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Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 09-23-2014, 07:35 AM  
Upgrade from K-5 to K-3 or Fuji XT1 or Oly EM1
Posted By zx-m
Replies: 34
Views: 10,399
Thanks, Lee, as this is informative. My k-5ii is set to arrive tomorrow, and I have been reading some so-so commentary on its AF performance. Yes, the X100T is a nice option, one that I have considered. The $1,299 plus tax is getting up there for me. Also, it will not be out until Nov. 30.

You have kept the K-5 in favor of the 7D. Wow. What "other traits" helped you make this decision? For me (with the K-5ii), it seems I will perhaps get a stop gain on my D200 in weak lighting noise performance and the same (perhaps slower?) AF performance, and so I am "shaking" a little about my purchase decision. For years, the major companies have advertised these great improvements in APS-C performance, but there really is not much there. As usual, it takes thousands of dollars to see any significant improvement. This is why I have stayed with the D200.

---------- Post added 09-23-2014 at 11:07 AM ----------

I just looked more carefully at that XT1. Wow, that thing is my dream camera--a well-made, small-ish camera that is not too small or light/flimsy, with a great sensor, that offers interchangeable lenses (yes, compact primes, not just bulky zooms slapped on a dinky body)--and, best yet, offers three grip options, including a battery grip! Wow, that is a shooter's camera. So many DSLRs do not even offer a grip, and this little camera offers three. Too bad it would be about two grand, once the smoke clears.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 09-23-2014, 05:34 AM  
Focus confirm with fast primes in low light
Posted By zx-m
Replies: 14
Views: 1,291
I have never heard of such focusing issues as I do here in these forums. Only in very low light does my ancient D200 ever give a slight hiccup. And in this rare instance, it will not lock on with a phony focus, but simply not be able to confirm focus (again, in very low light). Otherwise, it focuses without fail, which is what I expect from a modern camera. There should be no great mysteries or puzzles in regard to focusing.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 09-22-2014, 06:09 PM  
Upgrade from K-5 to K-3 or Fuji XT1 or Oly EM1
Posted By zx-m
Replies: 34
Views: 10,399
Some tough decisions here…it always seems to be that way. From the comments here, it sounds like the AF on the K-5 series is pretty behind the times. I was not aware of this. The discussion here is making me concerned about my K-5ii order…and the camera is not even in my hands yet.

Too bad the Fuji stuff is all $1,000+, once the smoke clears (body, lens (non-kit lens), grip, etc.). Even the X-M1, which seems like a nice choice, still comes out $1,000+ (body, 27mm lens, grip).
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 09-22-2014, 01:27 PM  
Noise and other noise
Posted By zx-m
Replies: 20
Views: 2,022
Hence, in weak lighting I am perhaps gaining a stop. My D200 looks good at 400. Perhaps I will get 800 out of the K-5ii, but conservatively, probably more like 640. All that for 2/3 of a stop?
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 09-21-2014, 04:04 PM  
Thinking of going Pentax. Convince me (or otherwise)
Posted By zx-m
Replies: 20
Views: 2,116
Good advice, devouges.

I get the best in-hand feeling from a weighty, solid body with a battery grip and a snubby lens.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 09-21-2014, 03:49 PM  
Thinking of going Pentax. Convince me (or otherwise)
Posted By zx-m
Replies: 20
Views: 2,116
I have tried all of the major brands in film, and some of the brands in digital. I agree with the response above that says it is a close call. From my perspective, it is a close call between the Nikon and Pentax. I would vote against the Canon. In the APS-C realm, things are extremely competitive. For the past few years, I have been very happy with my Nikon D200. It is a pro-level body that offers a dizzying array of lenses. I have recently bought a K-5ii, and will see how it goes. I would not shoot without a battery grip, and so that limits my options. For me, the best shots come from this combination: a nice, beefy body and a small, short lens. This is the formula I like. Try it and see what happens. The K-5ii body is a bit small for my liking, but it is solid and has decent weight.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 09-21-2014, 03:22 PM  
Should I begin to shoot RAW?
Posted By zx-m
Replies: 44
Views: 3,235
Of course you should shoot RAW. There is nothing to fear and everything to gain. I shot RAW virtually from the very beginning, and have never looked back. Most of my shots require little to no post-production fiddling. The best shots are those that are done well at the point of capture.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 09-21-2014, 02:04 PM  
Noise and other noise
Posted By zx-m
Replies: 20
Views: 2,022
This is so true. When the light is good, some higher ISOs look okay. When it is dim/poor, 800 is a stretch. Things have changed, but not all that much.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 09-21-2014, 06:01 AM  
Just Ordered a K-5ii…need some lens and sensor input
Posted By zx-m
Replies: 14
Views: 1,199
This is troubling…my D200's reds are fine.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 09-20-2014, 05:26 PM  
Noise and other noise
Posted By zx-m
Replies: 20
Views: 2,022
Beautiful image...
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 09-20-2014, 05:23 PM  
Just Ordered a K-5ii…need some lens and sensor input
Posted By zx-m
Replies: 14
Views: 1,199
Nice suggestions folks…with the enthusiastic recommendation, I am even considering the zoom mentioned above (I have never shot with a zoom).

