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01-13-2015, 05:12 PM   #1
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Q to Q7 - What I love and what I don't

I ordered a Japanese market 2-lens Q7 kit on Jan 1 and it arrived yesterday. This kit is meant to upgrade me from my original Q and to add the 06 telephoto lens to my Q mount kit.

Here's what I love about my new Q7 kit.

  • The Japanese-only literature and fan club paperwork is awesome!
  • Everything is very well packaged and packed. Super efficient use of space!
  • The 06 lens works very well! It has a metal mount, retractable non-rotating front element, and a wide zoom ring to grip. IQ of a Q7 with this system falls short of a large sensor system with an equivalent lens but it's amazing when you consider the size of the kit. I can fill my 2 MP monitor with an image and it looks really good. Colors are vivid and saturated just enough to make them lively. I feel like this lens needs a long deep hood and I found several candidates on eBay. This will be a fun lens to explore telephoto photography! f/2.8 is very usable but slightly soft. The magic begins at f/3.2 at the wide end and around f/4 for the tele end. Diffraction sets in real quick starting at f/6.3 and is really noticeable at f/8.
  • Going on with the 06 lens, I think the SR is awesome in the Q7. I can get very stable and sharp images from the 06 zoomed all the way to 45mm.
  • Final note on the 06 here. The Q7 with the 06 fits in my Tamrac prime sized lens pouch that I wear on my belt. "Tiny".
  • The dynamic range and wider FoV associated with this sensor is much appreciated. I don't feel like the Q7 struggles as much with bright skies and white clouds. Maybe this is what makes colors feel deeper and more vivid. I'll happily give up some telephoto capabilities to widen my 01 prime and 02 zoom.
  • New lower base ISO of 100 vs. 125.
  • The Q7 is noticeably more responsive than the Q.
  • I know many people were upset with the Q7 construction but I like it. It's fine.
  • The Quick Dial can be used to quickly engage the ND filter. Oooohhhhhh! I melt ... I swoon ...
  • The onscreen levels are nice.
  • The LCD is nicer, brighter, and easier to use in daylight.

Nothing's perfect though. Here's what I don't like so much. It's all minor.

  • The Q7 gets much warmer than my Q. I'm going to guess that the screen uses more power.
  • My uWinka branded hood on my 02 zoom lens now causes vignetting on the wide end. Even when I auto-crop to a 3:2 screen ratio (10 MP) I see slight vignetting. I have a large generic rubber hood for my 01 lens so no problems. It's not so much a knock on the Q7 but a moaning and groaning for switching bodies.
  • I have to get used to a different noise profile. The Q seemed to have less luminance noise but more color noise, especially as ISO went upward. Now with a Q7 I see more luminance noise than color noise. I may be wrong but that's my initial impression. The noise creeps in pretty quick at moderate ISO - especially in lower light condition. I've never used noise reduction software because I'm not comfortable with the compromise between noise reduction and a loss of detail. ISO 100 is perfectly fine for filling up my 27" monitor.

There's nothing really "neutral" about the camera. I'm OK with the Q7 not having an EVF although I might take one if one was given.

I'm going to keep experimenting with my new Q7 and "stress test it" before my return period is up. Hopefully everything works out just fine and I'll be posting my Q kit on the marketplace here.

Buying this 2-lens kit now expands my Q mount kit to four lenses: the 01 8.5mm f/1.9 prime, the 02 5-15mm f/2.8-4.5 standard zoom, the 03 3.2mm f/5.6 fisheye, and the 06 15-45mm f/2.8 telephoto zoom. The 08 seems like the next logical lens to get but my 02 just became noticeably wider. There's plenty to explore with that change before considering another lens. If Ricoh surprises us with some new fast primes, wide or tele, I may hold off on any 08 lens purchase. I know many people are anxious for a longer focal length macro. That could be intriguing but I think serious Pentax macro shooters will have a DSLR and a 50mm or 100mm macro prime lens. A macro solution for the Q may compete with the K-mount offering. The 01 prime can focus to about 8" and the 03 fisheye can do about 4". That's probably good enough for me.

