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07-23-2011, 09:20 AM   #1
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Jump ship from Canon? Back to my roots?


I currently shoot Canon DSLR..

T2i, 11-16 F2.8 Tokina, 35MM F1.4 Zeiss, 85MM F1.8, 200MM F2.8, 300MM F4...

Also have a Nikon film body with a 18-55 and 80-200 F2.8.

I have been considering dropping it all for Pentax gear once again.. I started shooting with a K1000 when I was younger. With both Nikon and Canon I have had a lot of problems with getting lenses wet, lack of image stabilization, and inaccurate autofocus, especially Canon. I almost exclusively shoot MF with all of my Canon gear for that reason alone. I have shot a friend's 1D which has been the only Canon that I have been able to get consistent AF from (has about 45 focal points.)

I shoot mostly landscapes, people, and wildlife. I shoot some video, but it isn't more than for fun.

going with this, I love that the Pentax line has built in IS, more lenses that are weather sealed, cheaper, and I can use my old MF lenses.
my main concern is IQ. Pentax has less to choose from as far as new lenses. I am concerned that later on when I want to upgrade to pro glass later on and go FF, I will be out of luck, though.

I have been lurking the forum, and it seems that most people are happy from going to Pentax, but that most are more for the mid grade glass. I am a hardcore pixel peeper and a
Thank you!!


Here are a few samples of the kind of photos I take

Last edited by chrisneibauer; 07-23-2011 at 10:24 AM.
07-23-2011, 11:05 AM   #2
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The most similar pentax setup would be the K-5, 12-24/F4, 31 f1.8 Limited, 77 f1.8 Limited DA* 200/2.8, DA* 300f4.

Optically, it should be on par or better than your Canon glass. As for Auto focus, you may not find it to be any better. Of those lenses I've mentioned, only the DA* are weather sealed. To be fully weather sealed you need a K-5/K-7 and WR, or DA* lenses.
07-23-2011, 11:07 AM   #3
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Currently pentax hasn't mentioned making a FF DSLR, they are more commited to the APS-C than the others though, with a full range of APS-C prime lenses.
07-23-2011, 11:43 AM   #4
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As you know you can go with the older Pentax glass. However, you can also use the newer Zeiss glass (as you have with your Canon) or Voligtlander. That said, Carl Zeiss provided the optics for the old Contax line of lenses. These lenses are available used and will need their mounts changed. Even with changing the mounts, for the most part you are at about a 1/3 of the price of new glass (the 18, and 21mm lenses are very expensive along with the 28/f2)...
In the PK mount conversion
MM Distagon* 18mm F4 Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 18mm f/4 (C/Y) Lens Review
MM Distagon* 21mm F2.8 Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm f/2.8 (C/Y) Lens Review
MM Distagon* 25mm F2.8 Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 25mm f/2.8 (C/Y) Lens Review
MM Distagon 28mm F2.0 Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 28mm f/2 (C/Y) Lens Review
MM Distagon* 28mm F2.8 Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 28mm f/2.8 (C/Y) Lens Review
MM Distagon* 35mm F2.8 Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 35mm f/2.8 (C/Y) Lens Review
MM Planar* 50mm F1.7 Carl Zeiss Planar T* 50mm f/1.7 (C/Y) Lens Review
MM Planar* 50mm F1.4 Carl Zeiss Planar T* 50mm f/1.4 (C/Y) Lens Review
MM Sonnar* 85mm F2.8 Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 85mm f/2.8 (C/Y) Lens Review
MM Sonnar* 100mm F3.5 Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 100mm f/3.5 (C/Y) Lens Review
MM Sonnar* 135mm F2.8 Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 135mm (C/Y) f/2.8 Lens Review
MM Tele- Tessar 200mm F4
In the M42 mount conversion
MM Distagon 35mm F1.4 Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 35mm f/1.4 (C/Y) Lens Review
MM Planar 85mm F1.4 Carl Zeiss Planar T* 85mm f/1.4 (C/Y) Lens Review

In terms of the sensor size - it is what it is. However, there is always the 645D...

hope that helps....

Last edited by interested_observer; 07-23-2011 at 01:52 PM.
07-23-2011, 11:54 AM   #5
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The K5 is an amazing camera (think 7D or D300s quality) & Pentax has some fabulous lenses, though there is no need to stay with just the Pentax range if you are happy with MF (and since you seem to like your landscape shots then MF shouldn't be any sort of handicap) you could also add a massive selection of lenses from Leica R, Voigtlander, Zeiss, Nikon etc. though the 12/24 (prime quality in a zoom) and 31 Ltd will give you as good as you can get in almost any system for your landscapes, and the other lenses scurrvy mentioned are top class too.
07-23-2011, 11:57 AM   #6
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Great list IO - I think you mean in the PK mount for the first list though (and M42 for the 85/1.4 and 35/1.4) as we discussed earlier on another forum
07-23-2011, 12:11 PM   #7

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If you want FF there is not a Pentax option, and with Pentax you do miss out on some 3rd party lenses that aren't available in Pentax mount. But even for Nikon or Canon, you have to decide FF up front because you would choose different lenses, in some cases, depending on whether you were at least eventually going to commit to FF. Acquiring small-sensor lenses would limit your FF possibilities (without selling/trading.)

