Web Analytics RiceHigh's Pentax Blog: November 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010

Pentax' New Patent for an ILDC Built-in Flash (for the Mechanical Moving Parts)



(in Japanese, Google-translated English page here)

So, we see an ILDC box and diagram drawn by Pentax, but nobody except Pentax knows if there is such a camera or not, not even for a prototype. Regarding the built-in flash design of the patent, I don't see it has any major breakthrough and significant difference against that of the Pana GF1 or the Samsung NX100 or the Oly EP-L1 or whatsoever, which is just very similar after all, frankly.

Tethering Software for the K-x (3rd Party Freeware)

I have received an email from a Pentaxian, Mr Tomasz Kos, who is also an electronic engineer as well as a software programmer, that he has successfully developed a tethering software that can work with the K-x (and partially with the K-7 and maybe also for some other newer Pentax DSLRs). I have exchanged a few more emails with him and with his permission to me, I quote some of contents in his emails, as follows:-

"I want to control my camera from PC, but as I know doesn't exist any
software for this I start develop my program. I based on Pentax Remote Assistant and PKRemote. And now I shared beta version on my site. It allow control k-x from PC - change settings, save photo directly on HDD, shoot periodically. Additional I ported PKRemote to Windows and added support for k-x."

"My site is: https://sites.google.com/a/pentax.org.pl/tomaszkos/

But so far it is in Polish language, in future I will prepare English version.

So direct links to programs:

PK_Tether: https://sites.google.com/a/pentax.org.pl/tomaszkos/home/pktether/PK_Tether_0_1.zip?attredirects=0

PKRemote: https://sites.google.com/a/pentax.org.pl/tomaszkos/home/pkremote-for-windows/PKRemote_Executable_0_1.zip?attredirects=0

I informed about this program on Polish Pentax forum pentax.org.pl -
tread http://pentax.org.pl/viewtopic.php?t=33702"

"PKRemote as original is on GNU licence so it is free, and also source
code is available on my site. PK_Tether is freeware and will be. Maybe in future I will add button for donation on my site, but now when software is with bugs, and not
all functional is working I will even don't do this."

Hence, this software is free, but it is still under the beta testing stage. So, if you just want tethering with your K-x (which I don't need so far anyway), try the software and give your feedback(s) to the author so that improvements to the software could be made.

"Today I got information that PK_Tether is detected and shutter can be
released , but data from camera aren't displayed.
So it looks like, the communication with K7 it is similar to k-x but
status data is something different.
I think in near future K7 will be work like k-x."

So, the current version only work partially with the K-7, and possibly may not or may not work with the latest K-5 or K-r, as even the author has no idea himself up till now. But if you are just a K-x user, it should work (putting aside any bug that may exist). Anyway, if you have a K-5 or K-r, you can see if it works or how many things it will or will not do for you. If you've really tried, please drop a comment in reply to this post so that we shall know more.

Last but not least, if you don't read Polish (me neither, but it cannot be machine-translated by Google owing to some technical issues), here is a concise English version of all of Tom's Polish pages in one page, that he has just compiled:-


Under which you can download the zipped version of the "PK_Tether".

As a final disclaimer, I just wish to tell that I have not tried the software myself (as I do not need it so far, as mentioned above). If you try, you're the one who agrees to install and use the software and should bear all the responsibilities at your own for what you do, as it always to be (true) for anything.


Pentax K-5 Firmware 1.01 (w/ Hacks! And Upcoming New 645D Software for Tethering Support)

Tethering the Current Pentax DSLRs?

Scratched "Sensor" Cases of the K-5 Units - Quality Issue of the AA Filters Manufactured by Pentax?

Last time, it was reported that scratches were found by different users of the K-5 on the "sensor" of their brand new units. Until recently, different people found that the AA (Anti-Aliasing) filter, which is on the top of the sensor and actually covers it, is different from that of the Nikon D7000, which shares the same (Sony 16MP) sensor.

However, the reports of the same scratched sensor issue continue, more and more new K-5 users have reported the issue and evidences are shown, two example threads below, note that there are multiple users reported the issue per thread:-

(Simplified Chinese, machine-translated English page here)

(Simplified Chinese, machine-translated English page here)

So, possibly Pentax bought the Sony sensors but made their own AA filters. But once again, the quality control of them is not good so that some of the AA filters they made do contain defects but unfortunately those defective items were still put into the new K-5 units which were shipped ultimately without being caught by the final QC process, if any. This could explain why it has never heard about similar case of any for the Nikon D7000, but only about the K-5.

Besides, as for that super-strong blur filter, some people would argue that it is a design feature of the K-5, but then how about those scratched AA filters? :-o It is not even to mention that the too-strong AA filter does decrease too much the image resolution but just causing obvious blur and ridiculous softness, which has also been repeated proven from all those new K-5 samples that we have seen up till now! :-( In fact, I have seen a K10D user whom has "upgraded" complained about that his new K-5 is not as sharp as his old K10, so?

Last but not least, if you are just one of the unlucky new K-5 users, just all the good lucks to you as very possibly Hoya/Pentax would never admit the problem but on the other hand the service quality and after-sales support (if any) are always impressive, but on the negative side!

In fact, as we can see from the case of the first reported K-5 user who found the issue, he only managed to get a replacement unit after struggling for weeks but then now his "new" K-5 replacement is yet still defective with another problem! Oh, well.. >:-[

Last Related and Must Read :-D

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

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Ned Bunnell's (Official) K-5 + DA 18-135 Samples





which are all posted by Ned today. Full size "originals" that are RAW converted via Adobe Photoshop CS4 are available for download. Major EXIF data are preserved. Ned also tells about some of basic shooting settings and conditions in his posts.

The sample pictures were made mostly with the really *expensive* "long kit" lens, which have been carefully stopped down for at least two stops but not smaller than f/11, which usually the diffraction limit for most APS-C lenses, so that maximum sharpness should be obtained.

In fact, the Pentax DA 18-135 is more than doubled the prices of both the Canon and Nikon 18-135 offerings, which are just close enough in cost. If not believed, go check yourself! Does the WR of the Pentax really worth that super extra cost (US300+ difference in my city), if the IQ is not going to be different, or even worse??

