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Old Oct 5, 2011, 8:01 PM   #11
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Les

In the past I have bought some pretty crappy lenses because they were cheap but I always had a couple of decent lenses which ended up being used all the time. I don't plan on wasting my money on the lower quality stuff anymore because I don't enjoy the results I get.

I had Harriet's old K10D which had focusing issues with some lenses, it gave really good results with my best lens however so I was happy (my son now has it and a set of manual focus lenses, his favourite is a Rikenon XR 135mm f2.8, a bokeh fanatic). I must say though, the K20D I am using now does get better results so I don't blame you for looking at a newer body. Unlike my old K1000, or your Leica, you cannot upgrade a digital body by buying better film, therein lies the one limiting factor of digital, you can't just drop in a new sensor and get better images. The K5 is a great camera (I got to try out Harriet's with some quality lenses and it is superb) so you may have to look hard at your current lens kit and determine if there is a vital hole in your current capabilities that an new lens would be needed to fill. If not, get the K5.

Currently I am using the FA 35mm f2.0 AL most of the time, occasionally using the DA 50-200mm WR and seldom using the DA 14mm f2.8 or the DA 18-55mm WR. I "see" best in that range. I would love a DA* 50-135mm f2.8 or a DA* 60-150mm f4 since these would give me the range I like but with low light and limited DOF capability the DA 50-200 cannot provide.

Sorry rambling again, and not exactly making a point either. Just doing some thinking through my fingertips.

Ira
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Current equipment
Pentax K5, K3:
FA 35mm f2, FA 50 f1.4, FA 28-70mm f4, FA 28-80mm f3.5-5.6, FA 80-320mm f4.5-5.6, F 50mm f1.7, Tamron SP 70-200mm f2.8 Di, DA 10-17 f3.5-4.5, DA 14 f2.8, DA 16-45mm f4, DA 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 WR, DA 50-200mm f4-5.6 WR, AF-540FGZ

Olympus E-P2, E-P5, OM-D E-M1: 9mm to 150mm lenses

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Old Oct 6, 2011, 9:34 PM   #12
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Les

In the past I have bought some pretty crappy lenses because they were cheap but I always had a couple of decent lenses which ended up being used all the time. I don't plan on wasting my money on the lower quality stuff anymore because I don't enjoy the results I get.

Exactly.

I learned my lesson back in the early '70's re; cheap lenses. I bought a 35mm wide angle and a 90-230mm zoom...because they were about 1/3rd cheaper than the equivalent Pentax lenses. They were so bad, I hardly used them and regretted the purchase. Since then, I've just purchased lenses made by the camera company that made the body.


I had Harriet's old K10D which had focusing issues with some lenses, it gave really good results with my best lens however so I was happy (my son now has it and a set of manual focus lenses, his favourite is a Rikenon XR 135mm f2.8, a bokeh fanatic). I must say though, the K20D I am using now does get better results so I don't blame you for looking at a newer body. Unlike my old K1000, or your Leica, you cannot upgrade a digital body by buying better film, therein lies the one limiting factor of digital, you can't just drop in a new sensor and get better images. The K5 is a great camera (I got to try out Harriet's with some quality lenses and it is superb) so you may have to look hard at your current lens kit and determine if there is a vital hole in your current capabilities that an new lens would be needed to fill. If not, get the K5.

My K10D I think was made near the end of production of that line and it's been very good and dead reliable...touch wood. It may have been that being a late edition all the bugs were worked out...just speculation as I don't know why it works well.

I am still happy with both it and the KM I bought new in 2009. But although I wouldn't mind a K5, I still have difficulty replacing my older bodies with a newer camera...when they still function well.

One thing I would like in my next DSLR is a monitor like I have with my Canon G12. This monitor is live view (like the K5)...but it swivels to just about any position I want. I find this is a wonderful feature that really enhances my photography. Different angles...low...high...sideways around a tree...you name it this flexible monitor can give you any angle you can imagine.

