, AF-S, VR, and so on). No problem, I like history, hehehe.
    Thanks and more comments are really welcome, of course!
  15. It sounds like Iortiz is on a budget, and so I think the K7 with a starting price of $1300 would be too much. I would recommend the k20 as well, esp since you feel you are starting out with Pentax and esp. on a budget. However, I feel you'll quickly fall in love with the k20d and soon be wishing for a K7 like the rest of us!
    If the K7 is within your reach, then definitely get it!!!
  16. So you know our cheeses, Michael! They are really good, I eat a piece of cheese every day and I don't even get bored... hmmmm. We could do a food interchange somday! hehehe.
    Concerning the primes, I always have liked them (I have a 50mm f1.8, 24mm f2.5 and a 105mm f2.5 for Nikon...), so I think I could use some of those Pentax lenses someday.
  17. Somanna, I see what you mean. When I had my d70s, I have always looked at the higher or newer models, but I am trying to learn to be satisfied with whatever I have or can have, even if it is difficult! Damn marketing! Well, it's always nice to have a higher target, isn't it?
  18. Hi Ioritz,
    I think that you're doing a good decision by going into Pentax. I recently took my K100 to a boat trip to southern Utah, a camera which is not even sealed, and it went through a lot of hard treatment perfectly fine. For example, it was splashed with water from rain and the river, but the worst thing for the poor camera was being caught in a sand storm. The camera was hanging from a chair, and when the wind arrived we hurried away to secure the boats, oars, and tents. When I came back, the chair had fallen to the ground, and the camera had been lying on the sandy ground and the wind had completely blown through it and covered it with sand. What a disaster!!! I thought. But I cleaned it very well, and it kept working like new! Amazing. It reminds me of my old K1000, which also went through anything you can imagine. I'm sure the K20 should be a very good camera. Let us know what go choose for, and good luck!
    PS: You forgot to mention Joan Manuel Serrat!! (although I don't know if you were mentioning Basque or Catalunian singers...)
  19. Miserere, you know that I am very politically incorrect. It comes from being a stupid american. :D ... I only know that he said he came from Spain, but he wasn't spanish. He sang in Catalan - and, I thought it and Basque were the same... so he was a beautiful Catalan boy? ...
    He was extremely delicious. (and I say that very innocently... ) He could really sing well - it's a shame that we didn't have American Idol back then...
    Ioritz, since you are still young, and have not forgotten what it is like to be free. I hope you will sit with a guitar and sing love songs. Maybe a few bills but no real worries, yet. That is quite the life! :)
    The K7 is a beautiful camera - but if the 'really new to market' price does not meet the budget of the young; the k20d - is equally as good (although bigger bodied) and if you are on an extremely limited budget - the k10d - is also a real pleasure. - Either way - with Pentax - you can do no wrong. ;) (Spoken with the heart of a true Pentaxian.) ;)
  20. Well, Catalonians and Basques are different people, but we have some things in common. As a matter of a fact, my mother is learning Catalan just for the pleasure of knowing it... And, by the way, most of us are naturally polyglots, as we speak Basque and Spanish, at least ;). I was mentioning Basque singers, but there are quite a lot Catalonian equivalent singers,as Joan Manuel Serrat, Luis Llach, and so on.
    Well returning to the Pentax world (this thread is becomming quite off topic, by the way :))), thanks for the information about the robustness of your camera, Martin, this shows the good construction of Pentax bodies, indeed.
    Bob, thanks for the link, I didn't know that site, I think I'll learn a lot there!
  21. Ioritz,
    Great advice you got here and great conversation.
    You are on the right track to having lots of fun with photography, and within your budget!
    Pentax cameras and glass have always been a pleasure!
