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05-21-2011, 02:07 PM   #76
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QuoteOriginally posted by Christine Tham Quote
Canon and Nikon are market leaders - it's a safe purchasing decision and at the end of the day they make better cameras and lenses than Pentax (debatable I know, but I've shot with Canon high end lenses on a 1-D)
For certain values of "better", this might be true. Still, as you go on to explain, 'better' is meaningless until you ask "for what?".

05-21-2011, 02:13 PM   #77
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Fundamentally, Pentax started its long slide from undisputed #1 when the Honeywell alliance crumbled. I'm not sure that explains much or anything, but it's still a fact and should be considered.

Last edited by asaru; 05-21-2011 at 02:20 PM.
05-21-2011, 08:47 PM   #78
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QuoteOriginally posted by asaru Quote
Fundamentally, Pentax started its long slide from undisputed #1 when the Honeywell alliance crumbled. I'm not sure that explains much or anything, but it's still a fact and should be considered.
I think the underlying cause was mount technology. Pentax stuck with the M42 mount too long - they only introduced the K-mount in 1975. The Honeywell partnership might have helped them get away with this a bit longer, but it's not the reason why they fell behind. They were the No. 1 SLR maker in the 50-60s. But if we look at Nikon, they were ahead in the 70's because of their F mount, which they had since 1959. Canon was behind with their FD breech lock mount and their decision to drop that and move to EF mount allowed them to leapfrog Nikon in the 90s and to get ahead to where we are now: No. 1 = Canon, No. 2 = Nikon, and the rest of the world including Pentax are fighting it for the crumbs. This page discusses the Canon move.

So what were the elements that allowed Canon to get ahead? They had a clear goal of becoming the No. 1 choice for professional photographers. And then they had the guts to drop a mount and introduce a new one so they could offer higher performance that professional users need and would want. Note that optics played no role in this. Optical performance is no longer a differentiator in this business - it's the other features that help the photographer that matter more - autofocus being the most important. Autofocus was the most important innovation between film and digital. And in the end, it didn't matter who got it out first, but who got it out right first.
05-22-2011, 02:15 AM   #79
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
If you are smart, you bought Pentax because of the lenses. If you didn't, then you made a mistake, because the competitions bodies still work better than Pentax bodies.
Yes, that's the lenses that bring me to Pentax : My dad had the Super Program, and a Tak A 28mm f2.8 and Pentax A50mm f1.7, took few photo with it, and fell in love
There also the fact that most of lense cost less than 800 (i guess it's the same in dollar too), and as a student, i never have money so the choice was obvious to me. And when i saw the K-x compared to all other, i see no more reason to ask myself Canikon or not. The answer was "not".

05-22-2011, 04:55 AM   #80
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Yesterday I wnet to get the DA35 2.4 at the camerastore. They just had one, they didn't have the DA40 2.8 which I wanted, and it is very hard to come by here (Holland). And the owner of the store told me that they are concidering to drop Pentax. Not because it isn't a good brand, he admids it is. He even talked passionatly about the film bodies. But because of the distributor ( de beukelaer). He says they never have anything on stock, and they never know when they will have. And he is absolutely right, I had to call a few times t ask about my battery grip, when it will arrive. But they could't, or they just didn't care to give a answer.
So, Pentax does need to start focussing more on marketing, and find good distributors who are commited. Otherwise it will be very difficult to find Pentax gear in the future (in holland atleast)

oh, Pentax if you are reading this. Stop with De Beukelaer, and do the distribution of Holland through Pentax Germany or England. They do know what they are doing
05-22-2011, 01:01 PM   #81
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I'm a bit of a lens pleb

I have shot with (in the old days) Oly primes, Nikon Primes, Zeiss Planar primes, Minolta Primes
and the 50mm that came with the K1000.

Could never really tell that much of a difference in the absolute performance of each as I never salivated over (nor could I see) micro contrast, color rendition etc - all I knew is I wanted them to be sharp when focussed correctly and lenses today from all manufacturers have these qualities

Too be quite honest I was more concerned with the type of film/slide I used for different scenes/applications

Today I approach photography the same way - for me sensor (aka the film) is very important as is the absolute performance of the body for every situation that's thrown at it

The K5 for me missed the mark in Four critical areas, Flash Exposure, Autofocus configuration, speed of autofocus, critical sharpness in low light combined with high speed autofocus

Considering this was Pentax's flagship dslr I would expect as a consumer for it to be way better in these areas than let say a Canon 550D and on par with the 7D/300s and it's not.

