Pentax Pentax KP

MiguelATF

Hall of Famer
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Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
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Miguel Tejada-Flores
Good question, Milan...I wonder about that myself. Except I think these days, people in many places either are obsessed with - or have a fondness for - the macabre. Look at the commercialization and marketing of Halloween, look at the proliferation of zombie movies and TV series, just to mention a few. My personal suspicion is that many, if not most, small towns - or, rather, small American towns - have a fair share of skeletons and skulls and eccentric-slash-weird 'folk art' .... it's just a question of being 'tuned in' enough to look for it. Or, as the saying goes, "seek...and ye shall find".

I wonder if I visited Zemun, and spent some time there, what I would find...or see. But, obviously, if no one really lives there, I'm not likely to run across too many random skeletons.

Recently I spent some months down in Mexico, on a writing project. Mexicans have even more of an obsession with, or fondness for, grisly images, than Americans do - from el Día de los Muertos (the 'Day of the Dead) - to Calaveras (the fanciful skeleton spirits who populate Mexican popular folklore, to la Santa Muerte, a skeleton Saint with a grinning skull face, it's a country with rich and excessive folk art, to say the least.

I think my fondness for the KP is partially due to having spent quite a few years shooting with analog Pentax cameras, and enjoying the way the handled...and possibly the minimal aesthetics of their designs. The KP - like its big full-frame brother the K-1 - is decidedly 'retro' in its styling - but I rather like that. I was surprised, too, since it is barely larger than my favorite micro 4/3 camera, the Lumix GX8 - and Pentax has a history of making small and optically excellent (and surprisingly affordable) lenses. Add all those elements up....it makes for a cool camera.
 

MiguelATF

Hall of Famer
Location
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Real Name
Miguel Tejada-Flores
One more shot, with the micro-pancake 40mm lens, taken during the madness of post-Christmas 'Sales' - this Nutcracker had an almost surreal presence, and seemed to be secretly surveilling the exhausted shoppers ;)

Clearance.jpg
 

pictogramax

All-Pro
Location
Zemun, Serbia
Recently I spent some months down in Mexico, on a writing project. Mexicans have even more of an obsession with, or fondness for, grisly images, than Americans do - from el Día de los Muertos (the 'Day of the Dead) - to Calaveras (the fanciful skeleton spirits who populate Mexican popular folklore, to la Santa Muerte, a skeleton Saint with a grinning skull face, it's a country with rich and excessive folk art, to say the least.

I think my fondness for the KP is partially due to having spent quite a few years shooting with analog Pentax cameras, and enjoying the way the handled...and possibly the minimal aesthetics of their designs. The KP - like its big full-frame brother the K-1 - is decidedly 'retro' in its styling - but I rather like that. I was surprised, too, since it is barely larger than my favorite micro 4/3 camera, the Lumix GX8 - and Pentax has a history of making small and optically excellent (and surprisingly affordable) lenses. Add all those elements up....it makes for a cool camera.

[/QUOTE]

Right, and I must confess that to me also it is a fascinating topic. As a preparation for a project I will start working on soon, right now I'm reading "Devoted to Death" by R. Andrew Chesnut, a study of Santa Muerte, while awaiting delivery of "Death and the idea of Mexico" by Claudio Lomnitz.

As for the KP, the more I'm reading about it, the more I like it. I'm just sorry that it is a DSLR with an OVF and not a mirrorless camera with an EVF. I even found out that Pentax has one very interesting lens (to me) which is compact, has a good reputation and is not even that expensive (compared to similar offers from other manufacturers):

And this guy here has some interesting comparisons of Pentax gear: the CameraVille
 

theoldsmithy

Hall of Famer
Location
Cheshire, England
Real Name
Martin Connolly
Right, and I must confess that to me also it is a fascinating topic. As a preparation for a project I will start working on soon, right now I'm reading "Devoted to Death" by R. Andrew Chesnut, a study of Santa Muerte, while awaiting delivery of "Death and the idea of Mexico" by Claudio Lomnitz.

As for the KP, the more I'm reading about it, the more I like it. I'm just sorry that it is a DSLR with an OVF and not a mirrorless camera with an EVF. I even found out that Pentax has one very interesting lens (to me) which is compact, has a good reputation and is not even that expensive (compared to similar offers from other manufacturers):

And this guy here has some interesting comparisons of Pentax gear: the CameraVille
From what I have seen,the 20-40 is an awesome lens. It’s certainly the one I coveted when I’ve had Pentaxes in the past.
 
