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03-13-2016, 07:24 AM - 6 Likes   #1
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Yet another hands-on impressions, in Paris this time

Forgive me for typos I'm writing from my phone and it's a pain...

So, anyway, over the past couple of days people could try out the new K-1 at the Pentax Store in Paris.
The unit had a beta FW so no pictures could be taken home, but you could play with and test it for as long as you wanted, with their lenses, with your lenses, with and without grip...

Little background info, I have a K-5 that I still use regularly and have been exposed with (have used also the likes of 5D and D800 on occasion from my school. Still, I'd rather use my own gear whenever possible). Other than that it's mostly film cameras, also medium format, slow and steady...

Let me say that the K-1 compared to the K-5 is in another league. I first tried it with the lens that was already on it, the new 28-105, it focused fast and silently, as is expected from newer lenses. I also tried it with my old FF Tamron (mmmh autocorrect keeps changing it to Tampon, thought I should mention that) 28-75 f2.8 and it was like having a totally different lens on it! No hunting, precise, and *gasp* also fast (just slightly noisier because there's no motor in that one). Operations seemed also a lot faster (and mind you, the K-5 is no slouch) and the shutter quiet enough to be used in places where discretion is demanded.

I found the number of AF points a bonus and the fact you can select a small cluster of them also quite the feature (no such thing on the K-5), it's rather useful for tracking. Speaking of which, I could only track pedestrians from where I was, so definitely no high-speed scenes, but it did a very decent job at that. I'm no sports photographer, though, so it's not going to be a deal-breaker for me either way.

I didn't test the crop mode as it being a beta FW, crop mode was greyed out. Still, the grid markings (user-selectable) and the level in the viewfinder were active and very much welcomed.

High ISO noise seemed visually ok to me (I checked up to 6400) but I'm sure there will be a plethora of more scientific tests done about it so you might want to wait for those to dorm your own opinion about that.

Ergonomy was great as usual, it will just take some adjusting from my part as there are a bunch of new buttons and features one has to take in. Since I skipped one model in the upgrade path (K-3) it might take a bit longer to get used to the new features brought in by Ricoh, but anyone coming from a K-3 will feel right at home from the get-go.
All in all well thought out. I was a bit taken aback by the extra function selector dial on top when they first announced it, but after having played with it a little, I can see a use for it.

Feel was solid (duh!) and the size very manageable. It's only marginally bigger than the K-5 and still fits the same carry case, so I'm rather pleased I won't have to buy another...
Attach the grip and it becomes a legit impressive beast.

I know I'm getting one and I pre-ordered it while I was there. There's an extra 125€ off on the grip or any lenses, should you decide to buy one with the body. And also 4 years extended warranty.
Anyway, if you're in or around Paris, you might want to go have a look yourself, if anything just to play with it while you make up your mind!


03-13-2016, 07:36 AM   #2
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Thanks for that review.
03-13-2016, 08:13 AM   #3
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Very nice report/review...Thanks!
03-13-2016, 08:44 AM   #4
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My auto-correct suggests either Matron or Tampon for Tamron
Of the two, I do think Tampon is the better choice

You wrote: I also tried it with my old FF Tamron 28-75 f2.8 and it was like having a totally different lens on it!

It was like the 28-75 was a different lens itself or had new life ?

Not likely to have a K1 available at a store near here. Thinking about it, there has been no comment from people in Denver. I wonder if it is possible to find the K1 at the offices there...?

03-13-2016, 10:20 AM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tan68 Quote
My auto-correct suggests either Matron or Tampon for Tamron
Of the two, I do think Tampon is the better choice

You wrote: I also tried it with my old FF Tamron 28-75 f2.8 and it was like having a totally different lens on it!

It was like the 28-75 was a different lens itself or had new life ?

Not likely to have a K1 available at a store near here. Thinking about it, there has been no comment from people in Denver. I wonder if it is possible to find the K1 at the offices there...?
A bit of both, since it goes back to being an actual 28-75mm! But really what I meant by it was that I never thought it could ever focus this fast. On the K-5 it's always been point focus adjust, eh... adjust, hmm, ok, lock. On the K-1 it was pointfocuslock (did I mention it was really precise, too?). So to speak.
Likely not as fast as the DC lenses but plenty fast for regular AF lenses.

---------- Post added 13-03-16 at 18:31 ----------

As an addendum, Saturday I didn't have it in me to lug around the 70-200 f2.8 (also Tamron) for the whole day but I'll see if I can perhaps test it on another less busy day. I'm quite curious to see how a bigger lens with a regular AF system fares on the K-1...
03-13-2016, 12:03 PM   #6
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Thanks for this write up and for mentioning the shutter. I was at an event a couple of nights ago and kept hearing the shutters from other cameras that were quite a few feet away from me. I'm glad to hear that the shutter is relatively quiet.

It's also nice to hear that your lens felt totally different (improved?). I can't wait to try out my lenses on the K-1 and help them realize their full potential.
03-13-2016, 12:55 PM   #7
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Thanks for the write up.
03-13-2016, 02:24 PM   #8
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Yes thanks for sharing your impressions. Always love hearing info about new products, and the K-1 is certainly big and exciting news. If you stop in at the store again- be sure share any updates! We'd love to hear them.

04-01-2016, 01:13 PM   #9
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Well, I did go back to the shop today to try the 70-200 2.8 (also Tamron) on the K-1. It was near closing time so I couldn't play with it as much as the previous time, but still enough to say BRING OUT THE DAMN THING ALREADY.

But back to the lens, I still don't know how it will fare in difficult lighting conditions—I generally do concerts with it—but that one, too, in normal conditions felt like a newer lens, in that it focused quickly and much more precisely than what I've been used to with the K-5. That's not to slam the K-5, I love it to bits, but damn, the K-1 definitely puts new life into preexisting gear.

Also, when I started shooting I didn't really mind the settings (other than aperture/shutter, that is) but I was getting some slightly blurry shots of otherwise unmoving objects (at 200 mm). That's when I realised that I was either getting Parkinson's or in-camera shake reduction wasn't activated. Turns out it was the latter... so I activated it, shot again and man, what a difference does it make! Guys, remember to turn on your shake reduction, it IS effective.

Again, no chance to bring the pictures home because the demo model is on a not-quite-finished-yet firmware, but magnified inspection of the pedestrians and cyclists alike on the rear LCD screen definitely got two thumbs up. Parked cars and flower pots, too. Speaking of which, that very same model is the one that got the flower pot mud/tap water cure a week or so ago (there's a video going around, it's been linked here on the forum as well), well, I'm happy to report that it's still as snappy and working as new.

So, anyway, just before leaving one of the guys of the store brought out a print for funsies and asked me to guess what the ISO was. You could see noise and the kind of slightly muted colours you get from having too much of it. Hmm, 12800, I thought... at least that's what my K-5 would have looked like. Think again, it was 51200.

Sold, I'm sold I've said.
04-01-2016, 02:12 PM   #10
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Hey mate, thanks a lot for sharing another experience you had with the K1. Love to read through these early hands on notes from our forums members. I think the K1 is a winner! Only a few days to go (just some seconds in comparison to the decade most of us waited ).
What I read between the lines is that the Tamron 70-200/2.8 is actually an interesting alternative to the pricey Pentax DA 70-200/2.8 — I should get one on my birthday in June hehe...
04-01-2016, 03:05 PM   #11
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Nice review.. i actually own a Tamron 70-200 and with the K3 i love it.. cant wait to use it with the K1.. eventually i will get the Pentax D FA* but for now, im really excited to use the Tamron.
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