Saturday, January 29, 2011

More K-r Colour Matching..

The Pentax sole agent of Taiwan is now offering (charged) grip replacement service for K-r users at Taiwan.. (Subsequent to what Hoya Japan offered grip replacement service for the K-x for Japanese users previously. Similar free service was also offered as part of the K-x promotion campaign in which limited grip colours can be chosen in specific purchasing period, once in Hong Kong, too.)



Source: http://forum.pentaxfans.net/showthread.php?t=108073 (in Traditional Chinese)

I really like this K-r Burger Thief! :-D



Source: http://forum.pentaxfans.net/showthread.php?t=107521 (in Traditional Chinese)

K-r Gold/Brown Limited Pentax Lens Matching

Further to the unboxing of my new Gold/Brown K-r #107, as before, I've done some Pentax lens matching with the new body, which are shown as follows:-

DAL 35/2.4 Gold:-


"A":-


"F":-


"F*":-


"FA":-


"FA*":-


"FA Limited Silver":-


"FA2":-


"FAJ":-


"DA/DA Limited":-


"DFA":-



View Also:-

Lens Matching with the Navy K-x

Friday, January 28, 2011

K-r AF Point (Mode) Selection Firmware Bug

Soon I'd powered up my new K-r Limited, I could see now there was the red AF point illumination indication again. But when I wanted to change the AF point mode via the main status menu with the Ok button, it had no effect! :-o :-(

If you are not sure about what I am talking about, look at the following diagrams. Left is the main status menu, upon the press of the Ok button, it should change to the selection menu as in the right:-



I then safely concluded that it was just a firmware bug! To verify it, I picked out my K-x to check but there was not the same problem found!!

I just couldn't believe there would be such an obvious bug in the "production" firmware. I thought that this trivial bug should have been removed "silently" with the latest firmware. So, I immediately downloaded the latest K-r firmware 1.01, which has just been officially released, at the Pentax Japanese support site. But it doesn't work out at all, i.e., the bug is still there! >:-(

I think I shall soon write an email to Hoya via their Japanese email contact to report this bug. Otherwise, I am afraid that this annoying bug will never be cured, just like what happened to the K-m for its sensor cleaning bug, which is indeed a serious one (which erases all user settings) and in fact affects every K-m user!

At the end of the day, K-r is an "improved" version of the K-x with the AF red dot indication which is all about the selection of the AF point. But now that direct and quick access to the AF point mode is jeopardised and the Ok button has NO function against what is indicated in the status screen! So? :-o

Nevertheless, I bet that Hoya Japan will continue to ignore me all in all even I once contact them again. So, if you are a K-r user, DO report this bug to your local Pentax and hopefully when more users have reported, Hoya Japan would be pushed to debug the firmware and give us a new update - Yes, hopefully! Let's ACT NOW!!

Update (1-29):-

I checked last night against my K-x for the existing differences and think about the root cause of them. It was found that it is just all about the way how the cameras (K-r and K-x) are differed when they are used to choose the AF point *manually* under the "Select" mode.

Anyhow, it is confirmed that it is not a bug. But it is really way misleading to show the icons and layout (of the four-way plus Ok buttons) but which the Ok button now has no function of any except in the Select mode and it cannot be used to change the AF point mode, unlike it used to be in the K-x.

My suggestion is even now the Select mode is using the Ok button, why not re-activate the Ok button again for other modes, namely, single central AF point, Auto 5 points and Auto 11 points. Just in case if the "Select" focus point mode is entered, the user could still enter the Info or main menu to change back the setting, as of it is now - end of story. If the user does not use the Select mode usually, this will improve the operation a lot!

And, as for Hoya, they have not responded so far, and I bet they never will! >:-| This is against what most other companies I have ever sent in an enquiry, suggestion or bug report. They usually responded and appreciated much the valuable feedback from the customer, and politely! Pentax/Hoya is the rare company that I have ever seen who had such a poor attitude, and it has never been changed! >>:-\

My New K-r Gold Limited & Kit! :-D

To support Pentax' slogan "To be Different", I bought this!



And the unboxing slideshow can be viewed here:-

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v313/RiceHigh/K-r/My_K-r/Unboxing/?albumview=slideshow

Bought it directly from Japan from the Mapcamera at Rakuten. The communications with them were mostly seamless and they do read and write in good English in general, although it took a day or so to answer each set of enquiries. The offered prices are not very cheap, though but I think would be still acceptable..

In fact, they usually followed up matters and responded in positive and practical ways. This is in big contrast to what Pentax/Hoya for their usual attitude, whom never responded or just wrote in vague statements in short form with poor English. In fact, Pentax/Hoya could never live up to the same standard and actually did not even come close! >:-( So, when a local camera shop just communicate and provide services far better than a global "large" company like Hoya, that's just a big joke and what a pity it really is!!

Well, btw, does my new K-r just look quite alike to the two special edition cameras below? ;-D


(Source: http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/hardwares/classics/pentaxlx/Pentax_LX_Gold/index1.htm)


(Source: http://cgi.ebay.com/Leica-R6-2-Gold-R-50mm-f-1-4-1965-1995-Singapore-NIB-/160369288873?pt=Film_Cameras&hash=item2556c126a9)

More to come.. (Lens matching, measurbation, head-to-head shootouts and etc.! :-D) Stay tuned! :-D

Update for New Article:-

K-r Gold/Brown Limited Pentax Lens Matching


Read Also:-

How to Order a Custom Coloured K-x from Japan by Yourself?

What Colour Scheme of the K-r Would You Choose?

