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09-03-2016, 10:51 AM - 7 Likes   #1
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K-1 - first thoughts

So I'm a bit late to the party, but much earlier than I'd intended - srs microsystems did an offer on Pentax lenses over last weekend that I couldn't resist - one of which was even better bundled with a K-1 body, so what could I do?

First, I like to take a portrait of my new cameras for Flickr, and this is my K-1 (selfie) portrait -




So, what do I think of it - first impressions only, of course. My previous Pentax digital cameras have been a K10D and K3 - so you can see my replacement cycle tends to skip quite a few models, which is fine, as this isn't a replacement - there's plenty I'll go on using the K-3 for.

What you can't help noticing, of course, is the K-1 (RAW) IQ - it's amazing - though I've not yet pushed its limits (my photography tend to me more about pushing my own limits, except in the case of durability - I'm hard on hardware -one reason for choosing Pentax ) I take a lot of macro with the K-3 and am very impressed by the sharpness and detail, but the extra breathing space of the FF pixels somehow more than compensates for their lower density on most instances.

AF - I don't do a lot of moving subject AF, and haven't tried it with the K-1 at all as yet, but I'm impressed by the comparison with the K-3 in terms of lack of hunting - the K-1 will simply start off in the right direction far more often than the K-3, which is a major contribution to AF speed - and it can focus on much darker lower contrast targets with much more sureness. This is equally marked in Live View - which brings me to LV!

I simply use LV much more than I did with the K-3 - partly because the focusing is quicker and very accurate on static targets, but also because of the flippy screen - it is SO useful in tight corners where you can't get behind the camera as you'd wish to - and even using a tripod, not just where the camera is low to the ground, but when the viewfinder and screen are above eye level, and there's nothing to stand on - I know twist out ones can do that, but I've never had one, and I appreciate the optical axis element of the K-1. Also in Live view I like the the unmarked dial on the top plate, when set to neutral, twists to enlarge the view to check focus - an easy way to do it in the absence of a touch screen.

Talking of the unmarked dial - similar to other commenters, I might have chosen one or two different functions to be changed by it, but where it is useful, it is very useful - setting it to ISO for example in M mode gives you a separate dial for each variable, which I find very helpful.

The shake reduction seems truly effective, though most of what I'll use the camera for will use a tripod - and, incidentally, I like the fact that SR is turned off automatically when using a timer or remote - but I got some pretty usable shots with a 400mm lens at 1/30s and the very heavy 70-200 f/2.8 wasn't a problem either at well below the reciprocal rule..

It's early days -I'm sure there will be a few things that irritate me as well as loads of goodies I haven't even tried yet as I get to use the camera more - and I definitely itch to find the time to use it - but I can say emphatically that, even as somebody without a lot of spare cash, I have no regrets at all about the decision to jump in and buy one.


Last edited by ffking; 09-05-2016 at 06:05 AM.
09-03-2016, 11:00 AM   #2
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Congratulations, Graham - great to hear you're enjoying your new K-1. It's interesting that you're getting more use out of live view. My Hasselblad- branded Sony A99 also has an articulating screen, and I find myself using that more than expected, so I get where you're coming from.

Looking forward to seeing some of your shots with the new beast!
09-03-2016, 11:21 AM   #3
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Good for you Graham. I hear the AF is superb. Enjoy.
09-03-2016, 12:30 PM   #4
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Congratulations, Graham !
Very nice selfie

09-03-2016, 03:39 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Congratulations, Graham - great to hear you're enjoying your new K-1. It's interesting that you're getting more use out of live view. My Hasselblad- branded Sony A99 also has an articulating screen, and I find myself using that more than expected, so I get where you're coming from.

Looking forward to seeing some of your shots with the new beast!
QuoteOriginally posted by Mapleleaf-Mick Quote
Good for you Graham. I hear the AF is superb. Enjoy.
QuoteOriginally posted by Eric64800 Quote
Congratulations, Graham !
Very nice selfie
Thanks all - as Isay, I wasn't expecting to buy one just yet, but I know it's going to do good work for me and inspire me to do better work too
09-03-2016, 03:50 PM   #6
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good on ya! My experience with the screen is the same as yours....couldn't go back now.
09-03-2016, 08:24 PM   #7
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Great Selfie man. Reminiscent of Brett Whiteley's style.
09-03-2016, 11:55 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by noelpolar Quote
good on ya! My experience with the screen is the same as yours....couldn't go back now.
one thing for sure, it's no quirky eye-catcher to draw attention to the camera, it's a seriously functional solution in practice. OVF will always have it's uses, and, being old-school, I still find it easier to compose quickly in the OVF (just like I'm better at spotting mistakes in print-outs than on screen) -but I can see myself using the back screen much more and, as you say, I wouldn't want to go back.

QuoteOriginally posted by FreeSpirit9 Quote
Great Selfie man. Reminiscent of Brett Whiteley's style.
Interesting - to my shame I'd never heard of Brett Whiteley, but I sort of see what you mean - and like most modern painters, you can see the influence the camera has had on his work. I think being aware of artists in other media is a great thing creatively - though I'm a bit schizo as a photographer - I really enjoy artier stuff and get a big thrill out of pictures that work, but I also just like to celebrate the beauty of this world and its inhabitants (mostly non-human), and probably do too much straight picture taking (which is much more teachable and more equipment based, so more enjoyable at the time but less valuable in the long run).


