Why use Pentax?

Started Mar 18, 2013 | Questions
Richard B.
Richard B. Veteran Member • Posts: 5,791
Ergonomics + Superb primes

Some of the ergonomics features with the K-5 IIs that are big plusses for me:

  • In body image stabilization on all lenses
  • In body MLU with 2s delay
  • Excellent placement of ISO and exposure compensation controls
  • Locking mode dial
  • Easy access to drive mode
  • Very easy to change lenses
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jimrpdx
jimrpdx Veteran Member • Posts: 3,605
Re: Why use Pentax?

I think availability and marketing account for it; impulse buying is far easier when you can find a camera inside your local store, and Pentax has not managed that.  You need to do some research and personal soul-searching to decide what's important to you, and that's when Pentax has a chance to reach you.

It helps if you take roads less traveled in other matters too, as Pentaxians find they have enough great gear available online, in thrift shops and in their family closet to make it worth trying out.  Unless full frame is vital to what you do, Pentax is an excellent choice.  I have Pentax in my photographic history from 1983 on, which might have helped too.

I tried another dark horse first in the dSLR market.  When I searched out cameras in 2008 I went with a Sony A200 and loved the Minolta-reborn feeling (and the old Maxxum glass).  In the next 2 years Sony did not fully embrace any single path in the larger-sensor camera market, and that drove me mad - and to Pentax.  Perhaps Nex and SLT will hold Sony's interest for a few years, but their continual need to reinvent was too much for me.

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Jim in Oregon -- Pentax user, Alpha & m4:3 veteran
talking to myself at http://granitix.blogspot.com

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DenWil
DenWil Veteran Member • Posts: 3,556
Because it fits my small hands.



Leandros S Senior Member • Posts: 1,980
Re: Why use Pentax?

We can all tell you're a Nikon user, as you haven't taken the time to understand why you're using Nikon, nor can you figure out why people use Pentax. You went with Nikon because everybody else seemed to. Now you're expecting other people to tell you why you should be using Pentax. Are you seeing a pattern yet? No?

Mike Hiran
Mike Hiran Senior Member • Posts: 1,216
Re: Ergonomics + Superb primes

Richard B. wrote:

Some of the ergonomics features with the K-5 IIs that are big plusses for me:

  • In body image stabilization on all lenses
  • In body MLU with 2s delay
  • Excellent placement of ISO and exposure compensation controls
  • Locking mode dial
  • Easy access to drive mode
  • Very easy to change lenses

Hi Richard,

While I agree and wholeheartedly recommend the Pentax Limited lenses due to their superb build, image quality, and "hitting way above their weight class" size, the Limiteds are not weather sealed.  I have read that primes have less of a chance water getting into them than zooms and some have said they have taken their primes into light rain with no issues.  Personally though, if the rain starts coming, I'm shooting with my WR lenses.

For Pentax, their WR lenses include:

da*55

DFA100 macro WR

da18-55 wr

da50-200 wr

da18-135 wr

da*16-50

da* 50-135

da* 60-250

da* 200

da* 300

da 560

I think that covers it...

 Mike Hiran's gear list:Mike Hiran's gear list
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Model Mike Veteran Member • Posts: 3,671
Re: Why use Pentax?
1

Re K-5 II... because

  • takes great photos
  • saves in DNG
  • it's small and beautiful
  • good range of weather proof lenses
  • great low light AF
  • clever ergonomics
  • unmatched range of pancake lenses
  • understated
  • N & C are just so 'last year'...

Mike
http://flickr.com/rc-soar

Richard B.
Richard B. Veteran Member • Posts: 5,791
Re: Ergonomics + Superb primes

Mike Hiran wrote:

Richard B. wrote:

Some of the ergonomics features with the K-5 IIs that are big plusses for me:

  • In body image stabilization on all lenses
  • In body MLU with 2s delay
  • Excellent placement of ISO and exposure compensation controls
  • Locking mode dial
  • Easy access to drive mode
  • Very easy to change lenses

Hi Richard,

While I agree and wholeheartedly recommend the Pentax Limited lenses due to their superb build, image quality, and "hitting way above their weight class" size, the Limiteds are not weather sealed. I have read that primes have less of a chance water getting into them than zooms and some have said they have taken their primes into light rain with no issues. Personally though, if the rain starts coming, I'm shooting with my WR lenses.

Mike, thanks for the correction on the WR. I don't often shoot in the wet, if I do, I get my wife to hold the umbrella while I shoot!

