Web Analytics RiceHigh's Pentax Blog: July 2013

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Q7/Q10 Designers' Stories (Interviews)


The above article is in Japanese, an Excite machine-translation to English can be found here.

Actually, there is not much useful information that we do not know, but if you still want to read it further, just click the above! ;-)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Loyal Pentax Merchant and PR Tool is Pissed Off by Ricoh Recently! >:-o

I seldom quote Mr. Bourque actually, but this time I really can't help myself! :-(


The following is told, quoted:

"I'm not sure of what's going on with Ricoh/Pentax. They used to loan me the new cameras so that I could write my e-books about them. I also have a  singed  NDA agreement with them but I haven't heard anything from them when the K-50/K-500 were announced. lately, all my emails have been ignored and I will have to purchase the cameras to write e-books."

Well, if guy like Bourque who is a loyal, die-hard and persistent Pentax promoter and merchant is being ignored like this, the Public Relation job of Pentax Ricoh* does really suck! >:-o And, after all, I guess no one will promote the brand more for them any further, at the Internet or not, except me?! ;-p Or, do Ricoh really hope particular brand fanboys who seldom buy to do the job for them for free? :-o (Frankly, those fanboys always only make things worse!)

As for the e-books from Bourque, I think they maybe good for the Pentax new-comers and beginners, but may not be so useful for those more experienced users with longer experiences, IMHO. But at the same time, it is obvious that Ricoh now targets at the entry level market more than Pentax used to be and thus beginners are yet more important than ever before! So, WTF for what Ricoh is doing?!

Last but not least, the good thing that I can still see is that Bourque does have the heart to write his books and he does love the brand as it appears, nonetheless, which I do appreciate his heart and huge effort paid! :-) Albeit he is also earning money at the same time from it and thus there might exist some conflicts for what he writes, especially when he might need to write about the bad things of the Pentax gear or even about he brand - but now it's all over, anyway!

*N.B. For what I have just checked, Pentax Ricoh companies are still named PR as on today, as the soon-to-disappear names containing the word "Pentax" are still shown at their global website page, below:



Reactions of Pentaxians for the Deletion of the "Pentax" Name from Companies!

Ten Things that I Want Ricoh to Do for Pentax

Pentax "Spotmatic Digital" Concept / Imagination


Via: A PF post here.

The concept is not bad IMO, but it lacks at least one e-dial and a set of 4+1 way buttons! :-D And well, just imagine if it is even a Full Frame body! :-o

Old Related:

My Idea of a K1000D

Customize and Colorize the Ricoh GR, Pentax Q7 and K-50!

(in Japanese)

Update (8-5): The above picture link is dead because Ricoh has changed the domain name of their website. I just won't bother to correct that as it's the sole fault of Ricoh!

Well, the main point of those RP cameras is now colours, not the colours of the images they produce, but the colours of the camera shells! Well done, Ricoh! >:-(

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Recent Pentax Tidbits

1. An original Leica-made Pentax 645 lenses to S body adaptor:

Via: http://info.xitek.com/news/201307/17-128176.html (in Chinese)

Now those FA 645D lenses can be operated on the Leica S body with AE and AF, for compatible lens models, my beloved FA120/4 Macro lens is excluded, though! :-(

2. An original lens case for the Pentax Q 02 and 06 zoom lenses:

Via: http://www.yaotomi.co.jp/blog/used/2013/06/pentax-q-o-cc1332.html (in Japanese)

According to this Japanese shopping site, the price of this lens case is about $44 US Dollars equivalent, in average.

Speaking of buying Pentax accessories at Japan, the official Japanese Pentax online shop contains some of the old Pentax accessories that you would never imagine before that something are still available and could be purchased!

For instance, this little rubber cap for covering the cable release socket of my MZ-S (and also for the 645NII, but not the 645D, which uses the cheap CS-205 which is just the Canon RS-60 clone) melted over time and deformed, I think I would need to buy a new one!

