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01-02-2014, 01:51 AM   #31
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Thanks for the interesting comparison. My favorite "long" lens is the DA 50-135 f2.8. To obtain the same telescopic enlargement with a FF body, i would have to have a 70-200 zoom. What keeps me in the aps ranks, is i just don't want to either buy that lens or carry it around, in or out of a pack :-)

01-02-2014, 02:58 AM   #32
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Looking at the shots the D800 is clearly the winner for mine. This comparison is as much a test of the lens and the internet as it is of the camera format, so I'm not sure any valuable conclusions can be made.
01-02-2014, 03:03 AM   #33
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D800 is, and should be, the winner of course. But the K-3 does do an amazing job. I like this comparisson.
01-02-2014, 04:39 AM   #34
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The first set shows insignificant differences to me.
The second seems to show that the D800 is sharper, but it is stopped down, whilst the Pentax is wide open.

01-02-2014, 05:44 AM   #35
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Seems to be a close contest, no? Now, viewing at 100%, move back a couple of feet, and then compare your impressions to your previous ones. Also do the same at your normal viewing distance from the screen, but NOT at 100%. Other things being equal, I'd go for the one that appears sharper while pixel peeping. But other things aren't equal, so I am able to make my choice based on what are for me more tangible criteria.
01-02-2014, 06:08 AM   #36

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QuoteOriginally posted by Paul the Sunman Quote
I agree with Miguel. The Nikon looks a little sharper to me. However, yes, without zooming, they look pretty comparable.
The same could be said about the 36mp D800 vs 41mp Nokia 808 smartphone :
Falk Lumo: The iCamera (Nokia 808 Pureview) Part II: In the studio ;)
01-02-2014, 06:49 AM - 6 Likes   #37
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Just to be sure: My D800 definitely has a better, more capable sensor than the K-3. But I'm less concerned with the sensor as I am with the total system: i.e. a particular lens + sensor combination. In my case the only choices that Nikon offers its customers to reach 400mm are either the $7000 200-400mm or the $2700 80-400mm. For travel purposes, I find both lenses to be excessively bulky and heavy (not to mention expensive). What I was curious was to see if the K-3 + 60-250mm could "compete" with a comparable setup using the Nikon D800. And I am satisfied that for TELE purposes, the K-3 + 60-250mm combination is quite capable. For wide angle, the Nikon D800 still reigns supreme. For example, I will continue to use my D800 with the Nikkor 14-24mm. From my tests, there is no other camera in the world that can match it.

But for tele/travel purposes, after having done this quick test I'm leaning towards adding the Pentax K-3 + 60-250mm to my kit. I might even try the new Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 on it when it becomes available later this year.

What is patently clear to me is that Nikon has dropped the ball. I've been waiting for years for the arrival of the D400 as a backup camera for my D800 to no avail. How could I have guessed that Pentax would deliver just the kind of camera I was waiting for? Good for Pentax. Bad for Nikon.

01-02-2014, 01:59 PM - 3 Likes   #38

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You know what's funny about this site (and maybe others too) is that a professional Nikonian picked up a K3, sang its praises, and a debate started . We have 3 pages of back and forth about which camera is better. Why don't we proudly accept the compliment and move on? I don't get it.

01-02-2014, 02:03 PM   #39
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Thank you for this test, Michael. Using primes may show the difference in capabilities much more between the two systems (DA*55 on the k-3, 85 F1.something for the D800) - but you have definitely shown that the k-3 is no slouch and is a great compact APS-C system that has few rivals in its class.
01-02-2014, 03:18 PM   #40
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Can't tell the difference between the 2 raw conversions. To close to call for me and my old eye and monitor.
01-02-2014, 06:57 PM - 4 Likes   #41
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Just to drive home the point, here is a diagram showing how the Pentax K-3 + 60-250mm combination is much more compact and weighs significantly less than the comparable Nikon D800 + Nikkor AF-S 80-400mm combination. For my travel kit, the Nikkor 80-400mm is simply too big and too heavy for my tastes. The K-3 might just be the ticket.
Attached Images
01-02-2014, 09:15 PM   #42
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Thanks Michael for taking the time to share - very interesting comparison.
01-03-2014, 03:01 AM   #43

