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02-17-2011, 10:47 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by DogLover Quote
Who doesn't like the bokeh? I think from f/2 it's more than pretty decent. The bokeh is actually quite lovely and appropiate for portraits. I love the 55.
The wide open bokeh gets most of the criticism on this lens, but I love it a stop down and on from there.

I also love the 55

02-17-2011, 02:50 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
Nothing wrong with plastic - it lasts forever.
as long as it is not made in China.
02-17-2011, 03:10 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I'm not sure why the focus here is on the materials that make up the lens. The issue is optics, isn't it? If the lens was a dog, even if it was a beautiful metallic shell around it, it wouldn't make a difference.
The issue I brought up isn't about optics. If the issue is always optics, then why do we all talk about how great the Pentax limiteds are and why they hold a premium price yet they are not the fastest lenses around (eg. build quality and size)? If the limited were in plastic, but with the same optics, would you say the same thing about them?

If I wanted plastic I'd go buy a Canon.

My DA* 300 is basically a "pro" lens with build of a limited. The DA* 55 is not because it has a non-metal exterior. I assumed the 55 would be just like the 300 in build quality, but just smaller of course.

I traded in a 50mm f1.4 recently to help fund a K-5 + 55mm and this DA* was basically a replacement for the 50. The materials on the 50 were not that much lower than the 55, hence part of my disappointment.

The whole point of this posting was to state why I feel it's strange the 55 doesn't match the 300 in build.
02-17-2011, 04:44 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by sjwaldron Quote
The materials on the 50 were not that much lower than the 55, hence part of my disappointment.

I'd have to disagree with you, there. I think the build-quality of the 55 is markedly better than the 50/1.4.

02-17-2011, 05:35 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by DogLover Quote
I'd have to disagree with you, there. I think the build-quality of the 55 is markedly better than the 50/1.4.
The focus ring on the 55mm is a lot better (the focus ring on the 55 is the best part of the lens). However, the barrel material seems thinner or at least more hollow when I tap my finger on it.
02-17-2011, 05:36 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by sjwaldron Quote


My DA* 300 is basically a "pro" lens with build of a limited. The DA* 55 is not because it has a non-metal exterior. I assumed the 55 would be just like the 300 in build quality, but just smaller of course..
Are you sure that the lens tubuses are not metal? I have never seen the 55mm but most Pentax primes are metal lenses with a plastic outer body; eg. all the FA*.
Also most of the Pentax 645 lenses.
02-17-2011, 05:55 PM   #22
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I don't know what is inside it as I haven't looked for a diagram. The exterior is not metal.
02-17-2011, 06:00 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by sjwaldron Quote
I don't know what is inside it as I haven't looked for a diagram. The exterior is not metal.
Check the filter threads...

02-17-2011, 08:03 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by sjwaldron Quote
The issue I brought up isn't about optics. If the issue is always optics, then why do we all talk about how great the Pentax limiteds are and why they hold a premium price yet they are not the fastest lenses around (eg. build quality and size)? If the limited were in plastic, but with the same optics, would you say the same thing about them?

If I wanted plastic I'd go buy a Canon.

My DA* 300 is basically a "pro" lens with build of a limited. The DA* 55 is not because it has a non-metal exterior. I assumed the 55 would be just like the 300 in build quality, but just smaller of course.

I traded in a 50mm f1.4 recently to help fund a K-5 + 55mm and this DA* was basically a replacement for the 50. The materials on the 50 were not that much lower than the 55, hence part of my disappointment.

