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03-16-2009, 06:27 PM   #151
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Update.

Thanks to a bit more homework, I can confirm that the Tamron 70-200f2.8 is supported by the D60....which is, different to what we were told in store, but perhaps it was a language thing.

Looks like its another MTR ride today

03-16-2009, 07:17 PM   #152
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QuoteOriginally posted by cputeq Quote
Just remember, you don't buy a body, you buy a system.
I bought into the Nikon system last year and agree with everything you've said in your post, expecially this line. It all revolves around what you want to do with your camera, but if you are trying to capture anything that's moving, the Nikon will be better.

QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
However I do wonder what exactly the advantages of Nikon are, perhaps because I have had no real time shooting Nikon and haven't seen anything compelling to make me try. But I'm always willing to learn new things and have my assumptions changed.
I owned (and still own) a K10D, I've had it since April 2007 and taken more than 22,000 photographs with it. Before that I had an *istDL for 18 months and before that 35mm Pentax equipment. Since buying the D300 I've used the K10D twice. Basically the D300 does everything the K10D does, but better (with the exclusion of in-body SR). Metering, white balance, auto-focus and high-ISO capabilities & noise are just a few points.

Don't get me wrong, I love the Pentax system and would have dearly liked to have stuck with it. I also realise that I am going to be flamed on here because people like to defend the purchase they have made, but Nikon produce better bodies than Pentax as a whole. Price aside if you need a tool for a job IMO the Nikon is better.

QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
But what do you mean? Nikon might get focus quicker but from what I've seen (from other people's shots) Pentax gets it more accurately. Is this not true in your experience?
From all the photographs I got with Pentax DLSR's, compared with the D300 the focus is as good, or better, on the Nikon. Not to mention in low light it is far far quicker and more acurate. Add to this the 51 AF points which, no matter which one you are using, always lock perfectly. I never had much success with the 2 AF points to the left and right of the centre 9 on my K10D.

I'm not saying the Nikon AF system is flawless, but it is much better than the K10D (and the K20D from teh limited exposure I've had to it).

QuoteOriginally posted by aleonx3 Quote
I am in the same boat, keeping an open mind and not bashing Nikon or anything; could faster AF has anything to do the focus assist SB that most Nikon models have?
Nope, I have the AF assist lamp turned off for all but the darkest of rooms and the Nikon rarely hunts for focus. Oh, and FWIW the AF assist lamp on the D300 is white, not orange.

QuoteOriginally posted by Mallee Boy Quote
Her problem (besides lack of $$$) is that only the Nikkor AFS series fully automtaic features are supported by the D60....any other lens becomes a manual lens. It is not until you get further up the Nikon food chain in bodies that true backwards compatibility starts to kick in, and even then some tell us it is not complete and of course, it gets a lot more expensive.

We are still researching Sigma & Tamron, but believe it is the same story there.
Grant, I'm not familiar with the D60's capabilities as I stepped straight to the D300. As a result I cannot remember if the D60 has provision for both screw and in-lens drive for AF.

I have had the fortune of using 4 different 70,80-200 f/2.8 lenses in Nikon mount. These were the Nikkor 70-200 VR, Nikkor 80-200, Sigma 70-200 and Tamron 70-200. The Nikkor VR was the best at pretty well everything on the D300, AF, sharpness wide open etc. The Sigma was not very far behind, stop it down to f/4 and it is soooo sharp, AF was every bit as quick as the VR. The 70-200 Tamron was equal to the 80-200 D in sharpness, but better than the D in AF. That being said the Tamron wasn't a patch on the Sigma.

Of course only the 70-200 VR has that gorgeous bokeh.....mmmmmmm

Please PM me if you would like sample shots from the Sigma and I can email you links.
03-16-2009, 07:32 PM   #153
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mallee Boy Quote
Thanks to a bit more homework, I can confirm that the Tamron 70-200f2.8 is supported by the D60....which is, different to what we were told in store, but perhaps it was a language thing.

