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08-10-2014, 10:57 AM   #16
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Good Morning and Welcome to the Forum,

I have not shot with a Nikon for 40 years now (since back in Navy), so I really can't add a personal real world comparison. Having said that, if you do choose Pentax, it will be different - some experiences for the better and some for the worse. A mixed bag at best. A lot of the comparison points will be based around your specific shooting style - so they will be different than that of specifically cited tests.
  • On the topic of buffers - they only exist in order to mediate the rate of images from the camera (fast) to the rate that the storage device can store the images (slow). Its first in - first out (FIFO) and is fully dependent on the rate and timing (burst rate) of you the photographer (i.e., style) and the speed of the storage device (the SD Card - so a fast SD Card(s) will make a large difference). The images will start to be stored immediately, and the camera will only slow down when there is no (adequate) buffer storage available. Image capturing will resume as soon as buffer storage becomes available. So your specific style and burst rate will be an important factor here. Using the absolutely fastest SD Card will also be a large contributing factor. The K3 also uses USB v3 as the transport mechanism, so the speed of the buffer and its interface to the SD card should not be a factor. YMMV - fast image production with slow storage media = problems. Also with the K3 two card slots, you will need matched cards (in terms of storage and transfer rate) to ensure that the buffer stays as empty as possible (e.g., you really do not want to run with one fast card and one slow card - for best results).
  • AutoFocus - Nikon is one of the fastest AF bodies available (not wanting to get in the Canon / Nikon argument here). This goes with out saying that both C & N are used for sport shooting at the professional level. The Nikon D7000 is the equivalent of the K5 (both use the same sensor). Pentax then improved it (AF and AF in darkness) with the K5II/K5IIs models. Further improvements then went into the K3. So, that is a bit of history.
AF comparison is at best a bit muffled between camera brands. Each brand has its own system - specifically it own algorithm, which emphasizes or de-emphasizes certain aspects of the overall problem. There is a German photography magazine that did an extensive study in the autofocus designs of each camera vendor. They came up with some surprising conclusions. There are two types of AF designs - one for speed and one for accuracy. For sports you use speed - hence Nikon, and for accuracy - hit rate for having the image in focus - Pentax. The magazine actually went out and had engineers design the experiment in order to be fair and accurate to all camera vendors. There is a pretty extensive discussion about the results in this link.
One of the factors in AF is the lens, and the magazine tested across a large number of lenses for each vendor. A good AF lens has a very short focus throw (the range of motion across the focus) versus manual focusing lenses where you want the largest amount of focus throw so as to be able to fine focus the object. So, what you really want is a AF lens with a very short focus throw. There is also some menu based AF adjustments that will probably help - specifically the "AF Fine Adjustment", item 26 in the C menu - 4th page.
There is also (for Pentax) the AF implementation method. Pentax supports both the old mechanical screwdrive as well as the newer electric focus motor (SDM and CF). This will have an effect on your AF speeds in particular (in terms of implementation), although the algorithm will emphasis accuracy.
Lenses in general with Pentax is going to be a problem, even with third party. Nikon will have a much larger selection - especially when third party is included. Its just one of the things you live with in Pentaxland.
So, even on something like AF - its not a cut and dried comparison - the devil is in the details.




Last edited by interested_observer; 08-10-2014 at 11:05 AM.
08-10-2014, 11:02 AM - 1 Like   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
What lens are you looking for that isn't available?
"Find the lens you love, buy the camera it goes on."
Switching brands because you might have something you want in the future that isn't available in your mount, would probably be a little silly.
On the other hand, if there's a lens you have to have that isn't available in your mount then sell everything and get it.
Camera bodies come and go, but your dream lens can be used pretty much forever, or at least until it's not your dream lens anymore.
I mean you could switch because of a perceived lack of future lens choices, and then Pentax could come out with your dream lens...

