PENTAX - CHEAPER and LIGHTER as a camera system?

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Senior Member
Jul 11, 2006
A very interesting un-scientific analysis. Makes me glad I jumped ship and settled on Pentax and saved so much money. :bsmilie:

Text from the link:

Hi All:

Since decisions might be best made - based on a "system approach" rather than a single body or lens or feature....... I did the following...

A comparison of lens availability, cost and weight between Pentax, Sony, Oly and Nikon for an assortment of lenses that either were (1) premium quality; (2) generally preferred ranges; (3) and one that is often "desired w/passion, but typically unaffordable" (the 200mm f/2.8). In short - probably what I'd also love to own, but have never been able to justify in cost... (until possibly now w/Pentax). So here we go:

NOTE: Only Pentax and Nikon offered what I'd consider a comparable lense in each of the 6 categories. Both Oly and Sony were missing at least one and I had to substitute something "similar" in at least one other category just to get them to 5 of the 6 categories.
Lenses or equivalents (and notes):

* 17-50/55mm f/2.8 (constant aperture): Only Pentax and Nikon offer a constant 2.8 in this range. For this comparison, I had to use a Sony 24-70 and Oly 16-80 (which is not a constant 2.8)

* 50/70-135/200mm f/2.8 constant aperture: Used again premium versions from each OEM and VR where available from Nikon).
* 55/70-300mm (best version made by OEM; VR for Nikon)

* 200mm f/2 or 2.8 constant aperture: Sony does not offer a comparable lens at this juncture.

* 50mm f/1.4 (great for shallow DOF shots/portraits): Oly does not offer this lens at present.
* 50/60mm f/2.8 macro: All offer a similar lens either F2 or 2.8.

SUMMARY RESULTS (to me were amazing):

* COST: Pentax $3,344; Sony $5620 (missing 1 lens); Oly $6,120 (missing 1 lens); Nikon $7,979.

* WEIGHT: Pentax 3,007 grams; Sony 3,100 grams (missing 1 lens); Oly 4,695 grams (missing 1 lens); Nikon 6,579 grams

Lenses compared: (I'm sure will find this selection flawed on some level, but they seemed to be "of those available from all four OEM's" the best I could find):

* PENTAX 16-50 f/2.8; 50-135 f2.8; 55-300; 200mm 2.8; 50mm f/1.4; 50mm macro f/2.8

* SONY (no 17/16-50ish constant 2.8) so used the 24-70 f2.8; 70-200 f/2.8; 70-300 G; (no 200mm 2.8 or close made - no comparison); 50mm f1.4; 50mm macro f/2.8

* OLY 12-60mm 2.8-3.5 (no "constant 2.8" made); 35-100mm (equals same range); 70-300mm; 150mm f/2; no 50mm 1.4 made; 50mm macro f/2.

* NIKON 17-55 f/2.8; 70-200mm 2.8 VR; 70-300mm VR; 200 f/2 VR; 50mm f1.4; 60mm macro f/2.8.

I'd argue that in a "blind test" it would be difficult to tell the differences between the IQ of the lenses noted. One can argue that there are not "direct comparisons offered" which is true - positive and negative depending on what side of the fence you are on...

Also, I find it interesting (and this is "NOT" a shot at Oly, but) that while Oly advertises the 4/3 system as a smaller/lighter alternative, "it has not developed into this".. Oly's build is amazingly good (I own it), but lighter... depends on what you are comparing it to... and certainly not cheaper.
So where does this leave us:

Pentax (with it's recent lens releases and the K20D's IQ) offers a "lighter and cheaper" alternative to the a premium system.... by several thousand dollars and up to 1/2 the "grams" in weight.
Pretty cool I think....


Senior Member
Apr 12, 2005
That's good to hear...we Pentaxians have always known! :bsmilie:
But it would have been more complete if he had also included the C Empire's products too. Afterall, its the dark side that has the most range currently....
If they can meet that challenge, then its easier to recruit new Jedis to the rebellion.:)


Senior Member
May 5, 2006
Very interesting read, come to think of it, I have never thought that those lens DA*200mm is actually much cheaper than the counterparts... Thanks, creampuff!

Now, when are they going to release the DA*60-250mm!?!? I can't wait till SUMMER! Argh...


Aug 25, 2006
whatever it is, pentax is superior for landscapes, i think the color rendition is always more flattering than most.. :)

not that only one system can take landscapes well.. we must acknowledge that.

now if only they'd come up with full frame :D but actually not very important la.. i cannot imagine what i can do with 12mm in 35mm terms


Staff member
Aug 25, 2004
the pentax 200mm is a f/2.8. the nikon is a f/2. world of difference. doesn't even come close actually. ;)
In this regard, I agree. The Nikon 200/2 is a beast. And the 70300 Nikon lens is a 135mm FF one too.

Nevertheless, Pentax is still value for money, and the load to carry :bsmilie:


Senior Member
Dec 7, 2005
"River end"
A very interesting comparison. One reason i settled on Pentax which used to have the smallest DSLR.


Senior Member
Apr 12, 2005
A very interesting comparison. One reason i settled on Pentax which used to have the smallest DSLR. too. that's why I chose the istDL...
Up till now, only the Nxxxx D40 came close to that size and weight...
Grumbled a little when the K100D was heavier than I expected but of course, I get a better camera also..:).
I do think its pointless for only Pentaxians to know these advantages because we are aready with the rebellion. The local agent should try and disseminate such useful snippets in their advertising media. I mean the fact that the K10D has won so many awards is hardly mentioned at all..:think:..

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