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Forum: Pentax Q 06-20-2020, 01:07 PM  
New bag for Q kit?
Posted By Tony Belding
Replies: 1
Views: 568
I got the Q7 Premium Kit which came with the 01, 02, 06 and 08 lenses, plus I picked up the 03 fisheye, and it all fits into a very neat, specially-produced bag. It's been great. The entire kit packed into a space not much more than a handful. However… The material the bag was made from is, perhaps, not the best. It’s a faux leather material which is basically cloth with a layer of vinyl bonded over it, and now several years later the vinyl has begun deteriorating and flaking off and making a mess.

So… Any suggestions? I mean, obviously most typical camera bags are not sized for the Q and its lenses. What do you guys find works well?
Forum: Pentax Q 05-03-2020, 01:47 PM  
Let's share shots with Q!
Posted By Tony Belding
Replies: 6,458
Views: 1,005,049
From my backyard. 01 lens, ND filter, exposure bracketed.
Forum: General Photography 04-28-2020, 08:06 AM  
Fstoppers at it again
Posted By Tony Belding
Replies: 70
Views: 3,008
Vertigo? I’ve never experienced even a hint of that with any of the several EVF-based cameras that I have owned (Olympus, Panasonic, Fujifilm, Sony). The only real negative I can say is that outdoors in the bright Texas sun they sometimes are a bit dim — though still always usable — in comparison with a bright, beautiful pentaprism. This is why I have a wide-brimmed hat. A photographer’s hat.


But here is the critical thing for me… I like manual focus. I don’t really trust the autofocus of any camera (with the possible exception of my Pentax Q7!), and I’m not sure I ever will. Maybe someday they’ll invent a telepathic camera that can read my mind and know what I want to focus on? Anyhow, I learned photography on a film SLR (Sears KS-2, AKA Ricoh XR7), and it was manual focus with a great split-prism and micro-prism focusing screen, and it was aperture priority. I liked that. That’s the shooting experience I still prefer. It’s not always fast and convenient, but when I have time I can be certain of getting exactly the shot I want.

DSLRs are pretty bad when it comes to manual focus. (Even with autofocus you have to go through an involved and tedious calibration process to get it really accurate, but that’s another rant.) The prism focusing screens I loved so much are mostly a thing of the past. When the K1 came out, it was my last great hope for a DSLR that I could fall in love with. But Katz Eye had just gone out of business, and then we learned that the K1’s focusing screen was not swappable, and I just threw my hands in the air and gave up.

A few days ago I got a Voigtländer Nokton 40mm f/1.2 for my Sony. It has manual focus, manual aperture ring, build quality like a Takumar, but also electronic communication with the camera body. So, the camera knows the lens identity, focal length, focal distance, aperture setting. It can automatically use sensor stabilization. When I turn the aperture ring, I see it change in the viewfinder, just like my old Sears KS-2 that had a little witness hole for that purpose. When I turn the focus ring, the EVF magnifies automatically. I have focus peaking in the EVF. It's a better shooting experience than my old film SLR, and Pentax haven’t produced anything that can match it.

Oh, and of course I can also see a useful approximation of the image exposure and adjust as needed. Plus I can get zebra stripes, or a histogram, or a level line, or a grid.


Whenever I use the little Q7, I'm reminded of all the things I really liked, and sometimes miss, about Pentax: the ergonomics and controls, the user interface, the DNG files, the color rendering, the in-body raw development, the intervalometer… and this forum too, which is a fantastic resource that I don’t think any other brand has anything comparable to. I liked all of those things, but I like my EVF more. A lot more. I’m not going back to a pentaprism.

---------- Post added 04-28-20 at 10:28 AM ----------



Actually, my understanding was that Pentax is by corporate policy an ILC (Interchangeable Lens Camera) company. Remember the K-01? Remember the Q system?


No more compacts, point-and-shoots, bridge cameras, action cameras, etc. The GR series will keep its Ricoh badge. But if Ricoh ever do a(nother) mirrorless system camera, it should be sold as a Pentax.

---------- Post added 04-28-20 at 10:40 AM ----------



Everyone complained about poor battery life of the Sony A7 series, until Sony switched to a battery that's about twice the size. Then the complaints ended.

Fujifilm: “Are… are we out of touch? No. No, it’s the customers who are wrong. Just like they are wrong to want full frame.”
Forum: General Photography 04-24-2020, 04:13 PM  
Fstoppers at it again
Posted By Tony Belding
Replies: 70
Views: 3,008
I think the article was perfectly on target. I guess I can’t be surprised at the knee-jerk reaction against it on this forum.

I’ve been around long enough to remember when Pentax was innovating and trying some slightly wacky but interesting new things. They haven't been doing that for A While now. The last several years they seem to be phoning it in. I'm sure it could be possible to breathe some new life into this brand, but it would require someone at the top with some vision and creativity, as well as willingness to take risks again, and it would also require some significant financial investment from Ricoh — which is difficult to justify in a camera industry where everybody finds the going rough.

Now, whether the article needed to be written, or whether it needed to lead with that (arguably clickbait) headline… I guess some things may be better left unsaid, really. But okay, it was in fact posted, and since several of you obviously disagree with it, let me ask you for a more optimistic spin! If you think he's wrong, then what do you see as Pentax's successful path going forward? What's the future vision that he and I are missing?
Forum: Pentax Mirrorless Cameras 04-01-2020, 08:54 PM  
Pentax Mirrorless?
Posted By Tony Belding
Replies: 274
Views: 29,155
Well, it needs to have interchangeable lenses. That's implied. MILC = Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera. And yes, the K-01 is a MILC, and so is the whole Pentax Q series. They were perfectly valid entries in that category.

The real problem from my standpoint is that they were MILC but not EVIL: Electronic Viewfinder, Interchangeable Lens. For some reason Pentax seems highly averse to EVFs. About the same time as the Q and the K-01, Olympus were putting out the OM-D E-M5 and showing the way for the whole rest of the industry (except, seemingly, Pentax!) to follow.
Forum: Pentax Mirrorless Cameras 02-08-2020, 08:56 AM  
Pentax Mirrorless?
Posted By Tony Belding
Replies: 274
Views: 29,155
After several years, I'm still using my Sony A7 with adapted (vintage, manual focus) film SLR lenses. For those who are pining for the Good Old Days of the K1000, but don't want to actually go back to shooting film, this is about as good as it gets. A real dream camera for me would be a compact full-frame mirrorless camera much like the A7 in form, but with all the Pentax user interface and firmware.

And maybe there's an opening there. I mean, Sony themselves have moved on to bigger and heavier and more complicated and expensive things. So have other companies jumping into the mirrorless market. They're all trying to dazzle us with excess, and that applies as much to lenses now as it does to bodies. Pentax could do the opposite with something relatively small, simple, affordable. Something more pure.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 02-22-2019, 07:36 AM  
RICOH GRIII Officially Announced
Posted By Tony Belding
Replies: 329
Views: 29,342
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: 3,063
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: 3,063
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: 75
Views: 8,655
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: 75
Views: 8,655
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: 274
Views: 29,155
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: 6,458
Views: 1,005,049
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: 3,613
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: 274
Views: 29,155
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: 274
Views: 29,155
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: 1,138
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: 1,138
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: 79
Views: 4,126
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: 274
Views: 29,155
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: 274
Views: 29,155
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: 7,634
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: 7,634
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: 7,634
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: 7,634
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.
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