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The future possibilities for Pentax.....

Discussion in 'Pentax Chat' started by Monobod, Jun 18, 2014.

  1. Monobod

    Monobod Phantom of the forum


    Announcements about new kit are usually made just prior to, or at major shows. IF (a big if) Pentax announce a new body, when do you think this might be?

    As things seem to progress in odd numbers, K7...K5.....K3......?? Is there possibly going to be a K1? If so, the burning question is will it be full frame. Or will there be a K3II? Goodness this is driving me nuts, so many of my companions and friends in the two clubs I belong to are using Canon 5D M3's or Nikon D800E's or other FF bodies and getting stunning images full of detail.

    Also, is there really any advantage to FF these days, when APS-C sensors are so good? The only benefit I can think of is that lenses work at the native focal length, so wide really is wide. Also the signal to noise is better but the pixel count seems to be the governing factor.

    What do you think? Are you longing for a top notch Pentax FF, or is it a case of the grass being greener?
  2. spinno

    spinno Well-Known Member

    As a longtime Pentax user I find it difficult to focus (geddit) on FF. I think it most unlikely this year, and given the success of the K3 I think if anything new is to be announced it's likely as you say to be a K3ii, with the possibility of say a K70/K700 release.
    They may surprise me but I don't think they will.
    I think they might do something on the mirrorless front, possibly another Q upgrade or even whisper it low a K-02 which is full frame... nah that's as likely as Chile beating Spain innit
  3. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    At normal club print size (probable max 40x30 or A3+ on 50x40 mount) I would be very surprised if your Pentax cannot keep up with a F/f camera. Are we talking just print comparison, or DPI comparison, or both?

    Some DSLRs seem to be sensitive to set-up and others seem to come out of the factory a bit 'loose' and need some attention. I don't know if Pentaxes need set-up for specific subjects (we discovered on here some time ago that Nikons do) but it might be worth your while really digging into the manual and also checking for firmware upgrades. Or have you already tried that?
  4. Ffolrord

    Ffolrord Well-Known Member

    I think a top quality image from a K3, even an 'old' K5 like mine is pretty much a match for anything. At lower iso I really don't think it matters much. It is good enough.

    Full frame is advantageous at higher iso. Full frame gets you a shallower depth of field. It gets you a wider angle too.

    Pixel for pixel then APSC (or smaller or course) is advantageous for its crop factor, macro and wildlife.

    Pentax have been very quiet on lenses since they were acquired by Ricoh. I think the 70-200 that has appeared on the roadmap is the best clue as to a full frame Pentax.

    I think Ricoh will play their hand soon enough. They will have to. Not that much has happened but what has happened has been very good indeed - the GR, the K3 and the 645z. I think we will see a full frame. I think there will be some interesting developments with the quite brilliant GR too.

    If I were Pentax I would be more worried about Fuji as a competitor and Sony, especially if they actually work out a clear strategy. I think the 645z threatens Nikon and Canon full frames for the fashion market.

    Personally I do want a full frame and principally to use the FALtds at their native focal lengths. But I want it to be much more compact than a D800 or 5Diii. That is a huge Pentax advantage. I have seen Pentaxians move to a D800 - when they go full frame it is almost always a D800. I'm not convinced I have seen a quantum leap in image quality. What I have seen is that once they move to the larger format then they tend also to go for a compact go everywhere option. That is most often a Fuji X something and then I end up seeing more images from the X something than the full frame.

    In the meantime I am concentrating on getting better output from the K5, which is capable of world beating images. It just needs me to be better.
  5. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    At a fairly recent AP masterclass I was walking around with both a FF (6D) and also the latest Pentax (K5 if memory serves) around my neck and quite frequently I will be choosing between my Oly E5 and the Canon as to which one to use, so here FWIW are my comments on FF vs crop-sensor.

