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10-13-2013, 07:33 AM   #1
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Which lens on which body?

I'm likely to get the K-3 as a second in-field body to accompany my K-5IIs. I hate changing lenses in the field and really hate missing shots of birds when I have my landscape lens attached. The K-3 looks to be a perfect birding camera BUT I want to print Pano landscapes as big as possible (4 feet+ tall). Obviously the more megapixels (and hopefully more Dynamic Range) in the K-3 would be the ideal choice for landscapes too. So what lens would you pair with what body? A 60-250 DA* and/or Bigma (possibly even the Sigma 500mm f4.5 in the future) on the K-5IIs and the 15 LTD and/or 16-50 DA* on the K-3 or vice versa? Thanks.

10-13-2013, 07:50 AM   #2
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I think you answered your own question here, but if I understand things correctly, both cameras produce 14-bit RAW, so the DR will likely be very close. You'll want the K-3 for the short lens though, as you will need to acquire more of your image circle, for sure. The k5iis should be excellent for birding still, and the long glass will do well for you there, that combination should help you get the most out of each lens/camera IMO.
10-13-2013, 12:56 PM   #3
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If there is a major difference in AF (and I assume you use it--I don't) that would be deciding factor IMO. Whether the focus is spot on or not will be bigger impact (on the birding pictures) than the impact of scenery/panorama--minor DR difference (to be seen--but likely similar) and the degree of enlargement (and thus interpolation to increase size). I regularly enlarge to 3 ft w/ my K20d and 4 ft would not be a problem (when looking at a huge print one does not stand 10" away to look).
10-13-2013, 07:04 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by dms Quote
If there is a major difference in AF (and I assume you use it--I don't) that would be deciding factor IMO. Whether the focus is spot on or not will be bigger impact (on the birding pictures) than the impact of scenery/panorama--minor DR difference (to be seen--but likely similar) and the degree of enlargement (and thus interpolation to increase size). I regularly enlarge to 3 ft w/ my K20d and 4 ft would not be a problem (when looking at a huge print one does not stand 10" away to look).
Good point that I had not considered. I've played with bird shots on manual focus but am not proficient enough to rely on it. Though I'm never 100% happy with auto for birds. This camera might change that...

10-15-2013, 02:02 AM   #5
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I'm in the same position as you, halfspin, and for me there is NO doubt: Long glass on the K-3, landscape lens on the K-5.

The K-5 is a great camera, great dynamic range and with a good landscape lens I believe it has all the resolution you could dream of for landscape photos. For birding you will need 1) fast AF and 2) room for cropping - and the K-3 is promising to be an improvement for both these needs. I am also hoping for slightly less noise at four-digit iso - which would be relevant for 1/1600 sek bird-in-flight shots.

In December I see myself in some beautiful winter landscape surrounded by flocks of migrating water birds, with the K-3 plus my DA* 300mm at TAV:1/1600sek;f5.6, and the K-5 with my DA* 50-135mm at AV:f8 (right, I prefer short tele even for the scenery - I'm a beauty-in-the-detail observer, I suppose). I'll have the Sigma 28mm as a K-5 backup for landscapes - I won't miss any bird shots switching, then.

...I don't know why I am out there in December rather than at work, though? Hmmm... Maybe I got fired for browsing pentaxforums and dreaming of the K-3 during work hours?
10-15-2013, 09:49 AM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by kain Quote
both cameras produce 14-bit RAW, so the DR will likely be very close.
Number of bits is not related to DR.
10-15-2013, 02:45 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by bvg Quote
Number of bits is not related to DR.
Not directly, but it sets an upper bound, and as I understand things, the K-5 was close to that, already.
10-15-2013, 07:23 PM   #8
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I am not sure. Output of sensor is analog and can be digitized with any number of bits. DR depends rather of "sensitivity" of sensor (quality of the signal) and electronic capabilities of engine to process the signal.

10-15-2013, 07:34 PM   #9
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Very similar problem if you want to call it that... Will have K-3 and K-5. Also when birding, either F*300 f4.5 or A* 600 f5.6. K-3 will have faster AF for F lens but maybe better resolution for long A lens. With problems like those, who is complaining... ;-) I guess it will be just a matter of trial and error but any familiarity with the problem would be appreciated.
10-16-2013, 12:29 AM   #10
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djc737 - yep, luxury problem!

Still, I would say it looks pretty clear to me: Make the most of the new AF by putting your F lens on the K-3. The 600mm would have very little need for cropping, and there is pretty fine resolution in the K-5 already!

Can't wait to handle these great dilemmas in real life!
10-16-2013, 02:12 AM   #11
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Every time I get a new camera I intend the same, i.e. keep the previous camera at the ready with another lens so I don't have to switch lenses. In practice it has never taken me long to leave the previous camera at home and instead of two cameras-two lenses, I end up putting the new camera and three (or four) lenses in my bag. No long after that I realize the new camera is just better than the previous one in every aspect, and the previous camera is sold to a happy new owner. YMMV, but it seems there are single camera people and multiple camera people. The most I can manage is to take a compact camera (currently the Q) with me for when the large DSLR is not an option.

No criticism, just another point of view...

Wim
10-16-2013, 03:17 AM   #12
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Well... when I upgraded from K-7 to K-5, my plan was to go two-cameras-two-lenses. In practise, I did like you, Wim: The K-5 was so much radically better that I barely ever used my K-7. But then we went to Argentina this winter: I had nasty memories of how _extremely_ dusty the insides of my K-10d had been after Argentina last time, so I decided: K-5 with the 300mm and K-7 with the 16-50mm - both dustproof - perfect.

Except... I had never tried my 16-50mm on the K-7 before the trip, and during the trip I was too busy having an adventure to review my photos properly. I came home with a stack of HORRIBLY front focussed shots from the K-7. Which could have been fixed by simple adjustment, if I hadn't been so dumb.

The point? I suppose the point is that your second camera should see enough regular use for you to still be familiar with its performace, otherwise it makes more sense to sell it like Wim did. After Argentina I was very resentful towards my K-7 and sold it rather cheap just to get rid of it. But I love my K-5 so much, and I think I will still love it for scenery and snapshooting. I just need the K-3 for wildlife.

K-5 IS a great camera - I expect still to think so after trying the K-3.
10-16-2013, 03:53 AM   #13
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For nature walks, birding, wildlife, etc, I carry one body with DA*300 on a Carry-Speed sling. On the other shoulder I have a second body and three lenses in a messenger bag. When I receive my K-3, the K-x will go, the K20D will go into the messenger bag and the K-3 will carry the DA*300.

The answer to the original question is clear for me. The K-3 is a birder's dream, especially if you want to shoot them in flight. The K-5 IIs will hold it's own for landscapes. The only difference between the two will be resolution. Landscapes are not normally cropped, bird photos are cropped mercilessly, so the higher resolution body is better suited to birding.

QuoteOriginally posted by bvg Quote
Number of bits is not related to DR.
It is, and the best evidence is the DR of the K-30/K-50/K-01 vs. K-5, II and IIs. The extra stop of DR in the upper level bodies is solely due to 14 bits vs. 12 bits.
10-16-2013, 04:04 AM   #14
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What audiobomber said.
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