Web Analytics RiceHigh's Pentax Blog: May 2011

Saturday, May 28, 2011

To All K-5 Users: Do You Actually Encounter the Tungsten/Low Light FF Issue? (Poll)

As you know, I like much about the appearance of my gold/brown K-r. Practically, it is a nice camera and good piece of photographic tool putting aside the persistent front focusing issue under tungsten and the last isolated accident that I have encountered.

However, I am so annoyed with the tungsten FF issue as I do shoot indoor with my fast Pentax primes from time to time. Indeed, the problem is most troublesome when there is mixed white and yellow light sources, under which there is not a single "fine focus adjustment" factor that I can safely enter to avoid the AF errors. Otherwise, for indoor environment that is with tungsten source only, I could quite safely to use a -10 adjustment factor to compensate for the error that must occur with the K-r in that case.

Just with this problem alone, I am now seriously considering to move to a K-5, which has a SAFOX + (Plus) AF system, which theoretically should avoid the problem. However, for what I have made my research so far, it seems that there are still some K-5 users, who have already upgraded to the latest K-5 firmware of version 1.03, do yet encounter some AF problems, although it seems that it is not as severe as the K-r's. See this example.

So, after all, I would need to seek assistance from all you folks who have used your K-5 for quite a while, and most importantly have been shooting under tungsten or mixed light sources indoor wider opened with faster lenses, to give me some advice about the AF reliability for this application. Your information provided will surely help me to make a better decision and to help me to re-configure my Pentax gear with a better setup/lineup.

Thank you in advance for all your kind help and inputs. Here we go!

Do You Find Any AF Issue(s) With Your K-5 Under Tungsten/Lower Light?
I am a K-5 user and I do not see any problem.
I am a K-5 user and I do find some problems occasionally.
I am a K-5 user and I do encounter some persistent problems, consistently.
pollcode.com free polls

Friday, May 27, 2011

"Trusted Rumour" from Japan: Two Pentax Mirrorless Cameras Will Come! (And One Nikon As Well)

See: http://digicame-info.com/2011/05/78-1.html

(in Japanese, Excite English Translation Here)

It is told that a new Pentax mirrorless with new mount will be announced by July/August. 3 colours will be available for this new model (which this information seems to be quite specific). And more importantly, another Pentax mirrorless will be announced later in the second half year of 2011. Besides, it also mentions about that the Nikon mirrorless will be announced in July.

The most interesting that we should note about is that the above blog author reminds us that the "informer" have been correct for the last several early supplies of the Pentax K-r, E-PL1 and E-PL2 leaked information, which I think I witnessed that for the last case of the K-r, which was found to be true. Actually, his informer mentioned about the K-5, too, which I think was the first time I heard about that name in a more confirmed tone, but not just pure imaginations.

At the same time, I see Photo Rumors today also tell about the new US pricing of the "upcoming" Pentax NC-1 mirrorless, from their own source:-


So, I think this time the Pentax mirrorless should be true and it will come soon, so as the Nikon mirrorless. What a "rumour"! :-D

After all, whenever anyone surfs the Internet, one should have a strong mind of susceptibility and possess strong judgement so as to make the right filtering and finally more accurate predictions could be achieved. Always trust sources that are more sensible, insightful and had good past track records. This time, I think I will be bingo again, too! ;->

Thursday, May 26, 2011

DC Watch Tough DC Shootout: TG-810 Vs EX-G1 Vs DSC-TX10 Vs DMC-FT3 Vs FinePix XP30 Vs Optio WG-1 GPS

Part 1: Comparison on Features and Operations:-

(Japanese Excite machine translation to English Here)

Part 2: Image Quality - Full Sized Original Test Samples are available:-

(Japanese Excite machine translation to English Here)

Well, it is a bit disappointed that the DC Watch did not actually carry out any real test to check for the toughness and reliability of these cameras, which is what they were designed for and why they were born! After all, what better IQ should we expect for those *DCs*? :-o

One interesting is that if you look at those GPS sample photos, and if you are using Firefox as the browser and you have installed the FxIF, there will be a new map link displayed in additional to the Latitude and Longitude plus the Altitude values (which are displayed for the GPS equipped models, i.e., except the Casio and the Sony, which has no GPS). A click to that map link will route you directly to the OpenStreetMap.org, see the example link below for this sample picture (Warning: Large File) of the Optio WG-1 GPS:-