    In reasonably good light or when using a tripod it is very difficult to see the difference in in output from any of the three cameras, certainly up to A4 and probably up to A3. If the output is to be projected so much detail is going to be lost during downsizing to under 2000 pixels on the largest side that they are identical. However when the light drops off or there are significant shadows there is no comparison - I have taken pictures of a bride cutting a cake by the light of a single candle that look lovely, using the 6D, and the ISO was 25,600!

    In some specialised situations I do pick up the Oly in preference to the Canon, when using a 600mm(equivalent) lens for example and for all close ups. One thing I have noticed is that it is difficult to get a good sunset on the Canon without a significant amount of manual intervention but the Oly just does it out of the box.

    One final point, DOF. I never had a problem getting shallow DOF on a crop sensor and I often have to pay a lot of attention to getting enough on the FF - so I do not agree with the conventional wisdom here.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2014
  6. AlexMonro

    AlexMonro Old Grand Part Deux

    Pentax already have "super full frame" DSLRs - 645Z and 645D, with a super sized 44x33mm 51 Mpxl sensor, none of this piddling little 36x24mm stuff! :)

    Although there have been rumours and discussions about a Pentax FF DSLR for years, I can't help but get the feeling that Pentax / Ricoh's high level corporate management view is something like "We've already done that, bigger and better than Canikony, what's all the fuss about?" Certainly the original 645D CCD sensor was somewhat lacking in high ISO performance, but first reports of the CMOS 645Z seem to indicate that it's come a long way to catching up with the 36x24s. They could do with a few more lenses, though.

    So I don't think we'll see a Pentax / Ricoh 36x24 DSLR anytime soon, if ever.
  7. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    I know at least one (large strong) photographer who is really sorry he bought a D800 - too big, too heavy and too greedy of computer resources in his opinion. A good specialised camera but just not a carry anywhere camera in his opinion, in fact he looks enviously at my 6D, but I assume an offering from Pentax would serve just as well.
  8. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    Rightly or wrongly full frame seems to me considered, by some at least, to be the mark of a 'serious' photographer and as we know Canon, Nikon and Sony all have full frame cameras avaialble.

    On this basis as contenders in the 'proper' SLR market Pentax probably ought to do one - the big but of course is the presence of the 645D, neither Canon nor Nikon have equivalents so their FF models are the cream of their crop.

    For Pentax I would say there has to be a concern that a full frame K-series DSLR may potentially undermine sales of the 645D - I guess it would depend greatly on the price bracket. A K series pitched at the EOS 6D/Nikon D610 level wouldn't be a problem but a full pro spec product closer to the 1D or D4 may be enough to tempt a potential 645 buyer to think twice both in terms of handling and price...
  9. Monobod

    Monobod Phantom of the forum

    Well, I have at least prompted an awakening of the Pentax Chat slot! Thanks for all of your replies.

    To be totally honest, I really think the K3 is as far as I need to go and a FF offering along the lines of a D610 would not offer much more. But where the FF D600E scores of course in the ability to crop a quarter of the image and get a very usable picture, even for a print. This is an advantage mostly to the wildlife photographer, perhaps for birds in flight etc.

    Personally, I do not indulge much in that genre, so it is less important to me. I mostly do Architectural or landscape/seascapes. perhaps it is best that Pentax do not produce a FF because a lower spec would not offer much over the K3 and a top model may be too hard to justify for most users. Those who could justify the cost would probably go for the medium format anyway.

    You say that the K3 has succeeded, does anyone know if sales have reached high levels? I have not seen one in use yet.

    I certainly agree that a compact system camera is very handy. Since buying into the GXR, I am using the K5 less than before. However it still exceeds the GXR when it comes to ultimate detail and high ISO uses. It really is 'horses for courses' with the GXR.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2014
  10. AlexMonro

    AlexMonro Old Grand Part Deux

    The K3 is quite an awesomely capable camera, though perhaps this appears particularly for me jumping from the K20D - from the K5 it might not appear quite such a big step.

