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09-17-2014, 12:37 PM   #31

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I got my first 35mm SLR about 46 years ago. Worked for a publishing company as an editorial assistant. Publisher told me that I needed to make myself more getting a good camera...either a Pentax or a Nikon... and start taking pictures.

I spoke to the photography department of the company and they suggested a Pentax S1a and a Sekonic light meter, would be right for me.

I no longer work in the publishing industry, but I never lost my interest and fascination with photography.

Since then I've bought and used Leica Rangefinder, Mamiya medium format, Zeiss Ikon, Olympus, Canon, Yashica and other brands. But Pentax has always been my main system, both during the film era and digital.

I stay with Pentax, because it has always done the job for me. The end product...the photograph...when using Pentax equipment always meets my (high) standards. I've always been impressed with the lens quality.

As the old saying goes...if it works...don't fix it.

Pentax works well for me. It continues to work well...over the past almost 50 I see no need to 'fix' it by replacing my Pentax equipment with either Nikon or Canon.

I see far too many photographers dumping one camera line for another...because they feel that it must be the equipment, that is the reason why they are not getting photos that are satisfactory.

My long years of experience tell me...that if you're not getting results that satisfy you, perhaps it's not the equipment, but you.

In my view, if you are using equipment at the 7D, D300, K-5 level and newer in those lines...for example...than you're using excellent equipment and switching brands is not going to make a significant difference.

Last edited by lesmore49; 09-17-2014 at 12:43 PM.
09-17-2014, 12:57 PM   #32
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Started with a K100D - the fisheye 10-17 is what steered me toward Pentax then. Bought lots of stuff, and upgraded bodies 2 times. This February I got a used Canon 40D w/18-55 to use with the new unavailable-for-Pentax Tamron 150-600 (sold my Sigma 150-500 to partially finance it). The Tamron was delayed and I finally got it after 4 months.

Decided to get a 17TSE for (expensive) fun. Then decided a relatively cheap used 5D full-frame body is an easy way to make that expensive TS like another lens for 1/4 the cost. Then I thought the 28mm would be a good choice for double-duty as a wide angle on the 5D, yet more-or-less normal on the 40D .

The kind of funny part is the 40D/Tamron combo has some meter issue - it is fine on manual, but if I change the dial off M, the exposure is 2+ stops over. I can only dial in -2 EVC, so I'm still having a bit of an issue. I tend to use the 5D more often for regular P-mode shooting and 40D with the manual 17TSE. May upgrade the 40D to the 70D or similar someday. I've always wanted the rotating LCD.

Still keeping some and selling some K-mount stuff, but I'm pretty much over Pentax.

Last edited by SpecialK; 09-18-2014 at 02:54 PM.
09-17-2014, 01:08 PM - 1 Like   #33
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Wondering how and why people chose Pentax cameras and why they continue to choose Pentax?

My interest beyond p&s photography started in around 2006 and kicked up a huge notch with my first decent flat panel monitor purchase in 2007 when I began spending way too much time browsing photos online. I began to wonder if I could do it myself when a close friend of mine started showing off his shots to me that he was taking with his Canon Digital Rebel. I figured I would just get a Digital Rebel but when I thought I had scraped enough money together in early 2008, the sticker shock for the Canon gear stunned me and I realized the need to do some research. That was of course very educational for my new hobby in general, and for my budget I narrowed my choice down to either a Nikon D40 or K100D. The K100D won out because of the better price (I think I spent about $400 altogether with kit lens and accessories), the IBIS, and because of the impression I got from my research that I'd be able to get more affordable glass down the line by going Pentax... I don't recall the specs of the Digital Rebel of that time but I also remember feeling pretty happy with myself that the specs for the K100D exceeded what my friend had in his expensive plasticky Rebel.... (I remember really liking the feel of the K100D in my hands compared to his Rebel.) Little did I know that regardless of system, I'd end up spending many thousands on glass and gear over the upcoming years... Gotta love that GAS!

