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10-20-2017, 05:25 PM - 1 Like   #1
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Pentax Value

As anyone who has contemplated switching systems, I too often go through the "Should I Switch" Syndrome. And then 2 minutes later, Logic and reality set in and I go back to my Happy Pentax Place. Me as an Enthusiast and Occasional Paid shooter, The Pentax system really offers me more than I will ever need. For me, it's only shortcoming is the Autofocus (Recently shot a few shots with the 5d4 and the Auto Focus speed is not even close). Everything else is just fantastic and more than I will ever need. The IQ is sublime, The UI unparalleled, The Weather Sealing incredible, The In Body stabilization works like a charm and above all, it just feels right in my hands.

I shoot with a K-1 and a K-3 2 as a backup and a relatively decent set of lenses - DFA 24-70, DFA 50 f/1.4, DFA 100 mm f/2.8 and the Tamron 70-200 f/2.8. That's really all I ever need and never seem to want any other focal length. To get a comparable set up in any other system would be cost prohibitive and I doubt that I will get anything from the other system other than Autofocus speed which as primarily a Landscape and Portrait shooter is not nearly as important. And of course no System has a site like Pentax Forums

I'd love to hear from those who have switched to or from the Pentax system and what your experiences have been as well as those who are constantly in a state of confusion regarding switching systems.

10-20-2017, 05:48 PM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by sumitkar1971 Quote
The IQ is sublime, The UI unparalleled, The Weather Sealing incredible, The In Body stabilization works like a charm and above all, it just feels right in my hands.
This is as good a description of Pentax's virtues as I've seen.

I also shoot with Canon but don't love it. I'd like to stay with a crop camera -- the modern lenses for the K-1 are really limited and fairly expensive -- so image high-ISO image quality has been a concern. (I shoot a couple K-5s.)

Just bought a used KP, which I want to try for a couple months to see whether it comes close to my 6D. If it does, Canon goes.
10-20-2017, 06:09 PM   #3
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I just switched my long lens shooting to Canon in July. I was using the K1 and DA560 but that's all Pentax has. I bought a 5ds-r and the 600 F4 IS II and a 1.4tc and in March I'm planning on getting the 400 2.8. I've kept the K1 and my DA*300 and DA 35 and 50 mm but sold the 560.

I'm sure I'll upset people with this comment but the Pentax set up doesn't come close to the Canon, but you pay the price for it. The auto focus is far superior and the lens is just incredible. The K1 does a better job at higher ISO though and the lens release button is placed much better on the Pentax.

I mostly shoot wildlife, lots of bald eagles,hawks and ospreys and I did get a lot of good shots with the Pentax. I started with the K50 then K3 then K1 and the auto focus got better with each body and that's all I knew. I would read the post about how you couldn't shoot sports or wildlife with Pentax and didn't get it, I was, sure I missed it shots but the birds are fast.
Then I got the Canon and after the first outing I was blown away with the speed and accuracy of the auto focus.

The biggest difference I've seen though is the support from Canon after the sale and that is something Pentax never did. After I registered my gear I got emails about Canon CPS that I ended up signing up for. They offer training classes all over and you can get one on one training at their corporate office in NY, I'm going next Tuesday for one of those. You get three day turnaround service for repairs, or they provide a loaner. You can also try gear out for ten days at no cost, maybe return shipping. You can only try a item once but but ten days should be enough to decide if you want to buy it. I am going to take advantage of some of the classes next year, they had one 45 minutes from me at the beginning of the month but had to work that day.

Pentax may offer these types of things, but I never received any info about them and it's a shame because I would've tried to take advantage of it also.
10-20-2017, 07:25 PM   #4
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Hi I switched from Olympus when they quit the DSLR business I had two Olympus bodies and 5 lenses. I went with Pentax based on features and price they still are the best value on the market I started with the k30 and K5 and then bought two K3's . K50, K01 and a K1 to date I am pleased with the equipment. I would like it if sigma would release new lenses in the K mount it seems like they have abandoned that market.

My son was given the Olympus equipment a E520 and a E30 and the lenses he still uses them


Last edited by rr1736; 10-20-2017 at 09:19 PM.
10-20-2017, 08:47 PM   #5
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Hopefully every picture-taker has bought into the system(s) that offers him/her the best value for their wants and needs.
10-20-2017, 09:52 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by sumitkar1971 Quote
As anyone who has contemplated switching systems
There isn't enough difference to justify spending to swap a whole system. When acquiring a new system, then it's time to re-evaluate the pros and cons.
On the other hand, real life shooting conditions span over a very wide range, much wider than any system can cope with, the difference of camera being relatively insignificant in practice.
You couldn't tell the difference in a blind test of viewing images displayed at large over a 4K display, while anyone can tell if an image is miss-focused even when downsized to HD resolution.
When relying on Auto-Focus (as opposed to Manual Focus), the ability of the camera auto-focus to nail focus is a big deal.

Last edited by biz-engineer; 10-20-2017 at 10:00 PM.
10-20-2017, 10:10 PM   #7
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The names on the devices that do the job you want to do are irrelative...as long as they work.