Besides, the DC Watch comments in the summary of their tests that the lack of a dedicated video button of the Pentax model (only) would be a real issue that causes much inconvenience, as those underwater DCs are meant to be used under the water. How do the users dig into the menu and call the video recording function when they are diving?! >:-|

Last but not least, speaking of the WG-1 alone and the real-life field test I've mentioned above, I think this video should be of interest, if it is not edited to be too long before you go asleep! ;-D

(URL: http://youtu.be/prwcceG7U8w)

New DA 55-300 Lens Test and Review

On a K-5, by the Ephotozine:-


I think this one generally agrees with the previous lens test by the Photozone, which can be found here:-



Useful Lens Review Links

Search This Blog for "Lens Test"

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What are These Pentax Big Guns?

First, look at this:-

What is this Pentax big gun and why an Olympus body is attached?? :-o

via http://forum.xitek.com/showthread.php?threadid=873779
(in Chinese, Google-translated English version here)

Go down the thread you will discover that these big guns are for astro-applications actually. I don't know when the photos were taken but it seems that it was not very long ago as I can see a Pentax DSLR had that kind of lens mounted (a K10D or K20D, see the picture below). It is good to learn that if Pentax is still making those astro-telescopes and lenses which is just great! :-)

Last Story:-

Pentax DSLR is Not a Machine Gun II

Pentax DSLR is Not a Machine Gun II

If you're bored and have nothing better to do today, you can watch this! ;-D

(URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awq90APEVgw)

The Pentax gun shows up for a few second in the "battle", but it is only used by a sniper, I believe! :-o ;->

Up next from the YouTube, here is yet another video clip by the same author, in which the full frame D700 with a super telephoto lens is compared to the Fuji Superzoom HS20. Well, after viewing you should decide if you really want a Full Frame camera or just a prosumer! ;-)

(URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfnv9pRUJrU)

I found the video is somehow too lengthy and as such it is boring. But anyway, YMMV!


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

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

A K-r Hands-on Preview and Comparisons

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

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

How to Test Whether Your K-5 Had the Mirror Disorder Illness..

Someone has discovered how to test the K-5 mirror disorder recently, see:-

(in Chinese)

It is told that put the camera in M exposure mode, then push the shutter speed to the highest, i.e., 1/8000s, shoot in continuous frame "advance" mode for shots in a chain for a while. That's it! If your camera had the illness hidden, it will become crazy after the test! :-o

Monday, May 23, 2011

Tilted Electronic Level of K-5

See this latest defect report, it seems that the Pentax "QC", if any, is just 1,000% out of tolerance (also if any!), I have to say!! >:-(

(in Chinese, Google translation to English here)

Just look at the following posted illustration of the problem, do you think that the K-5 actually aligned anything close to vertical? But do also note that the built-in electronic level meter indicates it is!? :-o

As for horizontal shooting, the same problem exists, here is one of the tilted results:-

It is told by the victim K-5 user that he is still struggling for a replacement K-5 for his defective unit, as both the retailer and the Pentax customer support are not really helpful as complained. After all, if you face the same issue, that is, when the electronic level meter is not levelled by itself, what can you do? See my this earlier article:-

When the Electronic Level Meter is Not Accurate by Itself..

Sunday, May 22, 2011

As Time Goes By.. (II)

Cameras are used to record life memories and history. Have you ever taken photos at the same place for the same subject over decades?

Saw this post before and I was touched..


I have something similar to share this time, below are a set of photos which I took over decades, at the Victoria Peak of Hong Kong (Island) for the view of the Victoria Harbour, with different cameras. Click any of the thumbnail photos below to enlarge and view in a new window/tab.

Above both photos were taken with my Canonet QL17 GIII with different generations of the Kodak ISO 100 colour negative films, back to 1978 and 1987 respectively. The printed photos are then re-copied by my K-x in only 3R size. Yes, the first one is a colour photo! But the fading of colours is not only caused by time, but also at that time the very first generation of colour films were just producing very subdued colours.

Recently, I have re-visited the place at the Peak and took some evening/night scene with my K-r, actually exactly at the same place as the above second photo that was taken in 1987. Lens used is a DA16-45:-

Below is a slideshow of all the above four new and two old photos. Well, the changes for the views over the sunset time and over years can be seen more clearly, thanks to the bonus transitional effect of the slideshow!


Read Also:-

Cameras, Photos and Memories - As Time Goes By..

