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06-17-2016, 08:09 AM   #1
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K1 or K3-II when mostly tele?

I do currently have a Pentax K5. I am thinking of upgrading to either the K1 or the K3-II.

I have a number or lenses, but I find that I am mostly using my 2 favorite lenses. Almost half of my photos are taken with the Pentax DA* 300mm (sports, nature, yachting). My other favorite lens is the Pentax FA 77 mm 1:1.8 (people, close-up documentation for manuals) . I take vey few photos with my other lenses.

For the kind of photos I take with Pentax FA 77mm, I think that K1 has a definitive advantage over the K3-II.

But how would K1 perform with the Pentax DA* 300mm compared to the K3-II?
As I need the length of the Pentax DA* 300mm on the K5 and K3-II, I would need to either crop it or use the HD Pentax DA 1.4x AW AF Rear Converter with the K1.
Do you think that the K3-II or K1 will perform better in this situation?

How does a cropped K1 image compare to a K3-II image? (I can calculate the number of pixels in the cropped K1 and compare it to the K3-II, but are there other aspects to consider as well?)

If the performance of K3-II is better than K1 for the longer tele range, is the difference big enough to make K3-II better overall? Or, is the difference in the longer range small enough, to make K1 a better overall camera for my mix of photos?

06-17-2016, 08:54 AM   #2
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Well, you lose a stop of light with the Teleconverter, but in my experience, you can go 2-3 stops up in ISO and get equivalent image quality on the K-1. This combination has been lauded as one where there is very little image quality drop off, and with the larger photosites of the K-1, it might be close to a wash there.

Other questions are whether AF performance drops off with the TC, whether there are other features of the K-1 you might like to use, how advantageous will it be for all the rest of your shooting, weight, expense, FPS, DOF considerations, etc.
06-17-2016, 09:02 AM   #3
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Don't compare the K-1 in crop mode to the K-3ii - the true comparison is with an image from the K-1 in full frame mode with the edges trimmed just enough in post to get rid of any vignetting. If that's above 24MP, surely you're ahead. That's the great thing about the K-1 - you are not bound by the crop mode when shooting APS-C lenses the way I hear Nikon users are.

Then ask people who own both the K-3ii and the K-1 how the cameras HANDLE. Remember, it's not just the image you capture - it's how easy it is to get it (improved AF coupled with higher focus point density; better shake reduction and so forth; tiltable screen for those neck-craning or low-to-the-ground shots - what you shoot and the circumstances under which you shoot it are variables only you can consider).

Of course the K3-ii is going to have more megapixels than the K-1 crop-mode image. But megpixels aren't everything. There are a lot of variables for you to weigh up.
06-17-2016, 09:13 AM   #4
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Interesting thread for me as I am almost in the same situation except that I already have acquired a K3 this past spring. Doesn't matter though, the responses will be interesting as well.
Not that I don't like the K3, but coming from a K5 before that, I would like to have this "high ISO" quality just the same (or better with the K-1).
On the other hand, when I get proper exposure and nail the focus with the K3, the images are stunning.

It will be interesting to know from people who have actually "upgraded" from a K5 to a K-1 for the type of photography the OP and I prefer.

Cheers!

06-17-2016, 09:15 AM - 1 Like   #5
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I'm with pathdoc. K-1, always shoot ff and crop to your preferred frame. When I bought my K-1 I kept my k-3 for telephoto work. Now that I've actually used the K-1 with my tele lenses l'll be selling the K-3.
06-17-2016, 09:19 AM - 1 Like   #6
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I think you might actually like the Crop Mode on the K1....I love it. It lets you define your framing with that big red outline that shows you exactly what you will get. The low light abilities of the K1 are amazing, a definite plus for long lens shooting.

As for MP, unless you are doing a lot of large prints, it matters little for posting on the web. I have seen a real improvement with the K1 over my K5IIs and for me it has been a very nice experience with the K1.

Regards!

Squirrels love the K1 Crop Mode.....of course, that may not matter much to you?

06-17-2016, 09:21 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
the true comparison is with an image from the K-1 in full frame mode with the edges trimmed just enough in post to get rid of any vignetting.
That makes sense.
Why use the crop mode on the K-1 to loose IQ (not likely the proper term to use here) when you can crop a bit on the computer? Is this what you mean?
Stupid question, but I know nothing about this K-1.

---------- Post added 06-17-16 at 12:23 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by jrpower10 Quote
I'm with pathdoc. K-1, always shoot ff and crop to your preferred frame. When I bought my K-1 I kept my k-3 for telephoto work. Now that I've actually used the K-1 with my tele lenses l'll be selling the K-3.
Now that's a real comparison!
Seriously, do you find that your images are that much better?
Have you any pics for perusal?
(sorry, OP, I am hacking your thread!)

JP
06-17-2016, 09:27 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by TB-000 Quote
I do currently have a Pentax K5. I am thinking of upgrading to either the K1 or the K3-II.

I have a number or lenses, but I find that I am mostly using my 2 favorite lenses. Almost half of my photos are taken with the Pentax DA* 300mm (sports, nature, yachting). My other favorite lens is the Pentax FA 77 mm 1:1.8 (people, close-up documentation for manuals) . I take vey few photos with my other lenses.

For the kind of photos I take with Pentax FA 77mm, I think that K1 has a definitive advantage over the K3-II.

But how would K1 perform with the Pentax DA* 300mm compared to the K3-II?
As I need the length of the Pentax DA* 300mm on the K5 and K3-II, I would need to either crop it or use the HD Pentax DA 1.4x AW AF Rear Converter with the K1.
Do you think that the K3-II or K1 will perform better in this situation?

