Why did you buy a Pantax?


Link Posted 23/09/2006 - 07:44
In your opinion, what makes Pentax cameras better than, say, Canon or Nikon?


Link Posted 23/09/2006 - 08:26
WHy did I buy a Pentax? SImple - the guy in the shop recommended it to me!.
Driving Route 66 a few years ago we stopped at a camera shop in Alberquerque to my son's 21st birthday present - he wanted an SLR. Well we had looked at Canons etc before so that is what we asked for - and he said Why? Have you seen a Pentax? And comparing the two in the shop the Pentax just won, it felt better somehow. So we bought two one for my son and one for me.
Last year I decided to go digital and again looked at what there was, but again the Pentax felt right, and was so familiar that it was a *Ds for me!.

I have sometimes regretted that decision due to my inabilty to get accesories for it - still can't get an AC adaptor for it, or the hotshoe set to use my flash off camera. Just buying the flash took long enough. But the thought that practically every other person in the world seems to own a Canon is enough to make me stick with Pentax inspite of everything.

Maybe I'd better go back to Alberquerque again......


Link Posted 23/09/2006 - 08:47
Some years ago, my Dad bought a Spotmatic and although I was never able to use it I did see that it was a beautiful piece of engineering. dad moved on to Nikon, which I thought was clunky and old-fashioned by comparison.

Eventually I could afford an SLR, and the SP1000 was the first purchase. I've owned lots of other cameras as well, but the pentaxes have the best design ethos, backwards compatibility and performance in relation to a very reasonable cost. That means I like them....

Take a new MX and you would have a jewel, a thing of beauty. And a very practical and efficient design. The same applies to lots of other Pentaxes as well, but I am especially fond of the MX. If I ever found a new, boxed one that had escaped sale, I'd buy it!
Best regards, John


Link Posted 23/09/2006 - 09:32
My first SLR camera was a Pentax Super-A which I bought new in 1983/4 with the 'standard' SMCP-A 50mm 1:1.7 and a 70-210mm Takumar-A Zoom. I chose it over any other make available at that time simply because the quality of Pentax Engineering outshone any other. It was supremely reliable up to the point only a few years ago when the shutter refused to fire and couldn't be fixed.

Before buying an SLR I used a Petri 7 Rangefinder camera which I have recently been reuinited with. My dad had kept it for years and guess what, it still works a treat. Totally manual and not a battery in sight. The metering relies on a CDs cell which surrounds the lens. Unfortunately it has been dropped at some point in its long life and the filter thread is wrecked.

After the demise of my Super-A I used Fujifilm compacts until I discovered that Pentax had produced a long awaited digital body that my existing lens collection would work with. I now have 2 X *istD bodies, and an MZ-S.
Peter E Smith

My flickr Photostream

Mike Pearson

Link Posted 23/09/2006 - 13:38
Just prior to emigrating to Canada in 1970 I purchased a Zenit E so that I could have a SLR for the voyage (yes I'm a boat person).

In 1971 I started doing some weddings for a local photographer and looked for a repacement. Chose an SP500 (SP1000 without the 1000 speed marked although it was there and still accurate) which I kept until 1998 when it needed too much work. My eyes were starting to falter when focusing so I bought a MZ50 which was the best Pentax available here at the time.

Quickly moved to MZ7 and MZ6 which are both excellent. I have the 6 and one of my daughters has the 7.

Last year moved to digital and chose *istDS2 above everything available. Most of my friends have Canons and Nikons but the Pentax is still superior in my mind. Better ergonomics, quality, feel in the hands and of course performance. Not one of the competition can match Pentax for their viewfinders.

One of my son-in-laws bought another daughter (I'm blessed with 4) a K100 for her birthday yesterday and she is thrilled.

We are extremely lucky here in the availability of cameras and accessories.

So in this family Pentax rules.



Link Posted 23/09/2006 - 14:28
Mike Pearson wrote:

We are extremely lucky here in the availability of cameras and accessories.

So in this family Pentax rules.


Mmm sounds like a trip to visit my cousin in Cambridge, Ontario, would be a good idea


Link Posted 23/09/2006 - 15:26
My first SLR was an ME Super SE with a 45 split screen which was a beautiful camera. I got it when my first son was born, in 1979 or soon thereafter and got to know it backwards and loved using it. A great, simple to use camera with excellent lenses. I think I had a 50mm/1.7 standard, a 135mm portrait and a 28mm wide angle if memory serves. Sadly it was stolen in a house break in many years ago. I missed that camera and only got back into photography with any enthusiasm when the Canon 300D arrived on the scene, as no other camera I purchased seemed to measure up to the ME Super. The Canon was good and the 90-300 telephoto for it is rather good but I came across an istDs with a Sigma 18-125 lense a year ago at the airport and couldn't resist it. Now that Pentax magic is in my hands again. Then the K100D comes out. The Pentax istDs was so good I sold it for almost as much as I paid for it. There is just something about a Pentax that I like. I don't think it is so much the features as the overall Pentax philosophy of making great cameras and lenses, generally of a really nice size, and usually at a good price. Although the Shake Reduction is a great innovation. I don't think I would ever buy a Nikon. Just don't like the look of them really. I might consider a Canon again but think they cost too much when you consider what you can get with a Pentax. I can't really see me trading the perfect size of the K100D, istDs format for the larger K10D. I guess the K100D gives me back that feel I once had with the ME super. I just want to get to know it as well as I did the ME Super. There's probably more sentiment in here than logic but I think other Pentax users will know what I am getting at.

Mike Pearson

Link Posted 23/09/2006 - 16:14

Plenty of Pentax available within half an hour of Cambridge - Hamilton (Ancaster), London, Kitchener.