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 Richard B.'s gear list:Richard B.'s gear list
Pentax K-5 IIs Pentax smc DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited Pentax smc DA 17-70mm F4.0 AL (IF) SDM Pentax smc DA 55-300mm F4.0-5.8 ED Pentax smc DA* 60-250mm F4.0 ED (IF) SDM +6 more
Zvonimir Tosic
Zvonimir Tosic Senior Member • Posts: 2,775
Are you a market research company?

Are you a market research company?

Questions like your are almost ideally posed and formulated by marketing research teams, who want to understand behaviour of some user groups.

So to add strange variances in the outcome, I say I like Pentax because Beatles loved it.

I love Beatles. Beatles love Pentax => I love Pentax.

-- hide signature --

Zvonimir Tosic
“A portrait is not made in the camera, but on either side of it.”
— Edward Steichen

Model Mike Veteran Member • Posts: 3,671
Re: Please, Please, Tell Me More!

mistermejia wrote:

Some have said here that they really like their pentax and would not switch, "although their pentax camera frustrates them". What is it that Pentax causes you to feel frustrated??

Flash.

Also i have read that Pentax flash system is not the greatest. What exactly does that mean? i don't do studio work and really don't use multiple flashes, just my mounted one, can someone provide more detail what it means by a not so great flash system vs. Nikon?

Bounced flash on the K-5 and K-5II using PTTL is not very reliable - the camera tends to overexpose under certain conditions. One solution is to get a flash with an Auto facility like the Metz 58 AF.

Is the AF slow/inacurate in this cameras? Is there backfocusing experiences with K5II?

AF on the K-5 II is more accurate than previous Pentax dSLRs. In low light AF is considered to be best in class.

I have not had to micro adjust the AF on any of my lenses with the K-5 II.

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Mike Hiran
Mike Hiran Senior Member • Posts: 1,216
Re: Please, Please, Tell Me More!

mistermejia wrote:

Hi everyone! I hope i am welcome here. Like jake, i am also open to discover new things and options. This is actually my very FIRST time i take a peak here into the Pentax forum. I can say that i got into photography only about 8 years ago because of my first born, and since then i have never stopped shooting. My cameras since then have been the Nikon D200/F5/D7000. A couple of months ago i sold my D7000, it was okay, very good camera but i never really liked the jpegs(i am mainly a jpeg shooter) and didn't find the punch on the photos, very difficult camera to operate in general, mainly the AF and exposure part of it.

About a month ago or so, i went ahead and bought Fuji S5 PRO and i am in LOVE with it, not selling, it is a keeper. I am using my nikon lenses on it, that's one of the advantages that i have by buying this one, which is fantastic, i already know each of my lenses and didn't have to spend money. BUT, i am also considering the new D7100, which people are already saying that it is A LOT better than the D7000, specially the AF. So the D7100 is on my top list currently, again, mainly because i have pretty good Nikon lenses already, BUT, again, i am "open" to other things since i haven't taken my credit card out yet.

Some have said here that they really like their pentax and would not switch, "although their pentax camera frustrates them". What is it that Pentax causes you to feel frustrated?? Also i have read that Pentax flash system is not the greatest. What exactly does that mean? i don't do studio work and really don't use multiple flashes, just my mounted one, can someone provide more detail what it means by a not so great flash system vs. Nikon?

Also, does a K5II have an optional battery grip?

Is the AF slow/inacurate in this cameras? Is there backfocusing experiences with K5II?

Does the K5II have video capability? How good is it?

Is there already a rumored K7 comming out soon?

The more details you provide the better for me :-). I saw some of the photo gallery provided in the begining and i will say that i have been impressed by them, i am not sure if those are RAW or jpegs but they look fantastic and VERY sharp detailed photos. I was looking at the newer Fuji cameras but they are just too expensive for my taste, and way too small for me.

Thanks!

Of course you're welcome; it's great you're taking the time to see what else is out in the world of cameras.

It's interesting to me that you're liking the s5 over the d7000... that tells me you like things that have that "feel" of being part of you where the camera feels like part of the creative process and not something that imposes itself on you.  This is where Pentax really shines I think.  There are many converts from Canon and Nikon that just love how Pentax DSLR's handle.  But from a technical point of view, the s5 is a pretty old camera and things like high iso shooting, more dynamic range on the sensor, and better AF systems with higher frame rates have advanced a lot since the s5 was introduced.  Although the D7000 uses the same sensor (for the most part) as the Pentax k5, k30, k01, k5ii, and k5iis (though the "s" version does not have an AA filter) I find the images look a lot different.  My uncle's d7000 images just don't look right to me, but of course I've gotten used to the Pentax Look.  Granted, this could be adjusted in software, but why should I have to?

