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11-20-2016, 06:05 AM   #1
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K1 and performance with 20mm A f2.8, 24mm f2.8 A, and 20-35 FA F4

Hello All.

This spring I will be traveling to the Galapagos Islands with my class. I am mostly a nature photographer, but I do landscapes as well. Anyway I am a professor on a limited budget so I'm thinking about what directions I might go with equipment.

My current camera bodies that I have are K3, K5IIs, and K7 (won't bring the later though). I have a mix of film lenses and APS lenses. My widest APS lenses are 15mm DA f4, 12-24 f4, and 18-55 DAW. As noted in the title my widest film-era lenses outside of fish eye that I have are the 20mm f2.8 A, 24mm f2.8 A, and the FA 20-35.

I have given serious thought to the K1. But there is no way I can afford the K1 and the new Tamron/Pentax 15-30. So:

If I WERE to get a K1 would I get a substantially better landscape image with my older film-body lenses over what I can get with a K3 or K5IIs with my APS lenses? It's clear that the K1 with the 15-30 are jaw dropping, but I appreciate that older lenses may not give you the same level of performance.

Thanks!

11-20-2016, 06:31 AM   #2
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Acquiring the new 15-30 may enable you to call a couple of the older lenses redundant so they could be sold to help fund the new purchase. Say, sell 24 f/2.8A and 20-35 FA f/4 and maybe even 20 f/2.8 because the 15-30 pretty much covers them all? That new lens could also mount on K3, K5II, etc so would you keep 15 DA f/4 if funds were tight?
Just speculating stemked, you might find a way to rearrange your gear and make it possible.
The new lens on a K1 would likely be a quantum leap in IQ above your present outfit.
11-20-2016, 06:36 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by From1980 Quote
Acquiring the new 15-30 may enable you to call a couple of the older lenses redundant so they could be sold to help fund the new purchase. Say, sell 24 f/2.8A and 20-35 FA f/4 and maybe even 20 f/2.8 because the 15-30 pretty much covers them all? That new lens could also mount on K3, K5II, etc so would you keep 15 DA f/4 if funds were tight?
Just speculating stemked, you might find a way to rearrange your gear and make it possible.
The new lens on a K1 would likely be a quantum leap in IQ above your present outfit.
you may be right, but if you travel weight could be an issue
11-20-2016, 06:46 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by stemked Quote
If I WERE to get a K1 would I get a substantially better landscape image with my older film-body lenses over what I can get with a K3 or K5IIs with my APS lenses?
If you use a tripod at ISO100, I believe there wouldn't be a significant difference between a K3 and K1. However, you find a lot of situations where you can still shoot handheld with a K1, you'll get better images because of absence of noise at commonly used ISO values between 200 and 800, and better SR of the K1. When outdoors, my experience is there is a noticeable range of situation where I can get very good images with a K1 where I would need a tripod for the K3.

11-20-2016, 07:10 AM   #5
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Remember that your widest APS-C lens is 15mm, equivalent to 22.5mm on FF. Therefore the 20mm SMCA you own will provide noticeably more coverage (wider) mounted on a K1 than the 15mm does when mounted on a K3. If you use crop mode on a K1, you can use the 15mm and get an image pretty much comparable to what you get when that lens is mounted on a K3. If you use 15mm on a K1 and set the camera to obligatory FF, you will probably gain a little bit of coverage but you'll need to crop off the badly vignetted edges in PP. And finally, a 15mm FF lens on a FF body is equivalent to a 10mm lens on an APS-C body. Do you need a rectilinear that wide? When I was in the Galapagos, I never felt the need for something wider than my 20~35mm, and I rarely used that lens (mostly on the boat, not for scenics).
11-20-2016, 07:16 AM   #6
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I think it really depends on what your priorities are. If you want the very best image quality possible and don't suffer from lens collecting addiction I would sell all the old film lenses and maybe even the DA 15 plus two of your APS-C cameras to fund the K-1 plus the 15-30. If you travel often and want to travel light and/or don't want to part with those film era gems you own I would stay with the APS-C system.
11-20-2016, 08:40 AM   #7
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Thanks for everyone's input.

Regarding 'How wide' would I like to be for landscapes on FF I'm happy with 20-24mm.

I won't sell the K3 as I do a lot of wildlife photography and having a popup flash with a diffuser for macro I get stunning images. Also I like the crop factor for bird photography. The K1 would seem to be a stellar landscape camera, but I am not willing to sell the K3. The K5II will likely get moved into my research lab.

And I do get wider than 15mm with the 12-24, it's just a lot heavier. I'll think that through.

It sounds like from what I'm hearing here is that the film lenses really don't perform all that well, or at least they themselves, don't justify getting the K1. A cropped body with say the 12-24 may just be the way to go and I should be satisfied with that combo. Weight wise it's probably a better bet. I travel with a decent Suri Carbon fiber tripod anyway.

Your input will likely make my wife happier in any event if I don't have to bring up another camera body.

Last edited by stemked; 11-20-2016 at 08:55 AM.
11-20-2016, 10:48 AM   #8
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for me, the k-1 is better at everything in every way... doesn't matter if it's a 3:1 macro of a fly or kids playing in a leaf pile. i really loved my k-3, and i would have kept it if i could afford to.... but i don't miss a thing about it.

