Forums > Photography Talk > I know nothing about Pentax...but...

Photographer

Robert Jewett

Posts: 2462

al-Marsā, Tunis, Tunisia

...I have a friend who sold his entire Canon system and bought the equivalent in Pentax.  He is pretty experienced, and in conversation went on and on about their sensors, glass, etc.

Well, I really looked forward to seeing his images.  When they were finally posted, they looked different.  Lots of brown/blues, less reds, less saturation.  Micro contrast was different, and other things were a little different than his normal look.

I looked at another friend's of his (who only shoots Pentax), and I could see the same thing. 

Now, I know the Pentax guys on this forum love their gear, and I think if there were issues with the sensor, the industry would be talking about it.

Are these just new aesthetic choices he is making, or do Pentax sensors just look different in this way?

On some level I like the look, and I think one could develop a "signature" look from it.

Nov 14 12 04:52 am Link

Photographer

Kaouthia

Posts: 3152

Lancaster, England, United Kingdom

Robert Jewett wrote:
On some level I like the look, and I think one could develop a "signature" look from it.

Haven't used the Pentaxes, but I think if a person's "signature look" depends on shooting a certain brand, what are they gonna do if that company goes bust?  Experience has shown us that it happens to even the biggest of companies.

Nov 14 12 05:01 am Link

Photographer

Lee Nutter

Posts: 160

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Most cameras and lenses have defining qualities or characteristics, and while a person's signature look will be affected by that, if that's _all_ that it is, it's not much of a signature.

edit: also kudos to your mate. I wish I could go from Canon to Pentax, but despite loving the K5II I just can't bring myself to let go of my 5D and L glass at this stage.

Nov 14 12 05:16 am Link

Photographer

WR Photographics

Posts: 1396

Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

Robert Jewett wrote:
...I have a friend who sold his entire Canon system and bought the equivalent in Pentax.  He is pretty experienced, and in conversation went on and on about their sensors, glass, etc.

Well, I really looked forward to seeing his images.  When they were finally posted, they looked different.  Lots of brown/blues, less reds, less saturation.  Micro contrast was different, and other things were a little different than his normal look.

I looked at another friend's of his (who only shoots Pentax), and I could see the same thing. 

Now, I know the Pentax guys on this forum love their gear, and I think if there were issues with the sensor, the industry would be talking about it.

Are these just new aesthetic choices he is making, or do Pentax sensors just look different in this way?

On some level I like the look, and I think one could develop a "signature" look from it.

Yeah, Pentax stuff looks as little different. They haven't fallen into the over sharpened, over saturated trap that seems so prevalent these days. The lenses are also, on average, less flare prone, and have a more balanced look to their images.
Everything in my port was shot on Pentax. I would be interested to know if you see in my port what you are seeing in the ports of your friends.

Nov 14 12 08:03 am Link

Photographer

Robert Jewett

Posts: 2462

al-Marsā, Tunis, Tunisia

Yes.  Some browns in the shadow areas, less saturation in the reds, and less micro contrast.

If you just scan this pool:

http://www.flickr.com/groups/k5/pool/

You'll notice that the images that look pretty straight out of the camera tend to look similar.  The HDR or very processed shots don't, of course, hold true.  This is most obvious in images with skies, which have a hint of brown in the blue.

Nov 14 12 11:09 am Link

Photographer

Raoul Isidro Images

Posts: 6289

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

I just handled and tested this a few hours ago with a supplier / importer who allowed me to use it for a few minutes:

http://pentaxworld.com/forum/news-announcement/pentax-645d-review-digicame-watch-(japanese-website)/?action=dlattach;attach=16572;image

Colors straight out from the camera look like 600D hues, which is quite good. But with the "style" settings, you can tweak outputs and WB chart hues to suit your taste.

I don't use Pentax, but this 40 MP 645 format tank could be my first Pentax after a very long spell... smile

.

