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01-04-2013, 03:30 PM   #1
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Who is the manufacturer of pentax lenses?

I was thinking these days something like conspiracy theory .

We all know that Pentax have many lenses made by/with/... Tokina and Tamron. But do we know about all of them?
I have started to think about it and looking for information.

My guesses are:

Pentax 35 2.8 Macro Limited - it could be Tokina 35 2.8 Macro

Pentax 18-135WR - it could be modified Tamron 18-250 with some lens elements removed. I'm thinking about this tamron because it has the same shape, same front element, absolutely identical optical quality from 18mm to 50mm, after that the tamron is way better. We know that Pentax 18-250 is actually Tamron, not officially but I think it is almost 100%. Now Pentax announced that the new Pentax 18-270 is Tamron officially...

Pentax 17-70 4.0 - could it be Sigma 17-70 2.8-4.0 or more likely the optically identical older one 17-70 2.8-4.5 version? I think it could, it looks like it, the only difference is the opposite ring rotation. The sharpness and distortions are the same, the flares(something typical for sigma) are huge problem with the pentax 17-70 which is not typical for SMC coatings...

Pentax DFA 100 2.8 - Tokina 100 2.8 macro? If we look back the FA 100 2.8 is much better lens than the DFA successor, so is it possible the later model to be taken from other company?


So anybody else with guesses, I'm serious. For example DA 35 2.4 - it is the same as FA 35 2.0, but DA 50 1.8? Who made the DA 50 1.8?

PS Is Pentax a lens manufacturer or it isn't from a big period of time?

01-04-2013, 03:39 PM   #2
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Hmmm.

Given the oft contentious discussions re lenses we see on this site, could it be that Pentax lenses are made by trolls?

Last edited by John Poirier; 01-04-2013 at 03:53 PM. Reason: clarity
01-04-2013, 03:43 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by John Poirier Quote
Hmmm.

Given the oft negative discussions re lenses I often see on this site, could it be that Pentax lenses are made by trolls?
I'm sure about some of them Philippian trolls.
01-04-2013, 04:02 PM   #4
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Or Elves?

01-04-2013, 04:07 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by wpvv Quote
Or Elves?
After the Filipino cobbler elves had nothing to do after the passing of renowned shoe hoarder Imelda Marcos, they began researching lens design techniques. Initial attempts failed because of their penchant to keep using hammer and nails thus breaking the glass elements, but this was soon overcome to give us the lenses we know and love today.
01-04-2013, 04:13 PM   #6
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Well, the Tokina 35 2.8 is indeed a rebadged Pentax lens. Ironic, since Tokina dropped K mount lenses.
01-04-2013, 04:17 PM   #7
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The optical design of the 100mm dates back to the 80s hehe. The DFA and FA versions actually share the same optics.
01-04-2013, 04:37 PM   #8
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The back door/re badged lens deals are legendary.
Over the years the makers of lenses have been pretty hard to follow.
Cosmicar/CPC/Vivitar/Promaster/Takumar/Cosina - you name it - have been mixed and matched over the years.

It's hard to really know who is making what these days.

I will say that the only relationship that Pentax seems to keep these days is with Tamron. Tokina and Pentax seem to have parted ways especially now that they are not Hoya subsidiaries.


Last edited by LaurenOE; 01-04-2013 at 06:25 PM.
01-04-2013, 04:46 PM   #9
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There is also a difference between 'making' and 'designing'. I think it is quite common for those companies to share design expertise and to then both end up manufacturing the lens in their own plant. The design might be very similar right up to final stages and then each company puts on the final touches they think are important.
01-04-2013, 05:36 PM   #10
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Pentax has licensed these lenses to Tokina: the DA 10-17, the D FA 100 macro, the DA 35 limited, and the DA * 16-50. I believe the design of the DA 12-24 is a Tokina design that Pentax used.

There have been a couple of Tamron lenses that Pentax has rebadged (the 18-250 and now the 18-270).

The fact that Pentax has licensed the lenses to Tokina does not mean that they are exactly the same. Clearly, Tokina has their own factories, coatings and creates their own versions of these lenses. The close alliance with Tokina seemed to be mostly present at the end of Pentax's independence and ended with Hoya's take over.
01-04-2013, 05:42 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Pentax has licensed these lenses to Tokina: the DA 10-17, the D FA 100 macro, the DA 35 limited, and the DA * 16-50. I believe the design of the DA 12-24 is a Tokina design that Pentax used.

There have been a couple of Tamron lenses that Pentax has rebadged (the 18-250 and now the 18-270).

The fact that Pentax has licensed the lenses to Tokina does not mean that they are exactly the same. Clearly, Tokina has their own factories, coatings and creates their own versions of these lenses. The close alliance with Tokina seemed to be mostly present at the end of Pentax's independence and ended with Hoya's take over.

I agree with you....but I do think that Pentax is also the developer of the 12-24mm lens.
01-04-2013, 05:46 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by simbon4o Quote
I was thinking these days something like conspiracy theory .

We all know that Pentax have many lenses made by/with/... Tokina and Tamron. But do we know about all of them?
I have started to think about it and looking for information.

