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12-17-2011, 01:40 PM   #1
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Questions from a potential K5 purchaser

Hi. I'm thinking about taking a leap and getting the K5, and I'm hoping some folks can help me with some questions to help me decide whether to do this. I'm a relative beginner photographer; I've taken photographs for a while, but recently have decided I would like to dive into this more and learn more/take more photographs as a way of expression and seeing the world through new eyes. Earlier this year, I bought a Canon T3i and now have some buyer's regret, seeing how amazing the Pentax K5 appears to be.

So my questions:

1. If I do decide to buy the K5, I don't feel in a huge rush and I'm wondering if I should wait for prices to come down, as they generally seem to with cameras. Or is the current $300 instant rebate through Jan. 31 really worth taking advantage of?

3. What would people recommend for a good quality walk-around lens with a medium zoom range that will allow the K5 to shine (and that I would probably buy instead of the kit lens), but that won't bankrupt a person? I guess I'm hoping to find a quality lens for no more than $500. Is that reasonable? I've looked at lens reviews and it gets a little overwhelming trying to decide.

Thanks in advance for sharing. I love this forum and its friendliness - another reason to get a Pentax!

Peace, Christopher

12-17-2011, 01:52 PM   #2
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The price of the K-5 is already down- you did miss the $999 black friday deal, but at $1089 on amazon and $1199 at B&H, you still can't complain. The original MSRP was $1549. Pentax is running the $300 rebate until the end of January, and I'm betting that shortly thereafter, the K-5 will be discontinued and prices will go back up to MSRP until it sells out.

Here's an excellent walkaround lens for just $414: the Tamron 17-50mm F2.8:
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD Aspherical [IF] AF016P-700 B&H

We compare it to the sigma 17-50mm and Pentax 16-50mm (2x the price, 1x the image quality) in this review:
DA* 16-50mm vs. Sigma and Tamron 17-50mm F2.8 Comparison - Introduction- PentaxForums.com - and yup, <$500 is certainly reasonable

If you want to focus on versatility rather than image quality, the 18-135mm is also a good choice. That's what I use when I don't want to bust out my primes (which is almost never, but it's still a handy lens).

Adam
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12-17-2011, 01:55 PM   #3
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I just upgraded to the K5 and did so on CyberMonday when it was$999 instead of its current price. I wouldnt expect it to go lower than that any time soon. I had a wide range on lenses but wanted a walk around with water resistant and so i got a 18-135mm as a Christmas present - they can be had new for $429.
12-17-2011, 02:20 PM   #4
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If you're relatively new, I think you will enjoy an expanded zoom range much more than somewhat improved IQ -- don't be fooled into thinking you've got to have primes to take decent pictures -- and that little bit extra will simply not be the difference between a good and bad shot at your level. You'll have much more fun being able to get all the different compositions from an expanded zoom. (Sharpness is very much over-rated for achieving anything other than sharpness, especially if your focus is on artistic expression. Many of the most iconic photos in history are downright blurry.) Anyway, you can get excellent results from any of the major-branded modern lenses -- the 18-250 had been my only lens for several years (since I started with the K10D) and I make pictures plenty good enough with it to make salable prints. The main problem with big zooms (that don't cost a fortune) is that they will be a bit slow so low lighting can be a problem, although less so than it used to be because the K-5 is a good performer at higher ISOs. (I've been using a K10D & K-7 up to now.) If you want the sharpest results, you'll want to stop down from the max open aperture and know the limitations of your lens at the extremes. For instance, the kit lens is visibly soft at 55mm and wide-open no matter how accurately you focus.

I would concentrate on learning the basics of digital post-production and as long as your shots are in-focus and the exposure is in the ballpark (and you're shooting RAW) then you can make great pictures with any of the lenses that are in your budget.

12-17-2011, 02:52 PM   #5
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The current rebate is a good one, and the base price is as low as its likely to go before they announce a new camera body, if the stability of the K-7 base price is any thing to go by

For a great walk around mid-range zoom, I'd recommend the Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4(.5) Macro (there's several for sale in the forums for under 300 for the non-HSM version, or just over for the HSM). This lens has excellent contrast & rich saturated color; 17-70 is a great walk-around range - as wide as you'll want for indoors or wide landscape shot, as fast as you'll want for dim lighting (at the wide end at least), as long as you'd want for lovely portraits (70mm at 4.0/4.5 is a great portrait length/depth), and a fantastic razor sharp macro setting. Pretty much all you could ask for in a walk-around

