Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
07-08-2008, 12:42 AM   #1
Inactive Account




Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Boulder, Colorado
Posts: 25
should i invest?

Now I understand that this is NOT an unbiased place to ask this question, but should I invest in the pentax line? I have a kit lens for my k10d, I'm ready to move on to bigger and better lenses, and I want to make sure I'm buying into the right line of camera's for what I want, as everyone is all "nikon, canon, nikon, canon" all the time. I'm looking to go into portrait/wedding photography. I want to have the option to set up nice external flash systems, I don't plan on doing much studio work but I would like to have the option, I am at an intermediate level of photography skill I would say, better than the average joe and a good eye for light/shadow/detail/composition, but much to learn (especially with regards to dslrs, I've used 35mm slr's/wet darkroom my whole life).

I don't like the noise I sometimes get with my pentax at certain iso's, and I'm still learning the ins and outs of it, but I think my photography would DEFINITELY be taken to the next level by buying a higher quality lens, and a sophisticated flash. I want a zoom out to 200, 2.8f stop all the way down, and a smaller lens with capable of maybe a 1.8ish f stop. PLEASE tell me, pros and cons? Even if I do choose to buy into another line, I'll probably keep this camera as it doesn't have much resale value, but should I buy into another line?

07-08-2008, 12:56 AM   #2
Veteran Member




Join Date: Sep 2006
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 5,713
Pentax is fine for what your after. For that mater it has a more film like appearance than the big 2, making it more desirable for a lot of weddings and portrait work

Your K10D does have remote flash caplibility, and a few good lenses is all that you'll need to get started.




Serious action photography is where most people feel the need to switch to the other brands, but several people here have mastered it with what they have
07-08-2008, 12:59 AM   #3
Senior Member




Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 167
Do you like handling the camera? Are you confortable with the Pentax ergonomics?
If noise is the only issue, then probably Nikon will be a good option with their good noise behaviour and great flashes.
But if like Pentax, the K20D has reputedly better noise than the K10D. You can get very cheap 50mm 1.4, you have the limiteds, these would be great for the portraits.
Then get the sigma 70-200mm f2.8 EX (I think thats the name) hefty price tag, but that seems to be what you're looking for.
You also have several good lenses from sigma and pentax on the 16 to 70mmm range, some fast glass as well.
In terms of flashes, from what I hear, the offer from pentax in not that great. But I'm sure you have good options.

Personally I think wedding photography should use more ambient light, but soemtimes it really is unusable.
07-08-2008, 01:10 AM   #4
Inactive Account




Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Boulder, Colorado
Posts: 25
Original Poster
you know, eventually i will probably move to a nikon for the flash systems and wider/cheaper due to higher aftermarket availability glass, but as for right now, I think it should suit me, right? I mean, i could buy a $8000 camera and my skill level probably wouldn't meet the ability of the camera, that being said I would like to be able to grow with the camera. Everyone just seems so down on the pentax, I had one photographer tell me that it's not a professional camera and that only .01% of people who are serious and professionals at photography would ever consider let alone purchase it. Another photographer, with a bit more experience, told me it's not really the camera that matters, but what you do with it. How does pentax measure up in terms of color? I do like the way it feels in my hands, definitely much more than canon at least. I kinda have long narrow girl fingers, size 4 ring, not the strongest hands around!

07-08-2008, 06:01 AM   #5
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: outer eastern melbourne, australia
Posts: 359
get the K10 set up with some of the nicer limited glass, and you probably won't get better skin tones and rendition from any other brand, no matter how much you pay. the FA 50mm and the 77mm limited would be great choices. faster (larger) apertures will allow you to shoot at lower ISO and the noise won't be much of an issue.
07-08-2008, 06:07 AM   #6
Veteran Member
roentarre's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 11,794
No matter what you do, only buy what you really need with your photography
07-08-2008, 07:44 AM   #7
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Ste-Anne des Plaines, Qc., Canada
Posts: 2,014
Colors on the Pentax are as good as you can get. The noise is not that bad with a little bit of post processing with software like Noise Ninja. Pentax in camera noise reduction is not as agressive as some other brands to avoid losing fine details. In camera NR doesn't always give you the control you'd like over the details, so Pentax stays on the conservative side of things to give you more control over details vs. smoothness. I do the occasionnal wedding and have no problem with my K10D, although I use my K20D more now.
07-08-2008, 07:54 AM   #8
Veteran Member




Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 1,934
Wait for the Full Frame System(s)

My humble advice is not to build a larger Pentax system by now. Wait until Sept to see the directions and upcoming products by all companies to see if there are better choices than the current Pentax lineup - and to see the actual direction of Pentax as well.

My bet is there is a clear trend to go back to Full Frame DSLRs as what Canon, Nikon and Sony are doing. If you start to invest heavily into an APS-C system (namely, DA lenses for Pentax) by now and eventually in one year or so, all the latest or popular models are FF and performs quite differently, you must regret much and your investment will be in vain.

Just my two cents.

QuoteOriginally posted by jnoelle Quote
Now I understand that this is NOT an unbiased place to ask this question, but should I invest in the pentax line? I have a kit lens for my k10d, I'm ready to move on to bigger and better lenses, and I want to make sure I'm buying into the right line of camera's for what I want, as everyone is all "nikon, canon, nikon, canon" all the time. I'm looking to go into portrait/wedding photography. I want to have the option to set up nice external flash systems, I don't plan on doing much studio work but I would like to have the option, I am at an intermediate level of photography skill I would say, better than the average joe and a good eye for light/shadow/detail/composition, but much to learn (especially with regards to dslrs, I've used 35mm slr's/wet darkroom my whole life).

I don't like the noise I sometimes get with my pentax at certain iso's, and I'm still learning the ins and outs of it, but I think my photography would DEFINITELY be taken to the next level by buying a higher quality lens, and a sophisticated flash. I want a zoom out to 200, 2.8f stop all the way down, and a smaller lens with capable of maybe a 1.8ish f stop. PLEASE tell me, pros and cons? Even if I do choose to buy into another line, I'll probably keep this camera as it doesn't have much resale value, but should I buy into another line?


07-08-2008, 08:04 AM   #9
Veteran Member




Join Date: Sep 2006
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 5,713
QuoteOriginally posted by jnoelle Quote
I had one photographer tell me that it's not a professional camera and that only .01% of people who are serious and professionals at photography would ever consider let alone purchase it.
If you want to blend into a crowd of photographers be my guest and buy either Canon or Nikon.
In my case I'd rather stand out from the crowd, especially when it comes to teh final results.
I've been snubbed by several people when they've seen my equipment, and did I let it bother me?
Nope, not at all. I let my picture quality do the speaking, and after they see what I can do with it I always earn their respect as well

QuoteQuote:
Another photographer, with a bit more experience, told me it's not really the camera that matters, but what you do with it.
This photographer knows what he's talking about. For that mater if he lives close enough to you he may be a good one to learn a few things from.
If he needs help with a shoot it would be in your interest to volunteer to help him in exchange for some experience

QuoteQuote:
How does pentax measure up in terms of color?
Like I said before it has a more film like appearance than the big 2. Which is often preferred over them.
Although some people prefer the look of other cameras.
Your personal style (when you achieve one) will eventually become what makes or breaks you, not so much the colour.

QuoteQuote:
I kinda have long narrow girl fingers, size 4 ring, not the strongest hands around!
Ultimately, this should be the deciding factor.
My guess is that your hands won't grow much, so you'll want a system that you can handle easily.
One where you can reach all the controls, and small / light enough where you won't feel like it's about to slip away.

I hope that helps you out a little.

Edit, Rice has posted that since I started my input.
In a way he's right here, about waiting to see what's announced. That is unless you need some gear for an immediate shoot.
Your K10D should be fine for almost everything.

