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K-3 prestige arrival

Discussion in 'Pentax Chat' started by Monobod, Sep 19, 2014.

  1. Monobod

    Monobod Phantom of the forum

    Well, it came this afternoon, less the 'Flu card', which SRS are sending separately.

    The Gun Metal colour is nicely understated, which is to the good and the 'leather' strap is all black including the PENTAX logo and the reference to the award, so that will also not attract attention. The paper manual is disappointing though, as it is smaller than that for the K-5 and I need a magnifying glass to read it! The images of the screens are so small that the symbols for the functions are indistinct on the black background. Not what I was expecting really and a bit 'penny pinching'. Still, it is portable.

    Regarding performance, cannot comment yet, spent the afternoon charging batteries. The menus and screen options are overloaded with options and information. Give me a month to read it and another few weeks to sort out what is what. Someone said it was a learning curve! Wow, they were right there. :eek:

    The switches work better than the K-5, being more positive with a click rather than a slide and hope feel. The larger viewfinder is nice, but if you wear glasses as I do, it is not so easy to see the full edges and the information line at the bottom.

    The bigger grip is more comfortable and this is good because the camera is a bit heavier than the K-5.

    Just need to do some test shots with all of my lenses to see which are up to the new resolution and which are not. Eventually, it would be nice to get a couple of limited primes, but that will need further funding, which is not available yet.

    I'm certainly looking forward to seeing what it can do, but I feel it may be less of a grab shot device and more a case of a tripod and a considered settings regime to get the best from it. Time will tell.

    When I bought the K-5, I kept the K-7 but never used it again, so I traded it for an Ipad retina. Now need to consider what to do with the K-5 and grip. I shall most likely sell it to cut the cost of the K-3, or provide a better lens maybe.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2014
  2. Atavar

    Atavar Well-Known Member

    Many congratulations :)

    For the K5, perhaps see if you could get a nice second hand Limiteds or two for a trade-in? The 35mm Macro limited seems to be the one for second hand bargain about £275, may be an option for some lovely glass.

    I will be very interested to hear of the results of technology tests for your camera, I found the Auto ISO Noise Reduction is petty aggressive and can cause unexpected softness. Info is online but where is the fun in than when you have the machine and can test ;)
  3. Monobod

    Monobod Phantom of the forum

    Thanks Atavar,

    I have the NIK Dfine noise removal program, so I would choose to not use the in camera option probably. Your suggestion about s/h and trade ins may well be the answer, as I would not be selling the K-5 with a lens, so it would not be attractive to someone who was not a Pentax user now, perhaps. But the kit lens can be found very cheap.

    I may well look at Ffordes and other dealers to see what is around. I do have the Sigma EX 10-20 (original version) which is a good lens and SRS say should be OK on the K-3, so I will try that first.

    Limiteds are the real answer of course, but good glass does not come cheap and so one needs to analyse exactly what is the need. I enjoy Architectural and Landscape photography, so a wider option is probably the first 'need' to cover.

    My lens line up is as follows:

    Sigma 24mm f/2.8 macro (OK on the GXR with the Leica A12 Mount).
    Sigma 10-20 EX.*
    Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-5.6.
    Sigma 100-300 f/4.*
    Pentax 50mm f/1.7 SMC FA. (FF lens)*
    Pentax 28-105 f/4.0-5.6 Power zoom (FF lens).*
    Pentax 100mm f/4.0 Macro (orginal).*

    A bit of a mixed bunch cobbled together over the years, but they serve well on the K-5. I am hoping that the starred ones will also be OK on the K-3. Time will tell.
  4. AlexMonro

    AlexMonro Old Grand Part Deux

    Congratulations on the new beastie!

    Your first impressions are pretty similar to mine about the standard K3, except I would suggest you have a play with its AF capabilities in low light - I was impressed!

    I've had a couple of Limiteds - the 21/3.2 and the 40/2.8. The 21mm was a little dissapointing - not noticeably sharper than the 16-50/2.8 DA* on the K20D (though perhaps slightly better chromatic aberration. A lot lighter and more compact, though, and it has a DoF scale! However, I eventually sold mine.

    The 40/2.8 Ltd is a lovely little thing, and wonderfully sharp. If you like a long standard (ISTR the Helios 44 kit lens with the Zenit E was 58mm), it's the bees knees. It would help offset the weight of the K3 body!

    If you're not keen on the Sigma 17-70 (2.8-4.5 or 2.8-4, "C" or non "C"; I've never heard of a 2.8-5.6) you could sell it with the K5, a complete kit might be more saleable. However, I'm currently using a Sigma 17-70/2.8-4 non-"C" on my K3, although it's not quite as sharp as the 16-50/2.8 DA*, the zoom range and close focus make it more flexible. Other options to consider for a standard zoom might be the Sigma & Tamron 17-50/2.8s, or if you don't need a big aperture, perhaps the Pentax 17-70/4.
  5. Monobod

    Monobod Phantom of the forum

    Sorry, I meant the 17-70 f/2.8-4.5. I was told by a Pentax rep that the Pentax 17-70 f/4 was not really much better than the Sigma, so he advised not bothering to swap. It is a very useful range and the close focus is useful, so I will keep it for the foreseeable future. The 28-105 focuses to 1.4 feet, so that is also useful too.

    I have run into a slight hitch, I'm sure easily resolved. The K-5 USB 2 connection cable does not fit the K-3, which is USB 3. Pentax do not supply a cable, so I need to get one from Maplin perhaps?

    Not a serious problem as I have a card reader in the computer.

