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08-24-2008, 11:45 AM   #1
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Pentax glass vs Canon

as a Canon and Pentax user ( just got my first Pentax DSLR - K10D a couple of months ago ) --- I think that these are exicting times for new glass coming from the Pentax folks. I was originally intrigued with the Pentax Limiteds, of which I am now the proud owner of a 70mm LTD and what a nice piece of glass this is. I really must give Pentax their due ---- Limiteds are kick butt and I have no intention of ever letting this baby go !!!. Last week I purchased a new 16-50 DA* and it is on par with any of my Canon L glass --- very nice, I must have gotten a good one, because so far I do not see some of the problems that I have read about this lens in my copy of it. Next on my list to purchase is the DA* 50-135, which will hopefully happen soon as I am waiting for my $$ from selling my Canon 5D.
Sooooo ---- just to summarize ---- the best lenses ---- is Pentax and after all isn't all about the glass???
and with a company that is coming out with new glass all of the time I feel it is good be back into the Pentax system. Canon introduces new glass when the customers complain about the crap images they get with the expensive L stuff, i.e. take the 16-35 L zoom - which is now the 16-35 mark 2 zoom for the record --- 2 versions in about 3-4 years of the same lens. Why well because the first version did not cut it with the full frame cameras. Now with Pentax they are introducing great new glass at very attractable prices ( DA* series vs canon L series ) and I have discovered these gems. Also has anyone ever thought of why all these Canon shooters are using all of these funky adapters to put all of these non-Canon glass on their cameras??? I do not see the Pentax forums full of how do I grind the mirror off of my K10d to mount a Canon L lens. And no I did not grind my mirror on my 5D ---- I decided to sell it and move on !!!

Keep it coming Pentax ( as long as I have the $$$ )

kman

08-24-2008, 12:44 PM   #2
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Great post






Neil
08-24-2008, 01:04 PM   #3
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Pentax has the glass, especially for boutique shooters who have been around the block a couple times. Stopping down a Tak with one hand while auto-focusing an FA Limited on a razor's edge with the other... that's the life!
08-24-2008, 01:22 PM   #4
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welcome back!
how come you're selling your 5D? as much as i'd like to join the canon bashwagon, there are some sweet lenses on that side. i would loove to try the 5D + 135mm L combo

08-24-2008, 02:06 PM   #5
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Having recently emerged from the Canon L world myself, I can state that the 50-135 lens outshines any of the "L" zooms I owned when I was with Canon, you'll love it once you get it.

If you love your DA70, then the 50-135 will remind you of that image quality, detail, contrast, but at all focal lengths, really a great lens.

You are right about the 16-50, at its range (again I was blessed with a great copy), is on par with the 24-70L and yields me better images than the 17-40L ever did. I prefer the 16-50 over the 24-105 L as well. (I just recently started going back through my Canon shots and started comparing similar venues and shots that I have now taken with my Pentax gear, and I'm very happy)

The DA*50-135 was my first lens I bought with my K20D, and that combo sold me on my move (as then I sold my Canon gear) I had a 1DSmkIII on loan at the time as well, but kept the Pentax, and it was mostly for this lens.

While you're at it, you should give the FA43 a try, as well as the FA77. All brilliant charms imho. The DA40 a great walk-around choice if you don't want the bulk of the 16-50, but the image and contrast and color are very similar to the 16-50, so a good alternative in size alone. The FA43 is a bit different of a lens.

The FA31 isn't quite up to the 35L from Canon, close, but a bit more CA and more AF issues. Hopefully, the DA*30 will be "* worthy" and as well for the DA*55.

Sadly no competition, not even on the far-in-the-future-ware roadmap from Pentax for the 135L (my only lens regret of leaving Canon behind) I was sad for a short time about my 85 1.8 (non-L) but the FA77 made all that go away.

Enjoy shooting...
08-24-2008, 02:55 PM   #6
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Glad to hear that you discovered the beauty of pentax glasses.

Photography is rather a very subjective hobby and you obviously liked the feel from the images taken with pentax lenses. Canon zooms have always been weak especially with wide primes or zooms. The 16-35 II version is pretty much the same as I except that there is some sort of microscopic difference in corner sharpness. Seriously, corner sharpness is really an issue when you love to use wide aperture to render bokeh surrounding the off-centre subject! Otherwise, people rattle on that too much.