Have you been tempted to move to another system?

My only serious temptation was in 2009 with the D700. I had much lust for that camera but didn't have anywhere close to the needed money at the time to get into it.

Have you moved to another system?

Nope. My desire for Pentax (k-mount) FF digital began around the time the D700 was wooing me, but I am content to wait for at least another year or two, because I am very happy with the glass...

Edit: Forgot to mention that I do find the new D750 to be quite the tempting offer, but I'm not up for a system move at this point. If I had a few grand to spare right now I'd be happy to add it to the corral...

Last edited by todd; 09-17-2014 at 02:08 PM.
09-17-2014, 01:57 PM   #34
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Got the k100d cause it was a bit cheaper than the canikon counterparts plus the idea of cheap used glass was very appealing. Got it, loved the ergonomics, bought many lenses and have stuck with it. Just got a K5 for the same reasons.

09-17-2014, 02:09 PM   #35
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Pentax (and Olympus) was a prominent brand around the house when I was a kid. When I got more seriously interested in photography in the early '90s, I naturally looked at those brands. Pentax felt comfortable in my hand, and as a company seemed more stable at the time than Olympus. I was shopping for used gear and Pentax was certainly more affordable than used canikon, so with some thought but not much fuss I acquired a used ME Super and 50mm 1/1.7 for about $100.

Digital was just coming into the scene at that time and I knew I would take that route eventually, but I was patient to ride out the steep, fast turnover of a new technology. Bought a HP P&S and then a Coolpix 995 to get a feel for the format while waiting for an affordable DSLR option.

I seriously considered the possibility of switching to Nikon, as Pentax had no DSLR in 2001-2002. However, the *istD gave hope, even if that line of cameras didn't excite me. Finally the K10D came out and I happily added it to my collection. I'm still using that K10D, supplanted by a lot of old K-mount glass and a recently acquired Q7. I plan to finally upgrade to a K3 some time before the year is out.

In the end, Pentax cameras continue to feel great in my hand, and that more than anything is perhaps the most important aspect to any tool I want to create with. Build quality, layout and handling on that K10D just feel so right, so intuitive and confident. Canon, by comparison, feels like a foreign language and Nikon feels like Army surplus equipment, (and Sony is Evil incarnate, but that's a much larger issue....).

Last edited by tvdtvdtvd; 09-17-2014 at 04:12 PM.
09-17-2014, 03:12 PM   #36
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Bought my first Pentax in 1988. A friend of mine was shooting Minolta, another friend had a K1000. Our local Cape Town camera shop, Shaps Cameraland had a good display of Pentax cameras and lenses, both new and secondhand. So, my first camera was an SFX which was as new, but secondhand. (In those days, South Africa had quite high import tariffs and an airline pilot used to make a bit of extra money by buying new gear overseas on his journeys, using that equipment briefly, and then offloading to Shaps when back in Cape Town.) I shot with that camera from the base of Niagara Falls, in the mist, and it worked just fine.

A few lenses later, I upgraded to an SFXn, because of the faster shutter speed and lit up top LCD. Later, my wife wanted her own camera, so we got her a Z10. More lenses later. And, I like being a non-conformist, so Pentax ticks all the boxes!
09-17-2014, 03:14 PM   #37
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Nice thread... thanks to the OP...
When I first started looking into digital SLR camera, the first thing that catches my attention of the memory card used in the camera. I had the Olympus D40Z (which uses MMC card) before and later added a Fuji S20pro bridge camera (which uses Compact Flash). Around the same time, the Canon Rebel series DSLR camera was released and was the most popular brand around my circle of friends, almost everyone bought one. Then, one day I saw one of my friends had a Samsung G10 which uses SD memory, I enquire about that I found that Pentax also make one like that. So, I bought the K100D my very first DSLR which I enjoy shooting with. I started learning more about how everything works...and my first upgrade was the K10D, and then the K-7. While I am learning about all other aspects of photography, I have also noticed the limitation of the sensor (high ISO noise). At that point in time, almost everyone agrees that to overcome high ISO noise and shooting in low light requires bigger full frame sensor. It was at that point, I was thinking seriously changing system and buying into either Canon (5D) or Nikon (D700) for the full frame, as I thought it was the only way. Meanwhile, our friends all moving into that directions, some added 5D and others D700 or D300 etc. But my thoughts about DSLR would be similar to the PC evolution; as technology improves and continues to advance that some day, high ISO noise would no longer a big issue even for smaller sensor. Again, I don't want to switch to another brand as I believe SD memory format will become de facto standard and would be cheaper to buy in a long run.

