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09-16-2014, 07:42 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kerrowdown Quote
Equipment choices can be both emotive and subjective at the same time.

If it's the pro route your going longer term, you will need to pick a brand that has a strong pro "back up" from the manufacturer.
I am with you on the support issue. Pros need pro class support. I lived in Canon's Irvine, CA facility because of all sorts of focusing issues with my Canon bodies. They treated me like a king. Their support is second to non. So far I have had no dealings with Pentax support. But I hear it is not that great.

Back in 2000 I met a successful pro in Boston who had two studio. One in Boston and one in LA. He came to my shop one time fuming over Nikon's treatment of him. He dumped about $40k worth of Nikon gear on eBay and switched to Canon just for the support issue. He was a happy camper when I met him which was after the switch. Nikon treated him like a jerk and he got tired of it.

09-17-2014, 10:00 PM   #32
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Durability

One thing I haven't seen mentioned here is the durability of Pentax cameras. I have two k1000 film bodies, a k100D and a k10D. All have been subject to various degrees of abuse from raindrops to blowing Texas dust to sandy beach and salt air to being dropped off a horse and fallen down a hillside with.
In short, these belong to a 100% certified, full-time "kids, don't try this at home" professional klutz. Other than regular sensor cleanings by a pro photographer friend, they have required no maintenance or repair over the years.
Since I'd rather be adding to my gear than replacing it, that has been fairly important to me.
09-17-2014, 11:50 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gallopingphotog Quote
One thing I haven't seen mentioned here is the durability of Pentax cameras. I have two k1000 film bodies, a k100D and a k10D. All have been subject to various degrees of abuse from raindrops to blowing Texas dust to sandy beach and salt air to being dropped off a horse and fallen down a hillside with.
In short, these belong to a 100% certified, full-time "kids, don't try this at home" professional klutz. Other than regular sensor cleanings by a pro photographer friend, they have required no maintenance or repair over the years.
Since I'd rather be adding to my gear than replacing it, that has been fairly important to me.
I have to agree with you! (not on you being a klutz, but rather on the durability of Pentax!)
09-18-2014, 03:07 AM   #34
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I can hand held my DA21 in the dark up to 1/8 sec shutter speed. thanks to SR! that's equal to using f/1.4 lens with 1/30 sec shutter speed (without SR).
And @ f/3.2 it's decently sharp in the center where it really matters in dark nights. and well, you will end up using ISO1600 and the IQ degradation due to high ISO is more noticeable than the corner issues.
And not to mention, if you want faster you won't get a small lens! check Sigma's f/1.4 and f/1.8 lenses.

09-20-2014, 03:58 PM   #35
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1. The prime slowness isn't too much of an issue I find. You will forgive all the flaws of a da limited when you see the image quality! If you need more, then keep an eye out for a decent second hand 43mm f1.9 limited.
2. Autofocus speed very much depends on the lens. The da 40 limited is almost instant due to the tiny focus throw, and is almost always spot on (which is a quality that makes it fairly decent in low light). The da 35 f2.8 limited can take some time due to its macro nature and long focus throw.
3. Look to the second hand market for lenses. Da 40, da 35 f2.4 and da 50 f1.8's are easy to find, and so don't demand a high price. The da 21 and fa 43 always seem to go for lower than you'd imagine (they are seen as lesser siblings to the da15 and fa31, which is a touch unfair IMHO). The others tend to be a bit harder to come by (probably because they are highly rated!). Buy a couple of second hand limiteds, and you'll probably understand why pentaxians are so passionate for the brand (and if you then decide to move on to another brand, you won't have lost much if anything on the lenses)
09-20-2014, 06:35 PM   #36
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Pentax has some fairly unique pros and cons.

Pentax bodies are very solid and pack a lot of features into a small-ish space, and generally sell for a reasonable price. There are some relatively unique lenses (60-250, for example), and some fairly unique primes available.

On the other hand, 3rd party manufactures have almost completely abandoned Pentax over the past decade, and the trend seems to be accelerating, so your choice of modern lenses is dramatically less than with Canikon, and not just because Pentax has a more modest lens lineup.

