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 Post subject: re: Why choose Pentax?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 7:47 pm 
Just out of curiosity, are you shooting with Pentax? In one of your posts you where referring shooting with a 50-135mm lens if I remember correctly..

If so – why did you choose Pentax?

There are numerous reasons I went down the Pentax route (after having a Canon 40D + 50D and initially starting out with Sony). So I'll list them in no particular order. Keep in mind this is what applies to me, and that all camera systems have their advantages and draw backs.

The short version: Pentax has lenses that I like and need, and I like Pentax's focus on their products :)

At some point, I decided that I didn't really need more than APS-C. Equipment afficionados will wax lyrical about the benefits of full frame cameras, but for my needs which is weddings and portraits FF adds no visible benefit. I'm sure you could pixel peep and find some minute difference in quality, but if you use a decent RAW converter like DXO for large prints the point is practically moot. For weddings, I rarely go larger than 8x10" and for portraits I've never gone larger than 20x30". I'm sure you can point to numerous wedding photogs who use full frame and medium format bodies. My response to this is two fold: They charge more than I do ;) and my work will improve more if I improve my technique rather than improve my gear (which is pretty high end to begin with).

With that out of the way, what benefits do APS-C bring to the table? The things that matter to me are size, weight and price. The 50-135mm lens is half the weight and half the price of the equivalent 70-200mm f/2.8. The weight aspect is significant because I'm running about with the camera for hours. The price aspect is significant initially, but you should pay off the price of your equipment over time if you're taking on paid assignments.

So why Pentax as opposed to other manufacturers with cropped sensors? Olympus with their 4/3rds sensor means that I'm going to have to sell a lot of 8x10" prints or I'll have to constantly crop to a 3:2 aspect ratio ;). Ideally, I'd like the equivalent of a 24-70mm + 70-200mm lens for APS-C as this is a useful range for the stuff I do. Sony do not have any lens then matches this criteria, unless you go full frame. Canon and Nikon have the 17-55mm, but no 50-135+mm. I had a 70-200mm lens on my 50D for a while and I found that range to be a little too long on APS-C. On full frame, it'll be ideal as you can get zoom out to get full length portraits and then immediately zoom in to get close ups.

Then you have Pentax. Given that they have repeatedly stated that they have no full frame ambitions, their lens line up has been tailored to suit the APS-C shooter. The 16-50mm + 50-135mm is a very very sweet combo :). Compared to the Nikon/Canon equivalents, the DA* 16-50mm is weather sealed, holds up optically, and has IS (Nikon has none). The DA* 50-135mm has no equivalent in the Canikony camp, and you're either forced to buy the 70-200mm f/2.8 which is twice as heavy and twice as expensive, or you have to get the Sigma 50-150mm HSM.

Then there is other miscelleneous stuff. Pentax supports DNG natively, saving me the step of converting them during import. The rarity of Pentax is also particularly nice when covering weddings where half the guests have DSLRs and seem to love checking out the photographer to see how their gear stacks up. Most just see Pentax and have no idea what to make of it :). The Pentax K-7 is also a very nice camera.

The things that annoy me about Pentax as a system: 1) Maximum flash sync speed of 1/180. Seriously, get with the program and give us 1/250! 2) Give us a more capable wireless flash system built-in to the cameras. Nikon have CLS, Canon have whatever their system is called, both are capable of triggering multiple channels and thus specifying ratios. Pentax have 1 channel, meaning you have to set the ratios on each flash individually.

Common whines on forums that have little to no impact on actual photography:
1) Pentax has poor high ISO performance. Irrelevant as this only applies to JPEG. Shoot RAW, use a decent RAW converter and the point is moot.
2) Pentax AF is not fast enough. It's fast enough for my uses and the majority of photographers. 51 AF points with continuous 3D tracking is nice to have, but we've been taking photos for over 100 years without autofocus. I think we can cope :)
3) Pentax K-7 has poor dynamic range. This is again a JPEG problem. If you're bothered about this, you're probably shooting RAW... so what's the problem?

Anyway, that's enough of a rant from me.

Last edited by pgtips on Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:09 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 12:48 pm
Posts: 8087
Location: UK
Interesting. Although I've no intention to jump ship again myself, I do find it interesting to see where the differences lie between different systems. Of course, my needs are very different... but I do subscribe to the school of thought "use the right tool for the job".

