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05-18-2010, 01:03 PM   #76
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QuoteOriginally posted by Al_in_the_Shire Quote
Or......it could mean Hoya thinks it has a winning strategy on it's hands and will ride that horse until it drops. Why change? Why take a shot at something that "might" excite the photo world when they already have something that does?

They have created a niche market, and everything they are doing, from the "Be Interesting" slogan to the Rainbow cameras is being done to exploit that market.

The KX was the breath of life Hoya needed, and it came at the perfect time. It will also be the death of Pentax as a camera company for anyone other than those who want to "Be Interesting". The 645D is geared towards the Pro studio shooter, the KX towards the Now Generation, and those in between, well, those in between will have to look elsewhere. There is no reason for Hoya to even attempt to compete with the other camera companies now. They have a niche market on the low end, and a niche market on the high end, and they can save their resources to capitalize on those two areas and let the other guys fight it out for the middle ground.

Thee is nothing wrong with that strategy either. They are in business to make a profit. But it still sits poorly with those who remember Pentax as a once great camera company.
First of all, Al, we've all got to admit that this game of reading tea leaves is highly speculative. Neither you or I or anyone else on this forum know for certain where Pentax is going. While I understand your frustration that Pentax does not meet your needs for long glass, I believe that it's quite a stretch to say that Hoya is steering Pentax to the dogs and that they are abandoning the middle ground.

Let's not forget that the K-7 is only 1 year old and is still quite capable of producing stunning images. It was, at it's intro, a compelling camera at its pricepoint, and it still is as its price falls. I look forward to the refresh, and presume that Pentax, like they've done with recent cameras, will present a compelling set of features at an attractive price. Will it be a 7D or D300s killer? Probably not, but compelling nonetheless.

And colors aside, the K-x is a fantastic little imaging tool. In many ways I rate it higher than my K20d, Pentax's standard-bearer just a short while ago. I bet you 90% of the K-xes sold are basic black, and many (younger) owners will fall in love with photography and start coveting Pentax primes and Limited, etc... I've said it before and I'll say it again - the K-x is the second coming of the K1000.

And the 645D....oh my I irrationally want that camera and dream of ways that I can make it pay for itself.

So, in short, if Pentax had released sub-standard cameras and sub-standard glass over the past 18 months I might agree with you more. But they aren't. Again, they may not meet your needs, but I think that it's quite a stretch to go from there to suggest that they are abandoning enthusiasts.

05-18-2010, 01:05 PM   #77
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Couldn't agree less, Al. Going to go take some photos with my K20 now...
05-18-2010, 03:56 PM   #78
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johnmflores,

I would have to respectfully disagree with you on several points.

While it is a game of reading tea leaves, you don't have to be an archeologist to read the hand writing on the wall.

The K7 falls far short of the K20 in every category of DXOMark testings, and only best the K200d in color depth. It's low light ISO capabilities are even worse than the K200d. Even the Canon 40D gets higher marks in all but Color Depth, and it is almost three years old and about to be replaced for the second time by the 60D.

Auto Focus is still mediocre at best Frame rate is slower than the competitions, and the flash system is pitiful compared to Nikon and Canon.

You mentioned long glass. When was the last time you saw a lens road map from Hoya? It's been almost 2 years now? Why have they completely ignored SDM problems? Remember the "old days" when you could buy a TC or a Right Angle Finder for a Pentax Camera? Try that today. Even third party lens makers are cutting back on their offerings in the Pentax mount.

Both Canon and Nikon are well established companies that are well entrenched in the advanced armature and semi pro market, and have the lens line ups to go with those cameras.

Hoya has not been able to break into that market and draw new customers to the brand because they have yet to produce a camera that can actually compete with Canon or Nikon's mid level advanced amateur and semi pro bodies. The K20 fell short, and the K7 falls well short of comparable bodies from the other two makers.

In addition, Pentax offers no room to grow in their line up. You choose one or the other. Even though they have the 645D, an $8,000 camera is well out of reach of most people, where a $2500 camera might not be such a stretch.

None of this is "news", but none of us wants to admit it either.

Hoya is not Pentax. They never will be. They just do not understand the history, the tradition and the love people have for the compay that produced cameras like the K1000, the MX the Spotmatic's and the wonderful small prime lens that went with them.

