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06-24-2008, 12:38 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by twinda1 Quote
Nobody has pointed out the sheer size of the Canon 85/1.2, especially compared to the diminutive FA77. And I think you can currently get about three FA77 for the price of one 85/1.2. That said, the 85/1.2 is the one Canon lens that makes me occasionally contemplate selling my entire Pentax kit -- about US$5000 would get you the next Canon FF and that lens. Then I think about lugging that big thing around and come to my senses.
As I mentioned earlier, one really can't compare the Canon 85mm f/1.2 with the FA77 Ltd, in optical performance, size, or that most criteria of all, ...price. It is no doubt a big lens but it is delivers really stunning images big time. It is in a different league altogether.

06-24-2008, 01:43 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by cputeq Quote
Well, I know the Pentax 200mm has stellar IQ -- I don't think I've ever read a bad review of the lens...
I don't consider that a good review for such a pricy and prestigious lens.

Also I need to spot out the number of choices of lenses a Canicon user has compared to us Pentax users.

On the other hand ... Pentax is an idea

Last edited by gkopeliadis; 06-24-2008 at 05:33 AM.
06-24-2008, 04:02 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by gkopeliadis Quote
I don't consider that a good review for such a pricy and prestigious lens.

Also I need to spot out the number of choices of lenses a Canicon user has compared to us Pentax users.

On the other hand ... Pentax is an idea
You linked to the 50-135mm review

Here is the 200mm f/2.8 review, which was pretty favorable.


QuoteQuote:
Also I need to spot out the number of choices of lenses a Canicon user has compared to us Pentax users.
Not really. I had to keep Pentax as the denominator because they have the fewer choices. Of this I'm well aware

That being said - I would imagine many photographers could live with the lenses I *did* list, therefore I considered this comparison mostly fair, if not a bit limited.
06-24-2008, 05:35 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by cputeq Quote
You linked to the 50-135mm review
Ooops!
Corrected!

06-24-2008, 05:41 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by Miserere Quote
What do you mean by "useability"?
Most lenses do not have USM so the AF is slower, not to mention our SDm is pretty archaic.

Also, the bodies have a very sloppy AF system so that combined witht he lack of or ancient in lens motors means predictive AF tracking is leagues behind the two major players.
06-24-2008, 07:26 AM   #36
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Adding to Alfisti's comments, what's ironic is that IMO, Pentax has possibly the best body ergonomics! I got used to my 40D in time, but I really liked where the switches/buttons/dials were on the K10D....
06-25-2008, 08:18 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
As I mentioned earlier, one really can't compare the Canon 85mm f/1.2 with the FA77 Ltd, in optical performance, size, or that most criteria of all, ...price. It is no doubt a big lens but it is delivers really stunning images big time. It is in a different league altogether.
Agreed. I had the pleasure of shooting with a 5D and 85/1.2 a few weeks ago, absolutely amazing IQ. Nevermind shooting with a 1DSmk3 + 70-200 2.8L...

My Canon friend is really trying to convert me, but until my finances significantly improve I can live with my k10d kit
06-26-2008, 09:14 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by
[b:
Fast Telephoto (180/200mm F/2.8) Prime[/b]
  • Pentax DA* 200mm f/2.8 = $949
  • Nikon ED-IF AF 180mm f/2.8 = $760
  • Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM = $695

Result: At first it looks bad...Pentax is charging several hundred dollars more for this type of lens. Let's look closer, though -- Notice something missing? Perhaps two letters in the lens names? Yes, that's right, Canon and nikon lenses lack VR/IS! This is important, as now we're dealing with some long focal lengths. I'll call this one a tie - Pentax definitely loses on price, but wins due to sealing and SR through the body. Still, I feel Pentax is overcharging for their telephoto primes.
I also suspect the Pentax 200 will outperform the Nikon & Canon competitors. Just read what PP has to say about this lens:

"SQF results showed sharpness and contrast in the Excellent range at all apertures and output sizes. (No surprise there.) DxO Analyzer 3.0.1 tests found near-absolute distortion control, with only Imperceptible pincushion distortion (0.01%) detectable. (This is, in fact, the single best distortion performance we've encountered since adopting the DxO system in 2005.) We found no noticeable light falloff in corners at any aperture. Finally, at the close-focusing distance of 46.75 inches, the maximum magnification ratio was a satisfyingly powerful 1:4.56."


