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Thread: K5 versus the M9

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    K5 versus the M9

    Hi There



    The Lackadaisical quality of the above photo (taken with an X1) is a good reflection of the lackadaisical quality of my testing.

    This certainly wasn't meant for public consumption - it was to give me an idea of the actual IQ compromises entailed when using the K5 as opposed to the M9. It wasn't so that I could come to any selling decision, simply to get a handle on things.

    To this end it seemed better to try and use perfect conditions - not high ISO or wide apertures or anything like that, I understand that pretty well.

    So, I went out armed with the two cameras.

    First of all a 24mm test - I used the DA 16-50 zoom for this, I'm certain it performs better than the 15 DA, and this copy seems to be a good one.
    With the M9 I used the 24 summilux at f8.







    Now the 50 mm test; here I used the Noctilux at f8, against the DA35 macro at f5.6 - a fairer test I feel. Anway, here are the results:







    I've put the 4 RAW files concerned into my dropbox folder, so that you can go do some real pixel peeping if it turns you on!

    Dropbox link to zip file

    Worth mentioning that I did NOT use a tripod for these shots (I felt that the shutter speed made it unnecessary).

    I also had IS turned OFF on the K5 - not to level the playing field, but I think that it has a detrimental effect on image quality when it isn't needed.

    So, there are problems here:
    1. no tripod
    2. careless test conditions
    3. matching apples and oranges
    4. pointless
    5. likely to start a fight!

    Still, it gave me an answer that I can get to grips with, and it was a fun walk getting to the old barn (the dog got very bored when I was taking the pictures).

    Enjoy!

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: K5 versus the M9

    Interesting, Jono! Unfortunately my Mac Unarchiver wasn't able to open the zip file for some reason. Any 100% crops for pixel peeping?

    Also: where the heck did that silver K-5 come from? Did you return your black one? I had one on preorder for a while but the local importer said they were supposed to get some no sooner than late April - early May. I'm also still a bit hesitant if I can trust the teething problems are gone by now.

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    Re: K5 versus the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Hi There



    The Lackadaisical quality of the above photo (taken with an X1) is a good reflection of the lackadaisical quality of my testing.

    This certainly wasn't meant for public consumption - it was to give me an idea of the actual IQ compromises entailed when using the K5 as opposed to the M9. It wasn't so that I could come to any selling decision, simply to get a handle on things.

    To this end it seemed better to try and use perfect conditions - not high ISO or wide apertures or anything like that, I understand that pretty well.

    So, I went out armed with the two cameras.

    First of all a 24mm test - I used the DA 16-50 zoom for this, I'm certain it performs better than the 15 DA, and this copy seems to be a good one.
    With the M9 I used the 24 summilux at f8.







    Now the 50 mm test; here I used the Noctilux at f8, against the DA35 macro at f5.6 - a fairer test I feel. Anway, here are the results:







    I've put the 4 RAW files concerned into my dropbox folder, so that you can go do some real pixel peeping if it turns you on!

    Dropbox link to zip file

    Worth mentioning that I did NOT use a tripod for these shots (I felt that the shutter speed made it unnecessary).

    I also had IS turned OFF on the K5 - not to level the playing field, but I think that it has a detrimental effect on image quality when it isn't needed.

    So, there are problems here:
    1. no tripod
    2. careless test conditions
    3. matching apples and oranges
    4. pointless
    5. likely to start a fight!

    Still, it gave me an answer that I can get to grips with, and it was a fun walk getting to the old barn (the dog got very bored when I was taking the pictures).

    Enjoy!
    Without pixel peeping it looks like a draw. I did the same sort of comparison between my 5DII and the K5 and decided that the 5DII was superfluous for my needs.
    Carl
    Gallery

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    Re: K5 versus the M9

    I was curious to look at the raw files, but the link returns a tiny zip file that can't possibly be correctly formed.

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    Re: K5 versus the M9

    until now i didn't know just how small the k5 really was! the K5 seems to hold its own. very impressive!

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    Re: K5 versus the M9

    Jono's zip file was probably still being uploaded to the Dropbox cloud as we tried to download it at first. Now it's a proper 74.5MB file that opens just fine.

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    Re: K5 versus the M9

    Interesting comparison Jono. Although I don't have a K-5 (or M9 for that matter), I've really enjoyed the posts and accompanying photos in all the K-5 threads. There are so many, it seems Pentax should have its own thread; anyone with an "other" camera must feel somewhat alone.
    I'm surprised at the apparent number of posters who have both a M9 and K-5. I understand the similar appeal - size, primes, but to have both systems (unless zooms are used with the Pentax) seems redundant. As good as the K-5 appears to be, when would you choose it over the M9?

