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08-31-2011, 05:42 AM   #1
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Looking to get back into Pentax

Looking for advice,
I currently have a ist* Film and ist*Ds was kicking around adding a newer DSLR to the family, my wife has been an avid Nikon user and I was thinking of getting her a K-r just to get her familiar with the brand because she loves photography and not brand loyal. I will eventually be getting the K5 or replacement when I get back from Afghanistan I have 6 months left so no hurry for me. Just wondering since I have never shot Nikon what can she expect with the switch? She was eyeing the D7000 because of the dual SD card slots and the Massive AF points available. Not wanting to start a which is better thread but wanted good information so I can help her from halfway around the world. And Lastly with the recent sale of Pentax from Hoya what do we as a forum think the future of Pentax will be? Not wanting to jump ship by no means but if I get the K-r and K5 I will have a significant investment tied up by the time I upgrade my lenses. Speaking of lenses B&H has a couple different kits available but not alot of info on the lenses other than the ranges are these just the basic Pentax lenses?

JJ


Last edited by jerryleejr; 08-31-2011 at 05:47 AM.
08-31-2011, 06:16 AM   #2
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D7000 is definitely better than a KR, but the K5 has advantages over the Nikon (WR and better build being the 2 that would make the difference for me), Nikon's strength's are better flash control (matters not to me but for some people it's a deal breaker) and more AF points. Not necessarily more accurate AF though. somewhere on here there was a thread pointing to a review which ranked the K5 above the Nikon on AF due to accuracy. Certainly some people feel the Nikon is faster (though i think this really may be the FF variants myself, just my opinion).
Personally I like the layout and functionality on the K7/K5 but if i was to jump ship Nikon would be my second choice in DSLR in any case. the menus are more complicated and buttons aren't where i like them but it is nothing that you couldn't get used to.
I've not used a Kr (did try the Kx and returned it). I'm a 2 wheel guy and like the solid feel of the higher end bodies so the kr doesn't appeal, i would be more inclined to have a K7/K5 pair so accessories like the grip can be shared between them
As for where Pentax is going I am not worried at all. Ricoh is about 10X the size of hoya and has deep pockets. On top of that unlike hoya they bought Pentax specifically to get serious in the camera business. If anything I think the next few years will probably see some big improvements in the brand
The big determining factor is what lenses you have in both brands and what you want to be able to do. Nikon's strength for me is long fast glass (at a big price) Pentax it is small very high quality primes at generally lower pricing than the Nikon high quality primes. I'm a prime shooter so for me it's a no brainer
08-31-2011, 07:02 AM   #3
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I think Eddie1960 has nailed it.

What I'm reading in your post is that the options you are looking at are mostly evaluated based on # AF points and # SD slots.
With SDXC cards available, the number of SD slots has been removed of the checklist in my opinion.
The AF topic is still there, but its weigth is very much depending upon:
- What type of photos you make (subject & condition matters a lot!)
- The lens you use
Therefore, depending upon the test setup, either camera can win.
The test results are not conclusive.

What I'm missing in your evaluation of the cameras, are all the other important points:

- Camera features (level correction etc etc) [K-5 > D7000]
- Video options [K-5 << D7000]
- Lens options [K-5 < D7000]
- Lens prices [K-5 >> D7000]
- Flash options [K-5 < D7000]
- Ergonomics [K-5 >> D7000, tastes differ]
- Environment protection [K-5 >> D7000, incl lens]

I'd think it over some more and broaden the discussion with your wife.
Buying a DSLR is buying into a system, if you'd buy more lenses, you get yourself hooked up to a supplier. Perhaps it is now to make some sort of fundemantal choice.

Perhaps you should go to a local shop and "feel" the difference...

In the end they are both very good camera's and IMHO the quality of the lens and the skills of the photographer are more important...

- Bert
08-31-2011, 07:28 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by bymy141 Quote
I
In the end they are both very good camera's and IMHO the quality of the lens and the skills of the photographer are more important...

- Bert
That's the real issue. though the gear is nice to have it's not the important part. I shoot with everything from a holga to a 6x7 mamiya, and cameras older than me to my K7. they all have their strengths and weaknesses. I'm actually considering a large format before a K5 *say a 4x5) because it has some strengths i can address any other way

08-31-2011, 07:32 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by bymy141 Quote
Perhaps you should go to a local shop and "feel" the difference...
In Afghanistan ?!

