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02-24-2012, 11:31 PM   #1
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K-5 vs D7000 again

I know, I know this has been asked like a million times before. But I think I know what the advantages and disadvantages the two bodies have.

But my real question is gonna be on the lenses. What nikon offers are what I think cheap "Fast " AF prime lenses like the 85mm 1.8, 50mm 1.8/1.4, 35mm 1.8, 28mm 2.8 or 20mm 2.8. while pentax doesn't really have any equivalent to an 85 1.8 the closest would be the FA77 limited which is super expensive. or the DA70 which is not fast enough. same for the cheap nikon 35 1.8 vs the cheap DA 35 2.4, I know pentax has an awesome limited line-up but they're not really budget friendly if you ask a hobbyist like me. I won't even consider myself as a photographer, I'm just a guy who likes taking pictures.

Now the question is this if you haven't invested that much on a brand, which one would you consider getting if you want to have a decent "AF prime lens" line-up and why?

02-24-2012, 11:47 PM   #2
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Nikon's got a lot of cheap lenses, but they aren't stabilized, whereas Pentax ones are thanks to the in-body SR So that's definitely a big consideration. Plus, Pentax has the 50mm F1.8 on the way, which will likely be priced at under $200.

The 85mm is a gap in Pentax's current lineup that I hope they address. However, if you're willing to settle for manual focus, this is an excellent option for just $299 (plus it's F1.4!):
Vivitar (Samyang) 85mm F1.4 - Review - PentaxForums.com
Bower 85mm f/1.4 Manual Focus Telephoto Lens for Pentax SLY85P

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02-24-2012, 11:52 PM   #3
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Adam, do we know whether the announced DA 50mm f/1.8 can be used on DSLRs or only on K-0* cameras?
02-25-2012, 12:43 AM   #4
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Its not official but since the da 50 is not listed as xs. Therefore we can assume that it is a regular k mount. The da40 xs and the rumoured subseqent lenses are designated xs are for k-01 specific.

02-25-2012, 02:30 AM   #5
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Honestly, I agree with you that Pentax lacks in the budget lens department. I believe Pentax is trying to rectify this, but they will never have the lens selection of Canon or Nikon.

I came from Canon in the film era, and was always dissapointed with the cheap consumer primes.
In my opinion, Pentax's primes are a step above Canikon's consumer primes, but not as nice as Canikon's pro-level lenses. Pentax's lens prices generally reflect this. The problem for me with the Canikon pro-level lenses is that they are prohibitively expensive and they are so big you can't comfortably carry them around.

But, don't judge a lens by its aperture. In my opinion, the DA70 is a much nicer lens than Canikon's 85mm f/1.8.
Plus, it's only 3/4 stop slower, which isn't a big issue with modern dSLR's and built-in image stabilization.

Though I haven't used it, Pentax also has a FA35mm f/2 which is closer to the 35mm f/1.8 you were asking about (I use the DA40mm f/2.8 which is a stellar lens).

Pentax does have some bargains, the DA14mm f/2.8 is much, much cheaper than the equivalent Canikon offerings.
The DA 16-45mm f/4 is also a bargain.
02-25-2012, 02:40 AM   #6
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any particular reason you want fast lenses though? on a budget, i'd take sharp over fast almost any day and just run with a set of small, solidly built primes. But then again, maybe that's why I'm a pentax shooter

with that said, given a smallish $1.5k budget, i could get myself a solid 3 lens kit with the da21, fa43 and da70.

given an even smaller $600 budget, i could pull off a da21 and f/fa 50 1.7

Last edited by adpo; 02-25-2012 at 02:49 AM.
02-25-2012, 04:03 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Shamwow Quote
Honestly, I agree with you that Pentax lacks in the budget lens department. I believe Pentax is trying to rectify this, but they will never have the lens selection of Canon or Nikon.

I came from Canon in the film era, and was always disappointed with the cheap consumer primes.
In my opinion, Pentax's primes are a step above Canikon's consumer primes, but not as nice as Canikon's pro-level lenses. Pentax's lens prices generally reflect this. The problem for me with the Canikon pro-level lenses is that they are prohibitively expensive and they are so big you can't comfortably carry them around.

But, don't judge a lens by its aperture. In my opinion, the DA70 is a much nicer lens than Canikon's 85mm f/1.8.
Plus, it's only 3/4 stop slower, which isn't a big issue with modern dSLR's and built-in image stabilization.

