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03-24-2012, 03:49 PM   #16
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QuoteQuote:
You don't think the 18-135 takes really nice pictures?
I actually find the 18-135 a great lens.. and the 21 is probably a niche lens. But when people are looking at your work, I actually think the niche lenses add a lot to people's perceptions of your photography, even if they don't buy those images. But what I also think is, I could probably get a lens like the DA 18-135 for a Nikon or a Canon. Having lenses like the 21 ltd is a tremendous advantage in giving your work it's own personality.

QuoteQuote:
Pentax Re-Hiring Engineers let go by Hoya
That's of course very interesting... but until we see something that says it's happened, it's just a rumour. For myself, for a company that laid me off, there's going to be a huge signing bonus if you want me back. I'll be taking my 10 years severance package in advance. When I worked in a trade, I was never out of work for more than 2 weeks. Maybe in lens design that isn't as likely, but I bet you a lot of these guys have found something else to do. Right now I still have to get a 31 and a 15 and maybe a 40, and the 28 2.4 has recently caught my attention.. There are so many good Pentax lenses out there, but you still like to think there are going to be some new ones out there on the horizon. Everyone enjoys the buz around a new lens.

03-24-2012, 05:11 PM   #17
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Have to agree that the lens testing sites out there are not doing justice to lenses and may in fact be responsible for pushing manufacturers into producing 'clones' of lenses between each other as they strive for MTF and overall uniform MTF across the image.
The really bad thing is that its now generated a new breed of camera users who demand nothing else.


This site certainly stands as a very good reference for Pentax lenses with its large lens database for review and samples.

Last edited by pinholecam; 03-24-2012 at 05:16 PM.
03-24-2012, 05:13 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Wasn't there a runor in January (or a statement in a Ricoh interview) that Ricoh is trying to rehire many of these engineers, including Mr. Hirakawa?
AFAIK, there seemed to be no specific mention of Hirakawa in the rumors.

As for Photozone, you do of course need to remember that they are mainly doing technical tests,
at a range of a few meters, so neither close-up nor at infinity.
Within that context, a rating of 3 means "good/average," see Photozone Rating System.
For subjective assessments, the reviews and postings on this forum are very helpful,
although it's good to factor in each reviewer's or poster's background, prejudices and standards where you can.
03-24-2012, 06:13 PM   #19
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The DA Limiteds may not be much on paper, and I've owned better (on paper); but they produce images that far out perform any other lenses I own or have owned as % of keepers measurement. They deliver - enough said.

03-24-2012, 07:15 PM   #20
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Take all lens reviews with a big pinch of salt. Firstly while there is a high degree of automation in the cutting and polishing of the lens blanks, there still is plenty of individual hand assembly, so there will always be small variations even from the same production batches.

I got to choose between 3 copies of the 58mm f/1.4 Voigtlander Noktons and there were subtle differences between the lenses. I once had the chance to test 6 brand new copies of the FA 50mm f/1.4 and all showed small but subtle differences. So when I hear people saying this particular lens is soft wide open, in my mind they likely got a not so good copy (I've owned this lens 3 times, btw). I owned two copies of the FA 43mm Limited, one had horrible purple fringing while the other was significantly better. I have so many other experiences on this that I try to buy from dealers I know that I can test the lens in person or if it is used, I try to get from people I know. Certainly the prevalent practice of no questions asked returns on online internet sales means there are probably plenty of lemons or not so good copies floating around until it lands in the hands of some unfortunate sucker who assumes his new lens is all good.

Lens reviews attempt to generalize a conclusion from a single instance of testing, a common philosophical flaw. What we should really draw from a particular test review is that it is accurate for that particular copy of the lens, and while it might point to some characteristics, it may vary from copy to copy due to varying production tolerances and batches.
03-24-2012, 07:18 PM   #21
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Your images reinforce my goal of a dream trio in the future: 21, 40 and Tamron 90. I have the last one and the M40, but those were the easy acquisitions In the meantime my Rikenon 28 will be forced to fill the 21's shoes, which in fact it does quite well. So many images on this forum show the intangibles that I'm missing with my unLimited lenses.
03-24-2012, 07:36 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
Lens reviews attempt to generalize a conclusion from a single instance of testing, a common philosophical flaw. What we should really draw from a particular test review is that it is accurate for that particular copy of the lens, and while it might point to some characteristics, it may vary from copy to copy due to varying production tolerances and batches.
This is very true. I'm not sure if the variations are greater today than in past years, or that we just have better ability to test than we did in the film era.

Paul
03-24-2012, 07:37 PM   #23
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What was the first and most common wide angle focal length photographers in the 35mm film era used? Answer: 28mm. Well the DA 21mm Limited is the lens with the closest angle of view for APS-C cameras to the venerable 28mm on 35mm FF. It is wide, yet easy to use because the perspective effects is easily manageable for most users. The DA 21mm Limited is always in the bag because it is so small but it is a very versatile lens - good for landscapes, street shooting, group shots, indoors, close-ups and even IR photography. Imo more users should consider using this lens rather than the equally fine DA 15mm. The lens could be a tad sharper and there is some light fall off wide open and the barrel distortion could be a little better controlled but I'm nitpicking here.