You won't regret the K-5 - great camera!
12-17-2011, 02:53 PM   #6
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I am planning to move some gear to make $room for a K-5 before the end of January. The current discounted price could be maintained after that, but going lower would be a long shot. Who can be sure, they may announce a lot of new gear in the spring and close out the K-5 - but if it really is the camera for you, waiting for such possibilities is not a great idea.
12-17-2011, 02:59 PM   #7
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Broadway in British Columbia is selling for $979 and Prodigital is selling for $999 .
NEW Pentax K-5 Digital SLR Camera Body Only 16MP 1080p | eBay
12-17-2011, 03:06 PM   #8
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I see you're in PDX as I am... weather sealing is a great feature to have on the K5 in our area, but it is good to have a lens that has WR as well. The kit lens is pretty decent as is the 18-135. I also have the 50-200 wr lens by pentax and it also is pretty decent. The nice thing the 18-55wr and the 50-200 wr is that they are relatively inexpensive and are relatively common to buy on this forum's marketplace where you can save a few bucks by buying used. But for indoor or low light shooting, I generally will use my Sigma 18-50 2.8 or Tamron 28-75 2.8 because they are sharper wide open than the kit lenses and have a faster aperture which will let me shoot with higher shutter speeds or lower ISO to reduce graininess. Of course I use prime lenses too to get an even lower aperture for indoor shooting, but zooms can give you a bit more flexibility until you know what focal lengths make sense for your style of shooting.

Really, the brilliant thing about all these lenses is that they will be stabilized since the Pentax bodies have the stabilization in the body.

I've been a very happy pentax shooter for several years and find that in our climate, weather sealing is a pretty big deal. Although I don't use the weather sealing all the time, I think it gives me the most flexibility for an all purpose lens. The zooms with a fixed f2.8 max aperture tend to be a little more specialized and more expensive. With the great high ISO capabilities of the K5, faster apertures aren't as important as they were, but I think it's nice to have if you can afford it.

12-17-2011, 05:35 PM   #9
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I would get it now...no use in depriving yourself any longer than necessary for a small savings later. The K5 is the kind of camera you always wished you had....and once you have it, you are glad you didn't wait any longer. Except for those that had problems ( my regrets) there are precious few that have "buyers remorse" with the K5.....even many with problems still admire the K5.

As for lenses, it would be hard to say without knowing your habits. If you are not just pixel-peeping particular, I have found my Tamron 18-250 to be very good when mounted on the K5. The Pentax model is the same very handy lens. It covers a lot of territory, and does a decent job of doing it. Remember....even slow lenses become fast when mounted on the K5...bumping the ISO is not a problem at all.

A couple I like from the Tamron 18-250...
[IMG] [/IMG]

[IMG] [/IMG]

[IMG] [/IMG]

Best Regards & Good Luck!
12-18-2011, 01:12 AM   #10
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If you have any doubts about the dynamic range of the K5 or the quality abtainable with the 18-135 check out the recent photos of Italy (& Paris!) on this thread; https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-k-5-forum/168656-some-k5-italy-shots.html
There is a bit of discussion about the relative value of the 18-135 but you can make that call yourself.
12-18-2011, 01:43 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mujibyepi Quote
Hi. I'm thinking about taking a leap and getting the K5
...Earlier this year, I bought a Canon T3i and now have some buyer's regret, seeing how amazing the Pentax K5 appears to be.
Christopher,

Let me be the dissenting voice of reason here. Buyer's remorse is a bad guiding principle as it will rob you of your money with little or nothing in return! As amazing as the K-5 really is, one has to keep in mind that you already have a pretty amazing camera in your hands. The danger is that people expect their images to suddenly improve when switching to a different camera.

In comparison to your Canon, the K-5 will enlarge the envelope of opportunity somewhat but it will not noticeably change the quality of the shots you are getting now!

Please remember that there's always a better camera out there, once you buy the K-5 someone else will top that etc. etc. The best advice I can give you, although I love my K-5 (and my K20D before it) is: stick with what you have, a pretty amazing piece of technology that is capable of delivering top-notch results under many circumstances. Enjoy your Canon because it is an absolutely amazing DSLR, amongst the best the market can offer in that pricerange today.

Switching now would be burning money and would turn out to be a disappointment as you are expecting too much of a difference. The truth is that all of these manufacturers whether Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax etc. make fine cameras that are tantalizingly close in terms of what they deliver. Differences are tiny and usually center around handling and/or form factor and/or better performance in some niche of the envelope.

