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01-17-2019, 02:24 PM - 1 Like   #16
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Which Nikon are you switching too? What lenses are you picking up to replace the 77mm and 31/35mm? Curiosity has me, I love the rendering of the limitless across the board.

Whatís the difference between 2016 and early 2019 camera capabilities that maybe Iím missing?

In the end, the camera is just a tool. If it doesnít work for you in the art you are trying to produce, get the tool that works better for you. It does sounds a little like you are expecting the tools to make your photos better, and that you expect to replace and upgrade your lenses and bodies frequently, but itís been my experience that doing the opposite is usually more fruitful path to better photographs so long as the base equipment is high quality. All equipment has a learning curve, my KP is very different than my K-30 for example when I start picking at my images and I expect it to take at least a year to really learn it vs my K-30 that I had for 6 years. Good luck on the new gear.

01-17-2019, 02:30 PM - 3 Likes   #17
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Hi Justin

I'm sorry to hear you are leaving Pentax, but pleased you've decided on a brand that offers what you want.

I suspect you'll get a lot of responses challenging some of your reasons and statements, but you're a smart guy and I'm sure you'd expect nothing less considering the brand-specific nature of these forums. So, if some of the responses you receive are, to a greater or lesser extent, defensive of the brand, I trust you'll understand.

Personally, I love my Pentax gear, and it does more-or-less everything I want. That said, I don't have any pressing concerns over the resolving power of my lenses compared to my peers, or class-leading AF.C... This is just a hobby for me, and none of my images are going to be displayed on a wall at art gallery sizes. Come to think of it, I don't think I have any peers

I do wish that Ricoh Imaging would step up the pace in developing new glass for full frame, even though that doesn't affect me personally (since I'm sticking with APS-C for my Pentax gear). I think folks who've invested in the K-1 and K-1II deserve faster progress to maturity in the modern full-frame lens range. For this reason, I hope Ricoh Imaging reps read your post.

That said, many folks are very happy that they can use what they already have. Many still aspire to owning the "three princesses"... So it's very much down to the individual users needs and expectations.

I won't get into the problems you've had with AF or other aspects of technical performance. I acknowledge you and other folks have had them. I've had a few AF.C issues myself, but for my use cases, nothing I can't accept or work around. Again, I think it's down to the individual user as to how significant, intrusive and - hence - important these issues are. But there's room for improvement, sure.

In closing, I wish you the best of luck with Nikon and hope you won't be a stranger to these forums simply because of a brand change. It's just not that big of a deal... I think some folks take brand loyalty rather too seriously. Not me.. These cameras and lenses are all just tools. What works for one member won't work for another, for a variety of reasons. It's all good. What's important is that you find something you like, something that works for you, and get out there shooting.

Have fun, and don't be a stranger
01-17-2019, 02:32 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by MadMathMind Quote
The high quality images and colors I've been able to extract from it have wowed my models and satisfied them far beyond their expectations.
Thanks for your detailed post. Glad to hear that your clients have been well served by you and your Pentax system.

I think it's a good thing to hear various perspectives about users' important requirements. Amongst other things, it gives me a reference point, although I'm not a pro photographer.

For completeness, would you mind letting us know what gear you are thinking of getting to replace your Pentax kit? And does your business model provide for regular equipment upgrades, whatever they may be in the future?

Best of luck and may your clients continue to be delighted with your work.


- Craig

Last edited by c.a.m; 01-17-2019 at 03:53 PM.
01-17-2019, 02:51 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by MadMathMind Quote
I'm not really quite sure why I'm writing this thread. A good portion of the people who read it will rebut everything with slightly better worded retakes on "You suck" and/or excuses for how I'm expecting too much or otherwise chide me on not using the gear in the way it "should be used." Maybe I'm hoping that Pentax brand managers or something will read this and see where they need to make some improvements if they hope to retain their customers. I don't know.

After 5 years with the brand and over 75,000 shutter clicks between my K-5IIs and K-1, I am leaving the Pentax system behind and moving over to Nikon.

I don't think Pentax is bad. I think the K-1 is an excellent camera and I've used it to make some wonderful images (or so I think, with some validation from my community lol) that have made me a mainstay in several cosplay communities across the country. The high quality images and colors I've been able to extract from it have wowed my models and satisfied them far beyond their expectations.