    I do get the distinct impression that K3s are selling as fast as they can make them, and that some potential customers are having to wait. I don't know if Pentax / Ricoh might be having any problems with production, or whether demand has exceeded their expectations.
  11. Monobod

    Monobod Phantom of the forum

    Hopefully, it is the latter. May I ask if you have any problem generating an out of focus background for, say, a portrait? This seems to be one place where FF seems to score. On the other hand, of course, FF may have such a shallow depth of field that even getting the full subject in focus can be difficult. A friend who is a keen and very competent bird photographer complains that his D800E suffers from this issue sometimes. He may get the eye, but the wing tips are somewhat soft.

    Horses for courses again.......
  12. Monobod

    Monobod Phantom of the forum

    Just to add to my last post, I am talking here about telephoto lenses such as a 300mm perhaps with a 1.4TC.
  13. AlexMonro

    AlexMonro Old Grand Part Deux

    In general, crop sensors probably do have advantages for things like wildlife, where you're using long focal lengths. As well as giving slightly more DoF for a given angle of view, the lenses can be physically smaller and lighter (and less expensive! :)), which helps when you have to hike miles across the wilderness to get to the location.

    I even find the increased DoF useful for landscapes, though then I'm more likely to be using wide or ultrawide, so there's no advantage in lens size & weight.

    I don't shoot many portraits, but I've found that a Tamron 90/2.8 at around f/4 usually seems to give about the right framing & DoF for a head & shoulders, as long as the subject isn't too close up against a busy background (and I have room to be far enough back! :))
  14. Monobod

    Monobod Phantom of the forum

    Thanks, I have the Pentax 100mm f/2.8 macro which is a good portrait lens when one has enough space between camera and subject. I also have the 70-210 f/4 one touch manual focus zoom, which is as sharp as a pin. Both give excellent out of focus backgrounds. I am seriously considering the K3 now that the price has eased a bit. The K5 will make a good backup body as the s/h value is not enough to make it worth selling.

    Exciting innit! :)
  15. AlexMonro

    AlexMonro Old Grand Part Deux

    The K3's 24Mpxl and no AA filter may show up more of a difference between the 100 macro and the 70-210, but according to Prof Newman's article a few years ago, you should see some improvement in resolution in both. Owing to some health issues I haven't yet been able to check out my K3 as extensively as I'd've liked, but it does look as results from both the Tamron 90/2.8 and my DA 40/2.8 ltd (my two sharpest lens) are a little sharper than on the K20D.

    I don't think I'll be selling my K20D - even more so than a K5 it's probably not worth selling, and all the controls are in my finger memory - I'll probably be fumbling around with the K3 for months, it's just a bit different in layout (probably less of a problem coming from the K5).
  16. Monobod

    Monobod Phantom of the forum

    I'm not sure where film and digital lenses part company on the resolution issue, but I suspect that they do not do so at just 24Mp. I understand that film lenses may well be more corrected for fringing and distortion as it was not possible to correct this in film, the negative was what it was. So I am still getting excellent results from my film lenses and I hope that would continue with the K3.

    I think the D800E does need better (more expensive) glass to show its true capabilities. That along with the higher cost of storage for massive files would make me think twice before going there.

    Last evening I revisited the 'dpreview' of the K3. It gets the thumbs up in just about every corner, but I was a little surprised that the Fuji X-T1 is said by them to give the K3 a bit of a bashing. Seeing as it is only 16.3Mp, I was really surprised. The money is similar, except new lenses would be needed. Hmmm?
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2014
  17. AlexMonro

    AlexMonro Old Grand Part Deux

    Well, I'm sure the K3 would show better results from your lenses than your K5 when looking at the full frame image. Pixel peeping at 100% might be a different story, but that isn't really what I feel photography is about... :)

    I've certainly felt the need to upgrade memory cards moving from K20D to K3. The computer hardware is OK for the moment - still got about half the 2TB hard disk free, but raw conversion & editing software is more of an issue - my preferred raw conversion program (Corel AftershotPro, nee Bibble) doesn't yet support the K3. There are other workarounds, but it is a hassle having to change my workflow.

