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01-07-2014, 09:37 PM   #46
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I might add, it's a bit ironic to see people recommending the DA18-135 (on the review comments page) instead of the DA20-40, when the DA18-135 was initially a catastrophe.

01-07-2014, 09:45 PM   #47
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A sample size of 1 is pretty small for reliable conclusions. But, I never had plans to buy one.
01-08-2014, 02:47 AM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by calsan Quote
I might add, it's a bit ironic to see people recommending the DA18-135 (on the review comments page) instead of the DA20-40, when the DA18-135 was initially a catastrophe.
Yes, so true...
Indeed, I regret that I put off getting the 18-135 for so long due to the bad reviews. Now that I have had it for a while I can only say that I love it and congratulate Pentax on their design decisions for this lens. And it really is great in the 20-40 range, even wide open
01-08-2014, 04:15 AM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by calsan Quote
Below are a couple of lenses, that I own and love that weren't reviewed 100% enthusiastically:

DA 15 Limited
LensTip: "what’s the point of existence of such a lens on the market?"
Pentax smc DA 15 mm f/4 ED AL Limited review - Summary - Lenstip.com

DA 35 Limited
Photozone: "The Pentax SMC DA 35mm f/2.8 Limited macro is a undoubtedly a high quality lens but it does not excel."
Pentax SMC DA 35mm f/2.8 Limited macro - Review / Test Report - Analysis

Something I have learnt over the years is that whatever the pundits may say is wrong with a lens, is often what is right with the lens in different hands. Oh, and when Pentax design something, they are usually right.

Well to be honest the 35mm macro is a sharp lens, but it has poor bokeh IMO.
The 15mm is surprisingly soft on the edges until you stop it right down.


I'm not sure the pundits are always wrong
Pentax do have some good lenses, but they're not the mythical wonder some suggest at times. There are good and not so good lenses on all mounts.
Pentax just have a different take with the limited range

01-08-2014, 06:38 AM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by calsan Quote
I might add, it's a bit ironic to see people recommending the DA18-135 (on the review comments page) instead of the DA20-40, when the DA18-135 was initially a catastrophe.
Perhaps Pentax needs to work out quality control kinks or something. I wonder how the "reference" model performs?
01-08-2014, 06:53 AM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mr Spocko Quote
Well to be honest the 35mm macro is a sharp lens, but it has poor bokeh IMO.
Which Pentax macro has the best bokeh in your opinion?
01-08-2014, 09:00 AM   #52
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Without doubt the 100mm f/2.8 macro will do a nice job on bokeh, as will the 90/105mm third party offerings.
01-08-2014, 09:22 AM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by krebsy75 Quote
This lens remains an enigma.
At this stage, I think there are three factors that may account for its poor showing in some reviews and user experiences:

1. Excessive sample variation and QC issues in the first batch of lenses shipped out.

2. Less than optimal focusing with PDAF.

3. Vignetting at the long end.

I picked up a copy recently that seems to have gone beyond the first issue,
but I have noticed variability in the PDAF focusing on a K-50, especially at the wide end, on low-contrast subjects,
and occasionally the vignetting shows up, although it's easily fixed in PP.

The rendering of the lens plays in the same league as my Zeiss and Voigtlaender primes.
Quite amazing for a zoom, and certainly justifying the price being asked for it, IMHO.

01-08-2014, 11:06 AM - 1 Like   #54
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sharpness at 40mm

Here is what my DA 20-40 looks like at 40mm f/4

DA 20-40

100% crop


For comparision, here is a similar one with the DA 35 Ltd
DA 35 Ltd

100% crop


The DA 20-40 isn't bad, but I think my DA 35 and FA 31 are much better than it in terms of sharpness. I do quite like the rendering and the bokeh of the DA 20-40. Perhaps more so than the DA 35. It feels a lot like the FA 31.
01-08-2014, 11:35 AM   #55
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For portraits that level of sharpness is just about right. Altho 40mm is a little wide for the kind of portraits I like to capture.

Your little boy is being pixel peeped!
01-08-2014, 11:42 AM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by krebsy75 Quote
For portraits that level of sharpness is just about right. Altho 40mm is a little wide for the kind of portraits I like to capture.
Yes, I wouldn't actually use the 35-40mm for portraits. I use mostly for photojournalistic use cases. This was a quick grab shot to test for sharpness of the DA 20-40 WO after reading the review.
01-08-2014, 12:36 PM   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by sanjeevdas Quote
The DA 20-40 isn't bad, but I think my DA 35 and FA 31 are much better than it in terms of sharpness.
I would not regard that as a negative reflection on any zoom lens!
01-08-2014, 01:42 PM - 1 Like   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by calsan Quote
Below are a couple of lenses, that I own and love that weren't reviewed 100% enthusiastically:

DA 15 Limited
LensTip: "what’s the point of existence of such a lens on the market?"
Pentax smc DA 15 mm f/4 ED AL Limited review - Summary - Lenstip.com

DA 35 Limited
Photozone: "The Pentax SMC DA 35mm f/2.8 Limited macro is a undoubtedly a high quality lens but it does not excel."
Pentax SMC DA 35mm f/2.8 Limited macro - Review / Test Report - Analysis

