Forums > Photography Talk > Am i the only Pentax user?

Photographer

Lost Cause pictures

Posts: 89

Middletown, Connecticut, US

I got started with Pentax.  Although it got me started with a higher quality camera then i was looking into originally,  I feel i am at or going to be at a point where i want more then i can get from this company.  Am i correct?  Should i be getting better images from my equipment?  Is it Just my skill level at this point and i can get a better quality image with what i have?  Also If you do shoot with Pentax,  may i ask what lenses and other equipment you have and recommend? 

Please keep in mind i dont shoot very often so it takes me quite a while to learn and may not be cost effective to start over in another brand.  Still undecided as to what i should do if anything at all or stick with what i have.

Nov 13 12 09:17 pm Link

Photographer

L A U B E N H E I M E R

Posts: 8791

Seattle, Washington, US

Bill Owens shot Suburbia with a Pentax.

http://www.billowens.com/suburbia.html

Nov 13 12 09:24 pm Link

Photographer

Michael Broughton

Posts: 2244

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

since you have no plans to become a pro sports photographer or anything similar, i doubt you'd be better off with a different brand. pentax has come out with several significantly better cameras since your k20d though, so you may want to upgrade. check out http://www.pentaxforums.com/

Nov 13 12 09:40 pm Link

Photographer

GeM Photographic

Posts: 2374

Chicago, Illinois, US

Although we aren't here in the same numbers as Canikon users, we are definitely here.

Since I shoot mostly in studio, I haven't kept up with the latest bodies (I rarely print larger than 11x17" and I can do that with images from an old 6MP *istD). More important is good glass. All of the legacy glass (manual focus K-mount, M42, even 67 and 645 with adapters) can be used on the Pentax digital bodies.

There is a whole site dedicated to Pentax - http://www.pentaxforums.com

Nov 13 12 09:42 pm Link

Photographer

Lost Cause pictures

Posts: 89

Middletown, Connecticut, US

Thank you.  I've been told however that the image quality really isnt better with the newer models.  I dont know for myself,  its just what i was told by the gentlemen at the local store that i have been talking with. 

I wonder if all of suburbia was shot on film or just the older images.

Nov 13 12 09:44 pm Link

Photographer

Raoul Isidro Images

Posts: 6286

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

My MX is still alive and kicking. That's the latest model I have for a Pentax.

Good for the next 50 years.

CLA every 25 years...

I say don't jump ship as you are using a top 5 brand in the DSLR category. I used Pentax during the film era, but since the digital age, have used Canon and Nikon predominantly.

.

Nov 13 12 09:45 pm Link

Photographer

Lost Cause pictures

Posts: 89

Middletown, Connecticut, US

I have heard the older lenses are better but i noticed my eyes aren't good enough for that these days and seem to need auto focus.  SO in your opinion my k20d is fine and i should have a good quality image.  Or at least good enough

Nov 13 12 09:47 pm Link

Photographer

Michael Broughton

Posts: 2244

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

LC pictures  wrote:
Thank you.  I've been told however that the image quality really isnt better with the newer models.  I dont know for myself,  its just what i was told by the gentlemen at the local store that i have been talking with. 

I wonder if all of suburbia was shot on film or just the older images.

never trust the opinion of some random salesman.

Nov 13 12 09:48 pm Link

Photographer

GeM Photographic

Posts: 2374

Chicago, Illinois, US

Of the 30 images in my portfolio for this account, 6 were shot with a *istD, the rest with a K20D.

A K5 will have better high ISO performance than the K20D and the K5 II is supposed to have much more sensitive autofocus (down to EV -3). I don't shoot sports, so I don't have experience with the continuous autofocus to track a moving subject.

I do occasionally use older manual focus lenses, and the focus confirmation works (even if the lens isn't autofocus).

