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05-28-2012, 05:56 PM   #1
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Long time Pentaxian getting ready to make the jump to Digital!

Hi Everyone
Yes, you have read right!
I still shoot a Pentax SFX and a Pentax SFXn, both film cameras from the 1980's (if I remember right) with, as backup, a Z10.

I have, however, come to the realisation that everyone, my wife included, thinks I'm mad and (especially my wife) thinks I waste a hell of a lot of money on film and processing.

My problem is that I like to shoot crisply focused landscapes and other stills and I like to print those up to a metre wide, so I have felt (rightly or wrongly) that I'm best to stick to my film to do that. I have a good collection of (Pentax) lenses, both fixed focal and zoom, both auto-focus and manual and some really nice lenses for close-up work too. Basically, for those big prints, I've been worried (perhaps wrongly) that a K-5 will not neccesarily give me the same or better quality photos when printed that large.

So, having waited throught the K-100 and K-200; having been sorely tempted to buy a K-7 and having drooled over the K-5 for the last year, it seems life and family commitments will soon conspire to not eat all available funds and I should be able to afford to buy a K-5, should I decide to, very shortly, perhaps within the next month or two or three without breaking the bank.

So, time for questions which I hope other members can help me with:
  1. Will the K-5 live up to my expectations of wanting to print large, well focused prints? (And no pixels showing?)
  2. How far off is the replacement of the K-5 likely to be?
  3. Do I buy now (next 1-3 months) or do I wait to see what's released next?
  4. I do like the idea of the K-5 with battery grip for extra shooting time. (Remembering that a battery currently lasts me around 15-25 rolls of film, so 900 photos at most!)
  5. The ongoing speculation about changes from 16mp to 24mp and fullframe or not (and me having lots of nice full frame glass!) is causing me sleepless nights. (Not really, but I do trawl these pages looking for answers.)
  6. Most importantly though: How big can I print a good, well focused photo shot with a K5 and not see bloody pixels!?!?
Lastly, may I add that I am still listening to vinyl which undoubtably is far superior to CD and valve amplifiers seem to sound better than solid state, so I an still somewhat dubious about this digital business although, at some point, I suppose I'll have to admit that digital photography may be the one digital thing other than my smartphone that I could learn to like!

Kind regards,
Mark Jerling

05-28-2012, 06:40 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forums mark, I hope you enjoy it.
QuoteOriginally posted by MarkJerling Quote
Will the K-5 live up to my expectations of wanting to print large, well focused prints? (And no pixels showing?)
Although I have no experience with printing at such huge sizes, I think the quality of k-5 is second to none at the APS-C sensor level. And would be very good for large prints, although maybe not able to produce a 300dpi print at the 1m size print.
Here is a chart that shows megapixel to print size correlation at various resolutions. But having said that, you need to remember that you are going to view a 1metre print from a couple of metres back, so printing at 300 dpi might not be required for a 1metre print as the eye wouldn't be able to see that much detail from that distance anyway.

QuoteOriginally posted by MarkJerling Quote
How far off is the replacement of the K-5 likely to be?
One can only speculate on this, but rumor has it there will be a couple of cameras released over the next 12 months.

QuoteOriginally posted by MarkJerling Quote
Do I buy now (next 1-3 months) or do I wait to see what's released next?
I am personally looking for an upgrade to get better High ISO performance, and the K-5 would be fantastic, but I am going to wait for the next installment to see what improvements are to be had and also to knock a couple more dollars off the k-5's second hand price if i am not satisfied with buying the later model.

QuoteOriginally posted by MarkJerling Quote
I do like the idea of the K-5 with battery grip for extra shooting time. (Remembering that a battery currently lasts me around 15-25 rolls of film, so 900 photos at most!)
Currently I get in the ball park of 800 shots on my k-7 which has the same battery as k-5, I think the only real reason for the battery grip is to help with ergonomics especially shooting in portrait orientation. Swapping batteries takes the whole of about 10 seconds.

