Web Analytics RiceHigh's Pentax Blog: September 2013

Thursday, September 26, 2013


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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Removing AA Filters is a Mistake for the Industry, Said IR


Via Image Sensors World


"Low-pass filters, the lack thereof, and moiré

There's been a strong move in the camera industry lately to remove low-pass filters (aka anti-aliasing filters or LPFs) from cameras, in pursuit of greater image sharpness. The Olympus OM-D E-M1 is one of the latest camera models to join this trend.

At IR, we feel strongly that eliminating low-pass filters is a bad idea, and a mistake for the industry. While the vast majority of natural subjects aren't subject to aliasing and moiré issues, many man-made objects have the sort of regular patterns that trigger the problem.

The real problem is that once you've got moiré or color aliasing in your images, it can be very difficult, if not impossible, to remove."

"As noted above, these examples don't point a finger at Olympus alone: The same or worse can be found in the output from virtually any high-end camera built without an LPF."

They have their daily life example images to prove that they are right. Of course, as the most basic thing for digital sampling, the Nyquist theorem should NOT be violated!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Camera Name K-3 Accidentially Leaked at the Official Ricoh's Japanese Website!

The following is the Official Japanese PPG (Pentax Photo Gallery), it once shown the name of K-3, together with the name of the "K-5 series", for photo submission under the same camera category! :-o

Via: http://www5a.biglobe.ne.jp/~hu5150/dcl/camera_news/article/pentax/2013/0922_01.html (in Japanese)

Well, the picture was shortly deleted and reverted back now, where only appears the name K-5 series. However, the leaked picture with the original html code with the name of K-3 are captured! (Good job, man!) It surely is NOT a typo this time as the K-30 also appeared at the same time at the adjacent left, as the other category of Pentax' DSLR cameras!

So, the K-3 must be true this time. It is No More Rumour! It is really *Official*! :-D

Last Related:

Latest K-3 Technical Details (from my Trustable Source)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Latest K-3 Technical Details (from my Trustable Source)

So, the last rumoured K-3 thing while is true but not exact. Of course, I believe my source. Here we go! :-D

Ricoh Pentax K-3: 24MP APS-C Sensor, Hardware AA Filter-less, Software AA Filter, PRIME III Image Processor, 86k RGB Segmented Light Metering with -3EV Sensitivity, 27-Point AF with -3EV Sensitivity, 8.5 Maximum FPS (Tentative), 4 Stop SR, 100% 0.95X Optical Viewfinder, Fixed Air-gapless LCD, Built-in Interval Shooting up to 2000 Frames and Internal Video Composite, MPEG4 AVC/H.264 Full HD 30p/60i Video, New Stereo Phone-out Monitor Jack, 3 User Modes, USB 3.0, 800g, US$1299.99 Body Only.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

More Rumours: Upcoming K-3 and New Lens

Read this post at the Japanese Kakaku Forum written by a Japanese Pentaxian who has heard some secrets from the dealer, for the following:

- The K-3 will be announced near end October.
- 20MP APS-C sensor, possibly made by Sony.
- AA filter less.
- 100% viewfinder at 1.0X.
- Black body marketed first, followed by Silver colour later, first marketed at around 120,000 Japanese Yens (i.e., US$1200) for the body-only price, no kit.

And then also another rumour from yet another poster for additional information:

- New camera (K-3) will be on show at Salon de la Photo at Paris from 7 to 11 November at Paris.
- New DA 18-70 F2.8 lens will be announced together.

So, assuming these rumours are true, are you excited, or actually just much pissed off?? Well, I would just buy the $298 Sony A3000 kit myself right away, of which the body is having the same Sony new sensor inside, which IMHO is the main selling point of the new "K-3"! >:-(


Breaking News! Pentax "K-3" is "Weeks Away" to Come, Said Adam Oest of the Pentax Forums!!

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

No More New Pentax Product in 2011 (Hearsay)

20 Millions of Pentax Cameras in 2013

See the posts here, here and here by Pentax PH.

