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05-21-2010, 05:06 AM   #31
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Don't really want to get into an SDM war, but I own the 16-50 and 50-135 and have been quite happy with the results from them. The 50-135 is a very special lens -- pretty close to prime quality throughout its range.

I would definitely get the grip for the K7. With the grip, it feel perfect. Without it, it sort of feels like it is missing something.

You should get at least one weather sealed lens (even if it is just the kit lens) for that benefit. The kit doesn't really add that much to the cost of the package and it is awfully nice to have a completely weather sealed package.

If you come to Pentax, it should be for the primes. I know Pentax Poke has had back experiences with SDM, but even he will agree that the primes (FA limiteds, DA limiteds) are high quality glass.

05-21-2010, 06:27 AM   #32
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Agreed with Rondec that the primes are the best about Pentax. (I haven't tried expensive zooms, whether SDM deserves quite such a bad rep or not. (It'd be problematic enough I'd be careful to get any of those from somewhere that is good with exchanges, just in case. I'm not a big zooms person, anyway, and not on the big budget. One nice thing about Pentax is that you hear a lot less-to-nothing about older lenses getting along with the sensors, which doesn't seem to be the case with other brands, historically)

The kit lens is probably the best in the business: it's still a kit lens, but capable of delivering quite-nice results. I would have skipped it if it hadn't come with my K20d, but I keep mine around mostly to have the wide end, until I one of these days come up with the DA 21, which'll do what I generally expect of wide-angle lenses: be small and stay out of my way till I need it. The kit lens at least doesn't *weigh* anything to speak of. Still noticeably-superior to the Canon version, and feels like a real lens, too. (No great shakes at the longer end, if you asked me, but real nice in the middle.)

You could skip it if you're looking at something faster in the same range, but it's not something to necessarily turn your nose up at either, if it fits somewhere: for instance, if the WR version would be fun for you.

(chattering a bit while waiting for my connection to return)

For a standard zoom, I tend to prefer a longer range, anyway: I always used a 35-105 for that purpose on film, so the kit lens kind of overlaps for me with the 28-105 I'm using for walking-around, even if it stays in a drawer for the most part.

As for the general brand-war fodder, well, Pentax' weaker areas are in things like AF technology, (a bigger deal to some than others, I suppose) and definitely flash systems, if you asked me.

The advantages are in a lot of things that appeal to old-schoolers, for one, like feel and handling and lens compatibility and image quality. With other brands, you're spending twice as much just to have two control dials and a modicum of the requisite durability, for instance, something which tends to mean I'd end up comparing like K-7s and D300ses or whatnot.

Pentax is something of a smaller system to buy into, make no mistake. Has good stuff. If I were in your position, I might also consider what body-upgrade options might be available.
05-21-2010, 09:58 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by yeatzee Quote
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).
As I emphasized, and as is also shown in the plots, they are equal until below EV6. That is the point. Once you move indoors, SAFOX starts to suffer. I suspect the experience you write about wasn't comprehensive enough to see where the differences arise. You also may have been predisposed to believe that your k-7 AF was just as fast as the D90.

QuoteOriginally posted by yeatzee Quote
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
I'm sorry, but I don't even know what you are talking about here. I think you may be implying that I only post when "Canon" is in the title? If so, I think you are making another unfounded generalization.

QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
If you come to Pentax, it should be for the primes. I know Pentax Poke has had back experiences with SDM, but even he will agree that the primes (FA limiteds, DA limiteds) are high quality glass.
No doubt (although you didn't need to add the term "even." I am still a Pentax owner and fan.) Come to Pentax for the primes. Especially the limiteds.

Last edited by PentaxPoke; 05-21-2010 at 10:07 AM.
05-21-2010, 10:26 AM   #34
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Welcome!

Dont disregard lenses in the two lens kit option. Both 18-55 and 55-300 are amazing pieces of glass for "kit" category.

55-300 will cover your tele needs for quite some time.

05-21-2010, 10:31 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxPoke Quote
As I emphasized, and as is also shown in the plots, they are equal until below EV6. That is the point. Once you move indoors, SAFOX starts to suffer. I suspect the experience you write about wasn't comprehensive enough to see where the differences arise. You also may have been predisposed to believe that your k-7 AF was just as fast as the D90.


I'm sorry, but I don't even know what you are talking about here. I think you may be implying that I only post when "Canon" is in the title? If so, I think you are making another unfounded generalization.



