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12-26-2013, 09:59 PM   #1
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New lens for the K-5IIs or new GR?

Recently upgraded my K-7 to a K-5IIs and have been shopping wide-angle primes, as in 15 or 21 mm DAs, from $300-600. The thought occurred that a GR, to be had now for around $650, comes in an 18mm f2.8 format.

Which would you go for?

12-26-2013, 10:08 PM   #2
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15mm lens, the SMC version can be had for +/-$450
12-26-2013, 10:47 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Piscator Quote
Recently upgraded my K-7 to a K-5IIs and have been shopping wide-angle primes, as in 15 or 21 mm DAs, from $300-600. The thought occurred that a GR, to be had now for around $650, comes in an 18mm f2.8 format.

Which would you go for?
The GR is amazing at 18mm, so it depends on whether or not you care for a pocketable camera, I'd say!

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12-26-2013, 10:49 PM   #4
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Cost aside, do you have a preferred FOV? The GR offers 28mm, 35mm and 47mm FOVs without the hassle of having to change the lens. I sold all my DSLR gear because I didn't like lugging the bulk and weight. The GR fits inside a pocket and weighs practically nothing.

12-27-2013, 12:56 AM   #5
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I recently reflected on the same thing......end up adding some DA's. I was contemplating a X100s. Got a DA 21 and 40 instead.

At times I have everything at my finger tips; K5ii, tammy 17-50, sigma 7-200, tammy 90 macro, sigma 10-20 etc, but there are times when I want a light kit so have DA21 and DA 40. Mostly the 21 stays on the camera ala X100.

I have since sold my sigma 10-20 and replaced it with a DA 15. So now I have a light kit and a heavy comprehensive kit but one camera body that I can really focus on mastering. Having a few camera/lifestyle bag choices realy helps as well. I now have a compact "man bag" that takes my K5ii, 2 or 3 DAs, phone, wallet etc as my everyday go anywhere bag, larger bags/packs for all day walks or larger still for a road trip with everything etc.
12-27-2013, 01:35 AM   #6

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I recently acquired the DA15. Stunning lens. 15 is quite different from 18.
and i have two bodies. One that mostly has the 15 on it and the other for all other primes.

As a "compact", i have a leica digilux 2. this is a zoom lens (FF equiv. 28-90mm f2). it combines very well with my pentax primes.
If i didn't have the Leica I'd probably go for something with a (longer) zoom reach in a take anywhere cam. pentax MX e.g...
12-27-2013, 11:42 AM   #7
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I had a DA15 but sold it and kept the Sigma 10-20. The only thing those two lenses have in common is the 15mm FOV. The Sigma is far more versatile. Even though the DA15 / 21 are much smaller than the 10-20, by the time you add any lens to a DSLR, you still have a very big and heavy camera compared to the GR.

Most people who prefer to shoot wide and own the GR tend to ignore their DSLR.
12-30-2013, 04:57 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by JHD Quote
Most people who prefer to shoot wide and own the GR tend to ignore their DSLR.
I have to second this statement. After shooting with the GR for a few weeks, I sold all my other wide angle lenses and keep it in a pocket in case I need a 28-35mm FOV shot. I am also considering the 21mm conversion lens, but haven't tried it yet.

The other thing that makes a huge difference is its awesome flash synch speed due to the leaf shutter. I recently packed two speedlights and did all my holiday group shots and contextual portraits with the GR popup flash triggering the two off-camera flashes.

This allowed me to stop using background blurring as a crutch, I managed to get the lighting right for more polished looking subject isolation with absolutely sharp images. I would have needed to rent studio lights to do this with a DSLR focal plane shutter, so that right there makes the GR a huge benefit to me as a second camera.

A reasonable alternative would be the Fuji X100s, but I found the GR's 28mm FOV and 35mm crop option much more flexible once I started using it routinely.

12-30-2013, 08:45 PM - 1 Like   #9
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This is a timely thread for me as I am considering a GR. I get to thinking that it may be able to replace my DA 12-24 for my wide angle use. I get great results with my K-5IIs.

But if the GR could equal or surpass my 12-24 plus give me a pocketable camera, it just may work for me.

12-31-2013, 07:07 AM   #10
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My situation is similar to others except that I sold my DA21 and FA35 in order to buy the GR which I initially used for my vacation to Europe where shooting wide is the norm, for me anyway. I also took my K-5 and 50 1.4 lens which then spent 95% of the time back in my room.

