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12-15-2008, 08:53 PM   #1
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different DA lenses?

i'm kind of confused buy all of the abbreviations on every different lens... what's the difference between a DA or a DA* or DA F, PDA etc...
and then there's ED IF AL etc, is they're anything to look out for?

they're all designed for digital cameras, is there really a big difference between them? is there any i shouldn't bother with? there's so many different similar lenses i don't know what to think of what

another question is SMC/SDM, this is the auto focus engine correct? it doesn't effect the actual quality of the lens does it?

i'm planning on buying a 16/17 - 45/50/70 lens and want to make sure i get the best value

12-15-2008, 09:23 PM   #2
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I suggest you start by taking a look at the list of Pentax lenses on the PhotoZone web site. Then you can read the first paragraph about each lens and see the picture of the lens.

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12-15-2008, 10:13 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lanfriendly Quote
...

another question is SMC/SDM, this is the auto focus engine correct? it doesn't effect the actual quality of the lens does it?

i'm planning on buying a 16/17 - 45/50/70 lens and want to make sure i get the best value
There's plenty of links, but to clarify.

SMC is super multi coating, a pentax lens coating that helps resist flare and ghosting when shooting into light sources. Very well engineered and continually developed since the early '70's.

SDM is a quiet autofocus motor inside the lens (does not audibly buzz and not linked mechanically to lens).

ED & AL are types of glass inside the lens that improves the image and attempts to reduce colour fringing on the edges of high contrast objects.

Best bang for buck zoom? Probably the DA 16-45 mm f/4.0 ED AL. Cheap, sharp across the range and even wide open, good colour rendition and relatively affordable (in the $300 range new).
12-15-2008, 10:18 PM   #4
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To add to what CSoars wrote: DA is Pentax's newest series of lens and are optimized for digital, specifically the aps-c sensor although some of the longer focal length lenses can be used on ff film. DA* indicates premium lenses. They are also dust and moisture sealed like the k20d and k200d bodies. There are also DA limited lenses which are made of metal construction and are very good lenses optically and are like pieces of art themselves.

Edit: The D FA lenses are actually a different series. They are optimized for digital cameras but are also full frame and are mainly macro lenses, i.e. the D FA 50mm and D FA 100mm both f2.8.

12-16-2008, 12:06 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote

Edit: The D FA lenses are actually a different series. They are optimized for digital cameras but are also full frame and are mainly macro lenses, i.e. the D FA 50mm and D FA 100mm both f2.8.
They were film lenses that had the back element coated to make them more 'digital friendly', just two macro holdovers from the plastic FA series of the 1990's and early 2000's
12-16-2008, 03:57 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by CSoars Quote
They were film lenses that had the back element coated to make them more 'digital friendly', just two macro holdovers from the plastic FA series of the 1990's and early 2000's
I don't believe this is incorrect. The DFA 50mm and DFA 100mm are quite different from the preceding FA/F 50mm and 100mm macro lenses. I should know as I had both the DFA and FA macro lenses in both focal lengths.
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