Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
02-09-2008, 04:10 PM   #16
Pentaxian
offertonhatter's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Stockport, Manchester. UK
Posts: 377
Oooh the FA* 85mm F1.4 Limited.The holy grail of Pentax lenses. I wish I could find one but no, nowhere to be seen. :-(

02-09-2008, 04:20 PM   #17
Pentaxian
offertonhatter's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Stockport, Manchester. UK
Posts: 377
I mixed two lenses up, there is the FA* 85mm and the 85mm Limited. The Limited is the sort after lens rather than the FA*
02-09-2008, 04:56 PM   #18
Pentaxian
Moderator Emeritus




Join Date: May 2007
Location: Edmonton Alberta, Canada
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 10,648
Sorry, There's no 85mm Limited. The 2 lenses in question are FA*85mm f1.4 and the A*85mmf1.4. One is auto focus and the other is not. Both use the same optics but the FA* was upgraded to work with the AF bodies and newer controls.
02-09-2008, 05:19 PM   #19
Veteran Member
jeffkrol's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Wisconsin USA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 8,434
QuoteOriginally posted by offertonhatter Quote
Oooh the FA* 85mm F1.4 Limited.The holy grail of Pentax lenses. I wish I could find one but no, nowhere to be seen. :-(
Much easier on the pocketbook that way if the A version is any indication:
Pentax-A 85mm f1.4 "Star" Lens With Case - eBay (item 150212860778 end time Feb-10-08 19:19:03 PST)
Best to get the new Cosina/Zeiss
Carl Zeiss Planar T* 1.4/85 ZK 85mm f/1.4 fit PENTAX KA - eBay (item 230216049144 end time Feb-22-08 04:26:10 PST)

02-09-2008, 08:40 PM   #20
Senior Member
benplaut's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Central NY
Posts: 268
QuoteOriginally posted by carpents Quote
The rest of Pentax's autofocus prime lineup is either on par with or worse than comparable Nikon primes, and of course there is less available in Pentax mount.
I think you're going to get a bit of argument on that point...
02-09-2008, 10:30 PM   #21
Veteran Member
clawhammer's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Logan, Utah
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 976
I know I'm a little late, but here are my takes. My first experience with DSLRs was with a Nikon D70, and then got a fair amount of stick time on the D80 (worked at a camera shop). I would hold the quality of the k10 at ISO 1600 equal to the D70/80 at that ISO. Also, as has been noted, the Pentax P-TTL system isn't as good as Nikon's i-TTL system (man, I love those flashes!); however, you can still get good results and even do wireless via the onboard flash as you can with the Nikons. For me, the real kicker was the ease of use of the K10 combined with it's weathersealing. I wrote a small review of the K10, which you can find through the 'equipment' link on the page in my sig.

As for lenses, the FA Limteds are awesome, the DA limiteds special in their own way (size), and most of the DA Lenses are of equal quality of their Nikon price-equivilant counterparts. The DA*'s are the 'top of the line' lenses, and if the particular sample is properly made the zooms are just about equal with the Nikons. No answer to the beautiful 80-200 f/2.8, though
02-10-2008, 02:34 AM   #22
New Member




Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 3
Original Poster
After some thought, I believe I will be sticking with Nikon for now, although I have never seen a more passionate group of people than the Pentax users. For a bit of insight on what Im working on now you can visit the link below. Im taking these during my time off (4 hours on Sunday) once a week. Feel free to leave a comment. They arent perfect! Thanks again everyone. You all have been VERY helpful.


Iraq 2008 Photo Gallery by James Atkinson at pbase.com
02-10-2008, 04:11 AM   #23
Pentaxian
offertonhatter's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Stockport, Manchester. UK
Posts: 377
I stand corrected, there is indeed only the FA* 85mm 1.4. Still does'nt stop me from wanting one.

