Let's help Jim Malcolm

Started Apr 8, 2013 | Discussions
dboeren
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Re: Let's help Jim Malcolm
In reply to DLBlack, Apr 8, 2013

I'm a casual shooter, newly moved up from compact cameras to DSLR's.  I do enjoy gear, but don't have the funds to actually buy the premium level lenses I'd like to own.

I don't know where this puts me in the demographics chart, but personally I think if Pentax is to make inroads they do need to be attractive to the casual photographers.  When I was doing my shopping research, I was putting the K-30 up against the Rebel t4i, Sony A57, and other starter DSLRs and it seemed like a slam dunk, the image quality and features of the K-30 are clearly better (IMHO) than what you can get from other makers.

The problem is, nobody who goes shopping for a camera knows about this.  You can't see a Pentax at Best Buy, Walmart, or anyplace else that people will go to look at cameras.  I was fortunate enough to find one Pentax camera in a Wolf Camera in downtown Atlanta, they claimed that they were the only store in the state that carried Pentax.  So how is anyone going to discover this option?

Putting out a full frame camera is fine and all, but I feel like it's only going to make a difference to a small amount of the market.  Building up the company requires getting a piece of the mass market, and you can't do that if your product isn't somewhere they can see it.  Sure, it's cool being all "underground" and everything, but I'd rather see Pentax in normal stores and selling enough volume to lower prices and support an improved rate of lens releases.  Hopefully you do too.

So how do I feel about full frame?  Frankly, a little apprehensive.  What I don't want is to see lens releases derailed.  The rate of release is slow already, and if full frame is going to come out Pentax will need to make a detour to put out a set of FF lenses for people to use with this hypothetical new camera.  That will likely cause further delays while the DA lenses on the roadmap are put on the back burner.

Also, there's the other elephant in the room - compatibility.  Right now, probably just about all of us own at least one, and probably several, DA or DA* lenses.  These lenses won't operate with a full frame sensor.  Having to replace all those lenses would be a significant expense, and the more DA lenses you own the higher it gets.  So, I (and others) want to know whether to keep going down this particular rabbit-hole.  I figure that in maybe 3-5 years I'll probably be looking to upgrade my K-30.  I feel like I'll probably be upgrading to the new top APS-C camera - the successor to the K-5iis, or potentially to a full frame version.

If I'll be buying full frame, I'd like to know that before I put any more money into additional APS-C lenses, particularly expensive ones like the DA*'s or Limiteds, which of course are attractive things a lot of us might aspire to own.  Conversely, if FF is not coming or if it's expected to be so expensive that it's out of reach for casual shooters, then by knowing that now I could relax and buy whatever lenses I want knowing that compatibility won't affect me.

Now, no matter how much people complain about Pentax, I think we all have to admit that they take backwards compatibility seriously - and at least to me this is a big draw of the system.  I just picked up an m42 adapter and plan to have a great time with some inexpensive legacy lenses.  So, I doubt they would leave us totally out in the cold.  Someone in another thread mentioned that they could support DA lenses by shooting in a mode that only uses an APS-C sized patch of the full frame sensor and this makes a lot of sense to me.  My DA lenses would work like they always have, even keeping their 1.5x crop factor.  Then my other lenses would be able to choose whether to shoot using the whole sensor or shoot in cropped mode, which might occasionally be attractive if you want more reach.  If they're smart, they could easily build a database of all the DA lenses and each one's maximum coverage - I'm guessing a lot of them might be able to cover more than just the bare minimum ASP-C sized patch so you'd get at least partial sensor size upgrades even with these.

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Pontoneer
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Re: Let's help Jim Malcolm
In reply to dboeren, Apr 8, 2013

dboeren wrote:

Also, there's the other elephant in the room - compatibility.  Right now, probably just about all of us own at least one, and probably several, DA or DA* lenses.  These lenses won't operate with a full frame sensor.  Having to replace all those lenses would be a significant expense, and the more DA lenses you own the higher it gets.

I don't own any DA lenses , like a great many people who started out with Pentax in the film days ; I have just made sure that any lenses bought in the last 10 years are not DA .

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Derek.

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awaldram
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Re: Let's help Jim Malcolm
In reply to johnny_rico, Apr 8, 2013

johnny_rico wrote:

Just bought a Canon 6D for Full Frame. I still have my Pentax gear but will be selling to buy additional lenses and other Canon gear. I have moved to mainly shooting landscape photography so FF is essential.