That's my 0.02
12-18-2011, 09:32 AM   #12
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For me, one thing matters : Dynamic.
12-18-2011, 10:07 AM   #13
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I watched and waited and waited some more. The $999.00 deal got me to go.
After un-packing, charging batteries and mounting the grip on the new K5, I asked myself the question: "Why did you wait so long?" It's really nice. Lens recommendation: get a fixed focal length like the Sigma 30mm f 1.4. You will just smile when you see your images................
12-18-2011, 11:21 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by newmikey Quote
Christopher,

Let me be the dissenting voice of reason here. Buyer's remorse is a bad guiding principle as it will rob you of your money with little or nothing in return! As amazing as the K-5 really is, one has to keep in mind that you already have a pretty amazing camera in your hands. The danger is that people expect their images to suddenly improve when switching to a different camera.

In comparison to your Canon, the K-5 will enlarge the envelope of opportunity somewhat but it will not noticeably change the quality of the shots you are getting now!

Please remember that there's always a better camera out there, once you buy the K-5 someone else will top that etc. etc. The best advice I can give you, although I love my K-5 (and my K20D before it) is: stick with what you have, a pretty amazing piece of technology that is capable of delivering top-notch results under many circumstances. Enjoy your Canon because it is an absolutely amazing DSLR, amongst the best the market can offer in that pricerange today.

Switching now would be burning money and would turn out to be a disappointment as you are expecting too much of a difference. The truth is that all of these manufacturers whether Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax etc. make fine cameras that are tantalizingly close in terms of what they deliver. Differences are tiny and usually center around handling and/or form factor and/or better performance in some niche of the envelope.

That's my 0.02
Actually, I agree with this also -- guess I missed the part about you already having the Canon. Forget about buying anything else for now and go shoot with it -- your pictures will not be better if they are taken with a Pentax. Do NOT obsess over equipment -- it really doesn't matter much and at this point you have no idea what your own preferences are actually going to turn out to be. Nobody ever tried and failed (or tried and succeeded) to become a good (or simply satisfied) photographer because they bought a Canon instead of Pentax or vice-versa. I mentioned in another thread how I have a Pentax DSLR and Canon point-and-shoot. The Canon is nice but capabilities-wise (dynamic-range, etc) the Pentax is far superior (and costs hundreds more without a lens). But it just so happens that most of the pictures we (wife & I) sell in our internet shop were taken with the Canon cause that's the one that was in the right place at the right time. We even sell prints of one photo taken with our previous P&S -- a 5MP Canon A95 Powershot that is (gasp!) like 7 years old now. That thing doesn't even shoot RAW! (It is amazing what you can do in post.) .
5 megapixel original image and we'll blow it up to 24x30 if you want -- we ought to be arrested!

Gear is something to fetishize about, but in the end doesn't really matter much outside of specialized applications. Otherwise, I guess no one took any decent pictures in the last 150 years until the first camera arrived that got a DXOmark dynamic score of 82!
12-19-2011, 12:33 AM   #15
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Original Poster
I really appreciate all the thoughtful responses to my inquiry, and especially appreciate the thoughts from newmikey and vonBaloney cautioning against jumping into a new camera when I already have a pretty decent model (the Canon T3i). One complication that I did not originally mention (in the interest of keeping my original post simpler) was that my camera prior to the Canon was a Pentax K10D -- and I have three Pentax lenses (Pentax SMCP-FA 50mm f/1.4 Lens; Pentax DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED Lens; and the kit lens that came with the K10D). When I moved from the K10D to the Canon, I wanted a new camera with video, and at the time I was looking (early spring), the prices I was seeing for the Pentax K5 were over $1400, which I couldn't wrap my brain around.

So my buyer's remorse is fueled in part by having the Pentax lenses, as well as seeing how amazing the K5 seems to be - particularly the high ISO capabilities and the quality build/weather sealing (as vagrant10, a fellow Portlandian, points out - weather sealing is nice in the often soggy Pacific NW).

Thanks for giving me some thoughts to ponder in my decision-making. I'm in flux now, and will take some time to chew on it. I have a feeling that at some point, I'll return to the Pentax camp, especially since I have the lenses already. I might wait and see what comes out next. I know it comes down to a matter of choice and opinion, but I'd appreciate any additional shared thoughts in light of the considerations I've raised here if anyone is still following this post. Also I'm curious about thoughts about what might be coming down the pike; it's hard to imagine wanting more than the K5 offers! Thanks again for all the responses; I'm struck again by how friendly this forum is!

Peace, Christopher
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