Any how, yet once again and repeatedly recently, I am completely "impressed" (in another extreme) with the IQ, even the pics are just produced by expert photographer like Ned. Images are soft, even it is not viewed at pixel level, despite that the shooting condition is actually very favourable, e.g., on a very bright and sunny day. Purple fringing appears commonly and everywhere, even at object borders which are not extremely contrasty, say, they are Not back lit! The colour tone of the images are cool, um, I mean they are too cold and rather blueish and there is no feeling of the warm sunlight of any and I have big reservation on this (unfavourable IMO) colour tendency of this combo, i.e., the K-5 + 18-135.

Anyway, here are just two casual crops from first two samples in the Part IV, the first one is for the centre at 18mm at f/11 and the next one is for the corner at 135, at f/11:-

Inspect all other samples yourself, you will know what I mean. To make fair comparisons and to be even more objective, I have even zoomed out the images down to 10MP so that they are in the same viewing size and then they are compared to those images from my K-m, I am actually really disappointed to learn that the images from my K-m (with a DAL 18-55) are just sharper and contain more details, just see these old full samples of mine, taken with my "cheap" and "outdated" Pentax kit, i.e., the K-m and that DAL 18-55 lens!

In particular, such severe purple fringing at such long focal length (135mm actual focal in this case) is really uncommon, or I would say, strange, actually. 135mm x 1.5 ~ 200mm is not considered as a wide angle, does it? >:-[

Speaking of Ned, he seems to have been back and rather busy with his blog writing. He has been really very diligent recently for posting at his (new) blog. I think maybe he have just received clear instruction and order from the Pentax (actually Hoya) HQs that he should write more to promote new Pentax products (which is his own job anyway), instead of letting that RiceHigh guy shines in the Internet and Blogsphere! ;=)

Btw, keep up the good works, Ned, your posts are really much valuable! They help us to learn the truth and you are just much more trustworthy than most others! :->



Some Bits and Pieces (November 27)

DC Watch has done a new ISO and NR test on the K-5, with a DA 18-135 on it, further to their last first review and test. As usual, full size samples are available. But for easier viewing and comparison, they post the crops at their test page.

Next, the AF and QC issues of the K-5 continue, I have been keeping an eye on this thread since it was first opened:-


Now, there is something special along the thread, just see this recent comment as made by my regular Blog reader Walter:-

"Uh, the problem with the red rendering seems to be minor compared to the AF problem that is rearing its ugly head over on DPR. Some long-time Pentax defenders - e.g. RPulley - are either considering sending their cameras back. One poor soul replaced his original K%, but soon found out the replacement is a dud, too!"

Finally, the last piece of news is that Hasselblad has followed the trend of Pentax for going fashion (although not toyish like what Pentax is also doing), they now make a Silver and then another Ferrari Red Digital MF!


Oh, well.. :-o

Friday, November 26, 2010

One More K-5 Review, with Full ISO Samples


Click on the ISO crops and you will get the original full pictures.

Well, all the sample pictures are not going to impress me for their Image Quality. Instead, what has impressed me, yet once again, is the image softness, altogether with blur and purple fringing, even for those base ISO images. Too bad.. :-(

For all other previous K-5 reviews that I have reported, see here:-


4th Anniversary of My Blog

Today is the birthday of my Blog, where you read here. It has been there in the Cyberspace for 4 years now. Thank you for reading and my gratitudes to those who are kind enough to support me from time to time and for long.

And, I am looking forward to the 2 Million Pageviews milestone, which I expect to happen within a month.

Related (Latest First):-

(Alexa) Traffic Ranking of Pentax-Theme Websites

Site Traffic of My Blog Matches 30% of that of the Dpreview on Pentax Contents

RiceHigh's Pentax Blog - Three Years

RiceHigh's Pentax Blog - 1,000,000 Page-Views

RiceHigh's Pentax Blog - Two Years

RiceHigh's Pentax Blog - One Year

Updating of Blog Editing Direction

Why This Blog?

Blog Disclaimer

Over Hong Kong: Serious Problem of Air Pollution Caused by Industrial Over Production :-(

Had a helicopter flight over the Victoria Harbour of Hong Kong weeks ago and here are some photos to share:-


Camera used was a Canon EF 17-40L on a Canon 5D. I have added captions for the photos to describe at which region over where I took a snapshot of.

Unfortunately, that hazy "weather" just let me re-think about the adverse consequence of the industrial over-production of we mankind. China, being the "World Factory" nowadays for the whole world, whilst has attained great economical gains and results, has to pay off hugely for environmental pollution of which possibly the destruction could never be recovered. Just see the NASA air pollution geographical plot below:-

(Source URL and Background: http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/health-sapping.html)

In fact, the mainland of China is where it suffers most. When we look up the sky, it is usually terrible, for most of the time! >:-(

On the other hand, Hong Kong, being located at the southest part of China, is not the worst place for air pollution in China indeed. The air pollution of HK does actually depends much on the wind direction of the weather. When we have South wind, the weather will be better. Here is an example shot, taken on a really clear day:-

(Above: Taken with a Pentax DA 16-45/4 Lens on a Pentax K100D (My Full Review Here))

But when the weather is "not good". When I look out of the windows everywhere, we can only see a hazy scene. Below is a photo which I made last year for a large-scale local photo competition:-

(Above: Taken with a Pentax SMC-F 17-28 Fisheye on a Canon 5D; Taken on a Sunny day in the early afternoon.)

After all, the Earth belongs to all of us, no matter you are living in China, South-East Asia or not. So, sometimes I just ask myself, if we really need to buy so many and too many unnecessary things daily and monthly ourselves. Even if we buy new stuff, we should find some good ways to re-use or re-cycle our "useless" items. And, should we do more to save the Earth but not driven too much by all those manufacturers in buying new stuff just for their own continuous survival. Otherwise, mankind will suffer and pay off very soon.

Act now, save the Earth! But if you still can't help in buying new gadgets (and also new fashions, bags, jewellery etc. for ladies), just think more before act and that will surely help! (Even if we can't help ourselves sometimes, as there are always temptations! :-))

P.S. There is a photo album book called "Over Hong Kong" published in Hong Kong since late 80s in which aero photos were taken over Hong Kong using the Pentax 67 gear on an airplane. The pictures look really great indeed but I am afraid it will be more and more difficult for them to take clear pictures these days in Hong Kong.

