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My latest love, Pentax K-30

Discussion in 'Other Systems' started by robertmwilliams, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. robertmwilliams

    robertmwilliams Mu-43 Regular

    Decided to add another DSLR to my kit line up and purchased a Pentax K30 with the 18-135mm WR lens.
    I have owned Pentax DSLR in the past (K10, K20, K7 and K-r) but they always left me feeling that something was missing.
    Well I no longer feel that way after having my K30 for almost a week.
    All the issues I had with other Pentax cameras are gone and I am having as much fun shooting as a camera with a mirror can provide.
    The most impressive thing so far is the high ISO/low light performance.
    I could say more about that, but a picture is worth a thousand words...

    This is a test shot I made to check for the tungsten light focus issue my K-r had:
    7558897728_bdd72b62f8_c.
    Pentax K30 Test - 6 - PENTAX K-30 - ISO 12800 by Robert M. Williams (Thanks for 100,000+ views!), on Flickr

    Yes, that is an ISO 12,800 shot with no post processing.
    Here is the same shot cleaned up a bit in Lightroom:
    7559467136_8e07114b95_c.
    Pentax K30 Test - 10 - PENTAX K-30 - ISO 12800 by Robert M. Williams (Thanks for 100,000+ views!), on Flickr

    Since I prefer detail over noise reduction I could not be more pleased.

    Here are a couple more taken in 'normal' lighting:
    7578049522_f59604f43c_c.
    Durham Museum of Life and Science Shoot - July 15 - 30 - PENTAX K-30 - smc PENTAX-DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 ED AL[IF] DC WR_ by Robert M. Williams (Thanks for 100,000+ views!), on Flickr

    7578105044_bbed97080a_c.
    Durham Museum of Life and Science Shoot - July 15 - 10 - PENTAX K-30 - smc PENTAX-DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 ED AL[IF] DC WR_ by Robert M. Williams (Thanks for 100,000+ views!), on Flickr
     
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  2. riverr02

    riverr02 Mu-43 Veteran

    258
    May 2, 2011
    New York
    Rafael
    Thanks for the photos- great pics! I recently bought my wife one of these, and I'm hoping she enjoys it as much as you do.

    Have fun with it!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. jimr.pdx

    jimr.pdx Mu-43 Veteran

    342
    Dec 5, 2010
    near Longview ~1hr from PDX
    Jim R
    Pentax really knows how to make the best use of that sweet-16 sensor - glad you're enjoying the K30, and thanks for the shots!
     
  4. kevwilfoto

    kevwilfoto Mu-43 Veteran

    294
    Sep 23, 2011
    Colorado
    I've never owned a Pentax, and I admit I really thought about getting that camera+lens combo recently. I thought I would wait and see if a Nikon D600 is announced, as I already have two Nikon lenses to go with my old F100, and gave up on the Pentax. Your images are very convincing, and leave me confused! :)
     
  5. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Hi Rob
    Thanks for sharing these images .Pentax cameras are fun to use and are ergonomically superior to many camea makes .K5 was the king of lowlight . Infact I have been looking this camera and even started a thread earlier. If I need a DSLR, I would pick up K30. Moreover weather sealing seems superior to OMD.
    Cheers
    Bhupinder
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. NJH

    NJH Mu-43 Regular

    164
    Mar 8, 2012
    South West England
    Thanks for the photos, interesting as well how sharp they are given that photozone.de really laid into that lens. I keep looking at Pentax because on paper they have everything I want in a camera system, small high quality lenses and compact well built bodies with big bright viewfinders. I am very close to buying a K30 myself as its just dropped down to about £370 here;
    Pentax K-30 Body best price £369.00 - UK stock - Camera Price Buster - Pentax Photography Price Comparison

    ..but with a £50 cash back is down to frankly stunning £319
    http://www.jessops.com/online.store...ital-slr-camera-body-in-black-85727/show.html

    That is probably the biggest bargain I think I have seen for a long time in the digital camera market, it means I could buy the body and add the 35mm f2.4 for about the same cost as an EPL5 body on its own.