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    Re: K5 versus the M9

    Having now pixel peeped the images, it's clear that M9 has much more pixel level resolution - perhaps due to the lesser AA filter? The dynamic range seems very good on both. But where does this halo on the attached M9 picture crop come from? It's not a JPEG artefact as I saw it already on my computer, and there is none or much less on the K-5 picture. Is it from the AA filter difference?

    EDIT: Aperture 3, more or less default settings

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    Re: K5 versus the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by tsjanik View Post
    Interesting comparison Jono. Although I don't have a K-5 (or M9 for that matter), I've really enjoyed the posts and accompanying photos in all the K-5 threads. There are so many, it seems Pentax should have its own thread; anyone with an "other" camera must feel somewhat alone.
    I'm surprised at the apparent number of posters who have both a M9 and K-5. I understand the similar appeal - size, primes, but to have both systems (unless zooms are used with the Pentax) seems redundant. As good as the K-5 appears to be, when would you choose it over the M9?
    That's a good point.

    Personally, I was using my m4/3 system when I needed AF/video/macro/telephoto work. And also when shooting around with family at outings where things get messy. Also, when I was in Ethiopia, all the dirt and debris made me think twice before swapping out lenses on my M8. The whole time I was thinking I would have been better off with a fast zoom and rugged body. Thus the K5.

    It will be my go to camera when I need a fast zoom and a body that I can bang around without worry. And while it is not the strongest feature, the HD video will be nice too when I want to use it.

    For me, the primes (15, 31, 77) are more for fun and potentially video work. Other times I will be using a fast zoom (still trying to test them out before committing).

    Last but not least, I'm a New Yorker but currently reside in SC where shooting with a rangefinder is too limiting. It's a place much more condusive to lanscape and telephoto work. When I return to NY someday, I'll probably be shooting mostly with my M8 again.

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    Re: K5 versus the M9

    In examples #2 the halo isn't as much presented and the resolution difference seems less pronounced.

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    Re: K5 versus the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by emr View Post
    Jono's zip file was probably still being uploaded to the Dropbox cloud as we tried to download it at first. Now it's a proper 74.5MB file that opens just fine.
    Good call. :-)

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    Re: K5 versus the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by emr View Post
    Having now pixel peeped the images, it's clear that M9 has much more pixel level resolution - perhaps due to the lesser AA filter? The dynamic range seems very good on both. But where does this halo on the attached M9 picture crop come from? It's not a JPEG artefact as I saw it already on my computer, and there is none or much less on the K-5 picture. Is it from the AA filter difference?

    EDIT: Aperture 3, more or less default settings
    The difference I see is between the lenses. The Pentax 16-50 zoom is no match for anything fitted to the M9. That zoom has a ton of chromatic aberration and generally mushy edge and corner rendering. (not to say that the Leica's 24mm lens is perfect either.)The DA35 Macro Limited is a lot closer to the Leica's 50mm performance, but the 50 still has an edge. I think the obsession with antialiasing filter strength is unwarranted.

    IMO, as usual, the reason to buy a Leica M is superior lenses. Primes too ... feh on zooms.

    (Okay, Jono: I'll take an M9. Anyone giving one away please send me a note ... ];-)

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    Re: K5 versus the M9

    Obsession, nice. And the halo, is that from the lens too?

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    Re: K5 versus the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by emr View Post
    Obsession, nice. And the halo, is that from the lens too?
    The "halo" you're seeing is an artifact caused by a combination of Aperture's default settings and the chromatic aberration in the Leica 24mm lens. I opened the files in both Lightroom and Aperture ... Aperture's default sharpening combined with the R-G CA shift creates a halo which is absent in LR's default rendering (LR shows the RG fringing only).

    A small tweak of the R-G, B-Y CA adjustment controls in LR eliminates the fringing. In Aperture, doing a similar correction and changing the sharpening eliminates both halo and CA fringing.

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    Re: K5 versus the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by tsjanik View Post
    I'm surprised at the apparent number of posters who have both a M9 and K-5. I understand the similar appeal - size, primes, but to have both systems (unless zooms are used with the Pentax) seems redundant. As good as the K-5 appears to be, when would you choose it over the M9?
    Hi There
    What a good question. The answer for me is that I actually do mostly use the K5 with zooms (I have the Sigma 10-20 f3.5, the 16-50 f2.8, the 18-135 for a walkabout and the 60-250).