My First Camera

The World First / Pentax First: My (Obsolete) Pentax Collection

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

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Photozone Re-tested the DA 40 on the K-5



Photozone Re-tested the DA70 on the K-5

Photozone DA 18-135 Full Review

Major Canon Cameras 1930 to 2010

A friend of mine gave me this poster last year. I put it in my cabinet shortly afterwards and today I finally have taken a closer look to it. I have also taken a snapshot of it and post it here to share. You can view it at full size by clicking the small picture below~

I have only owned two of those Canons so far but for the models that I have used, I think it counts up to 6 to 7.

Btw, I haven't recalled Pentax to publish and distribute those camera history charts against what Canon and Nikon have been doing regularly worldwide. The last (and almost the only) one I have seen is only the one borrowed from the AOHC by Pentax Spain, for the Pentax SLR camera from 1952 to 2008.

Read Also:-

My 7th Pentax SLR Body?

My First Camera

Nine Years of Pentax DSLRs, since the EI-2000

Friday, May 20, 2011

My K-r Burnt my Sandisk and Went Nuts! :-(

Had a tour to the Hong Kong's highest observation deck, the Sky 100, with my Gold/Brown #107 K-r.

I went up there for an hour and took some good shots (I believe ;-)). When I decided to leave and wanted to shoot a few more group photos with my family, my K-r hanged up and my Sandisk Ultra 16GB SD card was burnt!! The problem only happens when I shot some continuous single frames in a chain a while back! >:-(

All the photos were lost and I am still trying some ways to recover them but I am not too optimistic for the data recovery, for what so far I have tried..

The following is the "death" combo:-

The burnt card is a Sandisk Ultra 16GB SDHC.

Each time when I put back that killed card back to my K-r, the camera tries very hard to read and recognise it:-

Until then it finally gives up, and shows a "memory card error" message:-

But the strangest thing is that the K-r was put into a disordered status after that, even with another healthy card put back into it:-

Note that everything has been gone wrong afterwards, it shows ISO 0. Yes, ISO ZERO!! :-o

Actually, an AF lens was mounted (it is the FA43 Limited in this case) but it shows MF (yet the body turns the AF lens!). The SR has also been disabled and so on!

The status screen will then be turned off ever and it will not show up again, until the battery is picked out of the camera and re-inserted!

Really terrible!! >:-{


K-5 Mirror Disorder

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

My K-r First Hands-ons (Tested Twice)

Over Hong Kong (Aero Photos of Mine)

K-x' Durability/Production Quality is Just a Joke!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Latest DxOMark Lens Test Results for the DA35/2.4

On a K-5..:-


Other test data are also available for the same lens when putting on other Pentax bodies, for example, here is a comparison amongst K-5, K-m and the K20D with the DA35/2.4, actually in descending order for the overall DxO Lens Score, i.e., with the K-m, the combo performs better than with the K20D!

If you want to compare the DA35/2.4 lens to other 35mm focal lenses of other brands on other DSLRs, there is always the DxO comparison tool for the measurbation. Below is an example for K-5+DA35/2.4 Vs Nikon D5000+DX35/1.8G Vs Sony A550+A35/1.4G:-

Happy measurbation and *endless* "comparison"! Good luck! ;-D

Other DA35/2.4 Reviews/Tests:-


645D Wins the Japanese Camera Grand Prix Award of the Year

See the latest news report at the Pentax User (UK):-


Or the original Hoya press release at the Pentax Japanese homepage:-

(in Japanese)

After some prolonged "dead-air" in the Pentaxland without any special news recently, I think this news is somehow refreshing, although 645D is just *another* system that I would probably never invest.

Photozone Re-tested the DA70 on the K-5

Full test report:-

If you compare to the old PZ review of the DA70 on the K10D, you will find the K-5 actually deliver much higher resolution for all the images across the frame.

(Above: DA70 on K-5 - Imatest figures - PhotoZone)

(Above: DA70 on K10D - Imatest figures - PhotoZone)


Photozone DA 18-135 Full Review

Dirty Pentax Lens Factory, Dirty Glass! :-(

An Old Lens Shootout: DA 70 Limited Vs FA 77 Limited

De-centering Defects of Pentax Lenses

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Hoya's IT Division Attains Increased Profit

See Hoya's quarterly report for their investors ended Q1/2011:-


Page 3 of the report is related to photographic products, quoted:-




Below is my own translation to English:-

"<Imaging Related Products>

With the growth of emerging markets in the world, the number of units of sales of digital cameras has been increasing. The company has continuously received orders on the supply of camera lenses and optical elements that are used in digital cameras and full production capability has been met. Besides, the sales of non-interchangeable lens digital camera and entry level DSLR have been good, of which the latter also leads to the better sales of interchangeable lenses in terms of number of units sold, when compared to the same period in the last fiscal year.

