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To buy or not to buy....that is the ? etc etc

Discussion in 'Pentax K-01 Forum' started by Simon L Jones, May 14, 2013.

  1. Simon L Jones

    Simon L Jones SC Rookie

    22
    May 11, 2013
    Salisbury, UK
    Simon Layton Jones
    Hello All,

    As an old Pentax film camera user I have a number of manual focus k-mount lenses collecting dust. The K-01 is now down to £240 body only or with 40mm pancake £299 and the temptation to buy is growing but a couple of questions for K-01 users please.

    How well does the manual focus peaking work ? And how efficient is the screen in brighter sunlight - reviews suggest that it is quite reflective.

    Any comments greatly appreciated.

    Simon
     
  2. Yeats

    Yeats SC All-Pro

    Jul 31, 2012
    New Jersey, USA
    Chris
    I love the K-01's focus peaking. I use it mainly with the Jupiter-9 85/2 and Pentax M 50/1.4 lenses. Focus peaking makes it extremely easy to MF these lenses, even wide open.

    In bright, direct sunlight the LCD is barely usable, IMO. Enough to compose the scene, but forget about checking DOF. In all other conditions I find the LCD to be fine.

    For general shooting, I hold the camera eye-level, elbows clamped against my ribs. This results in the camera being 7 inches or so from my face.

    Jupiter-9 85/2 @ f/2.8, ISO 4000, 1/13s


    Abigail_IMGP0265 by Yeatsy, on Flickr
     
  3. Simon L Jones

    Simon L Jones SC Rookie

    22
    May 11, 2013
    Salisbury, UK
    Simon Layton Jones
    Many thanks for your input. Beautiful picture - swaying towards buy button.
    Thank you
     
  4. christilou

    christilou SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2010
    Sunny Frimley
    I'm currently on my third! Something keeps pulling me back and it is very cheap at the moment. I don't use it much but I have the FA77 and an old ebay K 55 1.8 that I love. I'd have to agree with the LCD being washed out in bright sunlight. I've also used these same lenses on a NEX 5R with an adapter and they work very well if not, dare I say, a bit better. The only reason for me to buy the K-01 was price. I'm still thinking about returning mine to Amazon as I have 10 days left of the return policy but I've never done that before and feel slightly bad about it as there's nothing wrong with it !
     
  5. snkenai

    snkenai SC All-Pro

    Oct 5, 2010
    kenai, AK
    Stephen Noel
    The camera puts out great images, if I do my part. The LCD is very usable, even in sun light (may have to shade it), when the brightness is pushed all the way up, where I leave it. At wide apertures the peaking works great, but at narrow ones it becomes a bit busy for my taste. I mostly turn it off. The focus without it is still very easy.

    But, I just can't bond with it. Looking at it on the shelf, just doesn't invite a "pick me up". In the hand it becomes a picture taking machine, without many faults.

    Mine is for sale.
     
  6. Simon L Jones

    Simon L Jones SC Rookie

    22
    May 11, 2013
    Salisbury, UK
    Simon Layton Jones
    Thank you both for responses. At price it seems silly not to get it - but I don't want something that ends up on shelf. Much to ponder.
     
  7. wrangler

    wrangler SC Regular

    121
    Jan 11, 2013
    SW Minnesota
    Dennis Ulrich
    I'll start off by saying that I have very little experience with different cameras. In 40 years, I have owned three film cameras, and three digitals, all Pentax. And until the K-01, all SLR. I bought the K-01 as a backup for my K110D and now the DSLR is the backup. In bright sunlight I use the newer AF lenses because I can't see the focus peaking when the lcd is washed out. I use spot AF and rely on the fact that the AF is almost always dead on.

    In more favorable conditions, I use my legacy lenses and rely on focus peaking as an aid, it works as well for me as the micro prism focus screens in my MX and ME Super. I think the K-01 was a tremendous camera at the original price, and it has become the photo bargain of the year at current prices.
     
  8. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Sue
    But... only if you use it. I have kept looking at it in the au Pentax web shop. Its currently $299 with an 18-55 lens... but I just can't pull the trigger because I am pretty sure I would leave it at home, after the first flush of "new toy".
     
  9. wrangler

    wrangler SC Regular

    121
    Jan 11, 2013
    SW Minnesota
    Dennis Ulrich
    Your'e absolutely right! However, I believe I'm an outlier on this sight; I don't buy much photo equipment. I use only Pentax, because I want to use the lenses that I have accumulated over the years, ranging from a Soligar 180 mm preset screw mount, a Quntaray 100-300 zoom that I bought because it was only $60 at closeout to the Tamron 10-24 uwa that I added a couple of weeks ago. It's not that I am a Pentax loyalist, it's that I am truly a tightwad! If I bought it, I use it because I don't give myself a choice.