135L is in deed a very good lens and I would love pentax to produce one. Canon 135L autofocuses soooo fast and accurately. Light and affordable. Perfect to do theatre or stage play shots.
08-24-2008, 06:04 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by kmanlaker Quote
as a Canon and Pentax user ( just got my first Pentax DSLR - K10D a couple of months ago ) --- I think that these are exicting times for new glass coming from the Pentax folks. I was originally intrigued with the Pentax Limiteds, of which I am now the proud owner of a 70mm LTD and what a nice piece of glass this is. I really must give Pentax their due ---- Limiteds are kick butt and I have no intention of ever letting this baby go !!!. Last week I purchased a new 16-50 DA* and it is on par with any of my Canon L glass --- very nice, I must have gotten a good one, because so far I do not see some of the problems that I have read about this lens in my copy of it. Next on my list to purchase is the DA* 50-135, which will hopefully happen soon as I am waiting for my $$ from selling my Canon 5D.
Sooooo ---- just to summarize ---- the best lenses ---- is Pentax and after all isn't all about the glass???
and with a company that is coming out with new glass all of the time I feel it is good be back into the Pentax system. Canon introduces new glass when the customers complain about the crap images they get with the expensive L stuff, i.e. take the 16-35 L zoom - which is now the 16-35 mark 2 zoom for the record --- 2 versions in about 3-4 years of the same lens. Why well because the first version did not cut it with the full frame cameras. Now with Pentax they are introducing great new glass at very attractable prices ( DA* series vs canon L series ) and I have discovered these gems. Also has anyone ever thought of why all these Canon shooters are using all of these funky adapters to put all of these non-Canon glass on their cameras??? I do not see the Pentax forums full of how do I grind the mirror off of my K10d to mount a Canon L lens. And no I did not grind my mirror on my 5D ---- I decided to sell it and move on !!!

Keep it coming Pentax ( as long as I have the $$$ )

kman
Given the choice, I'll take good glass over a high performance body, which is why I still use Pentax. I love the lenses, but the cameras performance isn't especially good by today's standard.
If a K20 and it's rather slow autofocus and frame rate are good enough for what you do, then it is a good system.
It's good enough for about 3/4 of what I do, adequate for another chunk, and inadequate enough for some stuff that I don't even try.
08-24-2008, 09:31 PM   #8
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Thanks for your thought. A friend of mine was very disappointed with his Canon 24-105/4 IS L, so with an adapter he is now using used Leica glass on his Eos 5D. Iíve heard that Wide-angle isnít the strength of Canon.

Regarding the DA* 16-50/2.8, most are likely satisfied, but the dissatisfied are usually more vocal about it in forums. I'll want it one day.

Here is from another Eos 5D user, comparing to K20 :
Re: DA70 for professional Calendar Shoot: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

Iíll state that there are some lenses which I would love to have, from the Canon line-up. But Pentax is really continuing to come out with great stuff, lately the DA 35 mm macro limited is getting great reviews.

Iíve got my hopes up for a Pentax 135 mm one day. Would love it to be f/2.

08-25-2008, 02:50 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by k100d Quote
welcome back!
how come you're selling your 5D? as much as i'd like to join the canon bashwagon, there are some sweet lenses on that side. i would loove to try the 5D + 135mm L combo

the 5D is gone because lately it has been collecting dust and I have slowly been selling my Canon lenses. The 5d is/was nice but I decided i wanted the money to purchase some more Pentax glass. Besides with all of the rumors on a new Canon 5d coming out --- the only thing that would happen is that the price for my 5d would continue to drop --- so I decided now was the time to sell before it lost a few more hundred $ in value.

i still own the 24-105 L and a 70-200 f4 IS L both of which are very nice
all of my other Canon lenses are gone, these two are still in the bag without a canon body

kman
08-25-2008, 03:05 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by augustmoon Quote
Having recently emerged from the Canon L world myself, I can state that the 50-135 lens outshines any of the "L" zooms I owned when I was with Canon, you'll love it once you get it.


