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07-04-2019, 08:49 PM - 2 Likes   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: outer eastern melbourne, australia
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"Return" to Pentax with k1.

Hi all.

I was tempted to run with an 'I'm back' type headline, but that wouldnt be strictly true because i never totally left.

I used to shoot entirely with Pentax Dlsr's, pairing the wonderful rendering of the K10D and the modern output of the K5, and was quite active on here. Then came a night where some mongrel smashed in my car window and ran off with my camera bag. I lost one of the bodies and a heap of lenses and gear. Fortunately insurance covered a lot of it and i made the choice to switch to Olympus mirrorless camera's . The EM1 and various other M43 bodies became my main daily shooters and the K5 slumbered in the cupboard . And i was not unhappy with the situation, rationalising that the slight IQ improvement of the Aps-c camera was offset by the handy features of the smaller format.

However, i still have a love for Pentax and would sometimes break out the K5 just because.... well....... just because. And i recently started pondering whether i should upgrade the k5 (which is developing an intermittent sticky shutter button) to the K3 - whose rendering i had always thought was a bit 'moodier' than the cooler K5 and closer to the old K10D look. In my mind at least. But again, was the image quality going to be any better than the lovely Panasonic G9, for instance?

So Pentax was back on my mind when i wandered into a store a few days ago and by pure chance I found a very neat looking K1 on the second hand shelf. For a touch under $1000 Australian ($700 US). These things were retailing at $2800 not that long ago around here! That set my mind thinking. A full frame sensor, 36 MP, and built like a tank. For substantially less than any other full frame camera of comparable age. Sure, it was Used. But at 5,900 on the shutter count it had barely been used. The owner had traded it on a new Panasonic S1R. Lucky him. But also lucky me. Here was a way into FF, in a brand that i already love, and a promise of definite IQ improvements over my M43.

I returned the next day after pondering on it, and bought it. I received the camera body, the charger and lead, the software disk and the boxing. Strangely, i didnt receive the strap (I'll wait for Lucky Straps to have a sale on their beaut leather straps). Nor did i receive an instruction manual, but perhaps this was a pdf only arrangement by Pentax?


First impressions are that its heavy. Certainly far heavier than my G9, which is itself a heavy M43 body. But i knew it would be so. And i'm ok with that, as i dont want or expect it to be an everyday camera. I view this as a high resolution, high dynamic range (especially this aspect!) specialist tool for deliberate landscapes etc. I'll likely take it out with set goals in mind, co-existing with my M43 gear.

Second impression was that it's familiar. There's enough of the Pentax layout of the K5 for muscle memory to not have entirely been lost. The third dial and multi-mode dial is different, but in the hand and operationally its not like learning an all new system. I needed to make a couple of changes (see below) and found my way around the menu's ok.

Thirdly, its bomb proof, surely? Seriously, the build is incredible. Pentax has always been rugged, but this feels like a new level.

I did a factory reset, installed a 50/1.4 Sigma DG on the front and peered through the viewfinder. Not what i was expecting! It looked like a rangefinder frame line! what the? And the AF points were clearly in auto. I fumbled around and finally found the af button on the front, and worked out how to select a small centre point AF. But the frame lines were still there, and the first pics i took were clearly not reflective of the total view in the VF, more so defined by the frame lines. I had a suspicion and delving into the menu's i found the Crop mode set to auto. I changed this to manual full frame, and hey presto, the framelines disappeared and the first photo i took was now clearly a 50mm fov! For some reason, the DG lens was 'recognised' by the camera as a DC crop lens!?

No matter, once i knew why it becomes a moot point. However, the framelines open an interesting possibility for street photography and also sport, being able to see what is happening outside the final photo border. From what i read, the crop files are still around 15mp? Basically my K5 resolution? That could work.


I like the idea of the two linked mode dials providing analogue access to various features, i think thats pretty neat thinking. How long it will take for that to become second nature remains to be seen, but i can see why such a large body only has two FN buttons. I've also set it up for back button focus, as that's how i always prefer to shoot.


Anyway, i have lots to learn here and no great rush to do so. I've looked at the k1 sample thread and have seen some fine work, and intriguingly the camera seems to produce very different vibes in various hands. I'm going to need to do the work to get the best from this camera. Pixel Shift, astrotracer, HDR, how to process these big files, adjusting the jpeg look........there's so much new in this camera for me. Heck, it even has wifi! When did pentax enter the 21st century!? That said, i know the files are large but the wifi transfer is quite slow, to say the least! Better than not having it, though.

Lens wise i'm ok, but not perfect. 50/1.4 Sigma . DA35. 150-500 Sigma. I'm currently weighing up whether to get a 24-70/2.8 Sigma, or the 28-105 Pentax. Both are available at the same price. I'd prefer the bigger aperture, but if im looking mainly at landscapes etc then the weathersealing of the Pentax makes sense too. I saw the 15-30 but its too big and too expensive right now.

