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01-08-2014, 06:13 PM   #1
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Switching to Pentax, but with a couple of questions

Hi Gentlemen,

As I said in my intro post, I am going to a Pentax from a Nikon d3100. First, I've considered the K-5, but now I am asking if I should go for K-5 II/ IIs instead. Do they worth the extra cost?

And due to the fact that I am going for the body only, and considering that I am planning to start with just three lenses for now (I've already bought a pentax-M 1.7 that is yet to arrive), which lenses would you recommend?

From these three, one should be WR.

- Zoom or prime: 16-50 or one prime
- My Pentax-M 1.7
- Zoom (50-135 or 70-200 Tamron)


Any thoughts?

01-08-2014, 06:22 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Moz Quote
Do they worth the extra cost?
You get better AF in low light and a bit extra sharpness with high-end glass on the K-5 IIs, that's about it. If you're coming from the D3100 I would recommend getting a K-5 and investing the remainder of the money in glass.

You should look at the DA* 16-50mm and the Sigma 70-200mm IMO, that would be a killer kit. Personally I'm not the biggest fan of the 50-135mm as I find it to be a bit short, but it depends on what you need it for of course.

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01-08-2014, 06:24 PM   #3
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The only differences between the K5 and the K5IIs are two items:
  1. The K5IIs has had the anti aliasing filter removed which increases the resolution by 8% (reported by a review)
  2. Both the K5II and the K5IIs have had their auto focusing improved so that they can now focus in essentially in darkness.
It was posted here on the forum by someone who had done pretty extensive testing that the K5II could be sharpened to K5IIs levels in most instances. The K5II is cheaper than the K5IIs, has been discontinued and is being clearance priced.

01-08-2014, 06:27 PM   #4
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The IIs has always been a bit of a conundrum. In all honesty it was a bit of a stop-gap model until he K-3 came out. In saying that however; it is still a fantastic camera in it's own right.
I've been asked this before and this is what I cam up with. If you're coming to Pentax fresh or from an older model Pentax (K20d for instance) then yes; skip the K-5 and go straight to the IIs. If you already have a K-5 Classic; then *personally* I wouldn't bother.
The question over the II vs IIs, that a bit more difficult. The difference between the two is primarily the lack of AA filter on the IIs. Meaning significantly sharper images. The downside of that is the possibility of 'moire' and other similar artifacts. In saying that however, a mate of mine has the IIs and has deliberately tried to introduce moire into his shots and it simply hasn't happened. And the very little artifact that did occur on the rare occasion were easily removed in post-production.

Just some food for thought....

01-08-2014, 07:19 PM   #5
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I switched this summer from a D5100 to a K5. I started with the 50-135 and I love it, but I hated not having anything wider. Now I have way too many lenses (on the nikon I only had a 10-20, 35, and 18-200), but the 50-135 remains my favorite (although the 15mm limited is a very close second). I've found that with the pentax lenses, I have to do *much* less post-production than I did with the Nikon… the colors just look better to me right out of the camera, especially nature shots.

If it's in the budget, I'd say get the 15mm limited (the SMC, not the new HD one), and either the 50-135 or the 60-250. And hit up your local camera shop, goodwill, whatever, and see if you can pick up a couple more cheap manual lenses. (I picked up a 28/2.8 for $5 and used it quite a bit til I bought a 28-75/2.8 zoom).

Or if you want to save some cash and improve your convenience, get the 18-135 WR zoom used (lots of them should be up for sale because of the recent black friday sale) which will give you a nice weatherproof lens you can use in almost any situation, and with that covered, you can invest in whatever you fancy -- macro or ultra wide (15mm ltd!) or a 40mm pancake for street photography, or a longer telephoto… whatever best suits what you prefer to shoot

If you decide to get one of the da* zooms (or any other moderately heavy lens), you should definitely consider getting the battery grip for the camera, even if it's just a third party one. You'll probably want the extra weight and better leverage being able to grip from a bit below the lens offers.

If you're used to using a tripod, you might need to invest in a stronger ball head. This outfit is going to weigh a lot more than your D3100. The one that came with my tripod couldn't really handle the k5 plus battery grip plus lens, so I picked up a sirui, I forget which one, but it was about 120-150 probably, and it's rock solid (and rated for 50 pounds or so).

Also keep in mind that you cannot accurately focus that f/1.7 lens at 1.7 through the viewfinder -- the focusing screen is only accurate to something like 2.4(?). LiveView with the info button to zoom up to 10x in will help fine tune the focus though. You can replace the focusing screen, but for about the same price you can get the 50mm 1.8, which will autofocus, so if that's the only fast manual lens you intend to own, it's probably not worth it.
01-08-2014, 07:46 PM   #6
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The K-5 II has supposedly fixed the AF in colored light issue of the original K-5. AF can front or backfocus depending on the color of the light.
01-08-2014, 09:01 PM   #7
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I must add that I am not a professional photographer, as you may have already noticed (or I would be the very first one on Earth shooting with a D3100 ).

I forgot to mention that I am planning on buying a battery grip. Probably not the Pentax, just a generic one.

