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04-14-2014, 08:43 AM   #1
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Weddings... k5iis or go D700...

I started shooting pentax film cameras and have stayed with pentax since, it made sense at the time because it was simply a hobby and all my lenses were compatible

I went from k1000 to mz7 to Z1 analogue cameras to a KR and then a K5iis

I love the k5iis but here is my dilemma

I am now supposedly 'semi pro' (if that even exists) in that I am getting paid for jobs, I have a home studio, insurance, website etc etc, it is still not my main source of income but in coming years I hope that it will be my main or only source of income & I have some important shoots coming up I.e. weddings and the like and don't know what to do

I know I need a spare body and some more faster lenses for low light work but am unsure if I should jump ship and move to nikon full frame

I'm not one of those people thinking of moving to ff for the sake of it either, the K5iis is a fantastic camera, very sharp great images very good if not the best high iso for aps c but...



Low light high iso performance,
Superior af performance
Shallower dof (both a plus and a minus in different situations) Better ttl flash All above is from the grapevine...
Never shot a FF nikon in my life!

All are reasons in my mind to not get a 2nd k5iis or any more pentax glass but to sell off my pentax gear in favor of a nikon ff setup

Decisions decisions
But the costs involved are astronomical So I'm considering getting 2 used d700's And upgrade in future to d4s when I have enough work to warrant it..

Any thoughts please? or better any wedding shooters working in low light have good things to say about k5iis / k5ii in that situation high iso about af performance and lens recommendations Or is the k3 a better choice

I have already purchased sigma 85mm f1.4 for pentax and it is amazing, I have DA50mm f1.8 (ok) and DA35mm f2.4 (probably too slow) planning on getting sigma 35mm f1.4 and sigma 24-70 f2.8, I also have 17-70 f4 and it will probably be too slow, I plan on having 1 body with the 24-70mm on it and the other for primes

I have metz 58af 2 flash which IMO is a fantastic flash and the auto mode seems to overcome pentax PTTL limitations, but won't allow negative exposure compensation in auto mode above iso 1600 f4 I think which means I cannot use it for fill in flash in 'A' mode... PTTL leaves a lot to be desired!

I really appreciate any help :-)

Thankyou

04-14-2014, 09:16 AM - 1 Like   #2
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One thing to consider… you can probably operate your current camera without having to hunt for buttons. The same won't be true with the nikon until you've used it enough to be comfortable with the physical interface. If you do switch, do it long enough before it matters that you have lots of time to use it and get comfortable with all the controls, so you aren't fumbling around to change something and miss an important shot.
04-14-2014, 09:23 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by narual Quote
One thing to consider… you can probably operate your current camera without having to hunt for buttons. The same won't be true with the nikon until you've used it enough to be comfortable with the physical interface. If you do switch, do it long enough before it matters that you have lots of time to use it and get comfortable with all the controls, so you aren't fumbling around to change something and miss an important shot.
Very very true! Thanks for the input really appreciate it!
04-14-2014, 09:48 AM - 1 Like   #4
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Let's turn this round the other way. When has the K5IIs stopped you taking the shots you wanted to take? When have any of your customers been unhappy with the technical quality of your work?

Do you really want to lug even heavier kit around? I've seen a number of wedding togs down-sizing to Fuji X systems and not regretting it at all. Stick with what you're happy with and know.

04-14-2014, 09:49 AM - 1 Like   #5
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When it's a hobby brand loyalty and hanging out on the 'cool' forum is fine. When it becomes your livelihood then the camera is just another tool. Get whatever allows you to do the job properly and make money. If you are talking about buying multiple d4's then cost is not really a problem so just get whatever you think will work.

But I agree with narual, ergonomics are one of the strong points of Pentax. The camera just fits and the buttons just work. Maybe that's because I'm used to them and not another brand. But if you are seriously considering moving to another brand rent a good body and couple of lenses for a week and spend some time with them. If everything feels comfortable sell the Pentax and move on. If you are not comfortable then consider a pair of k-3's and the new flashes.
04-14-2014, 09:56 AM - 1 Like   #6
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I think both cameras are very capable of doing the job and doing it very well. I agree with what was said above. When this is your tool of trade, brand loyalty goes out the window. You pick what works best for you. If your K5 starts getting in your way, then it's time to make a decision.

