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11-25-2011, 06:20 PM - 2 Likes   #1
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The Q with the DA55-300 and DA 18-250

Hi All,

After waiting a few days longer than expected for my new K to Q adapter with aperture control, I finally got some sunshine to test it with the DA 55-300 and DA 18-250.

The day was starting to cloud over by the time I got to the Nature Center, so I didn't have as much time as I had hoped.

I started with the DA55-300 at 300mm. I could tripod mount this as my Tamron SP 80-200 f2.8 tripod ring fits the lens pretty well. I was also using my new 2.8x LCD loupe to give me some help with focusing. My only real concern was to get the focus correct, so forgive the compositions and poses. . . I was sitting on a bench about 20 feet away from a small tree off to the side of some of their bird feeders. All shots, except where noted were only downsized in steps with no other PP applied.

To give some perspective, this is from the same spot with the 47mm EQ Q prime, so is essentially the same as is seen by the naked eye. This was taken on a previous outing.


Pentax Q, DA 55-300 @ 300mm (1650mm 135 EQ), f5.8 , 1/400, ISO 320.


Pentax Q, DA 55-300 @ 300mm (1650mm 135 EQ), f5.8 , 1/500, ISO 320


Pentax Q, DA 55-300 @ 300mm (1650mm 135 EQ), f8 , 1/160, ISO 320


Pentax Q, DA 55-300 @ 300mm (1650mm 135 EQ), f8 , 1/125, ISO 320.


This is the same shot with my normal sharpening drill, maybe a touch too much. . .


Pentax Q, DA 55-300 @ 300mm (1650mm 135 EQ), f5.8 , 1/320, ISO 125


I switched to the DA 18-250, which doesn't fit in the tripod ring, so I got about 10 feet closer to the squirrel, and shot handheld, first at 18mm (99mm 135 EQ) to give some perspective.



DA 18-250, 250mm (1375mm 135 EQ),f6.3, ISO 125, 1/320 handheld


Here's the same shot with my normal sharpening drill


I'm really impressed! The JR K to Q adapter works great, and the aperture control is needed for the DA lenses as they have no aperture ring on the lens. The aperture control ring has six indents in between the two ends of its rotation, and since on every Pentax lens since the A series the aperture control lever on the lens is linear -- meaning for each stop, the lever moves the same amount -- each of the indents pretty should pretty accurately produce one stop difference in aperture.

Of course with the tiny sensor, diffraction will start to soften the image as you stop the lens down past f5.6, but as you can see with the shots at f6.3 with the 18-250, and at f8 with the 55-300, one can get away with shooting stopped down some, then bring it back with some PP.

Since these are consumer grade lenses, though they are both good ones, I hope this might illustrate how the Q can be used as a digital TC with some pretty good success.

Scott

11-25-2011, 06:29 PM   #2
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That's pretty cool and it looks like you got some nice results. Thanks for showing off what the adapter is capable of!
11-25-2011, 10:10 PM   #3
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Thanks for posting your results. a good first effort. Can't wait to see more.

Understand your frustration with the time it is taking to get adapter. My Q>C adapter came from Poland in about 5 days. This adapter is going on 3 weeks. Do have C to Olympus Om adapter. The 180 does not do too bad. Maybe I will post one of those pics this weekend.
thanks
barondla
11-26-2011, 05:08 AM   #4
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They look great, especially sharpened up. Where did you order the adapter from and how much was it?
I am thinking of getting the adapter and the very sharp Pentax 70mm pancake for a (relatively) compact solution.

11-26-2011, 10:55 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
That's pretty cool and it looks like you got some nice results. Thanks for showing off what the adapter is capable of!
Hi Adam,

Thanks for taking a look and the time to comment. The weather is limiting the time I have to try out lenses in the field. I'm working my way up, starting with the lighter lenses, but I have a lot of heavyweight * class Pentax lenses and other premium quality glass that still have to be tried. I'm thinking that the best is yet to come. . .

Scott
11-26-2011, 11:10 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by barondla Quote
Thanks for posting your results. a good first effort. Can't wait to see more.

Understand your frustration with the time it is taking to get adapter. My Q>C adapter came from Poland in about 5 days. This adapter is going on 3 weeks. Do have C to Olympus Om adapter. The 180 does not do too bad. Maybe I will post one of those pics this weekend.
thanks
Hi barondla,

Thanks for your interest. I'm working up the food chain, and have some much better lenses that have yet to be even mounted on the Q. I figure that I can get the hang of shooting this long with the lower grade lenses -- it does take some getting used to -- and I'll have some experience under my belt when I start shooting the better glass.

The weather has been dismal, and I haven't seen any really good light for weeks. I do have a place where I could shoot from indoors, but it's not really fair to the camera and lenses. It may take some time, but hopefully I'll be able to get to the really good stuff before it gets really cold.

My previous experiences with jinfinance only took a week each to get to me from Shanghai to the Chicago 'burbs, but this one took almost twice as long, but there was a holiday. . .

