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07-01-2022, 03:52 AM   #46
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Talking about non Pentax, I really like what Nikon have been releasing in recent years. In the past I didn't like Nikon DSLRs, finding them too bulky, much more than Pentax DSLR. Now, Nikon FF MILC bodies are about the size of a Pentax Apsc DSLR, but with FF BSI dual gain sensor image output , ISO64 images show crazy micro-contrast sharp details out of the box, and Nikon Z glass is top notch, almost clinical with regards to CA. It's just that the Z7II resolution isn't much different compared to what the K1 delivers. I'm looking forward to what Nikon will come up after the Z7 II, Z8 with 62Mpix?? were some rumors in that direction, but nothing materialized yet. Looking forward to what Nikon's going to release fall 2022, spring 2023, possibly.


Last edited by biz-engineer; 07-01-2022 at 03:59 AM.
09-15-2022, 03:41 AM   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Today, I visited Wex Photo's Newcastle-upon-Tyne store, mainly to pick up my new HD Pentax-FA 31mm f/1.8 Limited (), ....
Might I ask for your impression of the HD version of the 31mm?

I expected more reviews of it online by now, but they are quite sparse, so your impression would be nice.
09-15-2022, 02:28 PM - 1 Like   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
If I wasn't already heavily invested in - and, frankly, completely happy with - Pentax (I am, in both respects), I could see myself choosing either of the above... which, I'll say again, is surprising, because they're quite different and have significantly different advantages and compromises - but I'd be delighted to shoot with either, regardless of my current preferences.
I know the feeling. I just got back from playing with a Sony a7IV at Best Buy. I must say, "WOW!" The eye-AF is incredibly good & subject recognition is on another level. The EVF is kind of nice too. Definitely far nicer than the one in the older a7III. Would I give up the OVF experience for it?

Man! I shouldn't have played with it......... Hahhaaha!
09-15-2022, 02:50 PM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
heavy weight gives an impression of good quality
Doesn't the K-3 have a magnesium alloy chassis as well?

Although I haven't handled the OM-1, I suspect a lot of the impression of lightness is because it is physically quite a bit smaller, and it doesn't have a big chunk of glass in the pentaprism

09-15-2022, 03:49 PM   #50
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I have been using Pentax cameras since 2016 when I switched from film to digital. But I’m getting old and the size and weight of the Olympus systems appealed to me so I went full speed into an M1 mark iii and Oly 100-400. Fun to use, easy to carry, excellent ergos, nicely laid out but (of course there’s a but), I couldn’t reproduce the rich warm saturated colors that I got with my K-5 and K-3. The Oly colors seemed “pastel” to me. Olympus makes extremely nice stuff but they just can’t match the color intensity of Pentax sensors and lenses.
09-15-2022, 06:45 PM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by The Squirrel Mafia Quote
I know what you mean. The other camera makers have some nice cameras & lenses. If I weren't shooting Pentax, I'd more than likely be in the Sony camp with an a7III & a7IV by now. Probably an a9II as well.

Nikon would be my next pick, but they're kind of Pentax like in terms of AF performance among mirrorless bodies. That should say enough. Hahaha! They're pretty far behind. The Z9 is the only Z-mount camera that has very good AF, but that costs an arm & a leg. Maybe the upcoming Z6III will resolve the AF woes......
The Sony a7 IV is an amazing camera! Tempting!

---------- Post added 09-15-22 at 06:52 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by The Squirrel Mafia Quote
I know the feeling. I just got back from playing with a Sony a7IV at Best Buy. I must say, "WOW!" The eye-AF is incredibly good & subject recognition is on another level. The EVF is kind of nice too. Definitely far nicer than the one in the older a7III. Would I give up the OVF experience for it?

Man! I shouldn't have played with it......... Hahhaaha!
First camera outside of Pentax to get my attention. I'm seriously thinking of getting one.
09-16-2022, 08:54 AM - 1 Like   #52
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I'm looking at another "system" as well... but not as a system in itself, it's only for a pocketable camera in the 200 dollar range...

