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07-09-2009, 04:31 PM   #31
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In lens IS is by default inferior to sensor shift. For in lens IS to work a compromise must be made somewhere along the way. You basicly have three choices with an in the lens system:

1. You take one of your non-is lens designs and pick a group of elements to shift around. This means that even though you are compensating for shift you are sacrificing image quality at the same time. This is due to off center elements in the lens.

2. You design an all new lens just for IS, which means making IQ compromises in the design of the lens to support IS and still meet your price point/size restrictions.

3. You decide to make an IS lens that has consistantly very high IQ at all times. The lens ends up extremely large and expensive. To make matters worse the lens is so heavy it tends to negate the benefit of IS.

As someone pointed out earlier in liens IS was a great idea back in the film era. Now it's the wrong way of attacking the problem.

07-09-2009, 04:45 PM   #32
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I find that I get about 3-4 stops when I take xanax. Forget SR on the body or lens, treat the nut behind the shutter...
07-09-2009, 06:25 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by Duck Dodgers Quote
A prime ( ) reason why I am now on-board with Pentax. Canon abandoned the FD lens line (along with my then almost new lenses) when they created the first film EOS bodies. At first it didn't bother me too much; manual focus had always been fine with me. But as the "digital revolution" came to SLRs, it became apparent that there was no path forward for me and my FD lenses. I held out until 2007, and then purchased the K10D. Part of my decision was based on the fact that Canon had orphaned an entire line of lenses. Don't get me wrong; I'm all for progress...I had already seen how Intel crippled their CPUs in order to maintain backwards compatibility with the old 8086 processors and Windows. Sometimes you have to make a clean break. Yet Pentax was able to migrate their lenses to AF/digital, and they're a much smaller company. Maybe AF was an impossibility with Canon's FD breech/bayonet mounts...I don't know. And maybe Pentax will come out with an all-new mount on the K-8. I don't know. But two years ago, for me, Pentax was the obvious choice. I am confident that I would make the same choice today.


[/fanboy_mode]
From what I gather Canon came to a point where they would have to really hack things up to continue with the FD mount, and with AF it was probably a good time to just throw the switch on a new setup. (Additionally, some of the planned glass would require a bigger mount, like the 50L.) To their credit, every lens made since 1987(?) in EF mount works perfectly fine on every body. Compare that to Nikon, where you have to dig up the "compatibility matrix" to figure out if a lens will focus, meter, hit the mirror, or anything else on a recent body. Or Pentax, who crippled the K mount so you have to use the "green button" metering on older glass.

I do wish that they'd kept a shorter registration distance so FD lenses could be used without an optical adapter though, but there's probably a reason for it... a few FD lenses WILL work without an optical adapter (I think the 800mm is one) thanks to going well enough past infinity on the native mount, but most require either the enormously expensive and rare Canon adapter or a cruddy third party one.
07-12-2009, 05:47 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
Welcome to the forum.
First, he IS a salesman and I think it's probably safe to say that his store doesn't sell Pentax. If they do, they probably don't actively push Pentax.
His comments are not surprising actually. I have yet to find a camera shop anywhere that pushes Pentax over Canon or Nikon. His comments are not entirely inaccurate either... especially for someone who doesn't pay a whole lot of attention to a minor player in DSLRs.

QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
Whichever system you decide on is going to be good quality.
Depends on the model. Pentax, Canon, and Nikon all have made dud cameras that should be avoided. Generally speaking, however, if you ignore the ~ sub $500 cameras... your statement is probably correct.



QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
In lens stabilisation supposedly works better for longer lenses.
Not supposedly... it does work better in the lens. Why? B/c it is impossible to move the sensor enough distance and fast enough to compensate for the greater movements of a longer lens. The In-lens SR lens only has to move a fraction of the difference that the In-Camera SR mechanism has to move. I'm grossly simplifying this but hopefully you get the idea.

However, it is not really a question of which one is better but rather, which system do you want to 'marry' yourself to and can you afford the Canon/Nikon methodology?

Pentax's idea is great b/c it is relatively effective (re: noticeably better than no SR), it is inexpensive, and it works on any lens.

QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
with any lens and in the case of Pentax, it'll work with forty year old lenses that you can pick up for a few bucks at a thrift store.
Oh my, you are sounding like a Pentax ad.

Chances are, those 'thrift store' lenses are crap anyway!

QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
Pentax probably has the best value for money.
Quite true BUT is this something to brag about? I hear this often in the Pentax forum and quite frankly, I am embarrassed by this statement.

Walmart also offers the best value... but that is not something worthy of being proud of if that is where I do all my shopping.

QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
Pentax are also renowned for lens quality, that's something no self respecting Canon or Nikon owner will deny.
Hmm..... you are almost implying that Pentax lenses are BETTER than Canon and Nikon. I've heard this before in this forum and it never ceases to amaze me.

Yes, Pentax does make good glass for their premium lenses, just as Canon and Nikon ALSO make good glass for their premium lenses. There is little to no difference. If this wasn't the case, you would see a heck of a lot more pro photographers using Pentax products.

QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
In fact many of them use the old Pentax lenses on their cameras with the aid of adapters or modifications.
With all due respect..... ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND?

Okay, perhaps your statement MIGHT be true for the occasional hobbyist but it is likely untrue amongst the pros. I certainly don't know a single Canon photographer that would even entertain the idea of using a non-Canon (with the exception of the occasional Sigma) lens. Not b/c Pentax lenses are inferior but simply b/c it makes no sense when Canon has equally good lenses that don't require an adaptor and are designed for the right camera.

-------------
So, in conclusion to the OP.....

Be careful when listening to advice from a camera shop salesperson or a Pentax photographer in this forum. Both animals have something in common... a bias! :-)

Read 'independent' (if such a thing exists) reviews, look at the features, the costs, pay attention to the issues with each camera, its limitations, etc.

Before you begin, ask yourself what type of photography do you want to do, what are the most important features you need in a camera, and finally, how much are you willing to pay?

For example, if shake reduction is important to you and you're on a budget, clearly Pentax may be the right choice. If you're not on a budget, both Canon and Nikon do offer you much greater choices in bodies, future upgrades... up to pro models. Pentax doesn't offer any pro cameras and likely never will. But perhaps the pro features are not important to you.

I hope I have helped a little bit.

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07-12-2009, 06:19 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentaxmz Quote
Depends on the model. Pentax, Canon, and Nikon all have made dud cameras that should be avoided. Generally speaking, however, if you ignore the ~ sub $500 cameras... your statement is probably correct.
Why avoid sub-$500 cameras, if that is what you can afford? Pentax K100D, K2000, Canon XS, Nikon D40 & D60 are under $500 and are certainly capable of wonderful images.


QuoteOriginally posted by pentaxmz Quote
Chances are, those 'thrift store' lenses are crap anyway!
Huh? You can occasionally find great deals on Pentax, Tokina, etc. lenses at thrift stores and similar places, often attached to an old film body. If you check out the site's Lens Reviews section, many folks have picked up great lenses "on the cheap" thru thrift stores or the online equivalent.

QuoteOriginally posted by pentaxmz Quote
Quite true BUT is this something to brag about? I hear this often in the Pentax forum and quite frankly, I am embarrassed by this statement.

Walmart also offers the best value... but that is not something worthy of being proud of if that is where I do all my shopping.
There's a difference between "cheap" and "value". Pentax's take on value seems to be offering the best quality for the money, whereas Walmart's is offering the most quantity for the money. Completely different paradigms that shouldn't be compared.

QuoteOriginally posted by pentaxmz Quote
Okay, perhaps your statement MIGHT be true for the occasional hobbyist but it is likely untrue amongst the pros. I certainly don't know a single Canon photographer that would even entertain the idea of using a non-Canon (with the exception of the occasional Sigma) lens. Not b/c Pentax lenses are inferior but simply b/c it makes no sense when Canon has equally good lenses that don't require an adaptor and are designed for the right camera.
I might be reading this wrong; it sounds like you are implying that Canon requires the use of an adapter to use 3rd party lenses.
07-12-2009, 06:58 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve Beswick Quote
In lens IS is by default inferior to sensor shift. For in lens IS to work a compromise must be made somewhere along the way. You basicly have three choices with an in the lens system:

1. You take one of your non-is lens designs and pick a group of elements to shift around. This means that even though you are compensating for shift you are sacrificing image quality at the same time. This is due to off center elements in the lens.

2. You design an all new lens just for IS, which means making IQ compromises in the design of the lens to support IS and still meet your price point/size restrictions.

3. You decide to make an IS lens that has consistantly very high IQ at all times. The lens ends up extremely large and expensive. To make matters worse the lens is so heavy it tends to negate the benefit of IS.

As someone pointed out earlier in liens IS was a great idea back in the film era. Now it's the wrong way of attacking the problem.
All good points and I remember reading how impossible it is to add IS on some lenses without doing a complete redesign. Thus the Canon/Nikon will always have some no-IS lenses, not only primes but also zooms. Nikon in particular on their standard high-performance f/2.8 zooms the 17-55 and the 24-70 have no IS.

