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06-16-2011, 01:10 PM   #1
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Dilemma in Chicago

First off, hi all!
So here's my problem. Im looking to get a DSLR soon, and im leaning very heavily towards the K-5. One of the big issues holding me back from pulling the trigger is the fact that I haven't had a chance to hold one and try it out (I have fairly large hands, so a good grip is important to me). Does anyone know of a pentax dealer near the Chicago area? Just somewhere so i can "get a feel for it" before I buy. A k-7 would work too, as they are nearly the same body. anyone have any suggestions?

-N Solarz

06-16-2011, 01:25 PM   #2
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Be sure, if you find one, to try it with the battery grip. Without it, the K5 & 7 feel a little small. The addition of the grip made it fit perfectly in my hand.

Good Luck!
06-16-2011, 01:31 PM   #3
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Fry's reportedly has them in SOME of their stores.

I think one of the oldest and most trusted camera store is Central camera in the loop (Central*Camera*Company). Several here have said that they have purchased Pentax cameras there. Their website appears to be having trouble today.....
06-16-2011, 05:25 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by sjwaldron:
QuoteOriginally posted by psychdoc:
Hey you mentioned in recent post that there is a store in Illinois that carries Pentax. I will be in Chicago twice over the next 2 months and will be driving there both times. Could you let me know the name of the store and location. I would only be interested if they carried some lenses.
Rockford is around 90 miles from Chicago.

http://cameracraftinc.com
3801 N. Perryville Rd.
Rockford, IL 61114

He usually carries some of the DA Limiteds, some of the DA*, standard DA lenses, and ones like the 100mm f2.8 WR Macro. Plus some Sigma and Tamron for Pentax mount. I think he stopped carrying FA Limiteds, at least I can't remember seeing any on display. They have used stuff too. I remember seeing a FA 50mm f1.4 a few days ago while I was bringing in my K-5 for servicing.
Above is a conversation I had with another member in this forum. They carry Pentax. Search their website link for Pentax. They have K5 also.

06-16-2011, 09:31 PM   #5
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Psychdoc thank you! this is perfect. the hour and a half drive is totally worth it in my book. much rather spend a few hours driving to find out something does or doesn't work than to drop a lot of money only to be disappointed. thanks for all the help to the rest of you too. will definitely keep the battery grip in mind.
06-17-2011, 04:07 AM - 2 Likes   #6
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You are welcome!

I would call them b4 taking the trip to make sure that they are not sold out as they are unlikely to carry too many in inventory.

Try out the Pentax K5 by feeling it in your hands. Then do the same thing with any other items you had in mind. Buy whichever one feels good in your hands. The brand does not matter as much as people make it out to be unless you are shooting maybe professionally.

If this is your first DSLR and you decide on the K5:
Get the 18-135 lens. It is also weather resistant and will match well with the K5. Shoot as much as you can until you decide what focal lengths you like. If you think you will shoot in low light a lot get the 50mm f1.4 lens also

If you like to shoot more at the long end, then another option is to get the 18-55 kit lens and match it with the 55-300 lens, often they are bundled as 2 lens kits. However more often you will see the kit lens bundled with the 50-200 lens which is a much inferior lens.

Oh, one final note: if you are a beginner, you maybe taken aback when you see the prices on non-kit lenses. The best lenses will often cost as much as a camera body...But sometimes you can save money by buying the non-metal version of the lens. For instance, the 55-300 lens comes in a DAL version which is cheaper than the metal DA version.
06-17-2011, 05:40 AM   #7
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Did you try the retailer locator on the pentax website? It returns 3 retailers in downtown Chicago: Store Locator - Official PENTAX Imaging Web Site

Sincerely,
--Anders.
06-17-2011, 05:45 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by asp1880 Quote
Did you try the retailer locator on the pentax website? It returns 3 retailers in downtown Chicago: Store Locator - Official PENTAX Imaging Web Site

Sincerely,
--Anders.
None are 90 miles from the city either:

CENTRAL CAMERA CO
230 S. Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60604-2303
312-827-
HELIX LTD
310 South Racine Ave
Chicago, IL 60607-2841
312-421-6000
CALUMET PHOTOGRAPHIC
1111 N Cherry
Chicago, IL 60642
312.440.4920

06-17-2011, 08:33 AM   #9
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If you do wind up driving to Rockford, plan a visit to the Anderson Japanese Gardens.