Looks like its another MTR ride today
OK, given that there are 2 people looking for a 70-200 in Nikon mount here are some samples the Sigma 70-200 HSM II on the D300.

f/2.8 & ISO-3200 - Full Crop

f/4 - Full Crop

f/4 - Full Crop

f/4 - Full Crop

1/125 (smaller f-stop) - Full Crop

f/4 - Full Crop

Last edited by blwnhr; 03-16-2009 at 07:38 PM.
03-16-2009, 08:10 PM   #154
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QuoteOriginally posted by blwnhr Quote
That being said the Tamron wasn't a patch on the Sigma.
Of course only the 70-200 VR has that gorgeous bokeh.....mmmmmmm
What does "wasn't a patch on" mean? Sounds like an aussie term

From samples I've seen, the Tamron optically matches the Nikon and in some cases exceeds it in sharpness; the Sigma's sharpness is less than both but cleans up by f/4. Bokeh of all three look good. If you want to use AF-C for sports, the Nikon is far better. For us in Pentax-land, we're stuck w/ the Sigma for AF-C. Tamron really needs to release a ring motor system.

BTW, I doubt anyone would contest the D300 AF system is better than the K20D's...

03-16-2009, 08:23 PM   #155
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QuoteOriginally posted by lapeen Quote
Looking at the ISO tests on DPreview and other sites seems to confirm this.
I looked at the D90 extensively before getting the K20D. I'm happy with my choice.

Just look at ISO 1600 again in your dpreview of the D90. Compare the K20D against the D90. Look at the detail that is retained with the K20D. The noise is not meaningful unless you are looking at solid black. Software can help eliminate the noise, but can never bring back that detail. Software will only get better and better.

I compared the cost of getting the D90 plus the USM/VR lenses that I wanted and found the cost to be very high compared to my current set.
03-16-2009, 08:25 PM   #156
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenyee Quote
What does "wasn't a patch on" mean? Sounds like an aussie term

From samples I've seen, the Tamron optically matches the Nikon and in some cases exceeds it in sharpness; the Sigma's sharpness is less than both but cleans up by f/4. Bokeh of all three look good. If you want to use AF-C for sports, the Nikon is far better. For us in Pentax-land, we're stuck w/ the Sigma for AF-C. Tamron really needs to release a ring motor system.

BTW, I doubt anyone would contest the D300 AF system is better than the K20D's...
Hahah, it means, "wasn't nealy as good as".

From my experience using all 4 lenses for about 15-20 minutes each the Tamron was probably sharper at f/2.8 than the Sigma, but the Sigma was as good or better from f/4. The Bokeh is good, but the VR is great, lol. I shoot sports a LOT and the Sigma is 95% as good as the VR for AF-C, the Tamron and 80-200 Nikkor are much much (frustratingly) slower.

Like I say these are my real-world experience using the lenses they way I use them for my subjects. My findings may not align with the millions of reviews in cyberspace.
03-16-2009, 08:43 PM   #157
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QuoteOriginally posted by frogger Quote
I've often wondered if the Pentax 77mm and 70mm limiteds are a much better lenses than that 85mm f1.8 and f1.4's of the competition.
Speaking for Canon, not a chance. The 85/1.8 is a "prosumer" lens but has insanely fast AF and beautiful rendering. On full frame it shines, fantastic bokeh. The 85/1.2 is expensive, a bit faster, has worse CA and slower AF, but when you get it right it has no comparison. Canon knows how to make fine primes.

"Much better" than either of the two? "Much better" flat out doesn't exist in any brand or format.

That said, no disrespect for the 70 or 77 -- both are wonderful lenses. They're just not "much better".
03-16-2009, 09:09 PM   #158
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I was in the sort of in the same boat...not really swtiching, I just thought it would be sweeter to have both...