The D7000 has the same sensor (which I like) as the K5, is not Nikon's flagship camera, yet performs admirably in the four critical areas I was seeking, better than the K5.

Nikon & Canon provide a varied selection of some extremely sharp consumer zoom lenses and even sharper pro FF lenses, with Nikon possibly having the edge.

I have now had the D7000 for 6 months and it has been nothing short of a revelation in its performance. The 16-85 vr with what my eyes perceive just about reaches pro quality wrt sharpness and only a fraction behind primes, as so does the 70-300 vr from 70-200.

As a consumer I'm not really interested in "legacy" glass but those who are, Nikon have them in abundance and they all work perfectly with the D7000 i.e. no stop down metering required.

And still Pentax market this old slogan of having access to all this incredible Pentax legacy glass (as the main reason to purchase Pentax) - which is by now a bit long in the tooth

So snobbery or fitting in or following the crowd is generally not an average consumer priority.

The consumer wants a tool that has proven itself beyond doubt with amateurs and pro's alike

Nikon and Canon have simply done that for years since the dawn of the digital age and that is foremost in the consumer mind
05-22-2011, 01:11 PM   #82
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QuoteOriginally posted by dylansalt Quote
Today I approach photography the same way - for me sensor (aka the film) is very important as is the absolute performance of the body for every situation that's thrown at it

The K5 for me missed the mark in Four critical areas, Flash Exposure, Autofocus configuration, speed of autofocus, critical sharpness in low light combined with high speed autofocus

Considering this was Pentax's flagship dslr I would expect as a consumer for it to be way better in these areas than let say a Canon 550D and on par with the 7D/300s and it's not.

The D7000 has the same sensor (which I like) as the K5, is not Nikon's flagship camera, yet performs admirably in the four critical areas I was seeking, better than the K5.

Nikon & Canon provide a varied selection of some extremely sharp consumer zoom lenses and even sharper pro FF lenses, with Nikon possibly having the edge.

I have now had the D7000 for 6 months and it has been nothing short of a revelation in its performance. The 16-85 vr with what my eyes perceive just about reaches pro quality wrt sharpness and only a fraction behind primes, as so does the 70-300 vr from 70-200.

Mmm... you must shoot jpgs in camera (in regard to the 'critical sharpness' comments). The K-5 RAW and Nikon 7000 raw images I've seen aren't any difference wrt sharpness. The JPGs are, because Pentax uses a much lighter touch on in-camera sharpening. That is, it's not the camera, it's the SETTING, and photographers should learn the difference. Turn the sharpening up on the K-5 and the jpgs are nearly identical ( with Pentax retaining a slight bit more detail ). Better yet, shoot RAW and handle your sharpening in a subject-appropriate fashion.

Most of the reviews I've read put Pentax in the "middle of the pack" in af speed (compared to Canon, Nikon, Olympus, and Sony cameras in the same price range). Nikon is the current leader in AF speed; it should come as no surprise that it's faster than the K-5 - it's faster than everything else it's price.

Never had any problem with flash, but I don't use P-TTL often - nearly every TTL system I've used was b0rken except in the most pedestrian of situations - and a Vivitar 283 handles those with aplomb... LOL.

Nikon makes excellent cameras, as does Canon, Sony, Olympus - and yes, Pentax. In the same class, the photographer will make far more difference than the camera.
05-22-2011, 03:16 PM   #83
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QuoteOriginally posted by dylansalt Quote
As a consumer I'm not really interested in "legacy" glass but those who are, Nikon have them in abundance and they all work perfectly with the D7000 i.e. no stop down metering required.
It's for M42 lenses that Nikon bodies aren't adequate and that alone would make me prefer a Canon body over a Nikon if I'd decide to move away from Pentax. But I agree that use of old glass is only of interest to a small segment of the market (to which I belong).

QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote
Nikon is the current leader in AF speed;
Is that the consensus now? I thought Canon had faster AF, but I don't really keep an eye on these things, so I'm just asking.