I think I like this lens ...but saving my dollars for the 55 1.4 and hopefully an 11-16 f2.8 as well. What Pentax needs beside these two lenses are a 60 or 70 mm macro (or perhaps a 60-120 true macro zoom), and a longer lens in th 400mm range, ideally an f4, and of course bring the 60-250 to market. All DA* series of course!

Mike.

01-21-2010, 10:05 AM   #39
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reviving an old thread, given that the Pentax K-x is in the market and a lot of individuals (such as myself) is looking at purchasing it and other than comparing the body, the suite of lens plays a more crucial role in the long run.

credit goes to cputeq for putting this together, i found this forum through this thread and I feel for make benefit of soon-to-be owners of the K-x and other Pentax cameras I have updated the post to reflect current prices (21st January 2010), factoring in the price increase of Pentax FA lens in February 2009 and current Canon & Nikon prices.

Prices are taken from adorama or amazon, whichever is lower.

So tonight I got bored, and when that happens, I do goofy things.
***likewise, I felt like doing goofy things.***
----

I decided to compare a "standard" lens lineup between Nikon, Pentax, and Canon. Disregarding body prices, I wanted to see just how much more expensive, if at all, one brand would be over another.

After probably too little thought, I decided to simulate a "standard" lens layout, consisting of the following lenses:

1) A Fast-50
2) Wide Zoom (around 16-50mm or close) f/2.8 speed
3) The "Portrait Prime" - Pentax does this is 77mm, Canon and Nikon 85mm
4) Cheapo Telephoto - A consumer lens going from around 50/70mm-300mm
5) A fast telephoto - 180/200mm f/2.8
6) A fast long telephoto - 300mm f/4

Before I begin the comparison, here are some caveats:
  • Since Pentax has a smaller selection, I used them as the "common denominator" and kept the lens choices as similar as possible to the Pentax specs
  • No grey market or refurbished items
  • When possible, I used the "VR" or "IS" variant of the Nikon / Canon lens
  • It's possible I missed a lens -- Canon and Nikon lens listings are absurdly convoluted!

So, let us begin the math! Prices gleaned from Adorama or Amazon.

Fast 50 - f/1.4


All lenses were fairly similar here. Notice the Canon has USM, but neither Nikon or Canon have the VR/IS variant.
  • Pentax FA50mm f/1.4 = $359.95 [$200 in 08] +80%
  • Nikon 50mm f/1.4D = $319.95 [$289 in 08] +10.7%
  • Canon 50mm f/1.4 USM = $349.84 [$325 in 08] +7.6%



Result - Pentax no longer have the price advantage. and as cputeq says, You get SR through camera body, but not that big of a deal with a lens this short and fast, though.

Wide Zoom - F/2.8


Here is one of the largest price discrepancies of the entire lineup. For whatever reason, Canon, and especially Nikon, charge an arm and a leg for this range and speed of zoom.
  • Pentax 16-50mm f/2.8 ED-AL DA* = $744 ($659 in 08) +12.9%
  • Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8 ED-IF AF-S DX = $1339 ($1199 in 08) +11.7%
  • Canon EF-S 17-55mm F/2.8 IS USM = $1018.99 ($960 in 08) +6.1%

Result - Pentax blows the other guys away. Even considering Pentax's QC problems with the 16-50mm, it's hard not to notice the huge pricing difference.


Portrait Prime


This is probably the most controversial range, as many people consider anything from 40mm to 100mm to be "portrait length". I decided to stick with the lenses normally thought of to be decent moderate telephoto portrait lenses.

Notice that Canon and Nikon actually have (at least) two versions of their lenses here (the normal and the upscale), whereas Pentax stays with their upscale Limited lens only.
  • Pentax Limited 77mm f/1.8 = $784.95 ($669 in 08) +17.3%

- Consumer -
  • Nikon 85mm f/1.8D AF = $449.95 ($399 in 08) +12.8%
  • Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM = $370.98 ($355 in 08) +4.5%

- Pro -
  • Nikon 85mm f/1.4D IF AF = $1224.95 ($1024 in 08) +19.6%
  • Canon EF 85mm f1.2L II USM = $1847.56 ($1745 in 08) +5.9%