Fast forward a few years, I added the K-5 and sold my other models... I have gotten used to the great ergonomics of the K-7/5/5IIs models and their menu system with the convenience of changing setting on the fly without taking the eye off the viewfinder. I tried many times on my friends 5D mk II and D800, I just don't feel comfortable at all. For that matter, Canon high-end models have not changed a bit for years with the 4 buttons on top LCD and the front wheel only (clumsy as it is because you can only operate with your index finger one at a time). With the k-5 and now k-5IIs, I feel comfortable with settings I shoot and know how to get to it... this is one big advantage as all my other Canikon users as still shooting everything in auto-mode.

I do mostly stage and event photography now... and enjoy taking travel photos as well. At this point, I don't think I will need (although I may want) a FF camera to make better photos than I am doing now since the k-3 is under and around 900 which is really hard to beat for a great tool.
09-17-2014, 03:29 PM - 1 Like   #38
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Nikon and Canon are like Ford and GM, oh hum, and everyone has one. Pentax is like Audi, they look and feel nice...!

---------- Post added 09-17-14 at 06:30 PM ----------

First there was Light. Then there was Pentax.

09-17-2014, 03:31 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by swampcat Quote
Nikon and Canon are like Ford and GM, oh hum, and everyone has one. Pentax is like Audi, they look and feel nice...!
Only APS-C. Nikon and Canon FF is like Harley Davidson. It's all bankers and middle managers...
09-17-2014, 03:47 PM   #40

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I've told my story before but I will summarize it here. I have had a long term interest in photography even since I was in jr high school. It never came to fruition for a variety of reasons until about 3 years ago. I had the money and was hunting for a hobby to take with me on the road. (I traveled a lot for work at the time). I actually read a bunch of books about photography for at least a year before I ever bought anything. At first I was going to get Canon but a couple things stopped me. First it just didn't 'feel right', not in my hand, nor the actual I hesitated. Plus it was extremely expensive. I kept on looking. Eventually I ran across a review of a Pentax K5. It was heads up compared to a 7D... and when I priced everything out Pentax seemed to me to have the most bang for the buck. I bought one on the internet sight unseen for my very first DSLR. I fell in love with it from the first time I tried it.

My real story is on my lens evolution...I started out wanting all really big really long lenses. I only had zooms too. Over time I tried a prime lens and eventually bought a DA Limited lens. Needless to say now I don't use zooms. I own one that I don't use much but it does come in handy from time to time. I shoot almost exclusively primes. I was blown away by the DA Limiteds so I have almost all of them now. (minus the 35mm). I also have a few FA Limiteds and some other primes.

To me that Limited lens and the Pentax body combo... holy smokes. I can walk around with it all day long and its just a pleasure to shoot with. Small, light, easy, and GREAT. If I was walking around with an equivalent Canon set... it would be a nightmare for hauling around and I don't think I would have gained anything at all from spending all the extra money. Their build quality is also a lesser quality than that of Pentax if you ask me.

Simply put, I can put my entire camera setup into one bag and fly anywhere and not worry. It's easy. And above all, I find it to be very fun to work with. It's just overall very enjoyable.

