Web Analytics RiceHigh's Pentax Blog: May 2013

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Recent Pentax and Ricoh Gear Reviews

The Phoblographer has reviewed the K-5II and K-5IIs:-


I think this review is quite user-orientated, so no detailed measurbations are expected. :-)

And just not long time ago, they just made a rumour (which they said themselves was "humour") for a Full Frame Pentax body to come:-

(First reported here.)

Next, the Hongkong-based camera-abuser Digital Rev online gear shop has recently done a video review on the Nikon D7100 compared to the K-5IIs:-


It is a bit boring and lengthy, but yet somehow "precious" considering the number of reviewers who are still willing to do Pentax reviews like this. Yes, how many Pentax gear could they sell actually?

Finally, the Ephotozine has review the Ricoh GR, so just have a look if you're interested in this DC:-


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Ricoh GR DxOMark(s) Published, Worse than the Pentax K-5II/s'

See the side-by-side comparison here.

Despite that the GR and the K-5II/s are both using the same APS-C sized Sony sensor, the scores of the GR in every aspect are just worse. Is it owing to different processing for both hardware and software?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

40mm 135 FF Shootout: EF 40 Vs FA 43 Vs FA645 45

Above Left to Right: Canon EF 40/2.8 STM, Pentax FA645 45/2.8, Pentax FA 43/1.9 Limited; Tested on a Canon 5D3 135 Full Frame Body. (Remark: Both Pentax lenses of mine were made in Japan.)


Apertures from f/2.8 to f/11 were tested per lens, at nearly the same time and for the same infinity scene. Of course the image settings in the camera were kept the same.

Original full-size pictures are available for download in each individual picture page. So, go measurebate yourself for all the differences! Feedbacks are welcome for your findings, if any! :-D

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Modding a K Body into a R Mount One

Watch this Video for how to do it:-


Via: Sina Weibo (all in Chinese, aka "micro blog").

Wow, what a workmanship! :-o  Now, all the Leica lenses of that user can be mounted directly without any adaptor needed.
Nonetheless, I think the use of a Leica-R to Pentax-K adaptor (widely available) is still preferable, which is simple, not destructive and most importantly, K-mount lenses can still be mounted and used, unless that user decided not to use any K-mount lenses on his Pentax DSLR anymore! :-(

A "New" Pentax FF Rumour


"Two friends who work at an authorized Pentax dealer told me that there would be a full frame Pentax released by this Halloween. Apparently, the Pentax reps that they are in contact with have passed on the inside information, and they also said that third party lens manufacturers are quietly working on a beginning lens lineup. My friend's exact words were, "the full frame that is coming is going to completely out do all the other FFs from the other manufacturers""

Well, how is the new camera related to the Halloween? Is it something that will be really horrible? :-o Lol.. ;-p And, as for something that will out-do the existing offers, I have no doubt for that! Actually Pentax had successfully achieved that for many times in the past! For instance, the K-01 out-did all the other mirrorless bodies for being both the largest and heaviest! And the Q out-did all the others for having the smallest sensor for an ILDC and thus in the overall size and weight, as a result!

So, the future of Pentax is really Bright then and let's wait for the Halloween! :-D

Monday, May 20, 2013

Ricoh GR-ize the "Pentax" MX-1

With this latest accessory for the MX-1 (made by 3rd party), the DC will become GR alike featuring an automated lens cover and lens shade two in one:-

(in Japanese)

The price of this add-on accessory is at 2,480 Japanese Yens (about US$25 as at today).

Nevertheless, it is almost ascertained that the MX-1 is an OEM product that made in Indonesia anyway. So, it is not a product with true Pentax nor Ricoh gene as neither has any production facility nor any factory over there. In fact, the MX-1 shares the same lens and optical design as the old Olympus XZ-1.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Telescope Lens, Lens Telescope! :-o

We all knew that with the DA560, Pentax had given us a telescope as the camera lens! The results are rather unsatisfactory as various reviews and samples have revealed and shown! >:-(

On the other hand, as a well-known and "infamous" "anti-Pentax" Pentax user and guy, what I had to do is of course in the opposite direction than Pentax! As a result, I decided to use Pentax lenses as telescope and what I needed is this Chinese-made (US)$65 converter! :-D

(Above: The (glass?) Prisms of the converter can be seen from the mount side; and most of the lens elements are multi-coated - the quality of the coatings is not bad.)

I then put some of my "obsolete" K-mount lenses and tried. This is one of the very first K-mount Sigma AF lenses that I purchased back to 1988 at about $130:-

Now, what I have is 7X to 21X zoom telescope with my 70-210mm zoom which was originally meant to be a camera lens!

