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06-23-2010, 01:43 AM   #61
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QuoteOriginally posted by mokey Quote
OK. I've been a Pentax girl since my first camera. Loved them and their lenses. In the last 6 months, my DA*16-50 has had motor replaced, and then had to have focus mechanism "adjusted" (stopped auto focusing completely) Now it works fine, but my DA*50-135 is starting to squeek - which is how the 16-50 started. It is 6 months out of warranty. Pentax Canada says they will "look at the situation" Here's hoping they cover it.
So basically, I really want someone to remind me why I loved Pentax so much. I do a lot of sports photography for hockey and soccer (my kids teams, not professionally) and I've never been totally happy with the speed of AF.
Watcha think? Should I sell off my system -K20d , 16-50(2.8), 50-135(2.8), 12-24(4)
and switch to Nikon???
Mokey,

I say if your tools have been letting you down, you shouldn't feel bad considering other options.

This said, if you want to stay with Pentax, upgrading to the Pentax K-7 with a Sigma telephoto lens with a HSM motor would likely be a big upgrade in AF speed from both the camera and the lens. This is especially since the DA* 50-135 f/2.8 is supposed to be relatively slow compared to other telephoto lenses. I can't say for sure, as I've never tried one.

Pentax still has some improvements to make when it comes to AF speed, especially AF tracking, but the K-7 is a definite improvement over the K20D. I have owned both and used both for sports. I think the K-x might even be better than the K20D in this department.

It is unfortunate that Pentax lacks a true, top of the line, sports shooting telephoto lens option at this time. I am looking at getting a Sigma telephoto myself for this very reason. On the other hand, shooters from Nikon and Canon often rely on primes from Sigma and other manufacturers because they lack Pentax's variety of relatively affordable** primes to choose from. In this way, every brand has gaps that can be supplemented by lenses from other sources. If there was a perfect option, everyone would be using it.

Or, actually there'd still probably be a few rebels using the flawed brand even in this scenario. Afterall, it's good to be different


** Yes, I realize both companies -- especially Canon -- have some primes that are the cats pajamas. But they generally cost a lot of money. Like more than the FA31 type of money. Nikon in particular, though, seems to lack a lot of fixed focal length options.

06-23-2010, 02:54 AM   #62
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Hello! I've been reading this thread for days and wonder if I should post a reply...maybe you have came through all the following in other threads so far...if that is the case sorry for that.

I've almost bought a d300 a few weeks ago-but looking at the size of the 70-300mm 4.-5.6VR (or whatever) lens made me change my mind. Instead I bought the DA55-300 and a DA12-24. I have a k200d and K-x, the wide angle lens is "glued" to the k200 and I'm very happy with the DA55-300 on my K-x-which I use for birding..don't think I'm serious wildlife photographer-it's just so that the SIZE of the Pentax gear makes it possible to have two cameras around my shoulders all the time-and whenever a bird arrives the K-x is there. (before this I used the 16-45 and the 50-200 in a similar way:

just like that:



and the whole combo goes into this bag:



two cameras with the above mentioned lenses plus a FA50 and a F35-70 plus the giotto pump (still some place left for a nice limited.:



and as far as "birding"-I'm pleased with my results:

DA50-200:




DA55-300:

both at 300mm





and it's even better at 230mm:




The only thing which was very tempting with the Nikon were the affordable Tokina glass avilable for a very good price: (11-16 2.8 or the 16-50 2.8). But sizewise I think the Pentax is unbeatable.

Andras
06-23-2010, 04:05 AM   #63
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QuoteOriginally posted by Urkeldaedalus Quote
On the other hand, shooters from Nikon and Canon often rely on primes from Sigma and other manufacturers because they lack Pentax's variety of relatively affordable** primes to choose from. In this way, every brand has gaps that can be supplemented by lenses from other sources. If there was a perfect option, everyone would be using it.