QuoteOriginally posted by MarkJerling Quote
The ongoing speculation about changes from 16mp to 24mp and fullframe or not (and me having lots of nice full frame glass!) is causing me sleepless nights. (Not really, but I do trawl these pages looking for answers.)
I think if your into this speculation you should feel right at home in these forums lol

QuoteOriginally posted by MarkJerling Quote
Most importantly though: How big can I print a good, well focused photo shot with a K5 and not see bloody pixels!?!?
See question one. It's all relative to how close you view the print.

Edit: I also think that if your really want to see incredible resolution (although probably out of your price bracket) the 645D would blow your mind.
05-28-2012, 06:50 PM   #3
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Welcome! Of course, for BIG prints, you'll want a 645D system. Right.

For the K5 or anything in its league, I'll say: Do the math. The K5 sensor is what, around 4800x3200 pixels? A little larger actually, but that's close enough for now. What pixel density would you print at? If it's 150dpi, that gives a print of 36x24in or 90x60cm. Is that close enough to 1m wide?

A K5 successor should be announced soon. How soon? ?Quien sabe? Who knows? Will it be 24mpx? Again, those who know don't talk, and those who talk don't know. Many threads in the NEWS & RUMORS section chew on this endlessly. I gave up on fortune-telling long ago; I'll keep my guesses to myself.

Battery life: I can't speak for the K5. My old K20D without a battery grip gives me about 800 full RAW shots per charge. And it's about time to change SD cards then anyway. I do fine with two batteries and two 16GB cards.

Back to big prints. Almost anything looks good if seen from enough distance. A 90x60cm print probably shouldn't be viewed any closer than 120cm. Those 150dpi dots just won't be seen except by CLOSE scrutiny. Consider that pre-digital cine, with not-terribly-high-res film, used frames the size of APS-C sensors (about 24x18mm) and were often projected onto screens of 15x10m. Folks in the front row at the theatre mostly weren't watching the screen anyway. Actual viewers sat far-enough away not to be blinded. In other words: Don't sweat it.

Yeah, it's a tough decision. Buy a bargain K5 now? Or wait till the next superlative Pentax arrives? I don't know -- how patient are you?

Last edited by RioRico; 05-28-2012 at 08:10 PM.
05-28-2012, 07:11 PM   #4
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Original Poster
Thanks!

Thanks Chaos

That chart is a great help. And, I realise that with negative scanning the maximum resolution I can achieve is 1200ppi so a normal 35mm negative will scan to around 1653 x 1133 pixels. (1,872,849 pixels) And, the K-5 is max 4928 x 3264 pixels. (16,084,992 pixels) so unless I develop and print myself (which I no longer do) I'm just being silly worrying about 16mp vs 24mp or more!

Kind regards,
Mark

05-28-2012, 07:17 PM   #5
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Thanks Rio

Yes, patience is a virtue they say! I think I should be fine with the K-5. Of course with my record of not upgrading for 23 years I'd expect the thing to last. Since the funds is not in my hand yet and I see there's some news supposedly coming on the 1st of June we'll wait and see.

Very true about the movie projection. Good points.

Kind regards,
Mark
05-28-2012, 07:56 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by MarkJerling Quote
Thanks Chaos

That chart is a great help. And, I realise that with negative scanning the maximum resolution I can achieve is 1200ppi so a normal 35mm negative will scan to around 1653 x 1133 pixels. (1,872,849 pixels) And, the K-5 is max 4928 x 3264 pixels. (16,084,992 pixels) so unless I develop and print myself (which I no longer do) I'm just being silly worrying about 16mp vs 24mp or more!

Kind regards,
Mark
No worries,
Also here is a thread that I couldn't lay my hands on before. I think you might be interested in the topic.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-k-5/175976-what-has-been-your-biggest-print.html

Regards,

Scott
05-28-2012, 08:02 PM   #7
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The only thing I'd add (and you are probably aware of) is that any Pentax dslr is going to be a crop with respect to your film cameras... Your lenses will have field of views smaller than what you're used to. that may require a new wide angle lens given you shoot landscapes...
05-28-2012, 08:37 PM   #8
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Ah yes, I forgot to address landscape photography. I don't know what your practice has been. I'll suggest that looking at collections of published 'scapes shows that most were shot at the AOV equivalent of 28-80mm on 135/FF or 18-55mm on APS-C, the ranges of their respective kit lenses. And toggers are individuals. Some shoot narrow 'scapes, some shoot wider, some shoot ultrawide.