03-17-2009, 04:01 AM   #159
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The Nikon D300 body only= R 30 000

Pentax K20D body only = R 10 100

For it's price the Nikon "should" perform a bit better don't you think?

Does the Nikon produce pics R 20 000 better - debatable


Dylan
03-17-2009, 04:15 AM   #160
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To continue

Nikon D300 & Nikon 70-200 2.8 combo = R 55 000 & ZERO VR

Pentax K20D & Sigma 70-200 2.8 combo = R 22 500 - lens VR stabilised

Whichever way one looks at it the Pentax allows a serious photographer to get superlative images for a fraction of the cost of the Nikon.

Dylan
03-17-2009, 04:33 AM   #161
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QuoteOriginally posted by Igilligan Quote
I should say I have 'an' answer.
And it is something I now wish I had done. I stuggled between the K20 upgrade or the D90 with its better AF and Flash system + the bonus Shallow DOF video... but like you I had money in lenses and I love the inexpensive old glass you can get for the pentax... and other than the known limits of the K100d I really enjoy the camera, so I ended up with the K20.

I now wish I had done it differently... I really like the K20 and sensor wise it is a real upgrade to the K100d (cropping ability is amazing)... but the issues I had with the K100 are still there with the K20... The ability to track a moving kid is still not up to the nikon. The Pttl flash system is... well inconsistant at best.

What I wish I would have done is to keep my K100d for my schnaportraits shots of the kids and for using all the old glass in the ways I love using it. Then commited to the Nikon D90 for what I want it to do... action shots of the kids and consistent flash shots . Plus those really fun "hollywood" shallow DOF video shots.

My kids are just going to get bigger and faster... I should have commited to that concept. And kept the pentax for the other side of this hobby.

That is what I would advise you to attempt if at all possible.
good luck
Igilligan's reply is bang on what I went through in my crazy "try this, buy that, no wait, sell, and buy again" search for the "right" system to settle into. Here is the analogy I used in my (hopefully) final solution:

Choosing a camera or "system" to shoot with is like buying a gun in regards to what you are going to shoot. IE: You ain't gonna take a .30-06 to go duck hunting and a Remington 870 Wingmaster is far from the best choice for deer hunting. Either one can be used and under the right circumstances will work. But lets face it, you will be better off buying the right tool for the job.
If you want to "shoot" at both, you simply must use 2 different products to have the best chance at nailing the target. If you can't afford both, either live with the shortcomings, or shell (bad pun intended) out for the right equipment.

So how does my violent analogy translate to my decision to ditch the D90 for the K20D? While I have not worked out my final write up on that here is a quick summary from pictures I shot at the wedding (as a distant assistant) last weekend:

1. Detail: No contest, the K20D with a Sigma 24-70 f/2.8 lens wins over the D90 coupled to a 18-105mm VR lens.

2. Focus lock: The Nikon walks away from the K20D. Under bad lighting it is no contest and even under great lighting the D90 is noticeably faster.

3. Metering: This is a really tough call. The D90/SB-600 flash is nothing short of phenomenal when it comes to nailing exposure. The K20D/AF-540 does a decent job, but it can be "fooled" by wide contrast variations in a scene that the D90 just takes in stride. That being said, the more I shoot with the K20D, the better my understanding I have of what works best for exposure when composing a shot.

4. Battery life: The D90 can get over 750 shots and still have gas in the tank while the K20D is sputtering before it gets to 600. This nothing more than acknowledgment of the facts. In reality, you are going to have spare batteries so just learn what the limits of power are and have the proper amount of batteries to accommodate your session.

Bottom line: The K20D just flat out takes a better picture under the right circumstances. The D90 will let you get away with more when it comes to speed shooting. But don't expect the same level of detail, color and contrast. And before the Nikon fans start shredding my results by comparing the "kit" lens the D90 was using compared to the Sigma f/2.8, understand I NEED image stabilization with my less than steady hands. And since the Nikon system offers NOTHING in the f/2.8 zoom range I wanted, well there you go.