P.S.2. Now, the previous Pentax 67/645 film photographers could use the new 645D for doing landscape, but with a 1.36X crop factor and effective focal multiplier, the old wide angle lenses will not be wide as they were in their old glorious days. :-(

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Yet Another New K-5 Review (Chinese)


(Or Google Translated Report in English)

The test is in details but all sample photos or even crops are in small size, unfortunately. It is still worth reading IMO, though.

Yet once again, I won't "spoil" their findings. I blog, you read and judge yourself!

Last Related:-

New K-5 Reviews

Nikon is Making an Interchangeable Sensor Mirrorless System - Would This be Another GXR?



The GXR has been proven to be a marketing failure, as I predicted at the very beginning. Well, can you still see it at the streets? :-)


I Did It Again! Ricoh GXR "Rumour": Bingo! :-D

New RICOH Mirrorless Digital System Will NOT Be K-Mount!

Kuwait Reported to Have Banned Use of DSLRs in Public!?

See the latest news and report at the DPR:-

Kuwait reported to have banned use of DSLRs in public

This looks really ridiculous afterall! What's the rationale behind?? For security reason(s)? Are the DSLRs weapons? How dangerous they are?

Maybe the Kuwait Government has recently searched this Pentax SLR during a recent operation and shortly decided that they should ban all DSLRs as such! ;-D

Above: Courtesy of AOHC: C.I.A. single-shot gun-camera (1966):-

"The Stinger is a single-shot re-loadable .22 magnum pen-gun, perhaps the single most popular weapon of the C.I.A. In 1966 the Stinger has been "swallowed" by an Asahi Pentax 35mm SLR and properly cocked via camera’s film advance lever. It shot by shutter release button breaking the lens elements in front of it. photo: CIA website"

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Culprits of "Terrible K-5 (In-Camera) IQ": Strong AA Filter (of Sensor) Plus Weak JPEG Engine?

See these recent discussions for the observations and points as raised by the OPs (and those sensible (but not emotional) responses also):-

K-5 IQ terrible?: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

K5 only for RAW shooters.....: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

Photozone - Pentax K5 ... ordered (But would return for a Mod soon.. for 500 Euros! +_+)

I won't comment further. I blog, you think and decide!

Update (11-26): The strong AA filter of the K-5 does still have its value under extreme case, see:-

via http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1036&message=37020164

for the same resolution chart and target of very high spatial frequency taken with the D7000 (Left) Vs K-5 (Right). The D7k picture is actually sharper, but moire is more an issue.

Previous Stories:-

Famous German Magazine Rates K-5 IQ Worst Amongst Current "Top" DSLRs

I Want to Buy the K-5, But..

K-7 Wins Over K-5 in IQ (Specifically)!

IQ and AF-C of the K-5 - I am Not Impressed! :-(

ISO Craziness - Case of the Latest NEX Firmware and Options

Sony previously a new firmware version 03 for their NEX for improving usability and for direct selection of major camera settings which are yet customisable. For details, read DPR's previous article below:-


Going down the article, there are the suggested settings for their preferred choices. The DPR guys chose the (change of) ISO as the most important setting, and they programmed it to the central button, together with two "less important" (but still somehow important) functions that they think. The remaining soft button can be programmed for another (single) function, they chose the "MF Assist".

Although there are always choices, I don't agree with DPR's selections and their (weak) rationales behind. And sometimes, I just always wonder why nowadays people are seeing the ISO speed and the change of the setting so important, or IMHO, just too important. Is it just so important more than the bases of using a camera such as changing the Tv and Av as for PASM exposure modes?! :-o

Such phenomenon, if I have to describe, would be called "ISO Craziness", for which people are just gone crazy and far from sensible about the ISO setting of digital cameras, by too much, too far away and beyond! =_="

Below is my own settings and selection over the DPR's suggested ones. And my rationales for making such options are also briefed:-

My Selected/Suggested Function
Soft Key B (Lower Left Button)
Shoot Mode
To reserve the Soft Key C for *three* other functions, as the C can be programmed for *either* for the "Shoot Mode" alone or the other three (called "Custom"). So, to me, it is just a no-brainer! (I have no choice!)

And, how could I live with a camera other than a P&S zoom compact DC without a direct key for PASM selection? :-o (But yes, the DPR guys still did that! ;-))

Soft Key C (Central Button)

1. Autofocus Area

2. Metering Mode

3. White Balance
1. Choosing / Quick changing of the AF Area is important. The NEX is by its primitive nature more or less a high-end interchangeable lens P&S. Sometimes, I would give it to my wife (or even other laymen) to use it as a fool-proof camera with the face-detection function (for both AE and AF) and let the camera do all the things. To use this function, the "Multi-AF" must be selected. In contrast, if I am to use the camera myself, I would use the Central single AF point most of the time.

2. NEX's Multi-Segment metering mode is not as intelligent and reliable as one would think and on paper. I often found that the 16-segment one in my K-x is better! (But ditto for the case of K-x against the K-7!) So, changing the metering mode is yet crucial.

3. White Balance! What I would say the AWB of the NEX sucks! My K-x excels here, yet once again!

The less reliable and accurate Multi-Segment Metering and WB of the NEX just make me scratch my head hard as I just wonder why a LiveView camera could do worse than a DSLR reflex for both!? >:-[

Do note in the above that I do not choose any ISO for all the four programmable function in neither the Soft Key B or C. Why? The Auto ISO actually works well most of the time. Just in case if it doesn't and I need to override it, I could still dig into the menu to change it. I regard the (change of) ISO is less important the the above four settings and functions that I have chosen. And nonetheless, the NEX actually could remember the last setting item I used, so this would be the "Brigthness/Color" main menu item and when I click into it, it has already selected the ISO there (which is also memorised).

For one more remark, I think there is no need to program "MF Assist" in any button, as there is just an option of "DMF" (Dynamic Manual Focus) in the NEX (when an E-mount lens is mounted), which is just similar to Quick Shift Focus in Pentax term, but which can be automatically zoomed in for the Live View image for better, easier and more accurate focusing. Maybe the DPR guys have just forgot about this useful feature and option! Have they read fully the user manual before they had completed their NEX full review?! :-)

On the other hand, if MF lenses are mounted, the "MF Assist" will appear automatically, so this is just a don't bother case afterall!