Nov 14 12 06:17 pm Link

Photographer

FEN RIR Photo

Posts: 719

Westminster, Colorado, US

Raoul Isidro Images wrote:
I just handled and tested this a few hours ago with a supplier / importer who allowed me to use it for a few minutes:

http://pentaxworld.com/forum/news-announcement/pentax-645d-review-digicame-watch-(japanese-website)/?action=dlattach;attach=16572;image

Colors straight out from the camera look like 600D hues, which is quite good. But with the "style" settings, you can tweak outputs and WB chart hues to suit your taste.

I don't use Pentax, but this 40 MP 645 format tank could be my first Pentax after a very long spell... smile

.

I wish it had a pop up flash though.

Nov 14 12 07:02 pm Link

Photographer

GER Photography

Posts: 7946

Imperial, California, US

One reason I picked Pentax when I bought my first DSLR (K10-D) was that I read a review from someone who had spoken with the engineers at Pentax and they had stated that they were working on getting a more film look from their cameras as opposed to the HD-count the nose hairs look. I don't have my settings all maxed out for sharpness, saturation... I want to look at a photograph instead of an image perfect like a mirror reflection.

Nov 14 12 07:14 pm Link

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Photographer

Giacomo Cirrincioni

Posts: 21384

New York, New York, US

Kaouthia wrote:

Haven't used the Pentaxes, but I think if a person's "signature look" depends on shooting a certain brand, what are they gonna do if that company goes bust?  Experience has shown us that it happens to even the biggest of companies.

My best friend litterally broke down into tears when Neopan 1600 was discontinued.  Then he got drunk. 

Paolo Roversi was not to happy when he lost 8x10 Polaroid.

If Tri-X goes away you will here the screams of millions.

For me it's Ilford for B&W (which was a painful transition, but one I felt I had to make), so I'm safe on that end.  However, when Provia goes away, I'll want to die (just as I did when Kodachrome went away).


It happens.

Nov 14 12 08:05 pm Link

Photographer

GER Photography

Posts: 7946

Imperial, California, US

Raoul Isidro Images wrote:
I just handled and tested this a few hours ago with a supplier / importer who allowed me to use it for a few minutes:

http://pentaxworld.com/forum/news-announcement/pentax-645d-review-digicame-watch-(japanese-website)/?action=dlattach;attach=16572;image

Colors straight out from the camera look like 600D hues, which is quite good. But with the "style" settings, you can tweak outputs and WB chart hues to suit your taste.

I don't use Pentax, but this 40 MP 645 format tank could be my first Pentax after a very long spell... smile

.

Yep!! If I had an extra 10K$ in my pocket!8-))

Nov 14 12 08:14 pm Link

Photographer

Ed Woodson Photography

Posts: 2644

Savannah, Georgia, US

When I got back into Photography in 2006, I bought into the Pentax system.  Started with the K100D.  Uprgraded later that year to the K10D and wished I had stayed the the K100D.

When Pentax introduced the K20D, I sold (gave away) the K10D and moved up to the K20D.  Found it to be a bit better but still wasn't overly impressed.

About the time I decided to make the move into Portrait/Glamour Photography, Pentax had introduced the K7.  Well, I bought one.  After about three trips to repair, I bought a second one as a back up.  I never had the two of them at the same time for very long as one of them seemed to always be @ CRJ for some type of Repair.

In March of 2011, I liquidated all of my Pentax gear and made the move to Canon.  Started with the 60D (which I still have) and upgraded to the 5D Mk2 later in 2011.  Changing brands didn't do a thing to improve my skills as a photographer.   But, it sure as hell made me feel a lot more confident.

The way I feel about Pentax gear these days is very simple.  If they were giving gear away, I would pass.

My $ .02

Nov 14 12 08:34 pm Link

Photographer

Wild Image Media

Posts: 173

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

Though I shoot Canon, I was testing a Pentax SLR six years ago and its still my avatar

Nov 14 12 09:12 pm Link

Photographer

alessandro2009

Posts: 7540

Florence, Toscana, Italy

1. Pentax don't make sensor.
On the Pentax 20d they used a Samsung sensor, on the Pentax 645D they use a Kodak sensor while on the others they use Sony sensors.
2. Look different using Pentax lens and partially for the default settings on camera.

Nov 14 12 10:54 pm Link

Photographer

SKITA Studios

Posts: 1566

Boston, Massachusetts, US

Can you tell what my port was shot with?

