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11-03-2008, 02:13 AM   #1
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Thank God for Pentax.

My daughter had a Pentax *ist DL and wanted to upgrade some time back. She eventually settled for a Nikon D60 (see, full name no **'s ), largely because it was nigh impossible to buy a Pentax K200d or K20D in NZ at the time....and I told her I would write her out of the Will if she bought a Canon.

The Nikon was a two lens package deal and has served her well.

As Christmas is rapidly approaching I was considering what presents to buy and knew that she would appreciate a low light lens to add to her limited lens capability. So, I found a Nikkor 50mm f1.8 at DCW for $175aud....sounds good....doesn't it.

Until a bit of research shows that the auto focus will not work on that lens or the dearer 50mm f1.4...in fact only Nikkor AFS lenses will provide full auto focus features on the D60, making it a manual focus lens.

The prices of AFS lenses mean its going to be a bleak Christmas for my daughter .

Which got me thinking.....just how good is the Pentax system. We probably don't realise just how damned fortuneate we are with our backwards capability.

I know some of us bitch and moan about various things, but hey guys & gals, our system does a lot of things that the others can't do. I, for one, particularly after this little exercise is more than happy.

Yep...Thank God for Pentax.

Cheers.

11-03-2008, 04:09 AM   #2
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Hear Hear i say Pentax offers a lot Hear Hear


cheers
11-03-2008, 04:34 AM   #3
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I agree 100% - its one of the reasons I (and many others I'm sure) went with Pentax.

Canon dumped me years ago when they killed off the FD mounts and Nikon only supported older lenses on their mid to upmarket cameras. The Oly 4/3 was not appealing.

Pentax was the clear winner in compatibility and on board options.

Long live Pentax!
11-03-2008, 05:07 AM   #4
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while I am a full supporter of backwards compatibility and its benefits, I don't expect it to last for ever.

Pentax has already made that clear. If they were going to offer the maximum compatibility, they would have retained TTL flash and done something to sort out the K10D metering with Non A lenses.

they too will slowly slip away because it is a cost driver and we should expect that especially the bottom end bodies will soon drop other features as well.

Backwards compatibility was a great way to get the most bang for buck in development because pentax was coming from behind, and the best way to get users was to rely on the base of lenses available. That market is just about done now, and we need new lenses from pentax to keep going.

11-03-2008, 05:50 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mallee Boy Quote
We probably don't realise just how damned fortuneate we are with our backwards capability....I know some of us bitch and moan about various things, but hey guys & gals, our system does a lot of things that the others can't do.
Agree wholeheartedly. Here's hoping Pentax supports this loyalty for years and years to come!
11-03-2008, 06:38 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mallee Boy Quote
My daughter had a Pentax *ist DL and wanted to upgrade some time back. She eventually settled for a Nikon D60 (see, full name no **'s ), largely because it was nigh impossible to buy a Pentax K200d or K20D in NZ at the time....and I told her I would write her out of the Will if she bought a Canon.

The Nikon was a two lens package deal and has served her well.

As Christmas is rapidly approaching I was considering what presents to buy and knew that she would appreciate a low light lens to add to her limited lens capability. So, I found a Nikkor 50mm f1.8 at DCW for $175aud....sounds good....doesn't it.

Until a bit of research shows that the auto focus will not work on that lens or the dearer 50mm f1.4...in fact only Nikkor AFS lenses will provide full auto focus features on the D60, making it a manual focus lens.

The prices of AFS lenses mean its going to be a bleak Christmas for my daughter .

Which got me thinking.....just how good is the Pentax system. We probably don't realise just how damned fortuneate we are with our backwards capability.

I know some of us bitch and moan about various things, but hey guys & gals, our system does a lot of things that the others can't do. I, for one, particularly after this little exercise is more than happy.

Yep...Thank God for Pentax.

Cheers.
I wanted to mount a couple of non AI Nikkors to a D300 the other day.
Nope, wouldn't do it.
Nikon is a veritable minefield of compatibility because they have done minor mods to the mount so many times over the years.
Now you have lenses that don't mount, lenses that mount but won't focus, or lenses that will mount, but the camera won't take a picture.
And unless you pay a lot of attention to their lens charts and inscrutable model designations, you can easily buy the wrong lens and be hooped.

I think now you have to be into the D3 before non AI lenses will mount and work, though I could be wrong, the D700 might.
Non AI lenses would be our equivalent to M or K series lenses.

Unfortunately, as Lowell mentions, I think we are slowly loosing some of that compatibility.
We are starting to see lenses without focus drives, so they won't AF on bodies that don't support SSM, we are seeing metering problems with non A series lenses, which limits their usefulness even more than having to do the stop down metering in the first place.
A lot of this is inevitable, but also unfortunate.
If we want them to move ahead and be competitive in the performance categories, we have to be willing to let some backwards compatibility go.
11-03-2008, 06:53 AM   #7
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As others have said the Nikon lens situation is a minefield that you have to be cautious when considering which lens, which body etc. I did a comparison P vs N a few months ago for a friend and discovered that in most cases the comparable lens (using B&H prices) was a bit more or a lot more $$. Second you had to know the camera and mount or you had compatablity issue that in some cases were quite bad.

We will begin to loose some compatablity with lenses that are pre "F Series" in time. I'm sure Pentax/Hoya do look at the lost $$ in lens sales and it makes the company far less profitable.
11-03-2008, 07:06 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
I wanted to mount a couple of non AI Nikkors to a D300 the other day.
Nope, wouldn't do it.
Nikon is a veritable minefield of compatibility because they have done minor mods to the mount so many times over the years.
Now you have lenses that don't mount, lenses that mount but won't focus, or lenses that will mount, but the camera won't take a picture.
And unless you pay a lot of attention to their lens charts and inscrutable model designations, you can easily buy the wrong lens and be hooped.

