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Forum: Pentax Q 03-12-2014, 10:06 AM  
The Astro-Q Club!
Posted By NoRules
Replies: 193
Views: 72,506
I know. There is something strange with the file. Have tried another computer, different browsers. I could not upload to DPreview either. Well here is a link to the image as it should be.

Edit: Link or URL removed. I found the fault. The deep reds of the image messed it up. I converted the image to yellowish. I think its ok now. Not red H-alpha, but still ...
Forum: Pentax Q 03-14-2017, 12:51 PM  
More macro with Q7
Posted By NoRules
Replies: 8
Views: 1,655
Thanks Karl!

Yes! There are a lot of benefits of using the Q for macro work.

And here is one more. I know this is a bit crazy, but this is a real scenario: I have this amber stone, and in that stone there is this little gnat, or female Diptera Nematocere Chironomidae. She is a very tiny creature, her body is only 1mm long. But she is very nicely preserved, because, the smaller she is, the less she has decayed after death for the last 40 million or so years. And I would love to take her picture so that she can be remebered for ever. To photograph her, if I had a DSLR with FF sensor, I would need to use a 40x microscope objective on a bellows. The problem with this is not the bellows, or the shaking of the shutter, or the adaptation. One could also mount the camera directly on the microscope. The problem is that she sits in the stone, 2-3mm deep, and polishing further down might hurt her. And to get a a nice, pretty image I need some immersion fluid, maybe 1mm or 2mm. Now, hang with me here. Here is the thing: A 40x objective has a working distance of 0,3mm. That places the lens INSIDE the stone, almost touching her, destroying her fraile body. But there is a workaround. You could use a ELWD objective that costs $1000, then you get 8mm of working distance, but that is only 3mm from the surface of the fluid and glass, so now, how do you put pretty, delicate, soft light on the pretty lady with that kind of distance? You don't. You can't.
Or you use a Pentax Q7 and a 5x objective, ment for surface stuff, like the Nikon M-plans. That gives you a working distance of 20mm, and that is plenty to set your lights. If she would only turn around and face the camera... :)

And here she is, all shy and modest. Not my best work by far, but point proven. This is what might be referred to as an impossible shot. Before the Q, that is.
Forum: Pentax Q 03-14-2017, 03:25 AM  
More macro with Q7
Posted By NoRules
Replies: 8
Views: 1,655
Since this is a forum about equipment, I'll concentrate on that.
Oh Boy! The last month has been exciting! I have been experimenting and reading about macro photography. I have found out what to buy (and what NOT to buy!) for my kind of subject matter, i.e. dead insects, for the Q system. Lots of stuff had to be ironed out, but after spending nearly 10 hours a day reading, mostly to learn about insects, I'll admit :), I have reached a lot of conclusions I'd like to share. First of all, I do dead insects in BW, and yes, now also in color, because of the amber inclusions. The point being my subjects are from 1-4mm small, very detailed and very 3D (wings and legs sticking out everywhere). So when I say 1-4mm, I mean my photographed field is about 3,5x5mm total. For everything bigger I use a K-01, which blows the Q's out of the water every time, when proper lens is used. To take advantage of the Q, think VERY small.

So this is what I have gathered of insight in Q macro photo. When stuff gets small, like a field of 4x5mm, a DSLR has to go 3-5x in macro, when a Q stays at 1.2x. This is a huge difference in hardware. If you get to 5x on a DSLR, know what you are doing, have the $$$$, and proper workflow and technique, the DSLR will still be better, but the setup just looks terryfying! For 4x5mm field with a Q, you can hold the setup in the palm of your hand, and a lot of the tripod/ table/ stability problems are gone, and you have great working distance to subject for lights, diffusors and other stuff. So size does matter a lot. As a conclusion, for those who wonder, given enough hardware, money, technique, a DSLR will always win, but if you don't have like $5000, and want to see the eyes of a 1mm gnat, a $200 Q, with a $40 bellows and a $50 Takumar macro 50mm reversed, will get you there in style! And only pros will be able to see any difference. And with the Q, your laboratory is also portable. Did I mention that? ;)

