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11-14-2014, 09:16 AM   #1
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Is the 02 Lens Getting a bad rep?

Most of my testing of the Q series to see if it was applicable to my sort of photography was done with the 01 lens. ( See my blogs dealing with using the Q - Q7 series for my type of photography) That led me from the Q to the Q10 and finally to the Q7 which I now use. However now that I am taking the Q7 on some out of door excursions on my motorcycle and bicycle I am using the 02 lens with polarizer. I am starting to believe that the 02 lens has been getting an unearned bad reputation. I seem to have found a sweet spot at which the 02 is as sharp and maybe a bit better than the 01 lens. I found that at 5mm (wide) I get sharp images with f4.5 5.6 and at 15mm (tele) I am getting sharp images with f5.6 6.3. I always shoot iso 100 or 200 seldom higher. I have seen images posted here taken by others using the 02 lens that seem to support what I am finding. Has anyone else made similar observations? I have also noticed that the 02 lens that came with my Q7 may be a bit different than the 02 lens that came with my Q10. At least the color of silver is a bit different. Maybe there are some internal changes as well?

11-14-2014, 09:25 AM   #2
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A homemade lens hood made a world of difference in my images with it. It isn't bad at all with one.
11-14-2014, 09:34 AM   #3
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I have to agree I've had 3 02's (still have 2) and they were all quite sharp, The 02's I still have came from my Q7's I have stretched the ISO beyond 200 when needed with good results and always use a hood on my 02. I shoot mostly in program mode and looking back at the images the Q7 always keeps the images at f5 or f4 and keeps ISO at 200 or below. I seldom use my 01 because I like the 02 so much.
11-14-2014, 09:36 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by VoiceOfReason Quote
A homemade lens hood made a world of difference
I'm seeing that difference under certain lighting conditions also -- but that's generally true of most lenses, IMO.

11-14-2014, 09:50 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by hnikesch Quote
I have to agree I've had 3 02's (still have 2) and they were all quite sharp, The 02's I still have came from my Q7's I have stretched the ISO beyond 200 when needed with good results and always use a hood on my 02. I shoot mostly in program mode and looking back at the images the Q7 always keeps the images at f5 or f4 and keeps ISO at 200 or below. I seldom use my 01 because I like the 02 so much.
It was some of your shots such as those of Paris that I was referring to when I said that others are posting some really good shots.
11-14-2014, 10:26 AM   #6
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It's a good lens in good light, but it also makes some fantastic starbursts. The only downside I had with it was that it was too long to stick into my pants (my 01 fits).
11-14-2014, 11:37 AM   #7
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Photozone tested them both and rated them about about the same. You can look at the results on their website. I have 2 of the 02s. The 02 has better range and seem to be better for closeups. The 01 is of course faster and smaller, I had one at one time.
11-14-2014, 11:39 AM   #8
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I agree that the 02 lens is better than what people generally think it is. It may simply be suffering from the label of "kit lens". I've always thought that with some simple and clever post processing to boost contrast, colors, and sharpness that you can get superb images. The real limiting factor of any Q lens will be the small sensor and the uncontrollable human desire for pixel peeping.

11-14-2014, 02:51 PM   #9
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There is nothing wrong with the 02 lens, I have two and they are equally good. Here is an image from the original Q with 02 lens, 1/15 at 3.5, 10mm and iso 400:



This one is from the Q7 with the other 02 lens, 1/30 at 3.2 5mm and iso 1600:



As for higher iso, I expose for the shadows and bring down the highlights in PP.
11-14-2014, 04:08 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Heinrich Lohmann Quote
There is nothing wrong with the 02 lens, I have two and they are equally good. Here is an image from the original Q with 02 lens, 1/15 at 3.5, 10mm and iso 400:



This one is from the Q7 with the other 02 lens, 1/30 at 3.2 5mm and iso 1600:



As for higher iso, I expose for the shadows and bring down the highlights in PP.
Heinrich, those are great examples of what I am finding to be true. I am wondering if it is the method of testing that some reviewers employed that resulted in the soft images from the 02 lens. Its common knowledge that most lenses do not produce their sharpest images at either extreme of the available aperture. I am one who prefers to make due with one and at most two zooms for whatever camera I am carrying rather than have an Ansel Adams type convoy of pack mules carrying an assortment of primes that I may or may not use.

There seems to have been a flurry of activity in the past four or five months among shooters to acquire the 01 prime because it was supposedly sharper. Many found that they could purchase a used Q with the 01 prime for much less than the price of a new 01 lens. This resulted in the prices of original Qs with 01 lenses selling for much more than Qs or Q10s with 02 lenses. As a consequence I see a lot of Qs now being resold minus the lens. Just an observation!
11-14-2014, 08:33 PM   #11
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I don't know if it has a bad rep, it probably just got the rep it diserves. The quality varies from a copy to the other as it's been observed by many.
11-14-2014, 09:03 PM   #12
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Mine is absolutely terrible. I never use it. It is not sharp at all, at least on the telephoto end. In fact, the images from it are so bad that it takes the fun out of using the camera. The few times I've tried to use it, I've just ended up staring at the screen trying to figure out where the point of focus was supposed to be.
11-14-2014, 09:50 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by fuent104 Quote
Mine is absolutely terrible. I never use it. It is not sharp at all, at least on the telephoto end. In fact, the images from it are so bad that it takes the fun out of using the camera. The few times I've tried to use it, I've just ended up staring at the screen trying to figure out where the point of focus was supposed to be.
I'm seeing responses all over the map. Does Pentax have a quality control issue here? Are the lenses "fragile" in some way that they stop working? There must be some way of bringing consistency into these responses.
11-14-2014, 10:17 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by reh321 Quote
I'm seeing responses all over the map. Does Pentax have a quality control issue here? Are the lenses "fragile" in some way that they stop working? There must be some way of bringing consistency into these responses.
Well, based on my own experience, and reading of the experiences of Pentax users here and on other forums, Pentax QC in general isn't all that great.

As far as the 5-15 goes, according to Photozone's tests the tele end is not as sharp as the wide and middle focal lengths... but this is pretty common behavior for zooms.

Another factor to consider is that on the original Q and Q10, once you are beyond f/2.8 you are in the Diffraction Zone Although that's probably not such a big deal until you're close to f/5.6.
11-15-2014, 06:26 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
Another factor to consider is that on the original Q and Q10, once you are beyond f/2.8 you are in the Diffraction Zone Although that's probably not such a big deal until you're close to f/5.6.
That is true but if you shoot in program mode the camera will keep you out of diffraction zone. I see some talk of poor copies, I have had 3 copies of the 02 and all were excellent. Sold one with one of my Q's to fund a new Q7 still have the other 2

As for poor quality, I have had a bad 06 (failed to focus) that Pentax replaced but I have also has a bad Canon SD 500 (always missed focus) it was the top of the line P&S at the time.
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