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02-05-2013, 10:55 AM   #1
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Upgrade to K-5ii or iis ? - answering the unanswerable

I am caught in the inevitable clutches of indecision regarding moving from my K-x to either the K-5ii or K-5iis. I have read most, if not all the reviews here and elsewhere, and followed the various threads regarding the AA filter and moire. In the end, I am still stuck with either "why not go for the K-5iis ?" vs. "do I really need the K-5iis ?".

I am an amateur who shoots for my own pleasure and development as a hobby, capturing mostly landscape and candid's -- but always dreaming of becoming expert in all subject matter I don't do a lot of prints, but am starting to create some photographic art for the home. I mostly work with decent zoom lenses out of convenience (laziness ?), but would eventually like to start working with some select primes (landscape, street, portrait, wildlife/sports).

Aside from some of the advocates for keeping the AA filter and using deconvolution capture sharpening, many of the reviews have suggested that the sharpness advantages of the K-5iis far outweigh potential for moire. Does this make the K-5ii essentially obsolete right out of the gate ? Or does this really only show in large prints ? Is there a good reason not to just get the K-5iis independent of the extra $150-$200 ?

I know this very question has come up before, but is there a collective wisdom at this point down the line regarding these two bodies for those upgrading from the K-x K-r tier or older bodies ?

02-05-2013, 11:17 AM   #2
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Pentax thought that the II would outsell the IIs - they were wrong apparently. The IIs is often out of stock, but I have never seen the II listed as out of stock. No AA filter is a big plus and the image sharpness on the photographs I have looked at is startling. I'm tempted myself but have a K-5. If I still had my K-x and no K-5 I would be buying a IIs. With the K-5 its harder to justify (along with my K-01 and Q purchases recently).
02-05-2013, 11:54 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Santoku Quote
I am caught in the inevitable clutches of indecision regarding moving from my K-x to either the K-5ii or K-5iis. I have read most, if not all the reviews here and elsewhere, and followed the various threads regarding the AA filter and moire. In the end, I am still stuck with either "why not go for the K-5iis ?" vs. "do I really need the K-5iis ?".

I am an amateur who shoots for my own pleasure and development as a hobby, capturing mostly landscape and candid's -- but always dreaming of becoming expert in all subject matter I don't do a lot of prints, but am starting to create some photographic art for the home. I mostly work with decent zoom lenses out of convenience (laziness ?), but would eventually like to start working with some select primes (landscape, street, portrait, wildlife/sports).

Aside from some of the advocates for keeping the AA filter and using deconvolution capture sharpening, many of the reviews have suggested that the sharpness advantages of the K-5iis far outweigh potential for moire. Does this make the K-5ii essentially obsolete right out of the gate ? Or does this really only show in large prints ? Is there a good reason not to just get the K-5iis independent of the extra $150-$200 ?

I know this very question has come up before, but is there a collective wisdom at this point down the line regarding these two bodies for those upgrading from the K-x K-r tier or older bodies ?
Having used the K-5, K-5 IIs, D800, D800e, and 645D, my personal preference is currently to avoid filterless cameras. Moire happens more often than you'd think, and honestly, sharpness hasn't been an issue in any web-sized photo or print that I've created. With a little bit of RAW sharpening the results from the regular K-5 or D800 come very close to those of their filterless counterparts, even at optimal apertures.

The reason that the K-5 II isn't doing that great is that the K-5 is available new for $500 less

Adam
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02-05-2013, 12:40 PM   #4
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I bought the IIs and it is awesome! I don't see any Moire patterns. I use it for real estate photography and it is sharp, focuses very good and the LCD screen is easier to view than my K-r. I would encouraget you to buy the IIs. I would buy the k-5 only because of the money savings, over the k-5 II. They are so similar that the money doesn't justify. Get the IIs if you are going to move up and want slightly more than the original K-5 has to offer. I attached some shots taken with my K-5 IIs just to show you some samples. Coming from a K-r, my new IIs is a nice step up and fun to use. The extra buttons and wheel are a big plus and help you move along much faster with better control. Also for my type of work, I really like using the level used through the LCD screen. Using a 10-24 MM Tamron lense for real estate, it is imperative that I have the camera level to avoid distortion.
PLus now there is a price drop on both cameras so that helps.