    To partner the nifty fifty equivalent I have my eye on the 15mm and 70mm limited pancakes. They just look like wonderful lenses, even the hood arrangements are a work of art on that pair.

    I have a question though about the AF as a lot has been said about AF improvements over previous Pentax SLRs. What is the continuous AF like, is it good at tracking moving objects? and is the multi point AF reliable? This last point isn't often talked about but when I compared a friends D50 to my E3 last year it was the first big thing to stand out. On the Canon it was predictable as it would tend to pick the nearest thing that is sort of near to the centre of the frame (or rather under a focus point I guess). On the E3 perhaps every 1 in 4 times or so it would randomly focus on something random in the background which made the multi-point AF very unreliable IMHE. Thanks, Neil
     
  7. metalmania

    metalmania Mu-43 Veteran

    244
    Jul 19, 2012
    NYC
    can't agree more. I sold my 60D and 7D to get E-M5, but I couldn't let K-30 go. With Sigma 30/1.4, it is so much like E-M5 with PL25/1.4.

    Sent from my LT18i using Tapatalk
     
  8. wolfie

    wolfie Mu-43 Regular

    107
    Apr 15, 2009
    Auckland, New Zealand
    After owning olympus (E-1)and Pentax (K-7) WR bodies and lenses, I'd say be especially wary of Pentax kit 18-55 WR zoom - my one was leaking by 12 months old and the K-7 body rubber port covers were failing soon after. Never had either issues on my previous E-1 and 14-54 in over two years use.
    My opinion now is that cheap WR is a false economy - if it is any good it will cost more.
     
  9. jeffryscott

    jeffryscott Mu-43 Top Veteran

    505
    Jul 2, 2010
    Arizona
    I'm about to pick up one of these as well, at least I'm pretty sure I am. Sold my OM-D to pay off some unexpected stuff and am now am starting from scratch. I'd seriously debated between the OM-D and K5 when I bought the OM-D and with the price of the K-30 several hundred less than an OM-D, I think I'm going this route this time ...

    I seriously loved the OM-D, but just looking at lens options, think I can get into the Pentax gear at a lower cost ...
     
  10. CUB

    CUB Mu-43 Veteran

    275
    Apr 19, 2012

    Pentax is a good choice at this time if you are looking at APS-C sensors.

    I still have some Pentax and third party K-mount glass from when I used an LX, MX and an MZ-3. I'm waiting for a full frame Pentax DSLR so I can use my much-loved 35-105mm f/3.5 varifocal lens on it.

    Until then I will have to struggle along with my Nikon bodies ...:smile:
     
  11. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    What lenses?

    Last I checked Pentax lacked:
    -fast normal (35/1.8)
    -affordable portrait (60/2 or 60/2.8)
    -affordable quality standard zoom (18-55 had serious issues)

    I wonder if that has changed?
     
  12. metalmania

    metalmania Mu-43 Veteran

    244
    Jul 19, 2012
    NYC
    DA 35/2.4 or Sigma 30/1.4
    18-55 is better than Canon and Nikon versions.


    Sent from my LT18i using Tapatalk
     
  13. NJH

    NJH Mu-43 Regular

    164
    Mar 8, 2012
    South West England
    Really though its the limited pancake lenses that are the attraction with Pentax. For me it will be the 15mm f4 and 70mm f2.4, with the small high quality primes its easy to see why there is a cross over between Pentax and m4/3. These are the type of lenses I love, I sold the Oly 45mm f1.8 and miss it like crazy but I have pretty much moved on from m4/3. Some reviews of those dinky little lenses:
    Pentax SMC-DA 15mm f/4 AL ED Limited - Review / Test Report
    Pentax SMC DA 70mm f/2.4 Limited - Review / Lab Test

    They also have some great telephoto lenses but not tending to match up directly with the CaNikon options. When I get enough cash together I will likely search out a second hand copy of one of these;
    Pentax SMC DA* 300mm f/4 ED [IF] SDM - Review / Test Report
     
  14. NJH

    NJH Mu-43 Regular

    164
    Mar 8, 2012
    South West England
    Something I forgot to mention, but all the Pentax lenses I have been looking into except the big ones have 49mm filter threads. Might seem like a small thing but the two things that have really bugged me about Olympus is their tendency to sell lenses without hoods and design each one to use a different filter thread size. Panasonic get it right in this area but its crazy why Olympus do this.
     
