Help me justify - New lenses for K5 or 'cash in'?


Snappyhoffy

Link Posted 04/12/2014 - 12:56
Help, I need counselling!

I have had several Pentax DSLR now and currently I have a K5 after upgrading from K10D buying in to it earlier in the year when prices became VERY attractive (maybe should of held out for a II or IIS). I have a Pentax 18-250 SMC DA lens and AF360 Flash.

Yes, I get some 'good' images but every time I use my little Lumix LX5 (getting old now) the images are always so much more full of 'sparkle'. I will probably upgrade this to an LX100 as it does seem stunning and so convenient for the travel and motoring snaps, but what to do with all the other kit, I was even tempted by a Lumix FZ1000?

I was thinking of investing in some better glass (DA*) but when I look at the sample images although they are all 'impressive' they all seem to lack that 'wow' of my little 'tiddler' (LX5). Am I really missing something here. I know there was always a lot of discussion on forums on sharpness etc. and thought that the later bodies had improved (understanding that Focus can be an issue). Are the images supposed to be softer and more 'calm' and will that really continue even with some quality glass?

Should I persevere and start working RAW files? (Will that make a 'significant' image. I tried some sample images but struggle to see the real gain, but is that the existing lens causing the restriction)

Or is it just the 'driver' (which is fine as gives me the incentive to 'get better')?

If you suggest that I get rid then please do not include your email address for a quick sale I am really looking for justification to make the investment and stay with Pentax.

I look forward to receiving your advice and offers of free DA* lenses to try ...
'Life looks simple through a viewfinder'.....then I went Digital!
Keith
K3, DA* 16-50, DA* 50-135, DA* 300, AF360

McGregNi

Link Posted 04/12/2014 - 13:20
I think you just need to adjust your custom image settings more to your taste, as they may be fairly neutral. The JPEG processor in the K5 is very capable. Tell us what settings you have at present, including the main preset as well as the fine tuning sliders. Then we can offer suggestions for settings that could work better. This is all accessed from the right side button on the four -way controller.
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver
Last Edited by McGregNi on 04/12/2014 - 13:21

Helpful

CMW

Link Posted 04/12/2014 - 13:27
You'll have seen from the galleries on here, if nowhere else, what the K5 is capable of. You will get a result that is closer to your preferences if you shoot RAW. You may not like the decisions Pentax has made on your behalf to produce jpegs.

But I can't help but feel that the issue must lie elsewhere. RAW or jpeg, your images should not be soft, at least not in the first half of the focal lengths available to you with this lens, provided you are stopping down sufficiently. There are of course better lenses, but before spending on one it might be wise to try to pin down what is going wrong. Have you checked that the lens is not front- or back-focusing? It's easily remedied if it is. Try taking two identical shots of a subject with sufficient detail, one using autofocus, the other manually focused (using live view perhaps).
Regards, Christopher

ChristopherWheelerPhotography

stu62

Link Posted 04/12/2014 - 13:51
i had that problem when i first got my k5

i was at the point of throwing the camera and actualy said so on here but thanks to a few people on here pointing me in the right direction and some one local with a k5 i am getting ther slowly as it is a totaly differant camera to the k10

also depends what program you use for your photos i did try a few and have now ended up with firestone viewerwhich i like

try and find some one with a k5 close to you i am shore they will help and give you pointers

(as been there done that and got the tee shirt)

regards stu

Snappyhoffy

Link Posted 04/12/2014 - 14:23
McGregNi wrote:
Tell us what settings you have at present, including the main preset as well as the fine tuning sliders. Then we can offer suggestions for settings that could work better.

Currently set on:

[Bright]

Saturation - 0
Hue - +2
High/Low - 0
Contrast - +2
Sharpness - +4
'Life looks simple through a viewfinder'.....then I went Digital!
Keith
K3, DA* 16-50, DA* 50-135, DA* 300, AF360

McGregNi

Link Posted 04/12/2014 - 14:42
Ok, so now, change the settings to the following ...

Portrait

Saturation plus 3
Hue 0
Contrast plus 4
Sharpness plus 3 also, when sharpness is selected, turn the rear e-dial and you will see ' fine sharpness 1' appear ... Set this to plus 4, then turn dual again to get ' fine sharpness 2' and also set this to plus 4.

Make sure you press ok to confirm these settings. Take some test shots and post them here for our inspection! Only by seeing your shots will we really know if its just settings, or another problem. Good luck!
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver
Last Edited by McGregNi on 04/12/2014 - 14:45

Helpful

Snappyhoffy

Link Posted 04/12/2014 - 15:18
Thanks!

McGregNi wrote:
Sharpness plus 3 also, when sharpness is selected, turn the rear e-dial and you will see ' fine sharpness 1' appear ... Set this to plus 4, then turn dual again to get ' fine sharpness 2' and also set this to plus 4.

When I try this I have the option as 'Fine Sharpness' and 'Extra Sharpness' was this a typo or am I running different FW (1.15)?

When we get some decent light I will give it a go for sure, really appreciate the immediate positive response.
'Life looks simple through a viewfinder'.....then I went Digital!
Keith
K3, DA* 16-50, DA* 50-135, DA* 300, AF360

Snappyhoffy

Link Posted 04/12/2014 - 15:22
Just see there is a v1.16 FW on Pentax site should I be running that??