Nov 13 12 09:52 pm Link

Photographer

Photography by Tiare Rush

Posts: 582

Los Angeles, California, US

My very first camera was a 35mm pentax FILM camera; it shot amazingly beautiful photos.  Sadly it got stolen a few years ago. sad

Nov 13 12 09:54 pm Link

Photographer

David Watson Photograph

Posts: 52

Whittlesea, Victoria, Australia

I started with a k10d and now shoot with the k5 I love the camera but as all of of us no doubt wasted a fair few dollars on midrange underperforming but cheaper glass. I now use a
16/50 2.8 Pentax SMC *and a Pentax 50/135 SMC * both are at the dearer end of the Pentax spectrum but well worth the money I also have a Sigma 50mm 1.4 ex which performs really well
I will not spend money on anything that doesn't have the * mark or in the case of sigma the ex
I have been told Pentax have other great performing lenses but its a bit of a lottery working out
Which are good and which aren't

Hope this helps

Nov 13 12 10:00 pm Link

Photographer

David Watson Photograph

Posts: 52

Whittlesea, Victoria, Australia

I started with a k10d and now shoot with the k5 I love the camera but as all of of us no doubt wasted a fair few dollars on midrange underperforming but cheaper glass. I now use a
16/50 2.8 Pentax SMC *and a Pentax 50/135 SMC * both are at the dearer end of the Pentax spectrum but well worth the money I also have a Sigma 50mm 1.4 ex which performs really well
I will not spend money on anything that doesn't have the * mark or in the case of sigma the ex
I have been told Pentax have other great performing lenses but its a bit of a lottery working out
Which are good and which aren't

Hope this helps

Nov 13 12 10:00 pm Link

Photographer

Lost Cause pictures

Posts: 89

Middletown, Connecticut, US

Gem thank you and  everyone else for your input.  I was going to ask what your images where shot with.   The issue i find even in searching that i dont find many images made by pentax users to be up to par from what i see form others.   Your images gives me faith in our brand and hope that i can achieve better images.  May i ask what lenses you use?  I have a sigma 10-20 that i like and a 50 1.4.  other than that i dont have much except the kit lens and an old 200 k mount that i dont use much.  What do you suggest for portrait type work?

Nov 13 12 10:00 pm Link

Photographer

SB Glamour Photos

Posts: 712

Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia

Meh, I shoot Pentax. I have a K5 and K30.
Lenses I use are (from favourit to least)
Sigma 85mm f1.4
Sigma 70-200mm f2.8
Sigma 105mm f2.5
Sigma 50mm f1.4
Pentax DA*16-50mm f2.8

I am happy with the results I get. Look through my portfolio if you like and let me know if I can help you out. Nothing wrong with Pentax. It captures light as other cameras do.

Maybe look up Benjamin kanerek. He shoots for harpers bazaar and vogue with Pentax out in France and other places. He is on here too.

Nov 13 12 10:01 pm Link

Photographer

Lost Cause pictures

Posts: 89

Middletown, Connecticut, US

Digital 1 that is a big help.  I want the 50-135 but i cant see spendin the money.  i shoot so infrequently.  also i feel like i wasted money on the 50 1.4 because i probably wont use it if i get zoom that includes that range

Nov 13 12 10:03 pm Link

Photographer

Lost Cause pictures

Posts: 89

Middletown, Connecticut, US

SB.  Amazing portfolio.  I really do appreciate all your time.

Nov 13 12 10:07 pm Link

Photographer

Stephen K Photography

Posts: 144

Sacramento, California, US

I used to shoot with a K-x, a cheapie sigma 70-300 3.5-5.6, 50mm smc-a 1.7, and the kit 18-55, and my pictures didn't look a whole lot different than my current ones (d90).

Nov 13 12 10:08 pm Link

Photographer

GeM Photographic

Posts: 2374

Chicago, Illinois, US

LC pictures  wrote:
Gem thank you and  everyone else for your input.  I was going to ask what your images where shot with.   The issue i find even in searching that i dont find many images made by pentax users to be up to par from what i see form others.   Your images gives me faith in our brand and hope that i can achieve better images.  May i ask what lenses you use?  I have a sigma 10-20 that i like and a 50 1.4.  other than that i dont have much except the kit lens and an old 200 k mount that i dont use much.  What do you suggest for portrait type work?

