Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
06-06-2013, 12:43 PM   #31
Site Supporter
6BQ5's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Nevada, USA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,109
Original Poster
I went to DxOMark's website where I can view their lens test database. Sure enough, almost any way I sort the list shows Canon and Nikon lenses coming out on top. Pentax lenses come out quite a bit lower. Statistically, the highest ranking Pentax KAF mounted lens ranks 596 out of 3715. My Dad like Panasonic's Lumix line of cameras and lenses. Says they're pretty good! Yet according to DxOMark the highest ranking Panasonic lens hits 578. Go figure!

Here's what I cannot find anywhere. Maybe I'm just looking in the wrong places. How do pre-digital lenses stack up to today's models? How does that f/1.2 SMC hold up? My legs get kind of soft and wobbly when I see some shots with that focal length. I had f/1.4 before.

Yes, my Dad takes plenty of pictures and I mean plenty! He doesn't post online but makes huge prints. I have to admit that they come out looking pretty good. He's even won a few awards which was nice to hear. Dad is also a very active member of his local photo club. They travel lots and go on expeditions together. It's almost like he's living his life backwards now. He was an extremely active photographer starting in the 50s, slowed down in the 80s, nearly stopped in the 90s (lots of family issues), and starting picking up in 2000 like an unbridled storm! This keeps him active and healthy and I can appreciate that. I want him to stay as robust as possible for as long as possible.

Yes, I suppose my Dad does technically "measurbate". Who ever came up with that word? That's just weird for me to type, especially when I'm talking about dear old Dad here. He sees the "defects" in lenses in extreme cases and configurations. I mean he digs into the RAW formats and looks at pixels and sees how many more lines per mm he can squeeze out. It's kind of like a hot-rod enthusiast always looking to get a few more HP with the right type of oil filter. He is very technical and very data driven so I can't blame him for his perspective. Plus, having grown up with him I understand his character. He's very passionate. If something is good then it's great but if something is off then it's awful! It makes you strive for the best things in life but it also could send you down a road of splitting hairs too.

What kind of pictures do I want to take? Here's some of what I really enjoy shooting:

Macro! I like to get close to complex and intricate patterns, whether man made or naturally occurring.
Soft dreamy portraits.
Perspective and angled shots - wide angle-ish but not fish-eye.
High contract silvery B&W (can you smell that darkroom? mmmmm!).
Sunsets! Oh, do I love the sunsets here in the high desert when the clouds are just right!
Off-center focused subjects, when done right.
Slow shutter speeds to capture a sense of motion. Who doesn't like to manually zoom or pan with the shutter wide open?!
Night shots.

I don't like using a flash unless I absolutely have to.

Now, I try to do this with my Fuji F550EXR and it's a bit of wrestling match. I can usually bludgeon that camera into submission but every now and then it wins too.

-=- Boris

06-06-2013, 02:04 PM   #32
Pentaxian




Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: New York
Posts: 3,307
QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
Macro! I like to get close to complex and intricate patterns, whether man made or naturally occurring. Soft dreamy portraits. Perspective and angled shots - wide angle-ish but not fish-eye. High contract silvery B&W (can you smell that darkroom? mmmmm!). Sunsets! Oh, do I love the sunsets here in the high desert when the clouds are just right! Off-center focused subjects, when done right. Slow shutter speeds to capture a sense of motion. Who doesn't like to manually zoom or pan with the shutter wide open?! Night shots.
Just about any modern DSLR, from any manufacturer, is technically capable of getting those photographs. I've never met your dad, but if he's obsessive maybe you should just buy what he says for family peace. If he tells you to get a Canon 6D or Nikon D600 those are solid choices. He's wrong that Pentax has no good lenses but we're not going to convince him here.

Pentax' corporate problems are due to (mis)management and marketing, not their cameras.
06-07-2013, 12:31 AM   #33
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Lyngby, Copenhagen
Photos: Albums
Posts: 742
QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
How do pre-digital lenses stack up to today's models?
Older glass, especially off-brand stuff like Sears, Vivitar etc. is typically more "characterful", owing to simpler coatings of that time. Contrast can suffer more in backlit scenes beacuse of flare etc. Purple fringing wide open can be rampant. You know, "character" ...

The good 1990-era Pentax glass is generally excellent and still holds up on digital today. Pentax kit lenses of that day are typically pretty weak though, so don't put your faith in old 28-80 kit lenses and cheap f/5.8 300mm zooms, they are generally disappointing, with the occasional pleasant surprise.

Check out the lens database on this site, it's very good and will help you steer clear of the rubbish (or at least make surre you don't get ripped off - who can turn down 10$ rubbish lenses? )

Regards,
--Anders.
06-07-2013, 08:58 AM   #34
Moderator PEG Judges
Kerrowdown's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Highlands of Scotland.
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 32,682
QuoteOriginally posted by MJL Quote
I am sure there will be flamethrowers aiming my way
I've got use binoculars to see what's about to happen, cos I reckon I'll still feel the heat from here.

06-07-2013, 10:04 AM   #35
Pentaxian
bdery's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Quebec city, Canada
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 5,830
QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
I went to DxOMark's website where I can view their lens test database. Sure enough, almost any way I sort the list shows Canon and Nikon lenses coming out on top. Pentax lenses come out quite a bit lower. Statistically, the highest ranking Pentax KAF mounted lens ranks 596 out of 3715. My Dad like Panasonic's Lumix line of cameras and lenses. Says they're pretty good! Yet according to DxOMark the highest ranking Panasonic lens hits 578. Go figure!
You are trying to go beyond the basic "test" reasoning, and are almost there, I think.

There is more to a lens than its resolution. Those tests tell part of the story, but not all. And each test has its limitations. Photozone does not reach the same conclusions than DxO, for instance.

If I present you with random pictures, you will be completely unable to point out which system, leave alone which lens, produced them. The way the gear is designed, the way you handle it, the way it's made, how durable it is, appears to me as tremendously important. For instance, with my type of shooting I would be sorry indeed not to have access to weather sealed equipment and compact primes.

There is one saying which I'll try to repeat here : an amateur looks at gear, a professional looks at composition, an artist looks at light.
06-07-2013, 01:27 PM   #36
Site Supporter
6BQ5's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Nevada, USA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,109
Original Poster
bdery,

You bring up interesting points!

After you mentioned Photozone I looked it up and I found lots of lens test data for many systems. One of the test parameters is LW/PH. I don't fully understand all the intricate details of this rating but I think I get the basic gist of it. An oscillating light source increases its frequency as the light sweeps across the lens up to the point where the lens no longer recognizes pairs of black and white lines. Is that right?

Photozone says that their test results shouldn't be used to compare different families of lenses. So, for example, I shouldn't compare Pentax to Canon. When I do what I'm told not to do (rebel!) I see that the maximum LW/PH scale is different. Why is that? Is it because of the maximum resolution of the camera's sensors? Different filters which may smear details? I know I need to go back to the site and reread it several times but this is what I am slowly absorbing here.

Photozone had one example lens that was tested twice on two different Pentax cameras: the SMC FA 31mm f/1.8 AL Limited.

On the K10 : here.
On the K-5 : here.

The K-5 based has a higher LW/PH scale. Test results on the K10 reach 100% at f/4 but only 93.2% on the K-5 (center for both). Does this mean that the camera is now "better" than the lens because of an improved sensor which can sense a higher maximum LW/PH?

I think you are spot on in that I could not look at two pictures of the same thing taken with two systems and identify which came from where. My only help would be a 50% of getting the right answer vs. 25% if there were four pictures from four systems.