I have held out too long for a Pentax FF camera.

Hi was checking posting histories and galleries to see how many genuine and how many fire brands were posting in this thread and came across your lovely airshow images.

I was immediate struck with a thought , Have budgeted for that 600mm Canon lens ? to get the same shots or will you be happy with images 1.5 time smaller?

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awaldram
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Re: Let's help Jim Malcolm
In reply to Pontoneer, Apr 8, 2013

Pontoneer wrote:

dboeren wrote:

Also, there's the other elephant in the room - compatibility.  Right now, probably just about all of us own at least one, and probably several, DA or DA* lenses.  These lenses won't operate with a full frame sensor.  Having to replace all those lenses would be a significant expense, and the more DA lenses you own the higher it gets.

I don't own any DA lenses , like a great many people who started out with Pentax in the film days ; I have just made sure that any lenses bought in the last 10 years are not DA .

Am I missing something ?

So over the last ten years you've aided Pentax R&D by how much?

Yet you think they will now cater to your whims because ?

I notice those who have massive recent investment in Pentax i.e funding the company are all pretty blase about FF, But those who have done nothing to keep the company afloat seem to think Pentax should bet on these non-spenders suddenly changing their spots ?

I think it fanciful whimsy Pentax will never pander to legacy glass owners as they are not a commercial going concern.

Be funny if the released a FF camera locked to MTF readout capable lens only oh what gnashing of teeth we would hear.

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With kind regards
Derek.

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Cane
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Re: Let's help Jim Malcolm
In reply to johnny_rico, Apr 8, 2013

johnny_rico wrote:

Just bought a Canon 6D for Full Frame. I still have my Pentax gear but will be selling to buy additional lenses and other Canon gear. I have moved to mainly shooting landscape photography so FF is essential.

I have held out too long for a Pentax FF camera.

Can you talk a little bit about how you are getting on with the 6D? How about the size and weight? What do you like about it other than FF or dislike compared to Pentax?

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FooFighter007
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Re: Let's help Jim Malcolm
In reply to awaldram, Apr 8, 2013

I have bought Pentax K-r and FA77ltd new but my buying stops there until I see yea or nay regarding 35mm sensor and some new lenses.  But the time limit is less than 6 months before I switch for good.

It just behooves me, a long time Pentaxian, that Pentax would come out with the ridiculous new digital M-x and give it the same namesake as the awesome film MX. What is this company doing????

Just a note that listening to social media can be dangerous - there are a lot of shills from competitors out there.  It's hard to know what is real feedback and what is just designed to convert more Pentaxians to something else.  People can believe what I say here or not, but I know how good Pentax was in it's film days, and how good some of my lenses are.  It's time to turn things around now because not seeing Pentax in the big box stores will cause people in North America to "say "what is a Pentax?"

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Parkingman
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Re: Let's help Jim Malcolm
In reply to dboeren, Apr 8, 2013

Totally agree with you dboeren. Speaking for myself, FF is of no interest - the quality of the current range is excellent, and I don't want larger which FF will undoubtedly be.

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Pontoneer
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Re: Let's help Jim Malcolm
In reply to awaldram, Apr 8, 2013

awaldram wrote:

Pontoneer wrote:

dboeren wrote:

Also, there's the other elephant in the room - compatibility.  Right now, probably just about all of us own at least one, and probably several, DA or DA* lenses.  These lenses won't operate with a full frame sensor.  Having to replace all those lenses would be a significant expense, and the more DA lenses you own the higher it gets.

I don't own any DA lenses , like a great many people who started out with Pentax in the film days ; I have just made sure that any lenses bought in the last 10 years are not DA .

Am I missing something ?

So over the last ten years you've aided Pentax R&D by how much?

Yet you think they will now cater to your whims because ?

I notice those who have massive recent investment in Pentax i.e funding the company are all pretty blase about FF, But those who have done nothing to keep the company afloat seem to think Pentax should bet on these non-spenders suddenly changing their spots ?

I think it fanciful whimsy Pentax will never pander to legacy glass owners as they are not a commercial going concern.

Be funny if the released a FF camera locked to MTF readout capable lens only oh what gnashing of teeth we would hear.

