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08-03-2010, 01:10 PM   #46
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The studio I work with is heavily invested in Nikon, one guy uses a Canon.
There has been more than one occasion where they have deferred a technical job to me because the pictures from my Pentax are just plain better than what they get with what they are using.
I have better lenses.

08-03-2010, 04:20 PM   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
I probably do NOT throw in the bit about the prime lenses because Uncle Bob is almost certainly not going to understand this. For him, the sheer size of his camera and its lens are symbols of his own virility, so showing him my own little wee-wee may simply invite his ridicule. I have to assess this carefully.

heck may as well cut to the chase and point out to him the inverse proportion relationship between lens size and *icks
08-03-2010, 05:18 PM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
Right, especially not with one of the guests!

As a Pentax-using wedding pro myself, I get the "Why Pentax?" question occasionally, from guests. Generally speaking I do not have time to jawbone with the guests about camera equipment, but if there's a lull in the action I may exchange a few words on the subject. First thing I try to do is guess the motives of the person asking the question.

Normally the questioner is a normal, sensible amateur who knows they don't know a lot about photography and who asks their question out of sincere curiosity. They have a Canon XSi or a Nikon D5000 or something like that because that's what the person at the camera store told them to buy, and now they see the pro using Pentax and they wonder. I deal very gently with this sort of question, reassuring the asker that there are NO bad bodies on the market these days and they have a fine camera. This makes them happy. If they continue to ask why I use Pentax, I'll point out that I am personally very fond of shooting with primes and that Pentax has a unique line-up of superior-quality prime lenses. I may have to explain what a prime lens is. If I happen to have the 21 or 40 or 70mm lens on one of my cameras at the moment—which I probably do—this helps me make the case, because these lens do NOT look like the lenses that amateurs have for their cameras. I might also mention weather-sealing, etc.

On the other hand, occasionally the question is asked by Uncle Bob, the stock broker who brought his D3s with the 70-200 f/2.8 lens and who KNOWS he has the best camera in the world, because he knows that he paid a fortune for it. The only way to deal with Uncle Bob is to compliment him on his camera and possibly express a little envy, both of which I can do sincerely. This makes him happy. If I can't get away at this point, I may go on to explain that his camera's low-light, high-ISO advantage matters to me only 10% of the time in my work, but that even then, my fast primes partially give me a one-stop advantage that at least partially compensates for the smaller sensor, and that I can do pretty well at least up to ISO 2000, especially with the fantastic advances in noise reduction in Lightroom 3, blah blah blah. Uncle Bob at this point is probably trying to get away from ME.

If not, I might add that processing 1000 images that are 20+ MB in size is a huge and unnecessary hassle that would add hours and hours to my work load after the wedding. (I really try NOT to take 1000 images at a wedding, but Uncle Bob doesn't know this and is almost certainly the kind of person who would be impressed by a larger number. Uncle Bob likes large.) I may also defend my choice by pointing out that, in my line of work, it's imperative for me to have multiple bodies and a large arsenal of lenses, not to mention flashes, etc., so I am unable to sink my budget into a single camera; and I would add that Pentax has the lowest-priced weather-sealed bodies, etc. Uncle Bob can appreciate thrift, even if he doesn't practice it himself.

I probably do NOT throw in the bit about the prime lenses because Uncle Bob is almost certainly not going to understand this. For him, the sheer size of his camera and its lens are symbols of his own virility, so showing him my own little wee-wee may simply invite his ridicule. I have to assess this carefully.

I keep thinking that I need to answer this question on my blog. Then I can give the questioner a business card and invite them to check out the post, and excuse myself.

It's an occupational hazard. Generally speaking, I try to avoid getting into conversations with the guests. No good can come of it.

Great stuff, Will. Thx for sharing! I regularly have either the DA21 or DA40 in my pocket when shooting. If anyone asks, I thought about taking it out and showing it off, but now I'll make sure that I'm not talking to an Uncle Bob before doing so LOL!
08-03-2010, 05:41 PM   #49
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Never too old to be a fanboy, I guess. Here is a pretty good link recently posted on the DPReview forum:
Fanboyism and Brand Loyalty You Are Not So Smart

08-03-2010, 07:05 PM   #50
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I was shooting a wedding this weekend and the couples uncle who had shot pro and he was using a pentax film body and was using the same 50 prime I was using, so I didn't get any guff there.

Most of my clients are young and don't know the history of the brand so they assume it's a more expensive or specialized.
08-04-2010, 07:04 AM   #51
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don't sweat the small stuff

Of course I don't make a living taking photographs (good thing), but I'd think the tools are important, but not everything. I used to get the same snobbery when I was a working musician. I showed up at an audition with a little 15 watt amp and got the "look" BEFORE I plugged in. However the proof is in the pudding. We all know the guys who have every top of the line gadget known to mankind and you have to know that alot of that is just gadget geekdom...........I know, I'm one of them. The difference is how you treat people based on what you have rather than how you'd like to be treated. @#$% em.
08-04-2010, 11:54 PM   #52
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I never get this. The only thing people notice who see my K7 is it's all metal and rubber. The 21 limited is all metal. They don't even realize it's a digital at first. All I've got was 'nice camera.' Especially when I point out a few pics on the wall
08-04-2010, 11:57 PM   #53
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Only once did 'uncle Bob' pick on my camera but only about the fact his iphone took pictures faster, was smaller...

