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03-31-2016, 07:11 AM   #16
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K-1 Considerations: Cost and Weight/Mass vs Incremental Improvement

The OP's use cases are similar to mine, although I don't do astro. I'd call myself an enthusiastic hobbyist, and my subjects are typically landscapes, nature, cityscapes, family, classic autos, static aircraft. I have been shooting with a K-5 II, and have been happy with my images. I print only occasionally (e.g., 16x20-inch). When I travel, I take several lenses.

I have been following the K-1 and D-FA lens developments with interest. At one point, I thought that the K-1 might be my next camera after my current K-5 II -- the preliminary performance indications have been very good, and the new lenses appear to be exceptional. However, there are two negative aspects for me - the cost and the weight/mass of a K-1/lens kit. My other consideration is whether the K-1 would introduce a dramatic enhancement to my photography and my enjoyment of the hobby, or only an incremental improvement.

I have a decent stable of lenses covering 15mm to 300mm, including contemporary lenses (two Limiteds, 18-135, 50-135, Sigma HSM II 70-200, and DA* 300) and older ones (e.g., K 30/2.8, K 50/1.2, quality Takumars, F 50/1.7). To get the maximum benefit from a K-1 with similar 'reach,' I'd need to use the 70-200 in place of the 50-135, acquire the D-FA 28-105, and probably get something in the 400-500mm range. The current Canadian price for the K-1 is CAD $2,500. With a minimal lens purchase (say, the 28-105 to start), the cost would approach $3,800-4,000 including sales tax.

I'm also hesitant to replace the relatively compact and lightweight APS-C format with a 'full-frame' format. The K-1 is only ~250 g heavier than my K-5 II, but with the necessary longer lenses, the K-1/lens combination weight drives up considerably. Some might think, "if you want the increased performance, then suck up the weight..." That's a valid point, perhaps, but I think the IQ vs weight/cost trade-off of APS-C vs K-1 is also a valid consideration.

So, being not totally convinced the advanced features and enhanced IQ are worth the cost for me, I acquired a K-3 II recently from a local dealer who had one in stock. The price was softer on our family budget, which keeps the window open for a possible new lens. So far - I'm happy with the K-3 II. Amongst other improvements, I find that I can push the ISO a bit higher - my RAW developer (Photo Ninja) does a decent job with noise reduction of images up to ISO 3200+.

All that said, I'm still following the K-1 revelations, and hope to see users posting images soon. The K-1 has the potential to be a milestone camera.

- Craig


Last edited by c.a.m; 03-31-2016 at 01:06 PM. Reason: Correct ISO.
03-31-2016, 08:22 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
I don't view the current pentax ff offering as being a special good deal.
But that is a system problem, not a camera problem. And Pentax is working hard on releasing more lenses and improving the overall system (customer support, lens rentals, flash system, etc.), but that will take time. I think Tamron and Sigma will make more lenses in K-mount if the FF sells well.
Basically, for those of us who already are satisfied with the overall system, and especially for those that shoot wide angle, this is a great deal. You get virtually the same IQ of the D810, PLUS pixel shift and shake reduction and GPS, and its WR, and in a slightly smaller body. Seems like a much better deal than going to Canon/Nikon D600 6D, where i would have to buy all new lenses; and most primes don't have SR, and most wide angles don't have SR, and there are compatibility issues with some legacy glass, they don't have green button, they don't have external lights, they don't have such a robust tilt screen, and they don't have the IQ of D810..

That said: Yes, for extreme telephoto, you are probably better off with a K-3 and spending the rest on lenses like DA 560mm or DA* 300mm with 1.4 TC. Extreme telephoto is not a Pentax strength, though I have seen plenty of amazing photos posted on these forums of birds in flight, of wildlife, of sports, and even those "supermoon landscapes" that require extreme telephoto. So I guess people somehow get by

Last edited by Na Horuk; 03-31-2016 at 08:48 AM.
03-31-2016, 08:31 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by c.a.m Quote
The K-1 has the potential to be a milestone camera.
You've made a very strong and logical personal case for not buying it, based on size, weight and new glass cost, and for what gain? All of that is valid, and IMO there's absolutely no arguing with the choice you've made - it suits the system you've already built up and the broader context ("what else would I have to buy to go with it to suit what I do?") in which you have, so to speak, bought a better mousetrap.