Hoya is a 21st century business whose sole intent is to make money. Weather by design or by luck, they hit a home run with the KX, and they would be crazy not to exploit it to the fullest. There can be no doubt they are doing just that. The rainbow, robot and colored cameras point to it. The new mantra, "be interesting" complements these new cool little cameras to a "T".

Today, if someone really wants a semi pro or advanced amateur camera, no camera shop in the world is going to point them towards Pentax. If someone wants a cool little camera that takes great pics of the family and friends that they can e mail and post on the web, AND comes in an array of colors, no one but Pentax offers that, and they have the perfect camera for them in the KX. Heck, it even uses AA batteries! Do you think for one minute Hoya isn't going to run with that for as long and far as they can? They would be crazy not too.

Hoya would have to spend way too much money and probably not see results for years, if ever, to even attempt to compete with the offerings of Semi Pro or advanced amateur cameras from Nikon and Canon. Even if they did, they would still need to spend even more enhancing the lens line up.

In short, it's pointless. They KX and cameras like it will shape the future of the Hoya/Pentax merger, and there isn't anything any of us can do about it. It is, what it is.
05-18-2010, 04:17 PM   #79
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QuoteOriginally posted by Al_in_the_Shire Quote
But it still sits poorly with those who remember Pentax as a once great camera company.
Your continuous ranting on a limited promotional edition put out by the marketing department borders on being silly. This is no different from the garish gold LX put out by the "great camera company".... This rainbow camera is not for everyone, many people would not like to be seen taking photos with one; similarly, many people would not like to be seen with a gold LX either.

05-18-2010, 04:53 PM   #80
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QuoteOriginally posted by Al_in_the_Shire Quote
johnmflores,

I would have to respectfully disagree with you on several points.

While it is a game of reading tea leaves, you don't have to be an archeologist to read the hand writing on the wall.

The K7 falls far short of the K20 in every category of DXOMark testings, and only best the K200d in color depth. It's low light ISO capabilities are even worse than the K200d. Even the Canon 40D gets higher marks in all but Color Depth, and it is almost three years old and about to be replaced for the second time by the 60D.

Auto Focus is still mediocre at best Frame rate is slower than the competitions, and the flash system is pitiful compared to Nikon and Canon.

You mentioned long glass. When was the last time you saw a lens road map from Hoya? It's been almost 2 years now? Why have they completely ignored SDM problems? Remember the "old days" when you could buy a TC or a Right Angle Finder for a Pentax Camera? Try that today. Even third party lens makers are cutting back on their offerings in the Pentax mount.

Both Canon and Nikon are well established companies that are well entrenched in the advanced armature and semi pro market, and have the lens line ups to go with those cameras.

Hoya has not been able to break into that market and draw new customers to the brand because they have yet to produce a camera that can actually compete with Canon or Nikon's mid level advanced amateur and semi pro bodies. The K20 fell short, and the K7 falls well short of comparable bodies from the other two makers.

In addition, Pentax offers no room to grow in their line up. You choose one or the other. Even though they have the 645D, an $8,000 camera is well out of reach of most people, where a $2500 camera might not be such a stretch.

None of this is "news", but none of us wants to admit it either.

Hoya is not Pentax. They never will be. They just do not understand the history, the tradition and the love people have for the compay that produced cameras like the K1000, the MX the Spotmatic's and the wonderful small prime lens that went with them.

Hoya is a 21st century business whose sole intent is to make money. Weather by design or by luck, they hit a home run with the KX, and they would be crazy not to exploit it to the fullest. There can be no doubt they are doing just that. The rainbow, robot and colored cameras point to it. The new mantra, "be interesting" complements these new cool little cameras to a "T".

Today, if someone really wants a semi pro or advanced amateur camera, no camera shop in the world is going to point them towards Pentax. If someone wants a cool little camera that takes great pics of the family and friends that they can e mail and post on the web, AND comes in an array of colors, no one but Pentax offers that, and they have the perfect camera for them in the KX. Heck, it even uses AA batteries! Do you think for one minute Hoya isn't going to run with that for as long and far as they can? They would be crazy not too.

