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03-01-2011, 01:30 PM   #1
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Why do people leave the Pentax fold ?

I've had Pentax slr/dslr's for over 40 years. I currently have a K10D and a KM, plus about 7 digital Pentax lenses.

I see no reason to leave Pentax, in fact I wouldn't mind getting a K5 to replace my K10D...or join my current camera equipment repertoire.

About 5 weeks ago I bought my first Canon...a G12. Wonderful little camera, I use as a daily carry around.


But I have no plans to dump my Pentax stuff and replace it with the Canon DSLR or Nikon system.

I find the picture quality, camera and lens quality...top notch with Pentax...don't think C/N will give me anything I don't already have in P.

But I've noticed on this forum that there are always people leaving Pentax and going...usually...to Canon or Nikon.

Even some long time photographers.

Why ?

03-01-2011, 01:36 PM   #2
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For features or price.
03-01-2011, 02:22 PM   #3
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Marketing and intensive distribution
03-01-2011, 02:24 PM   #4
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I used Pentax for over 20 years and I can say Canon & Nikon did a great job on promoting their image, think National Geographic & NASA! They are very good at product planning, in order to keep their new gears desirable. They also have lot more accessories to choose from (genuine or aftermarket), just check your local Craiglist.

Pentax certainly has its' own attributes to be proud of. However, in a world of "new & improved" product coming out every minute, easily identified & available, guess who will get the most attention & who will get the most defection?

03-01-2011, 02:26 PM   #5
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Look at the big chain retail stores, where most people buy their first or replacement cameras. You may struggle to find a Pentax sold there. Even the ones who do sell some of the Pentax P&S cameras don't display them, and the Sale Associates do most of their photography with the cell and probably never heard of Pentax.
03-01-2011, 02:36 PM   #6
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Good reasons to leave Pentax are needing better AF performance, needing very long/fast lenses, wanting a FF body and the improved IQ that comes with it, or wanting to go pro and get access to good pro support and rentals. I think these are good reasons to go.

Of course there are lots of bad reasons to leave, but I think most who have a resonable investment in Pentax lenses don't leave lightly and would fall into one or more of the groups above.
03-01-2011, 02:45 PM   #7
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Herd mentality. What's he got? I've got to have that too.

03-01-2011, 02:50 PM   #8
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Not sure you were looking for a personal story, but I left Pentax for m43 about a year ago for the following reasons:
a. At the time I didn't see a nice way to build a weather-resistant setup. K-7 seemed overpriced for what you got, DA* lenses had SDM problems, there was no WR UWA.
b. Some of the lenses in the UK appeared to be insanely overpriced. 12-24 which I wanted was $1400 equivalent.
c. No affordable primes (at the time). 50mm f/1.4 had gone up in price twice if not more and it seemed strange to buy it now.

In the end the K-x kit I was considering would cost 17% more and weight 46% more than the GF1 kit I ended up with covering the same focal lengths in a similar way. In a "landscape walkabout" setting with an UWA on it would weight twice as much. Those are important numbers to me.

It was quite tough selling my K100D, I had grown a real personal attachment to the camera, but I had no real investment in the system. In fact, had I bought the 50mm f/1.4 when it was cheap, I might have stayed.

Also, the GF1 kit was 18% more expensive in the UK than in the US (so around VAT), while Pentax's kit would have been 50% more expensive in the UK. I just didn't see the sense in that.

Had there been no m43 at the time, I would have bought a K-x and would not have gone to Canikon, although I did think about 5Dmk2 quite a bit.

If I'd had to do it now, the K-5 would have made it a more difficult decision. Likewise, there would be NEX to consider. I'd still probably end up with the same decision.

Last edited by juu; 03-01-2011 at 03:04 PM.
03-01-2011, 02:51 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
Good reasons to leave Pentax are needing better AF performance, needing very long/fast lenses, wanting a FF body and the improved IQ that comes with it, or wanting to go pro and get access to good pro support and rentals. I think these are good reasons to go.
Right on.

Two other reasons: you want bigger cameras & lenses and you want to spend more on them.
03-01-2011, 03:00 PM   #10
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Why would you LEAVE Pentax, well there must be a thousand reasons. Maybe if you "turn pro" and shoot for a living, I'd probably leave Pentax too. Or maybe all of your friends have Canon and you want to trade gear. Or maybe you just want a new toy.