Last but not least, speaking about the "Custom" functions of three of the central key "C", the camera and new firmware is designed to memorise the last time called function until the battery is extracted. So, this is really a very thoughtful design, which is the good job that I always like and would praise - and more importantly the good hearts of those software engineers in writing their firmware so wholeheartedly and with a careful mind of theirs (which I have to say that this does not often happen for Canon and Nikon cameras, but only in Pentax and Sony ones that I could see, frankly).


How a Company Respond Positively to Criticisms

My New APS-C K-mount ILDC! ;-D

Is the Sony E-Mount a Modded K-Mount?(!)

My NEX Sample Photos Gallery

NEX-5/3 First Practical Impressions and Quick Review

My Ten Reasons to Buy the NEX-3 Over the NEX-5! :-o

DAL 18-55 Does Have Inferior Optical Quality to the DA 18-55 II

This is what I have been saying, all different versions of the Pentax 18-55 are not optically identical, at least the outcomes are not, in contrast to what Bojidar tells in his K-mount page. In fact, I could see that the QC standards of most of those plastic (DAL) lenses are just inferior - as I have owned 3 different copies of it: the best one is that come with my Olive K-m body, which performs the best and had no workmanship issue of any when it was born from the factory, unlike the other two.

Here is the proof again, with photos shot at the same time on a test chart. The remarks made by the OP are clear and self-explanatory:-


For quick reference, below are the directly linked pictures from the DAL and the DA II:-

(Above: K-x + DAL 18-55, Click to Enlarge.)

(Above: K-x + DA 18-55 II, Click to Enlarge.)

And, quoted, for what the OP observed (and it's so obvious indeed):-

"First, the DA 18-55 II lens. Note the better edge and corner sharpness compared to the kit lens supplied with the K-x, the DA L 18-55...

The image below is from the L lens, and is not corrected. The two correction functions don't help to correct edge focus - well, if they do, it's not noticeable in my images. I tried all variations.

Even the centre focus drops off towards the edges. Oh, and it's even worse wide open. I'm really trying hard to be nice to Pentax here... emoticon - wink"

In short, those newer "plastic wonders" of Pentax could suck! And that all depends on your luck, no wonder! :-( ;-> And afterall, the Pana delivers the best result!

Besides, as I have also told before, the above poster states something the same, i.e., the lens correction function of the current Pentax DSLRs are working so slowly, whilst the same function of other brands like Pana and Canon is just working instantaneously, the following are quoted from his post:-

"The image above was auto-corrected in cam; the two settings take around 5 seconds to process and correct for curvature and CA. This slows the camera down immensely, but produces a square, almost error-free image."

"Panasonic get criticised by many for including geometry and CA corrections in-camera - they are applied in every shot. The wonder of all this is that it takes no time at all, in a Panasonic (not 5 seconds like a Pentax), to process these corrections."

As I also have the Pana GF1, I can firmly tell that what that guy says is true!

Some brand defenders would yet argue that the K-x is not the uppermost model of current Pentax DSLRs, so they should see what a new K-5 user reports on the same issue, below!

K-5 Continuous Shooting Does 3 Frames Only! If and When..

Read Also:-

Standard Zoom Mega Shootout! (DA Vs FAJ Vs DAL Vs SA Vs FA!)

(AF) Lens Matching with the Navy K-x

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

New K-5 Reviews

At the PhotographyBLOG:-


And the Ephotozine:-


I won't comment further this time and will let You measurebate and decide!

Read Also:-

K-r Full Review at the PhotographyBLOG

K-5 + DA 18-135 / DA* 50-135 Practical Test Shots


(Or English Translation Here)

(Or English Translation Here)

While you can click to enlarge the small pictures, the enlarged pictures are still downsized. Key EXIF data are preserved, though.

The pictures are not bad IMO. The reviewer comments that the DA 18-135 has both better focusing speed and responsiveness than the "high-end" DA*50-135 with SDM, which is a bit to his surprise.

Last Related:-

New (Small) Samples and Crops from the DA 18-135

K-5, K-r, 645D Full Size Samples (Production Firmware in Engineering Units)

Some DA 18-135 Full Samples (on K-5)





All were taken with a K-5 with firmware 1.01 and RAW converted via Pentax DCU 4.31.

via a DPR post here.

But do note that the photo below is NOT made with the DA 18-135, it is made with an A 50/1.7 and the picture has been edited. I believe the poster is simply mistaken there:-


Anyway, we see the difference. That's always what I say: Prime is Prime, and Zoom is Zoom! That is, not matter how "good" a zoom is, it is Just a Zoooom!

"Round" Lens Diaphragm? See This! :-o

When some Pentaxians rave about the "round" diaphragm of the "new" DFA 100 Macro lens of Pentax, which has only 8 aperture blades actually, I think we need to look at something that is really great in this regard, which came from the old days:-

Could you count how many aperture blades this lens has? It has 16! And, most importantly, the opening is really perfectly round, no matter at *any* f-stop that it is set!

Well, a circle is essentially a multi-polygon with numerous number of sides. So, how a lens with 8 blades could be "perfectly round" when it is only 8, just? :-)


DFA 100 Macro WR - Brief Hands-on Impressions

Dust *Insider* the Monitors of K-5s, New K-5 Users Reported

See this thread here (machine-translated), the OP and the first poster who replied purchased their K-5 lately and found the same, i.e., dust inside and underneath the monitor of their K-5 units.

This just reminds me of the old reported cases of dust inside the monitors of different K10Ds, which was reported widely by various K10D users before, back to 2007.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Famous German Magazine Rates K-5 IQ Worst Amongst Current "Top" DSLRs

See this summary at their page in German (original) or English (machine-translated), via the DPR discussion thread here.

It is told that the excellent FA 43/1.9 Limited was used to do the test, but very unfortunately, the K-5 scores only 77.5% out of 100 for its IQ, which is the lowest amongst the Top 10 cameras.

So, I think there must be some good reasons behind, otherwise they won't put such a low score.

If you want to find out more, here is yet another first discussion at a large German forum, in German (original) or in English (machine-translated).