Scott
11-26-2011, 11:40 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kirill_est Quote
They look great, especially sharpened up. Where did you order the adapter from and how much was it?
I am thinking of getting the adapter and the very sharp Pentax 70mm pancake for a (relatively) compact solution.
HI Krill_est,

Thanks, I'm very impressed with the performance of the lenses on the Q. There were a lot of discussions before the Q was even available where people were speculating that 135 SLR lenses would not enough resolution to work acceptably with the high pixel density of the small 12 MP sensor. I never believed that, and I think that actual use is showing that good glass for a DSLR will also be good on the Q.

I didn't mention it in the OP, but these were shot in jpeg, Natural mode, sharpness and contrast turned down to -4, and High ISO NR set to Low instead of the default Auto. I normally do some deconvolution sharpening with a micro contrast boost in Topaz InFocus in post, but only did these adjustments to a couple of these shots to give people an indication of what the base images gave me to work with.

The adapter came from "jinfinance" on Ebay.

eBay - New & used electronics, cars, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods & more at low prices

The price, at $59 USD with free shipping is very reasonable IMO, and the quality is very good. The first announced K to Q adapter, AFAIK was the Rayqual from Japan. It appeared to be essentially the same adapter, but without the aperture ring. They don't ship overseas, and the only seller that I could find wanted something like $280 for that adapter, so I passed.

The only negative that I've found with this adapter is that the tripod mount is mounted with some very small screws, and won't really stand up to the weight of heavy lenses (over one lb or 0.5 kg). I've PM'd JR about this, and hopefully something will be done to correct this. Personally, I'll modify mine to stand up to more weight, but in the meantime, I'll just use lenses that have tripod rings or ones that can be adapted to tripod rings that I already have.

Scott
11-26-2011, 11:52 AM   #8
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Is it me, or are those pics not very sharp?

11-26-2011, 01:28 PM   #9
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They are not that sharp, but honestly you could not imagine getting this from such long-range zooms.
The result would imho improve again if stabilisation was operable in these conditions.
Tht is why i hope Pentax will produce their own adapter or update the Q 's firmware to allow stabilisation with any optics.
11-26-2011, 05:29 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
Is it me, or are those pics not very sharp?
Hi Clavius,

It's not just you. The shots are not that sharp, but consider that they were shot in jpg with in-camera sharpening and contrast turned down to -4, then downsized from 4000x3000 to 800x600 without any additional processing. There is still a very significant amount of fine feather detail, though some is naturally lost with the downsizing. The purpose here was to show what the camera/lens combinations could capture as a base capture, not to display them as final images. The exceptions are the two shots that I did post with some generic PP done to indicate how a more finished image would look. I felt that this is a realistic way to illustrate the performance of these lenses with the Q.

Another thing to consider is that these are not premium lenses. The DA 55-300 is a very good consumer zoom, and the DA18-250 is a good super zoom, but neither is really appropriate for taking serious small (@ 4" or 10 cm long) bird "portraits" with a DLSR as they're just not long enough by quite a bit.

When the Q was announced, there were a whole lot of people who theorized that there weren't any 135 SLR lenses, even the best of them, that would resolve sufficiently for the Q's small, sensor with such a high pixel density. Extrapolating that, then images captured with lower quality consumer grade lenses, especially zooms, would necessarily result in images that were essentially mush.

Are these shots as good as what can be captured by a camera with a larger sensor and a premium long tele? -- No they aren't, but with an APS-C camera, I'd need to be about half of the distance (which is usually closer than most birds tolerate), and I'd need at least 600mm (in actual FL) to get captures similar to these. For a serious birding shoot, I usually have to carry at least 18 lbs of gear, but with the Q I can get close to the same results with about 1/4 the weight, which is no real trouble to deal with on a daily basis.

I'm just starting in the process of trying my K mount lenses with the Q, and I'm beginning with the smallest lightest long teles that I have as these will likely be included in my everyday Q kit. I'll be posting some results with some premium quality tele lenses when I get to them. Perhaps you'll be more impressed with them. . .

Scott
11-27-2011, 12:25 AM   #11
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Ok, I understand.

So one should not buy a Q to get very long tele-shots from their APS-C lenses. For under $200 you can buy a Vivitar 800mm mirror lens. The images from that lens are a bit soft... But not as soft as the images posted here.
11-27-2011, 01:33 AM - 3 Likes   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
Ok, I understand.

So one should not buy a Q to get very long tele-shots from their APS-C lenses. For under $200 you can buy a Vivitar 800mm mirror lens. The images from that lens are a bit soft... But not as soft as the images posted here.
Hi Clavius,

No, I guess you don't understand. . .

Scott
11-27-2011, 01:36 AM   #13
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Interesting stuff, thanks for taking the trouble to share.
11-27-2011, 02:26 AM   #14
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+ When you consider that this has been taken at full aperture... the result is really good !
Hence my wish that the Pentax adaptor allows moving the Pentax's lenses DA aperture rings (as the prototype shown to me at the Paris Salon).
11-27-2011, 02:56 AM   #15
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Snostorm, the picture are nice, and very nice with a little sharpening

in fact, i think it's incredible to see that so many fine detail can be revealed with this "little" sharpening process ! Specially when you consider the base image is a Jpeg !!!

Maybe you should make a "script" of all the different sharpening operation, to be able to apply it to all picture without any manual operation. But i don't use any Topaz software, so i don't know if it's possible.

i Can't wait to see some legacy glass mounted on its nice Q
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