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02-10-2021, 07:56 AM   #1
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GAS dilemma : A7ii, P-HD DA* 11-18 2.8, P-HD DA 10-17 fisheye, K-1...

Hello fellow Pentaxians (and lets hope 2021 will be better than 2020).

Monitoring local sales, I was struck by a clearance sale on A7ii with kit lens for less than 750. I am horribly tempted by it, especially if at the end of the clearance period they hack the price further as per their usage.
The current -50%, while seemingly extremely good value for any one looking an entry into FF, is not enough to have me pull the trigger, but a -75% or even -66% might, even if I'm not sure what I would do with it beside discovering FF and/or fitting my Irix 15mm 2.4 on it with an adapter at the expense of Astrotracer.

Of course these considerations triggered further GSA, and I've been looking at both the Pentax HD DA* 11-18 and Pentax HD DA 10-17 fisheye, especially since I've found deals for the former around 1k, and the latter close to 400. These would be excellent complements for my K-5iis APS-C considering my interests in wide angle astro, hand-held landscapes and frequent work on building/infrastructure expertise. But then for a comparable amount of money I've seen a new K-1, on which I could use my Irix 15mm 2.4 to its full Milky Way potential...

The expertise work would arguably the more serious justification, as it involves capturing hair thin fissures on white plastered walls or bare concrete structures, often in dark and cramped if not humid settings. For the past few years I've been using my employer's Canon 650D combined with kit 18-135mm and a Canon EF-S 10–22mm, which is decent enough, but the lack of stabilisation on the UWA zoom really shows, particularly in low light. I've already been bringing my own gear for the times I need a long telephoto while inspecting large bridges, with the K-5iis+HD 55-300 WR delivering.
For that kind of work I wouldn't see myself replacing my K-5iis, as the pop-up flash is really useful if not essential, plus even the lighter 650D gets already quite heavy on the hand after a full day of shooting...

But then even if after 8 years it has only 20k shots it won't last forever...

Any opinions?

02-10-2021, 08:59 AM   #2
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Just be aware that the Sony a7II was introduced on 20 November, 2014, so not very new technology.
02-10-2021, 09:06 AM   #3
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I have a k-3 and a new KP. I was gifted an A7RII. My plan is to try the Monster autofocus adapter for k Mount lenses on e Mount cameras to see if I can share the lens collection and enjoy both. However that adapter is projected to cost $300.

I currently have three separate systems to learn and support m43 (Panasonic and Olympus), Pentax, and Sony. This isn’t efficient and I don’t really suggest getting sucked into it. My journey includes trying to partner with my dad and give him good advice as he downsized to m43 - and then his gift of Sony.

If it were me, and I was in your position, I would stare hard at the sale price of the KP. If you look at photonstophotos website you will see the dynamic range is pretty amazing and yet the camera is small like the k-5 and still has a built-in pop up flash. While this doesn’t change the angle of view of your Irix it does give you excellent low light and high dynamic range options as well as increased resolution over the k-5 16mp sensor.
02-10-2021, 09:08 AM   #4
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Add the k-5 (iis is the only k-5 listed) and the Sony and the KP to this chart:

Photographic Dynamic Range versus ISO Setting

What you should see is that after about iso 636 the KP beats the Sony except for one point way down the line. Below that the Sony has greater dynamic range, but not by much. They’re all great cameras.


Last edited by UncleVanya; 02-10-2021 at 09:15 AM.
02-10-2021, 10:33 AM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by JMvS Quote
Any opinions?
1) Separation of concerns: as an employee, I'd try to avoid using my own gear for my employer's work. And I'd try not to use my employer's gear for my own hobby photography
2) Cheap for a reason: A7II is quite old, not better than apsc cameras of today, that's why the A7II is heavily discounted
3) Buying on purpose: evaluate what kind of photography should be done, then select camera & lens accordingly, not just because the price is low if not the right tool.
02-10-2021, 11:27 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
1) Separation of concerns: as an employee, I'd try to avoid using my own gear for my employer's work. And I'd try not to use my employer's gear for my own hobby photography
2) Cheap for a reason: A7II is quite old, not better than apsc cameras of today, that's why the A7II is heavily discounted
3) Buying on purpose: evaluate what kind of photography should be done, then select camera & lens accordingly, not just because the price is low if not the right tool.
The issues with the a7ii are mostly autofocus and frame rate and EVF. The dynamic range still beats most APSC cameras to a pulp. The KP is a rare camera. Look at the site I posted. Compare the KP to the original k-1 and see what I mean. Bear in mind that tests are only tests.

The a7iii is the current a7 24mp body. Here’s a comparison of the two: Sony A7 II vs A7 III – The 10 Main Differences
02-10-2021, 11:41 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Add the k-5 (iis is the only k-5 listed) and the Sony and the KP to this chart:

Photographic Dynamic Range versus ISO Setting

What you should see is that after about iso 636 the KP beats the Sony except for one point way down the line. Below that the Sony has greater dynamic range, but not by much. They’re all great cameras.
As evidence how well Pentax cameras in general perform, try adding even the lowly K70 to the mix.
02-10-2021, 12:10 PM - 2 Likes   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
The issues with the a7ii are mostly autofocus and frame rate and EVF. The dynamic range still beats most APSC cameras to a pulp. The KP is a rare camera. Look at the site I posted. Compare the KP to the original k-1 and see what I mean. Bear in mind that tests are only tests.