    My priorities are like Mark's, so the primes are more for fun. But the Philosophy and size of the camera is pretty consistent, and a small kit is always possible. To be honest I wouldn't expect to be using the K5 for straight landscape, I'd normally have an M with me.

    It's grand to have something which is robust, weathersealed, small and quiet, and the Pentax, unlike anything else, ticks all those boxes.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: K5 versus the M9

    Godfrey
    Thanks for the useful contributions - this is actually my fourth attempt at a 16-50, and although it's not perfect, it seems fairly good to me, it even has sharp corners if you stop it down a bit!

    As you say, the comparison between the 35 and the noctilux is a bit fairer. On the other hand, the 15 limited I had was noticeably worse than the 16-50 at all apertures.

    Mark
    The K5 really is small - and perfectly formed. I'm not certain that the shutter is quieter than the M9, but it's certainly a much nicer noise, a delicious noise in fact.

    For me the K5 is no replacement for the M9, but it's an excellent companion.

    emr
    Thanks for the explanation of the zip file - I'd forgotten how slow our internet is here in Cornwall

    Carl
    As you say, without pixel peeping it's close to a draw. I did this for myself, but I thought that there would be lots of people who might be interested in the results, and so it would seem!

    all the best

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    Re: K5 versus the M9

    Jono

    Well, who'd have thought it: Pentax 'as good as Leica'! Of course, there's always more than one thing to consider in all of this and I admit to not having read all the posts yet in this thread but it is clear to me that as a fervent 'Leica fan', you are enjoying you K5 very much! Headlines now: "Leica and MFT users trade cameras for Pentax K5" ... :-)

    Regarding the silver K5, your picture is interesting as I think it shows the main difference in the grip to be in the lower half. Are you getting used to it?

    I am also curious about your comment on SR maybe being detrimental sometimes. I have a suspicion about this too but am not sure I can 'prove' it. What have you seen? i would like some 'auto mode' where we can set a threshold for SR being activated, perhaps being based on a shutter speeds for corresponding focal lengths. i.e. if the shutter speed should be high enough, such as 1/250th for a 135mm focal length, then don't activate SR. It must be possible in firmware?

    Lee

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    Re: K5 versus the M9

    Mark, Jono, thanks for the replies. Now I understand, the existence of Pentax zooms allows the justification and rationalization, but then the Pentax primes prove irresistible .

    Tom

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    Re: K5 versus the M9

    HI There Lee

    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphie View Post
    Jono

    Well, who'd have thought it: Pentax 'as good as Leica'! Of course, there's always more than one thing to consider in all of this and I admit to not having read all the posts yet in this thread but it is clear to me that as a fervent 'Leica fan', you are enjoying you K5 very much! Headlines now: "Leica and MFT users trade cameras for Pentax K5" ... :-)
    Yes - in your dreams! Of course, the reason I posted this was that I thought that the results were interesting, and had the scope of reassuring owners of both cameras (they reassured this owner of both cameras )

    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphie View Post
    Regarding the silver K5, your picture is interesting as I think it shows the main difference in the grip to be in the lower half. Are you getting used to it?
    Yes - it's fine - but of course it's difficult to really compare until the black one gets back from Pentax. My gut reaction is that I still prefer the black.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphie View Post
    I am also curious about your comment on SR maybe being detrimental sometimes. I have a suspicion about this too but am not sure I can 'prove' it. What have you seen? i would like some 'auto mode' where we can set a threshold for SR being activated, perhaps being based on a shutter speeds for corresponding focal lengths. i.e. if the shutter speed should be high enough, such as 1/250th for a 135mm focal length, then don't activate SR. It must be possible in firmware?

    Lee
    I wondered if anyone would pick up on that - I was shooting with the 60-250 in good light the other day, and was a little disappointed with foliage detail, especially away from the centre of the frame. As I was shooting in bright light with a fast shutter speed it just occurred that it might be worth turning off the SR - Hard to prove it's better, but it does seem to be quite a big improvement. Same for the 16-50.

    I'd be interested in other people's experiences.

    all the best

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    Re: K5 versus the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by tsjanik View Post
    Mark, Jono, thanks for the replies. Now I understand, the existence of Pentax zooms allows the justification and rationalization, but then the Pentax primes prove irresistible .

    Tom
    Tom
    You hit the nail on the head!
    The K5 provides the missing link without representing too much culture shock.

    To me it's not often an alternative to the M9, but I use it more at a point when I might previously have taken out the LX5 or similar.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: K5 versus the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by emr View Post
    Having now pixel peeped the images, it's clear that M9 has much more pixel level resolution - perhaps due to the lesser AA filter? The dynamic range seems very good on both. But where does this halo on the attached M9 picture crop come from? It's not a JPEG artefact as I saw it already on my computer, and there is none or much less on the K-5 picture. Is it from the AA filter difference?

