Considering throwing in the towel with Pentax, some honest unbiased thoughts on the matter desired..

Started Nov 2, 2013 | Questions
JeffAHayes
JeffAHayes Senior Member • Posts: 1,968
Re: Considering throwing in the towel with Pentax, some honest unbiased thoughts..

I must admit, I started having my doubts about staying with Pentax in the last Hoya years. I'm glad I wasn't in a hurry...

Alex

I came BACK to Pentax for DSLR after 10 years of bridge cameras during the last year of the "Hoya reign," Alex. I have to tell you, however, that had I been as aware then as I am now just how badly Hoya managed the Pentax camera division I may not have. From what I'm now seeing with Ricoh, I'm becoming very optimistic about the future of the Pentax brand -- even if they start calling them Ricoh cameras -- so long as they still fit the same lenses and have the same "Pentax-style" of features and philosophy.

As for Hoya, I won't even buy their FILTERS any more!

As for the OP, I agree a high school student needing a 500mm lens to shoot yearbook photos sounds rather strange, UNLESS she's planning to shoot long-range sports photos for the yearbook -- which I guess could be possible -- I don't know what a 500mm lens would be good for, either (and many high-school sports are shot indoors or at night, so a high-enough shutter speed for a sharp shot would be quite difficult).

Either way, based on what I'm seeing right now from Pentax -- and the fact that there are PLENTY of lenses available -- most for less money than similar lenses for CaNikon. All indicators also point to a Pentax FF camera sometime next year, as well, and quite a few of the lenses in the Pentax lineup will work on a FF camera without vignetteing, unlike what happened to almost all CaNikon APS-C shooters, who had to sell all their APS-C lenses and buy new ones when they moved to FF.

So far, the K-3 has great reviews. I'm still awaiting mine, since I wanted one of the silver ones, which were back-ordered. But the K-5 series is also a great camera, and with the release of the K-3, the K-5II/s are available at a real bargain.

If you really want to switch brands, do that. But I see no reason to, certainly not as far as getting a better APS-C camera from any other maker, definitely not a better deal. Digital SLR Photography magazine just named the K-50 a "Best-Buy" in its class of cameras. I'm willing to bet the K-3 gets similar reviews once reviewers get their hands on them.

Jeff

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Britney Elvis Veteran Member • Posts: 5,200
A new lens for the KX and a bridge camera 4 the long zoom

cdherman wrote:

I have an older Pentax K-x body which is obviously not very valuable now, and a couple APS-c cheap entry lenses in the 18-55 and 50-200 ranges.

But I also have a nice FA 1:1.4 50mm and a Sigma 1:1.8 EX DG 28m Macro. I think both of these are decent lenses, someone correct me if I am wrong, full frame lenses.

My daughter needs a bigger lens for her highschool yearbook work.

I am in a quandary as to my options. I'd like to buy a good 50x500mm zoom in the $1500 range, but I cannot decide if I should stay with pentax, or abandon pentax and find one of the other "big 2" brands going forward.

It seems like Pentax is dwindling slowly. Wondering if I should bail out before I make the next high dollar purchase.....

The only thing valuable I have left are the two prime lenses.....

I recognize that posting a doom and gloom question on a Pentax forum is subject to bias and I am NOT bashing Pentax. Just trying to be realistic. Was always a Pentax fan, but we cannot always be winners.....

Your honest thoughts.....

I would let her use your KX and a fast zoom like a 28-75 2.8 for indoor shots...   Your 50-200 along the sidelines for outdoor games/events.
And then I would buy her a nice long zoom bridge camera for anything that truly needs the 750mm eq  length.
Panny/Sony/Canon and Fuji all have really decent ones.   
I use my Canon SX50 for yearbook shots of my grade school kids.   And have never had one rejected for not being a DSLR shot.

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Diffraction Regular Member • Posts: 276
Re: Considering throwing in the towel with Pentax, ...
1

I also have the K-x. I REALLY want the K-3. Why?

