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01-18-2019, 03:56 AM - 1 Like   #61
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Thanks for the OP, as a professional photographer it is important that your work is not compromised by the tools you use. Your explanation made perfect sense to me.

I am not a professional photographer, for me it is just a very amateur hobby, i'm only into it for the enjoyment it gives me.

Were I far younger than I am, I would be looking at Fujifilm or Sony and trying to keep up with their latest offerings, and would have long since sold my Pentax gear.

But I'm an oldie now and I'm far too heavily invested in Pentax and too long in the tooth to switch brands and start again. My favourite subjects are landscape, architecture, and my family and I'm massively enjoying what Pentax have to offer. Over the years I have gathered plenty of Pentax legacy lenses, most recently the A 85mm f1.4 and I get a lot of fun using these older lenses, the wide angle A series in particular.

Because the rate at which Pentax release new lenses is so slow, I have been able to purchase all the ones I wanted (and that's most of them!). Most recently I was lucky enough to get my hands on a Black Friday D FA* 50/1.4, the only lens I purchased in 2018. I limit myself to Pentax lenses and I am very happy with what I have.

Now, if I had switched to Fuji and/or Sony, or alternatively Cannon or Nikon, I would be broke, have way too much gear, and would be hankering after their latest and greatest new offerings. For me it would be very frustrating.

I know this is a perverse argument for sticking with Pentax, but it works for me and I am very happy with the limited range of Pentax gear that they offer.

PS. Sometimes that Pentax gear can be just a little bulky, so I am having an affair with the Ricoh GR which is always in my pocket or manbag. Their equally glacial rate of Ricoh releasing GR cameras also works well for me, so I'm looking forward to the GRiii.

01-18-2019, 04:19 AM - 3 Likes   #62
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These sorts of threads end up being a bit of a Rorschach ink blot. Those who are frustrated with Pentax or who have already left see validation in their concerns. Those who currently use Pentax and haven't had issues say "What's the big deal, my camera works great!" And then there are always the folks who show up to say, "We didn't need no stinkin' auto focus in the 60s and look at how our photos turned out!" (from what I've seen, many of them were blurry and focus wasn't always perfect, but still).

Shoot with gear that makes you happy and doesn't frustrate you. Pentax as a brand works for me, clearly it doesn't work for everyone. The D850 is a very nice camera and has a number of features that the K-1 doesn't have. Pentax will probably release another full frame in the next year and perhaps it will match up better against the D850.

I will say that I haven't had issues with auto focus with the DFA zooms and they don't exactly have noisy auto focus. Further, if you are shooting groups at 77mm and f2.8 you are going to have blurry folks in the group -- that's just a factor of depth of field and will be just as true with an A9 or D850. You just have to stop down to f5.6 minimum on full frame at the sort of focal length for group photos. Finally, if I am taking portraits at really wide apertures, I use live view focusing a lot and it does boost accuracy.

There are a number of things mentioned about lenses. I have shot with the DFA *70-200, DFA 15-30 and 24-70 as well as the FA 135 f2.8, DFA 100 macro WR, and FA 31 and 77 limiteds. Probably of those, the weakest is the 24-70. I use it a lot due to the focal lengths it encompasses, but it isn't great at f2.8. The rest of them are excellent to stellar. Oddly, the 135 is probably the fastest focusing of all of those lenses.
01-18-2019, 04:36 AM - 3 Likes   #63
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
"We didn't need no stinkin' auto focus in the 60s and look at how our photos turned out!"
The point is not really that it is possible to focus manually on moving subjects. What's at stake is that most hurried photographs don't make it to Fotocult magazine, but they do eventually clog flickr databases. People confuse recording and creativity. There are military servos systems that can track distances between two object flying over the speed of sound, those system are way way better than any camera AF servo , the problem is those military servo systems are completely useless in the photography world. Simple: it's only a belief that AF is the cause of bad photographs, faster AF is more likely to produce garbage because there is no thought put into the photograph, the result is uncontrolled and random, sometime out of a hundred shot you get a shot framed correctly, that's luck not photography. There a two schools in photography: 1) the gear addition school, and 2) photographic design. Gear leads to nowhere, photographic design gets us to the next level. That's real.

So now that the truth has been laid out. Of course we need to take care of customers in the right way, respect their choices and let them believe that autofocus is the key to success: as Hernest Dichter said "Sales are achieve by making customers constructively discontent", that works every time for the goal of selling new cameras models, just design a new camera with more AF points, show AF tracking of running dog, and every customer who own an older camera that has less AF points will feel they need to buy the new model. Will the new model change their photographs , I doubt. Now, let not kill the future sales of Pentax when they will release a new model with better AF, it is for business important to keep people believe that their AF suck so that the next sales is already half done. To me it looks like the only way to keep customers loyal and at the same time keep them discontent so that to prepare the sale of the next better model, is to be the market leader: Canon.