(AF) Lens Matching with the Navy K-x

K-5 Limited Silver

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Hand Paint the Pentax DSLR Bodies and Accessories~



Wow, what true hand-made art pieces they really are! ;-D


Related:-

Practical Solution to the Issue of Few Colour Options of the K-x outside Japan

Pentaxians Have Become Toy and Model Collectors!

Star Wars Stormtrooper K2000W LE ?

First Official Statement by Pentax about K-5 "Sensor Stains" Issue

They have just published their official statement directly from themselves about the issue for the first time, ever:-

http://www.pentax.jp/english/news/announce/20110126.html

Quoted:-

"To PENTAX K-5 Digital SLR Camera Users

We would like to express our heartfelt appreciation for your patronage of PENTAX products.

We deeply regret that the first shipment of our PENTAX K-5 digital SLR camera included some products with a stained image sensor — a problem which we believe was caused during manufacturing — causing them to occasionally produce images with spots which look something like water drops, and which users cannot remove with ordinary cleaning methods.

All users of these defective products will receive free repair at our service center.

We sincerely apologize for any trouble and inconvenience this problem may have caused. We also promise to do all we can to achieve the highest level of quality control in the future, and eliminate any worries our customers might have about our products. We sincerely appreciate your kind understanding and cooperation regarding this issue.

Detail of problem:

Spots looking something like water drops may appear on recorded images under certain conditions.


Entire image
Enlarged image of spots

*The following information is for customer who lives in Japan. If you are an international customer, please contact nearest service center."



But would this be the end of the story? I am afraid NOT.. Just see a few of all those recent reports by various different K-5 users about the re-occurrence of the same issue after repair/replacement/cleaning of their original K-5 units, as below! :-o It seems that the *root* cause of the issue has not yet been completely located and totally eliminated. >:-(

K-5 Sensor "Stains" Developing Over Time!?

Report of Re-appeared UFOs with Repaired/Replaced K-5 Unit! :-o

LiveView of the K-5 Creates UFOs / Pearls on Sensor?

K-5 Serial Numbers and Issues Summary

K-5 (Limited) Silver Product Images

Front:-


Back:-


Source: Pentax EU Network, via: http://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-news-rumors/130668-k-5-silver-here.html

N.B. Now the Pentax EU Network has become a closed network, any unrecognised registration will be deactivated.


Related:-

Secret Release of K-5 Firmware Version 1.02

First K-7 Silver Unboxing! (Nice Looking!)

K-7 Limited Silver

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Pentax Mirrorless Will be Smaller Than APS-C? (for its Sensor..)

Previously Photorumors have made the rumour.. It was told that the upcoming Pentax mirrorless would be called the "NC-1".

Today, someone says that the "NC-1" will be smaller than APS-C for its sensor (size). So, this would be a big disappointment if it is really true. Why buy a Pentax mirrorless if it is going to have an even smaller sensor? Why not simply get the proven and more mature micro-4/3 *system*?

It will be just a marketing suicide if this is going to be true! And that if "NC" actually stands for "No APS-C"!? ;-D

Anyway, just remember that all those are just *rumours*, nevertheless!

Last but not least, all the recent rumours don't support that the NC-1 will support the old K-mount lenses.

Besides, it is rumoured that Nikon is making an upper level "Pro" mirrorless, which will be somehow unique in the market:-

http://www.mirrorlessrumors.com/exclusive-nikon-to-launch-a-mirrorless-system-in-april-with-sony-sensor/

So, once again, as it has being said for more than ten years, Pentax is in danger! ;->

K-5 Low Light Front Focusing Issue - The SAFOX *Plus* System Simply Does NOT Work at all!

Many K-5 users have been complaining.. It seems that the Plus system did NEVER work at all! >:-(

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1036&message=37519409

The descriptions are clear and specific..

And now some old brand supporters have started to get disgusted, for example:-

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1036&message=37521316

Quoted, "FF was obvious. This camera is just about unusable as-is in shooting just about anything in normal to low room light.

There is NO WAY I can shoot this camera at an indoor wedding reception."

"I too keep hearing anecdotal reports of "perfect" K5 focusing, but frankly, I no longer believe any of them, as not a single one has posted any low light tests or images showing that they do not have significant FF at EV 2-4 light range."

"Go to the other forums and search for the Pentaxeros posts. He claims to be some sort of dealer that has tested many K5 bodies, and according to him, they all FF at EV 3-4, and Pentax allegedaly knows this and "is working on it"."


Read Also:-

Ten Reasons for Thinking Twice before Decided on a K-5..

Another K-5 Review (with Full Samples)

@ What Digital Camera (UK):-

http://www.whatdigitalcamera.com/equipment/reviews/digitalslr/128809/1/pentax-k-5-review.html

ISO measurbation test:-

http://www.whatdigitalcamera.com/equipment/reviews/digitalslr/128809/4/pentax-k-5-review.html

Full-size original samples:-

http://www.whatdigitalcamera.com/equipment/galleries/sample-images/pentax/31570/1/pentax-k-5-review-sample-images_pg_Inspire.html

Enjoy! There are no UFOs/Pearls/Stains found in images nevertheless~ ;-D

N.B. I am NOT impressed with the IQ of those samples btw. :-(


All K-5 Reviews:-

http://www.google.com/search?q=K-5+Reviews&btnG=Find&domains=ricehigh.blogspot.com&sitesearch=ricehigh.blogspot.com

Monday, January 24, 2011

K-5 Sensor "Stains" Developing Over Time!?

See what our die-hard Pentaxian Mr. Mouse @ DPR has found and concluded!