Pentax does tend to have nicer skin tones sooc...less pop than canikon.
Sony uses the same sensor as Nikon but their output looks different....

Nov 15 12 06:25 pm Link

Photographer

SB Glamour Photos

Posts: 712

Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia

Most people buy Pentax for the lens system and small size. They have a different set of focal lengths. They have nearly always had the same sensors as used by other brands. The k5 uses the same sensor and the Nikon D7000. I am sure the K10D used the same as another camera from Nikon too

Nov 15 12 10:24 pm Link

Photographer

Robert Jewett

Posts: 2462

al-Marsā, Tunis, Tunisia

SKITA Studios wrote:
Can you tell what my port was shot with?

Pentax does tend to have nicer skin tones sooc...less pop than canikon.
Sony uses the same sensor as Nikon but their output looks different....

I glanced at your port for three seconds.  These jumped out at me and look exactly like Pentax to me:

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/110216/08/4d5bf6a7acdbe.jpg

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/100506/10/4be303245c7b8.jpg

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/090802/08/4a75ad8a7acf0.jpg

Notice the blurred areas.  If they are lighter, they run to brown (in spite of processing).  If they are darker, they run to green.  the reds are less saturated.  Also notice overall lack of the microcontrast you see with Canikon.

Nov 16 12 09:40 am Link

Photographer

SB Glamour Photos

Posts: 712

Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia

Does my portfolio have this look you speak of?
I tend to think that canon has a colder look than Pentax I wonder how much that has to do with the white balance or the colour profile set for the camera. I only shoot Pentax but I have noticed when playing with a friends 5d mkii, I couldn't get the same look no matter how much I played with the white balance

Nov 16 12 01:38 pm Link

Photographer

Photos by McQ

Posts: 25

HAYDENVILLE, Massachusetts, US

Ed Woodson Photography wrote:
About the time I decided to make the move into Portrait/Glamour Photography, Pentax had introduced the K7.  Well, I bought one.  After about three trips to repair, I bought a second one as a back up.  I never had the two of them at the same time for very long as one of them seemed to always be @ CRJ for some type of Repair.

  Changing brands didn't do a thing to improve my skills as a photographer.   But, it sure as hell made me feel a lot more confident.

Same thing with a couple of K-5's...Only had one in my possession at a time. Af540 flash and a 16-50/2.8 that lived in Arizona.

Changed brands.......Will not look back.

Nov 16 12 05:49 pm Link

Photographer

SKITA Studios

Posts: 1566

Boston, Massachusetts, US

Robert Jewett wrote:
Notice the blurred areas.  If they are lighter, they run to brown (in spite of processing).  If they are darker, they run to green.  the reds are less saturated.  Also notice overall lack of the microcontrast you see with Canikon.

Interesting...I never noticed that but now that you mention it, that is interesting about the bokeh areas.
Microcontrast I do see on the 100% images though.

And I didn't realize how bad the colors look on that first image looks on a high gamut display...you see funky blue blood colors in her hand :-P

Nov 16 12 06:47 pm Link

Photographer

Neil Peters Fotografie

Posts: 1058

Tucson, Arizona, US

there are some seriously smart people
who have done their homework and research
they aren't fooled by the hype of numbers camera companies
use to sell sell sell, it's a business .....
the canon 7d is suppose to have an improved focusing system over the 5dmkll
maybe it does
but it is humanly imperceivable in use
(and if you can find the one instance where the 5d roams, wonderful .. don't do that anymore.....)
that press release sold a lot of cameras, including me
and yes, canon firmware has an issue with reds
they don't know how, or can't address

it's the glass, it's the sensor, it's the firmware
it's the quality of light.....
it's the user ....

Pentax makes supreme final results
if you know what to look for

it's painfully easy to make horrid pictures with a Leica M9

Nov 17 12 04:16 am Link

Photographer

Kaouthia

Posts: 3152

Lancaster, England, United Kingdom

Paramour Productions wrote:
It happens.

Of course it happens, and it's a little different with film because you had less options for alterations in post than we have today, with regard to colour, contrast, tone, etc).

