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02-05-2016, 11:26 PM   #16
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Brian, I'll be flying into Winnipeg on Monday. I work with Friesens as our publisher in Altona, a bit south of you. I am hyper aware of the extreme changes in temperature and weather you get there and I would have to add that in my experience, no camera has been tougher than nails in extreme cold or anything that mother nature throws at you, than Pentax. Only the very high end Nikons and Canons are built to endure the extremes like a K3 or K3II.

If your professional work involves working outdoors, that would be a major reason to stay with Pentax and upgrade your non-WR lenses.

02-05-2016, 11:46 PM - 2 Likes   #17
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The Gear is not the Picture

Maxfield is right- the subject is most important. Should be interesting/attractive, appropriate lighting, at the right moment, dramatic - the ZOWIE factor. Second is your skill at getting the composition, focus, exposure & subject interaction right so as to record the best image. Last is the gear. If you get the subject & the image right, you can use a 4x5 or a cell phone and it won't matter. Study the Masters (old & new) of painting, sculpture & photography. When looking at your peer's pix, back up (maybe take off glasses) and notice composition, shapes, colors, contrast, and most import, how you feel about it. A landscape tack sharp from 1 ft to infinity is impressive & has its place; but, I bet the pix you wish you had taken was the one with the evening light through the mists.
I have been using Pentax since 1964. Went to a major art school & was only student with Pentax. It was conceded that the 50 f1.4, 85 f1.9 & 135 f2.5 were as good as any of the Leica or Nikon lenses (Canon was not in the game yet). One instructor accused me of using my 4x5 to shoot a 35mm assignment. He had to eat crow when shown the negatives shot with the 50 f4 macro and printed at 16x20. Students were envious of the Pentax 17mm f4 full frame fisheye - at that time there was no competition. In over 55 years of photography, I have used most formats, films & cameras. I still use Pentax as a pro & an amateur and love the cameras (except for the SF10) & most of the lenses (some of which are 49 years old). If you are concerned about sharp, use good to great primes. And concentrate on subject & skills.
02-05-2016, 11:48 PM - 3 Likes   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
DXO? who the hell are they? oh you mean those morons who "test lenses" and reduce them to a two digit score? if you think a two digit score can tell you everything you need to know about a lens/camera combination you're doing it wrong.
I am not an engineer, nor a scientist. I'm a photographer and teacher right-brained nerd that appreciates the left-brained nerds that can give me objective data while I interpret my subjective data.

As you insult "those morons who test lenses", I appreciate someone trying to objectively measure results. I can do the subjective judging on my own, but their free service gives me more info for me to consider.

It's far from perfect, but it certainly beats a five star system, thumbs up or down, or a system so complicated that it is rendered meaningless. I can understand CA, vignetting, distortion, transmission, and sharpness.

And I did not state that their two digit score can tell me everything I need to know....it just tells me what their test results were.

I'm not always a positive person, but when someone tells me, "if you don't have something positive to say, keep it to yourself," they are usually right.
02-05-2016, 11:52 PM   #19
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"What does Pentax have to offer that can compete with the high quality images that Canon and Nikon can produce?"

errrm, just about everything...

It sounds to me Brian, like someone in your class has said to you that the reason your images are not quite as good (whatever that means) in terms of Sharpness and IQ, is because you are using a Pentax. Most people don't know much about the quality of Pentax kit. I can assure you it is not the K-5 which is holding you back, but as others have pointed out, some of your lenses could be of higher quality.

The K-5 is a better all round camera than about 85% of the models put out by canikon, bested only by the pinnacle products from these manufacturers, at multiple times the price. At the time of it's release it was the best APSC camera available. I still use mine alongside my K-3 and the small differences I see are in the colour gradation of the K-3 images because of the increase in sensor resolution. There is nothing wrong with the K-5 in terms of IQ

Do a little test. Mount your 100mm macro on your camera and have one of your buddies do the same withe their canikon gear. (they do have a top quality macro, right?? ) Each take a shot of the same subject in the same light, using the same settings. develop the images identically. Then see if the IQ of your image falls short.

Like others have said my guess is it is not the camera, but a combination of slow, low contrast zooms, your shooting technique, and post processing.

Have fun

02-06-2016, 12:05 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
Way to go Adam. Throw a Colossal insult at a lens that rivals ( and in some regards beats) the Canon EF 100L f/2.8 macro. Way to go.
Sure it's one of Pentax's best lenses, but there's no Limited designation. Just a small formality

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02-06-2016, 12:05 AM - 3 Likes   #21
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This thread has the potential to go nuclear. I wouldn't consider myself anything like pro level or even advanced amateur. Too much to learn. But I know my images are often not as good (in my eyes) as those of others using the same equipment. It can be in the PP (higher contrast has been mentioned). But is there someone in your group that you could say to: "Hey, help me make up my mind or sort out what the problem is. How about we both shoot the same subject with 50/1.4 lenses (or maybe the 100/2.8) and then swap cameras and do the same subject again. Then PP our images and compare."


