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02-13-2018, 11:01 AM   #1
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Ready to buy first full frame camera - would appreciate some advice

Hi,

I'm an amateur photographer, new on the forum, who's been using an entry level DSLR for the past two years (Canon Rebel t5) and is interested in making the jump to full frame. I'm interested mostly in landscapes, macro, and portraits, although as a hobbyist I'd still like to take occasional action shots and street photos. Video doesn't interest me.

After doing a lot of research, I'm definitely leaning toward getting the K-1... but still looking at the Nikon D750 and the Canon 6D Mark ii. The features that attract me to the K-1 are the weather sealing (I love taking shots in the rain), the image quality, the in-body stabilization, and the buttons on the frame which seem to make the camera easier to use rather than hunting in menus. I'd like to try some night shooting as well (events/street scenes, not stars).

I don't have any lenses yet - for any system - and can spend about $3000 - 3500. With the Pentax I'm thinking of going with the 24-120 kit lens, the 100 mm for macro and possibly the 43 mm f1.9 for portraits.

Questions:
1. Is the K-1 too much camera for me? I'm still figuring out some of the basics like managing ISO and shutter speed. I'm very willing to learn and if I'm going to learn, I'd like a decent system. The quality of my Canon has been really frustrating to me (I know, I know, blame the photographer, not the camera...).

2. For those with some experience with the Canon D6Mii or the Nikon D750, would you recommend them over the K-1?

3. Are my lens choices appropriate for someone at my level?

I keep coming back to the K-1 and really appreciate how passionate some of the reviews are. Thanks in advance.

02-13-2018, 11:19 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alice Quote
With the Pentax I'm thinking of going with the 24-120 kit lens
There is no such lens.

Pentax only offers a 28-105 lens.
02-13-2018, 11:31 AM - 1 Like   #3
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There is also a DFA 24-70mm f2.8 lens - but in your case I think I would get the DFA 28-105mm f3.5-5.6 lens (still an excellent all-purpose lens, albeit slower in aperture - and that makes it much lighter to just carry around with you) and then add the DFA 15-30mm f/2.8 for your landscape needs that aren't covered with the 28-105. I would then add the excellent FA* 77mm f1.8 for portraits (some call it the best lens in the entire Pentax universe) and the DFA 100mm f/2.8 Macro.

I think all of your needs would be very well met and these are all great lenses. And the whole lot of 4 lenses would cost you right now $3,037.80 at BH Photo. You could also pay a bit less if you get the DFA 28-105 as a kit lens with your K-1, and if you end up buying something used.

Regarding whether it's too much camera - if you have the budget and the passion, why not?

Oh and welcome to the forums
02-13-2018, 11:35 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alice Quote
and possibly the 43 mm f1.9 for portraits.
As long as you're aware that 43mm is a normal lens on the K-1, rather shorter than what most would consider the traditional portrait focal lengths. If you do mainly full-body and/or environmental portraits, the 43/1.9 could work quite well; but it might not be very flattering for head-and-shoulders portraits, due to how close you would have to stand in order to fill the frame. Personally, I would suggest the 77/1.8 instead.

02-13-2018, 11:38 AM   #5
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Oops, you're right. I meant the 28-105 kit lens.
02-13-2018, 11:42 AM   #6
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The K-1 is a great camera for what you want. There are just so many reasons why. As for lenses, I would recommend the 24-70 and 100mm macro wr to start with. Both can do nice portraits as well as landscape and macro. Plus you get to hang out a pentaxforums, the finest photography forum.
Here's a couple with the 24-70:




The 28-105 is an amazing lens too, but it's nice having 24mm. If you don't shoot much wide angle landscapes or need f/2.8 then it is the better deal. But the 24-70 is more versatile in some ways.
Either way, you can't go wrong with the K-1.
02-13-2018, 11:43 AM   #7
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The first question for you really is whether or not you can really justify the extra expense for a FF system over an APS-C one, from any of the makers .....?

My own instinct based on what you've said is no .....I recommend you look at the Pentax KP camera. I think the money you save here would be better spent on some great APS-C lenses The KP would be a great camera for someone learning like you, plus it has near K1 image quality and low light performance .
02-13-2018, 11:45 AM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alice Quote
1. Is the K-1 too much camera for me?

2. For those with some experience with the Canon D6Mii or the Nikon D750, would you recommend them over the K-1?

3. Are my lens choices appropriate for someone at my level?
1. No, if you're serious about photography and are committed to it, the K-1 is a wise choice...FF makes sense for the best in landscapes and portraits. Why buy intermediary options and then upgrade when you know there is something better? Is it better to learn to play a musical instrument on a junk one or a good one?

2. I shoot with a Nikon D750, and the K-1 is a better camera in every way other than video or AF speed. If I were to start from scratch, I would get the K-1 over the D750....but I already have some nice Nikon prime lenses, so that's why I opted for the D750. (Like you, I tend to shoot more landscapes and portraits, and very little video or action shots.)

3. Lens choices are personal. Convenience and value of zooms vs. quality and speed of primes. If you want the best coverage for landscapes and portraits, then I'd suggest the Pentax DFA 28-105mm f/3.5-5.6 ED DC WR and the PENTAX DFA 15-30mm f/2.8 ED SDM WR. I prefer primes and "zooming with my feet", and would suggest the Rokinon 20mm f/1.8 ED AS UMC, Pentax FA 43mm f/1.9 Limited, Pentax SMC FA 77mm f/1.8 Limited, and the Pentax SMC DFA 100mm f/2.8 WR Macro.

