Pentax Pentax KP

Aug 27, 2013
124
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Miguel Tejada-Flores
I couldn't resist taking advantage of Pentax's Black Friday massive price reduction and for what I think may be the first time in ages and ages, went ahead and pulled the metaphoric trigger on a brand-spanking-new Pentax KP body. It arrived yesterday, and after charging up the battery, I took it with me today on my trip to the barbershop. My barber has wonderfully eclectic taste in décor and gave me an excuse for my first picture with this camera --

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And I have to say, based on not merely the look and quality of the RAW file but on the way the camera feels and handles...it's a great camera. Period.

More (including possibly a non-technical and highly subjective user report) to follow.
 
Aug 27, 2013
124
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Miguel Tejada-Flores
I posted this image in the GAS thread as well, but for those who haven't seen it, here is the beast in question. It's a little chunkier than my Lumix GX8 body, and definitely heavier (with the real pentaprism) but, for all that, it feels surprisingly compact in the hand. It fits my hands nicely.

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I have a feeling this camera is going to spoil me, very quickly, because of all the things it seems to do nicely, easily and half-instinctually, half-logically. It pairs very well with the older generations of screw-drive AF (autofocus) mechanisms on some Pentax lenses and the OVF is, basically, the nicest one I've ever used on a DSLR.

A few more quick samples, taken with the Pentax 10-17mm fisheye zoom which, to my surprise, has very close macro-focusing on the 10mm end of the zoom. This was taken at 1250 ISO -

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- while this last photo, taken just before an impending heavy rainstorm, when the sky had darkened to almost nighttime levels, and the wind had kicked up ferociously, was taken at ISO 4000 -

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It's definitely the nicest digital Pentax I've ever shot with, bar none.
 
Aug 27, 2013
124
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Miguel Tejada-Flores
I've been resisting the siren call of the KP. So far I'm content with my K5iis. Too bad so few (comparatively) are tempted by Pentax.
The K5iis is a great camera. One thing my new KP shares in common with your K5iis is the lack of an AA filter (although, curiously, Pentax has included a feature in the camera's firmware to partially simulate the Anti-Aliasing filter effects for certain supposedly moiré-inducing situations...hmmmm).

I nearly resisted the siren call of the KP myself, simply because I love my older CCD-sensor equipped K200D, which has given me some incredible results. But I gave in because of a) the extreme Black Friday price reduction, and b) a too-hard-to-pass-up long-term financing-payment deal from Amazon, where I scored my KP --- and after the initial results, it's such a pleasing camera to shoot with that I have decided to do the formerly unthinkable, and sell-recycle my older (and quite pristine) K200D, because the KP is that much nicer.

Pentax has a long history of crafting cameras which seem designed for serious still photographers (as opposed to the hybrid-video-offerings which have proliferated lately) and though many non-Pentaxians don't know about Pentax glass, they also have a long and rich history of designing and producing wonderful and usable lenses which aren't merely desgined for sports or fashion photographers, and which compare favorably not merely to the best Nikon and Canon glass, but also to Zeiss and Leica offerings. I think that's why many Pentaxians keep returning...not for the latest trendy gadget...but for finely engineered and semi-affordable lenses.

But having a great camera helps too :)
 

mnhoj

gee aahrr
Jan 27, 2012
103
Los Angeles
John
I recently had a short run with Pentax. I'm a fully converted mirrorless shooter I guess.

K-70 and the lovely little limited primes. 15, 21, 35, 40 and 70. Was great fun and imo a lot of bang for the buck. If I were to shoot with a dslr again it would be with another kit just like that one.

Have fun Miguel.
 
Aug 27, 2013
124
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Miguel Tejada-Flores
The DA 21mm Ltd lens - with its approximately 32mm Field of View - comes close to the way I often see the world. And part of my world, in the small town where I live, is early Christmas decorations which appear at the end of November, a little overkill if you ask me. In this case, my KP was slung over my shoulder as I was walking downtown - and saw that, in this case, the inflatable blow-up Santa had suffered an early demise -

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In spite of its heft, it's a good carry-around-with-you camera.
 
