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09-07-2019, 06:59 AM   #1
Rhod Hughes

Girlfriend's birthday and anniversary soon - need help before making a purchase!

Okay, so, my girlfriend's birthday is coming up in a few weeks, and our anniversary shortly after that. We've been together 4 years now and i want to get her something realllllly good.

Right now she has a Pentax K-R, with a 18-55mm lens and a 25-135mm lens which she uses most often, and like 7 other lenses she uses for event photography that i know nothing about, but they look cool. I'm no photog expert.

She's been eyeing the K1 for a bit, if i remember correctly. That being said, I want to get the k1 body for her.

I've done some research, and it appears the K-R is aging (she still loves it but has spoken about wanting to upgrade...). Is the K1 worth the price for the upgrade? I see it's a pretty penny, and i'm ready to spend that money if it's worth it. She does a lot of amateur photography, and does shoot weddings every now and then, usually as a second photographer/helper. She's not doing photography for work, but absolutely loves it, and does phenomenal work with what she has. Would the K1 be worth it in this instance? Or should i be looking at something more like a k70? The $1000 price difference is appealing, but which one would last her longer? I expect she will get at least 10 years out of the K1, is this accurate? If so, I'd be willing to drop money on this body if she will get YEARS out of it.

Also, are her lenses that she has for the k-r going to work with the k1? some of them appear to be "DA" lenses but not all of them, if i understand correctly the "DA" ones will have to be used in crop mode on the k1, is this worth it?

Thank you!

09-07-2019, 07:36 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by First Poster Quote
Right now she has a Pentax K-R, with a 18-55mm lens and a 25-135mm lens which she uses most often, and like 7 other lenses she uses for event photography that i know nothing about
The K1 would be a super camera to give as a present. I own one. But, without knowing exactly what lenses she has, it may not be the best choice. You do not want to buy her a present that she then needs to spend $'000 to get lenses that can be used with the FF sensor. Buying a k1 and using it in solely crop mode is not a good idea.

It will spoil the surprise but I would suggest you speak to her about it.
09-07-2019, 08:17 AM   #3
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My two cents...

I do not own a K-1, but do have few questions to help make wise purchase :
  • is your girlfriend can carry heavier camera, as K-1 is a little bit heavier than all? (not considering medium format)
  • what about a battery grip, with the camera you choose, as this may help on wedding events (but adding more weight)?
Also consider (overtime purchases), that full frame lenses are also heavier.

I too, would buy a K-1... if the budget was there.
Whatever you choose, that would be a GREAT gift!

I wish her a “Happy birthday!”
09-07-2019, 09:14 AM   #4
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Split the difference and get her a Kp. Is a beautiful designed camera with amazing image quality. Is also compact and much lighter than the K1.

She's going to love it.

09-07-2019, 10:10 AM   #5
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Get the K-1. It will be an unbelievable step up from the kr and she wont have to upgrade for a long while. Also if she's doing semi-professional to professional work having a full-frame camera will be an inevitable eventuality. Theres a page on the forums here that lists the da lenses that work on ff. You can pick up a used fa50 1.4 or a used tamron 28-75 2.8 for less than 200 and she'd be set.
09-07-2019, 10:25 AM   #6
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these charts might help the OP and others

Pentax Lens Compatibility Chart
Copyright 2006-2018 All rights reserved.
Pentax bayonet lenses labeled "SMC Pentax" are referred to as "K" lenses in the table below. Other Pentax bayonet lenses have the lens designation as a part of their name as in "SMC Pentax-FA".
Note that "star" lenses work like their "non-star" counterparts unless they are singled out in the table below. So for compatibility of a DA* lens, look under DA lenses, etc.
FA and F "soft" lenses behave like M lenses in terms of metering.

Check this page out for more on the Pentax lens nomenclature: Pentax lens series explained.
- The Pentax Camera Lens Compatibility Chart


Pentax K-Mount Lens Series Explained: The differences between various Pentax lens series

In a nutshell

There are several series of Pentax K-mount lenses; the ones currently being produced include the DA (digital), DA L (cheap digital kit), D FA (full-frame, digital optimized), and FA (full-frame) series. While all Pentax K-mount lenses ever produced are compatible with all current Pentax DSLRs (in some cases with restrictions in that not all exposure modes of the camera are supported by old lenses), there are significant differences between each lens series and each has different features. Furthermore some of the newer lenses do not work with older cameras. We'll be exploring the differences between the various K-mount series lenses in this article. Read more about specific K-mount lens/camera compatibility here.

The DLSR designation below encompasses the mirror-less K-01.
Pentax K-Mount Lenses Explained: The differences between various Pentax lens series


and this article might be of interest
Full Frame Coverage of DA Lenses: Comprehensive Test
Which DA lenses cover the full 24x36 mm frame?
By PF Staff in Gear Guides on Jan 7, 2019
Read more at: Full Frame Coverage of DA Lenses: Comprehensive Test - Gear Guides |
09-07-2019, 11:43 AM   #7
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The most reliable method is to ask... if that’s too much of a surprise to ruin, then make sure you buy from somewhere with a robust return policy...