Last edited by biz-engineer; 01-18-2019 at 04:47 AM.
01-18-2019, 04:44 AM - 2 Likes   #64
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
These sorts of threads end up being a bit of a Rorschach ink blot. Those who are frustrated with Pentax or who have already left see validation in their concerns. Those who currently use Pentax and haven't had issues say "What's the big deal, my camera works great!" And then there are always the folks who show up to say, "We didn't need no stinkin' auto focus in the 60s and look at how our photos turned out!" (from what I've seen, many of them were blurry and focus wasn't always perfect, but still).

Shoot with gear that makes you happy and doesn't frustrate you.
Well said.

The problem I have with threads like these - "I'm leaving Pentax, and this is why" - is that they always receive a number of supportive "bandwagon" responses from several other disgruntled users, who actually form only a very small portion of the user base, but their combined discontent is concentrated into the thread. The potential influence this can have on less-experienced photographers, who may form premature negative opinions from what they read online rather than making their own minds up through extensive use of their gear, is troubling. And then those learned opinions get passed on to equally susceptible folks. I realise that's not the OP's intention here, but it's an unfortunate side effect nonetheless.

If there are any newer Pentax users reading this particular thread, or any future leaver threads, I'd implore you to keep an open mind. Don't be influenced by dissatisfied current or former Pentax owners, and learn what works for you by getting out there and using your camera, then make up your own mind. All equipment (regardless of brand) has limitations, but those limitations typically only affect a relatively small proportion of the user base with extremely high expectations or specific use cases. For the rest of us, any of the brands offers cameras and lenses that are more than capable of doing what we need - but some skill is required from the photographer too...


Last edited by BigMackCam; 01-18-2019 at 07:34 AM.
01-18-2019, 05:08 AM - 2 Likes   #65
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QuoteOriginally posted by calsan Quote
I also do cycling - recently Peter Sagan (several times world champion) decided to use a 'cheap' aluminum framed bike in a race in Australia. This caused major upset to all the middle aged men who believe that they must have the best of the best. (Where the best is the most expensive.) He came second in that race, giving some confirmation that it's more the user that matters than the equipment.
I think you also enjoy this one
01-18-2019, 06:23 AM   #66
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
The point is not really that it is possible to focus manually on moving subjects. What's at stake is that most hurried photographs don't make it to Fotocult magazine, but they do eventually clog flickr databases. People confuse recording and creativity. There are military servos systems that can track distances between two object flying over the speed of sound, those system are way way better than any camera AF servo , the problem is those military servo systems are completely useless in the photography world. Simple: it's only a belief that AF is the cause of bad photographs, faster AF is more likely to produce garbage because there is no thought put into the photograph, the result is uncontrolled and random, sometime out of a hundred shot you get a shot framed correctly, that's luck not photography. There a two schools in photography: 1) the gear addition school, and 2) photographic design. Gear leads to nowhere, photographic design gets us to the next level. That's real.

So now that the truth has been laid out. Of course we need to take care of customers in the right way, respect their choices and let them believe that autofocus is the key to success: as Hernest Dichter said "Sales are achieve by making customers constructively discontent", that works every time for the goal of selling new cameras models, just design a new camera with more AF points, show AF tracking of running dog, and every customer who own an older camera that has less AF points will feel they need to buy the new model. Will the new model change their photographs , I doubt. Now, let not kill the future sales of Pentax when they will release a new model with better AF, it is for business important to keep people believe that their AF suck so that the next sales is already half done. To me it looks like the only way to keep customers loyal and at the same time keep them discontent so that to prepare the sale of the next better model, is to be the market leader: Canon.
The problem I have with the whole auto focus discussion is that the focus seems to center on camera bodies rather than on lenses. Yes, the camera body is a factor, but if you aren't shooting with DFA * lenses, then it isn't totally reasonable to expect top end auto focus. Screw driven auto focus, in particular, is not as precise as in lens focus motors can be but it feels as though they are brought up periodically in these sorts of threads.

At the same time, folks like Le Rolls are shooting excellent photographs with older lenses like the FA *85 and while he has branched out into other brands, he was very able, even when he was shooting the a K-01.
01-18-2019, 06:25 AM - 1 Like   #67
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
All equipment (regardless of brand) has limitations, but those limitations typically only affect a relatively small proportion of the user base with extremely high expectations or specific use cases. For the rest of us, any of the brands offers cameras and lenses that are more than capable of doing what we need - but some skill is required from the photographer too...
Very well said and summarizes my feelings exactly. I have a K-3 with DA Limited primes, DA 16-85 and 55-300 PLM zooms and DA* 300 for long reach telephoto. This combination meets and exceeds all of my expectations and the photos I get with my kit would stand up to any I could get with a comparable replacement kit from another manufacturer. In conclusion I have absolutely no reason for me to consider jumping ship. I do look forward, however to a K-3 III release.
01-18-2019, 06:51 AM   #68
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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.
Ultimately whatever works best for your circumstance, is the way to go.
Best of Luck as you move forward in your endeavors.