The a7iii is the current a7 24mp body. Here’s a comparison of the two: Sony A7 II vs A7 III – The 10 Main Differences
Thanks for pointing these things out. If I were to get a $1200 windfall (say, courtesy of the U.S. Congress) and saw an A7ii at <$700 with kit lens, I might go for it, despite the disorienting effect of their EVF. No, the build/WR is not to Pentax standards and yes, it is ONLY 24 Mpickles, but for my use, even 36Mpk is overkill, never mind the need to upgrade the computer to support such.


Steve

(...really wishes Pentax would release a K-1 lite 24Mpx camera...)

02-10-2021, 01:05 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by JMvS Quote
then for a comparable amount of money I've seen a new K-1,
QuoteOriginally posted by JMvS Quote
my interests in wide angle astro, hand-held landscapes and frequent work on building/infrastructure
No brainer,immediate familiarity with menu. great battery life,300k accutation body, screen doesn't do quite as much as 650d but you can't dangle 3kgs off the canon screen for very long and have it still attached to camera(not that ive tried, its my daughters camera).
02-10-2021, 01:07 PM - 2 Likes   #10
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I would only buy into a new system if I could afford the lenses...
02-10-2021, 01:52 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by jlstrawman Quote
Just be aware that the Sony a7II was introduced on 20 November, 2014, so not very new technology.
True that, it is indeed in between my K-5iis and the K-1 in that respect...

---------- Post added 02-10-21 at 01:54 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Add the k-5 (iis is the only k-5 listed) and the Sony and the KP to this chart:

Photographic Dynamic Range versus ISO Setting

What you should see is that after about iso 636 the KP beats the Sony except for one point way down the line. Below that the Sony has greater dynamic range, but not by much. They’re all great cameras.
Thanks for the advice, feedback and the link. Good to know that if worst things come the KP could still be a viable replacement.

---------- Post added 02-10-21 at 02:03 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
1) Separation of concerns: as an employee, I'd try to avoid using my own gear for my employer's work. And I'd try not to use my employer's gear for my own hobby photography
2) Cheap for a reason: A7II is quite old, not better than apsc cameras of today, that's why the A7II is heavily discounted
3) Buying on purpose: evaluate what kind of photography should be done, then select camera & lens accordingly, not just because the price is low if not the right tool.
Indeed
1) But while I would never use my employers gear privately (safe for that one shot while on duty on some roof), I have less reservations in using my private gear, as I do wear my own clothes at work. It mostly boils down to being pretty much the picture guy that has to make with the gear that was already there. But the camera I use the most is just my Olympus TG-4.
2) and 3) are the crux of my dilemma, as I do have conflicting kinds of photography I want to do.

---------- Post added 02-10-21 at 02:13 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
The issues with the a7ii are mostly autofocus and frame rate and EVF. The dynamic range still beats most APSC cameras to a pulp. The KP is a rare camera. Look at the site I posted. Compare the KP to the original k-1 and see what I mean. Bear in mind that tests are only tests.

The a7iii is the current a7 24mp body. Here’s a comparison of the two: Sony A7 II vs A7 III – The 10 Main Differences
Good to know at least that I shouldn't count on the A7ii for a stellar improvememt on trying to keep my running children in focus (which is a thing I had in mind but forgot to mention).

---------- Post added 02-10-21 at 02:14 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by gatorguy Quote
As evidence how well Pentax cameras in general perform, try adding even the lowly K70 to the mix.
I saw that. Good to know, altough I'd still have to judge it on other metrics.

---------- Post added 02-10-21 at 02:29 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Thanks for pointing these things out. If I were to get a $1200 windfall (say, courtesy of the U.S. Congress) and saw an A7ii at <$700 with kit lens, I might go for it, despite the disorienting effect of their EVF. No, the build/WR is not to Pentax standards and yes, it is ONLY 24 Mpickles, but for my use, even 36Mpk is overkill, never mind the need to upgrade the computer to support such.


Steve

(...really wishes Pentax would release a K-1 lite 24Mpx camera...)
In my case its a mix of fear/hope to see the kit going for less than 400 triggering acute GAS. But at worst I reassure myself that I could always convert it to a gift for one of my numerous siblings (2 have Nikons, 2 Sonys and 3 are still system less).

I'll admit being even more extreme in my reluctance to follow the Megapixels crescendo, being comfortable with all my devices delivering around 16. If only for storage.

Altough having started to display my best shots on a Samsung the Frame, I sometimes tell myself that more IQ could be better, but at the same time 4K is only around 8Mpix, and some of my favorites were taken with my old 7.2 Mpix Sony point and shoot back in 2007...

