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01-24-2011, 05:01 PM   #1
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Pentax accessories vs. Canon

Hello. I am new to this forum and don't even own a DSLR yet, but I'm down to either the Pentax Kx, preferably with 2 lenses, possibly even the 300mm. That can be had for about $649. Or the Canon T1i with the 18-55 starter lens for exactly the same money. If anybody has wisdom on this choice, let me hear it, as I'm stuck and am not sure what to do. What I reallly like about the T1i is the 3" 930,000 dot LCD. What I really like about the Pentax is the value and the ability to get 2 lenses for the price of the T1i. This is my real question: I've read that virtually all Pentax lenses can be used with this camera, but the guy at the camera store (who sells only Canon and Nikon) told me that the vast majority of those lenses do not match the new cameras electronically (or something like that) and that most of them wouldn't really be acceptable as lenses on a new camera. I'm not clear on what he was trying to say (which is probably obvious). So if most of the old Pentax lenses really wouldn't work with this camera, I want to know which ones would. Starting from what year would used lenses be fully compatible with the Kx. Second question: I keep hearing that Canon has so many more accessories available than anyone else (except Nikon). Is this a problem? Would I be able to find better deals on new and used lenses, flashes, and whatever else there is to buy if I went Canon? Or can I find plenty of new, used, and third party accessories for the Kx? Thank you for any input you can provide.

01-24-2011, 05:19 PM   #2
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All K-mount and M42 lenses should with the k-x, albeit the older K-mount ones without electrical contacts work in manual mode only, but the camera meter can be used to set exposure, M42 lenses work in Av too (see: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-beginners-corner-q/110658-using-ma...ml#post1140022). From Pentax-A series onwards the old lenses work in all auto modes. In addition to Pentax lenses there are plenty of 3rd party ones in K and M42 mounts too :-)

I have a number of Pentax M and A series lenses and an odd M42 which are very useful with the k-x; the great thing is that these quality lenses can be had for very reasonable prices .
01-24-2011, 05:42 PM   #3
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"A" series lenses and later are fully compatible with your camera choice, though with pre autofocus lenses that have an A position on the aperture ring you will have to tell the camera the lens focal length to set up the shake reduction.
Prior lenses, which would be M series and what I think of as K series are more than usable on your camera choice, though now you have to meter semi manually.
It's not a difficult process.
What it boils down to is Pentax is fully backwards compatible with lenses that predate the Canon EOS lens system by several years, and mostly compatible with lenses made back to the mid 1970s.
Prior to that, Pentax made lenses that used a different mount (M-42 thread mount).
These lenses are also fully usable, though you need to mount an adapter to the camera to allow them to be used.
Your camera salesman is being somewhat less than forthcoming regarding lens compatibility. I suspect he would rather sell you a Canon or Nikon than be completely truthful with you and lose the sale entirely.
01-24-2011, 05:46 PM   #4
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Yes, Canon and Nikon do have more 3rd party support. They have the most market share so it makes sense that 3rd parties cater to their line. That means new products are often introduced first to the "Big Two" and then trickle down to Pentax, Olympus, etc... Sometimes. The biggest area where you find this happening is probably with lenses made by 3rd parties like Sigma or Tamron. Aside from that, most accessories (bags, tripods, ballheads, studio equipment, etc...) are typically made to be universal and can support many cameras regardless the brand.

As for old lenses, you will be able to mount any old Pentax lens to the K-x, but it might not have some automatic functions (e.g. focus, aperture). And older M42 lenses will require an adapter. Now, used lenses are plentiful, but "cheap" is in the eye-of the-beholder. You can find good deals on manual lenses, but if you're looking for auto-focusing, that's where the prices begin to climb.

I guess it all boils down to how deep you want to dive into DSLR photography, as you mentioned you don't own a DSLR yet. For me, I took the second path which was a K-x with kit and 55-300mm zoom. Like you i figured, why not get a kit with two lenses for the same cost. Anyhow, I guess my point is not having the extra 3rd party support has not stopped or prevented me from taking the pictures I want. If anything it's my lack of creativity. In any case, if you look around here or on Flickr, you'll see the same story from many others and their Pentax K-x.

01-24-2011, 09:53 PM   #5
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So are you happy with your decision to get the Kx with 2 lenses vs. say something like the T1i with 1 kit lense? If you are happy with the lenses themselves, then it would seem to be a great deal. Seeing as how I think I would like the 3" 930,000 dot LCD on the T1i, what do you think of the LCD on the Kx. Is it good enough to get a reasonbly good idea of the quality of the image you just took (or do you find yourself wishing you had a screen like the T1i)?