I think now you have to be into the D3 before non AI lenses will mount and work, though I could be wrong, the D700 might.
Non AI lenses would be our equivalent to M or K series lenses.

Unfortunately, as Lowell mentions, I think we are slowly loosing some of that compatibility.
We are starting to see lenses without focus drives, so they won't AF on bodies that don't support SSM, we are seeing metering problems with non A series lenses, which limits their usefulness even more than having to do the stop down metering in the first place.
A lot of this is inevitable, but also unfortunate.
If we want them to move ahead and be competitive in the performance categories, we have to be willing to let some backwards compatibility go.
Pentax has made that decision in the past also.

Note the conversion from screw mount to K mount.
After all, at that point they had automatic apature lenses, and one could have argued that there was no additional need then, but the K mount has served them well since, with a couple of losses over the years.

The loss of the mechanically coupled apature could be foreseen as far back as the ME Super program I believe, (early 1980's) and the A series lenses, that was more than 20 years ago, and to have retained the direct mechanical apature reading that long is truely amazing. I think they stopped making cameras that had a mechanical apature coupling int he late 1990's with the FA-J mount.

the focusing screw has been around since the SF1 I believe, in the late 1980's, so yes time for something new there also.

We could have all of these things back, but there is a cost, and cost will not be put into the bottom end of the market. That is the same for Nikon and Canon also. Maximum compatibility comes with the more expensive cameras. That's life.

11-03-2008, 07:24 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Pentax has made that decision in the past also.

Note the conversion from screw mount to K mount.
After all, at that point they had automatic apature lenses, and one could have argued that there was no additional need then, but the K mount has served them well since, with a couple of losses over the years.

The loss of the mechanically coupled apature could be foreseen as far back as the ME Super program I believe, (early 1980's) and the A series lenses, that was more than 20 years ago, and to have retained the direct mechanical apature reading that long is truely amazing. I think they stopped making cameras that had a mechanical apature coupling int he late 1990's with the FA-J mount.

the focusing screw has been around since the SF1 I believe, in the late 1980's, so yes time for something new there also.

We could have all of these things back, but there is a cost, and cost will not be put into the bottom end of the market. That is the same for Nikon and Canon also. Maximum compatibility comes with the more expensive cameras. That's life.
My concern, as always, is: Will Pentax make a more expensive camera that will maintain a level of backwards compatibility, or are they on the slippery slope to cheaper and cheaper cameras, and feature loss?
As an example, if A series lens compatibility is compromised in future models, and it becomes evident that pre AF era compatibility is gone for good because the company is concentrating on cheaper cameras at the expense of upscale ones that have compatibility, there will be about 4 dozen lenses going on the block from my end of the wheat field, and Nikon will get another customer.
You guys can only hope.........
11-03-2008, 07:44 AM   #10
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The D60 can't AF those because it no longer has screw drive (cutting costs to compete w/ Canon Rebel...Canon got rid of screw drive long ago).
I'm just hoping Pentax continues to keep screw drive as they add more SDM lenses...at least at the K10D/K20D level. I'd understand if the K2000D had only SDM support though...cheaper means something has to go, though I'm sure that'd tick off a lot of users...
11-03-2008, 07:57 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenyee Quote
The D60 can't AF those because it no longer has screw drive (cutting costs to compete w/ Canon Rebel...Canon got rid of screw drive long ago).
I'm just hoping Pentax continues to keep screw drive as they add more SDM lenses...at least at the K10D/K20D level. I'd understand if the K2000D had only SDM support though...cheaper means something has to go, though I'm sure that'd tick off a lot of users...
Truth be to tell, Canon never had screw drive AF (I'm not counting the lamentable T80, which I don't know much about, other than it was blessedly short lived).

Or are you inferring how they forced their FD user base into their new system?
11-03-2008, 08:34 AM   #12
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the real question for me is, do I need to continue upgrading to a camera with less and less backwards compatibility? when I have a camera now that is more than capable of excellent photos. pentax will continue to have new customers and new advances in photographic technology without me buying the latest an greatest. but seeing as how there is nothing to 'die out' like with film, whats the point? if my digital dies and pentax will no longer repair it I can just find another that is still living. there will be many cameras with current backwards compatibility floating around in 10-20 years or more. although its a shame it will all be phased out, it is as mentioned a part of the business.
11-03-2008, 08:39 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
I wanted to mount a couple of non AI Nikkors to a D300 the other day.
Nope, wouldn't do it.
The funny thing is that you can use those same lens on your Pentax body....and they work! That is the beauty of Pentax. Not only can we use every K-Mount and M42 lens ever made, we can also use Nikon lenses on our cameras while Nikon users can't. Too funny...
11-03-2008, 09:25 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Truth be to tell, Canon never had screw drive AF (I'm not counting the lamentable T80, which I don't know much about, other than it was blessedly short lived).
Wait a sec..before digital, weren't they screw drive?
I'm forgetting all the nuances of Canon's history now
11-03-2008, 12:33 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mallee Boy Quote
Until a bit of research shows that the auto focus will not work on that lens or the dearer 50mm f1.4...in fact only Nikkor AFS lenses will provide full auto focus features on the D60, making it a manual focus lens.
While I can see why Nikon did that, I do think it irresponsible of them (and the various salespeople around the world, magazine articles) not to have made it more clear to customers that they were giving up the ability to use older AF lenses if they bought into the "crippled" bodies.

I don't know the ins and outs of the Nikon system and the general available of the different series of lenses, but I suppose it might make sense at some point to bite the bullet and buy her a new camera body that *does* support screw drive. Unless the old screw-drive lenses are basically all being replaced and disappearing, so that won't continue to be an issue over and over in the future...
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