3. New Ricoh GR Review at the IR:


Well, it can be noted that the Image Quality of the camera is not really that good, note the red colour smear and loss of details of all the test samples and crops, even at the lowest ISO speed of 100! :-o

4. New DxOMark results for the K-50:


Well, it is proven that the K-50 is just the K-30 inside. As we all knew, the K-50 is simply a repackaged K-30 with a stereo microphone but nothing more! >:-(

Sunday, July 21, 2013

When Did Pentax Forget about a Compact DSLR Body?!

First look at my old *ist DL2:

Do note that the above is already loaded with batteries and memory card and is ready to shoot.

And then a K-5 with the same compact DA pancake lens of mine, also loaded and ready:

In fact, the K-5 body alone is just heavier than the DL2 with the 21mm pancake lens! :-(

Yet I bet Pentax fanboys will again defend that the K-5 is not a low-end body and thus it should be larger and heavier. But let's compare further the following:

1. K-5IIs Vs Canon 6D Full Frame:


Well, it is measured that "Pentax K-5 IIs [760 g] weights 1% (10 grams) less than Canon EOS 6D [770 g] (*inc. batteries and memory card)."! I can't believe that a FF body is lower end than the cropped APS-C K-5 by all means! And also:

2. K-50 Vs K-5:


The K-50 also weighs 650g loaded and ready, which is just 20g lighter than my *ist DL2 with the DA21 pancake lens mounted with the metal lens hood attached as shown above! For what I have also measured, the lens hood weighs 12g. So, the weight of the K-50 body alone is just about equal to that of the DL2 together with the DA21 lens without the lens hood!

After all, I think Ricoh has completely lost direction for what to make and market and the brains of their heads were and are yet non-functioning, completely! When the new entry level cameras created by them is so big and heavy, what's the point? Have they also forgot about their really compact and lightweight line of the DA pancake lenses? Do they still really want to sell more of these?! >:-(

At the end of the day, I bet over 90% of the potential entry-level DSLR buyers would want a compact plus lightweight body like the Canon's EOS100D rather than a bulky and heavy K-50/K-500 with a so-marketed 100% coverage viewfinder, which they really don't care much about or just even don't know what it is! :-o

New K-50/500 Review at C|Net

Read here:


Some performance and timing measurements were done and sample photos are posted. In short, whilst the reviewer thinks that the K-50 is feature-rich, the Image Quality of it does fall behind the competition, below are some comments that he writes, for instance:

"Image quality
Overall, the image and video quality disappoint, especially on the default color settings. Following a long Pentax consumer tradition, Custom Image still defaults to Bright, a setting that indiscriminately pumps up color saturation and increases contrast, resulting in serious hue shifts and clipped shadow detail. Switching to the Natural setting or shooting raw helps somewhat. If you're not worried about color accuracy, the occasionally surreal colors might appeal."

"For JPEGs I wouldn't recommend going higher than ISO 800. The K-50's images generally look pretty soft, and that gets worse as the noise reduction really kicks in. It also looks like the camera adds some sharpening at ISO 400, as there's a noticeable jump in sharpness at that point."

"It renders a respectable tonal range, with a reasonable amount of recoverable shadow detail, though like the rest of its class it doesn't retain a lot of highlight detail."

In fact, I felt much the same as the CNet reviewer does, when some of the very first K-50 samples were posted.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Ricoh Starts to Sell Off Pentax' Old Patents? (But Yet Another New "Ricoh" Patent Submitted)

See what is recently reported in this PF thread:


The previous Pentax Ricoh patented design now becomes a Vixen's!

If it is true, it is really too bad! And Pentax is doomed!!

Btw, Ricoh has yet submitted a new patent application for a stupid and useless design and thing like this:

(in Japanese)

So, what is this then? If I understand correctly, it is an automatic flash bounce head which will rotate by itself according to the holding position of the camera, horizontally and vertically! :-o Just imagine while the user composes the picture, the flash head has its motor moving, and driving / changing the position of the bounce head..! =_="

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Colour Rendition Shootout: 6M CCD Vs 16M CMOS - *ist DL2 Vs K-5

It has been almost ten years since Pentax launched their first DSLR, the *ist D, almost ten years ago. I did buy my *ist D very shortly after it hit the streets and it may be interesting to read back my old textural review of it which was first published back to fall 2003.

