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09-26-2013, 02:14 PM - 1 Like   #1
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Switch to FF or not? - a look at the wallet.

With the announcement of 6D and D600, FF seems 'affordable', and I am tempted to switch. I made the following budget sheet for myself, mainly, I put down the lenses I think I would like to have if I get a 6D or D600. For zoom lenses, A wide angle zoom, a normal zoom, and a telephoto zoom. For prime, a 35mm, 50mm, and 85mm. Then I list the approximate similar lenses from PENTAX lineup (wide angle have no match), that I also currently have. To make the comparison in PRICE worthwhile, I select the high-end lenses available possible.

As a side note, I also want to see what the cost will be if I uses Sigma lenses instead of Canon or Nikon lenses (with the ART series lenses getting so much praises, one can look forward to solely using Sigma lenses, I think). So I put in the prices for Sigma lenses as well.
Of course, there are few focal length that doesn't match perfectly... so please pardon that. Also, if one buy used lenses instead of new lenses... price will be different, but lets not go into that. And here is it:
Name:  Camera_Buying_Budget.jpg
Views: 1562
Size:  73.3 KB

So, this is what I found:
1. You need about 12k to get into either Nikon or Canon full-frame with the lenses I choose;
- on one hand, with this money, you can buy PENTAX + all the FA and DA ltd lenses to play around.
- on the other hand, if you own these PENTAX gear, you can probably switch brand and not lost a lot in money.

2. It cost about the same cost with PENTAX system (minus the FA + DA ltd lenses), if you get FF body + Sigma lenses.
- well, if you are okay with third party lenses, you can spend a little and switch (plus get to keep your FA, DA ltd)

My own conclusion for my situation?
- I can sell of all my PENTAX gear and switch to FF system + good lenses anytime. So this is really a tough question: to switch or not to switch.
- and I can see why so many long time Pentaxians switched, cost wise, they probably could.

For others, it maybe a good way to look into this comparison before you decide to go into a system.

** This is intended for FF vs PENTAX system comparison, other factors such as weight, WR, ergonomics, not included **

09-26-2013, 02:29 PM   #2
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Very interesting.
For me its a much simpler analysis, just a "greater than" equation
09-26-2013, 02:34 PM - 1 Like   #3
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If you go down the Nikon route, I would recommend going for the 24-120 over the 24-70 and the 70-200mm F4 over the F2.8. This will result in significant savings, and IMO, increased utility. Sure the F2.8 lenses are going to deliver better IQ (especially the 24-70), but the former doesn't have VR while the latter is heavy. Don't be scared to bump the ISO on the D600 as it'll be a while until noise sets in And for max IQ you always have the primes.

The Sigma 35/1.4 might be worth strongly considering over the Nikon (which is overpriced, but slightly sharper).

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09-26-2013, 02:37 PM - 1 Like   #4
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There is a lot to look at here instead of price, as someone who recently went D600 -> D800 I would like to add on.

a) Take weight into consideration. As Pentax shooters we are really spoiled with the high quality/weight/price ratio. Especially with FA and DA Limiteds. Take a K5iis and a DA*50-135mm f2.8 for a day walk, it's not very fatiguing. Do the same with a D600 and a 70-200 f2.8 VR II and you will find yourself tiring after a while.

b) Do you use 5 exposure bracketing, 1/8000" shutter, front IR receiver port? If you do, you will miss these features on the D600

c) Remember you got thinner slice of focus on Full Frame. going with the 1.4 lenses may seem cool, but the 1.8's are considerably cheaper and offer very little performance difference. Now if you want to go ultra thin on your depth of field 1.4 is a great idea. I personally find I carry my 50mm f1.8 more than my f1.4 just because of weight.

d) do not count out the Tamaron offerings. The f2.8 "normal zoom" which prices for around $1000...don't remember the exact focal length right now also has VR and is optically just as good if not better than the Nikon offering, and significantly better than the Sigma

e) The D600 does not feel as substantial in terms of build as the K5. For me this was a huge issue as the D600 felt more like a toy than a tool.

f) Full frame lenses are a lot larger. Actually in general Nikon and Canon lenses are larger. I am one who likes to keep a spare lens in my pocket, ie a DA 40mm Limited (which also covers the FF image circle by the way), but there are very few lenses that you can do that with on FF. The only ones I own(ed) are the Nikon 50mm f1.8 D and 24mm f2.8 D. (the 24mm is amazing by the way, very DA15 like and its cheap!)