Here in the US, service for any recent Pentax product seems to vary between extremely slow, ineffective, and completely unavailable. Pentax doesn't service its own products; it relies entirely on 3rd party providers, who may or may not have any training, experience, or equipment to service Pentax products. Service outside the US might not be in such bleak condition.

As for corporate stability, Ricoh isn't necessarily less stable than Nikon or Canon. But those two brands are so established that regardless of what happens to their corporate parents, the camera product lines would likely survive into the foreseeable future. Pentax, possibly not.
09-20-2014, 08:53 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by Truxtar Quote
Hey guys,

so I'm about to buy my first serious camera. I shot with a Canon G15 over 1 year long, but now sold it because I want better Imagequality, especially in lower light conditions and play around with depth of field. Small Sensors just doesn't cut it.
APS-C is the way to go for me.

Since I'm not rich, I have to chose one type of mount and stick to it some time. Canon, Nikon or Pentax is the question. My original idea was to buy the K50 + 18-135mm to start with and get some decent limited prime lenses over time (good lenses over a expensive body like the k3). I really like the features of the midrange Pentaxes that no other manufacturer delivers (100% viewfinder!) and I like the compact size of the limited lenses. My dream would be to get 2-3 high quality, small prime lenses and stick to it for a long time and only update the body from time to time. Pentax seems to deliver what I'm searching for, however:

1. The prime lenses are quite slow (f 3.2, f2.8, f2.4)
2. The autofocus is not fast and has no silent motor (Not that much of a dealbreaker for my purposese I think)
and the most important point
3. Pentax seems to be economically weak. It could be that in a few years I sit on my expensive lenses and no new K-mount body will be ever released again. It's not about the selling value after a few years of usage, I don't care about that. I'm just scared that my lens collection could be completely useless, even if I'm still happy with them.

In all honesty, can you recommend a newbuyer wanting to build a good system over some time with Pentax and their K-Mount? With no gear at all, starting from the scratch? I ask in this forum, because most of the Pentaxians have experience with other systems, but not the other way round. And the quality of responses is very good in this forum.

I will go to Photokina at saturday, I think alot of my questions will be answered there. However I would like to read some of your opionions.
I hope you had a chance to go to Photokina and check out all the displays.

To address your points :

1) Yes, on paper the primes offered by Ricoh are a bit slower on average than those offered by others. If you find yourself needing something faster than f/1.4 in a variety of focal lengths you may feel cramped. Sigma offers a 30mm f/1.4 I believe. Personally, I find f/2.8 fast enough. Aperture to me is not everything. It's just one component. My attraction to Pentax lenses is the color rendering. Wow, it is surreal in many, many cases!

2) Autofocus speed and sound levels depend on the lens. The DA 18-135mm you mentioned is virtually silent.

3) Ricoh is actually doing pretty well for itself. They are posting profits, releasing new products, etc. I don't see a contraction from them. Even if they did go under, your camera and the lens won't. They will function until the shutter seizes at 100k actuations or beyond. Just keep the battery charged. So I hardly think that your gear will be useless. My Spotmatics are just as useful today as they were when they were released 40 to 50 years ago.

I think it's easy to get bogged down in specifications, charts, and analytical decision making when it comes to purchasing something. You want to reason yourself to the right decision and you do that by comparing numbers. That's tough to do because you're kind of waging war between the confidence of the numbers and the emotional desires to get into the gear and the hobby. Find a company or brand that believes in the same thing that you do and go for it. Ricoh seems to believe that you should live your life with a high quality camera which is constantly with you to capture all of life's moments. With that, they seal their cameras and lenses, make the bodies small, and retain the K mount to give you access to many, many, many lenses. If that is not something you believe in then no matter how good our cameras are then they are probably not for you.
09-20-2014, 09:57 PM   #38
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I don't think I can answer your question without your articulating what kind of photography you practice? And knowing your future directions can help too.

Different camera platforms are stronger for some types of photography and weaker for others. Know before you leap.

mM

09-21-2014, 01:30 AM - 1 Like   #39
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Most people probably end up with one camera and three lenses, if that, and work fine with that gear for years, gradually improving their skills. Or after a while they may drop their hobby entirely for one reason or another, and put all their gear in a drawer, never to touch it again, or sell it. The whole photography thing for most amateurs is not a complicated project. No need for anxiety about 'systems', 'investments', or camera company financials.