The whole point of this posting was to state why I feel it's strange the 55 doesn't match the 300 in build.
I understand. I do think the DA *55 "feels" a whole lot sturdier and better constructed than my FA 50 did.
02-17-2011, 08:07 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by sjwaldron Quote

I traded in a 50mm f1.4 recently to help fund a K-5 + 55mm and this DA* was basically a replacement for the 50. The materials on the 50 were not that much lower than the 55, hence part of my disappointment.
QuoteOriginally posted by DogLover Quote
I'd have to disagree with you, there. I think the build-quality of the 55 is markedly better than the 50/1.4.
I have to agree with DogLover here. The DA*55 is substantially better than the FA50/1.4 in terms of build quality. Regardless of what combination of materials the DA*55 is made from, I feel the build quality is excellent and have never considered it to be sub-par or lacking.
02-17-2011, 08:43 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by dgaies Quote
I have to agree with DogLover here. The DA*55 is substantially better than the FA50/1.4 in terms of build quality. Regardless of what combination of materials the DA*55 is made from, I feel the build quality is excellent and have never considered it to be sub-par or lacking.
I'm not saying it isn't a quality lens. However I am saying it's sub-par compared to the DA* 300mm in the materials they used for the exterior body.
02-18-2011, 03:05 PM   #27
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I understand your anger to some degree.
Compared to the first SMC series (inofficially K series) everything produced after that is built like crap (ok, A* series excluded).
The peak of crappy built must have been the F and FA series.

But although I don't own that lens (have the Sigma 50mm F1.4 instead) I'm sure its built quality is just excellent.
Problem is you just can't see anymore with all the plastic.
It's not even that metal is any better it's just the fact that the perceived built quality is way higher if it's made of metal.
It's cold, it's hard, it's heavy. Plastic on the other hand - how good it may be isn't.

I can't tell why they used real metal on the teles. Quite surprises me.

Message is: you either have to live with the fact that everything is plastic nowadays or switch to Leica who still appreciate fine craftmanship...
02-18-2011, 03:17 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Egg Salad Quote
Message is: you either have to live with the fact that everything is plastic nowadays or switch to Leica who still appreciate fine craftmanship...
they appreciate it because they are in the business of selling high end gear. and their customers expect it. Pentax is in the business of selling mass manufactured camera gear aimed mostly at much lower end consumer markets. completely different companies with completely different customer bases. that however doesn’t mean that you always get what you pay for. or what you expect. especially when more and more Leica and Zeiss products are made in Japan and not Germany, and are a lot less scrutinized and quality control tested than previous generations of high end products with their names on them.
02-18-2011, 05:25 PM   #29
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This gets a little bit off-topic but I have to say something about this...

True. Pentax isn't Leica. Neither are Canon or Nikon.
They have a completely different customer bases and product policies.

But even in the past Pentax wasn't Leica and still everything was made of metal and build was nothing short of excellent.
Of course recource material costs have skyrocketed since then so I'm sure metal has become disproportionate more expensive.

This added to the fact that plastic has become way more common and practically you don't lose anything to metal made stuff it is clear that more and more is made of plastics (well see how that goes if oil gets really scarce).

So metal is no decision made by mind but by "heart" (nostalgia that is).

As for lens manufacturing:
Like you will probably agree it doesn't really matter where something is built as long as the quality control is up to the task and the people doing it (QC and the process in itself) are qualified.

Sure, I like to read the imprinting: "Made in Germany" or "Made in Japan" but actually it doesn't matter.

And for me Japan is in no way worse than Germany. I'd rather say they are on the same level (and Vietnam could be, too).

But ok, if it is like you pointed out and the quality control is infact worse - then yes, you don't get what you pay for anymore. Which is a shame. Hi, Sigma...
02-18-2011, 05:54 PM   #30
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I dont mean to make it sound like its bad by any means, and I would say that by and large, leica is still on top. Idiotically expensive, but still on top. but Zeiss, is mostly made by Cosina in Japan, and despite the claimed zeiss approved facilities, manufacturing and quality control, there have been many a rant about problems with zeiss lenses. I also know that people have had problems with both the leica m8s and M9s. nostalgia is great, but even back then, there were certainly quality control problems and cheap materials used. I agree that Pentax isnt what it used to be. literally, since Asahi Optical no longer exists. but, make of it all what you will. i sure would like to have that Noctilux-M 50 mm f/0.95 ASPH on my M3 though.
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