I have been a longtime Pentax owner but I only recently discovered this forum. Wow...what a wealth of information I have stumbled into!
Here's my Pentax story: Back when I was in jr. high...I thought it would be cool to take photographs of sports (primarily football)....I always loved the images in Sports Illustrated. I asked my parents to buy me a SLR camera but after they saw the prices in the ads located in the back of Modern Photography they told me to figure out how to buy it for myself. My $30/month salary as a newpaper delivery boy would take me over 6 months to save enough money to buy a camera which was just way too long....it was the start of summer break (June) and I wanted that camera in time for the fall football season. (We used to frequently go to Cal football games). So I sent fliers out to the surrounding neighborhood to announce my new landscaping business! I would charge $2/hr to cut hedges, grass, weed, etc. It took me 2 months, but by early August I had saved enough to buy a Pentax MX body and a 50mm f. 1.7 lens. I originally wanted either Nikon FM or Olympus OM-1...but these camera were nearly $300...the Pentax MX was about $200...So Pentax it was! Man that was a glorious body....the trial and error I experienced using a manual camera body was amazing! It was a durable camera as well....it was my workhorse for over 12 years. It aided me sneaking on the football field at Memorial stadium to take pictures of Cal football games (I just blended in with the pro photographers).....withstanding heavy use as a college newspaper photographer...surviving numerous collisions while I was on the sidelines shooting Georgetown Univ. basketball games...that camera saw snapped some amazing hoops back in the G'town glory days of the Patrick Ewing era....it helped me talk my way onto "Photographer's row at the US Open"...that camera saw some great sporting events through the years!
As time went by, I dabbled with other brands...I did eventually buy a Nikon (FM2)... and I tried using medium format (Kowa and Mamiya)...but I eventually came back to Pentax. I have loved the quality and value of the Pentax cameras and lenses. Even though most serious amateurs and professionals use either Nikon or Canon equipment...I have stuck by Pentax. Yes, there have been times in which Pentax was not putting out an extensive line of quality equipment to satisfy the serious amateur/professional photographer...but I stuck by them anyway. And when the move went to Auto Focus and then to Digital, Pentax was the only manufacturer to integrate the original camera mount to work with all of their lenses!
Today, I think Pentax still represents the best value in the marketplace for the serious photographer. I also think the Pentax owner is the type of person who does not follow the crowd i.e. Nikon and Canon owners. To be a Pentax owner suggests that you have an independence streak to go down a path less traveled!
Last edited by Wilson1802; 02-09-2012 at 07:36 AM.