So, for what is told, the 20 million-th Pentax camera has just been manufactured at Cebu's Pentax factory in Philippines this year, which has happened only after 32 years when their 10 million-th camera was made back to 1981. It is interesting to note that the first Pentax camera, the Ashaiflex I was first created and marketed back to 1952. So, Pentax was able to make and sell their first 10 millions of Pentax cameras in 29 years last time, and then for another 10 millions of cameras in another 32 years. But since cameras have become widely popular and they have been just domestic products in recent decades, the above figures have just proven and witnessed clearly about the decline of this once Giant in the camera industry and history.

For what I have just counted, I have bought 16 models of Pentax cameras these decades, for both film (5 models) and digital (11 models), SLR or not, since I first bought my Pentax SFX in 1988.

Nonetheless, as for that mentioning about the gold/brown coloured Q10 against the LX Gold Limited Edition, I think that yet once again hurts the weak sentiments of we long-time Pentaxians! :-( It is because the LX was just the last real professional grade camera body and system of Pentax whilst the Q10 is just a toy. Compare a Q10 with the LX is really rather inappropriate after all, IMHO! Btw, I have my gold/brown coloured K-r myself, which I think is still way better than a toyish Q10, isn't it?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Lead Glass and Lead-free Glass for Photographic Lenses

I agree that these are long reads but really interesting:



Via: http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/52159193

In short, lead-containing glass is still better optically, less temperature sensitive, more stable and actually cheaper to make. The use of lead in some optical appliances is actually exempted by RoHS directive but the adoption of lead-free glass in photographic lenses is yet the trend and the future of the industry.

Btw, I am glad that I still have some of those toxic Pentax glass that are lead-made, including some of the best F, F*, FA* and FA Limited lenses, which are now used on my Canon 5D3 FF, examples here and here! :-D

Sunday, September 15, 2013

AF Fine Adjustment: "Apply All" and "Apply One" Fully Explained

Quite some time ago, I explained how to focus adjust a K-5 camera using Live View. However, there are some confusions amongst Pentax users over time for the meanings and effects of the "Apply All" and "Apply One" settings. So, I opt to explain more this time. Well, the user manual tells nothing useful about these once again, just see page 126 of the K-5 user manual! >:-(

For a camera like the K-5 and K-30/50/500 which lacks a f/2.8 sensors, this "AF Fine Adjustment" is crucial so as to compensate the spherical aberration that exists on all lenses when stopped down against wide opened, which causes the camera to mis-focus depending on the amount of differences. It is because the AF system actually measures the more central part of the lenses optically for those f/5.6 AF sensors.

So, here we go, we have four scenarios:

1. Nothing is Set:

This is essentially the same as to set in the Custom Function that the "AF Fine Adjustment" is Turned Off / Disabled.

2. "Apply All" is Set but "Apply One" Not:

So, All lenses will use the "+5" setting as shown in the above example which is obvious. Do note that a +ve setting is meant to instruct the camera to focus fronter (to compensate back focusing) and vice versa for a "-ve" value to instruct the camera to focus backwards (to compensate front focusing).

3."Apply All" is Not Set and "Apply One" is Set (for Individual Lenses):

This is also obvious, the "Apply One" setting will take effect when individual lens is mounted of which the lens identity number is detected (for a Pentax F AF lens or later). So, I now know why the official user manual just tells you "Apply All" means apply all, "Apply One" means apply one or something like that but no more! ;-p

Choose this only if your camera does not contain any AF error primitively by itself, like my own K-5 unit which is a perfect copy already! :-D

4. Both "Apply All" and "Apply One" are Set:

Well, what does it mean under this case? Is it actually +2, +5 or +7?? What do you think? :-o For what I checked, it is actually +2, that means that the "Apply One" setting overrides the "Apply All". Whilst this does make sense somehow but however, the "Apply One" is not applied on top of the "Apply All" as many Pentax users wished!

Btw, if you have a copy of your Pentax camera which needs some slight adjustment by itself for *all* lenses, i.e. sample variations with some system errors, set both and remember to individually calibrate all your lenses unless the "Apply All" already works for all your lenses, i.e. scenario #2! Frankly, if you have more prime lenses like me, calibrating each lens is inevitably unavoidable!

