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Old Feb 10, 2007, 6:16 PM   #1
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I've been thinking long and hard about replacing my 4Mp Olympus. Having considered the cheap option of the Fuji S9600 I was seduced by the thougt of a dSLR. It didn't take long to decide that the Nikon D80 was the camera for me. However, I would only be able to afford a kit lens and as I miss my old 28 - 200 zoom I decided the 18-135mm was the lens I'd get (I would prefer the 18-200 but it costs more than the camera amd I just don't have the budget). But a bit of research suggested that you get what you pay for and the 18-135 lens suffers from a lot of chromatic aberration.

Then I saw the spec for the Samsung which is more or less a rebadged Pentax K10D And thought "Wow! Even better" But again it's kit lens time. However for less than the D80 I could get an 18 - 55 and a 50 - 200.

So I guess the question is (and well done if you've got this far) which is the better option in terms of picture quality? Or is that a dumb question. I'm fairly confident that both bodies are excellent, it's just is the Nikkor 18 - 135mm lense any better or worse than the Schneider D-Xenon lenses?

I hope someone out there has an opinion as the money is in the bank waiting to be spent :-)
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Old Feb 10, 2007, 6:46 PM   #2
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Ke1th-

If I were making the decision, I would definitely opt for the Nikon D-80. With a DSLR camera you are essentially "buying into" a wholecamera system. With Canon and Nikon being the big guns in the DSLR world, there is a far better choice of lenses, flashes, and accessories in the Nikon line, as oppossed to the Samsung line(?).

MT/Sarah
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Old Feb 10, 2007, 8:21 PM   #3
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but isn't the samsung line just the pentax line?? KAF mount?
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Old Feb 10, 2007, 8:26 PM   #4
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Monx-

Your statement is true. However, the Pentax line still lacks a real variety of lenses, likea wide aperture 85mm prime lens and the like. It also lacks the sophisticated flash system and flash units that the Nikon DSLR cameras have. So my concernis not that the Samsung DSLR camerais bad or lacking in quality, but that there is not enough support from Samsung, as yet,for the Samsung line of DSLR cameras.

MT/Sarah
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Old Feb 11, 2007, 9:09 AM   #5
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I happen to have the Pentax K10, and don't think there is much difference between the Samsung and the Pentax. When they came out with the first Samsung camera, the kit lens was a re-badged Pentax kit lens, which (my opinion) is one of the better kit lenses - I still use mine, even though I bought it with a DS, which I sold right after I got the K10.

Just my opinion, but I haven't had any trouble finding thetype oflenses that meet my needs, though sometimes availability is difficult. When the K10 was first released it was very difficult for the camera stores to keep the FA 50 1.4 lens in, and the availability of the Limited lenses seems to be up and down too. I'd love to get the 77mm 1.8 Limited lens (close to the 85mm lens thatSarah mentions is missing), but my finances can't stretch that far. Besides, I already have a 24mm 2.8, two 50mm lenses (one 1.4 and one 1.7, both over 25 years old), the kit lens, the DA 50-200, an old Kiron 80-200 that needs repair, and a 300mm f4 (my best lens, bought used). There are a couple of zooms that are coming out with this year that I'm really interested in, along with another 300mm lens that I might be interested in (my 300 is auto exposure but manual focus, and auto focus would be nice). It all depends on what you want and whether you mind older lenses.
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Old Feb 11, 2007, 11:17 PM   #6
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I expect image overall quality would be close with the Schneider-D Xenon lenses. Those are essentially the same design as the Pentax lenses, only I guess being built by Schneider. I haven't seen many professional reviews on the Pentax kit lenses, but feedback from Pentax users has been very good.

But it's almost an unfair comparison. You are comparing a 7.5X zoom to a 3X zoom and a 4x zoom. There are nornally some sacrifices in such a long zoom. The Nikon seems to be alot better than most in this respect, with good center sharpness from about 18mm-70mm even wide open. The tradeoff is in more geometric distortion than you would likely see in a shorter zoom, with vignetting a bit of a problem below f8, and a bit of CA.

http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showp...uct/993/cat/13

But it's impressive that lens is as good as it is. I doubt the Samsung kit lenses would be either too much better or worse. I expect they might be roughly comparable to the Nikon 18-55 and 50-200 lenses.

As for the Pentax lens lineup generally, it is limited right now on the high end, though they will be coming out with three new high end zooms this year. If you think you are going to be in the market for higer end lenses in the future, you might consider whether what you want will be available. After all, you are considering Pentax's top of the line model right now as your entry level DSLR.

I really don't see that much advantage for the Nikon lens lineup in low to mid ragne lenses. It's on the high end that Nikon has alot more to offer. That won't matter to everyone.

