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09-28-2011, 05:55 PM   #1
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Switching back to pentax - am I crazy?

Hey folks,
So I started digital photography with pentax DSLRs (k100 and k10, used to use minolta & switched to pentax when they got bought out by sony). I actually used to post here back in the day :-)

I loved everything about my pentax kit - the wonderful limited primes, the great body controls/UI, but eventually I got frustrated with the k10's low light autofocus performance and eventually sold everything & switched to canon (5ds) and then to Nikon (D700s - hated the canon UI). Now my D700s are great, but frankly too big, bulky and heavy for me to carry around for anything other than commercial/studio work. I've got Micro 4/3 for a "carryaround" kit, and it's pretty nice but it just isn't *quite* there in terms of the quality I am looking for (mainly dynamic range and high-iso performance). Also, I hate maintaining two separate systems, just to leave one at home all the time.

Anyway, from what I've seen the K5 has pretty amazing dynamic range and more-than-adequate high-iso performance for me, in a body about the same size as my old k100 if I read the stats correctly. I've been tossing the idea of ditching the Nikon & micro-4/3 kit and picking up a pair of K5 bodies with the DA LTD trio & 16-50+50-135 (and maybe a 31LTD too just because... well it's the 31ltd!). My rationale is that a K5 body with 21/40LTDs makes a nice compact walkaround kit for me, and I still have the flexibility of throwing the DA* zooms for commercial work when I need the flexibility.

So is this crazy? From what I've seen the IQ is more than adequate for me (I *really* like the DR of the K5), and I already know I love the bodies/lenses. The real sticking point I guess is the AF - it really comes down to how much better is the K5 than the K10.

FWIW, I don't care about continuous AF or tracking - I use back-button focus exclusively, centerpoint 90% of the time - prefocus & shoot. what I really need is *accuracy* (and reasonably fast) I found that the K10 would often misfocus in low light (ie focus confirm would indicate it was locked & in focus, but the actual shot was OOF). If the K5 has resolved this issue, I'm sold - I'm already drooling over the thought of using the LTDs again... but there's nowhere nearby that rents pentax gear, so I'm curious to hear from folks who have gone through the upgrade cycle to the K5.

Thoughts? I'd really love to 'come back to the fold' as it were :-)

09-28-2011, 06:05 PM   #2
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K5 is an excellent camera. The 16-50 and 50-135 are excellent lenses.
Liked the K10. The K7 was a waste. The K5 was well worth the upgrade even though the K7 was purchased only six months earlier.
09-28-2011, 06:08 PM   #3
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There are currently no better sensors than the K5's but its AF likely isn't up to Nikon standards.
With Pentax you get better IQ than m4/3, and SR and better vintage lens selection than Nikon.
It's possible that the Ricoh takeover will see significant upgrades for Pentax gear. Hopefully...

My recommendation: If you're in no hurry, wait a bit and see what's announced in near future.
09-28-2011, 06:43 PM   #4
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Nikon D700 to Pentax

I switched from Canon 5D MKII and L lenses for similar reasons, too big, too heavy, never wanted to lug it all around. Switched to K5 and 15mm, 31mm, 77mm Limited primes and the 50-135 f2.8. While the high ISO isn't as good with the K5, I miss nothing else. Sell your D700's now before Nikon announces a replacement or you'll lose too much money. I sold my Canon, used with 1.5 years of actuations for more than the current Canon discount price. JMHO

09-28-2011, 06:52 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by edzstudios Quote
DA LTD trio & 16-50+50-135 (and maybe a 31LTD too just because... well it's the 31ltd!).
There are 5 DA Limiteds - 15/21/35/40/70. Good luck! I'd substitute the 12-24 for the 16-50. But if you are the "well, it's the 31" type, you should get the "well it's the 77" too :-)
09-28-2011, 07:10 PM   #6
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The K-5 has one of the best IQ ratings of all cameras in its class- so no, you're not crazy

If you want my honest opinion, the only thing it's lacking is a better AF system. Pentax needs to step it up a notch to match those of the competition.

Adam
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09-28-2011, 07:12 PM   #7
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do it
09-28-2011, 08:00 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by amoringello Quote
K5 is an excellent camera. The 16-50 and 50-135 are excellent lenses.
Liked the K10. The K7 was a waste. The K5 was well worth the upgrade even though the K7 was purchased only six months earlier.
I still use the K7 (and K5) and I don't think it was a "waste", for me anyway.

Back to the OP: excellent choice and I am sure you will enjoy working with this set up!

As for the upgrade path to the K5, I started with the K10D which my son still uses, and then to the K20D (which I still have but maybe will sell one day), the K7 for my low ISO shots, now the K5 for wildlife/birds.

Have a great time with this most excellent gear!

JP

09-28-2011, 08:16 PM   #9
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I sold my K7 to get the K5...........it's beautiful..........you won't be sorry....
09-28-2011, 08:32 PM   #10
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Thanks folks. I'm definitely sold on the Image quality of the K5 - I've downloaded raw samples, and it is at least as good as my D700, even better in some regards (dynamic range!).

My main concern is the AF *accuracy* vs the K10. I actually don't need a crazy-performance AF, like I said I am in back-button AF-S, single-point AF 99.9999% of the time. I cant even remember the last time I used AF-C or multi-point af. All I really care about is that when it achieves AF lock *that it actually is in focus* (something which the K10 was terrible at from my experience). Anyone have any thoughts in that regard (AF accuracy of K5 vs K10?)

Like RioRico says, I am tempted to just wait and see however as Franky points out once Nikon announces their next body the resale value on my D700s is going to plummet (which is exactly why I am thinking of doing this now - the overall system is the big switch - I can always just pick up the new pentax body when it comes out down the road, I just need to be sure that the K5 will meet professional needs for the time being)
09-28-2011, 09:04 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by edzstudios Quote
Thanks folks. I'm definitely sold on the Image quality of the K5 - I've downloaded raw samples, and it is at least as good as my D700, even better in some regards (dynamic range!).