I have heard rumors that the K5 replacement may have a flexible live view monitor. If so....I would want to wait for this feature as I find it that useful and valuable.

Currently I am using the FA 35mm f2.0 AL most of the time, occasionally using the DA 50-200mm WR and seldom using the DA 14mm f2.8 or the DA 18-55mm WR. I "see" best in that range. I would love a DA* 50-135mm f2.8 or a DA* 60-150mm f4 since these would give me the range I like but with low light and limited DOF capability the DA 50-200 cannot provide.

Sorry rambling again, and not exactly making a point either. Just doing some thinking through my fingertips.

Ira
I find my favourite lenses are my 12-24mm F 4, 10-17mm Fisheye F 3.5 and 55-300mm...all Pentax. The reason for these preferences, is of course linked to the photography I like to do. I have a 50mm F 1.4 normal and 50 mm F 2.8 Macro....like them...but I need to use them more, particularly the 50 normal.

I like your combo of older Fuji and Nikkor 70-200 F 2.8. Lot's of low light potential with this unit.

I'm wondering, isn't the Fuji really a modified Nikon D100 ?

Les

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Old Oct 6, 2011, 11:57 PM   #13
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I like your combo of older Fuji and Nikkor 70-200 F 2.8. Lot's of low light potential with this unit.

I'm wondering, isn't the Fuji really a modified Nikon D100 ?

Les

Both the Fuji and the D100 were based on the n80/f80 film body. The Nikon was better integrated with a single lithium ion battery pack instead of the two battery systems used in the Fuji. Although the Sony sensor in the D100 (same as your KM) is excellent I think the Fuji may be a little better for portrait work. Wish mine was lower mileage, this one has well over 100,000 shutter actuations as a company school picture camera. I would love to find a better one.
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Ira
Riverview, NB, Canada
http://aicphotography.blogspot.com/
_______________________________
Current equipment
Pentax K5, K3:
FA 35mm f2, FA 50 f1.4, FA 28-70mm f4, FA 28-80mm f3.5-5.6, FA 80-320mm f4.5-5.6, F 50mm f1.7, Tamron SP 70-200mm f2.8 Di, DA 10-17 f3.5-4.5, DA 14 f2.8, DA 16-45mm f4, DA 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 WR, DA 50-200mm f4-5.6 WR, AF-540FGZ

Olympus E-P2, E-P5, OM-D E-M1: 9mm to 150mm lenses

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Old Nov 23, 2011, 3:18 PM   #14
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I'm not convinced the new Sony 24 mp sensor is going to have the same dynamic range and well controlled noise that the 16 mp sensor in the K5 has. At least, that's what the initial test results seem to indicate. I was actually shocked that the K5's sensor did so well - it had always seemed to me that the more mp there are, the less dynamic range and more noise a camera had. So I wouldn't wait for the next camera just because the sensor is bigger (the file size from the 16 mp sensor are huge, don't think I want to know what the 24 mp sensor has).

******************

Les says:

Thanks, Mtngal for the input. Your point about the new 24 mp cropped sensor is well taken. I spoke with a another photobug about this issue and he shared your opinion. As he said...that many MP's on a ASP-C sensor will probably suffer in dynamic range and noise compared to a similarly sized sensor that is say...12 to about 18 MP's.

It made me think of Canon's foray with their well regarded G series, a couple of years ago which they had 14 MP's in a small (smaller than a ASP-C) sensor and after a model or two of the higher MP level...went back to the 10 MP.

A case of trying to engineer too many MP's onto a sensor.

***************************

Mtngal says:

I never particularly liked the 10 mp sensor the K10 had - far preferred the 6 mp sensor in the K100 and earlier cameras. My K10 had a lot of banding at higher ISO or when I tried to push the exposure much.

So for those two reasons (the initial results from the Sony sensor haven't been as good as the K5's sensor and my experiences with an early K10) I'd be tempted more than usual by the K5 over the lenses. The quality I get with the K5 really is that much better, in my opinion, more so than from any of the upgraded cameras I've bought in the past (though the K20 over my K10 came close).


