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05-18-2016, 01:13 AM   #1
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K-1 or new lenses

Hi there.

I need your advices.

For now I have a k-3 with thoses lenses : da 55-300mm, da 35/2.4, tamron 90mm/2.8, tamron 17-50/2.8, and pentax A 50/1.7

I would like more subject isolation with the 35mm focal length.
I'm not so confident when using the tamron 17-50 AF (i find it a bit random).
I also would like to get bette resolution at same or longer reach than the 55-300mm.
I almost never use the A50/1.7 because i find difficult to nail the focus.
I would like wonderful Dynamic Range and low noise as possible.

Here is the dilemma :

-Buy better lenses for the k-3 and improve my technique (I had the k-5II for 2 years, and i have the k-3 since january)

OR

-Sell the tamron 17-50, and buy the K-1, but i won't be able to afford new lenses for it as it is already quite an expense.


Thanks in advance for your input.

Meg4mi

05-18-2016, 01:36 AM - 2 Likes   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Meg4mi Quote
-Buy better lenses for the k-3 and improve my technique (I had the k-5II for 2 years, and i have the k-3 since january)
I would suggest if I may, improve technique with existing lenses then move on

Subject isolation either zoom in with your feet or use faster glass (less DOF), or perhaps longer glass, I see your have 55-300. depends on your vision for the intended image really.
I find the 17-50 a very nice lens
maybe the 50-135 or the 60-250, or even the DA* 300
practice makes perfect It is possible for focus confirmation either audible or visual via the viewfinder for manual lenses. might help, helps me.
use mainly ISO 80 (K-5's) to 400 ISO, maybe preferring prime lenses.

hope this is helpful, and I'm sure many others will comment as well.
05-18-2016, 02:52 AM - 1 Like   #3
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I would suggest to go for high quality lenses with the K-3. There are several reasons, incl. financial. A good quality lens is an investment that does not lose much value. In fact, some FF lenses (Carl Zeiss, Voigtlander) seem more expensive now that a few years ago . Importantly a high quality lens deliver high quality shots with a decent photographer. And the K-3 is a highly capable camera body and very good value for money right now.

I am not a professional nor a good shooter. Just an enthusiast phorographer. But... my keeper rate is much higher with good glass. Yes, I found that I get much more 'great' shots with some of my primes than with others. And I learned a lot by shooting with good quality prime lenses. Based upon your experience and your line-up, that would the direction that I recommend.

If you are considering possible to get a FF (eg K1) in the future, you may wish to consider the FA31mm Ltd and FA77 Ltd. Both are fast AF lenses with superb IQ. They are worth their price IMHO. The DA*300 f4 or even the older (FF) FA*300 f4.5 are definitely worth to consider also.

Hope that the comment may help.
05-18-2016, 02:52 AM   #4
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I agree with beachgardener, but would also suggest you play with manual focus.

When your subject is in focus the dof is theoretically one third in front of your subject and two thirds behind. You need to think about what's in the two thirds behind, as it could include a lot of background objects that you don't actually want. Use preview.

Also, if you manually focus in front of your subject, that'll move the one third/two thirds zone forward, and will start to isolate the background. Again, use preview.

05-18-2016, 02:56 AM   #5
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I think beachgardener has given some sound advice. Just wanted to add that to get longer reach with better resolution you'll need a longer lens. A K-1 will give you less resolution than your K-3 with a 300mm (if used at the same distance).

It seems some get decent results with a tele-converter on the DA55-300, so that might be an alternative to get a new lens. My experience with a TC on the 55-300 isn't very good, though, but it might be that my copy just isn't good enough at 300mm.
05-18-2016, 03:08 AM   #6
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Get the K1, I have those lenses you own, bar the 17-50 and the 35mm....they work in FF mode on the K1
Also find a TC branded Vivitar/tamron and a few other names, its a 1.4x AF and theres negligible degradation of the image.
I bought the K1 body only, it works great with good lenses.although the 18-135mm only works in crop mode.
05-18-2016, 03:12 AM   #7
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First, buy the DA 50mm f/1,8. That solves three of the problems you list. (Nailing focus with your current 50mm, the randomness of the Tamron 17-50 and subject isolation with your 35mm). The DA50mm is sharp and will give you the FoV on K-1 as you have with the 35mm on K-3. All this for as little as 100$.

