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01-09-2015, 10:13 AM   #1
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Am I Crazy?

Hey Everyone,

I just wanted to bounce this off of others who have a similar interest, because I feel like I have a bit of an obsession. I maintain dual systems - Nikon and Pentax - because I had Pentax film gear but bought into Nikon when digital SLRs became popular. In the past I tried to convert to strictly Pentax and bought a new K5 which I loved for the most part. However, the Pentax gear just never performed as well in low light when it came to flash metering and AF, which was an annoyance when I was shooting weddings and other paid engagements. I no longer do paid work, and I find myself with my old K20D in my car at all times whereas my D700 and Nikon lenses rot in a closet.

There's no doubt in my mind that I can more reliably get high-quality shots out of my Nikon gear, but I seem to get more satisfaction out of a good shot when I need to tinker with my gear a bit more to get it. I get great results with the Nikon gear, but I have some kind of a sentimental attachment to Pentax. I don't know if it's because I prefer the design, layout, weather-resistance, and build quality of the Pentax gear, or if it's because it's what my father always shot with when I was growing up (interestingly he uses a D300 now). I find myself wanting to sell all of my Nikon stuff while it's still valuable and buy a K3 with some higher-end lenses, but the reliability issues that I've read about scare me a bit.

I do this with European cars too; it appears that I have some sort of a draw to things that have more "character" despite the drawbacks that they may present. Am I nuts? What would you guys do in the same situation?

-Sean

01-09-2015, 10:18 AM   #2
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I find just the opposite, I used to be a Nikon guy and moved to Pentax because of reliability.
01-09-2015, 10:19 AM   #3
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To answer your question, why yes, of course you are crazy!

Sorry I couldn't resist but asking a question like that just begs a response of yes.

To the bigger question at issue here. If you have gear, no matter how good, that is just sitting "rotting in the closet" why not sell it. If your shooting needs have changed I don't see an issue with that approach. That is not crazy, but I challenge you to do a little thinking as to why you don't use the gear any more.

Is it too big, heavy, user unfriendly etc......
01-09-2015, 10:24 AM   #4
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Reliability isn't an issue with the K3. SDM is debatable IMHO but the rest of the lens lineup is golden for reliability.

01-09-2015, 10:35 AM   #5
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As you said, you don't use Nikon anymore and now you can sell it since it still has value.
This is the best choice right now.
In the future you can always buy another Nikon if you will find a good reason for do so. But if you don't sell the old one now and you continue to keep it at home, in the future you will not take much money out of the sale. Just my opinion.
01-09-2015, 10:48 AM   #6
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I drive a 1984 Mercedes 300TD Estate. 300K plus miles. It is remarkably reliable as a daily driver
considering its age, but nothing compared to a brand new Honda. If I wanted to go the cautious route
I'd buy a Honda. And be bored senseless. I prefer a car with character.

My camera gear is almost exclusively Pentax. I might get better performance out of brand X under
condition Y, but I'm not sure I'd get the same sheer pleasure I get from my Pentax gear. The enjoyment
factor is a very important part of the equation, one that is often conveniently overlooked by stat pushers.
Those same people probably also drive Hondas.

An apples and oranges comparison to be sure, but nonetheless, I prefer oranges.
01-09-2015, 11:01 AM   #7
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No, your not crazy, you are just avoiding the hype band wagon. My first SLR was an original model Pentax, bought used in 1961. It was rock solid, always did what it was supposed to do. When the shutter curtains were pinholing, 21 years later (!) I bought a KX - the film version. It came with a 55/1.8 lens, a collector bought by Pentax and 55/2.2 preset, so I wasn't out a lot of money on the body upgrade. Later, when funds became available, I trade the 135/3.5 preset for an M 135/3.5. Then I added an M 28/3.5 (lovely little lens). A while later I was taking sports and wanted a winder; bought an SF-1 body. and so on. Now I use a K10D, and have a full fleet of lenses from 12-400mm and the AFA 1.7X. I drool over the K-3. I drool even more over the DA 560/5.6. One of these years, I will buy one.

Pentax may not be particularly cutting edge, but then neither am I. And of all the SLR cameras made, only Pentax lets me use an original Takumar 55mm f/2.2 preset lens with a $40 adapter and no compromises over the original.

Why would I jump to Canon only to find out their mount has gone in yet another direction orphaning all my equipment? Or Sony when they decide to swap yet another lens series in there? A very fine photographer I climbed mountains with had Minolta film equipment. Maxxum left him out in the cold. No thanks.
01-09-2015, 11:31 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
To answer your question, why yes, of course you are crazy!

Sorry I couldn't resist but asking a question like that just begs a response of yes.

To the bigger question at issue here. If you have gear, no matter how good, that is just sitting "rotting in the closet" why not sell it. If your shooting needs have changed I don't see an issue with that approach. That is not crazy, but I challenge you to do a little thinking as to why you don't use the gear any more.

Is it too big, heavy, user unfriendly etc......
As far as why I don't use it, it's a combination of things. The photo quality with my glass and body combination is phenomenal, but it's heavy - especially with the VR Glass. I don't like the way it feels in my hand compared to my K20, and especially compared to the K5. I find the controls and menus aren't intuitive like I do with the Pentax. I prefer in-body SR to lens-based, because with Pentax I can throw on a manual focus lens that my father used in the 20's and even that is stabilized. The size of the D700 also makes it harder to carry inconspicuously, hide in the car, etc.

That's really the gist of it I guess. Thanks for the replies!

