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12-30-2011, 09:59 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
Hi all,

These days I'm shooting with gripped K-7 and DA*55, FA*24 and FA*28-70. I started to use my AF500FTZ quite a lot too (bounced) to get the shots I wanted these days as the good light in winter UK is sparse..

Anyway, I want to upgrade the body. Main needs:
-noise control with higher ISO
-AF speed and accuracy in general

So, with my existing equipment, one would naturaly think og going for K-5 right? Much better higher ISO results, faster AF, bigger dynamic range..etc but! I read quite a bit about AF issues, especially in lower light. And that is a concern, especially when price of Pentax bodies is going off the cliff when compared to CaNikon. Besides, I'd most probably still have to sell a lens (FA*28-70 is top spot candidate) help financing it.

This got me thinking. If my kit would only be 24/2 + 55/1.4, then I could easily just sell it all and get similar CaNikon kit using Sigma 24/1.8 as a substitute for the uber expensive 24/1.4s or cheap 24/2.8s...

So how does K-5 compare to Canon 7D and Nikon D300s or 7000 in low light situations in terms of AF speed and accuracy and Nosie control? From what I've seen so far it seems that higher ISO nosie is better than that of 7D and 300s and on par with 7000, but does the Pentax's Safox system implemented in K-5 hold it's own against the other systems AF? I had a chance of trying D7000 with 50/1.4G and while not really faster in moving the elements than K-7 + DA*55, the lack of stuttering and second guessing itself before locking on target was amazing. And the same goes for EOS60D + EF50/1.4 that I tried, but on top that combo was noticeable faster to AF compared to my existing Pentax setup.

So, would K-5 help me to sove my problems or......?

Any input appreciated.
Thanks Peter
I think sticking to Pentax is most straight forward. The K5 uses controls and parts (battery grip, batteries, screens) from the K7. Lenswise only Pentax offers decent fixed focal length lenses at medium aperture ratings. Canon and Nikon sell great large aperture primes, but (at the moment) not so decent f/2 lenses. That said I do not like the Sigma f/1.8 wide angles - brrrrrr. The K5 will solve your current K7 problems. I am not sure whether the K5 will be superior to Canon Nikon cameras. Typically the K5 is prasied for ISO performance in its class.
After all, Nikon and Canon, probably even Pentax, are due to present new cameras early 2012 after all the troubles in 2011. At the moment I would either go K5 or wait for new bodies and lenses - Canon and Nikon are due to replace the f/2 designs at the same time which may be tempting for you in the near future.

12-30-2011, 10:04 AM   #17
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And the replacement for K-5 , will cost $1500 US instead of $1000 , in pounds I dont know
12-30-2011, 10:17 AM   #18
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K5 is better than the K7. As to comparisons with Canon/Nikon, I think the differences are marginal in decent light. Biggest differences will be in poorer light. Tracking is not very good with K5 (although better than with previous models).

I really think the biggest thing with the K5 is the ability to maintain a decent shutter speed by pushing up iso without losing image quality like on the K7. Action shots just really require shutter speeds in the 1/100 second range minimum (preferrably fast than that). With the K7, I have trouble doing that and so I am much more likely to have subject blur.
12-30-2011, 10:54 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
Uh, sorry to be blunt, axl, but since you're looking for justification to your (quite apparent) decision to move to Nikon for better AF, here you go; Nikon has better AF than Pentax.

On the other hand, Simon's photos above show what a good photographer can do with a high quality camera, regardless of brand or technical differences.

Simon, that shot of your boy under the trees with the sunbeams is a smasher! (Even better that he's carrying your tripod for you?)
Oh really now...

The thing I'm looking for is opinion of people who have used both, Pentax and other system.
Only those people can give me honest opinion. Not those who stick to a chosen brand and bash everyone/everything that looks the other way, be it for better or worse.

Frankly I'm torn with Pentax. I love their lenses and that is why I haven't switched to other brands some time ago, but haven't been too lucky with the bodies. K100D was nice but painfully slow. Out of my 3 K10Ds, first developed fault on the sensor (line of stuck red pixels running through half of the frame) after some 30k exposures. 2nd became victim of deteriorating focus (some 35k exposures), where with all my lenses I had be readjusting in debug on monthly bases for more and more back focus (my 43ltd went from -60 to -210um within 4 months!!!) and I traded my K10GP when I begun to suspect the same issue as with my 2nd body (after some 25k exposures).
K-7 is fine body but I was never too happy with it. The AA filter is too strong and the loss of fine detail and fine sharpness compared to K10D is apparent and it's touch smaller than I'd like. On the plus side it improved on K10D in AF department and ISO too.

