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10-11-2016, 06:31 PM   #1
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Experiences on the K3 II


I'm thinking of buying a K3 II with the 16-85mm lens. It's a bit pricey for me (about 1600 USD all together) so I want to weigh all my options. Any alternatives in that price range? I shoot alot outdoors on long hikes so weather sealed is a must. So I guess that kind of means it has to be a pentax at that price? I mostly do landscapes so that's why I'd like a wide angle lens. I also like the star tracker on the K3 II. I currently own a K 30 with 18-55mm, 50-200mm (the one I'll be mostly using with the old camera) and my lovely M42 takumar 50mm.

What do you guys and gals think?



10-11-2016, 06:53 PM   #2
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If you want star tracking, you will either need the K3ii, as you say, or get an O-GPS1 and compatible Pentax, which may or may not be a cheaper option, although certainly second hand options would be.
The compatible bodies are listed here: ASTROTRACER | GPS UNIT O-GPS1 | RICOH IMAGING

Honestly, built in GPS would be a lot more convenient in your situation, where you're hiking and unlikely to ever use a built in flash. Also, a small flash unit is quite cheap, should you need it.
10-11-2016, 08:31 PM   #3
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I love my K-3 II! I don't have any experience with the 16-85. I own the 18-55 WR and 17-50 2.8 Sigma. If wide angle is important to you I would recommend the 15mm Limited. I know it is not weather sealed but it is a fantastic lens.
If you plan on doing Astrophotography then the K-3 II is probably the best camera on the market at it's price point. Astrotracer and GPS are built right in.
10-11-2016, 08:41 PM   #4
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Think it's a good plan. I like the GPS. Haven't used the astrotracer function yet. 16-85 is a good lens. My preferred hiking kit is the same, with a few additional lenses. Get this kit and you'll be off to a good start.

10-12-2016, 12:03 AM   #5

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QuoteOriginally posted by Nicke Quote

I'm thinking of buying a K3 II with the 16-85mm lens. It's a bit pricey for me (about 1600 USD all together) so I want to weigh all my options. Any alternatives in that price range? I shoot alot outdoors on long hikes so weather sealed is a must. So I guess that kind of means it has to be a pentax at that price?
You could also consider something like a K-30, K-50, K-S2 or K-70 and a lens. My K-30's (+ DA* 16-50's and 50-135's) weathersealing has been through everything except submersion in water and has thrived. You may still wish to go with the K-3II to avoid the Astrotracer accessory.
10-12-2016, 02:57 AM   #6

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It's a solid camera and quite a performer. I'm sure you'll like it.
10-12-2016, 03:03 AM   #7
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I don't know of any other option in the price range if weather sealing and astro-tracer are on your wishlist, unless you want to buy used.
10-12-2016, 03:09 AM   #8
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The K3 II is a very nice camera. You might consider the DA 18-135 if cost is too much on the 16-85. The DA 16-85 is a little better lens, but neither one is going to be great for astro photography. For that, you probably want a faster lens -- at least something f2.8. You might consider the Samyang 14mm f2.8 as a relatively cheap option and quite wide as well.

10-16-2016, 01:51 AM   #9
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Thanks everyone! It looks like it's gonna be the k3 ii and I will def. be looking in to the Samyang 14mm f2.8! Get serious about my astrophotography
10-17-2016, 04:23 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nicke Quote
Get serious about my astrophotography
That's gonna require more than just the ASTROTRACER....
10-18-2016, 05:54 AM   #11
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Yeah, if you want to do casual wide angle shots, the astrotracer is great. If you want to really pursue astrophotography, get involved with an astronomy club and see what they're doing. Plus, you may be able to borrow or buy used gear.

I like the K3II. I upgraded from K5 with OGPS for my survey work, it's allowed me to mount a ring flash and it's been astounding. I think the OGPS might work better if you're turning the camera on and off, but other than a few shots which don't register GPS occasionally in the field, it works great. I haven't figured out what's going on there, maybe it's user error....

The 16-85 looks great, I doubt you'll be disappointed with that zoom. The 18-135 is a bit less expensive, and has a bit more reach making it a nice walkaround lens, perhaps perfect for hiking.

Flash. If you think flash will be more useful than GPS, get a K3. If you want a pocket-sized weathersealed flash then get the AF201. It takes a bit long to recharge, but it's small and more powerful than a popup flash.

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