The setup for 1:1 to 2x macro for the Q is very easy. (Forget about the talk of enlarging lenses, microscope objectives, reversing enlarging lenses, stacking lenses, infinity optical tubes, reversed cine-lenses, and all that. That stuff is for DSLRs to get to the field size of 4x5mm). With the Q, we only need 1:1, or a bit closer, so any 50mm prime lens will do. Even the $5 Russian Helios. Yes, I have one, and I have tested it. The best lens is the Pentax 50mm FA 2.8 macro. I have tested a lot of lenses, maybe 40, and my conclusion is that this macro is absolutely superb. If you have an old Takumar 50mm macro, fine, but if you put a baffle IN FRONT of ANY 50mm, even a Takumar from the 50s, with a hole slightly smaller than the rear lens element, you can not see any difference in optical performance (unless you take pictures of very small stamps). So, you need a Q, any 50mm lens, and an adapter. You also need a set of extension tubes, but I prefer bellows. For us Q users there is one rule to follow: If the subject is smaller than the nail on your pinky, reverse the lens. Yes, even the macro lens. You'll figure out why ;) For this you need a $10 reverse adapter that fit the filter thread of the lens and the make of bellows/ extension tubes. That's it. With this setup a midge of 2mm total will fill the frame and be captured by all 12MP of your camera.

The most important lesson I learned, is that equipment is overrated. Other factors are far more important. 90% of the lenses I bought is now up for sale. For the Q I need 1 lens, and for my K-01 I need 4 (a 100mm macro, the 50mm, a 50mm enlarging lens, and a microscope objective Nikon 5x M-Plan, + a fistfull of adapters) to get from 1:2 to 5x.

The vital factor in this operation is the photographing technique.
Use continuous light. (I use powerfull flashlights on tripods, but there are tons of other alternatives. The on board flash is usefull for triggering slaves, so you can use anything from a reflector on a wire to studio flashes or a table LED-lamp. The light is what gives your images the unique style. Just make something work. Experiment with household items, make your own diffusors and reflectors).

Use a remote. You get IR remotes for Pentax for $1,50 on eBay. I'm not kidding! Just buy spare batteries.

Find a concrete floor. Anywhere. This point can not be overexaggurated!!!! When filling the frame with a subject 3mm long, the camera picks up your heartbeat, your breath, your effort to keep standing, even if you are 2 meters away. This fact is more important than any lens or camera. You might figure out a way to wall-mount your camera and use a wall mounted table. It might work also. As a last resort.

In the camera I use the Black/White setting with focus peaking. If I do RAW, I'll get color pictures in the end anyway. But with peaking on, and BW, it's just much easier to get focus right.

If you decide to focus stack, you will also need a rail. Buy a screw rail or worm drive rail!!! Rack and pinion will NOT work. I have now tested 6 rails and 2 bellows. (And forget about the motorized ones. They cost $1000, they are not better at this, and you'll need a hack for Pentax systems anyway). With a manual screw-driven rail for $50-100 you get movements of 1,5-2 micrometers with consistant precision. If money is burning a hole in your pocket, get the one from RRS.

For framing, get a mechanical microscope stage (MMS) (The worm drive or screw drive rails are not good for framing so tiny subjects, because they do wobble, when turned back and forth, but they ARE superb for stacking). You get the mechanics for $15 on eBay, and just build your own table from a glass plate from a picture frame and a small piece of plywood (20x20cm). You'll understand the concept when the MMS arrive in the mail. It will save you at least half an hour for each subject you take pictures of.

Thats all.

I now use the Q7 for 95% of my macro work, the dead insect project, but I'll probably use the K-01 more when insects get bigger, and I venture outside.

Here is my last image. I dare say I have made some progress from my last one :) The subject is an insect caught in Baltic Amber. The amber is from the Eocene-period, some 33,9-56 million years ago, and petrified. (Amber was some years ago de-classified as a mineral, but the inclusions are still fossils). Image is done with the above described setup with the Pentax Q7. The inclusion is so damaged I don't even know to which order it belongs, but it's probably a Diptera Nematocera, because most of them are, and because of the one antennae that can be seen. It's about 2,5mm tall total, which makes this a 2,5-3x mag. macro. The stuff that the Q shines at :)
Forum: Pentax Q 02-10-2017, 12:57 PM  
Figuring out macro with the Q7
Posted By NoRules
Replies: 3
Views: 937
Long story short, I have used my Q mainly for astro work. Because of the sensor with high pixel density and ability to change lenses. I have, in the back of my mind, planned to also test out the macro or micro posibilities. I found some dead insects in my basement, and started doing some tests. I'm slowly getting my project under way, and I'm amazed over the clarity of the files the Q produces. I don't do focus stacking, because I have no need for it. My project lies elswere. And I have a ton of reasons for doing this in black & white also, but that is a very technical part of this exercise. This image is a spider husk only just 3mm long. The body of the creature is under 1mm. I just hope this image shows all the details. Well, it doesn't. But close enough. I have planned this for for some time now, how to do it, how to set the light and everything. And I'm happy to say it turned out perfect. The image is razor sharp at 4000x3000, and no noise. Yeah!

