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07-21-2008, 05:28 AM   #1
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Waisting my breath

I've been recommending Pentax DSLR bodies to folks who ask about getting digital bodies and some smarmy pain in my butt has just posted this comment...

"Pentax does not make any lenses that has a focal length of 400mm or more. Also no 70-200mm f2.8 or 80-200mm f/2.8, no 85mm, no 28-70mm f/2.8 or 24-70mm f/2.8 lens. These are some of the bread and butter lenses used by professional photographers, but Pentax does not make them, so there are holes in the pentax lens lineup which does have, from what ive read, some top glass. i hope you realize that a camera body is a small part of the equation here."

I know the 70-200 isn't out yet (or was it the 80-200?) but is he living in lala land or am I reading the list of Pentax lenses wrong?

07-21-2008, 05:40 AM   #2
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Well one of the issues with those searching various brands is Anti shake. They often want a Canon or Nikon brand lens since the SR (or whatever) is built into the lens. Since we don't have that limitation, 3rd party lenses are just fine for us. They assume that if it's not a Pentax lens, SR may not be available. I've explained this many times and the listener is very surprised at how much more flexible our platform is.

So almost all of the lenses above are covered by the 3rd party version or Pentax itself.

The 85mm would be covered by the 77mm or even the 70. With the crop factor you want a shorter lens to do what the old version did on film.
Sigma has the awesome 500/4.5 and also has the 800mm/5.6 available
Tamron covers the 28-75 range perfectly Plus Pentax has the 17-70.
Sigma covers the 24-60 or 70 range
the missing lens is the 70-200/2.8 but that will soon be rectified.

Hopefully Pentax will also introduce a few lenses in these areas. I'd love to see the 85/1.4 come back.
07-21-2008, 06:00 AM   #3
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some smarmy pain in my butt has just posted this comment...

Ignore him. It's not worth the time it'll take to make him change his mind (which he won't do anyway).

Canon and Nikon don't have perfect lens lineups either. Ask anyone with a D40 how much they enjoy using primes, for example (no focus motor in the D40 body, no motor primes in the Nikon lineup).
07-21-2008, 06:20 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by KrisK10D Quote
I've been recommending Pentax DSLR bodies to folks who ask about getting digital bodies and some smarmy pain in my butt has just posted this comment...

"Pentax does not make any lenses that has a focal length of 400mm or more. Also no 70-200mm f2.8 or 80-200mm f/2.8, no 85mm, no 28-70mm f/2.8 or 24-70mm f/2.8 lens. These are some of the bread and butter lenses used by professional photographers, but Pentax does not make them, so there are holes in the pentax lens lineup which does have, from what ive read, some top glass. i hope you realize that a camera body is a small part of the equation here."

I know the 70-200 isn't out yet (or was it the 80-200?) but is he living in lala land or am I reading the list of Pentax lenses wrong?
Mr. Smarmy is right, after a fashion, though he is living somewhat in the past. Most of the focal lengths he is quoting would be more professionally usable on a 35mm film camera, not an APS-C digital.
Unless you are discussing things on a professional photographers forum, it really doesn't matter what a pro's bread and butter lenses are.
Since I started shooting digital professionally, I haven't felt the need to use a lens longer than 200mm, BTW.
Where Pentax has a big honkin hole is in the longer than 77mm, shorter than 200mm range. There are no pro quality primes (or any primes for that matter) in this range, and they do need to address this, especially for those of us who refuse to put third party glass on our cameras.


Last edited by Wheatfield; 07-22-2008 at 07:46 AM.
07-21-2008, 06:44 AM   #5
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QuoteQuote:
"Pentax does not make any lenses that has a focal length of 400mm or more. Also no 70-200mm f2.8 or 80-200mm f/2.8, no 85mm, no 28-70mm f/2.8 or 24-70mm f/2.8 lens. These are some of the bread and butter lenses used by professional photographers, but Pentax does not make them, so there are holes in the pentax lens lineup which does have, from what ive read, some top glass. i hope you realize that a camera body is a small part of the equation here."
What he's getting wrong is the APS-C 1.5x FOV factor. Pentax is actually doing an incredible job, IMO, of providing lenses for the digital cameras. Yes, they were late out of the starting gate, but anyone who has seen the stellar issue of lenses in the last year must be impressed.

For "focal length of 400mm or more" we have the incredible DA* 300mm f/4.0.

For "70-200mm f2.8 or 80-200mm f/2.8" we have the DA* 50-135mm f/2.8, and it's weather-sealed as a bonus.

For "85mm" there is an exact match in the forthcoming DA* 55mm, or use an FA 77mm and FA 50mm today for focal lengths either side. After all, there is nothing magical about 85mm.

For "28-70mm f/2.8 or 24-70mm f/2.8" there is the DA* 16-50mm f/2.8, also weather-sealed.

So, it turns out that the "smarmy pain in my butt" is exactly wrong in each and every case. Pentax is bending over backwards to give us the exact same FOV equivalent lenses on digital bodies that professionals enjoyed on film bodies.
07-21-2008, 06:53 AM   #6
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Well, if you IGNORE the crop factor, he's 100% correct in that lenses of THOSE focal lengths are not available. You can however buy the excellent Tamron 28-75mm, but there are currently NO 70/80-200mm f/2.8s available NEW. Hopefully Sigma and Tamron will rectify that soon though.

Also, nothing new in the >300mm range. Sorry if that annoys you, but he's just stating facts.

Pentax made a decision to bring to market APS-C "equivalents" of these popular zooms, so you have the 50-135 in place of the 70-200, the 60-250 in place of the 100-300, and the 16-50 in place of the 24-70 (and so on......)