    By the way, I have an 18-55 that came with my isD S. If I could have only one lens this would be the one.
     
  10. Biro

    Biro SC All-Pro

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    Hi, Simon. Welcome to Serious Compacts. I'm another K-01 owner and here's my brief summary:

    1) Fantastic image quality - same APS-C sensor as the Pentax K-5 and K-30

    2) Focus peaking works fine and is fun - but not effective in bright sunlight because...

    3) The rear LCD is really only good for framing shots in bright sunlight. But turn it up all the way on brightness and it's fine for that. BTW, the LCD's resolution is great, so in anything but bright sunlight, you get a very good idea of what you're getting.

    4) Video quality is excellent - the best of any Pentax camera to date.

    Some suggestions:

    A) Buy the version with the 40mm f/2.8 pancake. At the price it's a no-brainer and you'll have an auto-focus lens to use in bright sunlight. The 40mm XS lens has the same excellent optics as the DA 40mm Limited pancake. Also, if you decide to sell the K-01, it'll be much more attractive with this lens. In fact, that camera-lens combination will likely become a collectors' classic.

    B) Some other inexpensive, lightweight, auto-focus Pentax lenses that would work wonderfully on the K-01 include the DA 35mm f/2.4, the DA 50mm f/1.8 and the DA-L 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6.

    C) Also, because the K-01 has a standard hotshoe, if you find any optical viewfinders for sale on eBay, they'll fit. I use the 47mm OVF from my Pentax Q on the K-01. It's a tick wider than the field of view I get with my DA 35mm Limited. But it's a reasonable option that I can work with.

    D) Make sure you have the latest firmware installed. It makes a big difference in auto-focus speed.

    E) If you really think you might like this camera, then buy one now. The supply of new examples with warranty can't last much longer. And, at these prices, the risk is very low.
     
  11. Yeats

    Yeats SC All-Pro

    Jul 31, 2012
    New Jersey, USA
    Chris
    Steve's right, the 40 XS is really nice. I didn't think I'd have much use for it, but I've done a 180 on that.

    Anecdotally, on a Pentax forum, people are noting that the K-01 produces slightly sharper images than the original K-5 and K-30, possibly due to a weaker AA filter.

    In this shot the sun was coming over my shoulder, I was able to see well enough to compose.

    Promaster 100mm AF Macro @ f/3.5, ISO 100, 1/640s


    fritillary butterfly IMGP0489 by Yeatsy, on Flickr
     
  12. christilou

    christilou SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2010
    Sunny Frimley
  13. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    the performance per dollar of the K-01 is ridiculous.
     
  14. christilou

    christilou SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2010
    Sunny Frimley
    I just took mine off Amazon again..... ! May as well keep it I think :redface:
     
  15. Simon L Jones

    Simon L Jones SC Rookie

    22
    May 11, 2013
    Salisbury, UK
    Simon Layton Jones
    Thank you all for comments (and welcome messages) and wonderful pictures. Decision made - I look forward to adding some K-01 shots in due course :smile:
     
  16. wrangler

    wrangler SC Regular

    121
    Jan 11, 2013
    SW Minnesota
    Dennis Ulrich
    I hope you enjoy using your K-01 as much as I have mine. Just keep an open mind, and remember that it is not an SLR. It has different strengths and weaknesses than other cameras. I find the lack of eye level viewfinder to be liberating. It allows totally different viewpoints and hence composition.
     
  17. Yeats

    Yeats SC All-Pro

    Jul 31, 2012
    New Jersey, USA
    Chris
    I agree, Dennis. Recently I made a point to Entropic Remnants that when I consider the K-01, I think "picture-taking machine" rather than "camera". I think that mindset relieves both the K-01 and me of preconceived notions regarding operation and handling.

    I believe I also compared the K-01 to a 1980's Volvo...
     
  18. wrangler

    wrangler SC Regular

    121
    Jan 11, 2013
    SW Minnesota
    Dennis Ulrich
    I never thought about it that way; but the K-01 has that solid, well put together feel that is reminiscent of early Volvos, and something I haven't experienced in any brand of Consumer DSLR.

    Actually, I have compared the feel to my Pentax MX.
     
  19. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    I wish you could seat 5 adults in a K-01 and use it to bring home the groceries.
     
  20. Yeats

    Yeats SC All-Pro

    Jul 31, 2012
    New Jersey, USA
    Chris
    You make any camera sing! :biggrin: