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06-08-2013, 09:33 AM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChatMechant Quote
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....
Just poke a hole in the body cap. Don't even bother buying lenses.

06-08-2013, 09:49 AM   #47
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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!

-=- Boris
DxO warns you not to compare lenses across systems. The problem with the DxO or any rankings is, technically the only way you can compare is two lenses tested on the same sensor, and the different mounts don't allow that. So what I've done is to look at known lenses like the Sigma 70 macro, or Tamron 90 macro, which are excellent lens on all systems, and comparing it to what's available from Pentax...

We know the Tamrin 90 is highly rated on every system it's rated on including some FF systems. We know the FA 100 macro is very similar to the Tamron 90. We can assume that if the 100 macro was released in a Nikon or Canon FF mount, it would be very highly rated. For my K-5 I often use the Nikon D7000 ratings to compare lenses as it's a very similar camera, with a lot more lenses tested on it.

I personally think sites like DxO have serious problems with sample variation (and small sample sizes) and for that reason the reliability of their tests. They are not going to test a Tamron 17-50 on both a Pentax K5 and Nikon D7000. If the results were too far apart, people would question them, not the cameras. Corporations are in the habit of building confidence, not honest scientific research.

Don't get me wrong.. they perform a service fro whcih we should all be grateful, but many of the top lenses are Samyang MF lenses, top of the line on Canon or Nikon, or wherever they are tested, most of which are available on Pentax mounts... yet I've never seen test results from one on a Pentax mount.

On Imaging Resource where they try and use Sigma 70's as a test lens, all of the sudden you get really good results on your Pentax, only marginaly less than 24 MP D7100s or only about 20% less resolution than a D600...

So what I'm saying here is Pentax lenses are being penalized because the largest system they are shot on is APS-c, and for other reasons I haven't figured out yet. How well Pentax performs with a common lens in IR is un-anticipated by the DxO test reports.

In other words, if you don't know what you're looking at, you don't know nada. And it's real easy looking at those test reports, to think you know something to be true, that isn't true. You really have to work to tease useful Pentax information out of them.

Last edited by normhead; 06-08-2013 at 10:29 AM.
06-08-2013, 11:10 AM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by NitroDC Quote
If I had the money? Sure. I would go with Canon/Nikon. They're tried and true, but at that point I would get a FF with a bunch of cool lenses. But Pentax offers amazing value (although prices have jumped lately) and exceptional performance for such a lower price than what you'd pay with Canikon. You really don't lose out on much by going with Pentax, and you end up saving a lot of money.

Pentax is much more of an enthusiast's camera while Canon/Nikon are more aimed towards professionals.
I kept wanting to believe there was some special quality mystique to Nikon and canon and when I finally got a chance to audition their latest awesome gear, I came away completely underwhelmed. I even sometimes feel sorry for my nikon friends who will never realize what a great rig I have. Ah well...

And I am pretty sure there are WAY more amateurs shooting canon and nikon than shooting pentax...
06-08-2013, 02:22 PM   #49
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You opened my eyes! In all of my searches during this numbers-testing game I never tried looking for a 3rd party lens (i.e. Sigma, Samyang, etc) that is available for Pentax but tested on a different camera like a Canon. Just for grins, I picked a random lens that sounded pretty and looked for it on My choice was a Samyang 35mm f/1.4. That lens is tested on a Canon and on a Nikon. In each case the test numbers are near to or at the top of the scale at f/4! Reading through the text I see that is really hard to say that this is a "bad" lens. It's probably a better lens than I am photographer!

This same lens is available with a Pentax mount yet has no data for it on their website.

I'm going to put on my imagination hat and think about how Samyang would go about making this lens.

If I'm Samyang I'm going to have an optics team design one group of elements for one lens and make the system mount-agnostic. Ok, I'll have to pick a mount just for initial testing purposes during development but once the system is designed then I'm going to hand the design off to a group of mechanical and packaging engineers to adapt different mounts to that barrel full of elements. It's probably the equivalent of screwing on a different end to the barrel of elements (in a simplistic view). I'll make 10 instances (or more) of the system in each mount to ensure consistency, quality, etc. I'll shake it, bake it, mount it, and take hundreds and thousands of pictures which be analyzed in a way that probably shames DxOMark and Photozone. If all the design and quality criteria are met then the lens is released.


With that perspective I suddenly see lots of lens available - at least more than I would ever afford to own! The catch here is that I won't find Pentax-based data for it.

This exploration of the numbers game has been an interesting adventure for me!

-=- Boris

06-08-2013, 03:04 PM   #50
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Just wanted to say that DXO Mark's lens compare is not nearly as worthwhile as their sensor comparison feature. Basically, it depends almost completely on the light transmission of the lens and on the sensor that it is mounted on. Lenses that are tested on full frame cameras get a boost in their score. So, for instance, the Nikon 50mm f1.4 gets a score of 32 when test on a D800, but only a 20 when tested on a D7000. That's a 12 point hit when comparing the lens to itself.

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