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02-10-2014, 03:38 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by fuent104 Quote
This is also interesting. I personally would expect that a more expensive lens would perform well (optically) in a more diverse range of conditions (and I don't just mean weather) than would an inexpensive lens. I would expect to learn about the few instances in which such a lens wouldn't perform well, rather than learning about the few in which it would perform well. Those are my personal expectations, though. I haven't heard of someone buying a Canon 70-200 f2.8, then needing to learn how to use it because its images don't look very special in general circumstances. However, Ricoh is its own company.
I think this has been an interesting discussion. I can understand your point of view, however I respectfully disagree. I think the expensive lenses are often specialized for specific situations rather than a diverse range of conditions.

Take dental macro lens for example. It would be quite expensive and do very well in its area of specialty: macro. Not every photographer could pick up a dental macro lens and shoot great photos with it, whether it costs $20 or $2,000. The FA* 200 macro is a very expensive lens and takes some practice. It is a very well-regarded lens, but I would want to learn of its strengths in practice before using it in a professional situation.

That's the second point I'm unable to grasp from this discussion. A professional learns the art and how to make the most of their tools. If a framer is purchasing a new hammer, I'd be surprised if they don't ask friends or do some research online before spending the money on a hammer, just like many of us here see people asking for recommendations and test samples. A framer expected to build a house would know how to use a $20 hammer and a $200 hammer. They'd be familiar with their tools and the situations they should be used in. Just as a professional photographer will often arrive on location early to measure the light and learn which photographic tools would do best in that situation so there are no surprises. I know where my lenses perform the best because I've practiced and I know I can depend on them I'm in a shoot because I've prepared.

02-11-2014, 03:51 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by builttospill Quote
That's the second point I'm unable to grasp from this discussion. A professional learns the art and how to make the most of their tools. If a framer is purchasing a new hammer, I'd be surprised if they don't ask friends or do some research online before spending the money on a hammer, just like many of us here see people asking for recommendations and test samples. A framer expected to build a house would know how to use a $20 hammer and a $200 hammer. They'd be familiar with their tools and the situations they should be used in. Just as a professional photographer will often arrive on location early to measure the light and learn which photographic tools would do best in that situation so there are no surprises. I know where my lenses perform the best because I've practiced and I know I can depend on them I'm in a shoot because I've prepared.
You have made a good point, but I don't feel like the analogy is very helpful.

1. I don't think we should evaluate lenses only by what "professionals" do with them.
2. Not all professionals treat their equipment in the same manner, or test it in the same way. Plenty of professionals rent as needed, etc.
3. A dental macro is a specialty lens, and is labeled as such. It is for dental macro applications. If this lens was labeled "20-40mm Special Bokeh," or something like that (I believe Minolta, or some other company, once sold such a lens), it would make sense for it not to perform well in most situations. However, at this price, and with a lack of specialized labeling, I think it is fair for a person to expect to be able to put the lens on his or her camera and make pleasing images, without obvious flaws. Especially since the optical parameters (2x zoom, variable aperture) are not particularly impressive.

I can see their being situations in which this lens might excel, but I also think it is reasonable to expect it to perform well in almost any situation.
02-11-2014, 04:26 PM   #18
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I thought Lenstip did a good job with their review:

http://www.lenstip.com/396.1-Lens_review-Pentax_HD_DA_20-40_mm_f_2.8-4.0_ED_Limited_DC_WR.html
02-12-2014, 09:57 AM   #19
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QuoteQuote:
As our test showed, the Pentax HD DA 2040 mm f/2.84.0 ED Limited DC WR is not such a pearl of a lens so it seems to be aimed only at the biggest fans of that brand, still remembering and venerating the legend of the cult Limited lenses which, currently, is becoming more and more tarnished.
Yea, you will see the biggest fans of the brand defend this one 'till death.