It seems that Pentax really has a hard-time to make a better upper model of DSLR even they are given a more advanced sensor! :-( Just very recently, we have just seen the IQ of the K-5 loses all in the shootout against the K-x with both the IR and DPR test images. Now, yet another famous magazine found and tells the same!

Oh, well, Pentax/Hoya, it's time for you to make a PRIME III, the PRIME II is just too old and dated! :-o Btw, still too mean to invest more? >:-x


IQ and AF-C of the K-5 - I am Not Impressed! :-(

Strange K-5 Image. Anyone has a Good Explanation?

See this:-


How come is that multiple ghost image? What causes that?? I don't have a good enough technical explanation to it myself. But, I have never seen such an image for a moving object shot in similar conditions since I shot digital back to 2001. Since that, I guess I have already shot about 70k+ digital images with all my DSLRs/DCs - but never seen such irregularity. Really Strange and Weird, I have to say!

FxIF Version on the Latest Firefox

I have encountered software incompatibility that causing the latest versions of FxiF 0.4.X not working with the later versions of the Firefox 3.6.X or XX, with two machines out of three had a crashing problem so that no EXIF data could be displayed.

So, I tried installing the 0.3.X of the FxIF instead, it works like a charm! One of which can be downloaded or simply directly installed here:-


Btw, the older FxIF versions 0.2.X are completely incompatible with Firefox 3.6 and installation is not allowed to proceed.

If you are also countering the same problem, try using the FxIF 0.3 XPI above. Good luck!

Read Also:-

Windows Recovery and System Transfer

Blueish "LED" Screens? (How To Make Them Colour "Correct"!)

My New PC (an Intel Core i5 Based System)

"Film is Dead"! ;-)

I put a roll of film into my beloved film Pentax MZ-S back to July 2009 for taking some photos in a time-lapse manner with time-stamp on frame. Yesterday, the frame counter has reached 29 and the roll of film will expire some time next year..

So, I declare, film is dead! At least this is almost true for my case. Why? It is because within the same period, I think I have made 10k+ digital images and frames already. But as for film, I've only managed to take 28, for 16 months! Just! ;-))

Speaking of the MZ-S, and for gear talk, its mirror action is just so smooth and the vibration caused by the mirror slap is nearly non-existent! Well Done, my Old Pentax!!

Read Also:-

Some More Dubai Images ;-)

A 45k-image 3-year Time-lapse Video with the K110D

Preview: Cantax K5D Full Frame! ;-)

New (Small) Samples and Crops from the DA 18-135

Above: Side-by-side Size Comparison for the New DA 18-135 Against the DAL 18-55 (a K-r "pink" colour kit lens is shown).

Our international expert internet poster FengweiXXX (aka FrankXXX, who is actually a Chinese dealer of Pentax at Singapore, IIRC) strikes again. Here is his first test on the DA 18-135, which is to be put on sales at November 26th at Japan, as previously announced.

Well, wait! Isn't that November 26th is the birthday of my Blog? Oh, Pentax/Hoya, thanks for the celebration and your birthday "gift"! ;-D

(in Chinese, Google Translated English Page Here)

Small samples and crops for a few images taken at different focal lengths (lens stopped down) are shown. Image quality is not bad IMO but I just wish to remind you that that guy does not post any bad image with any Pentax gear ever. So, Beware! No matter how, the samples shown above are somehow impressive, at least on the first glance, as always for Frank's samples! ;-) Thumb up, Frank! You're my Hero! ;-D

p.s. Frank usually shoot RAW and I found that he has very good skills in Post Possessing and is much knowledgeable in the use of those conversion software. Do note also the heavy sharpening applied and halo/artifacts that can be found in his crops, anyway.

Update (11-25): More (small) samples were uploaded by Frank, see:-

Hands-on w/ SMC DA 18-135mm/3.5-5.6 Lens (Many Photos)

Well, while the samples are not bad in general (as usual, as I've said), I yet can see some rather heavier sharpening applied than my like.


(Alexa) Traffic Ranking of Pentax-Theme Websites

Site Traffic of My Blog Matches 30% of that of the Dpreview on Pentax Contents

DAL 35/2.4 and DA 18-135/3.5-5.6 Full Size Samples

DA 18-135 First Photo Samples

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

Shootout: K-5 Vs K-x High ISO Crops (@12800)

via Information on Digital Cameras for comparing test images from the Imaging Resource by making crops and put them side-by-side.

Well, yet again, the pictures speak for themselves. How come all the crops from K-x just show that it wins over the "King of High ISO" and that "New King of APS-C DSLRs" for noise, colours and details, all in all?! :-o ;->


I Want to Buy the K-5, But..

IQ and AF-C of the K-5 - I am Not Impressed! :-(

High K-5 DR of the DxOMark: (Hardware) Mathematical Trick of the New Sony Sensor?

K-r Vs K-x ISO Measurbations (Head to Head)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

K-r's AF Accuracy Affected Much by Colour Temparture (of the Light Source)

See the pictures in this experiment, the pictures speak themselves!


But the software guess works of using the WB setting to make some "corrections" seem just doesn't work out at all, which can be verified in the above. It only creates more chaos, like this new K-r reported and complained about.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

K-5 Default NR (Auto) Destroys All Red Details! +_+

See this post (Traditional Chinese, Google Translation in English Here) and it is clear and self-explanatory, together with some good illustrations, too. An example:-

(K-5, NR Auto, ISO 1600 - All Details are Washed Out!)

Pentax K-5 Firmware 1.01 (w/ Hacks! And Upcoming New 645D Software for Tethering Support)


Changes to V1.01
  • Increases the number of continuous shot at RAW format and High sensitivity shooting.

    * Ex. Setting condition: RAW/ISO100, Increases the number of continuous shot from maximum approx. 8 frames to approx. 20 frames.

  • Improved stability for general performance such as exposure range on HyP mode

Besides, Pentax also hints that tethering option will be added to their application software later, at least for the 645D:-


Quoted, "A remote-access application will soon to be added to this software, allowing you to control your PC from a distance using the 645D."


