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09-11-2012, 06:22 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
But isn't it the same for all lens makers, what makes Pentax lens unique that they score badly?
They don't really - most of them score similar IF you choose the same sensors. When viewing on FF sensors like the 1D, the CaNikon lenses show much better performancce (resolution).

Another thing is that in their reviews/comparos - they like to weigh against Pentax. For example, for the DA 40, they'll compare it against the 60mm macros. Completely different lenses, and very different performance of course!

Pentax also like slower lenses (DA 21, DA 70, DA 15) that perform wonderfully but are slow. There aren't really any equivalents from CaNikon and so that causes the comparos to look even worse for Pentax.

09-11-2012, 06:33 PM - 1 Like   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
How likely is it that DXO are the authority for sensor performance, yet get it completely wrong on lens comparisons? I'm honestly wondering... can Pentax lenses really be this average compared to the other systems? Are we delusional holding up the K-5 DXO score, yet ignoring the DXO lens tests which show our lenses being sub-par.
Excellent question. I wish I knew the answer. Perhaps one of the high-tech gurus can tell us why their methodology for sensors is spot on but their methodology for lenses is subpar?
09-11-2012, 07:40 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by DogLover Quote
We all know that the K5 sensor is indeed pretty fantastic.
except it is a Sony Semiconductor sensor, so Pentax was only required not to spoil it like Sony Imaging did
09-11-2012, 07:42 PM - 1 Like   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
Excellent question. I wish I knew the answer. Perhaps one of the high-tech gurus can tell us why their methodology for sensors is spot on but their methodology for lenses is subpar?
go to SLRGear and see the same picture... why simply not accept the fact that Pentax does not make the best lenses ever when it comes to something that can be actually measured in numbers.

09-11-2012, 07:45 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by deejjjaaaa Quote
go to SLRGear and see the same picture... why simply not accept the fact that Pentax does not make the best lenses ever when it comes to something that can be actually measured in numbers.
So where in their analysis does bokeh come in?

Which would score better in their analysis - a perfect 50mm f/2 or an average 50mm f/1.4?
09-11-2012, 07:58 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by ElJamoquio Quote
So where in their analysis does bokeh come in?
suggest a metric for bokeh please - otherwise it is a matter of taste and your word is as good as a word of any C&N fanboy...

PS: it is exactly why DxO does not measure and account for a noise non uniformity - they do not have a proper metric, hence a camera/sensor w/ a lower noise might actually have banding which ultimately for you visually-wise is going to be worse than a camera/sensor w/ higher noise, but w/o banding.
09-11-2012, 08:05 PM - 1 Like   #37
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Is the bokeh of DA lenses really that great though? The only lenses that produce excellent bokeh of the (quite a few) Pentax lenses I've owned is the FA31 & FA77. I think we could make a case for that FA ltd pair (not so sure FA43 is in that company for bokeh), but I'm not sure any others deserve any special consideration?

Last edited by twitch; 09-12-2012 at 04:22 AM.
09-11-2012, 09:04 PM   #38
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They tested a bad copy

My DA* 55/1.4 is the best Pentax lens I have. I Also have the DA^ 50-135/2.8, the DA* 16-50/2.8, the 21/3.2 Limited, the 40/2.8 Limited, the 70/2.4 Limited, the 35/2.8 Limited Macro, the 35/2.4 DAL, the A 28/2.0, the A 135/2.8, and the A 35-105/3.5. I would keep the DA* 55/1.4 over ANY of them. (second place is a toss-up between the 70/2.4 Limited, and the DA* 50-135/2.8) Of course that's because it's better for the type of photos I usually take, not because of maximum resolution figures, edge sharpness, or any of the other usual criteria used to test lenses.

09-11-2012, 09:21 PM   #39
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My take on DA*55

One SDM contact on mine is broken. Expected cost of the repair is close to $200, since Criscam insists to replace the SDM motor as well. I have not had any major issues with the SDM, but CrisCam refuses to repair it otherwise.

Despite all of these, I love the DA*55. It works particularly well with K5 which has a much more accurate AF system than Kx. It is far superior to my F50 f1.7 at large apertures.
09-11-2012, 09:22 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
Is the bokeh of DA lenses really that great though? The only lenses that produce excellent bokeh of the (quite a few) Pentax lenses I've owned is the FA31 & FA77. I think we could make a case for that FA ltd pair (not so sure FA43 is in that company for bokeh), but I'm not sure any others deserve any special consideration? DA*55 has pretty average bokeh for instance, maybe it's lucky there wasn't a measure for it in this case?
I hate, hate, hate the bokeh of the Canon 50/1.4. Check out photozone's review.
09-11-2012, 09:32 PM   #41
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I tried 2 DA* 55mm lenses before going with Sigma 50mm. If I could find a DA* 55mm that could match my Sigma 50 I would buy it, as I really want this lens with weather sealing. The Sigma though is sharper from F/4 and wider and the HSM is faster. The Sigma is actually wider than 50mm coming it at nearly 47mm, so I might could justify having both. I think the bokeh on the Sigma 50mm and the 85mm is just about perfect.

I am hoping that Ricoh will get the Pentax lens R&D division back up and running and we see more lenses like the DA* 55mm in the near future.
09-11-2012, 09:48 PM - 2 Likes   #42
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It seems to me that everyone has jumped to the conclusion that DxOMark is somehow disparaging the lens in some way because it doesn't score highly in their system.

Did anyone read what they actually SAID about it?

"The beauty of bokeh – the aesthetic quality of a blur – is often admired by photographers and image enthusiasts alike. Some images with high bokeh resemble hybrid art – one part impressionist painting, one part photographic genius. These dream-like pictures are largely produced using lenses with really wide apertures, lenses like the Pentax smc DA Star 55mm f/1.4 SDM. Besides producing brilliant bokeh, the Pentax 55mm f/1.4 SDM’s large aperture settings give it an advantage in low light environments. The prime standard lens, which also becomes equivalent to an 82.5mm lens when mounted on an APS-C camera body, would be a great complimenting lens for Pentax portrait photographers."

And in conclusion-

"The Pentax smc DA Star 55mm f/1.4 SDM is a quality lens capable of producing quality images – it would be particularly well suited for portrait photographers who can use the lens’ extremely high aperture to produce compelling and dramatic images. But the lens is not for everyone, especially Pentax users who are on a budget. Fortunately, the camera maker has lower priced alternative lenses capable of creating images with similar results."
09-11-2012, 09:50 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mattco26 Quote
It seems to me that everyone has jumped to the conclusion that DxOMark is somehow disparaging the lens in some way because it doesn't score highly in their system.
For the record, I'm not disparaging the review, I'm disparaging their rating system. I feel it deserves scorn.
09-11-2012, 09:57 PM   #44
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based on Lenstip`s statement in DFA 100/2,8 macro WR lens review ("the K-5 gives exactly the same MTFs as the Canon 50D" Pentax smc D FA 100 mm f/2.8 Macro WR review - Introduction - Lenstip.com), I always compare DxO Pentax lens tests with K5 with Canon lens tests with the 50D and guess what - they are pretty close with Pentax lenses often getting better results...(DA 55/1,4 on K5 - 17 points, EF50/1,4 on 50D - 13 points)
09-12-2012, 12:36 AM   #45
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A while ago I did a test of the DA55 with my K20.
Here the lens was limited at f1.4 by the sensor (Nyquist artifacts).
The only disadvantage of the lens is the slow motor.
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