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12-24-2009, 05:25 PM   #1
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canon user jumping ship to pentax

Hello,

Im planning on moving to Pentax, since I really like the K-x (it's smaller than Canon's smallest, better high ISO).

I have a few things to know first before I give it a go:

1. I have a bunch of different flash lights/strobist equipment (wireless transmitter, etc) I use with my Canon. Will it fit Pentax? It fits Nikon & Canon. Sony's got a different hotshoe. I have a Pentax K1000 Film SLR, the flash works on it. Will it also work with the K-x?

2. I have access to a bunch of lenses that fits Pentax K1000. I assume they'll fit the K-x?

3. Canon's got this REALLY sharp AND ULTRA-LOW PRICE lens, the EF 50mm F1.8. It costs around $90. It also AUTO-FOCUSES on any Canon EOS camera. What's a comparable Pentax lens, in terms of specs AND price?

I have a 50mm F2 Pentax-m from the K1000. But it's full manual aperture and focus. On the K1000, it's ok since it's Full-Frame, the viewfinder is huge. On APS-C I find manual focus quite useless.


I also like the fact that it uses AA batteries, I have a LOT of Enerloops since I use them in my flash guns.

Thanks!

12-24-2009, 08:17 PM   #2
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I am pretty new here so I won't be able to help much. But, as far as I know, almost if not all lenses pentax ever made can fit modern bodies either with an adapter or just straight up. As for 50mm, I can't find an equiv on the pentax side. Even the manual 50mm at $145 right now in the for sale forum though it is a 1.4 but still. I am not sure if it is the holidays, but, the way lens prices go on auction sites, you wouldn't think there is a recession going on.

do a search you will see many "nifty fifty" suggestions. Almost all of them wil cost you near your 90$ mark if not over once you count shipping. Nearly 100% of the suggestions are going to be manual lenes. The FA and older F 50mm are much more than your 90$ mark too even used.

I complain becasue I can't get them "cheap" because I go by what read here on general conscience on what a particular lens should cost... but, I almost always get out bid and the price is always higher than the conscience here. you really have to be patient.

If you do a search, there are few post on how to make the k-x better for manual focusing lenes. I think some posts even suggest that one should look else where on the pentax line if manual lense are used frequently due to low budget VF on the k-x.

Sounds pretty negative post. But, I really like the k-x. I am patiently waiting for good deals on lenses now.
12-24-2009, 11:29 PM   #3
Igilligan
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You will get a lot of fanboys telling you how great the FA 50 and how crappy the canon 50 1.8 is... take it with a grain.

I know with the Nikons the older cheaper AF lenses do not work with the entry level cams because they lack screwdrive. If canon has entry level cams working with a 90 dollar fast 50... kudos to them. Nikon wont be far behind. They already have a fast 35 1.8 for 200 that works on the entry level cams.

But Pentax has decided to head in another direction. The last of their cheap fast primes the FA 50 has gone up almost 80%.. IMHO it is to keep it from drawing sales from their newest Fast 50 the DA 55 1.4 with sdm. All of the pentax primes are expensive now. But they are very good lenses, so it is worth it if you have that kind of money.

But don't be so fast to poo poo the mf idea with the Kx... you can live view focus with the old manual lenses and do really well. The 50 f2 you have is the worst of the bunch though. It is a pretty soft lens. Any of the 50 1.7 or 1.4 mf lenses will spank it.

I have used cheap mf lenses almost exclusively for the last year and a half with my K100d and k20d and I love them. The Helios 44m - Vivitar 28 close focus - Tair 135 2.8 -- SMC Tak 50 1.4... They all blow the glass off of the Pentax FA 50 1.4 or Canon 50 1.8.
And I spent 20 - 60 bucks for them.

If you do end up buying a AF prime lens for Kx... forget the fa 50 at 360 bucks and opt for the DA 40 2.8 ltd. pancake instead.

