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Old Oct 30, 2007, 1:15 AM   #1
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Hellooo...

Like everybody I'm one of those confused souls unable to decide about my next upgrade from point & shoot to slr camera....I have been going through all the reviews and the comments made in this forum and decided to go with the Nikon D80, but after further study I found that Pentax K10D has some excellent reviews and with the current price its a steal...., when I almost made up my mind to go with pentax, I was told that the FLASH is not really that great....this somehow made a setback..so I would like some feedback about this.....any info about this is appreciated.

Thank you

Kriss
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Old Oct 30, 2007, 1:33 AM   #2
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I will be honest with you. No on camera flash is all that great. They are generally under powered, poorly positioned and the angle can't be adjusted. If you really need a flash you are better off buying an add-on flash. Pentax has a low price, medium price and high price one.

One thing that is nice is you can use the cameras on camera flash to trigger the add-on flash remotly so you can really get some good use from the flash and actually have the images look good. Now I don't know which of the three Pentax flashes work by remote from the K10D's on camera flash. I know the high end 540 does.

I have my issues with Pentax and how they handle new product releases and their shipping habbits. However, my K10D has really grown on me over the year I have had it it is one of the best digital cameras I have had.

One very important thing to consider however is since you will want to invest in quality lenses for it, make sure that the brand is the brand you will want to stick with for sometime. Going Pentax now and investing in good glass only to want to switch to Canon or Nikon in a year or so is not a good investment. With a SLR/dSLR cameras the lenses are forever the bodies are not. Meaning if you invest in good glass you will have it for many bodies. Pick a brand and system based on the lenses and not solely on the body alone.

I also recommend that you buy the kit and get the 18-55 lens. Even if you don't want that lens it will make selling the body easier later and you won't have to worry about either trying to sell the body without a lens or selling it with a more expensive lens.

Robert
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Old Oct 30, 2007, 7:35 AM   #3
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Thanks a TON Robert, coming to the lenses I saw a mixed response from many users, I mean some say that since you can use even the older lens there is a huge collection of lens to mount and to the contrary I have people complaning about not having enough lenses ( or porbably the 3rd party lenses??).
The next thing is about the kit lens, I thought 18-55 was the standard kit lens provided, do I have to buy it seperately?

Thanks again....
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Old Oct 30, 2007, 10:00 AM   #4
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you can purchase it as a kit with the body. it's the best kit lens sold. it's the only AF lens i have. MF doesn't bother me at all and i've picked up some good glass for peanuts(hey dawg). i also have a couple of 3rd party lens that were mounted for pentax. a couple of the lenses i have are 30-35 years old and still produce some very fine images. try getting a 500mm f4.5 for $400 from a competitor, C* N*. the cost is more like $5000 .. there's one on eekbay right now that has no bids on it with a starting price of $400.. if your pocket is deep then go with C* or N*.. oh, another asset of pemtax is ALL of the glass you put on it is image stablised.. something you have to pay extra for on any IS lens from the others.

roy
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Old Oct 30, 2007, 10:53 AM   #5
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Kriss, the Pentax Flash system is a good and adequate flash system. Both the AF360 and AF540 can be triggered wirelessly from the K10D. I'm told the Nikon Flash system is superior and more powerful but, IMO, unless you're going to be using your camera as a Pro, the Pentax system should be just fine for you.



Now, about the 18-55 kit lens... For no more than it cost to buy it with the camera as a kit lens, it's almost a no-brainer. Even if you decide to upgrade to a beter zoom, you can keep the kit lens to go with the camera should you decide to sell it and upgrade at a later date. A Camera with a lens is much easier to sell than is a camera without a lens.

Besides that, you'll find the 18-55 to be a decent perfoming lens.



And finally, if you go with the Pentax system, every lens that Pentax has ever made will work with your K10D and the SR will work with them as well.



My $ .02



Ed
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Old Oct 30, 2007, 11:05 AM   #6
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Well you do have a large selection of old lenses. However, a great many of them require you to use them in manual focus or other not so great old-time manual ways. However, I have had no trouble getting the lenses that I wanted. What I currently have is...

Pentax 10-17 Fisheye
Pentax 50-200
Pentax 18-55
Pentax 50mm f1.4

and I have on order the Pentax 18-250. The only other lenses that I am currently interested in is the Pentax 100mm Macro and then the Sigma 170-500. However, since it is a third party brand and I have not had good luck with the overall quality of third party lenses (Tamron and Sigma) and given the price I probably won't go the 170-500. Even without it I am very happy with my system.

