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04-20-2012, 09:29 AM   #1
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Why can't they make...

I purchased book #4 of Scott Kelby's Digital Photography book series (which are great by the way) and noticed one of the portrait lenses he recommended for those on a budget was an 85mm F 1.8 for $400. WHAT? $400? I thought it was a printing error! So I looked it up, and indeed it was the correct price!
Now the big question... Why can't Pentax make a descent glass at this price? Yes, Cannon has the volume, but how can Pentax lure new people when most of its glass is much higher price? I realize that Pentax has some of the best around, but how does someone like me ever going to afford a good Pentax prime? Even the Sigma lens that is close to the equivalent is triple the price!
This is not a "this lens is better then that lens" but more about getting good quality product that the average user can afford. Even if they don't make any money from some of their lenses, they still need to focus on convincing photographers that Pentax can lead the way in as many ways as the other brands

Thanks

04-20-2012, 09:35 AM   #2
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Pentax can, they have (had, heh) several lenses under $500 that are quite nice. The DA 35/2.4, the FA 35, DA 40, FA 50.
04-20-2012, 09:45 AM   #3
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Haven't read the book but 85 is really a portrait length for full frame not as much for apsc. a 55 1.4 is really the replacement in apsc land.
If you need a fast 85 though there is the rokinon/samyang/bower 85 1.4 - but it's manual focus.
If you want to come close to the 85 1.8 on FF then pick up a 55 1.8 tak for $60 (a fantastic lens value)
As you pointed out Canons huge share can support a much wider range of lenses
that 85 is actually a pretty good argument for buying Canon since it has good edge to edge sharpness
04-20-2012, 09:47 AM   #4
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Pentax has started to put together a line that can compete in this area. They have the DA 35 f/2.4 have announced the DA 50 f/1.8 and I would not be surprised to see an 85mm in that line up in the future. These are entry level priced lenses that can compete with the same type of lens from other manufacturers. But currently the only thing new in that range is the DA 70 limited which is a bit shorter and slower and more expensive, but it is a limited.

They have not really had the multiple value lines that others have had, instead focusing most of their effort on really high quality primes. Which I think has hurt them because they have not been able to compete in getting new customers because they had no entry level lenses to get people started.

04-20-2012, 09:50 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
Haven't read the book but 85 is really a portrait length for full frame not as much for apsc. a 55 1.4 is really the replacement in apsc land.
If you need a fast 85 though there is the rokinon/samyang/bower 85 1.4 - but it's manual focus.
If you want to come close to the 85 1.8 on FF then pick up a 55 1.8 tak for $60 (a fantastic lens value)
As you pointed out Canons huge share can support a much wider range of lenses
that 85 is actually a pretty good argument for buying Canon since it has good edge to edge sharpness
A 55mm on APSC does simulate the FOV of a 85 on FF however the DOF of f1.8 on FF can't be reproduced on the f1.8 of the 55mm - it would take a much faster lens than f1.8, faster than f1.2. That's why we want a FF!!!!
04-20-2012, 09:51 AM   #6
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I wouldn't be surprised to see a good value line develop over the next 3 years as the brand expands and develops some market share ( and at the same time we'll probably see more 3rd party support )
If OTOH Ricoh's plans don't result in share improvements it may not happen
04-20-2012, 09:52 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by ducdao Quote
A 55mm on APSC does simulate the FOV of a 85 on FF however the DOF of f1.8 on FF can't be reproduced on the f1.8 of the 55mm - it would take a much faster lens than f1.8, faster than f1.2. That's why we want a FF!!!!
I knew that but I didn't want to invoke Godwin
04-20-2012, 09:52 AM   #8
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What's the DA 70 price over there? It's just a little more expensive than the 85mm over here, and though it's slower it's a lot smaller.

04-20-2012, 09:57 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
The DA 35/2.4, the FA 35, DA 40, FA 50

I'll agree with that one. To my understanding that I beleive the version of the FA 50 would be the f1.4 one.

And a few of my additions; my favorites in that particular range... The Pentax DA 40mm f2.8 - which was the so called original pancake before the new XS one came out - the new XS version still only available with the K-01 outfit, yet not yet by itself. BTW I was already offered (literally) twice what it will be retailing for in the near future. I also like... The Pentax 35mm f2.0 .


In relation to this article... Even with all of the recent lens price changes please also consider the following... Pentax has some of the best lens prices out there - still to present day. Darn, even some of the lens' babies go for three hundred now; yet one can get a few Pentax lens at about that price as well - are they perfect, perhaps not. Yet most people probably would not notice in the final results.

It could always be worse... Imagine if we all were stuck with Sigma camera bodies - especially the pre-Merrill versions - al of the ten people that actually bought one. Or we could be stuck with the Olympus line -above average camera bodies in themselves - but the lens availability and prices are another issue all together
04-20-2012, 10:00 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mareket Quote
What's the DA 70 price over there? It's just a little more expensive than the 85mm over here, and though it's slower it's a lot smaller.
at the store i would shop in Toronto the DA70 is $590 and the Canon 85 1.8 is $539 and the FA77 is $1000 (but the FA is much better than the other 2 IMO)
04-20-2012, 10:01 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
I knew that but I didn't want to invoke Godwin
Of course, I knew you knew that

I just wanted to point it out to set the right expectations to the OP
04-20-2012, 10:09 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Medium FormatPro Quote
Or we could be stuck with the Olympus line -above average camera bodies in themselves - but the lens availability and prices are another issue all together
I have an Oly that i bought because I got a smoking price on it. never bought any of the good lenses because they make the new DA* prices in the US look reasonable. It sits with 2 kit lenses for my wife to ignore and never use (last time I saw her use it was 3 years ago in Rome lol)
04-20-2012, 12:11 PM   #13
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My Sears-Tomioka 55/1.4 on APS-C is nearly AOV+DOF equivalent to 85/2 on FF. My SuperTak 55/2 would be close to 85/2.8. For the actual focal length, I use MF glass: Jupiter-9 85/2 (M39) and Nikkor 85/2 (modded for PK). If those ain't good enough, I whip out my trusty Sony Conversion Lens VCL-1546A, a front-loading 1.5x TC that barely impacts IQ and cost me all of US$4 shipped. On the 55/1.4 it's an 82/1.4 optic. On the FA50/1.4 it's a 75/1.4 AF optic. And on the K50/1.2 it's 75/1.2, woo woo! This works for me. YMMV.
04-20-2012, 12:29 PM   #14
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The DA 70f24 limited sell for $500 at Aden in Ontario or you can have a Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM for Pentax for $550 at Henry
04-20-2012, 12:36 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by bobmaxja Quote
The DA 70f24 limited sell for $500 at Aden in Ontario or you can have a Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM for Pentax for $550 at Henry
I'd rather deal with Downtown Camera. If Aden actually has stock (sporadic) Downtown will match but the service is light years better. they know their stuff and the owner is a big Pentax fan. they will also beat any henry's deal (most people will henry's is expensive and have a mixed bag of staff)
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