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Old Sep 8, 2009, 5:18 PM   #1
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Default Thrice now...in 40 years I came close to switching from Pentax

But in the end I didn't. I think I stayed with Pentax due to the quality of the lenses, the final product...the pictures and the (touch wood) great reliability.

I originally bought my first SLR in the late '60's. It was a Pentax S1a. I worked in the publishing field, back then and my Uber Boss...the Publisher..told me that I needed to also take pictures that were publishable...to coin a word.

I met with the photography department and they indicated that I needed to use 35mm, an SLR and either Nikon or Pentax. I chose Pentax as it was about $ 20 cheaper than the equivalent Nikon.

Notice that Canon wasn't even a consideration back then. Canon had a great little Rangefinder, similar to the Leica, but by the late '60's SLR's, not Rangefinders were the camera to have.

Canon's SLR's weren't much to write home about, then.

In the early '70's I had a chance to buy a Nikon F Photomic. Very nice camera, but I found the viewfinder dim. Bought a Pentax ES 11 instead.

In the early '60's I really thought about getting a Canon F1...beautiful, rugged camera, but got a K mount Pentax.

Still like the Photomic F and the F1.

Fast forward to the modern, digital age...2006-2007 .

Didn't like the Pentax istD (the name I think), didn't like the basic Canon DSLR, liked the Nikon D80.

Thought maybe it might be time to go to another system, make the break as it were.

I looked long and hard at the Canon 30D, the Nikon D200...liked them both.

Then the K10D came out...with SR in the body, weather resistant seals /body and the sensor cleaner.

A buddy with one of those other cameras was cleaning his non Pentax sensor every month and I sure didn't want to do that.

I bought the Pentax K10D in Nov., 2007. Been very pleased with it.

So what's your story...did you come close to switching from the Pentax system to either C, or N....or maybe O...or something else, in your years as an enthusiastic photographer.

Last edited by lesmore49; Sep 8, 2009 at 9:51 PM.
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Old Sep 8, 2009, 7:45 PM   #2
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I did make the switch from Pentax where I started but my first dSLR was the ist DS. I still have it and won't part with it. I have the K100D and never really took to it like I am with the DS. Flash, lenses were not as easy to come by for me and the FPS was really the deciding factor as to why I switched. The K7 now finds my interest but I don't have much glass with Pentax and won't anytime soon. I don't shoot as much as I had and the desire just hasn't been there for me for some time.

If it weren't for all that I have with the other make I would definitely make the break back to the K7.
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Old Sep 9, 2009, 1:18 AM   #3
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Hi Les,

My first SLR was a Honeywell Spotmatic in '68 that I bought to take to college. A few years later, my mother went on a trip to Japan, and I gave her the money to buy a Nikon Photomic FTn and a couple of lenses.

I let my girlfriend take it on a trip out west, and while she was standing on a rock near the ocean, a freak wave soaked both her and the Nikon. Instead of immediately taking it to a camera tech, she just let it dry out, and by the time I got it back, the entire film transport mechanism, and who knows what else were corroded beyond the point of saving.

I replaced it with a Canon F1 that was well used, and was available for a very good price. A few years later, finances didn't allow much room for photography, even tho I primarily shot B/W, and had a reasonable darkroom setup, so the F1 ended up sitting on the shelf. I had a Minox EL35 that I carried around for years, and took occasional snaps with, but photography was basically on the back burner until 1996.

I bought an Oly Stylus 35mm with a 3x zoom, to take some vacation stuff, and got drawn back in. In 1999, 3 baby felines and their constant antics just demanded to be captured, and digital called -- still expensive to buy, but the ongoing costs were low, especially since I'd had personal computers since the TI 99/4. 1.3 (?)MP, barely useable IQ -- especially compared to what we see now. . ., everything automatic, not really pocketable, but it took pictures!

Graduated to a Panasonic FZ1 for the tremendous zoom range and started shooting birds. Disappointed with low light performance of the little sensor, even with a constant f2.8 lens, I looked at the available DLSRs, since they had just broken the $1K barrier, figuring that I'd get maybe a fast WA and a 50, and just use it with those in available light, upgrading to an FZ30 for the birds.