In summary, the net sales of (the whole IT and communications division) is in 208,735 Million (Japanese) Yens, which has a 3.9% increase than that of the last fiscal year in the same period. In term of net income (before tax), which is in a total of 3,656 Million Yens, is of a 12.3% increase than the last year."

So, do note that the sales and net income increases are not for the camera business (i.e., Pentax imaging products) alone but for the *whole* division of IT and communications of Hoya. Moreover, it seems that the sales of K-5 is not good, as it indicates.

Btw, even assuming the sales of Pentax cameras and lenses are also better and the camera business is really profitable by itself, what real benefit(s) are actually materialised for we Pentaxians?? A new K-r firmware to cure the K-r tungsten light front focusing problem (not necessary low light, but just *only* tungsten!). I know many of the K-r users have been pissed off actually and I can see the complaints almost daily and those victims are desperate (today's examples here). Besides, will there be any new Pentax lenses, new cameras, Full Frame or IDLC or just DSLR?! Where are those? When will they come?! Any updated roadmap?? :-o >:-(


Interview with Hoya's Pentax Top Officials at China P&E

"Important" New Pentax Product Is To Be Announced Soon

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Nikon D700X? Same D3X Sensor??

Have just come across this "leaked" picture on the net, which has been circulated at Chinese forums recently. It seems to be a cropped picture of a printed product catalogue, as it looks from the reflection at the lower right corner and it does not seem to be PSed. But anyway, just take this as a grain of salt and remember it is a *rumour*, just! :-D

Anyway, if this news is true, that must be a good news for me personally, as a new D700X means a new Canon 5D3 will follow, for sure (that's what Canon has done for years!). And, there is no hope for a Pentax Full Frame in the meantime, as once again confirmed officially very recently, so I have to wait for the Canon, or even Nikon, if I just want an affordable 135 Full Frame DSLR - if the D700X is good enough, then I might switch! (from Canon, but not Pentax, never! ;-))

Update: I've just found that this has been a revived old rumour actually, see this old Nikon Rumors' report:-


But still, I believe that this picture is a real one.. But Where is the D700X nooow?! :-(

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Lens Technical Report on SMC Pentax FA77mm F1.8 Limited and FA43mm F1.9 Limited

Almost two years ago, someone at the DPR Pentax forum discovered the above technical report at the Science Links Japan..

A Japanese forum member then searched the publication from his library and he posted the scanned copy of the whole report, in Japanese.

There are six pages of the report. The forum poster further human translated the first 3 pages of the report to English (via here and here), here they are:-

P.1: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/...SmFk86AU1QI/AAAAAAAAAYU/EJHufyEpwps/s1600-h/1.jpg

P.2: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/...SmFk8s_1-1I/AAAAAAAAAYM/YUxBrVm6eFA/s1600-h/2.jpg

P.3: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/...SqEyDRHKO4I/AAAAAAAAAak/cMe5QkigsE8/s1600-h/3.jpg

The remaining three pages were left un-translated, however. If you read Japanese, you can continue to read them here:-

P.4: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/...Syj_I/AAAAAAAAAXs/sJvqBtxjFKQ/s1600-h/&#12473

P.5: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/...6FUHI/AAAAAAAAAXk/FaVwCUBxcgs/s1600-h/&#12473

P.6: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/...sD1bI/AAAAAAAAAXc/6aW19EOlDTo/s1600-h/&#12473

I found that the article to be very interesting and it worths reading for all Pentaxians, especially for those who own the Limited lenses. Enjoy!


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

K-5 Mirror Disorder

Two different K-5 users have reported that their K-5 are having the mirror in sudden movement without any reason and that the disorder does happen intermittently and is unpredictable:-

(in Chinese, Google English Translation Here)

(in Chinese, Google English Translation Here)

But the most unfortunate thing is that it seems that Pentax has been unable to pinpoint the cause of the issue and the affected users have both reported that the same problem persists even after repair even parts have been replaced. Let's see what the stories continue, I shall keep an eye on the cases.

