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Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 6 Days Ago  
FA 100-300 vs Pentax 55-300 PLM
Posted By JPT
Replies: 6
Views: 491
If you are talking about the f4.7-5.8 version of the FA100-300, I have that and recently bought a used DAL55-300 to replace it. My FA was pretty good in my opinion, but the DAL is notably better. If focuses better, but not that well, and itís a lot more convenient to have the 55-100 range included, so it stays on the camera longer.

I actually wanted the PLM version, but neither of my bodyís support it, so I went for the DAL as a stop-gap. From what Iíve seen from reviews, the PLM is a bit sharper. From trying it in the shops, it has really nice build quality and super fast AF.

If your body is compatible and the money is ok for you, get it.

Edit to add that the PLMís minimum focus distance is 95mm vs 150 on the FA, so itís less restrictive in that respect too.
Forum: Ricoh Theta 360į Cameras 11-15-2017, 05:54 AM  
Firmware Update for Thetas!
Posted By JPT
Replies: 6
Views: 537
New firmware out today.

News | RICOH THETA
Forum: General Photography 11-12-2017, 08:26 AM  
Pentax mosaics on old HQ building
Posted By JPT
Replies: 5
Views: 554
I recently read a Japanese blog post about mosaics on the former Pentax HQ building and was curious about it. This year Iíve bought a DAL 55-300 and a DA15 mm, but hardly had a chance to get out and use them. Finally, I had a weekend with a bit of free time and some nice weather, so I went out of do the tourist thing in Tokyo.

The old Pentax HQ is in a part of Tokyo called Nagatacho, which is the political centre of Japan. Itís right between the parliament building and the Imperial Palace. Itís not an area youíd normally go to, because there is little to do at street level. Also itís full of police - understandable, but not very welcoming. According to the information I read, the Pentax building was built in 1965. It is basically a standard Tokyo office block of that era, with the exception of the decorative mosiaics. I approached from the side, which is the facade with a mosaic going up the whole height of the building.



The mosaic was created by an artist called Takeo Terada, and it uses lens elements as a motif. The artist, who was Japanese but spent much of his youth in California, seems to have done similar public art elsewhere, but the Pentax building is the most prominent. This image is from the front. Both of these were with the HD DA 15mm Ltd.



I walked away to get a view of the building from a distance. From this view you can see the old Asahi Pentax logo on the top. This one was taken with the DAL 55-300. Iíve got really lucky with this used lens. Itís a really sharp copy.



And a crop of a longer shot.



Iím not sure when Pentax vacated this building, but it is now an office of one Japanís opposition political parties (I edited to correct this, it's not the LDP as I said at first). Thatís why there is a group of police officers stationed at the entrance. Ultimately, itís just an office building, but Iím quite glad I saw it because buildings of that age are often pulled down for redevelopment, so I guess it won't be there forever. Here are a few more pictures I took with the 15mm as I continued my walk.

An entrance to the imperial Palace, with the moat and Tokyo Station area in the background. I'm still getting used to the compositional challenge of what to do with the foreground of the image for pictures like this.



Drinking establishments under the railway tracks at Yurakucho. I think the 15mm is going to be useful for this kind of shot.



The restored entrance hall to Tokyo Station. Iíve taken a similar shot with the fisheye zoom, but I think rectilinear is better for this.



I wasn't sure where to place this, so if it is the wrong subforum for the thread please move it accordingly.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 11-04-2017, 07:48 AM  
DFA*50 1.4 coming
Posted By JPT
Replies: 2,051
Views: 152,207
Now I think about it, the switch being a zoom lock makes a lot of sense if this is a zoom lens designed to be suitable for astrophotography. It will be pointed upwards for long exposures, so the zoom lock would be necessary
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 11-03-2017, 10:46 PM  
DFA*50 1.4 coming
Posted By JPT
Replies: 2,051
Views: 152,207
I think you are probably right, and they are positioning this lens as the ideal companion for Astrotracer.