Joking aside I think both Eddy & Bert have given you great advice. Now it's your turn to give us a little more to go on (type of photography etc.).

Be safe over there.
08-31-2011, 08:11 AM   #6
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Regarding the lenses options, I'd definitively recommend Nikon if you want portrait lenses on a budget... Their whole f/1.8 range (35mm, 50mm, 85mm) is nicely priced, and you cannot find anything remotely similar in Pentax...
If money is not a problem, then Pentax has, I believe, better lenses at a slightly lower price point...

Decent WR is a Pentax speciality (at the price!)...

Now, the flash system differences are only really noticeable if you are into multiple flashes setups... With only one flash, you'll barely notice the difference (to the exception of being able to switch between TTL/A/M flash mode right from the body with Nikon's CLS).
08-31-2011, 02:04 PM   #7
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All good responses, Let me see if I can get back to all of you in one whack
Eddie, I agree totally with your response however I wasnt trying to compare the K-r with the D7000 I was planning on getting the K-r for my wife just to try Pentax on for size before getting the K-5 or its replacement when I get back, If for some reason she isnt at all happy with the K-r then I havent invested enough to feel obligated to stay with Pentax.

Bert, My evaluation left off some of the things you list mainly because in my mind I would go K-5 Hands down for the reasons you listed I had just mentioned the only two things that stand out to me about the D7K was the Dual SD slots and AF points but if the write speed is sufficient with SDXC then I may revisit the dual slot option. I will be tethering sometimes and thought maybe running an eyefi card in the second slot was feasible.

Frog,
Good catch unfortunately my local camera store right now is B&H.com LOL

As for the future of Pentax it is all speculation just would at least in the future like an option to move above the K-5 without leaping to the 645D, doesnt even have to be FF (god knows that debate rages on) Just kinda frustrates me to look around and see the offerings from other brands that continue on above the pro-sumer level. I think Pentax will do well to offer competition to say the D700 or 5D MkII and still leave a gap in the 3Dx/1D arena without sacrificing MF sales of the 645D.

Again thanks for all the good advice

JJ
08-31-2011, 05:06 PM   #8
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Surprised that no one mentioned the most distinctive feature of Pentax vs Nikon: the in body stabilization system (and other neat related features: horizon correction, composition adjustment, astrotracer with the GPS). That makes a big difference with primes.


Last edited by ManuH; 09-01-2011 at 05:59 AM.
08-31-2011, 07:29 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by jerryleejr Quote
As for the future of Pentax it is all speculation just would at least in the future like an option to move above the K-5 without leaping to the 645D, doesnt even have to be FF (god knows that debate rages on) Just kinda frustrates me to look around and see the offerings from other brands that continue on above the pro-sumer level. I think Pentax will do well to offer competition to say the D700 or 5D MkII and still leave a gap in the 3Dx/1D arena without sacrificing MF sales of the 645D.
We have to compare apples with apples ... and in that arena neither Canon nor Nikon have a better camera than Pentax in APS-C, the best offerings are all pretty much on a par (K5 - 7D - D300s) and it just depends on which features you prefer. If you wanted to continue on beyond pro-sumer (and in the case of those three cameras I've just listed many Pros use them so the term pro-sumer is misleading) then there are no further options with the 5dII and D700 (the next step up) being FF of course and a completely different kettle of fish if you decide to go that route.

As ManuH said the SR is a major plus in favour of Pentax & Sony cameras, as it is effective with every single lens you put on your camera and not just those that you have (expensively) bought with it in-lens which is the case with Canon / Nikon.
09-01-2011, 05:16 AM   #10
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Ok I have decided to order the K-r for the wife since B&H has it on sale the next couple of days so my only question is which lens to go with body only and a fast prime or pick up the kit to let her play with for a little while, Keep in mind I will get a K-5 when I get home so most of the good lenses will be bought with that in mind as well.