I was a regular buyer of new Pentax products - until they decided to drop out of producing decent kit and went downmarket .

I will buy new again when they make something I consider worthy of the expenditure . I would like  to buy Pentax again , but my life will go on without them ; Pentax cannot survive without customers .

In the meantime my cash is directed towards my other hobbies : classic cars , hi-fi and video equipment .

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With kind regards
Derek.

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With kind regards
Derek.

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viking79
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Re: Let's help Jim Malcolm
In reply to johnny_rico, Apr 8, 2013

johnny_rico wrote:

Just bought a Canon 6D for Full Frame. I still have my Pentax gear but will be selling to buy additional lenses and other Canon gear. I have moved to mainly shooting landscape photography so FF is essential.

I have held out too long for a Pentax FF camera.

Why is FF essential for landscape?  Low ISO landscapes are usually done on a tripod regardless so ISO 80 on my K-5 was as good as ISO 200 on my Nikon D700.  I see full frame helpful for situations where I will be shooting at max ISO, like at a wedding bumping up to ISO 3200 in my K-7 was really rough, I think for astrophotography full frame has a nice advantage too, but for general landscape I guess I am not seeing a huge advantage unless you are printing very large.

I am playing devils advocate here, because a lot of people think full frame is essential, but aren't all that pleased with it when they switch.  I don't have a problem shooting a few professional weddings a year with APS-C.  It isn't ideal, but it does as good as it needs to.

Eric

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Donald B
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Re: My take on this ......... again ..
In reply to Rod Herdman, Apr 8, 2013

Rod Herdman wrote:

Donald B wrote:

took the words right out of my mouth. couldnt agree more. id even go the other way 4/3rds. if i had the money.

don

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Pentax K7, Panasonic fz150, Olympus XZ1, my main toys.

I just went for a Q on the basis it probably gives as good a pic as my *istD. Might still get a used K5 in the next year or so . . but no FF for me.

just got back from holidays with my daughter, and again as soon as i poped some photos on my 24 in screen from the fz150 they totaly blew me away, the quality is amazing, the lens is so sharp and no noise even at 100%. so you sholuld be getting just as good results from the Q.

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All I want is a digital back for my trusty K1000 . . .

me too. for my nikon F3

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vodanh1982
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Re: Let's help Jim Malcolm
In reply to Zvonimir Tosic, Apr 8, 2013

I am planning for a FF but I have not decided which one yet. If Pentax does not come out a FF version, I have to switch. There is no choice to stay. Even Pentax has a FF, I have to compare with other brands and make a final decision.

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Matthew Miller
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Let's try reading comprehension!
In reply to Zvonimir Tosic, Apr 8, 2013

In the interview, Jim Malcolm says:

Right, so this is kind of consistent with a lot of the research that we’ve done internally and it’s a little bit rewarding, and I guess that’s my big surprise. If you follow what the Internet says and you read the forums, the only way that Pentax is going to survive is full frame. Well, the Pentaxians are saying, “Just keep doing what you’re doing." Let’s work on optics, let’s work on the size of the camera, or the weather resistance, and battery life and resolution and start paying attention to—continue paying attention to—the camera the way it is.

He very clearly says that their customer research — "lots of research" — into the existing Pentax user base shows that people want continued improvements which play to Pentax's strengths. ("The camera the way it is.") This is in contrast to what one might think in reading "the forums" on the Internet. He even said he was surprised to see this, not that it was what he expected or wanted to see.

It is, therefore, laughable to point at more anecdotal evidence on an Internet forum as some sort of gotcha. You are following exactly what he said, except the actual point went over your head.

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Matthew Miller
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To put it another way....
In reply to Matthew Miller, Apr 8, 2013

To put it another way: Internet camera forums are a bubble, or an echo chamber, where ideas bounce around and escalate. Armchair CEOing without real data is hard enough, but doing it from within this Internet echo space is even harder, because it sure seems like there's so much evidence here that we must have an accurate picture of the marketplace.

It may be that echo chamber happens to be actually right, but there's no real way of telling except for actual widespread research — which we don't have.

Maybe Pentax's research is wrong too, in other ways. Maybe the new VP has a secret agenda and is actually lying to us. Definitely possibilities. But more tempests inside this particular teapot aren't really going to do anything.

