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02-22-2008, 04:04 PM   #1
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Why I chose a Pentax DSLR

I saw many reviews for the Canon 400D and have owned the Canon P&S A70 & A85. When my P&S was lost by my niece 6 months ago, I decided to upgrade to a DSLR. I could have bought the market leader 400D, but when I looked around I saw that the K100D Super seemed to have a better bang-for-the-buck for my 1st venture into the DSLR field. The K10D was more expensive & complex, and frankly, was overkill because I did not know how much use I'd make of a DSLR and I didn't want to waste too much money.

Another thing that attracted me to Pextax was its underdog status. Most of the stuff I've owned in any field has come from an underdog who seemed to produce a better bang-for-the-buck than the market leader. And I find it a bit boring owning a market leader product - I don't want to follow what most people do - I distrust brands that advertise the most, whether it be cars, food, software, hardware. It must be part of my personal makeup. I'm an Aussie so that may have something to do with the attraction of the underdog.

The K100D Super has turned out to be an excellent purchase. I love being able to purchase old lenses relatively cheaply and their good quality. I like fiddling with them and trying to get the best out of them. For me it's an interest and a hobby. I don't care what most pros use or how suitable Pentax is for sports photography. These are specialist areas and require different and very expensive equipment.

I like the Pentax vibe - smaller, good quality, good value, a fair bit of character. I happen to think that at a purely technical level Canon makes the best sensors and lenses but there's no way I could afford their high-end equipment.

I don't know whether the K20D and K200D have maintained their value-for-money rating, or not. It's too early to determine that. It seems that there are still a lot of *ist D/DS/DL users here who feel that owning the latest model with the highest megapixels and fastest shot rate is not the treadmill they want to run on. I suspect I'll stay with my 6MP K100D Super for a while yet and work on becoming a better photographer first.

02-22-2008, 07:39 PM   #2
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Good reasons to pick Pentax. We always take a beating by the sports/photo journalists. Not the strongest area for Pentax. Who cares? A Pentax 645 or 6x7 will clobber the quality from any Nikon or Canon ever sold. So Pentax is really the king of image quality. You want quanity (fps) or quality? Love my Pentax.
thanks
barondla
02-22-2008, 08:30 PM   #3
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Good points!

I actually owned Canon 350D, it was a good camera indeed, and there are plenty world class photos taken with that camera, but I had an absolute "revelation" when I took a first shot with K10D at 1/8 of a second and it was tack sharp with beautiful colors. 350D and all lenses were sold few weeks later with no remorse.

Since then, I also purchased K100D, which I honestly love as much as K10D, love the colors, love the versatility, use it extensively for macro photography and with lensbaby, and at the price of $259 after rebate from beach camera - it was and still is best DSLR money can buy!!!

Regards,
D
02-23-2008, 04:21 AM   #4
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QuoteQuote:
Most of the stuff I've owned in any field has come from an underdog who seemed to produce a better bang-for-the-buck than the market leader.
Huh, I have the same point often, don't know why... I'd never buy a Nokia phone for example lol...
Anyway, glad you chose Pentax's side! Welcome, and best pictures to you!

02-23-2008, 06:30 AM   #5
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Thanks for the observations, dosdan. Just out of curiosity, what sort of "discoveries" have you found in terms of old lenses, and what results did you find when using them?
02-23-2008, 06:50 AM   #6
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I bought a Pentax DSLR because it would work with the lenses I already owned. If Pentax had totally abandoned the K-mount and I was forced to start over from scratch, I may or may not have chosen a Pentax DSLR. I'm extremely happy with my K10D, though.
02-23-2008, 08:14 AM   #7
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I completely agree. If it wasn't for the Kmount, I might have chosen otherwise, however I also considered the rock solid reliability of my former K1000 manual camera. I still love and own that camera. I have also learned to appreciate the under-dogs in manufacturing. I am also a musician and always looking for good buys for my money as well many companies understand that if you come into the market, buyers want quality. Not always the case, but with Pentax, I believe the quality is there and has been. (Even if Samsung is doing the manufacturing) and not Pentax directly, but they are still in control of their interface and lenses.

- Dave

QuoteOriginally posted by TaoMaas Quote
I bought a Pentax DSLR because it would work with the lenses I already owned. If Pentax had totally abandoned the K-mount and I was forced to start over from scratch, I may or may not have chosen a Pentax DSLR. I'm extremely happy with my K10D, though.
02-23-2008, 03:43 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by krs Quote
Thanks for the observations, dosdan. Just out of curiosity, what sort of "discoveries" have you found in terms of old lenses, and what results did you find when using them?

Some good discoveries - some bad. As a beginner, I've made a couple of mistakes too.

I suggest you try holding an old lens, particularly a zoom lens because they physically move in and out and so are prone to sucking in air, up to the light and look through the body end of the lens and move the lever to open the aperture. I'm seeing a lot of lint, dust and even a little fungus that I don't see when I take a cursory glace down the big end of the lens. Most of this does not noticeably affect the picture quality.