Something I have learnt over the years is that whatever the pundits may say is wrong with a lens, is often what is right with the lens in different hands. Oh, and when Pentax design something, they are usually right.
PentaxForums tends to live in a bubble. This is what a real, honest review looks like. It's not normal to have the site's head fanboy give a handjob to every mediocre product that passes through his hands. Or rather it sadly is in certain circles (Ken Rockwell with Nikon, Steve Huff particularly with Leica, etc) but you'd best take the "pros" with a grain of salt and read the "cons" carefully, or just read it for the technical info. Similarly when those fanboys can't find anything nice to fixate on except "it's small", it's a good time to consider the alternatives available to this $1000 lens. But just blasting reviewers in general because a lens you like performed poorly is childish and stupid, particularly given which reviewer did this one.

To respond to the specific points above: the first article is asking "what is the point of this lens existing?" 15mm is a niche that is already hugely covered in Pentax's lineup, and a lens that is better (faster, internal focusing, etc) with a nearly identical focal length was less than a year out. This is ignoring the gobs of 10-20mm type (8-16, etc) wide-zooms out there. It's reviewer's job to help their readers not waste their money, including asking "why?" at times.

The second article is Photozone, and their technical analysis is really not to be called into question. They get it right far, far, far more often than they mess it up. If they say that it's nothing exceptional, maybe they got a bad copy, but their copy probably is not the best lens they've seen in the world. Pretty much any lens produced by a camera manufacturer in the last 20 years is "good enough". You can make great photos with a kit lens, and you can enjoy the photos you've taken. But it doesn't mean that a kit lens is a fabulous optic producing superior resolution - at normal screen or print sizes, anything less than mushes of color will be non-distracting at least. If all you want is some pretty pictures from the lens, Photozone has that too, as does every other review.

As described in the review, the optics aren't repellant. They behave a lot like a kit lens - stopping down is highly suggested for good optical performance, particularly on the long end. In that light it's an OK lens, although corner issues are still disappointing and it's kind of a poor overall performance for a limited-range zoom The problem is asking big-boy bucks for them - that much cash could buy a real pro-grade zoom or a used full frame body instead of a warmed-over kit lens And yes, if you want to spend $1000 you can certainly get metal-bodied lenses if that turns your crank.. If you showed up with one of these at a wedding you'd get laughed out, and that's range this lens is priced at. Heck, these days $250 buys you a used Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 which is faster and sharper with a wider range at 1/4 the price.

Last edited by Paul MaudDib; 01-08-2014 at 02:32 PM.
01-08-2014, 03:23 PM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
I would not regard that as a negative reflection on any zoom lens!
I understand that there are trade offs with zoom vs prime. But for a slow lens that costs an arm, it is.
01-08-2014, 03:27 PM   #60
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paul MaudDib Quote
PentaxForums tends to live in a bubble. This is what a real, honest review looks like. It's not normal to have the site's head fanboy give a handjob to every mediocre product that passes through his hands. Or rather it sadly is in certain circles (Ken Rockwell with Nikon, Steve Huff particularly with Leica, etc) but you'd best take the "pros" with a grain of salt and read the "cons" carefully, or just read it for the technical info. Similarly when those fanboys can't find anything nice to fixate on except "it's small", it's a good time to consider the alternatives available to this $1000 lens. But just blasting reviewers in general because a lens you like performed poorly is childish and stupid, particularly given which reviewer did this one.

To respond to the specific points above: the first article is asking "what is the point of this lens existing?" 15mm is a niche that is already hugely covered in Pentax's lineup, and a lens that is better (faster, internal focusing, etc) with a nearly identical focal length was less than a year out. This is ignoring the gobs of 10-20mm type (8-16, etc) wide-zooms out there. It's reviewer's job to help their readers not waste their money, including asking "why?" at times.

The second article is Photozone, and their technical analysis is really not to be called into question. They get it right far, far, far more often than they mess it up. If they say that it's nothing exceptional, maybe they got a bad copy, but their copy probably is not the best lens they've seen in the world. Pretty much any lens produced by a camera manufacturer in the last 20 years is "good enough". You can make great photos with a kit lens, and you can enjoy the photos you've taken. But it doesn't mean that a kit lens is a fabulous optic producing superior resolution - at normal screen or print sizes, anything less than mushes of color will be non-distracting at least. If all you want is some pretty pictures from the lens, Photozone has that too, as does every other review.

As described in the review, the optics aren't repellant. They behave a lot like a kit lens - stopping down is highly suggested for good optical performance, particularly on the long end. In that light it's an OK lens, although corner issues are still disappointing and it's kind of a poor overall performance for a limited-range zoom The problem is asking big-boy bucks for them - that much cash could buy a real pro-grade zoom or a used full frame body instead of a warmed-over kit lens And yes, if you want to spend $1000 you can certainly get metal-bodied lenses if that turns your crank.. If you showed up with one of these at a wedding you'd get laughed out, and that's range this lens is priced at. Heck, these days $250 buys you a used Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 which is faster and sharper with a wider range at 1/4 the price.
"If you showed up with one of these at a wedding you'd get laughed out" What does this mean?
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