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Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 10-02-2017, 08:46 AM  
Body and lens upgrade suggestions
Posted By chovest
Replies: 22
Views: 1,354
A big thank you to everyone for your input and suggestions! I ended up finding a used K-3 with the 18-135 lens for a reasonable price through a reputable seller. It should be here today! I can't wait to give it a try. I hope to add the Pentax smc DA 50mm f/1.8 Lens for portraits, and either the Pentax HD PENTAX-DA 55-300mm f/4.5-6.3 ED PLM WR RE Lens or Pentax HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED WR Lens soon. I prefer the faster and quiter auto focus of the first, but the second working with my K-r as well as my K-3 is a plus, not too mention the smaller price tag! Although Amazon says that it works with my K-r. Limited functionality? Or incorrect information? Anyone know for certain?

In the meantime, I have been shooting in RAW and playing around with post processing in DxO. I can't believe the difference it makes! It helped a lot with the noise and some with the loss of contrast and color in low light. I think the resolution limitations of my K-r are the biggest factor limiting my results. I'm excited to try the K-3 for the volleyball games tomorrow with it's DA 18-135/3.5-5.6 WR lens.

On a side note, I regret not learning how to make my old M50/2.0 lens work on my K-r sooner. I loved the results; however, having young (active) children, I definitely need an auto-focus prime for portraits. I was lucky enough to catch a honey bee in flight (and in focus) with it though.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 09-28-2017, 11:26 AM  
Body and lens upgrade suggestions
Posted By chovest
Replies: 22
Views: 1,354
After additional reading, and researching, and reading again, I think I have a plan. Although I have a few questions that feedback would be helpful on prior to deciding.

I came across a used K-3 in E+ condition-body, battery and charger for about $540 (Thinking this and updated lenses Pentax HD PENTAX-DA 55-300mm f/4.5-6.3 ED PLM WR RE and Pentax smc DA 50mm f/1.8)

other options would be:
a used K-3II for $699
a new K-3II with battery grip for about $850
a new KP for $999

Generally speaking, I prefer the K-3 over the K-3II for the price and the K-3's built in flash
The KP does have some features that seem better, especially a much higher ISO (51,000 vs 819,000)

The only other features that seem better to me personally on the KP vs K-3 are:
Prime 4 vs Prime 3 processor
Stabilization shift SR II vs Stabilization shift SR
Super Resolution vs no
I'm not sure how much a difference either of these make

What I prefer about the K-3 over the KP:
max shutter speed 1/8000 sec vs 1/6000 sec
Shutter life of 200,000 vs 100,000
8.3 frames/sec vs 7 frames/sec (I use this feature a lot on my K-r)
Top LCD vs no top LCD (I don't currently have one, but can see how it would be useful)
2 card slots vs 1
720 photos vs 420 photo battery life

After listing these out, it now seems like a no brainer to me. This lower priced used model would also allow for updated lenses now as opposed to later.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 09-27-2017, 10:04 AM  
Body and lens upgrade suggestions
Posted By chovest
Replies: 22
Views: 1,354
Thank you! I'm looking forward to giving this lens a try now. It's just been sitting around for a couple of years.

Being rather unfamiliar with the ins and outs of digital imaging, I have just been shooting with the default high resolution jpg setting and using basic, free editing software. I should set aside some of my budget for some good post processing software.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 09-27-2017, 07:55 AM  
Body and lens upgrade suggestions
Posted By chovest
Replies: 22
Views: 1,354
A big thank you for your feedback and suggestions! I have spent the last several hours reading and rereading suggested reviews and forum posts.

The DA 50 f 1.8 lens sounds like a must prior to my daughter's senior portrait shoot in the spring. The price is very budget friendly and I would love to finally have a prime lens!

It sounds as though either of the first two lenses, preferably the first, would also be a good purchase for sporting events. Are the optics of the first two a significant upgrade from my current kit lens? Or would I be better off using part of my lens budget to go with a better body and the rest toward a prime for portraits? Although my current lens isn't as fast at focusing, I have learned some workarounds that allow it to work well enough for my applications. I guess it's all relative.