In regard to the 50, I think I will be pleased. For me, a FF 50 is a bit too wide. I just love APS-C.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 09-20-2014, 04:20 PM  
Noise and other noise
Posted By zx-m
Replies: 20
Views: 2,022
Some nice stuff there. I am feeling a little better now.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 09-20-2014, 04:15 PM  
Just Ordered a K-5ii…need some lens and sensor input
Posted By zx-m
Replies: 14
Views: 1,199
Thanks for the input. I figured so with the 24 mp sensors, and that is why I have not jumped on that bandwagon. A good deal of this stuff is simply window-dressing.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 09-20-2014, 04:00 PM  
Noise and other noise
Posted By zx-m
Replies: 20
Views: 2,022
Only ISO 800 out of a K-5? I just ordered a K-5ii and thought I would get good results at 1000 or 1250. It sounds like these cameras, no matter the brand, all pretty much do the same thing--nice up to 400 and afterward the nasty stuff starts coming in. My "ancient" Nikon D200 is pretty much the same. I guess one has to spend $6,000 to get any real improvement.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 09-20-2014, 02:58 PM  
Just Ordered a K-5ii…need some lens and sensor input
Posted By zx-m
Replies: 14
Views: 1,199
Thanks for the input, jatrax--it is very informative. I will be shooting RAW--probably exclusively, as this is how I shoot with the D200. The reviews here on the F 50/1.7 are indeed quite positive. I appreciate your perspective.

Yes, those older focusing rings are better…looking forward to getting a couple of A-series lenses. Have you used either of the two I mention above?
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 09-20-2014, 02:28 PM  
Just Ordered a K-5ii…need some lens and sensor input
Posted By zx-m
Replies: 14
Views: 1,199
I just ordered a K-5ii, battery grip, and F 50/1.7 lens. Years ago, I had used numerous Pentax film cameras, and so I am rather familiar with the lenses of the various eras. I tend to favor A-series lenses--took some of my best shots with the humble A/50/2. I bought the F 50/1.7 because I want some AF capability, but I will be looking for some A-series lenses--probably the 28/2.8 and the 100/2.8. If I opt for an M-series lens, what functionality (compared to the A) would I lose with the K-5ii?

I am excited about using the K-5ii. I have been using a Nikon D200 for the past few years, as I love the CCD sensor. How might the K-5ii compare? I know that the K-5ii is a much newer, more advanced design, but I hope I like the type of image it produces. I have not had much interest in non-CCD cameras, but I have been open-minded enough to finally try the Pentax flagship. I will say this: I love Pentax lenses--especially the "cheap" ones. They are great performers.
Forum: Pentax K-5 06-28-2012, 09:36 AM  
Manual Focusing Problems with the Pentax K-5
Posted By zx-m
Replies: 15
Views: 4,454
I thank you for your comments.

I have read that the Katz Eye requires some type of modification in order to be accurate (shimming, I believe). I probably would not care to do this, as it would would open another "can of worms" in regard to equipment (my used equipment has been a source of some problems over the years). Your points about being revitalized about photography are very significant. I am at a point where processing and equipment issues (used equipment sometimes fails) have made me want to give up photography.
Forum: Pentax K-5 06-28-2012, 06:59 AM  
Manual Focusing Problems with the Pentax K-5
Posted By zx-m
Replies: 15
Views: 4,454
Are there any updates here? I am currently going through this same awful dilemma. I do not yet have a digital camera (though I ordered a K-5 and some other equipment, and then cancelled the order), but these same issues are just about driving me crazy. I have been (and love) using manual focus lenses now for about ten years. I enjoy the high magnification and easy focusing with 35mm film gear. I really like using the DOF scale and aperture ring on these lenses (things modern AF lenses do not have). However, I absolutely *hate* the issues I see with lab processing--if it is not one thing, it is another: specks, dust, and other artifacts. The latest one I have seen is that when comparing the negative and print, the print has a small amount of the frame missing or cut out on either side. I had thought I had made an error in composing the shot, but the negative shows it the way I had composed it. Also, I simply do not have time to develop and print at home. I do not have the equipment, either. I barely have enough time for shooting.

