Web Analytics RiceHigh's Pentax Blog: August 2013

Saturday, August 31, 2013

I Miss the PENTAX Green Rings and LOGO on Lenses! >:-(

We all have learnt what Ricoh has done to Pentax recently, SMC was replaced further and the Pentax logo was removed from the name plates of the repackaged DA Limited lenses! And, a Ricoh GXR coloured red ring replaces the symbolic green rings of our Pentax DA lenses..!

Pretending Zeiss lenses? Marked "Aperture / Focal" something, instead of marking "Focal / Aperture" (which is the common convention of the industry) and particularly not "Pentax / Focal" which has been done for over twenty years for all PENTAX AF lenses since early 90s! Again, Ricoh's intention is clear, Pentax will be extinguished step-by-step and some days later this name will be removed completely and they (Ricoh) will get their final "success"! >:-o

N.B. All lenses above are mine and these images are completely copyrighted by me - All rights reserved!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

"New" K-mount Lens Roadmap "Updated" and Published


Compared with the last one and the last last one, what is "new" actually? :-o

And, "2013 or Later"? 2013 has only three more months to go! And in 2046 which still means "Later"!

Maybe each year Ricoh could change the coating name from SMC to HD for some lenses and also the colours of some existing Pentax lenses can be changed (if not yet) and after twenty years they can still have their roadmap and lineup got updated each year, annually! What a GREAT PLAN and brilliant idea !! >:-{

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Ricoh has Refurbished the Old 360 and 540 Flash Units

See the Press Release at DPR:


Weather sealing and a video LED light source are added:

"New" 540II:

"New" 360II:

"The AF360FGZ II and AF540FGZ II will be available for purchase at www.us.ricoh-imaging.com and retail outlets nationwide in September 2013 for the suggested retail price of $429.95 and $629.95, respectively."

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Ricoh Continues to Dump SMC and Ricohizes the Outlook of Existing DA Lenses!

See what is just reported at the Photo Rumors (Source: Japanese Digicame Info):


The new colour scheme of the old DA lenses is just damn UGLY. The traditional blue+yellow focusing scale distance markings have disappeared! The name of HD coating is really mediocre and silly! The imitated Zeiss way of marking the lens' aperture and focal shows the lack of one's own character at all! Damn Ricoh, that's the good thing you have done and done again to destroy everything Pentax! WTF? >:-[

And, where are our new Full Frame lenses of Pentax? Any?! Why re-painting the beautiful old DA lenses and getting rid of the SMC? Do they have no better things to do but just to do evils?!?!

Last Sad News:

The Name PENTAX is Dismissed from the Cyber Space! >:-(

Shooting Moon with the Pentax Q and a F*300/4.5 K-mount Lens

Here is the result (from direct JPEG out of the Q, no major re-touching but just only resizing along with light sharpening):

( Click to Enlarge - All Rights Reserved: RiceHigh (c)2013 )

And the combo of my gear that used:

Indeed, there are quite some advantages of using the Q in shooting this type of photos, namely:

1. No mirror slap and even no shutter shock of any during the course of shooting, as electronic shutter is solely used;

2. Large magnification with higher pixel count and not much cropping is needed. The above is with effective focal length of 1680mm in 135, i.e., 300mm x 5.6;

3. Live View mode with focus peaking is especially useful for critical focusing with highest focusing accuracy that is required.

And, some techniques of mine:

1. Use spot metering and M mode, trying to expose to the Right as far as possible but avoid any highlight clipping. (As for the White Balance, AWB is just fine and will do the job);

2. Use IR remote controller to trigger the shutter (no Q camera supports the cable release) and take the shot to avoid any vibration at that very high magnification. Actually, some oscillations could be seen if the shutter release button is pressed directly;

3. Use MF focus peaking in 2X or 4X to achieve even more accurate focusing. Choose the right magnification can help even better centering of the moon. In my case, I chose 2X, as shown below:

4. Do not use very high ISO of the Q as details will lose significantly and dynamic range will be more limited. I chose ISO 250 for the best compromise of a higher shutter speed but not too high an ISO speed;

5. Stop down the lens for sharper result. The above exposure combination is f/8 and 1/125s at ISO 250, i.e, one stop faster than base ISO.

Last but not least, a very high quality K-mount prime lens like my F*300/4.5 is required. Otherwise, all those optical imperfection will appear (as they are greatly magnified with the 5.6X crop factor) before anything is recorded! :-o


The Unbalanced Q - Part 2.5: Photo Samples

The Unbalanced Q - Part 2 (with a K-mount Lens)

Total Lunar Eclipse (2011-12-10, at Hong Kong)

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The A Mount Seems to be Aborted, Will K Mount (Ricoh) Follow?

