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01-30-2014, 02:39 AM   #1
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Upgrade to K5IIs (from K5) or new lens?

Hi guys,

I have been using a K-5 for 10 months now as my first DSLR. So far I'm verry happy with the camera and my results. However, now I have the opportunity to spend some cash and I need to satisfy my hunger for new gear
My only complains about the K-5: problems with AF in low light (sometimes I shoot in pubs, bad artificial light) and sometimes seems a bit too noisy at ISO 1600-3200).


One option would be an upgrade to K5IIs as seems to have a great price now.

The other would be a new lens... namely Sigma 35mm F1.4 Art (35mm is by far the focal length I seem to use the most).

What would you choose between those? my lens so far: 18-55 WR, 50-200 WR, DA 35mm F2.4, 16-45mm, 15mm Limited. Would any of those lenses benefit from K5IIs? also, would K5IIs have less noise at ISO up to 3200?

01-30-2014, 02:57 AM   #2
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To take the noise first: There is no difference in noise level between the K-5 and the K-5iis.

As to upgrading to IIs or a Sigma 35/1.4... That would be improved AF in low light vs a stop and a half faster lens. Umm, both? Sorry, I suppose I don't have any good advice on this one
01-30-2014, 03:10 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hattifnatt Quote
What would you choose between those? my lens so far: 18-55 WR, 50-200 WR, DA 35mm F2.4, 16-45mm, 15mm Limited. Would any of those lenses benefit from K5IIs? also, would K5IIs have less noise at ISO up to 3200?
IMO all those lenses will benefit from the K5iis - all lenses will, period. However, I'm not sure how much you will notice going from the K5 to the K5iis. Noise behaviour will be the same because it's the same sensor without the anti-aliasing filter. Personally (although I have a K5iis, I never bought a K5) I'd buy the lens and wait for the next generation after the K3, or when the K3 price drops. You already have a great camera in the K5.
01-30-2014, 03:31 AM   #4
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As a K5 owner, I feel your pain re focussing issues in certain lighting. Mine front focuses big time , but its not consistent enough to be solved by micro adjustment. I too am contemplating a IIs or k3. However, I would go for the 35mm without question. One of the best lenses ever made that will serve you outstandingly well on future bodies for perhaps decades. And in my case, I would use it far more often than the IIs' lowlight focussing would be needed. Your usage patterns may be different though..

01-30-2014, 04:31 AM   #5
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I also think you'll get benefits from the K-5 IIs, including AF benefits.

But you don't currently have any quality glass over 45mm. This is problematic.

So you need a lens. I'm just not convinced it should be the Sigma 35/1.4 Art right now.


I think you need something between 70 and 135mm. I find the most useful focal length in low light environments is my FA*85/1.4. Before that, it was my FA77, which was very nearly just as good, and in some ways even better. So if you're prioritizing low light I'd look at the FA77; if not quite so much, consider the DA*50-135. If I had your setup, 35mm would be my most used focal length too! But if you get one of these lenses, I can assure you that will change.
01-30-2014, 04:57 AM   #6
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I am going to try some body shots in the near future (not nudes, though ). I was contemplating the 77mm but I'm afraid it will be a little too long for body shots, considering I'll be shooting in a room, I might not have enough space to retreat. I tested an 85mm sammy and it was indeed too long; some friend did a similar project with a 50mm and he told me he wished for a 35mm.

Now... I already have the 35mm F2.4 plastic wonder which is my favorite lens, but still the Sigma seems to outclass it... by far. Very tempting
01-30-2014, 07:10 AM - 1 Like   #7
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Well, I'm the outlier here, so take my experience with a grain of salt. But I shot a low-light event with both a K-5 and a K-5iis, and my RAW shots showed noticeably better noise at ISO 3200 and 6400 in the K-5iis compared with the K-5. Maybe something was wrong with the K-5? Maybe pixie dust had settled temporarily on the K-5iis? But it was undeniable that I had to use more noise reduction in Lightroom to overcome the noise in the K-5 shots than in the K-5iis shots.

Based on only that experience, I'm going to suggest that you might indeed see a noticeable improvement in high ISO noise if you shift to the K-5iis.

But, I also agree with the previous posts that urged that you get yourself some good glass, because your lens holdings are not up to the ability of the K-5.
01-30-2014, 08:01 AM   #8
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I have both K-5 and K-5IIs, I find that the K-5IIs upgrade worth it. Two improvements which I think are noticeable to me, one is the responsiveness of focus in low light condition and the other is the lack of LPF; of course, that is just IMHO. In my case, I have overcome LBA already with most lenses that I want and I have them already.

01-30-2014, 08:19 AM   #9
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Tripod or Flash.

Just saying.
01-30-2014, 08:20 AM   #10
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I know my next photography purchase will be the Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 that is due to finally be released next month in Pentax mount. I'd say stick with the body, get a new lens, and then upgrade later when the K3 comes down in price as we know it will.
01-30-2014, 08:42 AM   #11
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K-5 -> K-5IIs; better low light AF (-3EV vs. -1EV, higher consistency), same noise performance (per DXOMark testing, the only reliable source)

DA 35mm f2.4 -> Sigma 35mm f1/4; faster aperture = 1.5 stops lower noise, AF no change

Easy choice for me. I'd rather have a noisy photo than a blurry one. A noisy photo I can work with, blurry photos I delete.
01-30-2014, 10:56 AM   #12
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So which would be the easy choice Dan? your conclusion was not so clear being tired after work
01-30-2014, 11:09 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hattifnatt Quote
So which would be the easy choice Dan? your conclusion was not so clear being tired after work
I would choose the camera because accurate and speedy auto-focus is more critical than noise.
01-30-2014, 11:25 AM   #14
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I shifted from a (currently disabled) K-5 to the II, and low-light focus is amazing. The sensor is essentially identical, nothing to prefer to my eyes - but SAFOX X will do good things in a pub. If you don't want to stretch to the K-3 and low-light focusing is a really big deal (as it is to me), the II series will serve you well. I'm using primes to 105mm then the 50-200WR, and I can see the difference. I'd love a faster, sharper zoom but it's good enough and I love its size and use of the prime's filters.
01-30-2014, 05:44 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
DXOMark testing, the only reliable source


QuoteOriginally posted by sholtzma Quote
Well, I'm the outlier here, so take my experience with a grain of salt. But I shot a low-light event with both a K-5 and a K-5iis, and my RAW shots showed noticeably better noise at ISO 3200 and 6400 in the K-5iis compared with the K-5. Maybe something was wrong with the K-5? Maybe pixie dust had settled temporarily on the K-5iis? But it was undeniable that I had to use more noise reduction in Lightroom to overcome the noise in the K-5 shots than in the K-5iis shots.
I've had similar experience, using Capture One.


DXO shouldn't be treated as such an authority. In fact. sometimes they really miss the mark. I believe it's because they don't test all the relevant factors, but the reason why isn't as important as the fact that their findings are far from authoritative. They only know what they measure - little more. And from what I can see, how much they measure is very little.

It's one thing to point out that DXOmark came up with a different conclusion, but I'd be careful about using them to contradict other forum members who have real world experience with the product.


It's not the contradiction that bothers me so much - the forum can be a good place for a little healthy debate. And we all have limited experience, so we have to fill in the gaps some way. But DXOmark's tests are mostly cursory - and they're not a good way to fill in these gaps.
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