If you love your DA70, then the 50-135 will remind you of that image quality, detail, contrast, but at all focal lengths, really a great lens.

glad to hear this

You are right about the 16-50, at its range (again I was blessed with a great copy), is on par with the 24-70L and yields me better images than the 17-40L ever did. I prefer the 16-50 over the 24-105 L as well. (I just recently started going back through my Canon shots and started comparing similar venues and shots that I have now taken with my Pentax gear, and I'm very happy)

i have owned the 17-40L ( not to bad except it was f4 )
also the 24-70L f2.8 ( actually very nice )
and the 24-105 L with IS ( another good one --- I still have this )



The DA*50-135 was my first lens I bought with my K20D, and that combo sold me on my move (as then I sold my Canon gear) I had a 1DSmkIII on loan at the time as well, but kept the Pentax, and it was mostly for this lens.

While you're at it, you should give the FA43 a try, as well as the FA77. All brilliant charms imho. The DA40 a great walk-around choice if you don't want the bulk of the 16-50, but the image and contrast and color are very similar to the 16-50, so a good alternative in size alone. The FA43 is a bit different of a lens.

The FA31 isn't quite up to the 35L from Canon, close, but a bit more CA and more AF issues. Hopefully, the DA*30 will be "* worthy" and as well for the DA*55.

Sadly no competition, not even on the far-in-the-future-ware roadmap from Pentax for the 135L (my only lens regret of leaving Canon behind) I was sad for a short time about my 85 1.8 (non-L) but the FA77 made all that go away.

I did not own the 135L ( it was always on my wishlist ) but like you I had a 85mm f1.8 non-L which was pretty good, but I have to say it was not as good as my 70mm DA Limited

Enjoy shooting...
as always - thanks Kman
08-25-2008, 03:14 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Given the choice, I'll take good glass over a high performance body, which is why I still use Pentax. I love the lenses, but the cameras performance isn't especially good by today's standard.
If a K20 and it's rather slow autofocus and frame rate are good enough for what you do, then it is a good system.
It's good enough for about 3/4 of what I do, adequate for another chunk, and inadequate enough for some stuff that I don't even try.
this is exactly what I probably should have said to begin with --- that is the autofocus is fine with me on my k10d -- I am not a sports shooter and also I do not need 400mm 500mm type lens.

regarding the autofocus on the k10 -- it almost seems to me to be more accurate than my 5d was, it may not be as fast but it sure seems more accurate and that has to count for something.

kman
08-25-2008, 03:25 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonson PL Quote
Thanks for your thought. A friend of mine was very disappointed with his Canon 24-105/4 IS L, so with an adapter he is now using used Leica glass on his Eos 5D. Iíve heard that Wide-angle isnít the strength of Canon.

Regarding the DA* 16-50/2.8, most are likely satisfied, but the dissatisfied are usually more vocal about it in forums. I'll want it one day.

Here is from another Eos 5D user, comparing to K20 :
Re: DA70 for professional Calendar Shoot: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

Iíll state that there are some lenses which I would love to have, from the Canon line-up. But Pentax is really continuing to come out with great stuff, lately the DA 35 mm macro limited is getting great reviews.

Iíve got my hopes up for a Pentax 135 mm one day. Would love it to be f/2.

thank you for the link --- very interesting and another happy Pentax user who appreciates what good glass can do --- there are two sides to the equation, camera body and glass. It takes both to make a good image and I honestly think that Pentax is certainly getting the glass side right which makes investing in the Pentax lenses a no brainer. The body side comes and goes with each new DSLR body that is introduced by all manufacturers.

kman
08-25-2008, 03:58 AM   #13
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Interesting thread kmanlaker, Sune, augustmoon, rparmar etc. I have always been a Pentax guy more by good luck than sound reasoning. This was the brand I started with thirty years ago and I have been reluctant to change. Truth be told I was living in a small town in Manitoba when I took up the hobby and Pentax was the only brand one could buy there at that time. I guess it was my good fortune as Iíve never been disappointed. Like everyone else Iíve often been drawn to some of the features on various Nikon and Canon cameras and lenses. There is no question Canon and Nikonís marketing departments slaughter Pentax at every turn. Maybe that is why I observe a sort of Pentax inferiority complex amongst so many users. I fee that way from time to time but when I picked up other cameras and compare various features and build quality I have never been impressed enough I felt the need to change. These makers have some wonderful gear but for the type of shooting I do Pentax has always been more than good enough. Pentax prime lenses have been the main reason I have stayed with this maker. The fact so many of you have changed over/come back to Pentax because of the lens quality simply validates my initial choice. As marvellous as the modern cameras are it all begins with the glass. Pentaxís long tradition of quality lens making and backward compatibility has kept me in the club. Iíll try to keep this and your comments above in mind the next time I start to think about straying from the fold.

