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05-13-2009, 07:23 PM   #1
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lens results

do any of you guys know of a web site other than photozone, that reviews pentax lenses. i dont know if its me but photozone seems to only give good ratings to nikon glass

Dave

05-14-2009, 01:59 AM   #2
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Hi Dave,
it's not only you seeing the Nikon in front on photozone.

There is a reason for this and Klaus (Mr. Photozone) states it on the reviews page:
QuoteQuote:
"Please note that the tests results are not comparable across the different systems! "
That has got to do with a lot of things, but once you have seen some other cross-manufacturer lens tests it is easier to figure out which is which and draw your conclusions. Then, those tests only go after macrocontrast (nothing to do with macro photography) and that's what we call 'sharp' in a broad sense. The taking distance on the tests is around 2-4 meters. This otoh has to do with macro lenses cause here they score big time but a lot of them don't hold at far taking distances (never tested in those tests).

Here's a good comparison of Pentax lenses from arguably the best Pentax archive,
Measured Resolution Numbers

Trust the Pentax glass :-)
Georg (the other)
05-14-2009, 03:59 AM   #3
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Its not all pro nikon. Read the photozone review of the cannon 70-200/4 IS, Its enough to bring a tear to any nikon owners eye! Of course us pentax owners know that its all about rendering and not pixel peeping
05-14-2009, 04:18 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by robjmitchell Quote
Its not all pro nikon. Read the photozone review of the cannon 70-200/4 IS, Its enough to bring a tear to any nikon owners eye! Of course us pentax owners know that its all about rendering and not pixel peeping
70-200/4 USM L IS is a very good lens, not just because of the MTF50 results: it doesn't extend to zoom; it has fast AF; it has a panning IS mode. The standard Pentaxian criticism should be: it's slow (f/4) and a zoom.

05-14-2009, 09:37 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by dafiryde Quote
do any of you guys know of a web site other than photozone, that reviews pentax lenses. i dont know if its me but photozone seems to only give good ratings to nikon glass

Dave
Lens Reviews: Digital Photography Review

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05-14-2009, 03:34 PM   #6
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I'm not sure why the hate on Photozone - who cares if they give Nikon higher numbers?

Anyway, I'm a bit of a link packrat so I know a bunch. Note I'm not necessarily endorsing these, it's just places I've found some reviews in the past.

Digital Cameras, Digital Camera Reviews - The Imaging Resource!

DSLR Lens reviews and buying guides | Cameralabs

Digital SLR Lenses ? Find Reviews of Nikon Lenses and More on PopPhoto.com

Shutterbug: Lenses

Oh yeah, and this one: Pentax Lens Review Database - Main Index
05-16-2009, 07:53 AM   #7
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I don’t find the Photozone reviews to be bad at all. If you read carefully Klaus seems to trash all all makers’ lenses if they don’t meet what appear to be some pretty high standards. As Georg notes above Klaus clearly states “that the tests results are not comparable across the different systems!” It wasn’t until after I had read this disclaimer that I realized the higher numbers apparently scored by Canon and Nikon were “not comparable”. If you keep this in mind Klaus’ reviews seem pretty objective to me.

If Photozone can be criticized for anything it might be that Klaus uses a K10 for his most recent tests when a K20 might provide better results for the more current releases. I don’t think we could reasonably expect him to go back and retest older lenses with the K20.

Tom G
05-16-2009, 11:07 AM   #8
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The test results may not be comparable across systems, but his conclusions are comparable because they are purely subjective. They're what get me. It seems he is much more harsh on Pentax lenses than he is on those of other brands in these conclusions. Numbers and charts are great for some info, but it's these subjective reviews that offer the most insight for me on the overall performance of the lens, and he seems to be overly harsh towards Pentax. Luckily I have the database here to consult since I'm not really looking for lenses from other systems at the moment.

05-31-2009, 04:06 AM   #9
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Votesh/Dafiryde

When I first took a look at some of the Pentax reviews in Photozone I initially shared your opinion they “appeared” to be a bit biased towards Canon and Nikon. Thinking I might be wrong, and perhaps a bit overly sensitive where my Pentax brand is concerned, I went back to the Photozone and took a look at some of the reviews of lenses other than Pentax. I stand by my earlier appraisal that Klaus sets very high standards and doesn’t hesitate to “trash” any maker for what he considers to be shoddy work. Furthermore, I suspect English may not be his native tongue and things may come out even more harshly than intended in translation.