    EDIT: Aperture 3, more or less default settings
    The M9 not only has 2 megapixels more, it has Zero AA filter :-)

    - Raist

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    Re: K5 versus the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Godfrey


    Carl
    As you say, without pixel peeping it's close to a draw. I did this for myself, but I thought that there would be lots of people who might be interested in the results, and so it would seem!

    all the best
    As a general note Jono, most cameras in these conditions, including several recent and not so recent point and shoots will look great at these resolutions. I even have an LX5 shot that looks better than those to give you an idea :-) Same with low light shots.

    I don't think the so called "pixel peeping" here is bad- if you really want to compare what you are getting. I do believe comparing at this size is useful if your target platform is the web, iphone, ipad, etc. but for cropping/printing big, etc. it's useful to see what happens at the 100%.

    - Raist

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    Re: K5 versus the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by raist3d View Post
    The M9 not only has 2 megapixels more, it has Zero AA filter :-)

    - Raist
    Hi Ricardo
    Exactly - and the M9/nocti lens costs about 6 times the K5/35 combo. There is no way that it's a fair fight - but I think the K5 comes out pretty well, and if you start putting price into the equation, then it's excellent.

    Personally, i was trying to discover how much I'd lose if I decided to relax occasionally, and go out for the day with the K5 rather than the M9 (which will remain my main system). The answer is that I'll lose something - but not as much as one might imagine.

    all the best

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    Re: K5 versus the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by tsjanik View Post
    I'm surprised at the apparent number of posters who have both a M9 and K-5. I understand the similar appeal - size, primes, but to have both systems (unless zooms are used with the Pentax) seems redundant. As good as the K-5 appears to be, when would you choose it over the M9?
    Since I'm in that group I'll chime in -- I shoot primarily with the M9 but the K-5 made a lot of sense as a bad-weather backup and I bought one last fall. I used it quite a bit over the winter and was very happy with how it worked out in that role. I used primarily the 18-135 and 31 limited. Great color with both lenses, and the 31 had a really nice signature. Also tried a number of other lenses, mostly primes. The build quality of the camera and the quiet shutter were great too. And despite the justified hype over its high ISO performance I found it was the base ISO where the biggest IQ improvement over other APS-C sensors was to be found.

    Ultimately I decided I am just not a huge fan of shooting in bad weather, so it did prove redundant and I sold it. I'm also trying to downsize what I have to carry and the K-5 was bulkier than the M9 combo I use, which is a tiny fraction of the M9 setup pictured above with the monster 50mm lens (not that I would mind owning one of those!), although when I used the 40 limited the K-5 felt similar in size, and of course it is much smaller than comparable SLRs.

    My bottom line feeling is if you shoot outdoors in bad weather this camera is kind of a no-brainer, and even if you don't it still stands very well on its merits.

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    Re: K5 versus the M9

    about leaving the SR off/on...

    Many tests have been done, and no one has proven the benefits in either case. I just leave mine on all the time (NOT when on a tripod). That's why Pentax has gone from a hardware switch to software one.

    HOWEVER, the previous models K-7 & K20 had major flaws in their implementation of SR at a certain shutter speed (I think 1/100 or 1/80), which introduced blur. Pentax seems to have corrected the problem with K-5 and K-r.

    You can read Falk Lumo's blog for the technical aspects of issue, IF you wish ;-)
    http://falklumo.blogspot.com/
    .Sam.
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    Re: K5 versus the M9

    Jono

    Why is using the K5 'more relaxing'? Is it because the M9 is manual focus?.

    Just curious.

    Lee

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    Re: K5 versus the M9

    Interesting thread.
    Personally I still dont fully understand the K5.
    I get some images with very good IQ but then I often get slightly unsharp images which lack the last pop.
    I really like the color and tones and unobstrusive size.

    Compared to the M9 I see AF (faster but not more precise than the range finder), weather sealing, and advantages for tele and macro.
    But then the M9 has the nicer viewfinder for 35mm lenses, many faster lenses (and of course its a different user interface)

    If we are talking about a DSLR system however I see the K5 lacks the large viewfinder, fast continues AF, the many options for fast and special lenses and the reliable exposure and flash exposure metering of FF Nikons.

    I have been trying to decide between Nikon and Pentax for some weeks now but just cant make up my mind.

