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What Kit Improvements Would You Welcome?


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I used Pentax for a long time and loved their cameras. The LX was excellent. They took a bad step in leaving pro quality kit to go for the more gadget heavy pro-sumer market in the mid 90's and gave a huge market share to Canon and Nikon. Its good to see them getting back into it and, as they are trying to rebuild their market place, probably their new FF is the best value camera around. It certainly has top specs, but I don't know what their lenses are like. 

 

I got back into Pentax about 18 months ago after a long time with Nikons, attracted by ridiculous prices. There is not a huge selection of new lenses for the K-1 but there is a huge selection of legacy optics which are all compatible. The DA* and FA* lenses are all excellent, and many of the old M42, K, A, M manual lenses you will remember are as good as always. The new budget end consumer lenses are a bit hit and miss (avoid the horror known as 50-200 at all costs). And of course, there are the usual third party lenses from Tamron, Voigtlander (all yummy) et al, which are the same as you are used to. You can find out the lowdown at pentaxforums where they have a huge review database of just about every lens that ever existed in K mount. There are some real gems out there. I recently picked up an old F 70-210 circa 1990 for 60 euros, and it's really ugly and really great. I'm blown away because I can put a high end kit together for peanuts, compared to other brands.

 

 

I don't think it's all quite as rosy as you say. The currently available Tamron lenses for K-1 mount are all the cheaper consumer lenses - they are not doing the new high quality primes nor the excellent high quality zooms in Pentax mounts (at least they are not advertised on Wex so presumably they don't exist) and I am quite certain that these consumer lenses won't provide what is required of a 36MP sensor. I've used my older Nikkor lenses with 36MP Nikon and some are great (e.g. 50 and 55 mm primes) but others disappoint when you really look at them for edge to edge sharpness. And older lenses can be optically sound but don't have image stabilisation which means you are shooting at high shutter speeds handheld with longer lenses. I expect that old 70-210 you mention will have serious limitations in low light.

 

 

 

You haven't realised the amazing thing about  Pentax DSLRs is that they all have built in Image stabilisation so all your lenses are stabilised, even your old 1974 K 50 1.7 (this alone makes Nikon start to look so last century). The Tamron 70-200 is apparently excellent, as is the 17-50 2.8 and the 90mm macro although I have not owned any of these. The newer 15-30 for full frame is in fact a Tamron lens also. Pay more to have it branded Pentax, or don't. Apparently it's fabulous too.

 

The F 70-210 is a slow lens sure, 4-5.6, not really made for low light, but I wasn't expecting it to be. It does have great sharpness, micro contrast and colours though. Another thing about Pentax though is the sensors are darn good, with the highest dynamic range in the field, and very good shadow recovery when you need it.

Edited by screwbiedooo
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I used Pentax for a long time and loved their cameras. The LX was excellent. They took a bad step in leaving pro quality kit to go for the more gadget heavy pro-sumer market in the mid 90's and gave a huge market share to Canon and Nikon. Its good to see them getting back into it and, as they are trying to rebuild their market place, probably their new FF is the best value camera around. It certainly has top specs, but I don't know what their lenses are like. 

 

I got back into Pentax about 18 months ago after a long time with Nikons, attracted by ridiculous prices. There is not a huge selection of new lenses for the K-1 but there is a huge selection of legacy optics which are all compatible. The DA* and FA* lenses are all excellent, and many of the old M42, K, A, M manual lenses you will remember are as good as always. The new budget end consumer lenses are a bit hit and miss (avoid the horror known as 50-200 at all costs). And of course, there are the usual third party lenses from Tamron, Voigtlander (all yummy) et al, which are the same as you are used to. You can find out the lowdown at pentaxforums where they have a huge review database of just about every lens that ever existed in K mount. There are some real gems out there. I recently picked up an old F 70-210 circa 1990 for 60 euros, and it's really ugly and really great. I'm blown away because I can put a high end kit together for peanuts, compared to other brands.

