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08-08-2014, 11:28 PM   #1
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So frustrating. (It's a rant, sorry. Avoid it if you must - probably best)

I've been having a bit of fun playing with my manual lenses, the Q, and a non-aperture adjusting adapter whilst waiting for an adapter to use with my 55-300 zoom. Adapting these lenses for the long reach was the reason for buying the Q but when it arrived and I saw just how small it was I thought about how useful it might be to us it as (I thought) it was intended. My expectations were clearly not in line with Pentax's intentions.

One prime lens. One. Just one.

By introducing the Q with a prime lens I don't think it unreasonable for people to expect there would be more prime lenses to come. At least two more, anyway. Alas, three years later, no other primes of been introduced. I have begun to think that something happened (lack of sales and a need to cut their R&D losses as best they can - with zooms) over the past three years to have completely changed "the roadmap" that I've seen mentioned on several occasions.

The body will indeed work for the initial reason I bought it, but it is frustrating to know how much more use I could have out of such a small camera but for want of a wide and telephoto prime. the lack of a medium telephoto on such an unobtrusive body is, to me, the most egregious omission. Fixed aperture toy lenses, whilst maybe eliciting fond, nostalgic, memories of fixed aperture Instamatics of the 60's and 70's just aren't the same as proper primes. For want of two lenses, one in particular for me, this camera is, IMO, a textbook example of failed potential.

I know, its a pointless rant. It's been bothering me, however, and I just wanted to vent.

Accept it as it is, not as it was supposed to be, right?


Last edited by MD Optofonik; 08-08-2014 at 11:56 PM.
08-08-2014, 11:33 PM   #2
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According to the roadmap we've likely to see a telephoto/macro prime soon (probably Photokina):

Pentax Lens Roadmaps - 645, Q, K 2012 - Pentax News & Rumors

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08-08-2014, 11:41 PM   #3
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That's two years old, though. I hope you're correct and it's still accurate. I do understand introducing zooms first, most people don't use primes these days, but the Q was introduced with a prime to begin with. Color my fingers crossed and "adapting" well enough, despite the stated frustration, for now.
08-08-2014, 11:50 PM   #4
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I broght the Q, then I sold it. Was dissatisfied with IQ

08-09-2014, 12:00 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by AldaCZ Quote
I broght the Q, then I sold it. Was dissatisfied with IQ
What about the IQ were you dissatisfied with? I've heard criticism of the low-light performance, focussing and lens distortion. I have an original Q, and well as multiple K-mount bodies, and of course the Q isn't up to matching the bigger formats in some situations.

Nonetheless, firmware updates have made focussing much better in terms of speed and control, and lens distortion is easily corrected using PP software that has built-in lens correction. The low-light performance isn't going to get much better until small-sensor technology makes a major breakthrough in that area, of course.

That aside, I quite like my Q, and I endorse the OP's desire for some more primes, but I recognise its limitations. To some extent, they're part of its character.
08-09-2014, 12:05 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by AldaCZ Quote
I broght the Q, then I sold it. Was dissatisfied with IQ
I think IQ could be forgiven to a certain degree if the usefulness, it's size, was maximized with the best lens IQ Pentax can muster for it. Toy lenses aint it. I've seen some really good shots with the 01 prime. Even the toy fish-eye is good enough to be commercially published in print under certain (very specific) circumstances where it's size trumps the need for DSLR level IQ. That's part of what I find so frustrating. For me, a fixed aperture "toy" lens isn't worth the $80.00 asking price. I see the word "toy" and I see a fifty dollar bill at most. Don't get me started on the $75.00 lens cap with a hole in it.

Last edited by MD Optofonik; 08-09-2014 at 08:10 AM.
08-09-2014, 12:31 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobA_Oz Quote
What about the IQ were you dissatisfied with? I've heard criticism of the low-light performance, focussing and lens distortion. I have an original Q, and well as multiple K-mount bodies, and of course the Q isn't up to matching the bigger formats in some situations.

Nonetheless, firmware updates have made focussing much better in terms of speed and control, and lens distortion is easily corrected using PP software that has built-in lens correction. The low-light performance isn't going to get much better until small-sensor technology makes a major breakthrough in that area, of course.