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1036&thread=37539069



So..!? Well, I have no more to say!! >:-( Now, it seems that it is Not a Quality Issue anymore, but just a latent design issue and/or manufacturing defect!

To verify whether this "sensor" problem of the K-5 has been resolved and completely eliminated or not, I've just checked the PF's "serial number database" of the K-5, it can be seen that the latest s/n and units are still affected! >:-[ E.g., see:-

http://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-serial-number-database/?do=viewserials&id=133&sort=&page=4


Related:-

Report of Re-appeared UFOs with Repaired/Replaced K-5 Unit! :-o

LiveView of the K-5 Creates UFOs / Pearls on Sensor?

K-5 Serial Numbers and Issues Summary

Bokeh Group Test: FA43.9 Vs A50.2 Vs K50.4 Vs FA50.7 Vs DA*55.4 Vs FA77.8 Vs FA*85.4!



http://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/130307-out-focus-comparison-fa43-a50-1-2-k50-1-4-fa50-1-7-da*55-fa77-fa*85.html


Nice and Useful Test! How many Pentaxians have all those marvels at the same time and could do a group test amongst them like this? ..at the same time and place and for the same target!~ :-D


Read Also:-

A*50/1.2 Vs DA*55/1.4 - What Would You Choose?

Report of Re-appeared UFOs with Repaired/Replaced K-5 Unit! :-o

http://www.dchome.net/viewthread.php?tid=983646&extra=page%3D1
(in Chinese, Google English Translation Here)

Locate and find the UFOs (aka "Pearls" or "Sensor Stains") in the picture yourself, I am sure that you will see them! Btw, the K-5 user is much annoyed and upset!

Too bad.. It seems that the UFOs will re-appear again sooner or later! :-o :-(


Last Related:-

LiveView of the K-5 Creates UFOs / Pearls on Sensor?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

K-r ISO JPEG & RAW Measurbations @ the Neutral Day

http://www.neutralday.com/pentax-k-r-quick-take-and-raw-vs-jpeg-iso-samples/

These days people really like ISO measurbations! Indeed, everyone is doing those endlessly, on everyday! = ="

"Distortable" Sensor, Stretchable Lens! :-o



See this latest report at the DPR:-

http://www.dpreview.com/news/1101/11011915curvilinearcamera.asp

Wow, what a R&D result! :-o No patent has been filed yet, though.

Maybe years later, with a fixed focal lens the camera can zoom (either with the sensor or the lens). With a fixed lens and sensor (for their positions), the camera can focus (like the human eye). With a lens with pronounced curved image projection (e.g., the DA15), the (error in the) field curvature can be compensated!

Btw, what is meant by "studio image quality" by a cameraphone? ;->

Anyway, tomorrow is always full of excitements! :-D


Last Related:-

CES News: Interchangeable 3100MP Wireless (Interchangeable) Lens Full Frame Cameraphone!!

Pentax Lens Samples Galaxy @ Flick(river)

Have a look!

http://www.flickriver.com/lenses/pentax/

This samples summary sorted by lens model is Nice!~

LiveView of the K-5 Creates UFOs / Pearls on Sensor?



See what this K-5 user found and reports (with sample photos):-

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1036&thread=37503804

It seems that the material of the AA (Anti-Aliasing) filter of the K-5 is being changed in status by the heat generated by the LiveView, so that the UFOs/pearls are accumulated and appear (on sensors and images produced) eventually. In fact, this has been suspected by some other affected K-5 users before, that is, their brand new units did not have the UFOs/pearls appeared but which were yet seen after a certain period of time with more use.

One of the reasons I decided to go (a Limited) K-r instead of a K-5 is yet because of this IMHO major unresolved issue with big uncertainty. Indeed, there is NO direct *official* statement of any from Pentax/Hoya for what has/have been wrong and what's going on about all those happenings.. >:-[


Previous Related:-

http://ricehigh.blogspot.com/search?q=K-5+Sensor+Stains

And Read Also:-

Ten Reasons for Thinking Twice before Decided on a K-5..

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Silent (Minor) Firmware Revision of the K-5 Firmware 1.02

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1036&thread=37492401

Note that the MD5 checksums and the software versions as read with the PhotoME are different. So, if you're a K-5 user, you'd better update your firmware once again! :-D


Last Related:-

Secret Release of K-5 Firmware Version 1.02

Practical Manual Focusing Problem of the DA 18-135 DC Lens

See what this new user of the 18-135 DC lens reports:-

http://www.dchome.net/viewthread.php?tid=981773&extra=page%3D1
(Traditional Chinese, Babelfish English Translation Here)

The problem is that the MF ring of the DC lens lacks a focus scale but in addition, the worst thing is that it is freely rotating in cyclic. The user could by no means do MF (in this case the user wanted to shoot night scenes when the AF failed and was unable to focus) as the focus position is just unknown. In fact, the MF ring of the DC lens is actually a pseudo one, just like those of the micro 4/3 ILDCs and the NEX E-mount lenses, i.e., indeed they are indifferent! :-o :-(


Related:-

Working Principle of the New "DC" Motor (Patent Paper Included)

Does the New DA 18-135 just Look Too Close to the Nikkor Counterpart? :-o

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

FA*85/1.4 Vs FA77/1.8 Limited Bokeh Shootout Test (Wide Opened to f/11)

See:-

http://forum.pentaxfans.net/showthread.php?t=91961
(Traditional Chinese, Babelfish Translation in English Here)

The FA*85 shots are on the Left. And, the 77 Limited used for the test is of early Japanese production.