Tom G
08-25-2008, 06:43 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by 8540tomg Quote
Interesting thread kmanlaker, Sune, augustmoon, rparmar etc. I have always been a Pentax guy more by good luck than sound reasoning. This was the brand I started with thirty years ago and I have been reluctant to change. Truth be told I was living in a small town in Manitoba when I took up the hobby and Pentax was the only brand one could buy there at that time. I guess it was my good fortune as Iíve never been disappointed. Like everyone else Iíve often been drawn to some of the features on various Nikon and Canon cameras and lenses. There is no question Canon and Nikonís marketing departments slaughter Pentax at every turn. Maybe that is why I observe a sort of Pentax inferiority complex amongst so many users. I fee that way from time to time but when I picked up other cameras and compare various features and build quality I have never been impressed enough I felt the need to change. These makers have some wonderful gear but for the type of shooting I do Pentax has always been more than good enough. Pentax prime lenses have been the main reason I have stayed with this maker. The fact so many of you have changed over/come back to Pentax because of the lens quality simply validates my initial choice. As marvellous as the modern cameras are it all begins with the glass. Pentaxís long tradition of quality lens making and backward compatibility has kept me in the club. Iíll try to keep this and your comments above in mind the next time I start to think about straying from the fold.

Tom G
so true --- My first real camera ( SLR ) was a SP 500 in the mid seventies ( grade school ) - I was so exicted because it was also the first camera that I had with a built in meter. See I also learned to shot without a meter, autofocus, and automatic film advance. It is truely funny to listen to the folks you cannot shoot with 3 fps and whatnot. So long story short I am back into Pentax fold for the third time.

for all of you oldtimers and youngsters ---- did you ever look at Sports Illustrated and National Geographic magazines from the 60's and 70's ???? some how those oldtimers got the exposure right and also nailed the focus without all of the electronics. But I may add , they did have very nice prime lens to go with the film.


kman ( I still own a old Spotmatic with 55mm f1.8 )
08-25-2008, 06:55 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by kmanlaker Quote
this is exactly what I probably should have said to begin with --- that is the autofocus is fine with me on my k10d -- I am not a sports shooter and also I do not need 400mm 500mm type lens.

regarding the autofocus on the k10 -- it almost seems to me to be more accurate than my 5d was, it may not be as fast but it sure seems more accurate and that has to count for something.

kman
Quoted from another forum:

"First the boring stuff...

EVERY decent control system has a certain amount of hysteresis. Hysteresis
is created when a *small* distance about "perfect" accuracy is designated as
having sufficient accuracy for acceptable performance (this is often called
"deadband") and wherein active control is suspended. This is done to prevent
chatter or excessive "hunting". Chatter or excessive "hunting" greatly
increases wear, is hard on mechanical equipment and often creates excessive
noise and vibration. The autofocus in your camera is a type of control
system because most folks greatly dislike vibration and noise in their
cameras. Further, they would be greatly dismayed if the life of the bearing
surfaces wore out in months instead of decades; therefore hysteresis is
actually a good thing. You know that your AF system has built in hysteresis
because the lens does not continue to hunt (forever) on a stationary due to
sensor noise and continuous slight overshoots.

What the boring stuff means...

This means that your autofocus system will NEVER focus on EXACTLY the same
spot every time because the AF will stop when it determines that focus error
is within the deadband and therefore "good enough". Now DOF, in distance
units, changes with several parameters. This also means that the deadband,
in distance units, is different for every focal length, every maximum
aperture and every focus distance.

Autofocus is a convenience (and a great one at that), but it will never be a
substitute for critical manual focusing to accurately and critically
position your DOF about the subject. Some AF systems may be better than
others or have different features, but this is true for *all* AF cameras,
regardless of brand or model."

My understanding is that Pentax AF in the K10 and prior models allowed for a lot less
allowable hysteresis than what Canon was allowing. This made Canon AF faster, Pentax AF more accurate. I think they loosened up a little bit with the K20, it certainly locks focus faster than the K10, but I have found wide aperture performance to be a little soft from time to time.
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