Now I don't know if this has already been discussed but here is a test that gives the victory to in-body IS:
Image Stabilization Test: Olympus E-520 SLR Body - SLRgear.com!

"Our test results of the Olympus E-520 showed pretty conclusively, though, that it delivered stabilization performance in the final images very much on par with the best lens-based systems we've tested."
07-12-2009, 07:28 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentaxmz Quote
With all due respect..... ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND?

Okay, perhaps your statement MIGHT be true for the occasional hobbyist but it is likely untrue amongst the pros. I certainly don't know a single Canon photographer that would even entertain the idea of using a non-Canon (with the exception of the occasional Sigma) lens. Not b/c Pentax lenses are inferior but simply b/c it makes no sense when Canon has equally good lenses that don't require an adaptor and are designed for the right camera.
Well, now you know one. And do pay a visit to the "alternative lenses" forum on fredmiranda.com where you'll find quite a few Canon and Nikon shooters using other brand glass, including Pentax. (And yes, some professionals DO use the stuff just because it gives them something they can't find otherwise.)

Sure, Canon has some superb glass (and I am fortunate enough to have some of it), but there are some older/third party/other brand lenses with a lot of character or other advantages. E.g. Olympus 40mm pancake lens; there's no real equivalent available in EF mount and some people LOVE those things on the smaller Canon bodies since it makes for a very compact package with great image quality. Leica R glass is pretty popular too since it really shines on a high resolution DSLR.
07-12-2009, 09:29 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by pingflood Quote
Well, now you know one. And do pay a visit to the "alternative lenses" forum on fredmiranda.com where you'll find quite a few Canon and Nikon shooters using other brand glass, including Pentax. (And yes, some professionals DO use the stuff just because it gives them something they can't find otherwise.)

Sure, Canon has some superb glass (and I am fortunate enough to have some of it), but there are some older/third party/other brand lenses with a lot of character or other advantages. E.g. Olympus 40mm pancake lens; there's no real equivalent available in EF mount and some people LOVE those things on the smaller Canon bodies since it makes for a very compact package with great image quality. Leica R glass is pretty popular too since it really shines on a high resolution DSLR.
I worked in a pro camera shop back in the late 80s, and things have changed somewhat, I think.

Since the advent of digital photography, I think there's been an increase in the number of "pro photographers" that are businessmen, not artists; by that I mean they have no aspirations to art. Photography is their job, and they do it in a workmanlike fashion, but they don't *love the images*. Those kinds of photographers have tools, not cameras, if you see what I mean. I've run into several lately that say things like "I'm running three crews (by which they mean they have six people trained to do two-person still shoots, and three videographers, and they send teams of three for wedding *coverage*) and we've got six identical bags for still and three identical bags for video. The still bags have a flash with diffuser on-bracket, an external flash battery pack, a Canon 5d, and (someone's) 18-250 (or so). They're taught to shoot flash-filled shots outside, and to try for them inside if there's enough light. Inside is all ISO400, outside all ISO100."

Pros who were first enthusiasts, though, those guys have all kinds of strange gear in their bags, and some maintain an almost superstitious dedication to gear that "gives them their look". I knew a stock photographer that shot for one of the New York agencies in the late 80s and early nineties. He had a Tamron 17mm that he always carried. He rarely used it, but he was adamant about it having an influence on his work. He was a Nikon shooter, and he also had a ~100mm m42 macro that he wouldn't part with. But see, he had *aspirations* to the artistic; he wanted to produce images that were uniquely *his*. He claimed the m42 macro looked *different* than the micro-Nikkors, and I think maybe he was right. Pros who are also enthusiasts invent all kinds of outside-the-box ways of approaching lighting, processing, imaging, and rendering in search of a unique and striking look.

07-12-2009, 08:42 PM   #39
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I sometimes find it a little bit amusing when people get a bit "snobby" with their brand of camera and lenses.

For example, although Canon "L" lenses are for the most part very, very good, SOME of them are are only just ok!!! And yet the way some people talk, they assume that Canon "L" lenses are always the pinnacle of lens design. And as a follow on from this, because "L" lenses are deemed to be so good, the consumer grade kit lenses are often regarded as being "pretty good".
The fact is, the Canon 18-55mm kit lens is a very poor lens, both optically and build quality. The Pentax kit lens is WAY better, and I'd regard it as being in the top couple of kit lenses.

With Nikon, their "ED" range of lenses was supposed to give some indication of a superior performing lens, but this is often not the case.... but in some cases they are absolutely outstanding!!!