Manual Focusing is very easy as this adaptor has not much light loss and is very bright by itself. It is good for lenses at F4 or slower, though, as the "eyepiece" seems to suffer more with some kinds of aberrations at larger apertures.

In fact, I have not used my this lens for a long time for taking photographs as it comes no close to any SMC Pentax zooms in colour rendition and flare resistance! It is tack sharp, though, even it is wide opened, and through out the whole zoom range! But then the colours it produced scare me every time when I used it, no matter with films or when it was put on DSLRs! :-(

After all, the results are really great! I can safely tell that it is not different from a $1000 telescope with that high image quality that delivered but with the cost of $65 only! I like also the push-pull zoom mechanism of my this lens (which is a rare design for an AF lens) which is very convenient to be used for this specific application and with MF needed at the same time. In addition, this telescope has another special feature of letting the user to stop down the aperture when the viewing scene is just too bright, which is very useful IMHO and protects the eye! And, the magnified image could be even sharper when the lens is stopped down! :-D

Furthermore, this accessory could also be used to inspect the IQ of a lens at the image centre, which is another great news for measurebators like me! I can see that some of my lenses have more purple fringing than others after magnified and some lenses needed to be stopped down more and some required less before the IQ is the best. I am sure that this is yet another very nice feature of it!

Btw, I also tried this with my beloved F*300/4.5 lens, which I found the optimal apertures starts from f/5.6 to f/11 something (but not smaller). Well, I have a tripod mount for this 30X telescope, too, which at this high magnification is a very useful feature then (the FA*300 does not have one.):-

(Gear Picture via Original Blog Post Here.)

Last but not least, adding an 1.4X TC to this combo which made up a 42X telescope which I also tried and the IQ was found to be acceptable. All in all, it is really funny but yet useful to adapt all different lenses of mine like this. This story tells us once again that for most of the time innovative ideas and clever minds produce great products that can sell and high tech is not always needed! :-o

Pentax Imaginations - Too Many but Nothing Ever Happened!

These are the recent imaginations:-

1. Pentax K-02 with an OVF:-

Via Mirrorless Rumors

But I think a $15 hotshoe-mounted external OVF will do the job anyway, see this of mine:-

Btw, last time I polled, there should not be a K-02 anyway, as it is almost well known that the "line" was killed.

2. A Pentax 135 Full Frame, see this weekend humour by the PB, which is well written:-


This is actually not a pure joke. Many of those statements were actually told officially by the senior Pentax officials in their previous interviews, quite recently or before! >:-[

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

New DA560 Test Review: "Disappointed"!

(in Simplified Chinese)

The reviewer writes that he is rather disappointed about the IQ and usability of this expensive lens of Pentax. Purple fringing is obvious, stopping down is the only mean for better resolution, but then at f/8 using a lens with this long focal is actually impractical and rather difficult to use. The author also writes that this focal is indeed odd and not so useful. AF of this lens is fast enough, though, but the author doesn't think that good AF is meaningful when the IQ and usability of the lens is low.


DA560 Lens Review Published at PF

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Pentax UK Summer Rebate



Pentax (US) Lens Prices are Up Again! >:-(

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

I've Cropped My Pentax 645 Lenses Myself, in 1.6X! :-o

Since an original 645 lens when put onto an 135 FF body is cropped only 1.6X, I have decided to do this! :-o :-)

I suppose the degrade in IQ (in particular, the resolving power of the 645 lenses) would not be too much as this is exactly what Pentax has been doing/forcing us to do exactly the same thing with more or less the same crop ratio for all those K-mount film lenses of us when they are put onto *any* Pentax K-mount DSLR that was ever produced up till now! >:-[

Btw, the 645D is cropped in 1.3X on the original 120 FF format. So, this 0.3X difference could actually cost a lot, which I am not going to pay for that difference for that much anyway!

Consider also that the pixel pitch sizes of my 5D3 and the 645D are close enough, I suppose my FA645 lenses should be good enough to out-resolve the sensor at pixel level. :-)

Of course, for the overall resolution of the whole picture frame, the 645D still wins, i.e., 40MP over 22/24MP of the current 135 FF digital bodies which have the similar pixel sizes. Actually, this is what the line pairs per picture height or width (LP/PH or LP/PW) figure is going to tell.

Sample photos would follow.. The IQ of those old FA645 lenses on 5D3 is really impressive!


What is/are the Meaning(s) of a Cropped Digital System Now?

Comparison of Sensor Specs - 645D Against Others

This is What the Limited Lenses Should be Put Onto!