01-18-2019, 07:16 AM - 3 Likes   #69
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QuoteOriginally posted by jddwoods Quote
Very well said and summarizes my feelings exactly. I have a K-3 with DA Limited primes, DA 16-85 and 55-300 PLM zooms and DA* 300 for long reach telephoto. This combination meets and exceeds all of my expectations and the photos I get with my kit would stand up to any I could get with a comparable replacement kit from another manufacturer. In conclusion I have absolutely no reason for me to consider jumping ship. I do look forward, however to a K-3 III release.
Honestly, these threads boil down to.. I'm so good I can't work with Pentax gear anymore. The only reason you Pentax users can is you haven't reached your potential as photographers like I have.

The funny thing to me in this thread is, talking about the type of shooting many are talking about, from reading and Winder's advice, the Sony A9 is the best for what he wants. LeRoll's company has also bought him a Sony. I suspect he's going from one bad choice to another. But hey, it's not up to me. What I don't get is why this guy thinks commenting on my choice is up to him. Does he honestly think I'm so dumb I don't understand the limitations of my gear and he has to explain it all to me?

With all due respect, this type of post is arrogant, and uncalled for, and most likely just a huge ego trip on the part of the OP. Coming to the club house saying "Look at my shiny new toy, and by the way, I'm not hanging out with you guys any more. I'm too good for you."

Close the door on the way out please. I am unaffected.

My only question for the OP is "Do you understand how much further ahead you'd be, if you were smart enough to anticipate your future direction and start with Nikon gear instead of buying gear inappropriate to the direction of you development? "

After all, smarter choice at the beginning would have made both his participation in the forum and this self-centred post unnecessary. Most of the criticism here aimed at Pentax should have been highlighting his own poor choices. Pentax hasn't changed that much as company over the years. They are what they are. I would sum up his post saying "I bought into a value brand but I really wanted some pretty high end performance. Silly me." But that would be way to honest, easier to highlight all Pentax's limitations and blame it all on them.

Last edited by normhead; 01-18-2019 at 07:33 AM.
01-18-2019, 07:23 AM   #70
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Looking at the big picture... we have one customer "leaving" posting on the forum for everyone to know. One customer "leaving" is not a statistic, one making an alternate choice out of hundreds of thousands Pentax customers who are more than happy with what Pentax has to offer. Also, we shall not forget than high performance autofocus isn't a must for every style of photography; there are other [medium format] camera system that have dismal autofocus capability compared to Pentax K1/II and yet customer buy into those MF systems because they want more image quality at the expense of autofocus. Even the most professional of commercial and art works are done with subpar AF compared to Pentax. Relax, go out shooting and enjoy your camera.

---------- Post added 18-01-19 at 15:28 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
The funny thing to me in this thread is, talking about the type of shooting many are talking about, from reading and Winder's advice, the Sony A9 is the best for what he wants. LeRoll's company has also bought him a Sony. I suspect he's going from one bad choice to another.
One selected a Sony A9 for taking portraits, the other one was given a Sony A7III 24Mp camera to shoot models (the choice was done by someone else), and the third one do not select a Sony A9, but a D850 F mount for sports while the new Nikon mount is the Z mount. I remember of another Pentaxian (years ago) who got himself a Nikon D4 for shooting portraits in studio, because the K5 wasn't good enough, I thought "what a weird choice"!.. who knows. At the end of the day, they all take photos.

Last edited by biz-engineer; 01-18-2019 at 07:33 AM.
01-18-2019, 07:37 AM - 2 Likes   #71
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
Looking at the big picture... we have one customer "leaving" posting on the forum for everyone to know. One customer "leaving" is not a statistic, one making an alternate choice out of hundreds of thousands Pentax customers who are more than happy with what Pentax has to offer. Also, we shall not forget than high performance autofocus isn't a must for every style of photography; there are other [medium format] camera system that have dismal autofocus capability compared to Pentax K1/II and yet customer buy into those MF systems because they want more image quality at the expense of autofocus. Even the most professional of commercial and art works are done with subpar AF compared to Pentax. Relax, go out shooting and enjoy your camera.
And quit telling others why their choices aren't good enough for you.
That's just rude.
If it's good enough for them, that's all that matters to them. You're personal circumstances are of value only to yourself, as are your opinions based on them. Now if you want to talk about how to best use your Pentax equipment, that's what we're here for.

If we wanted to know about Pentax's limitations we'd just go to Donkey Pee Review.

Last edited by normhead; 01-18-2019 at 07:45 AM.
01-18-2019, 08:18 AM - 4 Likes   #72
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Folks, I believe this thread has gone about as far as it can without descending into argument. In any case, I think there has been a good balance of views presented.

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