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07-04-2011, 07:39 AM   #1
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why K5

Why did I buy the K5.
1) My Leica R system is dead. Adaptors are not a solution for electronic cameras and Leica is far from being ready for a live view M with R support - not to say, it will blow the budget.
2) The K5 is the only complete DSLR (focus adjust, anti shake, weather sealing, ...) with dimensions close to film cameras - I don't want to upgrade all my bags and I do not need a huge toy to show off. If I want to show off, I have a 60 megapixel option available. Weight is also an issue.
3) I love my MacBookpro and it comes with a SD card reader.
4) Pentax offers small and decent fixed focal length lenses. I had my Nikon/Canon shares. Only the very large 1:1.4 lenses are of decent quality, but they are large again - not overly expensive if you have ever bought a new Leica lens. I like the quality of Leica/Schneider/Rodenstock lenses as well as some older Pentax lenses that I have.

Conclusion: size and innovation brought me here (listen Leica & PENTAX)

Now I am building a Pentax system, starting with the K5 and the 31 mm lens. Next will probably be the 55 SDM and some other lenses. I am happy for suggestions, the 55 appears to have some QC problems, I just hope, I can a get a good copy.

07-04-2011, 08:44 AM   #2
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Welcome! Despite some of the "doom and gloom" postings here, it really is a great system. I came from Nikon (D300 & D7000) and was drawn by the excellent ergonomics, durable build, in-body SR, among other things. I'm sure you'll really enjoy it.

-Sean


QuoteOriginally posted by zapp Quote
Why did I buy the K5.
1) My Leica R system is dead. Adaptors are not a solution for electronic cameras and Leica is far from being ready for a live view M with R support - not to say, it will blow the budget.
2) The K5 is the only complete DSLR (focus adjust, anti shake, weather sealing, ...) with dimensions close to film cameras - I don't want to upgrade all my bags and I do not need a huge toy to show off. If I want to show off, I have a 60 megapixel option available. Weight is also an issue.
3) I love my MacBookpro and it comes with a SD card reader.
4) Pentax offers small and decent fixed focal length lenses. I had my Nikon/Canon shares. Only the very large 1:1.4 lenses are of decent quality, but they are large again - not overly expensive if you have ever bought a new Leica lens. I like the quality of Leica/Schneider/Rodenstock lenses as well as some older Pentax lenses that I have.

Conclusion: size and innovation brought me here (listen Leica & PENTAX)

Now I am building a Pentax system, starting with the K5 and the 31 mm lens. Next will probably be the 55 SDM and some other lenses. I am happy for suggestions, the 55 appears to have some QC problems, I just hope, I can a get a good copy.
07-04-2011, 09:02 AM   #3
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Welcome indeed. Hard to say what to buy unless your preferences in focal length and use are known. The 55mm looks attractive to me as well, and I sure hope Pentax is working on the QC but not much news on that front has been forthcoming. So long I'll be satisfied with the manual, earliest but excellent Takumar 1.4/50mm.
Beyond that, there is the current line-up of the DA 70 / FA 77 and one reads different things about each. There's no doubt both are high quality. If I had and used a 55mm on the other hand, I would prefer something longer, perhaps a legacy A 85mm (which has a high rep) or the FA one, more likely the D FA 100mm. With the 31mm and 55mm, these would be FF to boot, if Ricoh decides to boost the reputation of Pentax by such an offering. The 70 would not. But the 70 is incredibly small and probably great fun to use and carry along.
On the shorter side, there's a gap between 21 and 31mm.
07-04-2011, 09:10 AM   #4
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The K5 is a great camera for the reasons you stated....Plus about a hundred or so additional reasons that were not mentioned.

As for lenses, I would not limit myself to Pentax glass.....there is a lot of great glass out there in K mount that should not be forgotten. I bought the 58mm Nokton 1.4 over the 55mm Pentax...and I am delighted....saved some cash too, which never hurts when you have a lens addiction....

My most frequently used lens around home is the Bigma ......for shooting Squirrels and Birds. I could not live without it! Shoot with whatever works best for you.....the K5 will handle the rest, with ease!

Bigma shooting....
[IMG] [/IMG]

Squirrels prefer the Bigma too...
[IMG] [/IMG]


Best Regards & Enjoy your new K5, it is a special camera, no doubt about it!

07-04-2011, 11:16 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Smolk Quote
On the shorter side, there's a gap between 21 and 31mm.
There's FA* 24 F2...
07-04-2011, 11:52 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hide Quote
There's FA* 24 F2
and plenty of MF and AF 28mm lenses available (albeit not in production by Pentax).

Welcome zapp, hope you find the forum useful to you.
07-04-2011, 03:58 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by zapp Quote
Conclusion: size and innovation brought me here (listen Leica & PENTAX)

Now I am building a Pentax system, starting with the K5 and the 31 mm lens. Next will probably be the 55 SDM and some other lenses. I am happy for suggestions, the 55 appears to have some QC problems, I just hope, I can a get a good copy.
Welcome! I dont think you could make a better start than with a K-5 and the 31mm limited.