So what's the issue?

For me, it's two things. The biggest is the lack of progression the brand has shown. The K-1 has been out for coming-on three years now and aside from the three lenses released near launch (before K-1's date, actually), we've gotten one new lens for the camera in all that time.

We don't have a modern 35mm or a modern 85mm still. The latter of these is coming but we've been told that for years. I don't feel I can wait much longer. I love my 77--it's my favorite lens--but it doesn't have the resolving power of the lenses my peers are using and in a semi-competitive environment, falling behind is not terribly fun. The lack of a modern mid-wide angle is more distressing because the options at that focal length are the FA31, about which's volume distortion on the outer thirds of the frame I have complained about before and found unacceptable for my usages, and the FA35, which is....very middling. The performance of the 35 at a recent shoot was so disappointing I had to apologize to my models for the poor technical quality of the images it produced.

Photography is not a race but my work is displayed next to and amidst a sea of many others'. My peers on other systems have many more options and continually receive new updated tools. It doesn't make for a "spirit of photography" but they don't have to work as hard to make their gear do what they want and can chose from a much wider variety of options that offer different technical and aesthetic capabilities. I want my gear to work for me, not I work for it. I've been though pretty much every autofocus prime Pentax has made and there's simply nothing else to try out.


The second is the technical performance isn't going to cut it for much longer. Specifically, the autofocus is a big concern and I no longer feel I can rely on it as I need to. I've had a few notable failures that have been very disappointing and infuriating:

1) At my girlfriend's black belt test, the K-1 was unable to keep up with the motion and I got just a few usable images from this once-in-a-lifetime event.
2) We went to Disneyland and I just wanted to take a few snapshots of her in her costume. I had to take over 15 clicks before I got one in acceptable focus.
3) At f/3.5 from a few feet away, one of the best poses from a photoshoot turned out to be slightly out of focus, all copies of them. I do review as I shoot and the screen wasn't quite good enough to show this. I kept the shot as it was 85% ok, but it's going to show when the image is printed.

I've had issues before this, always shooting 8-10 of every pose I take to make sure one is good, but these kinda broke what remained of my confidence because I'm missing good moments.

It's been a good run with the brand but in the time I've owned it, I've been able to grow so much but the brand has remained stagnant. When everyone else can push forward with new technologies that enable them to do things easier and faster, Pentax is holding me to 2016's (and often before that) technical capabilities. I'm not the perfect photographer and there's much I can learn and do differently, but I've hit technical walls more than once and find myself limiting what I do based on what I can do versus what I want to do. And for that reason, it's time to move on to another system that offers far more than I can hope to do and try to grow with it instead of just past it.
Everything you write makes sense to me. I almost left Pentax, in 2018, for Panasonic and then a K-70 came as a gift. It is my 3rd Pentax, along a trusty K-x and a problematic K-50 in which Pentax decided to use the faulty aperture mechanism of th K-30! K-70 is a great upgrade but I do not trust the brand anymore and that has seriously affected my desire to take photographs, something I've been doing since the late 70's. And now I am very attracted to fast focusing, small lenses, on a tiny Panasonic body. Nine years years with Pentax and , like you say, I see no progression or a very slow one, compared with other brands. There are cheaper fast focusing macro lenses for any other brand, the same with prime wide angle lenses and even standard zoom lenses. What does Pentax offer? Slow, very slow and noisy focusing lenses designed 15+ years ago, or very expensive and not really good silent focusing lenses. Well if slow is better, I can still use my Canon A-1 with a 55mm f/1.2 and I do, just to remind myself of how it used to be back in 80's, that is 40 years ago.

01-17-2019, 03:03 PM - 2 Likes   #20
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I love Pentax and the pictures that it can produce is something unique. But lately I am feeling my K3 is not quite fast to acquire focus especially tracking my 4 yr old daughter and her facial expressions (I am not a pro, my technique might not be right). Older kids and people we can ask them to stay still but younger kids no way. With all the newer cameras coming out with facial and eye tracking I am thinking of trying out one of the other brands (Sony, Fuji?)