Pentax/Ricoh is a bit of an underdog, which means they deliver more features at a lower price point than the competition, because they have to. Frankly, I find it astounding that even with the fewer numbers of cameras they sell, they still manage to do so.

I do not see anything the other two can offer for me. Full frame might be nice for some, but I do not need it, because:

I do not shoot ultra-wide, and if I did, the Sigma 8mm would be plenty wide for me.

I do not need apertures < 1.4. Since I upgraded from the K-10D to the K-x, I rarely use apertures below 2.8 anymore - when taking people pictures, it is too much subject isolation, meaning the subject itself is unfocused in certain parts. It is actually a pity, since my Samyang 85mm goes down to 1.4, but I never use it. It still does shine between 2.5 and 4.0, so it does not matter as much.

What I find interesting is that you want to buy a 50-500 lens, but consider at the same time going to FF. If you need a long lens, APS-C is actually "better" for you, since you crop out the 1.4x zoom. Of course, you can do the same with an FF camera, but it costs a lot more.

I am well invested in Pentax, and I absolutely like where Pentax is headed at the moment. For me, I therefore cannot think of why I would switch.

Now, for that K-3...

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MGJA
MGJA Regular Member • Posts: 477
Re: No certainty anywhere
2

cdherman wrote:

Wallace Ross wrote:

Okay forgetting your weird backhanded request for help for the moment. My daughter shoots yearbook at her school and I gave her my K10d with a DA18-55 WR and she's never needed anything else seeing as the standard most kids use is their phone.

OK, my apologies to most of you -- I mainly was ticked at the one post that referred to me as "trollbait".....

Don't take it to heart. A lot of Pentaxians are pretty battered after the Hoya years.

Anyway, I was where you are a year or so ago. My current Pentax gear was worth perhaps 1/10th of what I paid for it on the second hand market, and I had need of stuff that Pentax didn't seem interested in providing. In my case, it was smaller cameras with smaller lenses. So I simply kept what I had - my K-x is still a very nice platform for long lenses since I don't need fast AF and I take a fair amount of wicked pleasure informing my 5Dmk3 owning friends that my humble 2009 vintage entry level cam beats their fancy-pants FF flagship in terms of DR and seeing them gnash their teeth . And then I bought a mirrorless system that I use most of the time these days for anything shorter than 200mm, which is the vast majority of my photography anyway.

Ricoh look like they're a much better owner than Hoya ever was. I am moderately hopeful that I will invest in another DSLR some day, although I feel absolutely no need right now. But there are certainly some vast gaps in the current Ricoh/Pentax offerings - fast longer lenses, good fast normal zooms, functional flash management and even modern TCs. If you feel you have little to lose and you need any of those, disregard what people here are saying and go for CaNikon. You don't get to redo life. You owe no brand anything. That Ricoh may fill those gaps in 5 years doesn't help you with the pictures you want to take today. On the other hand, if you don't need it then what Pentax offers right now is actually the state of the art in APS-C. Certainly I would not go CaNikon unless I decided I wanted FF (with the associated costs), because their current APS-C offerings are pretty sad.

Jon Schick Veteran Member • Posts: 4,295
My rambling thoughts - hope they might help a little!
1

Well I guess if you post here with a load of Pentax fans the advice may be understandably slightly less than neutral... but looking at what you've got, it's not a large kit where you're going to lose lots by shopping around so I can completely understand your hesitation.

My advice is to go to a decent camera shop somewhere and pick up and try a few of the alternatives on offer.  Personally, I like the feel of Pentax cameras, especially the higher end ones, as well as the weather resistance (live in England...) and build quality (with kids....).  I've had a soft spot for Pentax since learning with my dad's Spotmatic and then buying my first proper camera - an MX. They feel right to me, but other people might pick up another brand and find that it fits like a glove. And that is fine.

Let's be honest, Canon and Nikon (and perhaps I should reluctantly - through sheer snobbery I admit - include Sony) didn't get where they are without offering some great cameras, but perhaps that also makes people like Pentax try just a little bit harder to offer something a little more or a little different to keep in the race?  If I wasn't sticking with Pentax I'd actually be heading for Fuji X, but that's just me and it wouldn't suit your needs with long lenses and sports in mind.