So yes, i've returned. I never thought i could justify a high-res FF camera. They're too big and too expensive. Well, i thought that until two days ago, lol.

See you all around the boards. Thanks for looking.

(All pics are sooc jpegs from the G9 and the statue is the first shot from the K1 post "crop" change)

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Last edited by MarkJerling; 07-04-2019 at 08:59 PM. Reason: Repetitive gif/jpg images removed.
07-04-2019, 08:59 PM   #2
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Welcome back!

The K-1 is a wonderful machine. Good to hear you found one for a great price!

Kind regards,
Mark
07-04-2019, 09:39 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Welcome back, Saladin, from a fellow Melburnian and K-1 owner. A Pentax executive was ridiculed recently for saying that once people have tried mirrorless, some after experiencing both would return to buy a DSLR afterwards, it's definitely not a one way journey … you and I are living proof of that.
07-04-2019, 09:42 PM - 2 Likes   #4
Pentaxian




Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: outer eastern melbourne, australia
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There is a place for both imo. At least for me there is. And I can't get anywhere near this image quality at this price from the mirrorless candidates. It's that combination that appealed to me

07-05-2019, 12:14 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Welcome back, Saladin, from a fellow Melburnian and K-1 owner. A Pentax executive was ridiculed recently for saying that once people have tried mirrorless, some after experiencing both would return to buy a DSLR afterwards, it's definitely not a one way journey … you and I are living proof of that.
I think people around me and online are returning to point and shоot film cameras at the moment. I wouldn't be surprised if Fujifilm announces a film camera soon or sometime down the line (new Acros etc.).
07-05-2019, 12:15 AM   #6
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Nice come back ! It's a beauty with this lens !
07-05-2019, 01:01 AM - 4 Likes   #7
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The most astonishing thing about this story is you saw it on the shelf at $1000 AU and had to think about it overnight. AND it was still there the next day.
07-05-2019, 01:17 AM   #8
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lol, yes. I was back there at opening and they'd moved its position slightly on the shelves! I thought it had been sold! The sad thing is, the guy who traded it in probably got barely 500 dollars for it.

07-05-2019, 01:34 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by saladin Quote
The sad thing is, the guy who traded it in probably got barely 500 dollars for it.
Ha ha, but he was thinking he gets to put his Leica glass on his new body!
07-05-2019, 02:44 AM - 1 Like   #10
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Welcome back. Sounds like an amazing deal on what is a great camera. Looking forward to more shots from you in the coming days...
07-05-2019, 03:17 AM - 2 Likes   #11
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I'll bet the crop factor defaulted to "auto" because the K-1 could NOT recognize the lens. I keep mine set to FF all the time and crop in PP if necessary.

Instruction manual available in pdf:
http://www.ricoh-imaging.co.jp/english/support/man-pdf/k-1.pdf

I'll be interested to hear more about your lens choices.
07-05-2019, 12:19 PM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by saladin Quote
I found a very neat looking K1 on the second hand shelf. For a touch under $1000 Australian ($700 US).
Some people have all the luck!

QuoteOriginally posted by saladin Quote
I never thought i could justify a high-res FF camera.
It's a whole lot easier to justify at that price! Congratulations on being in the right place at the right time. I'll enjoy your K-1 vicariously by viewing the images you post.
07-05-2019, 04:32 PM - 1 Like   #13
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Congradulations- a bargain indeed!

For me the k-1 strikes a nice Ballance between size and quality. I certainly often carry mine (with the 3 "small" limiteds which are great on the k-1), except when travelling very light.

Enjoy!
07-08-2019, 01:27 AM   #14
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Quick update:

1) The concept of the multi function dial is sheer genius. There are a couple of functions that I wish were something else, but I love mechanical access to avoid menu's. Immediate availability of wifi, crop frames etc is very cool and something I will use.

2) I wish the movie switch under the mode dial was access to the metering modes instead.

3) This camera encourages contemplative shooting, not least because the wifi function is so slow, lol.

4) I'm having some focus issues with the 50/1.4 . It misses sometimes even though the camera has confirmed focus. I can sometimes get much sharper results with manual focus. Looks like a session of AF adjustment beckons. Or I might send it off for calibration to my body.

5) All things considered, I think I'll pick up the 28-105 rather than the 24-70 Sigma also on offer. Hopefully it plays nicer with the AF system , and weather sealing makes a lot of sense.

6) I need to run the 35/2.4 and 150-500 to see how they behave.

7) it's a fun camera to use. And the files look beautiful if I do my bit right. And I haven't even looked at the Raws yet.
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Last edited by saladin; 07-08-2019 at 02:14 AM.
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