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07-31-2009, 05:52 AM   #1
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Pentax DA* 55mm F1.4 lens review in dpreview.com

Pentax DA* 55mm F1.4 lens review: Digital Photography Review

07-31-2009, 06:13 AM   #2
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hmmm, a little disheartening...but then, they have a very discerning eye for detail. This whole front-back focus thing is frustrating...i better practice my manual focusing technique.

They also mention the high price, which I laughed at too when I saw it. Didn't it start at $800? Goodness...that's pretty steep for a fast 50, especially with the other options available!
07-31-2009, 06:28 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by DanLoc78 Quote
hmmm, a little disheartening...but then, they have a very discerning eye for detail. This whole front-back focus thing is frustrating...i better practice my manual focusing technique.

They also mention the high price, which I laughed at too when I saw it. Didn't it start at $800? Goodness...that's pretty steep for a fast 50, especially with the other options available!
$650 says the review.
07-31-2009, 06:39 AM   #4
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How in the world is "Build Quality" an 8.5?

07-31-2009, 06:45 AM   #5
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they really liked the lens hood.
07-31-2009, 07:47 AM   #6
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The reviewer

There is a pretty useful thread where the DP reviewer is answering people comments in the thread dedicated to the 55mm review.
In particular he comments on the difference between his finds and those of the SLR gear review.

It seems like he acknowledges that optically the 55mm CAN be very good, but its price and bad copies really killed the review.
In particular I think he likes the sigma 50mm 1.4 (also expensive but not AS expensive) as a better alternative.
07-31-2009, 07:55 AM   #7
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It's just really odd that they would get so many bad copies. This is one lens that hasn't had much negative said about it since its release (other than the price). I guess the moral of the story is that any time you get a new lens, you need to shoot a lot with it to be certain that it doesn't have any flaws.
07-31-2009, 08:32 AM   #8
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Too expensive and shoddy QC pretty much killed it...

Can Pentax really expect people to pay such a high premium for a so called "top of the line" lens and still roll the dice on basic quality issues ?

Sad...

07-31-2009, 08:50 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by lol101 Quote
Too expensive and shoddy QC pretty much killed it...

Can Pentax really expect people to pay such a high premium for a so called "top of the line" lens and still roll the dice on basic quality issues ?

Sad...
as if Pentax is the only one with such issues on a 'top of the line lens'. FYI quality control issues are a problem in every lens from the cheapest, to the most expensive. including the likes of canon and even Zeiss. you roll the dice on those issues no matter how much you pay or whos name is on the lens. its a product of modern quality control and everyone pretty much follows the same game plan. 'so called'? give me a break. if you dont like the lens fine. but dont let your dislike give a false image of the lens or Pentax products in general.
07-31-2009, 09:02 AM   #10
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I find it odd that the DA*55 is getting slammed for QC issues. Looking forward to their DA*16-50 review,
07-31-2009, 09:26 AM   #11
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I have to wonder if QC is a greater issue with Pentax's newer lenses more than it is with new lenses from other companies. Either way, it's particularly frustrating in the case of Pentax because we seem to hear about more problems with the high-end DA* line than any other. We can only hope this will be limited to a few early examples.
07-31-2009, 09:32 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
they really liked the lens hood.
Pentax can make more money by making hoods for lenses... imaging a line of weathersealed, "limited"-quality hoods ? LBA, CBA... HBA !
07-31-2009, 09:39 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
as if Pentax is the only one with such issues on a 'top of the line lens'. FYI quality control issues are a problem in every lens from the cheapest, to the most expensive. including the likes of canon and even Zeiss. you roll the dice on those issues no matter how much you pay or whos name is on the lens. its a product of modern quality control and everyone pretty much follows the same game plan. 'so called'? give me a break. if you dont like the lens fine. but dont let your dislike give a false image of the lens or Pentax products in general.
Oh, then I take it that the reviewer from DPR should have similar complaints for all the other 50f1.4 they tested... and that would of course make it OK in your book if he had I guess?

Alas, look at the thread on DPR's Penatx SLR forum, someone asked the reviewer if he has had the same kind of troubles with other lenses, then make your own opinion.

Furthermore, what is there to "dislike" about a lens? I like the focal lens and aperture, I also like the external build quality of this lens but given its price, I am expecting a little bit better than a standard product of "modern quality control" (or lack thereof), but that's probably just me and I have already a simple and effective way of expressing my feeling: I just won't buy one.

If you feel it's just business as usual, good for you (and Hoya I guess) and good luck.
07-31-2009, 09:53 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
as if Pentax is the only one with such issues on a 'top of the line lens'. FYI quality control issues are a problem in every lens from the cheapest, to the most expensive. including the likes of canon and even Zeiss. you roll the dice on those issues no matter how much you pay or whos name is on the lens. its a product of modern quality control and everyone pretty much follows the same game plan. 'so called'? give me a break. if you dont like the lens fine. but dont let your dislike give a false image of the lens or Pentax products in general.
I admit to not knowing any facts here. For example, how much would it cost to mount a completed lens on an automated test rig and check its optical alignment? How hard can that be for the manufacturer, when it's clearly possible for an advanced amateur? How many lenses are they making and selling? How much do returns, exchanges and bad internet reviews cost?

I do know the price and marketing aim these lenses right at customers who think they are going to get a great lens. Pentax also has more freedom on price than a third-party maker, as long as they maintain the perception that Pentax lenses are "better". Putting a star on a lens ought to mean something. The customers don't want to hear anything about "modern QC". If they wanted "modern QC" they would buy the FA50/1.4.

If I were running the place, I would want to know what it would cost to test a lot more of these DA* lenses before they leave the factory. If it cost 10% more per lens, I would do it. Would any customer willing to pay $650 not be willing to pay $715?
07-31-2009, 10:09 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Erasmo Quote
$650 says the review.
yup, checked BHphoto and it is. But I had been checking on Adorama where it is $800...what's the deal with that?

I won't be getting one anyway so it doesn't really matter...maybe in a few years when the price comes way down...if it ever does.
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