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04-07-2013, 03:13 PM   #1
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If you were starting over...

I am asking this question in a Pentax specific forum understanding full well the biases towards Pentax equipment here, but I thought perhaps one or others may have been going through the same dilemma recently and could offer some insight.

I got my start with Pentax with the K10D, and since the K10 had upgraded to the K5 and put together a very nice set of lenses for all purposes, with a mix of mid-end stuff to a few prime lenses. About a month ago, my apartment was burglarized and my entire kit was stolen. So now I'm starting over.

Back in the film days, I was a Nikon guy, but I ended up selling my Nikon kit and no longer have any Nikon lenses. When I bought the K10, I was taken by its value proposition, and felt that it gave me an excellent feature set without paying the Nikon tax. I have been looking at the K5 IIs, versus waiting for the next generation successor to the IIs. The questions I have are as follows:

1. If you had to start over, would you consider leaving behind Pentax?
2. If any of you did have to start over, did you consider leaving Pentax?
3. On the IIs photo thread, I noticed some folks talking about a couple of Zeiss lenses. It appears that Zeiss only made these lenses for the K mount for a brief time and they are no longer available new. The limited lens line up was something that always concerned me about Pentax from a longevity standpoint, but my limited photography prowess never caused it to be a true limitation. Is this a legitimate concern, and more importantly, with its relatively recent acquisition by Ricoh, does everyone believe that Pentax innovation and support will be around for the long haul?

It's not often one is presented with this quandary, and frankly my inclination is just to put together a new set of Pentax equipment, but I figured I would do due diligence looking at alternatives first, and thought the experience of members in this forum could be well brought to bear on this task.

Thanks in advance for your insight!

04-07-2013, 03:24 PM   #2
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If I had it to do again, I might give a closer look to Nikon, just because it's more backwards-compatible with old lenses than I thought when I made the jump to Pentax. But, I would quite possibly go with Pentax anyway. That's not saying I'm at all dissatisfied with Pentax, just that I'd have to more closely consider Nikon.
04-07-2013, 03:28 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by nanter Quote
1. If you had to start over, would you consider leaving behind Pentax?
In your situation, with no glass to make me loyal, yes. That is only proper common sense. I would definitely shop around. I would think what I would want in a full kit and then price that out in comparable bodies with Canon, Nikon and Pentax. Then would try to physically handle all three bodies and run through the menus and the buttons to see how it fits me. Technology is all rather comparable right now, so how the camera feels and works for you is IMHO more important than a few more megapixels or an AF system that is .001 second faster.
QuoteOriginally posted by nanter Quote
The limited lens line up was something that always concerned me about Pentax from a longevity standpoint,
Not sure I follow 100% but if you are asking if Pentax will continue to make good primes, well no ones knows for sure. But I'll bet on them making limiteds as long as someone keeps buying them. They are still making the FA Limited and those were designed for film cameras.
QuoteOriginally posted by nanter Quote
with its relatively recent acquisition by Ricoh, does everyone believe that Pentax innovation and support will be around for the long haul?
I think the consensus is that the Ricoh acquisition was a very good thing and only implies a better future for Pentax. They are part of a company that does imaging as a business, not just photography so they are looking at a bigger picture. So with more resources and cross-pollination from Ricoh R&D I would say the future is bright. Things will most likely not develop as fast as some would like but I do think progress is being made and that Pentax will be around for a long time.
04-07-2013, 03:49 PM - 3 Likes   #4
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I already use both Canon and Nikon kit for work, where it is either supplied or mandated (FF or all the other reasons), but hey, that argument goes away soon, cos we're gonna get a FF Pentax, right.

But they still don't have that Pentax feeling, pixie dust or whatever you want to call it. As I've said here before, Nikon and Canon maybe for work, but Pentax is for my pleasure.

04-07-2013, 03:51 PM   #5
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I see no reason to jump ship. Pentax has had its ups and downs since 1961 when I bought my first one, but they've always been there. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. I've never had an unlimited budget, and Takumar and Pentax have always been a little on the reasonable side, until the last couple of years. I expect they will get back to really reasonable on the lenses again.
04-07-2013, 03:52 PM   #6
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If I had no investment and was in the market now - i'd probably buy a D5200... That may change soon though when Pentax releases some new models.
04-07-2013, 04:43 PM - 2 Likes   #7
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I'm FAR fron a Pentax apologist. If I were starting out as you are, sorry for your loss, I'd probably buy a K-5iis. It's pretty darn close to that Nikon FF (800 isn't it) and the output kills the other APS-C cameras. It's $1k or so and when they go on sale the lenses are reasonable too. If I were a pro any kind of photographer the answer would be Canikon, but as an enthusiast Pentax has what I need, a better camera than I am photographer, and a FAR better interface IMHO. Also, I think we have the best technical support around - NOT Pentax USA, this forum.
04-07-2013, 05:26 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
Also, I think we have the best technical support around - NOT Pentax USA, this forum.
+1 to that!

