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Thread: Anyone around here got a Pentax K7?

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    Anyone around here got a Pentax K7?

    I was in a naughty place today and had a play with one - it reminded me of my lovely old E1 brought up to date.
    100 macro WR anygood?
    16-50 f2.8 any good?
    just wondering.

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    Re: Anyone around here got a Pentax K7?

    Guilty, I have one.

    I don't think that my copy of the 16-50 is all that sharp. Pentax will adjust if necessary.

    However, I used the camera and a 17-70 f 4 last summer in W. China with really good results. This lens is great, and the K7 is "weather sealed."

    Pentax takes a lot of heat for noisy sensors, and not so great AF. Maybe not as noise free as some others. They have a philosophy about making digital images resemble film images. As such, they do not use a lot of NR. But there images do not have that plastic look of over processing. I use Pentax RAW with very good results. I find the AF is fine. In low light it hunts like everyone else.

    I used it in the Gobi desert, and no problems, or dust on the sensor. I have some of the Limited primes, and they are quite good but slow. The 35mm macro is really nice. I'm thinking about the 15mm Limited. Unfortunately, none of the modern lenses have aperture rings, so not much good on a m 4/3, or NEX.

    Martin
    Last edited by Martin S; 29th July 2010 at 07:46.

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    Re: Anyone around here got a Pentax K7?

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin S View Post
    Guilty, I have one.

    I don't think that my copy of the 16-50 is all that sharp. Pentax will adjust if necessary.

    However, I used the camera and a 17-70 f 4 last summer in W. China with really good results. This lens is great, and the K7 is "weather sealed."

    Pentax takes a lot of heat for noisy sensors, and not so great AF. Maybe not as noise free as some others. They have a philosophy about making digital images resemble film images. As such, they do not use a lot of NR. But there images do not have that plastic look of over processing. I use Pentax RAW with very good results. I find the AF is fine. In low light it hunts like everyone else.

    I used it in the Gobi desert, and no problems, or dust on the sensor. I have some of the Limited primes, and they are quite good but slow. The 35mm macro is really nice. I'm thinking about the 15mm Limited. Unfortunately, none of the modern lenses have aperture rings, so not much good on a m 4/3, or NEX.

    Martin
    Thanks Martin.
    When you say 'Pentax will adjust' does that mean that this is a common problem? The lens seemed really nice and solid and small (compared to the Zeiss 24-70 at any rate).
    I've been looking at files, they seem pretty good.
    I've missed my E1 / E3 as an all weather outfit, and this seemed like it might really fit the bill. I wouldn't use the lenses on m4/3 or NEX. To be honest this would completely replace my need for a mirrorless camera, in that a 'complete' kit would go in a really small bag (and I have to have one of them anyway).

    when you say the limited primes are 'slow' do you mean slow to focus?

    thanks for the help . . . what else do you shoot?

    PS is the 17-70 weathersealed?

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    Re: Anyone around here got a Pentax K7?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    when you say the limited primes are 'slow' do you mean slow to focus?
    The DA Limiteds all have relatively small maximum apertures - 15/4, 21/3.2, 35/2.8, 40/2.8, 70/2.4.

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    Re: Anyone around here got a Pentax K7?

    Unfortunately, the 17-70 mm is NOT weather sealed. nor are the Limited primes. It is also, not one of the newer fast focussing lenses, but still quite adequate.

    Pentax will readjust the 16-50 mm focus since some were not focussing accurately.

    Martin

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    Re: Anyone around here got a Pentax K7?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oren Grad View Post
    The DA Limiteds all have relatively small maximum apertures - 15/4, 21/3.2, 35/2.8, 40/2.8, 70/2.4.
    Hi Oren
    Thanks for that - but something has to give for them to be so small, the 77 f1.8 is probably the only one I'd get (and maybe the 43 f1.9)(I would use leica lenses for the shorter focal lengths anyway).

    Martin - thanks for the info on the 16-50.
    Incidentally, can you adjust focus for specific lenses on the body (very useful on the A900).

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    Re: Anyone around here got a Pentax K7?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Incidentally, can you adjust focus for specific lenses on the body (very useful on the A900).
    Yes, that's already on my Pentax K20D. Can't recollect the exact number of memory places, but I think it's quite a few. Not sure though which lenses have a "code" that the body recognizes (in addition to the current Pentax lenses).

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    Re: Anyone around here got a Pentax K7?

    Quote Originally Posted by emr View Post
    Yes, that's already on my Pentax K20D. Can't recollect the exact number of memory places, but I think it's quite a few. Not sure though which lenses have a "code" that the body recognizes (in addition to the current Pentax lenses).
    Thank you

    ...............

    Nobody sounds very positive. Am imissing something?

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    Re: Anyone around here got a Pentax K7?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Thank you

    ...............

    Nobody sounds very positive. Am I missing something?
    No, I just think that we Pentax owners are aware that our cameras are not perfect. But some of the lenses are so good that we are prepared to put up with the little issues that some of the followers of the other major camera makers like to often remind us about. I especially enjoy the full-frame (FA) limited lenses that I can also use on a 35mm film body.

