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07-09-2013, 05:07 AM   #31
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I had been using a Canon eos50 for a while when I decided to buy a digital camera in 2008.
Funnily enough, my decision to buy the eos 50 was between that and the Pentax Mz-5, but couldn't quite stretch my budget for the Pentax, so went with the Canon.
So I had an interest in Pentax for a while.
Years later, I looked at Canon's digital offerings, but it was only when I got my hands on a K10 that I knew this was a good piece of kit.
It really came down to the design and menu system of the Pentax.
For me, the K10 is the best designed of all DSLR's and nothing beats it in the hand.
Last year I bought a used Mz-5 after all...along with an MZ-3, ME, K-5, and MZ10.
I guess I'm in for the long haul.
I kept the Canon for sentimental reasons.

07-09-2013, 06:39 AM   #32
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In the mid 50s my father returned from a business trip to New York City with a brand new Asahiflex IIa with slow speeds and the f 3.5 Takumar. He later rounded out the outfit with tubes, bellows, a 35mm and the magnificent 83mm f1.9. I now have his kit, and also the ME Super he bought in his later years.

He was an avid shooter, dating back into the 1930s, and I learned the craft from him. We set up a darkroom, mixed our own Beutler, and did Ektachrome, probably E 2, reversed with a photoflood exposure. I had my own camera, a Retina I, followed by a Beauty 35, but I really liked occasionally shooting with the Asahi.

Later I got my own 35mm SLR, a Haminex Praktica LTL, and several lenses. I couldn't afford a Pentax. Later on my then father-in-law gave me a K1000 that he'd found in the trunk of a rental. Unable to trace the owner and unwilling to work with a "real camera" the K1000 was mine. Chafing at the K1000's limitations I bought a used MX with the f1.7 and...then a used LX and an assortment of lenses.

So the only logical digital choice was Pentax, embodied in a K10. Foolish to go the Canikon route and set aside all those lenses. Would you ignore a f 1.2A? Thought not! I now happily shoot with the K5, the LXs, and a ME Super, and a 645n kit, "lensed" from 35mm to 200mm, and the 80 - 160 zoom. Alas! When I am now able to afford the film gear of my dreams film itself is getting hard to find, hence the 300 feet of bulk film in my freezer. And so it goes....
07-09-2013, 08:06 AM   #33
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What an interesting collection of responses. I particularly like magkelly's thoughtful post.

For me, after wanting a more capable camera than the Canon G5, I went along to Shutterbox, a small camera store run by a friend of a friend. There I was recommended the *istD. It was a bit more expensive than other offerings at other stores, but I went along with that suggestion.

What a treat. I loved (and still do) pretty much everything about that little dSLR: the viewfinder is as bright as possible (for APS-C), the controls are thoughtfully placed, it can be usefully configured, and the glass 'draws' wonderfully. In particular, the useful selection of bright prime lenses (in K mount) complement the Pentax bodies, so the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

I subsequently have bought, and sold, the K10D, and the K-7. Each of those bodies included significant enhancements. Most recently, I bought a black K-01, which returns to much the size of the *istD.

I've dipped my toe in the world of medium format, and while the viewfinder is lovely and bright (it is much larger, after all), the camera body is not a patch on those produced by Pentax. The software in the body is rubbish. And this from a so-called premium manufacturer. Maybe it's just that we've such wonderful cameras and lenses in the K mount world.
07-09-2013, 08:17 AM   #34
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In no particular order (why I started and why I continue to shoot Pentax after a detour to Kodak and Canon):

- for the Auto 110 system way back in 1979
- for the Pentax lenses (all 25 million of them)
- for the compactness of the ME Super, K-5, limited primes
- for the weather sealing, DR, fit and feel and beauty of the K-5 and the images it gives me
- to be different from the crowd!
- and most important - for the joy Pentax gives me in my photography

Last edited by Gray; 07-09-2013 at 08:22 AM.
07-09-2013, 10:24 AM   #35
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Hmm, as best I can recall, back in 1979 the K1000 and an extra 135 tele lens was the best outfit I could get on my budget ($150 I think is what I had to spend - getting myself a high school graduation gift ). Used it for a few years in college, then when I got married my wife came in with an ME Super and a couple more hunks of glass... We also used an assortment of film and digital P&S over the years, then I got a K100D for a Christmas gift in 2007, and I am still using it, with the old glass as well as new. I like the 'feel' of the body, the controls, menus are a good fit with my brain cells, and it takes good pics for everything I do with it...

