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01-06-2010, 03:45 PM   #1
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Questions about the Pentax Universe

Just a heads up this is probably going to get a bit rambly.

I'm upgrading to my first dSLR (coming from a Canon G10) and have narrowed it down to the Pentax K7 or the Nikon D90. I'm not here for a comparison of the two cameras, which I'm sure you're all tired of addressing already Though feel free to add any thoughts you want concerning the two. I'm pretty sold on the K7 being more "bang for your buck" I LOVE that it has weather sealing at this price point.

Pentax lenses seem to be far more expensive, especially the primes, which is what I'm more interested in. Nikon has a great range of primes for what appears reasonable prices, i.e. 35mm &50mm with autofocus.

I haven't found a 35mm offered by Pentax, am I mistaken here?

I'm not adverse to manual focus, I've just never done it. I've read that the camera still confirms focus (with a beep) when using manual lenses. Is this correct?

The lens situation just seems far more complicated with Pentax than Nikon, at least to my knowledge at this point in time.

Considering it's my first dSLR I'm aware that I'm buying into a system and it's a longer term investment, at least for those who aren't cash conscious.

I would just appriciate any advice, opinions and overall knowledge from all you dedicated Pentax users here. Thanks in advance for the time...

01-06-2010, 03:50 PM   #2
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There are many references to read, for instance: Pentax Lens: Primes - SLRgear.com!
You should also investigate the 31mm limited, a littel wider but a favorite for many.
01-06-2010, 04:47 PM   #3
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Hi Snowvent,
Iam not sure where the D90 sits in the Nikon range, but my daughter bought a D60 and has had a very quick (& painful $$$) lesson in lenses. Any Nikon lens will fit her D60, but auto focus etc will only work with the AFS series on lenses....everything else is a manual lens. So be aware of where the D90 sits in this scenario.
I looked into buying her a lens(s) for birthday/Xmas and gave up, too expensive and restrictive.

Pentax backwards compatibility is legendary and seamless.

I cant comment on the K7, will leave that up to others. My wife & I have the K200 & K20.

Goodluck.
01-06-2010, 07:24 PM   #4
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Snowvent,
Pentax has the DA 35mm macro that I use often for all types of shooting, and IMHO is much more than a macro specific lens.
Can't give any advice on the K7 But I have enjoyed both my K10 and K20.
BTW, I just picked up a G10 for my wife, nice camera, but the Pentax dslr with a prime mounted renders great images.
Jeff

01-06-2010, 07:44 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Snowvent Quote
I'm pretty sold on the K7 being more "bang for your buck" I LOVE that it has weather sealing at this price point.
Since it appears you value "value-for-money" I'd suggest this approach. Get just about any Pentax 28mm-50mm prime on K-mount or M42 mount (Super Takumar etc.). Learn MF, and ME if the lens is M42, K or M, use it for a while and then decide what FL and shooting method suits you best.

I've got a Super Takumar 50/F1.4, M28/F2.8, M50/F1.7, A50/F2 as well as a number of modern zooms. MF is fine for deliberate, static shooting. You can get any of these lenses for very good prices. M50/F1.7 is my most used prime. I switch to the A50/F2 when I'm using flash.

An FA 31/F1.8 Limited looks like a wonderful lens, but we're speaking much bigger bucks. It is weather sealed though.

I use DA 16-45/F4 for general use & DA 55-300/F4-5.8 for the action stuff.

If you need WR for one lens, but don't want the cost & fixed FL limitations of the FA 31, consider the WR kit lens. It's good quality for an 18-55/F3.5-5.6 lens.

Dan.

Last edited by dosdan; 01-06-2010 at 08:08 PM.
01-06-2010, 08:04 PM   #6
Igilligan
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If the lens costs of the Pentax are too high... then the D90 would be the ticket.