DIY: Adapting the Pentax FA*85/1.4 onto the Cantax K-5D Mark III

TIPA Awards 2013


"The annual meeting of the Technical Image Press Association to vote for the best photographic and imaging products in 2013 was held on 20 April 2013 in Hong Kong.

This year at the TIPA General Assembly 27 member magazines and the Camera Journal Press Club (CJPC) of Japan voted for the best product in each category. The General Assembly selected the best photo and imaging products in 2013 in 40 categories.

TIPA has member magazines from nine European countries plus Australia, Canada, China, South Africa and the USA."

Amongst those numerous awards, Pentax (and Ricoh) was and is awarded nothing!

This is expected because if you were one of the judges, what Pentax product would you select for the last year? The rather moderately updated K-5II/s? The (Olympus?) OEMed MX-1? A Tamron rebadged "DA"18-270 lens? The new 645 90mm Macro lens? Or actually what is the other real new Pentax stuff that was really produced by Pentax? I just can't recall and remember anything else!

In contrast, at least the Pentax Optio WG-2 was TIPA awarded in 2012, although this was just the only Pentax award last year.

Monday, May 06, 2013

A Metabones Speed Booster Clone, in K-mount

Pentaxians might complain about why Metabones didn't make their "Speed Booster" in K-mount? I think it is just a market(ing) decision after all.

Still, if you want to get something similar to use, i.e., to put your old Pentax FF lenses onto the current APS-C cropped body, here is an alternative solution:-


But I really doubt about the resulting IQ anyway. Still, I don't think it is wise enough to do so, especially consider about the huge cost of the original Speed Booster.

Speaking of those Chinese made adaptors, actually one can find almost anything nowadays, for whatever one would want (to convert)! For example, here is yet an EOS lens to NEX body adaptor, which even supports full AF and AE (auto aperture) functions, and the EOS lenses could now fully work on the NEX bodies just like what they can on the EOS M body, with the need of an adaptor also!

(in Chinese)

It is warned that the AF will be slower, though. But this is also the result with the original EOS lenses when they are put onto the EOS M body via an adaptor, which is yet original! >:-(


K-5D Mark III: DA 18-55 II Converted to a 24-80 FULL FRAME Lens!

Completely Disassembled and then Reassembled the DA40XS Lens

This 40XS lens user had his lens dropped from 15cm onto the table. The instant results were an optical element shifted and all the aperture blades came off! Wow, how durable this lens actually is! >:-( Is this the result of over-minimization of this lens? :-o

(in Traditional Chinese)

So, he dis-assembled the whole lens down to the chamber that holds the aperture blades and re-assembled all of parts for the whole lens. He succeeded to repair the lens finally! Good job, guy, you are really brave enough and brilliant! :-)

But yet somehow unfortunately, since the user did not have the required tool to screw in back the front lens cover plate, he was forced to drill two holes onto the plate so that he could grip it firmly for screwing with his forceps. He refilled the gaps at last, so as to prevent dust and dirt coming inside the lens again.

Nonetheless, the lens was reported to be very vulnerable to dust particles for getting inside, which is also yet another problem of this lens model.


DA40/2.8 Limited Disassembly

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Pentax (US) Lens Prices are Up Again! >:-(

See the latest announcement by the PF, which is almost official!


So, here we go:-
Old Price
New Price
Increase / Percentage
DA 14mm F2.8 $710 $950 $240 / 34%
FA 35mm F2 $400 $600 $200 / 50%
FA 43mm F1.9 Limited $585 $750 $165 / 28%
D FA 50mm F2.8 Macro $450 $600* $150 / 33%
FA 50mm F1.4 $360 $450 $90 / 25%
FA 77mm F1.8 Limited $800 $1050 $250 / 31%
DA 10-17mm F3.5-4.5 $530 $650** $120 / 23%
DA 12-24mm F4 $730 $900 $170 / 23%
DA 17-70mm F4 $490 $600 $110 / 22%
DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 $370 $400 $30 / 8%

The percentage increase is significant, or, I would say it is just insane, crazy and nonsense!!

Yet, Pentax has done it again. I believe more Pentaxians and Pentax users will leave the boat! Yes, the Pentax Sky is Falling and the old Titanic is sinking, quickly and faster than ever before! >:-(

Update: At the same time, Pentax Imaging USA has put out "instant rebate" program for most current Pentax cameras and four lenses (only), namely, the DFA50 and DA10-17 which are included above for the increased price lenses as well as the other two cheap DA(L) primes of the DA35/2.4 and the DA50/1.8. For instance, the price increase of the really old DFA50 is $150 whilst the rebate money is in the exact same amount!? Isn't that really funny enough? Is Pentax making a big joke to all their US users and customers?! :-o