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MiguelATF

Hall of Famer
Location
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Real Name
Miguel Tejada-Flores
Hey, Milan---

Thanks for the Cameraville recommendation, Milan - I checked it out, it is a fascinating - and informative - website.

The books you are reading sound 'right up my alley', too ... I'm going to have to make a note of them. Incidentally, I was in Mexico City this year on Día de Muertos and took a handful of fascinating images. I'm on the verge of posting them (one of these days), will let you know.

The 20-40mm zoom has a superb reputation and also is quite compact. I'm actually tempted. It belongs to Pentax's 'Limited' (Ltd) series of lenses, most of which are remarkably small and brilliantly (optically speaking) engineered. Pentax has had a long history of making cool - and occasionally quirky - but often affordable lenses. Their cameras are not optimized for modern foibles such as video - but for pure photography, the KP is hard to beat. I must admit that after shooting with a micro four thirds camera with a superb EVF (my Lumix GX8), it was hard getting my eye (and my mind) 'acclimatized' again to the process of shooting with an OVF - it's really a different photographic experience - but I'm almost getting used to it.

Thanks again for the references!


Right, and I must confess that to me also it is a fascinating topic. As a preparation for a project I will start working on soon, right now I'm reading "Devoted to Death" by R. Andrew Chesnut, a study of Santa Muerte, while awaiting delivery of "Death and the idea of Mexico" by Claudio Lomnitz.

As for the KP, the more I'm reading about it, the more I like it. I'm just sorry that it is a DSLR with an OVF and not a mirrorless camera with an EVF. I even found out that Pentax has one very interesting lens (to me) which is compact, has a good reputation and is not even that expensive (compared to similar offers from other manufacturers):

And this guy here has some interesting comparisons of Pentax gear: the CameraVille
[/QUOTE]
 

MiguelATF

Hall of Famer
Location
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Real Name
Miguel Tejada-Flores
A trio of shots taken with one of my least-used but still favorite Pentax lenses - the DA 10-17 zoom - which varies between a rectilinear fisheye and merely an ultra wide-angle. I like the fish-eye effect, especially coming in close to my subject--

KP_June11_Weber(SilverEfex).jpg


And moving a bit farther away gives that strangely curved view of the universe--

KP_June11_BBQ_Universe.jpg


Zooming all the way 'in' to the 17mm telephoto end - gives an FOV just between the 28mm of my Ricoh's, and the 24mm I used to shoot with back in the ancient analog days on my film Pentaxes--

KP_June11_PlasticChairs(SilverEfex).jpg
 

gordo

Veteran
Location
Arizona
Real Name
Gordon
Nice. I've been watching fisheye threads since the updated version was released, and liking more of what I've seen than I thought I would. Under serious consideration for my K-1. With the removable hood, you get that circular fisheye thing on full frame. Would be a fun lens to use on occasion.
 

agentlossing

Top Veteran
Location
S. Oregon Coast (the Northernmost-Cal of them All)
Real Name
Andrew Lossing
Well, guys, I went and did it. I have a new KP from B&H with the 35mm f2.4 plastic fantastic lens. I am kind of doing the thing I don't like, which is testing the camera... not with the intention of returning it, by any means, but leaving that door open if it really doesn't work for me. Not the way I usually do things, but in 2020 it seems the most reasonable way to get the camera in my hands (not traveling four hours to downtown Portland right now to visit a camera shop... not even sure if they carry Pentax).

I'm going to post some of my observations as I go, if that's agreeable. I need somewhere to coalesce my thoughts! So far...