07-09-2013, 12:46 PM   #36
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Compelling and interesting personal stories

I find the personal stories very interesting, and after reading them I find myself wishing I still had my K20d. I would compare it to that first car you ever had, and the fond memories that came along with it that can never be replaced. Hell, if it were possible and I could get a brand new k20d even if it cost a pretty penny, I wouldnt hesitate. For those that havent told your story, please take 5 minutes and tell us yours.
07-11-2013, 01:47 AM   #37
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Mine is not as interesting or heartfelt as a lot of these well written posts, but here we go. I came across some beautiful landscapes i wanted to capture and taking them with my iphone was unfulfilling. I did do some research but it was pretty overwhelming. I didn't really know what i wanted or needed. I went to some stores and handled some cameras, mostly rebels and entry level nikons. They all felt really cheesy to me. Luckily my local camera store had a mint k10. Comparatively it felt like a million dollars. My infatuation with photography since then has been a world wind, i actually just bought a k5. I love love the k5 for other reasons, but man does that k10 feel great. Before i go out on shoot i almost thought i should buy it a nice steak dinner first.
07-11-2013, 04:47 AM   #38
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For me, it was:

1) Backward compatibility of lenses (this was the biggie.)
2) AA battery capability
3) Price
4) Build quality

After buying my first Pentax DSLR (a K100D) I discovered other niceties such as in-body SR, superior menu navigation and ergonomics, and a few other touches. But those 4 things are what set the hook, so to speak.

07-11-2013, 08:46 AM   #39
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I think we had another thread just like this one a while back, but here goes again...

I started out on film with Pentax, after a few years of cheapo instamatics and a short stint with my brother's Yashica rangefinder rig. IT got me one of the best hummingbird shots I've ever taken, I wish we could find wither the original or the negative...

Anyway I used Pentax 35mm for a long time. KX, K1000, ME, ME Super, A3000...and always liked them. I think the KX and K 1000 were my favorites, I still wish I had sent the KX to a shop and had it fixed instead of buying other models...also have a Minolta SRT101 that is a great camera.

So when I got lucky and scored the money for a digital, I went into some info searching online. I could pick up and check out the Canon and Nikon offerings in the entry level price at local stores, but not a Pentax in sight. Since I had a good set of lenses for Pentax and Minolta, those were the ones I was most interested in. Canon felt like cheap plastic, Nikon felt better but more expensive than the Pentax K-x online, and Minolta sold their camera operations to Sony. I had fixed a bunch of computers messed up by the rootkit Sony put on their music CDs, so I refuse to touch anything with their name on it.

Then I found out the K-x was said to be the best entry level DSLR by every review I read, it used AA batteries, in camera shake reduction and would handle any K Mount lens ever made, and a cheap adapter would allow M42 lenses as well. I had also already checked out lenses and found that online auctions usually had pretty good prices on nice used glass, and almost always cheaper than the competition. I've since bought a couple of very good M42 lenses that I'll never give up...

Then I looked a the price tag...Less if I ordered it online than anything Canon or Nikon had in local stores, and a bunch of features I really liked...I bought the K-x. I'm still a Pentax fan and user. I killed the K-x trying to replace the scratched viewfinder and bought a K30. Didn't bother to check out Canon or Nikon then, I already knew what I wanted.
07-11-2013, 09:54 AM   #40

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I'm late in the SLR game but a few years ago I was looking to pick up photography as a hobby. At the time, a couple of us were looking into cameras, everyone else simply took my photographer friend's advice and bought a T2i. I simply can't buy a product without doing my own research. So after a couple weeks of research, I picked K-x because it was the best performer and value at the time. In addition, I simply could not understand why SR was not in the body for Canon or most other brands, it's the logical choice to me. Having color choices was also a big deal to me as well. I didn't really want to look just like everyone else -- I didn't really realize that is part of being a Pentaxian anyhow? Later, I upgraded to K-5 for its dynamic range, more pro controls, AF confirmation in VF. I would have loved a stormtropper K-5 though...
07-12-2013, 12:00 AM   #41

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I was looking for a DSLR, but not willing to spend so much (that was in 2008). I looked at the Sigma SD10, which was very appealing to me, but I had missed my opportunity and the price went up again. I turned towards second hand cameras and looked at CaNikon... then, for some reason or another I stumbled over Pentax. They were much cheaper than Canon (for the same price you can get a much more modern camera than with Canon). Then I did some research and found that Pentax is actually pretty good. Shops didn't have them, but I had done so much research that I basically knew I needed to have a Pentax... the *istDs. Bought a second hand one, and loved it. As for why... the size, being able to use AA batteries, compatibility with older lenses.