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Tom Caldwell
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Re: Let's help Jim Malcolm
In reply to Zvonimir Tosic, Apr 9, 2013

Reminds me of a survey that a local supermarket here made with it's customers:

Do you like wide aisles?

Do you like friendly service?

Do you like low prices?

etc

The answer of course was all "yes".  Triumphantly the owner announced - we are doing all these things! - we must be doing it well.

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Zvonimir Tosic
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So why do you post on DPR at all?
In reply to Matthew Miller, Apr 9, 2013

Matthew Miller wrote:

To put it another way: Internet camera forums are a bubble, or an echo chamber, where ideas bounce around and escalate. Armchair CEOing without real data is hard enough, but doing it from within this Internet echo space is even harder, because it sure seems like there's so much evidence here that we must have an accurate picture of the marketplace.

It may be that echo chamber happens to be actually right, but there's no real way of telling except for actual widespread research — which we don't have.

Maybe Pentax's research is wrong too, in other ways. Maybe the new VP has a secret agenda and is actually lying to us. Definitely possibilities. But more tempests inside this particular teapot aren't really going to do anything.

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Matthew Miller « http://mattdm.org/ »

If everything is a teapot and everyone has an agenda, when all of us are agents of whatever force in disguise, then why we post on DPR at all? Why do we read anything here?

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Zvonimir Tosic
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Tom Caldwell
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Re: Let's help Jim Malcolm
In reply to Zvonimir Tosic, Apr 9, 2013

Lets do another perspective.  I was a film K mount user, but migrated to Canon EF when film was still king but did buy a K100 years ago to use with my old K-mount lenses and I did buy a couple of pancakes to go with it just for laughs.  Worked well, but I had invested in a heavyweight suite of Canon EF lenses and multiple Canon dslr bodies including a 30D and 50D and 5D then I stopped, not wishing to push dslr bodies any further.  No point I had to get off the dslr body merry-go-round somewhere.

The question here is "FF or bust".  In reality the aps-c bodies provide a continuing utility,  I have no problem taking the three bodies for a jaunt.  When the aps-c suits best I use them, the FF has it's place.  Surprisingly I am still very fond of the 30D and the 50D offers no real reason to completely dump the perfectly capable 30D in practical use.  My 5D is used as much to correct focal length of the lenses attached as for it's extra quality.

I don't really get my head around why it is so necessary to feel that it is essential to dump a perfectly good aps-c body for a FF one.  If the FF Pentax dslr arrives there will still be room to use an aps-c body.  Think of the FF as a useful addition and not a replacement and the matter has a better perspective.  There will be those that absolutely need a FF camera body for their purpose but there might be others who (sensibly) see room for both.  Certainly the aps-c body is not going to stop taking images as good as it does today just because a FF body miraculously appears riding bravely to the rescue of all less than perfect images.

Throw away the exif data and hide the file size and a committee of experts might struggle to say which body took what, but then perhaps I am not expert enough to properly use a FF sensor to know any better?

And still I say "yes" that a FF sensor Pentax dslr would be useful, a nice supplement to my very useful aps-c Pentax body if I had the lens stock to use both to full advantage.

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Zvonimir Tosic
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US shooters, you can write to Pentax USA too
In reply to Zvonimir Tosic, Apr 9, 2013

US shooters who have switched the brand (but still look around here), if you don't want to exchange ideas here because forums are pointless to you, you may write Pentax USA directly. If you want, of course, and if you think your input can contribute to the future of others who still cling to Pentax ...

ask.pentax@prac.pentax.com

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Zvonimir Tosic
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Tom Caldwell
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Re: My take on this ......... again ..
In reply to emem, Apr 9, 2013

emem wrote:

So let me just get this straight in my mind - we have a guy in Romania taking a guy in Australia to task for commenting on the recent public comments of an executive VP of an American company? And I'm sure others (such as myself) contributing to this thread are not in the USA either. Very odd.

I've recently made a couple of posts in similar (full frame/35mm) type of threads and I don't want to flog a dead horse but here's my take on this - again.

There are undoubtedly Pentax users who would love a Pentax full frame affordable body but I believe it's a minority. Some want a full frame simply because it's the current "holy grail". I've glibly suggested previously that 90% of Pentax shooters are happy with APS-C. The number just came out of my head and I can't substantiate it, but I feel strongly that I'm right.