05-22-2011, 05:00 PM   #84
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
It's for M42 lenses that Nikon bodies aren't adequate and that alone would make me prefer a Canon body over a Nikon if I'd decide to move away from Pentax. But I agree that use of old glass is only of interest to a small segment of the market (to which I belong).
I only have one M42, but you make a good point. "Long in the tooth" or not, many of them perform very, very well. Particularly with lenses, "new" isn't necessarily "better". I also love the LTD line; nobody else has anything like it (except the Bavarian companies).

You can't really see it in color print film, but in slides, I could see a marked difference between my Canon lenses and Leicas I borrowed from the shop. The Leitz glass rendered skies as though there was a polarizer built in, and colors were deeper, more saturated.

Then one day I took home an LX with a beautiful 85mm and shot some pictures with it, and, lo and behold, there was that look - saturated colors, dark blue skies, great microcontrast (although most people called it "acuity" back then). Not to the same extent as the Leitz or Zeiss, but closer than anything else I could actually afford. But used pro Pentax gear was hard to come by, so I didn't swap out.

The glass is why I use Pentax now.

QuoteQuote:
Is that the consensus now? I thought Canon had faster AF, but I don't really keep an eye on these things, so I'm just asking.
Huh... You could be right. I don't stay "UP" on such things either; I know that the magazines have announced their place-swapping a couple of times, so *shrug*. AF speed doesn't much matter to me - I don't shoot a lot of sports, and when I did, I used a manual focus 300mm f2.8, and I reckon I can do it again
05-22-2011, 08:33 PM - 1 Like   #85
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I love my K5. I do, and I wouldn't switch for the world. But it is annoying when it hunts for focus in low light settings, and my wife's D7000 (with comparable fast fifty) does not. :/ I intend to get a better focus screen and a eyepiece magnifier and go MF so it's somewhat less of an issue, but I do wish Pentax would steal some Canon or Nikon engineers who developed their AF systems and shock the world with a K3 that is a class leader in AF ability.
05-23-2011, 12:29 AM   #86
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike.P Quote
All I ever read is don't buy Pentax because they don't have a range of long fast glass ... which is correct.

Mind you, you could probably count on one hand the number of those people that actually own such lenses.
My first DSLR was the K200D, which I chose in '08 over the Nikon, Canon & Olympus offerings.
For its price, the features, IQ and affordable 55-300 served me very well in the Galapagos).

But when Pentax discontinued the 35mm f/2, they really angered this particular consumer.

I'm now looking to upgrade (for faster ISO), and it's precisely the lack of affordable fast glass
(f2 or less -- of any size, but mostly in the 16-35 range) that has me reconsidering Nikon
(my film SLR for ~25 years).

- Richard

Last edited by expatCanuck; 05-23-2011 at 01:14 AM.
05-23-2011, 04:32 AM - 1 Like   #87
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QuoteOriginally posted by dylansalt Quote
I'm a bit of a lens pleb

I have shot with (in the old days) Oly primes, Nikon Primes, Zeiss Planar primes, Minolta Primes
and the 50mm that came with the K1000.

Could never really tell that much of a difference in the absolute performance of each as I never salivated over (nor could I see) micro contrast, color rendition etc - all I knew is I wanted them to be sharp when focussed correctly and lenses today from all manufacturers have these qualities

Too be quite honest I was more concerned with the type of film/slide I used for different scenes/applications

Today I approach photography the same way - for me sensor (aka the film) is very important as is the absolute performance of the body for every situation that's thrown at it

The K5 for me missed the mark in Four critical areas, Flash Exposure, Autofocus configuration, speed of autofocus, critical sharpness in low light combined with high speed autofocus

Considering this was Pentax's flagship dslr I would expect as a consumer for it to be way better in these areas than let say a Canon 550D and on par with the 7D/300s and it's not.

The D7000 has the same sensor (which I like) as the K5, is not Nikon's flagship camera, yet performs admirably in the four critical areas I was seeking, better than the K5.

Nikon & Canon provide a varied selection of some extremely sharp consumer zoom lenses and even sharper pro FF lenses, with Nikon possibly having the edge.

I have now had the D7000 for 6 months and it has been nothing short of a revelation in its performance. The 16-85 vr with what my eyes perceive just about reaches pro quality wrt sharpness and only a fraction behind primes, as so does the 70-300 vr from 70-200.

