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09-14-2012, 06:06 AM   #1
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Why No DA 135mm Prime?

A quick look at the modern prime lens availability from P/R shows the following lens lineup;
DA 14mm
DA 15mm
DA 21mm
FA 31mm
FA 35mm
DA 35mm
DA 40mm
FA 43mm
FA 50mm
DA 55mm
FA 77mm
DA 200mm
DA 300mm
DFA 50mm Macro
DFA 100mm Macro.
But nothing between 100mm and 200mm, and if you eliminate the DFA Macro 100mm as a general-use short telephoto (not everyone wants to use an expensive Macro as a walk-around tele) the gap is 77mm to 200mm.
So, 11 lenses between 14mm and 77mm and nothing between 100mm and 200mm?
Of course, I've overlooked the zooms, "L"s and silver/black options, but there it is. No 135mm prime.
How come?
Ron

09-14-2012, 06:19 AM   #2
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I think you already hit it when you mentioned the 100mm macro. 135mm was very common for film, and with the APS crop factor 100mm today gives the same field of view as 150mm from the olden days. There are also a lot of inexpensive used 135mms for sale; Pentax might think they won't sell enough to be worth the effort of bringing a new lens to market.
09-14-2012, 06:26 AM   #3
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There was a prototype for a new 135mm F/1.8 that sowed up in pictures 5-6 years ago, but with all the turmoil from the Hoya buyout, never happened. It has to be pretty close to being ready for production.
09-14-2012, 06:45 AM   #4
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If you really want an autofocus 135mm prime, it's not *too* difficult to track down an F or FA 135/2.8. Actually all I did to find mine was post in the Wanted section of the marketplace here. There's not a ton of them out in circulation but with the popularity of the DA* 50-135, there's not so much demand that you'll never be able to get the 135.

09-14-2012, 06:51 AM   #5
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A DA 24mm--that's very needed.
09-14-2012, 07:08 AM   #6
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Yes, I miss a 24mm (with good distance scales!! and hopefully close focusing) and a fast 135mm. 135mm used to be popular because it was tele, it was good for portraits, and the optics were well-understood. Every brand had a 135mm and they were pretty fast, decent quality, and not too expensive. Sure, on APSC it would be much longer, but it would still have a use as a cheaper tele prime with a good speed. Just please, it has to be faster than f2.0.
09-14-2012, 07:11 AM   #7
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It is indeed strange that there is no 135 mm Pentax lens.
There are several interesting options for a DA135:
1. A very small lens, like the old 135/3.5.
2. A very fast lens 135/1.8 or so.
3. A Bokeh machine like the Minolta STF or the Nikon DC.

My personal preference would go for option 3.
09-14-2012, 07:16 AM   #8
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i thought there was an alternative lens roadmap leak showing some interesting primes .....among them DA135/2.8 Limited....but perhpas it was a fake....however I rather hope it wasn't

09-14-2012, 07:17 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by msatlas Quote
If you really want an autofocus 135mm prime, it's not *too* difficult to track down an F or FA 135/2.8. Actually all I did to find mine was post in the Wanted section of the marketplace here. There's not a ton of them out in circulation but with the popularity of the DA* 50-135, there's not so much demand that you'll never be able to get the 135.
yes but those are crazy expensive for an old glass...
09-14-2012, 07:40 AM   #10
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Even though I own a DA*50-135 and find it to be a wonderful lens, every time I've shot with one of the several old 135 primes I've owned, on any of my APS-c cameras I find that length hard to work with and just not that useful. Honestly that's why the DA*50-135 is there. It gives you a the 135 length when you need it and a lot of others at the same time. I think one could also pose the same question about why no DA 85 f1.4 and have the same answer, it just isn't that useful with a cropped sensor.
09-14-2012, 08:31 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by blackcloudbrew Quote
Even though I own a DA*50-135 and find it to be a wonderful lens, every time I've shot with one of the several old 135 primes I've owned, on any of my APS-c cameras I find that length hard to work with and just not that useful. Honestly that's why the DA*50-135 is there. It gives you a the 135 length when you need it and a lot of others at the same time. I think one could also pose the same question about why no DA 85 f1.4 and have the same answer, it just isn't that useful with a cropped sensor.
I always assumed the 50-135 was there for another reason - Reducing the need for a FF in the immediate future. APS-C with that lens is more or less a 70-200(Y'know, the ones a lot of people use on FF cameras for outdoor events and such).

Edit: Oh - And also to make Canikon users see that Pentax still makes new lenses.(Had someone ask me how long ago they stopped producing K-mount lenses once...proceeded to pull out my Helios and tell him 1966)
09-14-2012, 09:24 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by vrrattko Quote
yes but those are crazy expensive for an old glass...
Well sure, they're not particularly cheap. I paid $550. But hey, that's still way less than a K 85/1.8...
09-14-2012, 09:46 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by blackcloudbrew Quote
Even though I own a DA*50-135 and find it to be a wonderful lens, every time I've shot with one of the several old 135 primes I've owned, on any of my APS-c cameras I find that length hard to work with and just not that useful. Honestly that's why the DA*50-135 is there. It gives you a the 135 length when you need it and a lot of others at the same time. I think one could also pose the same question about why no DA 85 f1.4 and have the same answer, it just isn't that useful with a cropped sensor.
I agree, it's an awkward length. I have to believe in the days gone by that it was somehow the longest prime lens you could make at 2.8 and remain cheap, I think it was manufacturing costs more than useful niche.
09-14-2012, 10:29 AM   #14
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I had an FA135, tried a DA*50-135 for a week, and got rid of the the FA135 (for far too low a price in retrospect!!).

The DA* is just as good (if not better...?) - apart from not matching the lightning focus of the FA135, and obviously the weight, I saw no need to keep the prime.
09-14-2012, 01:07 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by rbefly Quote
How come?
Ron
Why no 24mm? Why no teleconverter? Why no set of extension tubes? All these are answered the same way. Because Pentax has lost focus - they've been through two acquisitions and it's not clear what the future of the brand is.
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