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09-03-2011, 05:43 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
I am thinking about buying one of the lower cost WR lenses. One thing kind of bugs me though, and that is none of them appear to be very fast.
Let us come back to the original post. You want a fast WR lens. If you really want a fast lens that is very sturdy and can sustain bad weather, I can recommend strongly the Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f1.4.

Let me explain. WR means weather resistant and this is a relatively new marketing tool. See for example the recent article 'Survival of the fittest - weatherproof, splashproof, waterproof' at dpreview.com. However there are several lenses which were designed and built prior to these modern times and are built like a tank. One such lens is the Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f1.4, a fully metallic lens with an outstanding IQ. I would encourage to consider it if you want a sturdy lens. (If you are after the WR badge only, that is another issue....)

For a number a reason incl. work, I shoot a lot of photographs in foul weather, incl. during sub-tropical rainstorms, in salty conditions, muddy conditions, in sands and salty spray. I have a K-7 and a few foul-weather lenses that I already tested and used in very bad conditions: eg DA18-250mm, Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f1.4. And I am not alone at PF to use these lenses in harsh conditions.

Further several experienced Pentaxians will confirm you that the reputation and solidity of a lens is more important than a WR badge. (By reading the threads and users' reviews at PF, you can learn a lot yourself.)

In summary: for a fast WR-like lens, you cannot get wrong with the Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f1.4. A lens with amazing IQ.....

Hope that the comment will help.


Last edited by hcc; 09-04-2011 at 03:50 PM.
09-03-2011, 07:06 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
I am thinking about buying one of the lower cost WR lenses. One thing kind of bugs me though, and that is none of them appear to be very fast. I have a K20D so I'm not going to shoot ISO 3200 on a dreary day. I don't really see a lot written about these lenses. If you have these lenses, what kind of performance do you see in them? I'm not looking for a DA*, just can't swing that right now. I'm not sold on a weather resistant, it just might be kind of nice.
Cheap WR lenses are unique to Pentax. I don't think any of the other companies offer lenses like this. Aperture is one of the things you need to give up when trying to get a cheap lens with extras like WR. That being said, I'm wondering why Pentax hasn't released WR versions of their better DA lenses like the 55-300, 35mm f2.4, 16-45mm f4, and so on.

The only cheap WR lens that I have is the 50-200mm lens. I'm actually pretty happy with it, especially at the price I paid for it. I haven't done any technical tests on the lens, but mine seems decent. It's possible I lucked out as the non-WR lens review on photozone.de for this lens rates it really low in sharpness. I think there were a few changes such as the filter ring size between the DA and DA WR, but I doubt the optical formula changed.

So you can buy a cheap WR lens and some decent noise reduction software, or you can save up for something like the DA* 55mm or 16-50mm.
09-03-2011, 07:22 PM   #18
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If a 55-300mm wr comes out, it will be THE wr lens to get, I think. No dice yet, unfortunately. Hopefully Pentax fixes this soon
09-03-2011, 07:32 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
If a 55-300mm wr comes out, it will be THE wr lens to get, I think. No dice yet, unfortunately. Hopefully Pentax fixes this soon
I agree that the 55-300mm would be a great lens to put WR into. A great range for nature photography. Do you know something we don't know?

I'd like to see more wide angle WR options too. I'm surprised the 55mm is the widest DA* prime we can get.

Oh, and a D-FA 85mm f1.4 WR based off of the FA* 80mm. I like the FA* 85 I picked up a while ago, but it could stand to have that rounded blade treatment the 100mm WR Macro received. Well really, I'd like to see a lot more D-FA WR designs.

09-03-2011, 10:59 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by hcc Quote
Let us come back to the original post. You want a fast WR lens. If you really want a fast lens that is very sturdy and can sustain bad weather, I can recommend strongly the Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f1.4.
Unfortunately the Voightlander is twice the price of the "cheaper' WR lenses. It definitely is an interesting lens and obviously great quality. I'm not totally sold on getting a WR lens, I've done fine with plastic sleeves, but I'm looking at options. The Nokton is an interesting option, though I'm not a great "manual focuser". I don't have a great lens collection, but I'm pretty set at getting a DA 15, but can maybe pick up a low cost lens too.
09-04-2011, 03:02 PM   #21
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I appreciate everybody's thought here, still not positive, but I think I'll save a while longer and go with the D FA 100 Macro. It has great reviews and I think it can be very useful, I like the speed, the length, the water resistance, the macro, and I've read good things about the curved blades and overall image quality. It would be a nice addition and upgrade over my Promaster macro.

Last edited by ramseybuckeye; 09-04-2011 at 06:13 PM.
09-04-2011, 03:05 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by CRPhoto Quote
Here's a picture with the K20D + 18-55WR....lens and camera half submerged in the pool (no protection at all, just the camera and lens):
You were lucky that your gear survived. Weather protection is not designed to withstand water pressure. If you repeated this experiment some more times, I think it is a sure bet that eventually your gear will suffer from water penetration.


QuoteOriginally posted by Nick Siebers Quote
What I would really love would be WR versions of the DA 16-45 and 55-300.
I don't think we'll ever see these. I believe WR is considered to be a feature belonging to lenses that you are prepared to pay a lot of money for, e.g., the DA* 60-250/4.