My most used lenses:

DA* 50-135/2.8 (most used overall)
DA* 16-50/2.8
FA 77/1.8 LTD
DA 40/2.8 LTD (it is sharper than my FA 50/1.4)

My IR modified K20D seems to really love the FA-J 18-35 for landscape work. I also have an old SMC-A 50/2.0 for the IR body since it has the Infrared focus mark (the FA lenses also have the IR focus mark).

For portraits, I'd use the 50-135 or the 77. I've heard a lot of recommendations for the DA 70 LTD and the Tamron 90mm Macro, but haven't used them. I only once had a chance to use an FA* 85/1.4 (great lens, but over $1000 typically on the used market so I bought the 77 instead).

For tabletop (miniatures) photography, I use a manual focus Promaster 100 mm macro.

Nov 13 12 10:10 pm Link

Photographer

Neil Peters Fotografie

Posts: 1058

Tucson, Arizona, US

Pentax has a supreme sensor (better than my Canon)
their lenses are excellent
and very innovative features, other bigger companies mimic...
it is the best poorly kept secret in photography.
you would have to spend thousands of $
to get the weather seal on a Canon, that Pentax already has
on their standard models ....
which have I.S. bodies, saving bling on I.S. lenses
seriously smart company.

Nov 13 12 10:10 pm Link

Photographer

SB Glamour Photos

Posts: 712

Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia

I would recommend the 85mm sigma for portraits. I have the 70-200 and the 85 is still my favourit. I regularly shoot wider than f2.8 so it plays a big part being as sharp as t is. Te 50mm f1.4 cannot be replaced by a zoom if you care about absolute quality. You cannot assume the brand could be holding you back when you don't understand how good the sigma 50mm 1.4 is. Read up! It is one of the best in that focal length

Nov 13 12 10:11 pm Link

Photographer

billy badfinger

Posts: 830

Tampa, Florida, US

My 1st GOOD camera was an MX with a 50mm 1.4...loved it...bought more
of that beautiful Pentax glass over the years...as I started shooting more outdoor stuff I needed higher flash synch speeds than Pentax offered in
their bodies so...I switched to an EOS and recently started a Sony NEX kit...
Guess what...my old Pentax 24mm and 50mm still get a ton of use on these cameras through the use of inexpensive adapters...
My 24mm SMC is freakishly sharp no matter what camera I put it on!!!

Pentax went thru some rough times in the last decade and are just now getting back on their feet...Ricoh bought them a couple of years ago and
seems really commited to re-establishing the Pentax brand...
Check out the line of "Limited" lenses...expensive but...among the finest
optics in the world!!!

Nov 13 12 10:12 pm Link

Photographer

photosbydmp

Posts: 3808

Shepparton-Mooroopna, Victoria, Australia

i retired all my sony gear and went back to pentax, started with a k-x then a k-5 up to three lenses now and still buying. Best thing i ever did that sony was crap. Previous pentax i owned mx x 2, me super x2, k1000 and a myriad of glass all of which i have to replace, lol.

Nov 13 12 10:22 pm Link

Photographer

SB Glamour Photos

Posts: 712

Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia

LC pictures  wrote:
SB.  Amazing portfolio.  I really do appreciate all your time.

Thank you. I try. More often than not, people struggle with the editing part of photography and try to do too much. There is also the issue of making sure you take the photo correctly for you to edit it. The lighting needs to be right for what you need to bring out of the photos. Unless you shoot jpeg and don't edit, you don't go for the end result in camera. You need to set yourself up for the perfect edit. I under expose on purpose to keep detail in the highlights, but I do this by brightening the jpeg setting. It doesn't affect the raw file but it shows me a closer result to how I will edit.

Nov 13 12 10:24 pm Link

Photographer

Lost Cause pictures

Posts: 89

Middletown, Connecticut, US

I under expose a little for the same reason.  Im glad i finally had a correct idea lol.  You shoot in JPEG?

