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Would you buy a Pentax?


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Initial post: Jul 10, 2012 9:04:36 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 10, 2012 2:56:01 PM PDT
aznpoet says:
I usually consider Snapsort site to be minimally useful but ran across this neat video of a US soldier demonstrating weather-sealing capabilities of Pentax. Most people I know who are not pros tend to baby their DSLRs.

Both Canon and Nikon pro bodies are weather-sealed to varying degrees but not sure if any mid-level, mid-priced DSLRs can stand up to similar type of abuse that Pentax K-5 and K-7 takes as shown on this video.

Of course, weather and dust resistant factor isn't the primary reason for most people when choosing a system but I do have a new found appreciation for Pentax in terms of ruggedness.

http://snapsort.com/video/Eo61t5fH6Qw/A-US-Soldier-demonstrates-how-well-Pentax-stands-up-to-Sand

Posted on Jul 10, 2012 12:11:42 PM PDT
no i would not buy into pentax systems, but only becuase there is far less gear to choose from than canon/nikon offer. i'm not knocking pentax, i'm sure they make great products, and i'm sure they give you great image quality. i just prefer the larger selection of lenses/flashes available from canon/nikon. oh i'm a nikon shooter.

Posted on Jul 10, 2012 2:26:49 PM PDT
JCUKNZ says:
Oh Eric .. don't you realise that every Pentax lens from way back can be used ... are you a millionaire to afford all the offereings of Canikon? Really a foolish argument regurgitated at intervals unfortunately.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 10, 2012 4:05:23 PM PDT
And my Canon SLRs can use any telescope with a 1.25" or 2" eyepiece tube as a lens... Granted, they become manual focus, stop-down metered aperture-priority (or full manual with fixed aperture) cameras.

A beginner is NOT going to be interested in knowing they can use a 30-40 year old manual-everything lens when buying a new SLR being sold on the basis of having auto-focus, auto-aperture, etc. features.

Someone who already has a collection of film-era lens, OTOH, may prefer to keep within the system rather than buy all new lenses.

Personally, while I've always ranked Pentax as an entry-level camera (in terms of features when compared to others of the same generation), I would avoid them NOW until the current owner of the /name/ has developed at least a five year history. Will this owner maintain the quality (of which I'm not sure of for even the Hoya period -- I'd trust the pre-Hoya Asahi Pentax company... But I'd be worried that Pentax [name] may go the route of Vivitar [which was a real company in the 70s-80s, faded away, to be revived as an importer of no-name, lowest-cost contracted, equipment])

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 10, 2012 4:37:38 PM PDT
Actually jcuknz I'm a billionaire....

Posted on Jul 11, 2012 8:05:51 AM PDT
Difference of opinion, but I think the idea that old, manual, lenses are some sort of selling point is the foolish arguement. Modern DSLRs are not fitted with any of the viewfinder focusing aids that film cameras had. You can go back and install a split prism screen, but you are deep into the esoteric accessories there, and it's not something that anyone buying an entry level camera is going to do. Modern lenses are designed with internal coatings to prevent reflections off the sensor from creating lens flares internally, the older lenses do not have that. Modern lenses are engineered to a much higher standard, computer aided design really does provide benefits to the engineer working out the design, especially for zoom lenses.

The real kicker is that the percieved bargain lenses just aren't there. The myth is that you will go to a yard sale and find a bunch of these old lenses that the owner doesn't know the value of, and you can scoop them up for a song. Or you can go to a pawn shop and have your pick of high quality lenses for next to nothing. The truth is, you can hunt yard sales every saturday morning all summer long and not find an old lens, and pawn shop or private sale, when you do find one, they will have researched it on the internet, and the price will only be low if the lens is total garbage, and sometimes even garbage is collectable and commands a premium price.

