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05-20-2010, 07:12 PM - 1 Like   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by kalison Quote
Wow thanks for all the info!

I keep hearing the SDMs arent reliable. Thats semi bothersome, as I have grown accustomed to the wonderfully smooth, fast, and quiet USM motors.

From what I have been reading the 55-300 Pentax is kinda the "cheap wonder" much like the 55-250 that I had started with years ago. The "nifty two fifty". Sounds like it wouldnt be a horrible idea to get this for trials.

The 50-135 looks great as well and its in the acceptable price range... not as long as the 70-200... but 50-135 is not bad at all. Fully sealed since its a *.. which is more than the 70-200L is. Also 2.8 which is a plus. I could see using that glass quite frequently... I am sure it can't be larger than the 70-200.

60-250* looks nice too!

I think its all in time, but I will more than likely be moving to primes in the end. Having maybe only one or two zooms. FA and DA limited lenses just teasing me right now.

I think I am really eyeing the 35 macro limited and the 77 limited.
SOME people have had trouble with early SDM lenses failing in the focus motor. I have to wonder how many who keep complaining that they are Unreliable or to be 'avoided like the plaque' (as I read in another post) have ever actually owned, held, or used one.

If you're use to the 50d, you'll probably want to add the BDG4 grip to your K7. It will feel right at home at that point..

I don't think you can really go wrong with Pentax Prime lenses and the 35 and 77 would be great starts. FWIW, As far as zooms go I hardly think that the DA16-45 (though a decent lens) can come close to measuring up to the 17-40L. If you're use to shooting with those types of lenses though, It might be a good idea to just skip the kit lenses and go right to what you really want. Just my opinion of course.



05-20-2010, 07:14 PM   #17
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People with problems speak up in forums, people (the majority) that don't tend to be much more quiet.

05-20-2010, 07:20 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by yeatzee Quote
People with problems speak up in forums, people (the majority) that don't tend to be much more quiet.
Or people with sdm problems dumped their lenses on ebay asap w/o making a hiss. Buying SDM lenses can be quite a spiritual experience - just pay & pray.
05-20-2010, 07:43 PM - 1 Like   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by kalison Quote
Will do, I appreciate your response.

To me USM is tops... there is nothing I have felt thats smoother and more reliable than Canon's USM system. SDM lenses are pretty bad? Or what exactly makes them unreliable?
Wow, where do we start? How about the countless posts on this forum about SDM problems. No it is not just a few noisy people that have had problem. It is systemmatic and widespread. There is a petition that has almost 900 signatures on it asking for Pentax to enable screw drive on SDM lenses, so that when they fail, we can still AF. Google "Pentax SDM Problems." You will see posts on forums around the world. Also, it is not just early models of lenses, now the reports are starting on the 17-70: http://ricehigh.blogspot.com/2010/05/focusing-issue-with-da-17-704-sdm.html#idc-container

How about the relatively glacial speed of SDM compared to ring USM? There are threads about it, there are also youtube comparisons. like this one:

[YT]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngUcQUchHEU[/YT]

Look, I am a Pentax fan, but I am not going to make excuses for them anymore. All I am saying is that you really need to make sure what you are getting into before making a switch. I have quite a lot of experience with the k-7, and the slightly smaller size (unless using primes) and the theoretically better weather sealing was not worth SAFOX and SDM problems for me.


Last edited by PentaxPoke; 05-20-2010 at 07:50 PM.
05-20-2010, 07:46 PM - 1 Like   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by kalison Quote
After all, its not the lens or the body that takes the pictures.
OK, I'm impressed I was 99% sure this entire thread was going to be a trollfest.

Anyway, I've got a 12-24mm on my camera 70% of the time, and often only have my 50mm 1.4 and maybe a 50-200mm kit lens with me.

