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08-28-2014, 03:40 AM   #1
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Tempt me, devil!

I have to admit that all doom and gloom from our own flock, plus the hostility of outsiders (I am looking at you, DPreview!), has shaken my faith. I am no longer sure Pentax is the right choice.


Is it only my delusion that gear I have is the best copromise for the price?


Looking at spec sheets and reviews that often read as lazy ads doesn't help me. How can I judge competition's offerings when there are so many lenses and bodies and I don't have firsthand experience with anything but the cheapest Canikon DSLRs which look like junk to me. Maybe MILC or 4/3 is the way to go but I haven't seen that either.


So I want to be tempted. As many here are familiar with multiple systems, it shouldn't be a hard task to convince me of better options than what I currently have. But maybe finding just a strict replacement is too limiting; maybe there is conceptually better way for my use cases.




Here it goes.
I got all listed here in last 5 months so the prices are relatively current. All was bought new (I am the original owner) except M50/1.7.
* K5II
* Tamron 17-50
* Tamron 70-200
* DA 18-55 WR (included with camera)
* M50/1.7


My use cases are roughly:
* photos of my children outdoors (beach, parks)
* photos of my children indoors (shows, school activities)
* occasional landscape and street photography


Currently only my parents make prints which are small (10x15cm) but I want to be able to print bigger as I want to create posters and decorate our house at some point of time.


In terms of criteria:


1. IQ per buck (systemwise, so both for camera and necessary lenses)
2. Reliability (no experimental stuff)
3. Ergonomics & size
4. Good AF
5. Battery life
6. WR
7. Warranty & support


So, what could I have bought for the roughly same amount of money (or cheaper) that would surpass my choice based on above criteria, for the use cases I have?

08-28-2014, 03:53 AM   #2
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First off this isnt news or a rumour so its in the wrong place.

You have good gear, who cares what a 15 year old with a T2i and kitlens his parents bought him for xmas, from a pallet at wal-mart, has to say on DPreview about Pentax? And nobody will ever please everybody on this site, ever...

You should be looking at some of the Pentax Limited primes rather than other bodies imo, your lenses work nicely I am sure but you are missing out on one of the main unique draws of Pentax: their excellent primes, some with additional pixie dust Or maybe one of the DA* zooms

Given your list of requirements (WR, ergonomics, size, reliability, IQ per buck) Pentax is still the clear choice.

Last edited by Deimos; 08-28-2014 at 04:30 AM.
08-28-2014, 04:29 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Deimos Quote
You should be looking at some of the Pentax Limited primes rather than other bodies imo, your lenses work nicely I am sure but you are missing out on one of the main unique draws of Pentax: their excellent primes
Now & then i have my doubts as well . Then again, nothing more fun & challenging than going out with my k3, da15 ,da70 and a couple of my m lenses..
The latter being the most fun!

Buy yourself an epson A4 printer & put a folder together with some of your best photographs.
Wanna decorate your house a bit. Just glue your prints on black paper yourself (the one they use for maquettes..) & put them on the wall.
Sure, you can order prints, you can order canvas, but i find it rewarding to do these things myself in the evenings...

not sure anymore what your question was...:-) but you got my point i guess
08-28-2014, 04:34 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Deimos Quote
First off this isnt news or a rumour so its in the wrong place.
+1, but I guess someone will move the thread to an appropriate place soon, so I'll just reply here.

QuoteQuote:
You should be looking at some of the Pentax Limited primes rather than other bodies imo, your lenses work nicely I am sure but you are missing out on one of the main unique draws of Pentax: their excellent primes, some with additional pixie dust Or maybe one of the DA* zooms
I agree here too. I can recommend the DA70/2.4 for portraits of the kids at play. A wonderful little lightweight lens which of course is easier to use than the M50/1.7 (which I also have and really like).

My overall favorite lens is the DA35/2.8 Macro Limited. It's a very useful lens for those days you want to travel light and would like to have only have one small lens on the camera. But if you have no interest in closeup photography, the DA35/2.4 is a less expensive choice - also a very nice lens.