I thought about buying an LX3/LX5 or an XZ-1 as I love those old CCD cameras.

But then my attention has been diverted to the fact that I can probably pocket a small Olympus PEN or Panasonic camera with a pancake lens on it... something like an E-PL3 will go for less than 100 dollars these days, and I could add either the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 (great little lens!) for about 120-130, or the Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 for about the same or even less. I wouldn't be looking to turn this into a system but I have to say that the Oly 45mm might end up being added some day...

Haven't made a decision yet, probably won't before Christmas... but I like the idea that I would get better IQ than with any point and shoot for about the same price as an old point and shoot, and much less than current point and shoots. Budget is key here before someone suggests that latest RX100...

09-17-2022, 11:18 AM - 1 Like   #53
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I am looking more and more at OM-1, I mainly like shooting birds these days and do experience frustration with autofocus speed for birds in flight and it becomes really apparent when sat in a hide and seeing everyone else managing far easier. I thought the R7 would be good but the way Canon are going with apparently not supporting third party manufacturers for the new mount is off putting and seems the existing 150-600 options don't play so well with the new mount. OM-1 seems to offer great bang for the buck and lighter weight appeals for long days out on reserves. I would miss Pentax as I think it is perfect for everything else but I can't afford to run two systems.
09-18-2022, 01:47 PM - 7 Likes   #54
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Stefan, Squirrel Mafia, Sandy - please accept my apologies for the delay in replying I'm no longer participating in the forums in general, but figure I owe you good folks a reply each...

QuoteOriginally posted by Stefan Jr Quote
Might I ask for your impression of the HD version of the 31mm?

I expected more reviews of it online by now, but they are quite sparse, so your impression would be nice.
I'm using the HD FA31 Limited on APS-C - specifically, my K-3 and K-3II - so my opinions are based on the cropped image frame and pixel density of that sensor, and I've never owned the SMC version (nor any other FA Limited, for that matter) so can't compare to that. Also, I'm more interested in rendering than test-bench results and MTF charts

Overall, I really like the lens - it's definitely a keeper. Size-wise, it doesn't seem out of place alongside my complete HD DA collection (which was a surprise for a fast, full-frame lens). Build quality and finish are excellent - however, the feel and action of the aperture ring don't scream "premium lens" to me in the same way that, say, an old M-series lens does. It feels more like an A-series... lightweight and a little bit notchy, if that makes sense? It's a relatively minor point, and not a big issue for me, as this lens will spend 99% of its time on my K-mount DSLRs in "A" setting, with aperture selection from the body. I may, at some point, use it with an adapter on my Sony A7 MkII - and then I suspect I'll wish the aperture ring had a nicer feel... but really, it's perfectly OK... just not amazing. I find the integrated lens hood a little bit annoying, as I tend to use the universal lens hood at the end of my arm (my hand) with most lenses. As such, I'd prefer the FA31 had a retractable or even detachable hood, taking up less space and allowing better access for filters and a regular plastic lens cap - but again, it's a minor point. In terms of image quality, I'm happy with it. Wide open, I was initially a little disappointed, but a (small) AF fine adjustment yielded a big improvement. Still, performance at max aperture betrays the lens' film-era roots in terms of micro-contrast, and resolution away from the frame centre - but it's very useable if you like that kind of thing. I do, yet I prefer shooting the HD FA31 stopped down just a little where I find it very good indeed - sharp, contrasty in the same way my HD DA Limiteds are; and I like the rendering. Lastly, as a seemingly-rare fan of screw-drive AF over in-lens motors, I love the AF which is fast and accurate - and MF action is great, despite the somewhat short throw. The wide aperture gives a bright view in the viewfinder and enables decent accuracy, even when shooting at f/1.8.