** Yes, I realize both companies -- especially Canon -- have some primes that are the cats pajamas. But they generally cost a lot of money. Like more than the FA31 type of money. Nikon in particular, though, seems to lack a lot of fixed focal length options.
They generally cost a lot of money because of the level of performance. I'm not exactly sure where you are coming from saying that Canon lack affordable primes. It looks to me as if Canon lacks a middle class of primes as far as price goes and that is where the third party steps in.

The Canon 50/1.8, brand new, is $100. How much more affordable can you get before the lens is completely plastic?
06-23-2010, 04:56 AM   #64
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I'm going to be lazy and not read through the entire thread, because, well, I don't have the time right now. BUT, back in April I spent several days shooting rehearsals and performances of a ballet production (low light, movement). I had my K-7, K20, and my brother-in-laws Nikon d300, um maybe s? not sure. Something like that. I shot all three cameras side by side and was expecting the Nikon's AF to blow away my Pentaxes. Nope. Not even close. The K-7 smoked it. I couldn't get the Nikon to lock to save it's life. I finally put the stupid thing down and shot just the two Pentaxes.

Okay so I didn't have a comparable lens for the Nikon as I did for the Pentaxes in that situation, but I played with it outside of shooting the ballet, bright light stuff, and it was still having trouble locking on focus. Really, I was rather underwhelmed and much more impressed with my Pentax gear than I was after that. And I was already pretty darn impressed.

06-23-2010, 05:09 AM   #65
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QuoteOriginally posted by mokey Quote
Boy, some of you are snarky little creatures.... FYI , I'm a very good photographer and take some amazing hockey shots, and do not blame the equipment for the the not so amazing ones. But... the slow focus tracking does make it difficult to follow some kids. AND, the reason I am considering switching is because both my good lenses have crapped out. I question Pentax reliability on it's new stuff. Love the old stuff. Thanks to the people out there who have offered good advice. I will look into some possible Sigma lenses, and maybe try out a K7 or the next one...And maybe hope that my lenses won't cost me any more money.
BINGO....I had my 50-135 fail within it's first 30-days last year when i switched to Pentax from a Canon 40D system. Returned it, learned more about the spooky "....is today the day it will fail..." reliability issues of the 16-50 and 50-135. I decided I will not buy ANY SDM lenses until they come out with an obviously more reliable and faster ring focusing system across the board...and I am not willing to spend a nickle more for the better system. it should have been right from day one, Pentax had 60-years to get that right...and they failed for whatever reason. Perhaps that was the issue with Pentax before they were absorbed by Hoya. I am hoping the new HoyaTax will understand to improve market share they need a reliable upgrade path for those entering their system with the hugely popular K-x...I mean the have to have somewhere to go...especially as the kit lenses are zooms to begin with...upgraders are mostly going to expect quality and reliable higher end zooms to go with their upgraded body or even if they are just upgrading their glass.

If I had to go with an SDM it would probable be the 60-250 even if it's a full stop slower than the 50-135...the reason? I have not read near the number of failure reports. As for your 16-50, well there is no other lense option that is a WR lense. As I have asked before to people here, why I am I buying a WR body only to be restricted to non-WR lenses if I expect a higher degree of reliability? But your 16-50 is just a lense you will have to repair if you want to retain that WR component in your lense line-up.

Hope it all shakes out...for me it's my three primes that keep me from selling them and the body to get a 7D and one nice L lense to get what is essential for me right now then adding one lense a year as time goes on...I am willing to make that "compromise" if I don't see movement on the SDM issue by the end of next year, or if I win the lottery, at which point I address the issue by just throwing cash at it.
06-23-2010, 05:45 AM   #66
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As someone who DID make the switch to a Nikon system ( I still shoot film with pentax) each has its good points and bad. I went from a k10d ( which I loved, but had horrible low light performance) to a D700. I love my new camera. I love the AF and low light performance, which is exactly why I bought it in the first place.