The other lenses stay in my bag unless I know I'm going to go somewhere for something specific.
05-20-2010, 07:59 PM - 1 Like   #21
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QuoteQuote:
Is it really that much smaller than the 50D? From the people I have seen handing it, they had some meating fingers and it seemed to not bother them. One guy said the grip solved his "pinky-hanging-off-the-bottom" issue.
I think "small" is relative. If you put one of the smaller prime lenses on the K-7, it seems a lot smaller. If you put a bigger zoom on it, it balances well and doesn't seem small at all. The thing I like is it seems like two cameras that way, a medium/small sized camera that can also be discrete if that's what you're going for. If you need a comparison, think of a Nikon D90 but with better build quality, heavier, with a deeper grip for your fingers.

QuoteOriginally posted by kalison Quote
Wow thanks for all the info!
I keep hearing the SDMs arent reliable. Thats semi bothersome, as I have grown accustomed to the wonderfully smooth, fast, and quiet USM motors.

From what I have been reading the 55-300 Pentax is kinda the "cheap wonder" much like the 55-250 that I had started with years ago. The "nifty two fifty". Sounds like it wouldnt be a horrible idea to get this for trials.

The 50-135 looks great as well and its in the acceptable price range... not as long as the 70-200... but 50-135 is not bad at all. Fully sealed since its a *.. which is more than the 70-200L is. Also 2.8 which is a plus. I could see using that glass quite frequently... I am sure it can't be larger than the 70-200.
60-250* looks nice too!

I think its all in time, but I will more than likely be moving to primes in the end. Having maybe only one or two zooms. FA and DA limited lenses just teasing me right now.

I think I am really eyeing the 35 macro limited and the 77 limited.

I see you are an Iowa resident as well!
Cool, you could become an Iowan Pentaxian. We're a rare breed, indeed. What part of the state do you live in?

On the SDM: I haven't personally had mine break, but from what I understand is that when the SDM does fail it just stops autofocusing correctly, or even at all. To fix this you have to send it in and the repair center will replace the motor. Where a lot of the SDM complaints come from -- I think -- is this SDM failure has sometimes happened to the same people multiple times, and they are understandably upset about it, and they start threads where other people show up who are also upset about it, and it multiplies from there. That's the sort of thing that will ruin the reputation of a piece of technology pretty quickly.

I just think it's something you need to keep in mind when making the purchase. This said, if you get a good copy of the DA*16-50 I think it is a really great lens that would fit your needs well. I've used mine (on the K-7) in a pouring rain before and it made it through fine. It's also survived a nasty ice-induced fall where I landed on it Home Alone style. It's my workhorse.

SDM on the whole I don't think is as good as USM in terms of autofocusing speed. This is also something you should keep in mind when you're making your decision if this is important to you. SDM is quiet and smooth however, and as an added bonus the K-7 has a very quiet shutter noise. The K-7 and DA*16-50 is a very good combo for being discrete (not loud) at public gatherings
.
Also, if you want to hike and want a weather sealed telephoto, check out the new weather resistant D-FA 100 Macro f/2.8.

QuoteQuote:
FWIW, As far as zooms go I hardly think that the DA16-45 (though a decent lens) can come close to measuring up to the 17-40L.
Celebrity testimonial!

Opinions on Pentax DA
16-45/4 ED/AL - Photo.net Pentax Forum


Benjamin Kanarek [Subscriber] , Dec 28, 2007; 07:51 a.m.


"One of my favorite lenses. On par with my 17-40L Canon lens."

Ben

Here is a sample.




Additional lens test thing that doesn't really prove anything but is apropos: http://digitalphotographer.com.ph/forum/showthread.php?t=4254



Pentax K10D + DA 16-45mm f/4 vs Canon EOS 400D + Canon 17-40mm f/4 L ISO 100 @ f/8

Last edited by Urkeldaedalus; 05-20-2010 at 08:06 PM.
05-20-2010, 08:33 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxPoke Quote
Wow, where do we start? How about the countless posts on this forum about SDM problems. No it is not just a few noisy people that have had problem. It is systemmatic and widespread. There is a petition that has almost 900 signatures on it asking for Pentax to enable screw drive on SDM lenses, so that when they fail, we can still AF. Google "Pentax SDM Problems." You will see posts on forums around the world. Also, it is not just early models of lenses, now the reports are starting on the 17-70: RiceHigh's Pentax Blog: Focusing Issue with the DA 17-70/4 SDM

