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05-09-2015, 09:37 PM   #1
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Is 150-450 a waste on APS-C?

Is Pentax ever going to, or do you think they should, come out with serious dedicated APS-C telephoto lenses? How much better could the 150-450 be for APS-C if Pentax had decided to add more support for its most popular size? For the same cost, weight, and size, could it have been an f/3.2-4.0? Or could perhaps it have been a 250-750 with the same speed?


Why would anyone switch to Pentax full-format and then decide they need the 150-450, when Pentax makes a 60-250 f/4 which is faster, lighter, and easier to shoot without a tripod? I'm certain someone would have a good reason, but I could use some illumination from more experienced folks here. This lens announcement, while exciting most people, lets me down a bit.


I am apparently the only person who was disappointed when Ricoh announced an upcoming full-frame camera.


I never shot anything but a 110 or a P&S before 2008, when I purchased my first-ever DSLR: a Pentax k200d. I decided to get a DSLR because I couldn't find a point & shoot camera that lived up to its marketing hype in low light, and so I did some research -- and found out that most of the numbers used to market cameras (of all types) are meaningless crap. So, I looked around and found that Pentax had the best lens line-up and support for its APS-C cameras and purchased one. I really, really liked the idea of the DA limiteds, and people said the FA limiteds produced such beautiful photos (while still remaining fairly small). Plus, to a new photographer, the Canon & Nikon line-ups are very, very confusing. They still are to me. Pentax, at the time, had two -- a good one, and a goodlier one. I think it's to their advantage that they're still limiting it to three.


It's been a learning experience. I'll probably never be a "real" photographer, especially since I see no need to move to full-frame. I thought that's what the 645Z was for -- rubbing it in the face of Canon & Nikon with even bigger sensors, and bigger, sharper glass, for about the same as what they charge for their premium "L" (or whatever Nikon calls them) lenses. Instead, it seems that while this caused a few people to make the MF leap, Pentax has mainly attracted studio guys who like the idea of a MF camera they can take out of the studio "on the cheap" (for them) and have some fun with. Everyone else seems to turn their nose down at Pentax for opening up digital MF to the "bourgeoisie." I guess it's hard to like an MF camera that has more than one AF point, an ISO above 400, or can be hand-held (for brief periods of time).


I, with my limited experience, am very happy with Pentax's coverage in the wide-to-telephoto range. An ultra-wide angle lens would be nice, but I'm still trying to get my head 'round the da15. (SMC, NOT HD, thank you. Why the **** would you replace perfectly good aperture blades on the 15 & 21 to enhance non-existent bokeh?) So I'm not ready for wider-angle. But it seems to me that the APS-C format would absolutely shine in telephoto if someone made a lens dedicated for it -- it could be faster, or reach longer, than its FF counterpart at a weight and cost that would be unheard-of because of its shorter focal length for doing the same job.


Guys with experience: what am I missing? Don't get me wrong -- I don't want to "take away" anything from your full-frame anticipation. This does worry me, though, that perhaps Ricoh is going to back off on its beautiful level of APS-C support and treat FF as its new baby.

05-09-2015, 10:11 PM   #2
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I think you're seeing demons where they don't exist. Ricoh is no more likely to abandon APS-C on account of
the forthcoming FF than they were to abandon APS-C when they went mirrorless with the Q or K-01. The FF
is hard, encouraging evidence that Ricoh is not only interested in staying in the game, but more importantly,
listening to the people who shoot Pentax. As such, Ricoh surely knows well that their APS-C bodies are and
will still be in demand for the near future. Proof positive, there's that K-3 II about to hit the shelves. The FF
is going to get the spotlight for a while but I bet it highly likely we see a successor to the K-3 II sometime late
next year or early 2017.

As for your initial question, I'm not entirely clear what you're asking? A serious telephoto for APS-C? I see
three pretty darn serious DA lenses in the current line-up that qualify: DA* 200, DA* 300 and DA 560. Oh, but
you really meant zoom, right? Could the 150-450 been designed as a 3.2/4 "For the same cost, weight, and size".
In a word, 'no'. "Or could perhaps it have been a 250-750 with the same speed?" Now you're talking about
a lens (much) larger and more costly than the DA560. Like this, only bigger.
05-09-2015, 10:17 PM   #3
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When you get to the long end of things, a lot of the size and weight is determined by the speed. For example, a 400mm f 2.8 lens would need a 143mm front element regardless of it being for APSC or FF.
05-09-2015, 10:58 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Venom3300 Quote
When you get to the long end of things, a lot of the size and weight is determined by the speed. For example, a 400mm f 2.8 lens would need a 143mm front element regardless of it being for APSC or FF.
OK -- that's true. I keep forgetting that part. Aperture scales with focal length, not sensor size. I really should have remembered that.


