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11-24-2008, 08:48 AM   #1
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Theoretical Lens Development

Just this morning I've purchased an M 135 3.5 lens from a forum member. I have not had it in my hands yet, obviously, but in my research of the lens it is clear the lens is quite small for the length it offers. It got me to thinking...

...wouldn't it be cool if Pentax expanded it's DA Ltd. lineup to include a small DA 100/3.2 and/or a 135/3.5? I know next to nothing about the limits of lens construction, but if the M 135 is only 2.6 inches long and under 10 ounces, couldn't a remake sized and optimized for digital be even a bit smaller? I'm not talking pancakes, but for that range of telephoto to be just a bit bigger than, say, the DA 35 (1.8 inches, 8 ounces), man, that would be cool!

Can't wait until I get the M! And the K-m arrives Wednesday!

Todd

11-24-2008, 10:45 AM   #2
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Yeah, there's a big hole in the Pentax prime lineup between 77mm and 200mm, with only the 100mm macro to fill the gap. With perfectly good f/2.8 zooms available to get you other focal lengths in that range, it seems there are basically three ways Pentax could succeed with more primes: make them faster, make them cheaper, or make them smaller. I'm going to ride this little kick I've been on lately and say that speed is becoming overrated: high ISO performance is such that we don't as often *need* the same kinds of speeds that were often needed with film. So much as I might like a 100/2, I don't know that this is what makes the most sense. The "M" series primes in this focal length range prove that small and cheap are not always mutually exclusive, so that seems like the way to go to me.
11-24-2008, 11:06 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
With perfectly good f/2.8 zooms available to get you other focal lengths in that range, it seems there are basically three ways Pentax could succeed with more primes: make them faster, make them cheaper, or make them smaller.
Hadn't thought of it that way, but I think you hit the nail on the head. They've already eliminated primes from the consumer-grade lineup, and the DA* lineup, with sealing and SDM would not hit the "small" niche, so it would have to be DA Ltd. I wonder if it makes sense to evolve two different lines of prime lenses (which they appear to be doing). Personally, if I was going to buy lenses that weren't small, I'd go for DA* zooms over DA* primes because I don't need the speed. On the other hand, I appreciate the size of the DA Ltds. for travel. So with the DA 15 coming, I think something in the 100-135 range would be a nice long end for the Ltd. line. Then I could take two or three of this group on any given trip with my K-m.

15-21-35-40-70- (100/120/135)

Never thought I'd be a big prime guy, but these lenses have changed my mind!

Todd
11-24-2008, 11:15 AM   #4
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There are some lenses which we would welcome like a pentax version of the Voigtlander SL 125mm f/2.5 APO-Lanthar, that would be a perfect addition to the ltd line up and plug a hole between 100 and 200mm.

Yes zooms are good but we need primes to.

11-24-2008, 11:19 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by gnaztee Quote
(snip)
...wouldn't it be cool if Pentax expanded it's DA Ltd. lineup to include a small DA 100/3.2 and/or a 135/3.5? I know next to nothing about the limits of lens construction, but if the M 135 is only 2.6 inches long and under 10 ounces, couldn't a remake sized and optimized for digital be even a bit smaller? I'm not talking pancakes, but for that range of telephoto to be just a bit bigger than, say, the DA 35 (1.8 inches, 8 ounces), man, that would be cool!
I don't think that a significant reduction in size is likely from redesigning a FF telephoto lens to cover the smaller APs-C image circle. As I understand it, the front element diameter of a telephoto lens is defined by the f-value and the length by the focal length (look at the DA*200 and DA*300 lenses - they are essentially the same size as the FA* lenses they replaced). Of course redesign of the lens exterior for greater compactness is always possible.

That said, I'd love to see Pentax introduce a compact DA135/2.8 to replace the FOV of my FA*200.
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