Test Drive: Pentax K-3, 10-17mm, 35mm

I recently got to spend a short amount of time with the Pentax K-3 and a unique pair of lenses – the 10-17mm fish-eye zoom lens and the fast-aperture 35mm/f2.4. The K-3 is the top of Pentax’s line. Like all Pentax DSLRs, the K-3 is weather-sealed, offers Sensitivity-Priority, and has dual command dials (all features that Nikon and Canon don’t offer!).

I got to take this swell kit along to coffee with a friend, a family Christmas get-together, and a night of competitive karaoke! These lenses – the 35/2.4 and 10-17mm/3.5-4.5 were a lot of fun to work with. The 35mm, on the K-3, is equivalent to about a 50mm lens, so made a great light-gathering “normal” lens. The 10-17mm was a lot of fun as a “crazy” fish-eye at 10mm, but also a pretty fair (though not horribly corrected) wide-angle lens at 17mm.

The camera’s controls are really well laid-out. I particularly liked how accessible the ISO and Exposure Compensation buttons are – right up by the shutter button. I like the On/Off switch encircling the shutter. And, for how many buttons there are, I never felt as though they were overwhelming.

The ergonomics of the camera are remarkable. The grip fits your hand quite nicely. The rubberized covering makes it easy to hold. The rear of the body has a nice spot for your thumb and the viewfinder is nice and bright!

I really had a good time using this kit and was impressed with how sharp the 35/2.4 is, and how versatile the 10-17mm was. Pentax continues to be a company that is pushing innovation and is getting some overdue attention! Take a look at this reader survey of which camera was the Best DLSR of 2013!

This camera and lens pair are all available at Mike Crivello’s.

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4 thoughts on “Test Drive: Pentax K-3, 10-17mm, 35mm

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