For me FF did have a point - even shallower DoF effects. The main problem I had with that was in most cases it was too shallow! Once I really tried it, I found I didn't need it...

Canon DSLRs: 7D2, 7D1, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 70-300L, 100-400L, 100L, MP-E 65, EF-S 10-18, 15-85
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 50/1.4A, 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS
Compacts: Sony HX9V, Fuji X100.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:31 pm 
The only thing that would make me jump off the Pentax ship is the flash system. But then again, that's only a problem if you want to use IR based wireless flash systems. If you go down the Pocketwizard route or the studio lights (Elinchrom and gang), it doesn't matter what camera system you end up using. You're still stuffed by the 1/250 sync speed. Pentax's 1/180 is about 2/3 stops lower, but what is 2/3 stops amongst friends?

It all boils down to this. All systems have pros and cons, the measure of a photographer is how you deal and adapt to them.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:51 pm 
Agreed with the lenses being tailored for crops.

But Pentax stuff is hard to find where I live.

Last edited by agun on Sat Aug 21, 2010 11:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:50 am 
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 27, 2007 12:39 pm
Posts: 601
Location: France
Bonjour pgtips,

Don't call your post a rant :!: It's fine to tell truth, even inconvenient truth :wink:

I agree with you. No system is perfect and the Pentax system drawbacks are easily manageable.

There's something I'd like to add: value. Pentax offers more bang per buck :!:

I joined the Pentax wagon because the full kit Pentax *ist + 16-50 + 50-200 bundle was cheaper when I considered dSLR after many yeards with P&S.

I'm not a pro, so I don't need FF :roll: but I like using fine tools.

Later on, I updated to a K10D and a K-7, and switched the lenses for DA* 16-50, 50-135 and 60-250. Each time, quality and features went up dramatically.

Now, there are happy photographers using gear from other brands.

Everyone's happy :)

--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 3:13 am 
I'll drink to that.. Oh yeah I don't drink...hmmm... I'll do something to that.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 2:12 am 
To be honest, I wish I could jump ship at the moment... trying to sell my gear. Im eyeing up some of Nikon's line as a replacement. The three biggest factors in my change, 1- Pentax equipment availability and 2- The price of some of the line of equipment is a bit higher by the time i get it shipped here and 3 - I want to eventually get into a full frame.

I've said my peace.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 1:26 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 8:27 am
Posts: 528
Location: Hanoi, Vietnam
I had my sights set on the Pentax k-x for my first DSLR but couldn't find one anywhere for love nor money - even in electronics markets with 100s of camera retailers.

My second choice was my Olympus, which was almost as difficult to find.

I really like Pentax's kit, but it's pointless ticking all the boxes in your needs list if you can't buy the damn thing.


Panasonic G3: 9-18mm, 14mm, 20mm, 45mm

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:44 am 
I had my sights set on the Pentax k-x for my first DSLR but couldn't find one anywhere for love nor money - even in electronics markets with 100s of camera retailers.

kimchi - I purchased mine last week on lol and got it in payments to boot! I'm loving it too! :o

 Post subject: why i bought pentax
PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2010 8:18 am 
I have a small medical problem causing my hands to shake at light weight camera's

the pentax k10d weighs 710 grams empty i like that
it has onboard anti dust and snti shake like my sony alpha 100
it is designed for raw i like that too
mine is almost new 1629 clciks and being rated for 100.000 clicks as i beilieve i have s long time ahead

no camera is perfect that is why i have so many.. hi hi

 Post subject: canon to pentax
PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 8:44 am 
Just got rid of my 1000d and 450d........awaiting my new Kx to arrive on the courier, and look at another body later if required. The reason, Pentax ticks all the boxes for me, Canon I bought because like others I could not find one for love or money in a shop, so i settled.

I have seen on another site which compares apples for apples with many DSLR's and Pentax regularly comes out on top (or equal with Nikon ) in the areas I want, like image quality, colour depth low light high ISO performance, dynamic range.

I am also keen to get the HDR, filters for fun and the multiple exposure function I lost when I got rid of my old Fuji s7000. The kit lenses seem like a far better quality also.

Ultimately the "proof is in the pudding" its up to me to take good photo's.

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