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08-04-2007, 05:43 AM   #1
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Discussion on upcoming and future Pentax DA (not *) zooms

I've been musing about the DA 17-70, and in the absence of any advance information from Pentax apart from it's name, I would like to ask some "open" questions to those who are interested in this lens, and others, as they will be very important in Pentax's new line-up.

I will air my thoughts first and then ask some questions.

I personally feel that this lens should be a serious replacement to the DA 16-45 rather than a replacement for the DA 18-55 (this also applies to the DA 55-300 as not being a replacement for the 50-200).

I feel that if Pentax want to have "consumer" zoom lens(es), they may be better served by an 18-250 super zoom, very similar to the Tamron 18-250, which seems to be at least as good as the 2 lens "consumer kit". The big proviso is the comparative cost. Maybe it would be good to have both options?

Here is the Photozone test of the Tamron on Nikon (Hi Klaus, would be nice to have a Pentax mount test!)
http://www.photozone.de/... .../lenses/tamron_18250_3563_nikon/index.htm

Personally, I would like to see the 17-70 be stretched to 16-80 and be at least equal (better would be good) to the (Sony Alpha/Minolta mount) Zeiss ZA 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 DT, but have f4.0 constant, SDM and Quickshift. But I have suspect that could be too much of a stretch, but it does no harm in wishing!

Here's the Photozone review on the Zeiss (approx $660)
http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/lenses/zeiss_za_1680_3545/index.htm,

Here are my questions:

1. Do you feel that the DA 17-70 & 55-300 should be superior "kit" style lenses with performance better than the 18-55 & 50-200, but not as good as the existing DA 16-45?
2. Do you feel that a DA 18-250 superzoom would be a good addition to the Pentax lens line up, either as a replacement for the existing kit lenses, or in addition to them? If so, do you feel that an OEM version of the Tamron (if feasable) would be okay if Pentax haven't the available time/resources to develop their own right now?
3. Do you feel, like me, that the new DA zooms should be high quality, but not quite at * (star) pricing, so they match anything that Sony/Zeiss, Nikon or Canon have on offer in the middle ground.

i.e. N*k*n with their AF-S 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 G IF-ED DX (approx $350)
http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/lenses/nikkor_1870_3545/index.htm

and AF-S 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G IF-ED VR (approx $480)
http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/lenses/nikkor_70300_4556vr/index.htm,

and C*n*n with their EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 USM IS (Approx $515)
http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/lenses/canon_1785_456_is/index.htm

and EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 USM IS (approx $550)
http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/lenses/canon_70300_456is/index.htm

I know that much (all?) of this is speculation and/or wishful thinking, but Pentax say they are interested in peoples views!

At least, I would be very interested in the responses. Anyone up for it?

08-04-2007, 07:32 AM   #2
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1 - I feel like the 17-70 maybe an OEM rebrand of the popular Sigma. Hopefully the SMC coat will give it the extra kick. As for zooms, personally for me, the Sigma 70-300 is right on the edge of my budget right now and anything suprassing that and I'll just skim the specs like I would any new lens and go back to ebay. I would relish the oppurtunity to pick up a faster 300mm manual prime.

2 - LoL Sony has OEM versions of the Tamron 18-200 and will be releasing an OEM 18-250 in a short time. As for Pentax, I don't think they will be OEM rebranding this anytime soon. Pentax in the past has not really favoured anything over 3x zoom because the compromise in IQ is too much.

3 - Anything Pentax does should be to the best of their ability as was done in their old days with the film lenses. They lack the market share and the unwavering public support to be cutting corners like Canon and Nikon. If they let folks down, they'll snuff out the recent surge in popularity from the release of the K100D and K10D. Alot of people are counting on Pentax to release good lenses to cover their many range gaps. If Pentax can't do it...well lets just say I'll still be here because of the K Mount. =P
08-04-2007, 10:11 AM   #3
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I've been waiting for a news release about what the aperture/aperture range will be for the 17-70, mainly because I've been eying the Sigma 17-70 f2.8-f4.5. If the DA 17-70 can match that aperture range and come in at a lower price point I'd consider it in a heartbeat.

I'd really like to see more info rather than just a roadmap outlining the DA * lenses, a listing of the aperture and estimated price range for the DA and DFA lenses would be quite nice to have as to not leave potential buyers in the dark.
08-04-2007, 11:01 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Richard Day Quote
I know that much (all?) of this is speculation and/or wishful thinking, but Pentax say they are interested in peoples views!

At least, I would be very interested in the responses. Anyone up for it?
Richard,

These questions are directly related to your post https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/10319-thoughts...ong-zooms.html

It's long past the time Pentax should be asking our opinion. They should have several lists already compiled.