As to if I would want something else... I would be sorely tempted to go with a Nikon set on the side. The thing that lures me is all their fast prime lenses. The huge mega pixel count of the D810 also looks very good. I doubt I would ever 'need' that many mega pixels for anything other than bragging rights... but the speed of the lenses and the flexibility to do whatever sounds at least on paper to be great.

All that said I would not want to haul around on my back all those huge Nikon lenses. The size and all that.. you can't win em all. If I get rich I will buy a system of theirs but maintain Pentax for my main walking around outside stuff. Realistically I could have both sets and if I really get to dreaming I would think on a medium format... but I haven't been that familiarized with that yet.
09-17-2014, 07:52 PM   #41
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I use Pentax because I have always used Pentax. I bought a used Pentax - first series - from a pawn shop in Vancouver BC. When its shutters wore out, a collector bought it and I bought a KX (film!). After a while I swapped my 135/3.5 preset screw mount for an M 135/3.5 making for easier lens changes. Added an M 28/3.5. Changed out the KX for an SF-1 for the built in winder. Couldn't afford an LX. Wife commandeered the SF-1 so I got an MZ-S. Along the way was an ME with the infamous FA 28-80 as a backpack camera for a biking trip for daughter & mother in Europe for two months. Now I use a K10D, My wife uses an X-5 (that she loves, and is doing very well with). My most commonly used lenses are DA 12-24, DA* 16-50 (shot a bunch today at a church BBQ), DA 55-300, M 100/4 macro, M 400/5.6 and an AFA 1.7x. Occasionally I use an S-M-C Takumar 55/1.8 just to hold that gorgeous jewel.

Why change?
09-18-2014, 03:48 AM   #42

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Sort of family tradition.
My father had Pentax ME and after he died I used and loved that camera a lot.
After university I gave up with my photography hobby.
At the begining of digital age I bought Canon compact camera for family snapshots with my kids.
I was very unhappy with those Canon photos, mostly because of ugly colors and shutter lag.
During one of my business trips I noticed dslr camera in a shop with Pentax logo: "What, they are still making cameras?"
Next winter I broke my Canon compact during skiing and after that I knew exactly what will be my next camera.

Last edited by banep; 10-11-2014 at 09:34 AM.
09-18-2014, 07:50 AM   #43
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My first SLR was a film *ist. Bought it mainly because of the small size and that it had all the features that I wanted. My wife sold it at a yard sale for five dollars -- I wish I had kept it. I moved from there to a K100, mainly because I already had a kit lens and 50mm prime from the *ist. Since then I have moved through every flagship camera body from the K10 to the K3 (currently shooting with a K-01, K3, and K5 II).

What keeps me with pentax now?

(1) I'm comfortable with it. This is a big deal. When I pick up a K3, I don't have to fight with the controls to do what I want, I am used to the ergonomics. Can't say that they are better than other brands, but I am used to them.

(2) glass. I really like my current line up of glass. That, once again, doesn't mean that there isn't good glass with other brands, it just means that I don't particularly want to sell the gear I have now and buy a different line up.

(3) small size. Pentax glass is unmatched, not because it is fast, but because it isn't. No other camera makers make lenses like a 15mm f4, or a 21 f3.5. If these were f1.4 or f2 lenses, they would have a very different feel and be more prone to flare. As it is, the primes are quite portable.

(4) weather sealing. This is something that I have found awfully handy when out and about shooting. My gear can tolerate the elements better than I can.

(5) I don't need full frame. Obviously there are plenty of folks out there that do need this, but based on my shooting requirements, printing, I do quite well with Pentax offerings.

(6) in body image stabilization. Awfully handy to have. I have hand held shots with Pentax's little prime lenses that I couldn't have gotten otherwise. I could do without it, but I wouldn't want to.
09-18-2014, 12:28 PM   #44
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Easy, value.
I started out with a Ricoh KR-10, but I think the Pentax K1000 would have been perfect for me.
When I heard the Pentax DSLRs would take the old film lenses I was ready to take the plunge. Never looked back.
Whenever I compare Pentax to the other brands I keep finding that for the same performance you get more for your money with Pentax.
09-19-2014, 03:10 AM   #45
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Like many others here, it seems, I came for the WR and stayed for the glass!

