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10-14-2009, 02:25 AM   #76
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kameraten Quote
It may be normal for Pentax but it sure never was for my KM/ Sony cameras.
Really? Strange.

QuoteOriginally posted by Kameraten Quote
And didn't you say your K100D does well with the FA 50/1.4?
Yes, it does well for the focus range I use it for with very wide apertures. I very much doubt that the AF calibration works equally well from ~50cm to infinity at f/1.4.

10-14-2009, 06:14 AM   #77
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Really? Strange.


Yes, it does well for the focus range I use it for with very wide apertures. I very much doubt that the AF calibration works equally well from ~50cm to infinity at f/1.4.
Pentax's AF sensors are on the large side. They get fooled fairly easily.
Sony may use smaller AF points.
11-01-2009, 01:00 PM   #78
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I don’t think the M 35/1.4 exists. But the 28/2 I’ve seen many times. I considered getting it, but went for the A 35/2.8 instead, as I wanted more compactness. And also preferred 35 mm focal length to 28, in case I wanted to use it on film as well.
QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
what qualifies a lens as "outdated"? canons lenses are primarily optical formulas carried over from the film days. since pentax can still use screw driven AF lenses, I fail to see how any FA series lens is "outdated". out of production. yes. and that warrants replacements, but that doesnt qualify the lenses themselves as being "outdated" they perform the same as they did when they were new on the market. the same way canons lenses did when they first appeared in EF mount.

so what do you people want exactly? a budget level maybe DAL type 35mm 1.4? like nikons new 35mm? or do you want something higher class but without the price tag? a brand new optical formula? im a bit confused on what a lot of you seem to want from Pentax.
I think many are with Pentax because they are fans of quality primes. The FAJ lenses were never particularly welcomed, I doubt the majority would want Pentax to go down the alley again with cheap built budget lenses even if they were primes.
But sure people will always want high quality, without the price tag.
So I don’t know either; some complain that the FA50/1.4 and FA 35/2 seem on the way out of production. Still others want them to be updated. I agree that the direction seems hard to figure out. And regarding built quality and plastic, not much seem to be better in the newer cheap offerings from Canon and Nikon.

As Klaus wrote regarding the FA 35/2 AL :
“The Pentax SMC FA 35mm f/2 is a great performer … At f/2 the optical quality is already on a very good level and if you stop down a bit it easily reaches excellent to outstanding resolution levels. Neither distortions nor vignetting are real problems in field conditions. CAs (color shadows at the image borders) are well controlled for a lens in this focal length class. At f/2 you may run into purple fringing in very critical (extreme contrast) scenes but simply try to avoid large apertures in this case. The bokeh (out-of-focus blur) seems very smooth and buttery. The build quality of the lens is good although not comparable to the Pentax Limited series. All-in-all highly recommended!”
And likewise Pentax have always been commended when it came to their fast fifties.

Regarding the Sigmas; the 28/1.8, 24/1.8 are great optics, and so is the 30/1.4. I usually don’t place my subject in the extreme corners, but going a bit off center, and stopping down to F/2 – 2.2 or 2.4, then the border performance is fine.

I would love if Pentax brings out the prototype 20/1.4, and put it in production. But I don’t know many would actually buy it
K 20/1.4 AL

Both the FA 35/2 and FA 50/1.4 can still be found in stores, or else on the used market.
11-01-2009, 01:06 PM   #79
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The fast lenses definitely aren't in the DSLR forum.
Moved to Lens forum.

11-01-2009, 04:42 PM - 1 Like   #80
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
True, but you should also note that noise levels on most APS-C digital cameras are far below what most films could deliver - especially given the ability to easily perform NR on digital images. A common comparison made is between ISO 1600 on digital to ISO 400 on film. So in that sense, an f/2.8 lens on digital really provides the same basic exposure options as an f/1.4 lens on film. I'm sure that would have to be part of Pentax's thinking.
...
(Marc, this is not directed at you. What you wrote is the same thing I have heard from many other people.)

And this line of thinking is where the promise of digital broke down...

Way back in the early 90's a couple of guys from Kodak & Nikon came to my college photo class to talk about this amazing new future that was in store for all of us, the digital camera.

"Imagine a camera where the film can instantly shift from an ISO of 1 to 1 million with no loss of image quality! Imagine being able to shoot at f1 on a bright sunny day, and being able to shoot handheld at f22 a scene lit by one candle!"

We were essentially told that we would be able to shoot at any f stop at any shutter speed at any time and get a proper sharp exposure. It was supposed to be so cheap that everyone would buy DSLR's, and the P&S market would disappear.

I was promised a future where the cameras were inconceivably better than the film cameras they were going to replace, not almost as good.

Someone please tell me, why can't Pentax produce an inexpensive AF prime? For example, take the old 50mm f2 formula, put the new "digital" coatings on it, put it into an AF housing, and make it the optional kit lens. They could even sell it separately for roughly $150. The problem is that Hoya doesn't want to run Pentax that way. They would rather give you the can of food and then rape you when the time comes to buy the can opener.

