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09-18-2013, 06:16 AM   #1
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D7100 over K30?

Hi,

I'm currently an owner of the K-30 and am quite happy with it. My collection of lenses for the K mount is also quite extensive (my signature) and not really lacking. My main interest of photography is wildlife and at the moment I do that using my DA*300, AFA 1.7x and Tamron 70-200 when shorter mm is needed. I'm currently thinking of swapping my whole system (selling) to switch to Nikon. I would either get the D7100 or the D800 (although FF is not really what I need right now and budget wise it might be too much) and probably buy some used lenses for the Nikon system (eyeing the 80-400).
The logic behind the switch is better AF (especially AF.C - my K30 seems to struggle there still), more choices when it comes to lenses (used & new) and faster development (over the recent years).

What I would like is some input if you think such a move is wise or would I basically be making a move to the same and lose some money in between? Thanks for all your thoughts.

09-18-2013, 06:33 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by BeerBelly Quote
Hi,

I'm currently an owner of the K-30 and am quite happy with it. My collection of lenses for the K mount is also quite extensive (my signature) and not really lacking. My main interest of photography is wildlife and at the moment I do that using my DA*300, AFA 1.7x and Tamron 70-200 when shorter mm is needed. I'm currently thinking of swapping my whole system (selling) to switch to Nikon. I would either get the D7100 or the D800 (although FF is not really what I need right now and budget wise it might be too much) and probably buy some used lenses for the Nikon system (eyeing the 80-400).
The logic behind the switch is better AF (especially AF.C - my K30 seems to struggle there still), more choices when it comes to lenses (used & new) and faster development (over the recent years).

What I would like is some input if you think such a move is wise or would I basically be making a move to the same and lose some money in between? Thanks for all your thoughts.
I would wait till the end of October, anyway, to see if Pentax/Ricoh have something equivalent to the D7100 coming out. That would be my expectation.
09-18-2013, 07:33 AM   #3
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My advice, check out user Kengoh here on PF.
He used a K5, now a K5IIs.
DA*300 and Sigma 500/4.5

Among a sea of Canikony, his birding shots rivals any of those.
09-18-2013, 08:04 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by pinholecam Quote
his birding shots rivals any of those.
Indeed. His work is great.

And by all accounts, the K-5 IIs and the DA*300 in particular work exceptionally well together.

09-18-2013, 08:08 AM   #5
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Will be good when the TC that is SDM compatible is released. I'm assuming it will be about 200 to 250 dollars and will be the perfect add on to either the DA *200 or 300.
09-18-2013, 08:15 AM   #6
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I'm aware of Kengoh and his shots are truly remarkable. My main problem with Pentax in general is tracking AF. I'm not sure if there is anything currently available from Pentax that would match other brands?

I'm happy with my shots of static subjects, but moving ones tend to be a problem. It could just be me of course. Maybe waiting for October would be wise but I feel I've been waiting for something for years now.
09-18-2013, 08:49 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by pinholecam Quote
My advice, check out user Kengoh here on PF.
He used a K5, now a K5IIs.
DA*300 and Sigma 500/4.5

Among a sea of Canikony, his birding shots rivals any of those.
Lens availability is still an issue on top of AF speed. He certainly does get absolutely great shots, but try to find a used 500mm 4.5 in Pentax mount. Or the OP can go for the sigma 120-300 2.8 which isn't available in K mount. Or a 300mm 2.8 from sigma or tamron for a reasonable price (around/under $1K) - those just aren't available in K mount.

Sorry to say I'm a vote for saying make the switch.

09-18-2013, 09:57 AM   #8
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Nikon is supposedly releasing a new 300/4, which should lower the value of the current lens. Most of their tele lenses are due for a refresh though. They are good, but I expect a dramatic improvement with the next gen. Canon's 300/2.8 II, with the latest TC(2x extender III), is an incredible combo. Check out the charts on the-digital-picture.com. My friend has the combo, and his results are phenomenal. He has a very usable 600mm/5.6 setup.

Last edited by kenafein; 09-18-2013 at 10:09 AM.
09-18-2013, 11:26 AM   #9
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People here seem to mock Canikon folks as just sheep following the pipe piper. But in the end they don't have to wait and pray for some 3rd party vendor to release a lens in their mount, make an accessory to fit their gear or touch and feel a new camera at a store.

So to the OP, if you need the features in another system and can afford to make a system change then perhaps that's what you should do. However, you have come this far with your Pentax gear it certainly wouldn't hurt to wait a little longer to see what might be coming in the near future. Best wishes on either path you take.

