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12-09-2009, 12:45 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by dycz Quote
If pentax was known for its cheap price, then they should review and lower their current prices. But in my humble opinion. If I compare my canon lenses with my pentax lenses: Durability: Pentax wins!! Advancement: Canon (the USM is indeed good). Glass Quality: I think both are great!
Cheap has nothing to do with it. The issue is the value curve, which is shifting.

Product A has two components, we'll call them parts 1 and 2.

Part 1 is $100, part 2 has many variations and is $200

Product B is similar

Part 1 is $150, part 2 has many variations and is $150

Which value curve is better?

If you plan on a variety of part 2 to increase your flexibility, then Product B offers a better curve (assuming similar performance).


Pentax used to be product B, at least at the time I made my initial entry into the market.

Now they are more like Product A - except their part #2 is has less technology and costs the same.

That's my gripe.

12-09-2009, 12:58 PM   #17
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Pentax seems to want to have a niche in the low end of the medium format arena. That worked for them with film, so why not digital? They couldn't compete against the professional 35mm gear from Canon and Nikon, but they did well against Mamiya and other MF gear. Now that the inability (or at least inconvenience) to use Polaroid backs is not an issue as it was with film, they should do well. I gather that even a lot of medium format digital shooters are switching to full-frame 35mm-based equipment. I think the 645D will prove to be an unwise investment. For Pentax's sake, I hope I'm wrong.

Meanwhile, my main gripe is the reliability issues with the SDM focusing. Canon has been making USM lenses that work reliably for a long time now. Why gamble?
12-09-2009, 01:19 PM   #18
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I can understand the points the thread opener made. Yes, the choices with the Pentax system are limited, especially at the tele-end of lenses and there are fewer accessories. And we all discussed in depth the many strange business and product decisions, Pentax has made so far.

But try to step back and consider: why would you need three different lenses in the 70-300 range? I am pretty satisfied to have the choice between an affordable (55-300) and a high-end (60-250) lens. I could still go to Tamron or Sigma, to widen my choice.

For camera bodies: Yes, the K-7 has limitations, though it also has some very advanced features, which you simply do not get fromy any other manufacturer at a similar price. I am really convinced, that the K10, the later K20, the K-m and now the K-x and the K-7 always gave us more bang for considerably lower bucks, than the competition. It is no coincidence, that complaining people always muttered about the superiority of a Nikon D300 against a K20 (though even this is debatable), but somehow "forgot", that the price tage was more than 50% higher.

I wish for faster progress in building a complete Pentax system and I wish for a really pro camera. But at the end of the day, what counts is the final image - and here I cannot see any limitation induced by Pentax cameras on my results.

If I were constantly shooting under very dim light and needed high-ISO all the time, I would use Nikon. But I need ISO settings beyond 800 rarely and up to that, the K20 is good enough for my purpose.

I repeat, what I wrote above: if the final image is good enough, why complain or switch? If the final image is not good enough, improve.

For me, the only important problem, Pentax really has, is lack of customer service. At least here in Germany, the situation is extremely poor, since Pentax outsourced its service department to a company, that mainly services Canon - guess why I had to wait more than 6 weeks for a Pentax repair job... This alone will prevent any serious prospect from buying a 645D.

Ben
12-09-2009, 01:52 PM   #19
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I use Tamron 70-200 which is superb lens.

But the main problem is AF, I have a lot of friends who complain about AF system. I shoot a lot on the streets with my tele lens. Last week Ive been asked to take photos of my friends. I had terrible time with K10D trying to lock AF and take photo. At the end I took about 100 photos and only 3-4 of them are good but others are out of focus. Do I need those meaningless photos?

I can't explain how it was hard for me to show those photos to my friend.

12-09-2009, 01:59 PM   #20
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Pentax is no Leica

QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Gee. Leica must be absolute crap to you guys.
Not very many lenses, and really expensive.
12-09-2009, 02:15 PM   #21
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I do not think I would buy one, even if I had the cash.


QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Gee. Leica must be absolute crap to you guys.
Not very many lenses, and really expensive.
12-09-2009, 02:17 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
For camera bodies: Yes, the K-7 has limitations, though it also has some very advanced features, which you simply do not get fromy any other manufacturer at a similar price. I am really convinced, that the K10, the later K20, the K-m and now the K-x and the K-7 always gave us more bang for considerably lower bucks, than the competition. It is no coincidence, that complaining people always muttered about the superiority of a Nikon D300 against a K20 (though even this is debatable), but somehow "forgot", that the price tage was more than 50% higher.

I wish for faster progress in building a complete Pentax system and I wish for a really pro camera. But at the end of the day, what counts is the final image - and here I cannot see any limitation induced by Pentax cameras on my results.

If I were constantly shooting under very dim light and needed high-ISO all the time, I would use Nikon. But I need ISO settings beyond 800 rarely and up to that, the K20 is good enough for my purpose.

I repeat, what I wrote above: if the final image is good enough, why complain or switch? If the final image is not good enough, improve.

