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12-19-2012, 11:18 AM   #1
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Pentax: Lack of fast primes

Whats the deal with pentax having close to zero modern fast glass? Even if you head back to the older lenses, lenses with an aperture below 2 are few and far between.

How nice would something like a modern 35 1.4 be? or a 28 1.8?

12-19-2012, 11:32 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by godwinaustin Quote
Whats the deal with pentax having close to zero modern fast glass? Even if you head back to the older lenses, lenses with an aperture below 2 are few and far between.

How nice would something like a modern 35 1.4 be? or a 28 1.8?
Do not know. I do know that when they do decide to produce a new lens, they usually do very well. I do not understand why they are not cranking more quality glass out. I guess it isn't that easy or they would have done it by now. Probably a considerable amount of engineering involved as well as retooling of their production line. Who knows, they may surprise us yet. I have faith in them.
12-19-2012, 11:33 AM   #3
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With the DA Limited series, Pentax has specialized on small lenses to go with the compact Pentax bodies.
Since the high ISO performance is good, you don't need fast lenses to handle poor light.

If you want a 35/1.4 for Pentax, the Samyang is available with manual focus,
and hopefully soon the new Sigma with AF.

The FA Limited lenses are no longer "modern,"
but 31/1.8 is very close to 28/1.8.
12-19-2012, 11:39 AM   #4
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I know the sigma and rokinon brands have some interesting glass, but i would love to see some innovative/class leading glass coming from pentax - a plastic 35 2.4? a plastic 50mm 1.8? this is not the type of glass that gets photographers excited.

think the lenses that fuji released with their x-system - thats the type of glass that says they are catering to photographers and not consumers.

12-19-2012, 11:45 AM   #5
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Just a theory here but maybe Pentax has not produced such lenses yet due to them just releasing their HD coating technology? Who knows, maybe that will become the standard lens coating for any new glass produced in the future. That is if it isn't incredibly expensive for them to do it to each lens.

Just guessing.
12-19-2012, 11:56 AM   #6
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Are you not counting the DA*55/1.4 as fast? A modern version of the A50/1.2 would be nice, but hardly necessary.

Given that 200mm lenses used to be f4, commonly, the DA*200/2.8 might count as "fast", although it's possibly the norm, these days. The same argument might be put for the DA14/2.8.

So, "zero" modern fast glass isn't really accurate, but I'd agree there isn't as much as Pentax used to have, by comparison.

On the other hand, what makes the FA limited trio not "modern" or "fast"?
12-19-2012, 12:06 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by godwinaustin Quote
Whats the deal with pentax having close to zero modern fast glass? Even if you head back to the older lenses, lenses with an aperture below 2 are few and far between.

How nice would something like a modern 35 1.4 be? or a 28 1.8?
Pentax is focusing on small lenses. Fast primes are big and expensive, which isn't what most Pentax users are looking for / can afford. Canikon already has the bases covered when it comes to fast primes, whereas they don't have tiny lenses, which is where Pentax has an advantage

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12-19-2012, 12:09 PM   #8
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I agree that Pentax needs some faster lenses on the wider side of things. I would disagree that the FA Limiteds are not "modern" designs. The first of the FA limiteds the 43mm was marketed in 1997, just 15 years ago. The other two followed. This is as compared to the 50mm and 85 mm lenses from Canon and Nikon that have designs that date back thirty plus years.

The problem is that while a 31mm lens is decently wide on full frame, on APS-C it suddenly is a normal lens. And Pentax doesn't have anything faster than f2.8 that is wider than the FA 31.

12-19-2012, 12:17 PM - 1 Like   #9
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the fa trio is what I'm talking about - more of that - I would love to see pentax move more in that direction with their new lenses. just offer some new primes that make people turn their heads. Value would be nice too, as the fa limiteds are a bit pricey. if fuji can produce an exceptional (all metal) 35 1.4 for $600 and olympus can produced an exceptional 45 1.8 for 400, why cant pentax?

I would love to see produce some prime glass that will make people notice.
12-19-2012, 12:19 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I agree that Pentax needs some faster lenses on the wider side of things. I would disagree that the FA Limiteds are not "modern" designs. The first of the FA limiteds the 43mm was marketed in 1997, just 15 years ago. The other two followed. This is as compared to the 50mm and 85 mm lenses from Canon and Nikon that have designs that date back thirty plus years.

The problem is that while a 31mm lens is decently wide on full frame, on APS-C it suddenly is a normal lens. And Pentax doesn't have anything faster than f2.8 that is wider than the FA 31.
this is pretty much exactly what I am talking about
12-19-2012, 12:21 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Pentax is focusing on small lenses. Fast primes are big and expensive, which isn't what most Pentax users are looking for / can afford. Canikon already has the bases covered when it comes to fast primes, whereas they don't have tiny lenses, which is where Pentax has an advantage
Good point. Haven't thought of that. I guess that goes hand in hand with the post I made earlier. Thanks Adam.

It still makes me scratch my head though as to why they would produce certain lenses that would not be commonly used or affordable. A prime example would be their new 560mm. Or outside of lenses, their medium format camera which isn't something the average user would pick up nor could afford.

Last edited by Phosphene; 12-19-2012 at 12:23 PM. Reason: Thought of something else. Didn't want to spread it on two posts.
12-19-2012, 12:30 PM   #12
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There was a DA*30mm on the old lens roadmap, maybe we can still see that one come to life?
I really hope so at least and we indeed need a fast 85mm again...
12-19-2012, 12:36 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by godwinaustin Quote
a plastic 35 2.4? a plastic 50mm 1.8? this is not the type of glass that gets photographers excited.
Oddly, however this forum was literally burning up with comments deriding Pentax for not having any affordable primes to compete on the low end with. Maybe Pentax listened because they now have a pair of very affordable primes with excellent IQ. Build quality is not 'limited' but they are very competitive.
12-19-2012, 12:38 PM - 1 Like   #14
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The FA Limited lens designs are as modern as anything else on the market though predate the digital revolution (someone who understands internal lens design can explain better than I). The marketing pitches about "digital optimized" lenses was marketing hooey from all the manufacturers. Ask anybody shooting the older M and A legacy glass through their digi bodies.

Trust me, buy the FA Limited trio and if you don't agree, then there are dozens of buyers waiting in the Marketplace section of the forum to cash you back out of them. If you start with used models then you won't even lose a nickel on the test.

If what people are actually wanting is "whiz bang marketed cool new" lenses then you have the wrong brand of cameras. Pentax doesn't do whiz bang marketing and never did.
12-19-2012, 12:43 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Anvh Quote
There was a DA*30mm on the old lens roadmap, maybe we can still see that one come to life?
I really hope so at least and we indeed need a fast 85mm again...
It would be nice to see an updated FA*85/1.4, even revised as a DA*85/1.4, possibly making it a little smaller and lighter, but it's hard to see the rationale while we have the small, light, fast, FF FA77/1.8 Limited. Adding SDM would make it quieter (and SDM detractors noisier), but bigger and a little heavier so perhaps there is a rationale, after all.
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