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05-08-2013, 05:53 PM   #1
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Thinking about moving to Pentax...

I'm considering moving to Pentax, but I do have a few questions and concerns that I hope people can help me out with. First, a little bit about my background. I've gone from an X-Pro1 to OM-D E-M5, but I realized that I want to move towards a full frame, now that full frame bodies are reaching the realm of affordability for enthusiasts. The type of photography that I shoot is mainly street, but I'm also trying to enter portrait photography.

I have two plans on how to do this. Go and buy a Fuji x100s and stick with it doing mainly street and try and save up money for either a Canon or Nikon full body. Second plan is, to go with a crop dslr body (like Pentax, Canon, Nikon) and buy mainly FF lens so that I don't have to purchase them down the line when I eventually go FF.

I've been a semi-fan of Pentax for years (I like rooting for the underdog), and with strong rumors of a Pentax FF (which has been going on for years), I figure why not look into Pentax. I can buy FA lenses until the day a FF body comes out.

Now on to the question. First, is there anyone here that shoots street photography with their Pentax? How suited would you say it is for this role (K-5/K-30)? I know it does portraits quite well... I've seen the pictures. The increase in lens price for Pentax is very alarming. There has been a couple in the last few years and each time, they were significant increases... Should this worry me? If you knew then, what you know now (the somewhat confusing direction of Pentax and the release of budget FF, etc...) would you still choose to buy into Pentax?

05-08-2013, 06:31 PM   #2
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Others may be better suited to answer your questions. I have had good results from Pentax starting with the DS and through the K5. The K5 is an amazingly good camera. I'm not sure I would want any DSLR for street shooting, personally. The X100 might be much better for that purpose. I'm well satisfied with my little X20 for a carry everywhere small and efficient machine of very high quality. The X100 would give better IQ, depending on your needs.
My main concern with Pentax if I was just now getting in this would be the direction they are going? No one seems to know, and Ricoh does not appear to communicate any better than Hoya, and they were pathetic. You don't have to wonder the direction of Canon or Nikon, and even Fuji seems to have a definite plan forward. That would be my biggest concern....the future????

Regards!
05-08-2013, 06:39 PM   #3
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If you are thinking of full frame it doesn't make sense to buy Pentax to be honest. My advice is to look at a DSLR system that fills in the weaknesses of your existing cameras.The weaknesses of mirrorless are quite few, the only ones I can think of are:
1) ultimate IQ -> FF sensor
2) narrow DOF -> FF sensor is best
3) lens selection -> Canon or Nikon
4) superior continuous AF -> Canon or Nikon

None of this makes me think Pentax. I think Pentax DSLR system is a good jack of all trades system but is not best at any thing in particular and actually mirrorless is eating Pentax's lunch so to speak as it use to be the best answer for reasonable priced smallish camera with excellent IQ.

Last edited by twitch; 05-08-2013 at 06:56 PM.
05-09-2013, 04:43 AM   #4
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if you are thinking portraits and street shots, you are talking potentially 2 different and conflicting requirements

but lets look at the real discussion here about what you want to do.

street shooting really wants small / compact cameras. here APSC bodies like pentax's are some of the smallest in the world, and the latest sensors make high ISO with high quality a reality, so no need for full frame.

Portraits, where you want really clean shots, with the option of having razor thin DOF may be more challenging, but remember that very few people actually shoot 100% of the time with ultra narrow DOF. what you want is control of focus zones and that is as much to do with your set up, shooting distance, and background distance than anything else.

If you want full frame because you simply want full frame, look elsewhere, I cant say for certain pentax will ever have one, regardless of the hype etc. Personally I am satisfied with APSC format.

there is another option, simply get a PZ1 or later film body and for the few shots you really want with ultra low noise, and ultra fine DOF, shoot low iso film.

05-09-2013, 05:32 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by AbePak Quote
I'm considering moving to Pentax, but I do have a few questions and concerns that I hope people can help me out with. First, a little bit about my background. I've gone from an X-Pro1 to OM-D E-M5, but I realized that I want to move towards a full frame, now that full frame bodies are reaching the realm of affordability for enthusiasts. The type of photography that I shoot is mainly street, but I'm also trying to enter portrait photography.

I have two plans on how to do this. Go and buy a Fuji x100s and stick with it doing mainly street and try and save up money for either a Canon or Nikon full body. Second plan is, to go with a crop dslr body (like Pentax, Canon, Nikon) and buy mainly FF lens so that I don't have to purchase them down the line when I eventually go FF.

I've been a semi-fan of Pentax for years (I like rooting for the underdog), and with strong rumors of a Pentax FF (which has been going on for years), I figure why not look into Pentax. I can buy FA lenses until the day a FF body comes out.