Nov 13 12 10:27 pm Link

Photographer

WR Photographics

Posts: 1394

Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

LC pictures  wrote:
Thank you.  I've been told however that the image quality really isnt better with the newer models.  I dont know for myself,  its just what i was told by the gentlemen at the local store that i have been talking with. 

I wonder if all of suburbia was shot on film or just the older images.

The guy at the local store doesn't know what he is talking about. The Pentax K5 has a longer dynamic range than any other APS-C camera, and gives the full frame cameras a run for the money in the image quality department. The K20 was a very good camera, though the Samsung sensor did leave a bit to be desired. I liked the quality from it at base ISO, but it did deteriorate rapidly, and for me wasn't really usable past ISO 800.
The K5 is very usable up to ISO3200, and is surprisingly good beyond that as well. The K5 is a definite improvement over the K20, and also the K7 which also had a Samsung sensor. The K5 is using a Sony Exmor sensor, if what I read over on Pentax forums is correct, and Pentax is getting a lot of quality out of the thing, more than Sony gets with it, and more than Nikon gets with the similar sensor in the D7K.

Seriously, if you can't get a decent picture with a Pentax, you aren't going to do any better with anyone elses camera either.

Nov 13 12 11:00 pm Link

Photographer

Lost Cause pictures

Posts: 89

Middletown, Connecticut, US

I agree about the low light capabilities.  I never shoot over 400 iso and its very limiting.  As far as me not getting very good images,  I am learning and unfortunately some of the images i posted i only added because i needed to post something.  I was getting so frustrated with them not being sharp and wanted to give up until i sent the camera out to be checked and found there were things wrong with it.  Now i'm back to learning after not having my camera for almost 2 months.  Got it back in july or august.

Nov 13 12 11:12 pm Link

Photographer

SB Glamour Photos

Posts: 712

Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia

LC pictures  wrote:
I under expose a little for the same reason.  Im glad i finally had a correct idea lol.  You shoot in JPEG?

Very rarely. Once I did by accident on one of my shoots, it never looked as good as when I edited with raw. So many artifacts even at web size. I couldn't get it to look clean.

Nov 13 12 11:13 pm Link

Photographer

SB Glamour Photos

Posts: 712

Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia

LC pictures  wrote:
I agree about the low light capabilities.  I never shoot over 400 iso and its very limiting.  As far as me not getting very good images,  I am learning and unfortunately some of the images i posted i only added because i needed to post something.  I was getting so frustrated with them not being sharp and wanted to give up until i sent the camera out to be checked and found there were things wrong with it.  Now i'm back to learning after not having my camera for almost 2 months.  Got it back in july or august.

Your profile pic is very sharp. Not sure what you are worried about. You are capable of great shots, the sooner you realise your potential, the sooner you will realise your gear isn't the limiting factor. You can do it with what you have! :-)

Nov 13 12 11:16 pm Link

Photographer

Lee Nutter

Posts: 160

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

I used to shoot Pentax and was considering going back (to the K5-II) for the weather sealing, and because it's smaller for my planned travels next year. I'll probably end up with the OM-D though, it's smaller and seems to be about as weather proof.

But seriously, Pentax is not holding you back!!! There's nothing wrong with their gear.

Nov 14 12 02:41 am Link

Photographer

hbutz New York

Posts: 3236

Ronkonkoma, New York, US

I have over half a dozen Pentax film and digital cameras.  The K-5 takes amazing photos.

Nov 14 12 03:25 am Link

Photographer

R_Marquez

Posts: 4623

San Francisco, California, US

I always wanted a Kx. Even now, it's still the best at retaining detail after NR when using higher ISO values. I'm just too deep into Canon and prefer Canon's USM for speed and silence.

Nov 14 12 03:30 am Link

Photographer

Saelee

Posts: 269

Sacramento, California, US

Benjamin Kanarek shoots with Pentax. Recently he just shot the girl from the new James Bond movie for Harper’s BAZAAR Spanish version.

http://www.benjaminkanarekblog.com/2012 … rs-bazaar/

I believe he shot it with the Pentax K-5.