02-13-2018, 11:46 AM   #9
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Even though they are similar in price, the K1 is in a class above the D750 and the 6DII. Its specs line up closer to the D810. In other words, the Pentax is a lot more camera for the money. Lens selection is more limited for Pentax than it is for Canon and Nikon, but it does sound like the lenses are available to meet your needs. I do wish we had a 24-120 f/4, but the 28-105 is highly regarded.
02-13-2018, 11:54 AM - 2 Likes   #10
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The comparison of a "junk" vs "quality" musical instrument, and equating that to aps-c vs FF, is very misleading in this context ....
02-13-2018, 12:29 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alice Quote
1. Is the K-1 too much camera for me? I'm still figuring out some of the basics like managing ISO and shutter speed. I'm very willing to learn and if I'm going to learn, I'd like a decent system. The quality of my Canon has been really frustrating to me (I know, I know, blame the photographer, not the camera...).
My take has always been to buy the most camera I can afford to grow into. Right now you're still figuring out the basics so a camera with good manual control will be very beneficial to helping you learn. Then as you grow in your skill and comfort levels, your camera should allow you to expand your horizons. Yes, all of the cameras you've mentioned fit this mold.

I also look at value vs. cost and, as it seems you've figured out, Pentax offers the best ratio. That's why I switched from Nikon to Pentax when I upgraded my APS-C DSLR 10 years ago. Since I buy a new user camera every 5-10 years, when I buy, I buy the best I can afford so I don't constantly feel the need to upgrade (same approach I take with all of my technology purchases). It saves me a lot of headache.
02-13-2018, 12:34 PM   #12
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I came from years of using Canon full frame before Pentax and still love the K1 more than a year in. The image quality for landscape and art photography is top notch, it’s a dream to use and intuitive. I’m like you in that video and sports/action are not high on my agenda either which is where Canon / Nikon score.
To ‘figure out the basics’ I always say stick with Manual mode for a few days to start with, then everything else in photography will soon slot into place after that, regardless of which camera you choose!
As for lenses, I hear lots of very good things about the 28-105 but I love the 24-70 f2.8. Heavier, but an option if wider apertures are important (you mention the 43mm) than the 28-105 and of course you get a 24mm wide-end, a classic length for landscape work. At 70mm I find that this lens produces lovely portraits, a workhorse lens that will do most things (apart from allow you to travel light!).
Obviously the 28-105 gives you more at the longer end and is lighter.
To complement the 24-70 at the longer end, I often find a 100mm macro handy for more reach (and macro of course!) without too much more weight in the bag.
I also use the 43mm a lot as the focal length, image quality, light weight and very small size make it a great choice for travelling light with a versatile ‘standard-ish’ lens.
Good luck in choosing!
02-13-2018, 12:36 PM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
The comparison of a "junk" vs "quality" musical instrument, and equating that to aps-c vs FF, is very misleading in this context ....
Sorry, but I didn't mean to infer junk vs. quality in the context of APS-C vs. FF. I was referring to entry-level* cameras vs. advanced level. *And entry level cameras are not "junk" these days...but entry level music instruments usually are....so maybe just a bad analogy on my part.

If the OP said they wanted to shoot wildlife, sports, or needed something lighter and compact, then APS-C makes a lot of sense. But then, I think she would've found options with Canon. The OP mentions landscapes and portraits, and although you certainly can take excellent landscapes and portraits with an APS-C sensor, if she has the budget for FF, then it makes more sense.

The exception to me is if her budget was more limited, then spending more on lenses and less on the camera would be advised.

Personally, once I went to medium format, it was hard to accept FF quality, although to most viewers, an APS-C sensor would be fine. This also comes down to how much cropping, screen vs. print vs. size of enlargement, etc. In my experience, at least the FF gives me the most options to build on, and with the K-2 around the corner, the K-1 prices are only going to get more affordable.

Last edited by Alex645; 02-13-2018 at 01:51 PM. Reason: *
02-13-2018, 12:46 PM   #14
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Some great points raised already but just to add my 2 cents:
* Agree with other that DFA28-105 is great option to start with. I still use mine (even though I prefer primes) as its convenient weather resistant lens that performs better than you would expect for such a lens!
* While the FA43 is a good lens there are plenty other prime lens options to consider too. I particularly like my FA35 f2 and apparently the FA31 Ltd is even better. Then theres the FA77 and FA50 f1.4 (have it and use it). And for second hand FA lenses there are lots of options like FA20, FA*24, FA28 (have it and its useful), FA100 macro (have it and like it!). There are cost effective alternatives for ultra wide angle too like the Samyang 14mm f2.8 (manual focus though) which is a good performer.
* Also don't forget older second hand lenses either. Pentax has great backward compatibility and you can learn a lot from using old (cheap) manual focus lenses (while also having good image quality and in some cases interesting character!). For example I have an old SMC M 17mm f4 fisheye that I use quite a bit on the K-1.
02-13-2018, 12:53 PM   #15
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There's a lot to consider, we can agree on that! It may be that the OP has already made the aps-c vs FF choice, and is committed to it. However, the price, both financially, and in lens size/weight needs careful consideration, and I thought might be worth re-visiting. In most output situations it is unlikely that anyone would notice any differences.
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