02-12-2014, 10:38 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Great to hear. Every lens has a learning curve, where the photographer has to learn its character, how to use it best, where its IQ sweet spot it, how to process shots taken with it.. and only then do photos come out great. Its not "justifying a purchase" - its learning how to use a complex tool. I think this lens will get many more favourable reviews once more people get the hang of it. And once lens profiles for pp come out.
The trick is not to give up when the keeper rate is low at first.
+1 and well said. Far too many people buy a lens and expect instant perfection. I don't think there is a "perfect" lens that does all things well. Every lens has that sweet spot and it takes some practice to find it. DSLR photography is an art in itself that takes time to learn. How many threads do we see every week with people complaining about "soft" images and a bad copy when there is obvious motion blur or a bad exposure when they post a sample shot? Quite a few. Too many people buy lenses without any clue of what to really expect. One needs to learn about exposure, shutter speeds, ISO, and focal lengths and how they all affect image quality. That's just the tip of the iceberg. After several decades, there are things I'm still learning that I'm just getting the "hang of it".

Probably the biggest example of this is the DA 15 Limited. There are stunning photographs being shot with this lens as well as threads and reviews that slam it. I think the new Limited zoom is going to be a similar lens. There are already some beautiful "wow" shots being posted along with a fair amount of complaining.
02-12-2014, 10:55 AM   #21
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That lens will always be controversial because peoples only look at the MTF resolution chart (which BTW the Sigma 18-35mm that is always compared with, still not tested on the same camera as the DA 20-40mm, we know we can't compare that lens since it was tested only on Canon and Nikon DSLR). Some lenses only shines when taking photos in the field and sharpness is not the only absolute measure !
02-12-2014, 11:00 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by leopold Quote
That lens will always be controversial because peoples only look at the MTF resolution chart (which BTW the Sigma 18-35mm that is always compared with, still not tested on the same camera as the DA 20-40mm, we know we can't compare that lens since it was tested only on Canon and Nikon DSLR). Some lenses only shines when taking photos in the field and sharpness is not the only absolute measure !
I disagree...if this lens were a couple hundred dollars cheaper there wouldn't be nearly the controversy.
The fact is there are absolutely stunning pictures being taken by the Sigma as well...out in the field, in real life conditions.

So the 20-40mm looks prettier, is smaller, and is weathersealed. It is also slower and does not resolve as well. To me, that is a wash and should be priced as such. Instead you are paying a fair amount more money.
02-12-2014, 11:36 AM   #23
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There will always be complaints about pricing. Lens prices continue to rise and many are are nearly double the price of a few years ago. Camera makers are selling cameras at very little profit and possibly at cost after they have been out for over a year with the hopes you will be buying lenses. I was disappointed in the price of the DA 20-40 also but I suspect we would be having the same discussion if it was a $700 lens.

02-12-2014, 12:11 PM - 2 Likes   #24
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Lets see, the HD 21mm + the HD 40mm = 1249$ or so, the 20-40mm limited is 996$. A bit faster at 20mm, a bit slower at 40mm. I see on my copies that the 20-40 is better than the 21mm, about equal to the 40mm. And I get near silent(though a bit slower) AF, WR, and a zoom? So whats the problem??
02-12-2014, 02:09 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
I disagree...if this lens were a couple hundred dollars cheaper there wouldn't be nearly the controversy.
While price is clearly part of the controversy, I don't think it's the main part. Most of the negativity towards the lens has arisen from the usual suspects: those who are frustrated with Pentax because of the lack of fast lenses and/or FF sensors. This crowd detested the lens even before the price was announced. They disliked it because of the variable aperture and the f4 on the long end. The high price only serve to intensify their dislike.

QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
It is also slower and does not resolve as well
Doesn't resolve as well compared to what? Which Pentax zoom lens resolves better? Which Pentax zoom lens has better microcontrast, better flare control, better color rendition, better tactile rendering, better bokeh?