Thanks much to Zebooka for his first reply comment to this post, we have the following hacking information of the new K-5 firmware! Quoted:-

Interesting things as quoted:

1) MODSET.505

2) Interesting parameters for SYSPARAM.TXT file:


(DPC == Dark Pixel Current?)

2.b) DISABLE_BULB_ALG == Disable Bulb Algorith? Forced noise reduction?



2.e) DISABLE_BAYER_ALL_FILTER == woo hooo! It's a BW camera :)

2.f) ENABLE_SR_TRIGGER_26KHZ == Very interesting. Is it a Shutter Blur bugfix option? (to ommit data about 26KHz fluctuations from SR)

3) Face Detection Library is same as in K-7 1.10 == v., Copyright (c) 2005-2009 by FotoNation. All rights reserved.

Enjoy! Happy Hacking! But mind you that YOU DO EVERYTHING AT YOUR OWN RISK! :-D


K-x Debug Mode Tutorial - AF Adjustment

Tethering the Current Pentax DSLRs?

New Firmware to be Released for the K-5

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

K-r Focus Varies with Different WB Settings! +_="

See this experiment by this Pentaxian whom has newly purchased a K-r:-

(Traditional Chinese, Google Translated English Page Here)

In this reply post, the OP writes the test conditions of his and and the shocking finding/conclusion of his experiment:-


Translated, "On tripod, 2 sec self-timer, with each WB setting 5 shots were taken (3 from infinity to a mid-distance object and 2 from near distance to the same object for the lens), the focus for each WB group are close enough whilst the focuses between different WB groups are very different! So, it is concluded that a (different) WB setting actually changes the focus. If it is not a real problem, I have nothing more to say!"

He also stated that he has been a user of K100D, K200D, K-m and K-x also and has never ever encountered the same problem! He further said that he would go to the local Pentax Customer Service Centre for help when he has the time. But what can I say to him is just: Good Luck, Guy! May God bless You!!

I dare to bet they will "play" him to death till the end of the world without any practical solution nor any real and responsible action that could help the suffered users, as that have been happening and being reported from time to time by our Pentax users, almost daily! >:-[

Some New Pentax Reviews (K-5 and 645D)

with downsized samples and crops..

1. K-5: http://article.pchome.net/content-1229488-1.html
(Simplified Chinese, Google Translated English Page Here)

2. K-5: http://www.neocamera.com/review.php?id=245&review=samples

3. 645D: http://www.photoradar.com/reviews/product/pentax-645d-review-0?page=0%2C4&t=1289919303

K-5 Continuous Shooting Does 3 Frames Only! If and When..

The lens correction function is turned on! A Class 10 card doesn't help! See:-

(Traditional Chinese, Google Translated English Here)

(Traditional Chinese)

I still recall that last time (very recently) I tested the Canon 5D MkII had no such a problem! >:-o

I Want to Buy the K-5, But..

Still, I needed to do my research before decided. Even though I knew about the 10 major shortcomings of the K-5 and Pentax, and even though the K-5 has got the highest ever DxOMark amongst all APS-C DSLRs, I am still looking at the IQ of the K-5 in *real-life*.

Yesterday, I browsed through 10 pages of the Japanese Pentax Photoble samples database for K-5, download them to inspect (all are unedited originals and in full size), what I would say is that I am totally not impressed! :-(

Most of the pictures are lacking contrast and sharpness, images are soft, colours are odd, sometimes focuses are out and so on.. What a big disappointment for those real-life photos from those real K-5 users indeed! >:-((

And then, I've simply backed to the pixel peeping mode for some more scientific and systematic comparisons, I've re-visited DPR's studio photos with its new comparison tool, which I just reported a few days before, here:-


I replaced the 50D with the K-x and surprisingly found that the K-x just had better IQ than the new K-5 flagship! :-o Don't believe? Won't believe? Unbelievable? Below is a screen capture of the comparison!

As you can see from the above: colours, sharpness, contrast, noise, details are *all* better for the K-x image! :-o (Oh, Well..)

In fact, last time when I saw the DC Watch first review on the K-5, I had already disappointed with all those posted samples. Yes, I'd downloaded those original samples to inspect, already. Btw, I still recall that DC Watch usually took some best sample images amongst all review sites on this planet!

So, my purchase plan is now withheld. Unless I could see more positive samples from the K-5 in the future, I won't re-consider the K-5! :-( Just don't tell me that K-5 has low high ISO noise. Yes, I knew from the very beginning! I just wish to ask: What else is more important than low ISO Image Quality for a DSLR??

The most unfortunate thing is that last time K-r have already failed my tests, which I indeed was also interested to buy. Now, what new Pentax DSLR body in the Pentaxland can I consider and acquire?! ]:-((


High K-5 DR of the DxOMark: (Hardware) Mathematical Trick of the New Sony Sensor?

K-7 Wins Over K-5 in IQ (Specifically)!

Pentax DSLRs Require Fast Cards for A Bit Longer Video Recording!

Scratched Sensors of Brand New K-5 Units

K-r Vs K-x ISO Measurbations (Head to Head)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

URL Blocking War Between DPR and PentaxForums

Here is a recent discussion at the DPR:-


The staff of DPR replied, but the discussion was finally closed. Yet fortunately, it is not deleted, which is what PentaxForums did that on and off!

Following along the thread, we can learn that, as this poster told us, Adam, site owner of the PentaxForums, decided to fight back and declared a war! :-o

I do agree every words as commented by the above Pentaxian, in particular his conclusion that, "Adam is his, and his forums own worst enemy...".

Furthermore, I think yet another Pentaxian has also been right for most of his opinions, quoted:-

"I think it's ridiculous tbh.

DPR has a bottom line to protect(business tactic)
Adam has none(retaliative tactic).

There's a difference and only one of them looks bad without cause.
And I really don't see the sens in such senseless behavior tbh.

I remember when PF was a small and simple operation committed to its users.
Now... its starting to seem as though its slated to become another DPReview."

Whilst I do totally agree that DPR is just a commercial site whom needs to protect their commercial interest, I think he has been completely wrong for overlooking that the PentaxForums is just NOT a Non-Commercial Site. In fact, the PentaxForums has various partnerships and business relationships with B&H and Pentax Imaging and etc. They have also participated actively in various commercial promotion and marketing activity of which it is hard to believe that no money and personal interest of any is involved between the PentaxForums and the firms! Hey, folks, just don't be naive! :-)

Furthermore, Adam also has had money relationship with many of those more superior members over there for their "sponsorship" for long (against where DPR has None! At DPR, there are only Admins and *Ordinary* Members!). So, it's your take to conclude now!

