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01-21-2011, 05:55 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Pentax Colors

What is Pentax Colors? We often come across this term but I wonder, how to define it objectively?

Also, with many new camera (k-x/k-5/Nikon D7K) going for Sony sensors, I guess there is very less part the body has to play.

01-21-2011, 06:54 AM   #2
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Interesting question.

The first time I heard of it, was when I bought my first dSLR and was attending a photo class. The teacher had given us homework and I had submitted some pics takens with my DA 70mm lens.

She would display everyones images on screen and critique it. At the end of it some people asked why my pics were so colorful and that's when the teacher said that pentax has always been known for its colors and that her dad had mostly used a pentax etc. Since then I have heard the term used off and on. Always meant to ask this question to someone. Glad you did. All I can think of is that the colors maybe more'vivid' or saturated?
01-21-2011, 07:30 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Lens are warmish (sort of between Sigma which is very warm and Nikon which is generally cold), along w/ better contrast that most 3rd party lenses.

For JPEG output, Pentax generally tries to output exactly what you see while Canikon/Sony JPEG sare much more color saturated and contrasty to make their images pop (but don't match real life as well).
01-21-2011, 08:45 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenyee Quote
Lens are warmish
That's been my experience, too. When I was first getting into photography, I would look through photo books, pick out my favorite shots, then check to see what gear the photographer had used. I almost always picked out Pentax or Nikon shots. There was a warmth and quality to the colors that wasn't in other pics. I couldn't afford Nikon gear (and I already had a thread-mount SLR) so I started buying Pentax lenses.

01-21-2011, 09:52 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by psychdoc Quote
At the end of it some people asked why my pics were so colorful and that's when the teacher said that pentax has always been known for its colors and that her dad had mostly used a pentax etc.
Bizarre. I would have thought her dad was a 35mm man in which case the film was where it was at for colours.
01-21-2011, 11:24 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by cats_five Quote
Bizarre. I would have thought her dad was a 35mm man in which case the film was where it was at for colours.
Good observation. Makes you wonder if the tutor wasn't just spinning well-worn clichés to the class and not backing it with quantifiable substance.

Of course both methods result in the same size paycheque for the teacher but I know which I'd prefer to to be taught in return for my class fees.

.R.

He who can, does.
He who cannot, teaches.
He who cannot teach, teaches teachers.

Last edited by Hypocorism; 01-21-2011 at 12:53 PM.
01-21-2011, 11:28 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by cats_five Quote
Bizarre. I would have thought her dad was a 35mm man in which case the film was where it was at for colours.
yep you chose film for it's colours but the different rendering of Pentax vs Nikon vs canon etc would still exist. I've been hearing about the pentax colours for far longer than digital has been around. it's just more obvious on digital where you can compare say a 55 super tak to a nikon 60 1.8 on the same camera
01-21-2011, 11:48 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
yep you chose film for it's colours but the different rendering of Pentax vs Nikon vs canon etc would still exist. I've been hearing about the pentax colours for far longer than digital has been around. it's just more obvious on digital where you can compare say a 55 super tak to a nikon 60 1.8 on the same camera
You're right. When I first noticed the difference, Fuji wasn't yet a major player in the film arena. Personally, I always liked shooting Agfachrome. It seemed to compliment the Pentax color rendition more than Kodachrome.

01-21-2011, 12:35 PM - 1 Like   #9
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In the film days there may have been some distinguishing color renditions, but film-related characteristics were far more significant. Agfachrome was much more subtle than Kodachrome's vibrancy, especially in skin tones. Ektachrome always seems to have a blue/magenta touch.

In this digital era I think Pentax Colors or Olympus Colors are more of a marketing or religious term than an objective reality. Colors are far more malleable with software today--both in camera and post processing. There are too many variables in the image delivery chain to point to an image and say it definitively comes from this brand or that one.

M
01-21-2011, 12:58 PM   #10
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I was more certain there was something called Pentax colours when I had the K100D Super and K20D. My K-x looks like some other brand to me.

I hate the yellow colour caste you often see with Nikon cameras and Sigma lenses. Canon cameras and Tamron lenses have a sort of muddy colour, IME.
01-21-2011, 12:59 PM   #11
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I agree that post processing has equaled things out, but that doesn't mean that there's not a very real difference between lens brands. I have a Vivitar Series 1 90-180 zoom that I ought to love. I bought it because I used to shoot a lot of macros and it seemed like the perfect lens for me. But everything always came out too blue for my taste so I just kept using my Pentax 100 macro. Every year or so, I'd pull out the Vivitar and try it again just to see if my taste had changed, but it never did. I need to modify the mount so that I can use it with my DSLR now that I have the ability to tweek the colors afterwards.
01-21-2011, 01:36 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by TaoMaas Quote
but that doesn't mean that there's not a very real difference between lens brands
Not that anyone mentioned lens rendering differences. . .but I tend to agree with you. I find Tamron lenses to be a little too blue and magenta cast. I do like the more delicate colors of M42 Takumars and other lenses of that era.

That all said, I find color renderings from lenses can be "fixed" pretty easily in software too. For the glass-related aberrations and depth renderings which also make some lens so distinctive I find software less effective on. Actually I enjoy those imperfections and suspect many photographers do as well.

M
01-21-2011, 07:28 PM   #13
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Some stuff you can't photoshop. You can change colour balance, sure, but there's something abt the red-dominant modulations of the classic SMC look, where the warm cast is most obvious in subtle tonal shifts, that i never could photoshop into being. Brings a kind of delicate, dark warmth to the image that's always captivated me. Makes the colours look more saturated, tho i'm not altogether sure they are.

Also i'm fond of the way old SMC lenses render foliage colours. They're have more earthy hues and are less saturated towards primary greens ... more realistic to my eye.
01-21-2011, 08:03 PM   #14
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"Pentax colors" are a real term that started during the film era. Basically they are richer. Most of it has to do with lens construction and coatings.
Zeiss lenses are known to have rich colors as well. It's mostly in the lens and mostly due to the coatings. Put a polorizer on and see what that does to colors.
With the same Kodachrome 64, I got richer colors with my Zeiss and Pentax lenses than with any of my Nikons.
Some of it has to do with exposure paramaters. Pentax cameras (with the possible exception of the Kx and Kr) tend to underexpose slightly, while Canon and Nikon tend to overexpose slightly. (Some of it also depends upon the filters.) Underexposing slightly tends to deepen colors and contrasts. To see this, with the ISO set at 100, bracket a shot by -1/3, 0, +1/3 and look at the colors.
One of the major reasons I switched to Pentax a few years ago was for the glass and that "Pentax color."
01-22-2011, 01:06 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
I was more certain there was something called Pentax colours when I had the K100D Super and K20D. My K-x looks like some other brand to me.
Hmm, so are you suggesting, starting K-x (including k-x & k-m), we have Samsung or Sony color ?
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