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Monday, June 24, 2024

Pentax 17 - An Olympus Pen after 60 Years?

The vertical 135 half frame, the purely-guessed manual zone focusing, manual winding and rewinding, automatic electric-eye metering, a slow fixed wide-angle lens, the very limited speed of shutter.. Now I believe that Pen stands for Pentax in 2024. ;-p And recently, I have been able to find two excellent condition Pens (of different models) each of which only costs me about 1/4th the cost of a brand-new Pentax 17, should I still need to go for the 17? :-D The Oly Pens could select the aperture which is impossible for the Pentax. In the mean time, it's time for me to pick my Canon 17 to shoot again shortly. Thank you, Pentax (Ricoh)! At the end of the day, the Canon 17 is a much more precise rangefinder anyway.

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Some Pentax 17 Reviews (with Sample Photos)

1. B&H:


2. Kosmo Foto:


3. 35mmc:


4. Casual Photophile:


5. Mobile 01 (in Chinese):


6. Cool3c (in Chinese):


My opinions on the camera it's fun and interesting. However, the guessing focusing is just not my cup of tea, especially for a $500 camera. I also have some doubt in the image quality of the 3-element lens. 

And, I just wonder why it is stated in the spec that rechargeable CR2 cannot be used, as I have been using a Chinese model in my Fujifilm instant film camera without any problem. The battery life for one single disposable CR2 for only ten rolls of film seems a bit too short. 

Lastly, the manual film speed setting would be a good idea as I usually set a lower speed to expose more to make grains less visible, especially for negatives. However, a DX coded system is yet more fool-proof for novices, though.

Read Also:

The Word First / Pentax First: My Obsolete Pentax Collection

Monday, March 04, 2024

Pentax User Survey


Monday, January 29, 2024

SDMs DO Require Preventive Maintenance!

Owing to the prolonged infamous failure of the SDMs in various Pentax AF lens models, I only bought my first SDM lens, the DA*55 F1.4, back to 2015, which is a SDM-only lens in KAF3 mount (on screw-drive). After that, I bought also another SDM only lens the DA17-70 and then later a DA*60-250 F4 hybrid-SDM/screw-driven lens (which supports also in 2022.

Here is my proven experiences with those SDM lenses and my tip to prevent them from malfunction before it would be too late, as follows:

I observe that all those lenses did require regular use of the motors. If they were left un-use for a period of time, the AF motors would first become difficult to move. In that case, first of all they were moving rather slowly and with some clicks of odd sound coming out when moving, rather not smoothly. So, more exercise with the lenses could improve thing. After they had (been) moved smoothly, then it would work flawlessly for a couple of months again. This first happened with my DA*55 of which the first SDM  problem appeared after about one year of purchase of the lens. (I bought that lens from the Biccamera in Japan brand new.)

Same thing happened with my DA*60-250 but the symptom exhibited, which was even worse. This lens was bought from the Amazon.jp brand new and was manufactured in 2021 as shown in the document in box, which was supposed to be of the rumoured "newly designed" SDM, but which IMHO has actually been non-existent. Eventually, I needed to bring out my old screw-driven AF Pentax DSLR to turn and smooth out the operation of the SDM, which is rather hilarious indeed. After that, the SDM turnsed flawlessly, i.e. quick and smooth, but only after my prevent maintenance work carried out for about ten minute, and turnings of both the SDM and the screw-drive mechanics were required.

Another observation of mine is that the SDMs would slow down in cold weather when the temperature was cold. Hence, despite the "cold-proof" specification and feature of those AW SDM lenses, those lenses equipped with SDMs are in fact vulnerable to cold weather and to work properly under low temperatures unless they do enough "exercises" from day to day.

So, if you have those evil Pentax SDM lenses, do remember to mark your calendar and carry out periodical PMs before they are to die, which will be too late to save by then. My humble advice and true experience shared.

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

News from Ricoh - K-1 III is Still Under Development and etc.

From a latest post in the Xitek Pentax forum, an interview with the Ricoh senior officials (from the product development and planning divisions) in a recent marketing event in Taipei was cited.

The key messages delivered are summarised as follows: 
1. The K-1 III is still under development. More time is required with a higher precision aimed on the design as well as owing to the difficulty in sourcing certain components and parts for the new camera.

2. The film camera project is in good progress but further details will not be disclosed. Nonetheless, collaboration with other film product manufacturers will be made for determining a right selling price and marketing strategy.

3. Feasibility for the revival of the Q system is being carried out, subject to the requests made by the Pentax fans in Japan. But considering the limitation of the Q system, it would be unlikely.

4. The 645 system is in its end of development, production of the remaining products will last for a certain period of time.

5. Mirrorless is not a viable option for Pentax.

6. New DFA* wide angle lens(es) and replacement of the DA*50-135 are being considered according to market needs.

Thursday, June 29, 2023

The Pentax 645 Digital Lineup is Really Done

See the official discontinued lens list here, even the DFA 55/2.8 SDM and DFA 90/2.8 Macro SR lenses are now included:

So, the Pentax 645 digital lineup is really done, as it is shown and can be confirmed, regardless of any official statement made about this fact. :-(  And, those 645 gear of Pentax has become collectors' items now, just like the Q gear. 

Friday, May 12, 2023

Leak on the "New" FA 50mm F1.4 Lenses


Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Ned Bunnell's Take on the K-3 III Mono

See his latest posted samples at Flickr:


via his DPR post here.

Whilst the photos are nice, they do lack a bit contrast and sharpness. I would expect (much) better IQ for a dedicated B&W machine, honestly speaking. 

Btw, it seems that Ned does not update his blog anymore.

Friday, April 14, 2023

More K-3 III Monochrome Samples at the "Pentax Official" Site




All in Japanese, but the pictures speak for themselves. Various Pentax original lenses were used for the tests.

K-3 III Monochrome First Review (with Sample Photos and Video)


(in Japanese)

My impression is that while the B&W photos do have more contrasts and better tonal representation than normal digital cameras' ones, they are yet not as solid as those images produced with better B&W films, even after they are digitalised via professional-grade film scanners.

Besides, there is a side-by-side comparison against the original K-3 III, look this:

The difference is obvious. However, it is just that the B&W IQ of the K-3 III photo is just too low, IMHO.

Lastly, DC Watch reports that the Ricoh has stopped to receive pre-orders of the K-3 III Mono as the tailor-made sensors have already been out-of-stock owing to the overwhelming demand. Besides, Ricoh also said that their production capacity on the Mono units was indeed rather limited.