If I was made of money I would have a D300 for speed, A D700 for detail, and a Fuji S5 Pro for dynamic range that would let you over expose a shot of a bride wrestling with a polar bear on a iceberg at high noon and STILL be able to pull the detail back in with PP. And of course the thousands of dollars of lenses to mount on the bodies.

But since I am not made of money I will shoot with (and enjoy) the K20D and live within the parameters of the system.

Rick

PS: Once I get the time to PP my images I will get some examples posted. Right now the primary photographer has all my memory cards.
Oh, by the way the primary photographer was shooting with a Canon 5D Mk II with a host of "L" glass. I would get into that but this post is long enough already. But it is a "Scha-weet" system. With a price tag that made me shudder.
03-17-2009, 04:59 AM   #162
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This thread has certainly gone a long way from its beginning. I have to say that I consider Pentax to be the right brand for me, but not for everyone. As someone mentioned above, the K10 and K20 are not going to measure up to cameras costing 2 to 3 times more. If my goal was some day to move up to a $5000 full frame camera, then Pentax would not be the right brand for me. I've got two kids and don't have $1000 - 2000 to drop on a single lens and won't have until they graduate from college. On the other hand, what Pentax offers me is the ability to use good quality, stabilized glass on an excellent camera.

As I said, I have two kids. I know others have complained a lot about the auto focus abilities. Maybe it is just me, but I have not had a lot of problem keeping up with them and I am awfully glad that the K10 does not have one of those annoying auto focus assist lights. If there is anything that gets kids to stop playing and starting focusing on the camera, it is that.

I guess the question really is what do you need? Nikon or Canon may offer it, but it may be for quite a bit more money as well...
03-17-2009, 05:05 AM   #163
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QuoteOriginally posted by dylansalt Quote
The Nikon D300 body only= R 30 000

Pentax K20D body only = R 10 100

For it's price the Nikon "should" perform a bit better don't you think?

Does the Nikon produce pics R 20 000 better - debatable


Dylan
Depends on what you're shooting. For anything that moves, the D300's 51 point system is pretty far ahead to say the least. As somebody else pointed out, Nikon's flash metering is unbeatable (and I am saying this as a Canon owner).

For 95% of shooters the K20D is no doubt a better value. But if you need what another camera/system offers then it might fall short. Nothing's perfect.
03-17-2009, 05:57 AM   #164
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QuoteOriginally posted by pingflood Quote
For 95% of shooters the K20D is no doubt a better value. But if you need what another camera/system offers then it might fall short. Nothing's perfect.
I will add one more comment to that in (slight) disagreement.

Dollar for dollar, there is N-O-T-H-I-N-G that beats the Pentax K20D in value. But I will give the D90 a V-E-R-Y favorable second place, maybe even a tie based on what a person wants to shoot.
03-17-2009, 07:09 AM   #165
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
As I said, I have two kids. I know others have complained a lot about the auto focus abilities. Maybe it is just me, but I have not had a lot of problem keeping up with them and I am awfully glad that the K10 does not have one of those annoying auto focus assist lights. If there is anything that gets kids to stop playing and starting focusing on the camera, it is that.

I guess the question really is what do you need? Nikon or Canon may offer it, but it may be for quite a bit more money as well...
Your experience mirrors my own - just that I only have one kid... I usually use only the center AF point and AF-S. But during the last two weeks I experimented more with auto-AF point selection and AF-C and was taken by surprise how good the K20 performed, for instance following the boy racing downhill on a sled. The same positive surprise I got with birds. Not every shot is sharp - but much more than I expected, especially in the light of the complaints all around.

The K-m of my partner seems to perform even better AF-wise. I gave her a Tamron 18-200, which sure is not a fast lens in any respect, but it performed flawlessly all time, following our little hero effortless and spot on.

Ben
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