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12-07-2014, 10:00 AM   #1
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Another Pentax FF Thread

The last few days I've been playing with a used D700 and my old S-M-C Takumars and it got me to thinking about FF and Pentax. It's been a pleasure to use the old Taks as they were designed without the crop factor. It felt old school to manually focus, set my own aperture and shutter speed and I've been having a ball.

So IF Pentax is working on a FF camera I hope they don't go overboard with the gizmos, whizbangs, and especially the megapickles. Based on my experience with the 12 MP D700 I think 24 MP is the upper limit and 18-20 would be even better. It's amazing the detail I can get out of that 12 MP sensor and noise up to ISO 3200 is easily controlled with a little NR.


The area where Pentax is better is in ergonomics. The K-3's body is as well built as the D700 but the grip of the K-3 is deeper and more comfortable. Button placement is also better on the K-3. The two buttons inside the grip of the D700 couldn't be in a worse place. The D700 is bigger than the K-3 and a FF Pentax will likely be a little larger too. For my all around shooting I'd like a FF Pentax. Please just don't put all the AF points in the center of the frame though. That's my one gripe with the K-3.

Speaking of the K-3, for sports and wildlife I'll keep my APS-C thank you very much. This is where the crop factor works best. Just remember the comment about all the AF points in the center of the frame.

Anyway, just a few of my thoughts on a FF Pentax. And if they price it around the same as a D610 they'll have a waiting list a mile long!

12-07-2014, 10:15 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by wtlwdwgn Quote
The last few days I've been playing with a used D700 and my old S-M-C Takumars and it got me to thinking about FF and Pentax. It's been a pleasure to use the old Taks as they were designed without the crop factor. It felt old school to manually focus, set my own aperture and shutter speed and I've been having a ball.

So IF Pentax is working on a FF camera I hope they don't go overboard with the gizmos, whizbangs, and especially the megapickles. Based on my experience with the 12 MP D700 I think 24 MP is the upper limit and 18-20 would be even better. It's amazing the detail I can get out of that 12 MP sensor and noise up to ISO 3200 is easily controlled with a little NR.


The area where Pentax is better is in ergonomics. The K-3's body is as well built as the D700 but the grip of the K-3 is deeper and more comfortable. Button placement is also better on the K-3. The two buttons inside the grip of the D700 couldn't be in a worse place. The D700 is bigger than the K-3 and a FF Pentax will likely be a little larger too. For my all around shooting I'd like a FF Pentax. Please just don't put all the AF points in the center of the frame though. That's my one gripe with the K-3.

Speaking of the K-3, for sports and wildlife I'll keep my APS-C thank you very much. This is where the crop factor works best. Just remember the comment about all the AF points in the center of the frame.

Anyway, just a few of my thoughts on a FF Pentax. And if they price it around the same as a D610 they'll have a waiting list a mile long!
Totally agree with you, am contemplating going to the next Sony a99 successor for the in body image stabilisation.
Please Pentax sell me a full frame next year.
12-07-2014, 10:17 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by gryphongryph Quote
Totally agree with you, am contemplating going to the next Sony a99 successor for the in body image stabilisation.
Please Pentax sell me a full frame next year.
Did you write your letter to Santa yet?
12-07-2014, 10:22 AM   #4
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The comparisons I did when I was deciding K-3 or D600 left me thinking there's no real advantage to me shooting FF, unless I were to go 36 MP, and the K-3 considerable reduces the need to go to 36 mp. There i much less difference between a K-3 and a D800 than there was between a K-5 and a D800. Unless we're talking the close to 15 EV dynamic range of a D750 or D810, I'm not even giving the Pentax FF sniff. I'm expecting it to be a D600 clone, and I've already passed on that feature set. I hope they surprise me, and come out with a 15 EV dynamic range 36 Mp that's a monster performer for landscape and low light, but I'm not counting on it. And even if they do, it will probably be out of my price range.

12-07-2014, 11:16 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by wtlwdwgn Quote
It's been a pleasure to use the old Taks as they were designed without the crop factor. It felt old school to manually focus, set my own aperture and shutter speed and I've been having a ball.
Just curious but did you shoot a lot of film? I keep hearing about "as they were designed" but I've never used them on anything but APS-C so for ME, changing to FF is going to give all my lenses a weird angle of view. Or am I missing something else that makes these lenses work better on FF?

QuoteOriginally posted by wtlwdwgn Quote
Based on my experience with the 12 MP D700 I think 24 MP is the upper limit and 18-20 would be even better.
So what about the D800? I don't understand what you mean by the upper limit being 24MP? Nikon sure does not think so. Just curious what criteria you are using. Now, personally I agree 24MP is all I could imagine using myself, but do you mean 24MP is all you need or 24MP is all the sensor can provide with good IQ?
12-07-2014, 11:34 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Just curious but did you shoot a lot of film? I keep hearing about "as they were designed" but I've never used them on anything but APS-C so for ME, changing to FF is going to give all my lenses a weird angle of view. Or am I missing something else that makes these lenses work better on FF?