There isnt a system that does everything at the high level,even though some go close.

For Dslrs my choice is Pentax,they do pretty well for what i use them for and the price is fair.

10-20-2017, 10:33 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by KiloHotelphoto Quote
Pentax set up doesn't come close to the Canon, but you pay the price for it.
For the additional money, I would hope one would get something closer to what one needs and I am glad you are well-matched now. To be honest, I am always a little sad when people invest heavily in any brand without playing to the strengths of the system and who spend years crafting workarounds for cases where their gear simply sucks. Professional services such as CPS are very nice and Canon has the installed base to make it profitable for them.* Smaller players such as Pentax, Hasselblad and Leica have a more difficult time of it.

As for me, state-of-the-art AF is not a huge priority. I will admit that the AF on my K10D was a periodic source of frustration and switching to the K-3 was a distinct pleasure. But for some seven years my response was to simply use my K10D in a manner similar to a manual focus film SLR when the AF barfed. I mostly shoot a mix of landscape, cityscape, architecture, street, and florals with the occasional event thrown in for fun. I will even shoot animals or people, but not as a steady diet.

At present, my working field kit typically represents under $2000 total investment in the bag. It works for me and I am quite happy with my results. Adding additional zeros to my investment would probably not influence the quality of my output. I don't have any glass longer than 210mm and no AF glass longer than 70mm. I shoot a fair amount using manual technique exclusively, even for action stuff. Go figure...

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* CPS at the Gold level or above is not free and even the Silver requires a fairly hefty gear investment. I know a fair number of local serious Canon shooters, but don't believe many are CPS members. Nikon's equivalent is harder to get into (must provide evidence that one is a working pro, not a dabbler) and fairly exclusive. I have known a few pros who are NPS members and who were relied on its features as a form of professional insurance when in the field.

Last edited by stevebrot; 10-20-2017 at 10:40 PM.
10-21-2017, 02:56 AM   #9
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I would say that if someone like KiloHotelphoto needs longer lenses or some specialty lens like tilt shift that Pentax doesn't offer then they don't have much choice but to leave. Pentax is a small enough player that they just can't have a piece of glass that will meet everyone's specific needs. But I do feel like there is an awful lot of quality for value with Pentax.

Obviously there is room for improvement in many things (auto focus tracking, video), but overall I can work around those and the images produced are very nice.
10-21-2017, 05:13 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by KiloHotelphoto Quote
the Pentax set up doesn't come close to the Canon, but you pay the price for it
That's not true. Pentax doesn't make you pay for a 600mm f/4 II and give you a 560mm f/5.6, nor for a 5DS-R giving you a K-1. The entire Pentax FF line can be bought for about $17,000 * - while the 600mm f/4 II is $11,500 by itself.

I'm sorry if Pentax no longer satisfies your needs, and I understand that you had to jump ship. Pentax was never an "all bases covered" brand, though... and neither is Canon for that matter.
But for many, Pentax is excellent value - and they're moving upmarket, too.

* subject to change, upwards, significantly as new D FA* primes will be released
10-21-2017, 07:53 AM - 1 Like   #11
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When I bought into the Pentax ecosystem a little over five years ago, I didn't have a whole lot of money to spend and wanted to get the best possible bang for my buck and Pentax offered much more camera for the money than did the other brands I looked at. I had used (but never owned) Pentax 35mm SLR gear in the past and liked it. My experience with Pentax DSLR gear has only confirmed that it's the right choice for my needs.

An older Nikon DSLR (D50) recently came into my possession and there was absolutely nothing about the experience of using it that made me want to jump ship. If anything, it has further reinforced my belief that I made the right decision going with Pentax.
10-21-2017, 08:12 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by sumitkar1971 Quote
I'd love to hear from those who have switched to or from the Pentax system and what your experiences have been as well as those who are constantly in a state of confusion regarding switching systems.
I'm currently selling off all my Pentax gear, having travelled for 4,5 months with a Nikon D7100, 12-24/4, 17-55/2.8 and 70-200/4 VR. When I came back home, I saw my K-3 on the table with the 16-50 attached. Picked it up, focused a few times, and that's when I knew I would switch. Even on this forum people sometimes admit SDM as in the DA* lenses is a joke. Sorry, but I can't laugh anymore.

Pentax does have its advantages. I think it's an excellent brand for their lower-end value. A K-70 with kit lenses and maybe Limiteds is great. But the whole DA* stuff has broken me up. I'm sorry, I can't take it seriously anymore. And that's no basis on which to invest into even more expensive fullframe stuff. Assuming I'd even find their offerings in that segment attractive, which I don't. For one thing, the new Tamron rebadged DFA's are more expensive than the original Tamrons, yet they've taken out some stuff (stabilisation). For another, I have little interest in big and heavy f/2.8 fullframe zooms.

So yes, I am losing some money. But I gain freedom. And I need freedom if I want to become a better photographer. Photography is about freedom in the first place. I think I forgot that.