    I had a quick look at DPR's review of the X-T1, and it is IMHO a rather different camera, an EVF CSC rather than a DSLR. Although it seems to be quite a good EVF as such things go, there are still fundamental limitations, such as lag. I couldn't find any spec for the refresh rate anywhere, but even at 120 Hz, the fastest I've heard of, it could still make things trickier trying to follow a fast moving subject, such a birds in flight. The in viewfinder focus peaking might be nice for some things though, but it depends a bit on where your main photographics interest lie - I seem to recall that they include wildlife?

    There is also the issue of lenses, and while Fuji have made great strides in filling out the X mount range in a short time, and I believe it's also beginning to be supported by Sigma, it's still a minute fraction of all the K mount lenses out there!
  18. Monobod

    Monobod Phantom of the forum


    Yes, the X-T1 is a different sort of camera, so not directly comparable. I have handled one 'live' at WEX and the EVF is quite amazing, truly. The refresh rate is good enough for just about anything, but it is also very big. The colour is very true and the nice thing is that in Portrait mode the information flips too. But for now, I am still getting to know the GXR for street photography and it is pretty good, no I lie, very good. ;)

    Yes, I do do a bit of wildlife photography, but it is not my main interest, which is Architectural and street photography with a good helping of landscape/seascape too. All pretty slow mode stuff and so I do not need the bells and whistles Nikon offer with their focus modes. The K5 is fine and the K3 would be even better.

    It is a shame that they felt the need to change the body slightly, so that the K5 battery grip does not work. Just another added cost, but that's life.

    I'm sure you will have noticed a substantial difference coming from the K-20. Mine was a bit off and regularly under exposed by anything up to two stops. It really got to me so much that I went for the K-7 as soon as I could. That was a pretty nice camera but the K5 is better. I'm looking forward to the upgraded metering in the K3, which looks to be something else again. From reading the review, there is a lot more to the K3 than one might think.

  19. AlexMonro

    AlexMonro Old Grand Part Deux

    Sorry, I misunderstood your interests. For street, architecture, and landscape, the X-T1 is probably a better fit. Mind you, by the time you've fully explored the GXR, there'll probably be an X-T2 out, or at least on the horizon! :)

    Yes, I sometimes found I was running out of exposure compensation with the K20D (when set to 1/3 stop increments):rolleyes:. The K3 seems to nail it, or at least to 1/3 stop, in the shots (relatively few) that I've tried so far.

    As might've mentioned previously, the other thing that's really impressed me is the K3's low light AF. It seems to be able to lock on at light levels where I can hardly see the subject! The AF assist light doesn't seem to be needed until it gets very dark, too. I'm sure there will be more things as I get to know it better.
  20. Monobod

    Monobod Phantom of the forum

    The Fuji is pure fantasy without a lottery win. Just could not justify the cost of the lenses without good reason, when I have a great selection of Pentax ones.

    The GXR is fun and has a seriously impressive feature range in terms of customising it, but it also has some limitations when using the Leica Module with the Pentax adapter, basically the need for manual focus. OK with a wide angle because the hyperfocal distance with say a 24mm at f/8 gives about 1.75M to Infinity. Set the snap focus to the hyperfocal distance (3.5M) and turn on the snap feature and every time the shutter button is pressed it snaps to that and the image is OK. With longer lenses one has to rely on the EVF, but a press of the OK button enlarges the centre display to aid focus. Also 'Focus Assist' turns the edges of things in focus white, which also helps. Just need to get these into my head when using it. :)

    I do not think it is a substitute for either the K3 or my K5. But is is great to carry around as it is small. light and unobtrusive. Just the thing for candid street work and interiors such as NT houses. I really need the A12 28mm module to complete the line up and then I will be happy, just cannot find one anywhere at the moment. :(

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