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07-09-2009, 10:08 PM   #16
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There's always Olympus cameras with in-body stabilisation...
Don't know about their lens lineup, though.

07-09-2009, 10:23 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by pcarfan Quote
I definitely read the sarcasm without the warning.
Thanks... I was wondering there...


QuoteOriginally posted by pcarfan Quote
I am being serious with my observation though. I am not brand loyal at all for any system. After saying all this I might still go with a dual system.
I concur. I am often accused of being a Pentax Fanboy (mostly by RiceHigh's buddies.. ) whenever I explain my reasons for choosing Pentax. Stabilized (in body), fairly-low-cost, high quality prime lenses < 200mm - that is a win for me. Plus, as someone else said, I actually prefer the K20D images, generally. That's a matter of taste, of course.

QuoteOriginally posted by pcarfan:
Nikon D700 with in-body stabilization and the K-mount will be perfect for me
I'm sorry to be the one to tell you this. Every system has its strengths and weaknesses. You want the best of everything - you'll have to BUY everything.
07-10-2009, 04:06 AM   #18
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Even with price hikes, Pentax lenses are still a deal compared with Nikon/Canon. If you search for 'L' lens, you find that they are almost all over 1000 dollars and that is including the primes. The only ones that are slightly under are the shorter zooms without image stabilization. Sure makes you think.
07-10-2009, 05:00 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by brecklundin Quote
My solution to that for my 40D was a Sigma 100-300 f/4 as it is far sharper than the Canon 400 f/5.6. If I added a 1.4x it was easily the equal with the bonus of zoom flexibility. I am actually considering not the 100-300 but really going nuts and getting the Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 with a Kenko or Sigma 1.4x TC for when I need it...both are supurb. And if I watch I can find the first between $850-$1000 and around $1200 for the 120-300. A lot of cash, you bet, but still cheaper than the other options with IQ eual to most primes costing 2x-3x more.
I can't imagine you being disappointed in the sharpness of the 400/5.6 -- it's the best lens I've ever used by quite a margin (and generally regarded as supremely sharp). I can do 100% crops of shots on my 50D and they STILL look sharp and nice.

And it performs like it wide open, too.

If I could get the same IQ from a zoom I'd be all over it, but so far I have yet to see it. I'll look closer at the Sigma 100-300 since you liked it so much, but have my doubts.

07-10-2009, 05:36 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by pingflood Quote
I can't imagine you being disappointed in the sharpness of the 400/5.6 -- it's the best lens I've ever used by quite a margin (and generally regarded as supremely sharp). I can do 100% crops of shots on my 50D and they STILL look sharp and nice.

And it performs like it wide open, too.

If I could get the same IQ from a zoom I'd be all over it, but so far I have yet to see it. I'll look closer at the Sigma 100-300 since you liked it so much, but have my doubts.
I know what you mean about doubts over the 100-300 or the 120-300...I was the same way. I had all but decided on the 400mm. One reason was that 300mm is really not long enough to birding a good percentage of the time. But, I'll be buggered if it is not just amazing. To my eye the 120-300 was sharper plus it is f/2.8 glass so even though you will generally be shooting more toward f/5.6-f/8, it's danged sharp plus it has that room of a f2.8 bit of glass. I never owned the 120-300 just tried a buddy's out at one of the "gatherings" of the Canon folks I hang out with. BTW, they ALL think I am nutz...just wait until I get out and get some real shots, I suspect these new Pentax lenses are gonna make me look like I know what I'm doing (I don't....mostly....hehehehe) And just wait until the handle the thing with the Limiteds...we have a gathering scheduled in August so I have time to add a few more lenses. And I MUST add something old too...it's gonna be fin teasing the true pros with their 1Ds Mk III's that my shots are danged close for 1/3 the price....and 1/3 the weight...

I believe over on MotleyPixel you'll see some really super galleries for each lens. I also seem to remember they have a 400mm f/5.6 gallery as well.

The Motley Pixel: DSLR Lens Reviews, Photo Downloads, Photography Articles

{I just looked and the first half of their 120-300 gallery is , well, baaaad, but there was another somewhere and soon as I remember it I'll add it here...oh, there isn't a 100-300 gallery there either....I do know someone here posted some shots recently using the 100-300 that were great examples of the lens' ability}

It seems to me that one of the galleries has some truly bad shots, but that could be another lens.

And I am not saying the 400/f5.6 is a dog...it is GREAT and most birders I know use it as their holy grail! Probably because the thing is great...just that the two Sigma's are truly in that special category. Even with a 1.4x TC. Now a 2x TC and the results look to be just OK, but still good enough most of the time. I never was able to use a 2x TC on either lens.

I too was very skeptical over the Sigmas...but they really are the real deal. Oh, I am not sure what your experience is with the DG coating on Sigmas, but as far as I have been able to tell, there does not seem to be any difference. Others have told me the same thing and all told me to just buy whichever had the lowest price as the guts were the same.