Landscape


Indoors


Close-up


IR



Last edited by creampuff; 03-24-2012 at 07:45 PM.
03-24-2012, 07:56 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
I actually find the 18-135 a great lens.. and the 21 is probably a niche lens. But when people are looking at your work, I actually think the niche lenses add a lot to people's perceptions of your photography, even if they don't buy those images. But what I also think is, I could probably get a lens like the DA 18-135 for a Nikon or a Canon. Having lenses like the 21 ltd is a tremendous advantage in giving your work it's own personality.

That's of course very interesting... but until we see something that says it's happened, it's just a rumour. For myself, for a company that laid me off, there's going to be a huge signing bonus if you want me back. I'll be taking my 10 years severance package in advance. When I worked in a trade, I was never out of work for more than 2 weeks. Maybe in lens design that isn't as likely, but I bet you a lot of these guys have found something else to do. Right now I still have to get a 31 and a 15 and maybe a 40, and the 28 2.4 has recently caught my attention.. There are so many good Pentax lenses out there, but you still like to think there are going to be some new ones out there on the horizon. Everyone enjoys the buz around a new lens.
Yes, I understand, but it isn't impossible.

My company sold a division to another, selling with it a visionary product developer, his team and a number of trademarked products. My company was then bought by another, larger and financially healthier firm, which within weeks brought that product developer, his team and many of his trademarked products back to us.

They reportedly paid as much for the small team as the old company received for the entire division. That small team's product area now accounts for 16% of our gross revenue and 23% of our net income.
03-24-2012, 09:05 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
Lens reviews attempt to generalize a conclusion from a single instance of testing, a common philosophical flaw.
Less philosophical than practical, I think. Reviewers cant/don't want to test multiple copies of each lens from different batches.
03-24-2012, 09:10 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
Imo more users should consider using this lens rather than the equally fine DA 15mm.
Totally agree. Unfortunately, as soon as someone posts, "What lens should I get for landscapes?" most of the responses on this and other forums encourage the OP to get an ultrawide lens.

Landscapes photography is filled to the brim with cliched, compositionally-unfocused images. /rantover

03-24-2012, 09:30 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bob from Aus Quote
That's why in the end I listen you you guys on the forum rather than the "official" reviews. the craziest review I read was a guy testing different slr digital cameras including a K7 in cold weather with gloves on. He marked the K7 camera down because the buttons were small and he confused the number of focus points with the number of metering points/areas. The K7 was the only camera he tested designed to work at minus 10 and was weather sealed. This guy couldn't even read the K7 specifications properly.

As they are much more familiar with other brands I thank many of the reviewers don't get it.
It doesn't matter what the camera is capable of if you can't operate it in those conditions. It's a valid concern if you need to use gloves.
03-24-2012, 09:45 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
Totally agree. Unfortunately, as soon as someone posts, "What lens should I get for landscapes?" most of the responses on this and other forums encourage the OP to get an ultrawide lens.

Landscapes photography is filled to the brim with cliched, compositionally-unfocused images. /rantover

I used to think that an ultawide would be great for landscapes until I tried to shoot some using a Sigma 10-20 at 10mm. It's not so great to have a landscape with your feet, powerlines, the road on your left, etc in the shot.

I've found that it actually works far better for getting really close to stuff.
03-24-2012, 09:48 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by tibbitts Quote
This is very true. I'm not sure if the variations are greater today than in past years, or that we just have better ability to test than we did in the film era.

Paul
The testing is much better nowadays, and it's not just the manufacturers that have access to the tools.

LensRentals.com - What I Did Over Winter Vacation
03-25-2012, 02:19 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
As for Photozone, you do of course need to remember that they are mainly doing technical tests,
at a range of a few meters, so neither close-up nor at infinity.
Good point, as lenses may be less or more sharp and different distances.

QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
What we should really draw from a particular test review is that it is accurate for that particular copy of the lens, and while it might point to some characteristics, it may vary from copy to copy due to varying production tolerances and batches.
While I agree that sample variation is a problem, some of the tests from these various sites vary so widely that I don't think it can be explained by sample variation alone: I think there are other factors, including tester error (or perhaps inappropriate testing methods) involved here. Photozone in particular is a site I've come to regard with skepticism, at least in terms of their resolution tests. Their tests of Pentax 100mm macros appear to consistently under estimate the resolution of those lenses. Macro lenses tend to be among the sharpest glass out there, but you would never know that looking at the Photozone tests of the FA 100 and the older DFA 100. My copy of the newer DFA 100 (which supposedly has the same optical formula as the older DFA 100) is the sharpest lens I own. Lenstip finds it to be as sharp as the FA 43, and PopPhoto rates it slightly higher than the very highly regarded Nikkor 105. I find it unlikely that the lowish scores for Pentax macros can be explained by sample variation (or that the newer DFA is that much sharper than previous Pentax macros). And I've run across other anomalies at Photozone as well: their results for the DA 16-45, for example, don't quite match my experiences with that lens.
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