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10-17-2008, 12:56 PM   #1
emr
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Did I make a mistake buying a Pentax

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?

Thanks!

10-17-2008, 01:07 PM   #2
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I think the question is whether you could actually buy some affordable high quality used lenses to be used on K20D. My own opinion is not in most cases. There are no shortage of used K mount lenses on used market and many are dirt cheap, but the gems have been snapped long ago and often commend premium prices. But then if dirt cheap used lenses are what you are after, you might save the money and buy K200D instead, or better, buy Canon APS-C and with the right adaptor, you can mount many more different old lenses than the K mount system. I think at this point in time, 2 pros of Pentax are SR and LIMITED lenses. You are really buying into a "system" if you are serious about this hobby and plan to invest heavily into lenses in the future. A few dollars saving might cost you more down the road. Personally, I stay with Pentax solely for the high quality prime lenses that I have. With zooms, I have better luck with Canon.
10-17-2008, 01:12 PM   #3
Damn Brit
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Welcome, first of all you don't say where you are located. If we know where you are, you will get more information about the availability of legacy glass in your area.
If you are in Europe for example, you might find the exchange rate makes it feasible to buy from the US.
You won't be disappointed with the camera and the lenses are the best kit lenses for any system probably. Keep track of what focal lengths you use most often and when you are ready you can look around for a prime or two in those focal lengths.
You don't need a huge amount of lenses to take great photos. Many of the members here have large lens collections because they are collectors, or because they use different lenses for different artistic styles. I'm sure there are many more reasons but those are probably the more popular reasons.
Even people who's job is also photography don't need that many to do their job.
Your dedication is important as well, as you stated, you have drifted in and out. You've ordered probably the best value kit around, you would have spent a lot more on Canon and Nikon. If you find again that photography isn't for you, you can sell it and you won't have lost as much.
10-17-2008, 01:21 PM   #4
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in all honesty any DSLR today is a good camera.

don't sit and worry now about your pentax, go out and use it, learn how it works, and let your lens collection and accessories grow as you learn.

You won;t be disappointed.

10-17-2008, 01:22 PM   #5
emr
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QuoteOriginally posted by emr Quote
... available here (northern Europe)...
Finland in this case.

Thanks for the input. Some very good points there.
10-17-2008, 01:25 PM   #6
Damn Brit
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QuoteOriginally posted by emr Quote
Finland in this case.

Thanks for the input. Some very good points there.
There a quite a few members from Finland, hopefully you'll get some good suggestions for locating the older glass.
Do you have any relatives or friends in the US?
10-17-2008, 01:27 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by emr Quote
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.
There are plenty of old Pentax lenses on UK ebay, and that's where I've bought 90% of mine. I'm also from northern Europe.
10-17-2008, 01:47 PM   #8
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Pentax distributor for Finland, contact them for retailers.

..::: Focus Nordic :::..

10-17-2008, 01:53 PM   #9
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Seems like a contradictory possition: Insecure about Pentax survival (lack of popularity), can't get used lenses (too much popularity). Someone must be buying those used lenses, and there are/were LOTS of them!
10-17-2008, 01:59 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by GaryM Quote
can't get used lenses
read carefully

"...old high quality lenses at a reasonably price..."

he did not define reasonable
10-17-2008, 02:01 PM   #11
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Don't be discouraged by all this talk of the "good stuff" being all bought up in regards to used lenses. There are two threads on the lens discussion forum that might be good for you to look through:

The Off-Brand Club

DCL (dirt cheap lens) Club
While both of these threads are dormant, they give a good example of what can be accomplished with other than a Pentax * or LTD lens. Also check out the other "clubs" in the lens discussion forum such as those dedicated to Russian/Soviet, Tamron, or Zeiss Jena lenses. And for the Pentax purist, there is the Takumar club. While not dirt cheap, you can still get some beautiful classic Super-Tak or SMC Tak glass for well under $100 USD.

So pick up your new camera, get to know what a truly great tool it is, and go out and take some pictures.

Steve
10-17-2008, 02:54 PM   #12
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Rising at the prices is temporary I guess. Because eveyday they are working hard to make the entry level enthusiasts buy new and affordable equipments.So it means the AF lenses will be cheaper.This case who pay 100 dollars for a 35 years old manual lenses?
10-17-2008, 03:11 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by deejjjaaaa Quote
read carefully

"...old high quality lenses at a reasonably price..."

he did not define reasonable
Isn't that still an indication of supply and demand? These lenses are selling at higher than his *perceived* value - which is my point. FWIW, I saw the big jump in Pentax lens prices right after they released their first DSLR, and it hasn't really declined since then.
10-17-2008, 04:50 PM   #14
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I think Damn Brit is on the money. It's easy for newcomers to see the wide-ranging discussion that goes on here about lenses and to arrive at the erroneous conclusion that you need to have a vast collection of premium glass to be a member of the tribe. Not at all. Cartier-Bresson made do with only two or three lenses throughout his career and he wasn't a bad photographer! I only have three lenses and personally I get really frustrated at times trying to decide on the right lens for the shot and grubbing around with lens caps, hoods, filters, what-all while changing over and wishing I just had a good prozoomer! The bottom line, as always, is how satisfied you are with what comes out of your printer or back from the camera shop. If you can achieve satisfaction with even just the kit lens, why would you spend dollars on anything else? As others have said, start with the basic gear, get to really know your camera and the rest will take care of itself.
10-17-2008, 05:19 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wombat Quote
I think Damn Brit is on the money. It's easy for newcomers to see the wide-ranging discussion that goes on here about lenses and to arrive at the erroneous conclusion that you need to have a vast collection of premium glass to be a member of the tribe. Not at all. Cartier-Bresson made do with only two or three lenses throughout his career and he wasn't a bad photographer! I only have three lenses and personally I get really frustrated at times trying to decide on the right lens for the shot and grubbing around with lens caps, hoods, filters, what-all while changing over and wishing I just had a good prozoomer! The bottom line, as always, is how satisfied you are with what comes out of your printer or back from the camera shop. If you can achieve satisfaction with even just the kit lens, why would you spend dollars on anything else? As others have said, start with the basic gear, get to really know your camera and the rest will take care of itself.
I agree completely.

Just this last week I fiddled around with various lenses while the light faded trying to get the right affect. Finally I slapped on the kit and got three winners.

Here is my take on a good general kit for APS-C:
  • At least one lens f/2 or faster
  • Something around 35mm
  • Something under 20mm
  • A moderate zoom

From my stuff I could put my 18-55, A 50/1.7, and Tammy 70-150 in my bag and shoot quite happily all day with the 18-55 staying on the camera most of the time. The total cost to me for all three was a little over $300. (I bought the Tammy new in the early '80s.)

In reality, when I am doing serious work I use one of the following lenses:
  • Zenitar 16/2.8
  • Pentax FA 35/2
  • Pentax-A 50/1.7
  • Jupiter-9 85/2

All 4 are capable of producing excellent results and the total cost to me for the bunch was about $700 (the A 50/1.7 was purchased used, the others new within the last year).

Steve
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