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06-10-2010, 11:56 AM   #1
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Putting 2 and 2 together...

Don't know if this has been mentioned yet, but if one was to make some quick observations from looking at the variety of rumor threads active right now, you can see:

FA lenses appear to be an endangered species right now. Something seems to be interrupting the supply of both FA 50 and the FA Limited lenses.

Rumors are out for a new cheaper 35, possibly reusing a previously discontinued FA 35 design.

There are rumblings of full frame out and about.

The last lens released by Pentax is a redesigned, fancified D FA lens that came out of nowhere.

This makes me wonder - if Pentax was going to go to full frame, how would they proceed? Well, they would probably take what full frame glass they have, discontinue it, and then release tweaked digital versions, much like they did with the D FA 100mm. Is it possible that Pentax is killing all their full frame glass in order to re-release it with a new full frame camera? Assuming they used only current full frame stuff or recently discontinued, I could imagine a lineup like this:

Cheaper:
D FA 35/2.0
D FA 50/1.4
D FA 100/2.8 Macro

Limited:
D FA 31/1.8
D FA 43/1.9
D FA 77/1.8

Maybe they instead make the 35 and 50 low-end lenses, DFA-L or whatever. But, it looks like Pentax could be up and running with 6 FF lenses by making only small changes to lens designs. Maybe get rid of some aperture rings, add quick shift and WR. The only obvious thing they would need to release would be some FF 2.8 zooms, and we all know they've got some designs laying around ready to rock.

Anyways, this is baseless speculation, but imagining if Pentax were to pursue FF, this is one way to do it.

06-10-2010, 12:01 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eigengrau Quote
...Maybe get rid of some aperture rings...
Just my opinion, but this would be a mistake.
06-10-2010, 12:04 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by builttospill Quote
Just my opinion, but this would be a mistake.
Oh sure - I wouldn't be happy to see them go. But I imagine that they would.
06-10-2010, 12:10 PM   #4
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I don't think we can draw conclusions nor "hard" speculate from the fact that some FA lenses are a bit harder to acquire than ususal. These lenses are batch produced. There is a point where the demand is not strong enough to justify re-lauching the manufacturing of, say, the FA50/1.4 for example. I don't think it has anything to do with a upcoming redesign.

But again, I could be wrong.

Gene

06-10-2010, 12:17 PM - 2 Likes   #5
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my experience with respect to rumors, and speculation is that putting 2 and 2 together usually results in any possible answer you want, except 4.
06-10-2010, 12:46 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eigengrau Quote
The only obvious thing they would need to release would be some FF 2.8 zooms, and we all know they've got some designs laying around ready to rock.
The exception would probably be the FA*28-70. As good a lens as it is (I still use mine regularly...) the design is quite old. I would not expect Pentax re-releasing it, without non-rotating front element and internal focusing, This would be a completely new design. And they can drop that stupid "power-zoom" function as well...

The FA*80-200 would still be OK optically, but it would benefit from a serious weight reduction diet... Still one of my fav lens (especially on the K7 for sport action), but man! the weight!...

Gene
06-10-2010, 12:59 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by xGene Quote
The exception would probably be the FA*28-70. As good a lens as it is (I still use mine regularly...) the design is quite old. I would not expect Pentax re-releasing it, without non-rotating front element and internal focusing, This would be a completely new design. And they can drop that stupid "power-zoom" function as well...

The FA*80-200 would still be OK optically, but it would benefit from a serious weight reduction diet... Still one of my fav lens (especially on the K7 for sport action), but man! the weight!...

Gene
Both lenses would be way too expensive to produce in the "olde days design". And yes, the 80-200 is completely obese. The weight was one of my main reasons to buy a Sigma 70-200, which is nearly a feather in comparisson...

Ben
06-10-2010, 01:33 PM   #8
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For Pro level FF zoom lenses, I would like to see internal focus and internal zoom, allowing really nice weather sealing. Even though I like the output of the DA*16-50, it bug me how it has to extend so much when zooming. Not sure if they can get around that issue though. I really like the 50-135 because the handling is nice with IF and IZ.

