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02-19-2013, 10:33 PM   #1
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New K01 | Finding the Prime

Hi!

New to Pentax and the K01, coming from Ricoh GRD4.

Shooting with the GRD informs how I approach the K01.

As a result, I'm only interested in shooting fast primes (the irony - the absurdly cheap K01 paired with absurdly expensive lenses ).

I've done my research, and have narrowed it down to the discontinued Zeiss 35/2 OR the FA31, Voigtlander 58 1.4 OR the Pentax A 50mm 1.2, and the DA15 limited.

I would greatly appreciate feedback from any K01 users with any experience with these lenses. The user reviews are dominated by great reviews. Ironically, the FA31 seems to have some terrible reviews as well.

02-20-2013, 12:04 AM   #2
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I have used the K-01 with FA31mm f1.8 and VL58mm f1.4.

My first comment is that neither lens are as stealthy as the DA40mm xs. A pity because the small size of the DA40mm is an asset for street shooting.

Both FA31mm and VL58m give great IQ with the K-01. These lenses are different off course, and I share my experience of both lenses on a K-7 at::
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/209251-fa31mm-...mm-f1-4-a.html
This might interest you.

Altogether both the VL58mm and FA31mm are superb lenses and the outputs are great on the K-01.

Hope that the comment may help.
02-20-2013, 02:43 AM   #3
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Well, you listed some very different lenses there, though all of those will deliver great quality shots. I would suggest the FA 31 for the following reasons (I don't actually own one btw):
-has AF
-is legendary in the Pentax community, many consider it one of the best Pentax lenses ever
-Very versatile focal length, can be used for almost anything
-Can be used on APS-C, full frame digital, and even film cameras

But on the other hand, the K-01 has focus peaking (so manual primes can be used really easily) and those other lenses are all pretty great as well. Oh and btw, did you get the 40mm XS? Its not a bad lens and might fulfill your AF needs.

The others.. you can't go wrong. Be sure to post some photos once you get a couple of these lenses
02-20-2013, 05:18 AM   #4
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The K-01 and the A series primes are a match made in heaven. Any of those lenses will be great, best choose based on focal length and price really. Don't be afraid if a lens is half or even a full stop slower, the K-01 can handle high ISO really well.
I also have the da15mm and used it on the K-01 with great success.

As for expensive lenses; a cheaper camera and a great lens will always deliver better IQ than the best camera and a mediocre lens. But the K-01 is no IQ slouch either.

02-20-2013, 06:39 AM   #5
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If you have the chance to get any Zeiss; go for it. Or if you don't want to then sell it to me, I'll buy it.

Nothing in the entire current PK lineup touches the Zeiss' for optics.
02-20-2013, 12:18 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the replies.

I am currently learning the K01 with the 40mm XS.

I'm not that attached to AF. While its definitely useful (probably to most an understatement), I'm used to shooting the Ricoh GRD4 in Snap focus mode, using the cameras built in hyper focal / zone focus capabilities. Plus, I find manual focus with the K01 fast, easy, and very pleasant since it is silent.

So, manual focus lenses are appealing to me because I'm used to zone focusing for street. For still life, manual focus is fine because of the focus peaking. And the 40xs has the AF.

Here is a link to some of my photos, all taken with the GRD4.

Flickr: perptual3's Photostream

Perhaps these might inform some suggestions I am unaware of?
02-20-2013, 01:25 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by perpetual3 Quote
Thanks for all the replies.

I am currently learning the K01 with the 40mm XS.

I'm not that attached to AF. While its definitely useful (probably to most an understatement), I'm used to shooting the Ricoh GRD4 in Snap focus mode, using the cameras built in hyper focal / zone focus capabilities. Plus, I find manual focus with the K01 fast, easy, and very pleasant since it is silent.

So, manual focus lenses are appealing to me because I'm used to zone focusing for street. For still life, manual focus is fine because of the focus peaking. And the 40xs has the AF.

Here is a link to some of my photos, all taken with the GRD4.

Flickr: perptual3's Photostream

Perhaps these might inform some suggestions I am unaware of?
Very nice street pictures

If you are used to the 28mm focal length of the GRD4, maybe you can also consider the DA 21 Limited (31.5mm equivalent). Also it's really small so it should match quite well with the K-01
02-20-2013, 01:46 PM   #8
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Thanks for the kind words about the street pictures - the GRD4 shines for pictures like those.

Yes, I'll consider the the DA21. I still love the GRD4, especially for its very unassuming nature, so I was thinking to obtain focal lengths which don't overlap as much, and continue to play to the GRD4's strengths. While I very much like the landscape photographs of Death Valley, I can see where the limitations of the small sensor come in.

Those limitations, combined with the price, convinced me to purchase the K01.

I think a slow collection of lenses is best. The more I think about it, the more I believe that I should track down the Zeiss lenses, collect the FA 31LTD, and A50mm 1.2.

I never expected to view the K01 as a long term investment in the Pentax K system. Yet, now I believe that is the best way to go.

I guess I am or should have been Pentax's target market for the camera.

