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05-15-2016, 02:48 AM   #1
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So... what's the crop mode like?

As a potential future K-1 owner and the current owner of a number of DA lenses, the question begins itself.

I know everyone is super-eager to finally mount those old film-era lenses on the new beast and see how they perform in the modern era, but the Gods gave us crop mode for a reason and that reason is non-full-frame-compatible DA lenses.

Who's tried them out? Just how intrusive is that viewfinder vignetting? Most importantly, does having a little extra space around the crop frame in the viewfinder make a difference when trying to compose, especially on a moving subject? (Logic before the camera came out said yes, it should, but I'm interested to know. Perhaps those with an abundance of bird life, active children, scampering dogs or squirrels and a K-1 could let me know?)




On a slightly related note, I did some DA lens shooting on a Super Program a short while back and the pictures came back just yesterday. I shot three shots - wide open, f/8 and fully closed down - with each of the DA Limited prime lenses except the 35 (it was at work) and with the DA50, and though I found afterwards I had taken two of the DA70 shots unfocused, I was interested to find that I could not see any obvious vignetting with the DA70. More work is required there, but it looks promising. (Interestingly the DA21 shots, with the square hood on to maximise the vignette effect, were asymmetrical - a thing I cannot explain.)


Last edited by pathdoc; 05-15-2016 at 02:50 AM. Reason: typo
05-15-2016, 02:59 AM   #2
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So far I've been positively surprised by lenses such as the DA* 60-250 and DA 50mm, which seem to cover enough of the frame for FF mode use. Even the DA 12-24mm starts to be usable around 20mm, which is plenty wide on FF.

That said, I don't envision ever using crop mode unless for some reason I need the extra FPS. If I did, I would prefer a viewfinder that would shade away the crop area, just to reduce distractions. Of course that's me being picky, but composing by looking at what's near the edges doesn't work that well for me. Trying to fit a subject perfectly into the frame usually doesn't lead to that good of a composition.

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05-15-2016, 04:49 AM   #3
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You mean the image quality? I assume it would look really similar to K-5IIs.
05-15-2016, 05:03 AM   #4
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No, I mean how does it feel to shoot with the vignetting lenses? How much do you feel it intrudes on the process or acts as a distraction?

05-15-2016, 06:10 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
No, I mean how does it feel to shoot with the vignetting lenses? How much do you feel it intrudes on the process or acts as a distraction?
I've only tried the DA*300 and DA70 so far, and the vignetting on the DA70 was minimal even at f2.4. I've posted three images to Flickr and linked them in the K-1 photos thread here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/190-pentax-k-1/314413-post-your-k-1-pictures-52.html

The below image was taken using the DA*300 in crop mode, the default setting when you attach this lens. I didn't realise what was going on initially and when I did I felt that seeing all this extra image not being captured (the crop mode square is shown and you can see the FF image outside of this) was a waste. I left the camera in crop mode and need to suss out the DA*300 in FF mode to see for myself how it handles with the larger sensor. The images in crop mode seem similar to those from my K5.



I've no plans to try my other APSC specific lenses as I'm still working my way through the FF ones. Having tested the 70 & 300 I expect they both will be regular lenses on the K-1.
05-16-2016, 10:00 AM   #6
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Crop mode is pretty superfluous if you post-process at all. As far as I can tell it just applies the same digital crop you can do yourself in any image editing program; also, both my crop lenses are useable in full-frame with manageable vignetting.

If you want out-of-camera JPEGs it's a quick way to be sure you get what you see in the viewfinder. Apart from that, it's not really worth the hassle for me.
05-16-2016, 10:30 AM   #7
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One thing ive noticed while messbg with the crop sensor is that despite the school of thought saying the length of the lens stays the same, the field of view changes. I would have to sort of disagree with that. The crop does indeed zoom a bit more to the subject than the fullframe crop. There is no optical illusion associated with it. Ill try posting a pic later on tonight to show
05-16-2016, 10:42 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by hadi Quote
One thing ive noticed while messbg with the crop sensor is that despite the school of thought saying the length of the lens stays the same, the field of view changes. I would have to sort of disagree with that. The crop does indeed zoom a bit more to the subject than the fullframe crop
Crop mode doesn't zoom in compared with "full" frame. However, if you print an 11" by 14" picture from a file taken in crop mode (16mm x 24mm sensor) and print an 11" by 14" picture from a file taken in "full" frame mode (24mm x 36mm sensor), the one printed from a file taken in crop mode will superficially appear as if it were taken by a lens with a longer focal length than the "full" frame mode picture. However, the crop mode print will have some loss of resolution because it has been enlarged to a greater degree than the "full" frame print (when both printed at 11" x 16").

