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10-18-2008, 06:20 AM   #31
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One other note on lenses and prices. If and when I meet my demise in the far distant future,
(Im 72, Nov 3rd.) My Lenses is going to be probably be worth more than what I paid for them on the used market. especially the manuel primes. I have an istDL with m42 adaptor almost permantly installed for bag full of screw mount lenses. A K100D with a bag full of K mount manual focus lenses, and a K10 With all telephoto autofocus lensed. The istDL is used almost exclusivly for Macro, The K100 has a
vivitar 35-70 or a pentax 300/f4 prime and the K10 has the 50/500 sigma big ma on it 99 % of the time or else the 18/55 kit lense which isn't really all that bad. So basically the other 20 plus lenses and convertors seldom get used. Ocassionly in order to get out of a funk I will set up one camera with a seldom used lens and shoot just with that on that particulsr camera.
So point being, owning large amount of lenses that isn't being used is really proof of the fact that I can't pass up a bargan in something that I have an interest in. Major case of LBA and I readly admit to it except to my wife.

Last edited by jmc7104; 10-18-2008 at 06:21 AM. Reason: add text
10-18-2008, 08:07 AM   #32
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Hopefully, to put you at ease I very nearly sold my K10D last weekend. I've been looking at the lenses available to canon and nikon and thought the variety just isn't there for the pentax.

I looked at the alternatives and came to the conclusion on monday that there is NOTHING around from anyone that offers the level of features/build or image quality at the price of a K10D. The cheaper canons are beginners cameras and to be honest look it. The nikon I looked at was the D80 which after reading forums I see suffers from hot/stuck pixels. After my initial panic I am really glad I decided to stay with my pentax. It does more than I require and I would have regretted selling it.

I also wanted at some point to get a ring flash which wasn't avaible. The other day I see sigma are doing their ring flash for pentax and pentax have a model themselves.

Things are getting easier for us pentaxians and I intend to stick with them. A recent trip to New York made me realise how good the kit lens is as well!

Hope this helps!
10-18-2008, 08:48 AM   #33
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A few things (and terve)

1. As a long term investment. Someone above said it right, you may not be here tomorrow (dramatic), or perhaps your enthusiasm for photography will wane (banal). Either is possible, but in both cases the equipment will outlive its use.

2. Is it the right investment. This is a little complicated. With certain few exceptions (I'm thinking of tilt shift lenses for wide angles, or some types of flash, or really high shutter speeds) Pentax can do everything the larger brands can. Can it match each brand point for point, f-stop for f-stop, MTF for MTF? Well, probably not. No brand can match all the other's best offerings ... and anyway, this road is folly. Why? Because it gets away from the better point by Damn Brit and others that what's important is the results. The pictures. So,

3. Is the Pentax system capable of helping make great pictures? Emphatically yes. On this point there are two subpoints: a. the camera system and its history of lenses is quite capable, and b: the camera really is thoughtfully designed to give a great deal of latitude over making images to the shooter, both in terms of ergonomics and in terms of control. Could it be better? Of course -- I'd love an even clearer and brighter viewfinder, I'd love a second SD slot for on-the-fly back up, I'd love love a superwide tilt-shift lens. But still,

4. People more and more these days are encouraged to see their camera (or any consumer) choices in terms of marketing and status -- why else buy e.g., an Audi instead of a VW? Well, there may be features in the Audi that the VW doesn't have and the premium is worth it for some, just as the premium in high end Macintosh laptop offerings are worth it over a similar PC offering (in my case, yes to the VW, yes to the Mac). The point, however, is that fine gradients between products gets magnified, out of proportion to its importance. Now people aren't stupid or sheep -- actually, there's a lot of study about how people strive to differentiate themselves from other social classes, and naturally product choice now is a big part of this. So,

5. Your nervousness about your choice is in part because it's not a safe one. You'll have to explain to other people who "know" that a serious camera is a Nikon or a comprehensive camera is a Canon. They won't know (or care) about your research, or later, your experience with your Pentax. It can be tiring to be "connected" to a lesser brand (ask any Macintosh user in the 90s, for example) especially if you can't make peace with the shortcomings of your brand. It can get you doubting, or wondering if the grass is greener. The current full frame debate is all about this: would my pictures be better with a full frame sensor? It can be exhausting to think this way, especially because of the cost of camera gear. One worries: am I off on wrong foot?

6. This is not the route to great pictures. A Pentax (or any other dSLR, ANY other one) can take great pictures. The Pentax advantage: great glass, compact primes, really interesting and useful lenses, shake reduction, terrific ergonomics, and value for your money (you can do more with less). The truth for a beginner: it will be a very long time before you skill outstrips the camera's ability to deliver, and if you get that good, you'll be able to be compelling images with your Nokia phone.

So welcome aboard! Pentax is a great system to get good at photography -- it has certainly been rewarding for me. Ja muista mitä on tarketa: pictures, not gear. Skill, not gear. Vision, not gear. Loyalty to beauty, not brands.
10-18-2008, 09:52 AM   #34

Thanks again, everybody. I admit I posted to get some relief for my purchase anxiety and it has worked fairly well. I suppose the main reason for my worry was that as many people choose the body based what kind of lenses they already have, is Pentax still a good choice for someone starting from a clean slate. However, I feel pretty comfortable now.

a a i b, how come are you writing in Finnish? Are you an ex-pat or do you have Finnish ancestors or something?

10-18-2008, 10:08 AM   #35
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I thought I would comment as I too come from Finland. Dear emr, there is plenty of K-bayonet lenses to buy secondhand also here in Finland. Search the web for camerastores in Finland and you will find they have quite a lot of lenses for Pentax. Also, I have bought quite a few from ebay and all my experiences have been good. And you can buy lenses here at PentaxForum. I have a K20D and am very happy with it, I am sure you will also be. I also have several film bodies and I buy a lens every now and then. I a word: I think you have made a good investment. Do not worry, take photos, take your time and when you need some new lenses I am sure you will find them.

