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Forum: Pentax Q 03-14-2017, 03:02 PM  
More macro with Q7
Posted By NoRules
Replies: 8
Views: 1,625
Thanks! I always get carried away :) Sorry.
Forum: Pentax Q 03-14-2017, 12:51 PM  
More macro with Q7
Posted By NoRules
Replies: 8
Views: 1,625
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, 07:49 AM  
More macro with Q7
Posted By NoRules
Replies: 8
Views: 1,625
Hi :-)

Thank you sir!

A picture will look very boring and be of little use. It's a reversed 50mm macro lens on bellows, and a Q7 in the other end, standing on a Chinese rail with a screw in it. Here is the shopping list: Pentax FA 50mm 2.8 Macro, 52mm Pentax PK reverse adapter, Pentax K Bellows, Pentax PK to Q adapter with mechanical shutter, the Pentax Q7, iShoot Macro Focusing Rail 150. You can get a PK-Q adapter on eBay for $15 if the original is too expensive. With bellows, adapters can be very cheap and still do the job.

A picture of my work bench is far too personal. It looks like my kitchen exploded there :) Point being, that making of the stage is part of ones own creative road, and should not be shown or copied. The reason for this is two-fold. It will be boring if all our images looked the same, and it might even stop someone making a better stage with other stuff. Now, the finding-out of it all is part of the fun. I would not dare rob someone of it!

Best of luck!
Forum: Pentax Q 03-14-2017, 03:25 AM  
More macro with Q7
Posted By NoRules
Replies: 8
Views: 1,625
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 03-10-2017, 04:40 AM  
Q7 with deep red glass filter
Posted By NoRules
Replies: 8
Views: 1,535
No point in converting the Q to IR. For astronomy use, the Q line is best for solar system objects. For deep nebulae there are much better options. For IR here on earth there are also better options. If you want an IR compact camera, go for the Fujifilm F31fd or F30. You can glue a filter thread to the front of the lens and put on IR filters on that. This is a very sensitive camera for IR that gives great results without hot-spot. I used it hand held for IR a lot. I have had many IR cameras, but the F31fd (when modified) was my favorite.
Forum: Pentax Q 02-10-2017, 01:50 PM  
Figuring out macro with the Q7
Posted By NoRules
Replies: 3
Views: 929
Thanks! Setup and tech info is in the link above the image.
Forum: Pentax Q 02-10-2017, 12:57 PM  
Figuring out macro with the Q7
Posted By NoRules
Replies: 3
Views: 929
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: 8,564
I not only have the 12V adapter, but also a battery bank :)
Forum: Pentax Q 02-08-2017, 08:24 PM  
Q7 with deep red glass filter
Posted By NoRules
Replies: 8
Views: 1,535
Sounds interesting at first glance, but multi-exposure can not be done in RAW. For the simulation to work you will need all the details you can get, so RAW shooting is a must. By using a color glass filter the lens will be sharper, as there is no color fringing, and the focus point is he same for all light that hits the sensor. I'll bet a blue filter will be very cool to get as sharp an image as possible. The best sollution to the problem is a dedicated BW sensor. And maybe built in filters in a lens, like Pentax used to make, like the Takumar fisheye 17mm, or the Pentax K 18mm SMC. I had those, and they worked great with K-1 and pixel shift.
Forum: Pentax Q 02-08-2017, 07:11 PM  
Q7 with deep red glass filter
Posted By NoRules
Replies: 8
Views: 1,535
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: 1,535
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 02-08-2017, 03:02 PM  
Will Ricoh realign resources to further Q development after KP release?
Posted By NoRules
Replies: 81
Views: 8,564
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 News and Rumors 02-17-2016, 05:42 AM  
Full K-1 Spec list
Posted By NoRules
Replies: 781
Views: 88,583
It's not a shame to use a tripod. Actually most landscape photographers use them.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 02-17-2016, 05:23 AM  
Full K-1 Spec list
Posted By NoRules
Replies: 781
Views: 88,583
Pixel shift with motion correction :-) Clouds and water is back on the menu!
Forum: Pentax Q 12-31-2014, 03:45 PM  
The Astro-Q Club!
Posted By NoRules
Replies: 193
Views: 72,038
Hi,
Last) astrophoto of 2014. Orion Nebula with Q7 and Pentax SMC 135mm f.2.5. Not very good, but it proves that Q7 can do DSO with only 30 sec. shutter time.
Happy new year!
Forum: Pentax Q 12-25-2014, 01:38 PM  
Book trailer with Kern Paillard 13mm f.09 lens
Posted By NoRules
Replies: 1
Views: 1,267
Hi,
In two weeks time my new novel comes back from print, and all though it's in Norwegian, I made an English version of my book trailer (You never know, right?). I used my Pentax Q7 and did some time lapse shots, made som folkish guitar music, and put it all together. This lens, the Kern Paillard 13mm f.0.9 being a film lens, it has a lot of cinematic qualities :)
Here is a link