See what Sony Alpha Rumors report lately:

(SR5) First image of the new ILC-3000 (A3000 in Japan). 230K LCD and 1,44 Million dot EVF.

So, possibly this will soon mark the end of the A-mount lens line as there will be no more new A-mount body. For all those excellent Minolta A-mount lenses, the old users must use them via an adaptor and Sony will be a mirrorless brand from now on.

After all, will the Pentax K-mount get the same fate? There was a rumour about this before. In view of Ricoh has done no development of any on the K-mount lenses during these two years something, that might be possibly true, or if not Pentax the brand is to be trashed.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

More K-50 and K-500 Reviews

1. A detailed mesurbation review of the K-50 with bunch of full samples:

(in Polish)

2. Another K-500 review after the K-50 review by PF:


But as the K-500 is just almost the same camera as the K-50, why did the review again? I really don't understand. I think most parts are meaningless as long as the K-50 has already been tested, IMHO.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

(Different) Optical Constructions of the Four DA18-55 Zoom Lenses

Source: http://forum.xitek.com/thread-866434-1-1-1.html (in Simplified Chinese)

1. Original DA18-55 - 12 Elements in 9 Groups, One Aspherical Element:

2. DA18-55II - 11 Elements in 8 Groups, One ED (Extra Low Dispersion) Element:

3. DA18-55WR - 11 Elements in 8 Groups, One Aspherical Element and One ED Element:

4. DAL18-55 - 11 Elements in 8 Groups, No Aspherical nor ED Element of Any:

After all, it seems that the optical formula and construction of the DA18-55WR should be the best. On the other hand, the optical design of the DAL18-55 is a cutting corner one, which should perform worst. Not even to mention about the cutting corner build of the DAL, which adopts a plastic mount and the quick shift focus mechanism is removed altogether.

Read Also:-

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

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

Monday, August 19, 2013

Pentax TidBits 8-19

1. DA50/1.8 is on sales, for the US users only, at $120:


Btw, is it really cheap? Just compare it with the similar offers from Canon and Nikon! One thing is for sure anyway, the original set price of $249 is just ridiculous!

2. DC Watch has reviewed the DA560, with various full samples posted, taken with a K-5IIs:

(in Japanese)

I am really not impressed with the IQ of this combo. The colour rendition is terrible. Images lack contrast. The broken pixel "sharpness" of the K-5IIs images also look rather odd to my eyes.

3. A Pentax joke posted at the Pentax Forums:


Guys, let's take some humours! :-D

4. Making your own Pentax digital FF DIY:

(in Traditional Chinese)

Now, the Pentax FF dream finally comes true! ;-p

Old Related:

New DA560 Test Review: "Disappointed"!

DA560 Lens Review Published at PF

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

New K-50 Official Full Samples are Now Available

(in Japanese)

Lenses used include DA*16-50, DA*55, DAL18-55, DA*50-135 and DA50/1.8. Measurbation Time Now!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Shootout of Six Tough DC 2013 Models (XP60 Vs AW110 Vs TG-2 Vs TS5 Vs WG-3 Vs TX30)

(in Traditional Chinese)

Q 07 Mount Shield Lens User Samples


So, the IQ of this lens really sucks. This can be treated as special effect, though, provided that it is liked.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

German IFA 2013: Ricoh Will be On Show

The IFA show  is coming next month, from 6 to 11 September. This show is meant for consumer electronics and digital products. A quick search at their official page found that Ricoh will be on show:

But yet entering key word of "Pentax" in the same search page gives two returns, one Sigma lens and one Metz flash. So, the Ricoh booth above is the only real Pentax related thing that is found, hopefully!

After all, I expect Ricoh will not be there to show photocopiers of theirs. So, what will be shown? K-50 and Q7?? :-o

Friday, August 09, 2013

New Pentax Reviews: Q7 and K-50

1. DPR's Q7 review is out. Wow, it is completed published so quickly this time. Has Ricoh done something? ;-)


The overall mark given is quite low, though.

2. Full K-50 review at PF:


So, this is the key point of the conclusion:

"With that said, the K-50 is essentially nothing more than a K-30 in a redesigned casing.  The differences that do exist between these two cameras are subtle and do not affect image quality or usability.  The only new feature to speak of is dedicated support for eye-fi wireless SD cards.  Thus, relative to the competition, Pentax has stood still for about a year now."

"The one thing that discourages us from recommending the K-50 is the fact that it's so similar to the K-30." 

Thursday, August 08, 2013

World's First 135 Full Frame Mirrorless is Coming!

By this October!