One thing that I noticed during my last wedding shoot was how responsive and light my K3 was. I used my DA* 16-50mm, DA* 50-135mm, DA 35mm F2.4, FA 50mm 1.4 with 2 bodies. I shot all day and night and I wasn't fatigued. I shoot concerts with some folks with full frame and they often complain about the weight. Pentax has some beautiful limited primes that are very light and easy to handle.

Last edited by john5100; 04-14-2014 at 10:03 AM.
04-14-2014, 10:27 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by JohnX Quote
Let's turn this round the other way. When has the K5IIs stopped you taking the shots you wanted to take? When have any of your customers been unhappy with the technical quality of your work
I think that is the best advice you can get!

Also, have in mind that all these gear related thoughts consume tons of time which you could dedicate for creative work
04-14-2014, 10:38 AM - 1 Like   #8
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Lately I've been shooting kids birthdays... nothing paid, just for friends, but as people like the photos I take, I get invited to do more... maybe I'll get paid at some point, which would be nice as it would finance some LBA...

But as I build my system, I can't think of maintaining two systems. If I thought something like Nikon FF would give me a better return, I'd go fully Nikon and leave Pentax. So far, I think the value of Pentax is far greater than a Nikon system would provide to me. And I love the look of some of my lenses.

1. A full frame Nikon system would give me an extra stop of light (compared to something like a K-3, K-5 or K-50). But I shoot these events with flash anyway.

2. The full frame system would give me a narrower DOF. That would be helpful in some cases (taking pictures of the arrangements and such) but a 50mm f/1.2 would probably be all I need in that contest, if I were looking for narrow DOF. I actually make do with my 50 1.7 currently and I've had no complains...

3. A full frame system would provide the correct view for normal and wide angle pictures - meaning that the background wouldn't be diminished and the foreground wouldn't be over-emphasized. I love my 35mm f2.4 and use it as my "normal" lens, even for event portraits - these kids parties are usually pretty crammed - but being able to use a 50mm on FF would certainly make the images look a bit different. For birthday parties it's not an issue as there isn't a deep background usually - it's just indoors stuff. But if I were shooting environmental portraits, as often is the case with weddings, FF would definitely have to be a consideration.
So to explain this - I would imagine that if you shoot weddings at country clubs and other outside venues, having a proper view of the background would be key. A 50mm lens might be a bit long for a full body portrait, but it would be the minimum necessary to keep the proper background view. 70-77mm would be ideal (I've been using my 70-210 more and more for portraits - I LOVE how it looks - but I need a lot of space to take the shots...). Of course you could always step back and use these longer lens for the full body portraits - outdoor venues would probably give you that option - but ideally the format would let you stay reasonably close and still get the proper perspective of the background. Sometimes you don't know for sure that you will have the proper space! And couples rent places with a nice view because they want that as part of their album - and they don't want that view to look like it's much further back, or much smaller than it really is

So while my points 1 and 2 would not make me consider a move to full frame, I think point 3 would. Right now it's not a necessity for me (I'm making do with what I got), but it might be for you, depending on where you are shooting your weddings.

04-14-2014, 11:13 AM   #9
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Why fix things that aren't broken?
04-14-2014, 11:16 AM - 1 Like   #10
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I think the big question is what you feel the limitations of your system currently are. A D700 will allow for some improvement in low light shooting, will give more narrow depth of field. It won't be quite as good at low iso and will have less reach, meaning somewhat larger lenses.
04-14-2014, 11:42 AM   #11
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Hi All
Thanks so much for your great advice
It is fantastic hearing your opinions / recommendations

The K5iis has never got in the way of my photography, quite the contrary in fact... It really is a joy to use as I'm sure most of you will agree using pentax camera's really is a Joy to Behold!
But I am just thinking (worrying) if I'm going to shell out a considerable amount of money on a second body and some more fast lenses then the photography is entering a more serious phase
I'm not wealthy by any means and I would hate to spend this money and realize that in 6 months I will 'need' the pro nikon ff system for whatever reason, and lose a good £1000 or more depreciation!

