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Old Feb 23, 2007, 5:03 PM   #21
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JohnG - there you go again clouding the issue with facts! :-)

I talked to the owner of Houston Camera Exchange about their decision to carry Pentax gear. They obviously had less Pentax gear than Canon or Nikon and he said it was more that he didn't want to take the risk of selling someone on Pentax only to have them go away in the future and p*ss off the customer. He didn't disuade someone from buying Pentax (in fact there was someone there buying the K10D at the same time from another saleman), but he was a little reluctant to push them hard. He was knowledgeable about their wares and had a decent selection, and would order anything I wanted. It's just that in the grand scheme of selling cameras and gear, he felt Pentax was a little riskier to him developing long term customer relationships. I could definitely respect his opinions on it, though obviously I don't worry about it too much from a consumer standpoint.

I think once Pentax fills out their lens lineup later this year, upgrades their cameras, and such, they'll settle into a nice solid niche that should serve them well for a long while.

And you're right, competition is good for everyone.

Russ
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Old Feb 23, 2007, 6:36 PM   #22
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:G

Russ - I fully expect Pentax to continue to fill the niche they did even back in the film days (at least when I was in film back in the 80's). They weren't as big as Canon or Nikon but they had a loyal following. I think it's a good system for knowledgeable photogs that know what they're doing going in and know what pentax offers and what it doesn't. Especially now - people that know and accept they can get great old manual focus lenses (lets face it, if you take care of MF lenses no reason they shouldn't last 30 years plus). I really considered them back when I bought my first SLR - but ended up buying a minolta instead for reasons I can't remember.

They really are great cameras/lenses - they always have been - just smaller selection that takes a more knowledgeable photographer, IMO, to take advantage of.
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Old Feb 23, 2007, 10:57 PM   #23
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JohnG wrote:
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The whole point is too take blinders off and look past a single body and single lens. Look at the whole system and what the system offers and decide if it has what you need for the long term.
What shortage of lenses???? Like you said there are 50 years of them to choose from... and many of them actually superior to current AF lenses.

Now if you mean lates and greatest and dozens to choose from... well OK but like you said quite a few are coming.

I think you will find though most typical DSLR owners other than pros and really dedicated amature.... only ever have 2 or 3 lenses maybe four that pretty much fill all their needs... you really don't need dozens... or many willing to cart them around all the time, besides the cost.
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Old Feb 24, 2007, 7:24 AM   #24
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Hayward,

you seem to like twisting my words around :-) Stop taking this so personally. I think I've been very objective regarding the pros/cons of the pentax system.

It's great to point out that pentax can use any lens ever made. But I rarely see the two major drawbacks pointed out: 1. they're all used (some people don't like to buy used products) and 2. You have to manually focus. Many new dslr photogs are used to autofocus cameras - they may never have used manual focus. It's a disservice to them to not point out potential drawbacks.

also - I agree - 3 or 4 lenses. My point is: when it comes time to buy that 2nd lens - does the system you're buying into offer that lens? I even pointed out some popular third party lenses that currently cannot be obtained in the pentax mount. But you've chosen to ignore that post rather than discuss it like Russ did. Again, never said a camera owner will buy 20 lenses. Just that when you buy your second or third lens you want to make sure it's offered. If you had your eyes set on one of these third party lenses - sorry, too bad, have to wait.
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Old Feb 24, 2007, 10:29 AM   #25
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fldspringer wrote:
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I'll take issue with these figures. How many of the lenses are designed specially for their company's specific digital cameras? I guess you COULD make an argument that the Canon would be right IF you were using one of their (expensive) full frame camera bodies. If not, your lugging full frame lenses while you are getting none of the benifit. It seems that you could reverse the order for lenses DESIGNED for the digital cameras for each respective company.
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Canon and Nikon have made the choice of making lenses on 35mm format and pretending that they are ideal for the 1.5 (Nikon) and 1.3 or 1.6 (Canon) crop factor cameras. If you see it through those eyes, Pentax and Olympus are perhaps in a better position than you are leading people to believe.

Greg - I'm sorry but dismissing any company's full frame lenses as being somehow inferier to digital only lenses is naive. It just is. There is more to a lens than MTF charts. And, I didn't come up with those numbers I merely reported what the magazine posted. If you have issues with their numbers, check with them.

