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Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 02-22-2019, 07:36 AM  
RICOH GRIII Officially Announced
Posted By Tony Belding
Replies: 255
Views: 12,934
I got the Q7 Premium Kit with the fitted bag. It holds the camera body, 01, 02, 03, 06 and 08 lenses in a very small bag that's easy to take anywhere. For a long time this was a travel mainstay for me. However, the system is starting to show its age and limitations.

The Q7 with the (lovely) 01 lens I could sort of cram into my vest pocket, but it's not a comfortable fit at all. For that I have either the Fujifilm REAL 3D W3, which actually uses the same battery as the Q7, or the Ricoh GR Digital IV which, to my annoyance, does not. And yes, I'm looking very closely at the GR III. It looks like it combines a lot of the best features from the GRD4 and the GR2.
Forum: Pentax Q 02-01-2019, 08:52 AM  
Poll: If there is a new Q .... what would you like it to be ?
Posted By Tony Belding
Replies: 42
Views: 1,825
I would say it's "not far from a 40mm" which is my favorite normal lens. The 01 lens is one of the best things about this system.
Forum: Pentax Q 01-31-2019, 07:11 PM  
Poll: If there is a new Q .... what would you like it to be ?
Posted By Tony Belding
Replies: 42
Views: 1,825
The things I want most are not on the poll: Better quality LCD. More prime lenses. A "Super Q" with EVF and mini-SLR form factor. A variant with a monochrome sensor.
Forum: Pentax Q 01-12-2019, 10:32 PM  
Q system not dead? Ehhh. . .
Posted By Tony Belding
Replies: 34
Views: 2,357
I'll go out on a limb and say the biggest deficiency of my Q7 is the quality of the LCD. It's noticeably inferior to the one on my GRD-IV, even.
Forum: Pentax Q 01-10-2019, 06:22 PM  
Q system not dead? Ehhh. . .
Posted By Tony Belding
Replies: 34
Views: 2,357
Somebody over on DPReview pointed out this --> Ricoh interview: new Pentax 645 under consideration, Pentax Q could still be alive, "surprise" expected this year (and more) - Photo Rumors

The latest copy of the Japanese magazine Nippon Camera has an interview with Ricoh/Pentax about their plans for 2019. The bit to highlight: Ricoh is still looking at the Pentax Q and it is not accurate to say that development is discontinued.

So, there is hope. At the same time, what does it mean for Ricoh to be "looking at" the Q system? Seems like they've been looking at it for A While now with nothing to show for it.
Forum: Pentax Mirrorless Cameras 01-03-2019, 07:09 PM  
Pentax Mirrorless?
Posted By Tony Belding
Replies: 176
Views: 14,791
I'm not sure it's helpful now to do yet another post-mortem analysis on the K-01, which has been done many times already. From where I sit, it had a long laundry list of relatively minor problems, none of which individually would have been fatal. But they added up. I mean, if some percentage of camera shoppers thought it was overpriced at launch, and some percentage thought it was too big for a mirrorless body, and some percentage didn't like the style, and some percentage didn't like the ergonomics, some percentage had difficulty using it in bright sunlight, and some were put off by the robotic hunting whirring autofocus, then you have to wonder what percentage remain who would be ready and willing to buy.

FWIW, I liked my K-01. It was fun to use, produced excellent images, and did a few cool and unusual things. Sometimes I wonder if I made a mistake in selling it, but I just had too many cameras. There were a lot of other good cameras that it had to compete against.
Forum: Pentax Q 11-23-2018, 11:48 AM  
Let's share shots with Q!
Posted By Tony Belding
Replies: 6,048
Views: 884,763
I think you shot down the rationale for wanting a dedicated macro lens.
Forum: Pentax Mirrorless Cameras 10-22-2018, 02:03 PM  
A new pancake-ish Limited prime or a Q or a GR or... something else? Help my GAS!
Posted By Tony Belding
Replies: 15
Views: 1,320
I have an older GR Digital IV (with the small sensor), and it's the best truly pocketable camera that I've ever had. I forget that it's on me until I need it. It's possible that I may replace it with the upcoming GR III. From what I've seen it looks like it will combine the best features of the GRD IV and the GR II.

I have the Q7 premium kit, which I use a lot. That includes the 01, 02, 03, 06 and 08 lenses. The cool thing about this is, I can keep the camera and all these lenses in a very small bag that's easy to grab and take everywhere. The negative is, even with the smallest lens it doesn't fit comfortably in a pocket. (I can kind of stuff it into some of the bigger pockets, but I can't forget it's there!) Also the LCD is not as bright and sharp as the GRD IV.