In the light of Yaotomiís comment, it would be very interesting if the mystery switch on the lens turned out to be an on/off switch for an integrated heating element to prevent condensation on the lens.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 11-03-2017, 07:52 PM  
DFA*50 1.4 coming
Posted By JPT
Replies: 2,051
Views: 152,207
Ooku - I read this two, but I could not understand whether "starlit" is referring to:

A) The fact that it is part of the DA star series, and the high quality that implies
B) The suitability of the lens for taking images of stars
A&B) The writer is doing a kind of word-play on both of the above
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 11-01-2017, 04:29 PM  
DFA*50 1.4 coming
Posted By JPT
Replies: 2,051
Views: 152,207
Yaotomi has added to this via Twitter to say that the DFA50 is a bit heavier than the Sigma.

Actually, they have been to Tokyo for a meeting at Ricohís head office this week. They say that Ricoh is working on a lot of stuff, but are frustratingly vague about what. They say ďFor now, letís look forward to (the) lensesĒ. I put ďtheĒ in parentheses, because there is no ďtheĒ in Japanese, so it is not possible to tell whether they are talking about the lenses that were just exhibited, or some unspecified other lens that might be introduced sooner.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 10-31-2017, 07:00 AM  
Any News?
Posted By JPT
Replies: 114
Views: 9,398
The KP in Japan definitely comes with the small grip only. They are about 5,000 yen to purchase separately. Americans are getting a good deal on the KP by comparison.

As for the K-3 ii successor, it could come at any time without much warning, but I think it is unlikely that it is in a queue after a 645 release. Typically, the 645 inherits the latest AF system from the K-mount DSLRs, so if it follows precedent the new AF system will debut in a K-mount model. Also, the sensor of the 645Z appeared in a more expensive Hasselblad first, but we haven't seen that yet.

My guess is that the releases will be . . .
- Something K
- Something GR
- Something 645
. . . in that order
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 10-29-2017, 08:31 AM  
DFA*50 1.4 coming
Posted By JPT
Replies: 2,051
Views: 152,207
The pictures that Ooku posted a couple of pages ago seem to have come from this blog post from Yaotomi Camera.

????????HD PENTAX-D FA ? 50mm F1.4 SDM AW - ??????????by????????

Besides the images, what they say is also interesting. they have evidently had some limited time to test the prototype.
- It is built to a new standard for Ricoh, to accommodate future cameras and sensors. Even if current lenses like the DA55 and FA50 do fine on the K-1, it seems that this lens is designed to exceed that.
- This will be only the second lens to be built to this standard after the DFA* 70-200. This is incidentally why the 70-200 was delayed so much, and the writer seems to hint that he knows the story behind that.
- It is confirmed to be KAF4, with electromagnetic aperture.
- Minimum focus distance of 40 cm.
- 9 aperture blades.
- The new ring-type SDM feels exactly like Canon USM lenses.
- Very smooth bokeh transition from in focus to out of focus.
- No purple fringing observed.
- Manual focusing is excellent.
- Price is not confirmed.
- Availability next spring - the writer speculated March.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 10-29-2017, 02:28 AM  
K-3II broke down, need to buy new camera in Kanazawa or Kyoto
Posted By JPT
Replies: 31
Views: 1,444
That's a pain. I hope it starts working again.

If you can wait, Kyoto is going to be a lot easier to find, because they have big branches of Yodobashi and Bic Camera. They will have the KP, K-70 and K-1 at least. They no longer stock the K-3ii. Problem solved. Yodobashi lists the KP as 114,610 yen including the 8% tax, and the K-70 as 73,270 yen. Bic shows the price without tax, so it looks cheaper at first glance, but itís the same. Since you donít have a points card, you wonít be able to the 10% back in points, so I would suggest asking if they can do anything for you. They might reduce the price a little or add in some accessories.

If you have to buy in Kanazawa, Iím pretty sure youíll be able to find a KP or K-70 somewhere but itís a bit more difficult to suggest a shop that will definitely have one. I've never been there. Going in December as is happens. I took a look online for what is available in Kanazawa.

Kitamura Camera
There are a few branches of Kitamura Camera in Kanazawa. Some Kitamura shops are tiny and mainly focused on print services, but two of the branches in Kanazawa seem to sell new and used cameras. If they have a KP or K-70, it will probably be cheaper that Yodobashi/Bic. They are showing 103,150 yen for the KP and 65,940 yen for the K-70 on their website.

Kitamura Camera Kanazawa Asano Honmachi Branch
Location: ???????????????????????????
Currently listed used cameras:
?????????????
?????????????

Kitamura Camera Kanazawa Arimatsu Branch
Location: ???????????????????????????
Currently listed used cameras:
?????????????