The Sigma lenses of the "EX" range is usually very good, in some cases better than the eguivalent Canon "L", but they are often looked at with derision.

Some Pentax lenses are better than their Nikon or Canon counterparts, and some are not. But it's often the case that Nikon and Canon users assume that what they're using is ALWAYS superior to Pentax, Sony, Olympus, etc!!
07-13-2009, 04:07 AM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by dnas Quote
The fact is, the Canon 18-55mm kit lens is a very poor lens, both optically and build quality. The Pentax kit lens is WAY better, and I'd regard it as being in the top couple of kit lenses.
The Canon kit lens has changed. Check out what Photozone has to say about the current 18-55IS.

QuoteQuote:
There were a few moments when I considered not to publish the results due to "political correctness" because to date it was a quite absurd thought that such a cheap, or better "affordable", lens can perform this good and I'm sure that some will not believe the findings even though they're supported by the published field images. Anyway, the resolution capabilities of the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS is nothing short of amazing.
07-13-2009, 08:36 AM   #41
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Yeah it's a sad fact - soon we will be lured, driven into Nikon, Canon land BUT

not until they can design a fully weathersealed portable, back packable, tough as nails at the same cost as a K20D camera - I will have to stick with Pentax

Dylan
07-13-2009, 09:20 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by dylansalt Quote
Yeah it's a sad fact - soon we will be lured, driven into Nikon, Canon land BUT

not until they can design a fully weathersealed portable, back packable, tough as nails at the same cost as a K20D camera - I will have to stick with Pentax

Dylan
Exactly. When I began shopping for my first DSLR, I looked at everything. Having a non weather sealed camera was not an option. The K10D at the time was $700. Canon or Nikon options were around $1800.
07-13-2009, 10:30 AM   #43
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Not denying weather sealing is nice (and I love having it on my 'big camera') but I've dragged a 10D, 20D and now 50D around in rain and mud without any issues yet.

Of course, if it gets really nasty, the big camera with weather sealed lens comes out.
07-13-2009, 11:27 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by flippedgazelle Quote
Why avoid sub-$500 cameras, if that is what you can afford? Pentax K100D, K2000, Canon XS, Nikon D40 & D60 are under $500 and are certainly capable of wonderful images.
Ah... I just knew I would get in trouble for that. But you've taken my quote out of context. I think the original comment was about build quality and certainly not about IQ. Hell, I get great photos out of my Canon SD770IS! I can't take my K20D everywhere.

BTW, no need to shout!

QuoteOriginally posted by flippedgazelle Quote
Huh? You can occasionally find great deals on Pentax, Tokina, etc. lenses at thrift stores and similar places, often attached to an old film body. If you check out the site's Lens Reviews section, many folks have picked up great lenses "on the cheap" thru thrift stores or the online equivalent.
Occasionally = rarely!

The crap found in thrift shops I have visited is:
a) screw mount, old and with lens rot
b) not PK mount
c) usually cosina, store brand, or some other obscure garbage brand
d) poorly maintained with scratches or other flaws

Now, if you are talking specially used camera shops or something like Henry's (of Toronto) or equiv) consignment shops, that is a whole different animal. What you can find in these shops are sometimes Pro photographer's old but quality lenses.

But there is still usually relatively expensive and most often they will be manual focus.

QuoteOriginally posted by flippedgazelle Quote
There's a difference between "cheap" and "value". Pentax's take on value seems to be offering the best quality for the money, whereas Walmart's is offering the most quantity for the money. Completely different paradigms that shouldn't be compared.
Like the Nissan commercial. You know the one where the neighbour, with the bad haircut, walks up to the new Nissan owner and says, "I hear your car is cheap" and the owner sarcastically replies, "It's inexpensive.... but your haircut is cheap"

I concur with you about my poor analogy, however, making such a statement almost implies that Canon and Nikon owners get less value for their money. I believe that it not necessarily that one gets more with a Pentax, but rather, one gets different features. Values are similar.

QuoteOriginally posted by flippedgazelle Quote
I might be reading this wrong; it sounds like you are implying that Canon requires the use of an adapter to use 3rd party lenses.
Only if one wants to use a lens with a non-Canon mount.
07-13-2009, 12:40 PM   #45
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QuoteQuote:
Pentax doesn't offer any pro cameras and likely never will. But perhaps the pro features are not important to you.
What exactly are PRO features? does it come with a monthly rebate check?

I thought the person BEHIND the camera was the PRO not the camera?

Does spending $4000 on a EOS 5D Mark II make you a pro and the guy making a living with a K20 is just an amateur?
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