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01-15-2013, 02:03 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by brntoki Quote
I do use a tripod sometimes, but I more often than not shoot in "bad" landscape light (by choice, not necessity). This is a big reason for needing better dynamic range. I often place open sun in the frame, and taming the exposure to compensate means bringing up the underexposed areas, which, with my GH1, can look really bad (but not always).

Anyway, your point is well taken, and a lighter tripod is something I've been considering.
Watch out that the lighter tripod is also a good tripod with the type of head you feel comfortable with. Three factors with tripods are light weight, affordable and strong, pick the two attributes you want , cannot have all three. Not having made the actual comparision however I would bet that a shot on a tripod with a K5 would enlarge better than a shot on a D600 without if equal quality lenses are used.

Though it is old by now and not FF I still use a Nikon D200 which was the smallest body that we used where I used to work. With a good fast lens the D200 gets heavy a lot faster than my wife's K10D. And if you are spending for a FF due to wanting to print large you will be picking good lenses. IMHO either direction would work for you, both FF and cropped are going to improve over time. Either system (D600 for example or K5II) will improve with a tripod. I usually do not take my own advise but I do use a tripod 100% of the time with my MF film system so maybe that is why

If you do go FF direction right off pick up a Nikon and a Canon and see what feels best to you.

01-15-2013, 09:14 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
just to point out, a 24 MP camera is not necessairly full frame,. the nikon 5200 is APS-C. so what do you want, resolution , mega pixels or full frame, as they do not appear to be the same thing.

a 24 MP aps-c sensor would likely be porrer high iso and noise and lower DR than the K5 for example.

most full frame cameras are considerably lower megapixles than this,.
Actually, I do understand this. I'm sorry I didn't write more clearly. I actually thought you didn't understand this. I do not want more pixels at all costs. In fact, part of the whole FF quest is to get more pixels, but with a reasonable pixel pitch so that the IQ isn't being stuffed up. 18~24 MP on APS-C is too much, as far as I'm concerned. That's why I wouldn't be MP envying anyone, in any way, who has an APS-C camera other than a K-5. Pentax has probably actually perfected the APS-C. It's a Sony sensor, but Pentax was smart enough to choose it instead of one crammed with more pixels.

Higher "res" comes at a cost. It only makes sense to a point, and then you have to increase sensor size.
01-15-2013, 09:23 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by bkpix Quote
The difference between image quality in full frame and crop cameras is subtle these days, at best. And, as previously pointed out, you need to use great technique (top lenses, solid tripod, correct aperture and exposure) to see it.

I print 20x30 regularly -- several prints a week. With careful shooting, the K-5IIs makes slightly, but noticeably, better images than my Canon 1Ds, which, in turn, was slightly better than the original K-5. That all makes sense. The 1Ds has a weak AA filter, which compensates for the fact it has lower sensor resolution than the old K-5. Take the AA filter off the K-5 and the higher sensor resolution shines.

My suggestion is to rent a K-5IIs and a sharp lens (like the 31 Ltd) and shoot with it for a week, and then rent the FF camera of your dreams with a top lens and do the same thing. (Or rent them together!)

A couple hundred dollars in rental fees could save you much more. Plus, think of the fun you'd have.
Thanks for your comments. I must say, I didn't realize that printing at native resolutions, the K-5 and D600 only have a 3 inch difference. I assumed it would be more. Will pixel pitch play a role in how well an image will up-res to acceptable printability? Seems it might. But, 20 by 30 with good lenses and technique is nothing to sneeze at, for sure. What are you doing with these prints? They can't all be for personal display. Who's buying them???

Camera and lens rental is an excellent idea, but I probably won't be able to. I'm living in Okinawa, and while I could rent a D600 probably (I'll check), the chances of getting my hands on a K-5 would be a hassle. Maybe I can, though. And, yes, it would be fun!
01-15-2013, 09:28 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
One small consideration. It depends on where you live and if you care or don't about equipment trade-ins at, say, a camera pro shop. I will give you an example. At the pro shop in my city, Pentax's presents has all but disappeared. I went to trade in some Pentax lenses for a Zeiss lens in another mount. One lens I was trading in was a Zeiss 85/1.4 in a Pentax mount. They were not interested in the lens much and told me if it was in a Canon or Nikon mount I would get more money for it.

There are some advantages to owning the more popular cameras such as Canon and Nikon when it comes to finding accessories in camera stores, lens rentals, etc. You need to decide if that is a benefit or not.
The things you mention here have been on my radar as well. It would be an advantage to own a D600, for example, and be able to rent a lens locally for a day or two. Pentax??? I'm almost positive this isn't going to be possible. And, I assume resale of Nikon gear would be better than with Pentax.