************************

Les says:

I haven't had any issues with banding on my K10D...it has been a great camera, except for lack of speed in AF and also...I think the metering has something to be desired. I find my cheaper, but newer Km (K2000) has much better metering than my K10D.

**************************

Mtngal says:



On the other hand, cameras come and go, while the lenses last forever. But the only lens that seems to be really calling your name is the Pentax 100 macro WR. You say you've thought about the DA*300 but want to see if they'll come out with a 400. The DA*300 is a brilliant lens, I love mine and would buy it again in a heart-beat, but it doesn't seem to be calling out to you very much. Both lenses are very popular and aren't going to go out of production anytime soon, so there's not any urgency to buy them right now, unless one of them is driving you nuts.

Perhaps the best thing to do is to wait a bit and see what happens with the K5 (is it going to be replaced in the near future or not?).

After having thought this through, I know what I would do/did. I had already started to hear the FA 31 call my name, but I bought the K5 first. Don't regret doing it that way at all. But its not for everyone.
********************

Les says:


I'm considering the K5 again for a number of reasons.

-Faster AF...for BIF
-Live View monitoring...I wish it had an articulated LV monitor like my G12....but I do like the LV option, especially for close Macro or close wide angle shots.
-The K10D's JPeg goes up to Jpeg 3...think it's 3800...something. I notice the K5 has a JPeg 4...which goes up to a 4900 something rating. I'm assuming the extra Jpeg level will make even better quality pictures than the K10D is capable. Although the K10D's picture quality has been great...even at the Level.

-Like the magnesium body of the K5, although the K10D is also built like a tank.
-Faster ISO...I've seen some other members available light pictures at high ISO and I've been very impressed. The high ISO capability of the K5...simply blows away the high ISO performance of my K10D.

I can't think of other improved capabilities of the K5 vs the K10D, but I'm sure there are some I'm missing.

I'm still thinking about how to 'rationalize' the purchase of a K5...when I have a well operating K10D and Km ? If I get the K5, I intend to keep the K10D and Km bodies.

***Sorry for the unconventional formating of this post. My computer mouse seems to not functioning well. Might need a new one.

Les

Last edited by lesmore49; Nov 23, 2011 at 3:24 PM.
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Old Nov 25, 2011, 3:15 AM   #15
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Hi Les,

Quote:
Originally Posted by lesmore49 View Post
********************
Les says:
I'm considering the K5 again for a number of reasons.

-Faster AF...for BIF
The AF-C is not only faster, but the quicker FPS means that the VF blackout is shorter between shots when in continuous shutter mode. This allows you to follow moving subjects a lot more easily as you actually can see it longer between shots. I have compared the K10, K20, K-7, and K-5 side by side for BIF (which I really don't do a lot of), and the K10 was mediocre, the K20 improved on it noticeably, the K-7 was another significant jump, and the K-5 improved on the K-7. There's quite a difference between the K10 and K-5 for this type of shooting.

Quote:
-Live View monitoring...I wish it had an articulated LV monitor like my G12....but I do like the LV option, especially for close Macro or close wide angle shots.
I'm not much of a fan of LV for DSLR shooting, but that's a matter of personal choice. I'm probably not the best one to comment on this aspect. . .

The K-5 does have a higher resolution LCD 921,000 dots as opposed to the 231,000 dots on the K10 and K2000, so this might make a difference for you. It certainly does for me, and I just use the LCD for chimping. . .

I find for macros, it's comparatively easy to focus using the bare LCD. With the K-5, the very high resolution LCD will help here, and it's viewable from a pretty wide range of angles, so the tilting panel may not be as important as you might think. I still prefer to focus with the optical VF though, and lately, I've been using AF-C with my macro lenses and the F 1.7x AFA anyway.

