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04-16-2009, 08:15 AM   #16
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Yes Nikon's 12-24 is hardly going cheap either. The siggy is not a fair comparison IMHO.

IMHO the lack of IS is offset by the far better Nikon lens motors.

04-16-2009, 08:41 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by brumby Quote
Nikon D300
Sigma 10-20
Nikon 35 f2.0
Nikon 85 f1.8
Nikon 70-300 (VR)
Total cost - $A 5020

Pentax K20D
Pentax 12-24 (Aussie price $A 950-1050)
Pentax 35 DA Macro (from Adorama - Aussie price is now $A 1100 plus)
Pentax DA 77 Ltd (Aussie price $A 1000-1100)
Pentax DA 200 f2.8 (from Adorama - Aussie price is now $A 2400 plus)
Total cost - $A 5254
I think a more equal comparison would look like this:

Nikon
Sigma 10-20
Nikon 35 f/1.8
Nikon 85 f/1.8
Nikon 70-300 VR

Pentax
Sigma 10-20
Pentax 35 f/2.8 (gives you macro)
Pentax 77 f/1.8
Pentax 55-300

If you price those out, Pentax wins...especially in light of SR in the camera body. But I'm not sure you're basing your decision primarily on price.
04-16-2009, 08:49 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by brumby Quote
I presently do not have a DSLR nor any lenses, so I am completely open about which brand/system to buy into. My choices, after a great deal of research, have boiled down to Pentax or Nikon. I have had a play with both the K20D and the D300. As far as bodies are concerned, I must admit I am swaying towards the Nikon D300

BUT.

I'm buying into a system. In other words, lenses and only then the camera body.

Here in Australia, I have priced out a Pentax and a Nikon system, going by the best lens prices I can find, not necessarily Aussie prices which have rocketed upwards lately for Pentax glass - especially the DA lenses. Here are the systems:

Nikon D300
Sigma 10-20
Nikon 35 f2.0
Nikon 85 f1.8
Nikon 70-300 (VR)
Total cost - $A 5020

Pentax K20D
Pentax 12-24 (Aussie price $A 950-1050)
Pentax 35 DA Macro (from Adorama - Aussie price is now $A 1100 plus)
Pentax DA 77 Ltd (Aussie price $A 1000-1100)
Pentax DA 200 f2.8 (from Adorama - Aussie price is now $A 2400 plus)
Total cost - $A 5254

This is a VERY tough choice. The unparalleled selection of Pentax prime lenses is tempting indeed. The Nikon D300 is a superb body. The cost is pretty well even.

Any comments, suggestions? Were it not for the fact that, lens for lens, the Pentax selection here is probably superior, I would probably go for the Nikon. But I reckon that the Pentax lens selection IS superior. The point is that nowadays, the old HUGE price advantage of Pentax over Nikon glass (at least here in Oz) is nowhere near what it used to be.
But they are not the same systems!

Take out the DA200 F2.8 and put a similar zoom, and tnem make all th enikon lenses VR to be equal to the K20 system.

you'll see a big difference
04-16-2009, 09:02 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by brumby Quote

Nikon D300
Sigma 10-20
Nikon 35 f2.0
Nikon 85 f1.8
Nikon 70-300 (VR)
Total cost - $A 5020

Pentax K20D
Pentax 12-24 (Aussie price $A 950-1050)
Pentax 35 DA Macro (from Adorama - Aussie price is now $A 1100 plus)
Pentax DA 77 Ltd (Aussie price $A 1000-1100)
Pentax DA 200 f2.8 (from Adorama - Aussie price is now $A 2400 plus)
Total cost - $A 5254

This is a VERY tough choice. The unparalleled selection of Pentax prime lenses is tempting indeed. The Nikon D300 is a superb body. The cost is pretty well even.

Any comments, suggestions? Were it not for the fact that, lens for lens, the Pentax selection here is probably superior, I would probably go for the Nikon. But I reckon that the Pentax lens selection IS superior. The point is that nowadays, the old HUGE price advantage of Pentax over Nikon glass (at least here in Oz) is nowhere near what it used to be.