As a consumer I'm not really interested in "legacy" glass but those who are, Nikon have them in abundance and they all work perfectly with the D7000 i.e. no stop down metering required.

And still Pentax market this old slogan of having access to all this incredible Pentax legacy glass (as the main reason to purchase Pentax) - which is by now a bit long in the tooth

So snobbery or fitting in or following the crowd is generally not an average consumer priority.

The consumer wants a tool that has proven itself beyond doubt with amateurs and pro's alike

Nikon and Canon have simply done that for years since the dawn of the digital age and that is foremost in the consumer mind
I am not sure how long you shot with a K5 before coming to these conclusions or, if it is more based on reports of problems on the forums. All I can say is that my K5 (n=1) has no difficulty with flash exposure, auto focus, or low light auto focus. Could it be better? Sure. However, I doubt that the difference between it and the D7000 is significant.

Coming to the K5 from cameras like the K10 makes a difference too, since the k10 wouldn't lock on anything in low light unless it had a lot of contrast. The K5 doesn't need this help, but I am used to looking for points of contrast to focus on and that certainly does help.

Overall, I think the biggest question is whether or not a photographer connects with pentax's philosophy of small, well-built cameras and lenses (particularly primes). The FA limiteds and DA limiteds are special, but if you want a 1.5 kg zoom, you certainly are better looking at Canon/Nikon.
05-23-2011, 05:12 AM   #88
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I am not sure how long you shot with a K5 before coming to these conclusions or, if it is more based on reports of problems on the forums. All I can say is that my K5 (n=1) has no difficulty with flash exposure, auto focus, or low light auto focus. Could it be better? Sure. However, I doubt that the difference between it and the D7000 is significant.

Coming to the K5 from cameras like the K10 makes a difference too, since the k10 wouldn't lock on anything in low light unless it had a lot of contrast. The K5 doesn't need this help, but I am used to looking for points of contrast to focus on and that certainly does help.

Overall, I think the biggest question is whether or not a photographer connects with pentax's philosophy of small, well-built cameras and lenses (particularly primes). The FA limiteds and DA limiteds are special, but if you want a 1.5 kg zoom, you certainly are better looking at Canon/Nikon.
I think that statement is very true...

about K7/K5 AF....not any low light problems or any of that sorta issues that some have experienced...but the general everyday good light AF with F2.8 glass...

its very usable.... and accurate...but if the object is fast moving and erratic { aussie rules or BIF}...then its not as good as others....My D300s is so good in the fast and accurate area..its truly something I love about that body....Ive heard Canon shooters giving a heads up not to buy a 5DII if that sort of shooting is your game..as the 5DII isn't too good in that department.....

so every camera manufacturer has their issues, thats for sure ...but I feel if your gonna buy a K5...you should be aware that it will suit a certain type of photography, even excell at it...but fall short in other areas....

pentax excel's in short to medium glass....LTds are gems of lenses and worth having a pentax body for those alone...

i feel that one reason people move or buy into the canikon systems..is due to the depth that the system has in regards to lenses/ flash and after-market/rental sales
05-23-2011, 07:00 AM   #89
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I was shooting an event yesterday beside a D7K owner.
A couple of things when we were comparing notes:
The K5 has at least one more stop of usable high ISO (he won't go above 6400 under any circumstance), judging by review screen images, and in the conditions we were shooting in, the K5 AF is about as adequate as the D7K AF.
He likes his 36 points that light up like Christmas trees and all that, but the 11 point AF in the K5 seems to work well enough.
05-23-2011, 07:42 AM   #90
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lurch Quote
I think it has a lot to do with the fact that Pentax doesnt have a flag-ship camera in the Professional range.
It does well in the entry level and pro-sumer, and although the K5 pushes the boundary of pro-sumer > professional, it;s still not considered to be in that same realm as the 1d etc.
At least thats my take on it....
QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
have either of you heard of the 645D?
Trouble is, the average camera enthusiast who is researching digital SLRs would not know a medium format camera from a hole in the ground. Canon and Nikon just happen to be brands that everyone has heard about... and in a vacuum a buyer will purchase something they've heard about 9 out of 10 times...

Mike

p.s. If only Paul Simon had owned a Pentax rather than a Nikon... Things could be vastly different today.

Last edited by MRRiley; 05-23-2011 at 08:57 AM.
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