Now on to the question. First, is there anyone here that shoots street photography with their Pentax? How suited would you say it is for this role (K-5/K-30)? I know it does portraits quite well... I've seen the pictures. The increase in lens price for Pentax is very alarming. There has been a couple in the last few years and each time, they were significant increases... Should this worry me? If you knew then, what you know now (the somewhat confusing direction of Pentax and the release of budget FF, etc...) would you still choose to buy into Pentax?
There have been strong rumors of a Pentax FF for the last half decade - I wouldn't put a ton of stock in them until there is an actual, true announcement showing an actual camera coming to market. I guess I'm not entirely sure why you feel you need to work towards a FF camera - you're buying and trying several brands and losing several $100 in the process each time - given that the cameras you've already tried are already into the 4 figure area, why don't you just buy a D600 or an old 5d Mk2? I really enjoy my Pentax cameras and lenses, but the FF road is just as closed as it always has been imho.

On the subject of street photography I understand that compact design is a big plus - the K-5 is certainly small, but it still has the bulk of a dslr. The E-m5 is much better suited, having the tilt screen that can be used waist level as well can help with being discreet. As nice as the K-5 is and relatively compact, ultimately it is still a larger camera that you're going to bring to your eye almost every time - it won't go unnoticed, just as a larger FF camera wouldn't.
05-09-2013, 02:12 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Portraits, where you want really clean shots, with the option of having razor thin DOF may be more challenging, but remember that very few people actually shoot 100% of the time with ultra narrow DOF. what you want is control of focus zones and that is as much to do with your set up, shooting distance, and background distance than anything else.

If you want full frame because you simply want full frame, look elsewhere, I cant say for certain pentax will ever have one, regardless of the hype etc. Personally I am satisfied with APSC format.

there is another option, simply get a PZ1 or later film body and for the few shots you really want with ultra low noise, and ultra fine DOF, shoot low iso film.
Yup. I know that they have conflicting requirements. I also knew that Pentax dslrs are considered small in comparison to competition, which was why I was curious if there were anyone that actively shoots street with it and see what their thoughts were on the subject. I started off my higher end cameras with mirrorless, so I don't have any bad qualms about smaller sensor size. I want FF for the specific advantages it brings to the table.

QuoteOriginally posted by pxpaulx Quote
There have been strong rumors of a Pentax FF for the last half decade - I wouldn't put a ton of stock in them until there is an actual, true announcement showing an actual camera coming to market. I guess I'm not entirely sure why you feel you need to work towards a FF camera - you're buying and trying several brands and losing several $100 in the process each time - given that the cameras you've already tried are already into the 4 figure area, why don't you just buy a D600 or an old 5d Mk2? I really enjoy my Pentax cameras and lenses, but the FF road is just as closed as it always has been imho.
lol. I actually didn't lose all that much money. I've had pretty good luck with trades so far. The reason why I say I have to try and save up money is to invest in good glass from the get go. I had the XF35mm/1.4 with the X-Pro1 and now with the OM-D, I have the Panasonic Leica 25mm/1.4 and Olympus 45mm/1.8. I think it would irk me to be aperture limited with a kit lens or quality limited with a cheap prime.

It's pretty refreshing that most of the people on here that replied are so up front and honest about Pentax and tells me what I need to know straight up. A lot of other forums gets pretty defensive and tries to over glorify their respective systems.
05-09-2013, 05:38 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by AbePak Quote
Yup. I know that they have conflicting requirements. I also knew that Pentax dslrs are considered small in comparison to competition, which was why I was curious if there were anyone that actively shoots street with it and see what their thoughts were on the subject. I started off my higher end cameras with mirrorless, so I don't have any bad qualms about smaller sensor size. I want FF for the specific advantages it brings to the table.



lol. I actually didn't lose all that much money. I've had pretty good luck with trades so far. The reason why I say I have to try and save up money is to invest in good glass from the get go. I had the XF35mm/1.4 with the X-Pro1 and now with the OM-D, I have the Panasonic Leica 25mm/1.4 and Olympus 45mm/1.8. I think it would irk me to be aperture limited with a kit lens or quality limited with a cheap prime.

It's pretty refreshing that most of the people on here that replied are so up front and honest about Pentax and tells me what I need to know straight up. A lot of other forums gets pretty defensive and tries to over glorify their respective systems.
50mm and 85mm 1.8 G lenses for Nikon are no slouches up against the lenses you mentioned though, and both would've been less than the 45mm and 25mm!

Don't get us wrong, there are plenty of defensive people around here too! hahaha. I find Pentax users to be quite similar to the micro 4/3 users around the camera forums - realists that appreciate a good camera and set of lenses.
05-09-2013, 06:06 PM   #8
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That said, a K-5 or K-30 with the FA 31 for street and the FA 77 for portraiture is a very nice combo. Better than the OMD and on-par with Fuji IQ-wise.

