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07-09-2014, 02:02 PM   #1
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New Q body & Q/K adapter @ $129 for my 55-300mm or mirror telephoto for K30 @ $159

I've been looking at mirror telephoto lenses for awhile but came across a new Q, the original, for $109.00. I'm thinking the Q attached to my 55-300mm would be a better option than a cheap mirror telephoto lens (Bower, Vivitar, Rokinon) for my K30/K2000. Seems like the Q is more bang for the buck but I wonder which would produce a better image or of the differences would be unnoticeable.


Last edited by MD Optofonik; 07-09-2014 at 02:11 PM.
07-09-2014, 02:16 PM   #2
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No donut bokeh for one...

Just make sure you get an adapter with an aperture ring, like the one from jinfinance.
07-09-2014, 02:19 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by MD Optofonik Quote
I've been looking at mirror telephoto lenses for awhile but came across a new Q, the original, for $109.00. I'm thinking the Q attached to my 55-300mm would be a better option than a cheap mirror telephoto lens (Bower, Vivitar, Rokinon) for my K30/K2000. Seems like the Q is more bang for the buck but I wonder which would produce a better image or of the differences would be unnoticeable.
You might like the Q attached to a telephoto, but not that telephoto -- it is too slow, too much diffraction on the Q. Remember you need an K mount adapter also...
07-09-2014, 02:36 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by vonBaloney Quote
You might like the Q attached to a telephoto, but not that telephoto -- it is too slow, too much diffraction on the Q. Remember you need an K mount adapter also...
I'm wondering about the IQ difference between a mirror telephoto on my K30 and the 55-300mm on the Q and relative reach and IQ for the buck. I know that either choice is a compromise.

The price included the Fotodiox adapter ($29) sans shipping and tax.

BTW, what's with the Fotodiox adapter taking 2-3 weeks to ship???

07-09-2014, 02:41 PM   #5
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Hey, before you buy a cheap mirror lens, please search the forums for posts about people's experiences with those lenses. Most people regret buying them because their image quality is so low.

---------- Post added 10th Jul 2014 at 00:05 ----------

Oh, and also, I think you can find sample photos of the DA 55-300mm on the Q in this thread
07-09-2014, 03:57 PM   #6
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I have used the Q on the 55-300, and have used many mirror lenses on DSLRs. Here's my observations:

1) Rather than spend $150 for a cheap junk 500mm mirror lens, I'd look for a used Tair 3M-5CA or Tamron 55B or 55BB for around the $200 mark. I have the Tair, and it's one of the very few good mirror lenses. The Tamron is similarly good. There is the donut bokeh, but it's not distracting with the Tair. You also won't have to deal with the jello effect because of the electronic shutter on the Q.

2) The 55-300 can be used on the Q, but a good mirror lens on a DSLR will give you much better IQ, but not as much reach with that particular lens. The 500mm mirror on a DSLR is a 750mm equivalent on a 35mm camera. The 55-300 tops out at 1680mm equivalent because of the 5.6 crop factor.

Basically what it boils down to is: If IQ is your priority, get a nice used Tair or the Tamron mirror lens for your DSLR. If range is your main priority, get the Q. Either way, I wouldn't mess with a cheap junky mirror lens.
07-09-2014, 10:45 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by GibbyTheMole Quote
I have used the Q on the 55-300, and have used many mirror lenses on DSLRs. Here's my observations:

1) Rather than spend $150 for a cheap junk 500mm mirror lens, I'd look for a used Tair 3M-5CA or Tamron 55B or 55BB for around the $200 mark. I have the Tair, and it's one of the very few good mirror lenses. The Tamron is similarly good. There is the donut bokeh, but it's not distracting with the Tair. You also won't have to deal with the jello effect because of the electronic shutter on the Q.

2) The 55-300 can be used on the Q, but a good mirror lens on a DSLR will give you much better IQ, but not as much reach with that particular lens. The 500mm mirror on a DSLR is a 750mm equivalent on a 35mm camera. The 55-300 tops out at 1680mm equivalent because of the 5.6 crop factor.

Basically what it boils down to is: If IQ is your priority, get a nice used Tair or the Tamron mirror lens for your DSLR. If range is your main priority, get the Q. Either way, I wouldn't mess with a cheap junky mirror lens.

Wow, that is not informative at all. Seriously, I guess that sums up the issue rather succinctly and therein lies the dilemma.

Here's what got me thinking about finally pulling the trigger. On my last camping trip I found myself near one of the only watering holes for the local birds, it's like a natural aviary (and natural alarm clock). I spent the mornings and evenings of the three days I was up there fascinated by all the birds. All I had with me that trip was my MX-1 and Canonet QL17, neither of which had the "range". Ironically, this was not the campsite I would have initially preferred; I got in late and looked for a site where I could drive in and set up my hammock without disturbing the other few folks in the campground with the intention of moving to another site in the morning.

It's not like I'm going to be selling or submitting any photos to "birders" but man-o-man it would be cool to be able to get a closer look at some of these crazy birds when I get home; in the morning as the sun is coming up they appear in profusion, everything from nondescript sparrows, woodpeckers, bright blue jays, and iridescent throated hummingbirds, to birds I've never seen before (of which there are clearly a lot of).

In the words of the late great Huell, "It's amazing."

Last edited by MD Optofonik; 07-09-2014 at 11:05 PM.
07-10-2014, 08:43 AM   #8
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Just to complicate things further, there's also the fun factor of the Q to consider. You'll want to pick it up with either the 02 or the 01 lens, because you'll end up wanting to take it with you everywhere. It's a precision little instrument that's also a blast to shoot with. Oh... and the 03 fisheye for the Q is a must-have, in my opinion.