Just done it
'Life looks simple through a viewfinder'.....then I went Digital!
Keith
K3, DA* 16-50, DA* 50-135, DA* 300, AF360
Last Edited by Snappyhoffy on 04/12/2014 - 15:37

McGregNi

Link Posted 04/12/2014 - 16:02
I'm sorry, my camera is the K7, so might be slightly different, but I was going by memory. But it doesn't matter, just set the 2 options you have to plus 4. This works on a smaller radius setting, so micro-contrast really, and will help the clarity of finer details.
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver
Last Edited by McGregNi on 04/12/2014 - 16:04

DoctorJeff

Link Posted 04/12/2014 - 16:22
Surely, the big difference - REAL BIG DIFFERENCE - is in the sensor type that you are trying to compare.
One is CCD, the other is CMOS
You have two real choices:
- Sell the K5 and get a s/h K200D
- Persevere with fine tuning the K% settings until you get results that you like.

Either option does mean that you get to keep your Pentax accessories.

Geoff
Water can wear away a stone - but it can't cook lunch
X-5
istDS
K2000
P50.
Lenses Digital: 50-200, 18-55 KAF: 28-80.
Lenses KA & K: SMC-KA f2.0, SMC-K f1.4, SMC-K f1.7 Tokina KA 28-70 , SMC Pentax 70-210 F4, Sigma KA 75-300 , Hanimex 500mm Mirror, and the Tamron Adaptall-2 stuff.
and then there's all the M42 kit, and the accessories ...

Mike-P

Link Posted 04/12/2014 - 16:59
DoctorJeff wrote:
Surely, the big difference - REAL BIG DIFFERENCE - is in the sensor type that you are trying to compare.
One is CCD, the other is CMOS

This.

The K10D sensor gives snappier, glossier pictures straight out of the camera due to the CCD sensor whereas the CMOS sensor takes much more work to get the same sort of results. You really need to shoot RAW and process. I have always said the K10D gave results that I would compare to a print on glossy photo paper whereas the cameras from then on were more comparable to a print on matt.

To be honest I would take the K10D sensor every time if you could always shoot at ISO 100 but I cant and the K-5 onwards have been much much better for anything above ISO 100.
DA* lenses do make a difference when compared to a super zoom like the 18-250mm (which is very good for what it is) but at the end of the day it's the processing that matters most (IMO) when trying to make a picture "sparkle"

Just to add, I have a LX-5 as well, it's a great little camera but the only advantage is size, in every other way the DSLR cameras totally wipe the floor with it.
No equipment list here but thanks for taking an interest. My Flickr

McGregNi

Link Posted 04/12/2014 - 17:01
I do think the JPEG output from the K5 is customisable enough to satisfy most needs, and of course if any further adjustment is needed then small tweaks in Photoshop or similar will suffice. Unless there's a fault, it's difficult to justify, surely, going back to a camera many years older in design?
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver

Mike-P

Link Posted 04/12/2014 - 17:05
McGregNi wrote:
Unless there's a fault, it's difficult to justify, surely, going back to a camera many years older in design?

Not so much, there are quite a few Pentax users who still have a K10D even though they also have something much more up to date, infact I am currently looking for a decent K200D for macro as I found the output more suited to the subject. When you think you can pick up a decent used example for around 100 these days there's not that much to justify, after all we have the lenses etc anyway.
No equipment list here but thanks for taking an interest. My Flickr
Last Edited by Mike-P on 04/12/2014 - 17:08

redbusa99

Link Posted 04/12/2014 - 17:21
as has been said shoot RAW and process, you get what you want not what the camera wants but also realise the limitations of the lens in as much as it needs stopping down to get the best out of it ,it will probably be soft at the upper limits of the zoom range as a lot of these types of lens tend to be. if you need this range then the 18-55 kit lens plus the DA 55-300 would be a far better way to go, you could sell the 18-250 towards funding these 2, they are available as WR lenses but at a premium if you are not bothered by that or you could pick up standard ones for around 200 -250 the pair secondhand
K3 II and the odd lens or 2

Flickr
ppg

bwlchmawr

Link Posted 04/12/2014 - 17:50
There's little I can add here except to echo your disappointment re. the K5's images. Firstly low ISO images do not compare well with the CCD sensor in the K10 which, so say, is still unsurpassed at ISO 100 to 200. I eventually came to respect what the K5 can do but, in my opinion, you really need to shoot in RAW. Tweaking the in-camera settings for sharpness, colour and contrast does help to produce decent JPEGs and, of course, in low light the results are remarkably good. You simply will return amazed from a trip to, say, a museum in winter.

Everyone says top-class lenses help and I suppose they do, if you like to shoot wide open, but I have found that, stopped down to a mid-aperture sweet spot, most lenses perform more than adequately. I'd happily use any of the kit lenses in good light and many legacy manual focus lenses from the dark days of film.

I'd council against selling the K5: you'd get nothing like its true value any more and, remember, it is generally regarded as one of the best APSC cameras and may well remain so, given the whole-sale rush to develop cameras with 35mm size sensors, which will surely get cheaper.
Best wishes,

Andrew

"These places mean something and it's the job of a photographer to figure-out what the hell it is."
Robert Adams
"The camera doesn't make a bit of difference. All of them can record what you are seeing. But, you have to SEE."
Ernst Hass
My website: http://www.ephotozine.com/user/bwlchmawr-199050 http://s927.photobucket.com/home/ADC3440/index
https://www.flickr.com/photos/78898196@N05
Add a Comment
You must be registered or logged-in to comment.