Hoya would have to spend way too much money and probably not see results for years, if ever, to even attempt to compete with the offerings of Semi Pro or advanced amateur cameras from Nikon and Canon. Even if they did, they would still need to spend even more enhancing the lens line up.

In short, it's pointless. They KX and cameras like it will shape the future of the Hoya/Pentax merger, and there isn't anything any of us can do about it. It is, what it is.
Al, your arguments that Hoya is cheapening Pentax would make sense if but for one overlooked fact - many if not all of the shortcomings you identified - AF, FPS, ISO, etc... - existed well before Hoya entered the picture. I hate to say it, but Pentax became a second tier camera company many moons ago. They were late to the AF game and are still playing catch-up. They were late to the dSLR game and are still playing catch-up. They ceded the pro market many years ago. Sad, but true.

Will we ever get back to the halcyon days of Pentax? Probably not, because the world is a very different place. HDTV is replacing the print and video is the new means of documenting the age. Brands need to constantly rethink their place in the market or risk marginalization (see Leica, Polaroid, Kodak, Fuji, etc...). Pentax too.

john

p.s. Regarding your criticisms of the K-7 IQ - I don't have one so I can't say, but could you or anyone for that matter look at a set of A4 prints and tell which one came from a K-7 vs. K20d? Or a K-7 vs. 7D vs. D300? dSLRs are so good these days that in 9 photos out of 10 I bet you'd be making little more than an educated guess.
05-18-2010, 05:26 PM   #81
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OMG that is ugly.....
I think if I wanted something that looked like that I would save myself about $500 and just get a Holga....
Probably would have more fun with it too!

Last edited by casil403; 05-18-2010 at 05:31 PM.
05-18-2010, 05:31 PM   #82
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QuoteOriginally posted by Al_in_the_Shire Quote
I don't like what Hoya has done to the company though. I think it's a mistake to take it in the direction they are now, and if they don't start adding some cameras to the line up, they are going to lose people who are a little more serious about their photography, and who have a little more discretionary income to play with. Right now, based on what we see here today, I just don't see that happening. Hoya seems to be more interested in getting their cameras into Walmart than they are into camera shops or the hands of people who want something a little more sophisticated than a camera that looks like a toy.
So you think Pentax was doing things better in the few years before Hoya bought them?
Or they were just doing things more "seriously"?(Except for more seriously marketing, and more seriously carving out a place for the brand)
Who cares if they started selling cameras with crazy color combinations? Does that really make the camera a toy? Of course not. Go pick up an entry level Canon or Nikon. They may not look like toys but the sure feel like it.
Hoya/Pentax is doing what it can to and make a profit. When they make a profit they will pass that money on to actual R&D. As has been said, these colored cameras are not taking time away from R&D, and they aren't costing the company any more money. They are, however, increasing awareness of the brand. Even if it isn't "serious" awareness.
I would be willing to bet that most people 25 and younger, at least in the US, have little knowledge of Pentax as a (D)SLR maker. If this can change that, who cares if it challenges your photographic machismo.
I have only ever seen 2 Pentax DSLRs in the "wild". 1 was an older guy using a K-m I believe, but I wouldn't have known it if it weren't for the fact that I noticed the green ring on the lens. The other sighting was just this weekend. It was a college aged girl using a white K-x. It was instantly recognizable, and I can almost guarantee she didn't buy it for the lens selection, or high ISO capabilities. I'm sure she bought it because it was cute, and unique. And guess what. That money would have gone elsewhere if the camera didn't stand out online or in whatever store she got it from.
If she went to a store and asked they would have almost certainly pointed her to a Canon, Nikon or Sony. If she got it online she would have gone for name recognition. Instead she got a Pentax because it wasn't the same old black plastic camera.
Personally I don't take myself less seriously for using a Pentax, just because they make fun, wildly colored cameras. My K7, and K10D for that matter, are plenty sophisticated. So is the K-x, even when it's rainbow colored.
05-18-2010, 06:14 PM   #83
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QuoteOriginally posted by Al_in_the_Shire Quote
If I thought there were any chance that Hoya was going to let Pentax come out with a good 400 F4 and a matching TC, I would wait for it and be ready to jump the day it arrived. A 500 F4 or even F5.6 would be worth waiting for as well. But Hoya is not aiming at people in this market. They want to sell a ton of $500 cameras. And in truth, I don't blame them. For everyone who says they want a good 400 or 500mm lens from Hoya, 1 in 100 will actually buy one. There is no money in it. The reason you don't see Canikon coming out with a rainbow colored T1i or D50 is because they don't have too. Hoya has too. There corporate sites are now set on the younger generation, the casual photographer, the enthusiast who just wants a nice simple camera that is a step up from a point and shoot and takes good pictures that they can e mail and plaster on their Facebook walls. The KX fits that bill, and they are going to run with it until they run out of room to run. They've found a niche, and they are going to exploit it as much as they can. I think, what that means is, there isn't going to be a whole lot of time and effort, let alone money, put into developing camera's that are going to have to compete with canikon and will for the most part, just sit on shelves and cost them money in the long run.

