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07-26-2011, 05:20 AM   #1
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Switching from Nikon to Pentax.

Hi everyone. As in my previous posts, my wife shoots with a K7 and the following lenses: Pentax 12-24 DA, Pentax 18-55 WR, Pentax 18-135 WR, Pentax 50-200mm WR, Pentax 35mm f2.4 DA, and a Sigma 28mm f1.8, and the Tamron 70-200mm f2.8. The lenses are pretty evenly split between portability(18-55, 35, 18-135, 50-200), super quality(12-24, 70-200 tamron), and speed but heavy(Sigma 28 1.8). I have been shooting with the full frame Nikon D3X and the 14-24, 24-70, 70-200 Nikon fast glass and some primes(like a 500mm f4). After our recent trip to europe it became apparent that the two seperate systems just are too much to take: Karen has to haul all her lenses, I have to haul all of mine, and we cannot share anything(plus my kit weighs around 15lbs or more). Now also is the problem that the Nikon is too big for Karen to use. I read on DXO how the K5 has more(a little) dynamic range than the Nikon, and close to it's high ISO quality, plus it has built-in anti shake. I can live with the lower MP count(I had considered the K7 when I bought 2 years ago, but the DR and high ISO quality killed that), and I have the K5 on the way to make sure I can use it for my type of pics(weddings sometimes, travel most of the time). My problem seems to be a high quality standard zoom(16-18 to ??) that has a 7 or 9 bladed diaphragm with preferrably straight blades for making sunstars around very bright lights(the 18-55 has a 6 bladed one...ugly!). I tried the 17-70 Pentax but got a bad copy so it got returned and Karen kept the 18-135 Pentax. I am thinking of trying the lens again, but a WR lens of some type would be preferrable. I noticed the 17-70 has a rubber gasket around the lens mount, does it have the seals in the lens also? Also, before anyone else says it, the 16-50 with it's SDM issues is a non contender in my opinion. Also, any opinions about this rather big switch are very apreciated. I know this is a very long winded post, so thanks for your consideration!

David

07-26-2011, 05:57 AM   #2
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Why don't you look at a Sigma 18-50 f2.8? It won't be sealed, but its nice. Pentax DA 17-70 is sealed at the base, but not in the barrel, although it is a really nice lens -- rated pretty highly by places like Photozone. Just have to make sure you have a good copy.

Definitely need to look at primes though. The limiteds (both DA and FA) as well as the DA * 55 are super-nice lenses that are smaller than anything Nikon offers with similar build quality.
07-26-2011, 06:10 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Why don't you look at a Sigma 18-50 f2.8? It won't be sealed, but its nice. Pentax DA 17-70 is sealed at the base, but not in the barrel, although it is a really nice lens -- rated pretty highly by places like Photozone. Just have to make sure you have a good copy.

Definitely need to look at primes though. The limiteds (both DA and FA) as well as the DA * 55 are super-nice lenses that are smaller than anything Nikon offers with similar build quality.
Well, I have to say it, the 16-50 is an obvious choice. I just ordered one, and I could care less about any problems with the drive motor, that's what the warranty is for. If I was relying on it that much that I couldn't live without it for a few weeks i'd just buy another one. 2 Pentax 16-50's is almost the same as one of the other guys lenses anyway.

But having said all that, get the primes. 15mm, 21mm, 31mm, 43mm, 77mm, you will be thrilled.
07-26-2011, 06:28 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Why don't you look at a Sigma 18-50 f2.8? It won't be sealed, but its nice. Pentax DA 17-70 is sealed at the base, but not in the barrel, although it is a really nice lens -- rated pretty highly by places like Photozone. Just have to make sure you have a good copy.

Definitely need to look at primes though. The limiteds (both DA and FA) as well as the DA * 55 are super-nice lenses that are smaller than anything Nikon offers with similar build quality.
The new Sigma is the 17-50/2.8 (old one is 18/50) and is supposedly ultra sharp (I have the Tamron 17-50/2.8 which is another sharp lense) and highly rated.

Agree with Rondec on the primes. One of the great reasons for owning a Pentax (especially the Limiteds for IQ & for travel) with their superb range of FA & DA Limiteds. If you don't mind MF then take a look at the outstanding Voigtlander / Zeiss / Contax & Leica R lenses that come in (or can be adapted to) PK.