11-20-2016, 11:05 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by stemked Quote
Thanks for everyone's input.

. A cropped body with say the 12-24 may just be the way to go and I should be satisfied with that combo.
12mm on APS-C is equivalent to 18mm on FF, so your 20mm SMCA on FF would cover perceptibly less.
11-20-2016, 12:47 PM   #10
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No experience of either(!) but would have thought the old FA20-35 on a K1 would be pretty damned sharp stopped down slightly...
11-20-2016, 02:21 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by stemked Quote
K1 and performance with 20mm A f2.8, 24mm f2.8 A
I must admit I'm happy with the performance on the K1 with both my "Good Lady” (Pentax-A 20mm F2.8) and “Friendly Lady” (Pentax-A 24mm F2.8).

But then I'm lucky enough to have wider, if I need it with my “Mistress" (Pentax-A 15mm F3.5).
11-20-2016, 03:45 PM   #12
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What is the nature of your trip to the Galapagos?

Are you with a scientific study team with true access, or is it really a package trip? If it is the latter, I'd not gear up. Access to the islands is intensely limited , as in, you go ashore for 40 minutes to an hour or so and then must leave. There is little time to keep up with the naturalist guides and do meaningful photography, especially landscape, unless you are on a land trip to one of the settled islands.

If, OTOH, you are on an academic trip that includes overstays at the uninhabited islands' research stations, then by all means go for the upgrade. I was there last year, so PM me if you want other details.
11-20-2016, 04:03 PM   #13
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Don't sell any older wides till you tried them on the K1.
I do think the 24/2.8 (presuming that its the same the K24/2.8) will work well enough.
I've tried a friend's copy of the FA20-35 before and though his was decentered on one side, the other side was really very good.
I have doubt about the A20/2.8 from the one I've tried, though others have reported good results.


I'd just get a Samyang 14/2.8 (or Irix now) and the K1 and be done with it.

---------- Post added 11-21-2016 at 07:06 AM ----------

Samples of the lenses on the K1.

K24/2.8 - not as sharp on the edges, but really good enough if its adjusted to reach infinity (or a bit past it ).










---------- Post added 11-21-2016 at 07:11 AM ----------

Samyang 14/2.8 - despite what is said about distortion, I find that the LR profile cleans it up enough to be not much of an issue.
A steal at its price.
This lens is sharper on the edges and corners than many of the legacy wides I've tried (and its 14mm not 15mm, 18mm, 20mm, 24mm).











11-20-2016, 04:15 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by texandrews Quote
Are you with a scientific study team with true access, or is it really a package trip? If it is the latter, I'd not gear up. Access to the islands is intensely limited , as in, you go ashore for 40 minutes to an hour or so and then must leave. There is little time to keep up with the naturalist guides and do meaningful photography, especially landscape, unless you are on a land trip to one of the settled islands.

If, OTOH, you are on an academic trip that includes overstays at the uninhabited islands' research stations, then by all means go for the upgrade. I was there last year, so PM me if you want other details.
Good point. I'm a college professor and I will be with around 15 students. I suspect there is an element of speed on the trip. IE. it is NOT a slow photographers trip.

---------- Post added 11-20-2016 at 06:18 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by pinholecam Quote
Don't sell any older wides till you tried them on the K1.
I do think the 24/2.8 (presuming that its the same the K24/2.8) will work well enough.
I've tried a friend's copy of the FA20-35 before and though his was decentered on one side, the other side was really very good.
I have doubt about the A20/2.8 from the one I've tried, though others have reported good results.


I'd just get a Samyang 14/2.8 (or Irix now) and the K1 and be done with it.

---------- Post added 11-21-2016 at 07:06 AM ----------

Samples of the lenses on the K1.

K24/2.8 - not as sharp on the edges, but really good enough if its adjusted to reach infinity (or a bit past it ).










---------- Post added 11-21-2016 at 07:11 AM ----------

Samyang 14/2.8 - despite what is said about distortion, I find that the LR profile cleans it up enough to be not much of an issue.
A steal at its price.
This lens is sharper on the edges and corners than many of the legacy wides I've tried (and its 14mm not 15mm, 18mm, 20mm, 24mm).











Wow Pinholecam. Those are some truly spectacular images. This isn't getting any easier!
11-20-2016, 04:24 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by rob1234 Quote
No experience of either(!) but would have thought the old FA20-35 on a K1 would be pretty damned sharp stopped down slightly...
My FA20-35 is quite sharp on my K-1. Stopping down helps, certainly. At F8, I have nothing to complain about (just the very corners show a bit of softness). F5.6 is very good, and F4 is quite good if you're not pixel-peeping. PF is easily cleaned up in PP.

My A24 falls way behind.

The FA20-35 now has its place in my FF bag, along with my FA limiteds. So glad that I got it 3 years ago in anticipation of the long-awaited Pentax FF.

Don't have the DFA 15-30 to compare with, unfortunately. It's probably way better (it should be, for the price).
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