I replaced the *istDs after 5 years (the camera was probably around 8-9 years old?) as some of the buttons started to fail. Bought a K-5, which I also love. I do miss the Fn button and a video-recording button (the RAW/Fx button would be perfect for that...).
07-14-2013, 07:31 PM   #42
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I own Nikon, Canon, Olympus and Pentax (in the order of purchasing) and plan to purchase more name brands that are worthwhile to try such as Sony and Fujifilm. Canon is my main wagon which carries me the longest way so far. The collection of the lenses I own are mainly Canon as well. The gears I have so far are primarily budgetary except a few lenses of medium pricing such as wide-angle lenses. My goal is to, someday, write a photography book with a chapter devoted to "how to produce stunning images using nothing but budgetary gears."

The reason I purchase Pentax gear is the high feature-to-cost ratio. For example, recently I purchase the kx package with 18-55 and 55-200 kits for less than $270. The price is on its way dropping. The 55-200 daL actually well exceeds my expectation (see my review at SMC Pentax-DA L 50-200mm F4-5.6 ED Reviews - DA L Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database). I also acquire FA 100-300mm 4.7-5.8 (by the time of writing this) and anticipate some surprise. K-x performs acceptably well in daylight. The image is clean, although the IQ is not so good in nightime (It actually does not deserve the high remark for the high ISO performance) Nevertheless, for little money, you got so much features packed in one body with surprisingly sharp mid-telescope lens. You really have nothing to lose.

Overall, so far, although Pentax is not my most favorite gear, its feature-to-price ratio indeed is top ranked in my humble, unbiased opinion. Image quality wise, however, I think Pentax still has some room to improve. For example, K30 that many Pentaxian are raving about, including the perfect score 10 for the IQ rated in this forum, actually has pretty bad jpeg engine that produces horrible shadow recovery image (see Nevertheless, I believe it will catch up with its peer competitors eventually.

Last edited by lanx0003; 07-16-2013 at 08:04 PM.
07-15-2013, 07:37 AM   #43
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When I was in college, I took a photography class as part of my art minor.

We had to have a 35mm camera that was either fully manual or had the ability to be set to fully manual mode.

I ended up getting a K1000 off of Ebay along with a few lenses and accessories.

I am pretty sure I was the only person in the class with a K1000, or a fully manual camera for that matter. I enjoyed using the camera and pulled a B+ in that class.

We only used B&W film and were taught to develop it ourselves in the school's darkroom.

I found out later that some of my pictures did not turn out properly because one of my lenses had some haze, and another had an oily aperture blades. Probably would have aced the class if I had realized it sooner. I was new to SLR cameras and really had no idea what I was doing when I started.

The only camera's I had before then were 110 and 120 P&S film cameras.

After I was out of college, I bought a brand new $300 Olympus Sport Zoom P&S. I still have that camera and let my little 2 year old try to use it supervised.

I also still have the K1000 but don't use it.

At one point the Olympus seemed like it was dying and that is when I bought a display model K10d, partially because I already had lenses I could use on it and partially because I already liked Pentax gear and wanted to move up to something better than a P&S.

Another deciding factor was the IBIS.

We used that camera for a few years and then I bought a K-01 when they dropped the price. And as of last week, we have a K-30 as well.
07-15-2013, 12:12 PM   #44
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Few years ago i got to try out my friendīs Pentax, K10D if i remember right. I had Olympus at that time. Build quality was impressive, IQ as well, i really liked the thing from start. Never happened with Canons, even Nikons left me cold.
Last spring i stumbled upon a really good deal on K200D, old camera at nowadays standards but after little research i just couldnīt afford not to buy it. After a while it fits like a glow, and all the old manual lenses are like digging a goldmine!
I think thereīs no going back from Pentax!
07-16-2013, 08:12 AM   #45

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Years ago a friend told me about Pentax that they had an old film body and some PK lenses and thus wanted to get a Pentax digi to use them..

I hadn't heard of Pentax at the time (was looking to get a Nikon -- in hindsight that might have been a smarter idea).. so I researched and saw the K-x was the more featured camera for the money at the time, lens prices were touted as cheaper due to in-body stablization, and my friend seemed to know what they were talking about so I ordered it.

They were still into film at the time and looking to get a digi.. months later they ended up with a Canon that was on sale.. doh.

Oh and lens prices are not cheaper or abundant in Pentaxland I discovered.. unless you want cheap SMC M or Sears lenses...

I steered my Dad towards a Nikon though.. so I guess I did one thing right.

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