If old lenses really are your thing though, you can buy an adapter ring for pretty much every SRL lens you find, to attach it to your canon EOS camera. Nikon has some adapters available, I don't know how comprehensive the range is. One advantage of the two big names, that have many many customers and have been making DSRLS for quite a while is that there is a wide range of aftermarket products out there. Even if canon and nikon don't want to make adapter rings, someone out there does. Pentax doesn't have the history and customer base to have that support.

Posted on Jul 11, 2012 3:10:19 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 11, 2012 3:14:33 PM PDT
JCUKNZ says:
I was using an adaptor ring, made by Pentax, for years so that I could use my M42 lens on a newer K mount camera and Pentax maintains this reverse compatibility unlike Canon who brought out a new mount. In the case of Canon the EOS lens mount to sensor distance permits adaptors, the reason behind my purchasing a 2/h body some years back but Nikon missed this with their design way back and while older Nikon lenses will fit there are hazards as to where the focusing motor is situations, a dogs breakfast to my way of thinking. Much as I respect the quality of the Nikon product the lens mount issue does limit one.

On the other hand I am reluctant to use my legacy lenses even though they offer me more reach and aperture in favour of my automatic modern lenses ... but I'm getting old and lazy :-)

My arguement is not on price but compatibility if you are willing to do the work yourself rather than have the camera do it for you. Some consider this the mark of the experienced worker.

Unless you are a billionaire like Eric it unlikely you will want to outlay on more lenses that what Pentax provide ... the 'system' arguement only applies to a very few professionals and the B types.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 11, 2012 5:20:10 PM PDT
EdM says:
Anyone who abuses their DSLR/lens combo deserves what they get IMO, but anyone who does so might get lucky.

"Would you buy a Pentax?" - This is a personal question that has no necessary connection to weather resistant camera aspects. People who already have an investment in another camera brand's system - lenses, strobes, etc. - might well choose to stay with the brand they have, regardless of merit, for economic or convenience reasons.

Further, I'd consider buying a Pentax, in the right circumstances: http://www.pentaximaging.com/medium-format/645D_Black

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 11, 2012 6:07:03 PM PDT
Neo Lee says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Jul 11, 2012 7:36:59 PM PDT
T. Campbell says:
There are lots of testimonials to various weather-sealed camera. DigitalRev did a video on the 7D where they _really_ poured on the abuse (knocked over from a tripod onto a paved street several times, dropped it down stairs, flooded it with water (on purpose) then froze it in a deep-freeze for 24 hours, shot at it to bust the frozen ice off the body, then burned it to melt what was left of the ice.... and it STILL WORKED. (see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCT-YMgjm9k )

I've always been intrigued by the Pentax 645D (a medium format digital camera -- but very expensive) but overall Pentax doesn't have much of a selection to offer in their system. If you're only considering them because of that video -- be aware that there are lots of other durable weather-sealed camera bodies and lenses as well as other accessories on the market.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 12, 2012 2:09:13 PM PDT
I want to see that torture test, I'll go back and look at it later. I read documentation of an interesting torture test comparing SD to CF. I prefer CF and the results backed that up, not that I intend to do any of the aweful things they did to their cards. Shot at it? With what? It shouldn't be bullet resistant.

Posted on Jul 12, 2012 3:44:20 PM PDT
aznpoet says:
Not sure if shot with bullet test is pertinent but how about a wash machine test?
Ever leave a SD card in your pocket and forget to take it out before washing the clothes?
I read somewhere SD card will still work OK if it is dried afterwards. Not sure about CF though.
Also those fine pins on CF, I alway feel like I have to baby them compared to SD cards.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 12, 2012 7:51:31 PM PDT
CF cards have sockets, not pins...

CF cards use a simple parallel interface (they look like an old parallel access disk drive, and the access logic is similar).

SD cards are slow serial access [a class 6 SD card is only, with commands sent to the card describing the following data transfer (hmmm, the wikipedia entry has been rewritten, losing the more pertinent historical information).. A "class 6" SD card is a mere 48X (48 times an audio CD data transfer rate) A "class 10" SD card is 100X -- but Class 10 applies to freshly formatted card streaming a single file [video], not random access with multiple files (Class 6 is random access multiple file fragmented speed).

