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11-26-2012, 04:02 AM   #1
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Talk me into a Pentax

Hi

I've just registered and am looking for some advice regarding switching over to Pentax.

Presently I have a Nikon D80 and have been mostly pleased with it, although poor metering and high iso noise have finally got the better of me and I'm looking to upgrade.
The Pentax K-30 looks great, it seems to have image quality equivalent to the Nikon D7000 but costs way less, only a bit more than a second hand D90 (which is a bit older)

The things I like most about my Nikon are the Pentaprism finder, cheap 35mm f1.8 prime and the Nikon wireless flash system.
How would I get on with Pentax on this front, obviously the finder is ok, are there any normal fash primes that are 160 like the nikon? Does the K-30 have wireless flash?

If I sell my Nikkor 18-200 and 35mm I'd probably get circa 425 or so for them. What lenses woudl you recommend for the K-30 in that price range? Second hand is fine.
I understand that Pentax is great for backward compatibility, will most lenses meter on the K30? Are there any old AF gems out there?

Any advice greatfully received.

11-26-2012, 05:39 AM   #2
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Let me do as very brief comparison and contrast…

First the Nikon name versus Pentax. While you did compare two very similar camera bodies; Nikon has a far greater variety of camera bodies, incredibly large variety of lens', flash & lighting options and other accessories. I personally use both Nikon and Pentax items; everything from a D4, to Nikon film cameras, to even a Pentax K-01.

While you mentioned the D80 as having a bit more noise; it would depend largely on the iso setting. I also have found that almost all Nikon bodies are significantly better a metering than anything Pentax offers - but that would also depend as to what the camera was set at - spot metering as an example.

Then there's lens'. Nikon has a much greater variety, but most Nikon lens' do cost much more money. But one also has the option of using most Nikon lens' on a much greater variety of camera bodies. Most (but not all) of the better Pentax brand prime lens' are either f2.8 of f1.8. Most that range beyond that are third party lens such as by companies such as Sigma. Sadly Pentax does not offer nearly the variety of lens' that Nikon offers, in focal range, in aperature, or other options. But Pentax does lead in price options though.

And then there are flash options and flash limitations. Pentax is very limited in this respect; especially for Pentax name flash.
11-26-2012, 05:40 AM   #3
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Pentax Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

You've seen the user reviews? Plenty of used 35 and 50 on the market. Good luck on your decision!

11-26-2012, 05:44 AM   #4
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Welcome to Pentax Forums!
-Coming from Nikon will probably be easier than Canon, seeing as they control layout is closer. The K30 is a great choice from what I've seen and heard. I haven't actually touched one though.(K5 owner)
-To replace the equipment you currently have, I would suggest either a double kit (18-55/50-200) or the 18-135. The latter doesn't have the same reach, but I can testify quality. Plus the weather sealing is very handy; first time using my 18-135=rain storm.
If you get the double kit, it will leave you more flexibility in your budget for a fast prime(DA50 f1.8, DA35 f2.4, or second hand auto and manual focus).
-I think all DSLRs by Pentax have supported wireless flash, both Pentax brand and third party (Sigma, Metz).
-For older lenses, yes most will meter. For the older lenses that do not offer an automatic aperture, you would have to stop-down meter, but that's where you shine as a photographer and not shutter pusher. :-)
-For a comprehensive look at lens offerings, you might check the lens database here in the forum. It never steered me wrong.
Good luck and hope you enjoy, whichever route you take.

11-26-2012, 05:54 AM - 2 Likes   #5
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QuoteQuote:
Talk me into a Pentax
OK...

****Psssst...this is your conscious speaking...go get that Pentax. You know you want it, you know it's sexy...you know you love the feel of that old 50mm prime in your hands...you know the image quality is fantastic...you know the high ISO performance is king of the hill...you kow it's cheaper than the rest, so are lenses...you know you can get loads and loads of great vintage lenses for a song...so why are you hanging around here staring at a camera forum...go get that Pentax...bye****

11-26-2012, 06:05 AM   #6
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Pentax doesn't have such a fast 35mm, and it sure doesn't have any mentionable wireless flash support. Pentaxs metering is equal or maybe even worse in comparison to that of Nikon. So the question really is: are you really willing to give those up for lower high ISO noise performance?

The reason for getting into Pentax used to be the fact that they had the best bang for the buck ratio, but those days are gone now too. Pentax lenses are now so expensive, some of the Pentax glass would buy you two Nikons, with each of them having better IQ to boot.

I would switch to Nikon if I could afford it and if I had the stomach to cope with the hassle of switching systems.

The D800 would serve your needs the best, I think. It has the same good high iso noise performance as Pentax. Plus you keep the fine choice in lenses and the superb wireless flash support.

Last edited by Clavius; 11-26-2012 at 06:18 AM.
11-26-2012, 06:21 AM   #7
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Hi

Thanks for all the replies. Interesting how Nikon is seen on here. The D80 marked a low point for Nikon matrix metering apparently. It basically just goes for whatever focus point is active. You can learn to live with it but it slows things down.

Interesting that there's no 35mm 1.8 lens for Pentax, a fast normal prime is surely a staple lens.
I'll be rooting round the reviews on here for a bit. It will probably come down to laziness on my part, can I be bothered to sell body, 2 lenses and flash on ebay or just a body!

