Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
11-26-2007, 07:20 AM   #1
Veteran Member
JCSullivan's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Windsor, Canada
Posts: 3,058
What makes a Pentax Limited lense special

I've heard people talk about these lenses but,

What makes a Pentax star lense a star lense?
What makes a Pentax Limited lense a Limited lense?

11-26-2007, 03:11 PM   #2
Senior Member




Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Lommel, Belgium
Posts: 285
I think I've been reading that the "Limited Edition" lenses are just better quality then the other lenses (like metal instead of plastic and stuff like that).

Also they are "limited" in amount that are made (I guess ).

as for the * lenses I guess it's similar as the Limited Edition so I guess they have a higher quality then the other lenses (more expensive).
11-26-2007, 04:48 PM   #3
Site Supporter
Marc Langille's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: NW Arkansas, USA
Posts: 4,702
Clarity - you are welcome to read my reviews on my FA* 300/2.8 and FA* 200/4 macro. The optics are stunning, and that is not an understatement. I took a test shot of my kitchen cabinets from 9-10 feet away, and I can see the dust particles embedded in the original finish... Same goes for my hummingbird shots I did this year - I can clearly distinguish the brown pupil of it's eye. That's clarity! Photos available on request...

Generally, the best lenses (including the * series lenses and more than several of the Limiteds) have more diaphragm blades, so the out of focus areas (bokeh) tend to appear much smoother or "creamier" in appearance.

For example:

FA* 300/2.8 has 8 blades
FA* 200/4 macro has 9 blades
FA 77mm Limited (and most other Limiteds) have 9 blades

Other intangibles are the image quality from these lenses, and some having an almost 3-D appearance. One of the finest lenses rated by Luminous Landscape is the 31mm Limited - here's a link to the article: sm-02-05-02
Yes, a Pentax lens! Normally most of them are metal construction too. The FA* 300/2.8 lens hood is metal.

Cheers,
Marc
11-27-2007, 06:19 AM   #4
Veteran Member
Finn's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Phoenix
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,056
I fear I have been indoctrinated into the Cult of the Limited. But there is something about the photos that is truly stunning, a three dimensionality that you rarely see in other lenses (although I think the S-M-C Takumar 50/1.4 comes close). And the metal construction is wonderful. In the hand they feel like M lenses, only with autofocus as a bonus. I just can't go back to plastic-bodied lenses after this!

11-27-2007, 07:07 AM   #5
Senior Member




Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 195
I don't think what makes a limited lens is simply the fact that they have 9 aperature blades, as you can see from the links below there are tons of lenses out there with 9 aperature blades (rounded aperatures blades too).

I don't think what makes a limited lens is the fact that they are metal construction, because you can also see from the links below that these lenses are metal construction also.

I also don't think that the out of focus area is anything beyond what you can obtain with similar aperature lenses with similar numbers of rounded aperature blades from competitive brands.

Nikon Imaging | AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.8D

Nikon Imaging | AF DC-Nikkor 105mm f/2D

Nikon Imaging | AF DC-Nikkor 135mm f/2D

Nikon Imaging | AF Nikkor 180mm f/2.8D IF-ED



So, if you've read this far without flaming my post, then you agree they are not special for the reasons so often touted by most, as they share similar company to many other brands and lenses.

The reason I think the Pentax Limiteds are so special, especially the FA's, is because they are all of these things in a smaller package with the look of a work of art. There is a design element found in the pentax limiteds only seen in the older manual focus lenses and the leica lenses in my opinion. There is an emphasis on keeping the lens as compact as possible. Each lens has character, artistic beauty, and charm, while doing a very good job at providing the results of any other "high end" lens.

All the manufacturers have awesome lens designs available, but only pentax has them in compact, beautiful packages known as the limiteds.
11-27-2007, 07:14 AM   #6
Forum Member




Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 90
Completely agree with txbonds.
11-27-2007, 10:27 AM   #7
Site Supporter
Marc Langille's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: NW Arkansas, USA
Posts: 4,702
I agree completely! There are many excellent lenses by many manufacturers are out there! To expand a bit on my post: I did not know where JC's knowledge stood, hence my explanation about blade count.

That was to simply explain why the better lenses often have higher blade counts. I clearly stated that "generally the best lenses... " have higher blade counts... I never stated that this is specific only to Pentax in my previous post. You've definitely provided examples of other great lenses- so we are in agreement there...

Besides, he wasn't just talking about the Limiteds. Yes it's in the subject line, but look at the message body too... JC was also discussing the star series lenses too, and I am quite familiar with the FA* lenses. That was the focus (no pun) of my post, and therefore I was only briefly mentioning the similarities to the Limited line.

You are most correct about the Limiteds - amazing optics in small, high quality metal constructed barrels. I hope that clears up any confusion, and I certainly thank you for your post - it certainly expands my somewhat shorter one by a good margin!

Cheers,
Marc

Last edited by Marc Langille; 11-27-2007 at 10:44 AM. Reason: clarification
11-27-2007, 10:46 AM   #8
Veteran Member
JCSullivan's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Windsor, Canada
Posts: 3,058
Original Poster
Thank you, to those who have answered so far.

To make things quite clear - my technical knowledge is very minimal and knowledge of lenses is even worse. I've been shooting many years (more years than some have been alive) but I never got into high-end lenses. I should change my sig to indicate my level of knowledge.

So, I think we're saying that *lenses are sharp and limited lenses are even sharper and that they really are worth the money being asked for them.

Do I take it that all of you who have answered so far ARE owners of either of these lenses...care to post your own comparision shots.

Thanks again.