Last but not least, some people would be puzzled for what to do with a cheap DAL or even "DA" lenses which does not have a focusing mark (namely, the DA35/2.4, DA50/1.8 and the DA40/2.8XS lens). Well, what you need to do is to put on a sticker and make the mark yourself before doing any further calibration! See the following example. :-)

Besides, some people would still wonder, do the K-5II/s need such "AF Fine Adjustment"? My answer is Yes, if you are using really Fast Prime like the DA*55/1.4 or just an old FA50/1.4 and etc., of which spherical aberration still occurs in between the widest aperture of f/1.4 down right to the f/2.8 aperture where the AF is detected and measured. So, the above techniques do still always apply! And also don't forget that not every copy of the K-5II/s is perfectly quality controlled when it was produced from the Pentax' (and now Ricoh's) factory.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

New Firmwares for Pentax DSLRs Released Today

@ Ricoh.jp (In Japanese Only.)

Support to the "new" HD Limited lenses and the "new" model 360 and 540 II flash units are added. Released firmwares are for K-r, K-5, K-5II/s, 645D, K-01, K-30 and K-50. There is no new firmware to the K-500, though.

Amazon.jp is Selling the K-5IIs at US$730! Replacement Model Coming Very Soon?


@ Amazon.jp

Although the product pics are of a K-5II, detailed product descriptions below and the page heading confirms that it is just a K-5IIs!

Btw, I am happy to see this stop-gap model will soon come to an end, after one year and something, possibly! :-D


Breaking News! Pentax "K-3" is "Weeks Away" to Come, Said Adam Oest of the Pentax Forums!!

How to Order a Custom Coloured K-x from Japan by Yourself?

My New K-r Gold Limited & Kit! :-D

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

My Best Optimal Custom Image (Colour) Setting Combination for the Later Pentax Digital Bodies

Well, here it is:

The above was first tested out with my K-5, of which the hue output was always not correct for most of my Pentax digital lenses for all of the built-in custom image profiles, even for the Natural profile, which was supposed to be colour accurate. So, I sat down to think what's wrong and observed quite some of my old photos made with the K-5..

My conclusion was that green colours are lacking yellow. Skin tones are lacking red, orange colours could contain more red. Thus and therefore I made the above hue shift. Btw, the most unfortunate thing is that no official documentation could ever tell the user what are the actual effect and meaning for changing this setting! >:-o Nonetheless, one drawback of the above is Blue colours now contain more green, thus they could be more cyanish. But the factory defaults are too blueish for many things anyway!

Still, two obvious problems with the Natural mode is the lower contrast and saturation for most lenses and shooting situations and thus I bumped up both for 1 step. As for the sharpness, I found that the standard Sharpening method (parameter set) is yet the best and 1 step up will make the JPEG directly out of camera to be more usable, while balancing well with both sharpening artifacts and noise.

On the other hand, I noticed that some Pentax users said that the K-5 series bodies are a bit cool for the AWB. But actually I don't find the same. The AWB is accurate but the problem primitively lies with the wrong hue shift. In order to verify this, just set the camera in preset white balance in particular the daylight WB and then shoot under sunlight, this can be proven and confirmed, example test here. For instance, that is something like what they set:

So, the ABOVE is NOT recommended! The incorrect hue shift will not be completed corrected but yet new yellow cast will be introduced for quite some situations. After all, my recommendation is to leave the AWB at default settings, ONLY changing the colour profile is needed and will work.

With the same optimal colour profile used with my K-5, I put it into my Q and it still works like a charm! :-D

After all, I would not post any of my sample images this time. Just try it out yourself to see if it is better or much better and things have actually improved! :-) And, I am always happy to share even everything could just be "useless as usual", as what my haters and fanboys said! ;-p

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Ad: Ricoh Lens Choices


So, it is concluded that the kit lens is junk and should be thrown away immediately! Now, it's time to buy the two plastic wonder primes from Ricoh, or the two old DA/DFA lenses that few people remember and buy now. Go, go, go and act fast and you will be redirected to the Japanese online store of Ricoh! :-o At the end of the day, Ricoh must thank me for promoting them for free! Right? ;-p

Monday, September 09, 2013

When the Wrong Lens Hood is Used for the Same Lens..