08-28-2014, 05:10 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Yeah. You hardly even have any Pentax gear! The 18-55mm, while not a terrible lens, is probably the worst in the Pentax lineup. At least get a DA 35mm f2.4, if not a limited, before you decide the "system" is not for you.
I am always surprised how many people decide that they want another system, when all they have is the most basic gear from this system, and hardly any need for anything better. This is typical consumer goods fetishization. Feel free to spend any money you want, but the grass is not greener.
I'd say go to Canikon if you are planning on spending at least $2000 on camera and lens. I'd say go to Sony if it fills a need that Pentax doesn't. Go to m43 if you really want tiny, expensive cameras. I'd say that under $1700 camera bodies, Pentax is best bang for buck. You get so many features, so much potential. Its up to the photographer to use it, though. Would faster burst rate help you, if you never use it? Would raw video output help you, if you never us it? What good is knowing that you can buy a $7000 lens for your camera, if you never will?
08-28-2014, 05:16 AM   #6
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You have a couple nice zooms and the 50mm is no slouch. If you want better images with a prime, make sure they'll beat the zooms you have. I'm sure you know with the 50mm the tradeoffs of a prime. Perhaps something like the DA 10-17 would be a good addition. It's fun with the kids and at 17mm it's a great UWA lens.

What leaves you wanting with the K5II? Reading reviews can only tell you so much - I tend to focus on reliability reports in reviews.
I'd see if I could get my hands on some other cameras, perhaps at a club or something - see if you like how they feel. If this is just the grass being greener on the other side of the fence, you might find those are lots of weeds.
08-28-2014, 05:35 AM   #7
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Khm, guys, while I appreciate your attention, I haven't started this thread to be reminded of merits of Pentax system; I believe I am pretty clear with myself about what I want and what will my money go towards, inside it. However in this buildup towards Photokina all I read is negative towards Pentax. From inside I see disappointment, from outside i see derision. So, for the sake of the argument, I am asking, show me what is better than what I have, for what I do, for the price I paid. I haven't found it.


This is not to say I want to blindly push for Pentax or that this thread is some sort of in-your-face-haters. I admit I am ignorant about most stuff from other companies. I am genuinely curious, if you are dissapointed with Pentax and are jumping ship, why is that so.
I will also admit that FF, video, long fast glass and other pro level requirements are not good enough reasons for me as, at best, enthusiast.

In other words, unless you have suggestions outside Pentax offerings, for non-pro like me, you are not the target audience of this thread.
08-28-2014, 05:35 AM   #8
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What TER-OR asked about "what leaves you wanting?" is the most important question. When I jumped ship I was 100% sure as to what I was missing, and why I needed it. I was pretty content with Pentax until these issues keep coming up in my shoots.

FWIW my issues was: inconsistent P-TTL, no FF, and weaker AF than I'd like

08-28-2014, 06:17 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Andi Lo Quote
What TER-OR asked about "what leaves you wanting?" is the most important question. When I jumped ship I was 100% sure as to what I was missing, and why I needed it. I was pretty content with Pentax until these issues keep coming up in my shoots.

FWIW my issues was: inconsistent P-TTL, no FF, and weaker AF than I'd like
so what did you jump ship to?
08-28-2014, 06:32 AM   #10
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Rent a D610 kit or whatever and go shooting with it and your K-5 II. All other cameras seem to feel like toys compared to my K-5 IIs. I suspect the actual final product produced from each will be close to identical.
08-28-2014, 06:35 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by pearsaab Quote
so what did you jump ship to?
Went with Nikon D600, it was cheaper and the Dual SD slot won me over. All the above issues I mentioned are now solved.

I miss pentax limiteds and pentax colors, but it sure is nice not having to tweak white balance too much in post, and not having to start my lightroom session deleting shots that are not in focus, since most of them are in focus.

I dont miss SR as much as I thought I would, due to gaining alot of ISO headroom for higher shutter speed. (I only have one VR lens so far)

Last edited by Andi Lo; 08-28-2014 at 06:46 AM.
08-28-2014, 07:11 AM   #12
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I haven't played much with the other systems - just the low-end T3s etc. which are NOT a lateral move. I have been able to play with my nephew's Canon 5D (I think that's what he's still using) and he's played with my K5. He loved the manual lens simplicity once I showed him how to control the parameters, he also enjoyed the DA21mm when he got to use that, it's superbly sharp and quite responsive. Mostly when I've used his 5D, it was with a fast 50mm prime, and it's great at casual portraits - which is what he's great at. It seemed quick and accurate with autofocus. I haven't been able to use his sports zooms, he opts for a smaller setup at family venues. It's more camera than I'd want to lug around, and certainly more than I want to pay for. Were I a pro or semi-pro doing sports, weddings, portraits like he is, I'd probably migrate that way as well, though I think I'd retain the Pentax for field macro and other specialized or walkaround purposes.

That said, it's difficult to justify two similar systems. A Q with a couple lenses is one thing, two DSLR systems is quite another.
08-28-2014, 07:27 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Andi Lo Quote
Went with Nikon D600, it was cheaper and the Dual SD slot won me over. All the above issues I mentioned are now solved.

I miss pentax limiteds and pentax colors, but it sure is nice not having to tweak white balance too much in post, and not having to start my lightroom session deleting shots that are not in focus, since most of them are in focus.