Plus I agree with him 100% on the lenses.
I also see the Full Frame cameras becoming more and more accessible, and desirable, so do yourself a favor and think hard before you buy yourself any APS-C sized lenses.

Last edited by little laker; 07-08-2008 at 08:09 AM.
07-08-2008, 10:34 AM   #10
Inactive Account




Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Boulder, Colorado
Posts: 25
Original Poster
here's a stupid question, what's the difference between the two lense types? full frame and the other kind?!
07-08-2008, 11:16 AM   #11
Loyal Site Supporter
monochrome's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Kirkwood (St. Louis) MO
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 20,447
QuoteOriginally posted by jnoelle Quote
here's a stupid question, what's the difference between the two lense types? full frame and the other kind?!
The image circle of a FF lens covers the entire area of ordinary 35mm film - a 43mm +/- diameter image circle - defined by the 24mm x 36mm film format diagonal.

Lenses designed specifically for APS-C sensors project a smaller diameter image circle defined by the 16.7mm x 25.1mm APS film format diagonal. They would likely vignette 35mm film and a FF sensor.

The backward compatibility of all 24,000,000 lenses Pentax has produced allows you to mount legendary used Pentax lenses to your K10D, and would presumably allow you to use those lenses to their fullest on a future FF camera Pentax might produce.

I only have one APS-C specific lens - the new DA 55-300 - in my kit.

2/3 of my lenses are the best manual holdovers from my 1975 KX film body; the rest are more modern autofocus "F" and "FA" line lenses from the last 20 years.
07-08-2008, 11:38 AM   #12
Not Registered
Guest




If I were into weddings mainly, I would consider the Fuji S5 Pro.
07-08-2008, 11:43 AM   #13
Veteran Member
WMBP's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Dallas, Texas
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,496
QuoteOriginally posted by jnoelle Quote
Now I understand that this is NOT an unbiased place to ask this question, but should I invest in the pentax line? I have a kit lens for my k10d, I'm ready to move on to bigger and better lenses, and I want to make sure I'm buying into the right line of camera's for what I want, as everyone is all "nikon, canon, nikon, canon" all the time. I'm looking to go into portrait/wedding photography. I want to have the option to set up nice external flash systems, I don't plan on doing much studio work but I would like to have the option, ....

This is a hard one to answer.

The biggest strength of the Pentax system right now is price. A new K20D and a couple of terrific lenses will cost you a lot less than, say, a new Nikon D300 and a couple of comparable quality lenses. The Pentax system does not take better photos - but it doesn't take worse photos, either. The K20D is a terrific camera by almost any measure, and it's a pleasure to use. But if you can't take a great photo with a Nikon D300, you won't be able to take a great photo with a K20D, either.

Niche brand disadvantages

It is true that the number of pros using Pentax is small. Not surprising, as the number of photographers of any type - pro or amateur - using Pentax systems is small. May be more Pentax wedding photographers than Olympus or Sony, but I'm not sure. Anyway, the fact that Pentax is a niche brand does matter. I think it will matter to a few of your potential clients. Brand recognition matters to some people. But the more important fact is that Nikon and Canon are supported by just about every camera store or Walmart camera department in the universe. This can make a difference. It's easier to rent a lens and/or a body for Nikon. Half of the articles you read in magazines assume you've got a Canon or Nikon (just as they assume you're using Photoshop) so a lot of good info is addressed specifically to users of those camera systems. And it is wearing to have to deal with other pro photographers who, in their ignorance, think that anybody who doesn't have a Nikon or Canon can't be serious.

Flash

You mentioned flash - and if you're interested in wedding work, then it's very important that you understand that flash photography is going to be really important to you, not just for formals but also for candids that require flash. And here's the thing: flash is NOT a strength of the Pentax system, indeed, I think it may be the system's biggest weakness. If I were starting over again, but could keep all the knowledge and experience I've gained in the last couple of years, I'd probably start with Nikon instead of Pentax, not because the cameras are better, but because the flash system seems to be better. You might want to do some research into that topic before you spend thousands of dollars.

