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10-08-2010, 12:59 PM   #1
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When will Pentax listen? - DA 24mm f2

As Pentax is making it very clear that it has no intention of moving into the FF world any day soon (which I do not necessarily have a problem with...at all!), I wondered when it will release a fast equiv. 35mm lens? This focal length has been the preference of many a shooter for some time - just look at how sought after the Summicron 35/2 is for Leica users or the buzz around the dedicated 35mm Fuji x100 digital "rangefinder". I know there is the FA*24, but what a monster!!! Canikon have demonstrated that the 'modern' design of a 24/2 is possible, so where is Pentax's DA version? ....and in anticipation, please, the DA21 at f3.2 is not even a contender I'm afraid.

C'mon Pentax, there must be a middle-ground between your persistence with the APS-C sized sensor and our loyalty to your brand.

Or am I a lone voice in the wilderness on this one?

10-08-2010, 01:20 PM   #2
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Have you not heard about the DA 35/2.4 coming out?

Mate, at 20-25mm what max aperture do you really need to get all the shot you want with it?
We're talking about an acceptable shutter speed of 1/20, and even 2-3 stops slower with SR, and a depth of field that is hard to appreciate the difference between f/2 and f/3.2 at 20mm and medium to long focal distances...

I do believe Pentax listens to its consumer base, and that's why the K10D, K20D, K-7 and K-5 are the cameras they are. They've never been able to compete with the wide array of lenses C&N have been able to make - even Sony/Olympus, so I wouldn't be discounting Pentax's efforts to keep customers happy from the lack of lens variety.

But it's always good to voice out your desires to them.
10-08-2010, 04:16 PM   #3
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Sorry Ash but I'm with stills on this one!
I have just gotten myself FA*24 but they don't come new anymore, are hard to find and come with price tag of around 450-500. Difference between f2 and f3.2 is very appreciable IMO especially because Kx0s are the cameras they are! Frankly looking at Pentax's line up I don't get them all that much. They are the only brand that decided to stay dedicated (for forseeable future) to APSC and yet: where are 18, 24 35, 90mm lenses? (Read as 28, 35, 50 and 135 equivalents). Frankly, the situation where the widest fast lens is 31ltd is just bad IMHO. As good as 21 might be it's just slow and 14 is too wide for many. And gap from 14 to 31 is way too much if you ask me. I understand ISO and all these electronic advances (SR including) make fast lenses less needed but there is a lot of folks out there who like getting DOF as thin as possible. Heck if I had the cash I'd be with D700 now shooting with their fast primes (you can get good line up with 24 + 35 + 50 + 85 + 135) even though their body ergonomics aren't the greatest (to be fair though, I'd rather be getting used to D700 shape than K-7/5 size!)...

Sorry for the rant but you know how it is when the floodgates open!
10-08-2010, 04:44 PM   #4
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Too big!

I agree that a 24mm would be nice addition to the lineup, but I would prefer that it be f/2.8 (or maybe f/2.4) to keep it small and light. Of course it would be ideal if they introduced both a fast version for folks like you and a small-and-light version for folks like me. The smaller lens could be a 25mm, which would better complement the DA 21.

Those of us who prefer smaller lenses are better served at the moment than those of you who prefer faster lenses, so I wouldn't object if they were to introduce the faster version first.

Dan

10-08-2010, 04:46 PM   #5
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i know FF canon users who shoot wide open at f1.4 so even with a great big sensor and high iso capabilities having a fast lens can be desirable and advantageous.

i think the biggest problem with pentax is that owners of other systems have way more choices. of course, i suppose we can all just give up pentax and its small, fast, great quality lenses of the past and move to big, heavy, and expensive CaNikon systems
10-08-2010, 05:48 PM   #6
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Can I say the idea of a DA lens that has a maximum aperture of f/2 is pure fantasy? The DA primes have always followed the design ideal of compact size at the expense of a large maximum aperture. f/2.4 is about the fastest you'll find among the DA primes currently (DA 70mm Limited & DA 35mm).

I do think having a fast 24mm lens would be great and bridge the gap between the DA21mm and current DA/FA 35mm lenses but it would have to be a new design imo. The discontinued FA* 24mm f/2 has a overly large hood but optical performance isn't really stellar, especially wide open. Probably the lens least deserving to carry the FA* moniker imo. :ugh:
10-08-2010, 07:29 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Mate, at 20-25mm what max aperture do you really need to get all the shot you want with it?
We're talking about an acceptable shutter speed of 1/20, and even 2-3 stops slower with SR, and a depth of field that is hard to appreciate the difference between f/2 and f/3.2 at 20mm and medium to long focal distances...
The large DoF at shorter focal lengths is all the more reason to want a larger aperture for artistic effect and subject isolation. Wide-angle lenses inherently bring more things into the field of view than longer lenses, making subject isolation through shallow DoF even more important.

Also, "acceptable" shutter speeds at a given focal length and SR are only relevant for stationary subjects. The moment someone (or something) starts moving that's all academic.