That aside, I quite like my Q, and I endorse the OP's desire for some more primes, but I recognise its limitations. To some extent, they're part of its character.
It wasn't the speed or focusing, they are fine but colours were always off and it lacked fine details. I'm not saying it is a bad camera but it isn't for me. I liked it's form factor.
08-09-2014, 02:44 AM   #8
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I'm in full agreement with the comment about toy lenses at real lens prices, surely a whole set should be £50 to £75.

I've got a Q and a K-01 and I do wish they'd given the K-01 design to the Q guys then we'd have had a proper body with proper doors and flaps not the joke rubber.
Don't mind colours but I have the feeling that the Q will last much longer than the K-01

08-09-2014, 05:28 AM - 1 Like   #9
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Just a guess here. As originally conceived, based on mag-alloy body, introduction with a prime and the price (and some discussions more than a year ago with Pentax USA) I think the Q was envisioned as a tiny, capable system camera like the Auto 110, not as a fun camera. I do believe there is still some intent to go there. However, since it was introduced with the 1:2.3 sensor because video in the 1:1.7 wasn't up to par, but at the original high price, the original Q was rejected by reviewers and the buying public, suffering much the same derision as the K-01. There are STILL Q/02 kits available on eBay for $199 +/-.

Ricoh it seems did sense acceptance in Japan by the fun camera demographic, and, rather than just let the entire project die (since it wasn't a test bed for technology like K-01) they changed direction and embraced colors, polycarbonate and advertising. The 1:1.7 sensor technology improved; now we have a design refresh to maintain high interest. I believe the quality System Camera concept still lurks in the background and on the roadmap - the prime lenses and high quality zooms are still there. I believe Pentax still thinks Q is their growth line.

I've come to believe that we must be patient with Pentax - given the number of lines produced, Pentax is a comparatively small company with limited human capital. They can't just instantly produce 4 'Best-in-Class' lines all at one time (Q, K-mount APSc, x-mount FF and 645), plus develop new technology for the Ricoh brand, some of them with multiple price-point bodies and lens classes. Ricoh the parent company isn't going to dump more capital into cameras above their already significant commitment.

I also continue to believe 645 is more successful than expected and effort has been redirected from a few projects to updating many 645 lenses sooner, rather than later. That might well have delayed Q lenses (and the Unicorn).

The more I read about the death of Pentax Corporation, what Hoya and Sparx did and stripped - the more amazed I am that this camera company exists at all and the more respect I have for Ricoh and the remaining people at Pentax.

Last edited by monochrome; 08-09-2014 at 09:30 AM.
08-09-2014, 06:51 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by AldaCZ Quote
It wasn't the speed or focusing, they are fine but colours were always off and it lacked fine details. I'm not saying it is a bad camera but it isn't for me. I liked it's form factor.
I also liked the form factor of the Q (still do). But, after having owned the original Q plus the 01, 02 and 06 lenses, I discovered the truth: That I liked the idea of the Q more than the reality. While I liked the way the camera looked and felt in my hands, it simply was never my first choice for anything. I had other cameras of about the same size that were more convenient (i.e. fit in a pocket better) and rendered as good or better results.

I also had (and still have) the Pentax-brand Q-to-K adaptor. It was fun to use the Q body with my DA 55-300 zoom. But, at the end of the day, I found the detail I got when shooting wildlife with that combination wasn't noticeably better than using one of the better superzoom bridge cameras like the Panasonic FZ200 or Fuji HS50.

So I sold off my kit. I still have the adaptor, some extra, unused batteries and a couple of unused leather cases for the Q. I've held off on selling them just in case the next Q turns out to be something that interests me. Honestly, I still like the Q and totally understand the appeal it has for others. I have even been tempted to spring for a Q7 on closeout. But I suspect I'll be selling off the remaining Q accessories that I have.

But I also agree with what Monochrome wrote above.

