K5 body or limited lenses?

Started Jun 2, 2011 | Discussions thread
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mike703
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K5 body or limited lenses?
Jun 2, 2011

Please indulge me in a thought experiment...

I'm going to Taiwan for a few days soon and am tempted to take advantage of the lower prices compared to the UK to feed my shopping habit (if I can square it with my chief financial officer). But I'm torn as to what to get:

At the moment I have a K7 body (one year old), Pentax DA16-45 and DAL 55-300, and Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 lenses. Also some manual primes (SMC-M 28 f/2.8, 50 f/1.7 and 135 f/3.5). Using the 28mm lens for occasional 'photo walks' has been a real pleasure: the field of view seems just perfect to me for a single-prime-lens setup and this has made me want to get more into good-quality primes.

I could get a K5 body. Advantages are obvious in terms of two stops better high-ISO performance and wider dynamic range. I'm very happy with the IQ from the K7 up to ISO800 or so, which is 90% of my shots: noise is trivial and easily removed, effectively a non-issue. I use up to ISO3200 for shooting youth bands and orchestras and with some NR software (Topaz DeNoise) the results are fine for their intended use, which is web or small prints. if the K5 didn't exist I would have no issues with the image quality from the K7. But I like the idea of being able to go from ISO1600 and f/2.8 when using the K7 to shooting at ISO3200 and f/4 with a K5: translating the two-stop advantage into less noise, and better sharpness from the lens by stopping down.

...Or...

for the same money, more or less, I could get a couple of Limiteds. Analysis of my shooting habits shows that I use the 16-45 mostly at 16mm, so a DA15 would be am obvious choice; also I shoot a lot in the mid-to-long range of the 28-75, so a DA40 or FA43, or a DA70, would get a lot of use. I like the idea of the FA43 as it offers something that my zoom doesn't: an extra stop, in addition to the IQ, which the DA40 doesn't. But it's more expensive than the DA40 or 70.

So - with my current kit, if you were standing in a camera store in Taipei with a bit of money to spend, what would you go for? A K5 body, or a DA15 + (one of 40 or 43 or 70)?

Best wishes
--
Mike

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