07-23-2011, 12:51 PM   #8
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Well if you want to pixelpeep then here's one: with DA21mm and with DA*60-250mm with good light and a descent lens you can make stunning images.

Well I can recommend DA* lenses 55mm, 50-135mm, 60-250mm, 200mm and 300mm. I'm not a fan for the 16-50mm.

Old legacy glass that is good are FA*85mm and FA*80-200mm. There are many more excellent old glasses, but I'm not a manual focussing guy. I don't have some off the extreme expensive long tele lenses, so no judgement about them.

The FA Limited and DA Limited series are both good. Very different from image that they produce.

In wideangle, I only have DA 14mm, but that isn't my wisdom.

For serious landscaping there is also 645D.
And visit the lenssurvey, for wich a link is downhere in my signature for future wishes.

07-23-2011, 01:48 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
Great list IO - I think you mean in the PK mount for the first list though (and M42 for the 85/1.4 and 35/1.4) as we discussed earlier on another forum
Thanks Frog - a cut and past error.....
07-23-2011, 03:04 PM   #10
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thanks for the great input. I didn't look at the 645 as an option before. I think I am going to look for lenses and start looking at making the switch.

I didn't realize you could change the mount on the old Contax CZ lenses...............

I need to get a list of which lenses I want to look for... there are SO many that I like.

I want a good 10-15MM aspherical prime

21MM Zeiss


50MM - have

85MM F1.4 Sigma

135MM - have


1.4x TC

a good tilt shift.. ... .. .. . .. . .. . .... . .
07-23-2011, 03:34 PM   #11
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You already got some excellent advice. Let me share a few personal experience comments:

- If you shoot oudoor, you will love the robustness and WR of the K-5. The K-5/K-7 body is realy stiff and solid. Together with the WR, you feel realy 'safe' when shooting outdoor incl. in rough conditions. I speeak with firs thand experience as I shoot mostly outdoor in foul weather and rough conditions. And I am not the only one among PF members.

- The backwards lens compatiblity of Pentax is outanding and will give you access to a bunch of very high quality lenses. I have 7 lenses ad only 2 are still in production (FA31m and Tamron 90mm). The other 5 are vintage lenses incl. 2 Voigtlanders and 1 Zeiss. Simply Pentax has a lot of lens to offer, with some great lens series incl. the FA Ltd, the DA Ltd, the DA*, the FA*....

- A great asset of the K-7/K-5 is the body design and handling. The handling is simply superb. Again I value highly this feature when I shoot outdoor because everything fits naturally in my hands and I do not waste time looking for 'things'.

I cannot comment on the economical aspect of your decision, but the above comments point strongly in favor of jumping to Pentax.

Hope that the comment will help.
07-23-2011, 06:52 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by chrisneibauer Quote
I want a good 10-15MM aspherical prime

21MM Zeiss


a good tilt shift.. ... .. .. . .. . .. . .... . .
On the 21mm Zeiss - Zeiss has discontinued the ZK Pentax mount almost a year ago, although you may be able to find some still in stock, or used. Current prices for the new lenses (other mounts) are running $1800-$1900. The old Contax CZ 21 is running around $2000 to $2200 on ebay. It is a cult lens, and having Zeiss discontinue the ZK has just shifted the demand. The 25mm is getting expensive now ($700-$800), however the best bargin is the 28mm/f2.8 going for about $300. The 28mm is sharp from wide open on - its an absolutely suburb lens.

A Tilt Shift lens - Pentax made one - a K 28mm/f3.5 Shift - and its shift only. Some third party lens makers produce either shift, or tilt, but finding a shift/tilt mechanism together is difficult. The third party ones that are available are 35mm or 85mm. Finding something wider is again nearly impossible, and then you add in the 1.5x crop factor for the APS-c sensor, it just squeezes the angle of view down. You can use the registration distance to your advantage here to a degree. There are semi-custom shift tilt mechanisms available that can use 645 lenses. That said, its difficult to find a 645 lens wider than 35mm. The widest 645 Pentax made is 25mm. Pentax has made a new one that currently goes for $5,000. I have no idea how much an old one would command. The nice thing here is that you may be able to vary the shift tilt mechanism to have any 645 lens mount you desire, so that you can find the widest in another mount and use that.

Now you are starting to experience Pentax's weaknesses. Zeiss discontinued the ZK mount since their lenses were FF and Pentax did not have a FF body, and Pentax is a relatively small market when compared to Canon and Nikon. Primes are the strength here, and that does align with your desires. The Pentax registration distance is able to host a lot of older quality glass and that appears to help you in your quest. Hopefully Ricoh will get Pentax moving in the right direction.

Last edited by interested_observer; 07-23-2011 at 07:12 PM.
07-23-2011, 11:30 PM   #13

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QuoteOriginally posted by chrisneibauer Quote
my main concern is IQ.
The Sony sensor inside the K-5 or even the older K-x is far ahead of Canon's sensors.

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