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01-30-2011, 02:03 PM   #1
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Pentax vs Nikon primes

I have enjoyed Pentax for a few years now. I initially perservered with the 18-55 kit lens until relatively recently I began to splurge on some nice primes.

I currently have the FA 50mm f/1.4, FA 43mm f/1.9 limited, FA 77mm f/1.8 limited, the Sigma 20mm f/1.8 EX, and the kit lens. I currently have the K-x to carry me over until my upgrade.

I was looking to upgrade to the k-5. I have suddenly realised I can get the Nikon D7000 for about $400 less (K-5 cost $1650 and the D7000 cost $1250).

I then started looking at Nikon primes. This is when my jawreally dropped. I canpurchase the following Nikkor lenses for around $800: 35mm 1.8, 50mm 1.8 and 85mm 1.8 (the price of a single 77mm limited).

So for around $2000 I could go Nikon. I could sell my current gear for more then this.

Are the Pentax primes worth staying with Pentax?


Last edited by heasley; 01-30-2011 at 02:09 PM.
01-30-2011, 02:11 PM   #2
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if you're sitting there wondering whether pentax prime are worth its price, you should probably go nikon and enjoy their lenses.
01-30-2011, 02:31 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eagle_Friends Quote
if you're sitting there wondering whether pentax prime are worth its price, you should probably go nikon and enjoy their lenses.
Did I just kill a holy cow?

I enjoy my lenses but I have only ever used Pentax DSLRs. I'm asking the very experienced community here how they compare.

Last edited by heasley; 01-30-2011 at 02:44 PM.
01-30-2011, 02:34 PM   #4
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I just bought an FM3a and I am just loving this camera. I have put 4 rolls through it so far, and can't see me using a different film SLR for a while. All that said, I wish I didn't have to use Nikkors on it. Yes, you can buy a bunch of consumer grade primes for the price of one FA LTD, but you are comparing apples and oranges.

01-30-2011, 02:45 PM   #5
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Daaamn the K-5 is expensive over there. Here in Sweden they are the same price.
01-30-2011, 02:53 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by heasley Quote
Did I just kill a holy cow?

I enjoy my lenses but I have only ever used Pentax DSLRs. I'm asking the very experienced community here how they compare.
i'm being quite serious actually. i mean you own some of the best lenses pentax has ever made and you're not sure if they justify the cost. if you think that nikon offer better cost-solutions to similar lenses, why not switch over and be happy with nikon gear.

it's not rocket science.
01-30-2011, 02:57 PM - 1 Like   #7
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There are a few guys on this forum that shoot both Nikon and Pentax, best to have a look through the off brand forum on this site and see what you can gleen there. From memory deadwolfbones and jsherman (sp?) are 2 users that consistently post excellent photos taken with both systems.

A FA77 is of a higher build quality than the Nikor 85 f1.8, and their reputations for Bokeh are pretty far apart with the 77 reputed to have beautifully smooth bokeh, and the Nikor harder. But that's all heresay knowledge, best to ask the experts that have actualy used both.
01-30-2011, 03:00 PM   #8
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The Nikkor 1.8 lenses you mention are not in the same league as the FA limiteds. They're optically inferior, made of plastic, and bigger. The Pentax primes are well worth staying for.

I've been there and am now back.

01-30-2011, 03:00 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by heasley Quote
I have enjoyed Pentax for a few years now. I initially perservered with the 18-55 kit lens until relatively recently I began to splurge on some nice primes.

I currently have the FA 50mm f/1.4, FA 43mm f/1.9 limited, FA 77mm f/1.8 limited, the Sigma 20mm f/1.8 EX, and the kit lens. I currently have the K-x to carry me over until my upgrade.

I was looking to upgrade to the k-5. I have suddenly realised I can get the Nikon D7000 for about $400 less (K-5 cost $1650 and the D7000 cost $1250).

I then started looking at Nikon primes. This is when my jawreally dropped. I canpurchase the following Nikkor lenses for around $800: 35mm 1.8, 50mm 1.8 and 85mm 1.8 (the price of a single 77mm limited).

So for around $2000 I could go Nikon. I could sell my current gear for more then this.

Are the Pentax primes worth staying with Pentax?
The Nikon 24 f/1.4 is an awesome lens. I could also buy a whole lot of Pentax lenses for the $2,200 it costs. So it's hard to compare lenses in the fashion you did. Although there are bargains out there, you usually get what you pay for.

I think Nikon has a good selection of affordable primes and some very good very expensive primes. Pentax, on the other hand, has a good mix of good primes in that middle $500-$1,000 range. So it's really not one better than the other, it's what lenses you want and what you can afford to pay.
01-30-2011, 03:46 PM   #10
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I'm a dual shooter using both systems.

