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04-11-2012, 12:00 AM   #1
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Should I switch systems? Compare these kits:

My current dSLR is getting old and it's time to upgrade.
Pentax's recent price changes have made me re-examine my options.
I am trying to decide between a K-5 and a full frame Canon 5D Mark II.

I am asking for your help in comparing two kits equivalent in price and field of view (estimated used prices are in parenthesis):

Pentax APS-C:
1. DA12-24mm f/4 ($700)
2. DA 35mm f/2.4 ($200)
3. DA 50mm f/1.4 ($320)
4. DA 70mm f/2.4 ($450)

Canon Full Frame:
1. EF 17-40 f/4L ($700)
2. EF 50mm f/1.8 ($100)
3. EF 85mm f/1.8 ($380)
4. EF 100mm f/2 ($400)

I am asking about the performance of the lens kits, not about the advantages/disadvantages of full frame vs. APS-C

Also, this is not a troll, I have suffered through many sleepless nights trying to come to a decision.

I have no brand loyalty. I came to Pentax because I used to believe they provided the best value.
Now, I am not so sure.

I also have a closet full of M42's that would fill in some gaps.

Thanks in advance for your responses and insight.

04-11-2012, 12:23 AM   #2
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Those kits look quite comparable. The thing with Pentax is that you can still get a lot of the lenses used (or from a non-authorized dealer) for a lot less than the new MSRP prices, so you might end up spending less than you'd expect.

As far as these kits go, they are certainly look comparable. I guess one plus for the Pentax system would be that the K-5's sensor has gotten better sensor scores in terms of dynamic range and high ISO, whereas the Canon system would deliver better AF and overall speed, as well as a better pro lens selection if you end up deciding to go down that route.

One note about the lenses you listed: that 50mm F1.4 is actually a FA-series lens (see here:SMC Pentax-FA 50mm F1.4 Reviews - FA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database), which basically just means that it supports full-frame cameras. A cheaper version of this lens (to be marketed as the DA 50mm F1.8) will be out soon, and you can expect the same quality as from the Canon 50mm F1.8.

In general, I would say that the 50mm and 70mm will outperform that Canon counterparts that you've listed, while the 35mm F2.4 and 50mm F1.8 should be comparable (they both fall in the budget category). I can't say much about the 17-40mm as I've never used it, though I'd expect it to be a bit sharper than the Pentax just because it's got a longer focal length. With that said, the 12-24mm is a fantastic lens. I've got one myself, but I'd never pay $700 for it

Our lens reviews and in-depth review sections might be of help to you. You will find both in the navbar "Lenses" tab Good luck with making the decision!

Adam
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04-11-2012, 12:34 AM   #3
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My experience with Pentax ...

QuoteOriginally posted by Shamwow Quote
My current dSLR is getting old and it's time to upgrade.
Pentax's recent price changes have made me re-examine my options.
I am trying to decide between a K-5 and a full frame Canon 5D Mark II.
I am asking for your help in comparing two kits equivalent in price and field of view (estimated used prices are in parenthesis):

Pentax APS-C: ... DA 35mm f/2.4 ($200)
...

I am asking about the performance of the lens kits, not about the advantages/disadvantages of full frame vs. APS-C
Also, this is not a troll, I have suffered through many sleepless nights trying to come to a decision.
I have no brand loyalty. I came to Pentax because I used to believe they provided the best value. Now, I am not so sure.
I also have a closet full of M42's that would fill in some gaps.
Thanks in advance for your responses and insight.
Bonjour,

I do not know if I can help a lot, but I am very happy with my K-5 and my various Pentax, Adaptall-2 (+SP) & M42 lenses. Difficult for me to compare because I have no Canon experience, especially in FF.

It's apples & oranges IMHO ... APS-C vs FF. I stayed with Pentax for its small size, build, SR, WR & IQ with the Sony APS-C sensor, 16 MPix is good for me. Of the lenses listed above, I only have the DA 35/2.4 which is a great value, plus I have a D FA 100 f2.8 Macro WR which is fantastic. The DA 35/2.4 is supposed to be FF compatible along with the D FA 100 ... since a Pentax FF is rumored (as always) to be in the pipeline, I will be OK here. I would suggest that one should think twice about buying a lot of DA glass which would not later pass on to FF ... could be stuck in this this format.

The kit lens, DA 18-55 WR, is one of the better ones on the market according to most photo press. I now have a lot of AD-2 & SP (a super 19AH & 23A) used with a PK/A mount plus M42 lenses (Super-Taks), and I think that the SR is a real benefit here and obviously I can use all of this (better) on a FF system. Plus there are zillions of K-mount legacy glass (Taks & Pentax K, M, A, F ... plus third party) to be collected ... Also one can modify old glass to PK, ie, Olympus OM, Contax/Yashica, etc. ... The Canon FD's, etc. are "dead" .... and that's a shame.

Hope that this rambling helps a bit ...

Allez et bon courage, John le "Green" Grenouille

Last edited by Jean Poitiers; 04-11-2012 at 01:51 AM.
04-11-2012, 12:35 AM   #4
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I think you probably realised (but it never hurts to actually write it) that there will be a large difference in weight, size, and overall ergonomy between these systems. The best would be to be able to actually get your hands on both. If size/weight are concerns, the Pentax lineup still makes a lot of sense! Sorry I can't comment on the Canon lenses you list.
Also, I think your estimates for used prices are a bit high on the Pentax (again, can't comment on the Canon): eg 200 is more than retail for DA35/2.4!
I think the most important question is which system pleases you the most and which one makes you want to go out and take pictures? It's not all rational, and no, it's not "just a tool" for most amateurs. If photography is a hobby for you as it for me, it's about enjoying yourself!

