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04-18-2007, 07:25 AM   #1
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Pentax vs Samsung

There has been alot of talk around the water cooler, about just how different the Samsung SA and Pentax DA lenses are, some say that they are exactly the same, other say that it is the same optics but different coatings, and to the point of different internal barrel construction.

Fortunately in my house hold i happen to have access to both the Pentax DA 50-200 f4-5.6 and the Samsung SA 50-200 f4-5.6, both these lenses are similar dimentions, similar weights and similar look. But how do they perform, well tonight i decided to give un-scientific testing a go, and here are my results.

First the two contenders.



First test was taking a shot of a poster of the royal family tree, from about a meter and a half away, 200mm f5.6, to attempt to test sharpness, allowed the camera to AF used a tripod, remote and 3 sec mirror lock up, K10D.

Here are the two 100% crops, from slightly off centre of frame NO SHAPRENING APPLIED.

Pentax DA


Samsung SA


From this the Pentax appears to be sharper.

Next up is the flare test, to figure out if the coatings are the same or at the very least perform similarly, so i conducted three test, first shot is of a 500w halogen light, slightly of centre.

Pentax DA


Samsung SA


Now i couldn't really tell the difference between these shots.

The Next test was to shine a torch (flashlight) into the lens from of axis, so i could see the internal baffels in the lenses, they looked identical inside, and took a shot.

Pentax DA


Samsung SA


Once again i struggled to tell the difference.

Finally the last test, shone the torch directly into the lens, from just out of frame, so i could see the rear of the lens.

Pentax DA


Samsung SA


Well my conclusion is either my testing method is flawed or the lenses are identical, the differences between them as i see them come down to technique and sample variation, enjoy your half price lenses samsung crowd.

04-18-2007, 07:37 AM   #2
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That's a very significant difference in sharpness.
04-18-2007, 07:37 AM   #3
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WHAT!? The SA50-200 is half the cost of the DA50-200? Where!? Because Samsung was never really supposed to be marketed in areas where Pentax is being sold. I was on impluse trying to snatch up the old *Ist dslrs and then saw the GX kit.

Haha I think the coatings are a bit different though, no?

I just checked Henrys and they have the Samsung 50-200 listed on special order for a whooping 299.99CAN haha. The Pentax DA is still 199.99CAN.
04-18-2007, 07:45 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by FotoPete Quote
WHAT!? The SA50-200 is half the cost of the DA50-200? Where!? Because Samsung was never really supposed to be marketed in areas where Pentax is being sold. I was on impluse trying to snatch up the old *Ist dslrs and then saw the GX kit.

Haha I think the coatings are a bit different though, no?

I just checked Henrys and they have the Samsung 50-200 listed on special order for a whooping 299.99CAN haha. The Pentax DA is still 199.99CAN.
In Australia we can get the Pentax for $445 AUD and the Samsung for $200 AUD

04-18-2007, 07:46 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by nystateofmind27 Quote
That's a very significant difference in sharpness.
I think i might re shoot that one tomorrow, it looks like tripod shake, that's what you get for doing testing at when you should be sleeping might use my big manfrotto instead of the small one.
04-18-2007, 08:16 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cideway Quote
enjoy your half price lenses samsung crowd.
Thanks for showing us that test. I haven't had my coffee yet this morning, but where did you find Samsung lenses offered for sale at any significant cost below the Pentax versions?

I just had a quick look at Amazon and PriceGrabber under both the Samsung and Schneider names, did the Google thing using various combinations, and nothing came up.

I'm not fussy about WHAT name is stencilled on my gear... there is a noticeable in sharpness there however, so it will be interesting to see what your repetition of the test shows.
04-18-2007, 08:20 AM   #7
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There shouldn't be any different in shaprness because the optical designs are the same. Just that constrast might vary slightly with Samsung using a different coating.
04-18-2007, 01:09 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by FotoPete Quote
There shouldn't be any different in shaprness because the optical designs are the same. Just that constrast might vary slightly with Samsung using a different coating.
My eyes aren't the greatest and I'm not looking at those electronic images on the best of monitors right now, but what I am seeing looks more like a difference in sharpness, not one of contrast. To me, whether that difference is due to the composition of the glass itself, the finishing process, what coatings were applied, how it was assembled, or whatever, it is the quality of the image that really matters.

Some GIS software we use for analysis works on differences in contrast in the imagery we are evaluating. I wonder if those functions could be used to evaluate contrast and other optical aspects in a left handed sort of way. Might be worth bringing some photos in as they they were orthophotos just to have a look...

04-18-2007, 08:41 PM   #9
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Well, the lenses where made at the same factory, just stamped and coated differently. Cideway said the Samsung test image might hav been affected by tripod shake.

Looking at the other images, sharpness doesn't seem to be a problem for the Samsung 50-200.
04-18-2007, 08:56 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by FotoPete Quote
Well, the lenses where made at the same factory, just stamped and coated differently. Cideway said the Samsung test image might hav been affected by tripod shake.

Looking at the other images, sharpness doesn't seem to be a problem for the Samsung 50-200.
Yup, looking to see his repeat on that test to explore that possibility.

And for him to 'fess up where the Samsung lenses can be found for sale. I've had my coffee now, but I still can't find them advertised anywhere.
04-18-2007, 09:15 PM   #11
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Haha they are rare here in North America and may even cost more than the Pentax Equiv.

Just about everywhere here in Toronto, you can buy the Pentax DA50-200 for $199CAN. I found one retailer selling the Samsung 50-200 and its $100 more.

Samsung isn't supposed to sell their SLR stuff over here, I don't think.
04-19-2007, 12:09 AM   #12
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In Sweden the Samsung prices seems to be a little confusing, one lens has the exact same price as the Pentax while others are a lot cheaper, some almost exactly 50% of the Pentax equivalent. Now I only have to decide if itís the Samsung lenses that are cheap, or if itís the Pentax lenses that are expensive.

However, there are not enough Samsung lenses (nor Pentax) available so there are waiting lists, at least for the 50-200, mine is expected to arrive in about 4 weeks.
06-25-2007, 04:20 PM   #13
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Hi all, new to the forum.

I'm curious, there are several references to the Pentax and their "Schneider" copies having different coatings. I am wondering where the information for this comes from. I can find absolutely no direct references - either official or leaked - and nothing that actually explains the optical difference except the claims made on this and other forums. So is there actually any evidence or is it just an assumption that has since been accepted as fact?
06-25-2007, 05:34 PM   #14
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assumption

(personally I think the only difference is the labels) as someone who picked up the samsung for AU$189 I dont really care as it really is a great lens for the price and if there is any difference it wouldn't be worth the price difference that there is here (and I haven't seen anything even half conclusive).

phil
06-25-2007, 08:11 PM   #15
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Would anyone like to share where they got the samsung lens from? I live in Melbourne and wouldn't mind picking one up.
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