Otherwise, the lenses will be the biggest determinant for which body. If the DAs are among those that perform well on full frame, that’s a good sign for the K1. If not, then something like the KP will be a better choice.

If you post a list of the lenses here, we can help with that...

09-07-2019, 02:13 PM   #8

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You may want to confide in her on whether she has interest in full frame lenses if she gets a K-1. If she has expressed interest in the K-1, which you said she has, then if she is going to make full use of the image quality the K-1 can produce, in other words shoot in full frame mode as opposed to aps-c (crop mode), then she is going to want a full frame lens or lenses that cover the ranges she is interested in covering. If she is definitely interested in obtaining the K-1 to start her investment in full frame shooting, then that may be a sensible present to give to her, and then she can purchase the lens or lenses she needs to cover her shooting types/interests. The Pentax D FA lenses are designed for full frame type shooting with the K-1 and K-1 II (for example 15-30, 24-70, 70-200, and 150-450 are some zoom type lenses). There are also numerous prime type lenses for full frame shooting.

Last edited by C_Jones; 09-07-2019 at 02:23 PM.
09-07-2019, 03:22 PM   #9
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As others have already said, you should find out what other lenses she has. For a start, to my knowledge there is no such lens as a 25-135 - do you mean 18-135 or 50-135?

While the K-1 is a great camera (I have two), dropping one in her lap when most or all of her lenses will not cover the full frame will put her in the position of considering bigger, heavier and more expensive lenses to give her the same functionality she had with her crop system. So if her lenses are mostly crop only, it would be better at this stage to stick with a crop body.

The KP is a massive step up from the K-r, in resolution, autofocus, high-iSO performance and many other features. For event photography it will be a revelation.

BUT.... if she has a couple of FA Limiteds and other full frame beauties hidden away, she'll love you forever if you surprise her with a K-1
09-07-2019, 04:43 PM - 1 Like   #10
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I would have the discussion with her... I can tell you from experience that just hauling off with something like this is not a good idea, Great thought but. My wife had been using an old flip phone, like prehistoric, So popped and bought her an Iphone SE. She hated it..... Have the discussion.....
09-07-2019, 11:57 PM   #11
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Just find out exactly what lenses does she have so far and tell us. if she has some full frame lenses already, K-1 would be an amazing gift and the bigger sensor will also help her a lot with event photography. If not, the KP is a solid choice also.

Weight is not such a big problem, I know a lot of girls who are using FF for concert photography, combos like D750 and 70-200 2.8 etc. But if she doesn't have FF lenses, chances are it will cost her three times as much as the camera afterwards...
09-08-2019, 02:17 AM   #12
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K-1 is a great camera. My wife uses ours for weddings. It will be quite a bit better for low light situations and will focus a bunch better than the K-r.

I guess the question is two-fold. First, (and more important), does she want a full frame camera. Second, is how many of her lenses would need to be replaced or updated to go with a K-1? We can help a bit with the second question if you post a list of her lenses, but only you and she can figure out the first one.
09-08-2019, 07:47 AM   #13
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If her last camera was a K-r, then a K-3, KP, or K-1 will be amazing for her. Since she is doing second camera work for a pro, I am sure she wants high quality, especially in lower light, and any of the three above would deliver that.
Surely you know how elicit info from her. Ask here if she is still interested in K-1's and about the weight of a camera versus functionality, etc. If she's looking at a K-1, she probably know whether her lenses are compatible.
If you meant 28-135mm lens, it is a great, but heavy lens, if she can tote that around without complaint, A k-1 wouldn't be a burden.

Last edited by robgski; 09-08-2019 at 09:23 AM.
09-08-2019, 08:06 AM   #14
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Sneak into her lens bag and find out what lenses she has, write them down and post the list if you can.
Despite having 21 lenses, more than half of the full frame capable, I wasn't really happy with my K-1 until I got the DFA 28-105, and for helping out with weddings, I'm guessing your girlfriend won't be happy until she has a DFA 24-70 2.8.

Without being able to evaluate what she has, it's impossible to estimate what the cost of a K-1 will be by the time she has the functionality she's used to. And I can tell you from experience there is little more depressing than spending that much for a camera and discovering it's less useful than your old system for what you do. It took me 6 miserable months before I broke down and bought the DFA 28-105, then I was happy as a ..well.. something that's really happy.

The safe route would be a K-P. A fantastic camera compared to a K-r and she can use the lenses she uses now without worry or extra cost.

Last edited by normhead; 09-08-2019 at 08:26 AM.
09-08-2019, 08:08 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by First Poster Quote
some of them appear to be "DA" lenses but not all of them, if i understand correctly the "DA" ones will have to be used in crop mode on the k1, is this worth it?
DA lenses would suggest the KP, K-3(series) or K-70......however since you have intent to 'follow through' the surprise of choosing the correct body by discussion would be best....the thought and effort would be just as much of a surprise in acquiring the 'right' new budget considerations could lead to an accessory such as a battery grip, flash or something as simple as extra batteries

also note suggesting she become a member of pentax forums maybe the best gift as it is an invaluable resource to any photog especially pentax users

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