As I shoot mostly on dim light situations, the K-5 II should be the one. But let me ask you another question: I presume that the K-5 (the original one) focus definitely faster than my current D3100, right?
01-08-2014, 09:41 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Moz Quote
I must add that I am not a professional photographer, as you may have already noticed (or I would be the very first one on Earth shooting with a D3100 ).

I forgot to mention that I am planning on buying a battery grip. Probably not the Pentax, just a generic one.

As I shoot mostly on dim light situations, the K-5 II should be the one. But let me ask you another question: I presume that the K-5 (the original one) focus definitely faster than my current D3100, right?
Hardly the first. Professional photographers are people who make money with cameras , not necessarily people who buy the most expensive possible gear. There are probably people making a perfectly good living doing stock photography and stuff using an entry-level DSLR. They just probably aren't shooting sporting events. But the K5 is definitely a significant upgrade.

I don't know how fast the D3100 focused with the lenses you had. My D5100 focused plenty fast with all 3 lenses I had, but they all had internal motors, as yours for the 3100 would have had to. The focus speed is partially determined by the lens.

I don't know that I'd say it's any faster or slower for most of them. The Sigma 10-20 definitely focuses faster on pentax than on my nikon version. That's the only lens where I have a 1:1 comparison. It is louder, though, since it's a screw drive instead of internal motor. But it's also noticeably lighter.

My K5 hunts a bit in poor lighting, even with the DA* zooms. Nothing insurmountable, just noticeable. Supposedly the K5II is better with that, and the K3 apparently is much better. The K3 also has a more powerful screw drive motor, so lenses that use those will presumably focus faster on that.

One other note: You can always pick up a couple of cheap Pentax-F zooms to fill in gaps if you want to focus on getting high quality lenses. You can sell them later as you upgrade and probably not lose much on them.

01-09-2014, 06:50 AM   #9
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I'll throw another chit in for the 18-135. A WR zoom can be a very good walkaround lens. The best camera is the one you have with you - and there's no reason not to take the camera with that lens on it. Then figure out what you can't do with that lens, or want to do better -that's where the primes enter consideration.
01-09-2014, 07:53 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Moz Quote
Hi Gentlemen,

As I said in my intro post, I am going to a Pentax from a Nikon d3100. First, I've considered the K-5, but now I am asking if I should go for K-5 II/ IIs instead. Do they worth the extra cost?

And due to the fact that I am going for the body only, and considering that I am planning to start with just three lenses for now (I've already bought a pentax-M 1.7 that is yet to arrive), which lenses would you recommend?

From these three, one should be WR.

- Zoom or prime: 16-50 or one prime
- My Pentax-M 1.7
- Zoom (50-135 or 70-200 Tamron)


Any thoughts?
Personally, I would get an DA 18-135 to start with and a DA 35 f2.4 lens. Then, decide what and if you want something wider or longer. I prefer the 50-135 on a crop camera to the 70-200, but obviously it depends on what you like shooting.

Anyway, good luck and welcome!
01-09-2014, 11:44 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Moz Quote
Hi Gentlemen,

As I said in my intro post, I am going to a Pentax from a Nikon d3100. First, I've considered the K-5, but now I am asking if I should go for K-5 II/ IIs instead. Do they worth the extra cost?

And due to the fact that I am going for the body only, and considering that I am planning to start with just three lenses for now (I've already bought a pentax-M 1.7 that is yet to arrive), which lenses would you recommend?

From these three, one should be WR.

- Zoom or prime: 16-50 or one prime
- My Pentax-M 1.7
- Zoom (50-135 or 70-200 Tamron)


Any thoughts?
The K-5 is a classic, but the K-5iis will deliver greater sharpness. Someones else here described it as an 8% increase, and thats huge concidering that some top primes are around 5% sharper then kit lenses. And there's no contest between kit lenses and top primes.

The low light auto focusing is definitley a huge plus also.

Lenses:
The 16-50 or 18-135 (or 16-45 which is cheap and pretty sharp but no WR)
Tamron 70-200 (might as well get the newer version for the WR or what ever tamron calls its WR)
01-10-2014, 08:26 AM   #12
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I don't think the VC version of the Tamron is available in Pentax mount?

If money isn't a primary concern, I would get the 18-135 for a WR walkabout, wait for the Sigma 18-35/1.8 (should be ~2 months?) and get the Tamron (or Sigma) 70-200. With the m50 as well, you've got a decent setup. Add the DA15 when funds permit.
01-10-2014, 09:59 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kozlok Quote
I don't think the VC version of the Tamron is available in Pentax mount?
My mistake, i thought it already came out. But it should be available soon seeing how the Pentax full frame is supposed to come out later this year. I would rather wait for the weather resistant Tamron rather then the non weather resistant Sigma 70-200, or even see what Pentax might produce.
01-11-2014, 02:46 PM   #14
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What about battery grips, which of those after-market ones do you recommend?

And last but not least, speedlights to complete the kit.
01-11-2014, 03:22 PM   #15
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Which camera are you switching to?
After market grips probably all come out of the same Chinese factory but with different labels. I bought a BOWER brand for my K-7. Did the job, but I no longer like to use it.
For speedlights, most people buy Yongnuo if they're not buying Pentax.
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