Note that it is of SR4 probability which means that it is likely to happen!

How is Pentax then? Where is Pentax? What "hi-end" thing that they are actually still working on??! >:-o

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

First Quarter Financial Results of Ricoh

See the Q1 financial report here:


with the summary fact sheet here:


Via: Kakaku forum post here.

(All of above are in Japanese.)

Below are excerpts of camera business related statements as directly copied from Google Translator:

- "Optical business has remained strong, such as FA camera." (Remark: Ricoh FA camera series is their security CCTV line.)

- "For the same period last year, operating income has been a significant increase in 800 million yen. The structural reforms on an ongoing basis in the future proceed through, we will strive to improve profits further."

-  "At 37.8 billion yen net sales, sales increased by 7%. Lease finance business to expand sales steadily. Camera business also started to contribute, together with, has been started to expand sales."

- "6 Billion Operating profit, it does not profit contribution be completely still. Rather than camera business, finance and business is, it is due to upfront investment in new businesses and other related."

In fact, all those statements about the camera business are vague and there is no real figure of any disclosed and published. Instead, the stance of restructuring of the camera business unit is clearly stated. On the other hand, it can be seen in the report that the operating profit and margin of the photocopier business of Ricoh, i.e, their core business, is steady, which is about 7.6 to 7.7% for the first quarter in each financial year, namely, the current and the last one.

Tidbits Today

1. Ephotozine has completed the full review of the K-50, conclusions and comments are quite favourable:


2. The once discontinued K-01 Yellow Edition (which "was discontinued owing to the too high market demand"!?) is reborn and can be purchased via the following! ;-p


3. Benjamin Kanarek has left Pentax:


Via: http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3523000

Now, Ben is in love his new D600!

4. An unsubstantiated rumour of new Pentax cameras coming by this Christmas:


Okay, will these be Ricoh models actually?! >:-o

Pentax Forums Now Host Official Canon Ads, Not Pentax Nor Ricoh's! :-o

For instance: http://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-news-rumors/229588-ricoh-announces-company-name-change-no-more-pentax-ricoh-imaging-just-ricoh-31.html

A click on the Ad Banner will direct you to the Official Canon EOS M Page of your local server! :-o

Btw, they do have to earn a living, don't they? When Ricoh don't pay them well.. This is completely understandable! ;-)

Monday, August 05, 2013

Pentax Japanese Customer Support Email

FWIW, it is:


Via: http://forum.xitek.com/thread-1194052-1-1-1.html (in Simplified Chinese)

The case is about what happened back to May. It seems that the customer service was really good for that particular case and the supporting staff who handled the case was really helpful. But I just wonder if the above email address still works as it does contain the "pentax" name in it, which should have already been killed by Ricoh since August 1st! Damn, Ricoh! >:-(

Yet Another Camera Database and Comparison Website

At digicamdb.com, which has some more detailed comparisons for the sensor specs, in addition to the body specs. For instance:

Leica S2 Vs Pentax 645D: http://www.digicamdb.com/compare/leica_s2-vs-pentax_645d/

Canon 5D3 Vs Nikon D800: http://www.digicamdb.com/compare/canon_eos-5d-mark-iii-vs-nikon_d800/

Pentax K-50 Vs Pentax K-30: http://www.digicamdb.com/compare/pentax_k-50-vs-pentax_k-30/, which we could indeed see very subtle differences between the "two" camera(s)! >:-o

So, such comparisons and obsession can always be on-going! ;-p


Online Sensor Size Comparison Tool for Different Cameras

Virtually Compare the Sizes of Different Cameras

Pentax' Optical Design Copied Leica's?

First, this is the Leica Tri-Elmar 28-35-50mm F4 Wide "Zoom", at 28mm:

And then, this is the Pentax FA20-35mm F4 Ultra Wide Zoom:

And then, compare the above two and then also against the Leica Summilux 21mm Prime below:

Via: http://www.dchome.net/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=1215807
(in Chinese)

It is not difficult to notice that, as the OP has pointed out, the optical designs of the three lenses are quite similar, especially for the Tri-Elmar and the FA20-35. So, who copied whose optical design? :-o

I have also checked the optical formula of the DA21 F3.2 Limited lens, it can be seen that the optical design could still be similar, although it is somehow simpilfied:

(Diagram Source: http://kmp.bdimitrov.de/lenses/primes/ultra-wide/DA21f3.2.html)

Nonetheless, as Pentaxians, we are of course glad to learn that we have Leica's optical formula embedded right inside our Pentax glass! So, Pentax could really be the poor men's Leica! ;-D

Sunday, August 04, 2013

A Latest Interview with the Japanese Ricoh Head

The Chinese Fengniao editors interviewed the Ricoh head who is in charge of the Pentax camera business just a few days ago, when he came to China for something:

(in Simplified Chinese, Google English Translation Here.)