04-11-2012, 12:59 AM   #5
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I am not certain if there is much of an upgrade if you disregard the advantage of FF vs APS-c.
I used to have the 17-40 f4 L lens. It is a big lens.
One of the biggest differences besides the size of the sensor is the size and weight of both systems. That decides it for me personally. Canon is heavy, bulky and has the least user friendly interface comparing to other cameras on the market.
If you are into longer tele and faster autofocus, FF and good high ISO performance, then you will need 5DMkIII.

All the best!
04-11-2012, 01:08 AM   #6
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Jean mentioned SR. With Pentax, every mounted lens is stabilized, not just those with stabilization built-in. This can be critical in some applications. SR certainly allows me to use lenses that would otherwise be marginal, like the slower legacy glass I accumulate.
04-11-2012, 01:22 AM   #7
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DA 50 1.4 should read FA 50 1.4...
04-11-2012, 01:22 AM   #8
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Here is a comparison between the 2 bodies:
Side by Side Comparison: Digital Photography Review
I don't see much in favour of the Canon, except ofcourse if FF is very important for you.

Other than that i will also say that the size would matter a great deal to me, as well as the stabilized M42 collection you will get choosing the K-5.
What prices have you seen on the bodies? Are you planning on buying the Canon new? I think that you will still save a great amount choosing the Pentax

I have in the back of my head that there is no infinity focus on the M42 on Canon - is this correct, can someone verify, because i'm not sure?

04-11-2012, 01:44 AM   #9
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I think you gain in shallower DOF with the 5D but lose out in weight. Pentax 'plastic' primes have much higher build quality compared to the Canon and Nikon ones which feel really plasticky and hollow.
04-11-2012, 01:59 AM   #10
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The full-frame advantage will mean that the resolution of the Canon lenses will seem better in the final product since the magnification is not as hefty.
But apart from that: I would eliminate the 35 mm and probably the 70 mm lens from the Pentax setup just because they are so close to the (indispensable) FA 50/1.4. Instead I would get a zoom lens from ~ 28 mm upwards, perhaps a FA 28-105 or a Tamron 28-75/2.8. Neither of those is expensive, both are very sharp.
04-11-2012, 02:25 AM   #11
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If you were to switch, Canon would be the choice, especially when factoring in registration distance. Since Canon uses a shorter distance, your closet full of M42 glass would be useable on the Canon body. Obviously a manual lens would still be a manual lens.

Also, as Rico observed, lack of SR - that I too find useful....

04-11-2012, 02:47 AM   #12
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you'd definitely gain a lot of DOF controll. f4 on APSC 12mm and f4 on FF 17mm is a huge difference.

Looking at your proposed line ups, 17-40 is and L glass and I believe it would give more than run for it's money to DA12-24, also it's USM. Having said that it's a brick of a lens.
50/1.8 vs 35/2.4? I had 50/1.8 MkII for whole 2 days. Hated it. But then I'm being told my copy must have been a dud. Apparently it's a sharp lens (although I couldn't get usable picture from it on 7D) but the 5 bladed aperture is a deal breaker. In your place I'd rather add 100-150$ and get 50/1.4 USM, that one smokes the DA35/2.4 out of water in any respect.

50/1.4 vs 85/1.8, 85 is bigger, with faster AF, but that's just about it, build and IQ are very comparable IMO.
70 vs 100, 70 is a lot smaller and better built. But in IQ stakes, 100/2 is fantastic lens! Many say it's better than 85/1.8. I owned it and can confirm that it's fantastic lens, I wouldn't worry at all about loosing IQ when replacing DA70 with EF100. Also, it's USM lens, very fast and very precise AF...I never had DA70 but used to have FA77 and I honestly don't think the 77 is so much better. Overall it's better but the difference in price is not justified IMO. The EF100/2 USM is a bargain lens IMIO.

Having said that, I wouldn't get 85/1.8 and 100/2. They are too close to each other. Produce roughly the same DOF when the same framing and the difference in perspective isn't as noticeable as the difference between 50mm and 70mm on APSC.
If you want 85 I'd pair it with 135 (although in Canon land you only have the choice of the old EF135/2.8 SF or uberexpensive 135/2L) or would just stick with the 100 and invest the saved money into upgrading your 50 or faster wider lens..

my 2p
04-11-2012, 02:53 AM   #13
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If you can stand the size and weight then go for the 5D2. Size/weight vs IQ, simple as that.
04-11-2012, 03:14 AM   #14
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Basically, your question comes down to what is important to you. The Canon 5D Mk II will have an advantage with smaller depth of field. Autofocus will be faster with it, as long as you just use the center point. Some of the lenses you have chosen for Canon are plastic fantastics...

The K5 advantages are better ergonomics, significantly better dynamic range, smaller size, and in body image stabilization.

There really isn't a right or a wrong answer. You just have to decide what is important to you and go that way.
04-11-2012, 03:21 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
If you can stand the size and weight then go for the 5D2. Size/weight vs IQ, simple as that.
+1...................................
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