My main concern is the AF *accuracy* vs the K10. I actually don't need a crazy-performance AF, like I said I am in back-button AF-S, single-point AF 99.9999% of the time. I cant even remember the last time I used AF-C or multi-point af. All I really care about is that when it achieves AF lock *that it actually is in focus* (something which the K10 was terrible at from my experience). Anyone have any thoughts in that regard (AF accuracy of K5 vs K10?)

Like RioRico says, I am tempted to just wait and see however as Franky points out once Nikon announces their next body the resale value on my D700s is going to plummet (which is exactly why I am thinking of doing this now - the overall system is the big switch - I can always just pick up the new pentax body when it comes out down the road, I just need to be sure that the K5 will meet professional needs for the time being)
I used the K10 extensively (I had 2) and then the K20 (I had 2), and now I own the K7 and K5.

I never had much AF trouble with the K10 in terms of accuracy, it was just slow, and in low light would take forever or just quit.

The K20 was better in this regard, but still struggled in low light, but accuracy was good.

The K5 is much quicker in AF than the older bodies, and is much better in low light. As far as accuracy, it is very good after the firmware upgrade to correct some issues with AF in certain conditions.

The K10 isn't even in the same league as the K5 in terms of AF performance.

Honestly, until the K5 came along, I was planning a move to Nikon. Keep in mind that I have been with Pentax since 1978 and own a good collection of the best of the Pentax primes and both the DA* 16-50 and DA* 50-135 (a superb zoom, btw), but certain aspects of the k10/K20 performance were making me crazy, including AF issues, so I do understand your concerns based upon your K10 experience.

Ray
09-28-2011, 09:23 PM   #12
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Ray, good to see you are happy with your K5...I recall your rocky start, and I am glad to see you still with Pentax and satisfied. Makes me feel good to see it here.
Regards!
Rupert
09-28-2011, 09:56 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rupert Quote
Ray, good to see you are happy with your K5...I recall your rocky start, and I am glad to see you still with Pentax and satisfied. Makes me feel good to see it here.
Regards!
Rupert
Thanks!

Once the firmware upgrade solved the low light (tungsten, whatever) FF issue, the K5 takes care of most of the issues I had with the K10/K20.

I have always felt that the Pentax glass is as good or better than just about anything on the market.

I have always also felt that the Pentax IQ doesn't get enough respect and that the handling and ergonomics are excellent.

However, if I had to make my living with a camera, Pentax still might not be my first choice.

Ray
09-28-2011, 10:21 PM   #14
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Just to set your mind at ease about the AF. I have the K10D and K5 now. Always frustrated with the AF of the K10D. I take school portraits which is a very controlled setting and I would have to check every shot on the K10D. With the K5 I didn't have to worry. It always locked on my subject and no retakes because of focus issues. Even with sports it is much more accurate. However, sometimes I still get the wrong part of the action in focus an what I was aiming at was out of focus. I do believe that for anything but fast action sports, the K5 will do as well as anything the other brands can do.
09-29-2011, 12:02 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by edzstudios Quote
Hey folks,
So I started digital photography with pentax DSLRs (k100 and k10, used to use minolta & switched to pentax when they got bought out by sony). I actually used to post here back in the day :-)

I loved everything about my pentax kit - the wonderful limited primes, the great body controls/UI, but eventually I got frustrated with the k10's low light autofocus performance and eventually sold everything & switched to canon (5ds) and then to Nikon (D700s - hated the canon UI). Now my D700s are great, but frankly too big, bulky and heavy for me to carry around for anything other than commercial/studio work. I've got Micro 4/3 for a "carryaround" kit, and it's pretty nice but it just isn't *quite* there in terms of the quality I am looking for (mainly dynamic range and high-iso performance). Also, I hate maintaining two separate systems, just to leave one at home all the time.

Anyway, from what I've seen the K5 has pretty amazing dynamic range and more-than-adequate high-iso performance for me, in a body about the same size as my old k100 if I read the stats correctly. I've been tossing the idea of ditching the Nikon & micro-4/3 kit and picking up a pair of K5 bodies with the DA LTD trio & 16-50+50-135 (and maybe a 31LTD too just because... well it's the 31ltd!). My rationale is that a K5 body with 21/40LTDs makes a nice compact walkaround kit for me, and I still have the flexibility of throwing the DA* zooms for commercial work when I need the flexibility.

So is this crazy? From what I've seen the IQ is more than adequate for me (I *really* like the DR of the K5), and I already know I love the bodies/lenses. The real sticking point I guess is the AF - it really comes down to how much better is the K5 than the K10.

FWIW, I don't care about continuous AF or tracking - I use back-button focus exclusively, centerpoint 90% of the time - prefocus & shoot. what I really need is *accuracy* (and reasonably fast) I found that the K10 would often misfocus in low light (ie focus confirm would indicate it was locked & in focus, but the actual shot was OOF). If the K5 has resolved this issue, I'm sold - I'm already drooling over the thought of using the LTDs again... but there's nowhere nearby that rents pentax gear, so I'm curious to hear from folks who have gone through the upgrade cycle to the K5.

Thoughts? I'd really love to 'come back to the fold' as it were :-)
You will be happy with the k-5's built and IQ. But coming from D700, autofocus is not as accurate (specially in low light).This mis-focus varies with the sample. For some it is more reliable than others.When it comes to focus, nothing can be as good as D700 (except the higher Nikons).

I would suggest that you buy the k-5. But hold on to the D700 until you are satisfied with k-5's focus accuracy in low light.

cheers,

Abhi
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