A Tale of Two Cameras

Discussion in 'Other Genres' started by TonyTurley, Dec 19, 2013.

  1. TonyTurley

    TonyTurley TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Apr 24, 2013
    West Virginia, USA
    My Christmas present to myself arrived today, a new Pentax K-30. Since this is an E-mount forum, all 3 of the following photos involve an E-mount. The first is the new K-30 taken with my Nex-5R and a Minolta Rokkor-X 50/1.7. The second is my 5R taken with the K-30 and an Asahi SMC Pentax-M 50/1.7. Settings were ISO 1600, 1/15, and f/4 in both pics. The third is of both cameras, using my wife's Sony H20 P&S. It is my understanding that the 16Mp APS-C K-30 sensor is made by Sony; could it be the same one as the 5R? Hmmmmm . . .

    Although the K-30 is my first personal DSLR, I've used others. My first impression is the Sony focus peaking is easier to use. Note the lettering on the front of the lens in the Sony pic is sharper than that taken by the Pentax. I used both live view focus peaking and looking through the pentaprism to try to get the best focus with the Pentax. I will chalk this up to unfamiliarity with the camera. The room was dark except for the Christmas tree lights, and I had a large flashlight trained on each camera as I focused and snapped the shutter. I figured that might make things a bit more difficult, too, but that's the effect I wanted.

    My Sony days aren't behind me; my plan is to use both cameras, rotating them as the situation arises. I have to admit, I do like the ergonomics of the Pentax. I have a couple of M42 lenses already on hand and a couple more Yashicas on the way, as well as a genuine Pentax M42 to K-mount adapter. That will let me mix some of the old screw mount lenses between cameras.

    Photography was already fun; it just got a lot more fun! :D 




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  2. Snowy

    Snowy TalkEmount Veteran

    Nov 18, 2013
    Melbourne, Australia
    Nice! Pentax have made some great cameras over the years, and some excellent optics too. I started out with a Pentax ME Super Special Edition which had a diagonal split screen. I found it very helpful for focusing. A lovely camera. I was gutted when it was stolen in a house break in.
  3. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur Subscribing Member

    Nov 13, 2012
    Ad Dieleman
    Looking great. I'm very curious how you get along with both cameras and how you feel about them after some time, please keep us posted!
  4. claude

    claude TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Jan 13, 2013
    Ottawa Canada
    Congrats on mew camera. Anxious to here more about the differences between the two in IQ and handling.
  5. TonyTurley

    TonyTurley TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Apr 24, 2013
    West Virginia, USA
    Thanks guys. I stopped along the highway on the way to work to get some sunrise photos. The photos turned out rather nicely. The old K-mount lens actually focuses to infinity, instead of past it. That is one difference I'll have to keep in mind between the two cameras. The other is stop down metering; ie, set the aperture and ISO, then press the green button, and the camera stops down to set the correct shutter speed. I can see where that could cause an issue if there is a large dynamic range difference between foreground and background. The K-30 also won't fit into the sling bag I use for quick trips with the Nex. Darn, another order from Amazon. :) 


    PS to Snowy: my first camera, a Praktica film SLR, had split screen focusing. That was a nice feature for a newbie. That camera still graces my camera collection. Lots of good memories in that one.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. TonyTurley

    TonyTurley TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Apr 24, 2013
    West Virginia, USA
    Continued use of the K-30 confirms that Sony focus peaking is easier to use; my percentage of keepers with the 5R is higher than it has been with the K-30. IQ with comparable lenses is about the same to my eyes. I'll be out hiking again Saturday, and I'm thinking of taking the K-30 with the SMC Pentax 50/1.7 and the 5R with the Rokkor 50/1.7 and do a little shoot-out.

  7. TonyTurley

    TonyTurley TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Apr 24, 2013
    West Virginia, USA
    I took the Nex-5R and K-30 on my weekly walkabout this morning. I wanted to compare the IQ of the two cameras, JPEG to JPEG, so no RAW processing was attempted on any of the photos. I still don't have the K-30 completely sorted, but I'm getting better. The K-30 does allow Long Exposure NR and High ISO NR to be turned off. Its focus peaking is kind of funky, too, but it works once you get used to it. I did enjoy its viewfinder in some of the bright sunlight I encountered today.

    To my eyes, there is not a huge difference in IQ between the cameras. The K-30 photos do appear to be slightly more saturated, but that's probably the coating difference between lenses. The lack of articulating screen on the K-30 makes getting some shots trickier, but that would defeat the purpose of an all-weather camera. On the other hand, I found it difficult to tell what I was doing on the 5R in the bright sunshine that I encountered at times this morning.

    I don't have any exhaustive conclusions to offer at this point. It is still very early in my Pentax ownership, but I like both cameras, and each has strengths in an area where the other has a weakness. I very much like being able to use old lenses on each camera, although with the K-30 I'm limited to K-mount or M42. Please keep in mind that the following photos are mostly not how I'd process them; I usually don't use the in-camera JPEG, preferring instead to work from the RAW files.


    The setup: Pentax K-30 + Asahi Pentax-M 50/1.7; Sony NEX-5R + Minolta Rokkor-X 50/1.7

    I should have gone further upstream to keep the sign out of the photo. f/8, ISO 1600, 1/250



    Testing the flare characteristics of each lens. f/8, ISO 200, 1/400



    f/8, ISO 200, 1/250



    f/8, ISO 200, 1/100



    f/8, ISO 200, 1/100


    • Like Like x 6
  8. TonyTurley

    TonyTurley TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Apr 24, 2013
    West Virginia, USA
    I ordered a Fotodiox Pentax-K to NEX adapter so I can use my Pentax and Takumar lenses on my NEX. Although I don't think I needed it, I ordered the one with aperture control, that also guaranteed proper infinity focus. We'll see. I also have a mint Vivitar 75-205 f/3.8 in Pentax-K on the way. I got a good price on it, and I did a lot of research before buying it. I've kind of jumped the gun in the past on a couple of lenses that I thought were great deals, but turned out to be mediocre. The 75-205 by Kiron has a lot of good reviews, and the sample images I've seen have been appealing. I doubt I'll ever own a "premium" lens, because I keep finding other lenses I want. At least I'm having fun while doing it, and I've been able to sell off many of my lesser used lenses. Life is good. :) 

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