The D300 has faster AF-lock and sightly better high-ISO performance, and faster FPS. Other than that, I think the IQ of the Pentax Samsung sensor gives better results.

But what really strikes me about what you have above are the lens choices - in every way there, what you have for Pentax is better, in some ways much better.

The Nikon 35 f/2 is one stop faster than the Pentax DA 35, but that's the only advantage, and it's a small one, because the Nikon 35 isn't a macro, either.

The Nikon 85 1.8 doesn't really fully compare to the Pentax 77ltd - trust me on that. The 85 1.8 is basically a longer 50 1.8 when it comes to IQ. The Nikon 85 1.4 does compare to the 77, but is a $1000 USD lens.

The 12-24 is sharper than the Sigma 10-20, and the 200 2.8 is stellar. The Nikon 70-300 VR is simply a very expensive consumer zoom.

I's consider the Tamron 70-200 2.8 instead, though ($700 USD) - more versatile than the DA 200. On Nikon, it doesn't enjoy any image stabilization as it does on Pentax.


.

04-16-2009, 09:16 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by brumby Quote
Basically stationary or slow moving subjects. Sports or fast action photography are not in the mix. I am, however, a great fan of low light photography. Camera would be used for landscape - wildlife - portrait - indoor/street photography in that order.
landscape - pentax (weathersealing)
wildlife - nikon (longer lens, especially on the used market)
portrait - pentax (primes)
indoor photography - nikon (better flash system)
street photography - nikon (faster AF)

Looks like you've got nearly a tie

I agree w/ what others have said about your choices lenses. They're different so your comparison is invalid when saying the price is the same. I can understand choosing what you feel you'd get but they're not really comparable. Or are you just saying you have AUD$5000 to spend and want us to help you spend it?

The other alternative is to run dual systems. I'm thinking of doing that for the longer used Nikon lenses that we can't get on Pentax unless you cough up as much as Nikon body + a Nikon lens for the equivalent...
04-16-2009, 06:30 PM   #21
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Ok, I expected the input about the difference of the lenses, especially at the long end. I agree that the more apt comparison would be the Nikon 70-300 with the Pentax 55-300 instead of the superior Pentax 200mm prime lens.

Of course, a Nikon "afficionado" would point out that the K20D should not be compared with the D300 but with the D90. I happen to disagree.

Please remember that these are Australian best prices and let's see if we can be more scientific:

Body: - $1000 advantage Pentax - unless one compares with the D90
Pentax K20D - $1230
Nikon D90 - $1315
Nikon D300 - $2250

Wide Angle (Zoom) - not much in it
Sigma 10-20 - $830 (HSM - fast AF - available on Nikon mount but not on Pentax)
Nikon 12-24 - $1395
Pentax 10-17 - $820
Pentax 12-24 - $1000

"Normal" - price advantage Nikon - selection advantage Pentax
Nikon 35 f 1.8G - $430
Nikon 35 f 2 D - $540
Pentax 35 f2 FA (can't find a new Aussie price)
Pentax 40 f2.8 Pancake - $465
Pentax 35 f2.8 DA Macro - $1170 (price has DOUBLED in three months)
Pentax 31 f1.8 Limited - $1490


"Portrait" - slight advantage Pentax
Nikon 85 f1.4 - $1595
Nikon 85 f1.8 - $625
Pentax 70 f2.4 Pancake- $580
Pentax 77 f1.8 Limited - $1100

Telephoto (Zoom) - nothing in it
Nikon 55-200 f4.5-5.6 - $345
Nikon 70-300 f4.5-5.6 VR - $800
Pentax 50-200 f4-5.6 - $330
Pentax 55-300 f4-5.8 - $670

I am aware that I can and probably would get many of these lenses from the US, where prices are comparatively much cheaper even when taking the exchange rate and shipping into consideration. I am also aware that many used Pentax lenses come up for sale here. Problem is that the majority of them are marked for sale in CONUS (Continental US) only. Again, I'm writing this from the perspective of an Aussie whose access to good glass - new and especially used - is comparatively limited

Finally, I am aware that the disparity in prices between Nikon (and Canon) and Pentax glass, at least here in Australia and I hazard to guess in many other places outside the US, is not what it used to be.