  • it's been a long time since I owned a DSLR. They aren't small, or light! But I appreciate the chunkiness of this camera. I have remembered how to support the camera with a two-handed grip. It was unnecessary on MFT, there wasn't even much real estate to grip with the left hand. There is a nice feeling to the firmness of a three-point connection to the camera.
  • Lots of buttons in a small space, I am used to it coming from the GX9, but the placement is different enough that it'll take some getting used to.
  • Love the dials, including the front-mounted one. If only they were a little more customizable. I got the top dial set to change ISO in M using C1, I will have to fiddle a bit more. I'd like if it could be configured as on-demand exposure comp in other modes, but I'm not sure if it can be?
  • I got all three grips. It's a genius move. I like the compactness with the small grip but if I'm carrying it around I can see the large grip being much more comfortable. I like the shutter button being on top of the camera instead of being on top of the grip like most DSLRs.
  • The K mount depth is deep! That mirror box is huge. Definitely feel like getting pancake lenses will make me more comfortable.
  • Wifi was glacially slow when I tried it yesterday. Maybe because I had a slow card in the camera? I need to buy more cards... but by current standards I couldn't believe how slow files transferred.
  • The VF is huge, much bigger than my old Nikon D40 was. I forgot how SLR viewfinders are a bit dim, at least with the f2.4 lens. Not something I'm likely to notice outside, I just noticed it indoors.
  • The menu system is still confusing, with its emphasis on lots of horizontal columns.
I haven't had time to work on any files yet, but the fact that DNG RAW is included is fantastic, and part of what attracted me to this camera. I expect the files to be quite similar to my GR III. I do wish there were more parameters for in-camera editing of RAW files - the KP has less than the GX9 does. But I realize that the GR is the only camera where in-camera RAW editing is really meaningful to me, combined with quick wifi. That's just an extension of the tiny, nimble and carry-everywhere nature of the GR. The KP is a heavyweight, will shrug off weather that would scare me with the GR, and the fact that I will want to edit files on the computer 99% of the time is offset by the fact that the DNGs will work with LR6.

The question I really need to answer is, will I use this camera the way it's meant to be used? You have to be more intentional with a DSLR, and for more casual use, the GR or a small film camera will probably always be preferable to me. But one of the main reasons the KP appealed to me (aside from amenities I'm used to like IBIS) is the lens catalogue: slightly off-the-wall, very compact, relatively affordable, universally acknowledged to be very good. To some I guess the old-fashioned AF drive is a downside, but I kind of like it. It's another way Pentax reminds me of the film SLR era. They haven't lost sight of their heritage, and the Pentax manifesto makes it clear that being a niche player doesn't have them scared. Rather, the way the big three (remember when Pentax was one of the three?) are converting heavily to mirrorless has given Pentax the playing field they seem to be comfortable with. Very cool. Anyway, I will continue working through this camera and seeing how it fits into my shooting.
 

agentlossing

Top Veteran
Location
S. Oregon Coast (the Northernmost-Cal of them All)
Real Name
Andrew Lossing
Okay, reading the manual I think I understand the third dial better. I had approached the function dial (the one with C1 through C3) as being similar to the custom modes on the GR, where an entire camera setup can be saved, but I see now that it directly affects the third dial. So if I set C1 to ISO, C2 to exposure comp, and use C1 for shooting in M and C2 for shooting in TAv, I should be good.
 

rayvonn

Hall of Famer
Well, guys, I went and did it. I have a new KP from B&H with the 35mm f2.4 plastic fantastic lens. I am kind of doing the thing I don't like, which is testing the camera... not with the intention of returning it, by any means, but leaving that door open if it really doesn't work for me. Not the way I usually do things, but in 2020 it seems the most reasonable way to get the camera in my hands (not traveling four hours to downtown Portland right now to visit a camera shop... not even sure if they carry Pentax).

I'm going to post some of my observations as I go, if that's agreeable. I need somewhere to coalesce my thoughts! So far...

  • it's been a long time since I owned a DSLR. They aren't small, or light! But I appreciate the chunkiness of this camera. I have remembered how to support the camera with a two-handed grip. It was unnecessary on MFT, there wasn't even much real estate to grip with the left hand. There is a nice feeling to the firmness of a three-point connection to the camera.
  • Lots of buttons in a small space, I am used to it coming from the GX9, but the placement is different enough that it'll take some getting used to.
  • Love the dials, including the front-mounted one. If only they were a little more customizable. I got the top dial set to change ISO in M using C1, I will have to fiddle a bit more. I'd like if it could be configured as on-demand exposure comp in other modes, but I'm not sure if it can be?
  • I got all three grips. It's a genius move. I like the compactness with the small grip but if I'm carrying it around I can see the large grip being much more comfortable. I like the shutter button being on top of the camera instead of being on top of the grip like most DSLRs.
  • The K mount depth is deep! That mirror box is huge. Definitely feel like getting pancake lenses will make me more comfortable.
  • Wifi was glacially slow when I tried it yesterday. Maybe because I had a slow card in the camera? I need to buy more cards... but by current standards I couldn't believe how slow files transferred.
  • The VF is huge, much bigger than my old Nikon D40 was. I forgot how SLR viewfinders are a bit dim, at least with the f2.4 lens. Not something I'm likely to notice outside, I just noticed it indoors.
  • The menu system is still confusing, with its emphasis on lots of horizontal columns.
I haven't had time to work on any files yet, but the fact that DNG RAW is included is fantastic, and part of what attracted me to this camera. I expect the files to be quite similar to my GR III. I do wish there were more parameters for in-camera editing of RAW files - the KP has less than the GX9 does. But I realize that the GR is the only camera where in-camera RAW editing is really meaningful to me, combined with quick wifi. That's just an extension of the tiny, nimble and carry-everywhere nature of the GR. The KP is a heavyweight, will shrug off weather that would scare me with the GR, and the fact that I will want to edit files on the computer 99% of the time is offset by the fact that the DNGs will work with LR6.