What I really want a 24mm F2 for is taking photos of my kids trick-or-treating on Hallowe'en. Last year, I used my DA 35 Ltd on my K10D, and I was shooting wide open (F2.8) at ISO 1600 and 1/10 sec. Because of the focal length, I was often standing well back from the doorways, so a wider lens would have been preferable. Also, even with the latest crop of high-ISO wonder cameras making ISO 6400 a viable option, I'd rather shoot at F2, ISO 3200 and 1/40 sec than F2.8 and ISO 6400 at the same shutter speed. On any given camera, images taken at lower ISOs will always look better than those taken at higher ISOs.
10-08-2010, 08:00 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hello_Photo Quote
The large DoF at shorter focal lengths is all the more reason to want a larger aperture for artistic effect and subject isolation. Wide-angle lenses inherently bring more things into the field of view than longer lenses, making subject isolation through shallow DoF even more important.

Also, "acceptable" shutter speeds at a given focal length and SR are only relevant for stationary subjects. The moment someone (or something) starts moving that's all academic.

What I really want a 24mm F2 for is taking photos of my kids trick-or-treating on Hallowe'en. Last year, I used my DA 35 Ltd on my K10D, and I was shooting wide open (F2.8) at ISO 1600 and 1/10 sec. Because of the focal length, I was often standing well back from the doorways, so a wider lens would have been preferable. Also, even with the latest crop of high-ISO wonder cameras making ISO 6400 a viable option, I'd rather shoot at F2, ISO 3200 and 1/40 sec than F2.8 and ISO 6400 at the same shutter speed. On any given camera, images taken at lower ISOs will always look better than those taken at higher ISOs.
+1... I love the DA Limiteds in their own way... but we still need a fast, affordable prime in the normal range for APS-C. The new DA-L 35mm f/2.4 is close... but no cigar. Sorry Pentax... but haven't you heard after all these years? For a zoom, f/2.8 is fast. For a prime, fast means f/2.0 or preferably faster: f/1.8 or f/1.4. I just don't understand what's going on with Pentax. I'm sure they have their reasons... but they won't TALK TO US!

10-08-2010, 08:39 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hello_Photo Quote
The large DoF at shorter focal lengths is all the more reason to want a larger aperture for artistic effect and subject isolation. Wide-angle lenses inherently bring more things into the field of view than longer lenses, making subject isolation through shallow DoF even more important.

Also, "acceptable" shutter speeds at a given focal length and SR are only relevant for stationary subjects. The moment someone (or something) starts moving that's all academic.

What I really want a 24mm F2 for is taking photos of my kids trick-or-treating on Hallowe'en. Last year, I used my DA 35 Ltd on my K10D, and I was shooting wide open (F2.8) at ISO 1600 and 1/10 sec. Because of the focal length, I was often standing well back from the doorways, so a wider lens would have been preferable. Also, even with the latest crop of high-ISO wonder cameras making ISO 6400 a viable option, I'd rather shoot at F2, ISO 3200 and 1/40 sec than F2.8 and ISO 6400 at the same shutter speed. On any given camera, images taken at lower ISOs will always look better than those taken at higher ISOs.
I would agree the necessity for a new 24mm prime, but an f2 prime at such focal length doesn't really give you that kind of special effect that you would want or like for a wide lens. that kind of subject isolation quality or kind of magic doesn't start until 28mm at fast aperture speed. for me a 24/2.8 would be the best solution rather than f2. it brings a balance between quality, compactness and cost altogether. since building an f2 wide angle lens would require more glass and lens length which would mean a glass selling no lower than $1,300 maybe even up to $1,500.

so the point here is, if ever Pentax ever release a DA24/2, how many of us can afford it and how many are willing to get one for that price? my honest opinion tells me not even 1/4 of the total number of Pentax forum members will immediately jump and buy one. now, is it a sound investment for Pentax? I dont think so. basing from where Pentax is going and basing from the purchasing power of Pentax users and willing to pay for, it is most likely that Pentax would make a 24/2.8 which doesn't leave them at a loss, nor leave the Pentax consumers complaining on how expensive the lens would had been if it were an f2. is it possible to create a budget 24/2 ? this is highly doubtful judging by the type and number of optics concerned in making the lens. even making the lens a DAL plastic mount, no-quick-shift, non-WR lens won't make a significant price drop for a 24/2. it would probably drop or shed off $100, but it still worth over a $1,000.

so, any takers for a DA24/2 worth over $1,000?