Thanks for everyone's input.
01-24-2011, 10:06 PM   #6
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From what my friends in the Canon world state, don't bother with the T1i, but the T2i is pretty good. The k-x IQ (image Quality) is excellent which is really what matters.

Have fun and welcome to DSLR photography whichever system you choose!!!
01-25-2011, 12:17 AM   #7
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jjhenders, can you tell us what type of shooting your prefer. Portrait, landscape, something to get shots of the grand kids in sports, birding, wildlife, still life, flash?

Is this your first dslr?

Will you stay with just the kit lenses? Or is this an entry point and you plan to expand?

Both are good cameras and will take great pictures.
01-25-2011, 01:50 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jjhenders Quote
Seeing as how I think I would like the 3" 930,000 dot LCD on the T1i, what do you think of the LCD on the Kx. Is it good enough to get a reasonbly good idea of the quality of the image you just took (or do you find yourself wishing you had a screen like the T1i)?
I hate to use the screens of any Pentax camera I own (K10D (210.000 pixels, 2.5"), K100D (210.000 pixels, 2.5"), K-5 (921.000 pixels, 3")) for judging exposure as tilting the camera during review will already change how 'exposure' looks. This is inherent to the technology used and I doubt other makes are better; owners of other makes, please correct me if I'm wrong.

The only way to judge exposure is by using the histogram. For judging focusing however, bigger is better. But I would not let it depend on that.

Good luck with the decision.

PS Don't forget to add lenshoods to your kit lenses; Canon might have them already, current Pentax kit lenses for K-r/K-x don't.

01-25-2011, 04:26 AM   #9
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So are you happy with your decision to get the Kx with 2 lenses vs. say something like the T1i with 1 kit lense? If you are happy with the lenses themselves, then it would seem to be a great deal. Seeing as how I think I would like the 3" 930,000 dot LCD on the T1i, what do you think of the LCD on the Kx. Is it good enough to get a reasonbly good idea of the quality of the image you just took (or do you find yourself wishing you had a screen like the T1i)?

Thanks for everyone's input.
01-25-2011, 04:30 AM   #10
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Kr is a kx with 930k screen, better af, focus points in vf and af assist.
01-25-2011, 07:21 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by jjhenders Quote
So are you happy with your decision to get the Kx with 2 lenses vs. say something like the T1i with 1 kit lense? If you are happy with the lenses themselves, then it would seem to be a great deal. Seeing as how I think I would like the 3" 930,000 dot LCD on the T1i, what do you think of the LCD on the Kx. Is it good enough to get a reasonbly good idea of the quality of the image you just took (or do you find yourself wishing you had a screen like the T1i)?
Yes, I have been happy with the K-x, but I was not content to just stay with the two included lenses. You'll find the two lenses are adequate to a certain point, but realize you'll need better lenses to accomplish different things. That's why it's kinda important to get an idea of what you want to photograph. Once you have an idea then you can look at lenses from Canon and Pentax, evaluate their cost, and go from there. As for the K-x LCD, it's plenty adequate to get the job done.
01-25-2011, 08:43 AM   #12
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I was quite happy with the smaller screen the k-x has, of course the pics look nicer on the high-resolution job the K-5 has (the same as the k-r I believe), but the smaller screen was quite sufficient for spotting any major problem while checking the snaps on camera. With the k-x (phase/VF) AF was also fast enough, accurate, and kept working until the lack of light was getting to be a problem for getting a picture handheld.
01-25-2011, 09:53 AM   #13
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The LCD is not that big of an issue. I would not rely on it to do critical evaluation beyond the obvious duds and other mishaps. It shows settings and a histogram, which are useful, however.

Many people love the older lenses. You may have to do some of the work, such as focusing and metering :-)
01-25-2011, 10:19 AM   #14
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As for lens compatibilities, the Pentax is compatible with all the M42 and K mount lenes ever made. However with that said the older lenses will not autofocus, and the camera will not adjust the aperture. All this will be done by yourself.

As for Canon and Nikon compatibility only some models will support older type of lenses from their respective brands. However with that said the Canon due to the flange distance you can mount a lot of different brand lenses too it but it would be very crippled and/or no shake reduction.

Better deals in terms of accessories. I think it pretty much even online wise. However availability is a different story. As Pentax is not often carried by brick and mortar stores. You will have to order or go online for most stuff. For used items, it seems to me that I could always find some used lenses or stuff in my small town area just not the right ones I am looking for as I am trying to find only quality glass and not just random pieces to fill the void.
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