This is not a complaint, merely an observation. I should have got off my duff and done the deal on Pentax six-nine months ago - when prices were much more in favour of Pentax - but I didn't.
04-16-2009, 06:45 PM   #22
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You might want to check your used lens market out there. Not sure how it is there, but here, you get a lot of Nikon lenses put up for sale by upgraders on craigslist and fleabay. E.g., an 85/1.4 would be around US$800-900 used.
For ultrawides, you also might want to wait until Nikon releases their 10-24 and Sigma releases their 10-20/3.5. They should be interesting because both have put out sharper than usual lenses lately...

Even then, you'll have a big difference in cost of the body, and as your updated list shows, comparable lenses are about the same cost new...

Does either body feel better to you, ergonomics wise? I'm suspecting either one would be fine for you at this point...just depends if you want to spend a bit more for the D300 (better AF, nicer LCD screen).
04-17-2009, 11:47 AM   #23
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It's been pointed out before, but bears repeating - your price comparison may look about a wash, but considering that all those lenses are stabilized on Pentax but only one is on Nikon... how do you factor that in?

04-17-2009, 11:51 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
It's been pointed out before, but bears repeating - your price comparison may look about a wash, but considering that all those lenses are stabilized on Pentax but only one is on Nikon... how do you factor that in?
I thought he should price all stabalized nikons because he is comparing "systems" and therefore the "system performance" should be equal. if he does not use VR lenses, then the pentax would win outright on "performance" due to stabalization.
04-17-2009, 08:49 PM   #25
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Hi Guys (and Gals)

I am NOT trying to bash Pentax here. If anybody has read it that way, I can only say that I regret them having done so. It was not my intention. If anything, I'm bashing myself for not taking the opportunity to get into a Pentax system when prices were lower.

With Pentax, I have the opportunity to make use of in camera stabilisation. That's a REAL bonus. With Nikon, I can probably use higher ISOs with a more success. That's also a bonus. A wash? Maybe, maybe not.

Please note that the Nikon lens which does have VR is the tele-zoom, where it is a bigger bonus that at wide/normal focal lengths.

At any rate, my long ago experience with (film) SLR cameras was at a time when the only stabilisation available came from steady hands or a beanbag/monopod/tripod.

I like Pentax because they make cameras for photographers and because their selection of good prime glass is unequalled. I also like them because, like Nikon, they are primarily an optics company. I have, BTW, a pair of Pentax 8 x 42 SP binoculars which are superb - unequalled by any other company in my experience at the price level. And yes, I also like Pentax because they are "different" Hell, I've got a top loading CD player, that's bizarre in this day and age.

I like Nikon because their viewfinder/LCD is the best in the business, because they are also primarily an optics company, and because they resisted the "pixel wars" with the D300/D700 and instead chose to optimise the low light/AF/speed aspects of their cameras. Canon lost me completely when they upped the 5D II pixel count above 20m without doing anything to improve their AF and stuck in an HD video camera. If that's the route they're going in, I don't want to know.

But when I look at what's coming out now from Pentax in the way of glass, I start to wonder. The new Pentax 60-250 f4 DA Zoom is being priced for future delivery in Australia at $2850. The Nikkor 70-200 2.8 VR is $2750.

It makes me stop and think, mainly because I'm so used to seeing Pentax lenses for about half the price of their Nikon equivalents, I suppose.
04-18-2009, 12:09 AM   #26
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If you are planning to purchase all at once I have a third option - Pentax + USA trip!
04-18-2009, 04:19 AM   #27
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As others have said, a lot depends on what you are shooting. I never (of course) shot with SR until I bought a K100. Now, I depend on it all of the time. There would be those who would say that it is only really important on long lenses, but I can say that I have benefited from it on all sorts of shots, including with wide aperture primes.

