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02-23-2012, 06:06 AM   #1
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Our lineup desperately needs a 400mm f/2.8 and a TC to make it as close to 600mm f/4.

Even the upcoming 560mm is f/5.6 which could mean Pentax is ignoring a segment willing to spend big bucks or they are very confident in the iso performance of future bodies.

02-23-2012, 06:19 AM   #2
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At least the roadmap includes a TC. I expect this will be SDM-compatible; it'd be a very poor decision to do otherwise. So maybe one part of your list will happen. An autofocus 400/2.8 -- what would be the price tag of such a beast? Nikon and Canon equivalents retail for around US$9,000 and US$12,000, respectively.
02-23-2012, 06:56 AM   #3
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I think Pentax is convinced there consumers will not spend a lot for their product. Pentax really is all about the Japanese market anyways and many of the high priced telephotos were available for purchase till just a couple of years ago or less and I'm sure they stopped their availability as no one was buying them. If that is true, I don't blame them for not developing another lens costing close to $10k.

But, I hope they test the markets by re-introducing some of the legendary lenses like the FA200/f4 macro and price it high for a low volume high price market and test the waters. Don't they fetch close to $3k in the used market now?, why not price it at $2.5k for a new version and see. I will not buy it, but at the price people are buying the Vogitlander 125 and these old macros at insane prices, I would thing there is a market for high price low volume items within Pentax. They should explore this option.
02-23-2012, 08:05 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by baro-nite Quote
At least the roadmap includes a TC. I expect this will be SDM-compatible; it'd be a very poor decision to do otherwise. So maybe one part of your list will happen. An autofocus 400/2.8 -- what would be the price tag of such a beast? Nikon and Canon equivalents retail for around US$9,000 and US$12,000, respectively.
Its not really that expensive for the pros...i just think of it as $1000 per year of service and that have to earn at least that much to break even within 10 years. If Pentax goes back to the old ways of manufacturing for this lens, i could possibly hand it down to my grandkid who would not have to plonk down the cash for a similar lens.

02-23-2012, 08:27 AM   #5
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Not so sure that 400/2.8 is the popular tele anymore. Join the crowds at Yellowstone or Denali and you'll see that most of the big guns are 500's for the weight conscious who want to use less substantial tripods and 600/4's for the rest of us. Or avoid the crowds and find areas with a higher percentage of "pro's" and you'll seldom see 400/2.8's anymore. Yes, everyone loves those killer 400's, just not that many buying or using them anymore.

Note that the pro market is a tiny tiny niche that won't support building tele's of any brand. The vast majority of $10,000 lenses sold are to amateurs who are not price sensitive regarding equipment. Remember, this is a very inexpensive hobby compared to any of the motor sports, camping/RVing, international travel as a hobby, etc etc. If you live in the U.S. you probably know more than one family with a motorhome or boat which virtually always make $10,000 lenses look downright cheap as hobby items.

Note that I have had perhaps 1000 images paid and published in a variety of print media over the years (magazines, ads, state parks brochures etc.) and I'm most assuredly an amateur. So we may be defining terms differently. Still, after spending weeks on end in Alaska and living in Montana halfway between Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, I've spent many enjoyable days afield and I just don't see that many 400/2.8's out there anymore.
02-23-2012, 06:27 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ron Boggs Quote
Note that the pro market is a tiny tiny niche that won't support building tele's of any brand. The vast majority of $10,000 lenses sold are to amateurs who are not price sensitive regarding equipment. Remember, this is a very inexpensive hobby compared to any of the motor sports, camping/RVing, international travel as a hobby, etc etc. If you live in the U.S. you probably know more than one family with a motorhome or boat which virtually always make $10,000 lenses look downright cheap as hobby items.
This is a great analogy that hadn't crossed my mind before - great way to put it!
02-23-2012, 08:05 PM   #7
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I think I will wait and see how my latest purchase does before I jump, but the 560mm f5.6 has my attention. My latest purchase is a Tamron Adaptall 2 200-500/5.6. This lens is clearly tripod bound at 2.8 kilos, but at F5.6 is sufficiently fast for my needs, especially with the K5. I think the new lens is sufficiently fast that it should be a good extension to the existing line up, conspiring the 300/4.

Considering the crop factor this is about an 800/5.6 equivalent to film or full frame. If I have success with my Tamron, the new lens may just be the last super tele I purchase
02-23-2012, 08:29 PM   #8
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There is a guy posting on here at the moment with some superb bird shots ... many taken with a Sigma 300/2.8 and a x2 TC and others with Sigma 500/4.5. So for the 300 + TC that's an outlay of under $4,000 for very high quality IQ. No need for a 400/2.8 to get to 600 and great IQ. Nowadays the one stop difference can easily be covered by cameras with the high ISO handling of the K5.

