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03-09-2009, 10:43 PM   #1
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Pulling the K20D trigger - need advice please

Hello fellow photography enthusiasts.

Now that PMA is over, I am seriously considering jumping ship into Pentax.
I have had a Canon Xti (400) for a few years now. My current lenses are down to the Canon 50mm f/1.8 and a Tokina 12-24mm f/4.

I also have a basic strobist gear with some Canon and Nikon flashes. I trigger them via the Cybersncs.

I plan on buying the Sigma DP2 (~40mm f/2.8) when it comes out, so I am not that interested in the Pentax pancakes. I also do not like the 16-45mm range and do not do well with visible barrel distortion. That said, I do want to dive in Pentax systems if it cheers me up a bit

I plan to keep my Rebel with the 12-24mm f/4 for wide angle shooting needs.

The items currently in my shopping cart are:

1) K20D
2) 50-135 f/2.8
From B&H for $1510 (with a 3 year lens protection plan against all damage etc.. $84)
*I also plan on getting the KatzEyes for manual focus- eventually

Forgive me for my newbie questions, even if they had been asked already, I have many of them to assist my decision in this purchase. I also have been trying to figure things out by reading this forum for a while.

Questions:

1) Are the DA STAR the only weather resistant lenses?
2) Would the Cybersyncs work perfectly fine with the K20D?
3) Is B&H a good place to buy Pentax gear?
4) Does Pentax have good TTL flash systems? Weather sealed?
5) Considering that I only want fixed aperture zoom lenses and primes, are the lens prices more digestable compared to Canon and Nikon's?

I also would appreciate any advice you feel like giving me.
The Olympus E620 was a little appealing to me as well, but it is not available yet and probably its sensor doesn't have the quality of the K20d - but, I could be wrong.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

03-09-2009, 11:04 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by loony33 Quote
Questions:

1) Are the DA STAR the only weather resistant lenses?
DA 17-70 f/4 has some weather sealing, i.e., on the mount. (Note that from around 24 to 70, DA 17-70 f/4 has no barrel distortion.)

QuoteQuote:
4) Does Pentax have good TTL flash systems? Weather sealed?
Their latest flashes are not weather sealed.

QuoteQuote:
5) Considering that I only want fixed aperture zoom lenses and primes, are the lens prices more digestable compared to Canon and Nikon's?
On ebay, prodigital2000 sells DA 17-70 f/4 for 550 CAD which is around 425 USD at today's exchange rates.
03-09-2009, 11:31 PM   #3
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Hi Loony33,
K20D for $691 at Amazon with free bag, free shipping.

Amazon.com: Pentax K20D 14.6MP Digital SLR Camera with Shake Reduction (Body Only): Camera & Photo
03-09-2009, 11:32 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by loony33 Quote
Hello fellow photography enthusiasts.

3) Is B&H a good place to buy Pentax gear?
Excellent, truly. Particularly if you live outside NY State and will not be charged sales tax.

03-09-2009, 11:35 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by loony33 Quote
Hello fellow photography enthusiasts.
Welcome to the forums and soon to the world of Pentax!

QuoteOriginally posted by loony33 Quote
I plan to keep my Rebel with the 12-24mm f/4 for wide angle shooting needs.
I need confirmation, but I believe the Pentax DA12-24/4 is the same lens as the Tokina, just rebadged and with the Pentax SMC coatings. If I'm right then if you wanted a single system you wouldn't be "losing" a lens. I know I do love my 12-24.

QuoteOriginally posted by loony33 Quote
2) Would the Cybersyncs work perfectly fine with the K20D?
Absolutely. I have the CST and 3 CSRBs. They work great.

QuoteOriginally posted by loony33 Quote
3) Is B&H a good place to buy Pentax gear?
B&H is perfectly respectable. I typically compare prices between Adorama, B&H and Amazon. Adorama and Amazon usually beat B&H's prices when I'm shopping, but B&H beat them both when I bought my K10D last year and on a couple lenses since then.

QuoteOriginally posted by loony33 Quote
4) Does Pentax have good TTL flash systems? Weather sealed?
Nothing comparable to an SB-900, but both the AF360FGZ and AF540FGZ are darn good flashes. More power and swivel are the big draw for the 540 compared to the 360. As for weather sealing, I guess I just never even considered stepping out into the rain with the flash attached.