02-10-2008, 06:53 AM   #24
Pentaxian
Moderator Emeritus




Join Date: May 2007
Location: Edmonton Alberta, Canada
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 10,648
QuoteOriginally posted by offertonhatter Quote
I stand corrected, there is indeed only the FA* 85mm 1.4. Still does'nt stop me from wanting one.
You, me amd several thousand others, Bro! you might find this interesting:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/108081-post1.html
02-10-2008, 06:58 AM   #25
Pentaxian
Moderator Emeritus




Join Date: May 2007
Location: Edmonton Alberta, Canada
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 10,648
QuoteOriginally posted by JAtkinson Quote
After some thought, I believe I will be sticking with Nikon for now, although I have never seen a more passionate group of people than the Pentax users. For a bit of insight on what Im working on now you can visit the link below. Im taking these during my time off (4 hours on Sunday) once a week. Feel free to leave a comment. They arent perfect! Thanks again everyone. You all have been VERY helpful.


Iraq 2008 Photo Gallery by James Atkinson at pbase.com
Not a bad decision James. Switching systems is much more than a simple swap of a body and a few lenses.
Quite the gallery You are in Iraq now? or back home? Some good shots. I only looked at a few but I can't imagine what it takes to get through a day there. Good luck to you.
02-10-2008, 08:05 AM   #26
Senior Member




Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Moscow, Russia
Posts: 239
- Dim light performance and noise
My GX-10 (K10 clone) has some problems in dim-light focusing. It can seek back and forward sometimes, it refuses to focus in low-contrast things in the dark, however, if it beeps, that REALLY means it is locked, the shot WILL be sharp. Almost no AF misses, unlike what I've seen, using N-D70s and C-400D, which AF is less conservative, which results in AF misses.

As for noise of K10 - almost no noise at 100-400. I never EVER used anything more then then lowest ISO setting with my previous cameras, I am very picky when in comes to noise. On my GX-10 I often set ISO to auto 100-400. 800 and 1600 are usable, but I prefer not to use them if possible.

- Auto-focus speed / reliability
Well not the fastest AF in the world clearly. But I find it 100% acceptable for me, there were no situations, in which I wished it to be faster. But I don't shoot sports. And I find AF on my camera extremely accurate and reliable. Almost no AF misses ever happen, if AF claims it is locked, it IS really locked, and locked right.

- Sharpness of lenses
This depends on what lenses you'll take. There are insanely sharp primes, but they are costly. There are some old manual very sharp lenses, which are less costly, but you sacrifice AF. However manual focusing is very comfortable with K10D. The choise of modern lenses for Pentax is less then for Canon and Nikon unfortunately, but that seems to be corrected in nearest future, as Pentax returns to it's 3rd place and Tamron/Sigma/others announced their newest lenses for Pentax as well as for Nikon, Canon and SONY.

- Contrast and color
That's simple - Great contrast and colors. Colors are very Nikon-like (well, same matrix, no wonder), so if you liked Nikon's color representations, you'll like Pentax's also.
02-10-2008, 09:12 AM   #27
Inactive Account




Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Sault Ste Marie, Ont, Canada.
Posts: 563
I think you made a good sound decision also. Switching systems is never something to take lightly.

However, try not to pick up a pentax camera or you might get hooked.

After buying a K10D for my father, his health deteriorated so that I inherited it after a few months. I have a full enough Canon 20D system, being quite happy with the 20D and not seeing any need to upgrade. However, when I compare the K10D to the 20D, one thing became apparent quickly, the colour and details are just amazing on the Pentax. Pentax I believe, makes some of the best glass out there, and it shows in the photos.

As a consequence, I am finding myself slowly fleshing out my Pentax system to the level of the Canon. I haven't ditched my Canon yet, as I enjoy wildlife photography and haven't bought a Bigma or something equivalent in a Pentax mount yet. But I know its just time before that happens, and I might just let my beloved Canon system go at that point.