02-24-2012, 10:57 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
There is a guy posting on here at the moment with some superb bird shots ... many taken with a Sigma 300/2.8 and a x2 TC and others with Sigma 500/4.5. So for the 300 + TC that's an outlay of under $4,000 for very high quality IQ. No need for a 400/2.8 to get to 600 and great IQ. Nowadays the one stop difference can easily be covered by cameras with the high ISO handling of the K5.
+1 The expanded dynamic range of the K5 makes all those slow old telephoto lenses must faster.

Tom G
02-24-2012, 08:00 PM   #10
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Have to agree that 300 and 400mm lenses with TC's are an option. No argument whatsoever. Have used such combo's in several configurations. But the OP is about what Pentax should perhaps add to the current line-up, specifically suggesting a lens in the price range of bigger lenses.

Regarding the Pentax lineup, of the big $7,000 to $10,000 lenses that could potentially be offered--400/2.8 is less likely to sell in big numbers. 500/4 (4.5) or 600/4 seem to be the better options for the current market. Note Canon's newest generation of superteles does not include 400/2.8 nor 800/5.6, just the 500 and 600 listed above. And again, not trying to be argumentative, but rather suggesting that the market may lean a different direction right now.

With K5 ISO qualities, the speed of the lens is only relevant in relation to foreground and background bokeh capabilities. Low light capability is provided by the camera. That's why the 600/5.6 recently announced by Pentax will be just fine as a modern "fast" tele.
02-24-2012, 09:11 PM   #11
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I would have to agree with Ron. Is the extra stop, worth that much extra cost and weight today. I am seriously considering the new lens when it becomes available, it will be long enough, and I trust Pentax will have made it sharper than my Tamron 200-500/5.6 to make it worthwhile
02-25-2012, 01:48 AM   #12
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Pentax does not make many fast lenses, especially not in the tele range these days. This is going on for years, so most Pentax users either bought an A/FA fast tele lens or already moved to Canon or Nikon. At the same time Pentax will offer a unique lens with the 5.6/560. This strategy makes sense, Pentax offers a full range of focal length, but no extreme/fast designs. Something like a 2.8/400 would be an isolated lens, expensive and even among fast tele lenses, it would be huge. I figured long time ago that I would need to get a 2.8/300 if I wanted to do any long tele work with AF, ..., add a 2x converter for really long reach. So, the 5.6/560 suits me well - but it should become more than a mock up image on a road map!
How to start a new line of really fast tele lenses? A 2/200 or 2.8/300 would probably sell much better for the beginning than a 2.8/400. Add more high quality converters. Investing in a 2.8/400 the first question will be how long it will be compatible to Pentax cameras. This is a long term investment - in the long run there will be differetn sensor sizes. If you are really in the market for a 2.8/400 get one from the competition, adding another NIkon/Canon body would not really change the bill. Fast tele range is Canon/Nikon land. Affordable tele range is Pentax land as soon as the 560 shows up - maybe this will be the start of something bigger...
A fast wide angle would make me much happier
02-25-2012, 04:06 AM   #13
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I own a Nikkor 200mm f/2G ED VR and a Nikkor 400mm f/2.8G ED VR - and I use both on my full frame D3s with 2X tc's when I need the extra reach. Why the hell would I want another 400mm f/2.8 from pentax, a camera manufacturer who doesn't even have a comparable camera to the D3s in the first place?

Let's be brutally honest, Pentax is never going to be able to compete head to head with either Nikon or Canon. Pentax is just a niche player, but with a solid following.
02-25-2012, 06:00 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
I own a Nikkor 200mm f/2G ED VR and a Nikkor 400mm f/2.8G ED VR - and I use both on my full frame D3s with 2X tc's when I need the extra reach. Why the hell would I want another 400mm f/2.8 from pentax, a camera manufacturer who doesn't even have a comparable camera to the D3s in the first place?

Let's be brutally honest, Pentax is never going to be able to compete head to head with either Nikon or Canon. Pentax is just a niche player, but with a solid following.
I don't the point of that post at all. Just because you have some Nikons, whoop whoop, what on earth has that got to do with the vast majority of Pentax owners who don't own Canikon, and maybe don't want to, but still want longer reach and maybe faster glass ?
As it is they have to switch brands if it becomes an imperative, however if Pentax were to enlarge their lens line-up to include lenses many people may want then it means those same punters don't have to give up their K5s, Limited lenses or whatever else it is they love about Pentax, just to be able to do that. It's not about competing head to head, it's about client retention.

Just because Red Bull, McClaren and Ferrari rule the roost does that mean other F1 teams should just chuck it all in ? They are still F1 teams and need to remain competitive for their fans/sponsors.
02-25-2012, 06:36 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
they have to switch brands if it becomes an imperative
which was my point, if you want these lenses you are going to have to switch. Pentax simply isn't big enough to provide theses high cost - low volume items.

QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
if Pentax were to enlarge their lens line-up to include lenses many people may want then it means those same punters don't have to give up their K5s, Limited lenses or whatever else it is they love about Pentax, just to be able to do that.
you don't have to give anything up, you just have to be prepared to shell out more for a different system - because pentax simply isn't interested in offering those kind of lenses.

Last edited by Digitalis; 02-25-2012 at 06:56 AM.
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