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03-27-2015, 07:39 PM   #1
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Shopping Question; K3 or 70-200 f/2.8?

This Spring I'm considering buying either a Pentax K-3 or a Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 but need help making the decision.

I currently have a K10D and Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 and have been wanting to upgrade to a faster lens for the past couple of years. My primary subject for this has been my daughter's soccer (now a freshman in High School). Up to this point, I have had no desire to upgrade my camera because I'm satisfied with the K10D.

I just noticed that the K3 is at a similar price point as the lens and it makes me wonder... Would I be better served by the higher ISO, improved focusing, and longer reach of the 70-300 if I keep it and purchase the K3? Or stick with the original plan of upgrading to faster zoom?

03-27-2015, 07:51 PM   #2
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I upgraded a few years ago from a K10D to a K5. The faster focusing and fps was a big help. Just imagine what it would be to upgrade from K10D to K3. I had a 70-200 Tamron, great lens but I would rather have a K3 and my 70-210 Pentax. Have I answered your question?
03-27-2015, 07:51 PM - 1 Like   #3
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I'd choose the lens first - every keeper image you create after that purchase will be better than Tamron 70-300 keepers, whatever the camera, whereas, if you buy the K-3, you'll have better resolution and faster autofocus, but that will not give a single one of your photos the punch that the 70-200 will give. My 70-200 is extremely sharp, very bright and easy to hold and balance for long periods, and I'm no youngster. Used copies appear on the forum every now and then for even less than what K-3s go for. I'd get it first and save the $100 difference towards a good used K-3. I started my journey with the 70-200 on a K10D as well, upgraded to a K20D and now use a K-5, but you'll notice I had the 70-200 before the newer cameras. I've never been sorry about that sequence. I'm sure you'll get a range of opinions, but if, as you say, you've been happy with the K10D AND wanted to upgrade to a faster lens for a few years now, you've really answered your own question.
03-27-2015, 07:55 PM - 1 Like   #4
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I'd prioritize the camera upgrade. Normally I'd say the lens, but in this case the generational difference is massive and you'll greatly benefit from the K-3's improvements on a daily basis.


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03-27-2015, 08:23 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
I'd prioritize the camera upgrade. Normally I'd say the lens, but in this case the generational difference is massive and you'll greatly benefit from the K-3's improvements on a daily basis.
I have a K50 and upgraded from the k100d super. The differences are similar and the body upgrade was worth it in spades. The ISO performance is completely different. The fact is that the slower lens may still give you shots you would miss with the faster lens on you current k10d.
03-27-2015, 08:29 PM   #6
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If the soccer matches are in the day then the upgrade to the K-3 will be best option.
If they are at night, then I would say you would need both the lens and body upgrade if you want to improve your captures.
03-27-2015, 09:17 PM - 1 Like   #7
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+1 for the K-3. The K-3 is a major upgrade and the current prices are terrific.

My 5 cents.
03-27-2015, 10:02 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
I'd prioritize the camera upgrade. Normally I'd say the lens, but in this case the generational difference is massive and you'll greatly benefit from the K-3's improvements on a daily basis.
I have to agree with Adam. I moved from a K10D to a K-3 last summer. The images are outstanding and the auto focus has actually improved the performance of my existing lenses.
One downside is that the image detail will point out weaknesses in less than stellar lenses. As a result I've replaced my 18-55 kit lens with a Sigma 17-50 and noticed significant improvement.

03-27-2015, 10:23 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by lsimpkins Quote
I have to agree with Adam. I moved from a K10D to a K-3 last summer. The images are outstanding and the auto focus has actually improved the performance of my existing lenses.
One downside is that the image detail will point out weaknesses in less than stellar lenses. As a result I've replaced my 18-55 kit lens with a Sigma 17-50 and noticed significant improvement.
I love my k3 and will agree, the detail in its images makes you realize how lacking some of your glass is. Then you buy an upgrade to one lens and realize how bad your other cheaper ones are in comparison. As a result, I've come to believe just what a fickle mistress this psychological condition known as LBA is.

In short, get the K3. Then be prepared to cope with your lens buying addiction, now included free with every k3!
03-27-2015, 10:30 PM   #10
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Why do you want the faster lens? To isolate the players/narrow dof--then the lens.
Because you want faster shutter speed? Either lens or camera.
If the photos are too noisy and you want lower iso (for the k10d), then likely the k3.

But if you felt you needed the lens you should know best. I think the difference in cameras is much less than most people say/believe.
I have a K20d and K-5, and frankly they are pretty close for iso 1600 theatre photos. Maybe K-5 1/2 stop better than the K20d. My impression of K10d is it is pretty capable.