Okay, nine years something has elapsed and now the new Pentax cameras have climbed up to 16 megapixels in pixel count and resolution. Yet, as we all know, they are all equipped with an APS-C sized cropped (still!) sensor in 16M. The noise level of the new CMOS sensor is undoubtedly lower and they are video capable. But how about the image quality besides resolution? What have we gained, or, actually lost?

So, I decided to do a shootout test myself, side-by-side and head-to-head for my two old and newer Pentax DSLRs, namely, the *ist DL2, which is the last *ist body actually, and the K-5, which is the first Pentax DSLR using the same never-upgraded but ever recycled Sony 16M CMOS sensor or its variant in all the newer Pentax DSLRs up till now! :-o

Test Conditions:

Both cameras set in RAW mode, manual white balance in daylight, fixed at ISO 200, the same lens of DA21/3.2 was used in Av mode, the same scene was then shot consecutively in pairs;

Custom image mode was set to "Natural" with all centre/zero/default settings except sharpness was set at +1. Pictures were then all converted from RAW to 6M Jpegs without any adjustment (using camera settings) with original Pentax Digital Camera Utility (Laboratory) Version 4.3, for both the *ist DL2 and K-5 pictures. The results are posted in the following album of mine:


Full size original images are available for downloading per popped-up picture page in the above.

What I can tell is that the *ist DL2 images are far more natural and faithful to the actual scene in real world than all those made with the K-5! The K-5 images are yet whiter than the DL2's, though, despite that both cameras were actually set to daylight preset manual white balance already.

If you look at the leaves of the trees, the green colours of the K-5 pics are actually looking rather fake and odd. Ditto for the brown colours of the trunks of the trees. In fact, the flower I shot is in orange red, but not that red colour that K-5 has produced and rendered!

Besides, to my surprise, the dynamic range of the *ist DL2 pics is shown to be yet better than that of the K-5 despite that the DR mark measured by DxO is far higher for the K-5 and its 16M CMOS sensor! Just observe the shadow details.. :-o

In fact, the favourable colour rendition was top one big reason why I still stayed with Pentax system regardless of the low performance of the Pentax bodies plus all the various technical and quality issues that were associated with the Pentax system and Pentax themselves. Now, it seems that this main point and reason has also gone with the later and latest Pentax bodies! >:-[

At the end of the day, I am afraid that now putting those excellent Pentax glass on a Canon body do produce much more favourable results even in term of colour rendition, see my this set of recent examples here.

After all, you may have a different opinion than me, but I think my pictures have clearly spoken for themselves! And, this test should be scientific enough as I have already tried to keep all the possible variables and affecting factors to minimal, FWIW.

A K-50 Unboxing + Quick Review with Tests on the New Kit Lenses (DAL WR Zooms)

(in Japanese)

The above is the index page, click on the links to see different test pages. In particular:

1. This is the ISO test for the K-50:


The NR setting from left to right is weak, medium and strong, respectively.

2. These are the lens tests for the new DAL WR kit zooms:



Distortion, both uncorrected and corrected, and resolution at different apertures were measured.

On the other hand, the other lens tests for the DA18-135, DA50 and DA40XS were made with other Pentax bodies namely the K-30 and the K-01.

DPR MX-1 Full Review Published


And the Conclusions and Samples:


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

My Samples: FA645 120mm F4 Macro on 5D3

For what last time I mentioned about and intended to do, the following samples were taken and are now posted. Just browse the album below, full-size original samples are available per picture page:


(Or, you can view a quick Slideshow Here.)

All pictures were taken with direct JPEG out of the camera in best quality, hand-held, manual focused, aperture values were set in between f/5.6 to f/8, most at ISO 100.

Actually, I am satisfied with the Image Quality produced by the combo including the Colour Rendition. If you want to compare those pictures of mine against what you can get with the same model of lens on a 1.3X 645D (Mine is in 1.6X, when compared to the 6 x 4.5cm format), you can see the following earlier reviews by the others:

1. A User Review with Full Samples at the Japanese DC Watch. Some of the shooting subjects are quite similar to those of mine:

(in Japanese, but viewing the pictures with foot notes are all self-explanatory.)