-=- Boris
06-07-2013, 01:33 PM   #37
Site Supporter
jatrax's Avatar

Join Date: May 2010
Location: Oregon
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 10,770
QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
Photozone says that their test results shouldn't be used to compare different families of lenses. So, for example, I shouldn't compare Pentax to Canon. When I do what I'm told not to do (rebel!) I see that the maximum LW/PH scale is different. Why is that? Is it because of the maximum resolution of the camera's sensors? Different filters which may smear details? I know I need to go back to the site and reread it several times but this is what I am slowly absorbing here.
It is obvious you are related to your father. Quit comparing things that do not matter and go make pictures. Who cares how many thing-a-ma-bobs per meter a lens has if it takes pictures you like?
06-07-2013, 01:41 PM   #38
Veteran Member
VisualDarkness's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Uppsala, Sweden
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 4,441
One of my most fun lenses is the Sigma 20/1.8, it's just plain fun even though it's brutal in many aspects technically. Photozone also seems to thin the same if you read the conclusion.
Look at some of the "worthless" pics you can grab with the lens: Flickr Search: 20mm

06-07-2013, 02:40 PM   #39
Site Supporter




Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Perrineville, NJ
Posts: 1,365
If you focus too much on the numbers, you will never be happy with even the Nikon D4 or Canon 1DX. Guaranteed. Because the next model is just a year or two away, manufacturers know how to play that game, and that is how they make their money.

Maybe take a look at what some of the professional photographers on this forum are doing with their Pentax cameras. There are many, but benjikan is one pro who comes to mind:
Photos Posted By benjikan - Pentax User Photo Gallery

There are many landscape photographers here, I don't mean to slight any of them. Browse the photo gallery. I don't hear anyone in the industry complaining about resolving power of any modern DSLRs or lenses, it's just a numbers game.
06-07-2013, 03:13 PM   #40
Pentaxian




Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Western Canada
Posts: 4,095
I know exactly why your dad has given you the advice to not consider Pentax. His advice as much as it pains me...is probably right on the money.

By the sounds of it you're a young guy...starting off in photography. Either Canon or Nikon is probably the practical camera system to get into....particularly Canon. Canon simply dominates DSLR photography.

They are so far ahead in sales, number of products offered and IMO...Canon has the greatest likelihood of still being available and a solvent company when your an old, feeble person like I am now.

Having said that....I intend to stick with Pentax. It's an old, venerable optical company which makes great cameras and fine lenses . I've had Pentax and it's been my main system since '68...although I also have Mamiya, Leica, Zeiss, Olympus and yes...I succumbed to a bit of Canon equipment. But Pentax has been the main photography system I've used since '68.

I've got...modern and digitally speaking:

3 bodies...K10D, Km, K-5
Many lenses...10-17 Fisheye, 12-24 + 16-45 wide angles, 50 normal F 1.4, 50 macro F 2.8, 55-300 , 40mm Ltd. Pancake, 70mm Ltd. Portrait....and finally...my only non Pentax lens... a Sigma 150-500 .

This equipment gives me almost as wide a range of any Canon or Nikon...not quite...but not far off. The lenses are high quality and if I use all this stuff properly...the photo's are excellent and give nothing ...nothing away to Canikon. Yes...I know...what about a fast zoom...70-200 F 2.8...well I can get another Sigma that does that if I feel the need.

I've contradicted myself...I know. But if all my equipment was stolen tomorrow...would I replace with Canikon ? Dunno....but think not...think I would go with Pentax again.

Last edited by lesmore49; 06-07-2013 at 03:32 PM.
06-07-2013, 04:07 PM   #41
Veteran Member
NitroDC's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 342
You should do go out and try the cameras. If there aren't any stores near you that carry a Pentax body (very possible) then I guess you're out of luck. Unless brand image is important to you, don't bother thinking about what others might think of your system (including your dad) because in the end it comes down to your experience. Look at the lenses that you'll actually use, not just the number of lenses available.