The proof is in the pudding. When I compare a RAW image from both cameras, my Canon gets spanked.
02-10-2008, 09:29 AM   #28
Inactive Account




Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Colorado
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 13
I just purchased a K10D and I am going thru a learning curve. For the past 40+ years I've been involved in photography so I feel qualified to give you an answer to one of your questions. Last night the moon was only 10% so I put on my 400mm Pentax lens on the K10D, set the ISO to 1600. I believe the image I have is very very good as far as "noise" is concerned. Like I said, I am still learning this camera but I believe the Pentax K10D is an extremely good tool.
02-10-2008, 09:51 AM   #29
Veteran Member




Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Diego, California
Posts: 441
QuoteOriginally posted by JAtkinson Quote
...

OK, to the questions...

...

2. Image quality is much more important to me than mega-pixels. I would love to hear anyones thoughts on things such as...
- Dim light performance and noise
- Auto-focus speed / reliability
- Sharpness of lenses
- Contrast and color

So far everything I have read seems to show the K20D being a solid DSLR, but if I jump ship from Nikon, I want to ensure Pentax will continue to produce quality produces (ie. I don't want to be in the boat Minolta users were in last year).
I previously used a Pentax system (*ist DL and K10D with a variety of better Pentax lenses, including a DA* zoom, two Limited lenses, both the DA 14mm f2.8 and the DA 12-24mm, etc.). I now use a Nikon DSLR system (D80 with 4 lenses: 17-55mm f2.8 DX, 70-200mm f2.8 VR, 12-24 f4 DX and Micro 105mm f2.8 VR). I still use a Pentax film camera system. So I have some personal experience with both systems. Of course, I have no personal experience with the K20D.

I cannot compare Pentax and Nikon customer support, since I have not had to use either in recent times.

The Pentax lenses and the K10D produce sharp, clear images in decent light. The lenses have good contrast and color rendering. I would say that the Pentax and Nikon gear is evenly matched in this regard. The Pentax gear is smaller, lighter and less expensive which is a clear advantage.

In dim light, I was disappointed with the Pentax K10D. My D80 has less noise at ISO 1600 than my Pentax K10D at 1600. I would say that straight out of the camera, the Nikon at 1600 matches the Pentax at 800, and the Nikon at 3200 matches the Pentax at 1600. I avoided going over ISO 800 with the Pentax, but I willl go to ISO 1600 with the Nikon. Both the Pentax K20D and the Nikon D300 are reported to have significantly better high ISO performance than earlier models and I'm sure both will be better performers than the cameras I use.

Auto-focus speed and reliability: The Pentax K20D uses the same AF system as the K10D. There may have been some minor enhancements, but the otherwise you should expect that the K20D AF performance will be the same as the K10D. In good light and with relatively static subjects, the Pentax K10D AF worked fine and most shots were in focus. However, I sometimes photography action sports (soccer, in particular). In tracking a fast moving subject in continuous AF mode, the Pentax does a poor job of tracking subjects moving towards and away from the camera. Many shots were out of focus and it was obvious that the camera did not use a predictive focusing system. This was even the case with the DA* 50-135mm SDM lens that has an in-lens focusing motor. The Pentax success rate was about 50-70% in focus. By contrast, my Nikon D80 with the AF-S 70-200mm f2.8 G VR lens has a much higher success rate with about 95% of the shots in focus. My personal experience was that for action photography, the Nikon system performed much better.

I also had problems with the Pentax AF in low light situations, especially indoor with flourescent lighting. The AF sometimes would not be able to lock, or it would lock but the image in the viewfinder was obviously out of focus. The Nikon has better AF in this situation. The Popular Photography review of the Nikon D300 stated that it had the best low light AF performance of any camera that they have ever tested.

Of course, the D300 has a more sophisticated AF system and will outperform my modest D80. Unfortunately, Pentax did not upgrade the AF system in the K20D and it is unlikely to perform any better than the K10D.