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Old Feb 12, 2007, 10:51 AM   #7
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I really respect Ken's posts. They are always well researched, common sense, and very logical. I am going to offer a somewhat different viewpoint, so please understand that I am not attempting to contradict, Ken, rather, I am just sharing with you my experience, based on many years and the school of hard knocks.

In my experience, I have found in the short focal lengths, that the Nikon lenes are as good as anybody else's lenses. As you get more into the tele range, they get better and there are a few like the 12-24mm, and the new 70-300mm VR that are really stand outs.

Now here is the hooker: Because they are Nikon Lenses, when I go to sell them, I can actually get a better price for them on the used lens market. That makes them a very good investment. Any Sigma, Tamron, or Tokina in the same or similar focal lengths will net me less on the used market. That is where I think the difference really lies. That same thing might be true for Canon lenses, but I have had very little experience with Canon lenses, so I am not sure.

MT/Sarah
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Old Feb 12, 2007, 1:24 PM   #8
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I would agree that there's a big gap here in terms of telephoto zooms.

Pentax has a very strong lineup of prime lenses in the 14mm-200mm range. Some of these are tough to beat in terms of bang for the buck. The half dozen in the "Limited" series in particular stand out. In zooms, the 16-45 f4.0 appears to be a standout, and there are a couple of very good offerings in the 28-70 or 28-105 ranges.

But for zoom ranges beyond that, there's nothing much more now than the 50-200 DA--which while good value, is still esentially a second kit lens. Even when the 60-250 f4 arrives, which isn't expected to be until summer, this will be a big disadvantage. You're left looking at third party lenses (like the Sigma 70-200 f2.8 ). There will be nothing there to match either the selection or quality available from Nikon in telephoto zooms. Especially since the original poster mentioned a preference for the 18-200, I think this might be a big concern.

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Old Feb 12, 2007, 5:21 PM   #9
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Thanks for the info.

I think that if money wasn't an issue it would be a no-brainer; the Nikon D80 plus some decent Nikkor lenses (actually if I won BIG on the lottery it would be the EOS-1Ds!). But as I haven't won the lottery it's down to what I can afford. And the biggest compromise I'll have to make is that I'll end up with the kit lens. It seems that a decent zoom (or 2 or more prime lenses) will cost more than just the body; and I can't see a way of buying a decent lens with a cheaper body for the same sort of money as the D80 or GX-10 with kit lenses. So assuming that kit lenses are always built down to a budget I guess I can assume that neither the Nikkor nor the Schneider are going to be perfect. But do I need perfect? Almost certainly not. The vast majority of my photos are viewed on a TV screen. That said, back in the days of my 35mm Pentax there were a few pictures that became posters on my wall. In reality, that's likely to be the case with any camera I get. Whilst I have dreams of being a pro it just isn't going to happen :sad:

Assuming that shutter lag, start-up times and noise levels at the higher ISOs are fairly similar I think the Samsung is just edging it at the moment for a number of reasons:
  1. the 50 - 200mm zoom (I've never had more than a 200mm on the SLR)[/*]
  2. the anti-shake - never thought that I'd worry about that. Always been able to shoot long handheld exposures, even with a long lens. But then I realised that for every success like that there is usually 1 or 2 failures. Even ever-so slightly blurred photo is a blurred photo.[/*]
  3. the water/dust sealing. Might be a gimmick but it sounds like a useful feature.[/*]
  4. The Samsung is up to £100 cheaper, which equals more SD cards.
    [/*]
But just to show what a contrary so-and-so I can be I am also wondering whether having the extra zoom is worth the aggro of having to change the lens! I don't think I deserve a new camera :-)

Anyway, thanks again and do feel free to try and influence me one way or the other. I'll probably not buy anything for another week or two. Long enough to keep surfing the net and confusing myself.




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Old Feb 12, 2007, 9:16 PM   #10
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Just out of curiousity, do you have a big reason for wanting a 10 mp camera, or is there another reason why you are considering these cameras. I happen to have both the K100 and the K10 (love both of them and I like having 2 camera bodies), and have a pretty high opinion of the 6 mp dSLRs. With the money you save by getting one, you could upgrade your lens, which you will most likely keep for longer than you'll keep the camera. The extra mp comes in handy if you are shooting wildlife or birds, but the basic image quality isn't hugely better. There are other reasons for choosing a K10 over the K100 (extra controls and shooting modes, better auto WB, along with the weather seals). Anyway, it's something to think about.

Another thing you mentioned - you said something about having a Pentax film camera. Do you still have any lenses hanging around? I was too sentimental to sell my Pentax equipmentwhen I bought a Sony F717 (loved that old ME)and am now glad that I kept it all. All I did was dust my old lenses off a bit and start using them - saved me from having to buy fast lenses.
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