As far as frustration, I think there are some who want Pentax to develop full frame cameras, or to make lens x, or maybe they want a tilting screen or wifi or gps built in, some want a revamped AF or flash system.  If you participate in any forum, there are no shortages of backseat drivers who think they know the direction Pentax should go.  And maybe some are right... but Pentax was bought by Ricoh around a year ago.  There are many, including me, who think this partnership has the potential to improve Pentax and make the brand better known and respected.  Of course this will take time...

So to your specific ?'s

flash - if you get a flash, get the Metz AF2 - it seems to meter more consistently than Pentax's PTTL, particularly when bouncing

Focusing - some tests have shown the k5ii to be on par w/ others, while some individuals who have used both say the Canikon upper end focusing is better, especially when it comes to sports tracking focus.  The k5ii and k5iis do not seem to have back/ front focusing issues.  But you can adjust up to 10 lenses independently for varying degrees of FF/BF if you have lenses that aren't as cooperative.

There is a weather sealed grip available and some aftermarket companies make them also.

There are rumors of a k3 coming out soon, but I'll believe it when I see it...

as for video quality... maybe check out youtube of vimeo and look at the samples there.

Hope that helps!

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Mike Hiran
Mike Hiran Senior Member • Posts: 1,216
Re: Ergonomics + Superb primes

Richard B. wrote:

Mike Hiran wrote:

Richard B. wrote:

Some of the ergonomics features with the K-5 IIs that are big plusses for me:

  • In body image stabilization on all lenses
  • In body MLU with 2s delay
  • Excellent placement of ISO and exposure compensation controls
  • Locking mode dial
  • Easy access to drive mode
  • Very easy to change lenses

Hi Richard,

While I agree and wholeheartedly recommend the Pentax Limited lenses due to their superb build, image quality, and "hitting way above their weight class" size, the Limiteds are not weather sealed. I have read that primes have less of a chance water getting into them than zooms and some have said they have taken their primes into light rain with no issues. Personally though, if the rain starts coming, I'm shooting with my WR lenses.

Mike, thanks for the correction on the WR. I don't often shoot in the wet, if I do, I get my wife to hold the umbrella while I shoot!

Can I get your wife to call my wife

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audiobomber
audiobomber Veteran Member • Posts: 5,764
Re: Why use Pentax?

Jake64 wrote:

It also seems that professional reviewers highlight a lack of feature with the K-30, for example, as a determental factor in purchasing it. Who cares if there is no dedicated video button? You have an additional scroll dial. Who cares if there is no mic input.

I don't care about video, at all.

You get a pentamirror with 100 percent coverage.

Actually it's a pentaprism.

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Dan

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rogerstpierre Veteran Member • Posts: 3,986
Re: Why use Pentax?

Like many others here, because it was the best value.  I always wanted a Nikon (I never liked the Canon mount for some reason ! ).  My first SLR, I couldn't afford Nikon, my second SLR I did, but Olympus offered so much more with the OM2n that it eclipsed the Nikkormat hands down, so that is what I bought.  When I bought my first DSLR, I said to myself, I'll buy a Nikon THIS time, just because ... so when I went to the store to make my purchase at last of a D80 (after much research in what I considered my price bracket), the K10D just came in that day, so I had to at least handle it to "confirm" my choice... it was instant love.  It felt sooo much better than the "cheap plastic" D80 in comparison... I walked out with it with no hesitation.  So this is the story of my photographer's life... I want Nikon, I really do want to like this brand, but there's always a better value when it comes time to put my hard earned money down, and Pentax fits that bill so very neatly right now.  Hence, if you care about value... you look beyond the obvious, you do your research, and buy what fits YOUR needs best.  In my case, it was never Nikon nor Canon, and that for the past 35+ years or so that I've been doing photography !

I still want a Nikon... but the camera I want ... they will never make it is seems !

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Roger

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mistermejia Veteran Member • Posts: 3,340
Re: Please, Please, Tell Me More!