    On the auto-focus adjustment: my (K20D) camera seems to remember the adjustment setting for all my auto-focus lenses, including at least one Sigma lens (I only own one). Unfortunately it does not remember the correction for my manual-focus lenses. In practice this seems only to be crucial for very fast (f/1.2 and f/1.4) lenses used at minimum focus distance.

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    Re: Anyone around here got a Pentax K7?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Nobody sounds very positive. Am imissing something?
    Well, I see Pentax as a compromise brand. Often a great compromise between properties. The brand is rarely at the bleeding edge, but rather brings good bang-for-buck products to the market a bit later than the big players. They have particularily concentrated on compact size and weather sealing (higher end Pentax bodies, DA* and WR lenses) and ruggedness. Where the brand has been lacking is the speed and low light ability of AF. Also, high ISO is nothing to write home about. On the other hand, Pentax uses less noise filtering than many other brands. Also, the lens line is a bit limited (no pun intended) and according to the rumors, the SDM AF motors in some lenses have a higher breaking rate. Also, many would like to have an upgrading path in the form of a FF camera body.

    I think that it's a good buy for somebody who knows what he/she wants and checks what's available before buying into the brand. K-7's a high quality small body and especially with the DA Limited lens line (15mm, 21mm, 40mm pancake, 70mm EDIT: 35mm macro) provides a very compact and handy combo. The lenses are OK priced, but not the bargains they were a couple of years ago.

    Pentax is according to rumors bringing an upgrade to the K-7 at Photokina, so it's probably best to wait for that and either buy it or the probably price reduced K-7 at that time.

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    Re: Anyone around here got a Pentax K7?

    Hi There
    Thanks Chris / EMR
    Enough said, I could wait, but the K7seems o provide what I want for a travel SLR (weathersealed, small, tough etc. ) . . . . so I bought one!

    to get me going I got the 16-50 f2.8 and the 100 WR macro - both of which seem fine. The 55 f1.4 is also tempting, but dreview were rather horrid about focusing . . . any feedback on this?

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    Re: Anyone around here got a Pentax K7?

    Congratulations! I look forward to your report on the 100 Macro.

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    Re: Anyone around here got a Pentax K7?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisN View Post
    Congratulations! I look forward to your report on the 100 Macro.
    Thanks Chris
    First trip out was a rather crazy family do, complete with play and horrible backlighting.

    Click on Midsummer Night

    I did use the 100mm quite a lot, like many macro lenses it's rather prone to focusing all the way to infinity and back if it gets lost, but this doesn't seem to happen very often. Otherwise focusing was reasonably quick and seems to have been accurate. It has fine bokeh, but I'm not yet sure how sharp it is.

    It is a lovely thing though, feels like one of the Limited lenses.

    I'll report more when I've had time to do stuff with decent light.

    al the best

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    Re: Anyone around here got a Pentax K7?

    ooh, Jono! i want to play with it!

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    Re: Anyone around here got a Pentax K7?

    Quote Originally Posted by cam View Post
    ooh, Jono! i want to play with it!
    Erm Yer Well - if it's still around you can - but a little brick wall testing has shown a decentred 16-50, the 100 macro is lovely, but it hunts a bit, and the files are great, but not as great as the M9 or the A900 (obvious, but telling). I have until Friday to decide whether to keep it.

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    Re: Anyone around here got a Pentax K7?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Erm Yer Well - if it's still around you can - but a little brick wall testing has shown a decentred 16-50, the 100 macro is lovely, but it hunts a bit, and the files are great, but not as great as the M9 or the A900 (obvious, but telling). I have until Friday to decide whether to keep it.
    you're allowed to return it.

    i was briefly seduced by the waterproof mention and then i looked up how much it was... sigh. too rich for my blood, even if it was the cat's meow. (i'm still waiting to hear how much my M8 repair will be -- which is slightly worrisome...)

    as for the macro hunting -- don't they all?

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    Re: Anyone around here got a Pentax K7?

    Quote Originally Posted by cam View Post
    you're allowed to return it.

    i was briefly seduced by the waterproof mention and then i looked up how much it was... sigh. too rich for my blood, even if it was the cat's meow. (i'm still waiting to hear how much my M8 repair will be -- which is slightly worrisome...)

    as for the macro hunting -- don't they all?
    The Nikon one doesn't hunt (100 VR), but maybe all the others do, the Sony certainly does.
    I thought the k7 was quite a good deal, especially considering the specs. If I could be bothered to go through infinite lens testing I'd probably stay with it . . . but I can't!

    all the best

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    Re: Anyone around here got a Pentax K7?

    Jono,
    I suspect that one reasons for your problems with the K7 is that you own a Leica. If you didn't use a rangefinder, you would have bought the Pentax with Limited lenses, like the 15, 43, 70 or something similar. A different user experience, but you probably don't need that, since you have that experience, and more too, in the M9.

