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03-19-2008, 10:49 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeffkrol Quote
Guess that's the dog star. don't take me sirius............
Am I a dork for laughing at that?

03-19-2008, 01:20 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeffkrol Quote
Guess that's the dog star. don't take me sirius............
Very witty!
03-19-2008, 01:37 PM   #18
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You all must be kidding.

In my universe it was: Ltd.=quality, *=SDM motor. Now, my universe is destroyed.

And it isn't cheap to rebuild universes these days...
03-19-2008, 03:26 PM   #19
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Opinion is divided on the * vs LTD debate, some say LTD are top of the line and vice versa.

My own view:

* = Professional grade, sturdy construction, more emphasis on durability (withstand rough use) than image quality
LTD = For Enthusiasts, very good build quality and finish, but more emphasis on image quality.

03-19-2008, 04:00 PM   #20
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my take is LTDs are top of the line optics, more money spent on the glass, than the body.
* means the body got beefed up, as well as the glass. oh, and there are no LTD zooms, are there?
03-19-2008, 04:06 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by OniFactor Quote
my take is LTDs are top of the line optics, more money spent on the glass, than the body.
* means the body got beefed up, as well as the glass. oh, and there are no LTD zooms, are there?
And we are waiting for DA* Ltd
03-19-2008, 04:27 PM   #22
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Uhm, there are only two DA* so far, so if you generalize the * for its high-quality construction/SDM, I don't think that would fit the previous * lenses. The first limited (43mm) was designed by a rogue engineer so I think for all the intends and purposes, the production was meant to be Limited. Due to the overwhelming popularity, the production continue in addition to the introduction of two new FA Limiteds and a bunch of DA limiteds.

So, I would categorize the Limited line as Pentax's innovative optical design (though the 77 is very similar to the A* 85), uniqueness in focal length (make Pentax standing out from the rest of the crowd), and/or extreme compactness (DA limited). Certainly the optical performance of these lenses are top notch.

The old * lenses signify the top of the line products that Pentax can offer. However, their focal lengths conform with the traditional design.

The new * lenses, in order to compete with the recent market, are added with weather-sealed and SDM. IMO, due to the increasing popularity of zoom, Pentax release the two zoom DA* first, instead of primes. And so far, based on the road map, I've not seen any odd focal length in the DA* line.

All in all, both * and LTD are the top of Pentax. They just have some differences from each other.
03-19-2008, 04:27 PM   #23
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To me, the Ltd lineup iindicates a collection of rather unique lenses that also tend to be rather great at image qaulity.

03-19-2008, 05:50 PM   #24
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Funny but I always thought the "*" or star was just simpler to put on a lens and in the ads than a "$"
03-19-2008, 06:16 PM   #25
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The original limited lenses were labelled limited, because of limited production. The reason for the limited production was that each limited lens was designed and hand crafted by just by one master craftsman, often using traditional (non computerised) methods. So much so, that production of that particular limited lens stopped when the craftsman went on leave!
03-20-2008, 09:25 AM   #26
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Actually there are FOUR DA*s now since I believe the 300mm f/4 and 200mm f/2.8 are out (maybe not the 300mm, but I'm pretty sure about the 200mm)

Yeah, give me a DA* Limited, NO make that a DFA* Limited (gotta have that aperture ring )

Canon is much simpler, it's either an L, or not. EXCEPT some Ls are weather sealed, some are not. Some non-Ls are great, some suck. Some have "real" USM (ring USM), some have "fake" micromotor USM, so you really can't generalize about their lens lineup, except Ls for the most part of optically excellent (and have that red stripe), But some are white, some are black....
ughhhhhhhhhhhh (ok, so maybe it's not so simple)
03-20-2008, 10:22 AM   #27
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info from Pentax DSLR Lenses Cataloque UK:
Limited Edition - “Limited Edition” is the PENTAX lens series that is characterised by extremely high quality standards. Since more expensive materials are used and a complex production process employed, PENTAX manufactures a restricted number of the “Limited Edition” lenses on a daily basis.

smc-DA* - The latest generation of lenses for use on all PENTAX digital SLR cameras. They utilize the “Supersonic Motor” technology compatible with the appropriate cameras (K10D) and are weather and dust-protected. They are not compatible with 35mm film SLRs.
03-20-2008, 11:43 AM   #28
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Sorry, too much info from me again...

* star lenses are a historical thing with Pentax. They have produced M*, A*, F* and FA* lenses for 35mm, 645 and 6x7 and now DA* for digi. The original star lenses were always telephoto primes with ED element(s) for professional color rendition. Best as I can see, regardless of whether its was 25 years ago or yesterday, the star lenses incorporate ED glass for better imaging and color rendition or AL glass (FA*24/2) for less distortion. (A*, FA* 85/1.4 is the only exception I could find).

Star lenses are designed as "Pro" items with enhanced ruggedness, but the * appears to be utilized only on lenses with high tech and somewhat unusual glass elements for pro quality imaging. Note that having ED element(s) isn't enough to earn the * as the current 50-200 ED doesn't get the star, nor does DA 12-24 EDAL, but these non-star lenses have similar build quality to the more standard consumer lenses. And lots of AL lenses are excluded from the star designation. So * lenses have "trick" elements AND rugged build intended to be up to the task of daily use by professionals. The 85mm exception is clearly intended as a pro lens regardless of what type of elements are used...

The limited lenses are all metal, and of smallish size. They use no ribbed rubber focus rings or plastic windows over the distance scale. "All metal" means just that--no modern marvel plastics anywhere noticeable on these lenses, (with the exception of a plastic or glass lens indexing bead on some models). There is no doubt the limiteds have pro quality optics and pro quality build, but they do not boast of ED glass--some like the 31 do have AL element(s). To me, they appear to be Pentax's answer to the high-end rangefinder lenses like the Contax, Leica type lenses. Limited lenses feel heavy in the hand--substantial--and the images they produce are stunning.

In the end, both limited and star lenses are the Pentaxian pro lenses with awesome image quality and awesome build quality.

Unfortunately, the DA* program got off to a rocky start with the "issues" with the 16-50. It appears that DA* still means pro glass with ED element(s) and rugged build quality--water and dust seals etc. Plus DA* lenses have the SDM focus motor built in. But because a DA* lens is different than an M* lens for 67, and due to the 85mm anomolie (and AL 24mm too for that matter) I think that the star designation is just shorthand for "Pro". Just as L is Canon shorthand for pro.
03-20-2008, 01:21 PM   #29
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I thought it was a big SPLAT *
03-20-2008, 02:42 PM   #30
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Yeah...what Ron said. Originally, the * denoted a lens that had ED glass in it. I think they also had a green band around the end.
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