Nothing inherently "wrong" about this decision. It is what it is.....
07-21-2008, 07:01 AM   #7
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Wheatfield: I do agree with you after a fashion. Pentax does have the excellent K 135mm F2.5, the A 135mm F2.8 and the FA/F 135mm F2.8. (don't know what the difference is between those two is) And the DFA 100mm macro. So yes, Pentax does not have a new lens between 100 and 200, but it does have a bunch of older excellent quality glass in the 100 and 135mm range.

NaCl(I'm especially fond of my K 135mm F2.5)H2O
07-21-2008, 07:08 AM   #8
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Thanks guys but geeeeez... all the converting to sensor size is just gonna dirty the already muddy waters. I'm already confussed Seriously tho... no lenses over 400mm? I can see 4 lenses on the Database here longer than that and 2 85mm that I've found just in the K Series pages.

What am I missing?

07-21-2008, 07:16 AM   #9
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You're missing that you can't go on B&H and order a NEW autofocus lens for a Pentax that is >300mm. However, thanks to Sigma, you'll all soon have the 120-400mm and 150-500mm (as well as the much sought after 70-200mm)

EDIT - Forgot about the Bigma (oops), I believe that's still available new...

Those lenses in the database are most likely discontinued. Want a fast 85mm autofocus prime? Keep an eye on eBay and be prepared to spend almost 1000USD on a use 85mm f/1.4.

There's stuff out there, but it's USED.

Now before folks think I'm anti-Pentax (I did switch to Canon this past winter), Pentax DOES have alot of nice things going for it -
-IS for all lenses (There are NO stabilized prime lenses shorter than 200mm in Canon-land)
-Excellent (and light weight) primes such as the FA 35mm (f/2.0) and 50mm (f/1.4)
-The AMAZING DA* 50-135mm
-The Limiteds ('nuff said)
-From what I've seen, the K20D's new CMOS sensor is amazing!
-The K10/20 battery grip is much better designed than the Canon 40D's grip
-I loved the K10D's ergonomics. Less button pushing than the 40D's interface.

So I would just say that Pentax and Canon have different systems, with one not being better than the other. It just depends on your needs.
07-21-2008, 07:29 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by KrisK10D Quote
Thanks guys but geeeeez... all the converting to sensor size is just gonna dirty the already muddy waters. I'm already confussed Seriously tho... no lenses over 400mm? I can see 4 lenses on the Database here longer than that and 2 85mm that I've found just in the K Series pages.

What am I missing?
You are missing that they are no longer available lenses. I could wax eloquently about my A*85/1.4, or A600/5.6 all day long, but try to find either one if you decide you want one.
It's all very well and good to say that these lenses can be had on the used market, but because of the rareness and desirability of them, they often sell for ridiculous prices on auction sites.
For these focal lengths to be considered available, they have to be available new from a retailer, not used from someone in Peoria who inherited some gear from his late uncle, and is selling it because it doesn't fit onto his Nikon.
07-21-2008, 07:34 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by egordon99 Quote

EDIT - Forgot about the Bigma (oops), I believe that's still available new...
You are correct. I ordered one 3 weeks ago - I love it so far, although weather has resulted in very few chances to use it. I believe the Sigma 500/4.5 prime is also available new for Pentax too.
07-21-2008, 07:35 AM   #12
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I have mentioned this before, but given the IQ excellence of the K 135/2.5 I think it would be a natural for AF/USM re-issue. I do not, however, have the 50/135 and it may be that the long-end on this is as good.

Is there anyone with both who would care to comment?
07-21-2008, 07:53 AM   #13
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The great thing about the Bigma on Pentax is the stabilization. I can't image being @500mm without support (be it from IS/VR/SR or a mono/tripod)

Alot of Canon folks are thinking of dumping the Bigma for the new 150-500mm. I would think that and the 120-400 would be GREAT choices for Pentaxians (yay ring-HSM!)
07-21-2008, 10:23 AM   #14
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For those who do not think the focal length conversions I did were appropriate, please recall the original complainer wrote: "These are some of the bread and butter lenses used by professional photographers, but Pentax does not make them". This statement only holds true in the full frame world. So it's entirely appropriate to multiply everything by 1.5 and discover that Pentax has delivered great lenses that meet these needs and are available new today. No need to look on the used market or to secondary vendors, though if you do there are even more possibilities.

If you crave an 85mm for a digital Pentax ask yourself why? Could you not live without your 120mm on film? Somehow I doubt it!

Some numbers apparently attain a magical quality. Then reason is left at the door.
07-21-2008, 02:42 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by KrisK10D Quote
I've been recommending Pentax DSLR bodies to folks who ask about getting digital bodies and some smarmy pain in my butt has just posted this comment...

"Pentax does not make any lenses that has a focal length of 400mm or more. Also no 70-200mm f2.8 or 80-200mm f/2.8, no 85mm, no 28-70mm f/2.8 or 24-70mm f/2.8 lens. These are some of the bread and butter lenses used by professional photographers, but Pentax does not make them, so there are holes in the pentax lens lineup which does have, from what ive read, some top glass. i hope you realize that a camera body is a small part of the equation here."

I know the 70-200 isn't out yet (or was it the 80-200?) but is he living in lala land or am I reading the list of Pentax lenses wrong?

Some people just find it easier to complain about what's not there, than enjoy what IS there. As many pointed out, the 35mm equivalents are being nicely covered by Pentax in the DA* range. Also, the Bigma covers 50-500, so I think we've covered a wide range there. The Sigma 500 f/4.5 is another nice lens.

Again, while all these people are complaining about what Pentax doesn't have, the rest of us will be out enjoying what we do have, which is more than plenty.
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