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03-04-2013, 03:18 PM   #1
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Camera Knowledge

Over the years I have spent many hours here on this site as well as others. I notice that very often posters on the Pentax forums, when need be, show a good and in depth knowledge of other brand photo gear. To me it shows that these people have really done their homework and know the benefits of various systems and the reason why they chose Pentax.

On the other hand whilst browsing `other brand` forums (something I do quite regularly) I get the impression that several posters have very little idea about other brands and very little knowledge of how to use their own machine. As regards knowing about Pentax, well perhaps Pentax does not exist and we Pentaxians are just spirits from another world.

What do you think ?

Richard

03-04-2013, 03:51 PM   #2
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This is a pattern I've seen over and over, Pentax users, for some reason, typically know more than others about their cameras. This is a very broad generalization I realize but, I think it's true. It may just be that this is an off shoot of using older lenses. Not sure but I do agree with you.
03-04-2013, 04:11 PM   #3
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That's kinda what I noticed. It seems like people who choose Pentax know that photography is not all about the gear, (but like well built things) but the technique... Perhaps it's because of the old, manual glass, perhaps it's because they chose to research, perhaps it's because Pentaxians tend to view cameras less as status icons and more as tools... Who knows? But I like how the Pentax community seems to know what they're doing and seems to care more about shooting and technique rather than the gear. (To an extent)
03-04-2013, 04:11 PM   #4
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Without a little online research and recomendation I would have definately bought a Canon dslr over my Pentax. Partly due to the fact I had previously owned and appreciated various canon P&S models. I think Pentax users all have done ther homework before buying a product or they are existing pentax loyalists that have attained a lot of knowledge on various cameras through the transformation from film-to-digital. I was sold on the ruggedness of the k-7 and upgraded soon after to the k-5.

I met a co-student at university the other day and we were talking about photography as a hobby (part-time job on her end). She owned a Canon 60d, when I mentioned I owned a Pentax K-5 she looked confused and to my surprise had no idea what Pentax was :S

03-04-2013, 04:35 PM   #5
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I think DVaughan007 has hit it.

To put it another way, given the relative non-existence of Pentax advertising, how does anyone get to be Pentaxian to begin with? One has to run the gauntlet of the other brands' marketing and product placement. In other words, you must have done your own research in order to be here, because Best Buy certainly didn't talk you into it.

That doesn't mean that Pentax is better or worse than anyone else. It just means that to be here, as Pentaxians and on PF, we all had to make a deliberate and informed choice.

I don't think it has anything to do with using old manual lenses, not directly anyhow. The cause and effect thing goes the other way. It's more that people who are enthusiasts, of any brand, will tend to accumulate whatever stuff happens to fit in with their hobby. Most serious Canon enthusiasts today probably don't have as many old FD lenses as we have old SMC-lenses, just because they don't fit, not because those same enthusiasts are somehow dumber.
03-04-2013, 05:07 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tanzer Quote
To put it another way, given the relative non-existence of Pentax advertising, how does anyone get to be Pentaxian to begin with? One has to run the gauntlet of the other brands' marketing and product placement. In other words, you must have done your own research in order to be here, because Best Buy certainly didn't talk you into it. That doesn't mean that Pentax is better or worse than anyone else. It just means that to be here, as Pentaxians and on PF, we all had to make a deliberate and informed choice.
+1. With zero marketing efforts anyone who ends up in Pentaxland had to either be introduced by another Pentaxian or care enough (and know enough) about photography to be able to do the research to make an informed decision. There are incredibly few 'fanboys' on this site compared to forums about other brands, I suspect for this very reason. If you got here in the first place you understand the pros and cons of Pentax and got here by yourself, without the help of the Bestbuy salesdude. Unlike buyers of other brands, nobody with a Pentax has to justify the purchase to themselves or to anyone else, they know what they bought and why.
03-04-2013, 05:08 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
ends up in Pentaxland had to either be introduced by another Pentaxian
I guess it is sort of like a secret club......... Hopefully not so secret that Pentax goes out of business
03-04-2013, 05:19 PM   #8
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My Pentax indoctrination was by total accident. I was stationed on a lighthouse in 1978 and my then Minolta SRT101 (with the much loved lollipop meter) was dunked fatally in salt water. Being on an island far from the madding crowd, I phoned a friend and asked him to get me a replacement. What pops up in the mailbag a couple of weeks later but a shiny new Pentax MX. I had told him to think about an Olympus OM-1 but he was steered toward the Pentax by the store staff. It was love at first click and I have never looked back.

So I did have previous knowledge of other systems. Heck, I started with a Kodak Brownie when I was 10. But Pentax is the perfect blend of form, function and end result.

Jack

03-04-2013, 05:22 PM   #9
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I would offer that there are several aspects at play.

Our impressions of Pentaxforums might be influenced by the very good organization of this forum - many, well-organized sub-forums that are structured around themes (camera bodies, lenses, processing, images, etc). I think the quality of the forum encourages us to participate actively, particularly in our main areas of interest. So, the sub-themes might be attracting knowledgeable folks. I've wandered in other online forums which are just a series of random postings at worst, or have only very broad categories at best.