One thing Pentax is not short of is quality compact primes between 15 & 100. My favourite kit is a 3 lens set consisting of the DA 15mm limited, the FA 31 limited and the FA 77mm limited. I have a few other great lenses but I keep coming back to these three for the combination of compactness, speed and image quality. Sure they're not cheap, but the quality is pretty mind blowing
07-04-2011, 04:40 PM   #8
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QuoteQuote:
There's FA* 24 F2...
Is that lens still in production, then?

07-04-2011, 05:11 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by zapp Quote
1) My Leica R system is dead. Adaptors are not a solution for electronic cameras and Leica is far from being ready for a live view M with R support - not to say, it will blow the budget.
Do you still have any Leica R lenses? You can mount them on a Pentax with an adapter. If you don't want them anymore, I'd be interested.

QuoteOriginally posted by zapp Quote
Now I am building a Pentax system, starting with the K5 and the 31 mm lens. Next will probably be the 55 SDM and some other lenses.
IMHO, the 31mm is an excellent choice but the 55mm does not live up to the quality of the FA Ltds.

Some might want to shoot me for saying this, but if you don't mind MF, I suggest you should get a K55/1.8 rather than a DA* 55/1.4. That would be my choice (regardless of price).

After the 31mm, I'd suggest the FA 77/1.8 Ltd and the FA 43/1.9 Ltd. These are lenses that have the quality and character that should satisfy someone coming from a Leica.

The newer, DA Ltds are competent but not quite as magical as the older FA Ltds.

Are you considering zooms at all? The Pentax DA* 50-135mm is very good optically. Unfortunately, it has a bad history of SDM failures. Some users seem to luck out though and don't have issues.
07-04-2011, 05:52 PM   #10
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DA 15 and 21
07-04-2011, 06:23 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Do you still have any Leica R lenses? You can mount them on a Pentax with an adapter. If you don't want them anymore, I'd be interested.


IMHO, the 31mm is an excellent choice but the 55mm does not live up to the quality of the FA Ltds.

Some might want to shoot me for saying this, but if you don't mind MF, I suggest you should get a K55/1.8 rather than a DA* 55/1.4. That would be my choice (regardless of price).

After the 31mm, I'd suggest the FA 77/1.8 Ltd and the FA 43/1.9 Ltd. These are lenses that have the quality and character that should satisfy someone coming from a Leica.

The newer, DA Ltds are competent but not quite as magical as the older FA Ltds.

Are you considering zooms at all? The Pentax DA* 50-135mm is very good optically. Unfortunately, it has a bad history of SDM failures. Some users seem to luck out though and don't have issues.
I would respectfully disagree with your assessment of the DA *55. It is an excellent lens. The only two drawbacks to it are (1) busy bokeh wide open (it is better than the K55 at f2) and (2) slow-ish auto focus (of course, the K55 doesn't have auto focus).

Coneflower with DA *55



100 percent crop:

07-05-2011, 12:46 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I would respectfully disagree with your assessment of the DA *55. It is an excellent lens.
It is no doubt a very good lens. Excellent sharpness pretty early on already. However, as much as I wanted to, I never got friends with its bokeh. Even stopped down it isn't really pleasing to my eyes.

I'd say the FA 50/1.4 has more FA Ltds genes than the DA* 55/1.4. At f/2.8 it shows a family resemblance, AFAIC.

I know the great Jun Hirakawa designed the DA* 55/1.4 but I don't think he was able (or allowed to) to repeat the magic of past master pieces.
07-05-2011, 01:38 AM   #13
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more why

... I definitley agree that there are many more basic reasons why the K5 is a convincing camera. Most features can be found in other cameras as well, I listed some of my killer features separating the K5 from other camras/systems. In the future I may also place a "nice-to-have" list for the K5.

Lens wise a standard lens (I have the 31) and a portrait lens are most important for me.
After the 31, 43, 77 line up, Pentax introduced the 15, 21, 35, 40, 70 line up. The choice for the best standard lens is the 31 - I think there is general agreement on that looking at performance.
Now the 55 mm lens is part of a new SDM line. 55 mm really is perfect for my style of portraits, so I will give it a try - Summilux 80 was great as well. 50 mm lenses lack the extra reach of the 55 mm lens. Decent bokeh should be accompanied with good definition in the focus plane. This is where the 55 appears to be ahead of the older designs. This would also be a good way to check out the Pentax SDM system - the AF of the 31 makes me think of the old 2.8/24 mm from Sigma 20 years ago. Voigtländer 58 would also be an option, at the moment I am more convinced by the discontinued V 2.5/125. Pentax has no primes to offer between 100 and 200 mm...

If you are interested in Leica glass, you will find mine on ebay.
07-05-2011, 06:10 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by zapp Quote
Lens wise a standard lens (I have the 31) and a portrait lens are most important for me.
If you want an ultimate portrait lens, get the FA 77/1.8 Ltd. I know that 55mm on APS-C is an attractive focal length for portraits but the DA 55/1.4 doesn't even come close to the FA 77/1.8 when it comes to making portraits sing.
07-05-2011, 06:38 AM   #15
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Welcome to the family. I also have DA*55mm and it is a wonderfull lens. FA77mm is very nice, but I dont have it. If you can get a FA*85mm/f1.4 you have also a very nice lens to go on.
Greetings Ron.
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