To be honest I'm surprised Pentax is even in business. I'm glad they are - I love them. But for new DSLR buyers, there are too many reasons to buy a Canon or Nikon, or even a Sony or whatever. Because you can handle them in the store, and return them easily. That's the case is most of the U.S. anyway.

I came to Pentax after doing lots of research on my own. Still, had I never used a K100d I'd probably not have done it. I knew they were solid because I'd handled one.

I have a friend who's an excellent photographer (who shoots Sony by the way), and she bought her husband a K-x to learn with. He refused to use it and returned it because it's not a "name brand."

Sure, he's a jackass, but that's the mentality of a lot of buyers.
03-01-2011, 03:48 PM   #11
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I sold most of my Pentax gear after they refused to service an expensive lens that was in need of adjustment. I went with Canon for a couple of lenses I wanted. I would love to try a K5, but I'm not going to do it.
03-01-2011, 03:57 PM   #12
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At some point also the novelty of going with a niche camera company loses its charm once the expectations start to exceed the gear's performance. As mentioned, low-light AF, reliability of high-end lenses and range of lenses could be reasons to convince many to switch to the big two, but to get to that next level FF is really the way to go as the K-5 ticks just about all the boxes for a top of the line APS-C body (as well as being good value for money).
03-01-2011, 04:41 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by borno Quote
I sold most of my Pentax gear after they refused to service an expensive lens that was in need of adjustment. I went with Canon for a couple of lenses I wanted. I would love to try a K5, but I'm not going to do it.
All the other posts on this thread relate to needs Pentax has specifically stated they do not plan to meet. Pentax has made a business product and marketing decision (good or bad). Waiting and wishing for them to provide these features will only end up in frustration. Photographers who need those features SHOULD use another brand.

Your situation, borno, is a fatal error of judgment by Pentax that troubles me deeply. I've already decided not to take the risk on the 50~135 and the 16~50; I'm waiting to sell my film gear (which I cannot see to focus with any more) and upgrade to a K-5 until I am CERTAIN all the stained-sensor bodies have cleared the market; and I've had concerns about C.R.I.S. as my repair contractor. Your post confirms my suspicions.

The more I read and hear the more I think I should just sell everything but the K10D and current FA lenses since they're fully depreciated and do something entirely different with whatever money I get.
03-01-2011, 04:42 PM   #14
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The answer is the same as I would have given you 4-5 years ago if you had asked "What draws people to Pentax ?". I came from a Nikon film SLR (with a considerable but not huge investment in lenses) and bought a Pentax K100D. The reason was that Pentax offered great value for money (at least in terms of the features that were important to me) compared to the Nikon models at a similar price point. Pentax was also making the best kit lenses that you could get for the money (I personally was not interested in acquiring a collection of primes or pro quality zooms).

I can say that I got more than my money's worth out of the K100D over the last 4-5 years. I have been yearning to upgrade to a more advanced model (along with some better lenses) for the last few years. We have a new kid on the way this year and it's just the excuse I was looking for to finally upgrade (also made it easier to talk my wife into it ). I was looking at the K-5 + 18-135 WR combo vs the Nikon D7000 + 16-85 VR. My heart was set on the K-5 (loved the compact size and the ergonomics) but my mind told me that the D7000 was the better deal (at least for me).

I could see why the K-5 commanded a higher price (built-in SR, slightly faster frame rate, deeper buffer for continuous shooting, more customizability, better WR, etc) but in the end none of these features were ones I could not live without. At least I personally could not justify paying $250-300 more for them. The D7000 had it's own share of advantages (better AF tracking, dual SD card slots, more manual control in video mode, etc) that seemed to be more useful at least for my own shooting needs. Needless to say I ended up getting the D7000 and have not regretted my decision so far.

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03-01-2011, 04:43 PM   #15
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To answer the question from a slightly different perspective - I decided to buy into Pentax because of their overall compactness. Of course them make some excellent primes, but so does Canikon. I know that the FA limited are some of the best lens out there, not being a pro, I'm also very aware that the limitation does not lie in the lens but rather in my skill as a photographer. I really like my K7+FA43 combo, being more of a casual photographer, I really do not see any reason currently for me to move away from Pentax (except, my vanity lusts after the X100).
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