The 16-45 and 55-300 are budget lenses and adding WR would decrease their main appeal, i.e., the low price (paired with very good optical performance).

I believe the only reason why we see WR in the cheap kit lenses is for marketing reasons so that Pentax can sell WR kits and customers see the brand's appeal without considering to buy a DA* lens with their first camera.

Isn't it the same with Canikon's VR/IS technology? Kit lenses have it for marketing reasons, budget lenses don't have it, higher end lenses have it.


QuoteOriginally posted by hcc Quote
If you really want a fast lens that is very sturdy and can sustain bad weather, I can recommend strongly the Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f1.4.
The Nokton is a very nice lens but its sturdiness shouldn't be confused with weather-resistance.

For starters, it doesn't have an O-ring on the mount and it isn't designed to keep water out so it will compromise the weather-sealing of the camera, potentially damaging the camera even if the lens survives.

But even the lens can suffer. I believe the electronics within the lens are the lesser problem compared to any residual moisture staying in the lens, providing a feeding ground for fungus.

Surely, the Nokton will withstand very light rain, but so does my K100D.


QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
The Nokton is an interesting option, though I'm not a great "manual focuser".
I find that the focus confirm works great. Your hand just replaces the focus motor, but you still get feedback about whether or not you have achieved focus. I never found a need to resort to a split focus screen with my manual focus lenses.
09-04-2011, 03:20 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by CRPhoto Quote
I have the 16-50 DA* and it's an amazing lens, but I just also recently bought the 18-55WR and the 50-200WR because the DA* is heavier and expensive and I want a travel kit to complement my K5. This WR kit is pretty decent and I can take it around easily and I know that I can get it wet. I also have a K20D so I can use this kit on that camera. It's so cheap that it's worth it.

Here's a picture with the K20D + 18-55WR....lens and camera half submerged in the pool (no protection at all, just the camera and lens):
I'm going to try this with my black K-5 once it turned 150k on the shutter and is written of. For Now I'm not jumping into this, but I do like your pool-picture!

09-04-2011, 03:57 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
The Nokton is a very nice lens but its sturdiness shouldn't be confused with weather-resistance.
I beg to disagree. My comment and advice is based upon real-world experience. The notion of Weather resistance is a relatively new marketing tool which is almost irrelevant to all these sturdy lenses that do sustain bad weather conditions.

I do shoot in foul weather and I used the Nokton 58mm on K-7 in subtropical rainstorms and a range of bad weather. Other PF members have used the lens in other bad weather conditions. All the reports on the lens in bad weather (in PF and DPR) are positive. Off course it does not mean that the lens is waterproof. No WR lens is waterproof similarly.

In summary, let us focus on real-world experience and that was what I shared.
09-05-2011, 05:28 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by hcc Quote
The notion of Weather resistance is a relatively new marketing tool which is almost irrelevant to all these sturdy lenses that do sustain bad weather conditions.
Why do you think Pentax put O-rings on the mount of WR lenses if it weren't necessary?

They put them on the super cheap, high volume WR kit lenses as well. Even pennies saved on a high volume item like that would result in big savings (i.e., additional profit).

One could argue that the O-rings are just a marketing thing -- a visible token of a claimed property that does not really have a functional justification -- but I'd be surprised if that were true.

QuoteOriginally posted by hcc Quote
I do shoot in foul weather and I used the Nokton 58mm on K-7 in subtropical rainstorms and a range of bad weather.
I don't question that. However, if the Nokton were up to WR sealing standards, why was it not advertised as such? It stands to reason that an FA Ltd has similar build quality and will withstand some adverse weather conditions. Nevertheless, FA Ltds are not advertised as WR lenses because -- I believe -- there is still a difference between a lens not suffering immediate damage in adverse weather conditions and a fully sealed lens that provides protection for the camera as well.
09-05-2011, 06:46 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
I don't think we'll ever see these. I believe WR is considered to be a feature belonging to lenses that you are prepared to pay a lot of money for, e.g., the DA* 60-250/4.

The 16-45 and 55-300 are budget lenses and adding WR would decrease their main appeal, i.e., the low price (paired with very good optical performance).

I believe the only reason why we see WR in the cheap kit lenses is for marketing reasons so that Pentax can sell WR kits and customers see the brand's appeal without considering to buy a DA* lens with their first camera.
Thanks for the rationale, I hadn't thought about it like that. But still, I think they would move a LOT of units of WR 16-45 and 55-300. Of course, they would probably sell many fewer 16-50s and 60-250s, but if you can make a better product at a cheaper price, why not do it?
09-05-2011, 07:51 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nick Siebers Quote
Of course, they would probably sell many fewer 16-50s and 60-250s, but if you can make a better product at a cheaper price, why not do it?
For the reason you mention: Sales for other lenses with higher profit margins would be compromised.

I'm just speculating, though.
09-05-2011, 07:53 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
For the reason you mention: Sales for other lenses with higher profit margins would be compromised.

I'm just speculating, though.
I think that's probably part of it. That said, I think a 16-45WR and a 55-300WR would be great update/additions to the lineup.
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