Aug 27, 2013
124
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Miguel Tejada-Flores
I'm not personally a fan of what one might call a bright, clinically sharp rendition of reality, but the Pentax lenses I have (all in the DA Ltd series) seem to combine acceptable (to me) levels of sharpenss and crispness, with a way of rendering digital negatives that I like. I know, probably these days all good lenses from most decent camera systems can provide superb results - but the Pentax ones seem to have a certain je ne sais quoi ...

This was taken with my other lens (I have a total of 3 for the KP), the almost laughably tiny and thin DA 40mm Ltd, a pancake lens so tiny as to almost appear virtually not there. It's similar, in that sense, to the 'bodycape' ultra wide angle (and fisheye) lenses for mu4-3 - similar in that the lens is so tiny and so flat vis-a-bis the flange of the lens mount and the camera body, that it almost doesn't appear to be there.

This was taken indoors at a local coffee shop, where cold winter morning light filtered through windows, giving enough illumination so that most of the indoor lighting was turned off.

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aKilter

Top Veteran
Dec 7, 2012
104
David
I’ve always had a soft spot for Pentax and am enjoying this thread. Thank you, Miguel!
 
Jan 31, 2011
164
Newcastle, Australia
Sue
I'm not personally a fan of what one might call a bright, clinically sharp rendition of reality, but the Pentax lenses I have (all in the DA Ltd series) seem to combine acceptable (to me) levels of sharpenss and crispness, with a way of rendering digital negatives that I like. I know, probably these days all good lenses from most decent camera systems can provide superb results - but the Pentax ones seem to have a certain je ne sais quoi ...
Might I suggest you consider the DA15mm. Its "only" F/4 but its really nice :)
 
Aug 27, 2013
124
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Miguel Tejada-Flores
Might I suggest you consider the DA15mm. Its "only" F/4 but its really nice :)
I was seriously tempted by the DA15 and who knows, perhaps one day...but for the time being, those temptations were momentarily abated if not fully quashed by my purchase of the DA 10-17mm fisheye zoom, a truly strange but rather wonderful lens, which is fully fisheye on the wide (10mm) end, an UWA extremely wide angle but nonetheless rectilinear FOV on the zoomed (17mm) end, as well as being a surprisingly great close-up (poor man's Macro) with its close-focusing capabilities.

But it (DA15) is a praiseworthy lens from what I've heard.
 
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Aug 27, 2013
124
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Miguel Tejada-Flores
Although the DA40, at an equivalent of a classic 65mm field-of-view, seems closer to the all purpose nifty-fifties - and although with its f2.8 maximum aperture, coupled with the KP's insane low-light (high-ISO) capabilities, it's a surprisingly useful available light portrait lens .... it also does extended duty in the landscape department.

This was taken earlier this evening, a cold winter afternoon-night at around sunset, which in spite of the absence of snow is actually much colder than one might think.

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Aug 27, 2013
124
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Miguel Tejada-Flores
I can't quite make up my mind. I know it's possible to get great photographs from most modern digital cameras. When I say 'modern', I don't mean this year's latest-and-greatest models - including the Pentax KP which I just bought (though technically it was released a year ago), but older ones as well. My Pentax K200D, a camera that is/was more than 10 years old, still qualifies (for me) as a modern camera, simply because not only did it have an astounding plethora of great features at the time, but also because it was light years ahead of the earlier and earliest digital cameras which preceded it. So, putting it all in perspective (an impossible task, of course), my Lumix GX8, my Canon G1x Mk III and the Pentax KP are all capable of truly great photographs. And, honestly, putting images from each side by side, without the relevant EXIF data, I think I would be hard-pressed to tell the differences - or to honestly say which camera took which photo. (Ming Thein has occasionally written about this phenomenon, far more knowledgeably, articulately, and elegantly, than I ever will be able to.)

But...in spite of all that...I'm getting progressively fonder of the digital negatives I'm continuing to produce with the KP. Many of them also lend themselves very nicely to monochrome (black and white) processing.

Like this shot of an older Jeep, parked outside of a small southern Oregon town, near where I live.

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