Then vignetting or even dark corners will happen, for the case of the same Q 02 lens that is used on a Q/Q10 versus a Q7, see the following test:

(in Japanese, Google translation to English Here.)

So, the new flower-shaped lens hood must be purchased separately for the old lens owners, otherwise the old lens hood cannot be used, since it is incompatible.

It seems that Pentax had no good planning in changing the sensor size, so just causing this problem.

Btw, according to the test results, the dark corners are even larger in area when the automatic lens correction is turned off. Do note also the serious barrel distortion of the 02 lens that actually produced, which is terrible:

When it is corrected, it looks somehow better, see and compare:

So, nowadays, the trend of those camera and lens manufacturers are giving us junk lenses, and then images are corrected by software. Of course, there is no free lunch after all, some IQ must be lost and the correction would never be perfect.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Five Reasons Why Choose Pentax? (Official, and then for Five Reasons NOT!)

Read: http://www.ricoh-imaging.co.jp/english/products/whypentax/index.html

But as the top "Pentax hatred site" on Earth, I have to write five of the most updated reasons for why not Pentax now so as to make the balance, namely as follows! ;-p

1. Pentax is not Pentax anymore, its name disappeared from web and on lens (the name plate and marking was removed)! And, there is no SMC anymore! >:-o Now comes the HD, yes, it is 720p only, not even 1080p! ;->

2. There is no Full Frame Pentax which never comes true even after twelve years since the old MR52 prototype in K-mount was first created! Non, there is never any concrete plan of a FF that is official!

3. There is no REAL new Pentax DSLR body nor REAL new lenses for more than two years now! For instance, the K-50 is identical to the old K-30 of the last year. The K-500 and K-50 "are" also essentially the same camera body! K-5II is just a K-5 of 2010 with no significant improvements. Yes, they changed the LCD monitor, add one and only one f/2.8 AF sensor. But so what? Could the development of two years only give those?! As for the lenses, there are only repackaged ones with new colours. Yes, colour variations, their strongest point for long!

4. Pentax colour rendition is no more Pentax by now and indeed, worse than the current Canons', IMHO!

5. There are more problems with Pentax and actually Ricoh for their camera business and strategy (if any). But since I have to be concise and confine points to five, the last point is that the Ricoh named Pentax will probably soon to be doomed and has no future. So, should you buy and invest into such a dying and eventually dead system? Don't blame me on my this point but which is 100% valid. What Ricoh has shown us for their plan(s) and give us faith on the future of the brand?? Name changing!?

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Breaking News! Pentax "K-3" is "Weeks Away" to Come, Said Adam Oest of the Pentax Forums!!



The following are what told and posted today!

"With the announcement of the K-3 supposedly just weeks away, I would think that they've probably already finalized most if not all of the hardware."

"For all we know it might not even end up being called the K-3! I doubt Pentax would make two back-to-back announcements given that the hd limiteds came out a week ago."

And I have captured the evidence ;-), just because Adam usually liked to delete even his own "sensitive" posts afterwards, but not only for those written by other ordinary members! :-o

So, let's wait and see for what the new "K-3" will be! But very likely we shall yet see yet another APS-C body, maybe with a new 24MP cropped sensor? And finally! >:-|

Btw, for what it is clearly told, the announcement will not be today. A few hours later, we shall only see that new "360" DC toy.


Fujitsu Milbeaut Image Processor MB91696AM

Sony Sensors Used in Different Pentax Cameras (and the Future?)

"Private" Message from Adam Oest of the Pentax Forums (Pentax Full Frame News!)

