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Saturday, June 12, 2021

Image Corner Blur Issue with K-3 III (Head-to-head Comparison with KP)

Have had my K-3 III for over one month now and tested it with my various DA/FA/DFA lenses (mostly primes) but there is a strange issue discovered.

It is all about the unexplainable corner (or simple off-centre) softness in the images taken with the K-3 III. To illustrate the problem, here we go with the sample set below, with a pair of images taken using my K-3 III and KP with the same lens (which is a HD-DA 40mm Limited), at almost the same time and with the same exposure parameters.

Let's see the 100% centre crops of the pair of images, which are perfect in focus. I captured also the EXIF data on screen for our easy reference (Click pictures to Enlarge):


Then, here are the left side of the images in 100% crops:


And then, here are the right side of the images in 100% crops:


This problem really drives me nuts. I really didn't expect the new flagship camera would produce much lower resolution at off-centre in images than its predecessor model of 2017. It's really much frustrating after all.

It seems that the new sensor of the K-3 III has some kinds of incompatibility with the existing Pentax lens lineup optically, which is a hardware issue but not a software one, I believe. Note that I had already turned off all the lens correction functions as well as the AA filter simulator to rule out the possibility of the issue is being caused by software or other factors.


Tuesday, June 01, 2021

Checking the DPR Claimed K-3 III "Shutter Shock" Issue

With DPR claiming that the "shutter shock" of their K-3 III under test was unavoidable by whatever means at low ISO speeds of 100 and 200 with a lower shutter speed, I have tried to resemble their test using the same ISO, time value, lens model and focal to verify the case. Here we go:


ISO100 ISO200  


So, any shake and "shutter shock" that you can see? I don't, do you? :-D And, I took my shots handheld through the finder, without any tripod but with SR turned on.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

New Firmwares for K-1/II, K-3/II, KP and K-70

http://news.ricoh-imaging.co.jp/rim_info2/support/

To support better focusing operation for the three FA Limited lenses, include both the old and new versions. But it is unknown that if focusing speed and/or focusing accuracy is/are improved. I shall try it out anyway.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

K-3 III to be Released Shortly?


Mr Nokishita has just twitted that three new Pentax accessories have been added to the list of goods for domestic dealers, namely, "Battery Grip D-BG8", "Hot Shoe Cover O-HC177" and "Eye Cup FU" which are the exclusive accessories for the upcoming K-3 III.

In view of this, should the K-3 III be released and launched into the market very soon?

K-3 III Has Eye AF, Firmware is Finalised

Two Chinese Pentax users posted at the Xitek Pentax Forum that they received an early production K-3 III which is confirmed to have the Eye AF function and the firmware has already been updated to V1.0 production version since 1st of March. One tester even posted the below viewfinder snapshot to illustrate the Eye AF does work, even with a flat displayed picture like this: 


It seems that the design is ready for the new body but yet Ricoh have faced difficulties for mass production so that they could not sell the new product, since they have not yet announced the revised launch date of the K-3 III.

Besides, two screen captures of the K-3III's Info screen and its AF options are also posted:



Tuesday, March 02, 2021

KP Discontinued

 http://www.ricoh-imaging.co.jp/english/products/#digital-slr


Whilst the K-3 III hasn't arrived yet and there is no expected delivery date of any, the KP is now discontinued. What's Ricoh doing in the meantime? They really do not want to sell other APS-C DSLR bodies but only the dated and low-end plastic-built K-70, which also had the infamous aperture-blocked problem for long?  :-(

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Development Note of the HD PENTAX-DA★16-50mm F2.8 ED PLM AW

http://news.ricoh-imaging.co.jp/rim_info/2021/20210225_030071.html

(in Japanese)

A quick google translation returned the following:

Ricoh Co., Ltd. (President: Yoshinori Yamashita) and Ricoh Imaging Co., Ltd. (President: Shinobu Takahashi) are new products in the Star Lens series, which are particularly high-performance interchangeable lenses for Pentax SLR cameras. , "HD PENTAX-DA  16-50mmF2.8ED PLM AW (tentative name)" designed exclusively for APS-C size digital SLR cameras is currently under development.

