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07-09-2014, 08:42 PM   #1

Opinions on K-5 bargains

Hi there,

Just wanted to get opinions from forum users on the incredible value-for-money represented by current 2nd-hand Pentax K-5s (not II or IIs) deals. I am based in China and am off today for a 3-day trip to a very famous an picturesque place in China close to tibet called the "Nine villages valley" a.k.a. as "Jiuzhaigou" in Chinese.

Ahead of this I went to one of the better places in Beijing to buy photographic equipment which is located close to Wukesong subway station (travellers beware: do NOT go to the infamous Zhongguancun electronic "El Dorado" in the north-east of Beijing, as you are more likely going to end up buying fake equipment at overcharged prices. Instead head to Wukesong subway station and look for a place going by the name of "she ying qi cai cheng" which is very close to Wukesong bridge - a.k.a. in Chinese as "Wukesong Qiao"). This is where professional Chinese buyers get their stuff if they are in the business of making their livelihoods as photographers.

In this place, there are also plenty of dealers trading 2nd-hand equipment, and so I stumbled upon an extremely well-conditioned Pentax K-5 body-only, which I managed to buy for 2,800RMB, about 450US dollars at current conversion. This came with the original box, charger, one extra battery chucked in, a nice satin bag to protect the camera, extra plastic protectors for the LCD and all other original equipment such as cables - i.e. the whole trimmings. With this forums shutter count finder I later figured out the camera had less than 5,000 clicks. I also updated the firmware to the latest 1.16 without problems. I will carry this + my old K100D with a Pentax 16-45 f4.0 and the cheap Tamron 70-300 on my trip to the "Nine villages valley".

Quick note on the side: Chinese consumers are completely brainwashed - and never critically question any of this - into believing that there exists only Canon and Nikon(in that particular order of relevance) for DSLRs, and that's that. Occasionally a Chinese consumer "accidentally" buys a Pentax and then later is being told by friends what a "big mistake" he allegedly has committed. Then he dumps the 2nd-hand body in the market at a distress price to buy a Canon instead, which is prominently advertised by the venerable kung-fu master Jacky Chan all over the place. Pentax' lack of desirability in the Asian region makes 2nd-hand deals for better informed consumers even more of a steal. To put this into perspective, in the market at Wukesong, out of more than 30 dealers crammed next to each other only ONE is a dedicated Pentax reseller!

With ever increasing speeds of product updates, often marginal improvements between models, and the questionable pursuit of pixelcount-worship, why bother spending the dough on a K-5II(s) or even the newer K-3 if "older" K-5s with features and IQ catering to the semi-professional can be had at such a massive bargain? And I am sure had I really tried harder I could have bargained the price down closer to $400 instead, if not less.

What's your view?

07-10-2014, 04:18 AM   #2
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Congratulations on the nice purchase! And thanks for the tips.
But I am surprised that Pentax is unpopular in Asia. I heard it is doing good in Japan. Its too bad if Pentax is ignoring China, though. Marketing is important, and Pentax is always doing poorly in that regard, even in Europe and North America.
07-10-2014, 04:31 AM   #3
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Congratulations! Sounds like a great deal to me.

You can usually save a lot by buying second hand, and even more staying one generation behind as well. The IQ of the K-5 is quite close to the K-3 and very close to the K-5iis, and image quality alone would not be reason enough for me to go from K-5 to K-3. There were other features on the K-3 that made me upgrade, but they certainly come at a premium!

As for popularity - my impression is that marketing is everything in China, more so than most other places. Makes it difficult if you're not big.
07-10-2014, 04:34 AM   #4
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Good Deal!

Hello emscheffel, welcome to the Forum!
That's certainly a great price for a clean condition, low-click-count K-5, good bargain!
It is a very capable and high-quality APS-C DSLR, possibly (considering the entire K-5 series) one of the very best Pentax SLR's, ever. Yes, the K-3 is even better, more features and MP, faster fps, two card slots, etc. I'll probably buy one eventually, but the K-5 serves all my needs right now.
Good luck!

07-10-2014, 05:14 AM   #5
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Welcome aboard!
I'm sure you'll put the K5 to good use, it's a workhorse of a camera.
07-13-2014, 08:08 AM - 1 Like   #6
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Thanks for all of the comments from you. Here are the results I obtained from putting to use my venerable K100D and my newly acquired 2nd-hand K-5. The pics from the K100D are straight from the in-camera JPEG engine with a bit of sharpening added afterwards, while the ones from the K-5 are post-processed to my personal taste(quite heavily, using imagick's convert command under Linux). I really think the K100D still kicks ass after so many years in service...

Enjoy and come to visit China some time!
07-14-2014, 06:31 AM   #7
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Very interesting terrain!
Thanks for sharing, you'll get a lot from the K5.
07-20-2014, 04:22 PM   #8
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That was a good deal you found there.
I tend to like the market at Wukesong and I have bought several new and used Pentax lenses there and they have all been good to me.
For used Pentax gear you just need patience and look around in every single store... I.e I found a Sigma 135-400mm lens for just 1700 RMB in good condition in the last store I was looking at.
And I also agree with you that we Pentaxians are a rare breed in Asia in general (except Japan)
If you speak mandarin I can also recommend to look for used pentax gear. As you pointed out. A lot of people will sell their Pentax gear way under (the used) market price and I have had two good deals which I found on that site.

Enjoy your camera and take a lot of picture with it. Wish I was back in Beijing as I miss my friends and the food

07-23-2014, 03:17 AM   #9
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Ironically, I'm off tomorrow to pick up a K5 body (Silver Edition). It has 16000 actuations, and I'm getting it for the very reasonable amount of €350 (276 STG, $470 US).. Happy me..!
07-23-2014, 05:21 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by FTOeire Quote
Ironically, I'm off tomorrow to pick up a K5 body (Silver Edition). It has 16000 actuations, and I'm getting it for the very reasonable amount of 350 (276 STG, $470 US).. Happy me..!
Sounds great for a used silver edition.
07-23-2014, 05:28 AM   #11

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It's vacation time, and also this year - like in the last 3 years - I see prices of won German eBay auctions have dropped a by a big percentage (except for the most wanted items). This is a very good time to bid (specially in auctions not ending on Sundays late afternoon or evening), but a bad time for selling. Mid/end of August it will be levelled again.

Last 2 weeks I saw K-5s going for about 250, and K-x/K-r for 150. Strange enough, K-30 prices have not changed much, they now often sell much higher than a K-5 (with comparable shutter activations).
07-23-2014, 07:15 AM   #12
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Interesting that Pentax is thought to be not popular in China. Several years ago I spent a month traveling the breadth of China and was amazed at the number of Chinese tourists carrying Pentaxes. China has some outstanding sights and I'd like to visit again.
07-24-2014, 08:13 AM   #13
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Just picked mine up, and I have to say, there's not a mark on it. I can't believe the condition its in. Well pleased, and the seller threw in a 1:7 50mm for free.
07-25-2014, 02:35 PM   #14
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I upgraded from a K-r to the K-5 and I could not be anymore pleased. I was lucky to grab one at a extremely cheap price, only reason I upgraded. Regardless of having a better sensor, the K-5 just feels so right as if someone designed it specifically for my hands. I'm sure many feel the same, it's a great workhorse. I hope you enjoy yours

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