  22. Ioritz - you can put the blame on me. I can't help myself - I find people so darn interesting - I tend to get everyone else turned backwards, sidewards and upside-down very easily... Like a game of twister, with cameras and lenses being the various colored circles - and the other topics all the people falling over each other reaching for them. (I'm liking the creativity of that analogy - but it may need work on the wording to make it understandable to anybody who doesn't share my braincells.) :)
    Ioritz, for an explanation about older lenses, if you should happen to go ebay route of finding older glass... (this generally is the cheaper way to buy glass...) Pentax uses several different abbreviations - letterings to distinguish the age and features of its glass. the way the abbreviations work is like this:
    SMC, SMC-M, SMC-A (are all manual lenses) - SMC stands for Super Multi-Coated.
    Then next we have: SMC-F, SMC-FA, SMC-DFA, and last - SMC-DA (These are automatic.)
    The DA glass is the newest - and was created for the pentax digital sensors. These lenses usually do not have aperture rings - meaning that they would be difficult or impossible to use with film (& full frame) cameras.
    The DFA glass - allows both for full frame (film) and Digital cameras. - yes, there's a aperture ring. (at least I think I remember there being one... the 100mm f2.8 macro comes in the DFA model... (very nice lens if you like to take flower pictures... ) :)
    FA - is what was used on the later model film cameras. - fully automatic lenses - and lovely. They work really well on the digital cameras. There's a FA model 35mm f2 and an FA model 50mm f1.4 still available - and very lovely lenses. :)
    If you haven't figured it out yet... I like prime lenses. I don't have much experience with the zooms... they end up being pretty bulky and I like lenses that are smaller and unobrusive.
    God bless me, I can be wordy when I want to! :)
  23. The K20D is a great camera, and now at bargain prices for what you get. The K7 will be out in about one month, but at a much higher cost, though well worth that price for what it will offer. The K7 will be the most advanced, best built compact model available. Whether choosing the k200D, k20D, or forthcoming K7, Pentax now does offer very fine overall equipment at the lowest price. If you like the feel and plentiful features of the K20D, you can't go wrong at the price for such a fine camera. I have one and love it.
    The DA 55-300mm has practical advantages. The 55mm at the short end allows more shooting opportunities without having to change lenses. It matches better with a short zoom without having a gap. Its front element does not rotate for better use of filters. It has easy-clean coatings, (though I have a multi-coated Hoya skylight filter on mine as protection), and it has instant manual focus override when using AF.
    If you don't shoot action, especially in indoor or night lighting much, the very fine DA 16-45mm f/4 may be a good option, if you find one available. I have also read good things about the Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8, though it is not quite as wide angle.
  24. I'm with Miserere on this, if you are asking the pentax forum what there advice is, they will mostly say buy Pentax and welcome to the odd ball club.
    On the flip side if you ask the Canon or Nikon (or Sony/Oly, etc) you will get similar answers.
    The truth is there is not a bad camera system. I guess 4/3s might be the weakest in terms of high ISO but even 4/3s has some nice advantages and features, and bang for buck.
    As far as lenses anything A on up is fully functional on a Pentax digital body. "A" is a manual focus lens with electronic contacts, F/FA are fully functional AF.
    Pentax is far less alphabet soup than Nikon is. Somewhat fewer limitations even though Nikon does have the longest running non crippled mount on it's top end cameras. The lower end cameras have much more limitations.
    Overall, you will like the K20D as an upgrade over the D70s, oddly I am thinking about buying a used D70s for the high speed mechanical (well semi mechanical) sync speed. The D70 was a very good camera, as Nikon had to answer Canon's Rebel, and that it did with the D70.
    Pentax produces great lenses, very nice well spec'd cameras, that are built well, and have the features that most people really need.
    They always seem to be a step behind the latest and greatest in AF technology and FPS, but as a note, I shoot Nikon as well and find Pentax AF to be more accurate (not faster, more accurate).
    As someone that shoots a little bit of everything, the K20D is all the camera 90% of photographers need 90% of the time. If you fall outside of that segment you probably are going to need to spend close to $3000 to get what you need.
  25. Thanks for all the explanations about Pentax abbreviations, Rose, It's quite interesting to know the meaning of them. I'll investigate about these primes so that when I have saved saved some money again I can make the right decission... I'll try to put my hand on the correct colour circle! hehehe.