Anderson Japanese Gardens - a set on Flickr
It's an easier drive for me from Dundee, though.
06-19-2011, 02:29 PM   #10
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Update if anyone cares:

Went to CameraCraft yesterday morning. Drive only turned out to be an hour which was nice. would much rather spend an hour on the highway than an hour fighting city traffic.

Anyways, camera related stuff:
K-5 was extremely impressive to hold and play with. like i said before, my biggest fear was the grip, but that was completely assuaged. with the contours on the grip, my hand just kind of "locked" into place, even if the camera was significantly smaller compared to others. also loved the control configuration, with a lot of important control falling right at hand. pretty much set my mind on the camera, now i just have to save my pennies (and figure out which lenses I want) :P

side note about CamerCraft:
I was very impressed with the service I received there. a lot of places will tend to blow a customer off when they hear they aren't interested in purchasing right then and there, however, this was not the case. I was helped out a lot by David, who is a pentax user (as well as a member of this forum). He answered all of my questions and provided a lot of good insight onto pentax, and just made it a generally good experience. So if you're ever in the chi area, it is well worth the drive.
06-19-2011, 03:35 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by nsolarz Quote
Update if anyone cares:

Went to CameraCraft yesterday morning. Drive only turned out to be an hour which was nice. would much rather spend an hour on the highway than an hour fighting city traffic.

side note about CamerCraft:
I was very impressed with the service I received there. a lot of places will tend to blow a customer off when they hear they aren't interested in purchasing right then and there, however, this was not the case. I was helped out a lot by David, who is a pentax user (as well as a member of this forum). He answered all of my questions and provided a lot of good insight onto pentax, and just made it a generally good experience. So if you're ever in the chi area, it is well worth the drive.
Exactly why I recommend them. Their shop is a little small at the moment as they are waiting for their new location to be finished inside (it's in the same shopping center, but a lot bigger). The Pentax line still gets more than enough space on the shelves.

I bought my K-5 there and had to get it serviced recently . They are handling the whole process for me. So you can expect good customer service from them.

Did you try the K-5/K-7 with a grip? That's the best handling camera I've held since I've been into photography.
06-19-2011, 03:57 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by nsolarz Quote
side note about CamerCraft:
I was very impressed with the service I received there. a lot of places will tend to blow a customer off when they hear they aren't interested in purchasing right then and there, however, this was not the case. I was helped out a lot by David, who is a pentax user (as well as a member of this forum). He answered all of my questions and provided a lot of good insight onto pentax, and just made it a generally good experience. So if you're ever in the chi area, it is well worth the drive.
That's great to hear! Now, someone let Pentax USA know they still have these dealers out there, please. (To reward, not remove...)

This is also why I buy my camera bodies from a local shop, to get a feel for the actual item in hand rather than save a few bucks. (Actually, here in Toronto, there are 3 shops with K-5s on hand within a few blocks of each other, and 2 of them have respectable prices!)
06-19-2011, 05:33 PM   #13
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You can't go by the Pentax website's list of retail stores that sell Pentax. All three of the ones they list for my area have not carried Pentax for years. Calling ahead is a good idea.
06-19-2011, 05:36 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by sjwaldron Quote
Did you try the K-5/K-7 with a grip? That's the best handling camera I've held since I've been into photography.
Yes I did, and while I liked the addition, its something that I can easily do without (for now) as like I said, the grip without was just fine.
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