Last edited by Pentaxor; 10-09-2010 at 01:07 AM.
10-08-2010, 10:12 PM   #10
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Guys, I certainly don't have a degree in Optics so can't comment on the engineering challenges associated with designing or manufacturing an ultra-wide lens, in this case 24mm, with a maximum f2 aperture. However, it strikes me as odd that Fuji will release its x100 which is a 35mm equiv. f1.9 in a matter of months and it is nowhere near the size of the FA*24. Again, my ignorance aside, but wasn't the FA* designed to produce an image circle to cover a 35mm frame? If so, and the APS-C frame being proportionally smaller and DA lenses designed to cover the APS-C frame, then wouldn't it follow that a DA 24/2 would be proportionally smaller than the FA*24/2? To be honest I'm not asking for half the size, but just smaller...which the smaller sensor and the precedent set by the Fuji x100 should see possible.

I'm looking forward to hearing from those with a better grasp of optics than I to explain why this can't be so.

Meanwhile, yes I would pay USD1000 for a 24/2. A fast 35mm lens would be the perfect addition to my kit and a great complement to the DA15 and DA35! To be honest, I am saving my pennies for the x100 for this very reason....and the money will be spent on Fuji if no alternative comes from Pentax.
10-08-2010, 11:47 PM   #11
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For over 1k, I would probably just get the ZK primes instead, or more likely, the ZE primes which can take full advantage with 5DII. I doubt such DA prime would be sold in significant volume. Or better to rework their DA* zooms asap to match the best pro zooms for genuine +ve impact on Pentax lineup as a whole.
10-09-2010, 12:29 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by stillshunter Quote
Guys, I certainly don't have a degree in Optics so can't comment on the engineering challenges associated with designing or manufacturing an ultra-wide lens, in this case 24mm, with a maximum f2 aperture. However, it strikes me as odd that Fuji will release its x100 which is a 35mm equiv. f1.9 in a matter of months and it is nowhere near the size of the FA*24. Again, my ignorance aside, but wasn't the FA* designed to produce an image circle to cover a 35mm frame? If so, and the APS-C frame being proportionally smaller and DA lenses designed to cover the APS-C frame, then wouldn't it follow that a DA 24/2 would be proportionally smaller than the FA*24/2? To be honest I'm not asking for half the size, but just smaller...which the smaller sensor and the precedent set by the Fuji x100 should see possible.

I'm looking forward to hearing from those with a better grasp of optics than I to explain why this can't be so.

Meanwhile, yes I would pay USD1000 for a 24/2. A fast 35mm lens would be the perfect addition to my kit and a great complement to the DA15 and DA35! To be honest, I am saving my pennies for the x100 for this very reason....and the money will be spent on Fuji if no alternative comes from Pentax.
I'm no master of optics but I'll offer some information I read (maybe even here on PF, so consider the source).

Since the X100 will have only one fixed lens the sensor and micro lens technology can help compensate for any shortcomings of the lens itself. The camera, sensor and lens were developed in parallel to make this possible.

I'm sure someone else here has a better idea of how they accomplished this.

That camera is amazing though. 10cm close focus with that lens too.....I can't really come up with a reason not to buy it.
10-09-2010, 12:42 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by lowspark86 Quote
I'm no master of optics but I'll offer some information I read (maybe even here on PF, so consider the source).

Since the X100 will have only one fixed lens the sensor and micro lens technology can help compensate for any shortcomings of the lens itself. The camera, sensor and lens were developed in parallel to make this possible.

I'm sure someone else here has a better idea of how they accomplished this.

That camera is amazing though. 10cm close focus with that lens too.....I can't really come up with a reason not to buy it.
I hear ya Lowspark! I suppose this was a bit of a cry of help I'm looking for a reason not to buy, nay 'pre-order', the x100. The sensor size is the same, if not very very close to APS-C....and as far as the micro-lens technology....well I thought this Pentax could do even better than Fujifilm - hence the DA Ltd line Again, I know I am being naive, but I agree the parallel development makes it 'easier' for Fuji to pull it off, but don't Pentax have the same, if not better, ingredients (sensor, processor, etc.) and chefs to make this happen?
10-09-2010, 12:46 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by wlachan Quote
For over 1k, I would probably just get the ZK primes instead, or more likely, the ZE primes which can take full advantage with 5DII. I doubt such DA prime would be sold in significant volume. Or better to rework their DA* zooms asap to match the best pro zooms for genuine +ve impact on Pentax lineup as a whole.
Chan, I am taking nothing away from the utility of zooms. But the superiority of their primes is what brought and keeps me with Pentax. I am happy enough for them to play catch up on zooms to keep the punters happy, but would like to see them maintain development of the premier primes the Japanese can produce. Granted the Zeiss would be nice...but so is the option of AF
10-09-2010, 01:01 AM   #15
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I've got the DA14, FA20, FA35, FA50 mm lenses. My bag is pretty large and heavy already, and there's no big hole screaming "fill me with something at the short end!" I just sold my FA28mm because it was redundant. If I really need something between 20 and 35 mm I actually have the 16-45 too, but I seldom reach for it being the prime lens snob I am.
What Pentax should do is keep producing some of their finest FA lenses, or maybe update them a bit (weatherseal) and relabel them DA or DA*. The FA20mm is an amazing little gem.

Kjell
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