Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
12-18-2010, 11:37 PM   #1
Inactive Account




Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 5
Star & Limited lenses

Being a noob here, I have been reading all I can about Pentax lenses. I found this page "Pentax K-Mount Lens Series Explained: The differences between various Pentax lens series." I still have a question though:

I see that there are like 3 levels of lenses for each series, but what is the difference between the star lenses and the limited lenses?

12-18-2010, 11:46 PM   #2
Veteran Member
jaieger's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2010
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 586
Star lenses - weather sealed and SDM
Limited - not weather sealed and screwdriven autofocus, extremely compact, both in absolute terms and compared to equivalents
All will give you quite excellent IQ.
12-19-2010, 01:15 AM - 1 Like   #3
Senior Member




Join Date: May 2009
Location: Edmonton, AB
Posts: 246
Detailed explanations can be found here:

Pentax Lens Terminology
12-19-2010, 08:54 AM   #4
Inactive Account




Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 5
Original Poster
Thank's!

12-19-2010, 09:13 AM   #5
JHD
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jan 2010
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,407
DA* lenses produce better images than DA Limiteds. That's not taking anything away from the Ltds - they are fine lenses - but the DA* series is better.
12-19-2010, 09:21 AM   #6
Veteran Member




Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Ontario
Posts: 550
Simply put

DA* > DA LTD > DA > DA-L

For pretty much all lens with some exceptions.
12-19-2010, 09:35 AM   #7
Veteran Member
JonPB's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Portland, OR, USA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 430
I surprisingly find myself disagreeing with most of the answers posted.

A* lenses were the top-shelf 35mm film, manual focus lenses. They are still excellent lenses. I believe these were the first lenses to receive the * designation.

F* and FA* lenses were the top-shelf 35mm film lenses from the autofocus era. They are still excellent performers, both optically and in their physical construction.

DA* lenses are top-shelf digital APS-C lenses. They are weather resistant--they have better environmental sealing than the WR-designated lenses, but the extent of the difference is unknown. They are excellent lenses, both optically and physically. DA* lenses tend to have fast apertures and are correspondingly large lenses.

DA Limited lenses are also top-shelf digital APS-C lenses, both optically and in construction. They are not weather sealed. They tend to be slower (optically), do not have internal motors, and are correspondingly small and light lenses. They have an all-metal body construction.

FA Limited lenses are, again, top-shelf lenses, for 35mm film. They are faster and larger than DA Limited lenses, and are correspondingly larger, but remain compact. They tend to have higher center sharpness than DA Limiteds, whereas DA Limiteds tend to have more consistent sharpness across the frame and across different apertures.

Note that although A, F and FA lenses were designed for 35mm film, they can still be used for digital SLRs without any worry. Some DA lenses can be used on film cameras, too.

Pentax does not have a strict "this kind of feature gets this designation" system to its lens lineup. For instance, you'd expect the top-shelf lenses to have the fastest optical designation, yet the widest DA Limited is a 15mm f/4 lens whereas there is a consumer DA 14mm f/2.8. The DA Limited 15mm is a much smaller lens, however, and has better build quality.

My suggestion is to not worry about naming conventions. Pentax--and all other lensmakers, it seems--assigns all sort of crazy names to their lenses. Rather, identify the kind of lens you want and compare the specific lenses available to meet that need. That said, if you get any * lens or any Limited lens, you will have a good lens. Some of them are the best glass available from any manufacturer ever for the 35mm SLR format; some of them are merely good.
12-19-2010, 09:46 AM   #8
Veteran Member
paperbag846's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2010
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,396
QuoteOriginally posted by JHD Quote
DA* lenses produce better images than DA Limiteds.
I'm pretty sure that it would be safe to consider the optical differences a wash between these two lens series. The differences would be more in the build and features, such as weather resistance, and SDM.

IMHO there is simply no point in buying a DA* lens unless you want weather sealing and SDM.

12-19-2010, 10:20 AM   #9
Senior Member
Talisker's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Isle of Skye, Scotland
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 262
The limiteds trade maximum aperture for size as opposed to the stars, but I doubt that there is any obvious difference in optical quality caused by being manufatured to a budget - they are both premium lines.