I've opted to translate some key excerpts of the interview and putting aside all the other marketing bullshits (although many things are still bullshiting, which I can't help and avoid!), as follows:

Q: With the integration of Pentax and Ricoh, will the brand Pentax be removed in the end?

A: No, we have no plan to do so. For those products which are special enough, they will continue to carry the Pentax badge, like the Q and WG series. Otherwise, some adjustments would be needed.

My comment: Did he mean that only mediocre products should carry the Ricoh badge? ;-p And do note that the K series is not mentioned! :-o

A: The ex-Pentax and Ricoh staff of the development team are now working together as a team and at the same place. They can complement each other for the shortcomings amongst them. Because of the integration, some staff are now travelling in longer distances. An Hi-end product is being developed by the team. (But what it actually is was not disclosed.)

My comment: I do not believe in what he said for that "hi-end" thing, according to his past tracking records! :-o 

Q: Now, what's going on for the Pentax Full Frame thing?

A: Our development team is still working on it and the project is not aborted.

Q: What Pentax is to do to tackle with the higher pixel count and new generation of sensors with new functions by the competitors, like the newly developed one used in the Canon 70D?

A: To be a responsible company, we are not chasing only the pixel count, as higher pixel count means worse noise and high ISO performance. That's the reason that we did not follow blindly.

My comment: I have only two words to say: BULL SHIT!

Q: All the 16MP Pentax cameras are with the same architecture?

A: No. They are different and the newer is better. If one is going to disassemble the cameras, the differences can be seen.

My comments: Bull shitting again, as usual. Is he going to tell us the K-30 and K-50 are much different, putting aside the body shell?! He forgot that there are also official specifications of the cameras?! Actually, Pentaxians are good at disassembling cameras and lenses! And my Blog has documented many of those, here.

Other things that told by the Ricoh Head himself:

- The K-01 Blue White (Smurfs) edition was endorsed by Marc Newson for the colour combination.

- The K-01 was not discontinued owing to the low demand. But it was discontinued owing to the higher demand than that the production could meet. 

My comment: Man, are you serious? Are you kidding? You are a LIAR!!

Oh, I've really given up at this point. This guy is really helpless and the replies are mostly junk. I do appreciate the direct and acute questions that the Fengniao editors have asked for us, for what we all Pentaxians have been concerning most, though! Thanks, guys! :-)

The Name PENTAX is Dismissed from the Cyber Space! >:-(

The name of PENTAX was a history of the past since August 1st 2013. Look what Ricoh has done to destroy the name Pentax! >:-{ For instance, click the following, i.e., the old Pentax Japanese homepage:


It will be forwarded to the following page immediately:


It is told that the old webpage does no longer exist, visitors should click on the link to Ricoh Imaging web domain directly, here.

However, in the main page of RICOH, whilst we see the K-50, Q7, GR, K-5II and WG-3, we do not and cannot see the name of Pentax along with them! For instance:

I think a Ricoh K-50 and a Ricoh Q7 as it appears it entirely not correct and is actually rather disgusting!

In particular, I think only this is correct for the make and model amongst the five!

After all these happenings, I think Ricoh heads are actually having their brains grown under their asses! I feel obliged to say this but had to air it out! Even Hoya opted to keep all Pentax websites and domains and of course back to the old Asahi days Pentax.something was used all over the Internet. This is for the first time in the history of Pentax the name of "Pentax" was completed removed in the whole Internet! >:-o It is really a stupid move which is only meant to show sovereignty but no benefit of any but all disadvantages instead!

The intention of Ricoh is now very clear, what they wanted to do is to remove and destroy Pentax the name step-by-step and eventually Pentax will be absorbed and completely removed! I did hope that Ricoh should do good things to Pentax and improved many things by hard working for what Hoya had not yet done. However, the reverse is true for the reality.

After Ricoh's takeover for two years now, Pentax' product development is ever slowest and the name is now even destroyed. Damn Ricoh! If you just want to destroy Pentax, just did NOT buy it even it was dirty cheap for the deal! It is just all stupid and nonsense, even solely in commercial sense!

My last word, if some days later the name Pentax is completed removed and all new cameras and lenses are marked Ricoh, I will not buy anything from the company anymore, and NOT EVEN ONE! >:-[

Update: Now the Pentax Online Camera Store has also disappeared and it is now called "Ricoh Imaging Online Store" but for 99% of the goods it is selling are Pentax items! Funny but ridiculous enough?!


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