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11-05-2016, 06:59 AM   #31
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It remains to be seen if Pentax can produce lenses like the 31 ltd. or 77 ltd. ever again. The 150-450, 70-200, and 28-105 would lead you to believe they still have a somewhat functioning design team. But how many years is going to take them just to come up with a complete lens line up at the current pace, I'm not even asking about unique lenses with character.


Last edited by normhead; 11-05-2016 at 07:39 AM.
11-05-2016, 08:06 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
It remains to be seen if Pentax can produce lenses like the 31 ltd. or 77 ltd. ever again
they still have some amazing designs like the 15mm f3.5, 50mm f1.2, 85mm f1.4, 135mm f1.8, 200mm f4 macro... if they revive those lens with AF, it'd be very satisfying for Pentaxians
11-05-2016, 08:10 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
It remains to be seen if Pentax can produce lenses like the 31 ltd. or 77 ltd. ever again. The 150-450, 70-200, and 28-105 would lead you to believe they still have a somewhat functioning design team. But how many years is going to take them just to come up with a complete lens line up at the current pace, I'm not even asking about unique lenses with character.
They have the benefit of already having a pretty good line-up, albeit with some dated options. I agree that the 150-450 or 70-200 show that they still know how to make great lenses, the same applies to the 16-85 which garnered a lot of acclaim.

Will they ever make primes covered in fairy dust again? I don't know. But I am sure they will throw out some very fine lenses of great optical quality next year.
11-05-2016, 10:14 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by redcat Quote
they still have some amazing designs like the 15mm f3.5, 50mm f1.2, 85mm f1.4, 135mm f1.8, 200mm f4 macro... if they revive those lens with AF, it'd be very satisfying for Pentaxians
And if even one of those lenses had been modernized I'd be drinking the cool aid but, my impression is it's really hard to go from the long rotation of MF to the short rotation of AF, and convert to internal focus, and maintain the same design. I'm sure Pentax has piles of blanks for those lenses somewhere, I assume there are problems putting them into a modern body.


Last edited by normhead; 11-05-2016 at 12:58 PM.
11-05-2016, 11:01 AM   #35
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I vote for Tamron 85 1.8
11-05-2016, 12:27 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
It remains to be seen if Pentax can produce lenses like the 31 ltd. or 77 ltd. ever again. The 150-450, 70-200, and 28-105 would lead you to believe they still have a somewhat functioning design team. But how many years is going to take them just to come up with a complete lens line up at the current pace, I'm not even asking about unique lenses with character.
Oh, I'm sure they can - but will they, and should they?
We're talking about lenses not optimized for technical evaluation, but special rendering qualities; lenses that would lose in every technical review, every time you'd shoot test charts and bottles instead of real subjects. We live in an era where people are maniacally pixel peeping, sometimes with ill-intent (I've seen people "evaluating" the K-1's sensor sharpness on the weakest part of the image - an oof corner).

By the way, if you think that Ricoh Imaging has only "a somewhat functioning design team", you should try designing a lens yourself. Say, something on the same level as the D FA 28-105. It's completely fair, since they can do the D FA* while only "somewhat functioning", any amateur can make a kit lens. Right?
11-05-2016, 01:01 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
Oh, I'm sure they can - but will they, and should they?
We're talking about lenses not optimized for technical evaluation, but special rendering qualities; lenses that would lose in every technical review, every time you'd shoot test charts and bottles instead of real subjects. We live in an era where people are maniacally pixel peeping, sometimes with ill-intent (I've seen people "evaluating" the K-1's sensor sharpness on the weakest part of the image - an oof corner).

By the way, if you think that Ricoh Imaging has only "a somewhat functioning design team", you should try designing a lens yourself. Say, something on the same level as the D FA 28-105. It's completely fair, since they can do the D FA* while only "somewhat functioning", any amateur can make a kit lens. Right?
Compared to the task at hand, no modern primes, a bunch of big heavy lenses that would make Sigma engineers happy, their design team is understaffed, and those they have are producing Canikon lenses, that's all I'm saying.

I'm all happy I bought a K-1, but I'd like a chance to use it for landscapes without, carrying over 3 pounds of gear. So, I'm seeing the 31 (very expensive,and not this design team) and? On my APS-c I have the field of view 8-16 with a Sigma lens. That would be 12-24 FF. If I have to take my 8-16 for 8mm, the K-1 won't get used for landscapes, because it will be sitting at home while I shoot wide angle with a body that's not technically as good for the purpose. It blows me away that there are no lightweight lenses prime or zooms, that cover 12-39, except for the 31ltd. I'm wondering, is this Pentax or is this Canon or Nikon? I can live with 4-5.6 lenses much more than I can live with a lot of weight. On FF I'm going to be shooting ƒ8 no matter what I carry so I just need fast enough for the AF to work. On APs-c we have a full stable of those lenses. It's a field camera. WHo's going to carry a 15-30 in the field that weighs 2.3 pounds? That's considerably more than my DA*200 2.8.