I chose Pentax because I see them as the best value for money and because they're the underdogs.
06-07-2013, 04:28 PM   #42
Site Supporter
mikeSF's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: East Bay Area, CA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 5,705
i dont have any gaps in my lineup. Try as i might, if i had $500 more to spend, I cannot fathom any lens that I still need to finish my kit...
...of course if you think of one, PM me, operators are standing by, lol.
The whole "Canon has more lenses" is not really any attraction if most of those lenses are not ones you were going to buy anyway.
06-07-2013, 10:08 PM   #43
Site Supporter
6BQ5's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Nevada, USA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,109
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by VisualDarkness Quote
One of my most fun lenses is the Sigma 20/1.8, it's just plain fun even though it's brutal in many aspects technically. Photozone also seems to thin the same if you read the conclusion.
Look at some of the "worthless" pics you can grab with the lens: Flickr Search: 20mm
Yes, rubbish! From the beginning to the end. Seriously though, those are some great pictures from a "worthless" lens! Great work!

QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
By the sounds of it you're a young guy...starting off in photography. Either Canon or Nikon is probably the practical camera system to get into....particularly Canon. Canon simply dominates DSLR photography.
"Young guy" is relative I guess. I could be older but I'm not. Let me just that I am firmly in mid-life. Times that by two and its plenty long enough life to say, "That was fun!".

As you can probably tell here, my father is very technical and that side of him always appealed to me. It encouraged me to do many things as a child that most don't do till their late teens or twenties. I read Dr. Seuss books but I also rolled my own B&W film. I colored my coloring books but I also colored my own B&W prints too. In some ways it was an exceptional experience to have as a youngster and I kept it up all the way through high school. I was the only kid who knew how to run a darkroom and I did so with great success for my school newspaper. After I graduated the school threw everything away.

I'm not so much "starting off" as I am "remembering". At one time I knew how to do all this! I am definitely "starting off" with DSLR and I feel there are some components of it that are radically different than working with film. Still, composition is king today as much as it was back then I would think. A pro can use a P&S better than an amateur can with a full frame DSLR.

QuoteOriginally posted by NitroDC Quote
You should do go out and try the cameras. If there aren't any stores near you that carry a Pentax body (very possible) then I guess you're out of luck. Unless brand image is important to you, don't bother thinking about what others might think of your system (including your dad) because in the end it comes down to your experience. Look at the lenses that you'll actually use, not just the number of lenses available.

I chose Pentax because I see them as the best value for money and because they're the underdogs.
The order for my K-30 went through yesterday and it shipped today. I'm coming back to Pentax for better and for worse now.

-=- Boris
06-08-2013, 01:35 AM   #44
Veteran Member
tclausen's Avatar

Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 1,399
QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
The order for my K-30 went through yesterday and it shipped today. I'm coming back to Pentax for better and for worse now.

-=- Boris
Well, then, hurry off to take stunning pictures, showing that daddy was wrong....
06-08-2013, 09:27 AM   #45
Pentaxian
ChatMechant's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Santa Cruz Mountains
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 754
Good choice. My dad shoots nikon, and compared to my pentax his camera seemed big, heavy, cumbersome, with a bunch of confusing buttons that seemed to do nothing useful. (the silent focus motor on his lens died years ago, btw) Pentax seems to be more of a photographers camera company. They don't make pointless stuff. They also don't really make a lens that I wouldn't like to own. Pentax stuff is small, light, rugged and fast handing. Designed to make photographs, not win lw/pp contests.
Really though, the good lenses from the majors are all very good, in my experience, but pentax has some real special ones. Since using my k5, my dad is actually thinking of getting back to pentax (after 20 years). I just hope he doesn't ask for his takumars back.

p.s. you should put a holga on that k30 when you show it to your dad, just to mess with him....
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
camera, data, k-30, k-mount, lenses, pentax, pentax lens, plenty, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Cost of lenses equals quality? BikerInCincy Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 12 10-02-2012 01:58 PM
Which Pentax lenses are FF compatible? nmrecording Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 15 08-20-2012 09:45 PM
Build quality of Pentax Limited lenses? ducdao Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 22 05-16-2010 06:31 AM
A growing list of Compatible lenses cupic Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 3 03-13-2010 01:49 AM
Quality of Images is Dependant on Available Talent benjikan Pentax DSLR Discussion 33 04-06-2007 12:57 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:35 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top