Photos: All have been edited and touched up. You bet, I don't send out pictures without editing. My wife looks great and she wont leave the house if she doesn't and neither do my photos. The color oak tree I did not edit to show you the camera. It was shot in raw and I did nothing to the photo but make it a JPEG. The other Oak tree shot I made it an HDR shot. It was a cloudy day near twilight so I had to go with what I had and the black and white worked best. The shot of my daughter on the couch: I used my 360 flash on a 43" umbrella. This was a quick shot to test my new umbrella. There was very little editing done on this shot.

Happy shooting!


Last edited by Racerdew; 01-04-2015 at 07:56 PM.
02-05-2013, 01:02 PM   #5
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K-5IIs Referral

Santoku... I'd recommend the K-5IIs. I just got back from Hawaii with my new K-5IIs / 18-135mm WR lens and, it was the first testing ground for my new setup. I, too, shoot most landscapes but, the weather just wasn't cooperating at home for me to give it a "trial by fire" prior to leaving. Granted, the new 18-135 isn't the best lens to couple with the K-5IIs but, it did well for what I wanted it to do. I haven't had time to dump my photos onto my computer for post-processing yet, I don't expect any moire issues - at least ones that would cause me to question my buying decision. I think we all want the sharpest images that we can get and, post-process sharpening can get us there... to a degree. For those of us who can't afford high-end glass, for the time being, the K-5IIs gets us closer. I may run into moire but, if it's isolated and found as a result of pixel peeping, I think I can reduce it in Lightroom 4.

As an aside and, this may be to my not owning high-end glass, I was dismayed in the past that my K20d stuff didn't come out as tack sharp as I thought it should - even with my Sigma 17-70mm f2.8/4. Whereas, I buy my son a Canon T3i with an 18-55mm "kit" lens and he's pumping out razor sharp photos. Frustrating? Yes. With the Pentax K-5IIs, I feel that Pentax is at least back in the game. Note: my frustration, I'm sure, is in part due to operator error. So, no offense to those who get excellent results with their older Pentax cameras. Note #2: these comments come from a long-time Pentax camera devotee (my first film camera was a Honeywell Pentax Spotmatic F).

Hope this helps a little, Santoku.
02-05-2013, 01:30 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
Pentax thought that the II would outsell the IIs - they were wrong apparently. The IIs is often out of stock, but I have never seen the II listed as out of stock. No AA filter is a big plus and the image sharpness on the photographs I have looked at is startling. I'm tempted myself but have a K-5. If I still had my K-x and no K-5 I would be buying a IIs. With the K-5 its harder to justify (along with my K-01 and Q purchases recently).
Ahh...cursed with too much good equipment Thank-you for your impressions and reasoning. Cheers !
02-05-2013, 01:35 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Having used the K-5, K-5 IIs, D800, D800e, and 645D, my personal preference is currently to avoid filterless cameras. Moire happens more often than you'd think, and honestly, sharpness hasn't been an issue in any web-sized photo or print that I've created. With a little bit of RAW sharpening the results from the regular K-5 or D800 come very close to those of their filterless counterparts, even at optimal apertures.

The reason that the K-5 II isn't doing that great is that the K-5 is available new for $500 less
Thank-you for the feedback Adam. My examination of the samples available have demonstrated to me that the differences occur at the pixel-peeping level, and while I can see some differences at that level still in properly sharpened K-5ii samples, I think it would be difficult the tell the two apart in a normal viewing environment; whether that be on a monitor or in print.