Add to this the new Ricoh GR as a take-everywhere street camera and you have a killer kit IMO

05-10-2013, 08:14 PM   #9
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Points in favour for a K-5 for street photography:
  1. small camera
  2. quite shutter!
  3. small lenses
  4. option to have a weather-sealed combo or at least only protect the lens
Have a look at this guy's shots.
He uses a K-7. His user name on this forum is CWyatt.
05-11-2013, 01:06 AM   #10
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I actually think a black K-5 with a small prime is as inconspicuous as a small(er) compact. I got to play with a friend's x100 the other day, and I would say it attracts more attention than necessary, being so pretty/shiny/retro/awesome.
05-11-2013, 01:39 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by AbePak Quote
I've gone from an X-Pro1 to OM-D E-M5, but I realized that I want to move towards a full frame
Ask yourself this:
  1. What didn't you like about the X-Pro1?
  2. What don't you like about the OM-D?
  3. How do you think that a larger system will make you happier?
If the answer to 1 and 2 is "because <FILL IN THE GAP> can't <FILL IN THE GAP>", don't switch. You'll never be happy. The OM-D has your use cases covered very well indeed. And the body's weather resistant, which covers one of the virtues of a Pentax system. If you simply find it a bit small, try the accessory grip. If you think that the 16Mpx micro four thirds sensor is somehow inadequate when it comes to <FILL IN THE GAP>, it's simply not true.


As for Pentax, well since you asked the K-5 bodies are super nice. Note, however, that while they're small for DSLRs, they're still DSLRs, so you'll be doubling your carry-round weight. Betting on a future Pentax camera with a larger sensor is just that: a bet. What Pentax have is a good range of lenses that are optimized for an APS-C sized sensor. They do not have a good range of lenses that are optimized for a larger one. FA-era lenses are, with some notable exceptions, not good overall. I'm a former owner of the FA 135mm F2.8. I liked the bits made out of glass very much indeed, but the bits that weren't were simply horrible. Ugly to boot. Current Tamron / Sigma models that are forwards-compatible would be a better investment.
05-13-2013, 02:56 AM   #12
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I am shooting with Pentax since 8 years. I recently bought the K-30, and I'm really happy with the camera. However, I would not recommend Pentax because of the lens prices. They are expensive! This does not only apply to First party, but also to third party sigma lenses. Example, in Europe the sigma 30 mm 1.4 has been around 400 euro for Pentax for years, while canikon versions are around 300 euro. Also: the Pentax version does not have HSM and we pay more?! This is not an exception. You can find first-pary 50 mm primes for half the money with canikon. Besides, FF has not been confirmed!

I know that the Pentaxians claim Weather Resistance and some other gimmicks to be unique to Pentax, but at the end it boils down to IQ and that is on a par with other marks and reviewer bias ultimately decides which camera comes out on top. The pro-pentax argument of limited lenses is also used a lot, but Canikon definitely have lenses that are on a par with those too.

Conclusively: I like Pentax, but my wallet does not.
05-13-2013, 03:23 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by AbePak Quote
I'm considering moving to Pentax
...And he was never heard from again?
05-13-2013, 10:13 PM - 1 Like   #14
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If you are interested in buying Pentax, it will be for the philosophy of system (small size dslr and smallish lenses, well made lenses that balance speed/optical performance/rendering/color and well thought out camera bodies for the photographer) and aps-c for now.
Don't count on a Pentax FF which may or may not come soon enough.

I do shoot some street shots now and then.
The K5/K30 is nice and small for a dslr, so its not too encumbering.
The K5 also benefits from a quiet shutter for very near shots of the subject.
I see that you have experience with the Xpro1 and EM-5.
The K5/K30 will benefit over the two in :
1. DSLR like handling for fast response
2. AF (compared to Xpro1)
3. Better DR
4. APS-C working distances (ie. shorter) for same FOV (compared to m4/3) ; and obviously DOF relationship due to this
5. File quality that has very good tolerance to PP (compared to m4/3)





some shots here:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/206557-streets-ticket-yo...a-streets.html

Last edited by pinholecam; 05-14-2013 at 05:07 AM.
05-13-2013, 10:34 PM   #15
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I have done quite a bit of street photography with my K-5. I like it as it is very versatile and fast to focus.
I also like using Pentax primes because they are small, light and sharp.
Lenses I enjoy using are DA21 LTD and FA 35, and the DA40LTD is nice but requires me to stay back further than I prefer.
More recently I have been using the Q with 01 lens as it is what I carry on travels now. (I am hopeful for a good AF wide angle prime for the Q.)
There are different styles of shooting street, I tend to shoot fairly close and usually the subject knows they are being photographed.
If by street you mean buildings and such then perhaps DA15LTD may be more your preference.
Or if you prefer longer telephoto style then DA200 or 300 may be preferable.

In first shot I caught my reflection so you can see what I am using, K-5 and DA21LTD.



FA35 on K-5



This is DA40LTD on K-x



Pentax Q with 01



The K-5 and primes are so small and light my standard method is just using one hand as seen in this shot with DA21LTD


Last edited by crewl1; 05-13-2013 at 10:44 PM.
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