When I say less options, I mean if you always shot with the same type of film, your images would always pretty much look the same - not that there weren't different types of film giving you different types of look.

Today we can get all those different types of look from the same sensor by running it through Lightroom, Aperture, ACR, Photoshop, whatever.  You can create the same sort of look with pretty much any digital camera that has RAW capabilities if you know what you're doing in post (and if you don't, by all means sub it out to somebody that does - after all, that's what film photographers did whenever they sent their film off to the lab).

But, if you can't adapt and your whole look, style, and career hinges on one particular device or film type, how good are you really?

PS, also an Ilford person, but have a few 100ft rolls of Tri-X and TMax 35mm here. smile

Nov 17 12 05:59 am Link

Photographer

Eridu

Posts: 623

Boston, Massachusetts, US

George Ruge wrote:
One reason I picked Pentax when I bought my first DSLR (K10-D) was that I read a review from someone who had spoken with the engineers at Pentax and they had stated that they were working on getting a more film look from their cameras as opposed to the HD-count the nose hairs look. I don't have my settings all maxed out for sharpness, saturation... I want to look at a photograph instead of an image perfect like a mirror reflection.

This is exactly what I found several years ago when shooting with a Sanmsung Gx-10 and using a series of older Pentax F and FA Film Lenses. Many of my images looked like they were Straight out of a 1970's Pentax Camera Manual and I loved every minute of it.

Nov 17 12 06:08 am Link

Photographer

Eridu

Posts: 623

Boston, Massachusetts, US

If I were doing studio production work on a day-in, day-out basis, I would likely want a Canon programme for the consistancy and ease of use but, other than that, I can see no reason to change. Plus, I admitto a romanticism for lenses that don't do the work for you. Frankly, I think Canon lenses are overrated but, then again, I'd be the biggest Canon sign-holder too if I paid what they charge for their top of the line hardware (again, IHMO, overrated).

Nov 17 12 06:12 am Link

Photographer

Eridu

Posts: 623

Boston, Massachusetts, US

Kaouthia wrote:

Of course it happens, and it's a little different with film because you had less options for alterations in post than we have today, with regard to colour, contrast, tone, etc).

When I say less options, I mean if you always shot with the same type of film, your images would always pretty much look the same - not that there weren't different types of film giving you different types of look.

Today we can get all those different types of look from the same sensor by running it through Lightroom, Aperture, ACR, Photoshop, whatever.  You can create the same sort of look with pretty much any digital camera that has RAW capabilities if you know what you're doing in post (and if you don't, by all means sub it out to somebody that does - after all, that's what film photographers did whenever they sent their film off to the lab).

But, if you can't adapt and your whole look, style, and career hinges on one particular device or film type, how good are you really?

PS, also an Ilford person, but have a few 100ft rolls of Tri-X and TMax 35mm here. smile

Well, I'm getting older and have had read ing glasses now for almost 2 years (at 45) but, I still see differences in shooting Ilford Delta Pro as opposed to the film emulation suites. I'll tell you one thing though, I am impressed with AlienSkin's stuff, probably the best general purpose out there right now.

Nov 17 12 06:15 am Link

Photographer

Kansas City Media Group

Posts: 649

Kansas City, Missouri, US

Kaouthia wrote:
But, if you can't adapt and your whole look, style, and career hinges on one particular device or film type, how good are you really?

some of the greats found what worked for them and did not "adapt" or change,... it made them what they are, Great.....

How many people remember what camera or film weston or adams or brady used?!?

Westons personal writings indicate he was using old equipment , stuff that worked for him, and he did NOT want to chage.

For the OP....  find what makes your Art work for you..get Jazzed about the work you create and not the brand stuck on the hardware.

Nov 21 12 08:25 am Link

Photographer

Eridu

Posts: 623

Boston, Massachusetts, US

Shot in 2009 w. a Samsung Gx-10 & Pentax SMC FA 28-70 Film Lens


http://i47.tinypic.com/ompp0.jpg


Still reminds me of the images in the old manuals, exactly what I was hoping for.


I always said the SMC Glass leaned towards the reds

Nov 21 12 09:21 am Link