    I have also read good reviews about the DA 16-45 f/4, but I preffer to have the f2.8 aperture for thos low light situations. Concerning the 55-300.... I see lots of people recommending it... The Sigma 18-50 f/2.8 also seems interesting, but after reading different reviews it seems that it isn't so good wide open, even if the build quality seems to be better than the Tamron. However, I preffer to have good optical performance for the moment (I try to treat well my equipment...).
  26. Hi, Justin. I agree with you in the quality of the d70s. I have been happy with it and I would continue with it if it wouldn't have been stolen... I used the high speed flash sync for some shots and it is really "real". The built-in flash and the original Nikon flashes work as far as 1/500sec (which is pretty high by itself), but due to its mechanical/electronical shutter system all the speeds (up to the 1/8000sec limit) can sync with external flashes, not needing the special FP modes other higher end flashes/bodies use. However, for those shots I needed to fire the flash at its full power for quite close subjects, so I suppose powerful flashes would be needed for more distant shots. That's a neat hidden feature of that camera.
  27. Ioritz, you've recieved good advice so far. I would add one more little thing, I have the Tamron lens, and have had a few problems with it. It is terrible in low light. Now the issue may be the combination K20D autofcus struggling with the poor performance of this lens wide open. Stopped down, this lens is amzingly sharp, but even in good light I find it soft wide open.
    Unfortunately, I bought it for low light usage, and there for would want to use it wide open, but now it just sits in my camera bag, and fills my heart with "resentful lead" everytime I look at it! I have heard a few different stories about this lens, both good and bad. Hope it works out all right for you :)
  28. By the way Michael, I am curious now to try the focus adjustment on my K20D with the Tamron, I wonder whether it's bad performance is front or back in nature? The fact that it is great slightly stopped down in good light may not reflect the front or back focussing problem. Its just that it is TERRIBLE in low light, even slightly stopped down. And that makes me think it may also be the autofocus on the K20D. Sorry for moving off topic Ioritz!
  29. Garry,
    I don't have my notes handy, but I vaguely remember that the lens had a propensity to back focus. Reports of this lens' focusing problems on other platforms are somewhat common on user forums. Do try the AF adjustment, to me it was like getting a new lens. I've never had even mediocre performance issues in low light, but I always use it with a strobe since it is my primary "event" lens for capturing people.
    My gripes with this lens are more about artistic rendering; I'm just "spoiled" by Limited primes, the DA* 50-135mm, and a few other good 'uns. Also relevant to Ioritz is that the Tamron doesn't have the Quickshift functionality that allows on-the-fly manual focus in AF mode. I use that a lot with the Pentax lenses.
  30. Well, I hope my unit of the Tamron lense performs well.... I'll try to adjust the focus for it in case it doesn't work correctly out-of-the-box.
    I have already placed the order and it shoud arrive in around a week. Finally, you (evil people, by the way ;)) convinced me and I ordered the Pentax 55-300. In fact, I ordered a kit containing the K20d + 18-55 + 55-300 and the Tamron 17-50, as the price difference was somewhere around 40-50€ and I could buy the kit in a spanish store, so it should be easier to handle problems if they arise. It's curious that it's more expensive to buy the K20d + 55-300 separately than a kit containing both lenses + the 18-55. I will never understand marketing... Moreover, I thought it would be nice to have that small lense "just in case".
    Now I'm waiting the delivery impaciently!
  31. The kit lens is actually quite decent Ioritz, you'll be surprised by how much you might end up liking that lens!
  32. I hope I'll be able to try that kit lens in arond a week... I'm already reading the user manual of the k20d, so that I am prepared when it comes! hehehe.
  33. Well, I think you've done well Ioritz :) Check when you get the K20D that you have the latest firmware update on it. Pentax issued one recently, it's V 1.03. (You can check that by pressing and holding the menu button while turning the camera on).
    And a word of warning.. spending time around this forum, is enjoyable, addictive, informative, and a host of other adjectives.. it is also full of 'evil' people as you have already noticed! lol.
    I can see you already have succumbed to your first exposure to LBA (lens buying addiction).