In any case, these issues are driving me to a K-5, but I just cannot spend $1,400 on a camera/grip/lens purchase. I am thus interested in using a K-5 with some M and A series lenses, but the price seems too high. Perhaps I should consider the "cost" of all my frustration here? I welcome your comments.
Forum: Pentax K-01 03-25-2012, 11:21 AM  
Where is the K-01 Made?
Posted By zx-m
Replies: 61
Views: 6,132
I appreciate the replies.

Does the K-01 offer autofocus in movie mode? Also, is the "40mm" kit lens 40mm, or would it be a 60mm with the 1.5x conversion? I ask because it is a DA lens, and I do not know much about them.
Forum: Pentax K-01 03-25-2012, 08:57 AM  
Where is the K-01 Made?
Posted By zx-m
Replies: 61
Views: 6,132
Where is the K-01 made? I try to avoid Chinese products. I do not wish to debate the matter of Chinese production. My reasons extend beyond the matter of quality.

Thanks.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 05-28-2010, 04:56 PM  
Which 135mm Takumar is Better, the 135mm/2.5 or the 135mm/3.5?
Posted By zx-m
Replies: 23
Views: 13,418
I thank you for the lightning-fast response, Adam. Any other input out there?
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 05-28-2010, 04:49 PM  
Which 135mm Takumar is Better, the 135mm/2.5 or the 135mm/3.5?
Posted By zx-m
Replies: 23
Views: 13,418
I am trying to decide on a 135, as I am having a difficult time finding a 105/2.8 in better condition (EX or better). I had once owned a 135/3.5 (Super Takumar, I believe), but I owned it briefly and took very few photos with it. I rememebr it being fairly light and compact. I do not necessarily need the extra speed, and thus please provide feedback based purely upon image quality (resolution, sharpness, detail, contrast, etc.). Overall, I welcome any comments.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 05-27-2010, 07:01 AM  
How Good is the Meter in the ME?
Posted By zx-m
Replies: 4
Views: 1,753
I have a couple of ME SEs on the way, one of which I bought for almost nothing, and I am wondering how accurate the ME meter is. I have used the ME Super rather extensively, and have, for the most part, assumed that the meter is the same in both cameras. Is it the same meter? I welcome any feedback or commentary. With the exposure latitude of contemporary films--and the extremely low price of the ME--I figured the ME would be a good choice.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 05-25-2010, 06:33 AM  
Prince and Pauper
Posted By zx-m
Replies: 3
Views: 1,858
Indeed, the black is nice. I have a black ME Super on the way.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 05-25-2010, 05:55 AM  
Screwmount lenses
Posted By zx-m
Replies: 31
Views: 5,395
It is no surprise that your Spotmatic is working correctly. Simply put, the camera is a tank. It is also a piece of precision opitical equipment, as are screwmount lenses. With proper care, your Spottie may outlast you.

With regard to lenses, your experience with the 55/1.8 is not surprising. In fact, I believe it is Pentax's best normal lens. I have owned and used normals from all of the major Japanese manufacturers, and the 55/1.8 is the sharpest and most detailed. The fact that one can often find this lens in good shape for under $50 is mind boggling.

I would highly recommend the 200/4 (of any Takumar variety). I have the Super Takumar version, and it is truly splendid. It is probably my best lens. The 50/1.4 is unnessary, and it is also a radioactive lens. I do not wish to debate the issue of radioactive materials in lenses, but, for my part, I now avoid them. It is a very fine lens, though. If you absolutely need a 50mm focal length, I recommend the 50/4 macro.

I wish you well in using screwmount gear and Pentax equipment in general. After years of being distracted by Canon, Nikon, Minolta, and Olympus, I have realized what is truly the best system. For me, it is a Spotmatic or M body and a screwmount lens. I suppose my dabbling with other equipment has served a useful purpose: I now truly appreciate the elements, features, and performance of Pentax equipment. The more I compared, the more I realized the impossible is true--that Pentax lenses are better than Nikon lenses...and that Pentax bodies are more thoughtfully designed than Nikon bodies...right down to the "shutter cocked" reminder on the Pentax top plate.
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