Could really use some input! Thinking of switching to Nikon....

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by sunbeam, Oct 3, 2009.

  1. sunbeam

    sunbeam TPF Noob!

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    I currently have a Pentax K100D super, which I was fairly content with as a start up camera, but have become discouraged with its 'soft' images, horrible noise issues and it's AF. My main interest is portrait photography. I have several MF Lenses and the 2 kit lenses and a 50mm1.4. However, I just had a bad fall with my camera and the sensor is now busted. I really don't feel it's worth fixing and WAS looking at buying the Pentax K7 (around 1,600canadian) But i'm having MAJOR hesitations to do so after reading several reviews etc.

    So, I'm looking to all of you for some input. I am looking at switching to Nikon. Either the D90 or D300, but I don't know if it will be economical and if it will be too difficult to learn a whole new camera system. I have several ppl requesting I do their portraits, and eventually (after much more practice etc) I would like to turn this into a business. Anyone have any opinions? I'd really, really appreciate some help on this. Thanks so much.
     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Well, as a longtime Nikonian, I have to say that if you do make the switch, I suspect you would be VERY happy with the results from a D300, BUT and I do mean "BUT" I don't really think that's a prudent coursre. I can't speak for the any of the Pentax models in particular, but I suspect that if you're seeing soft focus and excessive noise, the first thing to look at may be your technique.

    Are you "exposing to the right"? Are you ensuring that focus is locked on the eyes with sufficient DoF to include the whole facial area? Is your lighting appropriate to the subject?

    What sort of issues have caused you to hesitate over the K7? Everything I've read (admitedly not a lot) has indicated awesome 'bang for the buck'.
     
  3. sunbeam

    sunbeam TPF Noob!

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    Hi Tirediron,
    Thank you so much for your response! By noise, I meant that even if I bump up to 400 ISO on my pentax, the noise is noticeable, and virtually pointless at 3200. As far as soft images, even when I shoot at f8 or 11 at 125-250 (example) the images have NEVER seems completely crisp. And trust me, I've tried many variations. :) I was told that it is due to the crop sensor size. Anyways, I have read alot about the K7 being a great bang for the buck, but I have also read, alot of discouraging things about the future of pentax, the real quality of the K7.. compared to Nikon/canon. etc. Not to mention, there really is not alot of choice for accessories/flash OR lenses with Pentax. I don't know. I'm trying to form a well educated opinion, and trying to weed through all the information, but it's getting a little overwhelming. :) But, I hear nothing but good things about the D90 etc. I want a camera that is fast, good AF, less noise at higher ISO, better LCD screen resolution etc. Maybe the K7 is it? But I am not so sure.
     
  4. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    If you're seriously planning to pursue a full or part-time career in photography, then I would give serious consideration to Nikon or Canon; your points about accessories are bang on. As far as the future of Pentax, I don't know about that, but I suspect they will have their niche market for a long time to come.

    For high ISO, you'll be hard-pressed to beat the D90/300 unless you're willing to spend $5000+ As an example, this is an image I shot in South Korea a couple of years ago with my D300 at 1000 ISO.

    I'd like to see an example of an image you feel isn't as sharp as it should be; (no offence intended) but in my experience, most of the time photographers complain of sharpness issues, they're the cause.
     
  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Camera rankings

    Take a look. Both Canon and Nikon cameras do very well,sensor wise. Nikon is actually reasonably similar to Pentax in fit and feel,and you should easily be able to adapt. Pentax focuses and changes f/stop the same way Nikon does as I recall. The D90 and D300 both have straightforward controls.

    I still think for primarily people work, that FF is handier and delivers better results using traditional focal lengths at normal,traditional indoor and outdoor distances than any crop-body system,making the original EOS 5D or the Nikon D700 two top choices for portraiture.
     
  6. bruceliv

    bruceliv TPF Noob!

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    I have a D300 and D700, and prefer the latter because, though both handle almost identically, I prefer brightness in the VF and the FX format. I've used Nikon for decades and continue to use them because of the glass I've accumulated. As long as you're switching systems, the D700 is wonderful. You can utilize very high ISO speeds without noise.