I love seeing these analyses from other users, even (perhaps especially) the ones who've already rejected it in favour of something else, as it's all grist to the mill for the day I hold a K-1 in my hands in a camera store for the first time and have to decide whether I'm going to buy it then and there. (If my K-5 dies first, there will be no debate; I will be after the first K-1 I can get my hands on and will take my chances.) Likewise the early reports, all taken together, will go (one way or another) to form part of that decision-making gestalt. In short, just how big are the benefits, and do the shortcomings matter in the context of my intention of use?

When I bought my K-5 it was a huge leap ahead of my *ist-DL in every way, and I knew very quickly that I had bought the right camera (the alternative consideration at the time was the K-30). Mind you, I had to do that sight-unseen because travelling to a physical store was not possible in the time frame in which I needed it, so I guess I got lucky. But if the K-1 in hand feels like that much of a leap ahead, I could be very tempted to take one home earlier than planned.
03-31-2016, 08:36 AM   #19
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It's not really an issue for me. My K-3 is as good an APS-c camera as I'm likely to need.

The K-1 especially with pixel shift, offers something I don't have. I can add a K-1 to my current gear for a little more than the cost of a K-3II and a decent lens.

I already have a K-01 in my camera bag as my second body. I buy the K-1, I take the K-01 out of the bag, I put the K-1 in. My DA 35 2.4, FA 50, Sigma 70 macro, Tamron 90 macro, DA* 60-250 and DA* 200 and A-400 all work as advertised.

As well I have an FA 35-80, and an FA-J 18-35 that get left home a lot, that I can take instead of the 18-135.

There is absolutely no requirement to spend a pile on expensive glass. And while some claim Pentax takes a premium when they sell Tamron glass, my impression is that the weakness of Tamron lenses is less than pro quality build. They cheap out on the case, not the optics. Pentax puts those optics in a more durable package. There are lots of non-pro options out there for the K-1. Pentax is making sure there are good rugged pro options available. Anyone can supply the cheap stuff, and will.

There's not a lot of difference between carrying a K-01 as a back up body, and carrying a K-1 as a back up body. it's no big deal.

03-31-2016, 08:58 AM   #20
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I'll probably get one once I have the cash on hand. I could definitely get by without it but think of a bike/running race setup with my K-3 and 60-250 for long shots and a K-1 with either my Tamron 28-75 or the new 15-30 (or the 24-70 WR) and a flash would be a sweet combo. I could say it will pay for its self but really I could probably make the same money with my existing cameras but I do have some lust for the new machine. I've been shooting a 645D for the past few months and really like the images I get but that kit is kind of a beast and if I could get 75% of that IQ (and DOF control) in a considerably smaller package that would certainly be a win.
For now my bank account isn't there but I just sold three large prints yesterday and if I can sell a couple more I'll be there. Hmmmm...
03-31-2016, 10:00 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
There is absolutely no requirement to spend a pile on expensive glass.
This. Most of us don't need the new 15-30 2.8/ 24-70 2.8/ 70-200 2.8

I'll probably sell my tamron 17-50 2.8 and get an A or F series 24-50 ($1-200). My M-100 f4 macro will work as is, but will likely be replaced at some point by the DFA 100 2.8 macro ($400)- it can be paired with the 1.4TC to get 140 f4 if needed. My A-50 1.7 will work as is, but I'll grab the F series autofocus version for convince ($125). The DA*300 will work as it is, but Ill probably leave the 1.4 TC on it more often. So even if I bought all of these lenses at once (which I won't), I will have spent ~725 on lenses and will have a complete kit for my needs. Really not that bad.
03-31-2016, 10:21 AM   #22
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I had no intention of buying a K-1 until it was out for a while. Then I figured the price would drop some or I'd snag a used one. But once the price and specs were announced, I changed my mind.