That should tell you what your K-5 and the other camera can do in your hands and in the other person's hands. It may help you to decide whether it is the particular model of camera, the lens, or the PP that makes the difference. It may help you decide whether to go or stay. It might even convert someone else to Pentax.
02-06-2016, 12:40 AM   #22
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OP seems to already have a foot outside the door. I'll be running against the grain here, but I say that he must already leave Pentax at this junction.

"What if?" is always the hardest question to answer, and in this instance, he'll be always critical of his work, and may unfairly blame Pentax incessantly, should he decide to stay. No amount of persuasion from us (who can always be accused of wearing rose colored glasses in favor of Pentax) will make him stay, if he is already one prodding away from leaving.

At the very least, he's not yet heavily invested in Pentax glasses, and that 100mm will easily be disposed of in the marketplace if reasonably priced.

OP, good luck!
02-06-2016, 12:54 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by BrianCollins Quote
I've been a Pentax shooter for a number of years now, but I have found the lack of lens availability frustrating. I always thought my images were pretty good, but since I began attending photography school a few months i have been impressed by the sharpness and quality of the images produced by fellow classmates shooting some competing products (Canon and Nikon).

I currently use a K5 with the following lenses.

FA 1:1.4 50mm
DFA Macro1:2.8 100mm WR
DA 1:4(22) 16-45mm ED-AL
F Zoom 1:4-5.6 70-210mm

I want to remain loyal to Pentax, but I'm finding it more and more difficult to do so. I plan to go pro when I'm finished school and want to be able to provide high quality images. Is it possible to do so and remain a Pentax shooter? If so, what equipment would I want to buy when I upgrade? What does Pentax have to offer that can compete with the high quality images that Canon and Nikon can produce?

Would appreciate any advice you can give.
Brian,

There are no bad cameras out there. Every system has it pluses and minuses. However, if your Pentax is not giving you good color or sharp images then you need to take a closer look at your workflow. You already have two pro class lenses. Just get a few more to fill the gaps and you are ready to take on most assignments.

As an aspiring pro you should plan ahead. Here is the Pentax value proposition. Buy APSc today with perhaps the best APSc lens line up. Add the upcoming full frame with a few really good lenses. And when you really want to go high end, add the 645Z to the mix. At that point there is nothing your system cannot handle (less sport assignments and video). Ever since the film days, Pentax has been the value leader. Along the way they have had some of the most innovative technologies as well.

Think different, be different, shoot with a Pentax. Best bang for the buck, shoot with a Pentax. Quality and value is what Pentax offers. Is Canon bad? not really. Are Nikon or Sony bad? not really. But for your hard earned money Pentax beats them all in the bang for the buck department.

02-06-2016, 01:51 AM   #24
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It's not about the gear or the brand. It's about how the photographer captures the moments.
K5 is a great body. Just need to take more pictures.
02-06-2016, 01:56 AM - 3 Likes   #25
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02-06-2016, 02:16 AM - 1 Like   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
I smell troll flesh.

bingo - first post and he's a jumper? really....

I was thinking more along the lines of a simple addition to my ignore list...
02-06-2016, 02:27 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by BrianCollins Quote
I want to remain loyal to Pentax, but I'm finding it more and more difficult to do so. I plan to go pro when I'm finished school and want to be able to provide high quality images. Is it possible to do so and remain a Pentax shooter?
Yes it is possible, however a professional will use what tool they need to get the job done, eg. I foresee wedding photography return to its medium format roots (645D/Z and others), hence distinguishing from the many other photographers.
Many pro's. will use more than one product line and be reliably faithful to their passion ie. Pentax.
Full frame out soon, give it six months for most of the dust to settle and re-evaluate.

Last edited by beachgardener; 02-06-2016 at 01:55 PM.
02-06-2016, 03:59 AM   #28
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Just because DxO measures things doesn't make the result scientifically valid. They are probably working on a sample of one, which is highly unlikely to be representative of the whole production run of a lens type.

Back to the point: was it Ansel (or David Bailey? Can't remember) who said 'photography is not about how much camera you take to the shoot'.
02-06-2016, 04:39 AM   #29
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FA50/1.4 and DA100WR macro, beaten by Canikon?
Hmm.... really unlikely, unless one values sharpness and nothing else.
02-06-2016, 05:11 AM   #30
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Assuming you are honest in your request, I would just say that you need to draw up a list of lenses that you think you need/want to use and purchase in the future. If there is one that Pentax doesn't offer (eg 600mm f4), then you have your answer right away. If on the other hand, the lenses are there, then you need to develop a plan to add the important ones to your lens line up.

When I look at Pentax right now, I see a lot of very nice, aggressively priced glass. Lenses like the FA 77 and FA 31 are priced below lenses like the Sigma 85 f1.4 and Sigma 35 f1.4, to say nothing of the nikon/canon equivalents to them.

Most of all, you need to do what makes you happy and if you think you can better your gear elsewhere, then maybe it is time to scratch that itch.
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