Do note that the tester shot at the same position on the same object/position for the focus. As such, the AoV (Angle-of-View) and the DoF (Depth-of-Field) are not exactly identical, as the focal lengths of the two lenses are just somehow different after all.

CP+ is Coming, Any Predictions/Rumours?

The American CES has passed. As the norm, those Japanese camera manufacturers usually didn't/won't tell anything significant at the CES..

However, the Japanese CP+ 2011 (aka the Tokyo Photo Expo previously) is coming, on Feb. 9th:-

http://www.cpplus.jp/en/index.html

Hoya is going to join the exhibition, let's see what is coming and what will be announced, if any!

http://www.cpplus.jp/en/visitor/exhibitors/index.html#H

In the meantime, if you have some leaks and secret news from your own source(s), please feel free to drop me an email. As usual, I will keep my source of information strictly confidential! ;-)

K-r Measurbation Review at Optyczne.pl (Vs K-x, K-7 & D300s)

http://optyczne.pl/144.1-Test_aparatu-Pentax_K-r_Wst%C4%99p.html
(in Polish, Google English Translation Here)

And here are the ISO JPEG and RAW shootouts against the K-x, K-7 and the Nikon D300s:-

http://optyczne.pl/144.6-Test_aparatu-Pentax_K-r_Jako%C5%9B%C4%87_obrazu_JPEG.html

http://optyczne.pl/144.7-Test_aparatu-Pentax_K-r_Szumy_i_jako%C5%9B%C4%87_obrazu_w_RAW.html

As sometimes before, I won't "spoil" the results and you'd better to make your own findings by yourself! :-)

Monday, January 17, 2011

K-7 Officially Discontinued (Not So for the K-x..)

http://www.pentax.jp/japan/imaging/digital/slr/others.html

As we all have known, the K-7 has been replaced by the K-5..

But it is a bit to my surprise that the K-x has not yet officially been discontinued yet. Maybe it is still selling well! Or, reversely, there are just too many old K-x stocks sitting there so that Pentax dare not to formally announce its discontinuation~! ;-D

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Dirty Pentax Lens Factory, Dirty Glass! :-(

I am in the course of re-purchasing and re-build my DA lens lineup which I sold almost all of them.. E.g., the 3 DA(SA) lenses in my this previous shootout (see the photo) had been removed from my gear family and lineup before.

I have just purchased a recently produced DA70 (manufacturing date: 10/2010, in Vietnam), I am really not impressed with the cleanliness of the lens but actually the current Pentax lens factory indeed!

Just view the comparison photos below. Left is the Macro shot of the DA70, right is the Sony E18-55, which was made in Thailand:-


(Click to Enlarge; Both photos taken at the same time at the same place with the same camera body and lens - Dust outside the glass was briefly blown away for both lenses before taking the shots.)

It can be seen that the Sony NEX kit lens of mine is obviously cleaner and there is little dust particles inside.

There are various huge amount of small dust and particles *inside* the lens for my new DA70. In fact, I have also inspected, inside my almost ten-year old FA43, there is yet little of similar dust particles! :-o So, I just wonder, if the current QC, and/or simply tidiness, of the Pentax Vietnam factory is/are just so poor? I then inspected my older DFA 100 Macro lens, which was yet made in Vietnam (bought in early 2005). I was shocked to learn that my that DFA has far less similar dust particles, neither! >:-[

In this connection, I have made an inquiry to the shop which I purchased my DA Limited lens and asked them to open another box of DA70 to verify the problem, they've told me that they found the same! They further told me that I am not the first customer to enquire this problem. Indeed, they have received similar complaints before about the DA*16-50 lens before so that they did check with Pentax China about that, but the *official* answer was that, "It is Normal", Just!

N.B. The outside of my DA70 Limited lens is very clean when I first opened the box.

Anyhow, my new DA70 is superb in optical quality and very fortunately, it has no other quality issues as widely reported for other DA*/Limited lenses before. Just say it has no de-centred defect and AF issues which were found for several DA*55 test samples sent to the DPR for testing! My copy of the DA70 lens is astonishingly sharp at f/2.8 and is quite acceptable at 2.4. There is no mis-focusing of any for most of the time, even for the lens to be wide opened, at least for outdoor shootings. The grey description and 3d feel of this lens are both superb. All in all, I have no complaint about this lens practically so far. The only complain is about how dirty this lens is *inside*! :-(


Read Also:-

A Virtual Lens Plant!

Made ("Assembled") In Vietnam

Where are the Pentax DSLRs and Lenses Made?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Converting Old Pentax "K"/"M" K-mount Lenses into "A" Ones! :-o

The lens hacking series of posts continue here at my Blog!~ Further to the last one for how a Chinese Pentaxian and hacker converted his Rikenon P50/1.7 prime into a "Pentax-A" one, I think we need to read also this very useful tutorial for what a Vietnamese Pentaxian and hacker posted at the PF previously (in English):-

http://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/63878-how-convert-k-m-lens-ka-lens.html

Oh, that's really great and brilliant! (My Thumb Up~!)

As for the "01" coding, you can read what all you need to know here at the K-mount page.

Anyway, I do have some doubt about the time-longevity of the corrector's paint for used as the insulating material, which should be worn out after a certain period of time. So, the working principle and trick are there. You should find your own ways to improve and get the job done! My pre-Congratz to you for being a successful camera gear hacker, particularly in the Pentaxland! ;-D

N.B. I would prefer to use mini dot-shape stickers btw.


Related:-

Converting K-M (K-M means Konica-Minolta this time! ;->) Lenses into Pentax K-mount Ones!