g) You can get better quality for less for FF when it comes to primes. I went with the 24mm f2.8 D ($300 CAD), 50mm f1.8 G ($200 CAD) , 85mm f1.8 G ($500 CAD), 80-200 f2.8 AF-S ($900 CAD), Tamaron f2.8 normal zoom ($1000) and have not really wished for more nor have I seen any issues with these lenses' rendering making me want to upgrade. Even the Nikon kit lens for the D600 is pretty awesome. So you can do it on a budget(ish) ($5200 including grip for a D600 and all the lenses I've listed is what I paid before the recent discounts)

h) If your looking for image quality, I found in practice that the D600 and K5 were producing very similar results. when I jumped to the D800 I saw a massive improvement.

i) For Nikon when shooting raw, make sure you can select color profiles in your RAW editing suite. Ie in Lightroom. Otherwise you can be left with some pretty drab looking files color and contrast wise.

09-26-2013, 02:47 PM - 2 Likes   #5
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From a purely psychological perspective, if you are staying up nights doing the research and making graphs like this, to justify your switch to FF, you probably should just go ahead and make the change.

Whether or not FF is going to make a real difference to your photography, only you will know and in any case it is irrelevant-your emotions are already with a FF
09-26-2013, 02:52 PM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by LFLee Quote
With the announcement of 6D and D600, FF seems 'affordable', and I am tempted to switch. I made the following budget sheet...
This is a nice in-depth example of my general musings of the other day...

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/general-photography-industry/237990-fewer...ood-thing.html
09-26-2013, 02:53 PM - 1 Like   #7
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Funny, I've done a similar calculation (not to FF, but to switch systems to Nikon APS-C), but it was using a simple Excel spreadsheet, not this pretty chart with official corporate logos. Bravo to you! By the way, my findings, in terms of APS-C, is that it was cheaper to stick with Pentax.
09-26-2013, 02:53 PM   #8
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With a handle like 'psychdoc' I'd go with his analysis here though I'm an number-crunch addict & get a weird kick from analyzing subjective things. I had hoped retirement would cure this for me, but not yet!

09-26-2013, 03:17 PM - 1 Like   #9
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You can certainly trim that list down. I agree that 1.4 is overkill on full frame. I find it almost unusable. When I consider my fastest lenses, on APS-C, were 1.2 and very usable. Their DOF was effectively the same as their 1.8 equivalents on FF. You can get a Nikon AF 50/1.8 for less than $100. The 85/1.8 G, on rebate, can be had for $400(new). It's every bit as good as the 85/1.4, starting at 1.8. My Sigma 100-300/4 cost $475 and my Samyang 14mm/2.8 was $299, new. I've seen the Sigma 35/1.4 go for around $750. If you're patient, and don't get it all at once, you can save money there too. Some compromises were made, but my journey was far less expensive than your list. Of course you might not be interested in my choices. I also bought the Yongnuo 568EX, which is quite the bargain, and it is as powerful as the mid level Nikon Flashes.

1550 - D600 + Nikon 24-85 AF-S 3.5-4.5 G
100 - Nikon AF 50mm 1.8 (I was actually given one from a friend.)
300 - Bower 14mm 2.8 AE
475 - Sigma 100-300/4
(When they go on sale again)
400 - Nikon AF-S 85mm 1.8 G
750 - Sigma 35/1.4
Total - $3560

EDIT: I also found that the screw drive, on Nikon, is so much quieter than on Pentax(but still fast). The shutter is not as quiet though. Maybe they should trade some tech.

Last edited by kenafein; 09-26-2013 at 03:54 PM.
09-26-2013, 03:31 PM   #10
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That 70-200/2.8 VRII on the Nikon is a lens you'll love the images from but a lens you will not like for casual walking around. It is big and heavy. But, on the other hand, when you are tasked to take shots at something like an event, then weight takes a back seat to the performance it delivers. It's a lens for when you have a job to do kind of thing.
09-26-2013, 04:52 PM   #11
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For me, some of the greatest things about the Pentax system over the Nikon/Canon is the size. It really is zero fun to lug a big beast of a camera around, no matter how cool you might think it is. I just got back from vacation in Amsterdam and I brought to many lens. I would say that 70% of the time I kept my 21mm on my K5IIs partly because of the size/weight. I really didn't even pull out my FA31mm even though I love that lens. The 18-135 wr was the next used lens because it rained every day. My point is that the image quality/maneuverability of the Pentax system with the DA lenses cannot be rivaled. Not to mention that almost every feature I use on my K5 is accessed from a pysical switch or button on the Camera body, not sure how the 6d/d600 stand up to that test, but that is pure money to me not having to menu it out.

