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03-15-2009, 12:59 PM   #1
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Apples and Oranges

I am trying to understand why people attempt to compare cameras with grossly different lenses. When I moved from a K100 to a K10, I was still using a lousy Fa J 28-80 kit lens and truthfully, I saw almost no difference in quality in my photos, even though the camera was significantly better. On the other hand, when I got the FA 50mm 1.4 and the DA* 50-135, I saw a huge improvement in photos. Why is it that people don't realize that what you see is mostly "glass effect" and not the camera?

03-15-2009, 01:27 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I am trying to understand why people attempt to compare cameras with grossly different lenses. When I moved from a K100 to a K10, I was still using a lousy Fa J 28-80 kit lens and truthfully, I saw almost no difference in quality in my photos, even though the camera was significantly better. On the other hand, when I got the FA 50mm 1.4 and the DA* 50-135, I saw a huge improvement in photos. Why is it that people don't realize that what you see is mostly "glass effect" and not the camera?

To complete the story we need to know how the Fa 28-80 looks on the K10 & how the FA 50mm 1.4 and the DA* 50-135 look on the K100 I think.

Dave
03-15-2009, 01:34 PM   #3
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Unfortunately, I don't have the K100 any more. I got caught in heavy rain while climbing an inactive volcano and it has gone to Pentax heaven. So, I can't do any real comparisons. The Fa J is pretty prone to flare, has really poor colors -- I can't believe now that I continued to use it for so long. I guess my point is really that if someone is comparing their camera with a kit lens to another camera -- whatever brand with a higher quality lens, it isn't a fair comparison.
03-15-2009, 02:01 PM   #4
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Your point is well taken. A coke bottle lens on a perfect camera will still give a bad photo.

But I think a good lens on a K100D isn't all that bad; simple numbers indicate that given a perfect lens one should be able to enlarge the K100D's photo to about 4/5 the size of the K10D. I don't know how it works out in real life.

Dave

03-15-2009, 02:13 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I guess my point is really that if someone is comparing their camera with a kit lens to another camera -- whatever brand with a higher quality lens, it isn't a fair comparison.
Absolutely true. And it is not only true for image quality but also for things like AF accuracy and speed etc.

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03-15-2009, 02:22 PM   #6
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Although I have limited experience with different lenses, I am sure this is a true statement. For the moment I only have my kit DA 18-55 lens and two M lenses (50mm and 35mm) to work with (my new FA 35/2.0 should be arriving any day now).
But since my budget as a hobby photographer and student is quite limited, I am working with a *ist DL2 which I purchased about 2-3 years ago. How would you say image quality of this camera relates to, lets say, a K100? No one I personally know has a Pentax dSLR, everyone around me is Canikon, so I was just wondering about your opinions regarding this camera, despite it's limited 6MP. As far as I've seen, most people around here are working with K100/200 and/or K10/20, because the DL series are entry-level.
03-15-2009, 02:58 PM   #7
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I had an *ist, but it was the film variety. As far as I know, the big differences between the K100 and the previous ist series was the change in body style, as well as some differences in controls. I find that with the K10, I am able to crop a little more than what I could with the K100. I really like the K10 body -- it has two dials and a lot of easy to access buttons for various functions, but it is also quite a bit bigger. The biggest reason I moved up was that having lost one camera to rain damage, I wanted a weather proof camera that could tolerate the occasional shower.
03-15-2009, 03:04 PM   #8
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Thanks for your insight Rondec. I too see the great advantages of a weather-resisant body and two dials – I used to have two dials on a film SLR Nikon I used to have, and had gotten quite used to it.

PS: I apologize on beforehand for this off-topic question, but where do I find those "proud owner of..." banners I see in signatures all over the forum? Even though entry-level, I'm still a very proud owner of my DL2 :-)

03-15-2009, 03:12 PM   #9
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I dont buy it...

My K100d is the equal of the K10 in IQ IMHO and at ISO 1600 and 3200 I will take it everytime... Can you crop a bit more with the K10? Of course, but I could crop pretty far in with my K100d too... I think a good chunk of glass on the K100 vs the K10 and things even up really fast.


Now the K20d, that is a whole other sensor and a whole lot more cropping than my K100d.

Now I will agree that first lens you were using was an issue. But nothing on just a pure IQ level really made me want to upgrade to the K10d. There were other features and user interfaces that were an improvement but not really IQ...

Just my opinion.