    Cheers, and welcome.. like the others I look forward to your photos
  34. Hey,
    Why is Mis (and Bob K) calling Ioritz as Loritz ?? Time to change keyboard.
    Ioritz - welcome to pentax world. You will not regret your decision :) Used lenses are cheap. Consider that also while building your system.
  35. I wouldn't invest in a system produced by a company with less than a 2% market share in their home market:
    And worldwide doesn't look any better:
    Been there, done that. I adopted IBM OS/ Warp back in 1995. I ended up re-buying software when IBM put it on life support. I bought a very nice Contax N1 seveal years back and sold it after Kyocera shuttered their camera division. So I now stay with companies that are likely to survive and thrive. Lesson learned.
  36. Hmmm, I see there is an adquisition syndrome in this world too, there is something similar in the Nikon community, called NAS (Nikon Adquisition Syndromme). In the end we all are humans...
    Robert, I understand that if you are investing a high amount of money in a system, as some professionals do, you should think about the far future of the system, but bearing in mind that there are tons of current and old lenses available I don't think it's that "dangerous" to start a Pentax system. I would be more concerned if the system would have started recently, as do 4/3 and m4/3 systems. I know Pentax has been bought by Hoya, but Ferrari also was bought by Fiat, and it continues manufacturing incredible cars.
  37. Robert, the real problem that has us all worried is that Pentax has been "about to go bust" for 10 years now, maybe more! I'm suffering nervous breakdowns because of this. You don't know what it's like to be told by a camera store clerk that your camera brand has gone out of business, but then find out they've just released the award-winning K10D. Or the time, a few weeks ago, when stores stopped carrying Pentax because "they're going out of business" just as the new (soon to be award-winning) K-7 was announced. Cameras keep coming out, as do lenses, flashes and other accessories, but I suppose they're just ways Pentax has of torturing us as it slowly, very slowly, goes out of business.
    Pentax isn't Canikon, and it probably never will be. There are good and bad things about that, but to assume that it will be going out of business just because it's not a market leader is ludicrous.
  38. Hey Loritz, I sent you an e-mail through p-net. Make sure it didn't end up in your spam folder.
  39. OK, one last post. Loritz, I hate to do this to you, but you should check out the FA 50mm f/1.4. It's very cheap, and very, very good. Fantastic for low-light shooting, and an extremely useful portrait lens on digital APS-C sensors.
    I know you didn't want to spend anymore money, but...
  40. Well, I have already filled my LBA for now, so I'll try to restore the health of my bank account again ;) and when that happens I'll start looking at primes. I think I have contributed enough to solve the financial crisis for the moment! hehehe.
    By the way, I already answered your mail Miserere.
  41. ditto on the FA50, the price has recently gone up...
    One thing that will pleasantly surprise you... is that your classic Nikkor 105/2.5 will mount on Pentax cameras! it will be manual aperture, manual focus, but it will physically mount!
    (and I have tried this.... old Nikon's will not bayonet fully on, they will just twist maybe 1 or 2mm, but it is secure enough)
  42. My concern is that the K7 being designed to improve low noise performance will also diminish IQ in terms of detail loss, as is the case with Nikon and Canon models. The K20D and K200D as well as the K100D have the opposite approach. Without much noise suppression, they deliver exceptionally detailed images compared to other brands. They leave adding noise reduction up to the user, and can then deliver a maximum of image detail.
    The only way I can see noise being reduced in the K7 without loss of image detail is if the new sensor produces less noise to start with. My understanding is that noise is a result of heat produced by the sensor, which is increased with higher sensitivity settings. So if less heat is produced, noise will be lower without NR being applied. I hope this turns out to be the case, and the K7's images are as crisp as the K20D. Much of its design went into the video aspect.
    Due to such concerns, being that I know the K20D does not apply agressive NR, and does produce exceptionally crisp images, with the lower prices available it made sense to get one, since I know what it can do.
    The market share of Nikon and Canon have been far ahead for years. Pentax has never been a success story in marketing. That does not mean Pentax equipment does not have a high standard and a good value. The charts given here are for only one Pentax model in the first chart, and the second apparently pertains to all varieties, including the bottom grade consumer P/S cameras.