Yamada Denki
This is a general electronics store. I donít really like this chain as a shopping experience, but I think there is a good chance they will have Pentax models. Yamada is quite slow to sell out old models, so they might still have a K-3ii. Also, they sometimes have good deals on the older cameras they are trying to clear out. The prices they show on their online store are similar to Kitamura.

Here is the main Yamada store in Kanazawa. Looks like it's a fair distance up the main road from the station.
??????????

I hope you have a great time. They weather is a bit of a challenge with the typhoon passing, but it should get better after Monday. We've had so much rain this year. It's pretty unusual.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 10-25-2017, 08:42 PM  
HD Pentax-DA★ 11-18mm f/2.8
Posted By JPT
Replies: 474
Views: 39,479
When product photos leak through this route, itís normally about a month away from shipping. They will probably announce the exact ship date after a couple of weeks in a separate announcement.

I can only imagine you are thinking of the DFA 70-200 when you talk about a year delay. I think that was something more like a last minute recall. They had even sent them out to reviewers and I got to try a couple of copies at CP+.

Ricoh is quite good at shipping things they announce quickly these days.

---------- Post added 10-26-17 at 01:03 PM ----------

Actually, I just read the original post, and it says it came from an overseas source (i.e. not Japanese retail). It says they may be reference designs to be shown at Photo Plus. So what I said about being available in a month is not necessarily the case.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 10-25-2017, 06:04 AM  
DFA*50 1.4 coming
Posted By JPT
Replies: 2,051
Views: 152,207
This looks exactly like the mock-up shown at CP+ in February. No changes to the overall barrel shape or detailing. Apologies for the poor image. I really wasn't concentrating at the time.

Then . . .


and now . . .
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 10-25-2017, 05:47 AM  
HD Pentax-DA★ 11-18mm f/2.8
Posted By JPT
Replies: 474
Views: 39,479
Just looking at the lens line-up for other APS-C systems, it's actually surprising that no other companies have a crop lens like this. Even among third party producers only Toking has a similar lens. Olympus makes one for mft, though. It's quite a unique lens.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 10-23-2017, 07:57 AM  
D-FA* 85mm f1.4 also coming
Posted By JPT
Replies: 1,393
Views: 102,733
I can well imagine that Ricoh is not good at communicating with reviewers and accessory makers overseas, and it causes them problems. It's clear that they don't have enough marketing people around the world.

However, I don't think it makes much sense to say that 3rd party lens makers have abandoned K-mount because of Ricoh hasn't given them the technical assistance they need. Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and Cosina/Zeiss have all make K-mount products before, and there is nothing to stop them doing so again. Also, consider that foreign brands like Samyang, Irix, and Laowa have started to make K-mount more recently.

Actually, I think Sigma would say that they do support K-mount. A number of their current generation lenses are available in K-mount. If they renew one of their lenses that has a good record of selling in K-mount, like the 16-50 f2.8, there is a good chance it would come out in K-mount. The problem is that the more niche lenses they made in K-mount don't seem to be very popular with Pentaxians (18-35 f1.8 and 35mm f1.4).

In the case of Tamron, they probably feel their deal to make selected lenses for Pentax takes the risk out of it. The others have just decided that there aren't enough sales in it. At any rate, I think Ricoh's compliance with their requests for information has little to do with their business decisions. They just need more active K-mount users to sell to.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 10-19-2017, 06:19 AM  
Where to find Ricoh Imaging patents
Posted By JPT
Replies: 48
Views: 2,377
Three more added today, including this interesting one about a mirror mechanism that rotates out of the image path rather than swing. It states it could result in cost and size reductions to the camera.

