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Old 01-01-2007, 02:13 PM
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IvarsU IvarsU is offline
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Default Big question – Nikon D80 or Pentax k10D?

Big question – Nikon D80 or Pentax k10D, choice what I have to made is not so easy, because it will be my first DSLR.

I need it for large range of use (for portraits on streets (also in bad light conditions), landscapes, tele and sport scenes, maybe).

For Nikon lens there are a lot of choices, depending from budget possibilities, but how is about Pentax lens?

Are Tamron and Sigma are making competitive lens for Pentax, too?

I will be glad for all answers from experienced TE members.
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Old 01-01-2007, 02:55 PM
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Default Re: Big question – Nikon D80 or Pentax k10D?

The K10D is without a doubt the better body. The SR is a huge plus too, as it costs hundreds of dollars per lens get VR in a Nikkor lens. The downside to Pentax is that lens availability is not as high, although it is getting better. My feeling is that you can get all the lenses you need from Pentax, but you might have to look a little more carefully. The big pluses to Pentax would be their wide to short telephoto lengths. The Pentax 50/1.4 is generally rated the best of the 50/1.4s, although Canon and Nikon also make very good 50/1.4s. Pentax makes a "Limited" 31mm f/1.8 which is pricey but as good as it gets. I will put it up against anything Canon and Nikon offer in the general focal range. The 77mm Limited is another that is amazing and again will comfortably take on Nikon's 85/1.4. Pentax has a 16-45 f/4 zoom that is a terrific value. I personally know someone who has both that and the very highly acclaimed Canon 17-40 f/4L and he says that the Pentax is better in all optical areas, although the Canon will do a 24x36mm sensor and it does focus much faster and feel better. Pentax also has a 35/2 which I own and really like. In the higher price ranges, Pentax will be releasing a 16-50f/2.8, 50-135f/2.8 and a 60-250f/4 in 2007 as well as some pretty promising primes.

Nikon does right now offer the 17-55f/2.8 with VR, which I think would be a great lens to count on for the majority of your shooting. It is pricey, but I think probably very good. Until Pentax releases the 16-50, that Nikkor looks awfully tempting. I think the 16-50 is supposed to be released in March, btw.

The third party manufacturers do tend to release Nikon versions before Pentax and sometimes they don't introduce certain lenses in a Pentax mount at all. This should change though, for two reasons. First, now that Pentax have ultrasonic motors in their lenses, it won't mean a third party has to put in a focus shaft into a Pentax mount. This should make it easier for Tamron, Sigma, etc as they do Canon and Nikon lenses with USM motors already. Also, as the K10D has really started to sell, there will simply be more buyers out there for the Pentax mount and therefore doing the mount becomes more attractive immediately.

Hope this helps; if you have any more questions, or want me to be more specific about anything, please let me know.
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Old 01-01-2007, 04:28 PM
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Default Re: Big question – Nikon D80 or Pentax k10D?

The Pentax certainly looks intriguing, and very good value, but being a Nikon man I don't think I'll get to use it.
If you decide to go the Nikon way, I would personally steer clear of the D80. It doesn't have the excellent colour matrix meter of the D200 and the higher spec cameras. Even the discontinued D70 had that meter. I've heard that the metering of the D80, D40 and D50 is nowhere near as reliable as those cameras with the colour matrix meter. One of the benefits of using Nikon cameras (film bodies and higher-end digital), is their excellent metering, which outperforms anything offered by the other manufacturers.
The D80 also lost the 1/500th second flash sync speed of the D70, which is very useful for fill-flash. The fact that it takes SD cards was the killer for me. Replacing my compactflash cards would raise the price of the D80 to above that of the D200. I'm happy with my D70 at the moment though, and see no need to upgrade. I think I'll wait for the D300!
My advice, if you go Nikon, would be to get a second-hand D70s, or if you can afford it, the D200. Both are better than the D80.
Hope this helps.

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Old 01-05-2007, 06:51 AM
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Furachan Furachan is offline
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Default Re: Big question – Nikon D80 or Pentax k10D?

My two cents, Ivars:
Forget that I am currently a Nikon user (D200). I would definitely go with the D80 over the Pentax. Here'S why:
1. Much faster AF (The PEntax has turned out to be a disappointment in that all-important department. I played with an early model at the Pentax showroom in Tokyo and was aghast at how sluggish and "jerky" the Pentax AF was. No excuse for that at all.
The Nikon in comparison is zippy and smooth...not to mention extremely versatile.
2. Metering - Nikon's matrix metering has reached genuine heigts of sophistication - it is in my humble view far superior to Canon's. Pentax doesn' quite reach those heights I don't think.
3. Jpegs out of the K10D lack sharpness and detail - you have to shoot RAW with that beast to get the most out of it. That is too bad (check out the K10D review at
4. Grip - Nikon builds VERY comfortable bodies that are easy to hold (the D80 is no exception). I found the K10D's grip a littole short - wouldn't want to hang on to a heavy lens with it.
Lenses wise, darren is right - Pentax is fine, even has these cute pancake lenses, some of which are better than others, but Nikon have a massive range and have been at this forever.
On paper the K10D beats the D80 like a red-headed stepchild. In teh field, it's a whole other story...
My 02 cents as I said,
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Old 01-13-2007, 02:58 PM
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rushfan2112 rushfan2112 is offline
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Default Re: Big question – Nikon D80 or Pentax k10D?

Ivars, product specifications are only useful if the product actually measures up in use. The best way to test any product is to actually "test" it and then decide for yourself. There are lots of examples that, according to their specification, should work fine. For example, the Scotland football team which is fine - on paper - but pretty useless on grass! Paul.
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Old 01-13-2007, 04:32 PM
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Furachan Furachan is offline
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Default Re: Big question – Nikon D80 or Pentax k10D?

Well said Paul. That's exactly what I meant, having layed with both cams. I had high hoes for the pentax, even queing up to have a go at it at the showroom in Tokyo - my mouth dropped when I actually handled the beast - in spite of the terific specs... Francis
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