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01-28-2014, 08:40 PM   #1
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I want to get a DSLR....but having a pushback on Pentax

I own a Panasonic G3 with three non-kit lenses (45mm f1.8; 14mm f2.5; and a telephoto one). The pictures are great when there is plenty of light, and I love sharing them whenever possible on social media and whatnot. The only problem that I have is its low-light capability while shooting hand held and high ISO. I figured that a bigger sensor on a DSLR would do the trick and help me with low-light shooting.
I am highly considering a Pentax K-3 but my main pushback is the limited number of lenses available, accessories, and other things such as lack of coverture in books, magazines, etc., because Pentax is not one of the "big three," if you count Sony. I wanted to get Pentax users' opinions in particular if they ever felt that they were somehow left out of the picture when they do not see their systems getting paid too much attention to. There's also this sweet Sigma lens (18-35 f1.8) that is coming out soon, but even IT will not be made for Pentax. I just don't want to get into a system that I will later regret; this is my small little fear given that I do not know anyone who uses a Pentax and cannot get their opinions regarding my concern.
Thank you in advance.
Luis Limbert

01-28-2014, 09:38 PM   #2
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What lenses and accessories do you want?

That Sigma is available for Pentax.

Sigma 18-35mm F/1.8 DC HSM Zoom Lens for Pentax Digital SLR Cameras 210-109

and for fun...

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/6-pentax-dslr-discussion/109990-we-really-rare.html
01-28-2014, 09:42 PM   #3
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I thought the Sigma would be made for Pentax, but I'm not following that, since I'm not currently interested in it.

Yes, you'll be somewhat left out in terms of lens selection with Pentax, depending on what lenses you want. It's a problem particularly with regard to some ranges of zoom lenses. Pentax has some attractive prime lenses, more weather-resistant lenses, and legacy lenses are widely available (unlike for example with Canon, which abandoned the FD mount.) However for example with tele zooms, the Sigma 50-150, and newer Tamron 70-300, aren't available for Pentax.

So yes, for me lens availability would be a consideration in choosing Pentax if starting over again. I don't mind not having FF available (currently), although that's also a factor for some people.

The only real alternative is Nikon. Canon has their odd-sized sensors (not to mention memories of the FD situation, for those of us affected), and Sony - depending on which model you choose - has some of the same lens availability issues as Pentax. I'd say there really isn't a "big three"; there's really just a "big two", and with Canon out of the running in the sub-FF department, for me that would just leave Nikon, and probably just the D7x00.
01-28-2014, 10:03 PM   #4
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I think you'll find that the lens selection available for Pentax Exceeds what's available in M4/3. Between Older lenses and Current most focal lengths are covered. You'll find faster apertures and wide angles with a crop factor that's actually wide. I shoot both Pentax and m4/3 and there is a difference in quality with the APS-C sensor.

01-28-2014, 10:09 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by LuisLlimbert Quote
I own a Panasonic G3 with three non-kit lenses (45mm f1.8; 14mm f2.5; and a telephoto one). The pictures are great when there is plenty of light, and I love sharing them whenever possible on social media and whatnot. The only problem that I have is its low-light capability while shooting hand held and high ISO. I figured that a bigger sensor on a DSLR would do the trick and help me with low-light shooting.
I am highly considering a Pentax K-3 but my main pushback is the limited number of lenses available, accessories, and other things such as lack of coverture in books, magazines, etc., because Pentax is not one of the "big three," if you count Sony. I wanted to get Pentax users' opinions in particular if they ever felt that they were somehow left out of the picture when they do not see their systems getting paid too much attention to. There's also this sweet Sigma lens (18-35 f1.8) that is coming out soon, but even IT will not be made for Pentax. I just don't want to get into a system that I will later regret; this is my small little fear given that I do not know anyone who uses a Pentax and cannot get their opinions regarding my concern.
Thank you in advance.
Luis Limbert

When I was getting a DSLR I thought the same thing as you did. Compared to Canon and Nikon there aren't enough lenses and the ones that were available weren't as sharp according to online reviews. I realized that there are more lenses out there for Pentax cameras than I'll ever be able to buy in my lifetime let alone even afford. Then I saw just how many used lenses from the film era exist on eBay and the Marketplace. Now some of those are duds and the user reviews reflect that. Others are absolutely phenomenal in terms of IQ: color rendering, contrast, sharpness, etc.

I poured over sample images and I am constantly learning how to do my own post processing. There is nothing I can say about the Pentax system lacking lenses. If anything needs to be improved it's my own skills. I came back to Pentax after a long absence and I have never looked over the fence to see if the grass is greener on that side.