??2017-191295 | ???????IP Force?
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 10-15-2017, 08:24 AM  
Where to find Ricoh Imaging patents
Posted By JPT
Replies: 48
Views: 2,377
I don't think anyone is denying that Ricoh has machine vision and industrial products, but they are not what the entity "Ricoh Imaging" does. When I looked at the patents under Ricoh Imaging (as opposed to Ricoh), my impression was like Kunzite - that they are mainly for cameras to be sold to consumers. So my conclusion is they are still working hard researching technologies for Pentax, GR, Theta, etc.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 10-15-2017, 02:02 AM  
Where to find Ricoh Imaging patents
Posted By JPT
Replies: 48
Views: 2,377
Well, I didnít expect this to turn into a thread about malevolent cars. I think the patents under Ricoh Imaging are for consumer cameras because that and binoculars are all they do. Iím not sure how you figured they are for automotive, Jeff. But you might be a lot better at Japanese reading that I am. Anyway, the ones I could understand seemed to entirely relevant to cameras.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 10-14-2017, 09:45 AM  
Where to find Ricoh Imaging patents
Posted By JPT
Replies: 48
Views: 2,377
Nikon's nowhere near as big as those companies. I haven't looked far down the list but it was not in the top 50.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 10-14-2017, 09:30 AM  
Where to find Ricoh Imaging patents
Posted By JPT
Replies: 48
Views: 2,377
Recently, Iíve been keeping my eye on a site I found that shows the patents published by companies in Japan. Itís easy to see the camera-related patents because Ricoh Imaging is listed separately from Ricoh overall. I know that these patents are not necessarily a clear indication of what products Ricoh will come out with. Nevertheless, I thought it was interesting to see the volume and type of patents they are applying for. Itís an interesting counterpoint to the assertions that Ricoh Imaging is not working on anything.

Here is link to Ricoh Imaging (Japanese): ???????????????????? 2017?

In terms of volume, the trend is that number of patents published by Ricoh Imaging has increased year on year.
2014 - 87; 2015 - 125; 2016 - 132; 2017 - 130 (to Oct 12, so you can project that theyíll be over 150 for the whole year)

Trying to look at the content of the patents is quite difficult, because of the technical nature of the descriptions, the language problem and the fact that the images donít always show up properly, for me at least. From what I can understand, Ricoh has been working on a number of areas.
- There are a lot of patents related to the prism and mirror set up. It seems that research is focused on DSLRs.
- There are numerous patents related to sensors, such as on-sensor AF, reducing rolling shutter effects and so on, which might indicate something new for Ricoh.
- There are several about lens motors and casings.
- Of the optical designs, most are zooms.

The site also shows a patent ranking of all companies, and I was surprised to see Ricoh (overall, not imaging) in 6th position, keeping company with some very big corporations. I think this indicates that it is quite a research focused company. Interestingly, Canon is top of all companies, but again this is the group as a whole, not particularly the camera division.
1 - Canon
2 - Mitsubishi Electric
3 - Panasonic
4 - Toyota
5 - Toshiba
6 - Ricoh
7 - Seiko-Epson
8 - Fujitsu
9 - NEC
10 - Denso
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 10-13-2017, 07:36 PM  
Ricoh GRZ coming soon?
Posted By JPT
Replies: 85
Views: 6,854
Compact cameras are still widely available and somewhat popular in Japan. There are a lot of people in Japan, especially the elderly, who are not interested in smartphones. The elderly over here are still very active in retirement, because they tend to be in good health and have got all this money they never had a chance to spend during their careers. I'm pretty sure they are holding up the low end of the compact camera market in Japan. Incidentally, I also think this is a group Ricoh sold a lot of Q cameras to a few years ago.

There is one interesting case of a company whose photography products are focused completely on compact cameras, and that is Casio. They are also focused almost completely on Asia, and they are doing pretty well as far as I know. It helps that they are good at seeking out niches and making imaginative products for them. It's easy to sneer at some of their products, but they sell for more than the sum of their parts, and that is what business is about.

They have:
- The camera for golfers SPORTS | ??????? | CASIO
- The camera for adventurous types G'z EYE | ??????? | CASIO
- The 360 camera for adventurous types LIFE STYLE | ??????? | CASIO
- The wide-angle compact (out to 19mm equivalent, which I think is unique) EX-ZR4000 | HIGH SPEED | ??????? | CASIO
- The serious tele compact (1/17 sensor, constant f2.8, great handling) PREMIUM HIGH SPEED | ??????? | CASIO
- And this lovely item for the social media crowd, which is not commercialized in Japan, but on sale in other parts of Asia ?????????????????????? TR-M11??? - Engadget ???