So what about the D800? I don't understand what you mean by the upper limit being 24MP? Nikon sure does not think so. Just curious what criteria you are using. Now, personally I agree 24MP is all I could imagine using myself, but do you mean 24MP is all you need or 24MP is all the sensor can provide with good IQ?
Yes, I did shoot a lot of film as I started photography in 1962. The big difference will be the angle of view on the wide angle end where 24mm is 24mm and not 36mm. You'd need 16mm on APS-C to get the same angle of view as 24mm on FF. If you shoot long then APS-C is better to get a narrower angle of view and a "cropped" image.

Each camera company has its own ideas about megapickles. While Nikon does have its 36 MP D810, Canon only has a 22 MP sensor in its 5D Mark III and only 18 MP in its top of the line 1D X. So yes, I can live with a FF sensor between 16 and 24 MP. I don't plan to print images the size of building.
12-07-2014, 11:48 AM   #7
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I had at one time over 200 different lenses and all but one were full frame lens. The resolution should be better with the larger sensor size of a Full Frame camera and I am still patiently awaiting that to happen. It will in a matter of time. Meanwhile I sit here debating to either wait for that or go with a 645D. I have a 645 film camera and some lens for it and the cost is coming down fairly fast.
12-07-2014, 12:04 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Big Dawg Quote
I had at one time over 200 different lenses and all but one were full frame lens. The resolution should be better with the larger sensor size of a Full Frame camera and I am still patiently awaiting that to happen. It will in a matter of time. Meanwhile I sit here debating to either wait for that or go with a 645D. I have a 645 film camera and some lens for it and the cost is coming down fairly fast.
Whether or not the resolution on FF is better depends on MP, The K-3 out resolves the 6D and is almost the same as the D600. The D610 also has a small advantage in noise where applicable, and high ISO performance.. again a small difference. With good light the IQ is a toss up. They perform at about the same level, with the K-3 better at low light focusing and frame rate, so, no you don't get any special advantage with an FF. You get trade offs. And trade offs can be good or bad. Although, if you spend enough for your FF, you can get a considerable advantage. But it's not an advantage because it's full frame, it's an advantage because more money is spent on components that control, processing, AF etc. As in most products if you spend more money, you get something for that money. But the thing in cameras is definitely MP and cost, more than format.

12-07-2014, 12:32 PM   #9
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I think pentax will not release full frame camera because they/imho/ think that the 645z is their answer to any one wants a pro camera. May be they are right . the MF price is now near to the price of d4s .
12-07-2014, 12:49 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by zmohie Quote
the 645z is their answer to any one wants a pro camera
I hope they really don't follow that path. In the film days thay offered 24x36 alongside 645, and had good 'pro' offerings for the smaller format, without attempting to steer all pros to medium format.

If Pentax is saying all pros should go into 645, then it's an admission that Pentax has given up on whole classes of 'pro' users - like sports pros, wildlife shooters, photo journalists etc, all of whom are rarely medium format users.
12-07-2014, 01:27 PM   #11
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Full frame is happening

Full frame will happen because Pentax France said so and it will be in 2015. The camera to beat and the seetspot in my view is the Nikon D750 so if they can build something equivalent that comes in at £1500 they will get my vote. It's affordable for very serious amateurs and professionals alike and it's realistic....

The problem I have is with the recent price cuts the K3 is a very tempting proposition and I particularly want the better autofocus and video. Pentax need full frame because they need to plug the huge gap in their range between the £750 K3 and the £6500 645z

I'm feeling very optimistic about Pentax and it's future. Why? - well when you look at it:

1. The Pentax 645Z is one of the best cameras ever made - it's stealing business from the Nikon D4s and Canon EOS1n and yet neither Canon or Nikon have an answer to it at all. It's also stealing business from the Hasselblads of the world too with its outrageously competitive pricing that they cannot hope to match (though I feel rather more sorry for Hasselblad - they make fine cameras and are a company with a great history... So Pentax build the finest high end camera in the marketplace when value and performance are taken into account. Really interesting site here which strangely mentions full frame camera PENTAX 645Z Special site | RICOH IMAGING

2. The Pentax K3 is the finest DSLR Pentax have ever made and is one of the best in its price bracket. In many ways it could be argued it is the finest APSC camera in the world as an overall package - build quality, weatherproofing, image quality etc and the only things better are the full frame offerings from Canon/Nikon at 2-3 times the price.