This, as various contributors are at pains to point out from time to time, is a gear forum. It is hardly surprising that quite a large proportion go on about full frame. But honestly, I wonder how many unique contributors there are to this (Pentax SLR Talk) forum in, say, a month? A hundred? Two hundred? Of those how many are looking forward to a full frame purchase in the near future? 10%? 20%? I figure it's not really very many. Our local camera club has well over a hundred members with 80 or so regularly attending meetings (not many Pentax shooters admittedly). Neighbouring suburbs also have very healthy clubs. Enquiries reveal that while many of these camera club members are quite familiar with DPReview, few of them are regular contributors or even particularly regular browsers. And why is this, I've asked myself? My conclusion is that active members of camera clubs are actually photographers. Very few are true gearheads. They're too busy taking and processing and printing and exhibiting their photographs - because they're photographers. Here in this rarified atmosphere of the "gear centric" forum, it is easy to fall into the trap of believing that we represent the majority of Pentax photography people. But we really don't.

In the last 6 or so years I've spent well upwards of $10K on my photography gear. Most of my lenses suit APS-C, not full frame. If I stick with APS-C I can upgrade to a new body and maybe spend a few dollars on a lens for around $2K to $2.5K - if I had to transfer everything to FF I'd need to find $5K to $7K at least. For a relatively slight improvement in IQ, why would I do that?

So in summary, if you're a professional photographer, a moderately well off photographer or a very committed gear orientated photographer, go for it. But if you stay with your APS-C gear I'm sure you'll be able to turn out images virtually every bit as good and every bit as satisfying as the FF converts.

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Mike M. (emem)
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Well said Mike

This is not the only gear thread around dpreview where new product is demanded, quite loudly and in strident tones, with no commitment to actually buy what is produced.  Many, if not most, that are demanding that a camera company make something radical - make it with the reserved right to pick over it's bones once made with no real commitment to assuredly buy once it arrives.  "Too expensive", "example images not good enough", "I like something else better", "etc".  Therefore the manufacturer cannot really be guided by rants that if they make such and such it si sure to be an instant success even though "I" might not buy one even though I presently think that the cheap but very desirable camera in my imagination will suit me perfectly.  Maybe if everyone that wanted a FF camera body were to lodge a 50% deposit up front today with Pentax they might be more sure that they could produce one and actually find enough that would really buy the product?  Once it hit 10,000 deposits taken then Pentax might be very happy to roll out the product.  Mmmm - perhaps not quite enough?

Of course there is the ultimate "blackmail", if you don't make me a suitable marble I am going to sell all my other marbles and buy a skipping rope .... (grin). As if any company comtemplating what can be a multi-million dollar poke in the dark in the pious hope that they could turn a profit should care.

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Russell Evans
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Re: Let's try reading comprehension!
In reply to Matthew Miller, Apr 9, 2013

Matthew Miller wrote:

He very clearly says that their customer research — "lots of research" — into the existing Pentax user base shows that people want continued improvements which play to Pentax's strengths.--

It seems odd to assume that Pentax customers would be any different than Nikon's or Canon's in this regard, doesn't it? Obviously, not all of Nikon's or Canon's customers want FF, and just as obvious the one's that do want FF, aren't in the majority or even close to it. So why are we surprised this is true for Pentax as well? Why is he surprised by this? And why does it take "lots"of marketing research to confirm this? The only response his comment should invoke is "Duh!".

Just as much a "Duh!" is that Pentax is going to have to do something new to attract new customers. Doing the same thing they have always done isn't going to get them to the #3 position or probably even keep them in business much longer.

Thank you
Russell

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BryantP
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Re: My take on this ......... again ..
In reply to emem, Apr 9, 2013

Emem, I very much agree with your assement regarding ff.  I'm one of the 80 or so % that has little interest in full frame.  If Pentax continues to concentrate on providing the BEST asp-c dslrs available I will be more than happy to continue to stay with Pentax.  If they continue to do that & can develop & succesfully market a ff dslr as will than fine.  However as much as I prefer my ist DS, K-7 & K5, if I were to ever buy a ff camera it would be a Nikon simply because my film slrs were Nikon & I would be able to use my existing lens.  However I don't care for the size or the ergonomics of either the D600 or D800 & wouldn't enjoy using either.

- BryantP

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