Anyway, it's really not personal. I may hold out until September and hope for the best, but I just don't see it coming, and like Salty, I'm not getting any younger.
Did you ever see the lens roadmap that had something like "DA* Supertelephoto" listed as an upcoming offering? They removed it but that probably wasn't because they no longer have plans to release it.

The K-x is a serious camera. It may not be a pro or semi-pro camera, but if that's what you wanted you shouldn't have invested in 3 DSLRs aimed at amatuers/hobbyists.

Pentax is still a serious camera company, they just don't have the serious resources that the bigger companies have, because they don't have the market share. That is what the K-m and K-x are for.
The thing about "young, casual photographers" is that a few of them become more than casual photographers. In fact, I'm sure most old, serious photographers started out as young casual photographers. If you don't have those casual photographers to begin with, you won't have that pool of people that become more serious.

Pentax also isn't just focusing on the young/casual niche. If anything they are focusing on the affordable all-weather niche. The K-x is just an entry level on the side, with serious capabilities, and some fashion appeal thrown in.

You might as well sell all of your stuff though, if you need a 500mm f4 within a week.

05-18-2010, 06:46 PM   #84
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QuoteQuote:

You might as well sell all of your stuff though, if you need a 500mm f4 within a week.
Al, if you do, please PM me about the 150-500 :-) I have an 800mm f8-32 MF I can toss in.
05-18-2010, 07:00 PM   #85
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QuoteOriginally posted by Al_in_the_Shire Quote
Hoya is not Pentax. They never will be. They just do not understand the history, the tradition and the love people have for the compay that produced cameras like the K1000, the MX the Spotmatic's and the wonderful small prime lens that went with them.
You do realize that the youngest of those cameras was introduced in 1976, right?
If that is the Pentax you want, and you won't settle for anything else, you are very late in leaving the rest of us behind with our almost completely useless cameras.

When I got my first Pentax SLR, 12 or 13 years ago at the age of 12, I got it because the ZX-10 was the best camera in my measly price range. Even then, Pentax was in a distant 4th as far as prestige and pro capability goes. Nikon, Canon, and Minolta all had "serious" pro cameras, and full pro lineups of lenses. Pentax had a pro lens lineup at the time, but the PZ-1P was a lot less pro than what the other 3 had(I mean, it's hot-shoe was even in the wrong place). I didn't care because the camera I bought offered what I needed/wanted, and did so at the lowest price.

When I decided to get a DSLR I chose the K10D. I chose it primarily because it offered something no other brand did at the price. It had weather sealing, for at least $1000 less than any other manufacturer could provide at the same level. I didn't necessarily need it, but I wanted it and it has come in handy several times.

Today I have a TON of Pentax equipment and am quite pleased with it, even though it is so very amateur. I have a feeling the K-X will be for a lot of people what the ZX-10 was to me. A camera that has what they need/want at a price they can afford. Or it could just appeal to them because it comes in bright colors. Even so, like me, plenty of people will stay with Pentax because Pentax continues to offer what they need/want.

Not everyone needs a top of the line pro camera, and a top of the line stable of lenses. For those that do, Pentax probably won't ever be their first choice. It probably wouldn't have been 20 years ago either. I do think Hoya has the idea to turn the brand in the right direction though. I bet we'll see plenty of interesting products within the next year. However, if Pentax doesn't have what you need, or isn't serious enough for you, why stick around?