10-18-2008, 10:23 AM   #36
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If you had to buy a Pentax today, I'd definitely wait for the K-m just to test out the Pentax waters. I'm sure it will impress the masses and honestly, be a fun camera.
10-18-2008, 10:39 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by emr Quote
First, I'm sure some people will suspect I'm a troll but I assure you I'm a genuine Pentax buyer (or actually my ordered camera should be here any day now).

This is where I come from. I have been interested in photography since I was a kid, but have never been a very active photographer. Had an EOS film SLR in the 80s but since that have been using digital P&S cameras. Now the bug has bitten me again and I decided to get a DSLR. ATM I have virtually no DSLR equipment, only a small Canon EF zoom lens from my old EOS.

I spent quite some time online reading reviews, opinions, tests and price lists. There were a few options to choose from and eventually I ended up ordering a Pentax K20D with DA 18-55 and 50-200 lenses. It seems the camera should be very good and the lenses OK too. So far so good. However, one of the reasons I ended up with Pentax was the idea that I could get some old high quality lenses at a reasonably price. Unfortunately it seems there aren't that many available here (northern Europe) second hand and due to newer Pentax DSLRs, the prices have risen. It also seems there are significantly fewer DSLR accessories to by new or second hand than for the bigger brands.

So I'm beginning to fear I made a mistake in buying a Pentax which seems a more marginal brand with who knows what kind of a future. Is it wise to bind myself to a smaller brand when I don't yet have a huge amount of lenses that would guide my camera body buying? At least I don't think I dare to invest much more in DA lenses as I suspect Pentax (if the company will be there to begin with) will eventually go full frame and the lenses would be obsolete.

So what do you peple think, would I be any better off in my situation with one of the bigger brands or is the risk of a bad investment as bad with them? I know people on a Pentax forum tend to favor the brand, but has anyone had the considerations I have?

As someone who many on this forum considers to be a troll, my own opinion is pretty much the same as RiceHigh's. The K20 is an extremely well laid out, and full featured camera for the price.
Performance wise it is quite good, and suitable to most applications, whether amateur or professional.
While every other camera maker can say pretty much the same thing about their mid range bodies, their cameras don't mount Pentax lenses.
The bottom line for me is that when the shutter is open, the only thing between my subject and my film or sensor is the lens, and I want that lens to be the best I can get.
For me, my pictures are worthy of a Pentax lens.
If yours are too, then you made the right buying decision. If you think your pictures are only worthy of someone elses lens, then you need to work on your pictures a bit.
10-18-2008, 11:58 AM   #38
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@emr, you may want to go to the Manual Focus Forum web site. It specializes in manual focus lenses. Lots of EU members there and a reasonably active marketplace

10-18-2008, 12:47 PM   #39
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There's enough choice in those 2 things that matter (sensor, or body, and lenses) to make Pentax appropriate for just about any application - that's been said before. But really, aside from value for money, Pentax's systems rival its competitors in quality.

Sure the flagship body offers only 3fps, ISO 6400 and is not FF, but ask yourself: do I really need the extra speed, sensitivity and megapixels/photosensor sites?

Then you have total lens compatibility with all K-mounts, which others cannot offer.

So when you look at it, whether you get a K-m (if you want to start small), or you go to a K20D, combined with Pentax's fine glassware, you'll be getting a combination that can capture what you want the way you want it. Your photographic technique will be your only limit.
10-18-2008, 12:53 PM   #40
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Pentax lenses are still relatively cheaper than the competitions. So if money is an issue, I doubt there is a slim chance entering SLR photography. Unless you are keen just to stick to a kit lenses and a range of M lenses from pentax, you would have to learn to practice holding the urge to buy other gear to see what they are like. It is not a good feeling.
10-18-2008, 05:24 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by roentarre Quote
Pentax lenses are still relatively cheaper than the competitions. So if money is an issue, I doubt there is a slim chance entering SLR photography. Unless you are keen just to stick to a kit lenses and a range of M lenses from pentax, you would have to learn to practice holding the urge to buy other gear to see what they are like. It is not a good feeling.

The DA* 50-135 and 16-50 are amazing zooms and BARGAINS compared to Canikon's. You're lucky if you get a metal mount or zoom lock at these price levels. Forget about weather sealing.
10-18-2008, 09:30 PM   #42
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Regarding older high quality lenses, at a reasonable price, then the IQ from the Takumars are top-notch and these are legendary lenses. You need an adapter, but these still go for easy access prices.

Else start out with maybe M 50/2, or K 50/1.7. Or K or M 35/2. I was chocked at the IQ of the fast 50 in K-series that I got. And people commended how the pictures were a lot more impressive, than from a Tamron auto focus zoom that I had.

I think what people misunderstand, is that a lens like A 20/2.8 was very rare in the film days. And commanding a price of 1.000 $. Not many bought that wide. But with DSLR, then these wider lenses are becoming increasingly popular, and even harder to get.

The Nikon 28/1.4 is over 3.000 $ on the used market. More than when it was new !

As Canon changed mount, then it is not possible to use a lot of the older lenses.

Check out the work on Pentax Photograhy Gallery, just with the lenses you have. And you’ll see that already now, you can take excellent photos :
PENTAX Photo Gallery

I think it is a fair question that you ask, but highest quality lenses will always be popular. Check out the very old Leica lenses which can be used with Canon !

A lot of fine answers in the thread already. And also a good reply by RiceHigh.

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