BTW, one of the things I love about the Pentax lenses is the colors must be influenced a lot by the SMC applied to the elements...I would hope so since they have been using it for what, 3 or so decades? hehehehehe....

Last edited by brecklundin; 07-10-2009 at 05:42 AM.
07-10-2009, 06:35 AM   #21
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Thanks for the extensive reply! I will take a look at the Sigmas since you now have me curious. I do mostly birding and yes, the 400 is the holy grail due to its wicked sharpness wide open and insanely fast autofocus.

I have nothing whatsoever against Sigmas though; just sold a Bigma that I liked a lot but wasn't as good as the 400, and a Sigma 50/1.4 is on the delivery truck right now according to FedEx...
07-10-2009, 06:43 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Even with price hikes, Pentax lenses are still a deal compared with Nikon/Canon. If you search for 'L' lens, you find that they are almost all over 1000 dollars and that is including the primes. The only ones that are slightly under are the shorter zooms without image stabilization. Sure makes you think.
I wish you would not put a person in the position of defending another brand of lenses but if you compare the somewhat short list of DA Star lenses with the range of L's there are lenses which the Pentax's are either the same price or even more. Thing is it is the NEW pricing that has left a bad taste in my mouth as a whole lot of HoyaTax lenses have the new HoyaTax of as high as 40% added to the price of the same stock that was sitting on the shelf or warehouse two weeks ago.

That is good for me since the lenses I bought two weeks ago have increased in price so that the 'used' price would be more than I paid. Yet, I don't have to like it and what it did to my budget I set aside for camera gear in switching. Basically I can buy one more lens when before I planed 2-3 more before summer was done. I will be going back to a Sigma 10-20 over the DA 12-24 as it does not have anything to justify the higher cost differential in excess of $200 these days. I can buy a 10-20 with HSM (note HSM is FASTER than SDM, then again my 50-135 is just a 'built for comfort not for speed model..." hehehehe...but never gonna replace it as far as I can see...focus speed be danged!! )

As for Canon v. Pentax a loose comparison starting with the Canon 200mm f/2.8 II is cheaper or the same price as the DA Star 200mm and the Canon is a wicked sharp lens which also fits under the 6" length limit of almost all major sports venues, the Pentax does not but in general they are both outstanding still the Pentax is hardly cheaper by any significant amount.

Next up is the Pentax DA Star 300mm f4 vs. the Canon 300mm f4 IS...both are about $1000 give or take $100...no savings since the addition of the HoyaTax. Advantage Pentax because, well, it is not white and my hands reject white lenses...hahaha....

The 60-250 f/4 is the same price or higher than the 70-200mm f/4 which is generally regarded as rivaling the sharpest L primes in that range, I see few to no examples of the 60-250 here or anywhere to not much to compare just yet.

The DA Star 16-50 is now street price of about $700 here Canon does not offer an L in the same range, the closest is The Brick, the 24-70mm f2.8 that chimes in at about a grand so a slight nod to Pentax even with the new pricing in that area. Both also suffer from a hot and cold rep out of the box and often seem to need servicing before even leaving the house.

Last the Pentax FA 77mm f1.9 Limited vs. the Canon EF 85mm f1.8. The price for the 77ltd is now priced all over the map anywhere between $500 up to $1,000 and the Canon 85mm f1.8 between $350-$450 and delivers as well as the 77ltd. And there is also the Canon 100mm f2 which is the same size and case as the 85mm and can be had under $400 new. 2-3 strides difference using a foot zoom to take the same shot.

And of you examine the current prices of the 55-135, the whole limited line and many other Pentax lenses they are not the same value as they were less than a month ago.

All I was saying is the new HoyaTax price structure has put them in the position of turing into the same cookie cutter price structure as the other two...btw I cannot comment on Nikon prices, nor do i care about it as I never liked Nikon gear and see no reason to look in that direction, it is like a designer label where you are paying for the name stitched on the tag.

I LOVE the Pentax lineup, but was not ready to deal with the new HoyaTax. I guess part of my issue with Hoya stems from their usury price increases on filters in April 2009. It was that Hoya demanded all sellers use the same retail pricing as well as increased the wholesale prices.

Here is a thread on another board with some of the details:
Hoya price fixing? - Canon Digital Photography Forums

Also there was, at the time, a letter to all here on the Circular Polarizer Filters from Hoya for Digital Cameras at www.2filter.com where they detailed the issue. I am not sure what the end result was but the notice that they were bucking the system and refusing to allow Hoya to dictate their price structure for items they paid for...the beauty was around the same time Maryland passed an interesting law in regard to Minimum Pricing Restrictions from mfg's which also, and specifically, apply to internet sales to Maryland residents plus it also applies to all websites which are accessible to Maryland residents. It's an interesting case and not sure if the Maryland law would hold up in court, but my point is Hoya has a history of simply raising prices by unreasonable amounts thus all but eliminating the 'value' aspect of their equipment over their competitors. I see the same sort of move with the lenses...I mean it is what it is and we just need to adapt but that does not mean we must like it....plus I have a sense there is more going to happen near the holiday season to move Pentax lenses and bodies back into the higher end performance with only a few compromises at prices mere mortals can afford, but only time will tell.