---------- Post added 02-10-17 at 09:04 PM ----------

For more images with better resolution and tech info, go here Macro!: Pentax Compact Camera Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review
Forum: Pentax Q 02-09-2017, 02:04 AM  
Will Ricoh realign resources to further Q development after KP release?
Posted By NoRules
Replies: 81
Views: 8,592
I not only have the 12V adapter, but also a battery bank :)
Forum: Pentax Q 02-08-2017, 03:02 PM  
Will Ricoh realign resources to further Q development after KP release?
Posted By NoRules
Replies: 81
Views: 8,592
A dedicated monochrom will be awesome! The 12MP sensor will be more like a 24-30MP sensor without the bayer colors. And base ISO will be 320, like on the Leica Monochrom. That will give high ISO without much noise. What a great idea! That would certainly rejuvenate the Q for a lot of people.

---------- Post added 02-09-17 at 12:11 AM ----------

While waiting for something new I have bought a Q-S1 and 9 more lenses to have fun with. I have allready the Q7 and 14 lenses (mostly c-mount and d-mount, but also the 01, 02, 03, 06 and 08 lenses). The reason I bought this started with me buying a new car. This car had a 15x10x10 cm compartment behind the emergency brake handle. I decided to use this small box to house a complete camera system. So I needed 2 camera bodies. I actually do not care if the Q is dead or whatever. I will buy a new Q every 3-4 years, just because of weight and size. And as long as there are millions of c-mount and d-mount lenses in the world, someone will allways make a digital camera for them. Now, in my new car I have permanently a camera with me, with 5 lenses with focal length from eqvi. 15mm to 700mm, a multi-viewfinder, 3 batteries, remote release and a small belt puch and 4 filters. In the trunk I have a small tripod. That is what I call being prepared. And from the outside, the car looks empty. Go Q!
Forum: Pentax Q 02-08-2017, 07:11 PM  
Q7 with deep red glass filter
Posted By NoRules
Replies: 8
Views: 1,543
I call it a pixel-shift simulation, because I can't actually replicate the process. I had a K-1 long enough to study it though, and can get pretty close. (I sold the K-1 when I got the Leica MM, because it is still a bayer camera). The Leica MM is a better camera for BW for several reasons.

Anyway, here is how to do a simulation: Place camera on a tripod that is light and slightly unstable :) Do not use time lapse or remote release, but a finger on the shutter, and take 4 images. This will cause the camera to move a tiny bit from frame to frame, and that is important. (A too steady tripod and better technique will not cause the frames to move enough to adjust them properly later). Sharpen the 4 images a bit too much, and enlarge them 400% (8000x6000). When you stack them together you can move them manually with great precision in Photoshop because of the large size of the files. (Normal auto-stacking for noise reduction does not have to be so precise, and isn't). Scale down to 100%, sharpen some more, and voila! The file have the crispyness of a dedicated BW sensor. The files from the Q7 rivals the pixel clarity of a Sigma Merrill or the Leica MM up to 66,7% enlargement. At 100% I can tell the difference. This is as close as I get. Further stacking reduces the noise, but the resolution suffers a bit. I'll say no more than 5 images in the stack. 4 is better. For noise reduction I'll go for 4 stacks of 4 images on the Q. The sensor is tiny and has a lot of noise. The resolution power of the sensor is however very great, and the tiny lenses with thin lens elements helps a lot. Geometry is actually on our side this time. Proper PP skills can give very detailed images indeed.

There is much to be gained just because the Q sensor is so tiny. The effect is not so clear on larger sensors because of lens geometry and pixel size and other factors like less precision in manufacturing. A larger system can allow itself to loose precision because of "brute force". But a lens like the 08 has few rivals regarding resolution power over the entire frame, so the potential is there, and it is great. Pixel for pixel it is just as good as the Leica 21mm ASPH (though it lacks in other aspects:)
Forum: Pentax Q 02-08-2017, 03:51 PM  
Q7 with deep red glass filter
Posted By NoRules
Replies: 8
Views: 1,543
I just had to try this. For normal shooting I use a Leica Monochrom, so for the last year or so I have lived a life of black & white. And with the Leica MM I have to use glass filters to change tonality of my images. I wanted to try a similar approach with my trusted Q7.