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    Re: K5 versus the M9

    It's funny, a friend recently purchased an M9 (and sold it a few days later). I had the opportunity to shoot with it for while during the time he owned it. There is no question that it produced great files but it wasn't the camera for me. I am spoiled by auto focus as was he.

    I have a Canon 5D2 and a K5. I like them both but for the moment when I just want to take a camera it's the K5 (primarily with the 18-135) and I get great results (though I must admit its taking me a while to get used to it). When I want to take something for someone (a portrait, a product shot, etc) I tend to grab the Canon. Maybe its because I am more familiar with the Canon or that I have more lens choices, etc. On the K5 side of the equation is the small size, weatherproof body and that it just feels great in my hand.

    I think that both take great photographs.

    Jim

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    Re: K5 versus the M9

    Hi Lee
    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphie View Post
    Jono

    Why is using the K5 'more relaxing'? Is it because the M9 is manual focus?.

    Just curious.

    Lee
    I can't find where I said that - and I'm not sure what I meant.
    But I don't think that shooting carefully is ever that relaxing.

    But it is true that if I really want to concentrate and get the best results, then I'm likely to pick up the M9.

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    Re: K5 versus the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by shadzee View Post
    about leaving the SR off/on...

    Many tests have been done, and no one has proven the benefits in either case. I just leave mine on all the time (NOT when on a tripod). That's why Pentax has gone from a hardware switch to software one.
    Hi Sam
    Well, I read the blog, and I can see my personal results, and I don't really need to prove it to make it worthwhile switching SR off when shooting at 'safe' shutter speeds

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    Re: K5 versus the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    ... But it is true that if I really want to concentrate and get the best results, then I'm likely to pick up the M9.
    I just pick up the same camera I use all the time and concentrate to get the best results. It's the concentrating that matters, not the camera, once past a certain level of camera/lens quality.

    By the time I'd gotten to the end of my Pentax use, I'd tried all the lenses and had my favorites. The bodies always worked well, even the *ist DS, but were always a little clunky. Compared to the Olympus and Leica lenses, and the E-1, L1 and now E-5 bodies, I was never quite as comfortable using the Pentax gear for whatever reason.

    Different strokes. Cameras are more than the sum of their parts and specifications. The ancient E-1 continues to make photos that satisfy me, so what the heck. :-)

  32. #32
    Senior Member Amin's Avatar
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    Re: K5 versus the M9

    Fun comparison, Jono. Thanks for sharing!
    -Amin Sabet

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    Re: K5 versus the M9

    I think the really important points here are being somewhat overlooked.


    If you look at the size of these two cameras, there is not much difference.

    If you look at the images they produce.. there is not much difference.

    If you look at the cost of the two cameras.... well, now....

    You see, the K5 and Ltd primes produce images that are very good. The K5 has the benefit of being both AF and MF. It is also weather sealed. It has numerous features the M9 does not. It also costs thousands less than an M9 body.. and you really have to ask one really important question....

    Are the photos the M9 produces really $5000 better than those from the K5?
    Jim Radcliffe
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    Re: K5 versus the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Radcliffe View Post
    I think the really important points here are being somewhat overlooked.
    If you look at the size of these two cameras, there is not much difference.
    If you look at the images they produce.. there is not much difference.
    If you look at the cost of the two cameras.... well, now....

    You see, the K5 and Ltd primes produce images that are very good. The K5 has the benefit of being both AF and MF. It is also weather sealed. It has numerous features the M9 does not. It also costs thousands less than an M9 body.. and you really have to ask one really important question....

    Are the photos the M9 produces really $5000 better than those from the K5?
    Well, to my eye, the Pentax 16-50/2.8 zoom lens is no match whatever for the Leica 24mm. Frankly, the image from it looks awful (mushy, ill defined, lots of CA, bleck) even without putting it next to the Leica output. The 35 Limited looks much closer to the quality of the Leica 50mm, but there's still a hefty gap in quality. Quality costs exponentially more once you get to a particular level.

    I sold my Pentax 16-50 long before I got out of Pentax gear as I felt it simply didn't do the job I wanted at all. The FA43/1.9 remains my absolutely favorite Pentax lens, with the DA21/3.2 and FA77/1.8 Limiteds second in line after that.

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    Re: K5 versus the M9

    Godfrey... You didn't answer the question. The point is the relative bang for the buck of the K5 and Ltd primes vs An M9.
    Jim Radcliffe
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    Re: K5 versus the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Radcliffe View Post
    Godfrey... You didn't answer the question. The point is the relative bang for the buck of the K5 and Ltd primes vs An M9.
    The question is the value of that relative bang for the buck. And it is unanswerable in a general case.