For more "serious" shooting I've gone to a Sony A7 with adapters and vintage SLR lenses. I've used Pentax-M and Pentax-A lenses, and M42 thread mount (including Takumars), and some Konica Hexanon AR lenses too. Manual focusing is much easier than trying to use these lenses on a DSLR, because the Sony provides both focus peaking and magnification options. Iris control is not an issue, since composing and focusing generally works just fine at the taking aperture.
Forum: Pentax Mirrorless Cameras 10-10-2018, 07:17 PM  
Pentax Mirrorless?
Posted By Tony Belding
Replies: 176
Views: 14,791
I'd love to see the Q series continue, as there are definitely improvements that could be made to it.

However, everybody's been hammering the mantra of "bigger is better" and full-frame mania.
Forum: Pentax Mirrorless Cameras 10-07-2018, 06:13 PM  
Pentax Mirrorless?
Posted By Tony Belding
Replies: 176
Views: 14,791
That's better than not seeing any indication of what you're getting.

At the car show yesterday I dialed my Sony A7 up to +3 compensation to shoot a cabin interior, then I forgot to zero it afterwards. I fired off several shots of cars before I noticed. Later in Lightroom I was able to easily bring those images back down, highlights and all. The leeway when shooting raw on today's sensors is amazing. The rendering that I get in the EVF may not be perfect, but it keeps me somewhere in the ball park, which is all I need. (Also, I once had the same thing happen with a Pentax KS-2, and I was able to fix very over-exposed images in Lightroom. The main difference is that I had a lot more of them to fix, because it took much longer to notice my settings were wrong!)

Incidentally, I also shot a roll of Ektar through my great old Ricoh XR7 while I was at the show. It has the best pentaprism viewfinder that I have ever seen on any camera. It's huge, bright, and it has the diagonal split-prism and microprism focusing screen. Outdoors in the daylight with a fast lens (50mm F1.7) it's still a joy to use. However… There was also a concert indoors, and the Sony was the only sensible choice for that.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 09-01-2018, 05:15 AM  
Canon FF MILC + 28-70 F2.0 Rumored
Posted By Tony Belding
Replies: 30
Views: 688
I don't think "mirrorless" is the problem. I think "full frame" is the problem. It's full frame madness.

Now there's a rumor that Panasonic are getting ready to introduce a full frame mirrorless camera. But they already have a well developed Micro Four Thirds system!
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 09-01-2018, 04:21 AM  
Canon FF MILC + 28-70 F2.0 Rumored
Posted By Tony Belding
Replies: 30
Views: 688
If I understand this news rightly… We're looking at Canon introducing a new lens mount for full-frame mirrorless, incompatible with the EF-M mount that their already-successful APS-C mirrorless cameras use? Am I the only one who thinks that is a painfully stupid move? I mean, if they can't fit a full frame sensor into EF-M, wouldn't it make a ton more sense to just stick with APS-C format? It seems to be working Just Fine for Fujifilm. The difference in imaging performance between full frame and APS-C is fairly trivial. They're introducing a whole new lens mount for the sake of something trivial.
Forum: General Photography 08-28-2018, 10:43 AM  
People using multiple systems, which is your next favorite brand after pentax?
Posted By Tony Belding
Replies: 27
Views: 906
Sony A7 with lots of adapted film SLR lenses, including several Super Takumars.
Forum: Pentax Mirrorless Cameras 08-27-2018, 05:14 PM  
Pentax Mirrorless?
Posted By Tony Belding
Replies: 176
Views: 14,791
None of this matches my experience with the four mirrorless bodies that I have owned thus far.
Forum: Pentax Mirrorless Cameras 08-26-2018, 09:06 AM  
Pentax Mirrorless?
Posted By Tony Belding
Replies: 176
Views: 14,791
I raised an eyebrow at that, because all my Takumars are already working just fine on my Sony A7. Then I realized… Oh, he probably means screw-drive autofocus won't work on the new system. Haha!







QuoteQuote:

To adapt Pentax lenses as a product strategy I think it likely there is some critical mass of modern, electronic-aperture lenses with in-lens focus motors in K-mount that Ricoh Imaging wants in the catalog before they feel a RIcoh MILC would be a viable product, and they have some idea when they will get there.



That makes sense, if they want to advance in a methodical and very conservative way, but the practical aspects don't look good. They would have a long list of DSLR lenses to update first, and then it's all still K-mount. Then if they want to move to a new optimized-for-mirrorless mount, that would require starting a whole new lens catalog. And meanwhile, even if they produce all these modernized K-mount lenses, will we collectively rush to buy them and shove our existing lenses to the back of the closet?

