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08-02-2016, 06:08 PM   #1
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New K-01 owner

I've been shooting with a K-S2 since, oh, February or March. It's my first DSLR. Love the camera, and have logged several thousand pictures already.

However, I realized that a second body would come in handy. I have several M42 lenses (Takumar, etc.) and thought that maybe dedicating a body to those would be a good idea. I also wanted something less obtrusive so that I could try out street photography. I don't do a lot of autofocus; I prefer the feel of manual focusing and good-quality legacy glass. From what I read, the K-01 seemed like a good fit.

So I traded one of my lenses to a fellow Pentaxian for a barely used K-01. It arrived just yesterday.

Initial impressions:

- the camera feels solid in my hand - really solid - and the horizontal groove finish is great for grip. I never feel like I'm going to drop it.
- the image quality is stellar. I'm spoiled, I think, because the K-S2 has such a great sensor. But this one comes darn close, if not better in some situations.
- It works beautifully with my M42 glass. With the K-S2, I have overexposure issues with M42 lenses, and have to compensate 1.5-2 stops consistently. The K-01 is perfect with them - I haven't had to compensate at all yet.
- Manual focusing is actually easier than with the K-S2. Focus peaking seems to be clearer and easier to interpret, for some reason.
- I don't miss the optical viewfinder as much as I thought I would.

Here's just a casual shot of one of my neighbor's plants, using a Takumar 50/1.4 This is straight out of the camera via Lightroom, no tweaks.

I think I'm a fan.

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Last edited by babywriter; 08-02-2016 at 06:16 PM.
08-02-2016, 06:57 PM   #2
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Welcome to the K-01 club.
While I mostly shoot with a K-5, we have a K-01 and like it. Its a great "more compact" solution when travelling etc. The only real annoyance for me is when using it outdoors in bright sunlight where the display is hard to see (a viewfinder wins hands down here).
But you are right it delivers great image quality (possibly due to a slightly weaker anti-aliasing filter than K-5) and yes it works rather nicely with manual focus and manual aperture lenses. A plus of the contrast autofocus is that focus is usually spot on regardless of the lens.

08-02-2016, 07:47 PM   #3
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The K01 is grows on you after a while. I bought mine when they were closing them out and have learned to like it. . I actually wish they had made a K02 with a view finder I think the concept of using the K mount in a mirrorless was a good one.
08-02-2016, 09:57 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by rr1736 Quote
The K01 is grows on you after a while. I bought mine when they were closing them out and have learned to like it. . I actually wish they had made a K02 with a view finder I think the concept of using the K mount in a mirrorless was a good one.
+1 to all this.
If they made this camera with a flip-out screen like on the K-S2, it would address the difficulty that kiwi_jono mentioned in this thread of shooting in bright sunlight.
I thought I couldn't do without a viewfinder, but I learned to love shooting with this camera. If you told me that I would be taking pictured by depressing the shutter button with my thumb, I would have said no way, but I do and it seems natural.

08-02-2016, 10:57 PM   #5
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The K01 is a great camera. I bought mine, a white one, when they were closing them out. The price was way too good to pass up. Glad I got it. Kiwi_jono is correct, the biggest drawback is the lack of view finder. But the image quality is excellent. And personally, I like the design, I think Marc Newsom nailed it with his "brick" concept. I don't use mine often but whenever I do, heads turn. And people always ask me what it is. Draws a lot of attention and get's a lot of admiration. I think Pentax was onto something with the K01. Probably a bit early for it's time. And I agree with above, a K02 model with view finder, and maybe with a few of the other short comings addressed (one gets spoiled shooting the K-5 and K-3), and it'd be another successful camera K-mount camera line.
08-03-2016, 02:57 AM   #6
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Welcome to the club!

1. try an lcd magnifier, a loupe, be it a cheap one or a full-optional one that mounts on the tripod hole.

2. it's a fantastic camera for tripod work and, as you said, MF lenses

3. It's also a perfect vacation camera when paired with a wide-ish normal (31mm, 35mm on APS-C) or a kit zoom. Small and portable with enthusiast DSLR-like quality.
08-03-2016, 02:08 PM   #7
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While I have the 40mm XS, I really enjoy mine with the 21mm Limited. A nice, walkabout outfit.
08-03-2016, 02:19 PM   #8
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Original Poster
Thanks for the good advice. I don't have any limited lenses as yet, although I'd like to get at least one in the next year or so.

Currently I've got a manual 35mm (Takumar, I think) and a Pentax-M 28mm that I'm going to throw on in the next week or so. Headed to California where there is plenty of scenery to be had. I also have the kit 16-50 from the KS-2 if I need some additional width.

08-03-2016, 07:12 PM   #9
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The K-01 and the Q were my gateway cameras into Pentax. The K-01 is an amazing value and I still own all three of mine. Maybe someday Pentax will get back into mirrorless.
08-10-2016, 01:11 PM   #10

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K-01 is also a great back up for a K1, with a DA 40 ltd it fits a small compartment in a small backpack.So when you don't want the bulk/weight of a DSLR, whip it out and grab shots.
09-08-2016, 04:13 PM   #11
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I bought mine with only 300 clicks on it for $190. I consider it a steal. I actually have my second shooter use it at weddings, and after sundown, it really becomes my main camera, due to the 645D topping out at 1600 ISO. I keep the MF for portraits, but the K-01 is spectacular in reception duty with my FA 40 Limited attached.

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