  43. Life is short, get a Pentax K-7.
  44. Orlando, I read that somewhere before, but I didn't know about the compatibility of that precise lens! That's really awesome, as I love the overal rendering of that lens. When I try my Nikon lenses I'll make you know about their "mountability".
    Concerning the NR at higher ISOs, I agree with you, Michael, in that Pentax follows another track delivering crisper images but with more noise. In fact, in the test photos in dpreview comparing the k20d side by side with the d90 I can see way more detail in the k20d shots even at 3200 and 6400. I feel this approach is more conservative as applying noise reduction in post process is quite easy nowadays.
    I am sure the k7 will be an excellent camera, but I don't like buying cameras immediately after they are launched. It's quite common to find design or software issues in the first batchs, which will have to be solved eventually, and the price of the new gear is always a bit overpriced at first. However, looking at the specs and previews of the camera, I feel it could be the "professional" camera that some people claim the k20d shoud have been. It looks like the so much expected e3 in the Olympus 4/3 system.
  45. jtk


    Count the visits on P.N Forums. : Pentax is about twice as popular as Olympus-4/3 (even with wildly popular m4/3 from both Oly and Panasonic) and twice as popular as Sony (even with its full frame/Zeiss potential). Pentax is nearly as popular as Oly and Sony combined.
    Good companies don't need big market share to survive. Pentax was a niche player from the beginning. Shortly after Spotmatic came out its sales were similar to those of each of these (all of them vanished): Miranda, Minolta, Argus-Cosina, Mamiya Sekor.
    The OS example, above, demonstrated that lousy tech dies (Vista will, every third Mac version does). The Contax example confirmed that photographers didn't like bad viewfinders and shutter lag in pretty little film cameras any more than they liked it in pretty little digicams.
    One lesson from Microsoft/Contax disasters (above) may be to turn left when their buyers turn right :)
    Don't do as this unlucky guy does, do the opposite:
  46. The K20D looks like a great camera. I have the K10D and if you're on a budget I'd recommend getting that, and spend the saving on lenses. Unless the 4 mega pixels matter that much to you (and, granted, a couple of other improvements). The K10D was an award-winning camera for a reason, and the prices - now that there are two newer flagship DSLRs from Pentax - are amazing for the features of the K10D body.
  47. Robert,
    Just checking in from a busy sleepless weekend which is trying it's hardest to be rained out.
    We've (they've) had rain, 35 of 45 days, 12 of the last 12, definitely not looking good for tomorrow! I think upstate we've done a bit better, but not by much.
    You do realize the Pentax forum on this site is the 3rd or 4th most popular, also that Pentax has been going out of business since the LX was introduced. This is a long time to be going out of business.
    It may very well happen but a few K mount DSLRs should last long enough to justify the investment.
  48. I agree, Pentax isn't in the business of selling as many cameras as possible with as many different models as possible in the shortest time possible. They wait and watch as their "fast" competitors make mistakes and learn from them. Then release a well built camera with the features that people need. Frankly I don't care if some @%^&*^% at cnet thinks they're going out of business. They have my business, and the business of those zealots here. (Ya guys, we're zealots, woot)
    Ioritz, glad you're getting the k20d (I had the budget for that at 23 too!) I used the forum to decide what I was going to do too, and you're on the right track! I should be able to get a used *ist or K100d at some point soon. Even with the older cameras, you can't go wrong, cause Pentax built them well!
    I thing I might mention about trying other lenses: Try to see online if they fit first. I have a Ricoh "P" lens and I was going to throw it on my ?*ist? when I got it. Boy am I glad I read up on it first... HERE... In the forums. (it gets stuck unless you "fix" it first)
    As far as primes, I'm totally geeking out over the 40mm Limited... YMMV
    Welcome to Pentax!
  49. I have filters older than CNET. Maybe they should wake up and smell the Dektol. Pentax will do just fine.
    Don't they mostly review home computers and video games over there?