So the other lenses in the -- erm, lens -- don't really contribute much to the weight or size at that focal length, I guess.


That means that it really doesn't benefit anyone if they "dedicate" a lens to APS-C at the telephoto end. Is that what I can gather?


tvdtvdtvd: I'm glad you're more optimistic about the future of APS-C. I guess I just don't get it. Concerning the large telephotos, I guess since aperture scales with focal length, they really couldn't do more than they already have even if they restricted the image circle. And, yes, I was mainly asking about zoom, but I'd also read (I think) that both the 200 and 300 had full-frame image circles. I don't know about the 560, but not only is it incredibly expensive, I think I'd have difficulty finding what I was trying to take a picture of once I saw it. I think a zoom could be a real boon there.

05-10-2015, 01:09 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by fredralphfred Quote
That means that it really doesn't benefit anyone if they "dedicate" a lens to APS-C at the telephoto end. Is that what I can gather?
I read somewhere that most DA teles, such as the DA* 300, are actually FF compatible, but just not marketed as such.
05-10-2015, 02:29 AM   #6
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Most telephoto lenses are actually full frame compatible. Certainly the primes are. The ways you make a lens cheaper are to do things like the DA 55-300 has -- cheaper construction, slower auto focus speed and you end up with a lens that is usable, but really needs to be stopped down on the long end to be decent. Lenses like the 70-200 and 150-450 are expensive because they are designed to be sharp wide open (we hope) with cutting edge auto focus capability. These long lenses are all expensive.
05-10-2015, 04:18 AM   #7
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I have a K-5 and a K-3 and my longest lens is my DFA 100 Macro WR. The 150 to 450 is the perfect next step for someone like me who is interested in wildlife photography. I would say that when I have the funds saved up the 150 - 450 will be in my wish list far more than the full frame will be. The 150 - 450 was something that was missing from the Pentax lens lineup. Now we have it and the fact that it is full frame compatible should be considered a positive, not a negative.
05-10-2015, 04:29 AM - 1 Like   #8
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In defence of the OP, the Sigma 100-300mm f4, which on APS-c is equivalent in fov to a 150-450 on full-frame, is quite a popular lens despite being now only available 2nd hand. In Pentax lenses, the nearest is the DA* 60-250 f4 I suppose.

05-10-2015, 07:21 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by StephenHampshire Quote
In defence of the OP, the Sigma 100-300mm f4, which on APS-c is equivalent in fov to a 150-450 on full-frame, is quite a popular lens despite being now only available 2nd hand. In Pentax lenses, the nearest is the DA* 60-250 f4 I suppose.
Right. What puzzles me is why the new Pentax
long lenses are so slow. True, if they were faster, they'd be heavier and more expensive (but those are minor considerations--am I right? ) The thing is, anything over f4 makes AF an iffy proposition--esp with a TC. The best fast long K-mount AF lenses these days are the Sigma 500/4.5 and the FA* lenses.
05-10-2015, 07:28 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by fredralphfred Quote
Is Pentax ever going to, or do you think they should, come out with serious dedicated APS-C telephoto lenses? How much better could the 150-450 be for APS-C if Pentax had decided to add more support for its most popular size?
Unlikely going forward as they now have (or will soon have) both FF and APS-C lines. Less expensive or lenses suited only to APS-C will continue, such as the 16-85 for example, but expensive or slow sellers will be made so that they cover both formats. And the 150-450 is quite useful on APS-C, in fact I would wager far more buyers will be using it on APS-C than on FF.
QuoteOriginally posted by fredralphfred Quote
Why would anyone switch to Pentax full-format and then decide they need the 150-450, when Pentax makes a 60-250 f/4 which is faster, lighter, and easier to shoot without a tripod?
Maybe I do not understand you but I do not see anyone switching to FF to use the 150-450. It allows FF shooters to have that range covered in the same way an APS-C shooter would use a 100-300. The lens is needed to round out the line for FF but also provides a very nice addition to the APS-C line.
QuoteOriginally posted by fredralphfred Quote
I am apparently the only person who was disappointed when Ricoh announced an upcoming full-frame camera.
Not at all, a year ago the forum was afire with folks decrying the end of Pentax because Ricoh was wasting resources on a FF camera rather than making more APS-C stuff. It appears Ricoh was confident they could do both, at least on their own schedule.
QuoteOriginally posted by fredralphfred Quote
I'll probably never be a "real" photographer, especially since I see no need to move to full-frame.
That's nonsense, format has nothing to do with being a "real photographer" whatever that is.
QuoteOriginally posted by fredralphfred Quote
I thought that's what the 645Z was for -- rubbing it in the face of Canon & Nikon with even bigger sensors, and bigger, sharper glass, for about the same as what they charge for their premium "L" (or whatever Nikon calls them) lenses. Instead, it seems that while this caused a few people to make the MF leap, Pentax has mainly attracted studio guys who like the idea of a MF camera they can take out of the studio "on the cheap" (for them) and have some fun with.
I am quite sure the "purpose" of the 645z was to make money for Ricoh. And by all accounts sales have been double expectations and production can barely keep up. MF is the hottest area for wedding photography, though perhaps not in the US market, yet.
QuoteOriginally posted by fredralphfred Quote
But it seems to me that the APS-C format would absolutely shine in telephoto if someone made a lens dedicated for it -- it could be faster, or reach longer, than its FF counterpart at a weight and cost that would be unheard-of because of its shorter focal length for doing the same job.
And it does. I do not quite understand your point though. At the big long glass side of things there is not much weight to be saved by making a dedicated APS-C lens. And APS-C by it's nature is going to make ANY lens feel longer. But a 600mm f/4 is going to have a huge front element no matter what other compromises are made.
05-10-2015, 08:42 PM   #11
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help...
micro four thirds - Does sensor size dictate lens size with all other things equal? - Photography Stack Exchange