Fun, fun, fun!

01-13-2015, 05:20 PM   #2
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Boris,

V glad to hear that you're enjoying your new kit. I share your view that the Q 7 + 06 is an amazing combination for the size of the lens and camera (and it is amazing how small a qualification that turns out to be). If you have a chance, I suspect some Q fans would be interested in a picture of the Japan only literature.
01-13-2015, 06:18 PM   #3
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Just cut the hood into a petal one with scissors, it should be easy.
01-13-2015, 06:41 PM   #4
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Congrats on the Q7.
I'm very interested in the diffraction you're noticing, could you post pics to show this?

01-13-2015, 07:56 PM   #5
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Boris,
Thanks for your thoughts. You're making me want to take the plunge and upgrade to the Q7 more and more.
01-13-2015, 08:17 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
I know many people are anxious for a longer focal length macro. That could be intriguing but I think serious Pentax macro shooters will have a DSLR and a 50mm or 100mm macro prime lens. A macro solution for the Q may compete with the K-mount offering.
Macro on the Q system (with adapted lenses) gives you better depth of field than on APS-C.
For moving subjects where you can't use stacking, that's a distinct advantage.
01-13-2015, 08:38 PM   #7
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Q to Q7 - What I love and what I don't

QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
Macro on the Q system (with adapted lenses) gives you better depth of field than on APS-C.
For moving subjects where you can't use stacking, that's a distinct advantage.

That's a good point. A Q system with a small cropped sensor will have a much greater DoF for the same f-stop ratio number. Hmmm.... the focal length would need to be something fierce to increase the working distance.
01-13-2015, 08:40 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
Macro on the Q system (with adapted lenses) gives you better depth of field than on APS-C.
For moving subjects where you can't use stacking, that's a distinct advantage.
But not having auto-focus is a disadvantage for moving subjects (yeah, I know that we had only manual focus at one time, and we still knew how to catch moving subjects)

01-13-2015, 08:40 PM   #9
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Nice positive review.
01-13-2015, 09:33 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by reh321 Quote
(yeah, I know that we had only manual focus at one time, and we still knew how to catch moving subjects)
I heartily agree. We even managed it with that devilishly reversed image on TLR VF screens -- but don't forget we also had very useable split image/micro-prism optical VF's that were there in bright light. And lenses with a decent range of rotational focus movement optimized for pre-focusing and setting hyper focus with distance rings.

I've been experimenting with wire-frame "sports finders" (remember those?) that mount in the hot shoe. If I could shoot basketball with a Yashicamat twin-lens reflex, Tri-X and flash bulbs the sports finder ought'a work OK on today's digital cameras.
01-13-2015, 11:20 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
  • The Japanese-only literature and fan club paperwork is awesome!
Wait... there's a fan club?? How do we join??
01-14-2015, 06:37 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by reh321 Quote
But not having auto-focus is a disadvantage for moving subjects
Auto-focus is not that effective for macro anyway.

OTOH, focus peaking really helps,
even in the limited version (no color choices) that we have on the Q cameras.

---------- Post added 01-14-15 at 07:42 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by murrelet Quote
Wait... there's a fan club?? How do we join??
Try this:

https://twitter.com/#%21/__dck/pentaxq-users-in-japan
01-15-2015, 08:30 AM   #13
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Congrats on the new Q7, I love mine, (2nd one I damaged my 1st) I also noticed a slight vignetting on my 02 hood, just got the dremmel tool out and made a flower petal hood out of mine
01-15-2015, 08:35 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by hnikesch Quote
I also noticed a slight vignetting on my 02 hood, just got the dremmel tool out and made a flower petal hood out of mine
Was that an OEM hood, or knock-off?
01-15-2015, 11:57 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by hnikesch Quote
... I also noticed a slight vignetting on my 02 hood, just got the dremmel tool out and made a flower petal hood out of mine
Did you just eyeball the pattern or did you have a pattern pre-outlined?
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