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02-22-2013, 02:15 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bob from Aus Quote
Really good question

Can I suggest a theory:
FA lens reviews probably have been written by long time pentax users and they have had the lens for a long time, so their writeup is very sober and considered
DA reviews are written within weeks of the lens coming out of the box and the new owner is over excited (I am guilty as charged)
I completely agree. To me, my DA 18-135 is probably a 7, but my 7 seems like most people's 9. My FA 77, to me, is a 9, which to most people, is a 9-10.

I don't trust the user numbers anymore, I go by sample photos and the write ups. Rate it a 10 and give a 3 word write up, No thanks.

02-22-2013, 03:57 PM   #17
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I have stopped reading or considering most 10 reviews. There is much more differentiation in 8 and 9 reviews. So, read the reviews and donīt mix or average stupid reviews with educated discussions. Swarm interlligence can be dead wrong!
02-22-2013, 03:59 PM   #18
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Most lenses in the review section are completely overrated. A 9 would already be close to perfect and a 7 should be a decent lens... 7 means crap, 8 means no good, 9 means average, 10 means lucky number.
02-22-2013, 04:30 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bob from Aus Quote
Really good question

Can I suggest a theory:
FA lens reviews probably have been written by long time pentax users and they have had the lens for a long time, so their writeup is very sober and considered
DA reviews are written within weeks of the lens coming out of the box and the new owner is over excited (I am guilty as charged)
Agree 100%. Ditto for many/most of the M42, K, M, and A series reviews. About half of the lenses I have reviewed were purchased new in the early 1980s. Other reviews on more recent purchases have been tempered by my experience with the older lenses.


Steve

(...have never rated a lens as "10"...have occasionally bumped the rating a notch based on value...have never rated a lens at less than 5 because I won't review a lens that I have not fuly used and I don't own or keep junk...only own one DA series lens, nothing to do with previous statement...)

02-22-2013, 04:51 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Agree 100%. Ditto for many/most of the M42, K, M, and A series reviews. About half of the lenses I have reviewed were purchased new in the early 1980s. Other reviews on more recent purchases have been tempered by my experience with the older lenses.


Steve

(...have never rated a lens as "10"...have occasionally bumped the rating a notch based on value...have never rated a lens at less than 5 because I won't review a lens that I have not fuly used and I don't own or keep junk...only own one DA series lens, nothing to do with previous statement...)
IMHO your written reviews, at least of camera bodies, are the most comprehensive, insightful and discerning as anything I have read on any gear anywhere. The numbers themselves don't matter. What matters is the writing, knowing the reviewer's tendencies (everything is subjective but even subjectivity can be relative within a series of reviews) and reading enough reviews to discern patterns.

Even then you sometimes you just have to take the risk.
02-26-2013, 03:20 AM - 1 Like   #21
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The lens reviews section on this forum is a very valuable resource when making decisions on purchases, But (and it's a big But) it can be a big mistake to simply use the scores to make a decision - the real value lies in actually reading several reviews (good and bad) for a lens and looking for common themes in the users comments.

Perhaps i can explain this better with an example:

The reviews for the FA* 24mm f2.0 lens give an average rating of 9.22 - a pretty good score for a collection of 23 reviews - But if you start reading the 'Cons' comments you will notice an odd few comments along the lines of "Soft wide open", and if you look at the 'Pros' there are quite a few more comments where "Sharpness" is mentioned. Now my experience of top quality lenses (Limiteds, Stars, etc) is that they will perform well at maximum aperture but be better when stopped down slightly (just one stop) - so the comments that say "soft wide open" could be overly critical or could they point to a problem with some lens samples ?

Well, I found my answer when I bought one last year - It was a beautiful lens, colour reproduction was exceptonal and sharpnes at mid apertures (f5.6-f11) was superb, but at f2 through to f2.8 it was soft, almost "dreamy" - I decided that this wasn't the lens for me and that those reviews pointing out the softness were right and that maybe others were looking through their Pentax-Pink tinted spectacles and seeing the softness as a feature So I returned the lens A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to buy another copy, so I re-read the reviews and decided that I should try again. This copy matches the overall profile of the reviews - it is sharp at f2.0, and better when stopped down slightly, and the colour rendition is beautiful - So now I am a Happy Bunny and have learnt what the common characteristics of this lens should be from these reviews

***************************

Because I have lurked around this forum for a number of years and read many posts I now have a feel for which posters and reviewers are in tune with me. I will give more weight to some reviews based on who wrote it, and there are some reviews that I just take with a pince of salt (unfairly in some cases, but there have been one or two that are almost FanBoy reviews).