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I have no experience of MFT at all, but I wonder how the much-lauded OM-D E5 and something like the Zuiko 50-200mm (w/ adapter) would compare, both IQ and size wise… (body 425g, adapter 42g , lens 995g, total = 1462g, 3.22 lbs)

01-03-2014, 03:33 AM - 1 Like   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by MJSfoto1956 Quote
Dear Forum Members,

I am a professional photographer who has been shooting Nikon gear since the 1980s. Currently my primary camera is a D800 -- probably the finest camera I have ever owned. On a lark over Christmas vacation I rented the new Pentax K-3 + 60-250mm f/4 from Lens Rentals to see if it could compare to my (rather heavy and bulky) D800 + AF-S 80-400mm VR setup. Well, the short answer is that I am VERY impressed with this new Pentax camera + lens combination. Neither Nikon nor Canon offer anything like it.

I will be writing up a more in-depth review during January, but attached are two test comparison images that demonstrate just how good this camera is in the real world. The "big boys" should be very concerned -- Ricoh/Pentax have a real winner here.

Links to the 9000x5400 pixel images (6Mb each)
More later.

J Michael Sullivan
Hi Michael,

Simply delighted to see a non-Pentax user discovering the merits and joys of Pentax.

While we're on this line of discussion, allow me for your benefit to also highlight some other good things one can enjoy from Pentax.

If you do portraiture, I strongly encourage you to try out the FA77 f1.8 Limited. Every lens maker has an 85mm f1.4 in their arsenal (including Pentax) and doubtless they're good. But you really owe it to yourself to see what the fuss is with the 77. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by the magical rendering this lens affords.

If you do macro, the DA35 f2.8 Macro Limited will reward you with astonishing detail, breathtaking colors/contrast and lovely bokeh. I've heard of other Nikonians impressed by its sharpness. :-)

Happy exploring, and welcome to the world of Pentax. :-)
01-03-2014, 03:41 AM - 1 Like   #45
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I've been looking at Super-telephoto's for my D800E's and the prices are terrifying. Nikon doesn't even make a cheap 400mm f5.6 these days and the 80-400 just isn't good enough when compared to primes. And so I am revisiting the idea of a 24MP APS-C to get the reach and resolution I need for what I do. The only down side will be the noise at higher ISO's as I like to crop a lot when shooting birds.

I used to own a very very sharp 60-250 but sold it when I tried to exit the Pentax Universe some 18 months ago - I knew I regret that down the track- but I still have a K-5 & K-01 and a few lenses so it wouldn't be a total reboot. I'm starting to entertain the idea of a K-3 and a DA*60-250 or DA*300 (I am selling my AF-S 300). I'm not prepared to fork out 7-10 grand for a single lens - I'd rather buy a new car or a massive Celestron telescope for that money to be honest.

For the money I would need to spend on, say, a Sigma 120-300, I can buy both a K-3 and a DA*300 or for a touch more a 5DMkIII and a 400 f4.5

That Sigma could replace my 70-200 & 300/4 to some degree and so that lens would end up being paid for from the sale of said lenses. There are two "dream lenses" on eBay right now but I know they'd never get further than my backyard due to their size. It's all very confusing and can get awfully painful after awhile trying to weigh this stuff up. There must be a checklist somewhere that can help a victim of LBA make a more emotionally intelligent choice.

On APS-C the 60-250 is a FF equivalent of 90-375 (383 according to Pentax) and so that lens on a 24MP body represents quite a bit of reach and would be stabilized via the K-3 too.

Choices choices... ..I think I'll just have another "red" and head off for bed.


Last edited by bossa; 01-03-2014 at 03:48 AM.

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