I'm not doubting Simon's skills as a photographer, and if by your highlighting "a good photographer" you are trying to imply I'm not in that group then so be it, you are entitled to your opinion. All the posted pictures are top notch, no doubt, but:
a) none is a scenario I'm really concerned about with exception of the swing shot which most probably wouldn't happen with K-7, and the tripod carrying boy, which would definitely fool K10D and K-7 would have issues with it too
b) Simon said it himself, he never used CaNikon, as such he can show me what is doable with K-5 he still can't answer the question whether other brand would make it easier or not...

Now I feel that I would like to get a new body as K-7 is being pushed, winter UK light is in galaxy far FAR away from Australian sunlit day, and being indoors doesn't help all that much. All shots Simon has posted are in daylight (with exception of one which is in shade) and shot from couple to few meters. F.e. shooting DA*55 at f1.4 at 4m gives you nearly a foot (29cm) of DOF! In the scenarios I'm concerned about, I'm in the room with my son, on the carpet maybe 1.5m away from him and DOF with the same lens and the same aperture is only 4cm, and that's quite a difference. And the AF accuracy/speed matters there because if he moves just an inch, it means he moved the point where I focused to near of far limit of DOF and therefore offset the focusing. Examples?
ISO1600 f1.4 1/40s

his ears are in focus but his eyes are not. His mouth (the point of focus) provides enough contrast or AF to lock on and keep the eyes within the DOF, yet the AF didn't manage

This leaves me in the position where I have to decide whether K-5 can solve the issues I have, or I should look elsewhere. I haven't decided on anything, despite looking into Nikon system before and hearing from people like deadwolfbones and dgaies who have both systems, makes me think the Nikon AF is indeed superior to Safox of Pentax, but what I'm trying to find out here is whether improvements incorporated in K-5 are good enough to solve my problems and saving me from having to switch....

12-30-2011, 10:57 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
K5 is better than the K7. As to comparisons with Canon/Nikon, I think the differences are marginal in decent light. Biggest differences will be in poorer light. Tracking is not very good with K5 (although better than with previous models).

I really think the biggest thing with the K5 is the ability to maintain a decent shutter speed by pushing up iso without losing image quality like on the K7. Action shots just really require shutter speeds in the 1/100 second range minimum (preferrably fast than that). With the K7, I have trouble doing that and so I am much more likely to have subject blur.
motion blur is an issue but that's the one I understand. But there is no good in having pin sharp the wrong part of body if the camera can't focus where I want it to, or can't lock focus at all because my son keeps fidgeting about....
And as you wrote yourself, in poorer light the difference are the biggest. And since most of my shooting these days is happening in "poorer" light I'm perhaps rightfully concerned..
12-30-2011, 11:04 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by bobmaxja Quote
And the replacement for K-5 , will cost $1500 US instead of $1000 , in pounds I dont know
good point, thanks for answering it for me...

K-5 at the moment is for 689 and there is 90 cash back offer plus I'd be part exchanging K-7 so I'd have to pay maybe 300-350 for new K-5 with warranty and all. Anything that will replace K-5 will not be selling for less than 1000 for a few months and would start around 400-1500!

the thing is, if I stay with Pentax I'd keep 2 or all three lenses, so the cash for new body is limited, but if switching, I earn enough money from sales of lenses to get more expensive body...
as example Canon and Nikon 50/1.4 are 250 cheaper new or used than DA*55 in the same condition!
12-30-2011, 11:10 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
And the AF accuracy/speed matters there because if he moves just an inch, it means he moved the point where I focused to near of far limit of DOF and therefore offset the focusing. Examples?
ISO1600 f1.4 1/40s

