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05-10-2013, 03:29 PM   #1
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Innovations need to be applied to the range...

I'm aware of a new HD coating that is meant to be significantly superior in quality to the SMC coating. In addition, Pentax have released several WR lenses, but so far its application is limited, and it's certainly not yet widely available.

A simple question, is Pentax likely to apply these innovations across the range of higher end K-mount lenses any time soon?

Apart from the tiresome wait for FF (or a truly professional DSLR), the wait for a truly professional (and high-quality) lense line-up is even more frustrating, because it would seem they already have the ability to do it! Before people give me a long list of 'great' Pentax lenses, here's what I am talking about:

- The 18-50mm f2.8 lense-type is an almost must-have for APS-C users. Pentax's current offering is matched (or beaten) in image quality by third party (Sigma etc), AND is much more expensive. If the HD coating is a big improvement over SMC, why not apply it NOW...and throw the WR feature in while they're at it! I would pay the current difference in price if the features and image quality were there to justify it.
- 70-200mm f2.8 (which Pentax don't even offer). Same as above
- 50mm f1.4 same as above.
- 85mm f1.4 same as above.

Why doesn't Pentax just concentrate on releasing high quality, excellent copies of the most commonly used lenses (see above) that the market wants and needs, and apply the latest and greatest technologies to them continuously. Make the 50mm, 85mm and 70-200mm FF-compatible (like Sigma), so that both the APS-C and FF camera ranges are covered. Release a 24-80mm f2.8 for the Full-Frame, and all the basic requirements are covered!

This is not a Pentax-bashing, but a vent born of frustration because I fear the time is nigh I will have to go down the path, that so many before me have trodden, and jump to Canon or Nikon. It will be a sad day, but Pentax will only have themselves to blame.

05-10-2013, 04:12 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Poit Quote
If the HD coating is a big improvement over SMC, why not apply it NOW...and throw the WR feature in while they're at it!
The DA*16-50 is 'WR', * lenses actually have a higher degree of protection than those labeled WR. No idea about the coating, except that SMC has changed many times over the years, it is not simply a coating but a technology that has evolved over time. HD is on a few new lenses but I have not seen any reviews that stated definitively it was any better than SMC or even different than SMC. It is even possible they lost the right to the SMC name on future products when they were bought by Ricoh, Hoya is now promoting SMC coatings on their filters. (That is just speculation)

QuoteOriginally posted by Poit Quote
70-200mm f2.8 (which Pentax don't even offer).
70-200 is a full frame lens focal length, since Pentax has no FF camera they have no FF lens focal lengths. The APS-C equivalent is the excellent DA*50-135

Pentax has in the past stated rather emphatically that they are not interested in FF. They have a very good APS-C lineup with DA* zooms from 16mm to 250mm. And Limited primes @ 21, 40, and 70. And consumer primes @ 35mm and 50mm. And macros @ 50 and 100mm. For a small company that makes APS-C cameras that is a rather complete lineup. What else could anyone want?

Now if you are arguing that they should have both an APS-C line and a FF line of lenses, OK they are missing some for sure. But to be honest I do not see much sense in producing lenses for which there is no camera to mount them.

Pentax seems to have (quite recently) stated that they will be looking into a full frame camera possibly in the 2014 era. If so, that is a change in direction from what they said all along. If true then I would assume that FF lenses would be produced to match the camera.

So stop back in a year and we will see if there is a FF Pentax or not. If there is and they still do not have all of those FF lenses you want then I will join you in protesting their stupidity.
05-10-2013, 05:33 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
HD is on a few new lenses but I have not seen any reviews that stated definitively it was any better than SMC or even different than SMC.
Apparently HD is one of the new "nano" coatings:

Pentax 645D Firmware 1.30 Update - Pentax News - PentaxForums.com

"The lens is the first to feature Pentax's "HD" nano coating"
05-10-2013, 05:59 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
"The lens is the first to feature Pentax's "HD" nano coating"
Interesting. But even Pentax seems to be confused about what it is:
PENTAX - PENTAX Announces Exclusive HD Coating Technology states: "This coating assures optical performance almost equal to Aero Bright Coating,"

And PENTAX - PENTAX Announces New 90mm Macro Lens states: "By coupling this coating with the PENTAX-exclusive, high grade Aero Bright Coating,** this lens optimizes light transmittance while minimizing refraction."

So is HD used on lower quality lenses with SMC still used on the top of the line, or is Aero Bright the top of the line, or is HD to be used on all lenses with Aero Bright added for the top of the line?

And I still cannot find any review that compares the coatings except a youtube video that shows a display at a Pentax booth. The assumption would be that HD is better than SMC but who knows?

05-10-2013, 06:30 PM - 1 Like   #5
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From what little this marketing material seems to be saying,
both HD and "Aero Bright" are nano-scale coatings,
but the latter is superior.

Here is a comparison of nano-scale coating with multi-coating:

What does a 'nano crystal coat' do on this lens? - Photography Stack Exchange
05-10-2013, 08:45 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
Here is a comparison of nano-scale coating with multi-coating: What does a 'nano crystal coat' do on this lens? - Photography Stack Exchange
Thanks for posting this, an interesting read and helps clear the mud for me a bit.
05-11-2013, 04:13 PM   #7
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The cut and thrust of my rather protracted rant was a lament on the lack of a truly professional grade offering (both camera bodies and lenses). With regards to lenses, the 'excellent' high-end Pentax lenses are routinely matched or outdone by significantly cheaper third-party models. Perhaps achieving the image quality, build quality, and autofocus accuracy, that other manufacturers' high end lenses do, would simply require too much effort and investment for a relatively small player like Pentax. I just wanted to suggest that whatever they do have available (new coatings etc etc), they should be applying now, to make the range as good as it possibly can be.

For someone like myself, who is on the cusp of transitioning from 'enthusiast' to 'income generating' photography, I'm afraid that loyalty and sentimentality are not strong enough arguments to accept equipment with inferior performance. I really do hope that Pentax/Ricoh make some leaps soon, because the loyalty and sentimentality need some support!
05-11-2013, 05:48 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Poit Quote
I really do hope that Pentax/Ricoh make some leaps soon, because the loyalty and sentimentality need some support!
Well said. And sadly, very true.

Hopefully we will all have reason to buy Pentax beyond sentimentality in the near future.

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