I figure the advantage of the K-5iis might be in work flow efficiency for a professional photographer, which I am not. Cheers !
02-05-2013, 01:45 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Racerdew Quote
I bought the IIs and it is awesome! I don't see any Moire patterns. I use it for real estate photography and it is sharp, focuses very good and the LCD screen is easier to view than my K-r. I would encouraget you to buy the IIs. I would buy the k-5 only because of the money savings, over the k-5 II. They are so similar that the money doesn't justify. Get the IIs if you are going to move up and want slightly more than the original K-5 has to offer. I attached some shots taken with my K-5 IIs just to show you some samples. Coming from a K-r, my new IIs is a nice step up and fun to use. The extra buttons and wheel are a big plus and help you move along much faster with better control. Also for my type of work, I really like using the level used through the LCD screen. Using a 10-24 MM Tamron lense for real estate, it is imperative that I have the camera level to avoid distortion.
PLus now there is a price drop on both cameras so that helps.

Photos: All have been edited and touched up. You bet, I don't send out pictures without editing. My wife looks great and she wont leave the house if she doesn't and neither do my photos. The color oak tree I did not edit to show you the camera. It was shot in raw and I did nothing to the photo but make it a JPEG. The other Oak tree shot I made it an HDR shot. It was a cloudy day near twilight so I had to go with what I had and the black and white worked best. The shot of my daughter on the couch: I used my 360 flash on a 43" umbrella. This was a quick shot to test my new umbrella. There was very little editing done on this shot.
Thank-you for the reply Some very nice pictures, with beautiful subject matter ! At this point I am not considering the original K-5, but only the ii or iis, and you are preaching to the converted when it comes to the ergonomics and features of the K-5 series. The K-x is a wonderful camera, and I did give the K-30 reasonable consideration, however the K-5 fits my hand to perfection and all of the controls fall exactly where they need to be. I find the K-x and K-30 require a little bit of contortion to get to buttons at times for my hands, albeit the body is more compact and lighter.

I am glad that you are enjoying the K-5iis. Do you normally shoot RAW or JPG ? and with the K-r, did you find yourself engaging in capture post-processing that you are not doing now with the iis ? Cheers !

02-05-2013, 02:00 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Santoku Quote
Ahh...cursed with too much good equipment Thank-you for your impressions and reasoning. Cheers !
Each camera has its use, I just have a hard time passing up a great deal. With the recent decreases in the K-01 and Q prices I have paid <$150 for the K-01 and a total of about $250 for the Q, 01, and 02 lenses with batteries. See my signature tag under my posts
02-05-2013, 02:03 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by SlamDesiAK Quote
Santoku... I'd recommend the K-5IIs. I just got back from Hawaii with my new K-5IIs / 18-135mm WR lens and, it was the first testing ground for my new setup. I, too, shoot most landscapes but, the weather just wasn't cooperating at home for me to give it a "trial by fire" prior to leaving. Granted, the new 18-135 isn't the best lens to couple with the K-5IIs but, it did well for what I wanted it to do. I haven't had time to dump my photos onto my computer for post-processing yet, I don't expect any moire issues - at least ones that would cause me to question my buying decision. I think we all want the sharpest images that we can get and, post-process sharpening can get us there... to a degree. For those of us who can't afford high-end glass, for the time being, the K-5IIs gets us closer. I may run into moire but, if it's isolated and found as a result of pixel peeping, I think I can reduce it in Lightroom 4.
I am not sure whether to congratulate you first on the K-5iis or the trip to Hawaii ?? Please let us know how the images turn out once you have a chance to download them and review. I have considered my shooting style and amateur status relative to finding moire in some photos, and what I can do with them with the excellent tools in Photoshop and/or Lightroom, etc.. This is part of my conundrum. My photography is not professional, so having a few shots that need a lot of pp for non-filtered colour issues is not a critical fail for me. On the other hand, my photography is likely not professional enough that what I gain in non-AA sharpness isn't being eaten up by other variables in terms of lens softness, aperture choice, vibration effects, etc..
02-05-2013, 02:04 PM   #11
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I went from a K-x to a K-5 and then added a K-5 IIs. The move to the K-5 was noticeable mostly in terms of features, ergonomics (including adding a battery grip) and some functionality. Not so much in IQ, however.

Adding the K-5 IIs, it's most noticeable in terms of IQ, AF performance, and SR improvements.