There are great performing full frame lenses and poor performing lenses - just as there are great performing and poor performing digital only lenses.

But hey, I haven't drunk the Canon lens cool aid completely. Two of my favorite lenses are the Sigma 70-200 2.8 ($800) and 120-300 2.8 ($2200). Let's say I want to switch to Olympus - please give me the name of the store where I can get a new Sigma 120-300 2.8 lens for my new Olympus camera. Or does Olympus manufacture their own lens that will autofocus on their DSLRs that is approximately 120-300mm 2.8? If so, what would the price of such a lens be?

Oh, and both these lenses are full frame lenses - please show me a digital only lens in any system that will perform as well.

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Old Feb 24, 2007, 10:59 AM   #26
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John - I have no problems with what you've pointed out, I think you are right that Canon and Nikon have more modern AF lenses now than what you can get for Pentax. I'm notgoingto say that Pentax offers an equal lensline-up at all. What I'm going to point out is really directedat the magazines/press that report gross numbers, without explaining them. I think the gross numbers are not entirely reflective of WHAT is being offered with the lenses. Nikon and Canon will ALWAYS need to offer more lenses than Pentax and Sony - they can't afford to offer just VR lenses, since they are so expensive. So in some cases (not all), Nikon and Canon will be offering two otherwise identical lenses to cover the specs that Pentax and Sony can cover with just one. If Pentax were to ever offer the same number of AF lenses as Canon and Nikon, I'd say there was something seriously wrong - either the two biggies would be slipping or Pentax would have too much overlap, and wonder what they were doing.

The one lens I'd love to see Pentax offer again is their shift lens, but I suppose this is too specialized and there are computer work-arounds for it. Otherwise, I'm happy with what theyoffer nowand what's coming out - I'd be able to cover 10-300mm, with zooms (a couple of them pretty fast and with weather sealing), macro at various lengths, there's some outstanding fast primes that I drool over but probably won't buy because of the price vs. use equation (I'm on a limited budget). So, for me theAF lens line-up (considering the future offerings) will offer everything I want.

Finally, I agree with you that Pentax isn't a brand that's right for everyone, just like I don't think there's a perfect camera. I hope it remains an underdog because then they will continue to "try harder."
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Old Feb 24, 2007, 11:16 AM   #27
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JohnG wrote:
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fldspringer wrote:
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I'll take issue with these figures. How many of the lenses are designed specially for their company's specific digital cameras? I guess you COULD make an argument that the Canon would be right IF you were using one of their (expensive) full frame camera bodies. If not, your lugging full frame lenses while you are getting none of the benifit. It seems that you could reverse the order for lenses DESIGNED for the digital cameras for each respective company.
Quote:
Canon and Nikon have made the choice of making lenses on 35mm format and pretending that they are ideal for the 1.5 (Nikon) and 1.3 or 1.6 (Canon) crop factor cameras. If you see it through those eyes, Pentax and Olympus are perhaps in a better position than you are leading people to believe.

Quote:
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Greg - I'm sorry but dismissing any company's full frame lenses as being somehow inferier to digital only lenses is naive. It just is. There is more to a lens than MTF charts. And, I didn't come up with those numbers I merely reported what the magazine posted. If you have issues with their numbers, check with them.

There are great performing full frame lenses and poor performing lenses - just as there are great performing and poor performing digital only lenses.

But hey, I haven't drunk the Canon lens cool aid completely. Two of my favorite lenses are the Sigma 70-200 2.8 ($800) and 120-300 2.8 ($2200). Let's say I want to switch to Olympus - please give me the name of the store where I can get a new Sigma 120-300 2.8 lens for my new Olympus camera. Or does Olympus manufacture their own lens that will autofocus on their DSLRs that is approximately 120-300mm 2.8? If so, what would the price of such a lens be?

Oh, and both these lenses are full frame lenses - please show me a digital only lens in any system that will perform as well.

Olympus has a 2x crop factor and lenses designed for them.

The OLY 50-200 f2.8-3.5 can be bought for less than $800 and has the 35mm equiv of 100-400mm. While it isslightly slower at the long end, it comes very close to covering the entire range ofboth of your lenses and is alot more comfortable to carry. There are benefits to everyone's systems.

