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02-28-2013, 08:53 AM   #1
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Why not bring back the legendary glass?

Why can't / doesn't Pentax manufacture some of the older legendary glass? One of issues stopping some nik/cannon owners is the small present line up (compared to their brands).... So even if they don't make a lot of money on the lenses, it would help grow the name

Any and all opinions welcome of course

Thanks

Randy

02-28-2013, 09:07 AM   #2
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i think there are several issues. first, some of the legacy lenses cannot be made under current health and safety regulations. second, there have been advancements in optical glass, lens designs, coatings etc, that have moved so far that do we really want to go backwards. Lastly, many of the features we now use, such as auto focus auto exposure, etc, have specific design requirements that make some legacy designs (depending how far you go back) impossible to apply
02-28-2013, 09:18 AM   #3
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To add to Lowell, some of those legacy lenses required more hand assembly, which is very expensive, than we could afford to do today. Modern manufacturing methods have changed dramtically enough that some lenses simply require new designs so they can be made using modern manufacturing methods.
02-28-2013, 09:30 AM   #4
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Out of curiosity, which lenses would you like to see recreated? Some of them sort of still exist in evolved form - the 50s for example (on my mind as I hunt down one or more 50/1.4 in various flavors). If you recreated these lenses optically, would you still want them to be fully manual? I am guessing that once you get to the really great glass, it is the glass itself that becomes expensive and the electronics less so. So why would you rebuild something like a 85/1.4 (just to pick a combination at random) and then not add the modern features many users want?

02-28-2013, 09:33 AM   #5
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I'm lucky enough to still have the originals, so I don't need Pentax to make some more, well not just now anyhow.
02-28-2013, 09:54 AM   #6
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It would be an interesting move to work out a deal with Cosina to manufacture a single run of PKA 28/2, 50/1.2, 85/1.4, and 135/1.8 lenses for release alongside Pentax's 135-frame camera. Cosina has the manufacturing know-how and Pentax has the designs mostly worked out. Ship a camera kit with the 50 and a manual focus screen. Then Pentax isn't competing for the cheapest camera, but rather the cheapest modern camera system that produces impeccable image quality. Get the cameras and lenses into local camera shops, and I bet a lot of enthusiasts would realize that huge zooms are nice for pros but a compact and ergonomic system is what they'd really enjoy using. Not to mention the number of us who would buy such lenses for our existing cameras...
02-28-2013, 10:07 AM   #7
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Pentax absolutely needs a fast 24. The absence of a fast 24 in the Pentax lineup is very conspicuous.
02-28-2013, 11:20 AM - 1 Like   #8
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I think most new buyers don't want to " chase " glass for lack of a better term. If they did, then the other big 2 would be less popular and Pentax more popular. Sure I can see Pentax wanting to control quality, but they already contact out and have been doing it for years.
What lens would I like to see come back? I am not totally familiar with the history of the pentax lenses., but a fast 28-105 would rock and a longer macro would be great too.

Thanks

Randy

02-28-2013, 11:29 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by slip Quote
I am not totally familiar with the history of the pentax lenses., but a fast 28-105 would rock and a longer macro would be great too.
It's all right here...

Pentax Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

Until the FA* 28-70 Pentax never had a zoom faster than f/3.5...

Pentax's lens legacy has really always been about small primes.
02-28-2013, 01:07 PM   #10
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I agree with snake, it's absurd that Pentax has no 24mm, that's a standard.

28mm is my favourite focal length for general purpose and indoor ambient light. I wonder why they killed off the FA 28mm 2.8, with no replacement? I love that little lens, it's on my K-01 all the time. I don't even mind that it's f2.8 not 2.0, considering the ISO performance of current bodies and the compact size. It's already sharp at 2.8, colours are great and DOF is noticeably better than at 35mm. You would think that the company that made a 43mm film lens would give us an equivalent for APS-C. I've never understood that.
02-28-2013, 01:22 PM   #11
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Some, also absurdly, will say "but we have the DA21!". However, that is not the same. A slow f3.2 lens? Sorry. Pentax can't even compete with the X100 or x1/x2, or anything else with a 35mm eq that's relatively fast.
02-28-2013, 01:48 PM   #12
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Well, the DA40 Limited is based on the M 40mm pancake, so I guess that's "legendary". I think that modern Pentax glass is, in most cases, equal to or better than their old lenses. If you don't count the FA series, there are a few exceptions, but a lot of DA lenses are capable of amazing things. You won't see the 15mm Limited's level of flare resistance on ANY old Pentax glass.

I don't see how people are saying lens designs are going backwards. I know there is some pixie dust you get from using old lenses, but they have their flaws too.

And I agree that there needs to be a 24/28mm prime. The FA31 is close but it's ludicrously expensive.
02-28-2013, 02:31 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by NitroDC Quote
You won't see the 15mm Limited's level of flare resistance on ANY old Pentax glass.
Primes generally have better flare resistance than zooms, but I think the main difference in flare resistance of old lenses vs. new is due to better coatings, which would be used on an updated lens.
02-28-2013, 05:37 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
Primes generally have better flare resistance than zooms, but I think the main difference in flare resistance of old lenses vs. new is due to better coatings, which would be used on an updated lens.
Right. I'm just saying that people seem to exaggerate how good their old lenses are. And I'm not saying they're not good. Some of them are spectacular, but there are some that aren't great. But you can't say that it "used to be better." Compare the 18-55mm kit lens or the DA50/1.8 to an old M-50/2. I'm betting that in terms of quality, the kit lens and especially the DA50 will do much better.

There's more to the lens formula than coatings -- I was just giving that as an example. Also, I forgot the FA28 existed... My bad. But maybe a limited in the 24-28 range would be nice?
02-28-2013, 05:57 PM   #15
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Personally I would love to see a return of the FA200mm f/4 ED[IF] MACRO, the FA*85mm f/1.4 and a 400mm f/2.8 Prime - time will tell if Pentax will follow through.

QuoteOriginally posted by JonPB Quote
It would be an interesting move to work out a deal with Cosina to manufacture a single run of PKA 28/2, 50/1.2, 85/1.4, and 135/1.8 lenses for release alongside Pentax's 135-frame camera. Cosina has the manufacturing know-how and Pentax has the designs mostly worked out.
The environmentalist requirement for lenses to be constructed with lead-free glass would necessitate a re-design of these lenses. The original Zeiss 28mm f/2 - the original Zeiss lens made for contax is optically superior to the current 28mm f/2 because Consina had the alter the design to compensate for the different refractive properties of lead-free glass.
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