It all started when I found out my car had a secret compartment that could house my complete Pentax Q system, and that I could set the Q7 to do BW images in RAW, I got very interested in this camera again. (The images are color in Adobe Camera Raw, but they are BW on the screen and in play back mode). I also found out that crop mode 2:3 worked with the RAW files, so that I could have the same ratio as my other camera through the whole PP workflow. All this means I now have a "mini Leica MM" outfit with me wherever I go. Great!
But how about using glass filters? I know the convention that says there is no point in using a glass filter in front of a bayer sensor, because of adjustments you can do in PP. But this is not true for Foveon sensors or the Leica MM. Another thing that bothered me was the exposure. If I use a B+W 091 red filter that require 3-4 stops (facor x8) more light, how can this be compensated in PP without resulting in more noise? If you reduce the red and blue channels and raise the red cannel with 100% you get more noise. Yes? I had to test it on the Q7! So I used the 091 filter, and then I took the same image without filter, and adjusted the tones in ACR to match the red filtered one. I left the sun lit snow as white in both images. The difference was dramatic! The PP adjusted image had tons more noise. The glass filtered image also had noise, but far less. I decided to take this a step further, and did a stack of 4 images with glass filter to simulate a pixel shift image (or a dedicated BW sensor), and got a very detailed, almost noise free red filter image.
The image I have posted shows from left to right, the red filter image, the pixel-shift simulation, and then the PP channel mixed image. What a difference indeed! Now, what if Pentax made a Q with pixel shift, or a dedicated BW sensor? Well this is the quality you could expect. I'm very happy with my new car setup, and I'm not giving up the Q ever. I know the differences will be much less significant with a yellow, orange, green or blue filter, but the proof of concept still stands. The crops should be 100%, but the down-size thingy on this forum makes them more like 50%. Cheers!
Forum: Pentax Q 04-22-2014, 05:43 AM  
Q7 & Coronado SolarMax 60
Posted By NoRules
Replies: 11
Views: 2,686
Last one for now. I spent easter to take my solar photography a small step forward. Still not right, but I'm getting there. I think it's hard to do any better without dedicated CCD astro cams and special equipment for thousands of $. The bill for my setup (a used 20 year old Coronado, a Vixen Polarie, a Q7 house) is "only" $1500. That is dirt cheap considering the output. A Coronado does not mean this kind of images are easy to do, on the contrary, the learning curve is insanely steep, but it's an essential piece of hardware. Hope you enjoy the last piece of easter sun. (Sorry I can not post in higher quality here. Original is 1x1meter at 300dpi(!)
Forum: Pentax Q 04-06-2014, 11:05 AM  
The C and D mount lens club
Posted By NoRules
Replies: 61
Views: 24,943
First of all, the adapters. I buy the cheapest adapters from China, $6 and free shipping. I brush off the cheap black paint on front and sides, and polish them to a high shine to mach the beautiful lenses from the 50's and 60's. I use shims of brass, black plastic, black paper, and ultra thin rice paper. By varying the tightening I get into around 1/100mm in accuracy. Once a lens is perfectly calibrated at infinity and 30cm it stays on the adapter. 1 adapter per lens. I the loosen the set screws on the lens and rotate them so that markings are on the top. From start to finish I spend about 1-2 hours per lens. Now, this is just the setup. I think it is vital for street photography to have everything lined up right.
The test today was of lenses from Kern Paillard, more specific, the designs from Hans Schlumpf, and 2 Cosmicar lenses, and the 01 8,5mm Pentax Standard Prime as reference.
I will not post test images because of the limits in this forum, but rather give a description of my findings.
My test subject matter was a dummy my daughter made in a garden chair. I wanted a "real life" scenario to test DOF and center resolution. Almost all these lenses are made for a 3,5x4,5mm frame, while the Q7 that I used is almost twice that.
