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10-27-2014, 05:09 PM   #1
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Upgrade Body or Lens?

Need some advice. I currently have a K200D, an 18-55 kit lens and some manual lenses. My Vivitar, 2 step 70-150 manual lens is probably my sharpest lens (very sharp on still shots). My 50/1.4 is the next sharpest. I like taking a variety of photos, such as portraits, photos of children, outdoor events, etc. I would like to take better low light images of the children, but without having to pose them and keeping them still. And have more keepers on outdoor events. I recently took pictures at a road bike race that was hit and miss with the kit lens (although not a sharp lens to begin with). And the Vivitar too was hit and miss. I used catch in focus with the manual lens. Worked better than I thought it would but still not what I call sharp. Also I noticed background imagery like mountains were not very sharp with the Vivitar even at f8-f11.

My question is should i upgrade to something like the K-5 or K-5II considering the lenses I have, or upgrade to a better zoom lens such as a Tamron 28-75/2.8 or others to be able to shoot better in low light and capture better outdoor events.

Thanks for any help.

10-27-2014, 05:14 PM   #2
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How satisfied are you with your 50/1.4's low light capability generally? The K-5IIs is going for a good price right now (and there's also a good price on a used 16-50mm 2.8 in Price Watch), but your glass plays a big role.
10-27-2014, 06:15 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by iClick Quote
Need some advice. I currently have a K200D, an 18-55 kit lens and some manual lenses. My Vivitar, 2 step 70-150 manual lens is probably my sharpest lens (very sharp on still shots). My 50/1.4 is the next sharpest. I like taking a variety of photos, such as portraits, photos of children, outdoor events, etc. I would like to take better low light images of the children, but without having to pose them and keeping them still. And have more keepers on outdoor events. I recently took pictures at a road bike race that was hit and miss with the kit lens (although not a sharp lens to begin with). And the Vivitar too was hit and miss. I used catch in focus with the manual lens. Worked better than I thought it would but still not what I call sharp. Also I noticed background imagery like mountains were not very sharp with the Vivitar even at f8-f11.

My question is should i upgrade to something like the K-5 or K-5II considering the lenses I have, or upgrade to a better zoom lens such as a Tamron 28-75/2.8 or others to be able to shoot better in low light and capture better outdoor events.

Thanks for any help.
Having an AF zoom lens is nice, but I think in this case you would probably benefit more from having a more modern body. The K-5 IIs offers improved handling and speed, much better image quality, plus live view, which really comes in handy when you're on a tripod. So that's what I'd recommend

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10-27-2014, 07:49 PM   #4
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A new K5iis is selling for $596 at B&H. Upgrading from your K200D will give less noise at higher ISO settings and better focusing.

Is your 50/1.4 auto or manual focus? If auto it's a perfect low light portrait companion to the K5iis. If manual, catch-in-focus should still work better than on the K200D.

10-27-2014, 08:00 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by lithedreamer Quote
How satisfied are you with your 50/1.4's low light capability generally? The K-5IIs is going for a good price right now (and there's also a good price on a used 16-50mm 2.8 in Price Watch), but your glass plays a big role.
I think you may have answered my question with your question. I am not totally pleased with the quality of images with the 50 in low light. I have to normally use it wide open to get a decent noise free image at a fairly low ISO with the K200d. That usually means the aperture is around 1.4. But the image is soft at the aperture. And in low light it's hard to see well enough to focus accurately. So with the better high ISO performance of the K5II I should be able to use a smaller sharper aperture, thus creating a sharper image. And I should be able to see a little easier with the better viewfinder, correct? But will my images be better with the kit lens too?

---------- Post added 10-27-2014 at 08:04 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Having an AF zoom lens is nice, but I think in this case you would probably benefit more from having a more modern body. The K-5 IIs offers improved handling and speed, much better image quality, plus live view, which really comes in handy when you're on a tripod. So that's what I'd recommend
I think you are right. Would I still benefit greatly from the original K5?
10-27-2014, 08:10 PM   #6
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I think the newer camera body will give you better images.

My K10 versus K3 experience has me believing it. I see sharper images, and the ease of getting better pictures is improved.

I constantly find myself shooting in TAv mode, and with less noise at higher ISO I can decide if I want a larger or smaller aperture, or, higher or lower shutter speed and still get a pic within my ISO.
10-27-2014, 08:13 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by iClick Quote
Would I still benefit greatly from the original K5?
Pretty much, the only difference between it and the IIs is the AA filter and the improved AF system (that focuses to -3EV). The original K-5 isn't available new, though.

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10-27-2014, 11:05 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
A new K5iis is selling for $596 at B&H. Upgrading from your K200D will give less noise at higher ISO settings and better focusing.

Is your 50/1.4 auto or manual focus? If auto it's a perfect low light portrait companion to the K5iis. If manual, catch-in-focus should still work better than on the K200D.
It's the Pentax-A 50/1.4.

---------- Post added 10-27-2014 at 11:15 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Pretty much, the only difference between it and the IIs is the AA filter and the improved AF system (that focuses to -3EV). The original K-5 isn't available new, though.
I was thinking about maybe getting either the K5 or K5II used from B&H. Maybe with the tax refund. I heard the K5 had sensor stain issues. And also some focusing problems. Did they work out those problems? How can I tell if a specific unit is from a newer batch that had those issues fixed?