his ears are in focus but his eyes are not. His mouth (the point of focus) provides enough contrast or AF to lock on and keep the eyes within the DOF, yet the AF didn't manage
But at 1/40 you are not likely to get a sharp picture of a kid that close, no matter how you focus.
12-30-2011, 11:11 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by zapp Quote
I think sticking to Pentax is most straight forward. The K5 uses controls and parts (battery grip, batteries, screens) from the K7. Lenswise only Pentax offers decent fixed focal length lenses at medium aperture ratings. Canon and Nikon sell great large aperture primes, but (at the moment) not so decent f/2 lenses. That said I do not like the Sigma f/1.8 wide angles - brrrrrr. The K5 will solve your current K7 problems. I am not sure whether the K5 will be superior to Canon Nikon cameras. Typically the K5 is prasied for ISO performance in its class.
After all, Nikon and Canon, probably even Pentax, are due to present new cameras early 2012 after all the troubles in 2011. At the moment I would either go K5 or wait for new bodies and lenses - Canon and Nikon are due to replace the f/2 designs at the same time which may be tempting for you in the near future.
good points with reuse of the grip and such! on the other side I wouldn't probably need grip for D300 or 7D as they are touch taller...

And with the Sigmas, I'm not fan of them either, but it's lesser evil. I'd rather have Sigma than native 24/2.8. At 24mm on APSC f2.8 is nowhere near enough to what I'd want...

That argument on it's own probably makes it most obvious reason to stay with Pentax. There is only Sony with their Zeiss 24/2, but that retails for some 900 and CaNikons have onlyl f2.8 or 1.4. The slower I don't want retail for some 250 while the faster that I would love go for some 1000 (C) or 1200(N). So yes, keeping FA*24 and DA*55 would make a lot of sense and it would keep me with Pentax. I'm just afraid that I'd buy a new camera and find out that I'm still limited to more or less the same shooting scenarios as with my current set up...

12-30-2011, 11:23 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gimbal Quote
But at 1/40 you are not likely to get a sharp picture of a kid that close, no matter how you focus.
?!?

this one is with 100mm lens at f2.8 at around 80-90cm.
Handheld, ISO1000 1/15



77mm around 1m handheld
f1.8, ISO800 1/25



so 1/40 with 55mm shouldn't be so difficult, should it?
100% crop from K-7 + DA*55 @f1.4 maybe 60-70cm away
ISO1250 1/15



granted these are not kids, they are very slow shutter speeds. In the picture of my kid I posted, he wasn't moving, he was staring straight into the camera, yet the camera managed to miss the focus
12-30-2011, 11:58 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
granted these are not kids, they are very slow shutter speeds. In the picture of my kid I posted, he wasn't moving, he was staring straight into the camera, yet the camera managed to miss the focus
Right, anything can happen, but your are not LIKELY to get a sharp picture of a kid that close at that speed. Try it with higher speed and a lot more pictures will turn out sharp. As for he "wasn't moving", that has to be one special moment because in my experience, they all move, always.
12-30-2011, 12:02 PM   #26
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I can't give an opinion on other systems, but I can tell you that I've found the K-5 to be hit and miss on the types of shots you are looking to take, axl.

I have two kids under 3 and trying to take portraits of them is often frustrating. Sometimes the subject is uncooperative, and other times the AF seems to be the problem. I'll shoot center AF right on the face, and the shirt's neckline will end up pin sharp. Then under the same conditions, it will nail it on a different shot.

It's very similar to the issues that Christine detailed in this other thread. I may send the camera in for AF calibration as was suggested there.

The most annoying part is that it almost feels like it only has AF problems when taking pictures of children. Any tests I do with a static object or adult comes out perfectly.

I'll also add that in my experience Gimbal is correct. You can't expect to get a sharp image of a baby/toddler under 1/100 unless they are sleeping.
12-30-2011, 12:33 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by rjcassara Quote
I can't give an opinion on other systems, but I can tell you that I've found the K-5 to be hit and miss on the types of shots you are looking to take, axl.

I have two kids under 3 and trying to take portraits of them is often frustrating. Sometimes the subject is uncooperative, and other times the AF seems to be the problem. I'll shoot center AF right on the face, and the shirt's neckline will end up pin sharp. Then under the same conditions, it will nail it on a different shot.

It's very similar to the issues that Christine detailed in this other thread. I may send the camera in for AF calibration as was suggested there.

The most annoying part is that it almost feels like it only has AF problems when taking pictures of children. Any tests I do with a static object or adult comes out perfectly.