05-16-2016, 12:07 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by pete-tarmigan Quote
However, if you print...
Yes. The "zoom" effect is only related to pictures printed (or generated on screen) to the SAME PHYSICAL SIZE. And depending on the size of print you make, or the size of your screen, and the distance at which you view it, the resolution drop may or may not matter. This is why a lot of the wildlife-oriented shooters on this board will be staying with their K-3 or K-3ii until an APS-C camera incorporating all the K-1's non-sensor-size-related advancements comes in; because the K-3's pixel pitch is significantly better than for the K-1, and they have more megapixels inside the area that their DA lenses expose properly.
05-16-2016, 05:58 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by hadi Quote
One thing ive noticed while messbg with the crop sensor is that despite the school of thought saying the length of the lens stays the same, the field of view changes. I would have to sort of disagree with that. The crop does indeed zoom a bit more to the subject than the fullframe crop. There is no optical illusion associated with it. Ill try posting a pic later on tonight to show
Huh? Comparing crop sensors to full-frame sensors shouldn't include any "school of thought"... it's just a simple geometry difference.

If you use a lens to take a photo with an APS camera, it will produce exactly the same image as if you put that same lens on a full-frame sensor cropped down to APS size. Identical. Same field of view, same lens distortion, same depth of field, same bokeh.
05-19-2016, 01:06 AM   #11
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I don't have any DA lenses so I can't attest to their performance myself, though from what everyone is saying many of them nearly cover the FF size.

This leaves you with a couple of options. If you do decide to get the K1, you can shoot in FF mode, and then in post crop them to where you believe is an acceptable level, there's a good chance that many of the lenses will give you a wider accaptable field of view than on an APSC sized sensor, and you can take advantage of that. Some when stopped down are 100% effective and will require no post cropping at all.

Another option is to, of course, put the camera in crop mode. Doing this will allow all your DA lenses to be 100% effective, though you may lose out on some of that extra range you could be getting out of each particular lens. You will also be getting only around a 16mpx image as well, which if you're used to a K5, will probably look very similar, though the K1 sensor will probably have better dynamic range. If you're used to a K3, other than the dynamic range, it will probably seem like a downgrade in overall quality since you're losing around 8mpx of resolution.

There is two big pros to using the Crop Mode however, the frame rate and buffer rate are DRASTICALLY increased. Firing in FF mode, the buffer will fill up reletively quickly since it has to deal with 36mpx files, I've found that you'll get about 15 shots of FF raw's max before the buffer tells you to slow your roll. In crop mode, you're looking at just north of 30 raws before it tells you to chill out. If I remember correctly at least. Ontop of that, like I said above, the frame rate is crop mode is doubled (if not more) as well. It may not fire like a Nikon D5, but it sprints past the 4.4fps in FF mode.

So essentially, crop mode will be very useful if you find yourself shooting fast paced action. I know that fast paced action is not the K-1's strong suit (nor is it Pentax's in general) but we all find ourselves at a reletives soccer game or basketball game every now an then. Having the ability to fire off just north of 8fps will be very helpful in those rare times that you need it.

Otherwise, shooting in FF mode will probably be better IF you can post process the images. That way you can decide how far in to crop to deal with vignetting, or just edit out the vignetting entirely. This way you get the absolute most out of those DA lenses, though it will take that extra step of work.
05-19-2016, 02:43 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
No, I mean how does it feel to shoot with the vignetting lenses? How much do you feel it intrudes on the process or acts as a distraction?
The ones that just vignette i feel ok when using them with the OVF. That's pretty much all primes >=35mm. Although I would still avoid using most of them for IQ reasons.
However, the ones that leave big part of the frame dark I find really unpleasant to use - like most zooms , da 15 ltd and da 21 ltd. For example of such lens - this is the coverage of 16-85
05-19-2016, 08:03 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by npc Quote
However, the ones that leave big part of the frame dark I find really unpleasant to use - like most zooms , da 15 ltd and da 21 ltd. For example of such lens - this is the coverage of 16-85
This is the sort of feedback I was looking for.

QuoteOriginally posted by Ginnipe Quote
This leaves you ... extra step of work.
All of what you say here makes good sense. I'll be coming up from the K-5, so the slight drop to about 15MP in crop mode is nothing to stress about. Occasionally I deal with fast-moving children, and it will be interesting to see in crop mode if a quick prefocus at the full-frame edge to come close and then let the focus points take over and sharpen things up works. If nothing else, it should reduce the time it takes the camera to accurately lock on and start tracking.

I don't ever anticipate a need to take even 30 raws in quick succession, and for what I'm doing the crop frame rate in raw should be more than enough.

I have also gone over from SOOC JPG to RAW recently, so cropping in post to remove obvious vignetting and/or trying to wash the insubstantial stuff out isn't something which bothers me. The DA70 seems to give me only the barest minimum of vignetting on film, when I can see it at all, so it should be pretty good in the K-1... and I'm hoping that by the time the camera actually comes into my hands, Ricoh will offer an in-camera full-frame profile for this lens to take care of the rest.
05-19-2016, 07:19 PM   #14
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I've used a the smcp DA 35 f2.4 and didn't really see the vignette unless I opened up to 2.4. Intial use of DA 50 also similar and was shooting penguins swimming underwater.
05-19-2016, 08:04 PM - 2 Likes   #15
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This is what the 15mm LTD looks like on the K-1 with the hood deployed



This is without the hood





This is what is does in crop mode...


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