The combination of image quality and portability is wonderful and I've just recently added the 21mm lens. That lens gives me a quality 14mm aps-c equiv on the GR, a length which I probably would have never acquired for my DSLR due to cost, size and limited use. I can no longer carry the GR in my pocket when I have 21mm lens attached, but for me it's a minor trade off.

I really enjoyed the DA21 and FA35 lenses when I had them, but I can honestly say I haven't regretted my decision to replace them with the GR.
12-31-2013, 09:28 AM   #11
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Well, dang--I took the plunge and bought a DA21 (from a forum member), and I do have a trip coming up in March to the Baltics. Maybe, given the likely weather conditions, I'll be glad to have the K-5 anyway! I am sure there is a GR in my future regardless.

On the weather note--I've been missing my old waterproof point-and-shoot, which proved to me that it doesn't float during a sailing trip. It was an Olympus. Looks to me like the new Pentax WG outperforms the new Olympus TG. Perhaps the ultimate lightweight combo would be a GR + WG. Of course, the ULTIMATE would be a WG-tough camera with the image quality of the GR. Dream a little dream...

Thanks for the replies--Nice to see that others struggle over the same decisions.


12-31-2013, 11:04 AM - 1 Like   #12
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I think a lot of us struggle over such things. I know myself that I really over think everything like this to the point I just about drive myself crazy.

For me, I don't really need a pocketable camera. I do no travelling whatsoever - 99% of my shooting is done here at home on my own property. With that said, I have very little wide angle scenic type shots available to me. My property is nestled in the mountains with those mountains shooting up almost vertically in all my views. However I wanted a wide angle lens for some time for some photo opportunites when we visit my in-laws who live in a large farming community.

About a year ago I bought a DA 12-24 just before the last price increase and I just love that lens. I really struggled with that decision also between the 12-24 and a DA 15 or DA 21.

Now enter my want of the GR. It was compelling to me when I found that it has the same sensor as my K-5IIs. But after a lot of thought, plus the financial end of things, I would need to sell my 12-24 in order to afford the GR.

So one of my old sayings come into play - use what you have. I think I am also going to skip the GR for now.
01-03-2014, 01:25 AM   #13
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Ordered a GR yesterday, with the expectation that it will replace my Sony RX100... which I use almost all the time at the default 28mm-equiv setting anyway. Next, we'll see whether it will also replace my K-01 with 35mm f/2.4... which I REALLY like, after I gaffer-taped a Hoodman loupe on it... wonderful for seeing the effects of spot exposure changes. So this one's sort of APS-C pocketability vs. an APS-C old friend. End result -- maybe the GR for most everything, plus a K-30 with 55-300mm lens left in the car for sports, birds, airplanes. We'll see.

It is interesting how fond you can get of cameras. How each camera you own and use has something special about it. Unlike others, I really like the K-01's styling, and the ergonomics. It just feels good to use. Best APS-C IQ of any? Look at the DPreview comparison images, what a shock. Then there's the little Sony -- the RX100 is a tremendous design compromise -- the 1" sensor for decent IQ... the 28-112mm zoom lens... the angled bounce flash... and so small, so portable. A reporter's dream, a tech writer's delight.

New Year's mystery -- why haven't the Canikony gang picked up on our TAv setting? Let me tell you, that was the feature that tipped me over to become a GR owner!
01-03-2014, 03:10 AM   #14

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TAv is just another auto setting.
01-03-2014, 03:18 AM   #15
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I had been using the K-01 with the DA 40XS and Sigma 24 2.8 macro for months as an "easy to carry" camera and was very happy with it when I came across the Ricoh GR.

A local camera store gave us the opportunity to borrow it for a whole day to give it a test run.

I almost immediately fell in love with its usability, portability and image quality.

I sold my K-01, and I almost always carry the GR in a jacket or coat pocket.

Even when I decide to pack my K-5 IIs with a batch of big lenses to go shooting, I carry my GR ,as it produces images with unbelievable clarity for its size and price point.

A combination of no anti-aliasing filter and the sharpest APS-C wide-angle prime lens give these results :

Ricoh GR Lens on Ricoh GR versus Pentax smc DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited on Pentax K-50 versus Pentax smc DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited on Pentax K-50 - Side by side lens comparison - DxOMark

Even when stopped down to F8, the poor DA 21 isn't as sharp as the GR lens wide open, and the DA 15 is even worse !

What's more, the GR retains most of this sharpness even with the 21mm adapter, and the 35mm crop option is very useful, as it crops into the center portion of the image, i.e the sharpest part.

Given that the price points of the DAs and the GR are similar, I wouldn't hesitate for a second if I were in your position .

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