No doubt (although you didn't need to add the term "even." I am still a Pentax owner and fan.) Come to Pentax for the primes. Especially the limiteds.
Im making it clear how the AF compares in normal situations. In addition to normal shooting, We all shot an indoor event at a church at night and swapped cameras. Most was candle lit.... they all did fine..... *maybe* a slight nod to nikon. As for the bolded... what the hell are you talking about? i shoot in MF mode 90% of the time. I bought the camera knowing this, and had no predestined idea whether my AF was faster slower or equal because quite honestly I couldn't care less. I posted what I found to be true.

No, not *only* canon titled threads....
05-21-2010, 12:59 PM - 1 Like   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by yeatzee Quote
I posted what I found to be true.
Well I guess we have to agree to disagree then. I owned the k-7 for some time, as well as the k20d. I tested them head to head against colleagues Canons as well as some I was evaluating personally (Rebel t1i as well as 7D). The differences to me were significant and clearly noticeably in indoor lighting. Outdoors, the difference is insignificant. The k-7 AF is quite fast in bright light. Particularly with screw drive lenses. My "real world" experience is consistent with the independent findings of Popular Photography lab tests, as well as those videos.

Setting quantitative numbers aside, my qualitative experience is that when I took the Canons to a poorly lit school or church event, I just felt I could point the camera at the subject, and bang, I could count on the quick focus and getting the shot. With my Pentax cameras I would often feel that zzzt...zzt...zt...beep that frustrates many of us.

Where is the shame in admitting SAFOX is a significant weakness? If SAFOX were dumped for something more competitive, then Pentax DSLR bodies would have no significant weaknesses IMO.

QuoteOriginally posted by ilya80 Quote
Welcome! Dont disregard lenses in the two lens kit option. Both 18-55 and 55-300 are amazing pieces of glass for "kit" category.
55-300 will cover your tele needs for quite some time.
I agree with this. I don't know about the 55-300 since I have never owned one, but the 18-55 II is quite a good lens optically. Also, it is quite fast mechanically, and it has quick shift and SD.

Last edited by PentaxPoke; 05-21-2010 at 01:08 PM.
05-21-2010, 01:43 PM   #37
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my cents on the DA55-300. personally, I don't think that this lens should be categorized as a kit lens. it is underrated, IMO and performs much better than either 18-55 II/WR and the 50-200. I do believe that if only this lens were a fixed f4 lens in a better body, sold at a medium price of $500, this lens will sell like pancakes.
05-21-2010, 01:49 PM   #38
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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

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.
Great post. +rep.

This is the part where I make a video comparing Pentax screw mount to Pentax SDM. Hold on


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05-22-2010, 11:44 AM   #39
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Well I took the plunge!

I just recieved my K7 from amazon today. I took the 16-45 based on sugggestions here for the zoom. I figure since this is the most common focal range I used on my canon I would be best served with it for initial testing.

So far I must say, excellent feel very solid. The grip is amazing, I don't have any issues holding it. I know a grip will fit this camera nicely!

The battery was completely empty, so it's charging now. We are leaving to our state park today, so tonight I will be posting my impressions.

Thanks again for everyone posting and suggesting glass for me! This goes well I will be adding those primes from my wish list to my cart soon!
05-22-2010, 11:58 AM   #40
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If you want to taste top "limited" quality but not spend big then get your self a DA 40 limited.
05-22-2010, 12:28 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by gdog Quote
If you want to taste top "limited" quality but not spend big then get your self a DA 40 limited.
I do! Except I can't find them in stock anywhere. Amazon, Adorama, BH

any other very reliable places that people recommend? I always order from these three because I trust them very much.
05-22-2010, 12:38 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxPoke Quote
Well I guess we have to agree to disagree then.
Sounds good to me

QuoteOriginally posted by kalison Quote
Well I took the plunge!

I just recieved my K7 from amazon today. I took the 16-45 based on sugggestions here for the zoom. I figure since this is the most common focal range I used on my canon I would be best served with it for initial testing.

So far I must say, excellent feel very solid. The grip is amazing, I don't have any issues holding it. I know a grip will fit this camera nicely!

The battery was completely empty, so it's charging now. We are leaving to our state park today, so tonight I will be posting my impressions.

