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09-22-2012, 08:33 PM   #1
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I'm Scared! And I need your support!

I have been interested in Pentax since Ricoh bought the company in hopes that some of the issues with the K-5 would be addressed. Mainly the low light and AF issue. I shoot a lot of urbex and need good low light performance. With the introduction of the K-5iiS I am thinking it's finally time to switch. I trust dpreview and they say the image quality of the OG K-5 is better than the d800 or 5Diii. Except at higher iso or low light. If pentax is telling the truth about the low light performance (-3ev whoa!) then I am sold.

Here's why I am scared. I currently use a rebel T4i with a 17-40, 24-105 L lens. The tamron 24-70 which is known as the sharpest mid zoon around isn't available for Pentax. So I will need help from all of you! This isn't a "convince me" thread, because I am pretty much convinced long as test shots prove what Pentax claims. This is more of a "tell me I won't lose lens quality" type thread. I know many of us L users are snobs and think the red ring means it's the greatest thing on earth. I am only partially that way. The L series are great lenses, but it's also marketing. They are sharper than kit lenses but so are most non kit lenses. If anyone has made a transition lately please help me with how easy it will be. I am really excited to have this lightweight, magnesium, weather sealed sharp as anything camera! I already know I will miss an articulating screen but that's not a deal breaker by any means. A 100% viewfinder is a better trade off. What else should I worry about? Thanks!

09-22-2012, 10:14 PM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Erron Quote
What else should I worry about?
Can you afford any more worries, scared as you are?
May I ask you: where exactly did you see the comparison btw. K-5 IIs and D800?

To answer your questions, the following zooms are plenty sharp:
DA 16-45mm f4, DA 17-70 f4, DA* 16-50mm (except wide open), Tamron 17-50mm, Tamron 28-75mm, and the series of Sigma zooms. For tele, the DA 55-300mm is light and sharp, but slow (f4-5.8). The more expensive DA* 50-135mm f2.8 is excellent; the DA* 60-250mm f4 is reportedly awesome (but heavy and even more expensive). There are also 70-200mm offerings from Tamron and Sigma.

However, Pentax's strength lies with its primes. Take a look at the DA limited and FA limited primes and see reviews of all lenses here:
Pentax Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

Last edited by causey; 09-23-2012 at 05:30 AM.
09-23-2012, 12:49 AM   #3
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The DA*16-50 is very good, and the DA*50-135 is truly excellent. The Tamron 28-75/2.8 is also said to be quite good, as is the 17-50/2.8 (I never had either one. I went from the nice DA17-70/4 to the better DA* zooms, and have been happy with them).

Then there's the FA*28-70/2.8 or the not-quite-as-good f/2.8 Tokina.


One of the above should really do the job. But you may start to pick up some primes, and you'll be more than happy.


A couple of years ago, during the brief time between when I sold my K-x and my new K-5 arrived in the mail, I got to shoot on the Universal back-lot. I had only my "old" K200D, plus my better Pentax lenses. I thought "if only the K-5 had arrived earlier!" So I borrowed a 5D Mk II for the day (with a 16-35 and a 24-70) and used it alongside the Pentax. I really thought I'd prefer the Canon results, so I was a bit shocked to find I liked the 10MP Pentax shots better. It was mostly the lenses.


I don't think of buying Canon L glass as snobbery, it's just what you have to do to get good quality with Canon gear. The Canon 16-35 is certainly good, but it's not truly impressive (like the Sony Zeiss is). But it's still supposed to be better than the 17-40. Instead, for the same money, get a DA15, DA21 (or FA20 or FA*24) and FA31 (or DA35/2.4 to save $800). There are a few nice lenses missing from K-mount (like the Tokina 11-16), but I don't think glass will be your problem.

Actually, just an FA20-35/4 (which I used to have) and the very compact (fits in the bottom of your pocket) DA15 will do quite nicely. Then add a DA*50-135. As long as you get the 50-135, I know you won't hate me, no matter how the rest of it works out.


BTW, I have a K-5 IIs on order myself. I shot a huge invitational cross country meet (at my alma mater) today. I got nice results from my K-5 (and K200D) today using the FA135/2.8, DA*50-135/2.8, and FA*85/1.4. The hit-rate of good (in-focus) photos became better as the meet went on and I got more used to tracking the runners with the AF, especially on the FA135 (which I was very happy with). See the Highlights Gallery: http://www.racetimephotos.com/XC/DanaHillsInvite2012

Last edited by DSims; 09-24-2012 at 10:35 PM.
09-23-2012, 01:09 AM   #4
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Yes, agreed with causey and DSims. If you want total and utterly sharpness the limited primes are the way to go.