Here's what I I found:
Lenses are retardedly expensive.
They really are no better, optical quality wise, than Pentax. Period.
Pentax has the sweeter menu set up. The Nikon you have to go digging for stuff and its a pain.
I never had an sdm issue with pentax, I was using the 60-250, and loved that lens.
I have 2 nikon lenses so far, the 24-70 ( I like it, it made a good first lens) and the 50mm1.4 g. Pentax's 50mm Crushes the nikon, hands down, for half the price.

There will be things you like better with a new system, there will also be new problems. The question is, will the problems the new system fixes override the problems you may find on the new system. For me the answer was yes.
06-23-2010, 06:47 AM   #67
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QuoteOriginally posted by lodi781 Quote
As someone who DID make the switch to a Nikon system ( I still shoot film with pentax) each has its good points and bad. I went from a k10d ( which I loved, but had horrible low light performance) to a D700. I love my new camera. I love the AF and low light performance, which is exactly why I bought it in the first place.

Here's what I I found:
Lenses are retardedly expensive.
They really are no better, optical quality wise, than Pentax. Period.
Pentax has the sweeter menu set up. The Nikon you have to go digging for stuff and its a pain.
I never had an sdm issue with pentax, I was using the 60-250, and loved that lens.
I have 2 nikon lenses so far, the 24-70 ( I like it, it made a good first lens) and the 50mm1.4 g. Pentax's 50mm Crushes the nikon, hands down, for half the price.

There will be things you like better with a new system, there will also be new problems. The question is, will the problems the new system fixes override the problems you may find on the new system. For me the answer was yes.
I had the same dilemma. I looked at the ultimate "prosumer" kit for ~$10kish and came up with:

1) D700 for stunning low light, high- IQ, and blazing AF performance.

2) 14-24 because it beats almost all zooms and primes from anyone.

2) 24-70 because it's the go-to bomb of a lens. Needs VR.

3) 70-300 VR, with optional tele. This can do it all for almost any prosumer but the BIF nutballs.

4) Nikon flash system; it's all good.

5) Pretty much any good macro lens from anyone. Tamron 90 will do.

6) Gitzo+RRS tripod/head.

7) Weekly visits to the chiropractor.

8) Increase the household insurance policy.

9) Backup camera that you wrap a t-shirt around and throw in the daypack with a prime lens: K-7 + DA 35 Macro.

Hmmm.......
06-23-2010, 07:08 AM   #68
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To all those aspiring Nikonians... What ya gonna do when there are great shots to be had but it's pouring rain or your in a situation where getting wet is inevitable? Kind of sucks to be limited with only a fair weather camera, no?

06-23-2010, 07:19 AM   #69
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QuoteOriginally posted by fractal Quote
They generally cost a lot of money because of the level of performance. I'm not exactly sure where you are coming from saying that Canon lack affordable primes. It looks to me as if Canon lacks a middle class of primes as far as price goes and that is where the third party steps in.

The Canon 50/1.8, brand new, is $100. How much more affordable can you get before the lens is completely plastic?
This wasn't so much a slam on Canon as saying that one of Pentax's strengths is a wide variety of high quality yet still somewhat affordable prime lenses. I know Canon has great primes in the $1,000-2000 price range, that's what I said in my previous post, and trust me, I would not turn down a Pentax version of the Canon 24 f/1.4L. My point was that I've seen a lot of photographers choose Sigma middle range alternatives (like the 24 f/1.8, 28 f/1.8, 30 f/1.4, 50 f/1.4) because they are more affordable than their Canon counterparts.

This is one of the ways a third party brand like Sigma can compliment even a mega brand like Canon. Whereas with Pentax, Sigma (and Tamron) are relied on more to make up for Pentax's lack of knockout quality zooms.
06-23-2010, 08:20 AM   #70
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As a person who ended up with a Pentax camera unexpectedly, I've been struggling with the best way to proceed (invest or trade) for weeks now.

I had thought this thread might provide some good insights, but the sarcasm is just off the scale. I had expected better from this place.
06-23-2010, 09:19 AM   #71
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QuoteOriginally posted by sataraid1 Quote
As a person who ended up with a Pentax camera unexpectedly, I've been struggling with the best way to proceed (invest or trade) for weeks now.