Only 2 lenses showed vignetting from wide open, the IDEAL Hannover 6mm f.1.9, and the Switar 5,5mm f.1.8. I use them for square 1:1 imagery. When masked down and sized up to the Standard Prime (SP) 8,5mm, the IDEAL Hannover fell through in both resolution and contrast. The Switar 5,5mm was on par with the SP regarding resolution, but had better contrast and clearer colors and less bleeding into darks. The Pentax SP turned out to be a big disappointment compared with these tiny glass and metal lenses. Compared with the Kern Yvar 12,5mm f.2.5, the Kern Switar 13mm f.0.9 it is no good, even when distance was adjusted to match the field of view. The Yvar 13mm f.1.9 is not a good lens either, but a triplet design should never be made with a large aperture. It suffers on all apertures for this and is not recommended for other than "toy-like" effects. The Yvar 12,5mm f.2.5 is a fix focus design, and I have calibrated mine at 10meter. At f.4.0 it is sharper and more contrasty then anything I have seen. This was one of the three biggest surprises in my little test. The second was that the Pentax SP was so bad in comparison. The Switar 13mm f.09 isa fantastic lens in its own way. Only flaw is that it starts to vignette at f.2.0, (but then one can switch to the Yvar 12,5mm). A larger version (18mm f.0.9 for C-mount) was ordered by NASA for the Apollo 11 moon landing. The lens is super sharp in center at f.0.9, but low in contrast. At f.1.4 it is stellar, and covers the full frame of the Q7 with beautiful bokeh. The third surprise was the Yvar 36mm f.2.8. Even though it's just a triplet, the center piece of glass is so perfected by Hans Schlumpf that it has no CA what so ever. H.S. calculated the thickness and curves of the glass in order to have this exact effect. In resolution it is also better than its 8-element larger Switar 36mm f.1.8 brother. The only advantage the Switar has is the 1 and 1/3 larger aperture. To conclude: Yvar 12,5mm for landscape at f.4.0 to f.5.6, Yvar 36mm f.2.5 at 4.0 to 5.6 for landscape, the Switars 5,5mm, 13mm and 36mm for street and portraits, very good at all apertures up to f.5.6. Resolution takes a big hit on all lenses at f.8.0, but bokeh at edges are nicer.
The 2 Cosmicar lenses ar up for sale in a while. The 25mm f.1.4 is nice, but nothing near the Kern Paillard Yvar and Switar. The 6mm f.1.2 is a big CA joke, only suitable for experienced BW photographers as an alibi for making art:lol:
Here is a picture with Switar 13mm f.0.9 at f.0.9 of the dummy my daughter made for me. Full frame, no crop, on Q7. It has a certain amount of character, but it is super sharp in the center. It does not show here in the down-scaling, but it really is.
Oh, by the way, I tested the Kern Paillard because the were the best in the world at the time, and because I have become a huge fan of the mathematic genius of Hans Schlumpf. These lenses (the ones after 1955-56) are computer designed. Kern started to use computers at that time to test out theoretic design possibilities. The even had coating on their lenses as early as 1942. Ok. I'm a nerd. But it's very exiting :)
Forum: Pentax Q 03-11-2014, 08:56 AM  
Install baffles in Q adapter?
Posted By NoRules
Replies: 17
Views: 2,595
The best thing is to test yourself on your own subject matter with the lenses you normally use. Here are two images I did yesternight with the Leica Telyt R 400mm f.6.8. The lens has a series of baffles, and my Leica adapter has two. Camera is Q7.
Forum: Pentax Q 03-10-2014, 09:42 AM  
Install baffles in Q adapter?
Posted By NoRules
Replies: 17
Views: 2,595
I just received a Pentax K and a Leica R to Q No-Name adapters for my Q7. Very low contrast and sharpness in all lenses I tested, even stopped down a bit. Well, sharpness improved, but still much lower contrast than I am used to. I then looked at the adapters. The exit holes are way to big for the tiny sensor. I installed baffles, two in each adapter, with a hole slightly bigger than the sensor, you know, like in a true telescope lens la Leica Telyt or Novoflex Noflexar. Sharpness and contrast is now the way I like it. Lost 1&1/2 EV, but that was light destroying the image, not contributing to it. Stopped down, all lenses are razor sharp now. Favorites are Pentax 50mm 1.4, Leica R 60mm Elmarit Macro, Leica R 90mm Summicron and Leica R 180mm Elmarit. I expect to receive Pentax 100mm macro, 135mm 2.5 and 200mm 4.0 in just a few days, as I have ordered an adapter with shutter. Planning on doing some astrophotography soon. I'm just curious if anyone here is familiar with baffling the adapters? They are very poorly constructed regarding the cameras they are meant for. It took me half an hour and a sheet of black paper to get them right. I have searched the forum for a post regarding the issue, but could not find one. Sorry if this has been debated before.

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