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Old Sep 5, 2017, 3:27 PM   #1
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Default Why am I still shooting Pentax?

Pentax is a brand that gets little respect from some younger photographers who have never seen a Spotmatic or a K1000 or an LX or an MESuper. They think that there are only two DSLR brands worth considering (nuf said).

I have shot with Pentax cameras since 1980 (or a few months before). Over the years I have appreciated their reliability and ease of use. When digital came along I considered changing brands but eventually stayed with Pentax. Over the years since I have collected many excellent FA lenses as well as a few DA lenses and a Tamron 70-200mm f2.8. To switch to another brand may be an option to someone with more disposable income (I am not poor but I do not have much excess cash). Then there is the simple, inescapable fact that Pentax is just as good as the rest (and better when you look at the rugged build and in body stabilization). Gear envy and the perception of many that only certain brands count (these people also pay way too much for jeans and running shoes) is a marketing myth which is very effective.

So, I do have an Olympus micro four thirds kit (all bought used or at close out prices) for travel and day to day but the Pentax K5 and K3 with my modest but capable selection of lenses have served me well and will continue to do so. I actually have experimented with both of the CaNikon offerings but saw no real need to switch.

No camera is perfect, no camera brand is perfect, get over it and get out and take some pictures. Tonight is a restaurant meal so it will be Olympus, but tomorrow...
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Pentax K5, K3:
FA 35mm f2, FA 50 f1.4, FA 28-70mm f4, FA 28-80mm f3.5-5.6, FA 80-320mm f4.5-5.6, F 50mm f1.7, Tamron SP 70-200mm f2.8 Di, DA 10-17 f3.5-4.5, DA 14 f2.8, DA 16-45mm f4, DA 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 WR, DA 50-200mm f4-5.6 WR, AF-540FGZ

Olympus E-P2, E-P5, OM-D E-M1: 9mm to 150mm lenses

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Old Sep 5, 2017, 5:08 PM   #2
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G'day Ira

I agree with you here mate - the Pentax range of cameras show remarkable reliability and used to be very popular [until 2 other brands swamped the media via the advertising budget]

My first Pentax was back in the mid-60s, the famous Pentax SV with clip-on external 'cds' meter coupled to the shutter rotary knob

The other great thing about Pentax, is that they licenced the lens mount to others, so that soon there was a bevy of alternate cameras all having the Pentax 'K' mount

For me however, I found that the Pentaxes of the 70s & 80s did not encompass many of the new ideas being floated, and were particularly conservative in their feature list, so I moved to Ricoh and used Ricoh + K-mount lenses for many years before going digital around 14-15 yrs ago

I do have a Pentax Kx with Sigma 18-135 in the cameras arsenal, but it does not get much use these days - it has become a 'workshop' camera for students to play with

Phil
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Old Sep 6, 2017, 9:13 AM   #3
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I guys I also have been shooting Pentax from the 70's on, when digital came out I really liked the Canon larger sensor P&S cameras and used them for many years. When it came time for DLSR I chose Pentax because I still had the film bodies and a few lenses around. I stayed with Pentax DSLRs from the K2000, Kr, and still have the K30. I have also added several F, FA, and DA lenses and plan on a K70 in the future. I have also found that cameras are tools and you need the right tool for the job. I use M4/3's Panasonic GM5 kit for travel. My Canon S100 for everyday carry and my Pentax kit for action, birding, sports and when I just want to shoot.
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Old Sep 6, 2017, 3:54 PM   #4
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I bought my first SLR 1985. I tried any camera i could get my hands on, to see what was important for me. Konica, Minolta, Nikon... I tried them all. It boiled down to Olympus or Pentax, for size and ergonomics. A well informed friend pointed at the k-mount, a mount Pentax had licensed to a number of other camera makers. Thus one could get and use Pentax, Ricoh, Vivitar, Cosina and a number of other lens options with a Pentax body.
So there was my first "real" camera, a Pentax Super A. A lens became two, three and more through the years.
Then came digital. I could see no reason to ditch all my lenses, and no brand had a huge advantage compared to Pentax. That is still the truth to me. Pentax is maybe not a lot better in any respect than the others (except pricewise!), but it still appeals to me for size and ergonomics (holding a Canon feels like taking photos with a shoe-box) and it's weak points are not so weak that the difference makes a difference to me. And those 1980's lenses are still as awesome as they were when they left the factory 30+ years ago.
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Old Sep 6, 2017, 10:01 PM   #5
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I'm still happily shooting Pentax, and have no desire to change - I couldn't afford it now. And I can't think of any good reason to change, either. My Pentax gear is good enough for me - any issues with my pictures have to do with the photographer, not the equipment. I used to be in the Army and there was a saying that mechanics had - a vehicle's problem was "operator head-space and timing" when there was nothing wrong with the equipment, just operator error. My camera(s) work fine, I just might not use them all that well.