3. From the biggest to the smallest interchangeable lens camera system in the world with Pentax Q series - there's not a lot around in that segment either to compete.

4. Pentax launch the WG-M1 to enter the Go-pro market only it's 2/3 the price of the Go-pro, is waterproof and shockproof without the housing, also Ricoh's first wireless camera out of the box - I quite fancy one myself - it's certainly the sexiest darned action cam I've seen yet!

5. Pentax launch KS-1 for the young, touchscreen, smartphone user who is looking for DSLR quality but with a smartphone style usability - again difficult to see what else is in the market like this - even from Canikon.

6. The big gap in the range - FF DSLR looks like this gap will be plugged at last. It's long overdue but hopefully it will be something special. Pro-spec build and weathersealing, around 24megapixels, backwards K mount compatible and lets hope they address the two areas that let pentax down on my K5 certainly - naff focussing and autofocus with video plus a decently compressed video file size.

7. For the first time in history Pentax now has the backing of a truly huge global organisation with the personnel, R&D, budget and resources to push them back into the top rank.

So - this time next year pentax could have class leading products from action cams to minature cameras, through APSC, to full frame and into medium format. In studio, on the water, in the air, professionally or on holiday Pentax build a camera for you. They've launched a medium format world beater with sixteen lenses plus an action cam, a revolutionary DSLR and the K3 plus some more lenses for it in only 12 months...

Is this the new golden age to be a Pentaxian?? Is the phoenix really about to rise from the ashes....

Jon
12-07-2014, 02:01 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
I hope they really don't follow that path. In the film days thay offered 24x36 alongside 645, and had good 'pro' offerings for the smaller format, without attempting to steer all pros to medium format.

If Pentax is saying all pros should go into 645, then it's an admission that Pentax has given up on whole classes of 'pro' users - like sports pros, wildlife shooters, photo journalists etc, all of whom are rarely medium format users.
The 645Z is tailored towards landscape and studio.

For sports and wildlife, why FF rather than continued improvements to APS-C? Crop factor doesn't matter for those subjects. A K-3 like camera with continued evolutionary upgrades to AF, ISO, flash might be better than an FF sensor.
12-07-2014, 02:13 PM   #13
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Not to add more useless rumours, but I was searching for info floating around on the web regarding pentax autofocus, and came across this... not sure of the original source other than it was largely in japanese, or if this has been hashed out already here, but thought the specs were at least reasonable based on current pentax gear.

K-XL
24 effective mega-pixels in an 35 mm Full-frame sized CMOS sensor
Dual PRIMEIII
SAFOX XII Sensor Slide AF
Fastest continuous shooting at 10.0FPS
Real Time Scene Analysis with 86,000 pixel sensor
body-based Shake Reduction (SR)
Pentaprism Optical Viewfinder for 100%
100-51200 ISO(up to 409600)
12-07-2014, 02:24 PM   #14
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The real joy of a FF sensor (or any different size, bigger or smaller) is that it forces you to change the way you use a particular focal length. You may be head over heels in love with a 28mm lens on APS but when you mount that same lens on a FF body you will find yourself zooming in more with your feet. I grew up feeling that 28mm was really wide. On an APS sensor it's starting to veer toward "normal". Since you change your position to accomodate the new field of view you will find yourself doing a lot of things different. All that of that falls under the category of "using the lens as it was designed".

Using a 50mm lens on an APS sensor can be a different challenge since it now becomes a mild telephoto in old money speak. You'll find yourself zooming out with your feet more.
12-07-2014, 02:26 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by wtlwdwgn Quote
The big difference will be the angle of view on the wide angle end where 24mm is 24mm and not 36mm.
No, no, no you have that backwards. 24mm will be 16mm not 24mm. That's what I keep saying, these lenses on FF will look all weird. If I put a 24mm lens on I want the 24mm angle of view not 16mm!! If I want 16mm I put a 16mm lens on.
QuoteOriginally posted by wtlwdwgn Quote
While Nikon does have its 36 MP D810, Canon only has a 22 MP sensor in its 5D Mark III and only 18 MP in its top of the line 1D X.
I think that is the difference in sensor tech. Most seem to acknowledge that Canon is behind at this point. Maybe the best they can do is 22MP. 1Dx is a different ballgame, designed for sport shooters with 14fps. I suspect 18MP is all they can process at that FPS and FPS is more important than megapixels for sports.

I thought 16MP was more than enough until I got k-3, but I would not want to go back now. I do think 24MP is the sweet spot, but then I thought 16MP was when I had the k-5..... But going over 24MP just seems to add a lot of file size for no gain in most situations. Landscape though, the more MP the better I think.
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