Why I bought this camera ...

Started 3 weeks ago | User reviews thread
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HullPentaxian New Member • Posts: 3
Why I bought this camera ...

I'll give my conclusions first since, if you're like me, you scroll to the bottom of reviews to cut to the chase. The long story follows.

What I like about the K-1.

1. Inbuilt anti shake in the body

2. Resolution

3. Weather sealing

4. Accepts all my old Pentax K mount primes

5. Viewfinder

6. Focus point alert

7. Shutter action.

8. Android app

9. Software

Like a lot of people who shot 35mm film, I shot Pentax first with an MG, I had an ME Super, got  a Chinon CP7m, a few Ricohs, a Cosina or two and some other stuff from just about every camera manufacturer BUT, because Pentax invented the bayonet mount and licensed it to loads of camera manufacturers, I ended up with a load of Pentax K mount primes and the only way to find out if they were worth using on a full frame was to buy a K-1.

I had bought a Pentax K-200 which was perfectly adequate and fun and then a K-7 which I enjoyed but I saw a good deal on a Nikon D3300 entry level 24mp minus AA filter and used that for a couple of years until I got the K-1 in March 2018 in Sydney, Australia whilst sailing round the world.

1. Shake Reduction in the body.

I like shooting birds in flight. Rather than pay extra every time I buy a lense for inbuilt vibration control, I liked the idea I could buy any decent new or used, PK fit long tele and have anti shake. In conjunction with audible alerts from the camera when an image is in the focus range of a manual focus lense telling you when to shoot, I find this is an approach that works better than an AF lense on the D3300 constantly hunting of chasing a fast moving object. I do not get MORE out of focus shots with the K-1 using a manual focus tele than I got with the D3300 using AF.

2. Resolution.

Enough said. It's heartbreakingly lovely and the bundled software makes it simple to save JPGS, after some tweaking to a "4 star" standard if desired. I could not be happier with this camera. I absolutely adore it.

3. Weather sealing.

Using the camera from Sydney I ended up using it in Burma, India etc bringing the camera from an air conditioned cabin onto a hot, humid deck. After buying a weather resistant 50-200 ED lense in Singapore, I found I could take pictures anytime whilst other photographers waited for the condensation on and in their cameras and lenses to disappear. If you ever intend to photograph Northern Lights or in humid or warm climes, get a weather sealed camera and a weather sealed lense.

4. Accepts all my old Pentax primes.

Dare I list all these? A 50mm A series F2, about 3 or 4 M series 50mm f1.7, a 50mm FA AF f1.4 (wow, wow, wow ... GET ONE!), 135mm f3.5 M series, 17mm RMC Tokina f3.5,  35mm F 2.8 Optomax, a few Ricoh and Cosina 50mm including a FABULOUS Cosina f1.4 and others I may forget.

Since I got the K-1 I bought a RMC Tokina 400mm f5.6 (not a forgiving lense but capable of OK results if stopped down in decent light with a tripod at 100 ISO) , a 70-210mm A series zoom, F series 28-80mm zoom, F series 35-80mm AF f3.5, 70-200 AF FA zoom, a Tamron SP AF 90mm f2.8 Di MACRO 1:1 (the kind of lense that lets this camera really fly), Pentax DA 40mm XS f2.8 (sweet lense, beautiful design, cutest lense I have), 50-200mm WR ED,

Anyway, part of the idea for buying the K-1 was to help have a clear-out of lenses deciding what I would keep. The income from those lenses goes toward the cost of getting the K-1 or buying more or better lenses. I DO prefer primes and only if I am shooting somewhere a zoom is the best option will I forego using primes.

5. I'm used to viewfinders. I have a few digital cameras with screens through which images can be framed. Too many times it has been a farce because of lighting or lack of detail. I'm sorry. I want a pentaprism viewfinder. A bloke using a nice Fuji digital had a look through my K-1's viewfinder and loved it realising what he'd given up to use the Fuji (and any other camera like that. I have a few Nikon 1 series bodies and lenses and, whilst they\re OK, for anything serious, I use the K-1 of course).

6. Focus point alert.

The K-1 has loads of functions including all sorts of options to trigger the shutter when an object enters the focus point. This helps use old, manual focus telephotos with the inbuilt anti-shake which may be purchased more reasonably than more expensive lenses for other manufacturers with built in anti-shake.

7. Shutter action.

After using the D3300, the first time I triggered the K-1's shutter, it was a revelation. In comparison, the Nikon D3300, for which I have much affection and which I still have, is really "clacky".

8. Android app.

This works. Control the camera, to some extent, from your phone or tablet. Useful for long / BULB exposures.

9. Bundled software.

It took me some time to get to grips with this software but having learned a bit about it, I now find it useful, especially for squeezing the most out of shots where I didn't manage to capture as much of the object as I wanted. You crop in RAW, sharpen it a bit and save it as a 4 star jpg and you manage to gain a little bit of quality without being a post production expert at all.


If you have a collection of Pentax fit prime lenses from the 80s or 90s, it's probably worth your while getting one of these. Downside, not too many places stock Pentax lenses. They can be ordered. I have done GREAT deals on lenses knowing I was the only guy who would be walking into a shop asking "got any Pentax mount lenses?" for months on end ... but the used market doesn't throw up as many nice used lenses for Pentax as it does for Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Sony etc.. ... who all make nice cameras and lenses but, if you know and like your decent collection of K-mount lenses, they probably deserve this camera.

 HullPentaxian's gear list:HullPentaxian's gear list
Pentax K-1
Pentax K-1
36 megapixels • 3.2 screen • Full frame sensor
Announced: Feb 17, 2016
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Nikon D3300 Pentax K-1 Pentax K-7
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