I am concerned about size/weight. I'm a woman and I have small hands. But if I get it and think I can't handle it, I will just send it back. I doubt once I get it in my hands that's going to happen though. I have several FF lenses already, so that helps mitigate cost, although I'm sure I'll at least have to acquire a walkaround lens (D FA 28-105 likely).

For the OP, I would also suggest the Samyang/Rokinon 14/2.8 for your wide angle needs. It's a wonderful value and excellent for astrophotography. Buy it from a reputable dealer so you can return if you get a bad copy, though. I had to return my first copy.

Am I a professional? No. But I do occasionally sell prints. I'm sure I could continue on with the K-3 and be very happy and keep getting better and save some money. But you only live once. And this hobby has become a passion for me. I figure, "what the heck?!" I am fortunate enough that I have been able to save up enough money to buy the camera, and I enthusiastically await its arrival.

Good luck with your decision!
03-31-2016, 11:16 AM   #23
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Bravo !

Btw, it seems K-3 and APS-C products sales have quite a bit slowed down since end of february.
I just hope Ricoh will be able to maintain these products as well...

03-31-2016, 11:40 AM   #24
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No-brainer for me.

I don't have a use case, I have lenses. I've been saying for years - more than a decade - I need a K-mount and a FF sensor; everything else is want. My lenses are almost all FF. I don't need any at all. I don't even want any unless the FA24~90 is horrible (it is fine on film between about 30mm and 70mm). None of the objections listed in this thread matters either.

K-mount and a FF sensor. That's all that matters.
03-31-2016, 12:39 PM   #25
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I still don't know. Depends on the autofocus performance above all else. This will decide whether all the Pentax gear goes or the Sony A7r and gear. The only point I can see in larger, heavier (than mirrorless) DSLR's these days is superior AF performance in speed, low light and tracking. EVF is a joy to use once you get used to it, but the Sony cameras cannot touch the Pentax stuff for handling and overall fun.

Maybe leave it later in the year.
03-31-2016, 03:08 PM - 1 Like   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by loco Quote
I am concerned about size/weight.
QuoteOriginally posted by HopelessTogger Quote
Sony cameras cannot touch the Pentax stuff for handling
I had a few minutes playing with the K1 last week: it feels like a slightly fat K5 (my current mount). I don't think anyone who likes the feel of the K5/K3 will miss a heartbeat when they hold the K1. With a small prime lens, the weight gain is minimal, but the view through the OVF is awesome! My F50 f1.4 will be right at home :-)

Enjoy,

Chris

Last edited by phoebus; 03-31-2016 at 03:10 PM. Reason: spelling
03-31-2016, 04:35 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by phoebus Quote
I had a few minutes playing with the K1 last week: it feels like a slightly fat K5 (my current mount). I don't think anyone who likes the feel of the K5/K3 will miss a heartbeat when they hold the K1. With a small prime lens, the weight gain is minimal, but the view through the OVF is awesome! My F50 f1.4 will be right at home :-)

Enjoy,

Chris
Had the K-5, gave it to a lovely blonde lass.
04-06-2016, 09:45 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by phoebus Quote
I had a few minutes playing with the K1 last week: it feels like a slightly fat K5 (my current mount). I don't think anyone who likes the feel of the K5/K3 will miss a heartbeat when they hold the K1. With a small prime lens, the weight gain is minimal, but the view through the OVF is awesome! My F50 f1.4 will be right at home :-)