Here are the lenses I have. Except for the Sigma kit lens, they've all come from Ebay, where the cost was between $31-71 AUD:


Pentax-A 70-200mm/F4 I didn't know this came in a SMC version (70-210/F4) that is supposed to be considerably better. It's long and heavy. I had problems with contrast with mine. It has improved now that I've cleaned the outside surface of the recessed rear lens. It's a challenge mastering the combined focus (left-right) and zoom (front-back) collar, particularly for moving things like a flying seagull, but that's how they did it in the old days. The focus-zoom control, due to its weight, moves fully forward when the front hangs down when you carry the camera around your neck, so if you want to keep it at an intermediate zoom position and also to relieve the drag around your neck, you end up carrying it in a horizontal position in your left hand and a crooked left arm, holding it via the lens near the camera. It does make your arm ache after a while from doing this. I like it (I like a challenge) but I may end up swapping it for the SMC version.

Pentax-F SMC 35-105mm/F4-5.6 Pretty happy with this lens. Good quality pictures. Would like a bigger aperture, but at what cost (price & weight)?

Super Takumar M42 50/F1.4 My favourite. Plenty of character. Initially got the wrong M42 adapter: flange-type instead of recessed. Was amber coloured due to the effect of the radioactive thorium in it. Had to leave it out in the sun for about 6 weekends until the amber faded. (We had a lot of bad weather which reduced the number of sunny weekends.) A challenge to focus correctly wide open. Gives a nice look to skin. Warm colours.

Pentax-A SMC 50/F2. I also had an Pentax-M version of this lens but I sold it to get one with auto-exposure. Much smaller, lighter and easier to focus than the Super Takumar. Good as a standard prime.

Sigma 18-50 F3.5-F5.6 DC It's a pity that, here in Australia, the Pentax distributor offered this kit lens (to reduce the cost). The Pentax kit lens is supposed to be much better.

What I'm after now is a 28mm for close, indoor work and a 300-400mm prime for bird shots. These may be M42-mount lenses.

02-23-2008, 03:46 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by barondla Quote
You want quanity (fps) or quality? Love my Pentax.
thanks
barondla

FPS is not about quantity, its about being able to more easily capture the right moment in fast action shooting.

what good is quality if your reaction time sucks?
02-23-2008, 06:36 PM   #10
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If your reaction time is good you don't need high fps! Kind of like hunting with a machine gun. If you take a camera capable of 5fps and shoot a burst - you are only picking the timing of the first shot! Camera is deciding the other 4. It is quanity over quality.
thanks
barondla
02-23-2008, 06:39 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by barondla Quote
If your reaction time is good you don't need high fps! Kind of like hunting with a machine gun. If you take a camera capable of 5fps and shoot a burst - you are only picking the timing of the first shot! Camera is deciding the other 4. It is quanity over quality.
thanks
barondla
when shooting fast action sports becomes your daily job, come back and tell me that high FPS is not important.

if you get a pentax because you dont require high FPS, thats perfectly fine

but discrediting other photographs that require lightning fast autofocus and inhuman FPS when their job demands it is simply poor form.
02-23-2008, 06:45 PM   #12
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and people did go hunting with a machine gun... just turn on your 6 o'clock news and watch for the current Iraq update.

ever wonder why Helicopters employ rappid fire chain guns.... right, because the thing is flying so fast the only way to keep accurate suppression fire is to have your bullets fire off at an incredible speed.

you dont see people firing off gunpoweder muskets from choppers do you?
02-24-2008, 01:09 PM   #13
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First of all I did not say anything about af. Second, you have no idea if I have shot action for a living or not. My point was at 5fps only the first shot was taken when the photographer wanted. You didn't come up with an answer about that. Not saying fps is bad - just that its more about quanity than quality.
Hunting isn't the same as war. No one shoots a muskit from a helicopter - I agree. The army also uses sniper rifles. Ever see a sniper? Timing and accuracy is everything for them. Good ones can hit a target 1/4 to 3/4 mile away. Can't do that with your helicopter mounted chain gun. Which is the greater skill?
thanks
barondla
02-24-2008, 01:24 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by barondla Quote
First of all I did not say anything about af. Second, you have no idea if I have shot action for a living or not. My point was at 5fps only the first shot was taken when the photographer wanted. You didn't come up with an answer about that. Not saying fps is bad - just that its more about quanity than quality.
Hunting isn't the same as war. No one shoots a muskit from a helicopter - I agree. The army also uses sniper rifles. Ever see a sniper? Timing and accuracy is everything for them. Good ones can hit a target 1/4 to 3/4 mile away. Can't do that with your helicopter mounted chain gun. Which is the greater skill?
thanks
barondla
when the point is to come in, kill a bunch of people, and get out, i'll take the chain gun thank you very much.

you dont get it, its not about "skill", stop thinking as some sort of pentax elitist.

IQ is important, but getting the right shot is important too.

do you know how many different facial expressions and body positions a basketball player can go through in a single second while doing a layup? Id rather have the ability to capture all of them and pick, than constantly end up with mediocre shots.
02-24-2008, 03:10 PM   #15
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Given the chance to wade into a bunch of the enemy and hope to get out before one of them shoots you (Rambo style) or pick everyone off from a quarter of a mile away with them having no hope of taking you out. Tough decision.
I realize that a basketball player can have many facial expressions. You won't catch them all no matter how many fps you shoot. Why even shoot stills? Video camera would do it all. How about the K20D at 20fps?
Never had anyone tell me photography isn't about skill. Not a Pentax elitist. Have a large Olympus OM film/ digital system, large Leica film M rangefinder system, a small Canon slr system, and of course the Pentax system. Have four Olympus OM4/T and 1 Canon body that can do 5 fps.
Never said high fps couldn't be useful nor did I cast hate on those who use it. Just said it leans more toward quanity than quality.
thanks
barondla
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