Good luck to OP in falling in love with another brand.
01-17-2019, 03:10 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by foivosloxias Quote
Everything you write makes sense to me. I almost left Pentax, in 2018, for Panasonic and then a K-70 came as a gift. It is my 3rd Pentax, along a trusty K-x and a problematic K-50 in which Pentax decided to use the faulty aperture mechanism of th K-30! K-70 is a great upgrade but I do not trust the brand anymore and that has seriously affected my desire to take photographs, something I've been doing since the late 70's. And now I am very attracted to fast focusing, small lenses, on a tiny Panasonic body. Nine years years with Pentax and , like you say, I see no progression or a very slow one, compared with other brands. There are cheaper fast focusing macro lenses for any other brand, the same with prime wide angle lenses and even standard zoom lenses. What does Pentax offer? Slow, very slow and noisy focusing lenses designed 15+ years ago, or very expensive and not really good silent focusing lenses. Well if slow is better, I can still use my Canon A-1 with a 55mm f/1.2 and I do, just to remind myself of how it used to be back in 80's, that is 40 years ago.
As stated, I shoot manually often, and, it's easier with the focus peaking and a strong prime lens (e.g., f/1.8); The K-1 Mark ii is lightning faster than the Leica M's I use in manual mode and I have been getting great results with the high ISO and the aperture/speed of the lens.
01-17-2019, 03:10 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by MadMathMind Quote
1) At my girlfriend's black belt test, the K-1 was unable to keep up with the motion and I got just a few usable images from this once-in-a-lifetime event.
Aikido founder Morihei Ueshiba was photographed and filmed in 1957 with film equipment without autofocus. Usually, for this kind of shots, the skilled photographer doesn't try to track the rapid subject motion, the skilled photographer will set his camera shutter speed to 1/50th sec. in order to obtain a blur of the moving part that convey the sense of fast motion into a photographs. See example below: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aikido#/media/File:Shihonage.jpg
01-17-2019, 03:18 PM - 2 Likes   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
Aikido founder Morihei Ueshiba was photographed and filmed in 1957 with film equipment without autofocus. Usually, for this kind of shots, the skilled photographer doesn't try to track the rapid subject motion, the skilled photographer will set his camera shutter speed to 1/50th sec. in order to obtain a blur of the moving part that convey the sense of fast motion into a photographs. See example below: Aikido - Wikipedia
I shot high school football with a Nikkormat FT3 and an assortment of manual focus lenses and pushed tri-x to 3200. But our standards were different. I feel the OP's annoyance but understand that technique can overcome some of this.

01-17-2019, 03:23 PM - 2 Likes   #24
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I think not even the greatest Pentax fan can deny that the company's development progress since releasing the K-1 has been lacklustre at best, woefully inadequate at worst. To offer a shiny new FF DSLR and then point at a stable of decades-old lenses and expect buyers to be content wth making do with them for a decade while they get their act together is short sighted in the extreme.


To fail to address the age-old AF issue - regardless of how possible it is with skill, patience and luck to work around it - is just technical laziness. Something that is also borne out in other areas, such as their inability or unwillingness to develop working companion apps for things like the GR. Stuff that, given a few hundred developer hours could quicky and easily put them in the same ballpark as other manufacturers, even if being ahead is too much to ask. Instead it seems acceptable to them that your shiny new £500 camera comes with an app that won't even load images without crashing, let alone perform basic remote control.

The whole picture adds up to a company that is in dire straits, with insufficient resources to tread water, let alone win any races.

Which is a massive shame, because I think for most of us Pentax has something a little magic in it...pixie dust or whatever...a quality in the ergonomics, the value, the unique IQ of some of their glass, the character of the company even, that makes people love the cameras despite their failings. Unfortunately that is only going to reduce the speed of the customer hemorrhage, it certainly won't bring the badly-needed influx of new Pentaxians. To do that needs such a massive turnaround that financially it seems very unlikely given the current climate. I think that Ricoh can survive if all it ever did was develop a constant evolution of the GR...but the Pentax brand might be in real trouble if they don't pull their fingers (and wallets) out very soon.
01-17-2019, 03:30 PM - 2 Likes   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
I shot high school football with a Nikkormat FT3 and an assortment of manual focus lenses and pushed tri-x to 3200. But our standards were different. I feel the OP's annoyance but understand that technique can overcome some of this.
Further to this... Back in the 80s, the car I owned didn't have cruise control. I could drive more-or-less at the speed limit on our highways by monitoring the readout on my speedometer and adjusting my accelerator pedal input accordingly. Later, I owned cars with cruise control and speed limiters, so I could set the speed I needed. Both achieved much the same result, but the latter made it easier and more reliable...
01-17-2019, 03:36 PM - 3 Likes   #26
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I understand the OP's predicament, especially the service aspect, for a pro it just doesn't cut it. I'm not a pro so I'm ok with Pentax. And I don't really need to keep up with the joneses...