QuoteOriginally posted by JonPB Quote
For instance, you'd expect the top-shelf lenses to have the fastest optical designation, yet the widest DA Limited is a 15mm f/4 lens whereas there is a consumer DA 14mm f/2.8. The DA Limited 15mm is a much smaller lens, however, and has better build quality.
I think it is a bit misleading to refer to the DA14mm as a 'consumer' lens as opposed to the 15mm Ltd, just because it is a DA (not that I'm biased) The 14mm was one of the first DA lenses, (2004) as the so-called cropped sensor meant that an extra-wide angle lens was urgently needed, and it therefore predates the diversification of digital lens series that Pentax is prone to. Its build quality (metal body) and optical performance is better than the average DA series lens and not obviously worse than the Ltds - and it's not exactly cheap... If it was launched now, I suspect it would be as a DA*, although I normally focus mine manually anyway!
01-05-2011, 01:20 AM   #10
Senior Member




Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 106
Do all the newer lens lines (DA, DA*, FA, etc) have that "quick shift" focusing or is that limited to certain models?
01-05-2011, 02:02 AM   #11
Forum Member




Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 95
QuoteOriginally posted by dhugo3 Quote
Do all the newer lens lines (DA, DA*, FA, etc) have that "quick shift" focusing or is that limited to certain models?
FA Limiteds do not have QuickShift I believe the only QS lenses are the DA Limiteds & DA* lenses. I think the DFA 100mm Macro WR also has QS.
01-05-2011, 06:08 AM   #12
Pentaxian
bdery's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Quebec city, Canada
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 5,831
QuoteOriginally posted by snipenekkid Quote
I believe the only QS lenses are the DA Limiteds & DA* lenses.
Correction : all DA lenses (excluding the DA-L) have quick shift. No other line than the DA have quick-shift (no QS on FA or F, in other words).

Regarding the comparison between DA* and DA Limiteds, I cannot understand how anyone can make an offhand statement claiming a whole line of lenses is better than another line. Both are top notch, both serve different purposes, and that's that.
01-05-2011, 06:48 AM   #13
Veteran Member
dgaies's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Maryland / Washington DC
Posts: 3,917
QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
Regarding the comparison between DA* and DA Limiteds, I cannot understand how anyone can make an offhand statement claiming a whole line of lenses is better than another line. Both are top notch, both serve different purposes, and that's that.
I have to agree. Having owned all of the DA* and DA Limited lenses at one point or another over the past year I think I'd be hard pressed to say one is "better" than the other. They're just different, and there really isn't much overlap between them in terms of focal length or function. The DA* series has three outstanding zooms (16-50/2.8, 50-135/2.8, 60-250/4) and three outstanding primes (55/1.4, 200/2.8, 300/4). The DA limited series has five primes, but none of them really overlap or "compete" with the DA* series (15, 21, 35/macro, 40, 70). I suppose the closest comparison would be the 40/70 vs the 55, but in that case it's still apples and oranges as the 55 is much faster, but also a lot larger.
01-05-2011, 11:46 AM   #14
Veteran Member
vrrattko's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2010
Photos: Albums
Posts: 734
QuoteOriginally posted by JonPB Quote
I surprisingly find myself disagreeing with most of the answers posted.

A* lenses were the top-shelf 35mm film, manual focus lenses. They are still excellent lenses. I believe these were the first lenses to receive the * designation.
Just to add to that - M300/4 was the first Pentax lens to receive star designation. Very compact lens for this focal lenght and still surprisingly very capable even on dslr....
01-13-2011, 01:48 PM   #15
Forum Member




Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 95
QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
Correction : all DA lenses (excluding the DA-L) have quick shift. No other line than the DA have quick-shift (no QS on FA or F, in other words).
THANKS for the correction and clarification. Just did not want the OP or anyone else, confused by the suggestion the F/FA glass has QS.

QuoteQuote:
Regarding the comparison between DA* and DA Limiteds, I cannot understand how anyone can make an offhand statement claiming a whole line of lenses is better than another line. Both are top notch, both serve different purposes, and that's that.
I agree. In fact any lens in the hands of a good photographer can take exceptional images. Obviously some lenses deliver more pleasing images more consistently, but from reading and looking at so many photos from people much better than I ever will be, but they prove even inexpensive lenses can deliver pleasing results. It is not like the old days with K-Mart branded lenses. These days there really are not that many "bad" lenses out there.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
k-mount, lens, lenses, pentax, pentax lens, series, slr lens, star
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
For Sale - Sold: A* (Star) 300mm f/2.8 & Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 writeb Sold Items 11 05-23-2010 07:56 PM
For Sale - Sold: Pentax MZ-S Film Body & FA* star 24mm Light_Horseman Sold Items 8 04-08-2009 07:11 PM
LBA: The Limited Strikes Back / Return of the DA Star hamidlmt Post Your Photos! 9 02-22-2009 07:55 AM
n00b time - Limited vs star ftpaddict Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 21 02-26-2008 09:55 AM
For Sale - Sold: FS: FA 31mm Limited and FA (star) 24mm Duplo Sold Items 6 12-27-2007 04:43 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:30 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top