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03-27-2018, 05:16 PM   #1
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Could use some hand holding for my FF decision (upgrade/leave advice)

So to start this off I just need to say I am very indecisive about this sort of thing and generally spend countless hours researching all the details, but in this case, I'm under somewhat of a time crunch. I bought a FA 31mm used with a minor lens coating issue and only have until Thursday to return it, I don't really like it for my k3ii so unless I commit to the K1 back it must go. I am also borrowing a tamron 70-200 that must go to its owner soon, and want to buy a rokinon for milkyway season that's coming up.
I have a decent selection of crop sensor Pentax glass mostly shoot my da* 16-50 2.8, starting to make use of a tamron 70-200 for long zoom shots would even enjoy something like a 100-600, and the 35 2.4 limited. I shoot a lot of landscapes, sunsets, cityscapes, street photography both mid day and after dark, milky way landscapes, water falls/ocean, and play around with portraits and what ever else is fun at the time. I love the feel of my k3ii, the weather sealing, this forums, sensor stabilization and horizon correction, how bracketing worked in manual,how I only needed menus to change shooting mode, gps though I have yet to really require it I like having it there, would like to get my astrotrace functional but haven't utilized it yet, never used pixel shift because light room didn't support it

I think I require the basic zoom trinity in FF, a rokinon 24 1.4 for milkyway, Id like one of those ultra sig/tamron zooms 100-600 ish for fun and probably a fast solid lens for street photography in cloudy Seattle. Im not sure if or when I would want more prime lenses or if I would really utilize focal lengths under 24 .
My concerns with the k1 or mk2 are: lack of digital coating primes (that 31 limited has purple fringing past f8 with my subjects) the only dealer in the PNW hardly supports Pentax anymore, its hard to find anyone in person with Pentax stuff to try out or buy, poor 3rd manufacturer support, the zoom lenses seem to be modified g1 tamron lenses with out IS but they often cost as much or more than G2 Tamron glass, lack of variety of lenses at different prices, i already struggle with the k3ii auto focus and I would really like a system people consider "great", slowness in which they are adding lenses, I don't really enjoy stop down metering to use old glass, Knowing crop mode is only 15mp, thinking even the crop glass that covers the frame is likely lower performance than FF glass.
If I don't stay here and go K1 Ill most likely go Nikon D750 giving up gps, that super cool k1 screen, IBIS, maybe some ergonomics but ill have several choices of zoom lenses at more price points, I can get more zoom than the Pentax 150-400 for far less money, I think there's more sub f2 prime lenses with modern lens coatings, I can try/ buy more in person, also have access to older used glass, would be easier to adapt to sony if I ever went mirror less afterwards.


I know this is a ton to go through but I don't have anyone I can sit down with and have a conversation about this who knows the Pentax system.

03-27-2018, 06:02 PM   #2
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Do a Critical Thinking analysis of your like and objections. At a glance if your objections are real and not just top-of-head repeating internet knee-jerk Pentax objections then K-1II probably isn't your best choice. It seems you don't really use the things that make Pentax Pentax (backward compatibility) OTOH, if you can deal with the minor issues like PF on one of the finest lenses ever released by anyone, any time - and you understand that the D FA70-200/2.8 is not a Tamron rebadge but a genuine 100% Pentax lens (and the shorter zooms are damn good in their own right) then you should consider selling your APSc lenses and go All-In K-1 FF.

Only you can sort this out.

List all your points above on a legal pad, assign a positive or negative number value to each on (-10 to +10 rank) that describes how important each is to you. Negative 10 is strong dislike; Positive 10 is Strong Like or Need

Then compare each to the other (Is A more important than B; if yes, cross out A; Is A more important than C; etc.) Make sure you compare every value to every other value.

Sum the remaining (not crossed out) numbers. If SUM>0 go K-1II. If SUM<0 move on. If SUM=0 keep the K-3.
03-27-2018, 06:13 PM   #3
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I think you should have a compelling reason to go to FF. I would certainly not go to FF for any single, specific lens. For me the attraction was the increased resolution which I appreciate for enlargements and cropping. I've had no trouble finding lenses although I basically replaced a full set of crop lenses with a full set of FF lenses as I don't want to shoot cropped shots with a FF camera. The FF lenses certainly cost more and are bigger, but I'm very happy with the pictures I obtain. I do have a variety of lenses, fixed focal length, zoom, Pentax, Sigma, Rokinon, new, old. In general, I think you get much better value on the body with Pentax versus other brands. I think this used to be true with lenses as well, but I think Pentax lens prices now approach, and in some cases, exceed competitors. Having said that, the newer Pentax lenses I have are very good. And I've gotten quite a few that were gently used for significant discounts. If you can identify the benefits you'd appreciate with FF then I'd highly recommend it. But you need to make sure the benefits are there for your shooting needs. Good luck!
03-27-2018, 06:28 PM   #4
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I am surprised that you have CA issues with your 31ltd even with f8 and higher.
I tend not to get issues from f2.8.
The thing about the FA31 and 77ltds are that they do tend to have much more CA if slightly OOF (or that the DOF is not enough to draw over the subject properly), so focus can be an issue here too.
I did not really like the 31ltd that much on APSC.
Too tight a look for the money and the uniqueness of the lens does not shine thru imho.
On FF, the central sharpness between f1.8 to f4, the wide FOV and engagement distance, the falloff from the center, all contributes to that "pop" in the images (much more than apsc).