Man goes to buy a camera. Pentax comes along a says "Buy the camera and we will throw in this lens for next to nothing."

A couple of months later the man decides he has improved his skills enough that he wants a faster lens. Pentax says to him "We can sell you this 40 year old lens design for $429.95." The man replies "But I only paid $600 for the camera!"

I'm sure some of you will say that it is impossible for Pentax to produce a good $150 prime. Notice I did not say exceptional. If pentax can produce a $200 WR 18-55 zoom lens, they can dust off an old optical formula 50mm, put the new coatings on it, and slap it into a new AF skin for $150. They could probably do a f2 50mm for $90 and make a profit on it. The reason they don't is because they would loose sales on the $430 model. If they made it even halfway decent it would probably steal some sales from the $750 f1.9 43mm limited. Yes, I realize that the 43 has metal construction, that the bokeh is so beautiful that it makes Marine drill sergeants cry, that each copy is individually blessed by the pope, and that the optical formula was given to Moses by God at the same time as the ten commandments. Cursed be the man that does not think that the FA 43 Limited is not the greatest accomplishment of man! But out here in the real world, is it really $600 better than a modernized f2 50? I don't think so, and I highly doubt that the average joe standing in a camera store is going to think so either. Just set the two on a counter next to each other with the price tag showing. Considering how small the old A series f2 50mm was, it would probably even steal sales from the DA 40!

Thank goodness that there was a good, fast, and inexpensive AF prime made back in the film era. There have been many shots that I would not have been able to get with anything slower than my 50mm f1.7.
11-01-2009, 08:04 PM   #81
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve Beswick Quote
(Thank goodness that there was a good, fast, and inexpensive AF prime made back in the film era. There have been many shots that I would not have been able to get with anything slower than my 50mm f1.7.
I agree with you that it shouldn't be too hard for Pentax to produce a cheap and cheerful fast prime kit lens but, what is needed now, is a fast prime shorter than 50mm - something in the 28-35mm range.
11-01-2009, 10:33 PM   #82
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve Beswick Quote
Someone please tell me, why can't Pentax produce an inexpensive AF prime?
I'm sure they could, if they perceived that there was sufficient demand. But the pont I made in my previous post stands: the market as a whole seems to prefer camera companies direct their limited resources elsewhere. Most people who want cheap lenses want zooms, and most people who want primes want better ones, not cheaper ones. Obviously, *some* people would welcome cheap primes. But there can be no denying the demand is just not what it once was when a prime was the only way to get a decent picture.

QuoteQuote:
Thank goodness that there was a good, fast, and inexpensive AF prime made back in the film era. There have been many shots that I would not have been able to get with anything slower than my 50mm f1.7.
Right, because ISO 1600 wasn't much of an option. The number of shots you can't get without f/1.7 is much smaller than it used to be.
11-02-2009, 04:31 AM   #83
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
I'm sure they could, if they perceived that there was sufficient demand. But the pont I made in my previous post stands: the market as a whole seems to prefer camera companies direct their limited resources elsewhere. Most people who want cheap lenses want zooms, and most people who want primes want better ones, not cheaper ones. Obviously, *some* people would welcome cheap primes. But there can be no denying the demand is just not what it once was when a prime was the only way to get a decent picture.
Say what you will, but I'm personally tired of not seeing this kind of price from Pentax.

QuoteQuote:
Right, because ISO 1600 wasn't much of an option. The number of shots you can't get without f/1.7 is much smaller than it used to be.
That would depend on which camera I was using that day. I consider 1600 on my K10d a bad idea. I'm not going to say that I never use it, but I did block it out of my auto range. On my K100d I use it when necessary.

11-02-2009, 05:48 AM   #84
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve Beswick Quote
Say what you will, but I'm personally tired of not seeing this kind of price from Pentax.



That would depend on which camera I was using that day. I consider 1600 on my K10d a bad idea. I'm not going to say that I never use it, but I did block it out of my auto range. On my K100d I use it when necessary.
The Canon 50 f1.8 breaks very easily. There are several reviews on that very Amazon item where the purchasers say that they had their lenses break under mild usage, but that they don't mind because it was so cheap.

I do wish that Pentax had a cheap "entry-level" prime. I think a 35mm would be a better entry level lens than a 50, but it would be nice to have one in the 200-250 range like the FA 50 and 35 used to be that people could get a taste of prime shooting.

As far as the sales model, I think it is the same across the board. Have you ever bought a printer? One set of cartridges will set you back what the printer cost you. Companies will give away razors in the hope that you will buy their razor blades for the rest of your life. Lenses are the same concept and if Canon and Nikon have some cheap lenses, they also have some that will set you back a car payment or two.
11-02-2009, 12:58 PM   #85
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
The Canon 50 f1.8 breaks very easily. There are several reviews on that very Amazon item where the purchasers say that they had their lenses break under mild usage, but that they don't mind because it was so cheap.

I do wish that Pentax had a cheap "entry-level" prime. I think a 35mm would be a better entry level lens than a 50, but it would be nice to have one in the 200-250 range like the FA 50 and 35 used to be that people could get a taste of prime shooting.