Why does this indicate a size benefit to apsc?
05-11-2015, 04:12 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
You need to look at the way people sell cameras. They sell 35mm equivalents. So for someone shooting a 4/3 camera with a crop factor of 2 compare to APS-C with its crop factor of 1.5 to a FF, let's start with a FF 600/4. This is the same (in 35mm equivelent speak) as a 400/4 on APS-C and a 300/4 on 4/3 bodies. But this is all pure BS. For the simple reason that most people are cropping the 600mm lens any way regardless of format.

I'll give a practical example. I was out yesterday shooting warblers. Ok so here is a subject that is only about 100mm high.

Let's assume you get to 10 meters away.

Image size = subject size x focal length / distance

So the 600/4 gives you a subject 6 mm long.

So even with the 4/3 the bird fits in less than the height of the image so you crop. In reality unless you are lucky and get really close, or shoot much bigger objects (let's imagine now a great blue heron, at 1 meter high) you are always cropping with wild life.

Wildlife shooters would rarely opt for full frame because what is the point of cropping it all away?
05-11-2015, 06:12 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Wildlife shooters would rarely opt for full frame because what is the point of cropping it all away?
Bingo!
05-11-2015, 06:38 AM   #14
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I think my point was lost. Take a 645 300 f/4and a 300 f/4 k mount. The 645 is larger, same speed and focal length.

A series 645
SMC Pentax-A* 645 300mm F4 ED [IF] Reviews - 645 Telephoto Primes - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

A series K mount
SMC Pentax-A* 300mm F4 Reviews - A Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

I realize the flange distance is different, but it seems to me the larger sensor drives the difference. Likewise the lenses for 4x5 cameras, large format enlargers etc are larger for the same focal length and speed lens.
05-12-2015, 07:49 AM - 2 Likes   #15
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When it comes to shooting birds and wildlife, I've discovered that just about any lens made seems to come up about 100mm too short.

Pentax/Ricoh needed the FF camera to be a serious competitor in the industry. I certainly don't need a FF and I'm not likely to buy one. As for the new telephoto, that needed to be labeled as an FF lens as the Pentax lineup was lacking a lens of that size. It's an even more important addition to the lineup now that Sigma has dropped their 150-500 line and the new 150-600's aren't being produced in K mount. I really don't think building a 150-450 to fit the APS-C image circle would be significantly smaller and lighter to make a difference.

Camera companies all build products a lot of us don't use or need but that doesn't mean somebody else isn't going to use it or need it. Just as car companies need to build everything from small compacts to large pick-up trucks and SUV's, a camera company needs to compete in the marketplace and right now, that marketplace is demanding a FF camera.
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