EDIT: I found the open letter about the Hoya pricing practices

Last edited by brecklundin; 07-10-2009 at 06:50 AM.
07-10-2009, 06:46 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by pingflood Quote
Thanks for the extensive reply! I will take a look at the Sigmas since you now have me curious. I do mostly birding and yes, the 400 is the holy grail due to its wicked sharpness wide open and insanely fast autofocus.

I have nothing whatsoever against Sigmas though; just sold a Bigma that I liked a lot but wasn't as good as the 400, and a Sigma 50/1.4 is on the delivery truck right now according to FedEx...
Cool, happy to pass it along what others have helped me to learn and whatever personal exposure I've had...and yup, the Bigma is can't come close to the 400 or the two zooms we are discussing. And even the Bigmos with it's OS is still just a tick behind the 400/5.6 plus that one is a BEAST...hahaha...I almost needed a new neck and shoulders after a 4hr trip around the zoo...

07-10-2009, 06:58 AM   #24
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I can imagine. I had the 400 with 1.4x on my 1Ds II for a while, and it was just tiring to shoot. I get just about the same magnification out of the 400 "naked" on the 50D (640mm equiv at 15.1MP vs 560mm at 16.6) and it is a MUCH nicer combo to hand hold when birding for a long time.

That said, the 1Ds II is unbeatable by any crop camera I've used as far as sheer image quality -- the files out of that thing are just flat out gorgeous.
07-10-2009, 09:29 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote
I'm sorry to be the one to tell you this. Every system has its strengths and weaknesses. You want the best of everything - you'll have to BUY everything.
Ain't that the truth! I want a camera that has a 5DII sensor, 1-series AF, K-7 body and sealing, A900 viewfinder, Olympus dust removal, Pentax in-body IS, Leica M8 craftsmanship, and compact FF lenses a la old Zuiko 28mm f/3.5. Is that really too much to ask?
07-10-2009, 05:46 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Yohan Pamudji Quote
Ain't that the truth! I want a camera that has a 5DII sensor, 1-series AF, K-7 body and sealing, A900 viewfinder, Olympus dust removal, Pentax in-body IS, Leica M8 craftsmanship, and compact FF lenses a la old Zuiko 28mm f/3.5. Is that really too much to ask?
hahahaha....I'll take two!!
07-10-2009, 05:48 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by brecklundin Quote
I wish you would not put a person in the position of defending another brand of lenses but if you compare the somewhat short list of DA Star lenses with the range of L's there are lenses which the Pentax's are either the same price or even more. Thing is it is the NEW pricing that has left a bad taste in my mouth as a whole lot of HoyaTax lenses have the new HoyaTax of as high as 40% added to the price of the same stock that was sitting on the shelf or warehouse two weeks ago.
I spent some time compiling a list of lenses from Canon and from Pentax and an in-depth analysis explaining why, even though there are a *couple* of exceptions, the Pentax line is considerably less expensive than the Canon line, but I decided it was probably too long and too pedantic to be interesting. Suffice it then to say that I don't think many of your comparisons tell the whole story; as an example, Canon *does* make a 17-55 2.8, and it's $999 - and it's not an "L", while the 24-70 at Adorama is $1190. This suggests to me that a 16-50 "L" from Canon would be at least twice as much (the 24-70 is a 3x zoom, the 16-50 a 4x). The Canon 14mm f2.8 is $2020, while the Pentax one is $949. Another example - I don't think it's fair to compare a primarily polycarbonate lens (the 85 1.8) to the Limited 77 1.8, but you also can't reasonably compare it to the 85 f1.2L at $1800. Where there *are* comparable lenses, however, Canon is almost always more money.

This is not to suggest that I think Canon is bad equipment, nor that you couldn't piece together a fairly inexpensive system. I quite like them, and I shot Canon film equipment for many years. I think their design often warrants higher prices (like the 300 f4 with OIS, which , AFAIK, covers FF, right?). When someone asks me for advice on a camera system, I ask them what they will be doing with it, and make recommendations appropriately. I also tell them if they buy one of the major manufacturer's DSLRs, they'll have a good system, no matter which one they pick.
07-10-2009, 05:51 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by brecklundin Quote
hahahaha....I'll take two!!
Probably cost more than any three of those cameras!
07-10-2009, 06:26 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote
Probably cost more than any three of those cameras!
hehehehehe....no doubt!! But, hey I still have an extra lung, kidney and they can have part of my liver too....so maybe I might be covered???
07-10-2009, 06:30 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by brecklundin Quote
hahahaha....I'll take two!!
Three here. I love my Leica and wish I could get the same build and feel in digital.
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