While were playing and since you seem to like powerful, fast & heavy glass. Olympus has a top of the line 90-250 f2.8 that has the 35mm equiv of 180-500mm. I can buy a new one for $4700. Its expensive, but if I want to cover 180-500mm in a fast lense, what are Canon's options? They also have a 300mm f2.8 (35mm equiv 600mm) that is also expensive. Canon's coverage for 600mm f2.8? If it does have something it would take a truck to move.

Oly isn't for everyone. Noise can be a problem at high ISO and because of that I would recommend a different system if the main purpose was low existing light photography. Sensor noise is getting better, but still an issue. That said, to hinge the existance of Oly in the marketplace on what new toys they bring to the table is a ways off.

Like I said, we all bring our particular bias to the table.

Greg


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Old Feb 24, 2007, 2:43 PM   #28
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It's not cheap. But, Olympus also has a super nice 35-100mm f/2 zoom available, which is the brightest zoom lens made for a DSLR.

Olympus Zuiko 35-100mm f/2.0 ED Autofocus Lens for $2,199.95 at B&H

Because of the smaller sensor in Olympus DSLR models, this lens gives you the same angle of view you'd have using a 70-200mm lens on a 35mm camera (with roughly the same Depth of Field for any given aperture setting).

I think I'll hang on to my Tamron SP (Super Performance) 35-105mm f/2.8 Autofocus Lens, that I paid $119.95 for from http://www.keh.com a while back in Minolta Maxxum/Alpha/Dynax Autofocus mount instead. It's good enough for my limited needs at a small fraction of the cost of the Zuiko (and this Tamron I bought for $119.95 was also the EISA European Lens of the year for 1992/1993, testing much sharper on MTF charts compared to the newer Tamron 28-105mm f/2.8 ).

Although, I''ll admit that I'd sure love to have a sharp f/2 zoom lens like that Zuiko for my Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D (along with my 5D's ISO 3200 and anti-shake which you don't get with an Olympus). :-)

I guess I'll have to stick with primes if I want anything brighter than f/2.8 for my camera, and I've spent less than $1k total for all of my primes combined (including the Minolta 28mm f/2, 50mm f/1.7, 100mm f/2 and 135mm f/2.8 Autofocus lenses). You can't buy them for that now, though. Timing is everything (and I am a pretty darn good shopper). lol

My wallet will appreciate that (versus spending the bucks needed to move to an Oly solution).

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Old Feb 24, 2007, 4:10 PM   #29
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Ah, that lens is one I lust over. It would cover 90% of everything I shoot and is SUCH a fine lens. I may have one someday, but not for awhile i'm afraid.

Every camera system has its advantages. Stabilization is one that is rumored to be comming Olys way (sensor shift in body) but time will tell. The stuff I shoot is with such a fast shutter, I don't think I'd upgrade for that alone. I also don't feel starved for lens selection. I feel starved for the revenue to buy the ones I'd like.

ISO limits, on the other hand, do sting a bit. I feel OK using ISO 800, but that's the limit with OLY as far as I'm comcerned. I'd love to be able to go another stop. Both advantages with the 4/3 sensor (great zooms, great mobility) and disadvantages (Stab and ISO limits). I'd also be stunned if the pro body (E3 or what ever they call it) would even come close to the specs of the MARK III. I really don't need those specs either, but its a feather in Canon's cap just the same.

Ah the perfect camera is, and will remain, a figment of our collective imagination.

Greg
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Old Feb 24, 2007, 5:16 PM   #30
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fldspringer wrote:
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I'd also be stunned if the pro body (E3 or what ever they call it) would even come close to the specs of the MARK III. I really don't need those specs either, but its a feather in Canon's cap just the same.
I'll admit that the new Canon EOS-1D Mark III is a sweet looking camera. Why do I think that JohnG might have eye on this one (since he likes to shoot sports)? Sorry John, I couldn't resist. lol

10 frames/second for 10MP images at a usable ISO 6400 in camera with a 1.3x crop sensor with a super fast 45 Point AF system (19 of which are cross-type) with a huge buffer. Now, that's nice camera for a sports shooter. :-)

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