    I've been skeptical to the Pentax/Tokina 16-50 all along (which is one of the reasons I use a Tamron), and you confirm my suspicion. Nowadays, all nice normal-range zooms seem to be big monsters (the Tamron isn't perfect either, and I'm about to give it up). I seriously consider using primes only for anything but work/sports.

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    Re: Anyone around here got a Pentax K7?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    Jono,
    I suspect that one reasons for your problems with the K7 is that you own a Leica. If you didn't use a rangefinder, you would have bought the Pentax with Limited lenses, like the 15, 43, 70 or something similar. A different user experience, but you probably don't need that, since you have that experience, and more too, in the M9.
    Yes, I think you're right - the 'bonus' of auto focus is overshadowed by the experience of the rangefinder, and the quality of the Leica lenses, and the fact that the Leica files are really a great deal nicer than those from the K7 (sad though).
    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    I've been skeptical to the Pentax/Tokina 16-50 all along (which is one of the reasons I use a Tamron), and you confirm my suspicion. Nowadays, all nice normal-range zooms seem to be big monsters (the Tamron isn't perfect either, and I'm about to give it up). I seriously consider using primes only for anything but work/sports.
    Well, maybe, the big Zeiss zooms on the A900 seem to be pretty okay (and the 70-300 G lens, but 70-300's are obviously an easy lens).

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    Re: Anyone around here got a Pentax K7?

    I bought a Pentax K7 a few months ago on a lark and have grown to love it. I sold my M8u earlier this year and had a M9 on order but backed out of it. I read a few reviews of the K7, notably at TOP, and was particularly interested in the DA Limited prime lenses. IMO the reason to buy this camera is for these lenses. The product manager for the K7 has said it was specifically designed for the new DA Limiteds. I picked up a K7 and DA Limiteds in 21 and 40mm focal lengths for the price I paid for a Nikon D300 body a few years back. The lenses are wonderfully built. They are small dense little jewels and remind me a lot of the 35mm Summicron ASPH in feel and heft. Seriously. Also, I think theyíre cheap, coming from the Leica world. Long-time Pentax users are griping about the price increases (of which I was unaware) but I donít think you can spend much more than US$500 on any of them. Great build, reasonable prices, buy Ďem all (which I am on my way to doing). I subsequently picked up the DA70, and Mike Johnston made me buy the DA35 Macro Limited. I would not want to use a zoom lens with this camera. The size and balance is perfect, in a very Leica M sort of way. I use it as I use Leicas. I leave it set at: single shot, aperture preferred, lowest ISO possible, single AF point with rear AF button only. I then will approach a scene, pick a focus point, nail the focus one time, and begin shooting. I touch up focus either manually or by hitting the rear AF button occasionally. I donít spend any time using or trying to outwit the myriad of advanced AF options. I try to use the AF like a rangefinder. Because the focal lengths of the DA Limiteds are so short, DOF is generous. I shoot at f5.6-8 anyway, so itís a non-issue. Coming from an M8 and a D700 the sensor isnít the greatest. Itís a sunny day sensor. I would not go past ISO800 with it. Ditto with the DA Limiteds - small means slow which means best suited for daytime. OK with me; Iím a daylight shooter. If one stays within the limits of this package it can be a great system. Itís not a ďdo allĒ machine; itís doesnít pretend to be. But in a weird sort of way I find it like using a Leica M, but with accurate viewing. My favorite lens is the 21. My two lens kit is 21/35. Here are a couple of pics.

    ---Kent

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    Senior Member Will's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone around here got a Pentax K7?

    What does DA Limited actually mean?

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    Re: Anyone around here got a Pentax K7?

    Quote Originally Posted by Will View Post
    What does DA Limited actually mean?
    It means that they are for use on Digital sensors (i.e. cropped). Limited means that the output is limited 'cos they take so long to make (not a limited edition).
    As Kent says - they're lovely lenses, very reminiscent of leica glass, and really small.

    Kent - great post. I think you're quite right about the use of the camera, I came to grief with it because I already have the M9 with some leica lenses, so I wanted it to be more versatile.
    I loved the body and ergonomics . . . just not the zooms or the high ISO.

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    Re: Anyone around here got a Pentax K7?

    Quote Originally Posted by Will View Post
    What does DA Limited actually mean?
    Then there are the FA Limiteds which were launched for 35mm film. There are only three of those, 31 f/1.8, 43 f/1.9 and 77 f/1.8. The 31mm is a masterpiece, but expensive and not good value on a crop camera. The 77mm is one of the best portrait lenses ever, but still light and compact. I've considered buying a Pentax camera for the 77mm alone.

    The FAs are available in black as well as chrome.

    There's a very lovely gallery at pbase by one Mr. RC Wu, who the last four years has taken photos of his girlfriend, now wife, with an assortment of these lenses plus some other Pentax glass. Well worth a look:

    http://www.pbase.com/qoq/to_my_lovesally

    Looks better than a brick wall if you ask me
    Last edited by Jorgen Udvang; 12th August 2010 at 07:47.

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    Senior Member Will's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone around here got a Pentax K7?

    Thanks for explaining.

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