It sounds a bit like Kodak executives planning out their methodical, step-by-step transition from film to digital photography over a 15 year period, only to get steamrolled when the market went digital in six months.

---------- Post added 08-26-18 at 11:11 AM ----------



Or else, they could just give us an updated Q (I'd love a Super Q with an EVF!), not to mention that telephoto-macro lens that they had on the roadmap for years (and apparently had a working prototype) but never produced.
Forum: Pentax Mirrorless Cameras 08-17-2018, 08:41 PM  
Rebuilding the mirrorless
Posted By Tony Belding
Replies: 80
Views: 3,991
I have to question your premise. A mirrorless system camera is inherently simpler than a DSLR. The only challenging new component is the EVF, and if you can outsource that you're golden. From a manufacturer's standpoint, the ultimate goal is to get a fully electronic shutter readout (i.e. no physical curtain), no moving parts on the camera aside from dials and buttons. The technology isn't quite there yet, but it's on the horizon.

As for Ricoh not having enough capital to make new cameras… As a general rule, if you've got a genuinely compelling new product that people are obviously going to want, there will be no problem getting capital to bring it into production. Now let's try to imagine Ricoh/Pentax coming up with such a product. Hmm… Maybe that's the real problem?

What they need to do is knock one out of the ball park, like Hasselblad did with the X1D. There's a company that a lot of people (including me) had just about written off.
Forum: Pentax Mirrorless Cameras 07-28-2018, 08:10 PM  
Rebuilding the mirrorless
Posted By Tony Belding
Replies: 80
Views: 3,991
The ergonomics were different, and I don't think it was meant to be held in the conventional way. I think you were meant to operate the top buttons with your thumb, which might be more natural to someone who grew up on Nintendo and pre-iPhone texting. It must have sounded good in theory, but in practice anybody who already had SLR experience (all us old-timers) would pick it up and try to hold it in their familiar way, and then find all the buttons poorly placed.


As for the looks… The bright yellow brick was polarizing, to say the least. The black version is much more dignified, but the garish and toy-like yellow one is what everybody remembers.

Also, it needs to be said that the K-01 can be really dreadful in bright sunlight. It's not just the lack of an EVF. There are other cameras with an LCD that is brighter and shows up better in glare conditions. I believe my GRD4, for example, has a considerably improved LCD over the K-01.
Forum: Pentax Mirrorless Cameras 07-28-2018, 05:02 AM  
Rebuilding the mirrorless
Posted By Tony Belding
Replies: 80
Views: 3,991
Is "top end" the only thing we care about? Because I'm pretty sure I saw somewhere that the company selling the most mirrorless system cameras is Canon. The EOS M5 may not be "top end", but it's pretty competent, not a toy camera.




They have? News to me, unless "folded up their tents and left" means something different from what it sounds like. (I'm sure there are people who think Pentax have folded up their tent and left the DSLR market.)




I don't know about this crowd or that crowd, but somebody's buying them.




Lots of people point to the K-01 and say, "We must learn the lesson from this!" Unfortunately, there's not a lot of agreement about exactly what lesson we should take away from it. Some say it was great if only it had an EVF. Some say it was great if only it had a new lens mount. Some say it was great of only it had more ergonomic controls and didn't look like a toy. Some say it was great (the early reviews were mostly positive) if only Pentax knew how to market it. Maybe it's some combination of those things.
Forum: Pentax Mirrorless Cameras 07-27-2018, 05:48 PM  
Rebuilding the mirrorless
Posted By Tony Belding
Replies: 80
Views: 3,991
I get the oddest feeling that we've had this discussion before.

On the other hand, we've got Nikon and Canon coming out with new mirrorless systems Real Soon Now, so maybe it's a good time to hash it all over again?

You can put me in the same camp with those who liked the K-01 okay and mainly wished it had a EVF. For some reason Pentax seem highly allergic to EVFs. They've dabbled with mirrorless cameras several times, but never put an EVF on one.

A new mirrorless camera doesn't require a new lens mount (as the K-01 demonstrated), and introducing a new mirrorless camera with K-mount doesn't rule out Pentax introducing a new mount (and adapter) later down the road. They could just defer that to some future time frame when they're better positioned to tackle it.