I suppose there is a question about whether to invest heavily in APSC or Full Frame too.

Unlike many Pentaxians I am not desperate for Pentax to enter the FF arena with yet another me-too dSLR. Unless you go for the mirrorless option offered by Sony (or a Leica M!), full frame offers a heavy, bulky and very expensive future - for me it's one that involves kit so large that it would simply be left at home most of the time.  Yes I know there are advantages of FF (more control over depth of field, even better image quality but not that I'd notice at the image sizes I view and print at), but for me APSC makes much more sense in terms of size, portabiity and cost.

If you want to buy me a 645D, however, I wouldn't dissuade you

So unless FF is important for you, then I'd urge that you consider staying with APSC.  In which case there's an argument that Pentax, with its range of designed for APSC DA and DA Ltd lenses, is one of the more compelling systems available - but for goodness sake they really do need to offer a reasonable zoom in the 80-400 ish range.  At least you can get those from Sigma.  The Limited primes offer something that other manufacturers can't really compete with in terms of size, image quality and sheer fun.  The newer zooms are pretty good.  And for a cost-effective long lens, I'd probably start with the 55-300 as a decent upgrade to the 50-200 (never one of Pentax's better lenses).  I also like the look of the new 20-40 DA Limited zoom, which might be a street-shooter's dream.

To me, the recent revamp of the lens system and launch of some excellent cameras in the form of the K-3, K-50 and K-500 indicate that Ricoh is taking some sensible and coherent steps in developing and strengthening the Pentax system - as Canon and Nikon increasingly encourage people to spend more on FF cameras, and Sony have abandoned the idea of true APSC dSLRs equipped with a real viewfinder, Ricoh/Pentax may find themselves with a rather unique proposition and some enthusiast space to play in - I'm rather confident about their future.

Oh, and as a K-5 user I can't recommend it highly enough - I think a K-5ii (or ii S) still makes a very good buy regardless of the launch of the next greatest thing.

I have no idea whether this post helps, but hope it might!

Good luck whichever direction you choose

Jon

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13thBagel
13thBagel Senior Member • Posts: 1,263
Some honest not so unbiased thoughts on the matter...
1

cdherman wrote:

I have an older Pentax K-x body which is obviously not very valuable now, and a couple APS-c cheap entry lenses in the 18-55 and 50-200 ranges.

But I also have a nice FA 1:1.4 50mm and a Sigma 1:1.8 EX DG 28m Macro. I think both of these are decent lenses, someone correct me if I am wrong, full frame lenses.

My daughter needs a bigger lens for her highschool yearbook work.

I am in a quandary as to my options....

Your honest thoughts.....

What a wonderful opportunity to enhance your father-daughter relationship...

May I suggest that you ask your daughter take the lead on this inquiry?

Ask her to post her questions to your fellow forum members... Based on her findings, engage her in a thoughtful conversation at home. Encourage her to be independent and to think outside the box. Work together in an honest way as a "team members, or co-equal partners". Speaking as a parent of grown daughters, avoid a "top down" directive, as it often produces an unanticipated push-back. In short, consider this another way to help her learn how to grow and become a responsible adult.

The recommendations offered by your forum colleagues are excellent (nothing to add from me), but it's unfair to expect them alone to satisfy you with you, or get you and her on the same page.

Photography is a ton of fun. Daughters love their daddy. Play your cards right and you and she may discover a great way to build a positive experience that will last a lifetime.

... my 2 cents... M

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BigGG Contributing Member • Posts: 904
Re: Considering throwing in the towel with Pentax, some honest unbiased thoughts

My first "real" camera was a Honeywell Pentax 35mm Spotmatic back in the 70's. So I tend to like the brand. However the choices in lens's are dying off.  In the eighties I shifted to Minolta's because of their automation features (AF, etc) and the lenses. I loved the 'minolta colors'. Then Canon point-and-shoot for aerial photos.

