A lot of Pentax enthusiasts would like to see a comparison of the Pentax K-1-II and the KP.
The Pentax K-1 Mark II (a.k.a. K-1-II) is a full-frame 36 MP digital SLR camera. The Pentax KP is a “crop sensor” digital SLR. Both were designed with the working professional photographer in mind.
The K-1-II is an all-weather camera with a magnesium alloy body and it is rugged. It will endure years of use in the toughest environments. The KP is lighter and easier to carry and comes with three different grips for individual user comfort. Like the K-1-II, the KP has a magnesium alloy body and has similar dust and weather seals. My wife loves it for its smaller size and ease of handling.
The K-1-II has fewer lenses in the current Pentax line-up, but, every Pentax K-mount lens from the film era will serve nicely. I use the HD Pentax D FA 70-210 mm f/4.0 ED SDM WR, the HD Pentax D FA★50 mm f/1.4 SDM AW, the smc PENTAX-D FA MACRO 100 mm f/2.8 WR, HD PENTAX-D FA 28-105 mm f/3.5-5.6ED DC WR, and the HD Pentax D FA 150-450 mm f/4.5-5.6 ED DC AW with this camera.
I use the Pentax KP with the smc Pentax DA 50 mm f/1.8, the smc Pentax D FA 50 mm f/2.8 Macro, the smc Pentax DA★200 mm f/2.8 ED [IF] SDM, the smc Pentax DA★300 mm f/4.0 ED [IF] SDM, and the HD Pentax DA AF rear converter 1.4x AW.
The images I have in this article were taken with the two cameras above and I left the EXIF information intact.
In the heyday of film SLR cameras 28mm and 38mm lenses were in common use.
Today, with crop sensor cameras dominating the consumer market, people think of 18-55 mm kit lenses as being wide-angle, but they are not. To get wide angle shots like the old film shooter experience, you need a 10 to 12 mm lens. Older guys like me would have called that a fish-eye lens in the 1970s and 80s.
The biggest benefit of full-frame sensor cameras is that you can use wide angle vintage glass and get really great results. Most digital-designed lenses were made for crop-sensor bodies. You’ll enjoy the “crop factor” while shooting wildlife and sports action when you want to get closer to your subject.
If you want long lenses for full-frame sensor camera bodies Canon and Nikon give you more options in newer lens designs. Sigma and Tamron have also brought a lot of new lenses to the market.
While I love Pentax lenses and do believe that they are incredible quality, there are fewer choices for full-frame shooters. The Pentax 150-450 mm is the only choice in new lenses. The good news is that there are lots of old vintage lenses in the used market that will work on the K-1 Mark II, but it will take some time to find big glass for your wildlife photography needs.
Keep in mind that Pentax cameras were designed and built by some of the most passionate landscape shooters in the world. If landscape is your passion, you can’t go wrong with the Pentax K-1-II, the KP, or the new Pentax K-3 Mark III.