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06-01-2011, 09:05 PM   #1
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Nature low light which lens & upgrade to K5?

Last year I bought my first DSLR prior to visiting Canada and Alaska as I enjoy all types of photography especially nature.

Pentax K7
SMC Pentax-DA* 16-50mm F2.8 ED AL [IF] SDM (love this lens for landscape & architecture)
SMC Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED
Bought these lenses for coverage and weight restriction of flights.

I went to two lodges in Great Bear Rainforest and Katmai Wilderness (got reasonably close) but when I came back found a lot of the shots in the low light had tremendous problems with noise.

I am going back this Aug-Oct for hopefully autumn colours/bears/eagles/polar bears. I love the K7 especially WR but I am considering upgrade to K5 to solve noise problem.

Should I bite the bullet with K5 and is there another lens I should be considering?

06-01-2011, 09:28 PM   #2
Ash
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Absolutely.
The K-5 is a great step up from the K-7 in high ISO performance.
For that reason alone you should consider the upgrade if funds permit.
06-01-2011, 09:33 PM   #3
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K5 all the way....
06-01-2011, 09:54 PM   #4
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I use the K-7 with some fast primes (f1.4) and I have some great results.

If too noisy, the noise can be removed either using Adam's suggestion (https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/106600-k-7-high-iso-success.html) or a dedicated noise reduction software. I tested both and I prefer the later and I use Noiseware.

An example:



The above photograph was taken at sunset using a Nokton 58mm f1.4. The bore was travelling at 2 m/s from right to left.

While I fully agree that the K-5 will be better in low light than the K-7, do not forget that a good fast lens on the K-7 may give you a better result than the K-5 with a kit lens.

Hope that the comment will help.

06-01-2011, 09:54 PM   #5
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If you were also asking for which lens for nature, the 16-50 should do well unless you want even wider field of view, in which case you could consider the Pentax DA 12-24, Sigma 10-20 or Tamron 10-24. Closeup work might demand more of a macro lens capability.
06-01-2011, 10:35 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alibaba Quote
I went to two lodges in Great Bear Rainforest and Katmai Wilderness (got reasonably close) but when I came back found a lot of the shots in the low light had tremendous problems with noise.

I am going back this Aug-Oct for hopefully autumn colours/bears/eagles/polar bears. I love the K7 especially WR but I am considering upgrade to K5 to solve noise problem.

Should I bite the bullet with K5 and is there another lens I should be considering?
Given you want to take pics of "bears/eagles/polar bears" I think you should also consider a DA*300 f4, more than a stop faster and certainly much sharper than the 55-300 you have. Did you find yourself shooting at 300mm much? Wanting even longer?
06-02-2011, 08:36 AM   #7
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You don't say how you were shooting, but some sample images with Exif intact would help. Without knowing more about the conditions or what you already know and have been doing, it could be as simple as needing to turn down your Auto ISO - there really shouldn't be any problem with your current camera or lenses for nature photography except perhaps for wildlife at night.
06-02-2011, 09:58 AM   #8
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You may consider k-r or k-x too, both are way above k-7 in high iso performance.

06-19-2011, 10:37 PM   #9
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Sorry for not responding earlier have been away. Thanks to everyone for your feedback.

I shoot in RAW as I like to have all details available for adjustments. I'm not that good a photographer yet to be spot on with my settings. From my understanding this means I can't use the noise reduction suggestion from Adam as they for jpeg files. Also I find that the NR reduction in a number of programmes takes detail away by softening and I like sharp photos although that is elusive for me at the moment.

I don't use the 55-300mm at 300mm very often as I have found it to be soft so predominately use 210-270mm. I bought the 55-300mm for coverage as a travel lens and as I have never used a prime didn't know the advantages however reading everyone is saying better optical for sharper images. Yes I like everyone want more reach when out in the wilderness but as the bears do come close is the 300mm too much?

I suppose you could say I am of the group that thinks the latest offers the best features with the manufacturer learning from experience. I am not one to change readily so invest my money in the best to suit my need and reading K7 weather seals etc. I didn't even consider K-r or K-x.

I want to be able to go out in all conditions and especially low light/poor weather after wildlife, sports etc and take sharp images without having to resort to NR the majority of the time. So I think K-5 and as I haven't won a lottery probably DA*300mm F4 and dream of F2.8.

Thank you again for all your input.
06-23-2011, 02:38 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by hcc Quote
I use the K-7 with some fast primes (f1.4) and I have some great results.

If too noisy, the noise can be removed either using Adam's suggestion (https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/106600-k-7-high-iso-success.html) or a dedicated noise reduction software. I tested both and I prefer the later and I use Noiseware.

An example:



The above photograph was taken at sunset using a Nokton 58mm f1.4. The bore was travelling at 2 m/s from right to left.

While I fully agree that the K-5 will be better in low light than the K-7, do not forget that a good fast lens on the K-7 may give you a better result than the K-5 with a kit lens.

Hope that the comment will help.
So, this has me thinking of how to succeed with my K7 in low light.... I have no fast primes, but if I invest in some great glass and still feel the K7 is not cutting it, they can always migrate to my next choice. ( K5 or what comes after)
What would be a good choice for a fast prime that can be used indoors (family, pets etc) and also work for travelling (landscapes, architecture)? Is there such a beast? 50mm, 28mm , 14mm etc etc? I don't know where to start, so any help is appreciated!
06-23-2011, 03:30 PM   #11
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24mm for film & 18mm for dSLR

My experience with best "grab & shot" primes are 24mm on film body and 18mm on dSLR. Both provide acceptable distortion & CA (at max aperture).
06-24-2011, 06:43 PM   #12
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You might want to consider for some subjects a flash or a tripod

Also consider for stationary subjects shake reduction

I own the K7 also and while newer bodies have less noise the k7 is not that bad
06-25-2011, 08:16 AM   #13
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I would suggest the K5 and the DA* 200 f2.8.
06-25-2011, 09:00 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by yusuf Quote
You may consider k-r or k-x too, both are way above k-7 in high iso performance.
That's an exaggeration. The difference is one stop. Nice, but not earth shattering. Given all the other advantages of the K-7, I'd rather have it than the base models.
06-26-2011, 01:16 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by GoldenRGuy Quote
So, this has me thinking of how to succeed with my K7 in low light.... I have no fast primes, but if I invest in some great glass and still feel the K7 is not cutting it, they can always migrate to my next choice. ( K5 or what comes after)
What would be a good choice for a fast prime that can be used indoors (family, pets etc) and also work for travelling (landscapes, architecture)? Is there such a beast? 50mm, 28mm , 14mm etc etc? I don't know where to start, so any help is appreciated!
Scott
I have the K-7 and several primes. For indoors and landscape in low light conditions, my two preferred primes are:

* FA31m f1.8 Ltd
* Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f1.4

The Nokton is MF and faster. But the FA31mm has possibly a more suitable focal length: not too wide for indoor portrait but wide enough for landscape. Both lenses have excellent/outstanding IQ and have a different use IMO.

Hope that the comment will help.
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