As far as the sales model, I think it is the same across the board. Have you ever bought a printer? One set of cartridges will set you back what the printer cost you. Companies will give away razors in the hope that you will buy their razor blades for the rest of your life. Lenses are the same concept and if Canon and Nikon have some cheap lenses, they also have some that will set you back a car payment or two.
I see your point, but the problem is that Pentax is lacking the "cheap" ones. If they had any prime lenses under $225 you wouldn't hear a peep from me.
11-02-2009, 01:17 PM   #86
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
I'm sure they could, if they perceived that there was sufficient demand. But the pont I made in my previous post stands: the market as a whole seems to prefer camera companies direct their limited resources elsewhere. Most people who want cheap lenses want zooms, and most people who want primes want better ones, not cheaper ones. ...

I think Marc's right on. I would love for the Pentax 77 f/1.8 to be available new for, oh, $225, instead of close to $800. But at some point, you figure out what you want and you realize you want THAT, whatever it costs.

Now if all the wimps and whiners in this forum would go out and purchase the Pentax 77 right away, the price might go down. And when it gets under $700, would somebody please send me a private message? :-)

Will
11-02-2009, 01:30 PM   #87
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve Beswick Quote
I see your point, but the problem is that Pentax is lacking the "cheap" ones. If they had any prime lenses under $225 you wouldn't hear a peep from me.
Something's gotta give. Cheaper than the FA 50, you'd be looking at Pentax producing a lens they themselves wouldn't be proud of. For quality images, you couldn't get more value for money from the FA 50. Other FLs are more expensive since they're not as simple in design as the FA 50. But good primes are worth saving up for.
11-02-2009, 04:46 PM   #88
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Something's gotta give. Cheaper than the FA 50, you'd be looking at Pentax producing a lens they themselves wouldn't be proud of. For quality images, you couldn't get more value for money from the FA 50. Other FLs are more expensive since they're not as simple in design as the FA 50. But good primes are worth saving up for.
Well Pentax has produced a few lenses over the years that they should be down right ashamed of. The FAJ 28-80 comes to mind. If Pentax could sell a camera AND a 50mm f2 A series lens for $175 15 years ago they should be able to sell a 50mm f2 FA lens for $225 today and make money at it.
11-02-2009, 05:30 PM   #89
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Pentax just about killed themselves by selling cheap lenses. I doubt very much that they could make enough sales of a cheap 50 to recoup their costs, and as they seem to be moving more and more to being a boutique brand, even having a cheap 50 in the line up doesn't make a lot of sense.
They want you to buy a DA*55/1.4, and they'll let you buy an FA50/1.4 (at least for the short term).
Thats about as inexpensive as it's gonna get, so suck it up.

Canon's 50/1.8 has been around unchanged since the beginning of the EOS system, it's doubtful that it will even give a sharp image on a modern high resolution sensor.
11-02-2009, 06:20 PM   #90
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve Beswick Quote
Well Pentax has produced a few lenses over the years that they should be down right ashamed of. The FAJ 28-80 comes to mind. If Pentax could sell a camera AND a 50mm f2 A series lens for $175 15 years ago they should be able to sell a 50mm f2 FA lens for $225 today and make money at it.
CPI inflation from 1994 through today would actually make that camera and lens $255.02 - but I get your point.

Pentax is capital starved and has been for decades.

Their business decisions are driven by low volume sales expectations and Pentax's loss of market share in the camera market. If they could make more profit - higher Return on Invested Capital (the be-all and end-all of business today) doing as you imagine, they would certainly do it. So much capital has been invested in electronic cameras and associated lenses - and continually must be reinvested, chasing the latest feature set - that there isn't really enough time to allow capital invested to live out a full, useful life. Products with an 18 month life-cycle mean capital has an 18 month Return cycle. Since all product decisions are marginal in nature (every product justifies itself as the last product authorized) an inexpensive lens competes for capital with all Pentax's other products. Capital being scarce, it likely is less profitable than the last product authorized.

Mechanical cameras and lenses made by hand (small capital investment) with inexpensive Japanese labor on bench tops (60's and 70's business model) have no relation in capital cost to modern cameras and lenses when it comes to amortizing capital costs over the life of the product. There was a reason that the K-series lenses were essentially S-M-C Taks with a different mount - the capital cost was de minimus.

M-series cameras and lenses were a reactive response to Olympus, which shocked the entire industry with the OM. Pentax was forced to allocate capital to an unplanned product - and did well but not terrifically well - they have been wounded since.

Canon invented the professional system camera just at the time glossy, National print media exploded - and cirtually created a market for hardware that didn't exist before the F1. Nikon responded in a way - Pentax never did, content to dominate studio until film died.

Businesses are not run on emotional decisions, but on rational, quantitative risk/return analysis.

I for one am quite optimistic that Hoya will build on each little K-7 and K-x victory over many years and decades, taking the long view of brand growth. Unfortunately the laws of compounding require that fast growth from a low number is at first still a low number.

Be patient - all is not visible, but all will be well.

Last edited by monochrome; 11-02-2009 at 06:33 PM.
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