For me, the only important problem, Pentax really has, is lack of customer service. At least here in Germany, the situation is extremely poor, since Pentax outsourced its service department to a company, that mainly services Canon - guess why I had to wait more than 6 weeks for a Pentax repair job... This alone will prevent any serious prospect from buying a 645D.

Ben
Ben, great observations.

I got into Pentax DSLRs only since 2007 when i bought the K10D. I wouldn't have been able to play with so many advanced features if i had bought into a more expensive system. Just considering the cost of buying stabilized lenses helped steer me in Pentax's direction where all lenses had SR available to them.

Lately, i've really been impressed with the products that Pentax has put out, particularly the K7 and Kx which are doing quite well world wide, except in Turkey :-( And the new lenses, very impressive.

I think when i came on board, Pentax was "riding on their coattails" of previous lens and camera designs. All this new design work costs money. Any why would anyone think that pentax engineers can design new lenses and new cameras at less cost than Nikon or Canon. Show me the cost savings factor that would let them do that. And its no doubt doubly difficult in this economic environment.

Things Pentax needs to do:
a. Cost parity of products between nations. It seems foolish to me to have one's costs so high that you lose most of the shooters in any one country.

b. How about some better communication. I have 2 SDM lenses that have been performing flawlessly in all regards. But even i have concerns over the number of problems i've been reading about. It would cost virtually nothing to put an SDM information bulletin on one of the web sites concerning the nature of the problem, is it solved, etc. By not addressing this issue, i believe they are losing a lot of sales to third party lens manufacturers or older screw designs.

c. Keep going with their 645D and get it issued by April 2010. I think its a cool design. No question in my mind that for Pentax to go FF, it would be a "money pit" like Sony is experiencing with their FF. Who needs a pro FF that loses money consistently. 645D has the capability to create bzzz for the whole line-up as well as create a niche so far untouched by Canon, Nikon, Olympus, or Sony. As their ad says "Be Interesting"
12-09-2009, 02:19 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by AlexanderMayorov Quote
I use Tamron 70-200 which is superb lens.

But the main problem is AF, I have a lot of friends who complain about AF system. I shoot a lot on the streets with my tele lens. Last week Ive been asked to take photos of my friends. I had terrible time with K10D trying to lock AF and take photo. At the end I took about 100 photos and only 3-4 of them are good but others are out of focus. Do I need those meaningless photos?

I can't explain how it was hard for me to show those photos to my friend.
So, may be either the lens has an adjustment problem or you have a problen with your eyes or shooting style? I would consider these possibilities seriously.
I have been using my Sigma 70-200 for years now (on the istDS, the K10 and K20) and though I have the occassional mis, my focus hit rate is well beyond 90%.

The K10 is certainly slower in AF action compared to more current cameras (K20, K-m, K-x and K-7), but it is not that bad.

Ben

12-09-2009, 02:25 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by AlexanderMayorov Quote
I use Tamron 70-200 which is superb lens.

But the main problem is AF, I have a lot of friends who complain about AF system. I shoot a lot on the streets with my tele lens. Last week Ive been asked to take photos of my friends. I had terrible time with K10D trying to lock AF and take photo. At the end I took about 100 photos and only 3-4 of them are good but others are out of focus. Do I need those meaningless photos?

I can't explain how it was hard for me to show those photos to my friend.
I saw your pictures before and I know how capable and wonderful you can shoot with your Pentax bodies. I share some similar gripes on the AF system. It is either me not having the skills, or lack of AF system quickness overall in K20D, or a combination of the two that make shooting flying bird pictures a pain and a challenge. I remember going to a wildlife refuge beginner photography workshop on birds, I was the only dude using a MF lens while others with the Canon and Nikon are shot-gunning the scenes with tens and tens of shot. And I have my utmost fascination at my own patience storage to gut out the last piece of juice in the shooting. I think I can out-do both the Canon and Nikon novices but I won't be able to get anywhere remotely close to what the instructor can do with his Canon. He is just too good when he shows us his work in the past.

The point I want to make is: the frustration is shared among others, myself included with similar minds. I take the contrary-ion approach in making my path harder in mixing AF lens and that with MF lenses. When AF fails on me such as those in the tele-lens, I go for my MF lens and push myself to do the difficult job. Why, you may ask? No particular reason but a reason of pride and what are offered in the Pentax body with small prime lenses and small and solid body with good ergonomics and better price point for the body, I hope that K-7 eventually can come down to $900 or even $800 price point. It is unique in traveling light features with limited prime lenses.

I would assume the K-7 will be a much better handling camera than the K10D and K20D and it should help your job much easier than what K10D and K20D would.

If any of you are in doubt of making the brand changes, no body will hold any grudges against you. But perhaps, keep the back-door open with your limited primes so that you can have a chance to join back the crowds or give yourself that expensive excuses to keep Pentax as your back up body that you can use in traveling light or when your job demand weather sealing in a small form factor.