If it was up to me, I'd stick with APS-C. Everyone seems to have Full Frame Fever these days (except Fujifilm, and Olympus, and Panasonic, haha!) but making everything full frame, and committing to that for the long term just because that happens to be the current fashion, may not be the smartest move.
Forum: Pentax Q 07-20-2018, 06:34 AM  
Let's share shots with Q!
Posted By Tony Belding
Replies: 6,048
Views: 884,763
Is OK, I provided lots of soap bubbles to clean away any contamination.



SMC PENTAX-A 1:2.8 100mm

I was just trying to think of how I could get this shot using a more serious camera like my Sony A7. Not sure where I would get a stabilized 465mm f2.8 lens for it, though!
Forum: Pentax Q 07-19-2018, 07:56 AM  
Let's share shots with Q!
Posted By Tony Belding
Replies: 6,048
Views: 884,763
Testing some adapted lenses on the Q7. First an Auto Sears (made by Ricoh, I believe) 135mm f2.8.



Next switched to the notorious radioactive Super-Takumar 50mm f1.4.

Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 07-12-2018, 02:13 PM  
Amateur Photographers (UK) Predicts End for Pentax
Posted By Tony Belding
Replies: 887
Views: 60,928
I don't think we need to concern ourselves too much with yellow journalism.

However… The reason they picked Pentax as their target, and the reason it may strike a nerve with some people, is not hard to understand. I've been wondering, and I'm sure I'm not the only one, where Pentax (and by extension Ricoh) are going. How do they expect to adapt in an evolving camera market? What's their plan? What's their vision? If they have one, they haven't elucidated it. (But to be fair, Japanese camera makers—aside from Sigma, perhaps—are notoriously taciturn. It's not only a Pentax trait.)
Forum: Pentax Full Frame 07-10-2018, 05:09 AM  
Difference in quality between 'full-frame' and C sensor images.
Posted By Tony Belding
Replies: 18
Views: 2,377
When you are shooting film, there's a big difference in image quality between a 110 pocket camera, 35mm SLR, and medium or large format. Film grain size is a limiting factor (especially with color negative film), and going to a larger piece of film gives you much-needed improvement of clarity and resolving power.

With digital sensors this element still exists, with larger sensors typically (not always!) providing higher resolution output, but its importance has been greatly reduced. I can take very clear photos at 12 MP with my Q7, and that's plenty of detail and clarity at any sizes that these photos would normally be printed or displayed. Going to higher resolution sensors gives us some additional leeway for cropping in, or for making very large prints, but that's all. It's not like film where the difference would be obvious in every photo.

Larger sensors also provide a better signal-to-noise ratio, or dynamic range, which means that higher-ISO images taken in low light will look cleaner. When you were shooting film, higher-ISO (or ASA speed!) film was grainy, it was gritty, and shooting much of anything indoors without flash was an iffy proposition. Digital images also get gritty when you crank up the ISO gain, but we've reached the point now where sensors are so good, this again has become something of an edge case. You can now shoot digital cameras, FF or APS-C (or even M4/3!), in remarkably low light and still get very usable images. FF has an advantage, but in actual practice both formats are very good, and the difference between them isn't that much.

And that leaves us with one FF advantage that technology hasn't changed, which is the "bokeh" factor. It's simple laws of optics that say if you want a shallow focal depth, blurred background and subject isolation, it's going to be easier with a longer focal length lens, and that's going to be more practical on a larger sensor. This is a big part of the "medium format look" that some people chase after. However, if we are realistic about this, blurring the background is just a visual effect. It's not a measurement of image quality, and it's not an effect that benefits every photo or arguably even the majority of photos. Traditionally it's an effect that has been sought for portraiture, and if you take a lot of portraits then maybe you care a lot about this, and if you don't take many portraits maybe you don't care at all. Meanwhile, it's easier to get telephoto reach out of small sensors, so if you are a wildlife or sports photographer you may think M4/3 just beats FF all hollow.


To sum it all up, in my opinion, the difference in "quality" between APS-C and FF is minimal and doesn't make much showing under typical shooting conditions.
Forum: Pentax K-01 06-03-2018, 03:07 PM  
stabilized mirrorless bodies for mounting my M42 lenses?
Posted By Tony Belding
Replies: 54
Views: 2,946
It does kind of look that way. Pentax (and Ricoh) have produced quite a few cameras without mirrors, but they've been stubbornly allergic to EVF. I think that's unfortunate, and it's only become more unfortunate as EVFs have continued to improve.
Forum: Ricoh GR 06-02-2018, 06:30 PM  
Got a GRD-IV
Posted By Tony Belding
Replies: 3
Views: 889
My first real outing with the GRD-4 → Pearl Jam | Flickr
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