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06-21-2016, 10:44 AM - 5 Likes   #1
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Finally Received K-1! Initial Thoughts

Finally received my K-1, slightly used, from the Fred Miranda forum.
Here are some initial thoughts.

It is a lot smaller than I thought it would be. I also have the Nikon D810, and the size comparison is hard to see in pictures, you really have to hold both to appreciate it. The K-1 is very similar in size to the K-3.
The build quality, to expected, is superb. But I wouldn't say it is better than the D810. I wouldn't hesitate to shoot in harsh conditions with either of them (with the proper lens of course).
The shutter button does have a mushy feeling...but I set up the camera for back button autofocus, so I don't care
I may be in the minority, but I like the knob on top. I like being able to twist the knob to change the ISO as opposed to hold a button and twist a dial simultaneously.
Also, I may be in the minority for this too, but I like the top LCD display the size it is...sure it is smaller, but it has all the parameters i need on it.
The files it generates are great. Definitely as good as the D810.
I wish I still had the 35 f1.8G and 85 f1.8G nikkors so I could take a comparison shot between the FA 31 and 77mm limiteds. But needless to say, the limiteds are MUCH more svelte. The in-lens motors really take up a bunch of space (neither of these Nikkors have VR, so it is the AF-S motor that makes the lenses a lot more chunky than their Pentax counterparts). These lenses look so sexy on the K-1

I also wish I still had the Samyang 135mm f2.0 to compare to the K135 f2.5, but the Samyang is MUCH bigger. The K-1 was built to have the K135 f2.5 mounted to it I don't know if it is placebo, or what, but it seems like the green button (stop down) metering is a lot more accurate with the K-1 than with older models.
Side note: if you like the 77mm focal length on APS-C cameras, you owe it to yourself to get a fast 135mm (f2.8 or faster). If you don't mind the size, the Samyang is superb. But it is big. The Pentax 135mm (K135 f2.5 or F/FA 135 f2.8) are fine too, just not quite as sharp or as well corrected, but MUCH more compact. But to me 135mm are special on full frame cameras. The OEMs have neglected this focal length for too long. End rant.

I love the K-1 rear screen. I really missed that feature on the D810...it opens the door to a lot more creative perspectives. Sure you can hold your D810 an inch off the ground and *guess* that you are getting a good shot. All the guess work is eliminated with the tilting rear lcd

One hold over on the K-1 from older Pentax models that really annoys me though is how when you zoom in for precise manual focus, it zooms out when you half press the shutter Gosh how I hate that If someone knows some way to defeat that, I am all ears

The K-1's autofocus does hunt more in lower light than the D810. Of course that is also a function of the lens used, and I was using a 77mm for my initial tests. I would love to see how the K-1 + 70-200mm combo handles low light.

Also, I cannot wait for a 24mm (or wider) prime! (Ricoh, if you are listening, I don't need a f1.4, a f2.8 will be fine ) That plus the 31 + 77 combo would be an awesome travel package! Oh well, i have the DFA 15-30mm to hold me over until that one arrives.

Soooo...this is is just initial test. I have not yet played with pixel shift. But overall, this is definitely the camera that Pentaxians deserve. We all know the strengths and weaknesses of Pentax system as a whole. But I think Ricoh has hit a homerun with this camera. A few more primes and we will have a truly great system as a whole.

06-21-2016, 10:59 AM   #2
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Thanks for taking the time to share. The comparisons to the 810 are interesting.

QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
Side note: if you like the 77mm focal length on APS-C cameras, you owe it to yourself to get a fast 135mm (f2.8 or faster)
I love using the Sigma 85mm/1.4 on my Pentax as well as the Olympus 75mm/1.8 on my Panasonic GX7, and those work out to 127.5mm and 150mm in FF terms, so I would definitely like to have a similar prime for the K-1. I heard a year or two ago that Sigma was cooking up some kind of hot rod 135mm, but I haven't heard anything about it lately...
06-21-2016, 11:24 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
It is a lot smaller than I thought it would be. I also have the Nikon D810, and the size comparison is hard to see in pictures, you really have to hold both to appreciate it. The K-1 is very similar in size to the K-3.
This weekend, I had an opportunity to handle my brother's D810 with 24-70/2.8 mounted. I was impressed with the heft and am not sure I would like take on that much burden. Does the K-1 feel similarly heavy?


Steve
06-21-2016, 11:39 AM   #4
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The K1 body itself is heavier than a K3 but the K1 handle is longer, so the K1 immediately feels comfortable to hold, more comfortable to hold compared to a K3 without grip. What makes the K1 large and heavy is the lens. When mounting the DFA100 macro on the K1, it does not feel large, but with the DFA24-70, it's another system already. K1 + M50 f1.7 is small an I can now use the M50 as a fast normal lens (the M50 is so cheap). I wasn't using the 50 f1.7 much on the K3 because 50mm was too narrow for standard field of view and not long enough for portraits.