I'll also add that in my experience Gimbal is correct. You can't expect to get a sharp image of a baby/toddler under 1/100 unless they are sleeping.
OK, I concede on the shutter speed issue, that would be solved by K-5 as it would allow me to use higher ISO.
But even with good shutter speeds it's difficult, and as you say, the focus is hit and miss.

as example:


focus point would have been on his face, so the dark hat would provide enough contrast wherever the focus point would reach out of the face
yet, it's his right hand that's sharp, and that hand is another 5-10cm closer to me than his face.
Shot with bounced flash, at f1.6 1/180

I did go through that thread before, and what she describes is pretty much the same as with my K-7 and not too dissimilar to my K10Ds, they all suffered this sort of AF inconsistency...
12-30-2011, 01:33 PM   #28
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Hi Peter,

don't get me wrong, but this is getting little bit too technocratic and less about photography....I don't think there will be some perceivable differences between K-5, 7D, D300s or D7000 at all. All of them top dSLR's and with good glass on them and skillfull photographer each of them capable of good results IMHO. Sure you can switch, nothing wrong about that, but not guarantee it will be step forward. Expensive way to find out that not a single system is without flaws....but if you got to try you got to try.
Maybe you can consider Nikon D7000, same sensor as K-5, not so big body, and more advanced AF, and better flash sync, so I have heard. Sell your Pentax * and Limited lenses so you can assemble some funds to buy some great Nikkors, and then it is again up to your skills (and with Nikon you won't be allowed to blame AF performance )
Look, photographers of any brand will have to accept some limitations, it will be no different with Canon, Nikon, Pentax or Leica....you just need to get best out of your equipment.

here's another suggestion: Could you send your camera and lens to Pentax for AF adjustment? Anyway according to manual cameras should be checked and re-adjusted once in a time....

btw. that second photo is a very gentle and beautiful portrait of your wife - just don't make her angry waisting too much money on photography

Last edited by vrrattko; 12-30-2011 at 01:41 PM.
12-30-2011, 01:35 PM   #29
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Maybe a wider lens would help as well for shooting kids indoors. I find my 43 ltd is as long as I'd really want. I prefer my Adaptall 24mm f2.5, but then out of focus shots become my fault.. and it low light it can be tough.
Honestly if I was in your shoes I would hold off and wait to see what and when the next gen is going to be. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my K-5, but I haven't shot a K-7 enough to know how much difference the one generation of improvement made (other than the Sony sensor). At the very least a K-5 will be a little cheaper by then.

Last edited by Chex; 12-30-2011 at 01:56 PM.
12-30-2011, 02:04 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by vrrattko Quote
don't get me wrong, but this is getting little bit too technocratic and less about photography....I don't think there will be some perceivable differences between K-5, 7D, D300s or D7000 at all. All of them top dSLR's and with good glass on them and skillfull photographer each of them capable of good results IMHO. Sure you can switch, nothing wrong about that, but not guarantee it will be step forward. Expensive way to find out that not a single system is without flaws....but if you got to try you got to try.
Maybe you can consider Nikon D7000, same sensor as K-5, not so big body, and more advanced AF, and better flash sync, so I have heard. Sell your Pentax * and Limited lenses so you can assemble some funds to buy some great Nikkors, and then it is again up to your skills (and with Nikon you won't be allowed to blame AF performance )
Look, photographers of any brand will have to accept some limitations, it will be no different with Canon, Nikon, Pentax or Leica....you just need to get best out of your equipment.

here's another suggestion: Could you send your camera and lens to Pentax for AF adjustment? Anyway according to manual cameras should be checked and re-adjusted once in a time....

btw. that second photo is a very gentle and beautiful portrait of your wife - just don't make her angry waisting too much money on photography
I know what you mean, I just get frustrated when I spend 30mins trying to get 1 good sharp image...

QuoteOriginally posted by Chex Quote
Maybe a wider lens would help as well for shooting kids indoors. I find my 43 ltd is as long as I'd really want. I prefer my Adaptall 24mm f2.5, but then out of focus shots become my fault.. and it low light it can be tough.
Honestly if I was in your shoes I would hold off and wait to see what and when the next gen is going to be. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my K-5, but I haven't shot a K-7 enough to know how much difference the one generation of improvement made (other than the Sony sensor). At the very least a K-5 will be a little cheaper by then.
I know wider lenses make things easier. I use my 24/2 quite often. I love 43 but my budget is not allowing me to keep it. I have just sold my 4th copy (all MIJ, one black, 3 silver, 2 of them from the first batch with leaded glass ) I just find 55 better for subject isolation (if I nail the focus) and 28-70 (despite the huge size) much more effective as walk around lens. And since I don't have 400 odd to spare, the 43s I buy I sell few weeks later. It almost feels like I'm renting the
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