 

 

I don't think it's all quite as rosy as you say. The currently available Tamron lenses for K-1 mount are all the cheaper consumer lenses - they are not doing the new high quality primes nor the excellent high quality zooms in Pentax mounts (at least they are not advertised on Wex so presumably they don't exist) and I am quite certain that these consumer lenses won't provide what is required of a 36MP sensor. I've used my older Nikkor lenses with 36MP Nikon and some are great (e.g. 50 and 55 mm primes) but others disappoint when you really look at them for edge to edge sharpness. And older lenses can be optically sound but don't have image stabilisation which means you are shooting at high shutter speeds handheld with longer lenses. I expect that old 70-210 you mention will have serious limitations in low light.

 

 

 

You haven't realised the amazing thing about  Pentax DSLRs is that they all have built in Image stabilisation so all your lenses are stabilised, even your old 1974 K 50 1.7 (this alone makes Nikon start to look so last century). The Tamron 70-200 is apparently excellent, as is the 17-50 2.8 and the 90mm macro although I have not owned any of these. The newer 15-30 for full frame is in fact a Tamron lens also. Pay more to have it branded Pentax, or don't. Apparently it's fabulous too.

 

The F 70-210 is a slow lens sure, 4-5.6, not really made for low light, but I wasn't expecting it to be. It does have great sharpness, micro contrast and colours though. Another thing about Pentax though is the sensors are darn good, with the highest dynamic range in the field, and very good shadow recovery when you need it.

 

 

Apologies - I wasn't aware of the image stabilisation so that is interesting - I'm more than a bit last century myself. Presumably it means that some of the cheaper Tamron lenses will be fine as there is always a premium to pay for vibration control (Tamron speak). The Tamron 90 is an excellent lens (I've had a few) but there are several versions and the one for Pentax K on WEX is the older and cheaper one (still very good). It doesn't look like they have the new premium range of primes (35, 45 and 85) for Pentax yet. These are gettting rave reviews - up with the Zeiss equivalents apparently. I've no first hand experience on any of these yet.

 

I would still wonder whether you would get corner to corner, edge to edge sharpness with a lot of the older lenses. I'm just speaking from experience with the D800 series cameras. As a geek I would love to see what the Pentax can do but I'm more than happy with what I've got.

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I only use the crop semsor bodies so cant really say.. Basically when you thiink of Pentax you have to think of a Nikon with IBIS, pixel shift resolution, astrotracer and a GPS, for half the price, at the expense of slightly slower AF, less sophisticated flash options and fewer sexy lenses to choose from at the long end,

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I only use the crop semsor bodies so cant really say.. Basically when you thiink of Pentax you have to think of a Nikon with IBIS, pixel shift resolution, astrotracer and a GPS, for half the price, at the expense of slightly slower AF, less sophisticated flash options and fewer sexy lenses to choose from at the long end,

OH. I thought you were talking from direct experience. There is a massive difference in the demands on a lens going from crop frame to 36MP full frame and that has to be experienced directly at full size on a decent monitor. No doubt the K-1 is a fabulous camera for the price but I doubt that too many Nikon users will be shedding their lens collections just yet.

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I only use the crop semsor bodies so cant really say.. Basically when you thiink of Pentax you have to think of a Nikon with IBIS, pixel shift resolution, astrotracer and a GPS, for half the price, at the expense of slightly slower AF, less sophisticated flash options and fewer sexy lenses to choose from at the long end,

 

OH. I thought you were talking from direct experience. There is a massive difference in the demands on a lens going from crop frame to 36MP full frame and that has to be experienced directly at full size on a decent monitor. No doubt the K-1 is a fabulous camera for the price but I doubt that too many Nikon users will be shedding their lens collections just yet.

Well Pentax have been making lenses for over 60 years, mostly for 36x24mm. I seriously doubt there is anything to worry about.