06-10-2010, 01:38 PM   #9
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Sometimes the FA Limiteds is in short supply and sometimes not. When stock is empty, Pentax makes a new batch. It may take a couple of months for stock to enter normal status again. Not to worry. I am confident that Pentax will continue making the FA Limiteds as long as they are popular and they really seems to be popular even now...

The DA Limiteds was intended to replace the FA Limiteds, but the consumers still wanted to buy the FA Limiteds so Pentax continued their production.

As for the D FA 100 "coming out of nowhere" - the new D FA 100 is simply a weather resistant version of the old D FA 100 Macro, with new aperture blades. I can understand this decision to make it weather sealed. A 100 macro is sort of a premium lens, it is a popular focal length for macro and Pentax needs more weather sealed prime lenses.
Now, WR means a simpler weather sealing than the method used for the DA Star lenses. Pentax did not wanted to make the new version of the 100 Macro into a DA Star lens, because it would cost too much (better weather sealing and with SDM drive). So to keep cost down, they stayed with screwdriven AF, and made a simpler weather sealing. But, to still get some value they made the lens into a full metal lens and thus answering the critics of the previous D FA 100 Macro that was seen as "too plastic and woobly".

I don't see the D FA 100 WR as evidence for a 24x36 coming soon from Pentax. Pentax had to make a new 100 Macro, and they stayed with the D FA designation because they didn't changed the optical construction.
06-10-2010, 02:10 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by xGene Quote
...And they can drop that stupid "power-zoom" function as well...
I don't think that's going anywhere, it's here to stay. I'm not one to start or feed rumors usually, but take a look at the new Pentax waterproof remote control at the bottom of this page: 645D : Imaging Systems Division : PENTAX. Yep, it has a zoom function on it too, maybe they're bringing Power Zoom back!
06-10-2010, 02:51 PM   #11
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I've been thinking the same thing too. The relaunch of the D FA 100 Macro was indeed a surprise. If they were only going to go APS-C only, then it would have made sense to release a DA 100 Macro. For approximately the same size you would probably be able to make it faster and lighter as the need for larger glass to cover 35mm would not be needed.

Pentax isn't dumb, so the company is well aware of the fact that they lack a 35mm format camera as well as their absence from medium format. Now any sane businessperson that sees a devout group of supporters and fans clamoring for FF and MF cameras would be more than happy to cater to them and make a pretty penny at the same time.

Making a business plan, one would try to revamp the product line, introduce a great camera for a great price being the best camera in it's class and at the same time be the best bang for the buck, that way you win the price conscience and the ones the look at specs. If that succeeds then you launch phase two, a camera that sits on the pedestal as an ultimate top of the line camera, and work the price down to where people aspire to have it and want to have it but not so elitist that people think it doesn't exist.

Taking a step back, I see the the K-x as the camera that reintroduces the brand to the masses, for the soccer mom to the budding photographer, the amateur, the etc. Then the 645D is announced and soon to be released. The camera that has amazing IQ (well, what has been made available to us anyway on the net). With a high, but not out of the ballpark price tag. It has everyone talking, from all camps, Canon, Nikon, Sony, the list goes on.

Pentax has a heritage that many people in the past started off with and have seen over the years, so it's not starting from scratch, and the impression that Pentax has left with people has been a fairly positive one in general.

With all this in mind I don't think it's too far off to see that a FF should be on it's way, maybe not this year but next year I'm pretty certain. Call it gut instincts. If the brand really had fallen from recognition, the K-x wouldn't be successful as it is, the 645D would be dismissed as vaporware. Just my humble .02
06-10-2010, 04:48 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eigengrau Quote
FA lenses appear to be an endangered species right now. Something seems to be interrupting the supply of both FA 50 and the FA Limited lenses.
I'm guessing it's "Pentax wanting to sell DA lenses". Possibly they've diverted production from the FA lines to make lenses for the 645D.