Result = Hard to say. We're comparing one of Pentax's top dog lenses to two "consumer" primes or two "pro" primes. If we consider Pro vs Pro, Pentax comes out on top, and by a huge margin compared to Canon. If we consider the "consumer" versions that Canon and Nikon offer, the outcome is more difficult to quantify, but I will give the win to Canon $370.98 for a 85mm (supposedly quality) prime is a great deal. ***this still holds true, given that the Pentax went up in price by 17% vs 4.5% of the Canon.***


Cheapo Telephoto


Ahh, this one is much easier! Let's stick to the consumer versions of a telephoto zoom and see where we get (50/70mm - 300mm, variable aperature)
  • Pentax 55-300 f/4-5.8 = $349.95 ($349 in 08) +0.3%
  • Nikon 70-300 f4.5-5.6 AF-S VR = $539.95 ($479 in 08) +12.7%
  • Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS USM = $542.97 ($549 in 08) -1.1%

Result = Pentax wins by a hair. You get a wider capability but lose a smidge of speed with Pentax. All three lenses offer image stability and Canon's actually has USM.

Fast Telephoto (180/200mm F/2.8) Prime
  • Pentax DA* 200mm f/2.8 = $939 ($949 in 08) -1%
  • Nikon ED-IF AF 180mm f/2.8 = $899.95 ($760 in 08) +18.4%
  • Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM = $769 ($695 in 08) +10.6%


Result: At first it looks bad...Pentax is charging several hundred dollars more for this type of lens. Let's look closer, though -- Notice something missing? Perhaps two letters in the lens names? Yes, that's right, Canon and nikon lenses lack VR/IS! This is important, as now we're dealing with some long focal lengths. I'll call this one a tie - Pentax definitely loses on price, but wins due to sealing and SR through the body. Still, I feel Pentax is overcharging for their telephoto primes. ***Personally, I give a slight edge to Pentax, given that the pricing of both Nikon and Canon have caught up.***

Fast Long Telephoto (300mm f/4)

Finally, our last section! This was a bit difficult to search out, mainly because it doesn't appear Canon and Nikon are fond of 300mm primes, but instead offer fast zooms in this area.
  • Pentax DA* 300mm f/4 = $1119.95 ($1098 in 08) +2%
  • Nikon ED-IF AF-S 300mm f/4 = $1484.95 ($1124 in 08) +32%
  • Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM = $1279 ($1210 in 08) +5.7%


Result - Pentax and Canon are close here, leaving Nikon and its VR-less lens in the dust. Win : Pentax by about $159

-------------------------------

GRAND TOTAL


So let's assume you have way more money than I do, and decide to buy the lens loadouts (minus the bodies). How much do we pay?

Pentax = $4297.80 ($3924 in 08) +9.5% avg.

Nikon = $5033.75 ($4240 in 08) +18.7% avg.
w/"upscale" portrait prime = $5808.75 ($4875 in 08) +19.1% avg.

Canon = $4330.78 ($4094 in 08) +5.8% avg.
w/"upscale" portrait prime = $5807.36 ($5484 in 08) +5.9% avg.

---------------------------------

Analysis:

To me, it appears Pentax still retains "value" more than Canon or Nikon. Let's analyze why:

1) Assuming you have a decently modern body, all the lenses will offer image stability. Not so with the Canon/Nikon variants.

2) Three of the listed Pentax Lenses are weather sealed.

3) Assuming we're buying "the best" portrait lens, Pentax's Limited 77mm is a steal compared to Nikon, and Canon should be charged with highway robbery.

4) Pentax seems to be overcharging for their long primes. Sure, their primes "have" image stability, but this is in the body and doesn't cost Pentax a dime to use. So why are their primes actually more expensive? Weather-sealing perhaps? Pentax's insistence on staying with short ranges, as seen by their complete lack of any modern lens past 300mm? Who knows.

***

Hope you enjoyed the read!

Last edited by shotbytt; 01-21-2010 at 10:10 AM.
01-21-2010, 10:58 AM   #40
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Wow, 80% increase on the FA 50 1.4! That's ridiculous! I should have kept my copy.
01-21-2010, 11:26 AM   #41
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Interesting work. A few notes ......

- The 77 is 1.8 not 1.4 and as a result is very hard to compare to the 85's. The 77 is also considerably smaller.