JJ
09-01-2011, 05:36 AM   #11
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It's hard to recommend a Prime without knowing the subject matter (or for that matter the budget) though probably the most common one is the FA50 f1.4
generally the kit lenses are reasonably good (best around 35mm) the biggest drawback being speed.
A good alternative may be getting the body with the 16-45 f4 which is a much improved kit lens and will cost about the same as say a FA50 f1.4. - still no low light monster but and excellent walk around lens. the other alternative in pentaxland is the DA*16-50 2.8, which is a whole heck of a lot more money, better built, faster and some iq improvement as well over the 16-45 though there have been issues with the SDM (Maybe it's less of an issue now, but at one point it was definitely and issue)
09-01-2011, 05:49 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
It's hard to recommend a Prime without knowing the subject matter (or for that matter the budget) though probably the most common one is the FA50 f1.4
generally the kit lenses are reasonably good (best around 35mm) the biggest drawback being speed.
A good alternative may be getting the body with the 16-45 f4 which is a much improved kit lens and will cost about the same as say a FA50 f1.4. - still no low light monster but and excellent walk around lens. the other alternative in pentaxland is the DA*16-50 2.8, which is a whole heck of a lot more money, better built, faster and some iq improvement as well over the 16-45 though there have been issues with the SDM (Maybe it's less of an issue now, but at one point it was definitely and issue)
Eddie,
I am saving up for the 16-50 2.8 but for now was just looking at what was on B&H with the camera, they have a 35mm and 18-55 two different types. She will mostly be doing indoor stuff with the kids and pets hopefully by next summer we will have dialed in our choices for outdoor summer activities eventually I will add the 60-250 but again for now just want her to get a good feel for the brand.

JJ
09-01-2011, 06:35 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by jerryleejr Quote
Eddie,
I am saving up for the 16-50 2.8 but for now was just looking at what was on B&H with the camera, they have a 35mm and 18-55 two different types. She will mostly be doing indoor stuff with the kids and pets hopefully by next summer we will have dialed in our choices for outdoor summer activities eventually I will add the 60-250 but again for now just want her to get a good feel for the brand.

JJ
JJ. Many people prefer the Tamron very sharp 17-50/2.8 (very similar price to the 16-45) to the far more expensive Pentax 16-50 which may often be over-rated by Pentaxians. It's had very mixed reviews. Check out the thread for photos taken by Tamron lenses here on PF.

Otherwise the 35/2.4 is an amazing prime for the few dollars it costs. Do you need (or want) WR ? Most people rate the kit lens for what you pay for it. Don't expect a speed demon though !

I think a good look through this current thread may help a lot : https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/156918-my-lens...have-them.html
09-01-2011, 06:46 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
JJ. Many people prefer the Tamron very sharp 17-50/2.8 (very similar price to the 16-45) to the far more expensive Pentax 16-50 which may often be over-rated by Pentaxians. It's had very mixed reviews. Check out the thread for photos taken by Tamron lenses here on PF.

Otherwise the 35/2.4 is an amazing prime for the few dollars it costs. Do you need (or want) WR ? Most people rate the kit lens for what you pay for it. Don't expect a speed demon though !

I think a good look through this current thread may help a lot : https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/156918-my-lens...have-them.html
I was going to mention the 35 2.4, I've read a lot of good things about it. On one of the single In months someone shot with it for the month and I was very impressed (i actually plan on adding one to my stable when funds permit)
09-01-2011, 07:37 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by jerryleejr Quote
Ok I have decided to order the K-r for the wife since B&H has it on sale the next couple of days so my only question is which lens to go with body only and a fast prime or pick up the kit to let her play with for a little while, Keep in mind I will get a K-5 when I get home so most of the good lenses will be bought with that in mind as well.

JJ
If sheís a prime shooter then the 35mm f2.4 as mentioned above would be the best ďstartingĒ option, IMO. If she rather have a zoom to play around with then the 18-55mm is quite capable for a ďkit lensĒ. It wonít be in the same league with a fast prime or DA* but you may be surprised of what itís capable of. There is also a WR version for when you get the K5, if weather sealing is must. Optically, the kit and the WR versions are the same. Their main difference other than WR is the kit's plastic mount, no quick-shift and no hood.

Canít comment on the DA* but I do have the Tamron 17-50 f2.8. It isnít WR and you loose 1mm on the wide end versus the 16-50 but my experience so far, it is a an amazingly sharp lens. It does tend to underexpose on my K-x and I honestly donít know how itíll perform on a K5 but if you shoot RAW and donít mind PP, Iíd recommend looking into this lens as well.
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