I like Pentax's approach though. Not afraid of thinking outside the box, something Canon haven't done for years!
11-26-2012, 06:24 AM   #8
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Trade my 5D m2 + 24-70 L lens for Top Quality Pentax gear.... - Winnipeg Cameras For Sale - Kijiji Winnipeg Canada.

11-26-2012, 06:58 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Golaboots Quote
Hi

Thanks for all the replies. Interesting how Nikon is seen on here. The D80 marked a low point for Nikon matrix metering apparently. It basically just goes for whatever focus point is active. You can learn to live with it but it slows things down.

Interesting that there's no 35mm 1.8 lens for Pentax, a fast normal prime is surely a staple lens.
I'll be rooting round the reviews on here for a bit. It will probably come down to laziness on my part, can I be bothered to sell body, 2 lenses and flash on ebay or just a body!

I like Pentax's approach though. Not afraid of thinking outside the box, something Canon haven't done for years!
Pentax does offer a very affordable 35 mm lens that is just under one stop slower than a 1.8 (it's f/2.4). It has many fans.
11-26-2012, 07:02 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by IchabodCrane Quote
Pentax does offer a very affordable 35 mm lens that is just under one stop slower than a 1.8 (it's f/2.4). It has many fans.
Retorical question: How does the IQ of the Nikon 35 1.8 and the Pentax DA 35mm 2.4 compare?
11-26-2012, 07:08 AM   #11
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Honestly, the pros for the K30 are weather sealing, 100 percent viewfinder, two dials, shake reduction in the camera and low price as compared to the D7000. Pentax has tended to feature smaller lenses and bodies than Nikon, although to be fair, Nikon's lenses also tend to be faster (35 f1.8 versus 35 f2.4 for low priced 35mm prime). Pentax does offer a wider variety of sealed lenses than Nikon -- there are sealed kit lenses that can be had for cheap, with Nikon it tends to be upper end lenses that are sealed.

The biggest weakness for Pentax is in tracking auto focus. It just isn't at the level that Canon/Nikon are at right now, although I expect things to improve this coming year...
11-26-2012, 07:08 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Golaboots Quote
Hi

I've just registered and am looking for some advice regarding switching over to Pentax.

Presently I have a Nikon D80 and have been mostly pleased with it, although poor metering and high iso noise have finally got the better of me and I'm looking to upgrade.
The Pentax K-30 looks great, it seems to have image quality equivalent to the Nikon D7000 but costs way less, only a bit more than a second hand D90 (which is a bit older)

The things I like most about my Nikon are the Pentaprism finder, cheap 35mm f1.8 prime and the Nikon wireless flash system.
How would I get on with Pentax on this front, obviously the finder is ok, are there any normal fash primes that are 160 like the nikon? Does the K-30 have wireless flash?

If I sell my Nikkor 18-200 and 35mm I'd probably get circa 425 or so for them. What lenses woudl you recommend for the K-30 in that price range? Second hand is fine.
I understand that Pentax is great for backward compatibility, will most lenses meter on the K30? Are there any old AF gems out there?

Any advice greatfully received.
Stay with Nikon. You are invested in one of the best brands for DSLR's with a much greater availability then Pentax and a much wider selection of lenses and gear.
you can get a D7000 for 900Dollars right now wich is just a bit over the K30 price and is arguably still the best APS-C dslr out there ...

You ll loose morey money if you have to restart a whole new system imo.
11-26-2012, 07:33 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by ZizZ^ Quote
Stay with Nikon. You are invested in one of the best brands for DSLR's with a much greater availability then Pentax and a much wider selection of lenses and gear.
you can get a D7000 for 900Dollars right now wich is just a bit over the K30 price and is arguably still the best APS-C dslr out there ...

You ll loose morey money if you have to restart a whole new system imo.
I wouldn't really describe the OP's lens list as being "invested" in Nikon. I think you could get the K30 with 18-135 in a package for 900-ish which is what your D7000 body would cost alone. With any money left over, look at the Pentax DA 35 f2.4 or Sigma 30mm f1.4 and you are set with the same type set up.

I really think the big question is if there are other lenses that the opening poster is interested in down the road. If so, that needs to be a factor. I feel like for most lenses, Pentax has a decent selection. Currently there is no full frame option for Pentax, so if that is a concern, than definitely stick with Nikon. Also, If super-telephoto (longer than 300mm is needed) than Nikon definitely offers more options. At the same time, I believe the K30 body matches up well against the D7000 body and the K5 II actually surpasses it.
11-26-2012, 07:38 AM   #14
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I sold my D200 and a couple decent Sigma lenses to KEH a couple weeks ago and made almost enough to break even on a Pentax/18-135 kit. Its tons easier than screwing around with ebay. I switched for the potential of a lighter system, SR, Limited primes, and compatibility with older MF primes. Too early to tell if I made the right decision, but I'm liking it so far.
11-26-2012, 07:39 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I believe the K30 body matches up well against the D7000 body and the K5 II actually surpasses it.

In terms of image quality it's a notch better and it has image stabilization. D7000 has the better autofocus, 2 card slots, better video and a slightly large viewfinder and is alot cheaper atm of course

Oh well they are all great dslr's. And i consider a 18-200 and 35mm An investment. Anyway you loose money..
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