The bottom line is that you need to decide what features and performance aspects are important to you, how much weight and size you are willing to carry, and how much you want to spend. I think the Pentax system represents a very nice compact and light weight system for travel and landscape photography. The Pentax fixed focal length lenses, especially the Limited series, are superior to anything offered by Nikon or Canon in terms of the balance of performance, size, weight , build quality and cost. On the other hand, the AF and low light performance of the Nikon is probably the best in the business, and the Nikon "pro" level f2.8 zooms, macro lenses, and flash system are probably superior to anything offered by Pentax (or anyone else).

I don't have any personal interest in what you decide. I am neither a "Nikonian" nor a "Pentaxian." I'm just a photographer looking for the tools and the techniques to make the images that I want to make.
02-10-2008, 11:18 AM   #30
Inactive Account




Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Midwest
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 59
James,

I have owned an *ist DS, a Canon 400D, and I now own a K10d. I have shot with a D200, a 30D, and a Mark II before. That is my experience.

Out of all those cameras, I find that the K10D has the most pleasing color rendition and image quality. I really love their lenses as well, the 50 1.4 blows me away on a regular basis. Whenever I would try to boost the shadows at ISO 800, or even 400 on my 400D, I would get an unusable photograph, with large blue speckles (almost like hot pixels) in the noise area and image quality degredation. This was in RAW, jpeg of course wasn't any better. With my K10D, sure, there is more apparent noise (though hardly any more) than the 400D at ISO 800, and it's not really useable at 1600 (in my opinion), but even at 800 I have a lot more ability to change exposure levels without the images looking terrible. The K20D has a CMOS sensor, so it may be even better.

One thing I like about Pentax is customer service. I sent my lens away for AF fixing, and it was back within the week, no charge to me at all, no questions asked, and it works great now. The camera is also a joy to use, with useful settings like Hyper Program, and shake reduction that really make a difference. In my use of the K10D, even in low light, I found that I have ample amount of time to compose and shoot the "moments" I am looking for using either manual focus or AF (the viewfinder is better than the 40D my friend has, honestly). Things like weather sealing are great as well, like last weekend when my friend dumped beer all over my camera. You should've seen the look on his face.. haha.

AF speed
This is one the one thing that kills me about this camera. I do not have a DA* lens, so I cannot speak for those, but even in moderately low light, there is some grinding that occurs. Also, the AF sensor seems to not be able to distinguish close focal planes in low light, and locks on instead to the most contrasty object in the viewfinder, even if set on center point AF (this really pisses me off sometimes, when I end up with a bottle in focus instead of a face). However, in good to bright light, there's nothing faster, in my experience. I tend to do a lot of shooting in dark places though, like a studio session just last night (Oneshotmeuk :: UUVVWWZ) and the camera performs well enough for me there with the amazing 50mm F1.4 on.

Operation
I really like the solid feel and operation of the K10D. It feels like a real tool with a purpose that wont break if I squeeze it too hard. Pentax has included a few useful buttons that make operations quicker, and the speed of photo to photo shooting never keeps me waiting.

I hope that helps! I'm not even an adult yet, much less a pro, so don't take my remarks too seriously....
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
bunch, camera, dslr, k20d, lenses, nikon, pentax, pentax reviews, photography, post, quality, support, users
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Not pentax K10D reviews TheGrandPrixKid Pentax DSLR Discussion 3 04-11-2010 03:38 PM
Pentax K7 - A Real Turkey rprii Post Your Photos! 2 07-19-2009 03:03 AM
No new and real competitors for Pentax K-7? ogl Pentax News and Rumors 19 06-08-2009 05:23 PM
New Member-Former Nikonian! Rmpjr7 Pentax DSLR Discussion 13 03-07-2008 09:13 PM
gary fong origami - any real reviews? mattdm Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 2 02-07-2008 09:03 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:28 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top