Though I haven't used it, Pentax also has a FA35mm f/2 which is closer to the 35mm f/1.8 you were asking about (I use the DA40mm f/2.8 which is a stellar lens).

Pentax does have some bargains, the DA14mm f/2.8 is much, much cheaper than the equivalent Canikon offerings.
The DA 16-45mm f/4 is also a bargain.

On the topic of the number of lenses - when you compare the number of stabilized lenses from Canon and Nikon, the numbers become somewhat similar. Both Canon and Nikon do have an advantage when it comes to lenses 1) that are longer than 300mm; 2) Specialty lenses - Shift / Tilt lenses and tele-converters, etc.

In terms of the current lenses, the FA Ltds are very nice. The DA Ltds are also very nice. It would be wonderful if Pentax would take a design position of designing lenses like the new 35/f2.4 an excellent optical design at a reasonable price. I would also like to see them extend the FA Ltds also and have a high quality line.

There are things that Pentax can do but currently is not doing. I do see some potential for change - however the question is follow through and consistency.

Going back in time, Pentax has some very fine optics and superb lens body quality that have stood the test of time. This is something that others lack in terms of being able to be brought forward and used on the current dSLR designs. Always having a screw drive motor in the body for me is critical, since I do not like SMD with the failure rate that has been exhibited.

As you have alluded to - with the new sensor designs (K5) with its excellent low light capabilities coupled with the in body stabilization, this diminishes the need for very fast lenses - with the exception for a razor thin DoF. The K5 also provides the ability to disable the Dark Frame Subtraction (feature), so that provides extra latitude to the photographer. The GPS unit is a wonderful example of taking a unique feature within the Pentax line (in body stabilization) and re-purposing it for astrotracking. If Pentax can get the compass calibration correct, then we can start to see a real trend forming.

One thing that they could do is to continue with the teaming agreement with Tokina. Their 11-16/f2.8 is excellent and would really help Pentax. They did well when they were working together - a continuation of their collaboration would only help us - the Pentax shooters.

Another thing that I wish Pentax would do, is to go back to their lens design library and pull their very successful designs and bring them forward. Add the new digital coatings and re-issue them over time and their lens line up would be very difficult to beat.


Last edited by interested_observer; 02-25-2012 at 04:17 AM.
02-25-2012, 05:08 AM   #8
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Small

As you accumulate a kit of pentax gear, it is amazing how much smaller it is compared to an equivalent Nikon/canon setup. If you can't afford the Ltd lenses anyway then maybe there is much less reason to want to go with pentax

But if you do stay with pentax it is really worth getting just one of those gorgeous ltd lenses.

02-25-2012, 05:12 AM   #9
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Nikons 85/1.8 has problems in PF department. DA70 is much better lens. It is not too slow. If you want fast long portrait Sigma 85/1,4 is available for both mounts.
K-5 is not only faster than D7000, but there are other advantages like composition adjustment which allows to achieve shift effects by moving the sensor. Or the astrotracer. Possiblity to save last jpg as RAW... and other.
Even without "investment" in Pentax gear I'd still choose K-5 again. Honestly.
02-25-2012, 05:18 AM - 1 Like   #10
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Pentax is coming out with a couple of cheaper primes -- DA L 35 is already here and the DA-L 50 mm f1.8 is coming later this year. Truthfully, I feel like where Pentax excels, is in the mid-priced primes. Higher quality than the Nikon primes you mentioned, but still cheaper than the 'A' list primes that Nikon offers. Lenses like the Nikon 35 f1.4 autofocus and 85mm f1.4 will run you 1500 dollars easily a lens. Even the FA limiteds, while pricey aren't in that range. The other thing that Pentax has chosen to do is make lenses smaller at the cost of a really wide aperture. So, for instance there is the DA 15mm -- a lens that has a maximum aperture of f4, but is very small and well built -- nothing really similar on the Nikon side of things. Personally, if there is a particular lens that I want a faster aperture, I look at Sigma's line up. That's how I ended up with the Sigma 30mm f1.4.