As far as the Sigma 50-500 goes, I have owned  a Bigma for the last six years and it is a great 'day light' lens if you need the reach. It is NOT a low light lens at all. Also the Bigma is really heavy.

What I would recommend is the Sigma 28-250 lens for more general photography.

The real question is "Do you want a DSLR or a mirrorless?"  As for me I shoot two systems, the Sony A99/A77 when I want a specialty lens or the Panasonic GX-7  (Leitz 25mm F/1.4) when I want a camera that is less intimidating.  I have a substantial investment in Sony/Minolta "A" mount lens and still use lenses daily that I bought twenty years ago. I have new lens's too and some are better for a particular application than others. My favorite lens's for portraits are the twenty year old Minolta 100mm Soft Focus,  Minolta 85mm F/1.4, and the new Sony 135mm STF F/2.8 T[4.5].

I think that if I were shifting bodies NOW, I would probably buy Canon, then Sony (ex Minolta) , then Nikon. I don't think that Nikon has the financial resources over the long term than either Canon or Sony.

If you are outside the US then I would say Canon/Nikon for service reasons.

GaryG

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KyleSlamchez Regular Member • Posts: 231
Re: Considering throwing in the towel with Pentax, some honest unbiased thoughts

What could you daughter possibly be doing for her high school yearbook that would require more than than the gear you already own? You have a fast prime and a nice long zoom. If you don't have an off-camera flash, I'd pick up one of those and call it a day.

Honestly, it sounds like you're just feeling pressured to spend money.

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Aberaeron Veteran Member • Posts: 6,748
NT Buy a bridge superzoom camera for less than the lens NT

No text.

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samhain Senior Member • Posts: 1,344
honest, unbiased.

Honest unbiased opinion:

if you plan on sticking with the aps-c format, if you like the Pentax egronomics, and the 31/43/77/55/pancakes, I'd say stick with Pentax.

As for the bodies... I know it's still early, but from everything I've seen & read from new k-3 owners feedback... I'd probably choose the k-5II/s over the new k-3 and wait for the next flagship aps-c or FF.

509 New Member • Posts: 20
Re: Pentax on leading edge

I have a Pentax K-x.

I have bought a Canon 6D.  Now the Canon 6D is a wonderful camera.  It is, however, much larger than I expected.  I have been using it as an astrophotography camera....it is very impressive in that use.  There are lots of programs and accessories for that use that are just not available for the Pentax.

I suppose one of these days I will switch to the 6D as my everyday camera.

I really like the small size of the K-x, plus the use of AA batteries.  I never did buy a charger for the camera.  It is always ready to go.  I keep a supply of fresh batteries in my camera bag.  So I have been stalling on switching to the 6D.

Yeah, I know one of these days that wifi (great for astrophotography) and GPS will finally convince me to set aside the K-x.  That wifi makes it a great landscape camera when coupled with an IPAD.

What I really want is a Full-frame K-x that runs on AA batteries and that is the same size as the APS K-x.

It would be nice to have all the astrophotography programs for the K-x.

Quite frankly, if I did not do astrophotography I am not sure that I would switch.

jay_akita Regular Member • Posts: 255
Re: Considering throwing in the towel with Pentax, s

cdherman wrote:

I have an older Pentax K-x body which is obviously not very valuable now, and a couple APS-c cheap entry lenses in the 18-55 and 50-200 ranges.

But I also have a nice FA 1:1.4 50mm and a Sigma 1:1.8 EX DG 28m Macro. I think both of these are decent lenses, someone correct me if I am wrong, full frame lenses.

My daughter needs a bigger lens for her highschool yearbook work.

I am in a quandary as to my options. I'd like to buy a good 50x500mm zoom in the $1500 range, but I cannot decide if I should stay with pentax, or abandon pentax and find one of the other "big 2" brands going forward.

It seems like Pentax is dwindling slowly. Wondering if I should bail out before I make the next high dollar purchase.....

The only thing valuable I have left are the two prime lenses.....