Last edited by ffking; 09-05-2016 at 06:07 AM.
09-04-2016, 01:49 AM   #9
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PS - note the slightly battered old Arca Swiss monoball head - a remnant from my 67s, but rock solid with the very heavy 70-200 f/2,8 with K-1 combo - whereas my everyday Manfrottto 460MG is at or beyond its specified limits. Obviously Manfrotto (and other) pro ball heads can easily handle the weight - this isn't about brands, just to mention that in the same way that some people have to upgrade their PCs to handle the 36Mb (0r 170 odd Mp pixel shifted files) - you have to think about your support with some of this FF stuff coming through as well.
09-04-2016, 02:06 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by ffking Quote
PS - note the slightly battered old Arca Swiss monoball head - a remnant from my 67s, but rock solid with the very heavy 70-200 f/2,8 with K-1 combo - whereas my everyday Manfrottto 460MG is at or beyond its specified limits. Obviously Manfrotto (and other) pro ball heads can easily handle the weight - this isn't about brands, just to mention that in the same way that some people have to upgrade their PCs to handle the 36Mb (0r 170 odd Mp pixel shifted files) - you have to think about your support with some of this FF stuff coming through as well.
My K-1 teaches me patients each time I use my 8yo Mac.
09-04-2016, 06:48 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by ffking Quote
So I'm a bit late to the party, but much earlier than I'd intended - srs microsystems did an offer on Pentax lenses over last weekend that I couldn't resist - one of which was even better bundled with a K-1 body, so what could I do?

First, I like to take a portrait of my new cameras for Flickr, and this is my K-1 (selfie) portrait -




So, what do I think of it - first impressions only, of course. My previous Pentax digital cameras have been a K10D and K3 - so you can see my replacement cycle tends to skip quite a few models, which is fine, as this isn't a replacement - there's plenty I'll go on using the K-3 for.

What you can't help noticing, of course, is the K-1 (RAW) IQ - it's amazing - though I've not yet pushed its limits (my photography tend to me more about pushing my own limits, except inthe case of durability - I'm hard on hardware -one reason for choosing Pentax ) I take a lot of macro with the K-3 and am very impressed by the sharpness and detail, but the extra breathing space of the FF pixels somehow more than compensates for their lower density on most instances.

AF - I don't do a lot of moving subject AF, and haven't tried it with the K-1 at all as yet, but I'm impressed by the comparison with the K-3 in terms of lack of hunting - the K-1 will simply start off in the right direction far more often than the K-3, which is a major contribution to AF speed - and it can focus on much darker lower contrast targets with much more sureness. This is equally marked in Live View - which brings me to LV!

I simply use LV much more than I did with the K-3 - partly because the focusing is quicker and very accurate on static targets, but also because of the flippy screen - it is SO useful in tight corners where you can't get behind the camera as you'd wish to - and even using a tripod, not just where the camera is low to the ground, but when the viewfinder and screen are above eye level, and there's nothing to stand on - I know twist out ones can do that, but I've never had one, and I appreciate the optical axis element of the K-1. Also in Live view I like the the unmarked dial on the top plate, when set to neutral, twists to enlarge the view to check focus - an easy way to do it in the absence of a touch screen.

Talking of the unmarked dial - similar to other commenters, I might have chosen one or two different functions to be changed by it, but where it is useful, it is very useful - setting it to ISO for example in M mode gives you a separate dial for each variable, which I find very helpful.

The shake reduction seems truly effective, though most of what I'll use the camera for will use a tripod - but I got some pretty usable shots with a 400mm lens at 1/30s and the very heavy 70-200 f/2.8 wasn't a problem either at well below the reciprocal rule..

It's early days -I'm sure there will be a few things that irritate me as well as loads of goodies I haven't even tried yet as I get to use the camera more - and I definitely itch to find the time to use it - but I can say emphatically that, even as somebody without a lot of spare cash, I have no regrets at all about the decision to jump in and buy one.
Congrats. You will love your K1. I also came from a K3 and love the K1. The IQ improvement is only part of the improvements. For me the articulating screen is a major advantage along with so many other goodies that only K1 offers.

Just curious how you got the colors for your selfie (processing parameters).

Thanks
09-04-2016, 06:52 AM   #12
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Nice, thanks for sharing your initial thoughts on your new k-1. It will be on shopping list in the future. Again, congrats on your new purchase.. enjoy!!
09-04-2016, 08:35 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by ffking Quote
.. I wasn't expecting to buy one just yet, but I know it's going to do good work for me and inspire me to do better work too
Boy I know that feeling. It was K-1 or K-3ii in six months.. until I saw the silver ii and its limited production run!
I'm sure we will both adapt to our faster timetable!

That really is an excellent intro / selfie.
09-05-2016, 05:41 AM   #14
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I have also been using that LV waaaay more than on any my cameras before, just because it is good, handy and does not drain battery too much..
On the rest I can just agree with you too. Congratulations on your purchase!!
(I have almost brand new MacBook 13" and with 16 GB ram, ssd...it gets pretty warm time to time if I begin to do some PP with RAW files, which are great.
09-05-2016, 06:26 AM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by btnapa Quote
Just curious how you got the colors for your selfie (processing parameters
Post processed in Lightroom - I wanted a fairly muted effect, so took the contrast right down (but pushed the clarity right up to compensate for the flatness), which tends to mute colours a bit, and I also took vibrance and saturation down about 10. After that I pulled the yellow saturation in HSL right down (and the green, specifically to desaturate the box top left that was a bit too eye-catching) and pulled the orange and red down a but as well, I also pulled the luminance down a bit on the orange. Really trial and error, thinking 'how can I get the look I want'and fiddling until it came right. I've saved the settings as 'Urbex grunge' though it's really just my garage
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