Youtu.be



C&C is very welcome since this is my first attempt to make a movie ever. Love the Q!
Cheers!
Forum: Pentax Q 07-07-2014, 08:29 AM  
The C and D mount lens club
Posted By NoRules
Replies: 61
Views: 24,687
This might not be a fix focus lens. The focus might be stuck. If not I think it's a special order. Try loosen the set screws and look inside. Not much you can do wrong, except touching internal element surface. You can even add lubricant with the tip of a toothpick, becaus the aperture has no auto mechanism and no internal shutter. I have two or three Kern lenses with oil on aperture blades. No problem as long as it stays there. keep us informed on the progress!
Forum: Pentax Q 07-06-2014, 08:20 AM  
The C and D mount lens club
Posted By NoRules
Replies: 61
Views: 24,687
Hi,
1 Inch sounds strange. You could loosen the set screws to see if the lens is adjuste as a macro lens. Kern did a lot of adjustments for customers ... Here is a link to an image of my f.2,5 12,5mm in the mount. It protrudes, or brake the flange plane, with about 1/2mm to 1mm. Yours should look the same. http://gfsnt.no/oen/foto/_IMP7219.jpg
Forum: Pentax Q 07-06-2014, 05:12 AM  
The C and D mount lens club
Posted By NoRules
Replies: 61
Views: 24,687
As stated in my original post on the Kern Paillard subject, I always sand my adapters down 1 mm, then I add shims as needed. Adapters are of soft aluminium alloy or something. Very easy to sand. Stay with it! Don't give up!
Forum: Pentax Q 07-05-2014, 03:53 PM  
The C and D mount lens club
Posted By NoRules
Replies: 61
Views: 24,687
Hi,
Please read my post above. Make shims out of black paper, plastic or whatever material you have. I find a curved pair of scissors for nails ideal for this use. I focus this lens at about 10 meters. At f.5,6 everything from 1 meter to infinity is sharp. Fantastic lens for landscapes and way better than anything Pentax regarding color, CA, sharpness and contrast. The best lens for Q by a huge margin. Good luck.
Forum: Pentax K-3 Photo Contest 06-02-2014, 10:25 PM  
Night The Shifting Earth
Posted By NoRules
Replies: 7
Views: 902
Thanks everybody! I just have to say that this shot is not a stitch. Everything is done in-camera. The camera is on a tracker, compensating for the rotation of the earth, so the celestial sky is fixed, while the mountains and stuff semes to move. While the camera was open I ran off to the side and used a flashlight for 2-4 seconds on the close foreground to get some details in the beach sand. It's like three different pictures in one, but done in one exposure. I did several that night, and most of them came out ok. It's not that difficult. To the left in the middle you can see the Andromeda Galaxy, and the red "blob" upper left in the Milky Way is the North America Nebula. We are looking away from the center of our own galaxy, and into intergalactic space. But because this is summer, and I'm living far North, the horizon has a glow to it, rather than being pitch black.
Forum: Pentax K-3 Photo Contest 05-27-2014, 09:31 AM  
Night The Shifting Earth
Posted By NoRules
Replies: 7
Views: 902
Forum: Pentax Q 04-22-2014, 12:16 PM  
Q7 & Coronado SolarMax 60
Posted By NoRules
Replies: 11
Views: 2,665
There is an image, just a tad sharper and bigger, over at DPreview on the "Pentax compact camera talk-forum". It shows the potential a bit better. The huge image is still being PP'ed. I'm an artist and part of my income is to sell images, so I can not post the full size image on the net. I will probably spend most of the summer to get it where I like it. Better to size down than size up. Lot of work remains.
Forum: Pentax Q 04-22-2014, 10:20 AM  
Q7 & Coronado SolarMax 60
Posted By NoRules
Replies: 11
Views: 2,665
Hi,
I see you found most answers to your questions :-)
This image is a stack of the 30-40 sharpest images of about 300 single frames. And yes, I use the time lapse feature on the Q7, and I shoot RAW, which is essential. I do PP manually in Photoshop. It takes a lot of time, but some times one piece of the sun is sharp and the other ones are blurry (because of seeing in the atmosphere). Then I can erase that bad part of each layer, and have more layers in total. It's a very "hands on" approach, much like taking pictures of the moon. I have never trusted auto modes in stacking and registering. I know nothing about video.
The learning curve is steep because you really have to know your subject and equipment and software. And it's hard to know the optimal settings of everything by other means than testing and testing and ... You get the picture(!). To give some hints: You have to know about seeing, what kind of landscape, terrain, time of day, direction that gives the best atmospheric condition. Then it is the Coronado, with settings for protuberances and disc details, how many pictures of each, at what ISO and shutter speed (Fast shutter gives sharpest image, but also more geometric distortion because of seeing) and so on and so forth. The RAW settings are a complete nightmare, before you realize you have to convert to BW, set the right WB (yes, even in BW) and how much to slide red and magenta sliders. And then Photoshop, get flames and disk details balance right. The final nightmare is colorizing. It completely ruins your very carefully BW manipulation of contrast. It took me several weeks to figure that one out. But you have to get the colors back in the picture. A step through tutorial will take weeks to write. But I have a life beside this :lol:
Forum: Pentax Q 04-22-2014, 05:43 AM  
Q7 & Coronado SolarMax 60
Posted By NoRules
Replies: 11
Views: 2,665
Hi,
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(!)
Cheers!
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