06-21-2016, 11:45 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
This weekend, I had an opportunity to handle my brother's D810 with 24-70/2.8 mounted. I was impressed with the heft and am not sure I would like take on that much burden. Does the K-1 feel similarly heavy?


Steve
Yes, the weight is very similar. What you save on is volume in your camera bag with the K-1 IF you go with some of the smaller primes.
If you pack the 15-30mm and/or 24-70mm, it is not a light kit by any means.
06-21-2016, 12:50 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
Yes, the weight is very similar. What you save on is volume in your camera bag with the K-1 IF you go with some of the smaller primes.
If you pack the 15-30mm and/or 24-70mm, it is not a light kit by any means.
Thanks! I appreciate the information.


Steve
06-21-2016, 03:44 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
I would love to see how the K-1 + 70-200mm combo handles low light.
As long as there is an object with a little bit of contrast in front of it, I have found that K-1 does well, even with the not-so-modern Sigma 70-200 HSM II I was using the other day, in the lowest light - eg where the auto ISO wanted to go to ISO 6400 or above all the time. Probably a newer lens like the DFA 70-200 would do even better.

Speaking of the D800/D810, K-1 does -3 EV AF plus -3 EV metering, whereas D810 only does -2 EV AF and 0 EV metering. All things being equal, the K-1 should better the D800/D810 in low-light shooting.
06-21-2016, 04:09 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
Speaking of the D800/D810, K-1 does -3 EV AF plus -3 EV metering, whereas D810 only does -2 EV AF and 0 EV metering. All things being equal, the K-1 should better the D800/D810 in low-light shooting.
Yea, that is what the spec sheets say...but in my own experience, the D810 locks on quicker.
Granted, I only have a few lenses left of my Nikon system and I do not have the fastest focusing Pentax lenses (you can see my sig), but I think we have to take those measurements with a grain of salt. We do not know how each company did their testing. You can be pretty sure that there were some differences in their methodology, so the "all things being equal" is almost impossible.

06-21-2016, 04:20 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
Yea, that is what the spec sheets say...but in my own experience, the D810 locks on quicker.
Granted, I only have a few lenses left of my Nikon system and I do not have the fastest focusing Pentax lenses (you can see my sig), but I think we have to take those measurements with a grain of salt. We do not know how each company did their testing. You can be pretty sure that there were some differences in their methodology, so the "all things being equal" is almost impossible.
I don't have a Nikon, but it feels to me like my better screw-drive lenses still do the Pentax 'BUMP, tick - tick' focus, sacrificing a bit of speed for accuracy. That being said, K-1 is faster than K-3 with everything.
06-21-2016, 04:29 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
You can be pretty sure that there were some differences in their methodology
Yes, that's always the issue. Unlike metering, perhaps, with AF (accuracy, acquisition, speed etc) it's harder to do direct comparability, even with the same lens on both platforms. Complicating things further, some directly comparable lenses (eg Sigma 35mm f1.4, which is on Nikon and Pentax) seem to have minds of their own when it comes to AF.
06-21-2016, 04:59 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
Yes, that's always the issue. Unlike metering, perhaps, with AF (accuracy, acquisition, speed etc) it's harder to do direct comparability, even with the same lens on both platforms. Complicating things further, some directly comparable lenses (eg Sigma 35mm f1.4, which is on Nikon and Pentax) seem to have minds of their own when it comes to AF.
Uuugh...I have had some pretty bad experiences with Sigma Art lenses when it comes to autofocus I personally won't ever buy another one. It is too bad because they do perform so well when you can get it to AF :/

Maybe I should start a GoFundMe so I can test both the Nikkor and Pentax 70-200mm, head to head
I already have the Nikkor, so all you guys would need to do is fund the cheaper Pentax
06-23-2016, 09:24 PM   #12
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Thanks for the initial impressions. Interesting read.
06-25-2016, 10:01 AM   #13
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Ok, this illustates why I stick with pentax.
Here is my Domke bag (which my friend calls my man purse ), loaded with my K-1, 31mm and 77mm, ready to go to a party. When i had my nikon system, I chose my 35 f1.8g, but my 85mm f1.8g stayed home. The D810+35+85 would not fit in my purse uuh i mean bag.
So, when I compare my previous Nikon kit vs this K-1 kit, i get same IQ, SR AND an extra very useful focal length lens. The only sacrifice i am making versus the Nikon kit is the silent focusing. Now, for some that is a big deal. For me, of course i do like silent focusing...but the benefits far out weight the drawbacks.



This is by no means a big bag either...in fact I got it for my X-T1 kit.

Last edited by cali92rs; 06-25-2016 at 10:09 AM.
06-27-2016, 08:35 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
Ok, this illustates why I stick with pentax.
Here is my Domke bag (which my friend calls my man purse ), loaded with my K-1, 31mm and 77mm, ready to go to a party.

It's not a party without at least two FA Limiteds!

Lee
06-29-2016, 08:57 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
The shutter button does have a mushy feeling...but I set up the camera for back button autofocus, so I don't care
The squishy shutter button is a feature on pretty much all pro DSLRs
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