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11-09-2010, 11:02 AM   #1
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Professionals using Pentax :: Feasible?

((Disclaimer:: First, before anything else, I will say that this is NOT a troll topic and I'm NOT meaning to get people angry.))

Anyway, as some of you may already know, I recently purchased a K-R with the 18-55 and 55-300 lenses. It will arrive in a few days.
Though I no longer have any doubts about the strength and flexibility such a kit provides, I wonder what I'm going to do, say, 3 years from now with Pentax. (Assuming the K-r has enough staying power to last that long, which I'm sure it does.)

If Pentax does *not* release a full-frame body, will that hinder the brand from competing at a professional level? As of right now, I am NOT a professional and this has little impact upon my immediate future.
But will it down the road?

I am trying to improve my skills to the point where I might be able to earn a supplementary-income from this art. (Most likely through portrait photography, weddings, etc.)

Will deeply investing in the K-mount system make logical sense if that is my goal?
Or will I have to sell this all off in a few years to support another brand?

Your thoughts?

11-09-2010, 11:21 AM   #2
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There are many working professionals on this board who shoot Pentax every day and have been more than satisfied.

The only knock against shooting Pentax professionally would be that they have a pretty poor support network; repairs can take several weeks.

Look at the lens lineup and see if it suits the type of shooting you want to do. If it doesn't, go elsewhere.
11-09-2010, 11:28 AM   #3
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yes, why not

there is no reason why not.

benjikan is shooting pentax (and other brands).
He shoots for Vogue, on Fashion weeks, etc.

Of course, still most professionals shoot canon or nikon. But I do not see an absolute need for FF for this.
11-09-2010, 12:06 PM   #4
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Pentax's target audience is the beginner/hobbyist market, so I simply don't think they're trying to cater to professionals in the 35mm SLR industry. However, yes, it's possible to shoot professionally with Pentax, just like any other brand. I'd say that only sports photographers would be better off choosing another brand, as Pentax's lineup now lacks super-tele zooms (it didn't in the past).

Also, keep in mind that they've got the 645D,which is practically only going to see professional use.

Moved to the pro section - not a DSLR-related thread.


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11-09-2010, 12:07 PM - 1 Like   #5
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I do (most of my stuff was shot on K10D, but I just bought a K-5). I also shoot nikon too, and have dabbled in canon.
samples:

Flickr: @!ex's Photostream
11-09-2010, 12:17 PM   #6
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Yes, it is completely feasible. There are professionals using every brand of camera on the planet. Pentax cameras are perfectly capable of being used to shoot any modern genre of photography. The only real limitations are the human handling the camera (especially since the K-5 is now technically superior to all but the top top end CaNikons). Frankly the biggest advantage that is enjoyed by CaNikon in the professional area is support... things like lens/equipment rental (not a show stopper if you patronize www.cameralensrentals.com) and timely repair/replacement of damaged/stolen gear.
11-09-2010, 12:20 PM   #7
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In three years or so APS-C might improve to the point where a FF sensor doesn't offer any significant advantage, also, larger sensors might get cheap enough for consumer level kit. At any rate, getting the more expensive lenses second hand should help as these can likely be sold at little or no loss. The skills acquired while waiting for the outcome should be the most valuable asset though.
11-09-2010, 12:22 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by MRRiley Quote
There are professionals using every brand of camera on the planet.
Even Hello Kitty!


Okay... Maybe not EVERY brand.

11-09-2010, 12:24 PM   #9
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I think Pentax is very capable since you mentioned possible getting into portraits and weddings. Many Pentax wedding shooters find the DA* 16-50mm and 50-135mm combo, plus the FA 50mm 1.4, to be plenty for weddings. The same combo would also be more than adequate if you're thinking of doing portrait work (I'm assuming studio).

Although having an upgrade full frame path via Pentax would be nice, I do not see APS-C dying off in the two fields you mention. Especially with ever improving bodies like the K-5. Your K-R should be more than sufficient for the things you mentioned for a long time to come.
11-09-2010, 12:43 PM   #10
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JustShane,

I don't think FF is the main reason why professionals use Canon and Nikon. I think it is the shutter sync speeds with external flash and the higher power lenses from Canon and Nikon from 400mm to 800mm.

I predicted APS-C cameras were going to get better on this very forum this year and I am predicting the demand for FF will go down. If this happens then the prices of FF cameras will remain higher because of "economy of scale".

I am not an expert but I can't see any reason why someone can't achieve the same effect with an APS-C as if they were using a FF camera. An example would be taking portraits of people with a wide angle macro lens on an APS-C system.

I'm sticking with Pentax. Just maybe they will appeal to strobists one day but no matter. I'm going to have fun with the K-5.