    Here's one for you: I was at a camera store operated by a larger franchise some months ago. As I was waiting, the salesman remarked to a customer, "Oh, no. Pentax is going away." The store closed about three weeks ago. Pentax is still selling. Go figure.
  50. John, I think I remember that franchise- I almost got a job there in January. They were hiring, but weren't willing to properly compensate me, so I went somewhere else. They closed THAT store 4 weeks later... Go Figure.
  51. As a owner of both Pentax and Nikon I would suggest staying with Nikon. My main issue with Pentax and the reason I use Nikon for all of my wedding photography is lens selection and availablity. Pentax produces some nice bodies but their lenses have only just begun to come up to speed and they still lack a 80-200 f2.8. The other factor regarding lenses is that Nikon has a long history with each of their available focal lengths while Pentax is still playing catch-up.
  52. If you are a professional concerned about service, rentals, and lens availability then Canikon is the way to go. But I don't think the OP is one of those. For amateurs, Pentax gives the best bang for the buck.
    I was considering moving to Nikon from Pentax (K10D) because I was frustrated with the unsure AF and AF errors. But so much would be lost (at the same price point) - in-body stabilization, weather-sealing, viewfinder..
    Basically to match a K10D, you need a D200. And there's quite a price difference plus you lose stabilization. Of course the D200 has better compatibility with ancient lenses and has better AF, but it also costs more.
    So I ended up going with a K20D, which (to my perception) has better AF and has the micro-AF adjust missing from the K10D.
    I think at any price point, Pentax will give you the most features. But if the features you need (e.g. fast AF, availability of fast long zooms) aren't available, then go Canikon. Besides there is the Tamron 70-200/2.8 available for Pentax. Not SDM, but the 50-135/2.8 is out there.
  53. Was just checking KEH.. a used D200 costs more than a new K20D! so either Nikon cameras are horrendously overvalued, Pentax cameras depreciate like there's no tomorrow (good for non-early adopters) or a combination of both.
    I've been toying with getting a D200 so I can use all those old MF Nikon lenses with full functionality..
    It sucks that Pentax didn't put an aperture-indexing cam on the K10D / K20D / K7 - how much could it cost not to use a crippled KAF2 mount?
  54. Well, I think you are correct concerning the Nikon / Canon service for professionals. It seems to be more suited for that segment but, personally, I don't fit that segment, and if I happened to enter there, I would have to reconsider my entire system anyway.
    I also considered the D200 but, as you noted, it is still quite expensive for that relatively old camera. Moreover, I feel the overall lens lens offering is quite expensive considering you don't get image stabilization with most of them. But I won't comment on Pentax optics before trying the lenses, of course ;).
  55. "As a owner of both Pentax and Nikon I would suggest staying with Nikon. My main issue with Pentax and the reason I use Nikon for all of my wedding photography is lens selection and availablity. Pentax produces some nice bodies but their lenses have only just begun to come up to speed and they still lack a 80-200 f2.8. The other factor regarding lenses is that Nikon has a long history with each of their available focal lengths while Pentax is still playing catch-up."
    Pentax has had the SMC Pentax-FA* 80-200mm F2.8 ED [IF] but now most get the Pentax K-mount AF Sigma or Tamron 70-200 F2.8 lenses. There are 24 million lenses that fit the K-7 and many primes that are not available for Nikon like the 31mm F1.8 Limited that is one of the sharpest primes on the planet.
  56. Nikon does have a 35/1.8 which has a silent wave drive and is cheap..!
  57. 31mm F1.8 *drool*
  58. Hello Ioritz, this is Marc from Barcelona (Catalunya). I have been a pentaxian all my life and I am delighted that someone from Nikon is thinking about Pentax. You have received advice from far more competent photographers than myself, so I will talk just about money. Have you though about buying your equipment in the internet?. Last year the US$ was so low that I did buy a K10D body + the handgrip + a spare battery + the kit lens(18-55mm) + a memory card (8Gb) in the U.S.A. for less than the price of the body alone in Spain (taxes + customs + s&h included). I want to buy the 55-300 this summer and it costs around 340 $ in (thats 245 € at the actual rate change) and 375 € in the average shop in Spain. Thats 130 € less!! You will have it in Spain for around 100 € less (taxes + customs + s&h included). It is something to think about. Imagine if you buy ALL of your equipment there. OK, its enough. Please feel free to email me to ask anything you want.