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I only use the crop semsor bodies so cant really say.. Basically when you thiink of Pentax you have to think of a Nikon with IBIS, pixel shift resolution, astrotracer and a GPS, for half the price, at the expense of slightly slower AF, less sophisticated flash options and fewer sexy lenses to choose from at the long end,

OH. I thought you were talking from direct experience. There is a massive difference in the demands on a lens going from crop frame to 36MP full frame and that has to be experienced directly at full size on a decent monitor. No doubt the K-1 is a fabulous camera for the price but I doubt that too many Nikon users will be shedding their lens collections just yet.

Well Pentax have been making lenses for over 60 years, mostly for 36x24mm. I seriously doubt there is anything to worry about.

 

Haha. That last statement is actually funny and it's absolutely not true. 36MP is getting close to medium format. A lot of Nikon users were shocked when they found the old glass didn't do the trick on 36MP back in 2012.  Read around and you will see or better still buy or try a 36MP camera out and look at the results at 100% on screen ( a good photography monitor, not a Mac Retina or a 4K screen) and have a good look at the sharpness as you move out from the centre.

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Thanks Duncan, I rarely darken the doors at the MC, but guess I could make an exception!

 

Edit, right message but in wrong place, don't know how that happened!  :unsure:

Edited by Bryan
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I only use the crop semsor bodies so cant really say.. Basically when you thiink of Pentax you have to think of a Nikon with IBIS, pixel shift resolution, astrotracer and a GPS, for half the price, at the expense of slightly slower AF, less sophisticated flash options and fewer sexy lenses to choose from at the long end,

 

OH. I thought you were talking from direct experience. There is a massive difference in the demands on a lens going from crop frame to 36MP full frame and that has to be experienced directly at full size on a decent monitor. No doubt the K-1 is a fabulous camera for the price but I doubt that too many Nikon users will be shedding their lens collections just yet.

Well Pentax have been making lenses for over 60 years, mostly for 36x24mm. I seriously doubt there is anything to worry about.

 

Haha. That last statement is actually funny and it's absolutely not true. 36MP is getting close to medium format. A lot of Nikon users were shocked when they found the old glass didn't do the trick on 36MP back in 2012.  Read around and you will see or better still buy or try a 36MP camera out and look at the results at 100% on screen ( a good photography monitor, not a Mac Retina or a 4K screen) and have a good look at the sharpness as you move out from the centre.

Corner sharpness has never ruined a photo for me. Plenty of other problems to worry about! All the reports of the new lenses made for the k1 are highly positive. You may have issues with some old lenses, but as you point out, that is a universal problem with high resolution sensors, not a problem particular to Pentax.

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As I contemplate getting a Sony, I thought a cool feature would be a physical connection between phone/tablet and camera so you aren't dependent on wifi to manipulate the camera.  Data plans can be expensive as wifi is usually rarely available when out in the field.

 

Jill

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As I contemplate getting a Sony, I thought a cool feature would be a physical connection between phone/tablet and camera so you aren't dependent on wifi to manipulate the camera.  Data plans can be expensive as wifi is usually rarely available when out in the field.

 

Jill

 

Doesn't it just use wifi as point to point from camera to phone/tablet rather than through a third-party wi-fi service? An alternative I guess would be Bluetooth.

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As I contemplate getting a Sony, I thought a cool feature would be a physical connection between phone/tablet and camera so you aren't dependent on wifi to manipulate the camera.  Data plans can be expensive as wifi is usually rarely available when out in the field.

 

Jill

 

Doesn't it just use wifi as point to point from camera to phone/tablet rather than through a third-party wi-fi service? An alternative I guess would be Bluetooth.

 

 

I don't think you can have wifi point to point.  I certainly can't between phone and tablet, have to have a wevice.  Only bluetooth would be point to point.

