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01-08-2014, 09:15 PM   #1
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Advice on whether K-01 is right for me?

Hello all!
After doing tons of research I am really leaning towards picking up the K-01. It seems to be a good time to buy as prices are decently low (I'm sure new and updated models are being released in a few months, but I want to take advantage of the discounted prices). I'm very drawn to it's exceptional photo quality and sensor size, and ability to use old Pentax lenses with a moderately compact mirrorless design. I recently picked up from a local seller on craigslist an old Pentax ME Super with 4 lenses included:
1) SMC Pentax-M 50mm F1.7 Reviews - M Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
2) SMC Pentax-M 135mm F3.5 Reviews - M Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
3) Soligor 80-200mm F4.5 C/D Zoom+Macro Lens Reviews - Miscellaneous Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database
4) A 28mm 1:2.8 "Focal" lens (K-mart brand I think, wow!)
If I were to find a good deal on a body-only K-01, would it be worth picking up and using with the current lenses I have? Or is it recommended to get it with the pancake 40mm f/2.8 XS lens (which I've heard is very good)? I'm new to photography as is probably obvious so any advice/suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks everyone

01-08-2014, 09:44 PM   #2
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You'll probably want at least one autofocus lens, whether its the 40mm or something else (35mm 2.4 or 50mm 1.8 are inexpensive options). Having to focus by hand when you're getting "Just take the damned picture, already!" from family members is a pain
01-08-2014, 10:39 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by cafazucar Quote
Hello all!
After doing tons of research I am really leaning towards picking up the K-01. It seems to be a good time to buy as prices are decently low (I'm sure new and updated models are being released in a few months, but I want to take advantage of the discounted prices). I'm very drawn to it's exceptional photo quality and sensor size, and ability to use old Pentax lenses with a moderately compact mirrorless design. I recently picked up from a local seller on craigslist an old Pentax ME Super with 4 lenses included:
1) SMC Pentax-M 50mm F1.7 Reviews - M Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
2) SMC Pentax-M 135mm F3.5 Reviews - M Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
3) Soligor 80-200mm F4.5 C/D Zoom+Macro Lens Reviews - Miscellaneous Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database
4) A 28mm 1:2.8 "Focal" lens (K-mart brand I think, wow!)
If I were to find a good deal on a body-only K-01, would it be worth picking up and using with the current lenses I have? Or is it recommended to get it with the pancake 40mm f/2.8 XS lens (which I've heard is very good)? I'm new to photography as is probably obvious so any advice/suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks everyone
I'd recommend getting at least one AF lens as well. The 40mm works well on the K-01 because it has a short focus slow, which speeds up AF. You might also want to consider a DC/SDM/HSM lens if you want silent AF.

The K-01 is a cool camera with a fantastic sensor, but the fact that it has no viewfinder and is basically just as big as a DSLR is why I still recommend DSLRs for beginners. I think you'd be very happy with a K-500, which is currently only $449 with lens. I'm not sure if it will ever fall as low as the K-01 did, but there are plenty of other second-hand DSLRs out there if this is out of your price range.

Adam
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01-08-2014, 10:55 PM   #4
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From what you said in your post, I think the K-01 fits well with your expectations and desires. I too think the addition of an autofocus lens would be good, but I would recommend you pick up the 18-55mm kit lens. You have enough manual lenses to play with in your ME Super bundle for now, from normal to telephoto. (A great camera in its own right, btw).

01-08-2014, 11:02 PM   #5
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To flesh it out a little more, the M50/1.7 and M135/3.5 are solid lenses (which I own) that are fine wide open and great stopped down. The Kmart 28/2.8 might be good and might not. My first manual 28 was a Vivitar that was positively ultraviolet in its purple fringing wide open. If it doesn't work for you, grab a Pentax 28mm for $100 plus or minus--I could be content with just this focal length.
01-09-2014, 12:28 AM   #6
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I say get it. I consider it my fun camera body, especially when matched with the 40mm XS lens. Also, I'm sure you'll appreciate the focus peaking feature when using your manual lenses. As long as you're not planning on getting critical shots for sports/action, you should be fine with the K-01.
01-09-2014, 04:29 AM   #7
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See this thread re K-01 and M42 lenses:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/58-pentax-beginners-corner-q/247836-camer...ml#post2642234

I've not had a chance to investigate thus though. That's a project for this weekend.
01-09-2014, 06:28 AM   #8
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K-01 plus autofucus lens = Q

After many years when my camera was an ES with a slew of manual M42 lenses, with great advice from this forum I went with a K-01 body and genuine pentax M42 30120 adapter, and am very happy. The focus peaking with 6x blowup is great with manual lens.

I then faced an issue with wife, who insisted on an autofocus lens. Looked at the 18-55 kit at about $80 as I remember - plastic mount turned me off. The better one was maybe twice that...