In contrast, upper rated CF cards are 133X [though that is usually promised for read, not write], and the latest support UDMA protocol [167MBps][133X is only ~20MBps, so even a Class 10 SD card, at 100X is quite slow relative to a UDMA CF card]

Panasonics's high-speed video camera using a custom memory really turned into a cartridge using FOUR SD cards, which spread the I/O among the cards (so each card saw 1/4th the actual data rate of the video).

I'd trust a CF card more than an SD card -- CF cards look like a parallel interface hard-drive, so any hard-drive compatible driver will work; SD cards need a driver that converts parallel data to serial data.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 12, 2012 9:42:02 PM PDT
T. Campbell says:
They shot at it with some type of air rifle -- nothing particularly powerful. But watch the video, they are pretty abusive.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 13, 2012 9:12:05 AM PDT
CF cards have sockets, not pins. SD cards have exposed contacts on the outside of the card, which can be damaged. Here's a link to a torture test http://www.thinkcamera.com/news/article/mps/uan/181
there are several others on the internets. They all find that SD is more easily damaged than CF. Neither one will be damaged in normal use, but in normal mis-use, the SD fails sometimes.

My favorite story about the durability of CF cards. http://compactflash.org/pr/040823.pdf
No point at all in babying them.

Posted on Jul 13, 2012 2:29:32 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 13, 2012 2:35:46 PM PDT
DocRWM says:
Amazing how many uninformed opinions there are here. The Pentax K-5 and its sensor performance was rated best in class by so many sites (Dxo for instance). Better performance than the Nikon D700. Lenses you say? Oh, how about the Canon guys that modify the Pentax Limited Primes to play with on their "systems"? Want an amazing Medium Format camera and not spend Hassy money? 645D. Feature for feature, overall, Pentax K-5 beats the equivalent offerings from other makers. Want to argue that Canon and Nikon do better in AF, fine - give you that one. If you need the best AF then look to them for your sports photography. How about the new K-30 released this week? Water Resistance, solid specs, and it's $850? Who else offers that combination of features at that price point? Just stop talking about how Pentax is dead when they keep coming out with better cameras at the entry and Prosumer level than the competition.

Posted on Jul 13, 2012 2:58:58 PM PDT
Tiffany Le says:
I have a Pentax K-5. Great camera, big improvement in low-light AF from previous Pentax DSLR's. One thing you must know is Pentax is one of the very few companies who make in-body stabilized DSLR's and used the same mount since film, allowing all current 3rd party lenses and manual lenses from 30 years ago to work on this body and still maintain optical stabilization. Huge advantage for Pentax over it's competitors, but sadly the world is brainwashed by what they see in Best Buy and the advertisements.

Pentax builds cameras for photographers and hobbyists at the best of their ability. Pentax does not create 3 DSLRs in the same class, pricing them one over another after stripping features. Pentax are a loyal company to their loyal consumers; you will never see them screw their consumers over by producing a bunch of half-baked bodies and advertise them as everything. They make one DSLR for entry-level and one DSLR for semi-pro and putting all they have to offer for a more than reasonable price.

Aside from the quality of Pentax's craftsmanship throughout the years, the superb build quality of the K-5 is not to be forgotten, that Pentax is the first Japanese company to release the SLR and their creativity literally created everything that made the DSLR what it is today. Over 50 years of producing some of the finest film SLR's and DSLR's, one of the oldest companies to still produce cameras today, all of Pentax's innovation and time spent have been put into creating this masterpiece. The best rated APS-C sensor on top of 77 weather-seals making it resistant to dust, rain, and cold temperatures, this is truly one of the most powerful Pentax built to date.

