Experience Report about PENTAX K-3 Mark III Monochrome by Franck MéeExperience Report about PENTAX K-3 Mark III Monochrome by Franck Mée
Franck Mée Photographer from France:
"The Pentax K-3 III Monochrome is an original camera which excels for specific purposes, but more important, it is a great teacher that will make you a better photographer."
K-3 III Monochrome - Experience Report by Franck Mée
PENTAX photographers had the opportunity to test the K-3 Mark III monochrome in their everyday photography before its market launch. We share their assessment here.
PENTAX K-3 III Monochrome // HD PENTAX-DA16-50mmF2.8ED PLM AW // Focal length: 16mm (24mm 35 mm equiv.) // ISO250 // Exposure time: 1/200sec. // Aperture: F10
Franck Mée was predestined to give an assessment of new products: he used to be a high-tech journalist specialized in photography equipment and currently works as a translator and writer for various photography-related publications.
He benefits from his many years of experience in photography: having started with an analogue compact at the age of eight in the late eighties, he used to borrow his father's Yashica TLR as a teenager before starting using a Minolta SLR in the early 2000s. Since then, he has used every type of camera you can imagine. He can therefore draw comparisons with different systems and techniques, either in digital or analogue photography.
PENTAX K-3 III Monochrome // Focal length: 58mm (89mm 35mm equiv.) // ISO250 // Exposure time: 1/500sec. // Aperture: F10
It has been a pleasure to have the opportunity to try out the PENTAX K-3 III Monochrome. Here are my thoughts, and a few of my shots with this camera.
I find the K-3 III Monochrome to be a very interesting camera: it forces me, as a photographer, to think in terms of tones as soon as I shoot – there is no "I'll correct that in post-processing". I have to pay more attention to the light than I do with my colour sensor cameras. Therefore, this is the purest and most conscious form of black and white photography.
PENTAX K-3 III Monochrome // Focal length: 330mm (867mm 35mm equiv.) // ISO200 // Exposure time: 1/250sec. // Aperture: F10 // Exposure compensation: -1EV
I think this camera is suitable for a special group of photographers: these who are serious about black and white photography and want to achieve the best possible reproduction of textures, such as stone, wood and other materials. There is virtually no risk of moiré or demosaicing artefacts. Therefore, it is a formidable tool for the technically proficient and dedicated photographer. But it also needs a deep understanding of light, shading and the translation of colours into grey values.
PENTAX K-3 III Monochrome // HD PENTAX-DA16-50mmF2.8ED PLM AW // Focal length: 330mm (867mm 35 mm equiv.) // ISO200 // Exposure time: 1/250sec. // Aperture: F10 // Exposure compensation: -1EV
The image results remind me of a black and white reversal film, with an accurate reproduction of very fine structures and details. And that's exactly how I worked with the K-3 III Monochrome: since blue tones, such as the sky, tend to be depicted rather brightly, I enjoyed using again orange filters to balance the tones and not overdo the highlights.
Left image: without filter
PENTAX K-3 III Monochrome // HD PENTAX-DA16-50mmF2.8ED PLM AW // Focal length: 31mm (47mm 35 mm equiv.) // ISO320 // Exposure time: 1/800sec. // Aperture: F9
Right Image with orange filter
PENTAX K-3 III Monochrome // HD PENTAX-DA16-50mmF2.8ED PLM AW // Focal length: 31mm (47mm 35 mm equiv.) // ISO320 // Exposure time: 1/100sec. // Aperture: F8
It was a very good exercise to think about the composition and rendition of the picture before taking it. With the K-3 III Monochrome, you have to see, think and then shoot more consciously. More than the final image quality, shooting with this camera is the perfect exercise for the photographer's mind.
However, I would say that most amateurs are better off with a classic colour camera, which gives them more scope to shoot black and white. An important factor here is that most black and white conversion and edition software are based on colour files, making it difficult to edit monochrome files.
But for the specialists among photographers, it is the fine and small details that make the difference. For example, a finer and more natural reproduction of edges, details and textures. In addition, the monochrome sensor is more sensitive and can reproduce shadows and dark parts of the image in higher quality at high ISO settings.
The bottom line is that this is a camera for specialists who are looking for a special form of creative work and who value the highest image quality.
PENTAX K-3 III Monochrome // HD PENTAX-DA16-50mmF2.8ED PLM AW // Focal length: 39mm (39mm 60 mm equiv.) // ISO2500 // Exposure time: 1/800sec. // Aperture: F8