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12-11-2013, 03:52 AM - 5 Likes   #331
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
A K-3 produces terrific images… I'm not sure how that is in any way relevant… no one is saying you can't take a good picture with an FF, there are advantages, well documented, but to say there are advantages, without pointing out there are also disadvantages, is just propaganda. This whole "anything you can do on APS-c you can do on FF" is pointless propaganda. Both systems have strengths and weaknesses. But with equal Mp, they are pretty close to the same images produced on both with some differences that probably don't matter, 95% of the time, for daylight shooters.
I am getting the sense, with your constant "propaganda" accusations, that you are assuming that I am some FF fanatic trying to sell people FF cameras. I am not interested in "converting" anyone to the "FF cause". I am simply trying to provide objective information to a discussion about the properties of formats, and clear up the misrepresentations being thrown around as fact. Spin it as "propaganda" all you want.

I am not opposed to smaller formats than even APS-C, being a multi-system user, currently with both a Pentax APS-C and Micro Four Thirds system. I am well aware of the relative mertis of every system. I bought Pentax APS-C for their rugged, smaller, feature packed cameras compared to other manufacturers' price-class equivalents. Later, I decided I wanted a system with smaller, high quality zooms for everyday carrying around, and dead on focusing accuracy for situations where I don't have the time and/or inclination to double check the focusing accuracy of PDAF, which led me to the Micro 4/3 system.

I don't try to sell people cameras that they don't need, formats or brands. I try to give objective information for questions so as to give people the clearest picture. When my friends and family ask me why my photos look better than their cell phone shots, I don't tell them it's "because my sensor is bigger", which is a gross oversimplification/misrepresentation of the advantages of large sensor system cameras, nor do I bombard them with specs about specific cameras, which is not meaningful information to them or their fundamental question. I tell them that system cameras have the capability (indirectly tied to sensor size) and direct control to get the photos I want. If they want my old cameras, or want to buy a camera like mine, I usually end up suggesting they get an advanced compact like the RX100 which gives them manual control if they care to really learn photography, while still having plenty of automatic functions and pocketable size for when they inevitably don't (even if I give them a photography book or offer to teach them). Pushing any format for whatever reason doesn't help them if they don't really understand the capabilities, or how to take advantage of them. I'm assuming people on this forum are more informed on the principles of photography, and so information on the inherent properties of different formats is more relevant to them, particularly with the prevalence of these FF rumors which inevitably degenerate into theoretical FF vs APS-C arguments.

Now, if you want my "real world", subjective opinion on FF, I will say I believe Ricoh should come out with one, not because I believe it is the ultimate format, or that everyone should buy one, but that it will give people actively dissuading people from Pentax less excuses to use. I have seen discussions on Amazon about people buying their first DSLR and considering Pentax, with others directly telling them that it's a "dead end" system because there is no "FF upgrade path". Even if most people probably will not buy one even if it did come out, the halo effect will boost the standing of the entire brand.

If Ricoh does come out with a FF that follows the Pentax philosophy of small, rugged and feature packed, I will probably get it because low light performance and fast wide angles appeal to me for my own shooting interests. Even if I do get it, it would not replace APS-C and M4/3 as my everyday cameras, with the zoom lenses being too big and heavy to carry around all day. If they don't release one, then I don't see myself picking up a FF anytime soon. I have held a D800, 5D Mark III and A99 in my hands, and I did not like them because they are huge. The Sony A7s don't appeal to me either, as I would like to AF with my FA lenses, and the current Sony FE lenses are relatively slow, meaning they don't allow you to take advantage of many of the inherent capabilities of FF.