    There is a significant difference in the output of these two cameras. How to value that difference is what's at issue. Whether it influences the salability of photos, whether it improves the aesthetic experience ... etc ... all these things have to weigh into the context of that evaluation.

    The ultimate question is "how good is good enough?" and every one of us, from the entire context of our use of this equipment to make the products of our labors, has to determine that for ourselves.

    There's a photographers I know who owns $100,000 worth of photo gear. He makes pretty pictures. Arguably, you, using a $1000 camera, make better pictures. He's happy with the equipment, it makes him feel good, and he likes the photographs it produces. You're happy with your equipment, it makes you feel good, and you are happy with the photographs it produces. Is his $100,000 worth of equipment better or worse than your $1000 worth of equipment? Likely, technically, maybe.

    But in the end, the question is irrelevant. This isn't a class in economics, of the Millsian utilitarian theory ... the greatest good for the least expenditure.

    To an artist, no tool is ever good enough, no work ever really right or finished.
    Artists are perfectionists, and perfectionism doesn't rest on "good enough" or "relative bang for the buck".

    One of the magic tricks learned by the great artists is when to say "I'm done, it's good enough", in every context. So that they can go on to the next work...

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    Re: K5 versus the M9

    >Artists are perfectionists, and perfectionism doesn't rest on "good enough" or "relative bang for the buck".

    How much of the perfection is related to the tools and how much to the content? Yes, photographers are into perfect tools. Not sure how much it helps to create more interesting content.
    Uwe Steinmueller
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    Re: K5 versus the M9

    Godfrey, fair enough. Your answer is worthy of that of a politician. Once you bring in how a camera makes someone feel and being an artist...logic goes right down the old dumper.

    We just look at such things differently...but the question is valid...and does have a real answer not based in intangibles.
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    Re: K5 versus the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Radcliffe View Post
    Godfrey, fair enough. Your answer is worthy of that of a politician. Once you bring in how a camera makes someone feel and being an artist...logic goes right down the old dumper.

    We just look at such things differently...but the question is valid...and does have a real answer not based in intangibles.
    I get what Godfrey is saying and what you are saying. I say there are two answers.

    Subjectively speaking is a M9 worth $5000 more than a K5? For me yes because it fits my needs and I don't feel I need anything more from a photographic standpoint(admittedly I haven't purchased my K5 yet but I will.) Objectively speaking do the pictures look $5000 better? H*** NO... but admittedly the M9 has it's limitations and I think the K5 is one of the most affordable photographic tools that satisfy my perceived shortcomings of the M9 (telephoto zooms, macro, weather sealing, AF, etc.)
    Sony Visible Light & IR Photographer
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    Re: K5 versus the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Radcliffe View Post
    Are the photos the M9 produces really $5000 better than those from the K5?
    This is well-put. However, I must respectfully suggest that there is another way to look at it.

    I like the images from the M9 better than any comparably-sized camera, by a noticeable margin. Therefore, once I saved up for it, I bought it. End of story.

    I respect the efficiency-based approach to decision-making, but I think it is fine to just go for what you really want sometimes. Life is short.

    None of this is to suggest that the camera is most important. I think it is fourth, after subject, light and photographer. But the four cannot be entirely divided either.

    And again, the K-5 is fantastic. I think it stands on its own without any reference to its price.
    Last edited by MPK2010; 4th April 2011 at 19:47.

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    Re: K5 versus the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Radcliffe View Post
    Godfrey... You didn't answer the question. The point is the relative bang for the buck of the K5 and Ltd primes vs An M9.
    The same point can be made for relative bang for the buck of a Rebel XS and "consumer" EOS primes vs K5 and Ltd primes

    Rebel XS + 24/2.8, 35/2, 50/1.8, and 85/1.8 = ~$1600

    Pentax K-5 + 21/3.2, 30/1.8, 43/1.9, and 77/1.8 = ~$4650

    No doubt the Leica kit price-wise takes things to another level, but one can make some terrific images with that Rebel XS kit.
    -Amin Sabet

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    Re: K5 versus the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by Amin View Post
    The same point can be made for relative bang for the buck of a Rebel XS and "consumer" EOS primes vs K5 and Ltd primes

    Rebel XS + 24/2.8, 35/2, 50/1.8, and 85/1.8 = ~$1600

    Pentax K-5 + 21/3.2, 30/1.8, 43/1.9, and 77/1.8 = ~$4650

    No doubt the Leica kit price-wise takes things to another level, but one can make some terrific images with that Rebel XS kit.
    That's a good point and we all have different opinions on what is good enough and how much we want to pay for the gear that we truly enjoy using.