But I agree... Sigma dropping Pentax in the 70-200 is distressing. I might never have bought one, but I liked having the choice. I got a Sigma 8-16 before they were discontinued and am a happy camper because of it. If it's Sigma in a Pentax mount, buy it while you can, it may be short lived. (Spoken in reference to the Sigma 18-35 1.8 zoom. It would seem to be a great lens, but so were the 8-16, and 70-200, get it while you can if you think you might like it.)
All great points. And pretty much spot on. I'm just building my equipment and shoot some indoor action as well as wildlife. What concerns me is the secondary lens mfg's noticeably leaving out the Pentax mount and discontinuing the lenses available with it. Like the Tamron 150-600 missing pentax, now the best in class Sigma 70-200 being dropped. This doesn't look good for the future of Pentax. In regards to the OP why invest in a body that is being more and more limited by glass availability everyday? The camera body can be great but it's versatility is controlled by lenses available. Even Sony is blowing Pentax out of the water in this aspect.
08-10-2014, 11:13 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Heelers Quote
Even Sony is blowing Pentax out of the water in this aspect.
Let's not go overboard now . Their lineup, especially in E/FE mount, is not great. And Sony also has some of the same issues atracting 3rd party lens support as Pentax.

But Sigma and Tamrom will come to the Pentax party if there is money for them in it. They have done so for 40 years.
08-10-2014, 11:44 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
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But Sigma and Tamrom will come to the Pentax party if there is money for them in it. They have done so for 40 years.
That is not saying much. The question for a Pentax shooter is whether those two companies are ever going to offer many lenses in K mount above consumer-level quality, especially in telephoto focal lengths. It seems like Sigma & Tamron have $1000 as the loose price point above which they diss K mount. A quick Amazon search showed me only one current lens-- the Bigma 50-500mm-- exceeding that dollar amount. I guess they believe too few Pentax shooters cross that threshold.

A fascinating nugget in the DPR thread about the departure of the Sigma 70-200mm lens was an email quote from the Sigma sales manager saying they were only selling one or two of these lenses per month.

M

08-10-2014, 12:23 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Miguel Quote
A quick Amazon search showed me only one current lens-- the Bigma 50-500mm-- exceeding that dollar amount. I
I guess you missed the Sigma 500 f4.5 and Sigma 300 f2.8 for Pentax that can still be found for sale new, even in Australia.
08-10-2014, 12:25 PM   #21
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My Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 has no problems, looks nice even wide open, but stopped down a little is even better, and that is with a K5. The K3 should be better in sharpness and resolution.
08-10-2014, 12:43 PM   #22
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I didn't miss anything. Please read clearly. Amazon doesn't list these lenses. In the US, if Amazon doesn't list a product, it doesn't bode well for somebody considering moving an existing photographic practice to Pentax. Adorama doesn't carry them either. B&H does, but having limited retail sources for certain lenses can be problematic as in a two-week wait for a 300 mm.

M
08-10-2014, 01:26 PM   #23
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I am an existing Nikon shooter who has extensive experience with the D7000 and D7100. I currently shoot with both a D800 and a Pentax K-3. I too was waiting for Nikon to deliver a D400 but got fed up waiting and went with the K-3 + 60-250mm and couldn't be happier. I find the K-3 superior to the D7100 in almost all aspects. I consider the K-3 very close to what the D400 should have been. As a side note, neither Canon nor Nikon have a lens even remotely similar to the DA* 60-250mm which I would rate as one of the best long zooms ever. If Nikon were to introduce a D400 today I would not purchase it (unless they provided a similar quality 60-250mm zoom, which they won't)

When going out with two bodies (both on leashes which I highly recommend), everything above 90mm is done with my K-3. Generally everything below 90mm is done with my D800. Makes for a nice two-body system.

YMMV

Michael

08-10-2014, 01:44 PM   #24
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Thanks all for the insights and opinions - definitely giving me somethings to consider.

@Rawr - great photo examples of the setup capabilities. Very clean and clearly action oriented. Well done!

@Interested_Observer: Yes, one of the issues I've read about was the notion of accurate keepers, with the edge towards Pentax...one of the reasons I am considering a switch within the DX format; also the buffer load/unload. I am selective in my shots - I'll set to the highest given FPS, but even then, my bursts are usually only 2-3 frames, wait...2-3 frame burst, wait..repeat as necessary; however, even that eventually clogs and paralyzes the camera system if the action of interest occurs over a 20-30 second time frame (or even longer with cycling road races/criteriums). Some sports it doesn't matter (i.e. most rodeo action occurs in 8-second events).