When I decided to get a dSLR I had planned on buying a Canon Rebel. However, I looked at the Pentax because I'd been shooting Pentax since 1980 and had a number of nice lenses I could use, saving me some money. Most of those lenses were really only so-so lenses and have (for the most part) been replaced with modern lenses.

I like the smaller and lighter cameras since I am now once again having elbow problems though this time in my right arm (sigh). I may get the K-S1 fixed just because it is so light, but I do have a K100 as back-up for now. It's not all that heavy, either.
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Old Oct 4, 2017, 1:27 AM   #6
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For serious health reasons, I have been very limited in time and ability to shoot for a while. Some of the health issues are getting resolved, but I have had control issues with several of my lenses that I use with my Pentax lineup. My Sigma 50-500 and 70-200 are hit and miss at best and my f/2.8 50-135 is kaput, even after paying to fix it twice.

I contacted repair companies to fix the Sigma lenses and was told parts are no longer available to fix my old lenses.

When I get back into the field, hopefully very soon, I want a long lens so I ordered a Tamron 150-600 in the Canon mount and an old Canon 50D for nature shooting. I will continue to shoot pentax close-up, but I was forced to make a change because of repairability for long lenses. give me

Paul

PS: My heart issues have been fixed by an electrocardiophysiologist (he wouldn't let me take pictures when he killed me and brought me back): I have what my granddaughter calls a "big blue bike," I.e. a mobility scooter, and an appointment this week with the best knee surgeon in the state to begin process that will eventually give me new knees. AND, I qualify for Medicare and a supplement November 1st, lol. So, I'm doing well.

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Old Oct 4, 2017, 9:29 AM   #7
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If I were to buy from scratch (too old now) I would not hesitate NOW to buy Pentax but let us remember it was Pentax that failed to keep up at the start which is why people like me chose NikCan.
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Old Oct 4, 2017, 10:44 PM   #8
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Wow, Paul, that’s bad news all the way around! Hope the knee surgery goes as well as the heart repair did.

I’m still shooting with the K1 and the FA 28-105 mostly. I used the DA300 a couple of times this trip, but not all that often. The extra reach was useful a couple of times at Mesa Verde but I’m having tennis elbow issues so it’s hard for me to use such a big, heavy combination and I’m more likely to just skip shots that I should take with something longer than 105. I wish I still had the F 70-210, it had excellent optics and was pretty small since it wasn’t a 2.8. While the 100-300 f4.7 and 55-300 worked all right on a crop sensor camera, The K1 showed their limitations. So I don’t have a light-weight long lens other than the A300 and I find I struggle more with manual focus.

But then, all I’ve been doing recently is travel/landscape photography so the 28-105 is sufficient most of the time. But I still wouldn’t change brands, even though I’m out of practice and don’t work at it all that much, I still have fun and like what I get with the equipment I have.
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Old Oct 5, 2017, 12:56 AM   #9
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G'day Ira,

I totally agree with what you said.
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