Last edited by Biro; 08-09-2014 at 06:56 AM.
08-09-2014, 07:44 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Biro Quote
I liked the idea of the Q more than the reality
I'm smiling because you have nailed it! I wanted to replace canon g12 with the q(original - Q7 could be as good as g12 because the size of the sensor is the same but it's CMOS(Q) vs CCD(G12) and is just diffrent) and a 01 prime but g12 produces better colours but Q is faster to react to the shutter release(From my experience)
08-09-2014, 08:40 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Biro Quote
That I liked the idea of the Q more than the reality.
QuoteOriginally posted by AldaCZ Quote
I'm smiling because you have nailed it!
I think that's it. That's the root of my frustration.
08-09-2014, 08:47 AM   #13
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I'm only been peripherally interested in the Q, but what gets me is essentially what MD O. has stated. Premium compacts - even limited to the 1/1.7" sensor - have IQ that's a little bit better than the Q. That is understandable, as the Q sensor is a generation (or 1/2 generation) behind the latest-and-greatest sensors, and the interchangeable-lens capability leads to lesser tolerances than the best fixed-lens cameras, which usually results in a little bit less sharpness. There's just not much in an (optical sense) to entice me to a Q. The 08 wide zoom is a bit interesting, but is very expensive and probably no better than, say, a Panasonic LX7 + Panasonic wide angle converter.
08-09-2014, 09:00 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
I'm only been peripherally interested in the Q, but what gets me is essentially what MD O. has stated. Premium compacts - even limited to the 1/1.7" sensor - have IQ that's a little bit better than the Q. That is understandable, as the Q sensor is a generation (or 1/2 generation) behind the latest-and-greatest sensors, and the interchangeable-lens capability leads to lesser tolerances than the best fixed-lens cameras, which usually results in a little bit less sharpness. There's just not much in an (optical sense) to entice me to a Q. The 08 wide zoom is a bit interesting, but is very expensive and probably no better than, say, a Panasonic LX7 + Panasonic wide angle converter.
Even with the Q7's improved sensor several opinions I've read seem to indicate the Q lenses are the weak point, (those "tolerances" you mentioned?) although the 01 Prime is pointed out as being the best match. It's a prime after all; better IQ as a result. If the Q7 sensor is indeed the same as the MX-1 then there is little excuse for the Q7 to not be a better camera in many circumstances; the MX-1 can produce some surprisingly good images becuase it has a really good lens up front. As I've stated elsewhere the whole Q thing is just confusing to me. I really opened up a personal can of worms when I bought my "superzoom adapter".
08-09-2014, 09:00 AM   #15
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To understand why Pentax has taken this path with the Q series you would need to have an understanding of the camera market as it currently exists. By the way, that major segment of the camera market is not represented by those who frequent this or any other camera related board. We probably compose less than 10% of the total market and as such a minor voice.

Why did Pentax introduce the original Q with the Prime 01?
Because that was the lens the camera would get itís best review and still fit into a small pocket which was one of itís initial selling points. If that 02 zoom had been somewhat shorter and produced images with the same quality or near that of the 01 Prime you would have never seen a Q series Prime.

Why not more primes?
Because the AVERAGE consumer of these products does not want to carry a bag full of prime lenses and they believe that one zoom will replace three or four lenses. It would take way to much space to explain the history of primes verses zooms but sit down for a while with anyone who was working at a first class camera store in the 1970-1980 era and they will explain how zooms outpaced primes when camera manufactures started targeting the general public instead of informed camera enthusiasts. That trend continues today as exemplified by the fact that the kit lens accompanying every DSLR is a zoom lens and most consumers never buy anything else. In the 1970ís, zooms also moved many camera enthusiasts away from their rangefinders into the a SLR.

IMHO people buy the Q series for itís initial intent and then start doing the ďwhat ifĒ scenario. That is natural. (I have actually known some people to use screwdrivers as hammers.) It is very obvious that Pentax targeted a certain demographic with the Q series and enthusiasts have tried, sometimes successfully and sometime not so to use it for other purposes. Kind of like someone buying a four door Chevy Malibu for itís seating capacity and fuel economy and then wondering why it does not have the performance of a two door Corvette. Everything has itís purpose and there are some shooters who embrace the creative aspects of the Q and use them to capture some great images. I am particularly fascinated by some of the B&W street shots I have seen here.

Denny
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