    I have just had a play in the garden with the K-3 and the 28mm Sigma, taking pictures of the garden spiders. Not easy as it is manual focus and the slight breeze blows the web in and out! I should know better at my age. But the results definitely have more resolution and better detail, even though the focus was a bit hit and miss. I seem to have misplaced my 100 f/2.8 macro lens just for the moment??? Need to be more organised. I hope it has not gone missing.

    I am going to enjoy this camera, it is just so ergonomic and wonderfully balanced.

    PS The Flucard arrived this afternoon, but I doubt if I would use it. Not sure really on that one.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2014
  6. Atavar

    Atavar Well-Known Member

    If anything else its another 16gb sd card, and if you don't want it I'm sure one of us other K3 owners would happily take it off your hands in return for a contribution to your Limiteds fund ;)
  7. Monobod

    Monobod Phantom of the forum

    Never say never......sell it tomorrow, the next day one has a use for it! :D

    Still cannot find my macro lens.....???
  8. AlexMonro

    AlexMonro Old Grand Part Deux

    The SLRgear review seems to agree (scroll down to "Alternatives") :http://slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1208/cat/46

    The close focus is something I really appreciate from my Sigma 17-70 2.8-4 (non-C).

    I must say I never noticed the lack of USB cable - I can't remember when I last used one - if ever!
  9. Done_rundleCams

    Done_rundleCams AP Forum Ambassador to Canada

    So ….. vhere's a pichure? ;) Congrats David :). there's the difference
    betwixt a shop purchase and delivery, when fellow came in for his K-3 Presteeegee, both of the batteries were charged up and ready to go :D, but I digress.

    I really like the black Pentax on the front and, truth be told, I didn't have a chance to check the back and, if it is the same black on gunmetal grey, you have my sympathies.

    As for shooting and menu's, I, normally, go for Auto ASA, go to the custom function and #22 or #23 (where you can use Aperture Ring lenses), put it on (used to be) Program but now it's usually Shutter-Priority -- 1/500 daytime and 1/60 night time -- and blast away :) But, that's just me and perfect for my 'shooting stuff' style or, lack thereof :)

    Cheers and have fun…. and have you found your macro, yet?

    Last edited: Sep 20, 2014
  10. Monobod

    Monobod Phantom of the forum

    Hello Jack,

    No, I haven't found it yet, but it may be in our caravan which we keep in a secure lockup at the dealers. I will have to go down and check. It is a bit of a mystery at the moment. :confused:

    I usually keep mine on Program, but change settings with the wheels if I am not happy with what the camera offers me. That way I can get Aperture or Shutter priority and revert with the green button very quickly.

    I do choose my own ISO, use the Aperture ring option. The camera then works either way. I also set 'catch in focus' on for my manual focus lenses.

    The back of the K-3 Prestige has black buttons with white lettering and a white RICOH under the screen where it should say PENTAX. I am a bit naffed about that, but at least it is not RICOH on the Front, which would be naughty.

    This afternoon we had our village harvest lunch (sandwiches, tea and cakes) in a large hall with about 100+ people and I was asked to take my camera to record the scarecrow competition and the cake stall (that was nice!). I set the white balance to Auto and the ISO to 800 to get 1/30th at f/4.0 roughly. I wasn't expecting much as I was using the Sigma 17-70, but the results are really nice. The colours were good and the detail amazing. Much better results that I would have had from the K-5. The improved metering and faster autofocus has done a great job with the difficult lighting (Fourescent tubes).

    Best of all, the noise at 800 was minimal and easily removed with a touch of NIK Dfine followed by a tweak to the Sharpening again with NIK sharpen. What a relief, as I was concerned that noise would be a problem.

    I will take some better shots out around the village and post the results, but I have not seen this much detail in any of my previous images. It all looks very promising.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2014
  11. Atavar

    Atavar Well-Known Member

    Really glad to hear your first impressions, sounds like it's going to be a great machine to work with for you :)
  12. AlexMonro

    AlexMonro Old Grand Part Deux

    It sounds like you're glad you made the upgrade from the K5!

    I'm pleased you're getting good results already.
  13. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member

    I'll second that.

    Well done, Mono!

  14. Done_rundleCams

    Done_rundleCams AP Forum Ambassador to Canada

    Ditto to the above, David, and I am 99.9% sure you'll really pleased
    with the K-3 purchase :D and for that other .1% you can join the 99% whiners on that other "big" conglomerate photo forum :rolleyes:;)


  15. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    OK, I've got to ask - what do you mean by "non-C"?:confused:
  16. Monobod

    Monobod Phantom of the forum

    Yes I am really chuffed with the K-3 and now plan to sell the K-5. :)

    Might just be to replace the macro lens though.......:(

    By the way, I am also interested in what Non-C means. :confused:
  17. AlexMonro

    AlexMonro Old Grand Part Deux

    Sigma seem to call the latest version "17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM / DC Macro HSM | C". I have the previous version, the "17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro", i.e. same designation but without the "C", hence "non-C".

    I must say I do find the new style Sigma names ("C", "A" etc.) rather confusing, which does put me off a bit. Not quite as bad as "*ist", but doesn't help the customer... Shame really, 'coz from what I've read in reviews, the new version is a fair bit sharper.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2014
  18. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    Ah... Now I'm with you. I'd forgotten the new 'Contemporary' version...

    Even weirder than this new set of lens ranges is the fact that they've launched two versions of the new 150-600mm in the 'Sport' and 'Contemporary' categories that not only look different but appear to be optically different designs and performance...:eek:
  19. Monobod

    Monobod Phantom of the forum

    The 'A' designation is for 'Art' I think.....

    If the lenses offer characteristics to support the style of photography, this is an interesting development.

    This is the first I had heard about the 'new' new 17-70. must look into that. Thanks.
  20. AlexMonro

    AlexMonro Old Grand Part Deux

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