2. A Brick Wall Measurbation Test with the lens on 645D, at f/4 wide-opened, f/8, f/11 and f/32. The centre crops are posted:


Enjoy! :-)

Metz 58AF-1 Hotshoe Upgrade (Old to New Version, from Plastic to Metal, plus New PCB)

Read this:-

(in Traditional Chinese, but posted pictures are self-explanatory.)

So, the hotshoe base material has been changed, from plastic to metal. The PCB inside/underneath has been updated too. It can be seen that the whole circuit board design has completely been revamped.

Speaking of those Metz flashguns for Pentax, last time they released an update of the firmwares for their newer models that enabled the HSS on the newer Pentax bodies but there existed a major bug that caused the A and M modes disabled. They soon released an updated version of 4.1 which contained the bug fix very shortly. For instance, the following link is the firmware download page for the 58 AF-2 flash:


After the above was released, I have checked on the web for the feedbacks from some Pentax users that the firmware update does work for them and there is no other major bug and issue found and reported so far.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Q7 Japanese Commercial Video (TV Ad.)

Broadcast Version (30 seconds):


Online Version (Loooong!):


Via Pentax.jp

Everything is in Japanese.

Besides, speaking of YouTube videos that I have embedded and linked to, last time I discovered that the YouTube server robot had automatically indexed many of my linked videos in a single summary page, for those videos that have been more popular amongst my readers, under my Blog name, here it is:-


So, my thanks to YouTube, that is an easy and quick reference for myself, also! :-)

Friday, July 12, 2013

Capture One Express 6 is Made Free by Phase One

Capture One Express 6 is now made available for free:-


Via: Peta Pixel

Just follow the instructions provided to obtain the free license and register the product.

Besides, quite some time ago, Adobe had made their CS2 available for download together with "free" registration key in the page below:-


However, the page has just been deleted yesterday or the day before, for what I have seen.

It seems that if it is not a server problem, Adobe seems to have decided that this "free" download should not be made available any longer.

Btw, I think the original Pentax Digital Camera Utility 4 is just good enough, frankly. It is simple and easy to use. It does not require very powerful machine to run. Now, it is more stable and reliable than the Photo Browser and Photo Laboratory of the previous Version of 3. The produced Image Quality is quite good. And most importantly, the original Pentax software will give you the most faithful and "accurate" Pentax tasted colours, which is unmatched by other 3rd party softwares.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Shootout of the Five APS-C DCs: X100s Vs X2 Vs Coolpix A Vs GR Vs DP1M (Portraiture and Scenery Tests)

(in Traditional Chinese)

I think the test pictures speak themselves and the differences in results are obvious. There is simple footnote for the camera in use with shooting information under each sample picture.

My overall impression is that for skin tone reproduction: Fuji is better than Leica > Nikon > Ricoh > Sigma. Well, it seems that the camera order in the review has already hinted us something!

As for the other IQ aspects of these cameras, just go figure out yourself! :-)


Yet Another Ricoh GR Review with Full Samples

New Ricoh GR Review at DPR

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Q7 Complete Set Unboxing and Basic Measurbations for All Q Lenses

(in Japanese)

via PFC (in Traditional Chinese)

Different ISO settings are measurbated. It is worth noted that NR does have effect at the base ISO of 100 already, if "strong" is selected.

And, there are more measurbations for all the Q system lenses, including distortion and resolution measurements. For instance, here are the 01, 02 and 02 test pages, respectively:-




Furthermore, a side-by-side comparison against the Q10 is also made:-


(Above: Left Q7, Right Q10)

And this is the actual sensor size difference:-


More K-50 and Q7 Stuff at Pentax.jp

Monday, July 08, 2013

K-01 Schtroumpf/Doraemon is not Japanese Home Market Specific

It is also being marketed at the mainland China:-

(in Simplified Chinese)

Btw, this Doraemon colour combination is not anything new. In fact, the K-x was sold like that, see this:-

Via an old DPR news article here.

So, Pentax boys should be really happy for the true and complete reborn of the K-01! Bravo, Ricoh! :-o

Last News:-  

New K-01 Schtroumpf! What the Fuck?!