For a complete system I would recommend a super zoom "vacation lens" like a FA 28-105mm or a modern DA 18-135mm and a few primes for ultimate sharpness: a 28mm, a 35mm, a 50mm, and one two in the 70mm to 135mm. My FA 50mm f/1.7 amazes me!

If you run out of lenses to get then drop us a line here on the forum and we'll all be sure to help you out.
01-28-2014, 10:10 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
That's the Sigma lens that I was referring to. I was under the impression that Sigma wasn't making that lens for Pentax. Thanks!!
01-28-2014, 10:19 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by tibbitts Quote
I thought the Sigma would be made for Pentax, but I'm not following that, since I'm not currently interested in it.

Yes, you'll be somewhat left out in terms of lens selection with Pentax, depending on what lenses you want. It's a problem particularly with regard to some ranges of zoom lenses. Pentax has some attractive prime lenses, more weather-resistant lenses, and legacy lenses are widely available (unlike for example with Canon, which abandoned the FD mount.) However for example with tele zooms, the Sigma 50-150, and newer Tamron 70-300, aren't available for Pentax.

So yes, for me lens availability would be a consideration in choosing Pentax if starting over again. I don't mind not having FF available (currently), although that's also a factor for some people.

The only real alternative is Nikon. Canon has their odd-sized sensors (not to mention memories of the FD situation, for those of us affected), and Sony - depending on which model you choose - has some of the same lens availability issues as Pentax. I'd say there really isn't a "big three"; there's really just a "big two", and with Canon out of the running in the sub-FF department, for me that would just leave Nikon, and probably just the D7x00.
I mostly meant "big three" in terms of publicity when it comes to mags, books, etc for educational purposes/learning guides. But yes, you are right, it's a Canikon world for the most part.
01-28-2014, 10:31 PM   #8
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If you're looking for the best low-light ability (within some form of 'reason'), currently you will likely want to look at a digital SLR will a full frame sensor. It will cost you a load.

I'm not sure how read up you are on the sensor varieties but (in case you are not) the big two are APS-C and Full Frame. All Pentax DSLRs currently have an APS-C sized sensor (which is smaller than Full frame). With Nikon or Canon, there are several different APS-C as well as Full Frame bodies available.

With Nikon or Canon there is also a vibrant second hand market out there for lenses and accessories.. it is MUCH easier to find these items locally in most places than it is to find them for Pentax second hand. For instance, go to your local craigslist and type in 'Nikon' then type in 'Canon'. Finally, type in 'Pentax' -- I suspect, if it is anything like my searches, you will find a healthy page for each Canon and Nikon and a very short list of ancient film bodies for Pentax on offer hehehe.


Pentax has a fantastic series of Prime (fixed focal length) lenses. And a decent set of Weather Resistant lenses to boot.
Canon I know at least does too but you pay through the nose for it.

If you are looking for an APS-C body, I don't think you can find a more modern one currently than the K-3 anywhere.

If you are looking for a Full Frame body, You currently won't find a Pentax one (and it is a huge hot button topic on these forums).


Pentax (a K-x) was my first DSLR several years ago after the suggestion of a friend (who then did a 180 and went with Canon!!!). I was originally going to get a Nikon body before he convinced me to look at Pentax.

And, in the past few years, I've considered jumping ship for Nikon several times and even Canon once or twice but I stubbornly keep upgrading Pentax bodies. Simply because they work fantastically. My K-x (and subsequent K-30) both accepted AA batteries and were pretty lightweight while feeling substantial. Low-light performance has been pretty good.

The Canon Rebel series of bodies (imo) are junk comparatively and the higher end ones from them cost a shed load.

Nikon (to me) has the most logical system going (to the point I bought my Dad a d3100 a couple years back when he was interested in an entry level DSLR). But the lower end bodies from them feel hollow and plasticy and I wasn't impressed with the overcooked color reproduction (at least on the d3100). I haven't tried a higher end body like a D5x00 series or better.

Currently, I'm reading a book on 'On-Camera Flash' and the book reads 'for the Canon system a tip when using your camera..' or 'for the Nikon system..' as if these are the only two systems available. I'm a novice in using flash though I've heard the Pentax system is a little out of date (someone please correct me if untrue) compared to the other two, so that might be something to look into as well perhaps?



But long ramble, short -- It really depends on what you want to do with your camera.