Link Posted 23/09/2006 - 17:19
My first SLR was a used cyrilic Zenit. Then I got a used Chinon CS and then a Mamiya. I lucked into an eBay Spotmatic by chance about 18 months ago, and BAM! I were in luv.

Since then, an SPII, SPF have been added with 9 screwmount prime lenses.

Don of Light Expressions then entrusted me with a Super Program body to which I've added SMC 35-70 and 80-200 zooms. (All recommended by this forum's sage and wise counsil - for which I'm oh, so grateful)

Every so often I go and pick up the Zenit, Chinon or Mamiya and realize what a joy it is to hold any Pentax.

I guess like anything else, there is art with function (fine firearms seem the same way), and there is the inexplicable "feel" to the object.

When Asahi first introduced the Spotmatic, their pitch was to pick it up and hold it. In my book they were very much on to something, and have kept that feel going forward.

My close friend and brother in law is a total Nikon fan and has a huge number of bodies and lenses. The only one I like at all, is a little fully manual SLR (I forget the designation). And I only like it because it resembles a Spotty - somewhat.

In my short 35mm experience (was a medium formater for years) I have not seen any photographs or slides that surpass or even equal those taken through Pentax glass. (Helps that the company started out making eye glasses under Dr. Asahi?)

I have quite a lot of non Pentax gear acquired in various ways, which sits mouldering in a big cardboard box.

My 2 cents only - no refunds!

George Lazarette

Link Posted 23/09/2006 - 23:18
jmvideo wrote:
In your opinion, what makes Pentax cameras better than, say, Canon or Nikon?

Size, ergonomics, lenses.

Keywords: Charming, polite, and generally agreeable.

Magnus W

Link Posted 24/09/2006 - 01:29
I had a Canon AE-1, but after trying a friends LX for some days I was Pentax-hooked. It got worse when I saw that the Pentax lenses were so much less expensive -- and optically better in many (most) cases -- so in january 1981 I traded my equipment for an LX and some glass. Last week I sent it in for service so it will last another 25 years.

-- MW


Link Posted 24/09/2006 - 05:20
Some time ago, my wife worked for a photo supply house that also had a big rental division (before the days of video). The deal was, if there was equipment available on the weekends, employees were welcome to use it, gratis. So, we often had the k1000's out to play with.

When it came time to invest, asked the service manager and he said "you could throw the K Pentax over the building, pick it up on the other side and with a little dusting, know it would be functional". Maybe a little exageration but given the selection of equipment they had, simply stated, the Pentax was the most reliable and from their perspective the only money maker because of the reliability. That was a good enough recommendation for me.

We bought an ME-F and started the journey. The ME-F (I still miss it) finally suffered a terminal electronics fault and went to that camera store in the sky. A little frustrated with the electronics issue but not the camera got a P series (trying to get back to that basic functionality).

Since that time, we've added another P, an MZ-S (a beautiful piece of equipment) and an *ist D. The big plus is that all the lenses collected over the last 25 years are not obsoleted by the newest models, leaving the extra pennies free to further expand the glass collection.

With the reliability and the still workable collection of lenses and equipment, it's really easy to remain true (and a little smug when I hear of some of the tribualtions a few club members have with upgrading some of the other makes). Al


Link Posted 24/09/2006 - 11:23
My first camera was a Pentax ME which I traded in for a Pentax ME Super. Some time later I bought a Pentax K1000. The last film SLR I bought was a MZ5 N.

For me Pentax is lightweight and innovative. But in 2004 I bought a DSLR. The Pentax istD was twice as expensive as the Canon 300D. So I bought the Canon 300D which is a good camera.

Last Wednesday I bought the Pentax K100D because of the SR. When I held it in my hands I had missed the Pentax feeling for some 2 1/2 years. And when I was home to get to know the camera better, I immediately realised what else I had missed in those 2 1/2 years: the personal Pentax feeling. With the Pentax I can personalise all the settings as I wish it. That is impossible with the Canon 300D. With that camera you can only adapt the setting as Canon wishes it.

It feels good to be back in the Pentax world.


Link Posted 24/09/2006 - 12:04
Hythloday wrote:
The Pentax istD was twice as expensive as the Canon 300D.

Georges mule versas thoroughbred analogy rings true here. The *istD is not only more pleasing to look at and to hold, it was aimed at a different user type.

Some would argue, me included, that the Pentax *istD is a far superior camera in terms of build quality, ergonomics, and functionality and therefore worth at least twice the price of the 300D. Certainly, if you had a lens collection of more than 2 or 3 at the time you were buying, the *istD would have been a much cheaper option overall.
Peter E Smith

My flickr Photostream


Link Posted 24/09/2006 - 12:38
I had a Saturday job in Dixons at the time the ME Super and the Canon AE-1 and if I remember correctly the Oly OM-1 hit the streets, got to try them all. I liked both the Me Super and the AE-1, made up my mind to get the AE-1.

Before I had enough money to purchase the AE-1 I started to read up on photography, text books and mags of the time and came to the conclusion (rightly or wrongly) that I liked the idea of being different (that's why I still support East Fife) and not following the crowd.

I eventually built a nice kit, some pentax and some Hanimex (they were pretty good for the price then) then along came a wife and three kids, times were tight and the kit went to a work colleague (he still has most of it).

When I got round to taking up the passion again it was around the time of the release of the *istD, read up on it, saw the backward compatability and feature set, that was enough didn't even look for anything else, I did purchase some Pentax film bodies (Me Super and MZ50) prior to getting the D.
LBA is good for you, a Lens a day helps you work, rest and play.
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