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02-06-2016, 05:42 AM   #31
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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.
Pentax's current lens lineup includes 20 prime lenses covering a focal length range from 14mm to 560mm and 17 zooms covering a range from 10mm to 450mm. Seven of the primes and three of the zooms are designed for 135 format SLRs even though Pentax does not have a 135 format SLR on the market.

Yes, the lineup is not as extensive as Canikon, but the lineup is more than sufficient to satisfy the needs of the vast majority of photographers.

And that's just Pentax's current lineup. It doesn't include 3rd party lenses, nor does it include legacy glass. Pentax has a decades long history of manufacturing excellent lenses, every one of which works on modern DSLRs, albeit some require an adapter.. Many of those lenses are readily available in the marketplace here, at keh.com, and on ebay.

So what availability problems have you encountered? If you need lenses that are not part of the readily available lineup (including current, third party, and legacy) then by all means switch to another nameplate that is a closer fit to your needs. But in my opinion the "lens availability" argument doesn't hold water for those without specialized needs, such as tilt-shift lenses.

---------- Post added 02-06-16 at 07:51 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by BrianCollins Quote
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, absolutely, but the reason Pentax may not be your best choice as a pro is not because of the gear, it's because Pentax doesn't have much In the way of service for professional photographers.

---------- Post added 02-06-16 at 07:56 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
Unless you are printing super large (24x30 inches or larger) your K-5 should look similar to the competition. Your zoom lenses aren't the best, but your DFA Macro1:2.8 100mm WR is superb. If that isn't giving sharp images maybe you need to micro-adjust your K-5 autofocus.
I have printed as large as 40x60 inches using a K-7 and the DA 18-135, and the photos are stunning. If you ever find yourself in Greencastle, PA pay a visit to the Coldwell Bankers Innovations real estate office and take a look..


Last edited by MPrince; 02-06-2016 at 05:58 AM.
02-06-2016, 06:02 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
I smell troll flesh.
Funny about that; I was just beginning my prayers to St Boris of Cleto when I read your post.

I reckon they're being paid to come in and do this. I can smell the fear in SoCaNikon's veins.
02-06-2016, 06:10 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Of course it's possible. While the Canon and Nikon lens lineup is more mature in terms of sports, telephoto, and low-light lenses, the Pentax lineup has many more compact lens offerings. High-end Pentax lenses are typically more competitively priced. We also shouldn't overlook that Shake Reduction works with all lenses

It doesn't look like you currently own any premium lenses, so that would be a natural place to start. Here's a list of DA* and Limited lenses:
Pentax Lens Search | PentaxForums.com

The Sigma Art lenses are also worth checking out, as is the 17-70mm "C".

In addition, I'd recommend upgrading your K-5 to a K-3 if you plan to stay with the APS-C format. If you want to go bigger, you have the option of going with a full-frame camera (Pentax should be releasing theirs in 2 weeks) or the 645Z.

Pentax cameras are highly-capable when it comes to still image quality. The key areas they're a bit lacking in would be video, tethering support and focusing. Canon and Nikon would be better for you want to be a sports photographer, but for most other use cases you'll be just fine (if not better off) staying with Pentax.
Wouldn't you consider the DFA 100 Macro WR to be a premium quality lens? I find it to be about the sharpest lens I have along with the SMC DA 35 macro Limited and my DA 70 Limiteds. Are there lenses in the Pentax or Sigma line that surpass these? Otherwise I agree with your post.

Last edited by jddwoods; 02-06-2016 at 06:18 AM.
02-06-2016, 07:02 AM - 1 Like   #34
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Watch these, then decide.

"Pro Photographer, Cheap Camera" Series by DigitalRev: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL7ECB90D96DF59DE5

02-06-2016, 07:24 AM - 2 Likes   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by BrianCollins Quote
I currently use a K5 with the following lenses.

FA 1:1.4 50mm
DFA Macro1:2.8 100mm WR.
If you can sit back and honestly say your abilities surpass this camera and these lenses, then yes, switch brands. Switch yesterday.
02-06-2016, 07:29 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by BrianR Quote
If you can sit back and honestly say your abilities surpass this camera and these lenses, then yes, switch brands. Switch yesterday.
Right on BrianR. Why did I not think of that. The grass is indeed greener on the other side!!! and it matches the Pantone chart better!!!
02-06-2016, 07:30 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by jddwoods Quote
Wouldn't you consider the DFA 100 Macro WR to be a premium quality lens?
Definitely, I think most people would. But it is very fairly priced and does not have aperture ring, which might make it "appear" to be a normal prime. But the image quality it gives is stunning! You can check lens review database or sample photo gallery to see what this lens is capable of, even in the hands of amateurs.