10-27-2014, 11:17 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by iClick Quote
I was thinking about maybe getting either the K5 or K5II used from B&H. Maybe with the tax refund. I heard the K5 had sensor stain issues. And also some focusing problems. Did they work out those problems? How can I tell if a specific unit is from a newer batch that had those issues fixed?
Yeah, they fixed the sensor stain issue (don't think there were any focusing issue). If you manage to find a new one, it will most likely not have the stain issue as it only affected the first batch. If you want to be 100% certain that there are no QC problems, get a K-5 II or IIs.

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10-28-2014, 05:49 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by iClick Quote
So with the better high ISO performance of the K5II I should be able to use a smaller sharper aperture, thus creating a sharper image. And I should be able to see a little easier with the better viewfinder, correct? But will my images be better with the kit lens too?
Yes to all the above. I had a k100d (I believe had a similar viewfinder to the k200d) and the improvement to the k5iis viewfinder is quite nice with regards to manual focusing. The autofocus improvements will make a big difference to the kit lens, so will the improved high ISO abilities. These improvements won't make the kitlens (or other non-supersharp lenses) any sharper, but they help you get the most out of it especially under lower light conditions.
10-28-2014, 07:26 AM   #11
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I jumped from the K10 to K5 and the lower light performance is a massive jump. In bright daylight it wasn't an issue with the K10 but toward twilight or indoors at hotels etc. it really is a huge upgrade.
10-28-2014, 07:32 AM   #12
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I have been continually impressed at how every new body seems to upgrade my lenses, even consumer grade lenses. And the K-5 series are great cameras... based on my own experience coming from a K20D, I'd say get the K-5IIs. The improvement in MP for me was only 2 MP, but the performance of that sensor is special.
10-28-2014, 09:44 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by ROBEFFY Quote
I think the newer camera body will give you better images.

My K10 versus K3 experience has me believing it. I see sharper images, and the ease of getting better pictures is improved.

I constantly find myself shooting in TAv mode, and with less noise at higher ISO I can decide if I want a larger or smaller aperture, or, higher or lower shutter speed and still get a pic within my ISO.
That flexibility would be great to have.

---------- Post added 10-28-2014 at 10:02 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
I have been continually impressed at how every new body seems to upgrade my lenses, even consumer grade lenses. And the K-5 series are great cameras... based on my own experience coming from a K20D, I'd say get the K-5IIs. The improvement in MP for me was only 2 MP, but the performance of that sensor is special.
Thanks for the advice, everyone. I am leaning toward the K-5II or K-5IIs.

I hope to not offend the hardcore Pentax people here, but also I started thinking about the “other” brands. I like that they seem to have better auto focus. Although I hear that the K-5II(s) have much improved focusing. I realize jumping ship would be more expensive for me in the long run and may or may not yield me much better results, if any. I have been looking at the D90, D5100, and D7000 with maybe the 18-135 VR lens. I’m sure a few of you have had experience with those. Would I still be better off with the K-5 series and the lenses I have?
10-28-2014, 10:25 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by iClick Quote
That flexibility would be great to have.

---------- Post added 10-28-2014 at 10:02 AM ----------



Thanks for the advice, everyone. I am leaning toward the K-5II or K-5IIs.

I hope to not offend the hardcore Pentax people here, but also I started thinking about the “other” brands. I like that they seem to have better auto focus. Although I hear that the K-5II(s) have much improved focusing. I realize jumping ship would be more expensive for me in the long run and may or may not yield me much better results, if any. I have been looking at the D90, D5100, and D7000 with maybe the 18-135 VR lens. I’m sure a few of you have had experience with those. Would I still be better off with the K-5 series and the lenses I have?
Whoa, now that's just crazy talk.
Wish I could help out with that. There are some people here who can... but just based on what's gone before, usually those looking to change brands are those looking for something Pentax doesn't offer. We lost one long time Pentax user when the D7100 came out a year before the K-3. He got tired of waiting and jumped after 6 months. Others have left for a feature Pentax doesn't do as well at. Flash for wedding guys for example. And we've lost quite a few to people wanting to move up to Full Frame. It just makes more sense if you're going to do that to have both your APS-c and FF camera be the same brand and share lenses. I don't know that I've heard of anyone switching brands unless there was feature they wanted un-available on Pentax, be it a lens, or whatever. The things Pentax does, they do really well. The K-5 series being a case in point.

When you talk "better auto-focus" that can be deceptive. The fact that they have better AF on their expensive cameras, doesn't necessarily mean they have better AF on their cheaper models, Don't be thinking you're going to get Nikon D750 focussing on your D7000. It doesn't work that way. You have to compare the cameras you want against each other.

Apart from general stuff like that, wait for someone who's knows the bodies you want and can give you some head to head advice. No one is better at this stuff than someone who has actually used both cameras for a couple of months, and gotten to know all the ins and outs. The problem with reviews, is those guys just don't use the camera long enough to get comfortable with them. Things that are a big deal to a reviewer can fade away to nothing as you use the camera. The big questions are, what are the issues, after you have gotten used to the camera.
10-28-2014, 10:35 AM   #15
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Keep your K200D. Buy one CMOS body (K-30/50 or K-5 any variant). CCD is different, you'll be missing K200D if you sold it.
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