My biggest complaint lies with Pentax themselves. They announce products and give a month and general time it will ship like the new 18-250 is supposed to ship end of October and so far nothing. They have a very poor track record when it comes to shipping things on time and they have an even worse track record up saying why there is a delay and then provide a new ship date. It is fine if they have delays and such that is to be expected, but I do expect them to keep people updated.

We had similar problems with the k10D, the siad it would ship such and such, then nothing and then nothing and nothing and all this time rumors spread about production problems, how they couldn't make it for the cost they were charging, etc. And while rumors are rumors they ended up doing more damage to Pentax than if they had just came out and said we are having problems getting them out of the plant fast enough we expect them to ship... But, no they couldn't do that.

What totally toasts my muffin is that they guy in charge of this mess is now the head of Pentax in the US. Talk about promoting the worst possible person. This kind of problem isn't good for a company that has lost major amount of market share in the digital era.

But, I do have to give credit they have good products when they can get them out. My only other complaint is we are going on a year and so far no weather sealed lenses. They hyped the weather sealing on the K10D as something really big and important for a camera of this price range and still not a single weather sealed lenses.

Robert
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Old Oct 30, 2007, 1:16 PM   #7
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i believe the da* lenses are all weather sealed.

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Old Oct 30, 2007, 1:34 PM   #8
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I am not going to let this turn in to a war. We each have our opinions, they are all valid and in the end it is up to the original poster to decide what to do.

Robert
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Old Oct 30, 2007, 1:50 PM   #9
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Getting back to the original posters question regarding flash. If we are talking about the on board pop up flash, I agree with Robert Barnett, I don't think any camera's pop up flash is very effective beyond 10 or 12 feet. Pentax dedicated PTTL flashes are limited to a few choices. I have the AF360 (the medium priced alternative) and have been disappointed in it's performance and inconsistent exposures. If it isn't right,mine tends to underexpose.

So if flash photography is a serious consideration in making your decision you will probably want an add on flash gun regardless of the camera brand. If you decide to go with Pentax I would be asking for opinions on the Pentax AF540 flash or the Sigma EF500 Super or the new Sigma EF540.
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Old Oct 30, 2007, 2:55 PM   #10
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Hi Kriss,

I'll agree with Ed that the Pentax flash system, while not as full featured from a "pro" standpoint, is easily adequate or better for the great great majority of user's needs. Unless you are a very, very sophisticated flash user, you won't miss the features that the competition might offer that Pentax might not.

I recently used my K10 with the AF540 FGZ and a Demb bouncer/diffuser to shoot my 40th High School Reunion, using all kinds of bouncing and diffusing techniques, and the flash system gave me exposures within a half-stop of what I expected in over 99% of the shots. Only one out of 186 had a severe underexposure due to a mirror reflection of the flash in the frame, and I knew that I had made a mistake before I even chimped the shot on the LCD.

If you plan to use the flash system very heavily, the Nikon system is considered to be the most flexible and accurate to use, but for relatively casual use, all of them are pretty good, and getting better as time goes on.

As far as lenses go, I've been able to obtain just about all the top quality glass I need, and at comparatively modest cost, compared to the competition, but I'm pretty patient, and don't mind the "hunt". I'm primarily a birder, so very long FL glass is my priority, which is Pentax's weakness in the lens lineup, but I've managed to obtain enough so I have a number of choices in top quality lenses from 200 up to 700 mm (without the "crop factor"). It did take some time and effort though. . .

Pentax's strength in their lens lineup is in their selection of wide to short tele primes. The LTD series lenses share great optics and superior build qualities pretty much unmatched by the other camera makers, especially when price is taken into consideration in most cases.

Good luck choosing a system. You really can't go wrong, no matter what you choose. All the mfgs at this point are making very competent products, so it's pretty much up to you to make sure that the system that you buy into will be able to support your present and future photographic needs.

BTW, Robert is mistaken about the weather sealed lenses. the DA* 16-50/2.8 and the DA* 50-135/2.8 have the sealing, and have been available for some time now. Since this is a "Pro" feature, I don't expect this to be included in any but the * series (and perhaps future LTD)lenses in the future.

I also disagree with his opinion that Ned Bunnell's promotion is a mistake. Ned is a photographer, and I think that he's pretty much in tune with what Pentax photographers want in future products. His participation in DPR's Pentax DSLR forum and his blog have, at least so far, kept him in touch with real users. His very personal response to my silly request for official LBA stickers last year made me a fan, and I'll remain one unless something happens to radically change that perspective. It remains to be seen how much impact he will have with the powers that be in Japan, but I'm hopeful.

Scott
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