NEWS: Mr. Jun Hirakawa Now Works for Tamron and Mr. Blurry Cameraphone has Left Pentax China

See this latest post and thread at the Chinese Xitek Pentax Forum, these are told:-

1. It is confirmed that Mr. Jun Hirakawa, who was (forced) early retired by Hoya back to 2010, is now working for Tamron and below is the evidence:-

The above is a Japanese patent application in 2013 which shows that the inventor of the lens is Jun and the intellectual property owner company is Tamron!

Btw, for those who might not know who Mr. Hirakawa is. He was/is the optical engineer and designer of the FA28/2.8, FA35/2 and FA43 and 77 Limited lenses, FA*24/2, FA*85/1.4, FA*80-200/2.8, as well as the DA10-17 Fisheye, DA14/2.8, DA40/2.8 Limited, DA*55/1.4 and etc. (Amongst those I own nearly half of the above great Pentax lenses myself!)

2. The following quoted picture from the Japanese Pentax forum shows and summarised whereabout of many of those famous ex-Pentax optical and camera engineers. In fact, most of them had left the company and are now employed by the competitor companies like Nikon, Sony and Tamron:-

3. After years of (hard and excellent!) works for the Pentax (Shanghai) China as the marketing manager, Mr. Blurry Cameraphone (Mr. Jopy Yang) has finally left the company. :-( Via a Xitek post in the above thread here.

In fact, his fate is just like Ned Bunnell, it was widely believed by many Pentax users Ned was forced to leave the company one year after Ricoh's takeover. However, the Ricoh-core replacement of Ned is just a pure salesman who knows nothing about Pentax but seriously needed help from Pentaxians, which is utter sad afterall! >:-(

Just a few months before, I actually heard via a third person who were close to Mr. Yang about his disappointment on the latest development of the Pentax line and there was no concrete plan of any for better development of the system. Maybe that was the reason he left the company himself? Or, he was forced to do so??

Old Reference Posts:-

False Rumour - Jun Hirakawa is NOT Back!

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

Some "Lost Stories" About the Three FA Limited Lenses

Ned Bunnell is (Forced) to Retire so Suddenly and Urgently!

Thursday, July 04, 2013

New Q and Q10 Firmwares

Q FW Version 1.13: http://www.pentax.jp/english/support/digital/q_s.html

Q FW 1.02: http://www.pentax.jp/english/support/digital/q10_s.html

What's new then? In short, the new 07 body cap toy lens will be supported plus some unknown general debugs. Do note that for Q users, the firmware update will reset the camera and all the current user settings in the camera will be erased.

New K-01 Schtroumpf! What the Fuck?!

See this at the Japanese homepage of "Pentax" for the current products today. A new body is announced and it is to be marketed on July 25, 2013! So, what is it? It is yet the already officially discontinued K-01 but repainted?!

Besides, browse further into the product page of the current accessories for Pentax DSLRs, it is found that the AF360FTZ flash is still there! Well, wasn't the AF360FGZ II announced half a year ago? Yes, it was a long time ago already!


(Above: The Twelve Years Old AF360 FGZ Vs the "New" Paperware AF360FGZ II.)

So, I just want to ask again: WTFFFFF?!! What is Ricoh doing now? They are just unable to make a product real and put it onto the market since it was first announced six months ago and the delay is expected to be longer! And, a discontinued product can be re-marketed by adding new painting and colours onto it? Just?! Are you kidding, Ricoh? You are just a clown, I am afraid! >:-[

Btw, some Pentax fanboys could celebrate the re-born of the K-01! But I am sure that I am not the one with you!!

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Pentax SR is Not Yet Conforming to the New CIPA Standard for Image Stabilization Performance

See what our knowledgeable ex-Pentaxian (now a Nikon D800 user), Falk Lumo (aka Falconeye, who is an engineer I believe), has reported yesterday at the PF:-


It is reported that according to the new CIPA standard, more precise description on the IS (SR) performance must be specified. Whilst Nikon has already updated their specifications for their products, Pentax has not yet done that so far, and the descriptions of the SR performance of products are clearly not complying to the new Standard and the latest requirements of the CIPA,  which Pentax is still a member of the Body, Right? Nope? Because "Pentax" the Company is just Non-Existent Now?! >:-o

Reactions of Pentaxians for the Deletion of the "Pentax" Name from Companies!