I also own the Sigma 30/1.4 Art - a lens that doesn't seem to have too many fans, perhaps due to many examples reputedly exhibiting poor AF accuracy. It's a bigger, chunkier lens that feels a bit unwieldy on the relatively-compact K-3, and if I sit the camera down on a table or stone wall, it rests on the base of the Sigma lens (if I fit the big, round, no-cut-outs hood - which I rarely do - it rests on that, which means it's putting pressure on the inner barrel, and I don't like that at all). Build quality and finish are excellent, albeit using modern materials. Optically, I'm a huge fan of the 30/1.4 Art's rendering... for a modern lens, it renders in a very film-era way that I really like, yet the centre is always bitingly sharp. I can happily shoot it at f/1.4 all day long, if the subject matter warrants it. I've had very few AF accuracy problems with mine - few enough that I don't consider them abnormal; but then I use single centre-point AF.S most of the time. The in-lens motor is quick enough for my purposes, and the fact that it's silent is nice... but I still prefer screw-drive

Lastly... I own the HD FA35/2. Obviously, the field of view is narrower than the HD FA31 and Sigma 30/1.4 Art, yet it's close enough to warrant comparison. The HD FA35 is smaller and lighter than the HD FA31 Limited, and much more so than the Sigma. Build quality is perfectly decent, but it's obviously no Limited. Peformance-wise, I'm not massively keen on the out-of-focus rendering at max aperture - especially transitions at close focusing distances.... but stopped down a little, it's a cracking performer, and an absolute bargain IMHO.

I'm glad I bought the HD FA31 Limited, given what I paid for it. I'm not so completely bowled over by it that I'd let my Sigma 30/1.4 Art go, nor indeed my HD FA35. All three lenses have pro's and con's according to my own personal values and tastes. The HD FA31 is exactly what you'd expect from a Limited lens - a bit quirky, beautifully built, and optically very good, with plenty of character. The Sigma is really sharp and has beautiful rendering, but it's bulky and only covers the APS-C format. The HD FA35 is small, light, and performs incredibly well when stopped down a little. If I had to pick just one, I'd probably choose the HD FA35 for its balance of size, weight, image quality and cost... but since I'm not yet in a position where I need to sell any of my lenses (I have way too many ), I'm keeping - and using - all three

QuoteOriginally posted by The Squirrel Mafia Quote
I know the feeling. I just got back from playing with a Sony a7IV at Best Buy. I must say, "WOW!" The eye-AF is incredibly good & subject recognition is on another level. The EVF is kind of nice too. Definitely far nicer than the one in the older a7III. Would I give up the OVF experience for it?

Man! I shouldn't have played with it......... Hahhaaha!
The later generations of mirrorless offerings are really impressive, aren't they? For me, the experience of shooting with an OVF trumps the advantages that mirrorless systems offer, and the limitations of DSLRs rarely affect me; so, for the majority of what I do I'll be sticking with my DSLR kit - specifically, my K-3 and K-3II, and K10D-clone Samsung GX-10. If and when those die, I don't know what I'll do. Though the K-3III is clearly a very good camera, there are things about it I'm not too keen on, and I'd like to see where Pentax is heading in coming years. It may be that, at some point, I have to switch to another system - but really it's a combination of OVF and the glass I own that will probably keep me with Pentax in the longer term. Hopefully, my existing gear will hold up, or there'll be an APS-C Pentax body I'm happy to buy...

QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
Doesn't the K-3 have a magnesium alloy chassis as well?

Although I haven't handled the OM-1, I suspect a lot of the impression of lightness is because it is physically quite a bit smaller, and it doesn't have a big chunk of glass in the pentaprism
You're quite right, Sandy, the K-3 and K-3II both have a magnesium alloy chassis. I'd guess the extra weight is due to the pentaprism (as you say), plus the mirror, aperture control and screw-drive AF mechanisms, lastly the longer flange focal distance and the additional body size (and, therefore, mass) required to support these things.

The OM-1 definitely felt much lighter, but you could be correct that it's the very compact dimensions that emphasised (or distorted) my perception of the weight difference. In any case, whether it's the weight, size, or both, I could see myself enjoying a system centred around the OM-1... but I won't be going there any time soon, if at all. APS-C-format Pentax is still giving me everything I want and need

By the way, Sandy, I saw and enjoyed your recent thread on knife-making (and Pete - @pjv - directed me to it). Fantastic work, my friend. Actually, quite stunning - you're one heck of a craftsman.

