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10-21-2015, 09:29 PM   #1
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resolution question on k3

I have a couple Pentax film SLRs and a k100d

My question is will my Lester Dine 105 f2.8 macro
and my Vivitar 70-210 series 1 Komine version 3
(both are "A" lenses)

be useful or will the 24 mpx of the k3 sensor show them lacking?

Thoughts appreciated.

I have a smart phone, and a Nikon 1, that I use a lot.

I am looking for better low light performance indoors for volleyball and basketball and higher resolution for landscapes.

Still wondering about the Full Frame but not sure I need it (I confuse wants and needs quite often).

10-21-2015, 09:56 PM   #2
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Opinions vary somewhat depending on the methodology but most sources indicate that film resolution is roughly equal to 15 to 25 MP on digital. Some film stocks might be even higher.

So to answer your question, old film lenses perform similarly on the k-3 to what they did on film. Meaning if they were good on film they are just fine on digital. And if they were poor or mediocre on film they won't get any better.

I use a lot of film era glass on my k-3 with (I think) good results.
10-21-2015, 10:08 PM   #3
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Regardless, the K-3 would be a massive upgrade Probably more cost-effective than the FF, too.

Adam
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10-21-2015, 10:25 PM   #4
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I do not think that you will have problem with either lens as they perform very well on m4/3 cameras where high density sensor is used.

10-21-2015, 10:58 PM   #5
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Thanks RAART, that is what I needed to know. I think that the k3 with 50mm and flash from Adorama would be just the deal. I would at some point like to add the Pentax DA 20-40 WR Zoom as well for walking around in lousy weather conditions (WA rainy coast and AZ dusty winds). This seems like a better plan than the FF at this time for me at age 68. As Adam points out "cost effective".
10-22-2015, 08:23 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Danaher Dempsey Quote
My question is will my Lester Dine 105 f2.8 macro
and my Vivitar 70-210 series 1 Komine version 3
(both are "A" lenses)

be useful or will the 24 mpx of the k3 sensor show them lacking?
Both lenses will perform as well or better on the K-3 as on the camera you have been using. I would be pleased to own either of them, particularly the Lester Dine. I know there is a lot of discussion on the various forums suggesting that a high quality sensor makes good vintage glass go bad, but that assertion is simply false. The truth is a little more complicated.

My experience shooting vintage glass with the K-3 can be summarized in a few points:
  • If a lens is mediocre on film or a low resolution sensor, performance will not improve much by backing the lens with a more demanding sensor.
  • Adding a high resolution sensor allows many better lenses to show how good they really are. This is true pretty much across the board for the lenses on my shelf with several surprises. I expected a major fail for my Russian Zenitar fisheye and Soviet Helios-44M. Both were up to the K-3 challenge. The same is true for all of my fast 50s including the M42 screw mount stuff. Go figure...
  • I don't own the Vivitar Series 1 70-210, but I do own its main competitor from the time, the Tamron SP 70-210/3.5 (19AH). The Tamron is quite happy to be paired with the 24 Mpx sensor.
  • The larger challenge of the high res sensor is that of technique, particularly in regards to focus and camera motion. There is no being sloppy if you are planning on taking full advantage of all those pixels.
The film analogy might be that of shifting from Tri-X to Technical Pan. Technical Pan, approaches and may even equal the K-3's sensor in terms of ability to capture detail.* Even so, I don't remember anybody agonizing whether their lenses were up to the Tech Pan challenge. We just shot the stuff and were amazed with the results.

If you buy a K-3 and find either of the above lenses a disappointment, you may send them to me. I have a special shelf for geriatric lenses.


Steve

* Technical Pan has not been available for many years, but when it was still with us, it was a bit of a wonder. It was based on microfilm stock used for archiving printed documents and was rendered usable for pictorial photography by special processing techniques. I won't make any claims regarding MTF or lp/mm.
10-23-2015, 12:22 AM   #7
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Steve, Thank you so much for your detailed reply.

Do you have any thoughts on whether to buy a battery grip for the k-3. The only reason I ask is that both the Lester Dine and the Vivitar are big heavy well made lenses. Would a grip improve handling?

I think I am not headed toward the FF. Even though I have several existing FF lenses I think a k-3 or k-3ii with the DA 15mm f/4 and the Limited 20-40 zoom fit more with my current mode of operation.

-- Dan
10-23-2015, 06:47 AM   #8
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My battery pack is glued to my K-3! I never take it off as it is fitting my hands much better. Especially with larger lenses (like Sigma 35mm 1.4 Art) the handling/balancing is so much better than without grip.