Modding a Rikenon-P 50/1.7 Into an "A" Lens! :-o

Disassemble the Pentax-F 70-210 Zoom Lens

Disassemble the Old Takumar-F 28-80 Zoom Lens

Disassemble (and Repair) a DA* 50-135!

Repair a Stuck SDM Yourself!

Disassemble a DAL 18-55

Fuji X100 Hybrid Viewfinder (O+EVF) Demo; Will Pentax Implement Their Own One?


(Source: http://es.engadget.com/2011/01/09/un-vistazo-al-visor-hibrido-de-la-fujifilm-x100-ces-2011/, in Spainish)

See the above, it is really very interesting, and practically useful!

Btw, Pentax already had a very similar patent for use in a DSLR for long, but when will they implement it and put it in a real product? Will they? :-o


Other Reads:-

Fuji X100 - The Classic-Look APS-C Digital Camera, I Like It!

X100 Designers' Stories

NEX Designers' Stories

Interview with the Optical Engineer/Designer of the DA 18-135 Lens

The Very Different Fates of Two ex-AOC Top Optical Engineers

Development Stories of the K-7

Pentax DA*25-350mm F3.3-5.6ED [IF] SDM (New Patent)



http://egami.blog.so-net.ne.jp/2011-01-14#english

But my pardon? Still SDM?! >:-[

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Firmware Updates for K-x and K-7

http://www.pentax.jp/english/support/digital/k-x_s.html

Changes to V1.02

  • Compatible with SDXC memory card.

    *Transfer rate is not compatible with UHS speed class.

  • *Contents of [Version 1.01] will be also updated.


http://www.pentax.jp/english/support/digital/k-7_s.html

Changes to V1.11
  • Compatible with SDXC memory card.

    *Transfer rate is not compatible with UHS speed class.

  • * Contents of [Version 1.01 ~1.10] will be also updated.


It is nice to see Pentax is still updating and provides supports to the last generation DSLRs, which not every manufacturer will do this actually. So, a credit added this time! (In contrast, I shall continue to put discredit for wrong acts and doing of Pentax, e.g., the unresolved SDM issue up till now! >:-[)

My True Flagship is Coming. Meanwhile, I'll Use My K-r..

Canon 5D Mk III, Q4/2011:-

http://www.canonrumors.com/2011/01/canon-5d-mark-iii-1d-mark-ivn/

http://www.canonrumors.com/2011/01/more-5d-mark-iii-1d-mark-v-lenses-cr2/

Meanwhile, I think I shall have my new K-r for another year throughout 2011 as the main DSLR body of mine. I have sold my 5D already and possibly will sell my Navy K-x (which is deteriorating) shortly.. Btw, my Canon L and prime lenses are just all sitting there in my dry cabinets and waiting for a new (super) body! :-o :-[

If Pentax finally manages to give us old film Pentaxians some news about a Full Frame body by that time when the 5D3 is on sales, i.e., within 2011, I might consider to buy the Pentax Full Frame body instead, but which is still very unlikely from what we have learnt (nothing) up till now! :-(

Nevertheless, I am still not convinced that I should buy the K-5 instead of the K-r and I do like smaller and lighter body as well (unless it really has the true flagship performance like those Full Frame bodies of others). So, I simply ordered a custom coloured K-r + DAL 35 kit from Japan, at an almost 50% dearer total cost than what I can buy for a completely black kit locally - just in order to be different! ;-D I hope my ordered and custom-made kit set will arrive within one to two weeks, hopefully - will sure to share with you guys when it arrives! :-)

CES News: Interchangeable 3100MP Wireless (Interchangeable) Lens Full Frame Cameraphone!!



http://www.artefactgroup.com/#/content/camera-futura-3

via http://chinese.engadget.com/2011/01/11/wvil-3100/
(in Chinese, Google-translated English Page Here)

Hmm.. The cameraphone is yet a modern smartphone! The zooming and focusing actions plus aperture/exposure control are achieved via wireless connection! But it can also be mounted (of course)!

Wow, what a new design concept and an innovative idea! :-o Unbelievable? Paperware? Vapourware at the end? Time will tell and we shall know! :-)

Btw, Mr. Cameraphone is not a new term at this Blog. If you're just interested but not yet read before, search here! ;-D

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Modding a Rikenon-P 50/1.7 Into an "A" Lens! :-o



http://forum.xitek.com/showthread.php?threadid=482965
(in Chinese, Google Translation to English Here)

Wow! Really What a Hacking! Brilliant! :-D Not even the P and S exposure modes are now working flawlessly, and so does the P-TTL flash mode and exposure! Great Job!~

In short, that Pentaxian hacker drilled new holes for the "A" mount and re-built all the A mount contacts (and switches) for the lens aperture information (which tells the maximum and minimum apertures) and succeeded!

Btw, the hacker needed to drill new holes on the K-mount accurately and some machinery and tools are required, e.g.:-



(Source: http://forum.xitek.com/showthread.php?threadid=550416)

If you are a Pentax DSLR user and have an old Rikenon P lens, why not give it a try?! ;-D



(Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/d2gallery/4505273406/)


Read Also:-

Disassemble the Pentax-F 70-210 Zoom Lens

Disassemble the Old Takumar-F 28-80 Zoom Lens

Disassemble (and Repair) a DA* 50-135!

Repair a Stuck SDM Yourself!

Disassemble a DAL 18-55

Disassemble the Pentax-F 70-210 Zoom Lens



Thanks to Blog reader Simon, we have the following article, for the disassembly and repair of this F zoom, which is IMO optically excellent:-

http://members.shaw.ca/hargravep/70-210.htm


Related:-


Disassemble the Old Takumar-F 28-80 Zoom Lens

Disassemble (and Repair) a DA* 50-135!

