Should I move to Nikon ?

I love my Pentax K5 and believe that for the price I paid for it I wouldn’t get a better quality camera. I love the good low-light performance, the handling, the extensive exposure modes, the inbuilt shake reduction, weather proofing and the overall feel of the camera. I’ve also invested a fair amount of money in lenses for this camera. But ….

I’m looking for a set of extension tubes so I can get some really close macro images of spiders, dragon flies etc, and it seems to be impossible to find any. I can get basic extension tubes but not tubes with the electronic contacts to keep the exposure system working. If I look for the same thing with Canon or Nikon I can easily find many different makes which cover a variety of price points. I could also find bellows and a very large variety of different USM focusing lenses etc.

Now I don’t like Canon (which is a purely personal thing – I’m sure they make great cameras) – I’ve always been attracted to Pentax and Nikon because they were the top makes when I was a teenager. I keep looking at the D7100 or the D600 and thinking – should I ?

Either of these cameras would involve a large investment in new lenses. The D7100 is a crop sensor camera, similar to the K5, the D600 is a full frame sensor which would mean buying lenses suitable for a full frame sensor. All this seems a lot of money to spend just to get access to extension tubes or bellows, but I wonder if it is time to move to a ‘bigger’ system than Pentax can now provide?

I know that my photography doesn’t warrant a camera of the class of a D600 yet, but the Nikon line does have a more advanced line so there is always something to move up to. It’s the sort of decision that you have to make at some point and the later you leave it the more expensive it becomes.

13 Replies to “Should I move to Nikon ?”

  1. 1. The rumour is there will be a D600s shortly, the D7100 is wonderful.
    2. I shoot macro with Nikon, but the Canon Macro Flash and the MPe-65 are tempting. Nikon has no auto bellows, Kenko makes auto extension tubes. The only Nikon bellows are second hand.
    3. The K5 has built in shake reduction and weather proofing!
    4. Have a look at the next D5000 camera that comes out the megapixels will huge, built in GPS, etc. VR is in the lenses hence more expensive but better tuned, and weather proofing is okay.
    5. For insects you will want Nikon’s 105mm, and I am not convinced its an improvement over its predecessor.
    In short a hard choice to make if you cannot keep the K-5 and build a separate custom macro set-up.


  2. First, I’ll say this… no first I’ll say this; buying new gear is such a tough decision!

    Now, I can’t imagine you moving away from your Pentax! You take absolutely beautiful images with it.
    It almost seems like a spiritual thing between you and that camera.
    I believe if I were you, that I would be looking for a camera to facilitate only the specific areas where the Pentax doesn’t shine.
    You obviously love shooting ultra wide angle landscape and macro. If you were going to get rid of the Pentax, I would recommend the full frame D600 for the ultra wide angle shots; however, your Pentax already performs well in this area, so why not keep the Pentax for your landscapes, and purchase the D7100 for the Macro shots?

    That being said, I love the D600 for all it is. I think that you simply cannot get more bang for your buck. The D600 would be my choice for a DSLR, if I had such a need or compulsion.

    1. Thanks for the reply. Actually I suspect that I would probably keep the pentax simply because the resale value is so low. When I bought the K5 I exchanged three other cameras, A Pentax Kr, a Pentax K200 and an Olympus EPL-1 and I got about £400 in exchange. I’ll always regret loosing those cameras !
      Oh and thank you so much for the very nice comments about my pictures !

  3. I used to be a Pentax user and so were some of my friends. The main reason why we eventually changed to Nikon/Canon is simply because it is much easier to assess more Lens, accessories, flash etc. The thing is there are lots of debates out there that Pentax is great and blah blah blah.
    Reality check 1: Pentax is stagnant! In fact, any company that is stagnant dies which is a ugly reality of life. (Eg Nokia who chooses not to acknowledge the power of smartphones)
    Reality check 2: Whenever you are out with your friends and they be like saying they got this equipment or something. I bet ya that you will be wondering…do they have it for Pentax?
    Reality check 3: The huge market of Nikon/Canon equipment in the market makes the prices of things more competitive. In fact, you are saving money when you switch to Nikon/Canon.
    Reality check 4: How often do you shoot your camera in bad weather condition? If the rain starts falling, what is the first thing you do – Keep the camera? Maybe some people do because it is their job nature or something so the WR becomes really important.
    Reality check 5: How much difference is the vibration reduction going to make for you to make a shot? 1%, 3% or perhaps 5%?

  4. Good luck choosing.Just do your homework first.If you are anything like me you’ll spend ages reading and investigating. I’d wait to see the D600s. Full frame is the way to go.Don’t just think about macro. The 105 makes a nice portrait lens too :0)

      1. I went full frame because it is what I understood. I didn’t have to think about crop ratio’s. Coming from the film world to digital was a lot easier that way.

  5. I have a full frame Nikon D600 and it takes very detailed photos but I also have a Olympus OMD E-M5 camera and that takes detailed photos also. IMO if you don’t need a full frame sensor for a specific reason go with the cropped sensor (Nikon calls it DX). If you are happy with the Pentax why not just invest in a macro lens. I would get a 90-100mm macro and that would give you an effective focal length of about 150mm with the cropped sensor. It would also double as a portrait lens. Good luck on your decision.

    1. Hi thanks for the comment. Actually I do have a Macro lens – a Tamron 90mm f/2.8 but that doesn’t get to the sort of very high magnification that I’m looking for.

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