I had thought this thread might provide some good insights, but the sarcasm is just off the scale. I had expected better from this place.
Ditto.... I just wanted a bit of input and idea's of key things to think about....it seems some of the people here are just out to be snarky and condescending
06-23-2010, 10:02 AM   #72
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QuoteOriginally posted by planedriver Quote
Hello! I've been reading this thread for days and wonder if I should post a reply...maybe you have came through all the following in other threads so far...if that is the case sorry for that.

I've almost bought a d300 a few weeks ago-but looking at the size of the 70-300mm 4.-5.6VR (or whatever) lens made me change my mind. Instead I bought the DA55-300 and a DA12-24. I have a k200d and K-x, the wide angle lens is "glued" to the k200 and I'm very happy with the DA55-300 on my K-x-which I use for birding..don't think I'm serious wildlife photographer-it's just so that the SIZE of the Pentax gear makes it possible to have two cameras around my shoulders all the time-and whenever a bird arrives the K-x is there. (before this I used the 16-45 and the 50-200 in a similar way:

Andras
Very good to know. The DA55-300 looks like it would be a good compromise for the outdoor sports and wildlife. Great bird shots BTW. I don't think it would work for my hockey arena's, but you can't have it all! I did try out a Nikon yesterday with the 70-200VR 2.8 lens, and that was huge. Not sure I can deal with the size of that for 2 hours at a hockey game. The more I hear about the K-7 being faster, makes me want to look into it more. And until the SDM issues resolve, I'm going to stay away from any new ones.
06-23-2010, 10:02 AM   #73
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QuoteOriginally posted by mokey Quote
I just wanted a bit of input and idea's of key things to think about.
An option that hasn't been mentioned is purchasing an older camera without SDM support. The K10D running 1.2 firmware or, if you can trade WR for ISO, the K100D would allow the use of your lenses with screw driven AF. I think the screw driven AF on the K10D will be faster than the K100D as its motor is said to be more robust, but I don't have any experience with the 6Mp cameras to know this for sure.

Thank you
Russell
06-23-2010, 10:33 AM   #74
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I have asked myself this question repeatedly - mostly after losing a few shots due to the archaic autofocusing of my k10

But EVERY time I research the image quality of all brands it comes down to their being no reliable inexpensive alternative to my 31 and my 77 from other brands.

Now if I wanted to specialize in sports I could see going nikon and some long fast glass

or if I was going wedding pro (and I do consider this) I could see going Nikon Canon maybe Sony

BUT the lenses would not be considerably better than my Limiteds (at least among the under $4000 lenses

so I wait for the next Pentax bodies hoping for a FF home run body - AND an APS-c home run. (I really want to use the 31 and 77 on FF)

So I conclude each time I go through these mental gymnastics - KEEP the PENTAX

IF I develop a serious need for something NOT offered by Pentax - STILL KEEP THE PENTAX and add a new system too

Pentax offers things you simply can not get elsewhere in Pentax's blend of traits

Optics
Size
quality workmanship
IQ
gorgeous rendering
06-23-2010, 10:40 AM   #75
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QuoteOriginally posted by mokey Quote
Boy, some of you are snarky little creatures....
You asked a question and you got answers.

Personally, I think that if you're dissatified with the equipment you have, for what ever reason, you should sell it and move on.

Your original post indicated that you are quite unhappy with both the performance and quality control Pentax offers in its equipment.

If you have to ask if you should sell your equipment and move on, chances are that you've already made up your mind and are simply seeking justification.

This forum is filled with people who are happy with their Pentax equipment. People who hate their Pentax equipment because it doesn't compete in performance with equipment that costs three to four times as much. People who just like to complain and people who just like to give smart ass answers.

If you don't feel you're getting what you want, or need, from Pentax gear then move on.

Whatever you chose to do, I hope the decision serves you well.
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