- Most (all?) Canikon lenses have excellent USM that is leaps and bounds ahead of pentax's screw drive or 'you're screweed' drive (SDM)

- The Pentax outfit must be dead set half the size of Canikon's bricks
01-21-2010, 11:32 AM   #42
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The only comment I'll toss in here is that while all of Pentax's lenses are stablized, that occurs in the camera body. If you're using an *ist D/DS/DL, the SR advantage is gone.

When looking at the cost of a 300mm lens, I can appreciate Canon's costing a bit more because the IS is built into the lens. No such feature is built into the Pentax 300mm to warrant a similar price. The Shake reduction adds amazing value to the Pentax system but it also eliminates the need for costly in-lens stablization.

With that said, there's still a good value in the Pentax system. I'm just not sold on the IS/SR being touted as a feature of the lenses.
01-21-2010, 03:38 PM   #43
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Interesting analysis, and useful to see the price comparisons verus 2008 too. A couple of things I'd note:

- Not sure why you'd say Pentax wins by a "hair" on the consumer telezoom, unless there's a typo in there somewhere, the 55-300 is barely 60% of the price of the others, and it's a considerably wider range. I'm not familair with the Canon or Nikon to assess IQ, but it's hard to image they are that much better than the already very well-regarded 55-300 to offset the large difference in price and range.

- For the fast 50, some will say you gave Pentax an advantage by comparing f/1.4 lenses instead of letting Canon & Nikon play with their f/1.8 versions. I'd say you probably could have done the same as you did with the portrait lens. Although inthat case, you should also have considered the DA70.

- I'd say you probably should have included a "normal" prime instead of or in addition to the 50. Not that this would have gone in Pentax's favor, of course, but would have been more typical. Something wider too, which could go either way.

- Not sure how many people really load up on the telephoto end like you did here.

- Overall, though, I think if you follow of my suggestions here, that wouldn't change the bottom line, which is that it's going to be close, and the specifics of which system "wins" is going to depend on the specific lenses you choose. That is, if you think you're in it for the long haul, there really no huge difference in lens prices if you don't consider stablization, but if you go out of your way to focus on just a coupl of lenses, you can come up with some pretty lopsided results in favor of whichever company you choose.
01-22-2010, 12:32 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
- Overall, though, I think if you follow of my suggestions here, that wouldn't change the bottom line, which is that it's going to be close, and the specifics of which system "wins" is going to depend on the specific lenses you choose. That is, if you think you're in it for the long haul, there really no huge difference in lens prices if you don't consider stablization, but if you go out of your way to focus on just a coupl of lenses, you can come up with some pretty lopsided results in favor of whichever company you choose.
+1 on that Marc.

I currently have the pleasure to shoot all 3 systems (D700, K-7, and 1DS) and each has strengths and weaknesses. I use the D700 primarily with Nikon pro zooms in low-light and for action/event type shooting, the K-7 with the limited primes for portability, and the 1DS primarily with the 85L for stills/studio.

To do a compare like this is difficult to say the least, and I think many of the conclusions would have to be generalizations anyways. Everyone's going to place his/her own priorities on his/her own needs. Some need better stabilization, some need faster AF, some need better low light capabilities, some need more resolution, some need portability, some need a better value . . . each of us are going prioritize slightly differently. I'm just glad we have so many great choices, and competition is a great thing.

That being said, if I have time, I'll do a quick compare between my Canon 85L Mk 2 and Pentax 77mm - I'm kind of curious now. I did an earlier test of my Nikon 105DC F2, Pentax 70 Ltd, and Pentax 77mm Ltd, and actually found I preferred the Pentax Ltd. I sold my 105DC because of it. Frankly, the differences were pretty minor and subjective IMHO. You can pixel-peep all you want, and while there are differences, they were very marginal - at least to me. I'd be happy to own any of them (and all of them!). Much of any differences, could likely be post-processed or adjusted as necessary anyways (i.e., sharpening, color, contrast, etc.)

Last edited by jonlee; 01-22-2010 at 12:56 PM.
01-22-2010, 02:06 PM   #45
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I took the liberty of putting it in a spreadsheet, adding an UWA lens and adding UK prices from amazon.co.uk itself (but not from other, smaller vendors on amazon.co.uk) and SRS Microsystems (taking lowest).


Last edited by juu; 01-22-2010 at 02:12 PM.
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