09-23-2012, 02:57 AM   #5
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I recommend you buy an FA31mm f1.8 Limited - you won't have to worry about sharpness - EVER.
09-23-2012, 04:03 AM - 1 Like   #6
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Honestly, at the risk of being stoned, I think you should stay with what you have got and upgrade from there. You're clearly nervous about making the jump, used to the system you have now. My feeling is you're not going to be quite happy giving up your best lens. Buying a better body in the same system to mount it sounds far more practical idea to me.
09-23-2012, 07:28 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by causey Quote
May I ask you: where exactly did you see the comparison btw. K-5 IIs and D800?
Sorry, The original K-5 IQ is rated higher on dpreview for both the d800 and 5D3 shooting in raw. So this new camera will be just as good as IQ, and better at high iso. You can check out the test images and comparisons here:Pentax K-5 In-depth Review: Digital Photography Review

magkelly, I appreciate that. I won't sell off my Canon gea until I have used my pentax for a week or so. That being said, I will not stay with Canon. At my own risk of being stoned, they have become the Apple of cameras. The come out with products that have incremental updates and charge a ton for them. The company knows they are the most popular brand so they can do it. The 6D being a disappointment and raising the new 24-70ii to $2300 sent me over the edge. Putting out a ff camera without a 100% viewfinder, one cross type af point and a flash sync of 1/180 is ridiculous. I have to be happy with a company I spend my money on.
09-23-2012, 07:41 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Erron Quote
Sorry, The original K-5 IQ is rated higher on dpreview for both the d800 and 5D3 shooting in raw. So this new camera will be just as good as IQ, and better at high iso. You can check out the test images and comparisons here:Pentax K-5 In-depth Review: Digital Photography Review
.
One little problem with comparing dpreview's scores: the K-5 review is dated December 2010... that's two years ago.
But, who knows?, maybe the K-5 IIs can compare with the D800 IQ-wise.

09-23-2012, 07:44 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by causey Quote
One little problem with comparing dpreview's scores: the K-5 review is dated December 2010... that's two years ago.
But, who knows?, maybe the K-5 IIs can compare with the D800 IQ-wise.
At the end of the day its the comparison of a FF body to a aps-c body, a $2999 body vs. a $1300 body via BH on preorder.
09-23-2012, 07:46 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Erron Quote
Putting out a ff camera without a 100% viewfinder, one cross type af point and a flash sync of 1/180 is ridiculous.
The flash sync of the 5D Mk III is only 1/200, the difference between 1/180 and 1/200 almost undetectable. The 1Dx has 1/250, which is still only half a stop difference from 1/180.
09-23-2012, 08:23 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by causey Quote
One little problem with comparing dpreview's scores: the K-5 review is dated December 2010... that's two years ago.
But, who knows?, maybe the K-5 IIs can compare with the D800 IQ-wise.
If you go to the compared to raw on dpreview, line up the 5d3, d800 with the K-5. At iso 100,200,400,800 the K5 is sharper. Over 800 and noise starts to make me prefer the Canon image. The Pentax is still sharper, but with much more noise.

Blue, Yes I am I am comparing a FF to a crop. And a much different price point. So when looking at image comparisons, I think of that.

Elliot, I know it's not much of a speed increase. But it is still something they should work to improve upon. Mentioning the four year old 5Dii having a faster sync is a good point. My t4i has a faster sync, better metering and much better AF than the 6d. I know they tried to keep the cost down on the 6D to compete with Nikon, but what photographer who spends $2000 on a camera would prefer gps and wifi over a better AF, metering, viewfinder?
09-23-2012, 08:33 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Erron Quote
I know they tried to keep the cost down on the 6D to compete with Nikon
They aren't doing it for costs, they are doing it for sales, who would buy the 5D Mk III for $3500 if the 6D has most of the same features for much less. The costs to change the sync speed, the AF system and metering to be at least as good as the 5D Mk III would be minimal, but they want people to buy the higher end models, so they make this artificial gap in features.

They just tacked on the GPS and wifi stuff to attract more amateurs, since most pro photographers would never care about it.
09-23-2012, 08:35 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
At the end of the day its the comparison of a FF body to a aps-c body, a $2999 body vs. a $1300 body via BH on preorder.
Does FF necessarily mean better IQ than APS-C (leaving aside DOF and perhaps, within some limits, ISO performance)?

Last edited by causey; 09-23-2012 at 08:43 AM.
09-23-2012, 08:38 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Erron Quote
If you go to the compared to raw on dpreview, line up the 5d3, d800 with the K-5. At iso 100,200,400,800 the K5 is sharper. Over 800 and noise starts to make me prefer the Canon image. The Pentax is still sharper, but with much more noise.
Interesting... I just looked at the dpreviews D800 gallery... I must say, I'm not overly impressed. Yes, images may look a bit better (and the details in the comparometer, at ISO 100, are superior with the D800), but I don't think the difference in IQ is worth the difference in weight (body + lenses) and money, if we compare it to a good APS-C system like K-5--at least not considering my hobbyist 'needs'.
09-23-2012, 09:18 AM   #15
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Really, I can share @magkelly's advice. Pentax's strengths really don't seem to match up with your style of shooting, or preferences. I can imagine seeing you again in 3 months time on the forums complaining that Pentax isn't up to what you were expecting and you're switching back again.
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