    Also, if you're on a budget, you can pick up a clean Nikkor 105mm f/2.5 AIS on eBay for $125 or so. This lens is a wonderful, tack sharp piece of glass. For more $$, you can get the 85mm f/1.4. If I were doing any studio work and needed some working distance, I'd purchase the 85mm f/2.8 PC-E so I could correct distortion with tilt & shift.
     
  7. robdavis305

    robdavis305 TPF Noob!

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    Im with Bruce. Ive been shooting a Nikon D90 for about 6 months now and love it. Down side is my cousin just got a Nikon D3x and I dont like my D90 now. Ive had Nikons all my life and have never had any trouble so I dont think you would be dissappointed. The kit lens in an 18mm-105mm and really puts out some good pics and the range is really versatile and as far as portraits go, I use a Nikon 50mm 1.4g.
     
  8. bp4life71

    bp4life71 TPF Noob!

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    Rob....post some pics of the Florida Gators! I'd like to see some. I'm going to the Jaguars/Titans game today, i'll take some pictures.
     
  9. DennyCrane

    DennyCrane No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    My LAST consideration would be any fears over learning a new system. My FIRST consideration would be whether the camera, regardless of what name is printed on the body, has the features I want and takes great pictures. Don't be afraid to "jump ship" to a new brand.

    Brand loyalty simply makes no sense, unless you have a collection of brand-specific lenses you don't wish to repurchase.
     
  10. sunbeam

    sunbeam TPF Noob!

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    Wow. I'm getting some great advice here, giving me alot to think about! So, if I do switch to nikon (which is what I'm leaning towards) could you all suggest a couple of lenses that would be best suited for portraiture? I see that with Nikon, there are at least 3 50mm lenses etc. Like I said, there is so little choice with Pentax, I'm not used to all the selection ;) Nor do I know which of the Nikon lenses is better quality etc. Thank you.
     
  11. GeneralBenson

    GeneralBenson TPF Noob!

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    You do realize that you're saying that you're not satisfied with the way you out dated entry level Pentax performs when compared to the new prosumer Nikon, right? It's like saying you're not happy with your d40, so you're switching to a 50d. Having used it, I can say that the k-7 is an amazing camera. Feel, function and image quality are all outstanding. It's so much smaller than a d300, has fantastic ergonomics, and the build quality makes the d90 feel like a cheap toy. You say you want to do portrait work, so really, you shouldn't be very concerned with AF speed of high ISO performance, since you'll mostly be working with reasonaly still subject andcontrolled lighting. You also complain of soft images, but most of your lenses are manual focus and kit lenses. From my experience, Pentax offers the sharpest 100% crop I've ever seen, and I've compared numerous Pentax body/lens combinations to lots and lots of combinations from other brands. So you either managed to get a bad copy of everything you have, or need to work on your technique a little. I've never used a K100 super, so I can't comment on that, but K10, K20 and k-7 all have great image quality. The DA* lens series and excellent, sharp compact; and the Limited series are what photogs dream of at night. What is it excatly that pentax doesn't have that you want? I've been shoting professionally with Pentax for 2 years, and have never been left hanging, unable to do something that the other brands can do. The DA* 50-135 f/2.8, FA 50 f/1.4 and Ltd 77 f/1.8 are all you need for portrait work and all all extremely excellent. You should also consider the new Pentax K-x. New entry level camera, that is very feature rich, for a great price.
     
  12. Dack46

    Dack46 TPF Noob!

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    Hi,

    I have the new Pentax K-7. I commenced the digital SLR age with an ist D, then a K10 and a couple of months ago I purchased a K-7 when first released in Australia.
    I have a DA* 16-50mm f2.8, a 60-250 DA* f4, a SMC D FA 2.8 1oomm Macro and my latest purchase yesterday was the SMC FA f1.8 77mm Limited.

    My son has the ist D and I have kept the K10 as a backup, although I haven't used it since purchasing the K-7. Generation Benson described it well.
    I have taken the best photos with this camera and I believe the reason why is the the camera is a great improvement and without saying the lenses are the best Pentax can offer.

    I didn't continue buying Pentax because I had the lenses. I bought the cameras as I was confident that they would deliver and they have. I am a member of a Camera Club and Nikon members are taking notice lately. Some Nikon owners who are also friends cannot be convinced that there is other cameras available. They are set in there ways. Continue to get feedback from others before "jumping ship"

    Cheers,

    Dack46
     

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