The OP doesn't seem to mind 3rd party lenses, citing Tamron as a future option. So my question is why the Sigma 35mm Art isn't an option for that focal range.

And I wish the OP all the best in his photography journey!
01-17-2019, 03:42 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by victormeldrew Quote
I think not even the greatest Pentax fan can deny that the company's development progress since releasing the K-1 has been lacklustre at best, woefully inadequate at worst. To offer a shiny new FF DSLR and then point at a stable of decades-old lenses and expect buyers to be content wth making do with them for a decade while they get their act together is short sighted in the extreme.To fail to address the age-old AF issue - regardless of how possible it is with skill, patience and luck to work around it - is just technical laziness. Something that is also borne out in other areas, such as their inability or unwillingness to develop working companion apps for things like the GR. Stuff that, given a few hundred developer hours could quicky and easily put them in the same ballpark as other manufacturers, even if being ahead is too much to ask. Instead it seems acceptable to them that your shiny new £500 camera comes with an app that won't even load images without crashing, let alone perform basic remote control.The whole picture adds up to a company that is in dire straits, with insufficient resources to tread water, let alone win any races.Which is a massive shame, because I think for most of us Pentax has something a little magic in it...pixie dust or whatever...a quality in the ergonomics, the value, the unique IQ of some of their glass, the character of the company even, that makes people love the cameras despite their failings. Unfortunately that is only going to reduce the speed of the customer hemorrhage, it certainly won't bring the badly-needed influx of new Pentaxians. To do that needs such a massive turnaround that financially it seems very unlikely given the current climate. I think that Ricoh can survive if all it ever did was develop a constant evolution of the GR...but the Pentax brand might be in real trouble if they don't pull their fingers (and wallets) out very soon.
There's a lot of truth in this, but it's relative. Due to market shrinkage, the brands that had deep pockets have released unprecedented number of new products in order to keep sales up. So what happens is that we see more and more camera gear with a few 1000 actuations for sales used for cheap. I'm not saying Ricoh are fast to release lenses for Pentax, they are slow. But other brands are new pulling out new camera models and new lenses that makes the 3 years old models look obsolete, which the practical benefits of the new products are marginal at most. It's already tempting to get the next best system, but it's very costly, there will always be something that the current model doesn't have or doesn't do.
01-17-2019, 03:48 PM - 5 Likes   #28
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All I can say is your shooting isn't like mine, so neither are your conclusions. This kind of post has been shared so many times I'm tired of reading it. I've heard the same kinds of posts from Canon shooters, Nikon shooters etc leaving their brands to come to Pentax as well. People come people go. It seems for everyone that leaves a new person comes to fill the void. It's not about what Pentax has to do. You don't know what Pentax has to do. It's about what you have to do. Nice of you to explain your position. But it makes not a tad of difference to me.

You buy the tool you need for the job you do. That in itself says almost nothing about anything. If you have claw hammer in your tool box and a job requires you to buy a framing hammer, do you tell all the people who have claw hammers why it doesn't suit your purpose anymore? I seriously don't understand what posts like this are supposed to accomplish. Hope it made you feel better. It did nothing for me.

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01-17-2019, 03:49 PM - 3 Likes   #29
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I do feel a lot like the original poster here too but at almost 68 for me it is more a matter of time and needed tools to replace what is no longer usable. One new FF lens intro since the K1 came out is pretty pitiful. I need some new teleconverters NOW and "Being on the roadmap" is not an acceptable answer. I am not going to spend money on 20 and 30 year old ones. There are a few thread where interviews with Ricoh officials are mentioned. Basically they simply use the old talking points over and over and say or commit to nothing Pentax and their customers are getting to the point where both will have to "Fish or cut bait" as we say in the States.