Let’s put my theory to the test. Here are some of his less than charitable comments about some Canon APSC lenses. All are cut and pasted from Photozone reviews:



“The Canon EF 24mm f/1.4 USM L left some mixed feelings during the tests. The peak performance is about the best that I've seen at this focal length but it is reached late (f/8).
If you're looking for a high performance lens the EF 24mm f/1.4 USM L may be an option but if you don´t need an ultra-large aperture it seems pointless to invest a magnitude more here.

Not exactly a ringing endorsement for one of Canon”s vaunted L series lenses.

============================================

The Canon EF 28mm f/2.8 may not be the most attractive lens on the market but it is still interesting nonetheless. It is very affordable in combination with a pretty impressive optical performance (except CAs) and quite decent mechanics. However, it faces pretty stiff competition from the Sigma AF 30mm f/1.4 EX DC HSM which is a little better in the center but worse at the borders. The Canon is much cheaper though.

Another less than stellar reiew

============================================

In lens land there's no such thing as a free lunch and the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 II is an example for that. Under controlled conditions (stopping down two stops at 18mm) the lens can provide very decent results - certainly more than enough for casual users who are the target group anyway. However, technically the resolution is mediocre all-in-all and at 18mm @ f/3.5 it's downright poor. Distortions and vignetting are very high at the wide-end but no big issue at the tele end. The construction quality is soso at best. In its price range there're few alternatives in Canon EOS mount and they probably aren't better either. However, serious users looking for a good quality lens should save a little longer and look elsewhere.

Doesn’t exactly make me want to run out and buy one.

===================================

Nikon APSC doesn’t seem to fare any better under Klaus’ stern eye.

The Nikkor AF 24mm f/2.8D didn't really convince during the tests due to various shortcomings. The resolution figures were generally very decent but otherwise the lens left something to be desired for a fix-focal with relatively high barrel distortions, very high vignetting at f/2.8 and very pronounced CAs. Spherical aberrations (focus shifts when stopping down) on top don't make things any better. So despite the relatively ambitious design (floating elements) the lens doesn't seem to be overly attractive anymore. This doesn't mean that the AF 24mm f/2.8D is a bad lens, it's not, but fix-focals should perform better than good zoom lenses.

Ouch!

==============

...no such thing as a free lunch and the Nikkor AF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED DX is no exception to the rule. The build quality is downright miserable which is probably a sufficient reason alone for some to think about the AF-S 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G DX straight from the start. However, the optical quality of the lens is not all that bad. The resolution figures are actually very good and not much worse compared to much higher priced models. The contrast level at large apertures leaves something to be desired though (dull colors). The distortion characteristic is about average whereas the vignetting is surprisingly well controlled for a DX-type lens (APS-C image circle). Chromatic aberrations are quite high and can be field relevant in some situations. Naturally this has all to be seen in the context of the extremely low price tag so all-in-all it is almost surprising what the lens is capable to deliver. If you use f/8 or f/11 you'll be a happy camper in most situations. The question may be whether such a limitation makes sense with a high priced DSLR .

I just must have one of these!!

========================


I could go on but I think I’ve made my point. Yes, his conclusions are subjective but every maker suffers under Photozone reviews to some extent. If a product is found wanting Klaus is sure to point it out in my opinion. He seems just as willing to point out the good aspects of a lens as well. If you take a good look at his reviews I think you will find Pentax doesn’t fare any better or worse than any other maker in this regard. In the final analysis you have the choice to read Photozone reviews or not. If you find the reviews of value that is great. If you find them biased then you can ignore them. The choice is up to you.

Tom G

Last edited by 8540tomg; 06-01-2009 at 06:20 PM. Reason: typo
05-31-2009, 04:51 AM   #10
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Tom G, I just wanted to say, I share your opinion on this matter and find Photozone review to be extremely useful.....
05-31-2009, 06:37 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by 8540tomg Quote
...

Nikon doesn’t seem to fare any better under Klaus’ stern eye.

The Nikkor AF 24mm f/2.8D didn't really convince during the tests due to various shortcomings. The resolution figures were generally very decent but otherwise the lens left something to be desired for a fix-focal with relatively high barrel distortions, very high vignetting at f/2.8 and very pronounced CAs. Spherical aberrations (focus shifts when stopping down) on top don't make things any better. So despite the relatively ambitious design (floating elements) the lens doesn't seem to be overly attractive anymore. This doesn't mean that the AF 24mm f/2.8D is a bad lens, it's not, but fix-focals should perform better than good zoom lenses.

Ouch!