BTW, I think your 31ltd most likely has issues and you should return it.


There are pros and cons to the K1 vs K3 and even more so the KP imo.
The K1 is certainly bigger and heavier, so if you are looking for smaller/lighter gear, it may be a factor.
The K1 does make shallow DOF for isolation type shots easier.

Landscape wise, nowadays, I am tending towards the thinking that if you can live with "enough for most needs", apsc isn't bad at all.
A Sigma 8-16/10-20; covers it usually. (more limited in the 14-15mm equivalent range than FF though)
Ironically, I do think FF has more UWA choices (esp primes) in the DFA15-30; Irix 11mm, Laowa 12mm, Samyang 14mm, Irix 15mm.
But we really don't need that many lenses in practice...

If going for the K1, for your needs.
Samyang 14, Samyang 24, FA50/1.4; DFA55-300 (in crop mode) should suffice for now.

03-27-2018, 06:45 PM   #5
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Sounds like you are trying to convince yourself to move to another brand. And a lot of your reasoning is sound and if those are your priorities it might make sense. But only you can decide what is important to you.
Like @monochrome says write down what you want, what you need, and what you like. Check the other brands and see how they compare.

As to FF? Make sure you have a compelling case to move to FF. It isn't magic, just another format. I really love the K-1 but I also shoot with the K-3II when that format is better. If most of your glass is APS-C I would think long about moving to FF unless budget is not an issue.

QuoteOriginally posted by Greenneck Quote
enjoy something like a 100-600
Not available for Pentax and unlikely to be so in any reasonable time frame.
QuoteOriginally posted by Greenneck Quote
zoom lenses seem to be modified g1 tamron lenses with out IS but they often cost as much or more than G2 Tamron glass
The 24-70 and 15-30 are Tamron designs, but most review sites put them equal or better than equivalent Nikon or Canon lenses. The 28-105, 70-200 and 150-450 are all Pentax designs and by all reports as good as anything else out there in their price range.
QuoteOriginally posted by Greenneck Quote
i already struggle with the k3ii auto focus and I would really like a system people consider "great",
The K-1 is marginally better at AF. But if you are struggling with the K-3 the K-1 is not going to help. Neither (IMHO) is a different brand. I just went through 2,000 images from the National Bison Range taken with the K-3II and the K-1. My biggest issue was deciding which images to dump as the majority were perfectly in focus. I found perhaps 50 all told that I felt were missed focus caused by the gear. And that is shooting a combination of landscapes, Pronghorns, deer, Bighorn sheep, Bison and brown bears and birds. I am not a particular good photographer and if I can get 90% plus in focus with this gear anyone should be able to.
03-27-2018, 07:12 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by dave2k Quote
I think you should have a compelling reason to go to FF. I would certainly not go to FF for any single, specific lens. For me the attraction was the increased resolution which I appreciate for enlargements and cropping. I've had no trouble finding lenses although I basically replaced a full set of crop lenses with a full set of FF lenses as I don't want to shoot cropped shots with a FF camera. The FF lenses certainly cost more and are bigger, but I'm very happy with the pictures I obtain. I do have a variety of lenses, fixed focal length, zoom, Pentax, Sigma, Rokinon, new, old. In general, I think you get much better value on the body with Pentax versus other brands. I think this used to be true with lenses as well, but I think Pentax lens prices now approach, and in some cases, exceed competitors. Having said that, the newer Pentax lenses I have are very good. And I've gotten quite a few that were gently used for significant discounts. If you can identify the benefits you'd appreciate with FF then I'd highly recommend it. But you need to make sure the benefits are there for your shooting needs. Good luck!
I mostly want to clean up my astro images and all of my cloudy PNW day street images plus the shallow depth of field play. I just keep getting told by everyone and everything "make sure you have the lenses you want, Pentax doesn't have many lenses" So i want to make sure that any major ones I do want are covered, all seem to be except a ultra zoom for a reasonable price, and a decent 35mmish alternative if I don't like the 31mm limited.