I recognize that posting a doom and gloom question on a Pentax forum is subject to bias and I am NOT bashing Pentax. Just trying to be realistic. Was always a Pentax fan, but we cannot always be winners.....

Your honest thoughts.....

You're not that heavily invested now and it sounds like you can afford to make a jump to whatever brand suits you and your daughter best - probably a good idea to hit up a camera shop and try out several different brands with lenses you'd be interested in.

IMO Pentax, Nikon, Sony, Olympus & Panasonic all have some really great and unique cameras right now to choose from, unfortunately no one brand checks off all the boxes.  I'm not a huge Canon fan but the AF system of the 5D MkIII sounds pretty amazing, at least with newer lenses.  Their outdated sensor technology and pricing is a major downside for me though (don't care for white lenses either even though I realize there's a good reason for it).

If yearbook photography includes sports and flash photography, lens and flash selection should be just as big a part of your decision as available bodies.  If you're planning to shoot video, capability varies wildly from one brand/body to the next.

What are the odds you'll both end up with a camera body?  Shooting with a brand that offers unique bodies with different pros/cons is also something to keep in mind ie) I have an EM5 and a GF3.  If my wife wants a small camera she can throw in her purse and not have to be worried about the value, the GF3 is perfect.  Around the house, it doesn't even get used but is available so cheaply that it's worth keeping as a "purse camera".

fakuryu
fakuryu Senior Member • Posts: 1,339
Re: Pentax on leading edge

509 wrote:

I have a Pentax K-x.

I have bought a Canon 6D. Now the Canon 6D is a wonderful camera. It is, however, much larger than I expected. I have been using it as an astrophotography camera....it is very impressive in that use. There are lots of programs and accessories for that use that are just not available for the Pentax.

I suppose one of these days I will switch to the 6D as my everyday camera.

I really like the small size of the K-x, plus the use of AA batteries. I never did buy a charger for the camera. It is always ready to go. I keep a supply of fresh batteries in my camera bag. So I have been stalling on switching to the 6D.

Yeah, I know one of these days that wifi (great for astrophotography) and GPS will finally convince me to set aside the K-x. That wifi makes it a great landscape camera when coupled with an IPAD.

What I really want is a Full-frame K-x that runs on AA batteries and that is the same size as the APS K-x.

It would be nice to have all the astrophotography programs for the K-x.

Quite frankly, if I did not do astrophotography I am not sure that I would switch.

How about getting the K30 and the O-GPS1 Astrotracer?

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509 New Member • Posts: 20
Re: Pentax on leading edge

That Astro-tracer sounds like a handy accessory.  Will the GPS function work with the K-x?  The AA batteries is where the K-x has a real advantage.

The k-x is a fairly good astro camera, but just does not have the support or software that Canon has for their camera's.  Canon has made it a point of supporting astrophotography with their camera's. Right now Canon is really the only choice for DSLR astrophotography.

I do have a $10,000 mount that negates the need for the AstroTracer!!!  There is more to Astrophotography than star fields!!

I am sorry the Pentax has abandoned the AA battery route for their DSLR's.

I am a retired Forester and the places I tend to hang out do not have a plug handy in most cases!!  That is what drew me to Pentax in the first place.

Here is what I want in a camera:  GPS, AA batteries, high ISO, wifi, ability to run camera from tablet or laptop, and weather sealing.  Full-frame was just a bonus with the 6D.

Oh, the ability to recharge batteries from a solar panel is handy.  It is easy to do that with AA batteries.

audiobomber
audiobomber Veteran Member • Posts: 5,764
Re: Pentax on leading edge

509 wrote:

I am sorry the Pentax has abandoned the AA battery route for their DSLR's.

Pentax has better AA capability than anyone that I know of. The K-500 and K-50 have AA capability with an inexpensive adapter. The top model cameras have grips that can run AA batteries. Does any other manufacturer cater to AA's at all?

Here is what I want in a camera: GPS, AA batteries, high ISO, wifi, ability to run camera from tablet or laptop, and weather sealing.

K-3 does all that.

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Dan

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