All I can say is fields in Japan must be a lot closer to the road than the fields i shoot in.
They have a design team. But their design team isn't your typical Pentax design team. Do they actually have anyone working for them who's built a good lightweight landscape lens? I'm using my FA 35-80 as my walk around. I put $700 away for a walk around lens that would do it all, but I can't find anything I want to spend it on. the 28-105 comes closest, but, on APS-c I'm an 18-135 kind of guy. That's that 28-200 range. Not a 28-105 for $700. That's like a $700 18-55 on steroids. It's just wrong. I mean 18-55 like in that there is no way I don't carry a second lens with that.

I did take a course in lens design, before there were computers to help (and I have no aptitude for it whatsoever) .... so don't think you're telling me something here. My comments stand as posted.

The design philosophy has clearly changed going from APS-c to FF, and I think it's a change that is going to cost them a lot. There's a lot more guys like me than there is guys willing to pay $8000 for body and zoom lens line up with no primes included.

At present, I have 2 lenses on my list. the 31 and 77, both of which are prohibitively expensive and nothing after that. I have the 60-250, the DA* 200 2.8, a couple FA 50s, a DA 40 XS and some third party lenses. My Pentax design team is long gone.
It's like the company I liked, morphed into one of the companies I hated.

Last edited by normhead; 11-05-2016 at 01:33 PM.
11-05-2016, 01:11 PM   #38
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Ricoh Imaging's design team are producing Canikon lenses?

You can say that Ricoh Imaging's (ex-Pentax') R&D was vastly reduced under Hoya, without looking down on them.

11-05-2016, 01:40 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
You can say that Ricoh Imaging's (ex-Pentax') R&D was vastly reduced under Hoya, without looking down on them.
The Hoya ownership ended in October 2011 though, five years ago. We're at a point where we can stop blaming Hoya for stuff, what's happening with Pentax right now, be it positive or negative, is fully Ricoh's responsibility. Should the design team still be understaffed (and I have no clue whether it is or not), then it would be because Ricoh didn't hire enough people in the last couple of years.
11-05-2016, 02:04 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
They have a design team. But their design team isn't your typical Pentax design team. Do they actually have anyone working for them who's built a good lightweight landscape lens? I'm using my FA 35-80 as my walk around. I put $700 away for a walk around lens that would do it all, but I can't find anything I want to spend it on. the 28-105 comes closest, but, on APS-c I'm an 18-135 kind of guy. That's that 28-200 range. Not a 28-105 for $700. That's like a $700 18-55 on steroids. It's just wrong. I mean 18-55 like in that there is no way I don't carry a second lens with that.

I did take a course in lens design, before there were computers to help (and I have no aptitude for it whatsoever) .... so don't think you're telling me something here. My comments stand as posted.
What do you know about their team? Close to nothing, I'd guess. How could you possibly know what they can, and can't do? But, if they can design an "all out" lens like the D FA* 70-200 f/2.8, doesn't it mean they can design pretty much anything?

The FA 35-80 is a lens from another era - a true cheap kit zoom, 7 elements with no special glass, limited zoom range, low grade plastic construction. It's interesting that a 28-105 only "comes closest" but you'd rather have a 28-200... while complaining about size and weight. And it would be "typical Pentax", except that Pentax' 28-200 was a rebadged Tamron.

See, I'd also like lighter, smaller lenses designed by Pentax; except I also want quality and I'm willing to pay for it. And unlike you, I'm not questioning if they can do it - they certainly can. They have more than "a course in lens design" (and I doubt you know much if you think optical engineers are specialized in certain lens sizes; FTR Mr. Jun Hirakawa is credited for lenses ranging from the body cap sized 40mm*, to the FA* 80-200).
Which means there can be a solution - all we have to do is convince them there's demand for such lighter and smaller lenses (but not "cheaper", that doesn't work as it only means "I'm not going to pay"). How do we do that? There was a lens survey not long ago; if we're lucky enough of us voted for smaller lenses, instead of ultra-fast behemoths.

* source: Wikipedia. Take it with a grain of salt.
11-05-2016, 02:17 PM - 1 Like   #41
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Pentax was perhaps the only camera company that increased sales last quarter ... it's doom and gloom at all the other ones we have figures for, including Sony, Canon and Nikon. Terrible short term results in a terrible long term decline.