QuoteOriginally posted by pinholecam Quote

BTW, I think your 31ltd most likely has issues and you should return it.


.
It might, or like you stated above it may be a combination of how i used it and being used on crop. If I had paid retail it would be gone but I paid less than 500 so it may be worth holding onto and hoping to break even posting it here if I end up not liking it.

QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Sounds like you are trying to convince yourself to move to another brand. And a lot of your reasoning is sound and if those are your priorities it might make sense. But only you can decide what is important to you.
Like @monochrome says write down what you want, what you need, and what you like. Check the other brands and see how they compare.

Not available for Pentax and unlikely to be so in any reasonable time frame.
The 24-70 and 15-30 are Tamron designs, but most review sites put them equal or better than equivalent Nikon or Canon lenses. The 28-105, 70-200 and 150-450 are all Pentax designs and by all reports as good as anything else out there in their price range.
The K-1 is marginally better at AF. But if you are struggling with the K-3 the K-1 is not going to help. Neither (IMHO) is a different brand. I just went through 2,000 images from the National Bison Range taken with the K-3II and the K-1. My biggest issue was deciding which images to dump as the majority were perfectly in focus. I found perhaps 50 all told that I felt were missed focus caused by the gear. And that is shooting a combination of landscapes, Pronghorns, deer, Bighorn sheep, Bison and brown bears and birds. I am not a particular good photographer and if I can get 90% plus in focus with this gear anyone should be able to.
Im not sure what I am trying to convince myself. I struggle in street scenes where i have less than 5 second to compose, focus and get a shot or miss it forever
03-27-2018, 07:22 PM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Greenneck Quote
a decent 35mmish alternative if I don't like the 31mm limited.
FA35/2 is a stellar lens, especially for the price, and it is currently in the catalog. Before I bought the 31 Limited I owned the FA35/2. Poor Man's 31.

AFA AF goes, it is fine for anything any of us wants to do other than fast motion on the Z axis coming toward the shooter. Everything else works just fine once you learn how to configure the camera. Most of the objections are because people expect Pentax to act like a Nikon or Canon. Pentax AF logic is different. K-3II was better than K-3; K-1 is better than K-3II; K-1II will be better than K-1. With BackButton AF and rear dial Av control 5 seconds is an eternity. You likely won't do any better with a Nikon.

The limiting factor now is DA and FA screwdrive lenses. Sure, a few new lenses have fast DC and ring-type motors, but if you can't wait for the rest of the catalog to be converted, well then you can't wait.

Last edited by monochrome; 03-27-2018 at 07:28 PM.
03-27-2018, 07:24 PM   #8
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I just use zoom lenses. They are excellent and do not cost as much as Nikon lenses. The Pentax lenses are very sharp. Keep in mind that while they may be made by Tamron, they are probably made to Pentax specifications.
So to my way of thinking you will save a substantial amount of money if you purchase the K-1Ii. I have also started the habit of focusing on a certain point before taking a picture a locomotive. Then when the locomotive reaches that spot, the lens is fairly close to being in focus.
My Nikons were not as weatherproof as the K-1 nor were the lenses.

03-27-2018, 07:33 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Greenneck Quote
Im not sure what I am trying to convince myself. I struggle in street scenes where i have less than 5 second to compose, focus and get a shot or miss it forever
What sort of street scenes?
03-27-2018, 07:35 PM   #10
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I have a 70-200 Sigma that I use with my K3 and with My K1 no problems sadly it is no longer made in K mount . The K1 is a great camera but I find I still use my K3's a lot. The Rokinon 14mm that I have works great with the K1 as does the Rokinon 85mm and they are cost effective lenses. I think if you have the budget hang. What do you think of the Tamron 70-200?
03-27-2018, 07:37 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
FA35/2 is a stellar lens, especially for the price, and it is currently in the catalog. Before I bought the 31 Limited I owned the FA35/2. Poor Man's 31.

AFA AF goes, it is fine for anything any of us wants to do other than fast motion on the Z axis coming toward the shooter. Everything else works just fine once you learn how to configure the camera. Most of the objections are because people expect Pentax to act like a Nikon or Canon. Pentax AF logic is different. K-3II was better than K-3; K-1 is better than K-3II; K-1II will be better than K-1. With BackButton AF and rear dial Av control 5 seconds is an eternity. You likely won't do any better with a Nikon.