This product is the latest model of the "new generation star lens" that pursues "pursuit of the highest image quality", "large aperture", "high robustness and operability", and has significantly revised the in-house standard for resolution. We are developing a high-performance lens suitable for the standard zoom lens of our APS-C flagship digital single-lens reflex camera "PENTAX K-3 Mark III", so please look forward to the official announcement.

Product Summary

● Interchangeable lens for K-mount digital SLR cameras

Product name: HD PENTAX-DA  16-50mmF2.8ED PLM AW (tentative name)

  • ・ High-performance star lens that demonstrates high resolution even when the aperture is wide open
  • ・ The image circle covers the APS-C size image sensor.
  • ・ A large-diameter standard zoom lens with an angle of view equivalent to 24.5 to 76.5 mm in 35 mm format and a fixed open F value of 2.8.
  • -Adopts KAF4 mount compatible with electromagnetic aperture
  • -Equipped with PLM (Pulse Motor) that enables smooth focus tracking when shooting movies at high speed
  • ・ AW (dust-proof / drip-proof) structure is used to prevent raindrops and dust from entering in harsh shooting environments.
  • ・ Achieves the shortest shooting distance of 0.3m
  • ・ Release date: Scheduled for 2021

* The names, specifications, appearance, etc. of the above products are not final decisions. The price is undecided.

Official: More Technical Information about the K-3 III

 

Claimed new improvements or new features include: 

- New viewfinder optics with a higher magnification factor of which the displayed image is also brighter, with the addition of a new condenser lens and with an overlaid LCD information display, too 

- New metering system with 307k colour pixels which has better metering accuracy and also helps the tracking of moving objects

- New high-speed mirror and shutter driving mechanism 

- New PRIME V processor and high ISO performance which is better than that of the K-1 II in terms of noise/details as well as reproduced colours (but that the ISO performance of the K-1 II is really rather outdated by today's standard, nonetheless). New Fine Sharpness II setting option is also made available for in-camera JPEG sharpening.

- New SAFOX 13 AF module of which the layout is shown in the below diagram
Legend: Red squares = Crossed AF sensors (25 nos.), Red and Blue squares = Selectable AF points (41 nos.), Deep Blue "circled" sensors = -EV4 low light capable and F2.8 lens aperture compatible (9 nos.)
:

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

K-1 II J Limited (in Four Colours)

 
Source: Nokishita @Twitter

But, I just wish to ask: How and what does these painted "new" bodies help Pentax and her fans?? :-(

Update (Feb 25): The K-1 II J Limited Special Site is now online (in Japanese only). It is mentioned that the golden lens mount is coated by Citizen Watch Co. with its "Duratect" technology. The wooden grip and its paint are also briefed. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

The K-3 III is Delayed and Here Comes the Re-packaged 3 FA Limiteds in HD

We all knew that the K-3 III was delayed without a new release or market launch date announced. :-(

Hence, Ricoh is "kind" enough to let us have something else "new", right before the CP+. ;-P

Here we go:

(Source: Japanese Nokishita Twitter via Cameota. In short, the new features of the re-packaged FA Limited lenses are HD plus SP coatings, round aperture and blades and guaranteed -10 deg.C temperature operation, there is no Weather Resistance, nonetheless. Anyway, my old FA Limiteds have never had any problem working in cold and snowing conditions under -10 to -20 deg.C in the past, so did my other film FA lenses, but getting the lenses wet might cause real problems. As for the aperture ring and aluminium casted lens bodies, these are indeed good old features but nothing new.

Update (Feb 25): The HD FA Limited Special Site is now online (in Japanese only). Online pre-ordering from the Ricoh web store is also made available. The offered prices are not cheap, though.