If you are looking to be a sports photographer? Maybe Pentax isn't the proper brand of camera for you; I don't think there are a ton of long, fast lenses available. But, If you are looking to take your camera out into the wilderness (rain sleet or snow)? MAybe a Pentax camera (such as the K-3 with a sealed lens) is right on target.

btw the Sigma lens you mentioned is coming in Pentax format Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Lens for Pentax 210-109 B&H Photo

Another idea (at least in my mind this makes sense hehe) is to go to a photo meet and talk to owners of various cameras to get an idea of what they think of their cameras... perhaps even convince one or two to let you shoot a little bit with them.

Biggest concern I have with Pentax is the accessory market is extremely slim. There are tons of L-Brackets, molded plates, extension tube sets, flashes and flash accessories, etc etc all available for Canon and Nikon and pretty affordable. But not so much for Pentax. It is somewhat aggravating. Not to mention, again, the fact that there are less people using Pentax means your chances of finding affordable gear second hand is much slimmer.

My friend just sold his old, well used Canon T1i locally in a heartbeat.. but me? I've been trying to sell a not-even-a-year-old, clean K-30 kit for two months with no results so far.

But that brings me to another point.. Pentax camera bodies seem to drop in value fast compared to Nikon or Canon. But you can play this to your advantage.

01-29-2014, 02:40 AM   #9
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If you must be with the crowd of people who bought the first canikon a salesman put in their hands Pentax is not for you. If you want to choose between an uncountable number of K-mount lenses and shoot with them on some of the most compentent DSLRs on the market...then Pentax may be something for you. Seriously, looking at Pentax compatible lenses in prodcution, the total number of available lenses are larger for Pentax than for any of the other underdogs (Sony, Olympus etc.) and not that far behind Nikon and Canon, and the difference is mostly the number of zooms and long tele lenses where Canikon is more or less alone on the sport-photographer-pro-market, and where they alse need more complex lenses because they use the old in lens-stabilisation they developed back in the film-age.
Sigma have most of their lenses for Pentax. Tamron less and less unfortunately. Samyang does Pentax. You do know that Tokina doesn't have K-mount lenses because a large part of their lenses are designed by Pentax and in that deal they are not allowed to compete with Pentax own versions of the same designs, right? So you aren't really missing anything there. Those german made (or sometimes Japan Cosina) manual lenses I understand aren't made for K mount so often any longer...but seriously, if you want manual full metal lenses, there is a fine selection of SMC Pentax K mount lenses from 1975 and onward....
01-29-2014, 03:08 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by LuisLlimbert Quote
I just don't want to get into a system that I will later regret; this is my small little fear given that I do not know anyone who uses a Pentax and cannot get their opinions regarding my concern.
Honestly, this line here is of concern. Pentax is in the habit of switching course even more often then they switch owners. If you ask 10 different people what Pentax's strong point is, you'll get 10 different answers depending on which era they bought into the system. If you prefer Pentax right now, that is no guarantee you will like them in the future. Unless you just always stick to the same gear.
01-29-2014, 04:56 AM   #11
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Ignorance is mother of all fears.
In fact, there are more lenses to be found for Pentax mounts than for any other mount.
Thery are not readily available in your grocery shop or in the nearest camera store, but that is another problem.

However, are you to learn about photography or advertising?

If you really like photography, grab a Pentax or Leica and explore hundreds of lenses in the used market with unique rendering and colour characteristics. Understand the art beneath the science and specs first.
Then you will see beneath the fluff and empty talk .

If you like marketing and believe everything specs say aloud, then it really doesn't matter what you choose. Because you will not have a capacity to really choose or decide; it will all be decided for you.

Last edited by Uluru; 01-29-2014 at 05:04 AM.
01-29-2014, 05:10 AM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
Honestly, this line here is of concern. Pentax is in the habit of switching course even more often then they switch owners.
Clavius, that is utter nonsense. Are you proof reading your texts?
What did Pentax change about its course? When? It is the most stubbornly traditional of all DSLR brands. When it follows something it does until the end. Some nervous users wants it to change to this or that, but the brand delivers there where it should because it is dedicated to the last breath to its legacy.
01-29-2014, 05:50 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
Pentax is in the habit of switching course even more often then they switch owners.
Really? How so? Do you know what you're talking about?
01-29-2014, 05:52 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by LuisLlimbert Quote
I mostly meant "big three" in terms of publicity when it comes to mags, books, etc for educational purposes/learning guides. But yes, you are right, it's a Canikon world for the most part.
Advertising means nothing. There's a "big two"....and then everyone else. If you've decided not to go with Canon or Nikon, then you need to be comparing Pentax to Sony, Olympus, and Fuji, primarily. Unless you want FF, I think Pentax stacks up quite nicely.
01-29-2014, 05:55 AM   #15
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Thread moved to "DSLR Discussion" forum. Please remember to post in the proper forum. "General Talk" is for "non-photographic" topics.

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