Nikon offers a lot, but a lot depends on what you want/need. Pentax has chosen a different road, but while it may not appeal to everyone, sometimes it is nice to be on the road less traveled.
02-25-2012, 06:32 AM   #11
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Are you familiar with focus trap (or catch-in-focus)?
For the 85mm: the Samyang 85mm 1.4 is a superb lens. Cheap, too: $300. It's MF, but in Pentax mount it has electric contacts for auto-aperture, and you can use it with focus trap, which means that 90% of the AF advantage is made up for. You don't have to concentrate to find the correct focus; the camera "decides" when to click. You press the shutter button continuously, manually turn the focus ring, and the camera clicks when in focus. The practical difference btw. AF and MF with focus trap is that the physical force of your hand replaces the power of the motor. You can use trap focus with M lenses, too. (Try it with your M 50mm.)

Last edited by causey; 02-25-2012 at 06:41 AM.
02-25-2012, 08:31 AM   #12
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I'd choose K5 over D7000, and did, 12 months ago. handgrip is nicer, its smaller, lenses are smaller, some functions are missing on the d7000 such as the automatic horizon leveling. both produce great files to pp.
02-25-2012, 08:48 AM   #13
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As my photography studio instructor said.. find the lens you want... then buy the camera that goes on it. If that is something as specific as 85mm 1.8, then go for it. Personally, I can't imagine building my whole camera life around a cheap lens... and especially not for 1.8. Sigma makes an 85 1.4... also quite expensive.... But I'm really curious... what is so important about F 1.8? Your point seems to be Nikon has more "cheap" fast lenses. (Yawn). I have a FA 50 1.7 but it wasn't cheap. But I also don't use it at 1.7 very often. For most of what I do 2.8 is fine. And I don't need another fast lens. I just question your parameters in selecting 1.8 as some kind of magic F stop that must be attained for photographic excellence. There are a lot of great lenses out there, that don't open to 1.8, I'm guessing you're going to miss out if that's your expectation.

Or as I like to say, with increased sensor sensitivity... 2.8 is the new 1.4.
02-25-2012, 09:27 AM   #14
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I think you can get great pictures from any brand today.

I was just considering this quandary myself. I was ready to jump ship and switch to the D7000. I think it is a great camera. One of the main reasons though was the support you get with the Nikon that you don't get with Pentax. I live in the greater Chicago metropolitan area with a population close to 10,000,000 people. You know how many places actually sell and stock Pentax? Zero that I have found. If I had Nikon I could see, touch, try out equipment before buying it. I could actually sell or buy stuff on Craigslist without having to ship things. I could rent lenses and equipment all over the world.

Don't get me wrong I'm not bashing Pentax. In the end, mainly because of the compact size and my significant investment in the brand so far, I upgraded to the K-5. I just REALLY wish Pentax did some marketing and made an effort in America.

Anyway thats my .02 cents. It is another thing to consider. If I was starting over I would probably go with Nikon.
02-25-2012, 09:52 AM   #15
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I guess the thing for me is, I live within my own skin. As longs I can get what I need, I'm a happy guy. My Pentax kit has expanded over about 10 years... Sigma 70-300, now barely used but once very important, DA 10-17, FA-50 1.7, 21 ltd.. Tamron 90 macro, DA 18-135, and finally.. the DA*60-250. Of those only the Tammy, the 21 ltd.18-135 and the 60-250 were bought int he last 4 years. And the Tammy and 21 ltd were bought second hand for less than $500 for both.

I started cheap, at the time, the kit lens and the Sigma 70 300 which is currently selling for $169 and worked my way up. At his point I have a selection of glass, that honestly doesn't leave me wanting in any area. I could get better, but, I don't have to.

So while I sympathize... the guy who sold me the 21 ltd was working as a pro and wanted to go Nikon because he could rent equipment locally.. but that is something very few of us would take advantage of. Of the lenses I bought second hand, i was able to drive to pick them up...it was a few hours drive both times... but how often do you do that? I've needed to do it twice...

and with my FA 50 1.7 and DA 10-17, I've never regretted for one second that I was forced to buy quality glass... maybe there isn't s much out there for Pentax, but I still have every lens I ever bought for this system. And they all give me the same joy they did the day I bought them. If you can get what you need, why worry about what's out there... it might be more.. but is it something you really want? YOu can only use so much. Once you have what you need... everything else is just noise in the signal to noise equation.

But ya... I recently made the effort to get to Henry's in Toronto... they probably have 10-12 Pentax lenses out on the display shelves for people to try out. I asked to see a 35 macro, and they didn't have one, not even in the store... that's discouraging. I feel your pain. On the other hand I've pretty much decided it's not what I want, so maybe that was a good thing.
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