QuoteOriginally posted by BrianCollins Quote
I plan to go pro when I'm finished school
Yeah, that doesn't work that way. You will probably first need to apprentice with other photographers, and work hard as an assistant, prove yourself with images, but also with PP, with finding and keeping clients, with getting paid and making payments on time, with customer relations, etc. "Being pro" is so much more than just having a good camera and a couple good lenses.
That said, Pentax system is currently already capable of delivering that for many if not all "pro" genres of photography. It might be a bit lacking for extreme telephoto (though, DA 560mm on APSC camera is very good, as well as legacy glass and Sigma lenses) or super-specialized lenses (like enlargers or tilt/shift, though most of this can be improvised with extension tubes, adapters, or third party lenses).
If you don't want to believe it, check on this forum, check the PPG, check 500px and Flickr (search for top rated photos taken with Pentax gear) and you will see plenty of amazing photos. Photos that stand on their own and don't need to be compared to other brands.
02-06-2016, 07:33 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
I smell troll flesh.
I only smell the complex spiced & smoky aroma of this Talisker 30 year old whiskey....

02-06-2016, 08:17 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
The Pentax 100mm Macro WR is an excellent lens. The fact that the Pentax sells for a third of the Nikon and Canon equivalent macros, makes it a better value, but here are some reasons why one could argue the Pentax, albeit an excellent lens, is not quite on par in terms of resolution, quiet AF, ED glass. Splitting hairs? Yes. Can be ranked as a premium lens? Arguable.....with no insult intended. Is it worth it for Pentaxians to have a marginally better macro at 3x the price? I don't think so. If someone wants bragging rights, however,

Pentax 100mm macro:
elements groups: 9/8
8 rounded aperture blades
DxOmark overall score on a K3: 22
DxOmark sharpness score on a K3: 10

Nikon 105mm macro:
elements groups: 14/12
9 rounded aperture blades
silent wave motor
one ED glass element
DxOmark overall score on a D7100: 23
DxOmark sharpness score on a D7100: 12

Canon 100mm macro:
elements groups:15/12
9 aperture blades
ultrasonic motor
at least one ELD glass element
DxOmark overall score on a 70D: 19
DxOmark sharpness score on a 70D: 13

and a truly premium prime the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM A:
DxOmark overall score on a K3: 27
DxOmark sharpness score on a K3: 16
Since I think its one of its major strengths vs the other brands, let's add physical dimensions to the comparison:

Pentax 100mm macro:
Filter Thread 49 mm
Dimensions (DxL) Approx. 3.2 x 2.5" (8.13 x 6.35 cm)
Weight 12 oz (340 g)

Nikon 105mm macro:
Filter Thread Front: 62 mm
Dimensions (DxL) Approx. 3.3 x 4.6" (8.38 x 11.68 cm)
Weight 1.58 lb (720 g)

Canon 100mm macro:
Filter Thread Front: 67 mm
Dimensions (DxL) Approx. 3.06 x 4.84" (7.77 x 12.29 cm)
Weight 1.38 lb (625 g)

The Pentax of course being the only one that isn't internal focus and extends a good deal at the minimum distance.

Specs are from BandH, and I'm hoping I've grabbed the correct versions of the Nikon/Canon macros. I know the ones I've held in person felt relatively massive compared to the dfa100mm.
02-06-2016, 08:17 AM - 3 Likes   #40
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Well, I asked for advice and I've certainly gotten it! Thanks for the input everyone...yes, even the "tough" comments!

The 100 and the 50 are both relatively new additions to my bag so most of my experience has been with the older lenses. And, I must say that the 100, and even the 50, have given me some better results. I suppose I should have said that in my original post, but....

Referring to the comments about the K5, I agree that it is getting a little long in the tooth and that I will need to upgrade. That's partially why I'm looking for the input here. I'm trying to decide whether to stay with the Pentax line or switch to another brand when I take the step to lay down the cash for the new body.

Overestimating my ability? If I hadn't made the choice to return to school at 56, then I'd say that might be true. Self critical? Yes. Anxious to create great images? Yes. Looking at all aspects to get there? Yes! I recognize that I have things to learn and I am learning lots! But, among the great feedback I've gotten here at school is that my current gear is somewhat limiting. Another reason that I came here for input.