I started looking into new bodies about a year ago, and apparently missed the release of the KP. It sounds as though it has many of the features I'm looking for; however, I have some concerns. The more I read, the more it sounds as though it is a step up from the K3II in some aspects, but also a step down in others. There seem to be rumors that an update to the K3II may be coming soon that may offer the best of both. I can't help but wonder if maybe I should hold tight and be patient for a possible new flagship? Or will it likely be above what I'm willing/able to spend? Maybe a new release would help the cost of the K3II to come down more? Based on the resolution alone, either the K3II or the KP would be a huge step up from my current K-r.

I guess to clarify a little, my current set up of the K-r and 50-200 4-5.6 lens allows me to get the action shots in low light the majority of the time. They are acceptable images, free of motion, they are just not as crisp as I'd like. My K-r has a decent ISO range, but there is very noticeable noise at the higher ranges. I realize my budget won't get me professional gear image quality, however, I'd like a happy medium and a little more WOW factor in my image quality. Besides the noise, they seem to be lacking in contrast and color saturation. If I were to only upgrade the body or the lens at this point, am I correct in my understanding that a body upgrade would have a far greater impact on the image quality than a lens upgrade?

I have also come to realize that I need to do a lot of reading and studying up on digital photography and post processing. Almost all of my photography knowledge has come from classes, courses and books back when I was shooting film. I do not have a good understanding of post processing possibilities of digital images. I am very behind the times in that regard. :( There are likely several adjustments I could make to get better images with my current set up even.

One last item to note. I completely forgot to mention that I do have two other lenses that I picked up for a great price with an old Pentax ME Super. They are an SMC Pentax-M 1:2 50mm and a Mitakon 80-200 4.5 automatic. I love that the old lenses film lenses fit the DSLRs, however I need to play around with them since my camera doesn't recognize the lens aperture and just flashes "f" at me.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 09-26-2017, 10:16 AM  
Body and lens upgrade suggestions
Posted By chovest
Replies: 22
Views: 1,354

I have found myself browsing the forums here for the last several years, but have never registered...until today.

*disclaimer, I am a hobbyist that knows some, but has a lot to learn! Please be patient with me in my explanations and what I think I understand.*

Several years ago, when researching for my first DSLR purchase (previously used Minolta SLRs), the information provided here was invaluable! At that time based on needs and budget I went with the Pentax K-r kit that included the 18-55 3.5-5.6 and 50-200 4-5.6 lenses. I have enjoyed learning more with this set up over the years, but feel that it no longer meets my growing needs. I'm a hobbyist, shooting primarily my kids' sports (volleyball, basketball, and both indoor and outdoor track and soccer. Action shots in low light have become my biggest challenge. I feel image quality is an issue too at long focal lengths with my kit 50-200 lens, more noticeably after having the mirror mechanism replaced. I also enjoy portraits, and felt confident doing my oldest daughter's senior portraits. With five, yes 5, more daughters coming up I plan to do theirs as well. So...

I still have a budget, however not quite as tight this time around. I am considering the the K-3II since the K-3 seems to have become more expensive since being discontinued. I will miss the built in flash for certain applications, although I do have accessory flashes. The K-3II seems to be highly rated and a significant upgrade from my K-r to justify upgrading.

Since I'm pretty certain on the body, unless there is a suggestion for a model I haven't considered at a similar price point, my biggest debate is on lens(es). Other than the basics, I admittedly don't know much about lenses. I am currently looking at the following lenses to eventually pair with the K-3II:

1. Pentax HD PENTAX-DA 55-300mm f/4.5-6.3 ED PLM WR RE Lens approx. $430
2. Pentax HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED WR Lens approx. $340
3. Pentax smc Pentax-DA 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 ED SDM Lens approx $597

Based on my limited knowledge of lenses, what makes lens 2 less expensive than lens 1? Focal lengths are similar, and lens 2 is "faster", so I'm assuming lens 1 has higher quality optics? I don't completely understand all of the acronyms. Since I find myself shooting outside in different weather conditions, I do like that the first two are weather sealed (resistant). Lens 3 is appealing, since it gives such a wide focal length range and seems like it would be a good "all around lens". Is there truly such a thing? At this price point? With quickly changing subject distance, especially in track, lens 3 seems like a good choice, I just wish it was WR.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Even polite corrections are all welcome. :)
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