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04-28-2012, 03:51 PM   #1
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Is the K-01 for me? Advice please.

I'm considering buying a K-01 but want to make sure I'm doing the right thing.

The backstory: I got into photography about 2 years ago. Learned the basics on a vintage K1000 that my grandfather gave me. Since then I've acquired a number of Pentax film bodies and a half dozen lenses. I've also picked up a medium format Zenza Bronica ETRs with a full kit of lenses. I really love shooting vintage film cameras but I think I've reached the tipping point. All this developing and printing is just too much money! So I think I want to buy a Pentax DSLR or K-01. The camera that I use for work (I'm a geologist) is a Sony NEX 5N. Nice camera, great IQ, and I've gotten used to using the LCD screen to compose (no EVF). REALLY expensive lenses, lack of E-mount lenses on the market, and no shutter in the body (forgive my ignorance) keep me from going for Sony NEX as a personal camera.

Budget is under $1k. IQ is paramount over design, features and even view finder. Size is a bit of an issue. I like the K-01 design and feature set. The 40mm pancake seems like a really cool lens.

So here are my questions:

1) Should my 6 vintage Pentax A lenses keep me brand loyal to Pentax?

2) IQ about the same between K5 and K-01? I've read that this is the case. For real?

3) Is it hard to focus vintage Pentax lenses on a K-01, or any Pentax DSLR for that matter?

4) Should I wait for the Kr replacement?

Thanks!

04-28-2012, 03:59 PM   #2
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Well, what kind of shooting are you doing? We can say the K01 is great for you, the K5 is great for you, or we can say wait until the Kr replacement and we can keep saying this until we are blue in the face but without knowing what you are shooting it is going to be hard to point you in the right direction. You mention you are a geologist - is this going to be used for just work or quite a bit more?


BTW: If using for work the obvious choice without a doubt would be the K5.
04-28-2012, 04:45 PM   #3
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1) Should my 6 vintage Pentax A lenses keep me brand loyal to Pentax?
Yes, Well I'm actually saying just be loyal to the brand that gave you all the Photographic joy to date.

2) IQ about the same between K5 and K-01? I've read that this is the case. For real?
The photos I get from my K-01 are just as good as what I get from my K5.

3) Is it hard to focus vintage Pentax lenses on a K-01, or any Pentax DSLR for that matter?
Depends on the situation. I haven't done outdoor, bright sunlight, focussing with my A series lenses but the "Focus Peeking" feature of the K-01 is fantastic for focussing older manual lenses.

4) Should I wait for the Kr replacement?
No published schedule so that's your call.


I own both the K-5 and the K-01
I love the K-01 but it is not an all around camera.
For that you need a viewfinder.
That's the simple answer. Like joe.penn says, it does depend on what you are shooting.

be well,
joe
04-28-2012, 05:19 PM   #4
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I own a K5 and a number of K, M and A lenses along with a number of FA and DA lenses. That said, and leveraging off of the questions that Joe posed, I would have the following observations.

Your current Pentax lenses are A you indicated. So you are going to be focusing manually. One of the large difference between the K-01 and the other Pentax bodies is focusing. The K-01 has focus peaking, and the others have a viewfinder or live view - however no focus peaking. With my K5 at times, I do find manual focusing a challenge, and possibly focus peaking would be helpful. That, or go to a split focus screen to help with the manual lenses. My old Spotmatic IIa with the split focusing screen is a joy for manual use - well over the K5 when manual lenses are involved. Having said all of that, close in focusing with a large aperture - i.e., a thin depth of field, hand held, is difficult, since you can easily move very slightly and change where the focus is.

I am going to assume that you are probably going to be doing some close in focus work - if not down right macro. That means that you are going to have to probably stop down in order to increase your depth of field. Do you usually operate in bright sun or deep in the shadows? Planning on using a tripod or possibly boost the ISO? The K-01 has ISO 100 with the K5 having ISO 80 and a great dynamic range to pull detail out of the shadows. However, using a low ISO, with good dynamic range, a moderate aperture in low light, wanting the best IA, you will be on a tripod with just about any camera.

I think that you could do well with the K-01. However, in saying that - its contingent on how you plan to use the body.....



04-28-2012, 05:30 PM   #5
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First off the NEX has a shutter

1. Those A lenses work well and don't really limit the camera function because of the auto aperture so ti can be a bonus.

2. IQ is good, i doubt there is any noticeable difference in the JPEG but the RAW on the K5 is slightly better (14bit vs 12bit)

3. focus peaking works well, i believe sony has the same option on the nex.

4. if you want a viewfinder and you shoot in RAW and want a faster camera, K-01 seems to be doing 1fps in raw...
04-28-2012, 06:16 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by joelovotti Quote
1) Should my 6 vintage Pentax A lenses keep me brand loyal to Pentax?
Yes, Well I'm actually saying just be loyal to the brand that gave you all the Photographic joy to date.

2) IQ about the same between K5 and K-01? I've read that this is the case. For real?
The photos I get from my K-01 are just as good as what I get from my K5.

3) Is it hard to focus vintage Pentax lenses on a K-01, or any Pentax DSLR for that matter?
Depends on the situation. I haven't done outdoor, bright sunlight, focussing with my A series lenses but the "Focus Peeking" feature of the K-01 is fantastic for focussing older manual lenses.

4) Should I wait for the Kr replacement?
No published schedule so that's your call
Joe summed up well the key points I was going to list. From your description, you are on the right track....

The K-01 has a great IQ and the Focus peaking feature is great for manual focusing. I would say that the K-01 is a good choice for you, if you can skip the viewfinder.
04-28-2012, 06:37 PM   #7
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Thanks folks!

I'm shooting mainly landscapes, nature, kids...whatever catches my eye. Tripod is usually involved. Enthusiast, not a pro, that's for sure! Not planning to use this camera for work. K5 is definitely my preferred camera but at almost twice the price of the K01, I have to decide just how important a viewfinder is to me. I also really like the portability of the K01 with the 40mm lens. Given my budget and vintage Pentax glass, the K01 seems to make sense.

Regarding the NEX: Upon asking the salesman at the local pro shop why the K01 was so big vs the NEX body, he described a fundamental difference between the construction of the cameras that ended with "that's why X E-mount lens costs $1000 and the similar Pentax lens cost $300. I thought it had something to do with the shutter? Make sense?
04-29-2012, 01:53 AM   #8
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I think that focus peeking makes those old lenses much more pleasant to use. So either a K-01 or waiting for K-r replacement would be my advise (if waiting some time isn't a problem).

Image Quality of the K-01 is very good:


04-29-2012, 03:34 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by drumhead Quote
Regarding the NEX: Upon asking the salesman at the local pro shop why the K01 was so big vs the NEX body, he described a fundamental difference between the construction of the cameras that ended with "that's why X E-mount lens costs $1000 and the similar Pentax lens cost $300. I thought it had something to do with the shutter? Make sense?
I think you mean the mirror not the shutter, the shutter is the "doors" in front of the sensor, all the bigger sensor camera have that.

Sony shorten the distance between the lens mount and the sensor that might have something to do with it but that actually make lenses cheaper....
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