Look, I am a Pentax fan, but I am not going to make excuses for them anymore. All I am saying is that you really need to make sure what you are getting into before making a switch. I have quite a lot of experience with the k-7, and the slightly smaller size (unless using primes) and the theoretically better weather sealing was not worth SAFOX and SDM problems for me.
Hey, PentaxPoke

Thanks for posting this. I will be doing some more research. I guess I had never made a really close comparison of USM vs. SDM... infact I was kinda not even thinking about it *too* much. I mean, for a long time before I could afford L or upper end EF-S glass which had USM motors... I had to use the louder micro dc focus motors of the Canon glass anyway.

However once I did get to the point of owning L glass it really made me appreciate USM focusing and its low noise levels. While its sort of a luxury, its still a concern. As far as overall importance of *having* a USM/SDM focus lens is a bit lower on my scale. I am rarely with a point in landscape where I need ultra fast focusing.... I did street photography for years before USM tech was a twinkle in my eye.

HOWEVER... the cost difference from a USM/SDM lens appears to be substantial, in which I could see why people find it unacceptable to be anything less than whats offered by other manufactures. Especially from a reliability stand point.

Now, what I am over that... at least for now. As I said, I can go without this type of luxury if I had to... what you're getting my attention with is the SAFOX. I know thats less with glass and more with AF system. This might be a little more serious.

Again, PentaxPoke I appreciate your candor. I really do. I enjoy the fact that I am getting both sides of a story, about a system that I still don't know as well as others. In fact I am glad I get to hear the good and the bad.
05-20-2010, 08:54 PM   #23
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The K-7's AF is as fast as the 50d/D90, its the AFC (continues AF) thats slower. Dont let people convince you otherwise because its simply not true...

(comparing screw drive lenses)

05-20-2010, 09:05 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
If you're use to the 50d, you'll probably want to add the BDG4 grip to your K7. It will feel right at home at that point..

I don't think you can really go wrong with Pentax Prime lenses and the 35 and 77 would be great starts. FWIW, As far as zooms go I hardly think that the DA16-45 (though a decent lens) can come close to measuring up to the 17-40L. If you're use to shooting with those types of lenses though, It might be a good idea to just skip the kit lenses and go right to what you really want. Just my opinion of course.

I think you're right. I just wanted to start off slow in a new system. Make sure this is what I would like to do. As I said before, we have no Pentax Retail Markets here anymore. Everything is just the big C and N (occasional Sony). Which is fine, however rarely do I meet someone even in the local stores that has that twinkle in their eye when they speak about that equipment. Its just pushed because thats the big names and thats what matters.

However, you mention Pentax or Minolta and there is always a smile... like "Yeah, you're in the club". Its more than just waxed nostalgia, at least from what I can see in the faces of these guys. Sure, sure... like others said before. Pentax is not the same as the older film days company wise. However that can be said about almost any AND every corporation these days.

Okay, derailed for a minute there.

Yeah... I know what I want. I should just dive in and get the lenses I know are going to make me happy.... but without much physical contact with anything Pentax around here (Minus a few consigned K1000 bodies)... I can't make the blind jump.

As for the grip, I am almost certain I want to get that! Anyone recommend the generics? Because I am pretty sure those arent going to be sealed.