Update: Thanks to Blog Reader Gow, we have this video, which shows more clearly the problem and what happens when a K-5 is affected:-

(URL: http://youtu.be/IIQ01XfG3QE)

Update 2 (5-20): This issue has been discussed widely at different Pentax forums after I made this post. Some people suspected that it is the hot weather and just higher ambient temperature that has caused the problem! Well, it looks somehow sensible for this explanation as now it's the Summer and the K-5 in the above video is at Thailand! :-o ;-D


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

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

An Old Pentax Lens, A New Review

Let's see what the tester(s) found and said:-


Friday, May 06, 2011

Nikon Mirrorless Would be in 2.6X. So, Pentax Will Win..!

.. in the multiplying factor if the following rumour and the previous Pentax mirrorless rumour are both true!


But if you also look at the illustration diagram in the above post, you will see that the rumoured Pentax mirrorless, which has partially been confirmed to be true officially by Hoya recently, will have a nearly smallest sensor which is actually rather tiny:-

That must be really "great" afterall! >:-o

Read Also:-

Comparison of Sensor Specs - 645D Against Others

Sensor Size of the 645D (and More Technical Talks on DSLR Form Factors)

Continuous Reports of K-5 still Mis-Focused under Tungsten even with the Latest Firmware 1.03



Test photos are posted and the following is quoted from one of the K-5 users above:-

"I bought a K-5 which was clearly having trouble with AF in tungsten light. Focus worked fine in daylight, so I loaded v1.03 and did some testing. Unfortunately the new firmware didn't help.

I know some people have a K-5 that works in tungsten light, but I decided to give up for now and returned the camera.For those who can't be bothered to look, tungsten AF on both older cameras outperformed the K-5 by a margin that doesn't require pixel peeping to spot."

Well, it seems that the low light tungsten Front Focusing issue is a real and newly introduced one with Pentax latest AF system of the SAFOX IX, which used in the K-5 and K-r. Too bad.. >:-(

All Related:-


PMA 2011 Trade Show Cancelled

See what the DPR has reported:-


So, the PMA (which was previously re-named strangely as the "CliQ") has been in great trouble and is actually dying IMHO. And, we shall have Photokina in the next year of 2012. So, I guess most camera makers will have little incentive to participate also in the PMA at nearby time.

This story tells us once again decision making is very important and the bad moves of the PMA authority just put themselves into a worst position, than ever!

All Related:-


Thursday, May 05, 2011

Fully Dissemble a Pentax K10D (and Also a Nikon D80)

(with brief instructions in Chinese, Google English Translation Here)

Note that the "hacker" has successfully re-assemble his K10D unit afterwards. It seems that he has very good techniques and skills.

Besides, the same "hacker" also dissembled his Nikon D80 and posted the photos before:-


If the design of the Nikon is compared to the Pentax, one obvious thing is that it can be seen that the electromagnetic shielding and grounding of Nikon is done in a much better and more complete/robust way than the Pentax, which probably could improve noise and can provide better electromagnetic interference immunity. See this:-

(Inside the Nikon D80)



Wednesday, May 04, 2011

DIY Cable Switch/Release for Pentax K-m, K-x and K-r


Clever design and nice DIY!

Anyway, unless you need the cable switch for specific applications, e.g., shooting of fireworks or etc., the IR remote switch should be adequate for normal uses.


The Pentax (Electronic) Cable Switches

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Pentax Picture Samples (Full Sized, Japanese Link)

The samples are grouped by particular Pentax DSLR or lens models.. To view the full size samples, several clicks are required:-


EXIF data are usually preserved.

Enjoy! :-)

K-5 Bits and Pieces (May 3rd)

1. First of all, we have this K-5 "overheating test". Let's see what will happen if we continue to use the Live View or Movie mode of the K-5 and continue to ignore the high temperature warning that is displayed! :-o


2. Next, here is a brand new K-5 full review, with measurbations and test picture samples:-


3. Last but not least, there is a K-5 trouble repor(t). A K-5 user reported that his K-5 was dead after getting wet. See his full story here:-



When Our Video DSLRs Have High Fever.. :-o ;->

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

Sensor-Shifted IS Heats Up the Sensor Much More Than the Video Mode Itself! :-o

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

How "Waterproof" those "Sealed" Pentax DSLRs Are?