  59. Hi, marc!
    I have been looking at prices over the internet around different webpages. Buying overseas has, in my opinion, two main "problems". When the goods arrive, it is quite uncertain if they will be stopped in the customs office. I once bought a lens from b&h and the shipment was incredibly slow due to that reason, and I had to pay around 40€ for a 120€ piece of equipment. It was still cheap comparing with the prices over here, but it gave me something to think about. Moreover, I don't know how the warranty works in such cases. If the equipment needs to be shipped back to its original country it could be quite expensive.
    Nevertheless, I compared the prices from quite a lot of places, and after balancing their pros and cons, I finally bought the kit (k20d + 18-55 II + 55-300) from Pixmania Spain over the internet (they have a shop in Barcelona, by the way) for 970€ (shipment included). The Tamron 17-50 was bought from, where it cost me 370€ (ship. incl.). It was a bit cheaper if I bought everything from (even if it didn't include the 18-55 kit lens), but if customs stopped the package (quite likely, it being a moderately big pack) the economical advantage would have been gone, and the other cons (warranty, returning policy, etc.) would still be there. Curiously, it wasn't that much cheaper buying from e-bay (with which I have quite a lot of experience).
  60. Hi again Ioritz!
    Best wishes on your new gear. When your economy gets back to normal levels consider buying the battery grip; it adds balance to the camera and makes it far more confortable to work with, wich will be handy working with the 55-300. By the way, tell us what do you think of that lens (wich I will try to buy shortly).
  61. Ok, I'll try it thoroughly... when it arrives! I think it will arrive in around 2-3 days at most, since it has already been received by the shipping company and it is a trustworthy company at least in Spain (SEUR).
    I'll make you know my first impressions on the kit.
  62. what's everyone's thoughts on the pentax 50-135 vs. the Tamron 70-200mm
    does the 135 have enough range or is the 200mm overkill? Both lenses are about the same price, can't decide. thanks
  63. Gary, do a search and you'll find many threads dealing with your conundrum. In the end it boils down to your needs, and only YOU can know if 135mm is long enough. And if you do need 200mm at the long end, know that it comes at the expense of weight and bulk.
  64. [​IMG]
    Pentax 600mm F4 and 80-200mm F2.8 for sale on ebay.
  65. "Nikon does have a 35/1.8 which has a silent wave drive and is cheap..!"
    What does that have to do with the Pentax 31mm 1.8 Limited ?
    Popular Photography in its March 2002 issue called the Pentax SMC-FA 31mm Limited one of the greatest prime lenses it had ever tested (the other two were the Voigtländer Heliar 50mm f/3.5 and the Nikon Nikkor 45mm f/2.8P Tessar-type.
  66. In the context of this thread the Pentax 31 Limited is out of context because it costs $800. No doubt it's a great lens, but the price puts it out of consideration for a lot of people.
    Was pointing out that Nikon (which the OP was coming from) has a cheap 35mm prime which is sealed and has a silent wave drive. Pentax has a more expensive 35/2 FA which is an old design and I think has been discontinued, its price has been climbing recently.
    All these other lenses you show (600/4, 80-200/2.8) are discontinued and cost even more on the used market than they were new. They would be difficult to for pros because if you were a pro and had one of these and it broke... where would you get service or a replacement?
  67. I agree with Orlando Pentax does not produce a fast telephoto zoom lens that most pros would feel comfortable carrying around in the field. Also Nikon equipment holds it's value better than Pentax equipment I should know I sold a lot of my Pentax gear and took a big hit.
    If you can work with what Pentax has to offer then go for it, but look at it this way in terms of holding their value Pentax is the Volkswagen and Nikon is the BMW .

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