QuoteOriginally posted by Urkeldaedalus Quote
I think "small" is relative. If you put one of the smaller prime lenses on the K-7, it seems a lot smaller. If you put a bigger zoom on it, it balances well and doesn't seem small at all. The thing I like is it seems like two cameras that way, a medium/small sized camera that can also be discrete if that's what you're going for. If you need a comparison, think of a Nikon D90 but with better build quality, heavier, with a deeper grip for your fingers.
I am glad you said that! My Dad shoots Nikon and so does my close friend. They both have D90s... and thats what I am familiar with (being as we used to swap bodies for a day sometimes just to feel what we are missing )

The D90 is what I find acceptable for a small body and ergonomics. I really didn't have a problem handing those with my ape hands at all! The grip rolls around and dips in slightly... allowing you to hold on to the camera like you would naturally. With my 50D, its just a big wide pole to hold then goes flat on the finger tip area next to the body which isnt that comfortable either. My hope was that Pentax followed that road like Nikon and made a smaller DEEPER grip, but made it in a way that your hand wraps around it so that while its not bigger, it feels bigger (really don't know if that makes sense). One interesting thing though. Looking through the dimensions for 50D, K7, D300s... I noticed that K7 is obviously smaller in Height and Width... however Depth stayed pretty much the same across the board. That gave me hope.

Pentax K-7 131 x 97 x 73 mm (5.1 x 3.8 x 2.9 in) 754 g (1.7 lb)
Nikon D300s 147 x 114 x 74 mm (5.8 x 4.5 x 2.9 in) 918 g (2.0 lb)
Canon EOS 50D 146 x 108 x 74 mm (5.8 x 4.3 x 2.9 in) 822 g (1.8 lb)
Olympus E-30 142 x 108 x 75mm (5.5 x 4.3 x 3.0 in) 665g (1.5 lb)
Sony DSLR-A700 142 x 105 x 80 mm (5.6 x 4.1 x 3.2 in) 768 g (1.7 lb)
Pentax K20 142 x 101 x 70 mm (5.6 x 4.0 x 2.8 in) 804g (1.8 lb)



So now you got me wondering if I should drop a few more on the DA* and hope these SDM issues don't get me... or save a few and do the 16-45 which is quite the sweet spot for me. From your photo there it looks very nice indeed!


Again thanks for all the responses!

Last edited by kalison; 05-20-2010 at 09:12 PM.
05-20-2010, 09:36 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by kalison Quote
I think you're right. I just wanted to start off slow in a new system. Make sure this is what I would like to do. As I said before, we have no Pentax Retail Markets here anymore. Everything is just the big C and N (occasional Sony). Which is fine, however rarely do I meet someone even in the local stores that has that twinkle in their eye when they speak about that equipment. Its just pushed because thats the big names and thats what matters.

However, you mention Pentax or Minolta and there is always a smile... like "Yeah, you're in the club". Its more than just waxed nostalgia, at least from what I can see in the faces of these guys. Sure, sure... like others said before. Pentax is not the same as the older film days company wise. However that can be said about almost any AND every corporation these days.

Okay, derailed for a minute there.

Yeah... I know what I want. I should just dive in and get the lenses I know are going to make me happy.... but without much physical contact with anything Pentax around here (Minus a few consigned K1000 bodies)... I can't make the blind jump.

As for the grip, I am almost certain I want to get that! Anyone recommend the generics? Because I am pretty sure those arent going to be sealed.



So now you got me wondering if I should drop a few more on the DA* and hope these SDM issues don't get me... or save a few and do the 16-45 which is quite the sweet spot for me.


Again thanks for all the responses!
The camera itself is sealed, whether it has the grip attached or not. There are no Hole type contacts that the grip must mate into. They are press up against contacts and the contacts on the grip are spring loaded. There are a number of threads here discussing the knockoff grips, mine is the genuine Pentax. I cannot properly comment on the generics. I don't mess with them going back to the old stanley tool commercials. You can buy tools every couple years or you can buy stanley once (when that was actually saying anything). My general experience with same-as items is they don't last, so again, I don't mess with them.

Good luck and welcome to the club.