  15. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    I like the Pentax Ltds quite a bit, but it seems like there are more tradeoffs involved with their small lenses for APS-C/FF versus m4/3. Obviously, you don't have AF motors in the lenses, which makes for pretty noisy (screw-drive) focusing. The other thing is that while the Pentax pancake lenses are mostly sharp in the center, I just haven't found them to keep up with m4/3 lenses in the borders (even when stopped down considerably), especially in the wide to normal range.
     
  16. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    I think the biggest tradeoff with the Ltds is actually the price. A cool $650 for the 21/3.2 for example...
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. NJH

    NJH Mu-43 Regular

    164
    Mar 8, 2012
    South West England
    Both true to some extent but all metal old skool construction is a rare beast in today's market. Its like comparing the Oly 45 f1.8 with the Oly 12 f2. The construction of the later is more along the lines of the ltd lenses and has a commensurate cost. Edge sharpness comparison can easily be a bit selective, consider the two lenses below for example, both on 16 Mp bodies;

    Pentax SMC DA 35mm f/2.4 AL - Review / Lens Test - Analysis
    Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4 ASPH - Analysis

    Whilst the panny 25 is wonderfully sharp in the centre its being beaten in the corners by a £135 lens at most apertures.

    This sort of thing is a real problem though for anyone wanting to try and directly compare Pentax lenses to the other makes, they just do things differently to the point that its very difficult to make broad brush comparisons. The 15mm f4 for example seems to be a much loved lens by Pentaxians but it seems to test poorly against the 12mm in terms of edge to edge performance across the aperture range and of course its giving up aperture any way (f2 to f4)
    Pentax SMC-DA 15mm f/4 AL ED Limited - Review / Test Report - Analysis
    Olympus M.Zuiko 12mm f/2 ED - Review / Test Report - Analysis
    ...but by F8 I would say the Pentax lens is performing much better, its on a 10 Mp body remember and to me performance at F5.6 or F8 is more important on a wide angle than performance at F2.

    It just depends what you want I guess, for me my internet research tells me enough to want to try Pentax and its lens range seems to give me what I want (15mm, 35mm, 70mm compact lightweight high quality lenses).

    Its just a huge shame that outside of Leica only Pentax and m4/3 seems to understand the desire for small lightweight high quality lenses. I would like to see all these companies do well against the massed ranks of big plastic lenses.
     
  18. jeffryscott

    jeffryscott Mu-43 Top Veteran

    505
    Jul 2, 2010
    Arizona
    The 18-135 is weather sealed and has pretty decent reviews, probably similar to the 12-50 I was very content with.

    In addition, the 15mm 4 can be had used for about $400, as can the 70 2.4. Sure, you lose a bit in aperture compared to the Oly 12 and 75, but both Pentax lenses are quality, well respected lenses. And they come with hoods and are black:biggrin:

    Pentax also has a larger selection of weather sealed lenses, albeit still limited compared to what 4/3 offered, but more than m43.

    I could care less about a "normal" lens, haven't used one in decades.

    I've been a Oly user for years, started with OM-1's, and love the system. But both are quality systems and I don't think anybody can go wrong with either.
     
  19. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    Didn't realize resale value was so different from the new prices with Pentax. If you can get an Ltd for $400, that's not a bad deal at all.

    I am a bit surprised by your comments on the 18-135. The reviews I saw were rather poor.
     
  20. CUB

    CUB Mu-43 Veteran

    275
    Apr 19, 2012

    That is a fact that very many people posting here seem to have real difficulty accepting. I think their judgement is probably clouded by the sight of the Leica brand name on the bezel.

    The Panasonic (non-Leica) 20mm f/1.7 is a far more competent lens yet, because it lacks the Leica branding, people go for the 25mm f/1.4.