I have had a LOT of problems with the Pentax flash units I've got - two 540's. Both have broken on me. Exposure is iffy. The p-ttl pre-flash causes about 10% of my subjects to blink or close their eyes. One bride had this problem badly. You can get the Pentax 540 to work and produce pretty good results but you're definitely going to want to own a couple of 'em and you're going to want to practice a lot until you really feel comfortable. I am about to add a Metz unit to my arsenal and I'm hoping that the Metz is more reliable and also that the exposures I get with the Metz will be better.

Lenses

Back to Pentax and the matter of lenses. The Pentax primes are great lenses, although I don't believe they're any better then the Zeiss primes. The Zeiss lenses cost more, but on the other hand they are available for other mounts besides Pentax.

But primes schmimes - you're going to use zooms to shoot weddings, mostly. The problem here is that we Pentax users don't have as many really good fast zoom lenses to choose from as Nikon or Canon photographers have. Fortunately, there are soom good lenses available to us. The K20D does quite well in low light such as you'll encounter in churches during ceremonies but you will still want fast, good lenses. For wedding work you'll want to have the Pentax DA* 50-135 f/2.8 and perhaps the DA* 16-50 f/2.8. Those two lenses might be all you need. I shoot with two bodies, with the 50-135 on the K20D and a Sigma 18-50 f/2.8 or Pentax 16-45 f/4 on the other body (the K10D) and that's just about all I need. I take a Sigma 10-20 with me to a wide shot of the church and possibly of the reception venue but that's about all. I seldom feel the need to go beyond 135mm. Something like a 50-200 f/2.8 would be nice if it really were as good as the Pentax 50-135 but I don't feel the need for it. One of our forum members said once here that he felt he could shoot an entire wedding with nothing but the Tamron 28-75 f/2.8, and I think that's true. If I had to have just one lens and one body, the K20D + Tamron 28-75 would cover just about everything, not without some problems but it would be doable. The thing is, though, that you simply cannot think about shooting a wedding without at least two bodies available. Everything breaks.

The camera as a hammer

If you're going to go pro, it really helps NOT to be romantic or sentimental about hardware. I am not a "Pentaxian." I'd switch to something else tomorrow if I could afford to and thought it better. Indeed, I wish I had the money to own a number of different cameras, because then I could use different cameras for different purposes and always have the best tool for the job. However, I will say that, while I envy Nikon photographers their excellent flash system in particular, I am very fond of the way the Pentax K10D/K20D handles. I'm a biggish guy - 6' 2", with biggish hands. To me personally, the K20D + grip feels perfectly balanced, everything is right where I want it. I've never enjoyed shooting with a camera more than I enjoy shooting with the K20D. I could bang in the nails well with any hammer, but I really like the feel of the K20D. That's important. How do you know what's best for YOU? Ideally you get out and get your hands on different cameras, if only for a few minutes in a store. Unfortunately, Pentax's awful distribution system makes it hard to do this, because it's so hard to find a retail store where you can actually hold or shoot with a Pentax K20D. (See observations above about niche brand disadvantages.)

Bottom line


The bottom line is that the Pentax bodies and Pentax-mount lenses provide everything you need to do great wedding work. And the system will initially be cheaper. The disadvantage of the Pentax system is going to be in the flash units you have to choose from and in the problems with the P-TTL technology. Consider getting a couple Metz units instead of the Pentax 540. I think I'm going to buy a Metz very soon and I'll be sure to post some thoughts about it. NOTE that I'm talking only about using the Pentax 540 FGZ unit itself. You have with Pentax all the other options you'd have with Nikon or Canon: ability to use radio transmitters, etc.

If money's no object, get a Nikon D3 or wait for the D700 or for Canon's next full-frame camera. If money matters (and it matters to nearly every pro - it's the rich amateurs who don't care about the cost) then the Pentax K20D itself is a great camera and a good platform for wedding and portrait work - if you're willing to put up with some of the problems I've mentioned above.