Pentax survives because it's been retooled as a very small niche brand. Low volume, high profit. Forget B&M presence and advertising, it's all 'lean'.

The exec at Photokina said 'premium' is their direction, so I think legacy lenses will need to be the bargains people go for.

Canon and Nikon will have to do a Hoya style restructure to survive, unfortunately - lay off staff, sell plants, abandon cheap consumer lines and charge more (like the incredible cost of a cropped sensor D500).

Last edited by clackers; 11-05-2016 at 02:25 PM.
11-05-2016, 02:20 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by FantasticMrFox Quote
The Hoya ownership ended in October 2011 though, five years ago. We're at a point where we can stop blaming Hoya for stuff, what's happening with Pentax right now, be it positive or negative, is fully Ricoh's responsibility. Should the design team still be understaffed (and I have no clue whether it is or not), then it would be because Ricoh didn't hire enough people in the last couple of years.
A mere 5 years ago.
It's still Hoya's fault that Ricoh Imaging has to completely rebuild, instead of maintain their FF lens line. It's still Hoya's fault that Ricoh Imaging is struggling to rebuild the K-mount user base, while the DSLR market is falling - an user base Hoya managed to destroy while the DSLR market was growing. And it's still (presumably) Hoya's fault that Mr. Jun Hirakawa was forced to leave.

The thing is, Ricoh Imaging launched 6 Pentax lenses + 2 Tamron rebadges in the last 2 years. And we don't know what's limiting their new product rate - it might not be the ability to design new lenses.
11-05-2016, 02:28 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Doing a quick gander at their lens line up [Tamron], nothing really jumps out at me. The things I'd like, like an ultra wide for the FF, they don't make.
QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
The days of producing specialty lenses that are unique in the industry are long gone. Now they are using Tamron just to try and catch up with what everyone else has.
QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
It remains to be seen if Pentax can produce lenses like the 31 ltd. or 77 ltd. ever again. The 150-450, 70-200, and 28-105 would lead you to believe they still have a somewhat functioning design team. But how many years is going to take them just to come up with a complete lens line up at the current pace, I'm not even asking about unique lenses with character.
QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
They have a design team. But their design team isn't your typical Pentax design team. Do they actually have anyone working for them who's built a good lightweight landscape lens?
QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
I did take a course in lens design, before there were computers to help (and I have no aptitude for it whatsoever) .... so don't think you're telling me something here. My comments stand as posted.
QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
The design philosophy has clearly changed going from APS-c to FF, and I think it's a change that is going to cost them a lot. There's a lot more guys like me that there is guys willing to pay $8000 for body and zoom lens line up with no primes included. It's like the company I liked, morphed into one of the companies I hated.
I see the solution. Norm to go consult with Jun Hirakawa at Tamron.

Honestly, I'd love to know Jun Hirakawa's take on changes in lens design. I wonder whether he feels that the art has gone out of it.
11-05-2016, 04:39 PM - 1 Like   #44
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Personally I think it's pretty clear. As opposed to having the best APS-c line-up in the industry, Ricoh wants to take canon and Nikon on, head on, competing with their core markets. Their first target was clearly the D810 and the trinity. We now have a direct competitor to that series. The question is, are they still going after the market they went after with APS-c. Outdoor lightweight users. Just from reading the reviews I know the 28-200 is not an 18-135 type lens. The 18-135 is as good as it gets at 24 mm, and an better than average lens from 20-45mm. Above 45 it continues with excellent centre sharpness but softer edges, great for macro and portrait work, making it an awesome general purpose lens. I've never seen a chart for the Pentax 28-200 but I bet it's your typical Canikon type kit lens, slightly average average every where, but also no FLs where it really excels. I usually buy lenses for where they rae excellent, so it's quite possible I'll never find a place in my bag for it.. With my 18-135, I use it for walking around, if i see some thing I like near 24 mm, I'll leave it on, if not I'll switch to something better. If i see something 70-135mm that needs to be centre sharp but the edges will be out of focus. It gives me two very good, very sharp ranges. I won't put a lens in my bag that I can never leave on, that has to be switched out, no matter what FL I'm shooting at, if I see something I feel is deserving.
11-05-2016, 04:53 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
P With my 18-135, I use it for walking around, if i see some thing I like near 24 mm, I'll leave it on, if not I'll switch to something better. If i see something 70-135mm that needs to be centre sharp but the edges will be out of focus. It gives me two very good, very sharp ranges.
That's a good summary of the 18-135.... it has a role for higher end shooters as well as an everyday lens for less fussy.

I'm hoping the DA 20-40 "kinda uniqueness" indicates we may get some more "Pentaxish" lenses eventually.... and I'm not reffering to focal length/range.....however price will be ugly no doubt.
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