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04-06-2013, 05:17 AM   #1
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The Q learning curve

Ok, so I got my Q last night and thought I would start this thread to document the learning curve. Consider I have been shooting for 30 years with film and digital, and my present "collection" includes 3 film bodies and 4 DSLRs ranging from *istD to K5D. Add to that ~55 lenses.

I got the Q adaptor as well

First experience is that ordering from B&H is great. Ordered on line Tuesday night, arrived Friday by courier, all customs and brokerage fees included. Delivery cost a whopping $10CDN

The Q itself. Gee it's really small
Charged the batteries over dinner, tested a couple of shots with the standard zoom, then tried the adaptor with my series 1 70-210/3.5. Big mistake without a tripod foot. So ordered a metal foot for canon 100mm macro for $6.99 Will modify likely pad with leather to fit . Until then, either the 02 zoom or lenses with foot

Update 1

Spent quite some time trying to get updated firmware, the Q shipped with version 0.00 and it had to be updated to use the adaptor. Finally found a link to download, it is in thenQ adaptor thread. There is no link presently on the Pentax site, as they have pulled the link to V1.11 but they have also removed links to all other versions, or more likely not restored them when they pulled V1.11

Update 2

New idea for foot, I took the one off my sigma 70-200/2.8 zoom, and cut a piece of thick leather to match the width and circumference of the adaptor. Works like a charm. Nice and snug. Let me do some trial shots with the series 1 lens and the adaptor. With correct software loaded and using the adaptor I was surprised how loud the leaf shutter in the adaptor was.

With the series 1 lens, and using focus peaking, tried some shots of a goldfinch from about 40 feet. They fill about 1/2 the frame and are pretty sharp. A little PF or purple tones but that can be easily fixed



Update #3

Batteries. I had read to get some spare batteries, and I can understand why. Ok, I am playing around quite a bit, so I have used the flash, and do a lot of reviewing shots etc. but the battery goes down a lot quicker than , for example, the batteries in my K5D. So I can easily foresee getting a couple of third party batteries in the near future,

Handling with K mount lenses. The body is so small that using K mount lenses is interesting, although out of those tried so far, hand held I would have to say that my M135/3.5 may be the overall winner. Easy to manage. The K135/2.5 is a bit big, but with a tripod ring (see above stolen from my sigma 70-200/2.8) the ring and especially the foot make handling much easier. While I have had some acceptable "reference" shots using the camera hand held or with a monopod, I am still struggling to get super sharp. I will try flash soon, and a tripod. So far the best bird shot, (nothing I would post here) is with the K300/4 and a monopod. But ii'm still learning

Update #4

Shake reduction

Was playing around this afternoon in my yard since it got up to 19C. Still struggling with the K135/2.5 and lack of sharpness so I tried an experiment. I put the focal length down to 105 (no reason for that exact number, just making a significant change) and took some shots. From over 40 feet away 1/2 inch high 1/16 inch letters were now crisp and sharp down to the width of a pixel. Not really explored this yet, but it seems shake reduction may be a tad over active.

Update 5

Use in the field - focusing with the LCD and eye glasses

The LCD and focus peaking are great except for a couple of things I have come across when using the Q for its primary purpose, Birding.

First of all I wear corrective lenses for distance, but cannot properly see the LCD unless I take them off. As a result either the LCD or the subject is blurry.

Second, bright sunlight makes the LCD hard to see at times.

Time for considering a hood with adjustable diopter

Software

I am starting to see some desireable software upgrades. Aside from a user programmable SR factor which I think would be nice so that the exif reports correct focal length but I can tune SR for my needs, I would like to be able to customize the file names

Update #6

Focus peaking. I am struggling with the finer aspects of focus peaking, trying to distinguish within the range where my focus really is. In some ways it is like the green hexagon on the DSLRs. It has a range of in focus, and I can get really sharp images from time to time, but not always. Perhaps focusing wide open is best, it is just this slows down the process


Last edited by Lowell Goudge; 04-19-2013 at 03:41 AM.
04-06-2013, 05:45 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
then tried the adapter with my series 1 70-210/3.5. Big mistake without a tripod foot. So ordered a metal foot for canon 100mm macro for $6.99 Will modify likely pad with leather to fit . Until then, either the 02 zoom or lenses with foot
I find I can hand hold lenses up to 135mm easily and with practice and the LCD eyepiece hood even my 55-300 because it's light. I leave SR active during live view it helps steady the image. The hood lets you use your face to help steady the camera.

Hans
04-06-2013, 06:28 AM   #3
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Congratulations. Love the idea of documenting the learnig curve.

I've been able to take my 85/1.4 and 135/3.5 out and use them with success without a tripod. I found Heie's stability article VERY useful toward that purpose.
04-06-2013, 09:26 AM   #4
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if you haven't done the firmware updates for the body and lens(es), I highly recommend that be high on the to-do list.

