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03-19-2015, 09:09 PM   #1
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Getting a Second Camera Body

I have a Pentax K-5II camera and two zoom lenses (18-135mm and 55-300mm) and three prime lenses (50mm 1.7, 100mm macro 2.8 WR and 300mm 4.5).

One of my growing interests has been sports photography, and I have been using my prime lenses primarily (excuse the pun), as I find the IQ of prime lenses generally far superior to that of zoom lenses. The obvious sacrifice has been lack of flexibility, especially in sports where the players rapidly move further and closer from and to me.

So now I have decided to get a second camera body, so that I can attach a prime lens of a different focal length to each body.

The question is: which body should I get? Should I get another K-5II or should I get a K-3?

03-19-2015, 09:24 PM   #2
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There are some lenses that will give you that flexibility without compromising IQ.
I normally use my Sigma 70-200 with a 1.4x TC for sports photography and results are great.
I am suggesting you this because at some point I was doing two bodies with one lens each and it was a pain in the *. My two cents...

If you really need a second body I would go with the K3 because of the better AF (not perfect though)
03-19-2015, 09:45 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by sergysergy Quote
There are some lenses that will give you that flexibility without compromising IQ.
I normally use my Sigma 70-200 with a 1.4x TC for sports photography and results are great.
I am suggesting you this because at some point I was doing two bodies with one lens each and it was a pain in the *. My two cents...

If you really need a second body I would go with the K3 because of the better AF (not perfect though)
Sports can mean a lot. Shooting high school basketball indoors with a TC would be less then fun.

Personally I'd do an upgrade and get the K-3 unless cost is a factor. About the only reason I'd go with another K-5ii would be for ease of use as all the controls will obviously be the same.
03-19-2015, 10:26 PM   #4
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I don't think you can draw conclusions about zoom lenses until you try a couple of decent ones.
For sports you will be best served by a f/2.8 zoom in the 50-135 or 70-200 range. I think you will be amazed how much better they are than the 18-135 and 55-300. Your 300/4.5 will continue to serve you well.

If you still think you need a second body (and if you want to shoot sports for a living you probably will) then the K-3 will give you better tracking AF and more resolution for cropping.

03-20-2015, 12:29 AM   #5
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If you like your current body--there is an advantage to having identical bodies--as the controls/menus/etc. are the same--that speeds the photo process when switching bodies and second(s) can mean the difference between getting a shot or not.

I actually use 3 bodies that are different in my theater work--and I sometimes forget for an instant what I need to do differently on my K20d, K-x, and K5.

BTW I also think a good zoom can replace prime lens--for me it is in the longer FLs. I find the very short FLs (e.g., 21mm) to be better as a prime (largely because I pre-focus it and leave it there)--but everyone is different.

Last edited by dms; 03-20-2015 at 12:36 AM.
03-20-2015, 09:53 AM   #6
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While a 70-200 F2.8 will likely cost you more than another body, I look at it as a logical investment. My 70-200 which I picked up several years ago delivers great shots and I've never regretted buying it. I replace camera bodies about every 4 or 5 years but good glass lasts longer.

Having said that, I have 2 bodies as well and at the price point the K-3 is presently, there are some definite advantages to having 2 bodies. I don't believe going back and forth between the K-5ii and K-3 should be a big deal. Most of the controls are very similar.

I'm sure you'll do fine whatever decision you make. However, if you are interested in my advice I would suggest renting a 70-200 for a day and seeing if you are satisfied with the results you can get from it. I tend to think you'll be surprised.
03-20-2015, 04:51 PM   #7
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If you are going to do sports photography, I agree with the others and would suggest a fast zoom lens. especially if you will be shooting indoors or out doors at night.


On the other hand, if you would get a K3, as I understand, it is faster at focusing, which would help if your subject is moving towards you or away from you. At the moment, I use a K7 and sometimes I find the auto focus to be a little lacking in speed, especially when tracking a Indy Car at 230 mph coming down the front straight at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
03-22-2015, 05:14 AM   #8
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Thank you for all the valuable advice!