I doubt there will ever be a perfect review system, but until there is the PentaxForums review section is probably the best there is
02-26-2013, 08:20 AM   #22
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I would never use numerical ratings from the lens reviews to make any serious decision about a lens. Instead, I concentrate on the written evaluations and study the images...then, I forget about all that and buy what I wanted in the first place.

I have several FAs and no real conclusion may be made about the quality of all FAs. I will say that the lenses that take the best pictures are my FA limiters and *'s as a rule, but they all tend to show a little more CA due to older coatings. The DA lenses I own are also excellent, btw.

Last edited by mikeSF; 02-26-2013 at 08:26 AM.
02-27-2013, 09:58 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
IMHO your written reviews, at least of camera bodies, are the most comprehensive, insightful and discerning as anything I have read on any gear anywhere.
Why thanks!


Steve

02-28-2013, 05:24 AM   #24
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My "review" of the FA 35 - handheld. All you need to know is in the EXIF

Last edited by wildman; 03-16-2013 at 05:47 AM.
02-28-2013, 05:48 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
IMHO your written reviews, at least of camera bodies, are the most comprehensive, insightful and discerning as anything I have read on any gear anywhere. The numbers themselves don't matter. What matters is the writing, knowing the reviewer's tendencies (everything is subjective but even subjectivity can be relative within a series of reviews) and reading enough reviews to discern patterns.

Even then you sometimes you just have to take the risk.
+1 when considering a purchase I look at what someone wrote about the lens and I have learned to ignore the numbers. Number charts are always skewed because people have a tendency to rate at the highest level when they are satisfied. They don't wait for exceptional to hand out a ten. I look at the reviews where someone has really taken the time to write a quality review of the product and tell me some honest feedback from experience.
02-28-2013, 05:57 AM - 1 Like   #26
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Unfortunately, most of the reviews are overrated, rather than honest. Obviously, people feel they are "team Pentax", for some reason, so it makes finding out info that much tougher.
02-28-2013, 04:57 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by snake Quote
Unfortunately, most of the reviews are overrated, rather than honest. Obviously, people feel they are "team Pentax", for some reason, so it makes finding out info that much tougher.
Or this is simply their first camera/lens whatever and they are impressed by the quality relative to what they have used in the past. The kit lens is a huge upgrade from a cheap P&S
02-28-2013, 07:26 PM   #28
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Reading +ve reviews make you feel good, but that's about it. The problem is that most people are so attached to their lenses they tend to see what they "imagined" even if the truth is so painfully obviously. What I have learned is to spot any repeat weaknesses being raised at different sources then you may have a better picture of their actual performances. As to FA vs DA, my personal opinion is that the FA series were all time low on both QC and lens design, with a few exceptions. Pentax hitted a gold mine with the FA Limited series in late FA era and keep it going. The DA consumer zooms we have now are tighter built than FA consumer zooms even though they are all fragile. Most FA consumers were crap because they wobbled like xxxx, and you can't maintain the optical alignment when the glasses can't hold themselves still. FA* lenses were not even wanted back then, until the DS then suddenly all the hypes on the internet.
02-28-2013, 07:51 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Huh? I own the FA 35 and will take its build over any non-limited/DA* in the DA line. My only beef has been the thin rubberized band that substitutes for a focus ring. Beyond that manual focus is very smooth and works well due to a generous focus travel. On the other hand, the build quality of your average DA lens is, well, better than similar-priced Nikon or Canon glass, but nothing to brag about.
Agree. The FA 35 is one of the true stars of that era. I like the 50/1.4 as well, but the FA 35's performance wide open was a big, pleasant surprise. I also have a number of reviews such as Wildman's.

Even the plastic body and focus ring grew on me. The bag is lighter and, so far (after quite a few years), I haven't seen a down side in durability.

I have trouble getting as excited about some of the DA primes because they can't be used with my favorite old film bodies, even though their coverage would work.
03-01-2013, 12:25 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
Agree. The FA 35 is one of the true stars of that era. I like the 50/1.4 as well, but the FA 35's performance wide open was a big, pleasant surprise. I also have a number of reviews such as Wildman's.

Even the plastic body and focus ring grew on me. The bag is lighter and, so far (after quite a few years), I haven't seen a down side in durability.

I have trouble getting as excited about some of the DA primes because they can't be used with my favorite old film bodies, even though their coverage would work.
As it was to me. I have a good number of sellable shots taken at F2.
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