==============
...
Tom G

I hadn't read that review, but I'd have to second his opinion almost to the word - I've tried the Nikon 24 f/2.8 and was surprised at how bland and mediocre the output was. It was one of the first Nikon primes I tried, and It just brought home how good we Pentaxians expect primes to be - we've been spoiled, as it turns out!

It also made me realize why camera sales store folks (read: Nikon/Canon sales people) always seem to say "zooms are so good now there's no reason to use the old primes" - that may be because they're used to using lenses like the Nikon 24 2.8.

The Nikon 28 2.8 is kinda bad too. One of the most vaunted Nikon primes, the 105 2.5 AIS, is not really any better than the M 100 2.8 or Tak 105. In fact, it's not even quiet as sharp as those two.


.
05-31-2009, 08:36 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
I hadn't read that review, but I'd have to second his opinion almost to the word - I've tried the Nikon 24 f/2.8 and was surprised at how bland and mediocre the output was. It was one of the first Nikon primes I tried, and It just brought home how good we Pentaxians expect primes to be - we've been spoiled, as it turns out!
.
I have to agree Jay - we have been spoiled. The evidence can be found in the Takumar, K, M, A, FA and various other lens clubs on the forum. Not every Pentax prime ever made is a classic but as a group they seem to perform on a uniformly high level. Some of them are truly exceptional with various 50mm, 85/1.4 and the A 200mm macro coming to mind.

Good thing we have Klaus doing tests to keep us from getting too cocky.

Tom G

Last edited by 8540tomg; 05-31-2009 at 08:58 AM. Reason: typo
05-31-2009, 04:01 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
I hadn't read that review, but I'd have to second his opinion almost to the word - I've tried the Nikon 24 f/2.8 and was surprised at how bland and mediocre the output was. It was one of the first Nikon primes I tried, and It just brought home how good we Pentaxians expect primes to be - we've been spoiled, as it turns out!

It also made me realize why camera sales store folks (read: Nikon/Canon sales people) always seem to say "zooms are so good now there's no reason to use the old primes" - that may be because they're used to using lenses like the Nikon 24 2.8.

The Nikon 28 2.8 is kinda bad too. One of the most vaunted Nikon primes, the 105 2.5 AIS, is not really any better than the M 100 2.8 or Tak 105. In fact, it's not even quiet as sharp as those two.


.
The Nikon primes are much better lenses when used on a Pentax body

The bland coloring really gets a boost on the Pentax body.

There have been so very many iterations of each of these lenses, and different versions among those, that it really takes some research to determine which range of serial numbers among which versions are really worthwhile....

the AF primes are pretty bad though, Nikon doesn't really make any decent primes any longer (except maybe the 135mm Defocus Control)

The manual focus version of the 28 f/2.8 is way way better than the AF version, the AIS MF version of the 28mm f/2.8 is a very decent lens. I selected and converted this particular model over the Zeiss ZK Distagon 28 f2.8 that I got to try out. The AIS version of the 28 is a close focus lens (unlike the other versions), and while it isn't as great as the Distagon 25 up close, it isn't very far off either, they are pretty much on par at medium distances and the Nikkor 28 AIS is better at infinity, it's actually the best lens in my lineup below at infinity under 43mm, including the FA31, It practically has no distortion and very even out to the edges with very little CA, the coloring isn't quite as nice as the FA31, but color and AF are the only areas the FA31 beats this lens in.

If I hadn't splurged and purchased and used the Distagon 25, I'd be really happy with the Nikkor AIS 28. But it's the lens I go to now for landscape and architectural.

Definitely for $160-$200 or whatever they are going for, an excellent alternative to the Zeiss 28, and if money is tight, a good alternative to the Zeiss 25 or FA31 (if you don't mind manual focus)

Nothing beats the Pentax M and A version of the 100 f/2.8. The Nikkor 105 I have is just "different" so worth keeping, a little more muted in color and contrast than the Pentax, just as sharp though, (it keeps up with the voigtlander 90 and 125 there) but the slightly more controlled contrast and nice bokeh, makes it good for portrait and headshots, kind of like the opposite of the Zeiss 85 as far as contrast goes, so dull day, dull lighting, want it to pop then I'll use the Zeiss/Voigtlander, for subjects where I want a little more left in highlights and shadow detail to do more with later in post, or if it happens to be very contrasty lighting situations, I'll use the Nikkor 105...
05-31-2009, 06:14 PM   #14
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To the OPs original request:
Photodo - Photographic lens specifications, guides, discussion and reviews
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06-01-2009, 01:37 PM   #15
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Original Poster
thanks a lot for the inputs

Dave
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