Very best wishes to all...

Last edited by BigMackCam; 09-19-2022 at 01:40 AM.
09-18-2022, 05:26 PM - 1 Like   #55
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
The X-Pro3 is a weird camera. In practical terms, .......that ..
My first Fuji was the X-Pro1. After I figured out that I could actually trust the AF (This was when I was using a K5), I almost never used the EV-F, which was ugly in that camera anyway.
The optical viewfinder was gorgeous. My lens range in that system is 14mm to 60mm so pretty much the viewfinder was OK. I dont think I'd want to go longer than the 60mm with that viewfinder. I'm considering either an X-T4 or an X-Pro3 to upgrade my body. I ended up selling the X-Pro1, and just have X-T1 now. Sometimes I wish I'd kept the X-Pro1 instead just for the optical finder.
09-18-2022, 05:56 PM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by GreenRich Quote
I thought the R7 would be good but the way Canon are going with apparently not supporting third party manufacturers for the new mount is off putting
Well, its within their rights to protect what they spent millions on.Would they want inferior product on their bodies?Consequently diminishing what their product is capable of?


QuoteOriginally posted by GreenRich Quote
and seems the existing 150-600 options don't play so well with the new mount.
Not from my experienceThe Tamron gen 1 works very well, Ive read about issues with the 2 Sigmas.Just tested the Sigma Sport and I wouldn't recommend it on Canon crop(works fine on FF)also on Fuji it works fine..Certainly the RF 100-400(U$699) is reasonable and the RF100-500 is very good(and it should be for U$2900.)Also the EF 100-400 mk 2 with TC produces very pleasant results.The R7 is BANG for BUCK, deals are around.

Last edited by surfar; 09-18-2022 at 06:08 PM.
09-19-2022, 12:14 AM - 1 Like   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Stefan, Squirrel Mafia, Sandy - please accept my apologies for the long dely in replying I'm no longer participating in the forums in general, but figure I owe you good folks a reply each...



I'm using the HD FA31 Limited on APS-C - specifically, my K-3 and K-3II - so my opinions are based on the cropped image frame and pixel density of that sensor, and I've never owned the SMC version (nor any other FA Limited, for that matter) so can't compare to that. Also, I'm more interested in rendering than test-bench results and MTF charts

Overall, I really like the lens - it's definitely a keeper. Size-wise, it doesn't seem out of place alongside my complete HD DA collection (which was a surprise for a fast, full-frame lens). Build quality and finish are excellent - however, the feel and action of the aperture ring don't scream "premium lens" to me in the same way that, say, an old M-series lens does. It feels more like an A-series... lightweight and a little bit notchy, if that makes sense? It's a relatively minor point, and not a big issue for me, as this lens will spend 99% of its time on my K-mount DSLRs in "A" setting, with aperture selection from the body. I may, at some point, use it with an adapter on my Sony A7 MkII - and then I suspect I'll wish the aperture ring had a nicer feel... but really, it's perfectly OK... just not amazing. I find the integrated lens hood a little bit annoying, as I tend to use the universal lens hood at the end of my arm (my hand) with most lenses. As such, I'd prefer the FA31 had a retractable or even detachable hood, taking up less space and allowing better access for filters and a regular plastic lens cap - but again, it's a minor point. In terms of image quality, I'm happy with it. Wide open, I was initially a little disappointed, but a (small) AF fine adjustment yielded a big improvement. Still, performance at max aperture betrays the lens' film-era roots in terms of micro-contrast, and resolution away from the frame centre - but it's very useable if you like that kind of thing. I do, yet I prefer shooting the HD FA31 stopped down just a little where I find it very good indeed - sharp, contrasty in the same way my HD DA Limiteds are; and I like the rendering. Lastly, as a seemingly-rare fan of screw-drive AF over in-lens motors, I love the AF which is fast and accurate - and MF action is great, despite the somewhat short throw. The wide aperture gives a bright view in the viewfinder and enables decent accuracy, even when shooting at f/1.8.