When I used my Nikon back in the day I hated my 80-200 f2.8 and my 24-70 f2.8 not because of the images (they were great) but because of the weight. I'm not a sissy either, it's just so limiting to have a BIG hunk of expensive glass banging around you neck or back or side. Embrace the lightness and portability of APS-C. I hated the idea for a long time, and waited forever, and then switched to Pentax...I am blown away. The K-5IIs and the Pentax glass really is amazing. The thing can see in the DARK!

And guess what...my pictures still kinda suck sometimes, and it's my fault!
09-26-2013, 05:16 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
That 70-200/2.8 VRII on the Nikon is a lens you'll love the images from but a lens you will not like for casual walking around. It is big and heavy. But, on the other hand, when you are tasked to take shots at something like an event, then weight takes a back seat to the performance it delivers. It's a lens for when you have a job to do kind of thing.
agreed. my 80-200 will disappear to get the 70-200 2.8 VRII. I was testing one in the shop today and surprised at how bloody good the VR was. 1/10" hand held @ max zoom and the image stayed still...I was blown away. wasn't even using proper techniques either.
09-26-2013, 05:16 PM   #13
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If you really want to test your stomach, you should try calculating a Zeiss prime lens kit for A-mount.

QuoteOriginally posted by LFLee Quote
With the announcement of 6D and D600, FF seems 'affordable', and I am tempted to switch. I made the following budget sheet for myself, mainly, I put down the lenses I think I would like to have if I get a 6D or D600. For zoom lenses, A wide angle zoom, a normal zoom, and a telephoto zoom. For prime, a 35mm, 50mm, and 85mm. Then I list the approximate similar lenses from PENTAX lineup (wide angle have no match), that I also currently have. To make the comparison in PRICE worthwhile, I select the high-end lenses available possible.

As a side note, I also want to see what the cost will be if I uses Sigma lenses instead of Canon or Nikon lenses (with the ART series lenses getting so much praises, one can look forward to solely using Sigma lenses, I think). So I put in the prices for Sigma lenses as well.
Of course, there are few focal length that doesn't match perfectly... so please pardon that. Also, if one buy used lenses instead of new lenses... price will be different, but lets not go into that. And here is it:
Attachment 188963

So, this is what I found:
1. You need about 12k to get into either Nikon or Canon full-frame with the lenses I choose;
- on one hand, with this money, you can buy PENTAX + all the FA and DA ltd lenses to play around.
- on the other hand, if you own these PENTAX gear, you can probably switch brand and not lost a lot in money.

2. It cost about the same cost with PENTAX system (minus the FA + DA ltd lenses), if you get FF body + Sigma lenses.
- well, if you are okay with third party lenses, you can spend a little and switch (plus get to keep your FA, DA ltd)

My own conclusion for my situation?
- I can sell of all my PENTAX gear and switch to FF system + good lenses anytime. So this is really a tough question: to switch or not to switch.
- and I can see why so many long time Pentaxians switched, cost wise, they probably could.

For others, it maybe a good way to look into this comparison before you decide to go into a system.

** This is intended for FF vs PENTAX system comparison, other factors such as weight, WR, ergonomics, not included **
09-26-2013, 05:38 PM   #14
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Very interesting analysis.... I think you left out your assumption that once you get a FF system (body and lenses), you would not want to own or carry a cropped camera/lens. You see once you have a FF system, you may still want to keep or acquire a better cropped sensor camera or lens. The end result will really blow your budget...

I currently don't have a desire to get the FF unless I find some new money I can spare or until FF becomes a main stream DSLR offering.
09-26-2013, 05:43 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by aleonx3 Quote
Very interesting analysis.... I think you left out your assumption that once you get a FF system (body and lenses), you would not want to own or carry a cropped camera/lens. You see once you have a FF system, you may still want to keep or acquire a better cropped sensor camera or lens. The end result will really blow your budget...

I currently don't have a desire to get the FF unless I find some new money I can spare or until FF becomes a main stream DSLR offering.
Incredibly good point. This is why I did not purge my Pentax kit. In fact, it's why I can't wait even more for an upgrade to the K5.


Now, an argument can be made to go FF and m4/3 if the idea for cropped camera was to have a solid performer for lightweight use.
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