I dont miss SR as much as I thought I would, due to gaining alot of ISO headroom for higher shutter speed. (I only have one VR lens so far)

I am also unhappy with flash inconsistency and even feel flash worked better on K100DS. However with much improved ISO performance and faster glass I find myself using flash very rarely. Also when I use it, I go with manual instead of PTTL.


Now regarding AF, I am OK with K5II performance. Yes I still get blurry photos or miss oportunities, but while with K100DS I could forget about even attempting to capture my kid running in less than ideal lighting, now I manage to get a lot of keepers in all conditions.


Speaking of Nikon, a sort of lateral move would be D7000 (or D7100?) with, say, the same pair of Tamrons. One thing that I find interesting is that Tamron is not particularly respected in Nikonland, while they are both considered decent glass in Pentaxland (70-200 more so). So is there a difference in performance or quality or just different standards?
08-28-2014, 07:32 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Andi Lo Quote
What TER-OR asked about "what leaves you wanting?" is the most important question.
Yes, though with me, I generally refer to it as "pain". If there is something you want to accomplish with your vision and your gear makes it harder than it should be then a change may be in order. The big questions are:
  • Will a change actually help?
  • What is the potential for shifting the "pain" to another area?
  • Is the cost worth the benefit?
What I have found helpful is to quit shopping unless you are absolutely clear that what you have is not working for you.

What is pain? A good example might be the first time I attempted to photograph bicycle racing with my K10D. I soon learned that AF-C on that camera was far too slow for the sport and the tracking ability not so good. I also learned that the ability of the AF to discriminate moving subject from background was inadequate. My thoughts at the time were, "Boy, am I glad I don't usually shoot this sort of subject" followed quickly by, "Boy am I glad I don't have to try and make a living shooting bike racing"! You see, even with the best match in gear, some subjects are simply difficult and require a high degree of skill in addition to the right tools. If I were in the business of shooting bicycle racing the point of pain would have come quickly and may never have completely gone away.

The question regularly comes up regarding whether a Pentax camera will work well taking photos of children. If you have very active kids the task may be difficult regardless of the tool. The advice regarding renting or evaluating a Nikon is good. By all accounts, Nikon has the best predictive auto-focus system on the market. It may meet your needs and it may not. Here are a few points to consider:
  • If you want candids of your kids, you might want to consider quiet times over wild play times
  • For active times, try using direction. "Follow the leader" is easier that "tag".
  • Candid photos are highly overrated
  • Practice
  • If you are depending on AF and high fps (spray and pray), be prepared for a high reject rate regardless of system
  • People made decent photos of children long before auto-focus, high ISO, and high fps
Good luck in figuring it all out.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 08-28-2014 at 07:37 AM.
08-28-2014, 07:46 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by cxdoo Quote
Speaking of Nikon, a sort of lateral move would be D7000 (or D7100?) with, say, the same pair of Tamrons. One thing that I find interesting is that Tamron is not particularly respected in Nikonland, while they are both considered decent glass in Pentaxland (70-200 more so). So is there a difference in performance or quality or just different standards?
Same as you I also always go manual with Pentax Flashes. I think it says alot that my favourite pentax flash is the Yongnuo 560.... The results are good but it always cost me a good 30 seconds to adjust the flash to my liking everytime I move to a different room; those 30 seconds add up and means missed shots.

If the keeper rate of pentax is good enough for you, then the better AF is not a reason to switch.

IMO the tamrons are looked down upon because the Nikon equivalents are inarguably better lenses. (except for price). With Pentax, it's not as clear cut (SDM issues, different focal length, "better rendering"). I know lots of Nikon shooters who are happy with their Tamrons, including me I think the new VR version of the Tamrons (24-75 and 70-200) are quite highly regarded though. They are certainly very competent lenses, and excellent value.

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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
My thoughts at the time were, "Boy, am I glad I don't usually shoot this sort of subject" followed quickly by, "Boy am I glad I don't have to try and make a living shooting bike racing"! You see, even with the best match in gear, some subjects are simply difficult and require a high degree of skill in addition to the right tools. If I were in the business of shooting bicycle racing the point of pain would have come quickly and may never have completely gone away.
I agree Steve I dont do architecture very much but whenever I do, the "pain" of not having a proper tripod always crop up, but this doesnt come up often enough for me to splurge on a good tripod. This applies to whatever deficiencies you have in your current setup (and there always is a deficiency, no matter what your setup is). Also excellent comments about how it's often not the gear, but all the other things.

I disagree that candids are overrated though

Last edited by Andi Lo; 08-28-2014 at 08:13 AM.
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