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10-30-2011, 04:09 PM   #1

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Chicago suburb, IL, USA
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Some D FA 100/2.8 Macro on Q examples

Hi All,

I just got my RJ C to Q adapter yesterday, and combined with the Bower K-C adapter I got from B&H earlier this week, I have a functional K>Q adapter. Unfortunately, the weather here is not good, and we've only had dark overcast to rain since I've gotten this -- which is par for me at least, whenever I get new gear that I'm dying to try out. . .

I've only been able to do some shooting outside briefly, and had a few good subjects present themselves, so I've a few examples to share, and some impressions.

First the shots. Both the swans and the ducks were all shot in jpeg ***, "Natural" with Sharpening and Contrast set to -4. All were cropped from 4:3, sharpened with Topaz InFocus and resized in steps using PSPPX4 and the bicubic algoriithm. The contrast in the ducks was bumped and some Purple Fringing was eliminated. The macro shot used a Metz 24 AF1 and I fixed som PF, but did no other PP except for resizing in steps. I didn't realize that there would be no shutter speed recorded to exif, and don't remember, but the lens aperture ring was set to f8.

. . .and the last is a 1:0.26 (almost 4:1 APS-C EQ) macro at MFD, no tubes, diopters, or reversed lenses, just the D FA 100 Macro and adapters. I used a Metz 24 AF1 in P-TTL mode (the only way you can use it) with the Q in slow sync mode since that's the only way I could get an external flash to fire with the adapted lens. A quarter is pretty handy to judge approximate macro magnification since it's very close to 24mm in diameter (close to an APS-C sensor width), so if a US quarter fills the frame horizontally, then you're about at 1:1 on APS-C. I can get the quarter to fill the frame at about the 1:4 setting on the D FA Macro's distance scale, and that gives a working distance of @ 18". Anywhere between 1:4 and 1:1 on the distance scale (so from 1:1 to close to 4:1 in APS-C EQ) the subject is far enough away that a lens shadow does not show up in the frame using the popup flash or an external flash (without the hood on the lens).

Preliminary tests to my eyes say that premium K mount lenses on the Q give very close to DSLR resolution and IQ with the Q -- I think better than the Q Quality Line lenses, but I'm not a real good judge of wide to normal lens performance, so I could be wrong. The tele FOV lenses I've played with so far have given me better results than I had expected, and I had set the bar pretty high. . .so I'm very pleased.

It's also interesting to note that Av priority works with adapted K lenses, automatically setting the shutter speed and ISO (if in Auto ISO mode) regardless the f-stop set with the aperture ring of the lens. Of course, the lens is stopped down the whole time, so the smaller the aperture, the darker the LCD, but the LCD does gain up, so MF is still reasonably easy stopped down, and with smaller apertures, focus errors will probably easily be covered with DOF, so this should not be much of a problem in practice.

The flash algorithms definitely need some work. I figured out by chance that with the adapted lenses, the pop up flash will only work in red-eye or slow sync modes in P-TTL, which is strange since P-TTL usually requires "A" capable lenses so there is an f-stop that the system can work with. External non P-TTL flashes will not fire, regardless of setting, even turning the flash "off". Both Ev compensation and flash compensation work, and with macro work, both pretty much need to be maxed out in the negative direction (-5Ev total) if wide apertures are used at the close distances. Stopping down considerably also works, and is much faster, but I'm wondering how much and when diffraction will effect IQ, so I'll have to play with this further to get some working parameters. I'm satisfied that external flash does work, but Pentax Ricoh really needs to fix this to make things a lot easier. They need to enable external manual flash sync in some setting with adapted lenses and make using flash work consistent with how it works with their DSLR line. I have however found that the Q does not seem to want to try to balance flash with ambient like the recent DSLRs do, defaulting to slow shutter speeds and high ISO in low light, and that's a good thing, IMO. Of course, with no QL lens with an internal shutter, the electronic shutter is used, and flash sync is limited to 1/13 sec. I wonder if it would be possible to go higher. I realize that electronic shutters have traditionally placed restrictions on flash sync, but is this really true of the the electronic shutter as implemented in the Q?

I've yet to really get the hang of MF with the LCD, so two days experience is not really enough to make any real conclusions since I'm not really sure that I can nail the focus, especially hand held with long tele FOV and no SR or LCD magnification to aid focusing. I'm finding that the LCD view is considerably softer than the image taken, so it seems that a good approximation of critical focus is good enough -- I'm getting the hang of this, but it's really different. . .and I'm still not enthused about the LCD lag, but am finding ways to work around this, but it's difficult. . .

All in all, I'm still excited about the potential of the Q for long tele and macro shooting, and am very happy with my purchase. As I stated in another thread, jinfinance on Ebay has stated that a real K>Q adapter is in production for them, and will have an aperture control ring for use with DA lenses. I've blocked the aperture lever on my DA 18-250 so the aperture stays open off camera, and the preliminary indoor results are pretty good, so I'm anxious to see how some of the other DA zooms will work with working aperture control.

On last point. when MFT and the Sony NEX cameras were first introduced, much was made of how the DSLR lines of lenses could be used with adapters to make the cameras more versatile in the initial professional reviews IIRC. I consider the ability to use K mount lenses on the Q a major advantage as my FA50/1.4 becomes an equivalent to a 180mm f1.4 lens on my K-5, and my FA* 300/2.8 becomes a 1080mm f2.8 EQ -- and then there are the macro advantages. To not mention this potential is, IMO a significant lack of vision by any professional reviewer.


10-30-2011, 08:09 PM   #2
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thanks for the update. I got my adapter over the weekend and have been shooting pictures with my k mount lenses as well. I will post some soon but didn't get time over the last day or so to do any serious testing. I'm finding, like you, that focusing tends to be softer then the actual image being taken but this seems to apply for any Q line lens, not just adapted ones. Also that Shake Reduction is really missed as it would help prevent a lot of unintentional blurring. I've only gotten good results with my FA 50mm 1.4 so far but want to try again and get better photos through my other lenses. Another point is that the photos tend to be soft and either need to be reduced in size to appear very sharp or needs a strong unsharp mask to get everything very clear.
10-30-2011, 09:08 PM   #3
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Very good reports full of info. Thanks guys. Looks like my dream of a "digial" teleconverter is panning out. When the new aperture adjustable adapter debuts it should aid the use of older K lenses. I am ready for it.

Agree, many reviewers miss major possibilities of the Q. They have little vision, and the changes are moving too fast for them. There is more to photography than a properly exposed rectangle, that is in focus and lacking noise.
thanks again

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