One item you might consider adding to your kit, especially with the 50-135... It's not a light lens and you may find that having the battery grip D-BG2, even though it adds more weight, helps balance the rig. It also adds a 2nd battery as well as storage slots for the wireless remote F and an SD card. The only time I don't have my grip attached is when I'm shooting macros with the tripod column set horizontal.
03-10-2009, 06:53 AM   #6
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While I did not see a Flash in your list of goods, if you want a good deal on the 540 flash their is a Canadian seller who has a buy it now of (With current exchange rates) $246 and that includes shipping.

Link Ebay Auction:

I just grabbed one for the wedding I am shooting (As an assistant) this Saturday. Now I have to cross my fingers it gets here by Friday!
03-10-2009, 03:00 PM   #7
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thanks

Thank you for you kind responses!

-I will add the grip to my purchase.

-While I am more into off-camera flash, I will consider a TTL (thanks for the link) as it might come in handy on some occasions. Does Pentax offer and built in off-camera flash solutions? (such as the less than perfect canon IR)?

-So appart from the DA* lenses that are weahter sealed is the 17-70 f/4 the only other one that you is partially sealed?

Thank you all for your help.
03-10-2009, 08:27 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Optigrab Quote
Excellent, truly. Particularly if you live outside NY State and will not be charged sales tax.
Thank you.

03-10-2009, 08:36 PM   #9
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Got my K10 D at Cameta Camera and was very happy with price and Customer Service
03-10-2009, 08:38 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by loony33 Quote
Thank you for you kind responses!

-I will add the grip to my purchase.

-While I am more into off-camera flash, I will consider a TTL (thanks for the link) as it might come in handy on some occasions. Does Pentax offer and built in off-camera flash solutions? (such as the less than perfect canon IR)?

-So appart from the DA* lenses that are weahter sealed is the 17-70 f/4 the only other one that you is partially sealed?

Thank you all for your help.
Off-camera flash: The K20D can trigger the AF360 and AF540 flashes wirelessly.

No current Pentax DSLR supports true TTL flash. They suppert P-TTL, where a pre-flash is fired and the camera meters and sets the exposure based on that.
03-10-2009, 10:08 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by loony33 Quote
Hello fellow photography enthusiasts.
Hello! Welcome to the board. I'll chime in on a few of the questions.

QuoteOriginally posted by loony33 Quote
Questions:

1) Are the DA STAR the only weather resistant lenses?
2) Would the Cybersyncs work perfectly fine with the K20D?
3) Is B&H a good place to buy Pentax gear?
4) Does Pentax have good TTL flash systems? Weather sealed?
5) Considering that I only want fixed aperture zoom lenses and primes, are the lens prices more digestable compared to Canon and Nikon's?
1. Pretty much. Although with the camera being weather sealed as well, you can be a little more daring even with unsealed lenses.

3. Yes, although for lower prices you could probably try Prodigital, Amazon or Adorama. B&H is nice for the reliability, though.

5. As a general rule, yes, you do get a lot more bang for your buck with Pentax, especially if you consider some of the third-party lens options from Sigma and Tamron as well. The 50-135 is an excellent lens by all accounts -- a great one to start with.

QuoteOriginally posted by loony33 Quote
The Olympus E620 was a little appealing to me as well, but it is not available yet and probably its sensor doesn't have the quality of the K20d - but, I could be wrong.
If the E620's sensor is as good as the K20D's, and they can sell it for even close to as cheap as the K20D is going for right now. then Olympus will have quite a contender Somehow I doubt that one of those two things will be true, though, at least right away.
03-11-2009, 08:22 PM   #12
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like others say, the 50-135 is simply amazing, but I find the 16-50 on all the time.
03-12-2009, 11:23 AM   #13
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stock

B&H is out of stock on the K20D, with or without kit!
I would rather wait and get it with 50-135 and everything from one place.

It was in stock few days ago!
I find this odd that they ran out of K20D's.
03-12-2009, 12:17 PM   #14
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Adorama is out of stock too, atm.

Amazon has them both in stock now though:
Amazon.com: Pentax K20D 14.6MP Digital SLR Camera (Body Only)
Amazon.com: Pentax SMC DA* Series 50-135mm f/2.8 ED IF SDM
03-12-2009, 06:29 PM   #15
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Gee, out of stock due to higher than expected sales or no longer wishing to stock in decent quantities?
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