    If we compare the Pentax kit to a used M8 with non-Leica lenses then we have a more level playing field.

    Used Leica M8 + CV 25/4, CV 35/2.5, ZM 50/2, CV 75/1.8 = ~ $4614

    So now the question is more, does this setup deliver good enough results and which one would I be more comfortable working with.

    -Thomas

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    Re: K5 versus the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by Amin View Post
    The same point can be made for relative bang for the buck of a Rebel XS and "consumer" EOS primes vs K5 and Ltd primes
    Yes, but this particular thread (lest we forget) was about the K5 & M9... I'm sticking to the original thread. Of course you can keep moving down the food chain of cameras until you are comparing a couple of Lomos...

    I will use an uncomfortable b*tch of a camera if it produces the kind of image I like. I have always equated cameras as tools, never a religion or an object of magic or dare I say... Legend. If it produces what I am after I can use it... warts an all.

    Like many in these forums I do not have unlimited funds at my disposal to lavish on my photography so to me, Bang for the Buck is important. I'll not get caught up in what an artist must sacrifice (monetary or otherwise) to produce his art in its highest and most favorable form as I do NOT consider myself an artist.. just a photographer.

    There is an equation I use when it comes to photography and it is this:

    Excellent Print/Image = 20% gear + 30% luck + 50% photographer

    So you can see that, to me, the gear is the least important factor. Of course gear is important but give a Leica to a chimpanzee and chances are he will not produce a good image with the Leica anymore than he would with a K5... unless he happens to use auto-focus.
    Jim Radcliffe
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    Re: K5 versus the M9

    Great discussion - I think I have a different angle on all of this.
    The reason I have a K5 AND an M9 is nothing really to do with IQ or compromises.

    The point is I like shooting with both of them, but it's quite a different experience composing and shooting with a rangefinder and with an SLR. With the SLR one is looking through a tube at a view of the world, whether using a fixed focal length or with a zoom. A rangefinder gives one a fixed view, it's like taking pictures by framing with one's fingers.

    As far as ART is concerned, I'm afraid I don't really associate it much with either the gear or the experience of shooting or the Image quality. When (if )I take a good picture it's because of me, and not because of the tools.

    Really good pictures (IMHO of course) very rarely hinge on any kind of image quality criteria, it's about being there, seeing it and having the skill to record it - as far as I can see pretty much any modern camera can do that.

    For me at least, photography consists of FOUR unrelated occupations:

    1. GAS and IQ - I like the whole business of buying and selling the gear, evaluating it, discussing it here, pixel peeping - it's good fun. As an aside, Jim's question about value for money is rather confused by the fact that apart from the camera bodies, leica lenses usually appreciate in value rather than the opposite - of course one has to have the resources, but my leica lenses are definitely considered as an investment rather than an acquisition .

    2. THE SHOOTING EXPERIENCE - walking, thinking, looking at things, snapping away - it is here, for me, that it's worth having an M9 and a K5.

    3. ART - this is the frustrating part - getting home and realising that one has shot 20 bummers 150 perfectly okay shots . . . . and no good ones at all. If I'm really honest with myself, I don't think I've taken more than 10 artistically interesting pictures in 10 years, and the best and most liked one (and most sold) was taken with an E1 in a dark kitchen - it has bad camera shake and is out of focus and drastically under-exposed.

    4. SHARING - oh yes - this bit I do like; showing a couple their wedding book for the first time; having a child's friend use one of one's pictures as their photo on facebook; - seeing a picture as someone's desktop on their computer; getting emails from people who have enjoyed the website; seeing again a good image on somebody's wall.

    I remember looking at a spectacularly good website of landscape black and white shots taken with a 2.5 mp Kodak compact. I really don't think that one can connect kit acquisition with art, I really don't!

    all the best

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: K5 versus the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Radcliffe View Post
    Godfrey... You didn't answer the question. The point is the relative bang for the buck of the K5 and Ltd primes vs An M9.
    I would say it depends what you like to do.
    I have done only few comparison shots between the M9 and the K5 but in my case I did see a clear advantage in the M9 images at ISO up to 640 at least.

    The other thing is the question if you like shallow DOF. If you do than it is a huge difference between a 35/2.8 on dx vs a 50/1.4 on ff, or a 21/3.2 and a 35/1.4 or a 15mm Lim which needs to be stopped down to f8 for usable corners and a 21 or 24/1.4

    The next thing is what Sean Reid would call "seeing the subject". I think 35 and 50 mm are the focal length which work best finder wise on a M9, and the viewfinder is bright even in low light.
    Frienkly I find the viewfinder of the K5 a little on the dimm side, specially if you dont have much daylight.
    On the other side anything 90mm FOV and longer the K5 works much better than a M9 viewfinderwise.

