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06-24-2014, 12:47 PM   #16
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I own a K5 II and a K3 and used to own a K5. I think the K5 II and K3 are about the same with regard to low light focus. The K3 is a step ahead if you (a) need smaller auto focus points or (b) need better tracking. Otherwise they both will focus very well in most situations that you could actually take a photograph. I do prefer the k3 for some of the non-auto focus reasons, but you probably know all about those kinds of things.

06-24-2014, 04:29 PM   #17
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I went to the camera store today to look at a K3 first hand. I want the K3. End of story. Thanks for all of the helpful suggestions otherwise.
06-25-2014, 02:27 AM   #18
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My story.. I have all 3 - K5, K5IIs and K3 and hands down, my favourite one is K5IIs. I shoot portraits most of the time, kids that won't sit still for a sec, in a backlight... I have more keepers with K5IIs paired with 77 that with any other camera. Shooting mostly at 2,0 or 2,2. K5 is just not there, hunts and won't lock fast enough, and K3 is too fast to focus but I never seem to get the focus right on the eye. The K5IIs is just right on the money. Even indoors in lower light levels still prefer the K5IIs than K3. But that can be just me...
06-25-2014, 05:30 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by ksm Quote
My story.. I have all 3 - K5, K5IIs and K3 and hands down, my favourite one is K5IIs. I shoot portraits most of the time, kids that won't sit still for a sec, in a backlight... I have more keepers with K5IIs paired with 77 that with any other camera. Shooting mostly at 2,0 or 2,2. K5 is just not there, hunts and won't lock fast enough, and K3 is too fast to focus but I never seem to get the focus right on the eye. The K5IIs is just right on the money. Even indoors in lower light levels still prefer the K5IIs than K3. But that can be just me...
Still great advice thanks.....

11-11-2014, 01:38 PM   #20
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I have been asked to shoot a low-light event this Friday for my children's school. Last year I took my K-01 and Takumar 50 1.4 and it was a challenge to get shots in focus.

Here are some to give you an idea of the situation:









I'm thinking a K-3 might do better than my K-5 or K-01 in this situation. Also I am thinking about getting a Sigma or Tamron 17-50 2.8 or Pentax 16-50 2.8. Do you think that would help with this situation. I have shot this event for a few years as a parent. This year the school asked me to shoot so I would like to give them better pics.

Any thoughts? Thanks
11-11-2014, 02:53 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mr Bassie Quote
I'm thinking a K-3 might do better than my K-5 or K-01 in this situation.
The K-3 or K-5II would certainly be able to do the job. Low-light focus won't be an issue, since the K-3 and K-5II can focus down for -3 EV, which is VERY dark, whereas the K-5 only AF's down to -1 EV. But getting enough light to avoid running very high ISO's is always a problem.


Gnome lantern by night

smc PENTAX-FA 50mm F1.4, /2.0, 50.0 mm, 1/100, ISO 6400

I've shot this lantern parade in my town for several years (starting with a point-and-shoot, but mostly with the K-x, K-5 and K-3). It's always challenging, but you can get some interesting shots. I usually use the FA 50 1.4, but have also used a Tamron 17-50 f2.8 with OK results.
11-11-2014, 03:42 PM   #22
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Thanks for the advice. So the 2.8 zoom was too slow to use?

I love your pics! Our little walk is nowhere near as big as that event.
11-11-2014, 04:52 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mr Bassie Quote
So the 2.8 zoom was too slow to use?
Speed (aperture) wasn't usually the issue with the Tamron 2.8. Sometimes you need 2.8 or more just for the DOF if you have a crowded scene, plus for event shooting where you can't always vary your shooting distance due to crowds or barriers, a zoom is more flexible than a prime. And if you get close to a subject even under candlelight you can usually find a useable amount of illumination, even at f2.8. But when the light dims down real low, outdoors especially, using something faster than 2.8 can certainly make a big difference. If in doubt, bring two cameras - one mounting a f1.4 prime, another with a 2.8 zoom.

QuoteOriginally posted by Mr Bassie Quote
I love your pics! Our little walk is nowhere near as big as that event.
Thanks! It's always fun to photograph, and a great community event.

11-11-2014, 06:20 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Driline Quote
I currently own a K5 and am finding that indoors low light even my FA 43 has difficulty obtaining "In focus" images let alone my DA 21. I'm wondering if the K3 is significantly better at focusing in low light than my K5 and if it would be worth the purchase. I would forgo my purchase of the FA 31 now if the K3 can get me in focus shots in low light with my current selection of lenses.

My current Stable of lenses (same as in my signature)

FA 43

DA 35 2.4

DA 21

F*300

DA*16-50

DA*50-135

F 35-70

Tokina F4 AT-X SD 100-300
To be honest the difference in low light focus speed is not as dramatic as I would have hoped. I was actually surprised there wasn't a bigger difference in low light speed. Maybe at -1 ev to -3 ev it is quite notable but not in 99% of shooting conditions. However it is slightly better and there is a big difference in autofocus tracking which is cool.
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