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11-24-2013, 06:09 AM   #1
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Which system?

Hi, I am a newbie here and also with Pentax cameras. I have been using Sony cameras for about six years. Therefore I am shopping for an upgrade. Recently bought a new camera for my wife when I noticed a Pentax K-5 II. I had the pleasure of using it for a few days and must say I enjoyed it. I never really even considered Pentax before until I had this opportunity. I must say in all honesty I liked it very much. I had quite good results with the 18-55mm lens. At present I am considering the Pentax K-3. I was considering a Nikon D610 but it is more money than I want to invest. My objective is to find a camera such as the K-3 but haven't got a clear insight on high iso performance. Also what lenses and flashes anyone would recommend as I do some weddings,etc. Just to note that this will probably be my last upgrade so I want to get all good stuff. Thank you in advance for your help...:-)

11-24-2013, 07:43 AM   #2
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Well the K-3 is a great camera. So that is safe t start with.

Lenses is something different, since it comes all to the focal lengths you want to use.

I'd say look into the Limited series for some Jewels.
11-24-2013, 08:20 AM   #3
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Lenses: If you go straight to the FA Limited primes you can't really go wrong. They cost a lot of money, sure, but for what you get they're not expensive. Leica is expensive. The Pentax-FA 31mm f/1.8 Limited and Pentax-FA 77mm f/1.8 Limited. Some also recommend the Pentax-FA 43mm f/1.9 Limited. I don't have this lens so can't say anything about it. Have seen some great work with it mind.

You could try and find an FA 85mm f/1.4, but tricky to find.

For low light and extreme bokeh you can get a Pentax-K 50mm f/1.2 or Pentax-A f/1.2. I have the K and it's great. These are manual focus only and from the 1970's. Getting harder to find these days. Alternatively you could go with a Revuenon MC 55mm f/1.2 K-mount if you can find one. Also the Pentax-M 50mm f/1.7 is truly outstanding for its extremely low cost, look on ebay, plenty available.

Please note all the lenses above are full frame compatible lenses. I recommend these over the crop frame DA lenses just in case Pentax does a FF camera in the future and that the FF lenses do a great job on the APS-C sensor, something about the lens sweet spot (centre sharpness).

Flash: I think Metz offer good quality and value, I have the Metz 52, although I rarely use it.
11-24-2013, 08:29 AM   #4
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Hey, welcome! Pentax has the advantage in that it is pretty intuitive, much more than most other brands. The K-3 is a great choice, but maybe a K-5IIs would also fit the bill and save you some money. With cameras, the lens is often the more important factor, so its good to invest. The 18-55mm is not a bad lens, but its among the weakest in the current Pentax lineup.
The best Pentax lenses have a fixed focal length (called a prime lens, it has no zoom). These will give you great image quality, AF, and low light performance. But a zoom lens has more flexibility because you can simply zoom to change the framing. A single zoom can cover the range of many prime lenses, but it probably won't be quite as good. So you need to decide what your priority is. If you are planning on doing professional wedding photography, you will probably need the DA* 55mm f1.4 or the FA 77mm limited for top-notch portraits. Or the DA 50-135mm as a high end zoom lens. But you can also take great photos with a cheaper DA 40mm XS or Tamron 17-50mm.

Feel free to use the sample photo gallery on this forum and read the lens reviews section to see which lenses might suit you best.


Last edited by Na Horuk; 11-24-2013 at 08:34 AM.
11-24-2013, 08:40 AM   #5
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K-3 based on reviews is the best Pentax camera ever. So, you can't go wrong with it.

As for lenses, you can choose from FA/DA Limited line which is really nice but not very fast and quite expensive.

Or

If weight and size is not important for you and you need the best performance, there is always Sigma 35/50/85 primes, which have a class leading performance.

Also, on a budget you can get Rokinon 35/85 lenses. Which are fast, have great IQ and the unbeatable bang for you buck ratio.

Metz flashes are high quality. German made. No more words needed.

Last edited by Apapukas; 11-24-2013 at 08:50 AM.
11-24-2013, 09:50 AM   #6
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If you are doing weddings you will probably mostly want zooms. Primes are nice and all, but I doubt you'll want to spend the time changing lenses. The Pentax DA 50-135mm is universally well liked as is the DA 12-24mm. I have also gotten great results with the DA 16-50, but many many other people have had problems with it's focus motor dying. There is also a new 20-40mm limited lens just announced, that you may be interested in. It's not out yet but interest is high on it. There are member reviews of the lenses mentioned above + almost every other lens Pentax has ever made. They can be found here. One of the beauties of the Pentax system is that ALL of the pentax older lenses are compatible with the new bodies. Even the old screwmount lenses work with the addition of a simple adapter. And since image stabilization/shake reduction/whatever you want to call it, is in the camera body, EVERY lens benefits from modern electronic stabilization. Even the ones older than you are!