When you do that we are in quite similar situations. Here is what I decided to do: I want the K-1 very much but its a bit expensive for my budget so I will wait for a price drop. It might take half a year or a full year, but it could save me hundreds of dollars. In the mean time I will be switching some lenses, but not to the new D-FA zooms because they are far to expensive to me. I will sell my K-5 as soon as I get the K-1 to get some money back.

QuoteOriginally posted by beachgardener Quote
practice makes perfect It is possible for focus confirmation either audible or visual via the viewfinder for manual lenses. might help, helps me.
You can also use the catch in focus function to increase the keeper ratio. When you press the shutter release, it waits for focus confirmation before it releases. For moving subjects like kids, this is very useful.

If you are considering 300mm prime lenses, note that your current DA55-300 works just fine on full frame at 300mm. Its only the shorter focal lengths its vignetting a lot. You might even find it quite good from around 150mm and up depending on aperture and focus distance.

Last edited by Simen1; 05-18-2016 at 03:38 AM.
05-18-2016, 03:32 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by beachgardener Quote
practice makes perfect It is possible for focus confirmation either audible or visual via the viewfinder for manual lenses. might help, helps me.
Thanks for your input. I have used a lot the focus confirmation with the k-x (before i upgraded to the k-5II), but i can't get it to work as precisely with the k-3, k-5.
But your certainly right, I should practice.
Do you think the biggest viewfinder of the k-1 would give me advantages with manual focus ?

QuoteOriginally posted by savoche Quote
I think beachgardener has given some sound advice. Just wanted to add that to get longer reach with better resolution you'll need a longer lens. A K-1 will give you less resolution than your K-3 with a 300mm (if used at the same distance).
Yes, i'm quite aware of that fact. And I know switching to full frame won't help on this point, but on many other (i think)

QuoteOriginally posted by surfar Quote
Get the K1, I have those lenses you own, bar the 17-50 and the 35mm....they work in FF mode on the K1
Seriously, the tammy work in FF mode ?

QuoteOriginally posted by Simen1 Quote
First, buy the DA 50mm f/1,8. That solved three of the challanges you list.
It might be the best move indeed, i think about buying this lense for a while now, but i find the FOV a bit too narrow on aps-c. In the other hand, that can be a smart move in prevision of buying the k-1 later.

05-18-2016, 03:56 AM - 1 Like   #9
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You can sell your current APSC lenses and buy old manual primes from the film days to go with K-1.
But generally it is better to first grow skill, then buy lenses, and then buy camera. Simply because a camera quickly loses its value, because technology evolves. And even a great camera with bad lenses is not great. But almost any current DSLR will give you stunning photos if you have amazing lenses. And lenses tend to keep their value better over time, so you can still use them years later, or sell them.
I am not sure, but I thought the Tamron 17-50mm is an APSC lens, and will have completely black edges at certain zoom and focus settings on FF camera.

So yeah, get a nice DA 50mm f1.8, maybe even a used one. Sell the A 50mm. Sell the Tamron 17-50mm and buy a Samyang 14mm. Notice that DA 50mm and Samyang 14mm are FF lenses, so you are setting up a path to upgrade to FF some day. It is good to have the FF lenses ready for that camera - doesn't make sense to buy an FF only to use ASPC kit lenses. If you really want some crazy bokeh, you can buy a Helios 44 (maybe the version in K-mount) or some other old, fast prime.
Telephoto.. it is very difficult to get something better than the 55-300 without spending 4x as much money. There are some older telephoto lenses, but they can be difficult to find, and they are generally big, and its not easy to nail focus with them. Stick to the 55-300 for now, is my advice.
This would give you a nice range of primes and a telephoto zoom. Pretty much everything you need to grow as a photographer. If you insist on zoom lenses, you will need to look at the new DFA zooms. They are good, but big and not very affordable. Keep in mind, the K-3 is a great camera already.

Last edited by Na Horuk; 05-18-2016 at 04:02 AM.
05-18-2016, 04:25 AM   #10
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The DA lenses mostly work on the FF setting( or mine do)
16-45f4 fine from 20mm, 18-55kit vignettes at the wide end but functional at 24mm up,50-200mm fine from 52mm,55-300yes,40ltd yes,50plastic fantastic yes, 18-135 no, vignetting through all of the focal range.I don't own the 35 f2.4 but ive read its fine.
All my old lenses work fine M42/K/M/A Adaptal 2, shoot the old way.
F35-70 yes,FA 80-320 yes hunts less on FF than aspc?