Quote:
-The K10D's JPeg goes up to Jpeg 3...think it's 3800...something. I notice the K5 has a JPeg 4...which goes up to a 4900 something rating. I'm assuming the extra Jpeg level will make even better quality pictures than the K10D is capable. Although the K10D's picture quality has been great...even at the Level.
The K10 gives the cleanest base ISO images of any Pentax DSLR IMO. Raise the ISO sensitivity, and the IQ falls apart rapidly. I rarely shot mine over ISO 320 as it would quickly start to destroy fine feather detail. The 14MP Samsung sensor in the K2-/K7 allowed me to use ISO 1000 at about the same level of noise, and the K-5 raises the bar to an amazing ISO 10,000 with whole lot less chroma noise, which means that colors are retained much more accurately overall at very high ISO.

On the subject of color, AWB, starting with the K-7, is much more accurate, IMO. There are a few occasional glitches, but it gets it right more often than not, and the ones where it misses, are usually easily correctable in post.

As far as the jpeg quality, I find there is no real difference between *** and **** compression ratios, except for the file size. There might be some slight differences in edge artifacts when they are exaggerated by extensive sharpening, but without any extensive PP, the files look to me to be pretty much the same. I shoot jpegs pretty much exclusively, and shoot at *** compression.

Quote:
-Like the magnesium body of the K5, although the K10D is also built like a tank.
It's really hard to fault any of the Pentax DSLRs for build quality, but the K-7/K-5 brings it up to another level.

Quote:
-Faster ISO...I've seen some other members available light pictures at high ISO and I've been very impressed. The high ISO capability of the K5...simply blows away the high ISO performance of my K10D.
This is the most obvious advantage of the K-5. Usable ISO 10K and 12,800 spoils ya. . .makes available light shooting almost too easy. Contrary to many, who are overly IQ conscious, and feel that the 16MP starts to out-resolve the consumer grade lenses, I've found that some of my consumer grade lenses have found new life on the K-5.

I already have a collection of fast premium lenses -- Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4.5, Tamron 28-75 f2.8, FA 50 f1.4, F50 f1.7 DA* 50-135 f2.8, D FA 100 f2.8 Macro, Tokina 80-200 f 2.8 AT-x AF Pro, Tamron SP 80-200 f2.8 Adaptall 2, Sigma 100-300 f4 (broken right now), Sigma 180 f3.5 Macro, Tamron SP 180 f2.5 Adaptall 2, A* 200 f2.8 FA* 300 f4.5, Sigma EX 300 f2.8, FA* 300 f2.8.

I find myself choosing the DA 18-250 f3.5-6.3 for a surprising number of situations where ultimate IQ is not the point, but convenience is everything -- like family occasions where you just want a record of the occasion. With ISO 10K available, the f6.3 at the long end is not really a problem indoors. I can set the Auto ISO at 80-10K, the aperture at wide open, and the Program Line at fast shutter priority, and just use the K-5 like a P&S both indoors and out. The shutter speed rarely goes under 1/125, flash is unnecessary, and I have everything from wide angle (27mm EQ) to ultra tele (375mm EQ) covered with one lens.

It's liberating not having to be the "photographer" sometimes. I shot my 2nd cousin's Eagle Scout induction ceremony as described with the 18-250, and when all 4 inductees compared all the photos taken by their respective families, they were all stunned by the "quality" of my snaps compared even with the shots taken with flash indoors.

Even for some birding, I find myself choosing my relatively newly acquired DA 55-300 over my faster and sharper FA* 300/4.5, just because I can. The K-5 has the most sensitive AF sensor yet in a Pentax DSLR, and will AF reasonably well even at a max aperture of f8 or a bit tighter (f 8.2 if I add a 1.4x TC to the 55-300 --f5.8x1.4=f8.12 or f8.2) on a brighter overcast day.

