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12-28-2014, 10:34 PM   #1

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Flare and the K-01

I just read this article on Imaging Resource that talks about flare issues with the Nikon D750. It's quite a long article, but it seems that the cause is reflections within the mirror box from the AF sensor. When they tested other bodies, they found similar effects in other bodies from Nikon and Canon to varying degrees. I found this interesting because I had never thought about how a camera body could influence flare - I had only thought of it as an attribute of the lens.

Nikon D750 flare problems? Here’s why and what to do about them. (It’s not your lens.)

This made me think about the K-01 because when you look in the mount, it has clearly been designed to suppress reflections. It is all matt black and has angled ridges along the sides and floor. It seems to me that the K-01 should be particularly good at eliminating reflections. I’ve read a few user comments like “I can’t explain why but the images are even better than my K-5”, despite the fact that the K-5 uses a more advanced sensor. I wonder whether these observations have something to do with the body’s ability to suppress stray reflections.

I would be interested to see a comparison of a flare test with K-01 versus a DSLR body to see whether there is a discernible difference. Unfortunately, I don’t have a working DSLR to do this myself. If there is a difference, it might make sense to make a K-01 the default body to test lenses for flare.

To be clear, I’m not trying to make people doubt their DSLRs. I think the fact that nobody noticed the issue before the D750 shows that it isn’t a big problem. Also, it's possible that Pentax DSLRs are not susceptible to the same issues. However, I think it could be another reason to appreciate the thoughtful design of the K-01, and might be something to consider when we evaluate lenses.

Last edited by JPT; 12-28-2014 at 10:47 PM.
12-29-2014, 04:15 AM   #2
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Reflections within the lens, mirror box are bad. Even light coming in through the viewfinder can affect image quality! Digital sensors are problematic, because they are sensitive to flare, and also very shiny.
The K-01 is no worse than any DSLR, perhaps better (though, any Pentax camera I looked at had this kind of mirror box, dark with ridges). But if you use lenses with modern lens coatings, this is usually not a problem. The lens coatings are optimized for digital sensors, so they don't cause a reflection between the sensor and lens (SMC DFA, SMC DA, and HD DA lenses). Older lenses have a higher chance of ghosting and flaring, but it also depends on the lens design (number of optical elements, focal length), using a lens hood (a good tight lens hood helps. If you use a film lens, you can use a tighter hood on crop sensor cameras), and of course light itself, if its coming from the side, directly in front, if there are high contrasts, and so on.
12-29-2014, 07:16 AM   #3
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I think in the case of the Nikon D750, it seems to be a problem in the design of the box, where variations in manufacturing (Quality) makes the problem show up in some units and not in others. I do not think in that case is a lens problem, although there might certain variability in the box that makes the problem show up with certain lenses with and without hood. it will be interesting to see how NIkon solves this issue to the units already in the user hands.

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