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06-25-2008, 11:36 AM   #1
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Zeiss Distagon T* 18mm for Pentax

Zeiss seem keen on producing more lenses for us! They've just gone into the wide end with the Distagon T* 18mm f/3.5. I hope Pentax brings on their 15mm Limited, which is more the width I'm hoping for. Not sure if either will replace the DA16-45 in my eyes, but it's nice to have a choice!

06-25-2008, 11:39 AM   #2
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Um, scratch this one. Suggested list price is $1450.

Though for this you do get the "standard lens shade". More here.
06-25-2008, 11:49 AM   #3
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you don't like 14mm/2.8?
06-25-2008, 11:50 AM   #4
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lenses like these make me drool for FF

06-25-2008, 12:28 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by vizjerei Quote
you don't like 14mm/2.8?
I imagine the 15mm Limited will be smaller and lighter. And I hope it will have more consistent/correctable distortion characteristics. Maybe even better border resolution, which is what I like about the DA16-45mm. I imagine Pentax has some advance to make on the 14mm or the 15mm wouldn't be on the roadmap. Especially as, being a Limited, it will not have SDM.
06-25-2008, 01:17 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
I imagine the 15mm Limited will be smaller and lighter. And I hope it will have more consistent/correctable distortion characteristics. Maybe even better border resolution, which is what I like about the DA16-45mm. I imagine Pentax has some advance to make on the 14mm or the 15mm wouldn't be on the roadmap. Especially as, being a Limited, it will not have SDM.
I think Pentax will put SDM in all but their cheapest lenses especially for future Limiteds. DA 17-70 is a sign of times to come. Then between DA Ltd and DA * will remain only weather sealing and a golden band . And maybe a stop difference in optics.

Only my guess,
Radu
06-25-2008, 01:42 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by RaduA Quote
I think Pentax will put SDM in all but their cheapest lenses especially for future Limiteds. DA 17-70 is a sign of times to come. Then between DA Ltd and DA * will remain only weather sealing and a golden band . And maybe a stop difference in optics.

Only my guess,
Radu
I think they said somewhere that there is no space for ring SDM motors in Limited lenses, due to their compact size. It was in an interview or press release.

Someone correct me if I am wrong.


[edit] Ah yes, here we go:

Q: Will PENTAX be developing SDM-only lenses from now on?
A: No: Despite the great advantages of our SDM autofocus systems, we will continue to develop both SDM and body-based focus systems. In fact, different types of lenses have different requirements. For example, our unique Limited lenses are often so compact that there is no space for an SDM autofocus motor. Until time and technology present other options, we will continue to develop both types of autofocus systems.
06-25-2008, 03:00 PM   #8
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I... will try this lens. My LBA went into overdrive at the prospect of a new Zeiss - I'm in love with the quality of all these new Cosina productions - but then I remembered I rarely use anything over 31 because of the distortion characteristics. I'll look forward to a photozone review or a test drive at the shop to find out if this lens has some magic anti-distortion properties. All the ZK lenses seem to have some sort of reason for being (so expensive) - I'd like to get to the reason for this one.

Thanks for the post.

06-25-2008, 03:33 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by ftpaddict Quote
I think they said somewhere that there is no space for ring SDM motors in Limited lenses, due to their compact size. It was in an interview or press release.

Someone correct me if I am wrong.


[edit] Ah yes, here we go:

Q: Will PENTAX be developing SDM-only lenses from now on?
A: No: Despite the great advantages of our SDM autofocus systems, we will continue to develop both SDM and body-based focus systems. In fact, different types of lenses have different requirements. For example, our unique Limited lenses are often so compact that there is no space for an SDM autofocus motor. Until time and technology present other options, we will continue to develop both types of autofocus systems.
Well, ftpaddict

Seems to me that the operative word is "often". I guess if a lens is 15 mm in height (DA 40/2.8) it's almost imposible to put SDM but the wider the FL gets unavoidably the bigger the lens will be. So a DA 15 Ltd must be kind of "large" and my guess is that they could do SDM if they choose to differentiate it from DA 14 and add further value for the customer. Besides if in the future some Pentax bodies will lose the screw drive then in a certain FL range some lenses must be an alternative option. I also think that the price differential between DA 14 and DA 15 Ltd will be very small if at all although probably the DA 15 will be slower (F3.5 or so). And taking into account the natural use of this lens (landscape photography) it also be nice if Pentax weather seals it.

Radu
06-26-2008, 07:58 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by RaduA Quote
Well, ftpaddict

Seems to me that the operative word is "often". I guess if a lens is 15 mm in height (DA 40/2.8) it's almost imposible to put SDM but the wider the FL gets unavoidably the bigger the lens will be. So a DA 15 Ltd must be kind of "large" and my guess is that they could do SDM if they choose to differentiate it from DA 14 and add further value for the customer. Besides if in the future some Pentax bodies will lose the screw drive then in a certain FL range some lenses must be an alternative option. I also think that the price differential between DA 14 and DA 15 Ltd will be very small if at all although probably the DA 15 will be slower (F3.5 or so). And taking into account the natural use of this lens (landscape photography) it also be nice if Pentax weather seals it.

