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05-13-2009, 09:29 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cosmo Quote
Or do as I've been saying, and expand the FA limited range.

And I think they should bring back some of the older lenses, like the 135mm f/1.8... etc.

I agree, they should make some nice fast primes. Sigma make a lot of good, fast (<f/2) primes.

It's just that Pentax aren't as popular as other makes, therefore can't develop as many lenses, plus I heard that a load of the lens designers/manufactures for Pentax moved over to work for Nikon a few years back.
They seem to be going the other way, making compact cameras and small, but slowish, lenses. Rumour has it the K7 will be quite a petite camera body.
Historically, Pentax has tended towards making smallish camera bodies and lenses (the bloated SF and PZ series cameras being a notable exception).

05-13-2009, 09:30 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by gazonk Quote
How often do you really use f/1.4 for DOF effects on the 35mm?

The equivalent of 35mm/2.0 would be great, though - 23mm/1.4?
Seldom for the DOF effect, more often than not for the light gathering. I'm constantly shooting at ISO 3200 f/1.2 and getting sub-1/100 shutter speeds, so stopping down is asking for trouble. By the OP's rationale with an APS-C I would need a 55mm f/0.9 or so to be able to shoot wide open at 1 stop lower ISO to get as clean a picture with the same DOF, noise being the primary driver of shooting wide open with DOF being secondary but a nice effect nonetheless.
05-13-2009, 10:31 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
They seem to be going the other way, making compact cameras and small, but slowish, lenses. Rumour has it the K7 will be quite a petite camera body.
Historically, Pentax has tended towards making smallish camera bodies and lenses (the bloated SF and PZ series cameras being a notable exception).
I'm not saying that they should make big lenses. but yes, they are making alot of slow primes, though they are nice and sharp. I suppose the only reason they are so small is the small apeture.

The FA primes don't seem too big, I still don't see why Pentax doesn't make more like them, especially a wider and longer lens to complete the range.
05-13-2009, 01:41 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by jay Quote
Reading all the rants from all the people yelling about full-frame as a way to to get better photographs (because of the shallower DOF) encouraged me to start this thread.

What if Pentax came out with new, ultra-fast DA* lenses? Would you stop complaining, then?
Nope. Because in the great old days of 135 format and f/1.4 lenses, we had less than we have now. Now we have more than then, but we still complain.

For examples:
- In the old days, we had on-the-fly ISO switching, where "on-the-fly" = 1per/36 exposures.
- In the old days, we had in-body-SR, where "in-body SR" = our body braced against a wall.
Now, we have these great features (ISO/SR) that largely negate the absolute-need for ultra-fast lenses, but still complaining about the good old days.

As for shallow DOF, the future of photography is in the electrons, not the photons.
The future of shallow DOF is not in the lenses, but in-body or in-PP.

Just as exposure, focusing, capture, development, pushing/pulling, cropping, ISO, SR, HDR, pano-stiching, de-fishing etc have gone the way of electron, so will DOF adjustment. There are already DOF bracketing techniques to increase DOF. Conversely, there are already PP-techniques/software/plugins to selectively defocus sharp images.

The main remaining practical advantages of ultra-bright lenses are viewfinder brightness. But, eventually that will be addressed with electronic-viewfinders.

So, it makes more sense for Pentax focus their resources on developing body technology rather than soon-to-be obsolete lens technology.

Let me put it another way, do you really need a huge expensive ultra-fast ~f/1.0 lens to achieve soft, out-of-focus and low-contrast images ??? I can (and usually do) achieve that with my normal-fast f/2.0 lenses.

Finally, I love my f/1.4 lenses don't get me wrong. But I am looking at this from the point of view of product-development, and the future of ultra-bright lenses is somewhat dim.

05-13-2009, 02:09 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by dave9t5 Quote
...

As for shallow DOF, the future of photography is in the electrons, not the photons.
The future of shallow DOF is not in the lenses, but in-body or in-PP.

...

The main remaining practical advantages of ultra-bright lenses are viewfinder brightness. But, eventually that will be addressed with electronic-viewfinders.

So, it makes more sense for Pentax focus their resources on developing body technology rather than soon-to-be obsolete lens technology.

...

Finally, I love my f/1.4 lenses don't get me wrong. But I am looking at this from the point of view of product-development, and the future of ultra-bright lenses is somewhat dim.
Dave,

The revenue stream from lenses is very big, for every manufacturer - if they created an environment where no-one needed to get good (read: expensive) glass any more, they'd be shooting themselves in the foot.

Body upgrades, even on an accelerated cycle, wouldn't make up for the $ lost to premium lens sales if cheap f/3.5 - 5.6 zooms and plastic f/3.5 primes were all that were ever needed again.

Plus, I think you're making the mistake of thinking that the DOF bracketing and blur effects are going to be reproduceable at an acceptable level, and that people will even want to use in-camera effects like that. You're talking about aesthetics, after all.

Last edited by jsherman999; 05-13-2009 at 02:22 PM.
05-13-2009, 02:49 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenyee Quote
In the Canikon world, the 200/2 is a droolworthy portrait lens (Canon actually has a 1.8 version of it). It's also $3-4K!