I also own the Sigma 30/1.4 Art - a lens that doesn't seem to have too many fans, perhaps due to many examples reputedly exhibiting poor AF accuracy. It's a bigger, chunkier lens that feels a bit unwieldy on the relatively-compact K-3, and if I sit the camera down on a table or stone wall, it rests on the base of the Sigma lens (if I fit the big, round, no-cut-outs hood - which I rarely do - it rests on that, which means it's putting pressure on the inner barrel, and I don't like that at all). Build quality and finish are excellent, albeit using modern materials. Optically, I'm a huge fan of the 30/1.4 Art's rendering... for a modern lens, it renders in a very film-era way that I really like, yet the centre is always bitingly sharp. I can happily shoot it at f/1.4 all day long, if the subject matter warrants it. I've had very few AF accuracy problems with mine - few enough that I don't consider them abnormal; but then I use single centre-point AF.S most of the time. The in-lens motor is quick enough for my purposes, and the fact that it's silent is nice... but I still prefer screw-drive

Lastly... I own the HD FA35/2. Obviously, the field of view is narrower than the HD FA31 and Sigma 30/1.4 Art, yet it's close enough to warrant comparison. The HD FA35 is smaller and lighter than the HD FA31 Limited, and much more so than the Sigma. Build quality is perfectly decent, but it's obviously no Limited. Peformance-wise, I'm not massively keen on the out-of-focus rendering at max aperture - especially transitions at close focusing distances.... but stopped down a little, it's a cracking performer, and an absolute bargain IMHO.

I'm glad I bought the HD FA31 Limited, given what I paid for it. I'm not so completely bowled over by it that I'd let my Sigma 30/1.4 Art go, nor indeed my HD FA35. All three lenses have pro's and con's according to my own personal values and tastes. The HD FA31 is exactly what you'd expect from a Limited lens - a bit quirky, beautifully built, and optically very good, with plenty of character. The Sigma is really sharp and has beautiful rendering, but it's bulky and only covers the APS-C format. The HD FA35 is small, light, and performs incredibly well when stopped down a little. If I had to pick just one, I'd probably choose the HD FA35 for its balance of size, weight, image quality and cost... but since I'm not yet in a position where I need to sell any of my lenses (I have way too many ), I'm keeping - and using - all three
Thanks a bunch for your detailed impression. And for the comparison with the Sigma and FA35/2.

It's especially useful for me since I'm a minimalist type of user, and trying single down "the one" 30ish perfect fast prime for my KP.

I do prefer a used SMC version of the FA31, but they are sparse around here (Sweden), and new SMC copies are over the hill priced. Which leaves me with a new HD version, or "something" else. Either way - first hand information is of great value, and I truly appreciate that you toke your time and shared yours in detail.

"Plenty of character" is surely a big plus. And honestly it's what keeps my interest in the FA 31 in the first, and last, place. The more that remains - the better. I'm glad you got a good copy, and I hope I'm as lucky if I go for it.

Thanks again // Stefan
11-09-2022, 12:38 PM   #58
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I thought I would just chime in here as a new poster. I have been using Pentax for years. Started with K1000 and then MX and then a KX (which I still have and just got back from Erik Hendrickson for repair.) Then to K-x and then K3. Still have the K3. Great camera.......for stills. Decided I wanted something smaller and esp lighter to take with me biking. I new nothing about M43. Bought an Oly OMDM53. Yousa!. Amazing camera in such a small light package. Packed with features. Better, faster autofocus etc. Photo quality is amazing despite all the internet "experts" and M43 detractors with their old sensor, low light blather. Not crazy about the menu and the lack of multiple dial C functions, but it really is a joy. And being able to get to 600 equivalent with the small lightweight 75-300 is stellar. In fact, I just posted my DA300 for sale here. Way too big to be practical for me now.I still love my tank like K3 but it is ancient now and M43 quality seems more then fine for my and probably most peoples needs. But, that new K3lll looks amazing.
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