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02-23-2015, 12:53 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss
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Global Greetings!

Howdy,

My name is Ted and as of yesterday became a convert and pleased owner of a shiny new Pentax K-5 IIs with 18-135 lens.

Thank to work and personal preference I work, live, and travel overseas although I am a stone Yankee. Currently based in NoVa for another 6 weeks I head back overseas in mid-April. Aside from things photographic I am also an avid baseball fan, motorcycle rider, voracious reader (along the lines of Stephen King to Ian M Banks to ???), and player of games (Matrix Games to be more precise).

On the photographic front I have been hooked since i was very young. I think I had my first camera at age 5 and my first serious camera I saved for and bought my freshman year in high school was the very odd Minolta 110 SLR! Now that I have utterly displayed my approximate age I have been mostly a Canon shooter for eons. AE-1 to Elan 7e...then the jump to digital with a D60 and D40 with 70-200 f4l and 17-40 f4l glass.

I tend to shoot street travel, landscape, and action stuff (air shows, car rallys like Goodwood FoS etc) and often have some fairly unique and global access. I do sell the odd image via a gallery in central PA and proceeds go to the Wounded Warrior Program and may expand that to include the UK Firefighters Charity.

I just got back from southern Africa in late January after lugging the aforementioned D40 and associated glass. Bulletproof reliability and some cool images (petting distance from a rhino is heart stopping!). But....my next overseas trip is somewhere kind of crappy and my need for going smaller and more capable in rough conditions gave me the final excuse needed to start researching new gear.

Long story short I wanted to see if I could find a solution that could fit in my medium Timbuk2 messenger bag along with my ultrabook and some other work stuff. Yesterday....research complete I made the trek up to photographic heaven....B&H Photo....sold my digitally ancient gear for a very good price...and headed off to the Pro counter to look at the Olympus EM-5 and the offerings from Pentax. No....a P&S was never considered.

I was amazed at the size and capability of the Oly. I was horrified at the EVF. Yuck. Horrifed at focus tracking moving subjects (I had the guy try to capture me walking quickly left to right and ugggg). Mirrorless went out the window. Its a fantastic system and very robust....but I was not remotely confident at how it felt in my hand and the EVF....man...it just looked wrong and filled with so much.....stuff.

Now on to Pentax. Any motorcyclists among you know the feeling when you sit on the right bike and it just "fits" before you even ride it. I picked up the K-3....very nice...but pretty heavy and kind of big. The K-5 IIs practically jumped into my hand. It felt right. the button layout is obviously different then what I am used to but it is all logically placed. The viewfinder is fantastic and as a whole it is a shooters camera. I don't care about video and am glad to see the still photographer is catered for properly here.

I went with the 18-135 lens just because it will probably get trashed where I am going. And it means no need to expose the sensor to undue amounts of crap. What totally sold me on Pentax as a system were the f2.8 zooms....WA and tele that were just ridiculously good. Those two lenses cover it all...and so brightly . I WILL be getting those lenses once I complete my next assignment. Seriously the BH guy had me set ISO 800 and focus on the ceiling which is black....dimly lit...and little contrast and the camera/lenses locked right up like it was daylight.

Never mind the step up from the D40. Honestly I feel like I could shoot handheld in pitch dark! Its my first camera with shake reduction and well...the list of superlatives goes on. Pardon me while I about faint at the leaps and bounds tech wise from the D40 to the Pentax. And in such a small lightweight form factor. Amazing!

The battery is in the charger now and I anticipate setting up this evening and doing some test shots tomorrow. I shoot RAW exclusively and am happy to see Pentax is fully supported by PhotoNinja (my new RAW converter of choice).

i look forward to learning the gear and most important...seeing what I can do with it!

Cheers

T

p.s. Thank you for the helpful notes and reviews read while lurking. Very helpful to me in making my decision.

02-23-2015, 01:25 PM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Washington
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It sounds like you could possibly be a convert. Welcom
02-23-2015, 01:54 PM   #3
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Location: Dundee, IL
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Thanks for the introduction.
I think you'll like the pancakes too, if you're diving into the Pentax pool!
02-24-2015, 05:10 AM   #4
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Highlands of Scotland.
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Welcome to the forum, enjoy that new Pentax K-5 IIs once you get her fired up.

02-25-2015, 05:02 AM   #5
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss
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Thank you. Took it out for the first time yesterday and in blistering cold broke it in. Spooky how quiet it is and I feel like I can see in the dark .
02-25-2015, 02:16 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ted Au Quote
I feel like I can see in the dark
That's cos it's been brought up on carrot only diet.
02-25-2015, 06:54 PM   #7
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kerrowdown Quote
That's cos it's been brought up on carrot only diet.
You are not joking.
The three images below are among the first 15 shots.....basic correction through PhotoNinja and thats it. I shoot RAW+jpeg and these are the small jpegs. Horrid interior multicast fluorescent at a book signing, dusk in DC, and daybreak over Pennsylvania....all in the same day! Did I mention outdoor air temps varied from -2-14F!!

Detail is sublime at 100%.....colors are fabulous.....and the low-light performance blew me away. The difference in tech from roughly 2004-2007 and today is jaw dropping.

Anyway as you say....lotta carrots gobbled by the good elves at Pentax.
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