Good luck,

Will
07-08-2008, 12:02 PM   #14
Pentaxian
MRRiley's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Sterling, VA, USA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 6,276
QuoteOriginally posted by jnoelle Quote
I had one photographer tell me that it's not a professional camera and that only .01% of people who are serious and professionals at photography would ever consider let alone purchase it. Another photographer, with a bit more experience, told me it's not really the camera that matters, but what you do with it.
The first guy is a twit! Please listen to the 2nd guy.

If you do need a capability that Pentax does not meet, by all means buy the camera that meets the need... even if it is a Nikon or Canon.

The 2 most important tools a photographer has are his head and his heart! The camera just provides those tools with a voice!
07-08-2008, 04:53 PM   #15
Pentaxian
Wheatfield's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: The wheatfields of Canada
Posts: 10,157
QuoteOriginally posted by jnoelle Quote
Now I understand that this is NOT an unbiased place to ask this question, but should I invest in the pentax line? I have a kit lens for my k10d, I'm ready to move on to bigger and better lenses, and I want to make sure I'm buying into the right line of camera's for what I want, as everyone is all "nikon, canon, nikon, canon" all the time. I'm looking to go into portrait/wedding photography. I want to have the option to set up nice external flash systems, I don't plan on doing much studio work but I would like to have the option, I am at an intermediate level of photography skill I would say, better than the average joe and a good eye for light/shadow/detail/composition, but much to learn (especially with regards to dslrs, I've used 35mm slr's/wet darkroom my whole life).

I don't like the noise I sometimes get with my pentax at certain iso's, and I'm still learning the ins and outs of it, but I think my photography would DEFINITELY be taken to the next level by buying a higher quality lens, and a sophisticated flash. I want a zoom out to 200, 2.8f stop all the way down, and a smaller lens with capable of maybe a 1.8ish f stop. PLEASE tell me, pros and cons? Even if I do choose to buy into another line, I'll probably keep this camera as it doesn't have much resale value, but should I buy into another line?
No, you should stay with Pentax, providing you are going to use Pentax lenses.
One of the nice things in my photography life is being able to compare the output from my Pentax, using Pentax lenses, to the studio's D70s (outdated but still good for Santa photos) and D200s, using Nikkor lenses.

I don't care much for the IQ thing that is bandied around, but Pentax is as good or better than the other brands in this regard.
There is a very (to my eye) noticeable difference in the look of the pictures we make from my Pentax compared to the Nikons. I happen to prefer what I get to what the Nikon shooters get. The Nikons just seem to make harsher looking pictures.

The K20 is plenty fast enough for wedding/ portraiture. If a K10 or K20 isn't fast enough for shooting a wedding, then I suspect you are crossing the line from photographer to an annoying pest who should be garrotted with his camera strap. The K10/K20 has an excellent viewfinder and control interface. I like very much that the K20 has a PC socket for external flash, and that using the camera on a tripod puts the cord below the lens, out of the way when shooting verticals, which for me is about 95% of my wedding/portrait images.

Did I say that Pentax has about the best viewfinder on a DSLR camera? This is important for a portrait shooter, I would go so far as to say it is one of the most important things. Portraiture can be very subtle photography, a good viewfinder is a boon.
They don't have an f/2.8 zoom to suit your wants, but they have a raftload of shorter focal lengths, all very useful to the portraitist, and all of excellent imaging quality. You will probably find the 50-135 f/2.8 to be a more useful lens than one that goes from 80-200, BTW.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
camera, dslr, flash, lens, level, line, option, pentax, photography
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Invest in ONE lens less than $300 USD, which one? Silverkarn Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 22 10-26-2010 01:40 PM
What do you suggest I invest in next? robbiec Photographic Technique 17 09-27-2010 01:40 PM
Is it worth it to invest in a good flash? NecroticSoldier Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 34 05-06-2010 02:49 PM
Would you invest in filters? macopajuice Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 17 04-10-2009 03:56 PM
Tired of kit lens, almost ready to invest. deudeu Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 9 03-17-2008 06:06 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:51 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top