Last edited by JMvS; 02-11-2021 at 01:02 AM.
02-10-2021, 03:31 PM - 1 Like   #12
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The sony a7ii is a moderately capable body that's absolutely devoid of joy when in use. IQ is exactly what you'd expect out of an older entry-level FF camera - it's pretty good, but nothing mind-blowing. The focus is only good when using first-party glass, adapted glass was pretty hit-or-miss for me. The sony 28-70 was very much a kit lens in both performance and IQ - it works but is nothing special, much like the body. The 1st-gen a7s felt more special to me IQ-wise, the 3rd gen and onwards a7 bodies are a significant improvement in focusing and usability.

IMO, you should save your cash and wait to get a K-1 or invest in some glass if you absolutely need to fill that GAS itch right away. Have a try at some fast glass or Limiteds if you want to add a little something special to your images.
02-11-2021, 12:18 AM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
The issues with the a7ii are mostly autofocus and frame rate and EVF. The dynamic range still beats most APSC cameras to a pulp.
You'll see no difference due to equivalent, lower ISO on apsc. I've made a lot of prints from my K3 and K1, the ISO settings average on the K3 is about 1 stop lower than on my K1, so in reality, the difference of image quality is much less than I originally thought. And dynamic range is 14bits for all sensors having 14bits converters, regardless if apsc or ff. The noise is lower on ff is ISO is the same, but if ISO is lower on apsc, the difference is invisible. For me, for full frame to be really an advantage over apsc 24Mp, ff must have the same pixel density, e.g 24Mpixels on apsc, and 50Mpixels full frame.

---------- Post added 11-02-21 at 08:28 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by JMvS Quote
2) and 3) are the crux of my dilemma, as I do have conflicting kinds of photography I want to do.
I think it's the GSA that creates the conflict of choice between products. The conflict may be created by already owning camera or lens that don't fit together with building a new system. If that is the case, you sell what doesn't fit , and buy what fits in the equation.

---------- Post added 11-02-21 at 08:29 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
I would only buy into a new system if I could afford the lenses...
That is the main thing. Manufacturers knows it, they discount bodies, because they know when a customer is hooked with the lens mount, they sell the lenses at full price.
02-12-2021, 01:34 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by adpo Quote
The sony a7ii is a moderately capable body that's absolutely devoid of joy when in use. IQ is exactly what you'd expect out of an older entry-level FF camera - it's pretty good, but nothing mind-blowing. The focus is only good when using first-party glass, adapted glass was pretty hit-or-miss for me. The sony 28-70 was very much a kit lens in both performance and IQ - it works but is nothing special, much like the body. The 1st-gen a7s felt more special to me IQ-wise, the 3rd gen and onwards a7 bodies are a significant improvement in focusing and usability.

IMO, you should save your cash and wait to get a K-1 or invest in some glass if you absolutely need to fill that GAS itch right away. Have a try at some fast glass or Limiteds if you want to add a little something special to your images.
Aye thanks to you people I think I got rid of that A7ii itch. I admit some fast glass has long been on my mind, as I'm very often facing the challenge of low light, the very thing that drew me to having a DSLR.

Telling my SO of my GAS, I was surprised at her enthusiasm to see me better my "portrait" skills. Some fast glass would definitely help.

Went on browsing the local classified adds, and with a little search found a surprisingly substantial offering.

Noticed a Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM (Art) at an interesting price for a bag of prime substitute, if the purchase proceeds well, I hope I won't find it too heavy to use on a regular basis.
Even tough its not as wide as I wish for the Milky Way, the normal range should suit well my casual photography.

Now there's also this set of the FA Limited Trinity, but that might be excessive...

---------- Post added 02-12-21 at 01:56 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
You'll see no difference due to equivalent, lower ISO on apsc. I've made a lot of prints from my K3 and K1, the ISO settings average on the K3 is about 1 stop lower than on my K1, so in reality, the difference of image quality is much less than I originally thought. And dynamic range is 14bits for all sensors having 14bits converters, regardless if apsc or ff. The noise is lower on ff is ISO is the same, but if ISO is lower on apsc, the difference is invisible. For me, for full frame to be really an advantage over apsc 24Mp, ff must have the same pixel density, e.g 24Mpixels on apsc, and 50Mpixels full frame.

---------- Post added 11-02-21 at 08:28 ----------


I think it's the GSA that creates the conflict of choice between products. The conflict may be created by already owning camera or lens that don't fit together with building a new system. If that is the case, you sell what doesn't fit , and buy what fits in the equation.

---------- Post added 11-02-21 at 08:29 ----------


That is the main thing. Manufacturers knows it, they discount bodies, because they know when a customer is hooked with the lens mount, they sell the lenses at full price.
My criteria are a bit different, given that its mostly Milky Way photography that orients my gear wants. From my research on this forum and elsewhere, I understand that light collecting power is everything, to be balanced with field of view. For comparable amounts of light captured, at corresponding focal lenght, f/1.8 on APS-C would match f/2.8 on FF, hence the immediate benefit of a larger sensor.
02-12-2021, 02:16 PM   #15
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The DA*11-18 is a sensational lens, and perfectly suited to wide field astrophotography. It's built like a tank, has top-shelf weather sealing, and the image quality is outstanding.

It will be great on your K-5, but would really shine on a KP, with its flippy screen, high ISO capability, pixel shift, etc....
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