Unless of course money is no object... In that case go for the the DA 35... it rocks
12-24-2009, 11:53 PM   #4
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Pentax-f 50mm 1.7

Pentax-f 50mm 1.7

You can usually find this lens used on Ebay for $125-150. VERY, VERY sharp lens (I have owned the cheap Canon 1.8, and I know it is sharp as well) and the build quality is better than the Canon (the Pentax lens is uglier though, imo ) It only has five aperture blades though (if I remember correctly), so the bokeh isn't always the best when stopped down a little (again, like the Canon, if I remember correctly).
Good luck,
Tony

12-25-2009, 12:04 AM   #5
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Have you considered spending time with a Kx before committing?
If not, I would highly recommend you tried that first as many people seem to overlook such things only to regret it afterward.

Don't get me wrong here... I think Pentax has alot of things going for it, and so I'm just trying to help you avoid any regretful circumstances after it's to late typa thing.
Also I think the Kx is a fine camera(never used one other than store handling), so long as you know that is limited in contrast to a prosumer camera.
12-25-2009, 12:10 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Igilligan Quote
You will get a lot of fanboys telling you how great the FA 50 and how crappy the canon 50 1.8 is... take it with a grain.
As a Canon FD loyalist, I'd actually be pretty shocked if the Canon 1.8 design suddenly became in a *league* with the FA 50, actually. I've used every variant of that lens *till* EOS, and... Well.

They always made a nice 1.4, themselves, though, if that's important.

Pentax is not really in a fancy flash automation sort of place, though, but even a KX can trigger the setup you seem to have, as well as anything else. It's an entry-level camera, though, and AFAIK doesn't have a PC socket like the K10/20/7.


If you can't manually-focus, your old lenses won't help you much, (what I findwith a crop finder is that it's the moderately-short focal lengths that are hard to focus, and longer things are OK, even with the stock screen: all lenses will give you focus confirmation, anyway, so, it's not hopeless. I just don't trust automation very much. it's up to you where your priorities are, basically.

Last edited by Ratmagiclady; 12-25-2009 at 12:17 AM.
12-25-2009, 12:25 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by buliwyf Quote
Hello,

Im planning on moving to Pentax, since I really like the K-x (it's smaller than Canon's smallest, better high ISO).

I have a few things to know first before I give it a go:

1. I have a bunch of different flash lights/strobist equipment (wireless transmitter, etc) I use with my Canon. Will it fit Pentax? It fits Nikon & Canon. Sony's got a different hotshoe. I have a Pentax K1000 Film SLR, the flash works on it. Will it also work with the K-x?
Yes.

QuoteOriginally posted by buliwyf Quote
2. I have access to a bunch of lenses that fits Pentax K1000. I assume they'll fit the K-x?
Yes with SR & metering in M mode.

QuoteOriginally posted by buliwyf Quote
3. Canon's got this REALLY sharp AND ULTRA-LOW PRICE lens, the EF 50mm F1.8. It costs around $90. It also AUTO-FOCUSES on any Canon EOS camera. What's a comparable Pentax lens, in terms of specs AND price?
Pentax used to have the F/FA50/1.7, but now discontinued. The F/FA50/1.4 are pretty much as good/bad as the Canon EF and used to be sold for USD200 brand new. Build quality wise, I rate the F higher than the FA, but also more expensive on used market.

QuoteOriginally posted by buliwyf Quote
I have a 50mm F2 Pentax-m from the K1000. But it's full manual aperture and focus. On the K1000, it's ok since it's Full-Frame, the viewfinder is huge. On APS-C I find manual focus quite useless.
Not sure what you mean by useless. Manual focus is manual focus. The easiness of manual focus depends on your eyesight, the focal length, the subject contrast and the viewfinder quality.
12-25-2009, 12:35 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by wlachan Quote
Manual focus is manual focus. The easiness of manual focus depends on your eyesight, the focal length, the subject contrast and the viewfinder quality.
Given the description here, the initial comment of manual focus being manual focus comes right back at you

You may want to consider adding focus screens(split prisms) and AF confirm functions to that statement as well.
Which is why we avoided adding a Kx to our kits.