BTW, if I was starting over again, I'd probably go for a nice set of watercolors...

04-07-2013, 05:36 PM   #9
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1. Well i don't like the interface of the Nikon camera's and i'm not a big fan of Canon's aproach to handling. Ain't even looking at Sony so that leaves Pentax for my APS-C needs. I'm however looking into m4/3 system though for my personal photography and for filming. For profesional, we have the Canon 5D mkII, nice camera but for what my partner is mostly doing but for what i'm doing i'm actually looking into 645 systems. And there Pentax is quite atractive at his price.

3. pentax cover of lenses is good enough, it's as simple as that. You can have 3 versions of 70-200 lens like canon but that isn't helping much
As for Ricoh, here in the netherlands they have an reprensentative but they are going to open their own Pentax office now here so that is good news.
Also Rixoh is droppping their name for the consumer camera's so all the camera's will be made under the Pentax name.
Ricoh is really comitting themselves and that's good sign.
04-07-2013, 05:42 PM   #10

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I'd definitely consider moving away, it only makes realistic sense to, given the market position. Every once in a while I pick up my old Olympus OM-2 or Canon A-1 with its FD mount. Nothing is forever. Technical attributes don't mean much over the long haul. All said, not much has changed in one year, so I'd probably wind up staying.

Got to agree with the others, about PF. A major reason I joined Pentax just one year ago is because PF seemed like such a level-headed support group. The community is awesome, and the trolls are both rare and conspicuous, so they are easily identified/avoided. So its existence is one reason I would probably wind up with Pentax again.

I think they have positioned the K-30 very well. They've adjusted the pricing on that to respond to the market. So that is a good sign they aren't rolling over yet.
04-07-2013, 05:53 PM   #11
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Short answer: No.

Long answer.

Before the K-30 was released, I pondered switching to Nikon or Canon. I was more biased to Nikon, ergonomics (at least to me) is better than Canon, less 'plastic' feeling, etc.

I only considered D5xxx and Rebel series due to budget constraints. But everytime I compare features, I always get back to Pentax . The release of K-30 put an end to that.

Now if I had the money for the Dxxx and xD series, it might be a different story.
04-07-2013, 06:03 PM   #12
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Good question
My biggest issues with pentax are:
1. Not sure they will survive
2. Sigma won't make the lenses I want in K mounts
3. Not happy with pentax standard zooms

Looking back when I started with digital I would choose penatx again provided I didn't get nervous about Pentax going belly up.
Sensor cleaning, camera shake reduction, water resitant solid body, small lenses, real lens system for APC censor for me are winners.
04-07-2013, 06:03 PM   #13

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Nikon D800e.
04-07-2013, 06:10 PM   #14
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If I was to start all over again - it would be a close call between Pentax and Nikon.
Like someone else said, Nikon have nearly as good backwards compatibility as Pentax in regards to lenses.
In saying that tho - given the budget I have to work in; for me the D7000 and D7100 are a bit 'meh', the D600 feels like the D800's poor cousin and the D800 is out of my price range. I'd probably get the 600, but always wish it was the 800.
With the K5, I know I have (even 5 years after release) one of *the* best APS-C cameras made, lenses that I love (ironically a Sigma lens), and toys to play with (the Q and K-01).
04-07-2013, 06:26 PM   #15
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I'm not a 35 year veteran, I only started in early 2007. I shot with Nikon for 3+ years, spent a year with Canon, and have shot with m4/3 for almost two years now. I got a K-5 a few months ago, and absolutely love it.

Starting over ... D800E probably. Nikon has some good full-frame glass, and I've always liked the ergonomics of Nikon. But Nikon's quality control problems are getting serious, so a Pentax with either a full-frame sensor or the sensor from the D7100 would probably win my "all-time favorite" award. I like Olympus, too, too bad all that awesome Four Thirds high-grade glass won't work on a bigger sensor.

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