Last edited by tuco; 09-18-2013 at 11:32 AM.
09-18-2013, 11:27 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by BeerBelly Quote
Hi,

I'm currently an owner of the K-30 and am quite happy with it. My collection of lenses for the K mount is also quite extensive (my signature) and not really lacking. My main interest of photography is wildlife and at the moment I do that using my DA*300, AFA 1.7x and Tamron 70-200 when shorter mm is needed. I'm currently thinking of swapping my whole system (selling) to switch to Nikon. I would either get the D7100 or the D800 (although FF is not really what I need right now and budget wise it might be too much) and probably buy some used lenses for the Nikon system (eyeing the 80-400).
The logic behind the switch is better AF (especially AF.C - my K30 seems to struggle there still), more choices when it comes to lenses (used & new) and faster development (over the recent years).

What I would like is some input if you think such a move is wise or would I basically be making a move to the same and lose some money in between? Thanks for all your thoughts.
Since you have all those lenses, give Pentax one last shot with their new flagship, which should be out very soon. Otherwise the D7100 does sound like a good choice for birding.

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09-18-2013, 11:35 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by pxpaulx Quote
Lens availability is still an issue on top of AF speed. He certainly does get absolutely great shots, but try to find a used 500mm 4.5 in Pentax mount. Or the OP can go for the sigma 120-300 2.8 which isn't available in K mount. Or a 300mm 2.8 from sigma or tamron for a reasonable price (around/under $1K) - those just aren't available in K mount.

Sorry to say I'm a vote for saying make the switch.
If memory serves me well there's a Sigma 500 on the forum used, right now for $3500.
09-18-2013, 11:42 AM   #12
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Thanks for all your thoughts on this subject and thank you for being open to discussion for this. I've been with Pentax for quite a few years and have always promoted the brand. Lately though my excitement about it has toned down quite a bit. There have been no new lenses apart from the DA 50 and the DA 560mm (one not really needed and the other priced way too high in my opinion), nothing really new body wise as well.

It might be a good idea to wait for the Pentax announcement, but hoping it won't turn out to be just another K5 revisited. The AF system would need work as well.
Again...thank you so much for joining in in the discussion and I hope more people decide to chip in.
09-18-2013, 11:49 AM   #13
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The K-30 was the start of Pentax's efforts to improve the AF system, early reports suggested it did have some characteristics of a system that tracks subjects, an early user posted a few images showing the camera was keeping the focus ahead of a BiF. GIven it's been their focus for a few years now, I'd be a little sceptical of anyone who's hoping it's going to improve much. One of the wildlife shooters (Joe Penn I believe) has already switched and he says the D7100 is wonderful for that purpose. Better IQ and faster AF, so if you do switch I doubt you'll be disappointed. Personally, I haven't found the need to do that yet, but then, my favourite long lens is my A-400 so it's not like I'm a big fan of AF at all.

The one thing I would point out is there's a Sigma 500 listed on the forum for $3500, there should be a slight improvement in AF between your K-30 and a K5-II, the Sigma 70-200 is generally thought of as the fastest focussing lens available in Pentax mount for wildlife and sport shooters. Just spitting out some random thoughts here.
09-18-2013, 11:50 AM   #14
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It sounds like you would be better served with nikon or canon. The best way to find out isn't to ask a brand-specific forum though. Borrowing a camera from a friend or even renting one, if possible where you live, is better than switching just to switch back.
Keep in mind that VR can prop up the prices of lenses on the other system -- not that pentax gear is cheap these days.

In terms of lens selection, used lens availability, and af tracking you would probably find an improvement.
Pentax probably has better weather-sealing and it has in-camera stabilization.

Check out fredmiranda buy&sell before buying anything new, you can often find good deals there on used stuff. The market for canon/nikon gear is good enough that you can buy stuff, use it, and sell it for a similar price without spending much time or effort in the process.
09-18-2013, 04:22 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by BeerBelly Quote
I'm aware of Kengoh and his shots are truly remarkable. My main problem with Pentax in general is tracking AF. I'm not sure if there is anything currently available from Pentax that would match other brands?

I'm happy with my shots of static subjects, but moving ones tend to be a problem. It could just be me of course. Maybe waiting for October would be wise but I feel I've been waiting for something for years now.
I have a couple of D800E, K-5 & K-01. I find the lateral tracking of the K-5 on a par with the Nikon but the 3D tracking of the Nikon better. With regards to fast moving birds they are all useless. Accuracy and speed also depends a lot on the lens and not only the camera.

Most people who photograph birds with telephotos tend to prefer APS-C and then do further cropping depending on the distance and size of the subject. The D7100 has lousy HI ISO noise and would not be the best choice for fast moving objects using high shutter speeds IMO. It also has a small buffer limiting the number of shots one can take in burst mode.The K5II beats it AFAIC for hi ISO and with it's buffer capabilities. Also, Nikon needs VR in the lens and the new 300mm about to be released will be very expensive and probably no better than the DA*300 anyway.

I would advise sticking with a DA*300 and a K-5 or wait to see if Ricoh release a 24MP Pentax APS-C. I've been waiting for the same thing myself having wanted a 24MP and rejected the D7100.
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