My guesses are:

Pentax 35 2.8 Macro Limited - it could be Tokina 35 2.8 Macro

Pentax 18-135WR - it could be modified Tamron 18-250 with some lens elements removed. I'm thinking about this tamron because it has the same shape, same front element, absolutely identical optical quality from 18mm to 50mm, after that the tamron is way better. We know that Pentax 18-250 is actually Tamron, not officially but I think it is almost 100%. Now Pentax announced that the new Pentax 18-270 is Tamron officially...

Pentax 17-70 4.0 - could it be Sigma 17-70 2.8-4.0 or more likely the optically identical older one 17-70 2.8-4.5 version? I think it could, it looks like it, the only difference is the opposite ring rotation. The sharpness and distortions are the same, the flares(something typical for sigma) are huge problem with the pentax 17-70 which is not typical for SMC coatings...

Pentax DFA 100 2.8 - Tokina 100 2.8 macro? If we look back the FA 100 2.8 is much better lens than the DFA successor, so is it possible the later model to be taken from other company?


So anybody else with guesses, I'm serious. For example DA 35 2.4 - it is the same as FA 35 2.0, but DA 50 1.8? Who made the DA 50 1.8?

PS Is Pentax a lens manufacturer or it isn't from a big period of time?
Are you relatively new to Pentax ?
01-04-2013, 05:56 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by simbon4o Quote
I was thinking these days something like conspiracy theory .
Pentax 35 2.8 Macro Limited - it could be Tokina 35 2.8 Macro
Closest of your choices, with the same groups and elements, but different filter diameter and generally a different shape.

QuoteQuote:

Pentax 18-135WR - it could be modified Tamron 18-250 with some lens elements removed. I'm thinking about this tamron because it has the same shape, same front element, absolutely identical optical quality from 18mm to 50mm, after that the tamron is way better. We know that Pentax 18-250 is actually Tamron, not officially but I think it is almost 100%. Now Pentax announced that the new Pentax 18-270 is Tamron officially...
Would be highly unlikely, considering it's rear focus motor, different number of groups of elements, and I don't think lens construction works that way.

QuoteQuote:
Pentax 17-70 4.0 - could it be Sigma 17-70 2.8-4.0 or more likely the optically identical older one 17-70 2.8-4.5 version? I think it could, it looks like it, the only difference is the opposite ring rotation. The sharpness and distortions are the same, the flares(something typical for sigma) are huge problem with the pentax 17-70 which is not typical for SMC coatings...
The Sigma 2.8-4.0 came out after the Pentax 17-70. Also different number of groups of elements. Not the older one either, because that one had 15 elements, while the DA 17-70 has 17 elements.

QuoteQuote:
Pentax DFA 100 2. - Tokina 100 2.8 macro? If we look back the FA 100 2.8 is much better lens than the DFA successor, so is it possible the later model to be taken from other company?
Definitely not the Tokina, which has 9 blade aperture vs the 8 in the DFA

The easiest thing to do is to compare lens construction diagrams. I think most of the Pentax lenses have lens diagrams available for viewing.
01-04-2013, 06:08 PM   #14
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Collaborated with, designed by, made by, sourced from, re-badged, badged as...all of these terms have different and distinct meanings. To the best of my knowledge, Pentax lenses have never been re-badged as something else, with the possible exception of the XR Rikenon 28/2.8 from the late-1970s. Occasionally, Pentax has sourced its lenses from other makers, though it is important to point out that when it says SMC on the lens, the coatings are always applied by Pentax with the specialized elements being incorporated into a Pentax-specific production run. Pentax lenses are never a simple re-badge.

The DA* 16-50/2.8 and 50-135/2.8 were developed collaboratively with Tokina and are obviously made on similar (identical?) tooling. This collaboration was widely known at the time the lenses were released and was no secret. Pentax makes and sells the K-mount version and Tokina made and sold them for several other mounts.


Steve

P.S. For what it's worth, the incestuous nature of the Japanese optical industry is legendary with many camera and lens components being drawn from a common parts bin across manufacturers. If the lens barrels of two no-name lenses look the same, it is not proof that they are the same. Ditto for similar element count, focal length, maximum aperture, and # of aperture blades.

P.P.S. I know that somebody is going to bring up the matter of lenses made by Pentax subsidiaries (e.g. Cosmicar/CPC). These lenses are not rebranded Pentax any more than Pentax lenses are rebranded Ricoh. Edit: Bjoridar Dimitrov is of the opinion that several of the non-SMC Pentax lenses of the 1980s are identical to Cosmicar/CPC lenses with the same specification and lists those as being made by Pentax. I have preferred to consider those as generic lenses made by Cosmicar/CPC, some branded as Pentax, to be targeted at the lower end of the market.

Last edited by stevebrot; 01-04-2013 at 07:51 PM.
01-04-2013, 07:30 PM   #15
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Well at least it is not yet as bad as 2 stroke string trimmers. All those suckers go down the same Chinese assembly line. The plastic surrounds and decals are the only real difference.r
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