01-09-2015, 11:31 AM   #9
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I had assumed that all camera brands were the same, reliability-wise, so the issues I have seen with my K-3 are a shocker. I do believe that it might just be a few cameras with issues that make the most noise, but it could also be the more ominous thing; Pentax cameras are just not as well made as Canon or Nikon. I don't know. I've had several Nikon and Canon cameras and never once had anything go wrong, yet my K-3 sits unused a lot since I never know what it will do.

QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote

Why would I jump to Canon only to find out their mount has gone in yet another direction orphaning all my equipment? Or Sony when they decide to swap yet another lens series in there? A very fine photographer I climbed mountains with had Minolta film equipment. Maxxum left him out in the cold. No thanks.
Well, as an also Minolta MD shooter from way way back, I never bought into the Maxxum system and never felt I needed to. By the time Maxxum came out the MD system had just about all the bells and whistles you could ask for. My sole camera from 84-99 was a Minolta X-570 and in 99 I bought an X-700, new. Same mount. Still had lenses I could buy. I can still buy new MD mount lenses.
01-09-2015, 12:14 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
To answer your question, why yes, of course you are crazy!
Beat me to it. Truthfully I find reliability questions interesting in that so often there is no statistical info to back up the issue. And when there is, such as cars, you're typically talking about 1 failure in 10,000 vs 1 failure in 15,000. While 1 in 10,000 is worse, it's still pretty reliable, and I'd say that, with Pentax gear, if there is a difference with Nikon it's probably negligible.
01-09-2015, 12:40 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by sweendiggs Quote
As far as why I don't use it, it's a combination of things. The photo quality with my glass and body combination is phenomenal, but it's heavy - especially with the VR Glass. I don't like the way it feels in my hand compared to my K20, and especially compared to the K5. I find the controls and menus aren't intuitive like I do with the Pentax. I prefer in-body SR to lens-based, because with Pentax I can throw on a manual focus lens that my father used in the 20's and even that is stabilized. The size of the D700 also makes it harder to carry inconspicuously, hide in the car, etc.

That's really the gist of it I guess. Thanks for the replies!
in this case, since it appears you have considered everything that is important to you, i withdraw my initial observation, no you are not crazy

QuoteOriginally posted by jrpower10 Quote
Beat me to it. Truthfully I find reliability questions interesting in that so often there is no statistical info to back up the issue. And when there is, such as cars, you're typically talking about 1 failure in 10,000 vs 1 failure in 15,000. While 1 in 10,000 is worse, it's still pretty reliable, and I'd say that, with Pentax gear, if there is a difference with Nikon it's probably negligible.
I also find reliability an interesting point. since like you, i believe that all the cameras today are pretty good, and an individual does not have sufficient numbers of cameras to give a true indication of the product reliability, therefore, i think this is more something either perceived, based upon the fact that people happy with their gear go un-noticed where as the unhappy generally proclaim this loudly. Someone who has experienced a random failure with one maker and not the other, is also likely to have a bias, whether unfounded or not, based upon personal experience.
01-09-2015, 12:42 PM   #12
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Lots of photographers find a reason to create an image, and enjoy that process more. They might use film or manual focus or photoshop or just not do weddings. I think there is more satisfaction in those images. I wouldn't analyze it to death because it's tough to explain. Just shoot the way that makes you happy.

My wife decided to buy a Mercedes-Benz SLK250, but kept a Mazda Miata. The SLK is better in nearly every way, sometimes a lot better. But it isn't any more fun to drive.
01-09-2015, 12:45 PM   #13
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If you shoot for fun, and Pentax gives you more fun, why not give in to it?

The K-3 and K-5II have excellent low light capabilities, in fact comparable to D700. You can get a lot of money for the D700 and Nikon gear and buy some really cool lenses.
Alternatively, you could get a Sony A7, or M4/3 gear which will complement the Pentax dSLRs better than another dSLR system.
01-09-2015, 12:50 PM   #14
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All cameras, regardless of marque, can develop problems. Some are inherent as a result of poor design, some develop due to bad luck. You hear/read about the few cameras that do have problems, and nothing, or next to nothing, about the vast majority that have no problems!

If you prefer Pentax, buy Pentax. The results will every bit as good or as bad as nay other marque, as it's you, the photographer, that makes the picture, not the kit.

And if you make a mistake, so what? It's only money after all, and life's too short. Mistakes are just points along the path of learning and experience
01-09-2015, 12:52 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by sweendiggs Quote
There's no doubt in my mind that I can more reliably get high-quality shots out of my Nikon gear,
I am not sure that is true with the k-3. Most fair reviews put the k-3 even or ahead of the comparable Nikon model in everything except the flash system. And low light AF is where the k-3 excels. Everyone complained about the issues in low light with the k-5 and it seems Ricoh really stepped up in that area.

I have used k-x, k-5, k-5IIs and now k-3 and I can say the k-3 is really nice step up from the k-5 series in many ways. Image quality is not enormously better and you do have to learn to deal with the larger files but ergonomics, AF and general responsiveness are top notch. I've got just over 20,000 exposures on it at this point.

But honestly, any camera made today will deliver excellent images, the gear is no longer a separating factor. Make a decision on what to use based on ergonomics and what you enjoy shooting with. I participate in another forum for pro journalist and stock shooters and an astonishing number are dumping their big Nikon and Canon DSLRs for Fugi and Sony mirrorless. They get the same image quality in a tiny package and they don't have to hump a ton of weight anymore. So if you are looking for small and light maybe one of those systems is better suited.
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