Repair a Stuck SDM Yourself!

Disassemble a DAL 18-55

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Disassemble the Old Takumar-F 28-80 Zoom Lens

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=271429&id=755984264&l=5aa97eb843




Related:-

Disassemble (and Repair) a DA* 50-135!

Repair a Stuck SDM Yourself!

Disassemble a DAL 18-55

K-5 Dissection Photos

IR Interviewed Pentax Imaging

http://www.imaging-resource.com/NEWS/1294684183.html

Read it yourself if you're interested. Btw, I won't get anything concrete and useful after reading through all the paragraphs! :-o You maybe smarter than me, though! ;-D

Monday, January 10, 2011

Steve Huff Reviewed the K-5

The famous Leica blogger, Steve Huff, reviewed the K-5, as he did the first time for Pentax with the K-7:-

http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2011/01/10/the-pentax-k5-digital-camera-review/

A nice review from an user perspective, surely not for measurbation purposes nevertheless, as there are simply no larger sized samples. Moreover, I am sure that there is no "18-200" kit zoom for the K-5! Is there one? Any? ;-D

DPR Interviewed Pentax US

Read: http://www.dpreview.com/news/1101/11010710pentaxinterview.asp

My own interpretation on the messages/hints given after digesting all the dialogues are as follows:-

1. Pentax is closer to give a new ILDC and they have been working on it.

2. The K-5 is considered the current high-end model and the K-r is the "mid-range". There is no other entry-level DSLR nor higher end than the current "high-end" model, neither. So there will be no Pentax Full Frame in the near future. And it also mean that the K-x has been discontinued and Pentax will not keep a 3-hierarchy lineup for their DSLRs at the same time, possibly the entry level DSLR model will be replaced with an ILDC.

3. The sales of the K-5 is really good, although it is pricey - Yes, even the Pentax US official thinks like that! ;-)

4. Using the new Sony 16MP CMOS sensor (which is commonly shared amongst Sony A55, Nikon D7000 and the K-5) is more or less effortless, when it is compared to the Samsung 14.6MP sensors, in which Pentax had put a lot of efforts in the (co-)development with Samsung.

5. Concrete future plans of Pentax is not disclosed. Not Any! It seems that Hoya still has no great and long-term plan and commitment in further developing the Pentax *System* as a whole, and more macro-logically. :-( There is no plan disclosed about the development of the lens family neither, not even about the brief direction! In fact, the super reluctance of Pentax in telling more about the future is reported! :-(

The K-5 Has Got a Cold! :-o

See:-

http://www.dchome.net/viewthread.php?tid=974259&extra=page%3D1
(in Chinese, Babelfish English Translation Here)



This K-5 guy confirms that the problem only appears when his K-5 was put outdoor at about 10°C and his unit would back to normal when he went back indoor, which was verified.

http://www.dchome.net/viewthread.php?tid=974259&page=1#pid11467893

Whilst the user has almost been sure that his unit would not work at that a bit colder temperature, I think his unit is yet defective and it is more or less a QC/production quality problem more than a design issue.

Btw, my one-year old K-x also suffers from instability recently. Under around 10°C outdoor, it had hanged up for three times in one night during shooting. And, there were two other problems seen as well. One is the back panel LCD displayed garbage and I was forced to turn off and then on my K-x to bring things back to normal. The other thing is that it had happened for times that my K-x fires twice per shot even the frame advance mode was in Single! >:-[

Furthermore, my K-x' AF had been out after less than one-year, which I've cured almost with the Debug mode myself and most of my Pentax primes are okay in AF accuracy. But then I guess I might sell off my K-x soon as I have purchased my Custom K-r from Japan, which I think would arrive within the month.


Related:-

What Colour Scheme of the K-r Would You Choose?

How to Order a Custom Coloured K-x from Japan by Yourself?

My K-x' Time Longevity on AF Accuracy

K-x Debug Mode Tutorial - AF Adjustment

Sunday, January 09, 2011

645D High ISO "Red Line" Sensor Artifact



http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1036&thread=37332504

Take a look at the illustrating pictures, that horizontal red line is really obvious! The higher the resolution and the quality of the image, the more obvious the red line! >:-[

And read also this yet another previous report of the same issue:-

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1036&message=37090794

Pentax DSLR Cake!



URL: http://hk.f1.page.auctions.yahoo.com/hk/auction/b16239155

Oh, is it Lovely or Ugly? :-o

Friday, January 07, 2011

K-5 Vs D7000 Vs 60D Vs A580



http://tech.sina.com.cn/digi/dc/2010-12-31/13225050741.shtml
(in Chinese, English Report Here (Google Translated))

The review tested RAW Vs JPEG per body, in-camera JPEG ISO comparison amongst the four bodies, RAW JPEG ISO comparison (from 80/100 up to 25,600), 30 second long-time exposure shootout, crop comparisons for other real-life samples, and finally resolution comparison (for both RAW and JPEG) and at last a sum-up for all the shootouts and for the whole test.

A very nicely done and objective test and report, I have to say. Highly recommended.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

K-r New Firmware 1.01!

Yet once again, this has been uploaded at the (European) Pentax Network!

Get the new firmware at: Explorer\IS Products\Digital SLR\K-r\Software-Updates. As usual, there are Mac or Windows executables for downloading.