12-25-2009, 12:58 AM   #9
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Cool thanks for the reply, all

I was actually saving up for a Canon 7D, but it's got drawbacks for me.
1. Price too expensive for a darn camera
2. Body too big & heavy (good for my hands though, but it's too bulky and obvious to carry around)
3. Only comes in cliche black color

So It's logical that I look into the smaller cheaper 500D/T1i. Which leads me to the yet smaller and cheaper Pentax K-x that performs better on ISO3200. And also comes in different colors

It's really convenient for me to have Autofocus, APS-C viewfinder is very small.

My current setup is Canon 400D with EF 50 1.8, EF 28 2.8, and Kit EF-S 18-55 3.5-5.6. My photos are here: Rollo Rodriguez.

400D is actually good enough for anything I need to shoot (especially in studio setup which IMO is very lighting and post production dependent).

But, discreet form factor (as long as not smaller than APS-C), 720p 24fps video and clean-ish ISO3200 are VERY NICE for me
12-25-2009, 01:57 AM   #10
Igilligan
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That is good one RML... I am still grinnin'

QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
As a Canon FD loyalist, I'd actually be pretty shocked if the Canon 1.8 design suddenly became in a *league* with the FA 50, actually. I've used every variant of that lens *till* EOS, and... Well.

In a league with the FA 50 1.4??? You mean the Purple Fringing, soft until 2.8, super duper FA 50 1.4... that now sells for 360 american dollars???

I imagine it would be tough for a 90 dollar AF 50 1.8 lens to beat it... or not
12-25-2009, 02:57 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Igilligan Quote
In a league with the FA 50 1.4??? You mean the Purple Fringing, soft until 2.8, super duper FA 50 1.4... that now sells for 360 american dollars???

I imagine it would be tough for a 90 dollar AF 50 1.8 lens to beat it... or not
LOL

Okay, the Canon 1.8 is sharp, and a very decent lens, but the build quality makes it feel like a toy lens. Still, some of my friends who shoot Canon love it, and for the price, it is almost an automatic buy for any Canon shooter who doesn't want to pay ~$350-400 for the 1.4.
The FA 50mm 1.4 is a very nice lens. It was a great deal when it was under $200, and the current price is fair, if not exactly lba inducing. It is very comparable to other company's 1.4 50's in pretty much every way (read the various reviews). My copy of the lens is as sharp as the other system's 1.4 50mm lenses (that I have used, Canon and Nikon) at all apertures. It is a very good lens with one significant flaw (purple fringing at wide apertures in high contrast situations). Still, taking all characteristics into consideration, it is as good as the competition.
The Pentax AF 50mm 1.7 lenses (unfortunately discontinued) are great. Extremely sharp and sharp even wide open, only a bit slower than the 1.4, but the bokeh stopped down isn't that great unless you like pentagons. The price on the used market is also not too bad (granted, it is still more expensive than the Canon 1.8 new with warranty).
So if you are looking for a less expensive autofocus fast fifty, I once again recommend the 1.7. But, if you find the 1.4 at a good price, don't pass it up, it is also a very good lens and has a few advantages over the 1.7 (speed, bokeh,...1.4 bragging rights...lol).
12-25-2009, 03:18 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by buliwyf Quote
Hello,

Im planning on moving to Pentax, since I really like the K-x (it's smaller than Canon's smallest, better high ISO).

I have a few things to know first before I give it a go:

1. I have a bunch of different flash lights/strobist equipment (wireless transmitter, etc) I use with my Canon. Will it fit Pentax? It fits Nikon & Canon. Sony's got a different hotshoe. I have a Pentax K1000 Film SLR, the flash works on it. Will it also work with the K-x?

2. I have access to a bunch of lenses that fits Pentax K1000. I assume they'll fit the K-x?

3. Canon's got this REALLY sharp AND ULTRA-LOW PRICE lens, the EF 50mm F1.8. It costs around $90. It also AUTO-FOCUSES on any Canon EOS camera. What's a comparable Pentax lens, in terms of specs AND price?