The other thing I would say is that Pentax strong point is their high quality primes. Sure, they have some zooms, some of them pretty good, but I think it is the primes that draw us and the primes that feed LBA. Even those who are ardent Nikon/ Canon shooters admit that the Pentax glass is of the highest quality.
04-18-2009, 11:14 AM   #28
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if your interested in high iso performance wouldn't you buy the d90 which kills the d300 for high iso performance and costs less

Imaging Resource "Comparometer" ™ Digital Camera Image Comparison Page

just look at the iso 6400 images in full res here, the d90 has similar noise levels but much more detail retained than the d300

then have a look at the medium iso settings and see how the k20d kills them for detail... just look at the red leaves for example on the last test setup... totally washes out on the nikon but though noisier you can actually see the fabric on the k20d... so dont be so quick to say the pentax iso performance is 'poor' they have just decided not to blur the crap out of your image :P

Last edited by WerTicus; 04-18-2009 at 11:23 AM.
04-18-2009, 11:41 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by brumby Quote
With Pentax, I have the opportunity to make use of in camera stabilisation. That's a REAL bonus. With Nikon, I can probably use higher ISOs with a more success. That's also a bonus. A wash? Maybe, maybe not.
Definitely not. Nikon's high IOS performance mostly comes as a result of much more aggressive noise reduction than Pentax employs by default. Not sure how the results compare if you crank up Pentax NR all the way, or do your NR in PP where it can always be done better, but I really doubt there would be nearly much high ISO advantage to Nikon as the SR advantage is to Pentax.

QuoteQuote:
Please note that the Nikon lens which does have VR is the tele-zoom, where it is a bigger bonus that at wide/normal focal lengths.
Perhaps, but imagine if you will shooting indoors in low light at 1/6" and getting a blur-free shot. SR is *incredibly* valuable at virtually *any* focal length.

QuoteQuote:
At any rate, my long ago experience with (film) SLR cameras was at a time when the only stabilisation available came from steady hands or a beanbag/monopod/tripod.
Sure, and you had to pay for film and developing and couldn't see your results on a LCD got terrible grain/noise above ISO 400 and so on and so on. Now, film fans don't get me wrong - there are obviously great things about film. But just as obviously, there are some wonderful advantages to digital that make people want to shoot that way. Not needing to carry beanbags or monopods with you to get sharp pictures in low light is one of them. Trust me, once you get used to shooting handheld in low light at slower shutter speeds than you previously imagined possible, you start thinking of shooting unstabilized as being as archaic as having to change rolls of film to change ISO or needing your own darkroom in order to crop an image.

QuoteQuote:
But when I look at what's coming out now from Pentax in the way of glass, I start to wonder. The new Pentax 60-250 f4 DA Zoom is being priced for future delivery in Australia at $2850. The Nikkor 70-200 2.8 VR is $2750.

It makes me stop and think, mainly because I'm so used to seeing Pentax lenses for about half the price of their Nikon equivalents, I suppose.
It's kind of all over the map, really. Some lenses cheaper, some more expensive. But a 60-250/4 is not really equivalent to a 70-200/2.8. A stop slower but a significantly greater zoom range (over 4X compared to less than 3X). Not overly surprising to me that they work out to be similar in cost.

Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 04-18-2009 at 01:44 PM.
04-18-2009, 01:04 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by brumby Quote
But when I look at what's coming out now from Pentax in the way of glass, I start to wonder. The new Pentax 60-250 f4 DA Zoom is being priced for future delivery in Australia at $2850. The Nikkor 70-200 2.8 VR is $2750.
FWIW, most Pentaxians don't get the 60-250 either
Canon's 70-200/4 is smaller and less expensive
Canikon's 70-200/2.8 are less expensive and faster (and you can slap on a 1.4x TC to get up to 280mm).

I don't take your comments as bashing. I think most here are trying to help w/ your comparison shopping and making sure you know the pros/cons of both systems as they see them.

BTW, another alternative to think of, depending on what you shoot, is to go dual system...Nikon for long lenses and Pentax for everything else. A Nikon D200 is being dumped for $600 here and you can get decent used long Nikon lenses for less than equivalent ones on the used Pentax market. The D300 will probably be dumped next year at a decent price
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