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02-21-2008, 07:10 PM   #16
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I was talking the DA limited triplet in general. Personally, I don't own any since I don't like their tiny forms. However, I did use other pancakes in the past such as the Tessar and Nikkor you listed. I wouldn't say the DA is better any of them. But for other focal length such as the 70 and 21, I don't think you could find any competitor.

QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
While Pentax are probably the only major company with continued production of pancake lenses, I wouldn't discount the optical quality offered by other companies. To take the example of the DA 40mm, we have a few other pancake lenses in the same focal length:

Konica 40mm f/1.8 Hexanon
Contax Tessar T* 45mm f/2.8
Nikkor 45mm f/2.8P
Voigtlander Ultron 40mm f/2

I would think they easily match if not exceed the performance of the DA 40.


02-21-2008, 07:46 PM   #17
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I agree that the FA* are very different from the DA*...

QuoteOriginally posted by Ron Boggs Quote

One could present the argument that Limiteds have better build quality because they avoid plastic in most parts. The FA* and DA* lenses use plastic lens hoods and plastic focus rings--on FA's anyway.
To clarify in case some misread your sentence: my FA* 300/2.8 is all metal construction, and has a metal lens hood. My other two FA* are all metal (like all FA* lens bodies), but the lens hoods are plastic (FA* 200/4 macro and 80-200/2.8). The focus rings are metal with rubberized covers over them.

QuoteQuote:
To me, the differences in * lenses and Limiteds are less about optical quality and more about who they are marketed to and what the cosmetic appeal is. I personally love both because I'm a complete lens addict, way beyond most heroin pretenders.
How do you like the FA* 600/4 and the FA* 250-600/5.6?

Cheers,
Marc

Last edited by Marc Langille; 02-21-2008 at 07:52 PM.
02-22-2008, 05:47 AM   #18
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No source, but I read it somewhere

QuoteOriginally posted by Asahiflex Quote
Do you have a source for this story? I know quite a bit about Pentax lenses but I have never heard about this before.
And Thomas of Greenland (Duplo) confirms that he read it too. So the story is out there. In researching the source Blende8 came up with another one. It seems that Leica touted the Summicron 50/2.0 as the ne plus ultra of lenses. A Pentax engineer took up the gauntlet and came up with the 43/1.9.

NaCl(and the legends continue)H2O
02-22-2008, 08:46 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by NaClH2O Quote
And Thomas of Greenland (Duplo) confirms that he read it too. So the story is out there. In researching the source Blende8 came up with another one. It seems that Leica touted the Summicron 50/2.0 as the ne plus ultra of lenses. A Pentax engineer took up the gauntlet and came up with the 43/1.9.

NaCl(and the legends continue)H2O
Roland Mabo is the earliest source of this bit of history. I guess someone can ping him and ask for more details?

Fascinating story, really. A rogue Pentax designer creates a lens without the sanction of the company. He discretely works on his own time, laboring late into the night when no one else is around. When the company finds out what he's done they decide not to disavow him. Instead they decide to capitalize on it and launch production of the FA Limiteds. The rest is history. (**)

I own this lens. It has a certain look & rendering that I really like. I can't believe how badly the 43 was panned on DPR until a couple years ago. Then a couple forum leaders tried the lens out & said it is quite good, which caused an abrupt sea change in the opinion of the 43.

Hitachi is another company with stories of rogue engineers who clandestinely continue projects after the company has killed them. Ultimately the company successfully produced a product after it discovered what had happened.

** All embellishments are mine. If Hollywood can do it so can I.

02-22-2008, 11:23 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by NaClH2O Quote
And Thomas of Greenland (Duplo) confirms that he read it too. So the story is out there. In researching the source Blende8 came up with another one. It seems that Leica touted the Summicron 50/2.0 as the ne plus ultra of lenses. A Pentax engineer took up the gauntlet and came up with the 43/1.9.

NaCl(and the legends continue)H2O
But of course, it is save to say that the Summicron plays in a different league altogether...
02-25-2008, 03:42 PM   #21
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isn't the difference obvious? it's the focal length the ltds are all fairly short range and all primes, they're also pancake lenses meaning they're small and thus don't have SDM or weatherseals.

The DA* are very high quality zooms built with quality glass, thus bigger so the lense is bigger so to top it off and make the * worthwhile they added weatherproofing and SDM.

SDM is coming to all the ordinary DA lenses including the ltds just slowly as they don't want to p*ss of everyone whos bought non SDM lenses.
02-26-2008, 09:55 AM   #22
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35mmfilmuser,

Didn't mean for anyone to interpret my comments as negative towards FA* or DA*, but even your FA*300 has plastic parts: the viewing window over the distance scale, the external portion of the drop-in filter drawer, the rubber rim on the lens hood, the knurled rubber over the focusing ring etc. My point was really more that the Limiteds have virtually no black contrasts in the cosmetics--no knurled rubber focus ring covers, no black Pentax logo's etc. Other than the plastic indexing bead on the 77 and 31, the look of the original 3 Limited's that I own is classic, timeless and avoids "modern" looking cosmetics. I think the silver and black finished, rounded lines of the FA* lenses are very attractive, but also very different from the Limiteds (and now that they are discontinued, I guess the FA* cosmetics are either classic or obsolete--depending on your personal feelings) . The DA*'s have their own cosmetic attraction, but again, very different than the Limiteds.

Regarding how I like the 250-600/5.6 and 600/4 lenses...I posted reviews in the lens review data base. In short, using those big guns is a blast and I love 'em!

And regarding how the Limiteds started from a "rogue" engineer. I think that story was on the old Pentax website back when the 43 was first released? I too heard that story and wasn't particularly connected to information other than easily obtained public info. An early magazine review would be another possible source. I'll dig around a little...
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