If PENTAX would just state their intentions concerning FF it would REALLY make things easier! Just do it, Pentax! LOL

01-15-2013, 09:47 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by redrockcoulee Quote
Watch out that the lighter tripod is also a good tripod with the type of head you feel comfortable with. Three factors with tripods are light weight, affordable and strong, pick the two attributes you want , cannot have all three. Not having made the actual comparision however I would bet that a shot on a tripod with a K5 would enlarge better than a shot on a D600 without if equal quality lenses are used.

Though it is old by now and not FF I still use a Nikon D200 which was the smallest body that we used where I used to work. With a good fast lens the D200 gets heavy a lot faster than my wife's K10D. And if you are spending for a FF due to wanting to print large you will be picking good lenses. IMHO either direction would work for you, both FF and cropped are going to improve over time. Either system (D600 for example or K5II) will improve with a tripod. I usually do not take my own advise but I do use a tripod 100% of the time with my MF film system so maybe that is why

If you do go FF direction right off pick up a Nikon and a Canon and see what feels best to you.
Thanks. A lot of good stuff in there.

Honestly, I don't think I've picked up a Nikon recently. But it's hard to imagine anything feeling worse in my hands than the Canons I've picked up. Just . . . it feels so bad I want to throw it against something, but don't feel like I can grip it well enough to make it worth my effort to do so
01-15-2013, 10:48 PM   #21
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It is not as complicated as you think.
If you have serious OCD, like me, then get the FF. That will save you from wanting a FF after you have bought into Pentax APSc.
After having owned a Nikon FF myself and now a K5 owner and lenses, a few facts you may need to consider -

1) FF is big, heavy and expensive. For me, the size and weight is the reason i ditch FF and come to Pentax. Nikon FF on the other hand is easy to resell on the market. If i need a FF myself now, i will get a Sony RX1 but that is just me.

2) Size of print you have mentioned is not really a big deal. I have huge prints from my Leica M8 (10Mpx) and K5 (16Mpx) on the wall. How many large prints can you make and store?

If you intend to print a photo of poster size (A0 or larger), i doubt you will ever do it yourself at home unless you are a pro. Otherwise, it is cheaper to print a poster (heavier and more durable than a photo print of that size) and easier to frame than a photo.

Looking through you post, i suspect you have serious OCD just like me. If that is the case, you should go FF.

All the best, whatever is your decision.
01-16-2013, 03:31 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bestzoom Quote
It is not as complicated as you think.
If you have serious OCD, like me, then get the FF. That will save you from wanting a FF after you have bought into Pentax APSc.
After having owned a Nikon FF myself and now a K5 owner and lenses, a few facts you may need to consider -

1) FF is big, heavy and expensive. For me, the size and weight is the reason i ditch FF and come to Pentax. Nikon FF on the other hand is easy to resell on the market. If i need a FF myself now, i will get a Sony RX1 but that is just me.

2) Size of print you have mentioned is not really a big deal. I have huge prints from my Leica M8 (10Mpx) and K5 (16Mpx) on the wall. How many large prints can you make and store?

If you intend to print a photo of poster size (A0 or larger), i doubt you will ever do it yourself at home unless you are a pro. Otherwise, it is cheaper to print a poster (heavier and more durable than a photo print of that size) and easier to frame than a photo.

Looking through you post, i suspect you have serious OCD just like me. If that is the case, you should go FF.

All the best, whatever is your decision.
I'm selling prints up to 19 inches from my current camera. I think I can print them up to 24 inches and probably be happy with the results. I print from 35mm and 6x9 MF as well. I haven't tried to reduce things to hard numbers, but I think I have a sense of how much resolution can do what. I'm currently working on displaying and trying to sell more of my work. Even though beyond 19 inches I don't suspect I will sell too many photographs, there is more to it. Displaying my work in a gallery at larger sizes makes an impression, and even if those prints don't sell, it leads to sales of smaller sized prints. Of course, those larger prints had better actually be good.

If just looking at the here and now, the K5 wins hands down. It's just great for what I do. The Nikon can be used to do the same work, however, and the lenses and kit additions are "forward proof", if you will. This is the real point where I struggle. The K5 is just so, so right for what I do, and meets my everyday needs now for less initial outlay, it is hard to pass up. But, for a little more, I can start confidently building a kit that won't hit a brick wall.

Hmm . . . Though it may not sound like it, I'm actually moving forward in my quest here, and with just a bit more research will probably reach a decision soon. I sincerely appreciate everyone's input.

Pentax! If you're listening! You'd better announce real soon if you're on the verge of putting out a FF!
01-16-2013, 03:42 AM   #23
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Oops! I guess I should mention that I handled a D7000 today, which, according to every review of the D600 I've come across, is identical to the 600. It was bulky and heavy and not very comfortable, honestly. It wasn't as bad as the Canons, but then, that would have been hard to accomplish. Unfortunately, they weren't that much better. My GH1 is much more comfortable, even though it really is a little small for my hand.

As expected, no K-5s were on display to play with. The K-30 certainly fit my hand and was way more comfortable, but it is also lighter and differs in form from the K-5s. There is no question the K-5 will handle better. I knew this going at it blindly, however.

