Pentax Mk II upgrade


Pentaxke

Link Posted 05/11/2018 - 17:53
At the end of september I sent my camera for a K-1 upgrade.
I had three reasons for this:
1) while most reviews for the MkII are ambiguous at best, I always felt that it never deserved the review it ought to get (more so after the dpreview.com debacle that the internet was fast to copy.) Also, I suspected a lot can be changed under the hood undocumented (like there where many undocumented improvements between the K-5/K-3 iterations.)
2) I had an annoying problem with the auto-ISO behaviour (it always returned to 3200 max ISO after switching off no matter what setting I put it in.)
3) I think Pentax should be awarded for the whole upgrade deal. After all it was (to my knowledge) the first brand to offer this.

I have my camera back for a week now and if you don't want to read any further, here is the summary: I am happy as a champ!

Here is the long story:

1) First and foremost, I am really impressed with the work they did. They did not only do the upgrade, but the also did a thorough CLA. The camera came back clean as a whistle; sensor has been cleaned (I had some specks on it that are now gone) all visible dirt has gone and I even have the feeling they changed a rubber here and there ( although I have no way of being sure.)
2) While I always thought that before metering was a bit of a hit and a miss (especially compared to my K-5), after it is now spot on: you can now throw about any situation at it, exposure compensation is rarely needed.
3) dynamic range is noticeably improved. This is important for me and on it's own well worth the upgrade. Colors are also more accurate (and closer to what I get with the K-5.)
4) AF is snappier, especially with screw drive lenses and especially in low light. Yesterday I made a photo of a landscape after sunset (settings: f/4, 0,5 sec ISO 6400) and the camera didn't hesitate for a moment (I am sure it would have started hunting before.)
5) from first impressions shake reduction is improved. I would say a stop improvement, but I will have to test some more.
6) Lastly, high ISO noise is about the same (which is not a bad thing) but the purple dark shadows (I don't have a better way to describe it) are improved. I always felt that my K-5 bested the K-1 for noise on the pixel level, but with the improved color noise, I would put the MkII on the same level (again on pixel level, which puts the MkII much higher at same enlargement.) Meanwhile, I didn't notice anything about the dreaded loss of detail...

The downsides? 4 weeks return time: I live in Belgium and the service centre for BeLux is in France and that is all.

I am aware that a lot of this can come from CLA, but I am quite sure this is not the only explanation. Like I expected Pentax did something under the hood and what they did is all good!

Conclusion, with the auto ISO problem also gone I am a happy camper. It really feels like an upgrade to a (much) better camera. For those that had problems with the MkII, I had none and IMHO it really is an MkII and not an Mk 1 1/4... Happy camper here!
Cheers! Marc


Last Edited by Pentaxke on 05/11/2018 - 17:56

BillHitchens

Link Posted 12/12/2018 - 13:16
I'm own Pentax Mk II and absolutely love this camera. Glad you happy with your camera too.

JAK

Link Posted 12/12/2018 - 14:13
Quote:
2) I had an annoying problem with the auto-ISO behaviour (it always returned to 3200 max ISO after switching off no matter what setting I put it in.)

Just wondering, were you aware that is the default setting and that behaviour can be turned off in the 'Memory' options (along with some of the other settings?)
If you had unticked that memory option and it still did it then it would have been a fault, but otherwise is was behaving itself according to your camera settings! If you weren't aware of those memory options it's worth getting acquainted for exposure compensation and drive mode settings etc. too.
I'd hate to think others may pick up on that criticism when there isn't an actual issue to criticize! Maybe the defaults in the ii version are different, or if it is something you mentioned and the technician turned that option off for you.
I can certainly turn my K-1 off and back on and the ISO setting stays the same.
John K
Last Edited by JAK on 12/12/2018 - 14:28

Pentaxke

Link Posted 15/12/2018 - 17:27
JAK wrote:
Quote:
2) I had an annoying problem with the auto-ISO behaviour (it always returned to 3200 max ISO after switching off no matter what setting I put it in.)

Just wondering, were you aware that is the default setting and that behaviour can be turned off in the 'Memory' options (along with some of the other settings?)
If you had unticked that memory option and it still did it then it would have been a fault, but otherwise is was behaving itself according to your camera settings! If you weren't aware of those memory options it's worth getting acquainted for exposure compensation and drive mode settings etc. too.
I'd hate to think others may pick up on that criticism when there isn't an actual issue to criticize! Maybe the defaults in the ii version are different, or if it is something you mentioned and the technician turned that option off for you.
I can certainly turn my K-1 off and back on and the ISO setting stays the same.

Yes, in the memory options, when ticked, it always returned to the last ISO setting I used. When non-ticked, it always defaulted to auto-ISO = ISO 3200 max. It was a very annoying problem, but now luckily solved... Never new what caused it tough...
Cheers! Marc


RobL

Link Posted 16/12/2018 - 08:08
It is great to have such positive feedback on the upgrade, I was hesitant because of the negative reviews on the noise control and I am unlikely to hand hold a pixel shift shot. Also a bit concerned how the weather sealing would be affected by the dismantling; with watches any servicing tends to negate the water resistance for instance. For these reasons I didnít go ahead but now wishing I had!

johnriley

Link Posted 16/12/2018 - 10:35
The point about watches is that any servicing that intends to maintain the water resistance usually requires the watch to be sent back to the manufacturer's facility.

The same has never been said of cameras, but with any independent repairer it could be reassuring to check. I would assume the official repairer wiould have that aspect covered.
Best regards, John

Algernon

Link Posted 16/12/2018 - 11:40
Watches have to withstand quite high water pressure caused by depth of immersion . Cameras don't generally withstand pressure they just withstand being sprayed with water. No doubt any delicate seals will get replaced during service, but substantial gaskets should be ok re-used.

--
Half Man... Half Pentax ... Half Cucumber

Pentax K-1 + K-5 and some other stuff

Algi
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