The prevalent UWA lenses for our APS-C dSLRs include the DA15/4 Ltd, and a few zooms: Sigma 10-20 (two versions), Tamron 10-24, and DA12-24. My personal choice was the Tamron; your standards may vary. Popular short zooms that upgrade the DA18-55 (a nice bargain lens but not super quality) include the DA*16-50, Sigma 17-50, and Tamron 17-50. The wide-to-normal FA 20/2.8, DA21/3.2 Ltd, FA*24/2 and FA31/1.8 Ltd are highly regarded. The DA's and FA Ltd's are still in production; others are available used. I haven't researched these and I have no opinions -- except that I wouldn't mind having a DA21/3.2 Ltd! See the lens review database for evaluations.

As mentioned, the AOV of lenses on APS-C cameras is narrower than on 135/FF -- the notorious crap.factor. Smaller sensors see less of a lens' projected image -- they crop the image by a factor of about 1.5x (closer to 1.54x really). On Pentax's APS sensors, 28mm is 'normal', as 43mm is for 135/FF. We can calculate AOV+DOF equivalence by multiplying both focal length and aperture by the factor. A 35/1.8 lens on my K20D is fairly equivalent to a 55/2.8 on 135/FF.

I'd better stop now. Have fun!

05-28-2012, 09:03 PM   #9
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I have had a 1 metre wide print made from K5, came out beautiful!
05-28-2012, 11:00 PM   #10
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I think the first thing you need to decide on is budget.
A K5 now can be had for good prices as its nearing the end of its product lifecycle (not that its bad, just the cycle of products nowadays)
The new camera is not going to be cheap or cheaper than the K5 for sure.

For print size, I've printed up to A2 on my K7 w/o any issues.
I make A4 sized prints now and then that are taken with my K5.
No issues too.

The K5 replacement is expected to be in Sept, the K30, which is a bit lower end a model but using the same sensor and is weather sealed too is already announced.

Its not known if Pentax will go FF, but I'd advise against waiting and being disappointed.
If FF is the way for you now or in the immediate future, consider waiting till Sept for the Pentax road-map to be clearer.
If Pentax does not reveal plans for FF by then, you can consider other brands or the new K5 replacement.

I'd recommend not to get the battery grip. Its pretty pointless in most aspects other than the extra portrait orientation button or if your hands are big and need more grip.
Get an extra battery of two.
There are plenty of those cheap on ebay.

There are a few alternatives to the K5 too.
The K-01 and the K30 both use the same 16mp sensor and are cheaper.
Personally, I'd take the bet on the new, supposed improved K30 AF system as well as its smaller/lighter package.
Since you mentioned rather slow work like landscapes, the K-01 with its slower CDAF might do fine too.
05-29-2012, 01:12 AM   #11
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Thanks Emalvic.
Yes, I realise that. I also already have a Sigma DG 70-300mm. I trust that won't do the cropping?
Kind regards,
Mark
05-29-2012, 01:16 AM   #12
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Mmm. Not wild about the K-01. I think, if a K5 with an improved focussing system, like that in the K-30 is released, I'd probably bite the bullet. And yes, the batteries are certainly cheap. I have big hands so like the idea of a bit more 'bulk' in the camera, hence my thinking for the battery grip.
05-29-2012, 03:07 AM   #13
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That's a good link, thanks Scott. 40x14" so just over a metre wide. I can cope with that.
Kind regards,
Mark
05-29-2012, 03:09 AM   #14
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Thanks Selar. I feel more confident now with the idea of going digital (at last)!
07-18-2012, 12:45 AM   #15
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Finally!!! K-5 purchased!

Finally, K-5 purchased following much thinking on K-5, K-30 or (should I change to Canikon;-)
So, bit the bullet as K-5 is probably as cheap as I will be able to get it and, if a new model is turned out in September (or whenever) it will probably be waaaayyyy outside my budget.

So now starts the wait for the mail-man. Woo-hoo - This is more fun than Christmas!
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