One thing's for sure - my mindset that primes are the be-all and end-all of all lenses has been shaken, and I am now seriously considering getting a Sigma 70-200 f2.8 zoom lens, rather than a second body.

The trouble is that these lenses are like hen's teeth - nobody seems to want to sell them, so they must be good.

I have put a keyword alert in the Marketplace forum, so hopefully I will be made aware as soon as one is on the market.

03-22-2015, 08:05 AM   #9
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I think ebay would be your friend here. Three auctions at the moment and it looks like two of them will ship internationally. All in the $600 usd range.
03-22-2015, 10:17 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Neville Quote
which body should I get?
I always work with identical pairs of bodies (plus one, back up too), so that there is no additional thought process for me... when it comes to operating them in quick succession of each other.
03-22-2015, 09:08 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Neville Quote
One thing's for sure - my mindset that primes are the be-all and end-all of all lenses has been shaken,
I think they still are. But there is also a practical side to things. Although I prefer primes, I still use the kit lens when it's more suitable (fast changing situations).
03-22-2015, 11:30 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Neville Quote
Thank you for all the valuable advice!

One thing's for sure - my mindset that primes are the be-all and end-all of all lenses has been shaken, and I am now seriously considering getting a Sigma 70-200 f2.8 zoom lens, rather than a second body.

The trouble is that these lenses are like hen's teeth - nobody seems to want to sell them, so they must be good.

I have put a keyword alert in the Marketplace forum, so hopefully I will be made aware as soon as one is on the market.
I have the latest of the Sigma 70-200 2.8s and it is very good. I wouldn't hesitate if you see one....the final OS version only in my view.
03-23-2015, 02:44 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Neville Quote
I have a Pentax K-5II camera and two zoom lenses (18-135mm and 55-300mm) and three prime lenses (50mm 1.7, 100mm macro 2.8 WR and 300mm 4.5).

One of my growing interests has been sports photography, and I have been using my prime lenses primarily (excuse the pun), as I find the IQ of prime lenses generally far superior to that of zoom lenses. The obvious sacrifice has been lack of flexibility, especially in sports where the players rapidly move further and closer from and to me.

So now I have decided to get a second camera body, so that I can attach a prime lens of a different focal length to each body.

The question is: which body should I get? Should I get another K-5II or should I get a K-3?
I also use only primes and 2 bodies. I've found that having 2 bodies with different button layouts can be slightly confusing sometimes, especially if you're used to pressing buttons while looking through the viewfinder without actually looking at them. You get used to one camera, then grab the other and subconsciously feel for the 1st camera's buttons. It's not a big issue, but 2 matching bodies makes it much more simple to just pick one up and shoot. Just a thought.

QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxRev Quote
between the K-5ii and K-3 should be a big deal. Most of the controls are very similar.
Not if you use back button focusing.

Last edited by r0ckstarr; 03-23-2015 at 09:12 AM.
03-23-2015, 10:48 AM   #14
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Now I can't decide whether I should get the Tamron or Sigma 70-200 - so many conflicting opinions out there...
03-23-2015, 06:39 PM   #15
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I have the Tamron 70-200, and I think it gives very good results. I tend to buy my gear by thinking about the other differences rather than the price. For example, the Tammy 70-200 was so much cheaper that I was able to also buy a monopod and a flashgun, and still have cash left over to actually go somewhere to take photos. But on the other hand, when I was already in Taiwan and needed a good fast standard zoom, I plumped for the Sigma 17-50 for the extra quality and the fact that I would use it almost permanently mounted. The DA Limiteds? Well, there is nothing to beat them for size at the same price - though I really yearned for the 77 f1.8 for a long time before buying the 70.


So my choices seem almost arbitrary at times, I suppose, but the bottom line depends on how often you would use the 70-200. If you would use it every day, the Sigma seems a better choice for quality. And yet, at the current price of the Sigma here in China, I could almost have bought 2 Tamrons. In your situation, I would use a search filter on flickr and check if the Tamron is good enough for your needs.
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