Enjoy,

Chris
Glad to hear your impression of the K-1 size/weight. I have pre-ordered a K-1, but have been having second thoughts. I had a Nikon D610 and really didn't like how loud the shutter was. I came back to Pentax and then the D750 came out. I have been wondering whether the lighter weight and 24 MP files of the D750 would make more sense for me. The thing is that I really don't enjoy shooting with Nikon lenses both due to size/weight and all the plastic. I love my Limited and * primes. I guess I will wait and see how the camera feels when it eventually arrives. I will really have to watch my technique with 36 MP though. If it doesn't feel right, I guess I could always return it.
04-07-2016, 03:52 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by loveisageless Quote
If it doesn't feel right, I guess I could always return it.
You know you would have eager buyers, too, especially if there were a supply bottleneck.
04-08-2016, 10:33 AM   #30
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Well, I wondered whether to share this, but well
QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
I love seeing these analyses from other users, ...
you asked for it I hope the line of thought may be useful for others too.

Coming form a K-5, for me there are two potential upgrade paths to consider: Either a K-3II or a K-1. Both fit the bill for better low-light AF, configurable anti-aliasing, multi-shot resolution enhancement and, somewhat important to me - therefore no K-3, built-in GPS. Both lose built-in flash, which I rarely use nowadays. I hesitated with the K3-II because I recently really discovered the usefulness of ISO 80 exposures in heavy post-processing and wasn't sure how the K3 sensor would fare, but have no doubts that the K-1 should be able to match and exceed it - at least in full-frame mode, but likely even in crop.

Resolution-wise, it depends on when I have to resort to crop mode (15M on K-1 instead of 24M on K-3) vs. full-frame mode (36M vs. 24M). In order to analyze what this would mean in terms on lenses and my (our) actual way to take pictures - choice of field-of-view vs. depth-of-field - I dug out a set of scripts that I wrote when I bought my K-5 to check lens options, which analyzed a selection of my prior DSLR pictures (EOS450) for how they were actually taken. I plotted the exposures as dots in terms of focal length vs. aperture, smeared out so that you see the number of pictures as density. Then I added my lenses in terms of focal length and minimum F-number. All those are black in the diagram and refer to the black axes. Basically I could have taken every picture with a lens below the respective blue dot. Some adapted and pre-A glass doesn't have F-stop recorded and are listed around F/1 instead.

Now I added the lenses which are full-frame compatible on a another pair of axes (in color) again with roughly corresponding field-of-view and depth-of-field. So I could take similar pictures (perspective, DoF) as those blue dots above the respective colored lens marks using the full K-1 sensor at full resolution, full SNR etc. I also added, in color, some other FF lenses that I am considering. The zoom lenses are a bit sketchy on how they change variable aperture, but the whole diagram aims at an overview, not precision. To identify each lens, most are obvious choices, is left as an exercise to the reader

What would I gain with a K-1? All that white space in between the (colored) lenses and the exposures! A lot new options. I also would be able to use some of my favorite lenses with more useful field of view, but that's a lengthy discussion already held in a parallel thread. I have sliced and diced the data and lenses with respect to AF vs. MF, zoom vs. primes in addition and thought about why those dense clouds of shorts clustered where they are and they'd stay having a choice.

If going full-frame, I lose some of the flexibility of the 7x zoom 18-135mm at the long end, with some that I could still cover with likely the same quality using crops (up to 6x with 1.5x 'digital zoom' - looks much better comparing only zoom exposures). At the less used ultra-wide and telephoto ends, I'll could continue with what I have for now in crop mode, but have some realistic options identified, not all shown. With K-1's enhanced per-pixel resolution in non-moiree-critical shots, I should see a little improvement in detail still in crop mode.

The essence however is clear: For an acceptable additional weight over a K-3 II (and acceptable financial effort), I gain a lot more options in that white are below the exposures. And it's definitely the 28-105mm over the 24-70mm to take the place of the default 'family compatible lens' on the K-1. I ordered the zoom, will check how I'll actually use it and may over time switch some of the existing primes for the green ones (or similar).

Ups, that 17(F/2.8)-35(F/4) which wasn't even in the plan magically already showed up on my desk
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Last edited by JensE; 04-08-2016 at 10:44 AM.
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