The change(s) in this new firmware version are not told, but it can be seen that from the timestamp of the binary (.BIN) file that the firmware is yet hot baked~ :-)

Last but not least, this "Pentax Network" website is really worth to register! The registration process is quick and easy. The contents (images, documents, software updates etc.) in it are mostly interesting. Go have a look! :-D


Last Story:-

Secret Release of K-5 Firmware Version 1.02

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Secret Release of K-5 Firmware Version 1.02

It is found by someone that the K-5 new firmware 1.02 has been silently uploaded at the European Pentax (Support) Network, the details are as follows:-

1. Go to https://network.pentax.eu/;

2. Choose your language (English, German or French) and do a free registration there;

3. After that, you can access the website, search under Explorer\IS Products\Digital SLR\K-5\Software-Updates for the new K-5 firmware for downloading;

4. After downloading and installed, PhotoME will show that the firmware version is 1.02.21.07 in lieu of 1.01.0.5 as previously;

Btw, it is not told for the changes as contained in the new firmware version 1.02, but the change(s) should be significant enough for a new version number. However, as it has not yet been officially released even at the Pentax Japan support page for the K-5, if you really want to give it a try (for whatever reasons), do it at your own risk! :-)

Update (1-4): The 1.02 firmware files have been removed! But they have been copied and re-uploaded at: http://www.optyczne.pl/index.php?news=3611 Go get it if you still want to try! :-D

Update (1-6): The 1.02 firmware for K-5 has finally been uploaded to the Pentax Japan support page: http://www.pentax.jp/english/support/digital/k-5_s.html

Changes to V1.02

  • Compatible with SDXC memory card.

    * Transfer rate is not compatible with UHS speed class.

  • All ISO sensitivity setting can be used on Bulb mode.
  • Improved functional sequence for Contrast AF and improved total speed until in focus.

    *Contents of [Version 1.01] will be also updated.

But, I think they should make a re-focusing possibility of the CDAF for movie recording, frankly! :-(


Last Related:-

Pentax K-5 Firmware 1.01

Rumour for "Official Statements" about K-5 Sensor Stains by Pentax Germany

See:-

http://forum.digitalfotonetz.de/viewtopic.php?t=83708&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

via This PF Post.

The human translated quoted statements are quoted as below. (Yes, it has been quoted for times! ;-))

"According to a statement from Pentax Product Management, Pentax K-5 had a production problem within a specific serial number range. The problem is due to residues of a volatile material that sits between sensor surface and filter glass and which did not vanish/dissolve/disperse (don´t know the right word here. sorry ) completely. This problem is visible as string of pearls.

Cameras with a production date up to calendar week 49 are affected. Then Pentax became aware of this problem and shortly stopped the sale for a comprehensive investigation. During this time there was a delivery bottleneck and a waiting period.

Pentax solved the problem and cameras shipped from calendar week 50 2010 are free from the string of pearls symptom.

Customers with affected cameras can contact Pentax for a direct exchange of their cameras. Waiting times can occur due to short-term high demand and shortage of replacement cameras."


All Related Articles:-

http://ricehigh.blogspot.com/search?q=K-5+sensor+stains

Monday, January 03, 2011

Some Bits and Pieces (1-3)

1. Sony to double image sensor output, via buy back chip plant from Toshiba:-

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTOE6BQ04420101227

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSSGE6BL0B220101222

2. A new K-r review with image crops for measurbation:-

http://www.cyberphoto.se/?info.php?article=K-rsvart
(in Swedish, Google English Translation Here)

Related: http://ricehigh.blogspot.com/2010/11/yet-k-5-brief-review-with-full-original.html

3. A trick for faster image zooming review for for K-5/K-7/K10D/K20D/K200D (and a few other Pentax DSLRs - but some do not work with this trick, e.g., the K-x):-

http://www.dchome.net/viewthread.php?tid=971802&extra=page%3D1
(in Chinese, Google English Translation Here)

In short, it states about when zooming is activated in image playback review mode, in addition to turning the e-dial for zooming in and out, the EV compensation (+/-) button and the Green button can be pressed and continuous zooming-in or out action is possible, which could provide a quicker access and minimise the wear and tear of the e-dial.

As a side-tip of mine, no matter what Pentax DSLR model(s) you use, if you just want to zoom in larger instantaneously without turning the e-dial for cycles. There is an option of "Quick Zoom" under the "Playback Display Method" menu. Just enter a zoom ratio you prefer once you turn the e-dial for zooming during image review. That's it! :-)

Amazon Germany Stopped Sale of All K-5 Units with Immediate Effect! :-o

See this notice:-

http://www.amazon.de/Pentax-K-5-SLR-Digitalkamera-Megapixel-Geh%C3%A4use/dp/B00439HH00/ref=sr_1_21?s=ce-de&ie=UTF8&qid=1293970617&sr=1-21

(in German, Babel Fish English Translation Here)



Quoted, "For the moment this article is not directly available over Amazon.de. Customers informed us that the received article deviates from the description on the website."

So, what is/are the important issue(s), which lead(s) to this suspension of sale of all the K-5 units via Amazon Germany? Are there yet too many stain sensors reported and too many units returned? Well, last time Ned Bunnell promised that Pentax would investigate but up till now we've seen no official statement from Pentax/Hoya of any about the K-5 sensor stains! :-(

Or, is it about the SAFOX IX+ (Plus) AF system used in the K-5 is still interfered much by the tungsten/yellow light and front focusing is yet resulted?

Maybe finally, for any other not yet known issue(s)?? >:-[ Anyone knows more?

Update (1-10):

The embargo at Amazon.de has been lifted up. There is no explanation of any on what has happened, though. But I guess it is something that is really significant, otherwise Amazon needed not to do so!