My personal adapted tele weapon of choice for the Q is the Pentax M 135/3.5. It's cheap, very small, has a built in slide-out lens hood, and is equivalent to a 756mm lens on the Q, which is plenty long. The 55-300 is actually a bit unwieldy to use handheld above 150mm on the Q, and it's softer below 150mm on the Q, so it's not the ideal handheld tele for it, in my opinion.

07-10-2014, 10:57 AM   #9
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I totally agree with Gibby about the M 135/3.5.
Unless I'm really playing with the Q for super long range it stays on my Fotodiox adapter.
And does pretty well on my K-5 too.

07-10-2014, 11:40 AM   #10
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I find that I can shoot large birds just fine with my K30 and DAL 55-300, for small birds I have better luck with my Q and SMC-F-80-200 or SMC-M 135 f3.5. I also find the Q with native lenses the camera I take when the DSLR is not appropriate, too big or I just don't feel like taking with me. I have shot baseball, soccer, dog races, airplanes etc..with my Q and adapted telephoto lenses. So for me no mirror lens

Last edited by hnikesch; 07-10-2014 at 11:54 AM.
07-10-2014, 12:46 PM   #11
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Doing a little more research into the "parts" I would need I can't seem to find an inexpensive adapter with the tripod mount that doesn't ship via a slow boat from China (6 weeks seem to be the norm). Anyone know where to find just the clamp/tripod mount that I can attach to this one instead?
07-10-2014, 12:55 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by MD Optofonik Quote
Doing a little more research into the "parts" I would need I can't seem to find an inexpensive adapter with the tripod mount that doesn't ship via a slow boat from China (6 weeks seem to be the norm). Anyone know where to find just the clamp/tripod mount that I can attach to this one instead?
You probably don't want to use the tripod mount that comes on the old style Fotodiox adapter anyway. It's held on with two very tiny screws and will snap off if you look at it wrong. You don't want to break your gear.

Otherwise the old Fotodiox is fine. It's the one I use. You'll probably want to hit the inside of it with some flat black spray paint, though. The original paint is glossy and can cause glare. Just make sure you mask off everything that's not supposed to be painted.
07-10-2014, 01:56 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by MD Optofonik Quote
Doing a little more research into the "parts" I would need I can't seem to find an inexpensive adapter with the tripod mount that doesn't ship via a slow boat from China (6 weeks seem to be the norm). Anyone know where to find just the clamp/tripod mount that I can attach to this one instead?
I got my adapter from jinfinance in less than 2 weeks. It was strange because the FD adapter I ordered 1 day later showed up a week sooner. The 4th of July holiday screwed things up a bit.
07-10-2014, 02:22 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by GibbyTheMole Quote
Just to complicate things further, there's also the fun factor of the Q to consider. You'll want to pick it up with either the 02 or the 01 lens, because you'll end up wanting to take it with you everywhere. It's a precision little instrument that's also a blast to shoot with. Oh... and the 03 fisheye for the Q is a must-have, in my opinion.

My personal adapted tele weapon of choice for the Q is the Pentax M 135/3.5. It's cheap, very small, has a built in slide-out lens hood, and is equivalent to a 756mm lens on the Q, which is plenty long. The 55-300 is actually a bit unwieldy to use handheld above 150mm on the Q, and it's softer below 150mm on the Q, so it's not the ideal handheld tele for it, in my opinion.
+1 for the. I too use the Q with both a 135 and a series 1 70-200/3.5. The reach, with a good MF lens is incredible , and with focus peaking and 4x zoom focus assist make nailing focus easy but only if there is enough focus throw on the lens. Here is the issue with lenses designed for digital. I find many only have 90 degrees or less focus throw, and while this is fine in a pinch for manual focus. Lack of good precise focusing especially at the long end will drive you nuts, and you get disillusioned easily. Manually focusing a tele lens on a Q has a pretty serious learning curve.
07-13-2014, 05:25 PM   #15
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Pulled the trigger before I went out of town for a few days. It was waiting on my doorstep when I returned today. I also ordered a red dot site and hotshoe adapter. They mate well and I'll test them out next week when this Q/K adapter arrives. I still gotta find a lens clamp / tripod adapter.

QuoteOriginally posted by GibbyTheMole Quote
You probably don't want to use the tripod mount that comes on the old style Fotodiox adapter anyway. It's held on with two very tiny screws and will snap off if you look at it wrong. You don't want to break your gear.

Otherwise the old Fotodiox is fine. It's the one I use. You'll probably want to hit the inside of it with some flat black spray paint, though. The original paint is glossy and can cause glare. Just make sure you mask off everything that's not supposed to be painted.
What lens clamp / tripod mount do you suggest? I'm having a difficult time finding one.

QuoteOriginally posted by GibbyTheMole Quote
Just to complicate things further, there's also the fun factor of the Q to consider. You'll want to pick it up with either the 02 or the 01 lens, because you'll end up wanting to take it with you everywhere. It's a precision little instrument that's also a blast to shoot with. Oh... and the 03 fisheye for the Q is a must-have, in my opinion..
I definitely see what you mean.

I opened the box and immediately wished I had the 01 prime to take it for a spin as designed. The price of the 01 prime would have taken it out of "bargain" territory for me, however; adding another $200.00 to the price. Besides, I already have a compact camera in the form of an MX-1 which by all accounts has better IQ. I bought the Q body as, basically, a super tele adapter; gotta stay focused and within budget no matter how "fun" the Q looks.

If I do see an 01 prime in the future for less than $100.00, however, I'll probably pick it up. Unless a proper pancake prime comes to market...

for less than $100.00. Hahaha. I can dream.

It really does look like a marvel of miniaturization straight out of a mid-20th century pop-culture vision of the future.

I wonder what B&W RAW conversions look like...

Last edited by MD Optofonik; 07-13-2014 at 06:16 PM.
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