Going from the K-x to K-5 IIs will be a noticeable upgrade all around. If you don't have a second body you should keep your K-x - it's still one of the best values going. And if you have any remorse or don't appreciate the new camera, you can always revert back to it and return the K-5/IIs. Personally, other than my sports shooting (where I need optimal AF and the battery grip) if I had to use a K-x I'd still be happy - just as long as I could keep my good lenses!

If you do get a K-5 IIs, the gap in IQ between your better lenses and your lesser ones becomes even more noticeable. But it tends to get the best out of all of them, so that's a good thing.

Last edited by DSims; 02-05-2013 at 02:32 PM.
02-05-2013, 02:16 PM   #12
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I have both a K5 and a K5iis; I love them much, the K5iis gives sharper, crisper images BUT I use it with high end lenses FA*600, DA*300, FA31 limited and so on... and it is only visible at very high magnification levels. I'm not conviced that with an average zoom the extra bucks for the "s" version are justified.
I often shoot birds and moiré is not an issue.
Have a look here
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-k-5/206168-k-5-iis-dangerous-6.html#post2228853
Cheers
02-05-2013, 02:16 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
Each camera has its use, I just have a hard time passing up a great deal. With the recent decreases in the K-01 and Q prices I have paid <$150 for the K-01 and a total of about $250 for the Q, 01, and 02 lenses with batteries. See my signature tag under my posts
Lol....my father once pontificated to me "it's not about what you need, but what you want" I have many of the lenses I have now because I was busy creeping on used boards ("researching") and found reasonable to good deals that I convinced myself I could not pass up. It never ceases to amaze me, the mental trickery I can play on myself in the name of reducing the dissonance between my values of patience and moderation and my need for "stuff". That being said, I find there to be few more personally satisfying experiences than triggering the shutter on a fine camera, or strumming the strings through a toneful vintage amplifier.

This self-awareness though brings me back to the reality of my current level of skill and use. Will I put the filterless model to best use ? which really requires good quality glass and good technique, or does the extra clarity off the sensor benefit all photographers for 99% of the shots they will take ? Cheers !
02-05-2013, 02:21 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Santoku Quote
I am glad that you are enjoying the K-5iis. Do you normally shoot RAW or JPG ? and with the K-r, did you find yourself engaging in capture post-processing that you are not doing now with the iis ? Cheers !
I use both RAW and JPEG. I used to only use jpeg but I have learned to use RAW more and I can do more adjustments without distroying the photo like commonly happens with JPEG. I still use jjpeg if the pictures is easy or I know I am not going to need to do much to it. I am using my Pentax for real estate photography so I need to take good shots to show off an agents listing. RAW hellps cover an error better than jpeg. Plus RAW looks so big and sharp. I have learned that tif files print better than jpeg. I don't print, but the agencies I work for do and they prefer tif files. Yes I had to do more work to my K-r photos but it still takes really great shots and with the right lighting, it is as good as the k-5. Good and correct lighting is always the key to my work. Setting the white balance is also very important. I continue to learn about photography and my camera everytime I go out.
Go get your camera, it is a cool feeling with you are opening the box!
02-05-2013, 02:26 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
Going from the K-x to K-5 IIs will be a noticeable upgrade all around. If you don't have a second body you should keep your K-x - it's still one of the best values going. And if you have any remorse or don't appreciate the new camera, you can always revert back to it and return the K-5/IIs. Personally, other than my sports shooting (where I need optimal AF and the battery grip) if I had to use a K-x I'd still be happy - just as long as I could keep my good lenses!
My intent was to keep the K-x as my LBA-reasoning suggested it's compact profile would be great for trips with a trio of Limited primes The likely reality may be that I "trade" my wife the K-x for her K100D. Happy wife, happy life

How have you found using the grip ? That was something else I am considering as the Sigma EX 50-150 f/2.8 is a bit heavy on the front of the K-x, and I am looking to fill out my zoom stable with a Siggy EX 100-300 f/4 when I can negotiate the right price for one. Had a line on two in the past couple of months, but in the words of Maxwell Smart "Missed it by THAT much...".
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