Nevertheless, let's talk back to the war! I think such blocking, no matter it happens anywhere at the Cyberplace, just does no good to the Internet community and in particular to the Pentaxian community in this case. In fact, Internet is a platform for information exchange and hyper linking is the basic of how the Internet works! >:-(

At the end of the day, even now PentaxForums manually blocks my links of this Blog (in addition to the automatic blocking all the DPR links) and that DPR has banned me for posting at their forum (I knew that whenever I am there, there will be big chaos! ;-)), I still post reference links to the forums and posts at any of them as long as there are something interesting and useful to share. The case is just as simple as that - as long as I mean to share! :->

Of course, I don't agree with the narrow-minded-ness of Adam and the PentaxForums. And, the hidden profit-making money-related site and nature of the PentaxForums and actually the hypocritical attitude of the site owner is the worst thing on Earth that I hate, or more appropriately to describe, I simply look down at him! >:-|

Btw, if you want to read another follow-up discussion about the closed thread, here it is, at the DPR:-



True Rumour for Upcoming Pentax DSLRs and Plan? (Possibly~)

Dictatorship/Censorship Alert (Reminder)

PentaxForums.com is Building a New "CanikonForums"!?

Don't Join Any Forum that Has Censorship and Heavy Filtering

Hypocrites/Cowards of those "Pentax" Forums

Hypocrites of the PentaxForums and Their Lies

645D Vs Phase One P40+ Quick Shootout at LL


Um.. Too bad LL also shoots brick walls! :-(


645D DxOMark is Out

IR has Posted their K-5 Review


There are bundle of studio samples for measurbation, but unfortunately, as usual, there is only one could be considered as real-life. Besides, the layout of how the samples are presented is just a nightmare, frankly.

There is no video sample for download and viewing, neither.

Monday, November 15, 2010

New Imatest Lens Review of DAL 35/2.4 on K-5 and K-7

See this:-


I recommend to read results of MTF 50(%) only as MTF 20 is simply considered almost meaningless for the low contrast and inadequate image fidelity that the lens renders.

Does the DAL 35 performs well enough, then? How about its resolution at the frame centre and at the corners? Does it perform very differently on K-5 against the old K-7?

It's your take now! I won't spoil the results this time! (So as to avoid any further arguments! ;-))

Besides, speaking of the K-5, the Japanese K-5 catalogue has been out and is now available for download at the Japanese official homepage, here it is:-


Pentaxians Have Become Toy and Model Collectors!

Good News! With the hard determination of Hoya, she has achieved big success for entering the massive market of toys as being a new toy maker. Now, the K-x toy eggs can be found in various toy stores at the streets at many places and local people and Pentaxians are just so busy with drawing the eggs!

Some examples:-

(Source URL)

I think this guy has drawn quite a long time before he could finally get one with the same colour combination as his real K-x and kit lens! :-o

(Source URL)

This guy has been even more crazy. He simply bought all the four packs completed with all the colours from a toy shop and even didn't bother to make any lucky draw! =_="

Still, some other people decided to draw the different colours one by one. Eventually, they will yet have many of those at the end!

(Source URL)

Next, there is an official Pocari K-x toy:-

(Source URL)

It seems that Hoya wishes to enter the market for drinks as well! What an ambitious company they are! ;-o

Finally, as an ordinary user and yet a toy lover, a simple random colour pick would still be nice~

(Source URL)

Congratz, Hoya! I believe that you're the first camera company ever who has successfully entered the toy market and just so easily! You're my Hero! ;->

Update (11-16): All the K-x toy eggs in Hong Kong have been sold out! :-o

Well, it seems that Hoya has been doing toy business far better than what they could ever achieve for selling cameras! ;->

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Interesting AF Performance Tests and Comparison: K-5 Vs K-7 Vs D7000 Vs D60

via this DPR thread:-


In summary, the first test is about a boy running at 5km/hr towards the camera and the photo was taken when the boy was at 5 metres away and the distance of travel of the boy was measured for when the shot was finally made. So, the smaller the figure, the better that it would be. The lens used was with a 135 film equivalent focal of 80mm, at a f/2.8 aperture.

The second test is about a car running at 50km/h, 50 metres away. Then the camera was put into AF-C and continuous frame mode, the number of shots taken were counted as well as the number of successful shots are remarked. In addition, the distances at which the shots were made are told.

Do note for both tests, a green mark indicates a successful shot with good enough focus, whilst a yellow one is a marginal case and finally red represents failed ones which are out-of-focus.

The source of the tests is from a French site called Fnac, which is actually a French famous electronic & cultural stuff store, as told by the original poster.

Last but not least, here is a nice summary of the comparison results by him for the second car test, quoted:-

K5 :
16 shots : 14 okay, 1 tolerable, 1 failed

K7 : 8 shots : 6 okay, 2 failed

D7000 : 16 shots : 15 okay, 1 tolerable

D60 : 16 shots : 14 okay, 1 tolerable, 1 failed

Last Related:-

K-5 Vs K-7 AF-C Speed / Frame Rate Head-to-Head Comparison

Ultimate APS-C Shootout: K-7 Vs 50D Vs D300 Vs A700

Measurebated: K-7 is NOT a Machine Gun! :-(

645D First Review at LL is Out


K-5 + DA* 55.4 Vs D7000 + AFS 50.4 G ISO & Lens Measurbation

See this post, which is self-explanatory:-

(Traditional Chinese, Google Translation into English Here)

The test shots (and crops) were made with lenses stopped down for two steps. Whilst this should not be the sharpest setting of the lenses, I think it should yet be sharp enough for this test and the purpose. In addition, the focusing accuracy of the cameras and wider open performance of the lenses could be checked.