---------- Post added 05-18-16 at 10:37 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Meg4mi Quote
Seriously, the tammy work in FF mode ?

yes, or aspc


Tamron SP AF90mm F/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 Model 272E - Tamron updates its famous 90mm macro lens for film and digital

Last edited by surfar; 05-20-2016 at 02:00 PM.
05-18-2016, 04:57 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Meg4mi Quote
Do you think the biggest viewfinder of the k-1 would give me advantages with manual focus ?
Most likely yes, but I am not sure, there are viewfinders for the K-5's and K-3, or eye cup magnifier Viewfinders and Screens - Pentax Camera Accessory Review Database
But I have no experience with these.
05-18-2016, 05:03 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
You can sell your current APSC lenses and buy old manual primes from the film days to go with K-1.
But generally it is better to first grow skill, then buy lenses, and then buy camera. Simply because a camera quickly loses its value, because technology evolves. And even a great camera with bad lenses is not great. But almost any current DSLR will give you stunning photos if you have amazing lenses. And lenses tend to keep their value better over time, so you can still use them years later, or sell them.
I am not sure, but I thought the Tamron 17-50mm is an APSC lens, and will have completely black edges at certain zoom and focus settings on FF camera.

So yeah, get a nice DA 50mm f1.8, maybe even a used one. Sell the A 50mm. Sell the Tamron 17-50mm and buy a Samyang 14mm. Notice that DA 50mm and Samyang 14mm are FF lenses, so you are setting up a path to upgrade to FF some day. It is good to have the FF lenses ready for that camera - doesn't make sense to buy an FF only to use ASPC kit lenses. If you really want some crazy bokeh, you can buy a Helios 44 (maybe the version in K-mount) or some other old, fast prime.
Telephoto.. it is very difficult to get something better than the 55-300 without spending 4x as much money. There are some older telephoto lenses, but they can be difficult to find, and they are generally big, and its not easy to nail focus with them. Stick to the 55-300 for now, is my advice.
This would give you a nice range of primes and a telephoto zoom. Pretty much everything you need to grow as a photographer. If you insist on zoom lenses, you will need to look at the new DFA zooms. They are good, but big and not very affordable. Keep in mind, the K-3 is a great camera already.
Thx for your complete advice. I think i will first buy the da 50mm.
About the samyang 14mm, the only thing i find boring is the lack of filter compatibility. (i can still use interval composite)

@Surfar : i thought you were talking about the 17-50mm not the 90mm (about FF-able).

Forgot to add link to my Flickr, so you can see what kind of picture i like to take.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/97751163@N03/
05-18-2016, 05:08 AM   #13
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I don't own the 17-50 or the 35mm
05-18-2016, 05:17 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Meg4mi Quote
Forgot to add link to my Flickr, so you can see what kind of picture i like to take. https://www.flickr.com/photos/97751163@N03/
You have some lovely images there, maybe you have exhausted the lens selection you have, maybe time to move on up

Can't say enough about prime lenses
05-18-2016, 05:20 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by surfar Quote
I don't own the 17-50 or the 35mm
I would strongly echo what others have said: Wait on the FF. It will serve you well when you do get it, but filling out your FF lenses will be easier now than after spending almost $2000 on the K-1. It would also make finally owning a FF much more rewarding when you have some good lenses for it!

I've had very good luck purchasing here on the forums - maybe not so much luck, as just having a great community to buy from! The DA 50 is considered "mostly FF compatible" but some say there are small bits of vignetting - it might be worth a bit more investment and get an F or FA 50mm 1.7. It seems that it is one of the favorite versions of the 50mm around also!

On your flickr it looks like you do some macro work, and the DFA 100mm macro would suit you very well, and there's a WR version also! The Tamron 90mm might save on some budget, but I think people like the DFA better in general, and it's been going much cheaper these past couple months than it was a year ago!

I'd also look into an F/FA 28mm, the FA Limeteds as mentioned, or possibly the DA 40 Limited and DA 70mm Limited, as both do well on FF! The F/FA 135mm f/2.8 isn't a pretty lens physically, but it's great for portraits on FF (but if you get the macro, you'll have that range almost covered). The DA*200 and 300s are amazing on the FF also!

Last week I tried my sister's 55-300mm on the K-1 and was amazed at how little vignetting there was! Mostly just noticed it at the 55-70mm range, and zoomed in to the long end I didn't really notice any! I didn't do any official tests or take pictures at the different lengths, but it seems quite usable! Best of luck! I really think you'll be happier buying a few more lenses, and the K-3 is an amazing camera for sure! Who knows, spend the next 6-12 moths watching for some lens deals and you might get yourself a nice bundle deal on the K-1!
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