But I should add I don't use AF, and that aspect is not something you mention, but may be an issue for K3 vs K10d--and w/ a faster lens the focus is more critical. If you manual focus--neither camera likely works well w/o a new screen.

One other point--getting a new camera may be problems w/ your workflow, and a new computer is costly.

Last edited by dms; 03-27-2015 at 10:39 PM. Reason: Correct K-5 vs K20d comment
03-28-2015, 01:16 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by dchemist Quote
This Spring I'm considering buying either a Pentax K-3 or a Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 but need help making the decision.

I currently have a K10D and Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 and have been wanting to upgrade to a faster lens for the past couple of years. My primary subject for this has been my daughter's soccer (now a freshman in High School). Up to this point, I have had no desire to upgrade my camera because I'm satisfied with the K10D.

I just noticed that the K3 is at a similar price point as the lens and it makes me wonder... Would I be better served by the higher ISO, improved focusing, and longer reach of the 70-300 if I keep it and purchase the K3? Or stick with the original plan of upgrading to faster zoom?
Hello !

My understanding is you are after more light gathering but that the reach of the 70-300 is ok. So how can you improve on that?

The cheapest:
- Shoot RAW and use lightroom/DxO to develop your high isos images. You get easily 1-2 stop more from a good denoising program and your K10D is old with very basic JPEG denoising software. You may already do that. Beware this is cheap only if you have a decent computer. Otherwise you may want to upgrade/change it and the cost increase quite a bit. While DxO clearly has an edge on denoising through PRIME algorithm you would gain part of stops with lightrooms that require far less memory and CPU to do the job.

The camera
- Buy any camera of the K5 familly (K5, K30, K50, K5-II, K5-IIs) or more recent (K-S1, K-S2, K3) to get again 1-2 stop more from you high iso shoots because the camera sensor is simply better at that. The K3 strong point is FAR better AF that can help on action shootsand increase the number of keepers, but that also a bit more expensive than a good deal on a K30-K50.

The lense:
- Take faster lenses like the 70-200 f/2.8 if you don't need too much reach to gain again 1-2 stops depending of the focal length. The 60-250 would give you less stop gain, but would help on reach if you need it. The price may be off putting.

I would at least consider using Raws and a good raw processing software if you don't do already and changing the camera, that the cheapest thing to do and it would help for all lenses. If you are satisfied with your current autofocus performance and don't tend to reframe you shoots in post processing, a good deal on one the K5 familly member if the most interresting purchase. I'll then consider after a few months of use if I have enough or need the lense too.
03-28-2015, 02:37 AM   #12
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Maybe you shoud firs answer to yourself why do you feel the need to upgrade for shooting soccer.
- if it is because too many pictures are not in focus - get K3
- if it is becasue too much noise - get K3 or any of the 16 mpix cameras.
- if you feel current lens pictures are not sharp/good enough - consider better lens such as the 70-200 you have in mind

Maybe rent the K3 body and/or the lens for one game and see if it works better for you
03-28-2015, 02:51 AM - 2 Likes   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
I'd prioritize the camera upgrade. Normally I'd say the lens, but in this case the generational difference is massive and you'll greatly benefit from the K-3's improvements on a daily basis.
I am with Adam on this one. Almost a year ago I transitioned from my K10D to the K-3. The difference in AF performance is significant. We live in the same town and I am willing to meet up if you want to try the K-3 with your current lens. PM me if you are interested.


Steve
03-28-2015, 02:53 AM   #14
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I'd consider getting the lens plus a cheaper body that will still give you most of the benefits you'll get from the K-3. Anything from K-5/K-30 forward will do the trick IMO.
03-28-2015, 03:47 AM - 2 Likes   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by dchemist Quote
This Spring I'm considering buying either a Pentax K-3 or a Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 but need help making the decision.
K-3 CDAF does not work with Tamron 70-200 f/2.8., while the CDAF and PDAF work great with this lens and K-5 /II/IIs.
The image quality/contrast of the Tamron 70-200 is much better than 70-300. The 70-200 is full frame compatible.

---------- Post added 03-28-15 at 11:56 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by dchemist Quote
I currently have a K10D and Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6
If you buy the K-3 and use it with the 70-300, you'll be disappointed by the lens. If you buy the 70-200, you'll be pleased by the better contrast and the additional speed that the lens offer and you'll have it when the full frame is available. The Tamron 70-200 will not loose its value when the Pentax full frame will be released; while the Pentax K-3 will be hard to sell or cheap.

The performance difference between the K5 IIs and the K-3 is minor, the K-5 iis has twice the battery life of the K-3, and the K-5 iis is cheaper (if you can find one).

My two cents, unbiased opinion as a normal honest Pentax user.

Last edited by biz-engineer; 03-28-2015 at 03:57 AM.
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