Sometimes the best just don't get talked about, in fact most of the best things in life don't get talked about. Most people can't think for themselves. Out of all the people in the world, only a very select few who knows what's best for themselves. People don't come to realize the best things in life until it's too late. I'm glad to be part of the few who figured it out for myself. I do things in life that's best for me, not what others think is best for me. I go Pentax when others say otherwise, because when I held a Pentax in my hands for the very first time, I knew that was it. This camera was it. This company was it. These lenses are it. This is it, this is Pentax.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 13, 2012 3:10:00 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 13, 2012 3:14:39 PM PDT
R. J. Allen says:
This in reply to Dennis L. Bieber: Well, of course you're entitled to your opinion, but I have to say it's not based in broad experience or any depth of research. While I don't argue with what you say about your Canon, the assertion that Pentax's new owner, that's one of the biggest companies in the commercial imaging world (Ricoh) and which has its own very innovative line of cameras, needs to prove itself is just laughable. You may think Pentax's DSLRs are entry level, and that may be true if all you shoot are Hasselblads or Phase Ones, but the K-5 is more than the equal of the Nikon D7000 (for instance) which is hardly an entry-level DSLR by the standards of anyone but a Canon fanboy or a troll (and I'm not suggesting you're either, but I do suggest you do your research before shooting your mouth off).

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 13, 2012 4:07:14 PM PDT
Eric is right. Pentax can give pro reults, no question bout that.

But, the pro will have a hard time getting many of the Pentax items in a timely fashion. Pros can't screw around like that...time is $$. When they need something for a shoot they need it NOW!

Posted on Jul 13, 2012 4:35:23 PM PDT
Joseph Ogiba says:
Dennis L. Bieber says:"SD cards are slow serial access [a class 6 SD card is only, with commands sent to the card describing the following data transfer (hmmm, the wikipedia entry has been rewritten, losing the more pertinent historical information).. A "class 6" SD card is a mere 48X (48 times an audio CD data transfer rate) A "class 10" SD card is 100X -- but Class 10 applies to freshly formatted card streaming a single file [video], not random access with multiple files (Class 6 is random access multiple file fragmented speed).
And my Canon SLRs can use any telescope with a 1.25" or 2" eyepiece tube as a lens... "

Are you in a coma or what ?

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/824149-REG/SanDisk_SDSDXPA_064G_A75_Extreme_Pro_64GB_SDHC_SDXC.html
http://delkin.com/i-6690268-64gb-delkin-elite633-sdxc-uhs-i-memory.html

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7184/6818507526_fd40831754_b.jpg

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 13, 2012 4:51:28 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 13, 2012 4:53:55 PM PDT
E. Conde says:
Ever heard of Amazon Prime? 2 Day delivery (FREE) or $3.99 next day delivery.. Just saying...

If you need something quick or in a timely fashion, that photog should have planned better :)

Posted on Jul 13, 2012 6:51:29 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jul 13, 2012 6:51:42 PM PDT]

Posted on Jul 13, 2012 6:54:35 PM PDT
J. Kratzer says:
I'm on my third Pentax camera (35mm, P&S, and now K-5). Love all three. Love that I can get in the pool with my K-5 and take pictures of my two year old without worrying about being splashed. Pentax is different. They do their own thing.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 13, 2012 7:05:39 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 13, 2012 7:06:16 PM PDT
DocRWM says:
Please. I've gotten Pentax items from Amazon overnight for 3.99. There aren't any B&M camera stores anywhere near me so even if I had a Nikon I'd have to get gear shipped, or can Nikon teleport items to pros now?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 13, 2012 7:37:41 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 13, 2012 7:41:14 PM PDT
Neo Lee says:
"Love that I can get in the pool with my K-5 and take pictures of my two year old without worrying about being splashed."

You're abusing weather sealant of your camera. It is called "weather-sealed" and not "waterproof" for a reason.

And what is your lens weather sealed too? Body is probably okay in an event of water splash, but will the lens be able to take it too?

People at PentaxForums said it well. http://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-beginners-corner-q/156876-water-proof.html
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