How does a cropped K1 image compare to a K3-II image? (I can calculate the number of pixels in the cropped K1 and compare it to the K3-II, but are there other aspects to consider as well?)

If the performance of K3-II is better than K1 for the longer tele range, is the difference big enough to make K3-II better overall? Or, is the difference in the longer range small enough, to make K1 a better overall camera for my mix of photos?
As usual, it depends on what you are photographing.

I have done this comparison several times here, but the first time I did it for myself when thinking about whether I wanted to consider a K-1 for myself.

Suppose I take a picture of a bird with a lens at 300mm {currently I have a 55-300mm lens} mounted on an APS-C camera, and that bird completely fills the frame; my APS-C puts 24 MP on the bird. If I took the same picture at the same time with the same lens mounted on a K-1, the bird will fill 2/3 of the sensor vertically and 2/3 of the sensor horizontally, so the K-1 puts (2/3)*(2/3)*36 = 16 MP on the bird. Once I've cropped the FF image to show the same view, it will show less detail, because the APS-C camera is able to put more pixels on the bird. My alternatives, to put more FF pixels on the bird, are to either buy a TC {which will degrade the image, so we lose some of the FF advantage} or a 150-450mm lens {costing $2200 and having more bulk}.

If you look at what Canikon are doing, I think it is rather clear that FF is vastly preferred for landscape, portraits, etc, but APS-C is preferred for sports and wildlife. Personally, I believe a K-3iii is following which will build on what they have put into the K-70, providing better AF and better high ISO - in other words, a camera aimed more at this market and less at landscape, since the K-1 is now available for that market.

06-17-2016, 09:39 AM - 1 Like   #9
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As a K3 and K1 owner, who shoots a lot with a DA300mm, I find the K1 in both crop and full frame mode to be superior. Reason - improved autofocus....
06-17-2016, 09:59 AM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jrpower10 Quote
I'm with pathdoc. K-1, always shoot ff and crop to your preferred frame. When I bought my K-1 I kept my k-3 for telephoto work. Now that I've actually used the K-1 with my tele lenses l'll be selling the K-3.
Exactly what happened with me as well. After a little session with the k-1 and DA300 I decided to put the k-3 up for sale, sacrificing some reach for what was to me improved IQ.
06-17-2016, 10:01 AM   #11
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Im personally in a holding pattern to see what the K-3ii's replacement and new flagship apsc camera looks like compared to the K-1 and K-70 before I upgrade from my k-30. 16mp is enough for most of what I do and I love my DA*50-135 + HD DA20-40 ltd + long tele prime lens set. With a K1 I have to replace everything but the tele.
06-17-2016, 10:35 AM   #12
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for me the K-3ii @ 8.3fps + DA* 60-250mm (or alternatively the FA* 300mm f/4.5) is a small, lightweight powerhouse for any "long reach" needs. To get equivalent reach with a full-frame camera you'd need a 80-400mm zoom: which in the case of my D800 means bigger, heavier, slower aperture, slower framerate, more expensive setup with no net benefit in IQ. The same holds true for the K-1. When and if I decide to upgrade my D800 to a K-1 I will continue to use crop-sensor for my long-reach requirements.

YMMV

Michael
06-17-2016, 10:38 AM   #13
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Native APSC is generally better than cropping FF or using TC on FF. But more than crop you should also consider things like AF, burst rate speed, and even pixel shift, tilt LCD, camera size/weight and file size. Make a list of features you need, and then check which camera fits better. If this doesnt help, flip a coin.

QuoteOriginally posted by skierd Quote
Im personally in a holding pattern to see what the K-3ii's replacement and new flagship apsc camera looks like compared to the K-1 and K-70 before I upgrade from my k-30.
This is not a bad idea. Pentax recently revealed the K-70, and maybe we will find out about APSC flagship in the coming months. It might make sense to wait a bit. Or even buy a used K-3 (can be found for decent prices), and simply sell it later with a minimal loss if it doesnt meet your expectations or a significantly better model comes out. But the K-3 is fairly beloved on these forums I doubt it would really disappoint you.

Last edited by Na Horuk; 06-17-2016 at 10:44 AM.
06-17-2016, 10:43 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by cdurfor Quote
As a K3 and K1 owner, who shoots a lot with a DA300mm, I find the K1 in both crop and full frame mode to be superior. Reason - improved autofocus....
QuoteOriginally posted by skierd Quote
Im personally in a holding pattern to see what the K-3ii's replacement and new flagship apsc camera looks like compared to the K-1 and K-70 before I upgrade from my k-30...
You'll notice that I listed "better AF" as one of the things I hope to see from a K-3iii {around Photokina perhaps}
I hesitated in posting that because I felt I was missing something else; now I remember: third improvement was faster burst rate and large queue space.
06-17-2016, 11:04 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by cdurfor Quote
As a K3 and K1 owner, who shoots a lot with a DA300mm, I find the K1 in both crop and full frame mode to be superior. Reason - improved autofocus....
For those of us who consider AF to be a bit of a frill, maybe you could comment on IQ? And provide a couple images? It would be appreciated.

As a long time pentax user, I've been dealing with inferior AF since the Nikon D4 came out close to 30 years ago. My question has always been, can I get a better image if fight through the non- IQ limitations of Pentax cameras. Now I have the same question of the K-1. I'll happily take the cheaper body and save $1000 if I can overcome the limitations of the camera with technique.

For me, the K-1 is starting in a big hole, because it's burst rate is half the speed, which right off the top cuts your odds of getting a keeper in half. The AF would have to be a pile better to make up for that. I'm not sure that it could.

Last edited by normhead; 06-17-2016 at 11:23 AM.
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