11-27-2007, 11:22 AM   #9
DAP
Senior Member




Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 151
IMHO you can think of the FA* lenses and the FA limited lenses interchangeably. Both represent a lens that is a cut above standard issue Pentax lenses as far as build/imaging are concerned. If I were going to have to differentiate between FA* lenses and FA limited lenses I would say that the FA* lenses tend to be very modern/high-tech (internal focus, clutches, space-age sliver paint etc.) whereas the FA limiteds tend to be a little more "old-school" as far as construction is concerned (no internal focus, no focus clutch, retro styling, etc.). I like to think of the FA* lenses as Pentax's version of Canon "L" lenses whereas the old limiteds are Pentax's version of Leica lenses. I think the images they produce are on par with eachother and equal to the top lenses of other manufacturers (I think the hype about them being worlds better or "special" compared to the competition is totally overblown). As far as DA lenses are concerned the limiteds seemed to have turned into Pentax's compact line whereas the DA* lenses have become the top of the Pentax heap. I don't own any DA limited lenses so I can't comment on if they still run neck and neck with image quality of the DA* lenses.

Last edited by DAP; 11-27-2007 at 11:33 AM. Reason: mistake
11-27-2007, 11:47 AM   #10
Pentaxian
Moderator Emeritus




Join Date: May 2007
Location: Edmonton Alberta, Canada
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 10,648
JC I do own a 43mm and the 77mm and have had the chance to try an 300 FA* f4.5 and the 85mm A* f1.4. All are wonderful pieces of glass, each with it's own unique image quality. All are sharp as a tack as well. The 85 is the sharpest lens I've had the chance to use but the 77mm is not far off an the 300 is on par as well.
11-27-2007, 12:21 PM   #11
Senior Member




Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 195
Marc,

I apologize if my post offended you in any way. It wasn't meant to be a knock in your direction at all. I was simply trying to point out that what makes the Limiteds special is more the beauty and art of the instrument than anything because there are plenty of other tools on par with their results and capabilities. Just that the limiteds represent not only heart and soul, but outer beauty as well. They are a joy to own and use if you also appreciate the intricate details and quality with which they are built.

Cheers,

Greg


Also, I don't own any FA* or DA* lenses, just the FA 31Ltd, FA 43Ltd, DA 70Ltd and 18-55 kit lenses.

QuoteOriginally posted by 35mmfilm_user Quote
I agree completely! There are many excellent lenses by many manufacturers are out there! To expand a bit on my post: I did not know where JC's knowledge stood, hence my explanation about blade count.

That was to simply explain why the better lenses often have higher blade counts. I clearly stated that "generally the best lenses... " have higher blade counts... I never stated that this is specific only to Pentax in my previous post. You've definitely provided examples of other great lenses- so we are in agreement there...

Besides, he wasn't just talking about the Limiteds. Yes it's in the subject line, but look at the message body too... JC was also discussing the star series lenses too, and I am quite familiar with the FA* lenses. That was the focus (no pun) of my post, and therefore I was only briefly mentioning the similarities to the Limited line.

You are most correct about the Limiteds - amazing optics in small, high quality metal constructed barrels. I hope that clears up any confusion, and I certainly thank you for your post - it certainly expands my somewhat shorter one by a good margin!

Cheers,
Marc
11-27-2007, 01:56 PM   #12
Veteran Member
JCSullivan's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Windsor, Canada
Posts: 3,058
Original Poster
I don't think Marc was offended at all, Greg but I'll let him answer that.

Anyway, what's the diff between the Black and the Silver?

Thanks
11-27-2007, 02:15 PM   #13
Senior Member




Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 195
QuoteOriginally posted by JCSullivan Quote
I don't think Marc was offended at all, Greg but I'll let him answer that.

Anyway, what's the diff between the Black and the Silver?

Thanks
That's one I don't know myself. I have the newest versions in black. I think I read somewhere that the FA limiteds use to contain lead in the glass, but the ones currently available in stores do not. Other than asthetics though, I doubt there is any difference in silver versus black if you are buying a new stock lens.
11-27-2007, 02:28 PM   #14
Pentaxian
Moderator Emeritus




Join Date: May 2007
Location: Edmonton Alberta, Canada
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 10,648
They are identical other than the colour.
11-27-2007, 03:56 PM   #15
Site Supporter
Marc Langille's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: NW Arkansas, USA
Posts: 4,702
QuoteOriginally posted by txbonds Quote
Marc,

I apologize if my post offended you in any way. It wasn't meant to be a knock in your direction at all. I was simply trying to point out that what makes the Limiteds special is more the beauty and art of the instrument than anything because there are plenty of other tools on par with their results and capabilities. Just that the limiteds represent not only heart and soul, but outer beauty as well. They are a joy to own and use if you also appreciate the intricate details and quality with which they are built.

Cheers,

Greg


Also, I don't own any FA* or DA* lenses, just the FA 31Ltd, FA 43Ltd, DA 70Ltd and 18-55 kit lenses.
Greg, no worries my friend! There was a slight misunderstanding, nothing more, so I wanted to clarify.

I think we were walking in the same direction, just taking parallel paths...



QuoteOriginally posted by JCSullivan Quote
I don't think Marc was offended at all, Greg but I'll let him answer that.
JC is correct - no offense taken!
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, lense, pentax, pentax lens, slr lens, star
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Spotmatic is special but gto is very special! pickles General Talk 23 08-10-2010 09:46 PM
What Makes a Great Low Light Lense? Firebird Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 15 09-09-2009 07:54 AM
special time with a special lens (larger images) Marc Langille Post Your Photos! 30 11-01-2008 09:38 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:30 AM. | See also: NikonForums.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