You could get the Nikon

28mm 2.8 - 245
35mm 1.8 - 200
50mm 1.8 - 110
85mm 1.8 - 425

Will any be as good as the $1000 FA 31... Nope
Will any be as good as the $540 Da 35... Nope
Will any be as good as the $650 DA 55... Nope
Will any be as good as the $800 FA 77... Nope


But will the Nikon entry primes do the job...? I bet yes
Will you enjoy shooting with them... again a yes (give me a fast 85 1.8 please)

You are commiting to a system... Only you know how much money you want to spend... We can all pretty much tell you, no matter which way you go, it will be at least double what you think it will be

The Nikon Flash system, hands down superior in my limited usage... the Nikon entry Level primes are hands down less expensive... you can buy all 4 of those primes for the same cost as the FA 31... but they are not the FA 31

The FA 31 is in a class all its own. The FA 77 is a 'love at first click' lens.

Good luck with your decision. If I was starting now, with pentax lens prices and the amount of inexpensive AF primes available for the Nikon... It would not be as easy a decision as it was 3 years ago.

I left off the DA 40 and DA 70... these are very nice lenses if you like the Pancake style. Not real fast at 2.8 and 2.4... but wonderful non-the-less. They will not cost you a kidney, just an arm and a leg.
The DA 40 is 339 (IMO the best value in the Pentax AF line up)
The DA 70 is 549

Having said all this, I hardly ever use AF lenses. I stick with cheap old fast primes. That is where my pentax camera really shines.

Last edited by Igilligan; 01-06-2010 at 08:33 PM.
01-06-2010, 09:52 PM   #7
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just a quick correction the 31 mm limited like all the FA and DA limited are NOT weather-sealed
01-07-2010, 12:01 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Igilligan Quote
You could get the Nikon

28mm 2.8 - 245
35mm 1.8 - 200
50mm 1.8 - 110
85mm 1.8 - 425

Will any be as good as the $1000 FA 31... Nope
Will any be as good as the $540 Da 35... Nope
Will any be as good as the $650 DA 55... Nope
Will any be as good as the $800 FA 77... Nope
Gus, Nikon also has expensive primes and Pentax also has cheaper primes, say instead of DA 35 one could get FA 35 and instead of DA 55 one could get FA 50, and instead of FA 31 one could look for FA 28. Portrait lens is a problem 'cause in AF dept, Pentax only produced FA 77 and FA 85/1.4 which is even more expensive than FA 77.

But I agree with your assessment in all other respects.

01-07-2010, 12:20 AM   #9
Igilligan
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Hey Boris,

Actually the FA 35 is still available at Pentax Usa for $475... so it is not that cheap. And that is the only place I have heard of it still being available. Used copies are fetching up to 400 now. The FA 28 is another you will not find new as far as I know.

The FA 50 is 379 new... I think most know how I feel about that PFing soft until 2.8 lens already. My $20 Helios is as sharp at F2 as the FA 50 is at F4 and the Helios has no PF.

The Nikon Lenses are available at most Brick and Mortar camera stores. Readily available on line. I only listed the Pentax lenses that are actually available to the average consumer.

You are right though, I should have mentioned the FA 50... Just because I believe it to be a $150 dollar lens, does not mean that someone else does not want to pay $379 for it.

Also I think the DA 70 would be an ok portrait length lens in the Pentax Catalog. But the FA 77 is magic.

Last edited by Igilligan; 01-07-2010 at 02:10 AM.
01-08-2010, 12:17 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Snowvent Quote
Pentax lenses seem to be far more expensive, especially the primes, which is what I'm more interested in.
Some, sure. Others are more expensive for Canon; others still more expensive for Nikon. It all pretty much averages out in the long run. But FWIW, the reason some lenses are cheaper for canon is that they are old film lenses still being sold; Pentax has designed an entirely new line of primes. Canon & Nikon don't have anything like the 14, 15, 21, 40, 35 macro, 70, much less the 31, 43, or 77.

QuoteQuote:
I've read that the camera still confirms focus (with a beep) when using manual lenses. Is this correct?
Yes, although the beep is optional - the real indicator is a green hexagon.

QuoteQuote:
The lens situation just seems far more complicated with Pentax than Nikon
Not really. It is if you look at an old film focal length offered by Nikon and wonder how to reproduce that on Pentax, but reverse it and the store is the same the other way: if you look at a focal length offered by Pentax, you'll struggle to reproduce it on Nikon, too.
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