Pentaxians are too cheap to buy enough 300/2.8 and 600/4 lenses for anyone to keep them in stock...what makes you think this would be a good seller?
Most of the time, people only drool for the images taken by 200/2 300/2.8 600/4 unless the posters stated so in the thread. Otherwise, no one would really know that the images should be that "good".
05-13-2009, 03:01 PM   #22
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I'm pretty happy with the lens range, I won't be shooting sports so I don't pine for upwards of 300mm.

I do want a new telephoto at some point, the DA * f/2.8 200mm is apparently brilliant; if I could ask for anything it would be a DA * 300 f/2.8.
05-13-2009, 08:27 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by roentarre Quote
Most of the time, people only drool for the images taken by 200/2 300/2.8 600/4 unless the posters stated so in the thread. Otherwise, no one would really know that the images should be that "good".

You know, this is actually pretty true.


.

05-13-2009, 08:43 PM   #24
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lol, look at the price of 55/1.4. Can you imagine how much a 55/1.2 would cost?. At that point, it would be more cost effective to purchase a FF camera and a 85/1.8 lens.
05-13-2009, 09:58 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
Dave,

The revenue stream from lenses is very big, for every manufacturer - if they created an environment where no-one needed to get good (read: expensive) glass any more, they'd be shooting themselves in the foot.

Body upgrades, even on an accelerated cycle, wouldn't make up for the $ lost to premium lens sales if cheap f/3.5 - 5.6 zooms and plastic f/3.5 primes were all that were ever needed again.

Plus, I think you're making the mistake of thinking that the DOF bracketing and blur effects are going to be reproduceable at an acceptable level, and that people will even want to use in-camera effects like that. You're talking about aesthetics, after all.
Jsherman,

I have never seen a poor image that you have posted to this site, conversely I not only always enjoy your images immensely but I actively seek them out.

However...in the domain of product development, whatever you think you know, you don't. Whatever you have learned and accepted as current reality is already obsolete. Lens technology is not the future of photography. Algorithms are the future. That is all there is to say.
05-14-2009, 03:56 AM   #26
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I hope Pentax eventually returns to producing some faster glass. There is a certain cachet to a 50/1.2, 135/1.8, or 200/2.5 that you don’t get with a boring f 5.6 zoom. From a marketing standpoint, and I don’t claim to be an expert, it gives Pentax users something to dream about and lust after. After all fast glass is like fast cars and fast women (so I’ve heard). It’s always more fun and a lot more expensive.

Periodically Pentax has produced such glass and I don’t doubt lost some money doing so. On the other hand the brand recognition and marketing value such products provide is more difficult to quantify. Nikon and Canon have produced faster speciality lenses for decades and usurped a market in which Pentax was a prominent player in the 1960s. To their credit they have produced all those “Limiteds” and introduced the DA*55 recently and this a step in the right direction. I suspect from time to time the company will trot out a really fast lens or two in a limited production run to satisfy Pentax users. It wouldn’t hurt to provide something beyond the 300mm range either even though this is a “speciality” item for most users. It would keep the engineers happy and let the market know Pentax is a player at every level.

Tom G
05-14-2009, 04:08 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by dave9t5 Quote
Lens technology is not the future of photography. Algorithms are the future. That is all there is to say.
Respectfully, I think that you are wrong. I think that improving lens technology coupled with improving sensor and DSP techniques are both important contributors to the future. Consider for a moment that most sensors now have microlenses fitted to the surface of the sensor. Being able to process a signal nicely is always going to be great... but if you can improve the quality of the signal you're capturing - that will surely help as well.
05-14-2009, 05:40 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by dave9t5 Quote
Jsherman,

However...in the domain of product development, whatever you think you know, you don't. Whatever you have learned and accepted as current reality is already obsolete. Lens technology is not the future of photography. Algorithms are the future. That is all there is to say.

Well... True to a degree, but this statement is generic enough to have come from your typical Wired magazine article, where the future is always either present or happening tomorrow.

The advances in sensor technology are constant, but generally not revolutionary. The OP (Jay) has a professor who is working on some pretty impressive stuff, but I'd hazard a guess that if you asked him (face to face, out of earshot of his funding sources,) when his advancements are going to hit the marketplace, he'd probably say "5 years - maybe, if I can get a patent on parts of it that aren't already being developed by Samsung in their labs. Or Sony."

New stuff is always on the way, but in this case, you can't change the properties of light, and it would be difficult (and maybe not cost-effective) to develop technology that can recreate what can be done by a $350 lens - especially when that lens costs $95 to manufacture (even after R&D costs are included) and the rest of that $350 is profit.

It just doesn't make sense for any of these companies to actively work towards destroying a major revenue stream, even if it were possible to do so.


.
05-14-2009, 07:31 AM   #29
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No complaints from me, my glass is fast enough for my photographic needs.
05-14-2009, 07:37 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by roentarre Quote
Most of the time, people only drool for the images taken by 200/2 300/2.8 600/4 unless the posters stated so in the thread. Otherwise, no one would really know that the images should be that "good".
The 200/2 has a smoother bokeh and subject isolation than what comes out of a lot of lenses...portraits in this flickr pool show the effect:
Flickr: The Nikon 200mm F/2G VR Pool

But $3-4K....
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