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Yet A Special Way of Testing Lenses! :-o





Source and Full "Review" Article: http://www.dcfever.com/news/readnews.php?id=4724

Which lens burnt the newspaper fastest under the sunlight? You'd better go figure out yourself!

Btw, what is the *meaning* and point of this test?? :-o To check the light energy power transmission? >:-|

DIY Again: Disassemble (and Repair) a DA* 50-135!



A Hong Kong DA*50-135 lens owner found that his lens always mis-focused in the range between 80mm to 135mm, so he decided to disassemble it and saw if he could repair it..

See:-

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=268652&id=755984264&l=23d0a5f29b

To see the large pictures you're interested in, just click the respective thumbnail to enlarge.

After the disassembly, he found that the electronic contacts in a metal brush form, which is part of the zooming mechanism, was distorted and thus causing bad contact, which should be the evil for causing the AF issue. He then reshaped the brush and then reassembled the whole lens, now everything is working normally! Brilliant, guy! You're really a great repair technician yourself! :-D My hat off! Possibly the local Pentax service centre couldn't trouble-shoot this problem for you straight-forwardly! :-( So, DIY is always great, provided that you know what to do yourself! :-)

To view from start for all large pictures one by one, you can visit:-

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=5707657&id=755984264&l=23d0a5f29b


Read Also:-

Disassemble a DAL 18-55

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Repair a Stuck SDM Yourself!

First of all, wish you all a Happy New Year 2011!

As a new year gift from me, I write this article! ;-)

A very smart SDM user at the Chinese Xitek forum has discovered a DIY method for revive a "dead" SDM which is certified death by Pentax, see his post with clear illustration and concise instructions:-

http://forum.xitek.com/showthread.php?threadid=821417

(in Chinese, Google-translated English Page Here)


(Above: The mount side of the DA*50-135/2.8 SDM is dismantled and showing the SDM micro-motor and the female AF screw-driver.)

Update: I hoped the Google translation did work but it seems not to be. So, I human translate and summarise the repair steps as below:-

1. Dismantle the back side of the lens including the mount, showing the SDM, SDM PCB, with a flat/flexible cable connecting between the two (indicated with the Large Circle in the above diagram);

2. You can also see the traditional screw driver (female side) for DA* lenses, i.e., the small circle;

3. At the centre of the SDM micro-motor, there is a cross-type screw, which is actually directly linked to the rotator of the motor. The problem and evil is just here, as it could be, that is, the motor got stuck. Just use the screw-driver to turn the rotator to and fro and then back for several cycles. In fact, when the rotator screw is turned, one can see that the focusing scale of the lens is also being moved/driven;

4. After enough massage to the rotator/SDM motor, carefully reassemble the lens and try out if the lens is revived! Yes, you did it! :-D

Shortly, this repair method has yet been verified by another SDM user at the Xitek. His officially "certified death" SDM DA* lens, "which was needed to be sent overseas for repair", is also revived! What a miracle! Unbelievable?!

http://forum.xitek.com/showthread.php?threadid=822390

(in Chinese, Google-translated English Page Here)

The above author also shares how to carefully dismantle the lens mount and put back all the components after the repair. Btw, I guess I am more experienced in dismantling those K-mount lenses than average Pentaxians. My advice is to do thing with these key principles/tips in mind:-

1. Do the job on a big table with a large white paper (say, an A3 one);

2. Do the job under a bright white light source, preferably also with a bright torch for illumination on particular part and inside the lens for more detailed inspection when needed;

3. Use a high quality cross-type screwdriver with matching size, with magnetised tip;

4. Pick away only components and parts that are necessary to be removed for the repair job. Special care must be taken for not accidentally touching any of them which might cause dropping and loss (as they are NOT fixed now!). This would also minimise the tasks of resuming the lens, thus minimise the risk indeed (as long as great care is taken for not moving the loose parts, in particular those electronic contact pins with springs of the KAF mount);

5. Be prepared to have a small flat tip forceps, which is useful to pick up and put back small components when they are removed out of place or mis-aligned. As for the electronic contact, a toothpick is also useful for proper alignment before the metal mount could be put back and re-installed;

6. For dismantling a particular lens for the first time, do remember for not to be too hurry. Inspect carefully for which component/part should be dismantled first and which is needed and is not. Use another digital camera to take shots to record the status in each step before dismantling anything and hence recording also the steps and order, which is useful for reversing the steps after finishing the repair, for the re-instatement of the lens (by re-installing all the dismantled components step-by-step, in a reverse order).

Nevertheless, by following the above thread, there is yet another SDM user reported that his DA*16-50 lens had the SDM stuck so stubbornly that the method doesn't work at all! :-o :-(

Anyway, the above "big discovery" is surely a gospel for all Pentax SDM users and especially to those who are panic with their death SDM lenses which may just have the SDM micro-motor stuck but the most local Pentax repair agents just know to "send back to overseas" for service, for which the quoted costs are usually very dear, as this has been repeatedly reported and told, the above second Xitek post included.

As a Final Disclaimer and Reminder: IF you are to do any surgery or repair job yourself, DO IT AT YOUR OWN RISK! And you are the one who bears the sole responsibility and any consequences thereafter for what you have done!!


All Related:-

http://www.google.com/search?q=sdm+issues&btnG=Find&domains=ricehigh.blogspot.com&sitesearch=ricehigh.blogspot.com


Read Also:-

(Hardware) Exposure Adjustment of Pentax Lenses

Compatibility List of Pentax Full Frame AF Lenses on Canon 5D Body

Related Posts

 
Creative Commons License
RiceHigh's Pentax Blog by RiceHigh is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.