I think Pentax has a long way to go to be a MORE serious amateur, or pro, brand. Unfortunately they have to learn to walk before they can run, and they forgot how to walk for a while.

Last edited by Votesh; 05-18-2010 at 07:06 PM.
05-19-2010, 12:31 AM   #86
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QuoteOriginally posted by Al_in_the_Shire Quote
The K7 falls far short of the K20 in every category of DXOMark testings, and only best the K200d in color depth. It's low light ISO capabilities are even worse than the K200d.
The K-7 high ISO definitely could have been better. I'm pretty confident that Pentax takes this seriously for the next model - just look what they did to high ISO quality with the K-x.

QuoteQuote:
You mentioned long glass. When was the last time you saw a lens road map from Hoya? It's been almost 2 years now?
The most current is from March 24 2009, so it's just over 1 year. And it does still show the super telephoto.

QuoteQuote:
Why have they completely ignored SDM problems?
Are you sure they have?

QuoteQuote:
Remember the "old days" when you could buy a TC or a Right Angle Finder for a Pentax Camera? Try that today.
Pentax still makes several TC models and the right angle finder A. Just have a look in their japanese catalog. They may not be available in all markets, but I have no problems (except the 1.7x AF converter, and ignoring that they're expensive...) buying them here in Norway.

QuoteQuote:
In short, it's pointless. They KX and cameras like it will shape the future of the Hoya/Pentax merger, and there isn't anything any of us can do about it. It is, what it is.
I see nothing like this. In fact, ignoring your distaste for the colored versions, it's the most serious entry level camera you can get, much more of a camera to grow with than the similar offerings from the "big two". And the 645D alone will prove you wrong, especially when less expensive (and more expensive FF 645) models follow. The lenses are in the same ballpark as Canon L glass, so as soon as a less expensive body follows, this will be a desirable camera for any advanced amateur that does e.g. landscapes.
05-19-2010, 04:26 AM   #87
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I guess we will see come September.

If you think I loathe Pentax you're completely wrong. I still think the K200d was, for the money, the best camera ever made by any company for someone who likes to shoot nature. Maybe not great in the high ISO range, maybe not perfect for sports guys, but for sitting on a tripod, taking landscape or macro photos, for the money, it just cannot be beat. It's a shame that none of the big ball head companies never embraced it by making camera plates or L brackets for it though. Which is pretty much part of my frustration with Pentax. Sure you can get generic, and universal plates, and maybe third party lens and right angle adapters with adapters to make them sort of work. I'm just sick and tired of everything with Pentax being a compromise.

Have you tried to get a camera plate for the "serious" KX lately?
05-19-2010, 06:31 AM   #88
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QuoteOriginally posted by Al_in_the_Shire Quote
Have you tried to get a camera plate for the "serious" KX lately?
I'm quite happy using the generic but not too cheap plate that came with my Benro A-169 kit with my K10D...

You can get several for the serious (not in quote) K-7, but not for the Nikon D3000 I think (but I was surprised to see that you can get at least one for the D5000). I think the problem with the K200D was that it was an odd combination of relatively weak specs but serious features and controls. This was just the right camera for people who needed a little more than just a basic beginner camera, but who don't care much about fps etc. Unfortunately, not enough people...
05-19-2010, 07:28 AM   #89
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QuoteOriginally posted by Al_in_the_Shire Quote
I guess we will see come September.

If you think I loathe Pentax you're completely wrong. I still think the K200d was, for the money, the best camera ever made by any company for someone who likes to shoot nature. Maybe not great in the high ISO range, maybe not perfect for sports guys, but for sitting on a tripod, taking landscape or macro photos, for the money, it just cannot be beat. It's a shame that none of the big ball head companies never embraced it by making camera plates or L brackets for it though. Which is pretty much part of my frustration with Pentax. Sure you can get generic, and universal plates, and maybe third party lens and right angle adapters with adapters to make them sort of work. I'm just sick and tired of everything with Pentax being a compromise.