Another plus for the K-7/K-5 is the 100% VF. This is not really important to me, as I shoot with the intention to crop at least a little to get either 5x7 or 8x10 dimensions, but if you like to frame precisely, then this can make a significant difference in your shooting. I also find the VF focusing screen easier to see critical focus for me than any of the models previous to the K-7 (which is the same). The shutter/mirror actuation is also markedly quieter, with much reduced felt vibration. I've probably missed a few other features that might be helpful to your shooting, but I've not really shot the K10 for quite a while. . .

Normally, I'd say go for the glass, but the K-5 is such a departure, and the 4-6 stop ISO advantage over the K10 is such a huge leap that it's hard to ignore, especially when you add much improved handling and performance in so many areas. If you can, just try one, and I think you'll immediately feel what I'm talking about.

Scott
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Old Nov 25, 2011, 4:00 PM   #16
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Hi Les,



The AF-C is not only faster, but the quicker FPS means that the VF blackout is shorter between shots when in continuous shutter mode. This allows you to follow moving subjects a lot more easily as you actually can see it longer between shots. I have compared the K10, K20, K-7, and K-5 side by side for BIF (which I really don't do a lot of), and the K10 was mediocre, the K20 improved on it noticeably, the K-7 was another significant jump, and the K-5 improved on the K-7. There's quite a difference between the K10 and K-5 for this type of shooting.I do like to take pictures of BIF and I have found my K10D 'wanting' in AF-C in keeping up with fast moving objects.



I'm not much of a fan of LV for DSLR shooting, but that's a matter of personal choice. I'm probably not the best one to comment on this aspect. . .I have used the LV on my Canon G 12 quite a bit. Love the angles and perspectives that I can see, that I wouldn't of necessarily through the viewfinder. I tried the LV on a K5 in a camera store...it's good for me...but I wish the monitor was articulated.

The K-5 does have a higher resolution LCD 921,000 dots as opposed to the 231,000 dots on the K10 and K2000, so this might make a difference for you. It certainly does for me, and I just use the LCD for chimping. . .

I find for macros, it's comparatively easy to focus using the bare LCD. With the K-5, the very high resolution LCD will help here, and it's viewable from a pretty wide range of angles, so the tilting panel may not be as important as you might think. I still prefer to focus with the optical VF though, and lately, I've been using AF-C with my macro lenses and the F 1.7x AFA anyway.Thanks for mentioning Macro....I didn't think of it and after you mentioned it...I could see how valuable it could be using my 50 Macro on insects....car badging, etc...pix I concentrate on with Macro.



The K10 gives the cleanest base ISO images of any Pentax DSLR IMO. Raise the ISO sensitivity, and the IQ falls apart rapidly. I rarely shot mine over ISO 320 as it would quickly start to destroy fine feather detail. The 14MP Samsung sensor in the K2-/K7 allowed me to use ISO 1000 at about the same level of noise, and the K-5 raises the bar to an amazing ISO 10,000 with whole lot less chroma noise, which means that colors are retained much more accurately overall at very high ISO. That's important to me. As you say the K10D at say 100 ISO is remarkably clear, but I generally take pix of vintage cars in the evening (golden hour) and with quickly fading light , many times I've wished for high quality/higher ISO.

On the subject of color, AWB, starting with the K-7, is much more accurate, IMO. There are a few occasional glitches, but it gets it right more often than not, and the ones where it misses, are usually easily correctable in post. The K10D's WB has not been the greatest, IMO. I do seem to cope, but it's a lot of monitoring and adjusting.

As far as the jpeg quality, I find there is no real difference between *** and **** compression ratios, except for the file size. There might be some slight differences in edge artifacts when they are exaggerated by extensive sharpening, but without any extensive PP, the files look to me to be pretty much the same. I shoot jpegs pretty much exclusively, and shoot at *** compression.I've been happy with *** jpeg, was hoping there would be significant difference between *** and ****.



It's really hard to fault any of the Pentax DSLRs for build quality, but the K-7/K-5 brings it up to another level. The K5 seemed very solid when I handled it. If I do get one, I've been thinking of not getting the battery grip...just carrying an extra charged battery in my pocket.