08-04-2010, 11:58 PM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by troglodyte Quote
I never get this. The only thing people notice who see my K7 is it's all metal and rubber. The 21 limited is all metal. They don't even realize it's a digital at first. All I've got was 'nice camera.' Especially when I point out a few pics on the wall
I got the same reaction. My K7 had the Tammy 70-200 with the sun hood on. The guy first asked me if it was a Nikon. I proudly said "Nope, Pentax".

Score one for the Pentaxians!
08-05-2010, 12:32 AM   #55
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I was shooting a james concert and just before the start of the concert a guy in his 60s comes over and says hi.
He was carrying a bull ! Sony A900. Boy that was huge !!! My k7 looked like p&s.
He was a pro connected with big agencies and I told him it was my first concert from the "pit"
And he just said "Good luck, hope it turns out fine for you"

I knew he knew I was carrying a Pentax that looked so small with the FA35.
But he only cared about taking great pictures.
All the other approaches are just to show off their BMC and make you feel inferior.

@WMBP : great post.

08-05-2010, 01:52 AM   #56
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Man I can't believe the 'pro' from the ops post! What a &%#!
I think all he would get from me would be a 'Why not?' or better still a typical kiwi response of 'turn it up'
I can't fathom why a pro would even talk about someone elses camera.

When I see anyone with an SLR whether it be Film/Digital no matter the brand it warms my cockles and gives me an automatic talking point! Someone who enjoys photography like me .
I especially like tourists as they trust me with their camera to take a shot of them if I am carrying my camera around. I just wish I saw more Pentax users around so I could swap lenses!
08-05-2010, 03:28 AM   #57
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You can ask in reverse:
Why it should be NOT Pentax?
Lots of my friends ask such (why pentax) dumb question. They ask - "why not canon? everyone around has it". LOL.

And how they are surprised when i tell them about WR, shooting in heavy rain and using SR with all lenses, and when they see quality of my shots...
08-05-2010, 07:41 PM   #58
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A story from my past:

Back in the early 80s I had a chance to test a Leicaflex side by side with my Pentax LX. I shot a series of pictures comparing the following lenses: Leica
35mm - Pentax-M 28mm f2.8 Leica 50mm - Pentax-M 50mm f4 macro Leica 135mm - Pentax-M 100mm f2.8.

I cannot remember the Leicaflex model or the maximum apertures of Leica lenses; but they were the ones current at that time. They were supplied by Leica
Canada as part of a promotion to "try a Leica for a day" In the hopes that one would buy one.

The pictures were taken on Kodachrome 25 for maximum sharpness, and both cameras were mounted on tripods. The first slide on each roll of film was a
photograph of the other camera. Both films were processed by Kodak Canada. When the films were processed and returned uncut in strips, I asked the son of
the owner of the camera store where I dealt, to choose the Leica slides. He inspected both film strips with a Pentax 20X magnifier and selected one as being
shot by the Leicaflex. I then asked him which camera was pictured at the front of the strip. It was the Leicaflex. The pictures he thought were taken by the
Leicaflex had been taken by the Pentax LX. His father, who was a bit of a Leicaphile, also inspected the film strips and appeared somewhat upset by the

At the time of the tests I used Leica Ms for all of my available-light work. Therefore, having no need for high-speed lenses, when I purchased Pentax
lenses, they were the slower f2.8 and f4 ones. These ones, I expect, would be easier to correct. Also the pictures were taken outside at around f8, rather
than wide open. This was not a definitive test; but it proved to me that, certainly in some areas, the Pentax lenses could hold their own against some of
the best. I was happy with the results because the circumstances of the test mirrored the situations in which I expected to use the Pentax and its lenses,
outdoors for architectural and other work.

I did this test because at the time I had started with the inexpensive K1000 and built my Pentax system from there. I replace the K1000 with an MX and added the LX when it became available. At that point I realized I could have invested in Nikon for a "few" dollars more. This realization made me very unhappy. The tests I just described helped me realize that for my purposes I didn't need the Nikon.

Now, of course, I would be hard pressed to run the equivalent tests against the current Pentax primes.
08-06-2010, 04:22 AM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by cpk Quote
At the time of the tests I used Leica Ms for all of my available-light work.
Did you ever try this same test, but with your Leica M lenses instead of Leicaflex lenses? I'm asking because my experience with Leicaflex lenses is similar to yours. Pentax holds up pretty well, but so do Nikon and Canon. I can't say the same for shots with Leica M lenses. When shot from a tripod and the focus and exposure are dead on, there is a noticable difference to me.
08-06-2010, 05:36 AM   #60
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There's a tagline floating around here that goes:
Amateurs worry about cameras. Professionals worry about lenses. Photographers worry about light.
A working pro does not interrupt their shoot to rag on your gear; they have other things to worry about. They might ask you to move your shadow out of the way. Getting the shots matters; asserting superiority doesn't. Ah well, non illegitimi carborundum.

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