The Ricoh GR is undoubtedly the world’s premiere aps-c compact camera. In my humble opinion, nothing comes close because this little black jewel is a total package. Remember, these types of scenarios are subjective but I believe I can quantitatively make the case for my assertion. What happens when a company has the vision to create a product with the level of synergism that Pentax-Ricoh has created with the Ricoh GR and now what’s arguably the best aps-c sensor camera in a dslr body, the Pentax K5 IIs, what do you call that? I tell you what I call it ― a perfect mutualistic relationship.
A mutualistic relationship is defined as follows: when two organisms of different species “work together,” each benefiting from the relationship.
You see the Ricoh GR can do things that the K5 IIs can not and vice versa, but herein lies the beauty of their relationship because they both work from their uniqueness to create what I call ― the one-two punch, driving blows to expand ones creativity to whole a new level.
Its quite obvious I’m enamored with the K5 IIs. When I saw it for the first time, I told myself, “hmm, it looks small I wonder how its going to balance on my hand?” Wow, was the first word that I literally said out loud. Folks, much like the Ricoh GR words can not describe adequately my exact feeling, its just something you have to experience for yourself and no one can really tell you about it. You can read all the reviews in the world but once you hold something like the Ricoh GR or the Pentax K5 IIs then you’ll know what I mean ― that zen like feeling of holding something you know its special. My friend, a natural wildlife photographer, who shoots with a D600 and a slew of 1k lenses couldn’t take his hands off it and was blown away with the level of workmanship and detail of the K5 IIS. If you’ve ever held a Nikon D7000/7100 and a Canon 7D, well imagine if those two cameras had a crazy night of fun and the K5 IIs evolved from that. Well that’s exactly what Pentax-Ricoh manage to do, combined the best of those two camps, brought in their innovations, and spawned the K5 series.
Folks, this is one helluv of a camera. First phrases id of what will typically come to your mind when you grip this camera will be along the lines of . . . “holy cow, what is this [in pure awe]?”, “oh my lord, this feels good,” and you get the picture. I’ve handled just about all aps-c sensor cameras in this range and I can undoubtedly tell you the Pentax K5 IIs can have its cake and eat too, its that good. I’m starting my user based review with the Pentax SMC-FA 31mm f/1.8 AL Limited and as usual, no charts or wall images, just real world photography. If you’re an old time reader of this blog you’ll know I like to call it quotidian photography but rest assured folks that street photography will also be a part of my user based review as well as it evolves much like the Ricoh GR Review. In the meantime, here are few samples from an outing I just had a few minutes. The black and whites were processed in Silver Efex as usual with the same preset I developed for the Ricoh GR. The color frames were adjusted with a slight s-curve and processed to my liking. I didn’t touch the white balance in any of these and I’m my opinion represent fully what I saw and captured in my digital frames. With that said, I’m extremely impressed with the white balance of the K5 IIs which of course is reminiscent of the GR. I’m telling you all, synergy at its best. Gotta love this combo with no AA filter giving us an IQ that is truly outstanding in its class.
All photographs by Jorge Ledesma ― Pentax K5 IIs ― click the images below to view them as large as a gallery with exif
Thank you for that post. As an owner of the Ricoh GR, I was considering a match in the Canon 70D because I have an expensive telephoto lens. Looks like I should look elsewhere. Any experience with the K3?
Well, if you’d like to have parity in the files then I would. I have no personal experience with the K3 but besides the MP I don’t expect a huge difference.
I love my K5 lls!
Its a winner!
Very happy with my K7 and K01 with the fantastic FA31 1.8, can’t wait till the ineviatble top end model due by years end. 😀
Likewise, I can’t wait, thanks for chiming in.
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Oh wow. I have never thought of to buy a Pentax DSLR, I have heard quite much good things of their lenses though. After reading this post and seeing your brilliant captures with it I may be fully armed by Pentax/Ricoh… 🙂
Indeed Jonne. I suppose some people need to see to believe and that perfectly logical but I can tell that I’m a believer. The K5 IIs is a stellar work horse and little by little I’m finding just how good is this machine. I’ve shot a series of scenarios and its proven to be a better than the competition in my view. This coming Friday is my one of best friend’s birthday and he’s celebrating it in a nice Miami restaurant and I’ll take the K5/31mm 1.8/ and a 3rd Party flash to cover the event. I’ll be shooting with manual flash settings ( the strobist in me 🙂 ) to have a consistent light output something you can’t do with TTL flash and I’ll sharing the shots here. Thanks for the comment and go buy yourself a K5 and some glass, you’ll be a happy camper. I can tell you one thing, the K5 is a camera you can easily have for 5 years and be happy till the next upgrade, mark my words. Cheers.
Thanks, Jorge! K5 IIs plus 31/1.8 sure is fantastic combo. They now are in my camera pondering list (that is quite expensive combo though) as is Sigma DP3M to complement my GR (then I would have 28mm and 75mm). But let’s see what happens… 🙂
Thank you, I’m just getting started. Cheers.