01-16-2013, 05:02 AM   #24
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brntoki. Are you sure that you need more MP to print 20x30. I have printed up to 13x19 with no issue at all from my *istD. I don't see why with 16mp of the K5D over 6 of the *istD you can't scale up to 20 x 30. At this level it is much more about prop focus, stability of the camera, and lighting than about the camera itself
01-16-2013, 05:34 AM   #25
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You need to be clear on perceived needs vs real practical ones. (ie. MP and printing big)
Your location indicates Okinawa, so I'm not sure how many large A1,A0 prints you can put up and store.
I live in a space challenged city-state, no luxury to keep too many large prints.

On printing large, I've done A1 on my 14mp K7 w/o issues.
I print regularly A4 and A3 prints with the K5/K30.
Also, consider a pano stitch if you want much larger quality and size. (All the MP you'd need at no added cost)

I do have a range of cameras.
Personally, I keep going back to APS-C (K5/K30) for its good compromise of size, handling, O/P, smallish lenses.
YMMV of course
01-16-2013, 09:29 AM   #26
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Aaargh! With all the helpful input so far, how come no one knocked me upside the head and reminded me that I'll have to deal with .NEF files!

I totally forgot about that. Man! I really don't want to mess with that.

And why has my token expired??? Does that mean I can't have a camera now?
01-16-2013, 11:24 PM   #27
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NEF? PEF? Who cares. Lightroom will convert it to DNG anyway. (Assuming you use it of course).

At those print sizes, who will stand so close to the print that they'll notice the lack of resolution? Big prints are usually looked at from a distance, right? Focus and everything needs to be perfect too, preferably on a tripod. Then even an APS-C camera with 30 MP should do fine, given a good lens. Just increase the exposure time, and maybe do HDR if the DR isn't good enough.

When I shot interiors I usually do panoramas with exposure rows. In parts to get the very wide angle I need, in parts to get higher resolutions. Works great (especially with landscapes since you may not even need a panoramic head. Heck, you could buy a GigaPan EPIC Pro and shoot gigapixel images).
01-17-2013, 02:14 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by kadajawi Quote
NEF? PEF? Who cares. Lightroom will convert it to DNG anyway. (Assuming you use it of course).

At those print sizes, who will stand so close to the print that they'll notice the lack of resolution? Big prints are usually looked at from a distance, right? Focus and everything needs to be perfect too, preferably on a tripod. Then even an APS-C camera with 30 MP should do fine, given a good lens. Just increase the exposure time, and maybe do HDR if the DR isn't good enough.

When I shot interiors I usually do panoramas with exposure rows. In parts to get the very wide angle I need, in parts to get higher resolutions. Works great (especially with landscapes since you may not even need a panoramic head. Heck, you could buy a GigaPan EPIC Pro and shoot gigapixel images).
You reminded me of an interesting point. I will apparently need to accomplish an extra step to import my files from a D600, if that is the way I do go (and I very well may not). I use CS5, and Bridge will not work with D600 files. I will have to download to my PC by some other means, and then use the DNG converter to get them all into DNG format. I now do this in one go when importing my RW2 files. It's just much nicer to work with DNGs and not have to worry about sidecar files.

I'm now officially putting resolution concerns to the side. They are in practical terms irrelevant.
01-17-2013, 02:37 AM   #29
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As I just mentioned above, I've put all resolution concerns aside. It was never my main concern to begin with, and though I'm happy the subject got focused on it as it helped me to better quantify what the differences are, it just isn't going to be a deciding factor.

The issues are these:

  1. K-5 meets every current need better than the D600. I can produce the same level of work with both, but the K-5 outshines in handling/size/weight, etc.
  2. D600 opens a non-dead-end path in regards to lenses and future camera upgrades. I can keep my lens kit and just switch bodies and keep going. From K-5 to FF entails losing any DA lenses, whose value will have crashed.
  • I know I can build a kit with FF lenses as well, but honestly, I won't limit myself to that if I get a K-5; I'm just going to run with it and not think twice about getting a lens I otherwise want just because it doesn't cover FF.
Whatever I do finally decide, I'm just going to run with it and do what I like doing. That's why I'm "sweating it now". Once I decide, that's it; I'll hit the ground running.
01-17-2013, 07:13 AM   #30
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I think what I'd ask you is why not use a GigaPan setup + HDR? It comes with the required software, and it will give you files with which you can create house sized prints. At least if you are going for huge prints. Just doing panoramas the normal way will give good resolutions too, of course.

Not sure if DA lenses will be worthless (if yes, then I'll be one happy camper).

Besides, the DNG files the K-5 for example produces are quite big... recompressing them (lossless) in Lightroom will make them quite a bit smaller (let alone recompressing them lossy). I'd recommend Lightroom in any case, sometimes there are good offers. CS5 can do anything Lightroom can also do, but I find it a lot faster to use Lightroom.
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