The Pentax K-5 II and IIs, successors to the Pentax K-5 which Pentax announced just before Photokina, started shipping late last week. In an effort to discover just how worthwhile these cameras really are, we went ahead and started our review right away! Key specifications for these cameras include:
- 16.3 megapixels
- ISO 80-51,200 (expanded)
- 7FPS shutter
- Fully weather-sealed body
- In-camera stabilization
- (K-5 IIs) Filterless design for maximum resolution
Now, without further ado, we're happy to present you our Pentax K-5 II / IIs review.
More sample photos will be added to the review next week. If you have any requests, please post them in this thread!
We have received a Pentax K-5 IIs and is running it through its paces for our in-depth review which we expect to publish very soon.
It soon became evident from our test shots that the AA-filterless K-5 IIs produces better image quality than the K-5/K-5 II (according to Pentax the K-5 and the K-5 II produce identical image quality so we used our old and trusted K-5 for the comparison).
Below is a 100% crop of a Caterpillar, but first we show the overall scene:
The lens was an smc Pentax FA* 85mm F1.4, set at F5.6. Shutter speed 1/500s, no EV correction, and all image parameters were as per the camera defaults. The photos were taken right after each other.
100% crops from the center of the frame:
On October 25th, Pentax released firmware version 1.10 for the recently-discontinued Pentax Q.
This update makes the camera compatible with the latest 06 Telephoto Zoom and K to Q mount adapter and includes various stability improvements. According to user reports, this firmware update also adds focus peaking to the focusing menu. If this is true, then this firmware represents a bold move by Pentax Ricoh to make loyal Pentax users happy!
Click here to download the firmware, and read on for installation instructions.
The large annual photo industry event in New York City, PhotoPlus International Conference + Expo, arranged by PDN is coming up. The expo started today, Thursday, October 25th, and Pentax exhibits with a much bigger presence than in 2011. This year Pentax is in booth 744.
PhotoPlus is the largest photography-related event in North America, with an estimated 24,000 attendees! This event is not just an equipment expo, but also features more than 90 seminars and hands-on labs.
Pentax will present the new products that were also presented at Photokina in Germany in September:
- The K-5 II DSLR
- The much awaited AA-filterless K-5 IIs DSLR
- The Q10
- The new Q system 15-45mm F2.8 telephoto zoom lens
- The K-mount to Q-mount adapter
- The D FA 645 90mm F2.8 Macro
- The DA 18-270mm F3.5-6.3 super zoom in K-mount
- The DA 560mm super-telephoto lens in K-mount
Here is a photo of the Pentax booth, which looks just as impressive as it did at Photokina:
As of this moment, the Pentax K-5 II is now fully in stock at B&H Photo, the first retailer to receive a shipment of the new Pentax flagship. The filterless Pentax K-5 IIs has also arrived, and will be listed as in stock shortly (all pre-orders must be processed first; they will be shipping tomorrow).
To learn more about the Pentax K-5 II, take a look at our Pentax K-5 II/s Photokina Report.
We will be receiving an evaluation copy of the Pentax K-5 IIs this weekend, and expect to have a review posted early next week. Stay tuned!
Did you know that many modern Pentax lenses have been sold under the Samsung brand? We have now eneterd all Samsung and Schneider-Kreuznach K-mount lenses in our Third-party Pentax Lens Database. This database is not only for technical specifications, it is also is open for member lens reviews.
Samsung had a brief stint marketing K-mount DSLR cameras based on Pentax models. The last one was the GX-20 introduced in 2008, and shown in the illustration above. It was based on the Pentax K20D, which, as a part of this cooperation, had a Samsung-manufactured sensor.
Back to the lenses marketed by Samsung: they ended up having a total of eight rebadged Pentax lenses for their Pentax clone DSLRs. Initially the lenses were branded as Schneider-Kreuznach lenses under an agreement with that German lens manufacturer. These lenses would have the Schneider-Kreuznach name engraved around the front lens or at the lens barrel and be called D-Xenon (DA clone) or D-Xenogon (D FA/FA clone). The accessories (lens hood and lens cases), however, all had the Samsung name, and the Pentax-DA lens derivatives would also sport the Samsung name on the name plate on the left side near the lens mount. Somewhat of a branding mess.
Over time the Schneider-Kreuznach name got replaced with Samsung, and in some cases the D-Xenon/D-Xenogon label vanished, too, and was replaced with Samsung.
It has not been possible these many years later to find out with certainty which lenses were introduced initially under the Schneider-Kreuznach name and if they all made the transition to the Samsung name. We are also short on photos of the lenses; if you own any of these please forward photos to one of the administrators for inclusion in the database. Of particular interest are photos that show the engraved name on the front and near the lens mount.
Here is what we've learned after doing a little bit of research:
It has been about a month since the Photokina trade show ended, and over the course of the past several weeks, we posted articles about our findings in a special homepage category dedicated to the event. We didn't, however, post any concluding remarks, so we will now take the opportunity to do so. In addition, for those who will be visiting the PhotoPlus trade show in NYC this weekend, consider this a preview of what you'll be seeing there.
Just before Photokina, Pentax made 8 new product announcements in addition to announcing a new premium lens coating called Pentax HD coating. We summarize them by category below:
Pentax K-Mount DSLRs
The Pentax K-5 II is the successor to the original Pentax K-5, which was launched in October of 2012. Only two things are new in this camera: the autofocus system has been improved, and the LCD should now be easier to see while outdoors.
The Pentax K-5 IIs is an industry first for an APS-C camera: it's essentially the same as the K-5 II, but the anti-aliasing filter in front of the sensor has been removed, dramatically increasing resolution while risking the presence of moire in certain situations.
Pentax K-Mount Lenses
This superzoom is a welcome addition to the Pentax K-mount lens lineup, even though it's nothing more than a re-badged Tamron lens.
This weather-sealed professional telephoto lens looks quite impressive, but it's also very expensive.
Pentax Q Mirrorless System
The Q10 is an improved version of the now-discontinued Pentax Q. It features better image quality, faster autofocus, longer battery life, and new in-camera capabilities.
This lens is roughly equivalent to a 83-250mm DSLR lens, and makes the Pentax Q system much more versatile.
With this adapter, you'll be able to mount DSLR lenses on the Pentax Q, allowing you to take extreme macro or extreme telephoto images with ease.
Pentax 645 Medium Format System
Pentax's new medium format macro lens is bound to be extremely sharp. It also features built-in shake reduction, which Pentax wouldn't comment on at Photokina.
These products ended up being the focus at Photokina; nothing else new was announced during the event itself. So, what can we take away from all this?
Did you know that we're currently hosting a giveaway featuring the great Pentax K-30 as a grand prize? By entering, you'll also be eligible to win a Pentax Optio WG-2 or one of six premium forum accounts, but hurry, because the giveaway ends on November 14th! This giveaway celebrates the 2,000,000-post milestone on our forum, which we hit a couple of months ago.
Currently, only 26 contest submissions have been made by other members, meaning that you will have a very high chance of winning if you enter today.
In a nutshell, this is a blog post competition which will be judged by fellow forum readers. You can submit a post describing what piece of equipment has been the most influential on your photography, or a post describing the making of one of your favorite photographs. You can also choose to submit both to double your chances of winning!