QuoteOriginally posted by Eigengrau Quote
Rumors are out for a new cheaper 35, possibly reusing a previously discontinued FA 35 design.
Those rumors are literally unsourced wishful thinking. The 30/35mm DA★ lens disappeared from the roadmap, and we've all been pining ever since. Repeating wishful thinking over and over doesn't make it more legitimate, even if hearing it over and over starts to make it sound true. (Hey, it seems to work in politics. But that's another story.)

QuoteOriginally posted by Eigengrau Quote
There are rumblings of full frame out and about.
Take what I said about wishful thinking and multiply it by twenty for full frame.

QuoteOriginally posted by Eigengrau Quote
The last lens released by Pentax is a redesigned, fancified D FA lens that came out of nowhere.
Although at that focal length, as I understand it, there's little point in not making it cover full-frame circle.
06-10-2010, 04:55 PM   #13
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Tea Leaves...

I believe Eigengrau is right. The lens plant in Vietnam is not sitting idle everyday. Hoya/Pentax has been up to something, (not just 645D production either). When Hoya/Pentax closed its lens plants in Japan it hired more staff for the plant in Vietnam. The lens plant even started producing the 31mm Limited, the FA 50mm 1.4 and the 50mm A 1.2 (some of the better Pentax lenses). This move was understandable to save money but to also cut teeth and improve quality and work out some other production issues. The D-FA WR 100mm 2.8 macro lens (based on an older design) is made in Vietnam and the quality of the lens is first rate. I've never read a serious complaint or bad review about it.

Pentax Canada leaked a few months back that a number of DA lenses were discontinued. That page was quickly taken down. There have been no new DA (APS-C) lenses since 2009.

Then there was the FullFrame Shake Reduction patent that Youky63 posted awhile ago from Hoya/Pentax.

Let's hope Hoya/Pentax comes out swinging with some kick butt D-FA lenses and a FF DSLR(s) after Photokina! I'm ready to buy!


QuoteOriginally posted by Eigengrau Quote
Don't know if this has been mentioned yet, but if one was to make some quick observations from looking at the variety of rumor threads active right now, you can see:

FA lenses appear to be an endangered species right now. Something seems to be interrupting the supply of both FA 50 and the FA Limited lenses.

Rumors are out for a new cheaper 35, possibly reusing a previously discontinued FA 35 design.

There are rumblings of full frame out and about.

The last lens released by Pentax is a redesigned, fancified D FA lens that came out of nowhere.

This makes me wonder - if Pentax was going to go to full frame, how would they proceed? Well, they would probably take what full frame glass they have, discontinue it, and then release tweaked digital versions, much like they did with the D FA 100mm. Is it possible that Pentax is killing all their full frame glass in order to re-release it with a new full frame camera? Assuming they used only current full frame stuff or recently discontinued, I could imagine a lineup like this:

Cheaper:
D FA 35/2.0
D FA 50/1.4
D FA 100/2.8 Macro

Limited:
D FA 31/1.8
D FA 43/1.9
D FA 77/1.8

Maybe they instead make the 35 and 50 low-end lenses, DFA-L or whatever. But, it looks like Pentax could be up and running with 6 FF lenses by making only small changes to lens designs. Maybe get rid of some aperture rings, add quick shift and WR. The only obvious thing they would need to release would be some FF 2.8 zooms, and we all know they've got some designs laying around ready to rock.

Anyways, this is baseless speculation, but imagining if Pentax were to pursue FF, this is one way to do it.
06-10-2010, 04:56 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
Although at that focal length, as I understand it, there's little point in not making it cover full-frame circle.
But theres no point naming it FF (D-FA) if theres no plan for making an FF camera. Older FF lenses are labeled DA....
06-10-2010, 05:23 PM   #15
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I thought this thread was going to be about how the "upcoming" 21 MP body mentioned in Australia might have just been some rep talking about the camera used in comparison to the 645D in that Japanese brochure. :P

Has anyone mentioned that yet? I'm too lazy to read through those threads right now.
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