K-3 with DA15 and Limited 20-40 zoom is amazing combo in my opinion and if you just add DA50 (very cheap and comes as combo now) that will be all you need. Personally I will add there Sigma 70mm 2.8 DG Macro and Pentax D-FA 100mm Macro WR down the road... Also you can substitute DA50 1.8 for a Sigma 50mm 2.8 Macro DG. Those Sigma Macros are very good lenses.

10-26-2015, 07:28 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Danaher Dempsey Quote
Do you have any thoughts on whether to buy a battery grip for the k-3. The only reason I ask is that both the Lester Dine and the Vivitar are big heavy well made lenses. Would a grip improve handling?
I bought my K-3 with the grip, but the combination did not resonate with me, so I found it a new home. How well it works depends on hand size, type of kit, and mode of shooting. I have large hands, but the grip did not allow appropriate real estate for my long fingers. Without the grip, I curl third finger and little finger under the camera.


Steve
10-27-2015, 02:53 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Opinions vary somewhat depending on the methodology but most sources indicate that film resolution is roughly equal to 15 to 25 MP on digital. Some film stocks might be even higher.

So to answer your question, old film lenses perform similarly on the k-3 to what they did on film. Meaning if they were good on film they are just fine on digital. And if they were poor or mediocre on film they won't get any better.

I use a lot of film era glass on my k-3 with (I think) good results.
I think the OP's lenses will be fine, but I think you are overstating resolution of film. Iso 100 quality black and white film might get up to 14 or 15 megapixels, but I don't think I have shot anything else that really gets above 10 or 12 megapixels. People who like film tend to over state the resolution.
10-27-2015, 12:59 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I think the OP's lenses will be fine, but I think you are overstating resolution of film. Iso 100 quality black and white film might get up to 14 or 15 megapixels, but I don't think I have shot anything else that really gets above 10 or 12 megapixels.
Could be. I did a search on that last week for another thread and found a number of sites that 'proved' according to their method that film was capable of those numbers. But I will defer to your knowledge on this, I'm not a film guy. Regardless I think the OP will be fine with his lenses.
10-27-2015, 06:02 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Danaher Dempsey Quote
Do you have any thoughts on whether to buy a battery grip for the k-3. The only reason I ask is that both the Lester Dine and the Vivitar are big heavy well made lenses. Would a grip improve handling?
QuoteOriginally posted by RAART Quote
My battery pack is glued to my K-3! I never take it off as it is fitting my hands much better. Especially with larger lenses (like Sigma 35mm 1.4 Art) the handling/balancing is so much better than without grip.
QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I bought my K-3 with the grip, but the combination did not resonate with me, so I found it a new home. How well it works depends on hand size, type of kit, and mode of shooting. I have large hands, but the grip did not allow appropriate real estate for my long fingers. Without the grip, I curl third finger and little finger under the camera.
Back in "The Film Days of Yore" (TM), I tended to use winders on each of my ol' film bodies, not just for the freedom from having to wind the film between shots and for the ability to rapidly shoot multiple frames, but also for the ease in handling when using these bodies heavier and/or longer lenses. However, I did not get a battery grip along with my first two DSLRs (first a *ist-DS and then a K20D), and so I simply got used to using them that way. Thus, when I bought my K-3, which came with a free matching battery grip, I started using the K-3 without using the grip. (I did try it out with the grip, but I found that I didn't particularly like the "feel" with the grip attached, so I put it aside and proceeded to use the K-3 for a number of months without it.)

However, while I have for some time been using even some moderately heavy lenses (and the FA* 80-200/2.8 seemed to be the heaviest hunk of metal and glass) with each of the DSLRs, the arthritis in my fingers had begun getting bad enough that using such lenses for more than a few minutes at a time started becoming pretty painful. Like Steve, I would tend to "curl third finger and little finger under the camera", but the stress on the index and middle fingers became more and more problematic with heavy lenses. So, I finally resorted to trying out the K-3's battery grip again, and I found that the pluses did now exceed the minuses -- doing so did actually make for less pain, and I gradually got used to the different "feel", too. Then, I even bought the matching battery grip for the K20D (which was now my backup body), as well. Sometimes I might still use one or the other body with a small lens and with no grip, but my arthritic hands have become rather appreciative for the extra support and/or better distribution of stress on my fingers when using a larger lens,

Last edited by fwcetus; 10-28-2015 at 04:32 AM.
10-27-2015, 10:54 PM   #13
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I thank folks for the Grip thoughts. Much appreciated.
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