Radu

Newer Limiteds are pretty predicatable beasts - modest aperture, small size, screw drive, metal build, nice price. The 15 will compete against the 14 by being smaller, less expensive and metal, not SDM. Thats what LTDs are, thats what LTDs do.

I will be looking at the T*18 out of cuiousity, but at that MSRP, there will be no snap buys here. As a Pentax guy, I would definately wait for the DA15 to compare optics before deciding if this focal range was worth reconsidering for my uses. Surely, the DA15 will be one third of that price and with similar specifications.
06-26-2008, 02:17 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by RaduA Quote
Well, ftpaddict

Seems to me that the operative word is "often". I guess if a lens is 15 mm in height (DA 40/2.8) it's almost imposible to put SDM but the wider the FL gets unavoidably the bigger the lens will be. So a DA 15 Ltd must be kind of "large" and my guess is that they could do SDM if they choose to differentiate it from DA 14 and add further value for the customer. Besides if in the future some Pentax bodies will lose the screw drive then in a certain FL range some lenses must be an alternative option. I also think that the price differential between DA 14 and DA 15 Ltd will be very small if at all although probably the DA 15 will be slower (F3.5 or so). And taking into account the natural use of this lens (landscape photography) it also be nice if Pentax weather seals it.

Radu
I just registered to this forum, but I've been lurking here for a while... I just had to register here to say something... because i'd really want to see what the 15mm limited will be like.

I guess it will be about as small as the other DA limiteds and I think it will be F4.

Maybe something like Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar F4.5/15mm

06-27-2008, 07:54 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by RaduA Quote
Well, ftpaddict

Seems to me that the operative word is "often". I guess if a lens is 15 mm in height (DA 40/2.8) it's almost imposible to put SDM but the wider the FL gets unavoidably the bigger the lens will be. So a DA 15 Ltd must be kind of "large" and my guess is that they could do SDM if they choose to differentiate it from DA 14 and add further value for the customer.
The DA 21mm is pretty compact and couldn't fit an SDM motor. I expect the 15 Ltd (with only a ~50% increase in FoV) to be slower than f/2.8 and compact, so I wouldn't hold my breath for SDM.
06-27-2008, 08:16 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by thePiRaTE!! Quote
Newer Limiteds are pretty predicatable beasts - modest aperture, small size, screw drive, metal build, nice price. The 15 will compete against the 14 by being smaller, less expensive and metal, not SDM.
That's the way I read it too.

QuoteOriginally posted by thePiRaTE!! Quote
Surely, the DA15 will be one third of that price and with similar specifications.
And likewise that is my hope. No wavy distortion will make me happy, because yes, I do take shots of brick walls and suchlike. :-)


Last edited by rparmar; 08-14-2008 at 09:04 AM.
06-27-2008, 09:44 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
That's the way I read it too.



And likewise that is my hope. No wavy distortion will make me happy, because yes, I do take shots of brick walls and suchlike. :-)

Nice, hehe. I have my hunches that for the $$$, distortion control will pobably fall in favour of the T*18. Somethings gotta give.

I have a general question, maybe someone knows. Is the super wide angle stretching 'look' inherent with capturing a vista at such focal lengths? (ie are we limited by science here?) Or can one actually buy a lens that produces a correct perspective at 'ultra' width? Maybe its just a result of a larger frame, but I've seen Leica 15mm shots that seem to capture a lot without appearing 'extreme'. The 31 seems like the last bastion in this regard to my eyes. The 25 maybe, haven't got it right now to refresh my memory.

I guess what I'm saying is, if the T*18 was similar in producing a flat, believable field like the 31, but was just wider, I'd hit it. My experience with the Sigma 10-20 was fun like a rollercoaster, but then I really wanted to get off after a couple minutes. I took a pic of a truck at a slight angle and it looked like the front fender was built onto it at a 45 degree angle... I mean, the lines were pretty straight, but not correct, ya know?
06-27-2008, 11:26 AM   #15
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Well, I only took a wild guess, I have no info about the DA 15 Ltd yet. Maybe in the future roadmaps a DA* of around 14 mm will appear and the DA14 will be retired. I think that for a landscape lens Pentax could do a weather sealed variant to complement all the newer bodies. So, the classical * vs ltd could be preserved (faster and weather sealed vs lighter, smaller and cheaper). If Pentax will bring out 8-9 new lenses every year like it looks they'll do in 08 then in a few years time much of the holes from FL range will fill up with both primes and zooms. Of course those holes will magically be teleported in to our pockets and bank accounts

Radu
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