The brand of camera will not make you a better photographer. Although if you shoot with one of the big two, you have more/easier access to equipments if you need to buy or rent them. I only know one online place that rents Pentax equipment.

Nov 14 12 08:44 am Link

Photographer

Lost Cause pictures

Posts: 89

Middletown, Connecticut, US

Hbutz.  Are the images in your portfolio shot with Pentax gear?  Your images are very creative,  well done.

Nov 14 12 09:41 am Link

Photographer

HungryEye

Posts: 2276

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

My first camera was the eponomous K1000 (which I still have) and I now actively shoot with a K5.
I use my K10D as a back-up and for timelapse work, along with an istD.

I also recently bought the new K30, which I use just for HD video.

Both the K5 and the K30 are using new CMOS sensors, and definitely improve image quality over the earlier models.

I do not care much about gear, I am more interested in the final images and I have never once had another photographer look at my work and tell me that I would get better pics with a Canon or a NIkon.

I have top notch glass which dates as far back as 1968, and it all still fits, and all still works with any of my Pentax bodies.

Nov 14 12 10:23 am Link

Photographer

D0127H

Posts: 1135

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

It's probably skill level, honestly.  I wouldn't blame your images on your camera.  Vision matters more.

Obviously, a really good camera may get in the way less.  Or maybe not.  Sometimes the brilliance of some images is working with the unique characteristics of the tools at hand.

Nov 14 12 10:36 am Link

Photographer

Lost Cause pictures

Posts: 89

Middletown, Connecticut, US

I wasn't blaming my image quality on the brand.  I was simply asking if I am maxed out.  I've been told that was part of the issue.  I know I have lots to learn to make my images better however my question was more for future reference.  As in should I stop sinking money into this brand instead of converting.  I see now that it's not the case because I can finally see others getting beautiful ages that are too notch.  Even on the pentax forums and Flickr I just haven't seen a lot of work comparable before hence my questions.  It was just a matter of finding others.

Nov 14 12 11:40 am Link

Photographer

WR Photographics

Posts: 1394

Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

LC pictures  wrote:
I wasn't blaming my image quality on the brand.  I was simply asking if I am maxed out.  I've been told that was part of the issue.  I know I have lots to learn to make my images better however my question was more for future reference.  As in should I stop sinking money into this brand instead of converting.  I see now that it's not the case because I can finally see others getting beautiful ages that are too notch.  Even on the pentax forums and Flickr I just haven't seen a lot of work comparable before hence my questions.  It was just a matter of finding others.

One of the things that never changes in photography is the importance of good lenses. Without knowing what lenses you have, it's hard to say what is going sideways. You might only have the kit zoom, for example, which will only do OK at it's best apertures, probably not so well at it's less than optimum apertures.
I've been using Pentax for a couple of decades (I came over from Nikon), and have been concentrating on their prime lenses. I haven't run into a bad lens yet, though some are definitely better than others.
If you want an incredible lens, look into the 77mm f1.8 or the 70mm f2.4. Both are exceedingly sharp optics, and both are in a nice focal length for model shots. Everything in my port except for the bottom row was shot with one or the other of those two lenses, IIRC. I'm probably not a great person to be showing off how good the equipment is, I am somewhat of a hack compared to most of the talent around here, but I do the best I can.

Nov 14 12 12:10 pm Link

Photographer

GeM Photographic

Posts: 2374

Chicago, Illinois, US

and my next camera will be a 67 or a 67II (unless I find an amazing deal on a TLR first)

Nov 14 12 08:45 pm Link

Photographer

GER Photography

Posts: 7941

Imperial, California, US

Nope!! K10-D and K5!! Pentax RULES!!!:-))

Nov 14 12 08:53 pm Link

Photographer

The F-Stop

Posts: 1510

New York, New York, US

Nope.. from spotmatics to 67s I shot plenty with em but found Mamiyas were built tougher. last longer... hooked for life, love my trusty RB67Pro-S.

Nov 14 12 09:18 pm Link