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01-08-2013, 07:38 PM   #1
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Magic lens producing lackluster photos on K-01

I received a new K-01 a few days ago. Since then, I have shot several hundred photos, and I have to say I am unhappy with the images I am getting.

My main camera is a K100d on which I mostly use M42 lenses. My main lens on the K100d is a pixie-dusted Hanimar 55 1.7 (Tomioka) M42. I also have several "cousin" Chinon 55 1.7s that I use from time to time (they are almost as good as the Hanimar). The images that the K100d produces with the Hanimar and the Chinons are faultless to my eye--sharp, contrasty, colorful, dimensional (see photo).

Oddly enough, the Hanimar and Chinons are not producing the kind of great photos I usually see from them on the K100d. What gives? I have tried numerous settings on the K-01 and nothing seems to work! I bought the K-01 hoping that it would give me the indoor photos that the K100d is incapable of.

I have a modest collection of M42s--Takumar 50 1.4, SMC Takumar 55 1.8, Sears 55 1.4 (Tomioka), Chinon 28 2.8, Tamron Bbar 28 2.8, Vivitar 50 1.9--and none of them are producing top-grade photos on the K-01 either. Just serviceable.

Last night I ordered the Promaster MC 28 2.8 (cousin to the RMC Tokina 28 2.8) that some on here rave about in hopes that it will be the one. I am certain that the problem is not a faulty camera. I have gotten a few keepers out of the camera, so I am sure that this is an issue of optimal settings.

Anyone else find that their "magic" lens doesn't shine on the K-01?

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01-08-2013, 07:46 PM   #2
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The image above is testament that the camera can perform.
Manual focusing might be harder to do on the K-01.
What technique are you using to check for accurate focusing?
01-08-2013, 07:49 PM   #3
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Sorry for the confusion. The image above is from my K100d (with the Hanimar lens). Point is that the Hanimar performs poorly on the K-01 (so far).
01-08-2013, 08:06 PM   #4
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This is what the K-01 does with the Hanimar. I'm unimpressed

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01-08-2013, 08:06 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by kharry2012 Quote
Point is that the Hanimar performs poorly on the K-01 (so far).
Define 'poorly'. Out of focus, lacking color & contrast, or...? You should post an example from your K-01 so we can see what you're talking about. You may have to refine your focusing technique for the K-01, since it lacks a traditional viewfinder. Are you using the focus peaking function? Also, if you're shooting jpeg, you can punch up vibrance and contrast in the menu to whatever you like.
01-08-2013, 08:08 PM   #6
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6mp camera to 16mp camera. I suggest you are seeing detail and flaws in the 16mp images that did not show in the older camera. Do you have a modern lens to test with?
01-08-2013, 08:12 PM   #7

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Take the same picture with both cameras, same lens (and post them) and show us what lacks in one that is pixie dust in the other...
01-08-2013, 08:16 PM   #8
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It may also be some settings that need tweaking, I have a F 50mm 1.7 on my gf's K-01 and I was impressed to say the least.

Don't give up on the brick yet!!

01-08-2013, 08:24 PM   #9
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Disagree, my s-m-c tak 50/1.4 continues to be magical.
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01-08-2013, 08:25 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by vonBaloney Quote
Take the same picture with both cameras, same lens (and post them) and show us what lacks in one that is pixie dust in the other...
and also set the k-01 to a lower resolution to be closer to the k100d
01-08-2013, 08:26 PM   #11
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I've not been a hymn singer on the K-01, quite the contrary, but I now own one for several reasons - among them is its excellent sensor and IQ. I have now taken photos with my K-5 and K-01 of the same objects in similar situations (no tripod so it was NOT identical) with my DA40 Limited and I can say that I am actually liking the images from the K-01 straight out of the camera a wee bit more.

I also urge you to take several photos with the same lens on each camera and put them up side-by-side with your views on what is lacking in the K-01 version. I find folks here are fairly straight forward and helpful in such critiques.
01-08-2013, 08:37 PM   #12
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Try to set the Image Finishing Tone (aka Custom Image) to Vibrant or Portrait, see page 140 in the manual. On top of that you can tweak saturation and contrast, so I'm pretty sure you can get a result that's more to your liking.
01-08-2013, 08:41 PM   #13
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The K100D has a really great sensor, maybe one of the best ever for daylight photography IMHO. The K10D is similar, but with 10MP the K10D steps beyond the sweet spot of that classic CCD design.

I'm a big fan of the K100D.

That said, the K-01 is no slouch, and I doubt it is much worse at all at low ISO, and certainly easily better beyond ISO 200.

I think you should keep trying.
01-08-2013, 08:43 PM   #14
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i have an SMC Pentax M 50mm f/1.7 that I cannot get over how good it looks.Even wide open, I can get great indoor shots at ISO 400 hand held. I am thinking that it may be a combination of things all listed above. The way I am working with this lens may not be for everyone, but it seems to work.
Focus peaking ON
manually get "in focus"
press green button to meter/obtain exposure time from camera\
press the OK button to zoom in on the focus area
re-dial in the focus while zoomed in. I will usually hunt through the range of focus. The bright highlight will get brighter then dimmer. I find the strongest area of highlight and then half-press the shutter button.
Check composition and exposure again, press green button again if needed. Then 'click'

I will say that I am less experienced with shooting digital with an optical VF than my wife is. I have a similar problem with larger and heavier lenses, My wife shoots on a K10D and is able to dial in focus way easier with our TAIR 11a than I am. Here;s a few examples of what I am getting with my 50mm f/1.7 using this method.
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01-08-2013, 08:45 PM   #15
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There is no way a manual lens is going to "function" the same on a viewfinder camera, as it does on one that doesn't have one. I like the above images, but the K-01 requires a different technique to focus. I would expect disappointment getting used to the K-01, but it has nothing to do with the camera per se. The K-01 is a "thumb/palm" camera more than an "index/trigger" camera. I think the K-01 is a fine camera and compares favorably to the K30 images I have seen and in situations where contrast focusing works well. I really like my K-01, but it's tough to use considering my K5s and Q are with me more. Besides, I am comfortable with the "index/trigger" method of camera usage.

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