Last edited by hinman; 12-09-2009 at 02:32 PM.
12-09-2009, 02:30 PM   #25
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Honestly, this is one thread that surprised me quite a bit. I use a Pentax DSLR (K-7) and cameras from other manufacturers, because they fill different needs. I know the (in production) lens choices are limited on Pentax compared to other brands but the fine Pentax lenses are superb.

- AF speed is an issue, I agree. I find even on the K-7, the AF-C mode does not keep track of moving subjects well, that is why my sports photography camera is a Canon.

- The advantages of FF are well understood, so I do wish I could add one to my set, although the price is high. I did an estimate for a D3 and the lenses I need, and it is upwards of 10K USD. If Pentax has a lower-resolution camera (maybe 6 megapixels) for ultra high-ISO, I would buy that instead and would not need to get lenses for yet another system.

- The Pentax K-7 is the cheapest camera of its kind, so I disagree we have to pay more. One thing that lead me to Pentax in the beginning was value and that remains true today. The K200D and K20D are the lowest priced weather-sealed cameras. The K-7 is the lowest price camera with a 100% viewfinder. I'm in Canada through, so maybe this is not true elsewhere. Some DA* lenses are the cheapest weather-sealed lenses among their competitors.

- The built-in stabilization of the K-7 and K20D may not be as good as Sony's but it helps beat the low-light performance of all cameras except the D3 (and possible D3s) because it can stabilize a F/1.4 lens while only the D3/D3s have enough of a high-ISO advantage to beat that.

- The K20D is the most efficient camera I have every used. I review cameras at neocamera.com, so not only do I own several, I tried almost all of them. A simple example is the self-timer which both does mirror-lockup and turns of stabilization which are needed for ultra-sharp low-light photography. Many more button-presses are needed in other systems. The separate bracket and drive mode controls allow incredible flexibility, including shooting an entire bracket with a single button press with mirror-lockup and delay between each shot. There are a slew of these subtile points.

The bottom line is I think that the Pentax offerings are in great shape. They do not cover every situation but what they do is done exceptionally well. For sports, other systems are better due to AF speed, I agree. For wildlife, Pentax lacks some super-telephoto lenses, yes, but Sigma does cover some of that partially.

- Itai
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12-09-2009, 02:38 PM   #26
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@Ben
I dont have problems with my eyes, you can check my photos. Flickr: Alexander Mayorov's Photostream first 2 pages with Tamron 70-200 and Flickr: almaphinkg's Photostream

Main problem is that lens starts to hunt at low light. This problem is also with 50mm 1.4 and 1.7 . If you try to take photos in documentry style, trying not to create a scene but instead trying to catch the moments, AF is really important. Once you try to shoot in bar or maybe during celebration where people dont stand still and every moment is very important AF is main need for you. You cant stand with manual focus trying to catch someone.

AF is one of the cons. I can still accept Noisy photos but once they are out of focus its meaningless.
12-09-2009, 02:49 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by AlexanderMayorov Quote
@Ben
I dont have problems with my eyes, you can check my photos. Flickr: Alexander Mayorov's Photostream first 2 pages with Tamron 70-200 and Flickr: almaphinkg's Photostream

Main problem is that lens starts to hunt at low light. This problem is also with 50mm 1.4 and 1.7 . If you try to take photos in documentry style, trying not to create a scene but instead trying to catch the moments, AF is really important. Once you try to shoot in bar or maybe during celebration where people dont stand still and every moment is very important AF is main need for you. You cant stand with manual focus trying to catch someone.

AF is one of the cons. I can still accept Noisy photos but once they are out of focus its meaningless.
I simply cannot repoduce these focus problems. I have been using Pentax cameras for the last 27 years or so for street photography, weddings etc. - all of which involves moving subjects who won't wait for me to take an image. Apart from the occassional mis, the hit rate is fine. On a recent wedding I had about 10 or 12 images out of focus, from a total of 850.

The secret of street photography was always to use preset distances on the lens, which is possible at most times (ofcourse not when you need to shoot wide open under dim light) and generations of successful photographers since Cartier-Bresson proofed that. They sure had OOF images, too (but we never got those to see).

May be I am just more used to accepting the Pentax AF (under)performance, since I even like the PZ-1p's AF, when it worked...

Ben
12-09-2009, 02:51 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by cousinsane Quote
Pentax is no Leica
Your point?
12-09-2009, 03:01 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Your point?
He is going to pre-order the Leica S2 for the paltry sum of $23,000 USD. I bet it can kick my K20d's arse.




QuoteQuote:
Leica S2 SLR Digital Camera

  • 37.5 Megapixel 30x45mm Image Sensor
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12-09-2009, 03:09 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hannican Quote
I agree on one of your points... why do we have to pay MORE for the K-7 than Canikon offers for their similar body cameras? Why are Pentax lenses now the same price or MORE than the same offerings from Canikon?

Because they are worth more.
Pentax is moving upmarket. The lenses will get even more exotic and expensive. They will be future classics you can sell for more used on e-bay in afew years time than they cost you new.
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