Have you tried to get a camera plate for the "serious" KX lately?
Every camera and every system is a compromise of some sort. I guess the key is to find the system whose strengths play to yours and whose compromises aren't that important to you.

What kind of nature photography do you do up there in the beautiful state of NH, Al? Birding? Landscapes? Your desire for long glass suggests wildlife while your adoration for the K200d suggests landscape/macro.

FWIW, I came to Pentax in the early 90s via a hand-me-down MX. I came back to the brand last year from Nikon, when I came to the conclusion that stepping up to serious Nikon gear was going to be wicked expensive. I'm frustrated sometimes with the compromises, and spent way much more on glass than I wanted too (damn Limiteds!), but am overall very happy where I ended up. I have a decent collection of glass and work around whatever compromises exist, certain that the relentless march of technology will eventually improve AF and other niggles. But ask me if I'm happy the next time I need to capture a motorcycle coming at me at 50+ mph and my answer will probably include some expletives LOL!
05-19-2010, 10:48 AM   #90
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John,

I shoot mostly landscape and macro with a Mamiya system, and have been since the 80's. This is why I have not invested int he limited lens. If I did not shoot the 645, I would think that a 12-24 zoom, 31, 43 and 77 limited would be about a perfect kit. Add in a good 200 and some long prime glass in the 500 range with a good TC, and I think a man might be able to wander off into the woods and just stay there.

My foray into digital came because I wanted to shoot some wildlife and birds now and then.

The sad reality is I didn't do enough homework when I did buy a digital camera. I looked at exactly 3 - the K200, the K20, and the Canon 40D. I chose the K200 because just like in my 35mm film days, I wanted a good basic camera. Live view, FPS, and other things were of little importance to me. I bought the camera as a body only. I had some old Pentax lens, and I purchased the DA 55-300 thinking the crop factor giving a perceived 450 mm view would be a good start. For most of the larger animals, moose, deer, bear, even coyotes and fox, that worked OK. The lens wasn't all that useful early and late in the day however, so I started looking for longer faster glass, which we know, does not readily exist for Pentax shooters.

I went to the K20 for the better ISO and more pixels that I thought would be better for cropping, which I was having to do a lot with the 55-300. But the lens is not up to the quality of the sensor in the K20d. Even stopped down, it is marginal.

I finally settled on a Sigma 150-500. as I could not find anything better. The bigma at that time was discontinued pending the updated version, and I was unaware of the Sigma 500 F4.5 The 150 500 is very nice at F9. But the shutter speed needs to be up there as it has no OS capability, and the K20 was not much good over ISO 800 so again, early and late day shooting were not very fruitful.

This strange journey eventually brought me to the KX with the higher ISO capability. I even made a post on this forum about that possibility. After a couple weeks with the KX though, I found that the mirror slap was a big issue with the Sigma. You can actually see the lens move when shooting the KX on it.
In addition, the Kx did not have the K200 or K20 feel to it.

Now you made a statement that today's digital cameras are so good that you would have a hard time picking one over the other from a bunch of A4 prints. While I would agree with you on this at base ISO, I would disagree with you at higher ISO's. But more important than the camera, is the lens. Yes the sigma 150 500 is very sharp at F9, it is still, F9, which means your background is not as pleasing as it might be at 5.6 or even 6.3, and the lack of sharpness there is very evident not only in prints, but on screen as well.

Right now, to do what I want to do with Digital Photography I see four options.

1) buy a Sigma 300 2.8 for 3 grand and use a TC.

2) buy a Sigma 500 F 4.5 for $4,600 and maybe a TC

3) buy into a new system all together at about the same price of the 500 4.5 and get higher ISO capability to boot.

4) wait till September and see what shakes out of the Hoya/Pentax tree, and perhaps be in exactly the same position I am in now.

If I thought for a minute that Hoya would allow Pentax to produce a K7 boxy with KX sensor, a moderately fast prime in the 400 to 500 range with a TC possible, it would be a very easy decision. But Pentax has already said they have no intention of making a TC, so........

I just dont see Hoya moving in the direction I want to take my photography. I'm not the only one who thinks this way, you should go read Ben's last few post in the New Pentax body thread in this same forum. I think you will get a good perspective of a Pro's view on the subject, and it doesn't differ that much from mine.
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