04-06-2013, 09:48 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by hnikesch Quote
I find I can hand hold lenses up to 135mm easily and with practice and the LCD eyepiece hood even my 55-300 because it's light. I leave SR active during live view it helps steady the image. The hood lets you use your face to help steady the camera.

Hans
It depends on the weight the series 1 zoom is about a kilo
04-06-2013, 09:50 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by vagrant10 Quote
if you haven't done the firmware updates for the body and lens(es), I highly recommend that be high on the to-do list.
There is a real issue, as I have updated my post, but the entire firmware download is disabled at present for the Q because of them pulling the V1.11

There is a back door link to the software in the q adaptor thread, which I found and downloaded, but don't have any of the lenses updated yet

Last edited by Lowell Goudge; 04-06-2013 at 10:00 AM.
04-06-2013, 11:29 AM   #7
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The entire v1.11 FW Update is very mysterious and sort of creepy. I got it and installed it on both before it was taken down and I like the AF (and I don't care about the Tone Expansion). The Click # Reset (It can't really be a shutter count) sort of bothers me but I plan to transfer my oldest pre-update file to a SD Card and see if that resets the counter back to a more real number.

All in all IMHO less than transparent owner relations.
04-06-2013, 02:33 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
The Click # Reset (It can't really be a shutter count) sort of bothers me but I plan to transfer my oldest pre-update file to a SD Card and see if that resets the counter back to a more real number.

All in all IMHO less than transparent owner relations.
If you put an old image on your card It will reset the image number but not the shutter count. Mine is at 0 plus what I shot after the my FW update. I just checked and my image # is 3548 I put a card in the Q with my last images on it (should be closer to 6000 but I changed it because it was too close to my Kr and images were getting overwritten I didn't loose any) but my shutter count is now at 185. See link below to check your shutter count

Hans

Check Shutter Count & Camera Manufacture Date Online - EXIF Reader

04-07-2013, 09:31 AM   #9
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Updated to reflect day 2 playing. I am hkeeping all the comments in the main post for this thread
04-07-2013, 02:13 PM   #10
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Has anyone played with shake reduction and reducing the focal length for lenses installed. With my K135/2.5 I have the impression SR is over active. I set it to 105mm and magically shots are now super sharp
04-07-2013, 06:07 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Has anyone played with shake reduction and reducing the focal length for lenses installed. With my K135/2.5 I have the impression SR is over active. I set it to 105mm and magically shots are now super sharp
I don't recall that being raised by anyone else before. Not that I read every single Q post but I just don't recall that being brought up.
04-08-2013, 07:39 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Has anyone played with shake reduction and reducing the focal length for lenses installed. With my K135/2.5 I have the impression SR is over active. I set it to 105mm and magically shots are now super sharp
I haven't seen anyone trying this but is sounds interesting, I will have to play with it

Hans
04-08-2013, 10:04 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
I don't recall that being raised by anyone else before. Not that I read every single Q post but I just don't recall that being brought up.
QuoteOriginally posted by hnikesch Quote
I haven't seen anyone trying this but is sounds interesting, I will have to play with it

Hans
I found it interesting because I knew the lenses I was trying on the weekend can do much better, even when considering the difference in resolution between my K series DSLRs and the Q. Although not fully developed into a theory, I suspect that as I was using either the tripod mount as a hand grip, or using a monopod, directly, the location of the tripod mount relative to the camera body moves the point of rotation, perhaps the change in focal length to be entered is a simple geometric one, relative to the nodal point of the lens to the mount and camera body
04-08-2013, 10:07 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I found it interesting because I knew the lenses I was trying on the weekend can do much better, even when considering the difference in resolution between my K series DSLRs and the Q. Although not fully developed into a theory, I suspect that as I was using either the tripod mount as a hand grip, or using a monopod, directly, the location of the tripod mount relative to the camera body moves the point of rotation, perhaps the change in focal length to be entered is a simple geometric one, relative to the nodal point of the lens to the mount and camera body
Perhaps the adapter length is a factor that is not calculated properly in arriving at the amount of SR the camera uses? My review of some photos of the adpaters seems to indicate fairly uniform length but I have not measured them.
04-08-2013, 10:20 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
Perhaps the adapter length is a factor that is not calculated properly in arriving at the amount of SR the camera uses? My review of some photos of the adpaters seems to indicate fairly uniform length but I have not measured them.
Adaptor length is irrelevant and is identical for all k mount lenses. It simply must be for guaranteeing infinity focus. In fact, the adaptor length for any lens type is only the make up distance between the Q system regestry and theblens's native system regestry. In that respect focal length is simply focal length.

The only difference is when you look at the Q standard zoom 02' it is the relative size of a '50mm lens, and must contain retrofocus elements in the design to get all that out in front when the focal length is only 5mm.

It may be a nice thing to ask pentax, I.e. a scalable SR formula, just like today we have a user setable Focus adjust
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