Not that I really need to lose money btw. I could get the Tokina 16-50 and 12-24 for my D7100. Optically they are the same as the Pentax lenses, but they are cheaper. And actually I paid 300 euros for my AF-S 85/1.8. The Pentax 70 Limited I bought was more expensive and a bit slower.

But I wouldn't want to go back to the performance of my 16-50. The AF-S 17-55/2.8 is just so much better. Bokeh-wise, AF speed-wise and sharpness-wise. It's bigger and heavier, but much better. And the 70-200/4 VR is smaller and lighter than the 60-250/4, so that makes up for it. Actually, it more than makes up for it; in this case, my Nikon gear is lighter than my Pentax gear.

As for other Pentax advantages, yes the UI is better, yes it has IBIS with all the features that that offers, yes it has weather sealing, yes it feels very nice in the hand. So it has the icing on the cake. It's just a shame that the cake itself isn't as good as others.

Last edited by starbase218; 10-21-2017 at 08:24 AM.
10-21-2017, 08:36 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by starbase218 Quote
Not that I really need to lose money btw. I could get the Tokina 16-50 and 12-24 for my D7100. Optically they are the same as the Pentax lenses, but they are cheaper. And actually I paid 300 euros for my AF-S 85/1.8. The Pentax 70 Limited I bought was more expensive and a bit slower.
QuoteOriginally posted by starbase218 Quote
But I wouldn't want to go back to the performance of my 16-50.
You point out some real facts and deficiencies here, about the choice of lenses and SDM lenses. Now with regards to DA* SDM lenses, you are living in the past. I can tell you I have sold all DA* stuff and now have new DFA lenses and K1, focusing is much much better than it used to be, DA* SDM is a thing of the past. If you equipped yourself with Nikon, it is a good choice, you have more choice for lenses and good autofocus. That said, you know, with the current DFA lineup there isn't anything I can't do that I could do better with Nikon. Assuming there will be a few more DFA lenses available and eventually a kick ass apsc replacement, Pentax won't have anything lacking vs Nikon. It's also the same story, there is no need to own tons of glass, some people do all with one or two primes lenses and they take amazing pictures.

Last edited by biz-engineer; 10-21-2017 at 08:46 AM.
10-21-2017, 09:43 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
You point out some real facts and deficiencies here, about the choice of lenses and SDM lenses. Now with regards to DA* SDM lenses, you are living in the past. I can tell you I have sold all DA* stuff and now have new DFA lenses and K1, focusing is much much better than it used to be, DA* SDM is a thing of the past. If you equipped yourself with Nikon, it is a good choice, you have more choice for lenses and good autofocus. That said, you know, with the current DFA lineup there isn't anything I can't do that I could do better with Nikon. Assuming there will be a few more DFA lenses available and eventually a kick ass apsc replacement, Pentax won't have anything lacking vs Nikon. It's also the same story, there is no need to own tons of glass, some people do all with one or two primes lenses and they take amazing pictures.
From where I'm standing, Pentax could have done this earlier. Instead they focused on all kinds of SR features and fullframe.

And if I am living in the past, can you please point out the present Pentax f/2.8 crop standard zoom lens? Or the present pro-quality Pentax telezoom for, say, around 1200 euros?

And since Pentax now has to think about selling their fullframe stuff, I don't think they will release these lenses any time soon, if ever. Even if they do, I can get cheaper used Nikkors, for fullframe or for crop.

Maybe the past has hurt so much that I don't have much faith in the future with Pentax. That ship has sailed.

And also, it is not just the lenses. When it comes to AF performance, it's the body too. But I'm not going into this again. I have come to terms with the fact that people here seem to look at it very differently from me. I think we both know what would happen if we were to continue this discussion, right? Do you want to go there? Cause I don't.

So I'll just summarise by saying I'm happier shooting with Nikon.

For me, it's also like this: I never showed much emotion to Pentax anyway. It was just a tool. But people on forums love their brand, and they show it. There's nothing wrong with that, but all the while I was thinking "but it's not as good for me as what I've seen from Nikon". So when I finally did show emotion, because it had gotten too much for me, it was negative. Which people on the forums don't understand because they only see the surface, not everything that goes on inside.
10-21-2017, 10:06 AM   #15
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I have switched systems a few times and still use multiple systems now. I used Canon 5D FF system until 2011, but the weight was killing me when travelling, so I switched to mirrorless Panasonic GH2. Then I was not satisfied with its dynamic range and low light performance, so started looking for something better. In 2012 I switched to the Pentax K-5 with a few primes and zooms, and fell in love with the system. The size and performance was perfect for me. Updated to K-3 then K-P, which I think is the best camera I ever used so far. I still keep the Panasonic system (now have the GX80/85) for video and some street photography. I also added the GRII a couple of years ago and it is great camera to have all the time in the Jacket pocket. There is really no one perfect system for all situations and every body, so until that perfect system exists (small, high quality, perfect lens selection, great video, ...) I have to use multi-system approach.
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