IIRC, it was a choice between the original Rebel, D70, Minolta 5D, and the DS. I was drawn to Pentax because of the backward compatibility in lenses, all the way back to the screw mounts, and TTL flash. My Canon FD lenses, as well as the Nikon MF lenses were useless with the DSLRs from those brands. The Canon Rebel felt like a cheap toy, the Nikon was just too big, and I was not impressed with the Minolta for some reason I can't remember.

I liked the fact that Pentax had apparently not abandoned any significant segment of their previous users like the other 3 companies had. I liked the size and build quality, plus I liked the idea of staying with the pentaprism vs the pentamirror, though I really didn't notice that much difference then, and still don't. The K100DS is the only body I've owned with a pentamirror, and unless I directly compare them, one after another, I don't notice any difference in use.

I bought the DS with the kit lens and ordered the Tamron 28-75/2.8 at the same time. I eventually tried a couple of cheap used tele zooms for birds, and ended up using the DS for everything. Then came the K10, then the K20. I then picked up a closeout K100DS from the Ritz store closures, and now have the K-7, with a lot of lenses and other accessories somehow finding their way into my house along the way.
. . .I really don't anticipate switching brands again. . .

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Old Sep 9, 2009, 6:13 AM   #4
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[QUOTE=snostorm;999298]A few years later, finances didn't allow much room for photography, even tho I primarily shot B/W, and had a reasonable darkroom setup, so the F1 ended up sitting on the shelf. I had a Minox EL35 that I carried around for years, and took occasional snaps with, but photography was basically on the back burner until 1996.



Your story feels oh, so familiar. When I was a kid in the 60's, I played around with photography, but my family didn't have the money to support my addiction and I drifted away from it. Over the years, I played around with various 35mm's and even got a Nikon SLR given to me at one point. However, the costs of raising three boys and going back to school to get my masters and change careers, meant there was neither time nor money for film and processing.

When I began coaching high school soccer, I saw one of the first digital superzooms...a Casio 8000SX with an 8X zoom. It was useless under the lights and only marginal quality with the sun. A couple of years later, I replaced it with an Olympus C-750. However, my photography bug got reignited when my middle son asked me to shoot his wedding, and I didn't trust the C-750 and purchased, instead, a Fuji S-6000. The near DSLR capabilities of this camera woke me up to how much I enjoyed photography and put me shopping for a DSLR.

I looked at all the entry-level cameras. The Olympus and Sony models felt too small in my hand, as did the lower level Nikons. The Canon 20D tempted me mightily, but I kept coming back to the Pentax K100D. The more I looked at it, though, and compared it to the K10, which had just come out, I was more and more sold by the weather seals, the SR built-in, and the sensor cleaning.

I bought it, then the K20, and now the K7, and in-between worked my way up the line in quality of lenses. Each step along the way, I've been more and more pleased (and even bought my youngest son a K100D, for which I just traded him my K10).

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Old Sep 10, 2009, 2:34 AM   #5
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Sometimes I get the urge to look over the fence for a possibility of another camera brand and haven't found any reason yet why I would change.

  • The full frame story isn't for me, I like the crop factor that gives me a 450mm lens when I have a 300mm, love the extra dof when shooting macros.
  • The extra pixels are not something I would need.
  • The higher iso range would be fun but if that is the only reason I can't sell that to my wife.

A few weeks ago a friend of me asked me my opinion of a 18-200 lens, and being quite happy with mine I explained that I liked it and that the price was only 200 what is a bargain.
But then it dawned to me that she used a Nikon 300, and that the 18-200 doesn't have stabilization, so ... after some research I found that the alternatives where a 18-270 for the double of the price or a nicor 18-200 for almost 4 times the price.
I almost started to feel sorry when I told her that if she had to pay a lot more if she wanted to have image stabilisation.

So Pentax is stil a winner for me.
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