I started dabbling in more serious photography with my grandfathers old Praktica with a Pentacon 50/2.8 in the mid 80s. After that one broke I got my own Camera, a low-cost Cosina with the typical standard zoom. I was glad to have actually found a zoom for so little money - until I got the first shots back from development. I really lost interest in photography at that point. My mother surprised me with a Minolta Dynax at Christmas some time later, and while this was an improvement over the Cosina it did not have the magic of the old Praktica+Pentacon and I only used this for holiday snapshots and the like.

For a long time I did not have the money to easily get good equipment (and to much other interests which were also expensive...), I used the Minolta for snapshots, later replaced it with a HP Photosmart when I decided to go digital, a good camera for the time and price, DSLRs were still to expensive for me and I still had not regained my early interest in photography.

In 2008 I finally decided to give my old hobby another try and began researching entry level cameras. While I still had some good basic knowledge about the technical side, I was quite clueless about the market situation and the available brands at the time - which might have been a good thing .

I first looked at the 4/3s, as mirrorless seemed to be a nice technology but was disapointed by the displays and viewfinders of the cameras I handled, so I checked the entry level offers of Canon, Nikon and Pentax. From the technical features I did not find anything that spoke against any of the brands, but I handled a friends Nikon and it felt like a cheap plastic toy to me, and while I did not find a local store carrying Pentax I nonetheless choose the K200 as it was the only model with WR for a comparable price. Not only did WR seem a good idea for carrying the camera in my bagpack while biking, it also hinted at a manufacturer who cared for the small details to me.

Had I done any research about marked position and available equipment, I might have decided differently (considering the frequent comments from Canonikon fans I found since...), but looking back I'm glad I didn't.

I took a bunch of photos with the 18-55 and 50-200 lens kit for nearly a year and found I started to really like my old hobby again, so I looked at additional lenses - after the initial price-shock wore of I got the DA 35 Macro Limited. And there finally it was back, the magic I had experienced with grandpa's old GDR-equipment! My photos again had that something special I had always missed with the consumer-zooms, and with that purchase I really started into photography (and LBA...).

Over the next years I got quite a collection of current and vintage lenses. I'm not such a fanboy (not quite) that I would not occasionally consider other brands, and I'm still curious where the whole mirrorless thing is going, but so far nothing has tempted me away. If I were to switch to another system, I'd not like to go without the limiteds and some of my older lenses (K28/2.0, A50/1.2,...) and I'm not sure about using them with the limits imposed by an adapter, so any alternative should have something solid to offer.

Looking and Canon/Nikon I occasionally saw something I'd have liked (lenses like 85/1.2, 70-200/2.8,...) but in the end, being rational, I decided I would not really have gotten the equipment even if I were on the system, quite often because I could not afford it anyway! Or Sigma/Tamron had a comparable lens to offer.

That's the current situation, I got a K5 in 2010 and am not planning to get a new DSLR body right now, but if I was I'd get a K3. I got a Q last year, when I was looking for a compact secondary and recently a Ricoh GR (Wow!!). I might get a Sigma Merrill second hand as I'm quite curious about the sensor, but I don't see my main system changing anytime soon.

How long will I stay with Pentax? If they would stopped making cameras or exchanged their whole K-line with models that are incredibly inferior to the current lineup I'd probably stay till my K5 gave up at least, maybe getting a K3 second hand for a while. I currently can't imagine a technical innovation tempting me away, there is nothing on the horizon that would be important for me. I don't think anyone has a noise-free IS 100.000 sensor in the works .

FF is not a topic for me, neither is video. I'd like to see Pentax develop something in that direction, as these things are important to others, though.

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