NaCl(welcome to the wonderful world of Pentax)H2O
11-24-2013, 10:51 AM   #7
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It's smart that you are thinking in terms of whole systems, rather than an isolated component. If weddings are important to you, I would recommend Nikon. Even though I am appreciating my K-3 with each hour of discovery, the Pentax flash subsystem is a generation or two behind Nikon and Canon.This is the one major area where Ricoh neglected the K-3. The synch speed is 1/180, but more importantly PTTL is not as trustworthy as the other brands' automated flash systems. I served as art director of a team of 12 photographers for a week-long corporate event in a variety of indoor and outdoor venues. As the sole Pentax shooter (little surprise there, though everyone thought I was using Olympus somehow), I really had to work a little harder technically on a lot of the indoor assignments compared with my team members (and I reviewed and edited tens of thousands of shots to make stories). That deficiency helped move me to Canon--which still lags a bit behind Nikon flash wise.

You will also find higher quality and more diverse zooms for the other brands.

M
11-24-2013, 03:39 PM   #8
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For wedding photography I think the DA*50-135 is a must, it is a stunning lens and a very useful focal range. Add to that lens the Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 or the DA*16-50 and you are covered.

11-24-2013, 03:42 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Miguel Quote
It's smart that you are thinking in terms of whole systems, rather than an isolated component. If weddings are important to you, I would recommend Nikon. Even though I am appreciating my K-3 with each hour of discovery, the Pentax flash subsystem is a generation or two behind Nikon and Canon.This is the one major area where Ricoh neglected the K-3. The synch speed is 1/180, but more importantly PTTL is not as trustworthy as the other brands' automated flash systems. I served as art director of a team of 12 photographers for a week-long corporate event in a variety of indoor and outdoor venues. As the sole Pentax shooter (little surprise there, though everyone thought I was using Olympus somehow), I really had to work a little harder technically on a lot of the indoor assignments compared with my team members (and I reviewed and edited tens of thousands of shots to make stories). That deficiency helped move me to Canon--which still lags a bit behind Nikon flash wise.

You will also find higher quality and more diverse zooms for the other brands.

M
I agree that the flash systems are important, especially for weddings, and especially if you are putting together multi-flash for poses. I also agree with Miguel's ranking, although I don't see Pentax as quite so far behind - especially with the recent improvements (K3 in particular) and the Metz system as an option. Frankly, a lot of Canon wedding shooters rely mostly on Auto settings - even for 2-3 flashes and get good results. If you are willing to use Auto as a fallback when pTTL isn't getting it right, you can use some imagination with Auto to get multi-flash effect out of single source. LumiQuest is very helpful for that.

The OP is concerned with budget, and might want to rethink low-end full frame as an option. Consider weight (favors Pentax), and the high cost of going with FX lenses rather than DX. Gets expensive fast to achieve quality FF. And, you need ultra-wide for weddings - and the APSc lenses appear to have surpassed all but the most expensive FF lenses for that situation.
11-24-2013, 05:57 PM   #10
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Thank you everyone for the feedback. I have been doing major research for my upgrade. Every system has it's quirks but it appears I may have to bite the bullet in order to achieve my goal. I tried to stay with Sony but they would be the most expensive. So it will probably be the Nikon as I am not a Canon person ( they make good stuff, just not into them ). I thought maybe the Pentax K-3 would do it but there are too many issues there unfortunately, as they do have very nice cameras. I really hope Ricoh can bring them up to date. Like I said I was really impressed with the K-5 II and what it could do even with just the kit lens ( they need to advertise ). Thanks again everyone for your honesty...
11-24-2013, 08:04 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Miguel Quote
Pentax flash subsystem is a generation or two behind Nikon and Canon.This is the one major area where Ricoh neglected the K-3. The synch speed is 1/180, but more importantly PTTL is not as trustworthy as the other brands' automated flash systems
Doesn't this depend on whether you use pTTL or manual/Autothyristor?
If you use pTTL, I agree. If you can use Autothyristor mode or full manual control, I don't...
11-24-2013, 09:31 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenyee Quote
Doesn't this depend on whether you use pTTL or manual/Autothyristor?
If you use pTTL, I agree. If you can use Autothyristor mode or full manual control, I don't...
Well kinda yes it does depend. I've had fine success using the thyristor on my Pentax cameras in lieu of PTTL. But the thyristor function is more flash dependent than camera system dependent, so I didn't include it as a plus for a Pentax-based flash subsystem--any camera platform can do thyristor auto. And given the choice between working a wedding or event with a thyristor flash solution vs. a high quality automated TTL approach, I'll always take the latter.

Within the same shooting context of fast paced events, I'll take TTL over manual, though for more studious, slower work I'll enjoy manual.

M
11-24-2013, 10:34 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenyee Quote
Doesn't this depend on whether you use pTTL or manual/Autothyristor?
If you use pTTL, I agree. If you can use Autothyristor mode or full manual control, I don't...
As Migual says: auto-thyristor and manual are not the 'Pentax subsystem'.
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