1) What lenses could we sell in quantity if we had them today.
The market research on this is very complicated, look at what is selling by everybody else in the business. Buy them from an OEM now.

2) What lenses do we need to design in house that will be in the Pentax tradition and will separate us from the competition.

These should be the road map lenses. The ones that can be brought to market the fastest are the ones that get priority. The specifications are secondary to getting a new offering out the door. It may not be exactly what we want but it will be close enough. GET THE LENSES OUT THE DOOR!!!

3) What optional accessories, (I.E. flash units), can we sell.

Let an OEM that specializes in that type of item design an manufacture it for you.

At the end of the day (god I hate that phrase) it doesn't matter what new iitems they make. JUST GET SOMETHING OUT THE DOOR!!!

Regards,

Ken

08-04-2007, 02:35 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Richard Day Quote
I would like to see the 17-70 be stretched to 16-80
I'd love to see this as well since 16 would be useful for landscapes.

I suspect it'll just be a Sigma 17-70 rebadge. They would have to make it sharper or have more features than the 17-70 to be interesting; ideally, it'll have SDM support. The Sigma 17-70 is a gem as it is; adding SDM motor support would just be icing on the cake :-)

ken
08-05-2007, 03:28 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenyee Quote
I'd love to see this as well since 16 would be useful for landscapes.

I suspect it'll just be a Sigma 17-70 rebadge. They would have to make it sharper or have more features than the 17-70 to be interesting; ideally, it'll have SDM support. The Sigma 17-70 is a gem as it is; adding SDM motor support would just be icing on the cake :-)

ken
I don't think they will do a rebadge of a Sigma, they've never co-operated with Sigma in the past, and it's just a feeling that I have that they won't do so in the future either. However, they have with Tamron, Cosina and now Tokina (/Kenko?).

I'll put my money on them doing a deal with Tamron if they can't get what they want quickly out of their co-developments with Tokina. Tamron have a specific OEM divison for this purpose

I actually suspect that the 17-70 is a revised version of the 17-135 that was announced by Tokina well over a year ago although it's never appeared, it was an APS-C version of their 24-200. I also suspect that the 55-300 is a shrunken derivitave of the 80-400 Di, it's almost an APS-C version of that, it would be a 53 - 267, the've just taken it to market acceptable standard lengths. I believe that both of these will have SDM and Quickshift.

As Kenko-Tokina Welcome to Kenko are the distribution company for Tokina lenses in Japan, see Tokina.

If not the same company, they obviously have close ties to Tokina and therefore that's why I suggested their Pro converters would be a possible source for high quality Pentax badged TC's. They would be who I'd be talking to if I was Pentax.

If not, then do a deal with Tamron for their TC's, which funnily enough, look exactly the same as the Kenko series.

I would also be investigating the possibility of a Pentax version of the Tamron 200-500. Pentax desperately need a long tele-zoom in the same class as the Bigma. The Tamron has a higher Photozone customer rating (3.8) than the Bigma (2.63) and is cheaper, it also has in-lens AF motors, which Pentax could assist to make compatible with their current SDM equipped bodies.

Last edited by Richard Day; 08-05-2007 at 03:33 AM.
08-05-2007, 05:20 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by smcclelland Quote
... eying the Sigma 17-70 f2.8-f4.5. If the DA 17-70 can match that aperture range and come in at a lower price point I'd consider it in a heartbeat.
I think you should just buy the Sigma. I don't think I've ever seen a lens from the camera manufacturer at a lower/same price as a 3rd party manufacturer, except perhaps the basic short zoom lens. Look at the 55-200 from Sigma compared to the Pentax 50-200, $149 for the Sigma at B&H, $229 for the Pentax. (even after the rebate it's still $30 more)
08-05-2007, 09:41 AM   #8
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Yeah, the third parties definitely have their advantage point with the pricing. I'm curious as to what the 17-70's aperture will be though, part of the Pentaxian in me hopes it will be faster than the sigma

08-06-2007, 01:31 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by smcclelland Quote
Yeah, the third parties definitely have their advantage point with the pricing. I'm curious as to what the 17-70's aperture will be though, part of the Pentaxian in me hopes it will be faster than the sigma
That I doubt very much (about 100%!), it would make it horribly expensive and huge.

I suspect it will be a f3.5/f4.5 if it is derived from the non-appearing Tokina 17-135 announced some while back, although it has been mentioned in passing that it may well be an f4.0 constant.

I see this lens as the APS-C version of the once popular FA 28-105 3.2/4.5 which at 17-70 it is very close to those film focal lengths. If it's as compact as the old FA, but better optically, it may well prove to be attractive as a high quality kit lens for the K10D and it's future siblings.

Like many, I'm anxious to see what performace level Pentax envisage this lens to have, before I make any decisions on replacing my DA 16-45.
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