Another aspect that I tend to agree with is that many Pentax users arrived at their camera choice after having researched their options, including Pentax. I know that's how I arrived here - a couple of years ago I was originally looking at two other brands at a local dealer, who also carries Pentax. After holding a K-7 and being amazed at its usability after about a minute of studying the controls and menu, I hurried home to look it up online. I was hooked.

I'm not sure if Pentax users tend to learn their gear better than other users. I have seen many examples of superb images from all brands, so I assume those photographers know how to handle their equipment well.

I wonder how many folks (here) learned photography on a K1000? Perhaps PF is populated by a slightly older generation of Pentax enthusiasts, who have had more time to accumulate expertise and knowledge. I wonder what are the demographics of the various brands (and, by extension, of the various forums). Younger buyers and enthusiasts are likely being conditioned by today's advertising and marketing and the local big-box offerings - Pentax is not readily present. Anyone who started photography in the 60's, 70's or 80's certainly knew about Pentax and may have carried with the brand until today.

Finally, I'm a bit of a gear-geek by nature and profession. For example, I've spent a fair amount of time tweaking (and re-tweaking) the AF fine adjustment of my K-5. I have lurked in other non-Pentax forums looking for insights into the mechanics and electronics of AF - and I am amazed at the level of detail and discussion some of the other-brand owners go into! We are definitely not alone.

- Craig

Last edited by c.a.m; 03-04-2013 at 05:39 PM.
03-04-2013, 05:24 PM   #10
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I think there are many different reasons, but first and foremost the Pentax buyer / user was not influenced by the mass marketing efforts or peer pressure. Both of which to date have been essentially non-existent.

I was introduced to the brand by a friend who was kind enough to let me borrow his camera and shoot a few rolls of film in the mid 80's. Shortly thereafter I went the local pawn shop and bought my first used Pentax, an ME Super with a 50mm 1.7. After my brief stint with P&S Kodaks and Canons I returned to the fold for my DSLR usage.

In this story there may or may not be a potentially future marketing effort to be learned by Pentax USA. IE: A national share your Pentax Day.
03-04-2013, 05:33 PM   #11
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For anyone who has been around and looked at reviews Pentax generally offers more for the money, in a relatively compact camera body, with enough features (perhaps save flash system) for anyone.

The problem is, the uninformed user will go to a store and buy what they see most often in adds, or even in photo magazines. Either canon or Nikon. Are they wrong , perhaps, but most will be able to take similar photos regardless of what they buy, and if they are content with the make they purchase, there is no point in fighting about it. After all, when you consider that even the first Pentax DSLR outperformed most consumer films, and things have only gotten better in the 9 1/2 years since the *istD who can complain.

Me, I actually started with a Ricoh XR2s (a poor man's K2DMD) then a KX, PZ1 etc. etc..
03-04-2013, 05:55 PM - 2 Likes   #12
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Wait--there are other camera brands?!

Truth is, I know very little about other brands. I did some research six years ago & bought a K100D. I've upgraded several times since then and bought a bunch of lenses but I haven't felt the need to reconsider that initial decision--I'm more concerned with improving my skills.
03-04-2013, 09:17 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by jbinpg Quote
My Pentax indoctrination was by total accident. I was stationed on a lighthouse in 1978 and my then Minolta SRT101 (with the much loved lollipop meter) was dunked fatally in salt water. Being on an island far from the madding crowd, I phoned a friend and asked him to get me a replacement. What pops up in the mailbag a couple of weeks later but a shiny new Pentax MX. I had told him to think about an Olympus OM-1 but he was steered toward the Pentax by the store staff. It was love at first click and I have never looked back.

So I did have previous knowledge of other systems. Heck, I started with a Kodak Brownie when I was 10. But Pentax is the perfect blend of form, function and end result.

Jack
I started with a Brownie Hawkeye when I was about ten (always wanted to work in a lighthouse or fire lookout) then got serious with a K-1000 in the '70s. I subscribed to the old Modern Photography, then Popular Photography magazines and was very influenced by the writings of the late Herbert Keppler. He seemed to have a high regard for the Pentax line, and he knew what he was talking about. He implied that the optical quality and build quality of Pentax was at least the equal of the Canikons of the time and at a much more reasonable cost. But the recent price policy change in the lens lineup has me worried!
03-05-2013, 02:51 AM   #14
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Canikon sells lots of DSLRs to point and shoot users... The Pentax user base is slightly more refined. I started looking at Canon, but then I learned about lens mounts...
03-05-2013, 05:58 AM   #15
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I got a Z20 about 7 or so years ago, purely because it was what the shop had withing my budget. Not really knowing much about Pentax, I did some research and found out about them and their lens mounts which haven't really changed, well, ever. That enamored to Pentax, and have never looked back.

However, when I was considering the K-30, I spoke to a number of pros, none of whom shot with Pentax, and they obviously had bias towards their brand of choice, and promoted that. The comparative reviews between the K-30, and I think it was the D7000 and 60D, had the K-30 beat them on all fronts that I was concerned with. In every opinion and review I could find, the predominant negatives for the K-30 seemed to be video and the mic, which I wasn't concerned with. So I eventually decided to stay with Pentax and bought the K-30, I have absolutely no regrets so far with that decision.

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