They understand that people will pay more for a product that they feel is uniquely tailored to them, even outside the traditional photography market. I think tis is where the camera companies have gone wrong with compacts. They focus on better imaging specifications and more direct control, while the market they are losing is completely baffled by that kind of thing, and just want something that fits into their lifestyle better.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 10-12-2017, 09:00 PM  
DxO score for Pentax 645Z: 101!
Posted By JPT
Replies: 123
Views: 9,232
Speaking for Japan, the 645z appears to be slightly above the Fuji GFX50 at the moment. This is camera filtered by price over 500,000 yen.
http://s.kakaku.com/camera/digital-slr-camera/itemlist.aspx?pdf_pr=500000-

The K-1 is significantly higher in the ranking, of course, but it has dropped on this ranking since sales were split between the black and silver kit. And also the street price seems to have increased recently.

As for the 645z being replaced soon, I donít think it will happen before a new K-3 type camera is released with next generation autofocus. Both times so far the 645 has received a recycled AF system from the APS-C flagship, and given the woeful state of the competitionís AF systems, this enough to make top the category in that regard, almost by default. So I think Ricoh will follow the same pattern again.

I donít think there is a huge urgency to replace the 645z, because despite all the hype about the Fuji and Hasselblad, the Pentax is still entirely competitive. Even DPR seemed to agree. I was expecting this article to be gushing over the new mirrorless contenders, but it points out a number of areas where the 645z bests the competition.

https://m.dpreview.com/articles/9372980153/fujifilm-gfx-50s-vs-pentax-645z-vs-hasselblad-x1d
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 10-11-2017, 08:42 PM  
DxO score for Pentax 645Z: 101!
Posted By JPT
Replies: 123
Views: 9,232
I think DXO score can be a useful reference, even if their importance is overstated. However, they canít be of use to anyone if they arenít published, so this has me questioning their judgement and ethics.

The other thing that I thought was ridiculous was a previous case when they stated they were testing the sensor performance itself, so multi-shot modes like Olympus and Pentax were not measured. But when it came to measuring their own camera, the DXO One, they reported the single shot and multi-shot modes to make it look like it was as good as competitorsí APS-C models.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 10-10-2017, 06:08 AM  
Ricoh GRZ coming soon?
Posted By JPT
Replies: 85
Views: 6,854
I mean that from the GRD IV to the GR, a number of things changed, some for the better, some for the worse, and others that are largely a matter of opinion.

Gained (due to APS-C sensor)
- High ISO performance
- Ability to isolate subject through DOF

Lost (due to sensor)
- Lens got slower f1.9 to f.2.8
- Sensor shift stabilization
- Battery life (CIPA rating went down from 390 to 290)
- Body size/weight increased
- Close focusing ability (GRD IV 1cm; GR 10cm)

Lost (not related to sensor)
- PDAF window for hybrid AF system
- Lost ability to use standard batteries in the same compartment as the lithium rechargeable

Changed (matter of opinion)
- Tendency towards broad/narrow DOF
- Aspect ratio changed

So I feel that the impact of the bigger sensor was somewhat lessened by the loss of IBIS and the slower lens. At the same time the camera got less compact and lost some other features. I'm not trying to say the GR was worse by any means, but the character of the camera changed more than looks would indicate.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 10-09-2017, 08:48 PM  
Ricoh GRZ coming soon?
Posted By JPT
Replies: 85
Views: 6,854
I really hope this is true. It sounds like just what Iím looking for. Something like the GRD at the wide end, with more versatility.

Impressive though the GR was, I had very mixed feelings about it moving to a large sensor. I think it lost as much as it gained from that decision.

Itís interesting the the GRD IVís price on the second hand market in Japan is quite close to the GR, which indicates that Iím not the only one that feels this way.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 10-04-2017, 07:23 AM  
Ricoh gets three Good Design Awards for 2017
Posted By JPT
Replies: 1
Views: 1,265
Ricoh been awarded three good design award from the Japan Institute for Design Promotion for it's products. You may have sen this logo on some products.



It should be said that there are a LOT of products that get this award each year - over 1,000 in many categories. It is not that exclusive. However, only 1/4 of products that apply get the award, so it's not an automatic thing.

Theta V was among the Best 100
?????? [RICOH THETA V] | ?????? | Good Design Award

Theta KP got a standard award
APS-C?????????????? [PENTAX KP] | ?????? | Good Design Award

Ricoh R got a standard award
???????? [RICOH R Development Kit] | ?????? | Good Design Award

I think it's good that Ricoh got some recognition for their products. I don't think they usually get so many.
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