Look, you're not going to find a Nikon equivalent when compared to the Pentax limited line. But in the same vein, you're not going to find a Pentax equivalent for any of the lenses that you mentioned (35mm 1.8G, 50mm 1.8D, 85mm 1.8D). I would compare most of Nikon's "D" lenses to the Pentax's FA line (not the limiteds). For example, the Pentax FA 50mm 1.4 vs. Nikkor 50mm 1.4D. The Nikon "G" series is more like the DA line, where the aperture ring has been removed.

Anyhow, the Nikon lenses are plenty good, cheaper then Pentax equivalents, and more importantly still being produced. Most of the comparable lenses from Pentax were from the regular FA line (not the limiteds) and are no longer in production. For example, there is no Pentax equivalent for either the 50mm 1.8D or 85mm 1.8D. And I'm sure many a Pentax user would love either range and aperture for the price of the Nikons. Quality will vary on the lens. The 50mm 1.8D may feel cheap and plasticky, but the 85mm 1.8D is solid. It's made with a metal mount and comes with a metal lens hood. Hold one and you'll know how solid it feels.

The route you're planning isn't a bad choice, plus you've got a path to full-frame if you ever decide to go that way.
01-30-2011, 03:57 PM   #11
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Thank you everyone for the responses. Very interesting to hear from people who have had both systems.
01-30-2011, 04:25 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by heasley Quote
I then started looking at Nikon primes. This is when my jaw really dropped. I can purchase the following Nikkor lenses for around $800: 35mm 1.8, 50mm 1.8 and 85mm 1.8 (the price of a single 77mm limited).\
I think you picked the bargains in the Nikon line up. I understand that they are optically good, but not comparably to the Pentax Ltd. line.

I'm not sure how important this is to you but with the Nikon primes you'd lose shake reduction.

Other Nikon lenses, with shake reduction built into them, are a lot more expensive than the ones you've picked and there are no fast primes with shake reduction.
01-30-2011, 05:39 PM   #13
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first of all, if your reason reason is to get a camera upgrade which is according to your budget, then I don't think there should be a problem with your system shift. however, there are some lens consideration that you need to think about. IMO, the FA43 would be equal of use or complement to the Nikon's 35/1.8 and 50/1.8. I don't think that you would need the FA50/1.4 especially if you have the FA43, so you might as well sell it. you have the Sigma 20/1.8 for wide use which you don't have a lens equivalent for the Nikon, and also you have the kitlens. the FA77 would complement the Nikon 85. so basically, you got more lenses than what you have with the Nikon. at the end of the day, if you are going to swap everything, you still have to purchase an equivalent of the FA50/1.4 , Sigma 20 and the kitlens which would still cost you over $2000 on with a Nikon.

so it's more of a compromise in a certain way, so to speak. the only difference I believe would be the $400 dollar difference between the 2 new cameras. however, you can have the K-5 for $200 less elsewhere, so the difference would practically be only $200.

one thing you should consider though is that getting the D7000 would make it a bit more challenging to shoot at slower shutter speed, the necessity for VR lenses (which can be a bit more costly) when you need it and regular servicing for pixel mapping. if these aren't really an issue for you, then will be fine with the Nikon.
01-30-2011, 05:48 PM   #14
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I forgot to mention that I based this comparison on focal length equivalence and need, not performance nor IQ. so if one would venture out to a different system, it would be logical to get a high end Nikon lens in replacement to a high end Pentax lens.

the FA43 and FA77 for example would need something like a Nikon 50/1.4 and Nikon 85/1.4 which are not really cheaper than the Pentax FA LTDs.
01-30-2011, 05:48 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eagle_Friends Quote
if you're sitting there wondering whether pentax prime are worth its price, you should probably go nikon and enjoy their lenses.
I am just so sick of reading sarcastic, pointless remarks like that on here. If you're about 14, I imagine you'll grow out of it. But perhaps not; you're just displaying a behavior that the web seems to amplify in some people.

If your intention was just to kill the thread, perhaps you'll succeed; I know you've used up my last ounce of patience with any kind of fanboy cr*p for the day. Good luck to the OP in getting any courteous, useful replies.

(Edit: apologies to those who have in fact left courteous, useful replies.)

A good alternative to the DA21 ltd imo: the 20mm Nikkor f2.8 AIS. Provided you can manage without autofocus. Works great on my K7.

Last edited by pentup; 01-30-2011 at 05:54 PM.
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