02-20-2013, 01:50 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by NickLarsson Quote
Very nice street pictures

If you are used to the 28mm focal length of the GRD4, maybe you can also consider the DA 21 Limited (31.5mm equivalent). Also it's really small so it should match quite well with the K-01
Talk about nice street pictures - nice pictures yourself!
02-20-2013, 03:23 PM   #10
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+1 for DA21 - K-01 combo. 50mm way too long for general purpose photography, good for portrait though. 31mm = Normal, which isn't quite as useful as short WA (35mm equivalent) and the DA21 fits the bill perfectly. I've use on my K-01, DA15, DA21, K24, K28, DA40, A50, DA70 and keep coming back to the 21 to the point that I am considering taking only the K-01 + DA21 on my next vacation.
02-20-2013, 03:32 PM   #11
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perpetual3,

I'm like you in the sense that "I guess I am or should have been Pentax's target market for the camera." Until recently I was an "ex-Pentaxian" who sold all his Pentax gear several years ago and moved to other DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. I decided to pick up the K-01 when it was on fire sale for $316 with 40mm lens and since then I've repurchased an impressive number of Pentax primes and I purchased a second K-01 body to have as a spare since the body is just $299.

Although I love using focus peaking for manual focus on the K-01 I frequently use AF since even on the K-01 AF is usually faster and more reliable than my manual focus skills.

That said, not all primes are created equal when it comes to the K-01 and AF.

The DA Limited lenses like the 15mm, 21mm, 40mm, and 70mm focus pretty snappy and are all pretty good wide open. The DA* 55mm with SDM is even faster in terms of AF on the K-01.

Older primes are where you see much more variance in terms of AF speed. The FA 50mm 1.4 focuses noticeably slower and isn't as good wide open compared to the DA Limited lenses or the DA* 55mm 1.4 on the K-01. The FA 31mm and 77mm Limited primes aren't as bad as the FA 50mm but they aren't as fast as the DA Limited or DA* 55mm lenses in terms of AF. I also use an older FA 135mm 2.8 IF lens for telephoto with the K-01 but that lens is VERY slow to focus in comparison to all the other lenses I just mentioned.

On a side note, although I've been tempted by fast glass in the past (the Canon 50mm and 85mm 1.2 primes were the ONLY reason I bought into Canon DSLRs) I can tell you that the shallow DOF at f/1.2 isn't always so wonderful.

A good lens like the DA* 55mm wide open at f/1.4 or the FA Limited 77mm wide open at 1.8 will give you equally creamy and dreamy bokeh but with sharper details in your image. If you don't mind the "soft look" for portraits then f/1.2 is a good place to be for lovely, lovely bokeh but DOF can be a b*tch. My experiences with 1.2 glass are similar to what Mark Wallace describes in this video (wonderful at times, but more frequently a PITA for real life portraiture because of shallow DOF):

The Magical Canon 85mm f/1.2L Lens from Adorama Learning Center
02-21-2013, 08:06 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by perpetual3 Quote
Talk about nice street pictures - nice pictures yourself!
thanks
02-23-2013, 11:28 AM   #13
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So I went street shooting last night with the K01 and DA40XS in downtown Las Vegas. It was cold, and nothing really interested me, but I took the opportunity to do some "homework" to learn and feel for the camera.

First off, night shots at ISO3200 were fantastic.

I will need some time to adjust from the GRD4 to the K01, and especially I will need a lens that permits quick hyperfocal zone focusing.
While the AF was actually fast and accurate for the most part (more so than I was expecting), I don't think I could achieve the kind of shots I'm used to relying on AF. Any tips on using the 40mmXS for street would be highly appreciated.

I also realized that the 40mm/60mm focal length is taking me some time to adjust to. I find it neither wide enough, nor long enough for most shots, although it did shine indoors in tight spaces. I'm sure I'll find the sweetspot.

The more I think about it, the more I realize that I'll just have to slowly accumulate the lenses I'm interested.

Amazingly, and totally, I've decided to invest longterm into the Pentax system. I like the option of using legacy lenses, and with a full frame camera on the horizon, I feel like this is the best investment of my time and money.
02-23-2013, 04:01 PM   #14
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Nice! I hope you upgraded the firmware, too. The DA lenses without distance scales aren't great for zone focusing, they sacrificed that for faster AF. But legacy and limited primes have everything for easy manual focusing, and focus peaking on the K-01 can make that really easy.
02-24-2013, 01:18 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by perpetual3 Quote
Hi!

I've done my research, and have narrowed it down to the discontinued Zeiss 35/2 OR the FA31, Voigtlander 58 1.4 OR the Pentax A 50mm 1.2, and the DA15 limited.

I would greatly appreciate feedback from any K01 users with any experience with these lenses. The user reviews are dominated by great reviews. Ironically, the FA31 seems to have some terrible reviews as well.
I’ve used the Voigtländer 58/1.4 on the K-01. The combination is capable of producing first rate image quality. Things to consider are the heavy weight of the lens and the lengthy throw of the focus ring but I didn't find these to be a problem once I got used to this lens and camera combination. Focus peaking is a great help in fine focusing a wide open fast lens.

See my earlier post on the subject: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-k-01/178409-add-your-best-k-01-pho...ml#post1887168
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