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03-30-2016, 08:42 PM - 2 Likes   #1
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To K1 or not K1 - that is the question?

In reading a lot of the full frame threads over the years here, and taking a position that a full frame was probably not in my foreseeable future, the announcement of the K1 has me thinking - yet again.
  • Need / Want / Value - A lot of folks have been waiting for so long to get back to the full frame format, the decision was easy. For me, I certainly would like one - but there is no real specific need. The larger question is the value. What is the value - or what is it worth to me to move up to the big leagues?
The post - 10 Things that Make the Pentax K-1 Unique, clarified a number of things - but also clouded things for me. So, let me walk through this for myself and try to figure out what I should do.

Last year, I finally got off the mark and opted for a set of cropped lenses - the Sigma 18-35/1.8 for astro and the DA 60-250/f4 with the 1.4 TC for everything telephoto. I mainly shoot landscapes, cityscapes, astro - mainly stuff that does not move. So, along with the K1 body, I should consider the DFA 15-30/f2.8. My widest FF lenses are 20, 25, 28 and 31. So, this bounds my cost at around $1800 for the body and $1500 for the lens - totaling $3300. I'll punt on the question - if my skills are sufficient enough to warrant the costs, for now.
  • Lens - Well the 15-30/2.8 has been pretty well reviewed to compare with the Nikon 14-24/f2.8. In the portrait orientation, I would get an additional 30 degrees in field of view (over the Sigma 18-35), which would really help in the astro - however at the expense of a bit of sharpness (each pixel would just have more area to represent - but there would be double the pixels). So this would be some what of an advantage to bump up.
  • Lens Speed / Aperture - The K1 would add about a stop in light collecting - with everything else being equal (ISO 1600). This would augment the lens - the 15-30/2.8 and essentially bump its apparent performance to about f2, which is a third of a stop slower than my current K5IIs & Sigma 18-35/1.8 combination for astro. Essentially, this would be a push - all things being equal. I would not gain a lot, nor really loose anything.
  • K1 Body Features - Integrated GPS is there. The tilting monitor would help a lot for night stuff, along with the LCDs (red would be better, though). Monitor brightness would be a plus. Tethering might help. The 5 axis SR should help a lot by removing the star trailing on the extreme edges of the frame with my K5IIs, so I could go back up to 2 and possibly 3 minutes for the Milky Way shots. At a minimum it would be a push, but more in the way of a nice reasonably large bump up - which would be nice.
So, that brings me back to the question of money and skill. Is my skill worth the $3K cost at this time? I don't know. The more I shoot the better I get. With retirement looming later this year, I'll have more time and opportunity to work on this.

But, this is needs to be asked in the context of my original plans which was to wait and look at the K3 replacement. For the sake of argument, I need to assume (at least for now) that the K3 replacement will essentially be the K1 with a cropped sensor - all the creature features pulled forward - with an estimated announcement date of later this year and availability early 2017 - just a wild a$$ guess. The price would be capped by the K1, so - no K1 discount in the foreseeable future - so I would figure on $1300 which was about the same price as the K3.

The safe approach would be to wait for the K3 replacement and see what it offers and costs - which was my original plan. The other aspect to all of this is support utilities.
  • L Bracket - which lives welded to the body I use. Is one going to be available for the K1 and / or K3 replacement? Usually RRS comes through on this, but no announcement yet.
  • Pano head - will the K1 be too large / heavy for it. It should be right on the margin.
I guess kicking the can down the road would be the safest decision and just wait and see how things turn out.... Also, watching the early adopters, and see the amount of drool their threads create.

03-30-2016, 09:02 PM   #2
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I'm kind of in the same place. I would like to pre order right now but I know I don't have the skill to get the most out of it now but I am learning. I also know that I would want to order the FA31 and that's about another $1000 right now.

Most likely though I will pre order from B&H this weekend.
03-30-2016, 10:35 PM   #3

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It's not like if photographers are short of solutions to take photos. Until now, Pentax apsc dslr were just doing fine (except with regard to SDM failures and poor AF relative to competition), so there is no hurry. Camera bodies depreciate quite fast due to the evolution of sensor technology and AF, while lenses can be used over a decade or more, as long as there is still a supplier around that continues making k mount camera bodies. IMO, better be smart with the choice of lenses first, continue to use apsc cameras and add eventually add a full frame body for certain applications that really take advantage of the ff sensor. Today there is nothing I can't do with the K-3, only lenses are limiting what can be done (at the extremes: wide angle and supertele). Of course there is always the lust and excitement that goes with buying new gear, but that has nothing to do with photography. It's funny to see camera companies and customers putting a lot of emphasis on camera bodies and almost forgetting about lenses.

Last edited by biz-engineer; 03-30-2016 at 10:42 PM.
03-30-2016, 10:44 PM   #4
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So I didn't make it to the weekend, I just pre ordered my K-1.

This is becoming a very expensive hobby!

03-30-2016, 10:49 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by KiloHotelphoto Quote
This is becoming a very expensive hobby!

I think if we call it a " passion " instead of hobby, it is easier to justify the expense !!! Good luck with your new K-1 when it arrives.
03-30-2016, 11:50 PM - 1 Like   #6

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QuoteOriginally posted by KiloHotelphoto Quote
So I didn't make it to the weekend, I just pre ordered my K-1.

This is becoming a very expensive hobby!
Resistance is futile
03-31-2016, 12:16 AM   #7
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The more K legacy lenses you have, the less resitance can be.

Moreover, and depending on results in IQ, K-1 could well replace (in my use) my 645 system.
Ricoh is right to prepare a full frame 645, and should also hurry up putting new FF 645 lenses (at least one faster than f/2.8 would be wise) on the market... I bet both Fuji and Sony will soon issue their own medium format systems.
03-31-2016, 02:46 AM   #8
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I have a very constrained budget but I am really drawling over the K-1 (especially given the surprisingly good price for a FF).
Although I would probably want to get a 28-105 with it (so I have a FF WR lens), I probably have enough legacy FF lenses to satisfy me (Ok being realistic I should add: "for at least a while").

I don't mind not being an early adopter (avoids teething problems at least) and sadly I will have to wait until the price comes down a bit (and a kit lens option is available) but I must admit it is going to be hard to wait for the K-1.

03-31-2016, 02:50 AM   #9

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Needs are irrelevant. Skills are irrelevant. Logical reasoning is irrelevant. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated into the K-1 user Collective.
03-31-2016, 02:52 AM   #10
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What do you do with your photographs? Do you print them? If so, do you need the extra pixels to make larger prints? If so, then this is another reason to get the K-1. Do you regularly mat your prints? If so, your costs just went up . . . larger mat board and large print storage boxes and bigger closets are required. Soon you will need a larger house or a cool storage facility somewhere. Oh, and unless you have a larger printer you'll need to buy one of those, too. (Don't forget you'll be burning through more ink!) And how will your computer hold up? Those larger files require more computing power. Regularly frame your best work and enter them into exhibits? Cha-ching, there goes the cash register again. While writing this with a bit a humor, these issues are at the center of my serious dilemma over buying the K-1. I shot with the 645D for a year, so I know what the step up means.

If you are not printing larger, then you may only need the extra pixels for cropping—making it more sensible and affordable to buy a longer telephoto lens so you can get visually closer to your subject and need to crop less. That's financially sounder than paying for, potentially, a new camera, new printer using more ink, a faster computer with a larger hard drive, offsite storage lockers, and/or a larger mortgage payment for more closet space and a bigger workspace for the larger printer!

Last edited by EssJayEff; 03-31-2016 at 05:48 AM. Reason: clarity, and a missing period
03-31-2016, 04:24 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by kiwi_jono Quote
I am really drawling over the K-1
I think you mean drooling... unless you're channelling John Wayne.

QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
I guess kicking the can down the road would be the safest decision and just wait and see how things turn out.... Also, watching the early adopters, and see the amount of drool their threads create.
Heh. That's what I'll be doing, although I have decided that my next DSLR will be the K-1 for sure. Unlike you, I don't have all the size-critical peripherals to think about (and those things do require bearing in mind). Like you, I have a bunch of crop lenses which were recently bought for a K-5, but with the expectation that the K-1 would be (a) unjustifiably expensive upon release and/or (b) therefore pushed way down the road until such time as the K-5 went to its grave. That is being strongly rethought in the light of the K-1's excellent price tag, and among the many things I will be watching with interest is the experience of everyday K-1 users with their DA lenses in crop mode. If that turns out to be sour then the Limiteds could be headed for the Marketplace (pending results on my own K-1 when I eventually get it), but by that time I would expect to have shot several frames for every dollar I paid for them collectively, which will make the price paid per shot worth it overall.

Right now I am thinking of getting it for my next birthday or when my K-5's shutter count hits 100K (rated life) and I can no longer absolutely rely on it, or when the K-5 dies. Whichever comes first.
03-31-2016, 04:54 AM   #12
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I have to say, I wasn't planning on getting the FF, but this K-1 is really packed with awesome features, for a decent price. Most of my lenses already are FF, though I'm not sure how well some of the older ones would do at the FF edges (some are poor even on APSC edges). Definitely a very tempting camera

QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
This would augment the lens - the 15-30/2.8 and essentially bump its apparent performance to about f2,
Ok, this part, right here? You are overthinking it. The 15-30mm f2.8 lens is ultra wide angle, very sharp, very fast aperture... what more could you want? There is no need to overthink this, comparing it to other lenses that you don't have, to other systems that you don't use. Its a great lens. Do you want to spend the money on it, or not? Thats it. You can also look at Samyang 14mm f2.8 - sharp, FF, UWA, but no AF. Very affordable. Or even the fisheye - but do you really need such UWA, fast lenses for astro? Don't you just need the astrotracer, maybe a tripod that moves with the star rotation? You probably stop down the lens a little bit anyway, to reduce CA, gain DoF.. Dunno, I've never seen an 18mm f1.8 astrophoto, much less a FF 15mm f2.8, but I do admit I am not that much into astro
03-31-2016, 05:37 AM   #13
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I can do everything with my K3 and K30 (Backup) which relates to wildlife, landscape and family. Do I want the K1? (absolutely) do I need it?? My need is related to taking shots of my Granddaughters in their dance, aerobics, and school functions which are most all under lower light and indoors. I have been saving for the K1 now for the past 18 months. With that said, I could upgrade some of my current lens and may be get better indoor results in very low and colored lighting conditions. My K3 has been very reliable and puts out great shots. I am on the edge between upgrading my K3 when the new one comes out, getting more glass (I have plenty) or getting the K1. I am leaning towards the K1 and a couple of newer lens. I have other lens which will work on the K1. I appreciated all of the above comments as all contain reasonable thought.
03-31-2016, 05:41 AM   #14

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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
this K-1 is really packed with awesome features, for a decent price.
It depends how you look at it. The K-1 body is lowly priced for having a 36Mp sensor, yet more expensive than entry level ff 6D / D610, and since new Tamron lenses are not available in K mount (15-30, 24-70 and 70-200) you have to pay the premium that goes with the Pentax branded Tamrons. Basically you could get a Tamron 150-600 at half the price of a DFA150450, a Tamron 15-30 and Tamron 24-70 30% cheaper and a Tamron 70-200 VC at half the price again, and those lenses are nearly the same, if not exactly the same. I don't view the current pentax ff offering as being a special good deal.
03-31-2016, 06:36 AM   #15
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After reading through all the threads around K-1 and demos so far I am now battling with this one and only serious question...

K-1 or the K-1? .. Yeah that is the dilemma and and it is killing me right now.

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