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04-15-2019, 02:09 AM   #106
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
In this case, I'm talking about the F1.4.

Having tested both thoroughly for an upcoming review, I can tell you that more than coatings have changed. The FA is a superior lens optically. Vignetting, contrast, sharpness in particular are improved. Throw in AF, electronic communication, MTF tables in the lens, and the nicer build of the M stops being sufficient for the higher rating.
And yet the M scores equal or better in every aspect in the reviews (146 for the FA, 98 for the M), which suggests that either the M you tested is on the poor side of copy variation or that reviewers see things more favourably when reviewing a manual lens (or less favourably with a plasticky AF lens). Perhaps that could be down to price or perhaps due to the pleasure of using such manual lens.

04-15-2019, 05:08 AM   #107
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonathan Mac Quote
either the M you tested is on the poor side of copy variation or that reviewers see things more favourably when reviewing a manual lens (or less favourably with a plasticky AF lens). Perhaps that could be down to price or perhaps due to the pleasure of using such manual lens.
I strongly favour your first hypothesis

People who review lenses in the database all have their own criteria, and I believe, by reading comments, that people who love manual lenses don't have the same criteria as those who prefer modern lenses. And those who reviewed the M in our database are probably not, for the majority, the same as those who reviewed the FA.

Having tested a vast majority of recent K-mount lenses and a good number of older glass, I assure you that as nice as it can be, older lenses have flaws that would be hard to forgive on their modern counterparts.

I can confirm that, optically, the FA is an evolution and an improvement over the M. My personal opinion is that this should weight more than the texture of an all-metal lens, as nice as it can be.
04-15-2019, 05:18 AM   #108
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What you get out of the data base, is user experiences and sample images. All a high score tells you is that a lot o people who bought the lens were happy with it. That is not a bad thing to know, what makes them happy, might make you happy. But if one lens is rated 9.5 and the other 9.2, I'm not sure you can say which is better.
04-16-2019, 02:47 AM - 1 Like   #109
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I use the numerical score of a lens to know if I should outright dismiss a potential purchase, assuming that there are enough reviews to make the score statistically significant. If it gets past this dismissal stage then I read the reviews and look for common threads - good at this, bad at that - and use that to assess if I think it will do what I want it to. The numerical score isn't useful for that. It's a case of qualitative data being far more useful that quantitative data.

04-16-2019, 05:21 AM   #110
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonathan Mac Quote
I use the numerical score of a lens to know if I should outright dismiss a potential purchase, assuming that there are enough reviews to make the score statistically significant. If it gets past this dismissal stage then I read the reviews and look for common threads - good at this, bad at that - and use that to assess if I think it will do what I want it to. The numerical score isn't useful for that. It's a case of qualitative data being far more useful that quantitative data.
I have thirty lenses all PK mount and I agree with you on this observation. Looking through my complete table of PF ratings, I can offer the following thoughts:
1. Any prime with a score greater than 9 I have enjoyed using
2. Any prime with a score less than 8.5 has taken quite a bit of familiarisation (e.g. the K24mm) or has been a bit of a disappointment (M135mm), except for my Vivitar Komine 135mm
3. Only 4 of my zooms scored above 9 and all have been delightfully sharp - Pentax DA 16-85mm and 55-300mmPLM, and two SP Adaptall 2s - 35-80mm and 60-300mm
4. Zooms scoring below 8 have generally been rubbish and those between 8.5 and 9 need careful use.

However the ratings are not sufficiently controlled to be a ranking tool or an outright decision-maker. As Jonathan says, you then need to go to the qualitative descriptions and look at when it was scored, on what body, film/digital etc. Only then consider a potential purchase. It's a lot harder to do online than with a local seller, but I have never been disappointed with an online purchase of any lens rated above about 8.6 (Only primes, I do not feel comfortable buying zooms online, possibly excepting cheapies from MF era). Certainly with anything rated below 8, I would not even bother to check out a local seller (the dismissal stage is triggered by a rating below 8).
04-16-2019, 11:30 AM   #111
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Re: What's the highest rated lens you own according to PF?

My top rated lens is the FA* 85mm f/1.4 rated at 9.75. Right behind that I have the FA 77mm Ltd with it's 9.73 rating. I feel they live up to those ratings, too, they're just spectacular performers.

Rounding out my top 5 K-mount are the FA 31mm Ltd (9.51), the FA 43mm Ltd (9.47) and the FA* 24 (9.23).

My best 645 lens is the FA 120mm macro with a perfect 10, a score I agree with wholeheartedly. My FA 200mm sores a 9.86 and I also have the FA 75mm, FA 150mm, and FA 80-160mm which each score a 9.5. I am rather surprised the FA 35mm doesn't rate higher, it's one of my 3 must-haves for 645.

Last edited by Buffy; 04-16-2019 at 11:40 AM.
04-17-2019, 12:17 PM   #112
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Interesting rating for the Super Takomar 135mm F3.5

S-M-C/Super-Takumar 135mm F3.5 Reviews - M42 Screwmount Telephoto Primes - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

It only averages 8.56 although it is rated by Angry Photographer, Ken Wheeler, very highly. He did a youtube video on this lens and said it's an absolute bargain and he owns six of them himself.

Meanwhile the Pentax-M SMC 135mm F3,5 scores 8.82 here...
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