Super Star Uses 645D

Hongkong/Hollywood Super Star Chow Yun-fat has recently purchased a 645D and is using it, see what the Apple Daily (HK) reports:-


(Traditional Chinese)

Btw, the expensive 645D in fact just costs nearly nothing for a rich man like Mr. Chow. The most important thing is that he can still enjoy life in such a way even that he had become rich, which is just not an easy thing for many other rich men!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Late ISO Measurbation: 5D (Mark I) Vs 5D Mark II


Testing Notes:-

1. 5D Settings: Standard Picture Style (Default 3, 0, 0, 0), AWB, Av Mode at f/8, Evaluative Metering, No Exposure Compensation, Large Fine JPEG, One Shot AF/Central AF Point, Standard High ISO NR;

2. 5D2 Settings: Standard Picture Style (Default 3, 0, 0, 0), AWB, Av Mode at f/8, Evaluative Metering, No Exposure Compensation, Large Fine JPEG, One Shot AF/Central AF Point, Standard High ISO NR, Highlight Tone Priority Disabled, Standard Auto Lighting Optimiser, Peripheral Illumination Correction Enabled (Unlike Pentax DSLRs, there is NO noticeable delay in processing after each shot! :-o);

3. Lens Used: EF 17-40/4 L, Focal Length Set at 28mm;

4. Click on any of the small thumbnails in the above page will open another picture page with a large picture of 3,999 pixels in length. To further download the original image, click under the "download" menu for a "high-res" image.

Friday, November 12, 2010

JPEG Comparison and Measurbation: K-5 Vs D7000 Vs 60D

at DPR:-


Enjoy the new measurbation tool by DPR! Life-long measurbating! Okay, it's your take now, I'd go watch TV for a while now and then take a bath afterwards and then sleep! ;-D See you later~

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

DC Watch K-5 First Review (Loads of Original Samples!)


(Japanese, Google English Translation Here)

As usual, we have full ISO samples, with different NR settings. And, there are also images taken for the same scene with different colour modes (Custom Image in Pentax' term). There are also some other real-life samples. The most important and meaningful thing is that they are all original in full size, directly out of the camera!

Btw, I don't see the super 14EV high range DR in action, at least the highlight is clipped as usual, as for most digital SLRs:-


In contrast, I recall that my 5D still preserves better highlights than the above K-5 sample, see:-


My above bee on white flower photos under the bright sunlight are very similar to the situation of that K-5 sample, as it can be easily seen, the highlights and details of mine are just preserved better.

Besides, I also see the new King of Purple Fringing, just see this sample:-

(Warning: Large File in 12MB!)

For your easy viewing, I provide a full-sized crop of the above sample:-

Finally, there are also two original video clip samples that can be downloaded. I do not feel good for the video quality nor the video efficiency. E.g., this first train bridge video is about 300MB for only 30 seconds. As for most of the time there is nothing in action within the frame and even though there are some, the moving portion is yet small, I am quite sure if there is some kind of video motion compression, the file could be drastically decreased.

Read Also:-

K-7 Wins Over K-5 in IQ (Specifically)!

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

High K-5 DR of the DxOMark: (Hardware) Mathematical Trick of the New Sony Sensor?

See what our knowledgeable Russian Engineer and Pentaxian Oleg V analysed and explained:-


Oh well, whilst I don't find any flaw with Oleg's arguments, I think a real-world DR test is still required to find out the truth. So, let's wait for DPR's result, as I believe their DR test is closer to real-life and should be more meaningful.

Or, if you are just a K-5 user, you can follow the methodology and test adopted by that D5000 user as quoted by Oleg V, and the *usable* DR of the sensor/DSLR can still be found out briefly. Btw, I still prefer DPR's methodology of shooting a lightness "stair" simultaneously (and of course) as this is just what we want for the widest possible DR practically in daily shooting.

But if the DR of the new Sony sensor (of the K-5/D7000) is just measured to be lower later on, then it is just sad that now even sensor maker also does trick(s) to optimise their hardware for *benchmark*, which is just nothing about real performance, subsequent to what display card chipset/GPU makers have been doing this for years already, say, for the 3DMark.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Ned's Blog Revived and New (Small) Samples

After almost six months of no activity at Ned Bunnell's Blog (who is the president of the Pentax Imaging of the USA), Ned has written again, since yesterday!

Today, Ned has posted some downsized samples of the K-5 with "his" DA*300 prime, here:-


Do note that the colours of the images posted in his above page is worse than the enlarged ones which can be downloaded (although are still very small in size at 1,000 pixels for the longer side, only). So, initially I just thought that the colour response of those K-5 + DA* pictures suck and was shortly afterwards still glad to learn that it's just Ned's fault during the process of downsizing the pictures! ;-)

Anyway, welcome back, Ned! :=)


(Alexa) Traffic Ranking of Pentax-Theme Websites

Monday, November 08, 2010

K-7 Wins Over K-5 in IQ (Specifically)!

For the photos below, from this flickr page:-

http://www.flickr.com/photos/28177041@N03/5152110098/sizes/z/in/photostream/ (For explanations and shooting/conversion details, please look here.)

(Click to Enlarge in a New Tab/Window.)

It can be noted that for the K-5 picture, whilst virtually has no shadow noise, it has more obvious purple fringing across the high contrast edge (see the left cheek of the boy's face). Do note that the same lens was used for both cameras and test shots and the shooting conditions were the same.

Besides, whilst the K-5 has little shadow noise, it just can't give more highlight headroom than the K-7. See the right face of the boy, it can be yet noted that highlights are clipped for both images.

With the low shadow noise of the K-5 and sensor, there is a trick to play, though, if the user just wants to have more highlight and details retained. That is, to shoot in RAW, intentionally underexpose the image and then apply +ve digital compensation to bright up the whole image. Whilst for doing this, shadow noise will be increased, highlights could be preserved better.

Last but not least, as for the skin tone colour response and textural feel, I think K-7 is still doing better for this shootout and samples. Overall, I found K-7's picture renders somehow more natural skin tones and has less plastic skin feel. Furthermore, the K-7 picture could look sharper, too, putting aside the annoying noise that is superimposed on the image.

K-5 Dissection Photos

(Above: Click to Enlarge, New Tab/Window will be opened.)

See this flickr set:-


(Or, Full Slideshow Here.)

Well, from the second selected picture above, it can be seen that the metal mount of the K-5 is actually built on a plastic foundation. I just wonder why not made it metal? This is yet really something head-scratching, once again..