This is the most obvious advantage of the K-5. Usable ISO 10K and 12,800 spoils ya. . .makes available light shooting almost too easy.There's another point. I'm a real fan of available light photography...since I bought an old Leica 11f Rangefinder back in the early 80's. finderContrary to many, who are overly IQ conscious, and feel that the 16MP starts to out-resolve the consumer grade lenses, I've found that some of my consumer grade lenses have found new life on the K-5. Good to know. I was wondering about that.

So far I'm very happy with my 55-300, 50 F 1.4 normal and 50 Macro F 2.8...but 'new life'...better resolution is very appealing.
My sharpest lens is my Pentax 12-24mm...I've been very pleased with the pix quality from this...also my 10-17 Fisheye...if I could also get a quality boost from these already fine lenses, I'd be very happy.

I already have a collection of fast premium lenses -- Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4.5, Tamron 28-75 f2.8, FA 50 f1.4, F50 f1.7 DA* 50-135 f2.8, D FA 100 f2.8 Macro, Tokina 80-200 f 2.8 AT-x AF Pro, Tamron SP 80-200 f2.8 Adaptall 2, Sigma 100-300 f4 (broken right now), Sigma 180 f3.5 Macro, Tamron SP 180 f2.5 Adaptall 2, A* 200 f2.8 FA* 300 f4.5, Sigma EX 300 f2.8, FA* 300 f2.8.

I find myself choosing the DA 18-250 f3.5-6.3 for a surprising number of situations where ultimate IQ is not the point, but convenience is everything -- like family occasions where you just want a record of the occasion. With ISO 10K available, the f6.3 at the long end is not really a problem indoors. I can set the Auto ISO at 80-10K, the aperture at wide open, and the Program Line at fast shutter priority, and just use the K-5 like a P&S both indoors and out. The shutter speed rarely goes under 1/125, flash is unnecessary, and I have everything from wide angle (27mm EQ) to ultra tele (375mm EQ) covered with one lens.

It's liberating not having to be the "photographer" sometimes. I shot my 2nd cousin's Eagle Scout induction ceremony as described with the 18-250, and when all 4 inductees compared all the photos taken by their respective families, they were all stunned by the "quality" of my snaps compared even with the shots taken with flash indoors.

Even for some birding, I find myself choosing my relatively newly acquired DA 55-300 over my faster and sharper FA* 300/4.5, just because I can. That's another quandary for me. I've been very happy with my 55-300...I've often wondered how much sharper the DA 300 would be ?The K-5 has the most sensitive AF sensor yet in a Pentax DSLR, and will AF reasonably well even at a max aperture of f8 or a bit tighter (f 8.2 if I add a 1.4x TC to the 55-300 --f5.8x1.4=f8.12 or f8.2) on a brighter overcast day.

Another plus for the K-7/K-5 is the 100% VF. This is not really important to me, as I shoot with the intention to crop at least a little to get either 5x7 or 8x10 dimensions, but if you like to frame precisely, then this can make a significant difference in your shooting.I do, in fact I have found over the past couple of years I'm doing more of this...precise framing. As much as I can I'm trying to reduce as much reliance on cropping that I can. I also find the VF focusing screen easier to see critical focus for me than any of the models previous to the K-7 (which is the same). The shutter/mirror actuation is also markedly quieter, with much reduced felt vibration. I've probably missed a few other features that might be helpful to your shooting, but I've not really shot the K10 for quite a while. . .

Normally, I'd say go for the glass, but the K-5 is such a departure, and the 4-6 stop ISO advantage over the K10 is such a huge leap that it's hard to ignore, especially when you add much improved handling and performance in so many areas. If you can, just try one, and I think you'll immediately feel what I'm talking about.

Scott
Scott,

Thank you for such a detailed, thorough response. It has been very helpful in my decision making process.

Thanks, Les
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