Thanks again for everyone posting and suggesting glass for me! This goes well I will be adding those primes from my wish list to my cart soon!
Congratulations! The K-7 is designed for primes IMO though, so keep that in mind. I look forward to hearing your first impressions
05-22-2010, 12:43 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxPoke Quote

Where is the shame in admitting SAFOX is a significant weakness? If SAFOX were dumped for something more competitive, then Pentax DSLR bodies would have no significant weaknesses IMO.
Yes, a K20D with AF like a 50D would be an awesome camera.
05-24-2010, 02:45 AM   #44
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Two days and so far...

I am in love with this camera and lens! Seriously. This glass for the price is superb.

Now, I know everyone says "primes, primes, primes" but, I have to tell ya. This glass especially its sharpness is superb! EASILY on par or greater than my 17-40L, all while costing LESS than HALF! Now, yes... the L has a metal barrel and assgasket weather resistance, but still you guys have a real gem in this lens. The construction of this lens also impressed me, for a 300-400 dollar lens its solid and smooth.

The motor as by what you all know here already is kinda loud, but I can live with that for now. Its very fast though, so I really don't mind in the end. The hood has a cut out for polarizing filter!? Holy ****! Why doesnt everyone do that?!

I have had this out for two days now... and I am just loving it. I have gotta say for the price of this camera and the glass, its just out of this world fantastic. When I took my first photo I almost tossed it back in the box to ship back. When I was reviewing the photo (right after the shot was taken), the quality of the photo looked horrid... but after I went back and looked again, it was because the camera takes just a second or two to process the image.

Overall the size is fine for me, I was worried a "little"... but I found it easy to handle and quick to shoot with. The customization of this camera is incredible, I love that I can assign the dials to do what I want in each type of mode I am in. This is awesome, but scary because so far I have spent an hour or two getting everything the way I like it. Using another camera is going to piss me off!

One thing that bugs me slightly, and this really isnt a huge deal; the AF confirmation boxes through the viewfinder are weak, half the time you can miss it, the other half they are less than 25% illuminated. So, not sure what thats about.

I found that jpeg quality was pretty mediocre, I always shoot RAW anyway... but these were kinda bleh... especially over 800 ISO. However, through RAW there was a radical improvement in ISO! I even did some 3200 ISO tests and I found them easily usable for smaller prints. The ISO noise *to me* isnt that unattractive anyway... reminds me of a film grain. In RAW I also noticed a large amount of detail that was retained, even at 1600 and 3200. Keep in mind I am not really a pixel peeper at all, so please don't get into an ISO war with me as from what I have seen I have no issues with. Also, the camera's ability to let you pick your auto ISO range AND when and if you want it to do in camera noise reduction is big points!

Anyway, this is a lens discussion... so I will post a few test samples. Now, don't beat me up too much... we were out on a hot Iowa afternoon with bright light and harsh shadows. Plus this was just for fun anyway. Overall I am just impressed with this glass.

Big manual and I read it all!
[imgtall]http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4007/4634523989_d7cd0f624d_b.jpg[/imgtall]

Love the detail this camera and this glass can bring. It want to just reach out and touch it.
[imgwideleft]http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4048/4635123572_f799b0c1ea_b.jpg[/imgwideleft]

Just a cat.
[imgwideleft]http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4007/4634514965_22b40035aa_b.jpg[/imgwideleft]


[imgwideleft]http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4071/4635116240_4d4f04edd2_b.jpg[/imgwideleft]

My buddy chimpin' by the look on his face he doesnt like what he sees.
[imgtall]http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4016/4634516729_06690b37fd_b.jpg[/imgtall]

[imgwideleft]http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3366/4635117880_4a87f0df98_b.jpg[/imgwideleft]

[imgtall]http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3379/4634519981_f17d3d4250_b.jpg[/imgtall]

[imgwideleft]http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4017/4635119836_19a47e78a2_b.jpg[/imgwideleft]

[imgwideleft]http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3391/4635120708_155bc5e15c_b.jpg[/imgwideleft]

[imgtall]http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4055/4634521149_30842e90a1_b.jpg[/imgtall]

[imgwideleft]http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4023/4634522001_c38e415914_b.jpg[/imgwideleft]

Last edited by kalison; 05-24-2010 at 01:15 PM.
05-24-2010, 06:22 AM   #45
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Congratulations. It is a sweet package. I would seriously look at a DA 40 or DA 35. If you think the 16-45 is nice, either one of those will blow it away. Also, try to stay away from any of JSherman's threads as they will make you want lenses that you really (really) don't need.
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