Possibly This is the New Ricoh "Ground Breaking" Thing that is to be Announced Later Today! >:-L

Which was posted accidentally at Ricoh US website a few days ago! See the Google cached snapshot below:


So, below are the product highlights:

A new way to take pictures
The RICOH THETA is lightweight and small enough to carry with you anywhere. Unlike a normal camera, the RICOH THETA captures everything around it. It is ideal for spontaneous moments since there is no need to compose your shot.

The next best thing to actually being there
Where you would normally just look at a picture, the RICOH THETA lets you explore and become part of your images. You can move through the image left and right, up and down and experience details you didn’t see with your eyes.

Start sharing the world around you
The RICOH THETA takes pictures like nothing you’ve ever seen before—stunning spherical images of everything around you. The RICOH THETA sends images over Wi-Fi to your iPhone and with one tap you can share them on Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr.

Hey, Pentaxians, are you excited? >:-L

And also, does it produce the image quality that could come close to this and this? I don't think so! ;-p


Ricoh New Product Launch Event: 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. Tomorrow, Pre German IFA Show

Ricoh Files Patent for Their Dumb Bell Camera

Pentax Dumb Bell Camera is Now a Ricoh

London 360-Degree Panorama (Super High Resolution)

See: http://btlondon2012.co.uk/pano.html

Amazing! :-o You can also measurbate the picture(s) endlessly if you like! ;-)

Last Related: 

Tokyo Gigapixels 360 Degrees!

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Ricoh New Product Launch Event: 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. Tomorrow, Pre German IFA Show

Last time about one month ago I reported that Ricoh would be on show at the German IFA from 6 to 11 September.

Now, a quick search to the updated official IFA page reveals that a "new product launch event" will be presented by Ricoh on 5 September (i.e., tomorrow) from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. Yes, the press dates for the exhibitors happen a bit earlier, as early as 4 Sept., i.e., two days in advance of the exhibition.

So, what's up? A new digital colour photocopier from Ricoh?? :-o

And of course, entering the name "Pentax" in the event/press search page returns no result of any! >:-|

What is the New HD Coating? An Official Explanation

Well, the old Pentax web domain link didn't work anymore. So, I need to search for it again! After some hard finding, here it is! >:-(


So, it reflects less (claimed a 50% improvement) and the coated surface is harder. And it also says that the HD coating is "almost as good" as the last nano-tech Pentax original Aero Bright Coating which is of the highest grade previously. In the other words, Ricoh's HD coating is still not as good as the best Pentax'!

In fact, in the above press was released back to last year's Photokina. And it was already mentioned that "smc Pentax" would be replaced for all future lenses eventually, quoted:

"All future interchangeable lenses for digital cameras that equip this new coating will bear the name “HD PENTAX”, instead of the conventional “smc PENTAX”."

Now, they finally have taken the action only after one year for the "new" DA Limited lenses replacement, for what they said to do!

Still, as HD just stands for High Definition, this naming is just too mediocre and the marketing guy(s) who decided to use this name was/were really stupid enough! Yes, mediocre staff created mediocre names, that's it! :-o

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Do They Know What They Are Talking About?! >:-[

First see this official press release:


And quoted:
"| About Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation |

The company now known as Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation, was originally founded in 1919, under the name Asahi Optical Joint Stock Co. and launched its first SLR camera in the 1950s under the PENTAX name."

What the Fuck they are talking about?! Do they know what they are actually saying!? >:-{

Ricoh has Changed the Serial Numbering of the New FA Limited Lenses

See this post at the Chinese Xitek Forum for what is reported and posted:

(in Simplified Chinese.)

The new s/n is now named as ABCXXXX instead of 00XXXXX of before, where the header ABC is not a zero number anymore, see below for the latest production (left) against an older/previous one (right):

(Click to Enlarge.)

Since the first production of the FA43 back to 1997, the FA Limited lenses are all serial numbered from zero and up. In particular, mine is in 000XXXX, which shows that it is an early production with a s/n in thousands:

(Picture first posted here.)

After all, I think Ricoh really loves very much for changing old Pentax names everything, now even the serial numbering is needed to be changed, even for that of those old Pentax FA Limited lenses! What's next? >:-o But then, what's the real thing that they have really achieved, other than name changing?! >:-\