    Then we have other things like different user interface.
    I have used Leica M for roughly 25 years now and allway got along good with them and I kind of like it to have this "constant factor". Simplicity which still works very well.

    So I think it depends what and how you want to use the camera- and the question how much it is worth is even harder to answer.
    Even knowing that technical IQ is just one little thing (and maybe the least important) of an image it is still something which is important for me. How much is it worth if the image looks the way I want it to look like? How much is it worth to make the image to look a tiny bit more like what I remember to have seen? (the way I have seen it)?

    The most annoying thing of the M9 for me is the all mechanical coupling of rangefinder and lenses which means calibration of focus accurancy has allways to be done mechanical which needs a lot of patience.

    For me the things why I see the K5-System as a good but not a great system are
    -still not feeling safe regarding focus accurancy
    -lack of fast lenses
    -lack of quality control for lenses like the 16-50 (and some others) ...(not a Pentax only problem)

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    Re: K5 versus the M9

    Interesting points of view all around.

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    Re: K5 versus the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by Amin View Post
    Interesting points of view all around.
    Aw - c'mon Amin - you can do better than that

    What I like about this place is that you can post something as potentially controversial as this thread . . . . and expect to get a raft of measured and intelligent replies.

    Thank you everybody (so far at least!)

    Tom
    I'm really not finding focusing problems with the K5 now - as long as I'm aware that the focusing point is much larger than the red square.

    As far as the difference between the two - I can certainly see plenty of difference pixel peeping the RAW files - under what conditions it's important I'm not so sure.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: K5 versus the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Aw - c'mon Amin - you can do better than that

    What I like about this place is that you can post something as potentially controversial as this thread . . . . and expect to get a raft of measured and intelligent replies.
    I agree with you about GetDPI being a great place for this kind of discussion, but I just don't have it in my anymore. I'm happy to read along though. Almost always, someone will make the points for me .
    -Amin Sabet

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    Re: K5 versus the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    What I like about this place is that you can post something as potentially controversial as this thread . . . . and expect to get a raft of measured and intelligent replies.
    Yes, I have noticed that as well and it is much appreciated. One of the reasons I quit posting in the Leica Forum at DPReview was due to several individuals who always read more into my post than was there.

    Leica Diversion.....
    I love Leica gear, especially the glass, just can't afford it. I have often said that the Leica glass has been and always will be the heart and soul of Leica. They do make great lenses... not so much enthralled by their bodies. I sold my M8 due to several issues which even an unlimited budget would not correct. I'd love to have a FF M9 and a couple of lenses but that simply is not in the cards for the foreseeable future.

    Back to the K5.....
    The K5 is a wonderful, small package of digital technology. I've had it almost a month now and still find myself returning to the manual to understand things, not that it is complicated, I'm just a bit slow in my old age but I do appreciate what the K5 offers on a number of levels over my previous cameras, including my M8.

    The bottom line on any camera is about what it produces and how much one enjoys using it and that is why so many camera arguments/discussions often lead nowhere. It is an individual thing.

    I suppose what is "Good Enough" for me might be far less than what others would accept but fortunately that poses no problem for anyone.

    Good thread, Jono.. glad you started it.
    Jim Radcliffe
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    Re: K5 versus the M9

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Aw - c'mon Amin - you can do better than that

    What I like about this place is that you can post something as potentially controversial as this thread . . . . and expect to get a raft of measured and intelligent replies.

    Thank you everybody (so far at least!)

    Tom
    I'm really not finding focusing problems with the K5 now - as long as I'm aware that the focusing point is much larger than the red square.

    As far as the difference between the two - I can certainly see plenty of difference pixel peeping the RAW files - under what conditions it's important I'm not so sure.
    Jono,
    I need to shoot more with the new firmware upgrade and the K5 before I post any further comments.
    I need to find out how/when noise reduction, focus, distance (seems close distance work better than medium distance), shake, SR, optics (and here also f-stop) influence IQ how much.
    I also have been shooting too much with the S2 which raises my standards/what I am used to see.

    And maybe I should get either the 16-50 or the 18-135 to have a more interesting alternative towards my S2/M9 with primes.

    How good is your new 16-50 vs the 18-135? Have you compared?

    For some reason I would want the K5 to work for me.

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