Then I saw the original Q on sale at NewEgg with the 5-15mm for $189 and Q10 with same 5-15mm Target for $199. Read all about them - and ordered the original Q - again with forum advice to do so. Its to arrive tomorrow - so can't report yet on how happy I will be, but my logic was:

1. Menu system very much the same
2. Also has Focus Peaking with latest firmware. Also Shake Reduction - also great for manuals..
3. Liked metal lens mount and built-in motor
4. Wife won't know the difference on sensor size
5. Get a great long-range telephoto camera with M42 Taks and inexpensive (V1) Fotodiox adapter.
6, No messing with K-01 and the 30120 adapter to use autofocus lens. I leave adapter on all the time (Won't apply to you with K-mount manuals..)
7. Wife and I now have a 'camera each'..


All for $30 - $100 more than a K-01 autofocus lens..

Good Luck and have fun!
Chris

01-09-2014, 06:48 AM   #9
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I bought a K-01 as my first interchangeable lens camera and I really like it. It works great with manual lens, especially with focus peaking, once you get the controls set to use it. (There's a great tutorial in here somewhere, takes about 30 seconds to set up.) I also don't mind not having a viewfinder as I have a big nose, and using one is uncomfortable. With it being discontinued, there are some really good deals. If you are willing to go used, they are generally going for about $250.
01-09-2014, 07:02 AM   #10
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I think the K-01 is the perfect camera for using manual lenses. That's pretty much how I use it.

As others have already said, I do recommend to at least have the kit lens - the 40mm XS.
Works very well with the K-01 and has very good IQ as well... plus you can pick it up for almost nothing.
01-09-2014, 07:04 AM   #11
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Go to a camera store and pick up a K-50 or K-30 and look through the viewfinder. Can you live without that? Then get a K-01.
K-01 is great for manual lenses, I would definitely recommend it. As long as you are aware of the pitfalls. These are mostly lack of OVF with possible glare on the screen and slow AF with certain lenses (some slow zoom lenses, some macro lenses).
Your current lens setup would work great on it. If you can, buy it bundled with a 40mm XS - amazing lens for a great price, very sharp and fast AF.
Edit: The only problem is that the K-30/K-50 can be found fairly cheap these days, at least second hand. I dunno, personally I started my Pentax DSLR journey with a K-r and the K-01 reinvigorated my photography and gave a nice boost in optical quality. I often use m42 and manual lenses. If you check the gallery in my sig, its mostly photos taken with the K-01.

Last edited by Na Horuk; 01-09-2014 at 07:41 AM.
01-09-2014, 07:13 AM   #12
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If you've ever used a point and shoot camera, you'll know what it is like using the LCD to frame. If you haven't had a DSLR, you might not even miss it. It's an awful lot of camera for $250, but I would recommend getting the 40XS lens as a kit. I got it body only and ended up getting a 40mm anyway. It's unusual to be able to get such a unique lens as part of a cheap kit. It may not be much smaller than a DSLR in terms of volume or weight, but it will fit in a smaller bag. A K-01 with the 40XS will fit in a single compartment of a camera bag, like a typical DSLR zoom lens. I can't think of a shape that is more space efficient than a brick!
01-09-2014, 04:19 PM   #13
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I'm pleasantly surprised by the number of replies, this is a great forum! I read through each and every response, so if I don't mention you specifically just know I truly appreciate your input.
Thanks narual, having at least one autofocus lens makes sense, so if I end up going for the K-01 I will probably opt for the bundle with included lens. I like how flat it is and as JPT emphasized, space efficiency is an important factor at this point. I do like how that K-500 looks, Adam, but it's a little out of my price range and seems a bit bulky. I still need to go to the store and hold some cameras to be sure.
Also, I enjoy the aesthetic appeal of the K-01 (although the fact that it was designed by someone who isn't a photographer seems a little odd) and an optical viewfinder isn't really essential to me right now. Out of curiosity though, is it possible to add a viewfinder to this camera if I decided I wanted one in certain situations?
Focus peaking seems really cool, and I probably won't be taking very many sports/action shots (re:mamba909). More like to pseudo-artistic shots of nature and other daily things, along with friends and family haha. And videos too, which I've heard is one of the K-01s strong points.
Thanks filoxophy, and why would you recommend the 18-55mm over the one in the kit? Is it just a more flexible lens basically, that can be used in a wider variety of situations? And yeah I'm definitely excited to play with the ME! I'm just having trouble changing out the batteries and opening the film hood (both covers seem to be stuck, it's been several years since the camera has seen the light of day). But I think using it will give me a stronger appreciation of how far and how fast technology has advanced photography, here's some pictures:






As you can see, the battery cover is very worn which has made it difficult for me to open.
Thanks again, everyone!
01-09-2014, 04:45 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by cafazucar Quote
Out of curiosity though, is it possible to add a viewfinder to this camera if I decided I wanted one in certain situations?
There are no EVFs or OVFs for the K-01, so your only choice would be one of those funny-looking LCD loupes. I still don't understand why Pentax hasn't thought about adding some sort of EVF, but that's just how it is. They seem to have abandoned the whole mirrorless K-mount idea too.

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01-09-2014, 05:40 PM   #15
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My point in recommending the 18-55mm was just to get you a range of focal lengths, especially wide angles. I am a prime kind of guy myself, and the 40mm is a great lens too, not least for its size. (I have one and love it.) It's just tough to get the wide end covered economically with manual glass.
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