07-26-2011, 06:53 AM   #5
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Would a D7000 be small enough for your wife? If yes, I would keep the D3X!
07-26-2011, 06:56 AM   #6
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Well allways a difficult discision since that D3x is a fantastic and heavy camera. With only one system you can invest in more glass. (did anyone mention that a Nikon D7000 would be an option?). Anyhow some nice glass is mentioned and I would ad the DA*50-135mm/f2.8 (it is a slow focusser) or DA*60-250mm/f4. For long portrait a FA*85mm/f1.4 is an excellent lens. Maybe if Ricoh makes a jump and gives us next year a Full Frame camera, the system is very compleet.
07-26-2011, 07:15 AM   #7
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I have the 16-45 F4, and I think itis a fantastic lens. it has 8 blades (makes some nice stars) en very good closu-up abillities. So if you don't have your macro lens with you, you can still egt some very good close-up shots
07-26-2011, 07:28 AM   #8
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I do like the Nikon D7000, but Nikon does not have Anti shake in the body or DX affordable WR lenses. But thanks for the idea!

07-26-2011, 07:49 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Qwntm Quote
Well, I have to say it, the 16-50 is an obvious choice. I just ordered one, and I could care less about any problems with the drive motor, that's what the warranty is for. If I was relying on it that much that I couldn't live without it for a few weeks i'd just buy another one. 2 Pentax 16-50's is almost the same as one of the other guys lenses anyway.

But having said all that, get the primes. 15mm, 21mm, 31mm, 43mm, 77mm, you will be thrilled.
Agreed. If it's a nice wide to normal zoom that you need then the 16-50 is the ticket - https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/106084-da%2A-1...at-can-do.html. If you really won't consider it, then maybe Pentax isn't the right brand for your needs. Perhaps Sony?

I typically work with zooms (16-50, 50-135) and vacation with primes (DA Limited 21, 35 Macro, 70). Works a peach.
07-26-2011, 07:59 AM   #10
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The DA 17-70 may not always be tack sharp (on the long end it's a bit soft at max aperture), but it has nice sunstars. Its aperture has 7 blades which makes for 14 lines. Quite nice I think. Also under 50mm it's very sharp.

Otherwise the 16-50, as mentioned by others, should be even better. But that's probably a bit bigger/heavier as well.

Alternatively you could go for a Sigma 17-70. Got no experience with that though.
07-26-2011, 08:32 AM   #11
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Check out the Sigma 17-50mm; I hear it's sharper than the Tamron 17-50mm and that's one cutter lens.
07-26-2011, 01:57 PM   #12
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Since your wife already has the 12-24mm, you're only two lenses away from a semi-equivalent Nikon "Holy Trinity". The Pentax 16-50mm f/2.8 and 50-130mm f/2.8 are about the same as the Nikon 24-70mm and 70-200mm in terms of FOV. Personally, I don't know if I could give up a full frame system with the Holy Trinity AND a 500mm F4 lens. You're going to have a hard time finding a Pentax replacement for that, unless you look at Sigma.

But, overall it would probably make your wife happy if you used the same system and add more lenses to the collection. If you want light weight, Pentax is definitely lighter, especially when comparing the lenses above to the Nikon equivalents.
07-26-2011, 02:22 PM   #13
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Da*16-50/2.8

I would get the DA*16-50/2.8, but I would get an extended warranty for the peace of mind that it will give you, should the SDM crap out. It is optically very good for a zoom covering that range. I have had mine for 2-1/2 years without any problems. I think that most of the SDM failures occurred in early production runs. BTW, I don't know if it produces pretty stars, because I have never tried to take such a photo, but others may have more experience.

Since you are doing this for the purpose of downsizing your kit, you might start investigating the Limited series of prime lenses, that is if you think that you can adapt to that style of shooting. The Limiteds are so fine and so small that using them is a real pleasure.

Good luck.

Rob
07-26-2011, 02:32 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by David&karen Quote
I do like the Nikon D7000, but Nikon does not have Anti shake in the body or DX affordable WR lenses. But thanks for the idea!
This may be a personal preference, I spent a fair of time at Bestbuy the other day and toying with the D7k, I do like the responsiveness of auto-focus and the viewfinder focus point selection which can move to many positions; also unlike previous models where all the focus points (active or non-active) are marked on the screen. Other than that, I still prefer my k-7 for the ergonomics design,
07-26-2011, 02:50 PM   #15
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Some time ago I made a shot at f22 with my 16-50 which produced the sunstars.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/smigol/3555281606

What I find interesting about these stars is that they are not sharp diffraction spikes. I believe that this is because there is a slight curve to the blades.

I brought the 16-50 and the 50-135 as a set for major travel. The combination has served very well.

Last edited by smigol; 07-26-2011 at 02:52 PM. Reason: fixing html
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