-edit- In re-reading your post I think I am agreeing with much of the concept... I had read the part about "I saw almost no difference in quality in my photos, even though the camera was significantly better." And took issue with you thinking somehow with the same glass the K10d would give you significantly better images. That part I just simply disagree with. If you nail composition and exposure with the same glass on the two cameras... there will not be a "significant" difference.
But your idea that we should compare same lenses (apples to apples) is absolutely true.

Last edited by Igilligan; 03-15-2009 at 06:11 PM.
03-15-2009, 06:49 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by alex.r Quote
PS: I apologize on beforehand for this off-topic question, but where do I find those "proud owner of..." banners I see in signatures all over the forum? Even though entry-level, I'm still a very proud owner of my DL2 :-)
Cheat. Find an example of the banner you want on someone's post, right click on it, save to your desktop, then add it to your signature under the "User CP" button above.
03-15-2009, 09:41 PM   #11
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Photographers everywhere all agree---"It is all about the glass."



That said, things like cropping power, FPS, high noise capabilities, Shake Reduction, good flash options, nice viewfinder, great ergonomics, nice software, high level of user control, backwards compatibility, nice sensor, weather sealing, and engine processor all come into play.

If you are to compare 2 different brands of camera makes, it is highly unlikely the comparison will be done with the same lens, though it is possible to do. But even if you did, the images would be different and it would not prove one camera is better than the other, but that the lens was predisposed in favor of one of the brands.

So, the best you can really ever hope for is 2 different cameras being compared with 2 different lenses. Hence, apples to orange is the norm--we need to get used to it.

That is why the purchase is always about what is best for the buyer---it is not about what is the best camera or best lens. All things in life, for better or worse, are defined relative to other things--it is that simple.

East is always defined on a map as the area on the right, and West is the area on the left. Washington is in the very western part of the US, but there are very eastern parts of Washington. Just where does East begin and west end--no one knows--the Earth is a sphere, East and West ONLY EXIST relative to one another, but there really is no such place--it is just a human invention which enables us to coexist with our perception.
03-15-2009, 11:54 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by newarts Quote
To complete the story we need to know how the Fa 28-80 looks on the K10 & how the FA 50mm 1.4 and the DA* 50-135 look on the K100 I think.

Dave
Trust me, the FA28-80 is a dreadful lens regardless of the camera it is attached to. The FA50 f1.4 and the DA*50-135 f2.8 will be *VASTLY* superior.
03-16-2009, 03:40 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I am trying to understand why people attempt to compare cameras with grossly different lenses. When I moved from a K100 to a K10, I was still using a lousy Fa J 28-80 kit lens and truthfully, I saw almost no difference in quality in my photos, even though the camera was significantly better. On the other hand, when I got the FA 50mm 1.4 and the DA* 50-135, I saw a huge improvement in photos. Why is it that people don't realize that what you see is mostly "glass effect" and not the camera?
It's right and obvious.
Quality of a photo for me, is, immediately after the photographer ability...the lenses quality.
I choose my K20 ONLY after having examined the lenses of the system. And after, concerning dslr body, i pondered construction quality, weather-sealing and ergonomic handle in my hand.

I never considered the sensor and those useless crop at 100% on many photographic site review to find the noise at 1600 iso (bha!).
Even if the sensor has a relative importance in a digital contest...the quality of the lens remains the most important factor after the skill of the photographer.
03-16-2009, 04:08 AM   #14
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I guess I should say that when I said the K10 was "better" than the K100, I should have said "newer." The K10 does feel better to my hand and has good controls, but as far as photo taking ability, they are both really excellent cameras.
03-16-2009, 04:15 AM   #15
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[QUOTE=Jewelltrail;525626]Photographers everywhere all agree---"It is all about the glass."


So, the best you can really ever hope for is 2 different cameras being compared with 2 different lenses. Hence, apples to orange is the norm--we need to get used to it.

That is why the purchase is always about what is best for the buyer---it is not about what is the best camera or best lens. All things in life, for better or worse, are defined relative to other things--it is that simple.



I agree, but it is often an unfair comparison. My brother has a Nikon D50 with a kit lens. His photos are often less than sharp. If I compare mine to his, my initial response is: "Oh, my camera is better than yours." The reality is that if he got better glass, his camera would be fine. On the other hand, he doesn't really seem to care, which is something that I have noticed about Nikon users. They seem content to stick with the kit lens, even if they aren't getting very good results. Unlike me, who am stuck chasing after higher quality lenses.
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