We've been down this road before with other lenses that don't always perform especially well on tests but which, in practical real world situations, produce stunning results. The review/measurebator sites have panned the DA 15, the DA 21, the FA* 24; they've been lukewarm about the FA 31 and the FA 43. They've exaggerated the importance of CA control and wide open corner sharpness; and they've ignored microcontrast, color rendition, rendering and field curvature, because these things are difficult, if not impossible, to measure.
02-12-2014, 02:29 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by northcoastgreg Quote


Doesn't resolve as well compared to what? Which Pentax zoom lens resolves better? Which Pentax zoom lens has better microcontrast, better flare control, better color rendition, better tactile rendering, better bokeh?

We've been down this road before with other lenses that don't always perform especially well on tests but which, in practical real world situations, produce stunning results. The review/measurebator sites have panned the DA 15, the DA 21, the FA* 24; they've been lukewarm about the FA 31 and the FA 43. They've exaggerated the importance of CA control and wide open corner sharpness; and they've ignored microcontrast, color rendition, rendering and field curvature, because these things are difficult, if not impossible, to measure.
Compared to the Sigma 18-35mm.
And you're right, we have been down this road before; when Pentax lenses don't perform well in tests, it doesnt matter because of "pixie dust".
The Sigma performs well in tests AND there are stunning photos being taken with it in real world scenarios, not only tests charts (oh and is cheaper).
02-12-2014, 03:03 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
Compared to the Sigma 18-35mm.
And you're right, we have been down this road before; when Pentax lenses don't perform well in tests, it doesnt matter because of "pixie dust".
The Sigma performs well in tests AND there are stunning photos being taken with it in real world scenarios, not only tests charts (oh and is cheaper).
Just wondering whether the Pentax is an average lens or the Sigma is exemplary? We all know sublime lenses happen and average lenses are the norm - does the existence of the Sigma ipso facto make the Pentax redundant?

FwIW, the above is a real question, not a snarky statement in the form of a rhetorical question.
02-12-2014, 03:13 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Just wondering whether the Pentax is an average lens or the Sigma is exemplary? We all know sublime lenses happen and average lenses are the norm - does the existence of the Sigma ipso facto make the Pentax redundant?

FwIW, the above is a real question, not a snarky statement in the form of a rhetorical question.
What other lenses would typically compare to the 18-35? From what I see, it beats out all the 17-50s and 24-70s except maybe the Canon version II?
02-12-2014, 03:20 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
What other lenses would typically compare to the 18-35? From what I see, it beats out all the 17-50s and 24-70s except maybe the Canon version II?
I certainly don't know, which is why I asked. If in fact the 20~40 is a very good lens that nevertheless isn't competitive with the best-in-class lens, even if the better lens is an exemplary lens, then bad luck Pentax. We all know what to do.

But I can't see the sense in bashing Pentax because Sigma made a better lens.
02-12-2014, 03:22 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Just wondering whether the Pentax is an average lens or the Sigma is exemplary? We all know sublime lenses happen and average lenses are the norm - does the existence of the Sigma ipso facto make the Pentax redundant?

FwIW, the above is a real question, not a snarky statement in the form of a rhetorical question.
From what i have seen in real world example, the Sigma is exemplary. Also, FWIW, i don't think the Pentax lens is average. From the pictures I have seen, it is capable of taking great photos. My issue is that it seems like Pentax/Ricoh charge a premium just for being niche and different.

Like I said in my above post, both have their pluses and minuses. Unfortunately for me, the minuses on the Pentax more effect the final image product, ie aperture speed and across the frame performance. The pluses for Pentax have to do with its asthetics (its looks and size), which for me are not as important because it does not effect the final product, the captured image.

---------- Post added 02-12-14 at 02:26 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
But I can't see the sense in bashing Pentax because Sigma made a better lens.
I am not bashing Pentax because Sigma made a better lens.
What i have a problem with is the premium being charged for the sole sake of being different. We saw it with the initial prices of the Q, K-01 and the MX-1. I don't have a problem with any of those products mind you, I think they are good products. I did not see the need for taking advantage of what little fan base this brand has.
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