Anyway....you don't need to hear my life story. Just a brief response to your replies. Thank you again. Especially thanks for the resource links. Very useful!

All the best!

---------- Post added 02-06-16 at 09:30 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by BrianR Quote
If you can sit back and honestly say your abilities surpass this camera and these lenses, then yes, switch brands. Switch yesterday.
Don't think I said that at any point....
02-06-2016, 08:45 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by BrianCollins Quote
Don't think I said that at any point....
I wasn't saying you did... it was an "if"... "then"... statement, for you to evaluate the "if" condition. Figuring out if your output is limited by your gear or by yourself is an important step of any successful upgrade, and an honest self-evaluation is always tough.

Full props for going back to school at 56 and the best of luck with your studies and goals
02-06-2016, 08:55 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by BrianCollins Quote
Overestimating my ability? If I hadn't made the choice to return to school at 56, then I'd say that might be true. Self critical? Yes. Anxious to create great images? Yes. Looking at all aspects to get there? Yes! I recognize that I have things to learn and I am learning lots! But, among the great feedback I've gotten here at school is that my current gear is somewhat limiting. Another reason that I came here for input.

I don't think that any modern gear is "limiting".

Remember that the great photographers of yesteryears had even worse equipment, and lack the luxuries that we enjoy today. That didn't stop them from creating images that even now, we still try to emulate!

At any rate, good luck!
02-06-2016, 09:01 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by BrianCollins Quote
Overestimating my ability? If I hadn't made the choice to return to school at 56, then I'd say that might be true. Self critical?
Brian, more power to you. We are the same age. I kinda missed the boat on becoming a full time pro a long times ago. Just FYI, when I was "spotted" by a couple of pros who thought "I had the eye," I did not own my own camera because I could not afford one. I did the work with a borrowed k1000 and a 50mm f2 lens. So, go for it. I have visited many photography schools and talked to graduates as well. I am sorry to say this but I do not think much of photography schools. So if they say your cameras are not up to snuff, I would not pay too much attention. As my friend's mom used to say, "there are lot of educated fools out there."

If you think the K5 is not enough. Let it go. Get yourself a K3 with a 15mm limited and a 35 limited. The K3 and the 4 pro lenses will give you roughly the coverage of 22mm to 150mm and will allow you to take on anybody, including some of those guys carrying systems costing as much as a house. Trust me because I do just that everyday. A big part of being a pro is to do more with less. You have to watch every dollar. That part of the equation, I am sad to say, not too many photography schools teach students.
02-06-2016, 09:03 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ole Quote
My hunch is that they use increased contrast and sharpening compared to your process.
If they're shooting people/models, then it's the flash technique. I used to look at pro photos on Flickr and be blown away by the sharpness and contrast of their images--faces so crisp, highlights perfect, etc. I would think "Are their lenses THAT much better? Is the autofocus?" Then I began using off camera flash and I saw similar results. Now when I edit images, there's many expressions of awe for what the FA31 can do. I can't believe just how sharp it is.

Many of my immediate peers in cosplay shoot in natural light. I can see the lack of perfect focus and sharpness hits in their images too, similar to what mine used to look like (but a bit better). And they're using some pretty high end stuff too.
02-06-2016, 09:08 AM   #45
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I always find these threads to be ironic in our thinking patterns here......If a poster were to post that he was considering hara-kiri it might get a response or two....."we'll miss you"..."good luck"...."don't hurt yourself on the way out"...etc etc

However, threaten to leave Pentax and there is a full scale panic and a rush of saviors ready to defend and restore confidence in Pentax. If Pentax or any other brand was that much a part of my life, I'd be more than a little worried about what kind of life I really had?

I'm with Otis...let Jumpers jump. All the information provided to them by the "saviors" is readily available and nothing new.....if they are too lazy to find it on their own then they are going to spend a lifetime jumping anyhow. Pentax Jumpers are not unique.......every brand has their Jumpers. Jumpers are unique......they want your attention no matter where they are...and unfortunately, they always get it!

I like Mrs Rupert's approach to Jumpers....if I tell her I'm thinking of jumping to a 19 year old blond......her response is "Get out and don't come back......you can't even handle me, what the hell do you think you can do with a 19 year old blond?"

Regards!



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