I decided to sell all of my Canon gear about a month ago. I found it hard to actually place the ad on Craig’s List to do so. I’ve had a long relationship with Canon. For years I bought into the Canon system because they were one of the Big 2. The thought process was that with so many pros using Canon or Nikon, I could not go wrong. Surely it was the best system to go with. In fact, I didn’t go wrong as the Canon gear really is good… but over time the Canon gear began to bore me to death and it’s bulk and weight took its toll. I reached a point where I was ready for a change.
After over 12 years of using Canon gear I sold it all yesterday. Why? Because it was big, weighed a ton and no longer excited me in any way. You know your gear weighs too much when you place your camera bag in the passenger seat of your car and the seat belt alarm will not shut off. Stupid car… it’s a camera, not a person.
I had over 35 emails from people wanting to buy the gear in less than 24 hours. Yes, the buyer got a hell of a deal because I just did not want to deal with selling the items piece by piece. I wanted it all gone and quickly, before I changed my mind. So, I priced it right knowing that it would sell fast. It’s all gone and I feel very good about it. I am at peace and will not look back.
Change is not easy. What system would I move to? What would it cost? Nikon? No, I’ve never really cared for Nikon and I won’t waste your time explaining why. Nikon was not an option, period, end of story. Sony? No, I don’t think so. Leica? Oh.. now I could really enjoy a Leica M9 and three or four of their luscious lenses…. but I don’t have money to burn and paying $7K for a body and another $7K for a couple of lenses would result in my wife either leaving me or killing me. Neither of those options are appealing.
Getting back to the road less travelled. I honestly had not thought of Pentax as a camera system to own since the 1970s. In browsing several photography forums I kept reading posts that mentioned the Pentax K5 and the Pentax Limited Lenses. I was intrigued. I began to research the camera and the lenses and what I found was an eye opener.
The Pentax Club is small by comparison to Canon and Nikon, possibly even Leica. On one photography forum Pentax does not even have its own forum.. you’ll find it listed under “Other Cameras”. I began to think that this is a club I might like to join.
The more I read about the Pentax K5 and the Pentax lenses the more I felt like this might be a great replacement for my Canon 5D II and L Glass. I know, some of you will think I am insane.. and that’s ok.. insanity can be fun sometimes. Several days before a trip to New Orleans for Mardi Gras I ordered the K5 and a couple of lenses from B&H. I just did not want to lug the Canon gear around New Orleans for five days. (You can see the Mardi Gras photos with the K5 here)
I have discovered that the Pentax lenses, especially the Limited Lenses, are quite amazing. Honestly, I am getting sharper images and more pleasing images from the K5 and the Pentax lenses than I did from my Canon system. Another thing.. the Pentax nails focus better than my Canon 5D II did. Am I just trying to convince myself I made the right choice? No, not at all. The Pentax is producing great images and those Limited Lenses are much like those coveted Leica M-Mount lenses or a lens from Zeiss at a fraction of the cost. The build of the camera and the lenses is great.
I now browse the Pentax Lens sections of online dealers like B&H looking for my next lens purchase. Many of the focal lengths are a bit quirky but so what? The images I have seen from these lenses are stunning with great detail and amazing colors. I am excited to be using primes again. They’re small, well made, deliver the goods and I can actually afford them.
I am quite happy to have chosen to take the road less travelled. I’m not going to look at a road map. I’m just going to see where this road takes me and enjoy the journey.
Robert Frost (1874–1963). Mountain Interval. 1920.
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.