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12-02-2017, 04:57 PM   #1
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Any change Pentax will make SDM versions of its old FA lenses?

Hello,

The Pentax 50mm 1.4 is one of my favorite lenses, but after spending time using lenses with built-in focusing motors, it's hard to go back to the loud screw-drive system. Is there any chance that Pentax will put SDM in its old FA lenses, such as the FA 50mm 1.4 and the Limited series primes?

Thanks,
D

12-02-2017, 05:22 PM - 2 Likes   #2
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No and No.
12-02-2017, 05:45 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
No and No.
12-02-2017, 07:15 PM   #4
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They're making a bigger and better D FA 50 though


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12-02-2017, 07:47 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by davide Quote
Is there any chance that Pentax will put SDM in its old FA lenses, such as the FA 50mm 1.4 and the Limited series primes?
I would say No and probably not. There is no chance they are going to just drop a motor into those tiny FA primes. The writing is on the wall there, they will be much larger (DFA 50mm and DFA 85mm)

For the Limited line I would say there is some small chance that they will be redone or have replacements with in lens motors. They have the DA 20-40 Limited in the line with the DC motor, so it is possible to have a lens motor within the "Limited" design philosophy. How big a chance? Who knows.
12-02-2017, 11:47 PM - 1 Like   #6
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The new DFA* 50/1.4 has a ring type SDM which should be good. Much better than the small micro motors you would have to use in small lenses which are slow AF like the DA* 55/1.4. If you use the focus with AF button and not shutter button option you donít have to deal with re-focusing every time you take a photo of the same stationary subject. That reduces the annoyance of screw drive quite a lot. I prefer the reliability of screw driven lenses.
12-03-2017, 12:27 AM - 1 Like   #7
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I really do not have an issue with screw-driven lenses if they are good ones. Some are among my fastest for AF speed and accuracy. Since their AF is reliable, if that is what it takes to also keep lens size down and cost lower, I can ignore a little zzt! The only time it matters to me is when dealing with very quiet environments. If power zoom lenses make a comeback, especially with an auto power zoom clip feature, a quiet DC AF motor will be a necessity.
12-03-2017, 04:23 AM   #8
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And here's the Thread about the D FA* 50mm 1.4 SDM:
DFA*50 1.4 coming - PentaxForums.com

12-03-2017, 07:27 AM - 1 Like   #9
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The FA 50mm f/1.4's optical design is, IIRC, a variant of the double Gauss design Super Takumar introduced in the '60s. Why would they want to reuse such an old design?
The FA Limiteds are some decades newer, but still from the film era.
12-03-2017, 09:59 AM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikesbike Quote
I really do not have an issue with screw-driven lenses if they are good ones. Some are among my fastest for AF speed and accuracy. Since their AF is reliable, if that is what it takes to also keep lens size down and cost lower, I can ignore a little zzt! The only time it matters to me is when dealing with very quiet environments. If power zoom lenses make a comeback, especially with an auto power zoom clip feature, a quiet DC AF motor will be a necessity.
It really depends on the lens, as you said. I have taken pictures at family events, including weddings with DA limiteds. The combination of the brief screwdrive sound and the quiet shutter of the K-3 adds up to what can be less noise than some other DSLR's even with in lens focus motors that have noisier shutters. The screwdrive sound of the limiteds, and some other small primes such as my F 28 mm and FA 50 mm are unobtrusive in almost any photographic scene. On the other hand, I had gone on bird photography trips with the DAL 55-300 I once had and if that lens missed focus and racked from one end to the other, it turned a few heads. I really like the 55-300 for birding so I replaced it with the two newer versions, the HD 55-300 which with quick shift you can minimize the screwdrive sound and the PLM version which now gives me, with the quieter shutter of the K-3, perhaps one of the quietest combos available.
12-03-2017, 03:48 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by davide Quote
Hello,

The Pentax 50mm 1.4 is one of my favorite lenses, but after spending time using lenses with built-in focusing motors, it's hard to go back to the loud screw-drive system. Is there any chance that Pentax will put SDM in its old FA lenses, such as the FA 50mm 1.4 and the Limited series primes?

Thanks,
D

These are beautifully small and lightweight lenses, Davide - I find them a joy to shoot with.


What you're pitching to Ricoh is that you want WR and DC motors but not increased optical quality (which comes from more glass).


To justify the increased price tags (premium is the way to go, commodity prices have probably been a disaster for Canon, Sony and Nikon) customers would want DxO benchmarks from IQ as well.


This means bigger and heavier ... the whole Kenspo vs Normhead thing, whatever that's meant to be!

Last edited by clackers; 12-03-2017 at 05:33 PM.
12-03-2017, 04:51 PM   #12
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Thank you for the responses everyone.

-D
12-03-2017, 05:27 PM - 1 Like   #13
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I am surprised they are not just sticking with the tried and true DC motor. I await what autofocus system will be used in the DA* 11-17 which is the lens I am really interested in. I am sure it would be super fast with either DC or PLM motors. My experience with SDM: DA*200 (works fine but slow) and DA 17-70 (unreliable and ultimately died) hans't been entirely positive. My DC 16-85 and PLM 55-300 have much better and reliable autofocus performance. The DA* 11-18 along with my DA 16-85 and 55-300 will make a great covers everything kit.
12-03-2017, 05:38 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by jddwoods Quote
My experience with SDM: DA*200 (works fine but slow) and DA 17-70 (unreliable and ultimately died) hans't been entirely positive ... The DA* 11-18 along with my DA 16-85 and 55-300 will make a great covers everything kit.

I wouldn't be hung up on the 'SDM' labelling, JD, it's just that - labelling.


The DFA 15-30 and DFA 24-70 are also 'SDM', but obviously have little to do with that first generation of Pentax in-lens motors.


Agree that the 11-18 and 55-300 would make a sensational combination with the 16-85, 20-40, or a number of primes.
12-04-2017, 01:30 AM   #15
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Pentax is using the SDM labeling in a similar manner with Canon and their USM: for both the initial piezo micromotors, and for the (future) ring type version. The behavior of those types of motors should be very different; just like with Canon.
DC is not up with the competition's fastest... nor with Pentax' own PLM.
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