The question I really need to answer is, will I use this camera the way it's meant to be used? You have to be more intentional with a DSLR, and for more casual use, the GR or a small film camera will probably always be preferable to me. But one of the main reasons the KP appealed to me (aside from amenities I'm used to like IBIS) is the lens catalogue: slightly off-the-wall, very compact, relatively affordable, universally acknowledged to be very good. To some I guess the old-fashioned AF drive is a downside, but I kind of like it. It's another way Pentax reminds me of the film SLR era. They haven't lost sight of their heritage, and the Pentax manifesto makes it clear that being a niche player doesn't have them scared. Rather, the way the big three (remember when Pentax was one of the three?) are converting heavily to mirrorless has given Pentax the playing field they seem to be comfortable with. Very cool. Anyway, I will continue working through this camera and seeing how it fits into my shooting.
Having regard to the sensor, the images should resemble that of your GRIII. In theory at least. It will be interesting to see whether that actually turns out to be the case.
 

Biro

Hall of Famer
Location
Jersey Shore
Real Name
Steve
Congratulations, Andrew!

The DA 35mm f/2.4 is a great place to start. I also recommend any of the DA Limited primes and the 20-40mm f/2.8-4.0 Limited zoom.

If you don't have a telephoto zoom, the DA 55-300mm f/4.5-6.3 ED PLM WR RE is the way to go on the KP. Although I still have the DA 55-300 f/4-5.8 HD WR.

I still have quite a bit of Pentax gear -- including the KP - although it doesn't get used much these days.
 

agentlossing

Top Veteran
Location
S. Oregon Coast (the Northernmost-Cal of them All)
Real Name
Andrew Lossing
Congratulations, Andrew!

The DA 35mm f/2.4 is a great place to start. I also recommend any of the DA Limited primes and the 20-40mm f/2.8-4.0 Limited zoom.

If you don't have a telephoto zoom, the DA 55-300mm f/4.5-6.3 ED PLM WR RE is the way to go on the KP. Although I still have the DA 55-300 f/4-5.8 HD WR.

I still have quite a bit of Pentax gear -- including the KP - although it doesn't get used much these days.
Thanks! I will definitely look into the DA Limited primes, they're a big part of what attracted me to the camera. The 40mm f2.8 is so affordable I will likely pick one up pretty soon. The 20-40mm is quite tempting as well, I have to decide whether I'd get a lot of use out of a soon with that aperture range. The zoom range is well within my comfortable working range, but I like large apertures (and I cannot lie).

No need for a telephoto zoom, though. I'm not a tele guy. Equivalent 60mm is the longest lens I had previously. Short tele is about my limit, and a cheap 50mm 1.8 would do the trick nicely.
 

phigmov

Probably Not Walter Kernow
Location
Aotearoa
Very cool. Anyway, I will continue working through this camera and seeing how it fits into my shooting.

Great to hear you experiences. My dad was always a Pentax guy in the 70's & 80's - he never really made the digital transition. I've really enjoyed discovering Pentax for myself recently - particularly the old lenses, the m42 & k-mount primes have been great fun. Just getting into some of the DA primes now. Definitely bigger than my m43 kit but more svelte than my D700. I'm enjoying the macro capabilities, focus-confirm beep with MF lenses and the viewfinder. The flash seems a little rudimentary but I might just need to experiment some more with that. The files seem pretty good & easy to work with too.
 

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