(Above: A picture drawn by a Pentax user at the Japanese Kakaku Pentax forum, directly linked.)

As we all have learnt, the word "Pentax" will be deleted from all the Ricoh Imaging companies worldwide very soon. Let's see what are the reactions of all we Pentaxians at DPR, PF, Here at my Blog, Kakaku (Japan), Xitek (China), PFC (Taiwan) and DCH (Hong Kong) and etc..

Reactions are overall negative, Pentaxians are feeling worried, insecure, upset, hurt, pissed off, much angered, desperate and whatsoever. Fanboys jumped in between the lines to defend but they help nothing neither and actually it is also clearly shown that they feel rather uneasy themselves. By the way, is our name of the alleged "Pentaxians" still valid?! >:-o

Someone has PSed a Ricoh KR-10 to the following and posted at the Pentax Forums thread above, of which the Rikenon lens is marked as "Revuenon" now, which is quite true for the situation although it is rather sad! What a Revenge it really is! When we look back the history, Ricoh was only a small company who produced their SLRs only under the license of Pentax to allow them to use the K-mount! Btw, just look at the silly lens coating of that Rikenon lens below, which is actually far inferior to the SMC coating of *any* Pentax lens, as it is just so reflective! :-o

After all, this is a marketing nightmare and must be the worst decision made in the whole history of Pentax, since 1919 of the last century, for almost one century ago!

In fact, all those now so-called "Ricoh" Imaging Companies are actually still selling/manufacturing "Pentax" cameras/lenses as the core business - in the meantime! Why deleting the "Pentax" name? What are the real Plan behind Ricoh for what to do next on "Pentax"?? My humble opinion is that should it be better and cleverer to just change the company name to "Ricoh Pentax" from "Pentax Ricoh" if Sovereignty had to be declared! Why the "Pentax" name must be removed and completely be got rid of?!

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Change of Company Name: From "Pentax Ricoh" to "Ricoh" Only

See the official press release today:-


Press Release

July 02, 2013



PENTAX RICOH IMAGING COMPANY, LTD. (President: Noboru Akahane; hereinafter referred to as "Pentax Ricoh") announces the company name change as follows.

New company name
(Others except for the company name remain unchanged)

Effective Date of the change
August 1, 2013

Purpose of the change
Pentax Ricoh Imaging Company was formed October 1, 2011 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Ricoh Company Ltd. to provide more consumer–oriented offerings to the market.
The company’s goal is to leverage the tremendous strength and awareness of the Ricoh brand along with the superior technical innovation of Pentax products to deliver a world- class consumer experience.
Both PENTAX and RICOH products will remain in the market to reinforce the company’s commitment to the business.
RICOH IMAGING COMPANY, LTD. remains committed to further strengthening its offerings and presence in the area of consumer camera products and related services.

Subsidiaries name change
Subsidiaries also change their names as follows:

New Name
Subsidiaries Country

Current name
Subsidiaries Country

Old Related:-

New Company Name of "Pentax Ricoh"

Canon 70D is Here! Leaving Pentax K-5II/s in the Dark!




For a more detailed preview, read the DPR's:-


Pentax? K-5/K-5II/K-5IIs "flagship"?? 3-year old technologies for both the body design and the sensor, against the up-to-date techs in 2013?! How Pentax could compete!? In fact, the mid-grade Canon is already more than enough to knock out the flagship "top-of-the-line" Pentax! Sad!! >:-(

The Three FA Limited Lenses on Sony Alpha A99

A Flickr Set, here:-


Via: http://www.sonysdf.com/alpha/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=82338&start=0
(in Traditional Chinese)

I have no specific comments about the IQ of those sample pictures. But what I want to say is that the Limited lenses perform great on the A99 and it is what a PITY that Pentax still has no FF body of any and ever! There is not even any news about it recently. That is really too bad! >:-(

After all, it is really really sad to say many of the old Pentaxians who own those excellent Pentax film glass have already left! Do note the above modding to the A-mount for the FA Limited lenses is destructive. So, it is a road of no return! :-o


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

Some "Lost Stories" About the Three FA Limited Lenses

Modding a K Body into a R Mount One