The limiting factor now is DA and FA screwdrive lenses. Sure, a few new lenses have fast DC and ring-type motors, but if you can't wait for the rest of the catalog to be converted, well then you can't wait.
perhaps Ive never set my k3ii up well for autofocus to succeed.

QuoteOriginally posted by MarkJerling Quote
What sort of street scenes?
generally specific interesting people in crowded street scenes.
03-27-2018, 07:57 PM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Greenneck Quote
perhaps Ive never set my k3ii up well for autofocus to succeed.
There's an article in the Forum somewhere. If I find it I'll link it and tag you again on this post.

The initial K-3 Review has extensive settings recommendations. Page three specifically deals with Autofocus - both PDAF and CDAF.


QuoteOriginally posted by Greenneck Quote
generally specific interesting people in crowded street scenes.
You have to be certain to use single point focus (not 9 point or 27 point grid) or the camera might not select your subject. It can't read you mind. You also need to use a smaller aperture, such as f5.6, with fast lenses. There are only three f/2.8 cross points and nothing for f/1.4 on the AF sensor. Getting thin DoF on a street scene isn't what I do anyway. I want 24-36" focus zone, so I set aperture for my lens fl and shooting distance to achieve that. I frequently start at f/5.6 with a 105mm lens (@ 12ft. subject distance = 2-ish ft. focus zone on K-3ll). I use a MF lens and pretty much manage my focus by distance like I did with film cameras, but you could use a zoom like the D FA*70-200, which you could use on K-1ii. Any longer a lens and I feel like a voyeur - shooting w/o permission of the subject - anyway

Last edited by monochrome; 03-27-2018 at 08:10 PM.
03-27-2018, 08:14 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Greenneck Quote
I know this is a ton to go through but I don't have anyone I can sit down with and have a conversation about this who knows the Pentax system.
I have had the K1 since it first came out. It has a lot of good features and killer image quality. As you have heard focus tracking and fast focus in general is not one of its strong points. I shot a wedding with the K1 and I suffered but made it through. All the arguments you made about lenses are accurate. Basically, if Pentax makes it you have something to go by. Do not expect anything from third party makers. I do not see them supporting Pentax anytime soon if ever. So You are left with a decision as far as where to go. I have shot Nikons and 750 specifically. The focusing is in a different league and third party lens support is super high. Another camera I recently tried is the Fuji XT-2. It is a strong contender in my book. It does not have third party lens support but has tons of native lenses including long zooms. I also like the new Sony A7III but do not like Sony's high glass prices. The good thing with the Sony is that there is lots of third part adapted and coming up native third party support.

It is really hard to give you advice as your specific requirement should make it self evident as to where to go. If I were you, I would make a list of must haves and go with a system that gives you most of those must haves.
03-27-2018, 08:35 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Greenneck Quote
Im not sure what I am trying to convince myself. I struggle in street scenes where i have less than 5 second to compose, focus and get a shot or miss it forever
Those still should not be an issue with your gear, though the 16-50 is not the fastest focusing lens in the Pentax stable. Try it with a different lens, single center point focus. Many of the older screwdrive lenses are quicker to lock than the 16-50.
I've often used the little Pentax-F 35-70 for shooting on the street. Set it to f/5.6 or f/8 and you can mostly just frame, focus, shoot. It locks in without any hunting, just whirrr, lock.
For K-3II I use:
1) Back button focus
2) AF.C
3) Single point 'SEL'
4) Menu C.3.16 = '3', C.3.17 = '1', C.3.18 = '3' Play with these settings to your liking. The point is there are a number of settings that can be adjusted to the way you shoot.
03-27-2018, 09:05 PM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Greenneck Quote
If I don't stay here and go K1 Ill most likely go Nikon D750 giving up gps, that super cool k1 screen, IBIS, maybe some ergonomics but ill have several choices of zoom lenses at more price points, I can get more zoom than the Pentax 150-400 for far less money, I think there's more sub f2 prime lenses with modern lens coatings, I can try/ buy more in person, also have access to older used glass, would be easier to adapt to sony if I ever went mirror less afterwards.
First - I understand the frustration and the analysis paralysis.

Second - the D750 is a remarkable camera. But it is not the camera that competes head to head with the K1 typically. The D810 is more often cited as the camera to compare and has a very different use pattern from the D750. If the D750 seems right then the K1 is probably wrong. If the K1 seems right then the D750 is probably wrong - but look at the D810 as an alternative. And don't forget your current crop camera could be just the right camera for you - if only some features were fixed. So perhaps look at the KP and the latest crop cameras from Nikon. (D7500 for instance)
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