So don't worry about your hobby too much up front. Start slow and simply buy the gear that suits the direction your photography is going. You may only end up with a small set of gear, and that's fine. A pro I admire exhibits internationally, but only has one camera and three lenses, a kit that he gradually built up over about 5 years. Doesn't even own a flash. I don't think he worries too much about the latest financial results from his camera maker.
09-22-2014, 10:09 AM   #40
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Thanks guys for all the great responses. I really appreciate it. And I'm sorry for not responding, but I didn't want to discuss but just read your opinions. And they have helped alot.

As I said I visited Photokina yesterday and I'm glad that I found out that an optical viewfinder is definitely better than an EVF. This narrowed down my decission to SLR's only (that's a big step).

Left are Nikon, Canon and Pentax.

I also noticed that a batery grip makes a cam 100% more comfortable, so this is a must for me.

The Nikon beginner cams (D3200, D5300) felt very uncomfortably in my hands, the D7100 was nice but felt really heavy. There are alot of complains about oil on the sensor coming from the body itself aswell.

The Canon 700D was kinda nice, however it has a really small viewfinder. The price gap between this and the K-3 is not that great that I would consider It to be an option. The 70D felt really comfortable in my hands, the viewfinder was nice and it was fast. However it had MASSIVE autofocus problems, It was really as bad as alot of people are telling. The acutal no-go for me was that you have to use the dial on the front of the cam to adjust arpeture and the dial on top of the cam for the shutter speed. I've tried to adjust both at the same time, my fingers cramped immediately. Same for the 7D MKII and it is just way too heavy and clunky for me.Over 1 Kilograms, comon. Just compare it to the K-3, LOL.

And then I tried out the K-3. Holy cow, how small is this camera! I really liked the grip, however my small finger had no grip at all. The second problem was the second dial in front of the camera. I turned off the cam like 5 times, because I instinctively tried to adjust the arpeture there, LOL. Imo Canons dial on top is way better positioned, but unlike Canon you have 2 dials and you can actually adjust both settings without cramping. It's not perfect, but it's better than Nikon and Canon.

There was a 18-55 kit-lense mounted, so I checked the noisy autofocus. It's really not that noisy and I would have no problems at all using it. It's not (that slow) either. It's not that fast as other manufactures, but the difference between them is really small.

After that I asked a staffmember If I could try out the K-3 with a batterygrip. My small finger finally found his place to hold and It felt really nice. I think I will get used to the second dial.

I've also managed to get a used 18-135 WR lense from a trader on e-bay for 185€ with 1 Months free return time. In a week I will buy the K-3 with a batterygrip and try it out with the lense. I think I will really like this combination. If not I will just send them back.
09-22-2014, 01:27 PM   #41
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You got a great bargain on the 18-135, I think. You'll like the lens.

I like the two wheels. Once you get used to the camera, you'll find them perfectly placed for TAv, P or M mode use.

I don't have a grip (or so I've been told). I like the smaller camera size, typically gripping the camera with 3 fingers, allowing the index finger to float near the front adjustment wheel. I haven't tried a K3, but the wheel layout is the same as K5's.
09-22-2014, 01:37 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
You got a great bargain on the 18-135, I think. You'll like the lens.
An almost suspicious deal...
09-22-2014, 02:56 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by Truxtar Quote
After that I asked a staffmember If I could try out the K-3 with a batterygrip
I always leave the grip on. feels much better with it. and it helps a lot for vertical photos.
09-22-2014, 04:46 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
I like the two wheels. Once you get used to the camera, you'll find them perfectly placed for TAv, P or M mode use.
Do other brands have TAv? It's one of the things I really like about the K-30.

I also like the two wheels. Starting out I often turned them the wrong way. Now I try to remember clockwise = faster (ie faster shutter speed on the front dial and wider aperture on the rear).
09-22-2014, 05:01 PM   #45
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I think thy can all do TAv by going manual with auto ISO - we just have a dial position for it.
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