05-20-2010, 09:42 PM   #26
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Welcome Kalison.

if you want to get the best from Pentax, then I advice you to buy the vaunted primes. Primes had and has always been Pentax's bread and butter.

for zooms, I can only vouch for the 12-24 and 16-45. since I dont want to recommend the DA* zooms due to questionable lens reliability.

as for primes, always take a look at the FA31, FA43 and FA77 combo. then get yourself either a Sigma 70-200.

for manual focus lenses, these are the lenses that you should consider K/A 50/1.2 (not 1:2, so be careful), K28/3.5, K35/3.5, K55/1.8, K135/2.5. third party lenses that are great as well, VIvitar S1 prime lenses and the zoom 70-210, Helios and Jupiter series lenses.
05-20-2010, 10:07 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by yeatzee Quote
The K-7's AF is as fast as the 50d/D90, its the AFC (continues AF) thats slower. Dont let people convince you otherwise because its simply not true...

(comparing screw drive lenses)
This is not true at all yeatzee. First of all, there is no such thing as a Canon "screw drive lens" unless you are talking about lenses before 1987, and even back then they weren't body-driven screw drive. Second and more importantly, the k-7 falls well behind all other DSLR's (even Rebels for goodness sakes) when the EV drops below 6. This is a well known limitation of SAFOX. It has nothing at all to do with AFC. That is a separate issue (where the issues are even worse because of how you cannot reach the full fps of the K-7 due to the AF-C.)

If you don't believe me or the videos, compare the focus speed tests of the k-7 and the 50D directly through independent testing. (Scroll down and look at the "AF speed" graphs)

K-7:
- Page 2 | Photography - PopPhoto.com Offers Camera Reviews and Exclusive Photo Tips

50D:
- Page 2 | Photography - PopPhoto.com Offers Camera Reviews and Exclusive Photo Tips

Here is the "lowly" Rebel t2i:
Camera Test: Canon EOS Rebel T2i Gallery | Photography - PopPhoto.com Offers Camera Reviews and Exclusive Photo Tips

Here is the cheapest Nikon you can buy:
http://www.popphoto.com/content/camera-test-nikon-d3000?pnid=64510

Note that the k-7 AF speed falls like a brick after EV6 which is the value of typical indoor artificial light.
The Rebel focuses faster at EV0 than the k-7 does at EV3!
This has been the case for all Pentax DSLRS since the *ist because they all share essentially the same SAFOX. This is why the k-7 is so slow to focus in those youtube videos. People like to talk about how fast it focuses, but that is only in good light where SAFOX is competitive. Move indoors to a more subdued lighting, and the differences are clear. The first time I experienced this myself with a Canon, after making excuses for my K-7, I was stunned.

The k-8 needs modern AF!

Last edited by PentaxPoke; 05-20-2010 at 10:37 PM.
05-20-2010, 10:27 PM   #28
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I should clarify that the sample photo I posted above is from fashion photographer Benjamin Kanarek, who works professionally in Paris. In fairness, he could probably make any lens look good.

I've also never used the Canon 17-40L so I don't know how it compares personally. I just was going based on what I read. I have, however, seen images from my DA16-45 stand up pretty well compared to a friend's Canon 24-70L, so take that for what it's worth.

Here are a few from me when I owned the DA16-45:









A few things you should know about the DA16-45

Pros
  • Good sharpness
  • Image quality solid to great throughout its range
  • It's comparably small and light (compared to DA*16-50)
  • Fast focusing (faster than the DA*16-50)
  • Vibrant colors
  • A bargain for the image quality

Cons
  • Busy bokeh
  • No internal zoom. Extends when zooming (causes an annoying shadow when shooting wide while using onboard flash)
  • Build quality clearly isn't as good as more expensive zooms like the Canon 17-40L or Pentax DA*
  • No internal motor. Since it's camera driven it makes a scratchy noise when it autofocuses.
  • F/4 limits indoor useability

Pound for pound, the DA*16-50 is the better lens. The main thing against it is its higher price combined with its shoddy history. The DA16-45 in comparison is the safer bet.

If you decide to try Pentax, what I'd do if I were you is try to decide what focal length you'd like to have silent focusing and weather sealing for the most, this would be a lens where the benefits of having a DA* lens would be worth the risk and extra cost. Then you can try that lens and also match it with third party options, Pentax primes, old manual focus lenses, what have you. Mixing and matching based on what you need is the best way to get the most of the Pentax system IMO.