As others have mentioned, yes, it is a dilemma in switching brand systems, and the K-mount lens pipeline is decreased relative to other brands. However, there are really only two lenses I would need for this setup - a 70/80 - 200mm f2.8, and a 300mm lens, preferably f2.8 that can be used with at least a 1.4TC (preferably 2TC). The new retail pipeline (at f2.8) is abit limited, though I'm not averse to buying dependable used lenses (my Sigma 120-300 f2.8 is the only lens I've ever purchased brand new...everything else was Ebay, Craigslist, or KEH). If the K3 body is a well-performer, I only need two lenses for this specific application - and the used market seems to support my lens needs. The K3 specs have enough qualities that get my attention for use as a specific DX sport shooter (and who knows, maybe I'm subconciously trying to get back to my Spotmatic and ZX-50 days, ironic, since with those cameras, once you filled the buffer, the unload time was the time to rewind the film and load a new roll...how spoiled we've become!!!).

Thanks again all.
08-10-2014, 02:35 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by tx_roadie Quote
a 70/80 - 200mm f2.8
Supposedly something in this range is in the Pentax road map to be released in the near future. Rumor is that it will be a DA* (premium) lens.


Steve
08-10-2014, 11:33 PM   #26
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2) 22 frames in the buffer is actually conservative, it depends on how much space the Raw images take up and how much JPG image correction is enabled (if storing JPG as well). In my tests I often got 27 frames before the buffer was full. Using JPG only, I got up to 87 frames before buffer full if no image corrections were enabled but if Distortion Lens Correction was enabled the number of frames went down to 27. So for JPG only, the number of frames depends heavily on what JPG corrections are enabled, Lens Distortion being the most expensive (27 frames) followed by Peripheral correction (39 frames) and D-Range (78). Chromatic and/or Diffraction correction didn't seem to matter in my tests.

John
08-11-2014, 12:35 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Supposedly something in this range is in the Pentax road map to be released in the near future. Rumor is that it will be a DA* (premium) lens.


Steve
Indeed! With Photokina almost upon us I'd wait till September before committing. That been said @tx_roadie clearly knows what they want, and the two lenses needed are both provided in k-mount. Maybe the next few weeks until Photokina could be spent roadtesting a rented K3? It seems like the only place to go with the info that has been gathered.
08-11-2014, 04:07 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by tx_roadie Quote
Thanks all for the insights and opinions - definitely giving me somethings to consider.

@Rawr - great photo examples of the setup capabilities. Very clean and clearly action oriented. Well done!

@Interested_Observer: Yes, one of the issues I've read about was the notion of accurate keepers, with the edge towards Pentax...one of the reasons I am considering a switch within the DX format; also the buffer load/unload. I am selective in my shots - I'll set to the highest given FPS, but even then, my bursts are usually only 2-3 frames, wait...2-3 frame burst, wait..repeat as necessary; however, even that eventually clogs and paralyzes the camera system if the action of interest occurs over a 20-30 second time frame (or even longer with cycling road races/criteriums). Some sports it doesn't matter (i.e. most rodeo action occurs in 8-second events).

As others have mentioned, yes, it is a dilemma in switching brand systems, and the K-mount lens pipeline is decreased relative to other brands. However, there are really only two lenses I would need for this setup - a 70/80 - 200mm f2.8, and a 300mm lens, preferably f2.8 that can be used with at least a 1.4TC (preferably 2TC). The new retail pipeline (at f2.8) is abit limited, though I'm not averse to buying dependable used lenses (my Sigma 120-300 f2.8 is the only lens I've ever purchased brand new...everything else was Ebay, Craigslist, or KEH). If the K3 body is a well-performer, I only need two lenses for this specific application - and the used market seems to support my lens needs. The K3 specs have enough qualities that get my attention for use as a specific DX sport shooter (and who knows, maybe I'm subconciously trying to get back to my Spotmatic and ZX-50 days, ironic, since with those cameras, once you filled the buffer, the unload time was the time to rewind the film and load a new roll...how spoiled we've become!!!).

Thanks again all.
If DX sensor is what you need, then there is no point to stay with Nikon. Pentax has better lenses available than Nikon. Seriously you have to research thoroughly, and listen what MJSfoto1956 said. I was also nikonian, and I think Pentax is more fun to use.

If you look at the upcoming K mount lenses, there are 12-24mm, 16-85mm, 70-200mm, and 100-400mm in the pipeline.
See this http://www.ricoh-imaging.co.jp/japan/products/lens/images/K_Mount_Lens.pdf
And this PENTAX??????????So-net???
08-11-2014, 03:15 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by tx_roadie Quote
Thanks all for the insights and opinions - definitely giving me somethings to consider.
Well, do let us know what you decide either way, I'd like to know how the story ends!
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