Mike Hiran wrote:

mistermejia wrote:

Hi everyone! I hope i am welcome here. Like jake, i am also open to discover new things and options. This is actually my very FIRST time i take a peak here into the Pentax forum. I can say that i got into photography only about 8 years ago because of my first born, and since then i have never stopped shooting. My cameras since then have been the Nikon D200/F5/D7000. A couple of months ago i sold my D7000, it was okay, very good camera but i never really liked the jpegs(i am mainly a jpeg shooter) and didn't find the punch on the photos, very difficult camera to operate in general, mainly the AF and exposure part of it.

About a month ago or so, i went ahead and bought Fuji S5 PRO and i am in LOVE with it, not selling, it is a keeper. I am using my nikon lenses on it, that's one of the advantages that i have by buying this one, which is fantastic, i already know each of my lenses and didn't have to spend money. BUT, i am also considering the new D7100, which people are already saying that it is A LOT better than the D7000, specially the AF. So the D7100 is on my top list currently, again, mainly because i have pretty good Nikon lenses already, BUT, again, i am "open" to other things since i haven't taken my credit card out yet.

Some have said here that they really like their pentax and would not switch, "although their pentax camera frustrates them". What is it that Pentax causes you to feel frustrated?? Also i have read that Pentax flash system is not the greatest. What exactly does that mean? i don't do studio work and really don't use multiple flashes, just my mounted one, can someone provide more detail what it means by a not so great flash system vs. Nikon?

Also, does a K5II have an optional battery grip?

Is the AF slow/inacurate in this cameras? Is there backfocusing experiences with K5II?

Does the K5II have video capability? How good is it?

Is there already a rumored K7 comming out soon?

The more details you provide the better for me :-). I saw some of the photo gallery provided in the begining and i will say that i have been impressed by them, i am not sure if those are RAW or jpegs but they look fantastic and VERY sharp detailed photos. I was looking at the newer Fuji cameras but they are just too expensive for my taste, and way too small for me.

Thanks!

Of course you're welcome; it's great you're taking the time to see what else is out in the world of cameras.

It's interesting to me that you're liking the s5 over the d7000... that tells me you like things that have that "feel" of being part of you where the camera feels like part of the creative process and not something that imposes itself on you. This is where Pentax really shines I think. There are many converts from Canon and Nikon that just love how Pentax DSLR's handle. But from a technical point of view, the s5 is a pretty old camera and things like high iso shooting, more dynamic range on the sensor, and better AF systems with higher frame rates have advanced a lot since the s5 was introduced. Although the D7000 uses the same sensor (for the most part) as the Pentax k5, k30, k01, k5ii, and k5iis (though the "s" version does not have an AA filter) I find the images look a lot different. My uncle's d7000 images just don't look right to me, but of course I've gotten used to the Pentax Look. Granted, this could be adjusted in software, but why should I have to?

As far as frustration, I think there are some who want Pentax to develop full frame cameras, or to make lens x, or maybe they want a tilting screen or wifi or gps built in, some want a revamped AF or flash system. If you participate in any forum, there are no shortages of backseat drivers who think they know the direction Pentax should go. And maybe some are right... but Pentax was bought by Ricoh around a year ago. There are many, including me, who think this partnership has the potential to improve Pentax and make the brand better known and respected. Of course this will take time...

So to your specific ?'s

flash - if you get a flash, get the Metz AF2 - it seems to meter more consistently than Pentax's PTTL, particularly when bouncing

Focusing - some tests have shown the k5ii to be on par w/ others, while some individuals who have used both say the Canikon upper end focusing is better, especially when it comes to sports tracking focus. The k5ii and k5iis do not seem to have back/ front focusing issues. But you can adjust up to 10 lenses independently for varying degrees of FF/BF if you have lenses that aren't as cooperative.

There is a weather sealed grip available and some aftermarket companies make them also.

There are rumors of a k3 coming out soon, but I'll believe it when I see it...

as for video quality... maybe check out youtube of vimeo and look at the samples there.

Hope that helps!

Mike, you are awesome, thanks for taking the time, i will continue to look for more info for the K3, all this is starting to sound interesting.  I am the kind of person that likes to try ALL kinds of different foods, same with cameras.  I might just go for the D7100 but i am not going to do that just yet anyways, in the meantime i will try to learn more about the K5.

The D7000 is a pretty darn good camera, very good high iso and dynamic range, but there was just something missing on the photos, i don't know.  I didn't get the S5 Pro for fast action or for high ISO low noise, i got it for what it is, an UNBELIEVABLE camera, the dynamic range highlight capability is very impressive, way way better than many modern cameras, not to mention the skin tones

Here are some samples and thanks again!