In fact, if you were to buy a DA16-45 (or WR kit lens) and DA55-300 combo, and throw in one of the prime lenses that you're considering, that would be a pretty good way to get a sample of Pentax offers. If either of those two zooms isn't quite good enough for you, then consider replacing it with a DA* lens. That's what I did.

You can also try Pentax lenses by renting from here:

CameraLensRentals.com - Canon, Nikon and Pentax Lens Rentals.

They are one of the rare places that rents Pentax lenses. I've used them before and can recommend them.

Last edited by Urkeldaedalus; 05-20-2010 at 10:34 PM.
05-20-2010, 10:40 PM   #29
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I am not sure if this has been discussed as I haven't followed closely. I have discovered on both of my Pentax DSLRs (DS & K-m), when the lens cap is on, that means total darkness, the camera would delay for maybe half a second b4 turning the lens. The 40D I have hasn't this delay and turns the lens instantly. Now the interesting part. By the time the Pentax lens (tried DA14 & DA18-55) hit the min distance, the Canon (17-55/2.8IS) was already back to infinity. This is roughly 100% faster. This test is unrealistic of course because nobody would AF in total darkness, but might explain partly why the Pentax AF was slow as the EV drops below 5EV. The camera was sort of like in shock state for a short while b4 trying to AF when the EV was low.
05-20-2010, 10:51 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxPoke Quote
This is not true at all yeatzee. First of all, there is no such thing as a Canon "screw drive lens" unless you are talking about lenses before 1987, and even back then they weren't body-driven screw drive. Second and more importantly, the k-7 falls well behind all other DSLR's (even Rebels for goodness sakes) when the EV drops below 6. This is a well known limitation of SAFOX. It has nothing at all to do with AFC. That is a separate issue (where the issues are even worse because of how you cannot reach the full fps of the K-7 due to the AF-C.)

If you don't believe me or the videos, compare the focus speed tests of the k-7 and the 50D directly through independent testing. (Scroll down and look at the "AF speed" graphs)

K-7:
- Page 2 | Photography - PopPhoto.com Offers Camera Reviews and Exclusive Photo Tips

50D:
- Page 2 | Photography - PopPhoto.com Offers Camera Reviews and Exclusive Photo Tips

Here is the "lowly" Rebel t2i:
Camera Test: Canon EOS Rebel T2i Gallery | Photography - PopPhoto.com Offers Camera Reviews and Exclusive Photo Tips

Here is the cheapest Nikon you can buy:
Camera Test: Nikon D3000 | Photography - PopPhoto.com Offers Camera Reviews and Exclusive Photo Tips

Note that the k-7 AF speed falls like a brick after EV6 which is the value of typical indoor artificial light.
The Rebel focuses faster at EV0 than the k-7 does at EV3!
This has been the case for all Pentax DSLRS since the *ist because they all share essentially the same SAFOX. This is why the k-7 is so slow to focus in those youtube videos. People like to talk about how fast it focuses, but that is only in good light where SAFOX is competitive. Move indoors to a more subdued lighting, and the differences are clear. The first time I experienced this myself with a Canon, after making excuses for my K-7, I was stunned.

The k-8 needs modern AF!
Sorry i don't know the correct terminology for canon

Im going off of my own experiences in comparing my K-7 to a buddies 50d and D90.... We all had a shot at eachothers cameras. In normal situations as it was tested in (sorry no blackhole tests) they were all EQUAL. No dicernable difference. real world tests are often different and much more important IMO (I know im not the only one who thinks so). Not all of us want endless and in many cases meaningless statistics and numbers. Field reports are much more accurate in what will really happen what the person in question has the camera in their hands.

You wouldn't happen to have those "excuses for your K-7" would you (i.e. quotes)? It seems you and few others have gone out of their way to be samsungian equivalents.... I know if canon is in the title exactly who will post and sure enough
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