I have a 50mm F2 Pentax-m from the K1000. But it's full manual aperture and focus. On the K1000, it's ok since it's Full-Frame, the viewfinder is huge. On APS-C I find manual focus quite useless.


I also like the fact that it uses AA batteries, I have a LOT of Enerloops since I use them in my flash guns.

Thanks!
First, welcome to that club...I traded in my 40D & lenses around June-ish....second I can say I always felt the Nifty-Fifty Canon was pretty over rated and not a good buy, better an old M42 (screw mount) with an adapter over it. You will really like the array of primes to be had. Plus you will enjoy the SR (IS) with each and every lense thanks to it being in-body.

Not much to add to the list...I agree with the suggestion of the DA 40ltd over the FA 50mm...you might also think about spending a bit more and look at the DA 35mm Limited, it's one of the sharpest lenses I every used plus it is a true macro though it's real strength is as an everyday close focus lense that can be used for almost anything from still life to macro to portraits to walk around. If you like to do more close-up sort of shooting, give this one a decent look.

All of your wireless strobist stuff should work fine. I still am kicking myself for selling my 430EX II, did not thing I used it almost exclusively off-camera with a trigger (ghetto triggers of course... ) so it was going to be FINE...but flash might be one area you will find very different and, honestly, not as flexible with Pentax due to the lack of high-speed sync...but even that can be worked around to a decent degree.

Welcome to the party & have some fun, the folks here are super and know their stuff!!

Last edited by brecklundin; 12-25-2009 at 03:26 AM.
12-25-2009, 06:18 AM   #13
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Ok, seems that if I want to have 50mm autofocus, I need either:

smcP FA 43mm f/1.9 Limited ~ $600
smc PENTAX DA Star 55mm F1.4 SDM ~ $650
50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM ~ $500
Pentax SMCP-FA 50mm f/1.4 ~$360

Assuming I choose the cheapest of the above 50mm's:

K-x Kit : $550
FA 50 1.4 : $360
400D used: ($400)
TOTAL spent: $510

If I get a 500D/T1i:
500D Kit: $750
Extra battery: $50 (MUST have at least 1 extra)
400D used: ($400)
TOTAL spent: $400

grrrrrrrr the weighing scale is too even!
12-25-2009, 08:46 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by buliwyf Quote
Ok, seems that if I want to have 50mm autofocus, I need either:

smcP FA 43mm f/1.9 Limited ~ $600
smc PENTAX DA Star 55mm F1.4 SDM ~ $650
50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM ~ $500
Pentax SMCP-FA 50mm f/1.4 ~$360

Assuming I choose the cheapest of the above 50mm's:

K-x Kit : $550
FA 50 1.4 : $360
400D used: ($400)
TOTAL spent: $510

If I get a 500D/T1i:
500D Kit: $750
Extra battery: $50 (MUST have at least 1 extra)
400D used: ($400)
TOTAL spent: $400

grrrrrrrr the weighing scale is too even!
Stay with Canon. You are already familiar with the brand and its system. You haven't expressed any interest in what is uniquely pentax. The high ISO of T1i is no joke either. All these camera features for the most part, up to subjective interpretation. The biggest draw for me is the in body SR -- which is unique to pentax (when compare to Canon). You don't seem to view that as a high priority. All other features are available in both camps for the most part.

With Canon, you don't have to buy new lenses and you have a known vs unknown and ramp up time and according to your calculation, cheaper to boot.

Based on my limited experience, unless there is a pentax lens that strikes your fancy or feature of the body that is important but you can't get on the Canon side, why bother? Unless you want to... if that's the case, ignore me
12-25-2009, 09:29 AM   #15
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Yeah, for me it was good that I haven't had time to have a collection of lenses yet from the film era else I would have still a Nikon system.
I am now on Pentax and this is where I'll stay as I have already a lot of lenses..although the lenses are becoming extremely expensive, even the MF ones!
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