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jon404 Senior Member • Posts: 2,229
Re: Why use Pentax?

Jake -- I first bought an older medium-format Pentax 645N, to get back into film. It is the best camera I have ever owned. Perfect ergonomics, a delight to use.

Then, a month ago, I noticed the 'discontinued' sale for the Pentax K-01. For digital, I mostly use an Olympus XZ-1, and wanted for a long time to go to APS-C, to get low-light images with less sensor noise. The price for the K-01 was irresistable! And, like the 645N, the camera instantly felt 'at home' in my hands.

As a side benefit, I've found that there are a zillion Pentax lenses out there, that all fit my K-01 (and any other K-mount camera). The lenses I've bought, made by Pentax, are VERY sharp when stopped down a bit, and have excellent color.

If I were a professional, I would buy a weatherproof K-5 IIs immediately, with two weather-sealed fast zooms covering a 16-300mm range... plus all the lighting gear, PocketWizards, umbrellas, gobos, all that. But I'm retired... and the K-5 IIs will have to wait a while!

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Jonathon Donahue -- Olympus XZ-1 tips at http://jon404.com

mlkind Forum Member • Posts: 90
Re: Why use Pentax?

For me the two most important reasons why I chose Pentax was weather sealing and how compact the system is. I do a lot of backpacking and mt. biking and it was really the only choice when I entered the market, and honestly still is.

mlk

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Mike Hiran
Mike Hiran Senior Member • Posts: 1,216
Re: Please, Please, Tell Me More!

it appears you have some good glass - 35 1.8 and 85 1.4 - to be honest, I'm not sure it makes much sense to switch to Pentax given what you have already.  there would be the advantage of having shake reduction for your primes, but financially you'll take a hit.  To get something comparable, you'll probably end up with Pentax lenses like the DA35 2.4 (a bit slower, but sharper wide open) and the FA77 1.8 (also slower, but it's got some magic to it - one of my favorite lenses).  So the 35 2.4 would be around $220, but the FA77 costs around $800.  As an alternative, there's a manual focus Samyang that can be had for not too much and it's very sharp.

So only you can do the calculus and see if a switch would make sense.

But I would suggest that how the camera feels in your hands is one of the most important things - you owe it to yourself to handle one and see if it sings to you.  I know mine does to me and it's a beautiful thing.  If there aren't stores in your area, maybe post on pentax forums . com and see if someone could meet you or suggest a store that might have one.

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jande9
jande9 Senior Member • Posts: 1,240
Re: Why use Pentax?

One reason that you don't see too many Pentaxes is because their distribution is poor, at least here in Canada.  You can go into a big camera store and see display cases full of Canons and Nikons, but nothing from Pentax.  My local store is huge and the only Pentax DSLR they ever had was an old *istD.  They finally sold it last year!

Picking the name *istD killed their market share too.  Nobody knew how it was pronounced.  I still don't.

I got my dslr directly from Pentax Canada basically because I already had a few lenses and I have been extremely happy with it.  Nice to use and outstanding quality pictures.  I had a Canon Rebel for a while but the kit lens wasn't that good, and the IS version even worse.  For amateur use the Pentax is hard to beat.

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Timothy Stark
Timothy Stark Regular Member • Posts: 164
Re: Why use Pentax?

Vancouver has an active Pentax market with the full range of bodies available at the major camera shops and the largest mass-market retailer in Western Canada.

Why use Pentax, why not!

K-5, K28 3.5

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DS21 Senior Member • Posts: 2,304
Re: Why use Pentax?

Jake64 wrote:

I am a Nikon user but I am far from a fanboy. My question is, why do people choose Pentax over big hitters like Nikon and Canon? I don't think I have ever seen anyone using a Pentax DSLR in person or in a photo. I have combed through dozens of photos of photographers but they all apper to be using Nikon and Canon products. I also looked into wedding and studio photographers. The ones that do mention what equipment they use, it is never Pentax. Is that initself the allure; that few use it and it feels more special?

Thanks!

A couple of reasons, for me it is by far the best AWB in artificial light, great Auto ISO implementation, in body stabilization, and good JPEG output straight from the camera. Great cameras for trade shows, concerts and events where a large number of photos is needed quickly, and they are good enough you don't have to process most of them.

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