I my opinion, this the make or break year for Pentax. If all they do is come out with rehashed models with 100th Anniversary stamps on them it shows what Ricoh is thinking of the brand and of us. I am still hopeful, but the "years down the road approach" that Pentax has taken has been extremely frustrating. It is like they simply do not want to continue to move the brand forward or even continue it. I often wonder if they are trying to sell it on the side. That seems to be how they are acting.
01-17-2019, 03:49 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by MadMathMind Quote
I'm not really quite sure why I'm writing this thread. A good portion of the people who read it will rebut everything with slightly better worded retakes on "You suck" and/or excuses for how I'm expecting too much or otherwise chide me on not using the gear in the way it "should be used." Maybe I'm hoping that Pentax brand managers or something will read this and see where they need to make some improvements if they hope to retain their customers. I don't know.

After 5 years with the brand and over 75,000 shutter clicks between my K-5IIs and K-1, I am leaving the Pentax system behind and moving over to Nikon.

I don't think Pentax is bad. I think the K-1 is an excellent camera and I've used it to make some wonderful images (or so I think, with some validation from my community lol) that have made me a mainstay in several cosplay communities across the country. The high quality images and colors I've been able to extract from it have wowed my models and satisfied them far beyond their expectations.

So what's the issue?

For me, it's two things. The biggest is the lack of progression the brand has shown. The K-1 has been out for coming-on three years now and aside from the three lenses released near launch (before K-1's date, actually), we've gotten one new lens for the camera in all that time.

We don't have a modern 35mm or a modern 85mm still. The latter of these is coming but we've been told that for years. I don't feel I can wait much longer. I love my 77--it's my favorite lens--but it doesn't have the resolving power of the lenses my peers are using and in a semi-competitive environment, falling behind is not terribly fun. The lack of a modern mid-wide angle is more distressing because the options at that focal length are the FA31, about which's volume distortion on the outer thirds of the frame I have complained about before and found unacceptable for my usages, and the FA35, which is....very middling. The performance of the 35 at a recent shoot was so disappointing I had to apologize to my models for the poor technical quality of the images it produced.

Photography is not a race but my work is displayed next to and amidst a sea of many others'. My peers on other systems have many more options and continually receive new updated tools. It doesn't make for a "spirit of photography" but they don't have to work as hard to make their gear do what they want and can chose from a much wider variety of options that offer different technical and aesthetic capabilities. I want my gear to work for me, not I work for it. I've been though pretty much every autofocus prime Pentax has made and there's simply nothing else to try out.


The second is the technical performance isn't going to cut it for much longer. Specifically, the autofocus is a big concern and I no longer feel I can rely on it as I need to. I've had a few notable failures that have been very disappointing and infuriating:

1) At my girlfriend's black belt test, the K-1 was unable to keep up with the motion and I got just a few usable images from this once-in-a-lifetime event.
2) We went to Disneyland and I just wanted to take a few snapshots of her in her costume. I had to take over 15 clicks before I got one in acceptable focus.
3) At f/3.5 from a few feet away, one of the best poses from a photoshoot turned out to be slightly out of focus, all copies of them. I do review as I shoot and the screen wasn't quite good enough to show this. I kept the shot as it was 85% ok, but it's going to show when the image is printed.

I've had issues before this, always shooting 8-10 of every pose I take to make sure one is good, but these kinda broke what remained of my confidence because I'm missing good moments.

It's been a good run with the brand but in the time I've owned it, I've been able to grow so much but the brand has remained stagnant. When everyone else can push forward with new technologies that enable them to do things easier and faster, Pentax is holding me to 2016's (and often before that) technical capabilities. I'm not the perfect photographer and there's much I can learn and do differently, but I've hit technical walls more than once and find myself limiting what I do based on what I can do versus what I want to do. And for that reason, it's time to move on to another system that offers far more than I can hope to do and try to grow with it instead of just past it.
You write:

"... I love my 77--it's my favorite lens--but it doesn't have the resolving power of the lenses my peers are using and in a semi-competitive environment, falling behind is not terribly fun."

I'm wondering what photographic application would expose the resolution difference between, say, a Nikon 85mm 1.4 (or whatever lens you were referring to) and the Pentax 77ltd?

In my experience, the 77ltd it exceptionally sharp. Copy variation?
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