Yes I'm a worrier, And it wastes a lot of my time LOL but in my mind I'm making sure my (future) shoots go flawlessly, efficiently and the end result is as good as it can be!

Thanks for your help!
04-14-2014, 12:25 PM - 2 Likes   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by disco1111 Quote
that in 6 months I will 'need' the pro nikon ff system for whatever reason, and lose a good £1000 or more depreciation!
I often see the comment that "changing systems is too expensive" or I'll lose too much money if I have to change later. Sorry, but I call BS on this. Pentax gear holds it's value very well, OK if you buy a body new you are going to lose, but so what? You got to use it for whatever time you had it. If you buy your lenses right, you will not lose much if anything if you change systems later as the glass holds value very well.

And if in six months you 'need' a pro Nikon system then you are likely making enough money that the gear cost is minor. As a hobby the gear cost is a significant outlay. As a business expense it is minor, or if you are pricing right and getting work it had better be a minor part of your expenses. I am by no means a pro, but I do shoot for pay in my off hours, and I've covered all gear expenses and far, far too many lenses with the photo income.

My point is you are worrying about the wrong things, if the work comes your way the cost of gear is no longer an issue. And if the work does not come your way then perhaps better to stick with a smaller system until you know what income level you can expect. Worry about marketing, advertising, getting jobs, taking care of customers, having the right lab for prints and so on. The camera is just a tool, use the one you have until you need a better one and then buy the one that fits the job.

As an example I know a lot people in the 'trades' (carpenters, plumbers, etc). I've never met one yet that had nice tools, good tools, but never nice ones. Lots of hobbyist woodworkers I know have far better tools than the guys making a living at it. Think about it: if it's a hobby you enjoy buying and using nice gear. If it's your job you enjoy doing the job and the camera is just another tool. Maybe a subtle distinction but I hope I got my point across.
04-14-2014, 12:42 PM - 1 Like   #13
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If you don't feel the "need" for a FF system now, you probably won't need it 6 months from now. There's pros shooting with the u4/3 system and that's an even smaller sensor. The results are what matter.
If you and the people you work for are happy with the pictures you are taking, then you must be doing something right, and the equipment you are using is not hindering you.
If it becomes hindering, then you will know exactly what is the need you have, and you will choose a new system based on that. What if you choose a new system now, because you think you miss something but don't know what, and 6 months from now you need something else anyway? Or, you might just realized you never needed to change systems anyway, and you liked the old system better. I've seen it happen before...
04-14-2014, 12:44 PM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by disco1111 Quote
Hi All
Thanks so much for your great advice
It is fantastic hearing your opinions / recommendations

The K5iis has never got in the way of my photography, quite the contrary in fact... It really is a joy to use as I'm sure most of you will agree using pentax camera's really is a Joy to Behold!
But I am just thinking (worrying) if I'm going to shell out a considerable amount of money on a second body and some more fast lenses then the photography is entering a more serious phase
I'm not wealthy by any means and I would hate to spend this money and realize that in 6 months I will 'need' the pro nikon ff system for whatever reason, and lose a good £1000 or more depreciation!

Yes I'm a worrier, And it wastes a lot of my time LOL but in my mind I'm making sure my (future) shoots go flawlessly, efficiently and the end result is as good as it can be!

Thanks for your help!
I agree with Jatrax. At least as far as glass, goes, you can buy and resell without much loss -- particularly if you buy used. Bodies are another story -- those will definitely lose value over time.

I'm a big fan of buying used as you can get some really good values.

If you aren't sure, sit down and draw up a game plan for lenses that you think you would want to own. If there is a hole in what Pentax offers, then you need to look at Nikon. If not, then move forward with what you have. Overall, I think that Pentax has most things covered, but sometimes you want a 600mm f4 lens and then you have to look at Nikon or, Canon.
04-14-2014, 12:57 PM - 1 Like   #15
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Is the D700 much better than the K-5 at low light? I think the D700 probably is a hair better, but the difference might not be that dramatic as the D700 is a generation-older sensor.

disco, do you post-process your photos?
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