Last edited by traderdrew; 11-09-2010 at 12:50 PM.
11-09-2010, 12:44 PM   #11
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Well, to be kind of blunt about it, if you have to ask, Pentax will be more than 'professional' enough for you. If it turns out that another brand has something you can only get there, you'll know exactly why.


When I shot weddings, I didn't even use automatic exposure. I think all Pentax may lack for the purpose is a lot of really nice high-tech flash system options. And if you're doing studio portraits, you won't be wanting proprietary flash systems anyway. But if you start on weddings, your first worry won't be lack of a two thousand dollar full frame body and equipment to match, it'll be being good enough to justify one as a business expense. (And staying sane. )

Anyway, don't worry about where you are right now. If you'd spent the same money on Canon or Nikon and suddenly 'became pro,' you'd be wanting to replace all that stuff anyway.


For the most part, you simply don't need most of what makes those 'pro' cameras so expensive to shoot weddings. The likes of a K-5 has the important stuff for those purposes, and the durability and controls and excellent glass you do need. (And one thing is, fatigue is a factor. Five pounds of camera body that can blaze away at ten frames a second on some other job are still *just as heavy when you're flatfooting around someone's 'Special day at the Park Plaza.' *) What's more, the lack of dedicated pro service networks can be made up for by the fact that if your camera doesn't cost as much as your car, you can keep your own backups.

So, anyway, don't worry too much what Pentax is doing about full frame, a feature much extolled by people who never actually touch such a camera. (Don't get me wrong, I really wouldn't mind the viewfinder, myself) Other developments in tech could make it moot by the time you ever get near one, anyway.

Any weddings or such I shoot these days are kind of like vocational rehab, if I start needing more camera than the Pentax name can provide, I'll call it a win and be glad to have been here.
11-09-2010, 12:56 PM   #12
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to answer your question..,a pro does just about whatever it takes to get and complete the assignment.

There are users who have different systems for different jobs and then there is advertising where lack of a FF system could give the job to your competitor.

One thing a lot of workshops dont do is the business aspect of photography. The last thing they want is another competitor.

Any camera is feasible as long the user know how and when to use.

heck...i even did the Youth Olympics with the K20D and EOS 20D using their strengths to compensate for their weakness.

**If a client just asks for price and does not ask for your portfolio, i recommend waiting for the next job that does.
11-09-2010, 06:38 PM - 1 Like   #13
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I've been a pro for decades. I sell hundreds of images a year using a K20D, including numerous covers. It not only is enough--it's overkill for most things.
This year I bought a Optio W80 (the first P&S I've ever owned) just to play around with underwater shots in fresh water. I've sold quite a few inside images with it and two covers. Cost me $150 and more than paid for itself before the charge bill came due.
Everyone thinks it's all about the equipment. It's not. One of the design artists I deal with regularly told me he can get a publishable picture from a modern cell phone.
There are factions of photography that demand FF, but neither you nor I need to worry about that.
11-09-2010, 10:02 PM   #14
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Your post is amazing. I've ALWAYS wanted to believe that it isn't so much about the equipment, but the photographer and his eye.

However, the internet (*cough* dpreview *cough*) makes you think twice. Hence my thread.

I really do hope what you are saying is true. It gives me a lot of courage going forward...
11-10-2010, 04:11 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by JustShane Quote
Your post is amazing. I've ALWAYS wanted to believe that it isn't so much about the equipment, but the photographer and his eye.

However, the internet (*cough* dpreview *cough*) makes you think twice. Hence my thread.

I really do hope what you are saying is true. It gives me a lot of courage going forward...
There's true and false in the statement that equipment matter.

The more "consumer grade" equipment you want to use, the more you will need "to have a name" before doing so. I've seen beautiful portfolio shot with a Lomo and expired film, but it was coming for an experienced pro who knew exactly what he was looking for.

Depending on what you do, the demand you will put on you equipment will vary greatly. As said above, for some reason for product photography (making catalogues...), many customers want full frame, which is technically irrelevant given the resolution of the images used. But for most cases, budget and context of shooting will dirve the equipment choice. Art photography (where there are more semi-pro selling pictures and making a living of something else), photo-journalism, wedding photography, nature photography, product photography, architecture photography ... are all very different domains and N&C are far from being Alpha & Omega of all.

Now that you know that one can make a living with your K-r, don't believe that because you have bought one, you can become one. Photography as a practice takes a lot and there's a lot more to the job than just craftmanship. Furthermore, even if you are talented and business savy, it is still a very competitive place and it takes a lot of time and effort to make a name (and a living) If you want to go that way, by the time you get there, you will know exactly what you need and want as equipment to fullfil you job, may it be a view camera, a digital SLR, a film telemetric or phone cam.
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