 

Jill

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As I contemplate getting a Sony, I thought a cool feature would be a physical connection between phone/tablet and camera so you aren't dependent on wifi to manipulate the camera.  Data plans can be expensive as wifi is usually rarely available when out in the field.

 

Jill

 

Doesn't it just use wifi as point to point from camera to phone/tablet rather than through a third-party wi-fi service? An alternative I guess would be Bluetooth.

 

 

I don't think you can have wifi point to point.  I certainly can't between phone and tablet, have to have a wevice.  Only bluetooth would be point to point.

 

Jill

 

 

Just checked and my Fuji X-T1 and Samsung Galaxy S4 'phone will pair with my wifi service switched off. I can then control the camera from my phone without a separate wifi service. I appreciate that may not be universal.

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As I contemplate getting a Sony, I thought a cool feature would be a physical connection between phone/tablet and camera so you aren't dependent on wifi to manipulate the camera.  Data plans can be expensive as wifi is usually rarely available when out in the field.

 

Jill

 

Doesn't it just use wifi as point to point from camera to phone/tablet rather than through a third-party wi-fi service? An alternative I guess would be Bluetooth.

 

 

I don't think you can have wifi point to point.  I certainly can't between phone and tablet, have to have a wevice.  Only bluetooth would be point to point.

 

Jill

 

 

Just checked and my Fuji X-T1 and Samsung Galaxy S4 'phone will pair with my wifi service switched off. I can then control the camera from my phone without a separate wifi service. I appreciate that may not be universal.

 

 

That is great.  Can someone with the Sony tell me if you can pair them without the use of a network?

 

Jill

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As I contemplate getting a Sony, I thought a cool feature would be a physical connection between phone/tablet and camera so you aren't dependent on wifi to manipulate the camera.  Data plans can be expensive as wifi is usually rarely available when out in the field.

 

Jill

 

 

 

Doesn't it just use wifi as point to point from camera to phone/tablet rather than through a third-party wi-fi service? An alternative I guess would be Bluetooth.

 

I don't think you can have wifi point to point.  I certainly can't between phone and tablet, have to have a wevice.  Only bluetooth would be point to point.

 

Jill

 

Just checked and my Fuji X-T1 and Samsung Galaxy S4 'phone will pair with my wifi service switched off. I can then control the camera from my phone without a separate wifi service. I appreciate that may not be universal.

 

That is great.  Can someone with the Sony tell me if you can pair them without the use of a network?

 

Jill

I pair my Sony A6000 and RX100 with an iPhone using the Sony app. It is really easy and no network required. In fact, there is not usually a network available when I pair them.

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As I contemplate getting a Sony, I thought a cool feature would be a physical connection between phone/tablet and camera so you aren't dependent on wifi to manipulate the camera.  Data plans can be expensive as wifi is usually rarely available when out in the field.

 

Jill

 

Doesn't it just use wifi as point to point from camera to phone/tablet rather than through a third-party wi-fi service? An alternative I guess would be Bluetooth.

 

 

I don't think you can have wifi point to point.  I certainly can't between phone and tablet, have to have a wevice.  Only bluetooth would be point to point.

 

Jill

 

Certainly you can with Canon, and I expect with everything else too - it's the camera itself that generates the local wifi signal, which you then use to connect to your phone. You then transfer the photos across to your phone, caption them and send them out - this is my normal Live News method of shooting and upload.

With my ageing Samsung S3 Android phone, there are a few procedures you need to follow, (including turning off data networking before hooking up to the phone, then turning it back on again when ready to ftp the photos out to Alamy), but once you've done it once or twice, it's pretty easy.

:)

Here's the Canon blurb...

Edited by TeeCee
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It's a lot better when there are no networks or other phones around.

It's just an app for the phone. And in case of the bigger/better/more expensive Sony cameras an app for the camera too. The earlier models like the RX100 m2 only allow full auto. The bigger and newer allow up to fully manual, with anything between.

 

wim

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