(Sorry to all for the triple post )


Last edited by Cannikin; 12-11-2013 at 05:44 AM.
12-11-2013, 11:00 AM   #332
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Dear colleagues, I have just visited Pentar Russian Pentax) and now I have two news to us. As usually the one news is good, the second is bad.
The good news is that the FF system has a good and predictable future.
The bad news is that I have promised do not distributed widely what I have been told about it.
At least I should say that the things are going more and more exiciting and promising.
But in some future.
12-11-2013, 12:16 PM   #333
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You can post it here, we won't tell anybody!
12-11-2013, 12:54 PM   #334
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QuoteOriginally posted by Grokh Quote
Dear colleagues, I have just visited Pentar Russian Pentax) and now I have two news to us. As usually the one news is good, the second is bad.
The good news is that the FF system has a good and predictable future.
The bad news is that I have promised do not distributed widely what I have been told about it.
At least I should say that the things are going more and more exiciting and promising.
But in some future.
I would like to believe Pentax Russia have close relation with Pentax Japan...
If no FF next year, it will be "why bother?" for Pentax...

SONY A7/A7r changes everything.
People can get A7 for $1700.
or they can get K-3 + 18-135 for about the same amount.
It is smaller, lighter and can adapt lots of glass (minus AF), but they will think hard.

The longer they delay, they harder they pull out something interesting.
Seeing the price drop on K-3 seem faster than K-5II/K5IIs and much much faster than K-5, the competition just don't wait for Pentax.

If they have something in mind, they need to announce it: Those who want APSC won't stop buying K-3, those who want FF will wait.


12-11-2013, 01:55 PM   #335
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QuoteOriginally posted by LFLee Quote
I would like to believe Pentax Russia have close relation with Pentax Japan...
To paraphrase one famous lady: Of course they do! Hell, if you stand at the eastern edge of Russia, you can probably see Japan across the water!
12-11-2013, 07:30 PM   #336
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QuoteOriginally posted by Grokh Quote
Dear colleagues, I have just visited Pentar Russian Pentax) and now I have two news to us. As usually the one news is good, the second is bad.
The good news is that the FF system has a good and predictable future.
The bad news is that I have promised do not distributed widely what I have been told about it.
At least I should say that the things are going more and more exiciting and promising.
But in some future.
Why does a rumor always come from Pentax Russia? I was at a talk show for the K-3 in November in Japan, and nobody talked about FF. I met a Pentax guy, but didn't ask about it, thinking that he is also fed up with rumors spreading on the net.
12-11-2013, 08:09 PM   #337
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Grokh, I understand that you promised not to widely distribute what you have learned. But you can distribute tightly, through a PM to another forum member. After that ...
12-11-2013, 08:30 PM   #338
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cannikin Quote
The Sony A7s don't appeal to me either, as I would like to AF with my FA lenses, and the current Sony FE lenses are relatively slow, meaning they don't allow you to take advantage of many of the inherent capabilities of FF
As long as you realize your FA lenses will probably have crappy looking borders
That was a big issue w/ the older FA lenses....even on film, they were sharp mostly in the middle..

It takes a lot of glass to make the entire frame sharp..hence the big heavy Canikon lenses. Even Nikon's 1.8 lenses are much bigger than our Ltds for the same rason.

It's all a tradeoff...edge sharpness, speed, weight, cost...pick 2.

12-12-2013, 01:01 AM   #339
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimmyDranox Quote
Grokh, I understand that you promised not to widely distribute what you have learned. But you can distribute tightly, through a PM to another forum member. After that ...
Yeah, let's share through PM's
12-12-2013, 04:39 AM   #340
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenyee Quote
As long as you realize your FA lenses will probably have crappy looking borders
That was a big issue w/ the older FA lenses....even on film, they were sharp mostly in the middle..

It takes a lot of glass to make the entire frame sharp..hence the big heavy Canikon lenses. Even Nikon's 1.8 lenses are much bigger than our Ltds for the same rason.

It's all a tradeoff...edge sharpness, speed, weight, cost...pick 2.
We'll see. I don't think the FA limiteds are as bad as you make them out to be. I also think it is understood that if you want borders that are sharper, you will have to stop down a little. The biggest issue I have with the FA limiteds is the purple fringing and I imagine that Pentax would give them an update with a full frame camera release, to change their coatings, add quick shift, maybe seal them (and increase the price a bundle).
12-12-2013, 05:19 AM   #341
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenyee Quote
As long as you realize your FA lenses will probably have crappy looking borders
That was a big issue w/ the older FA lenses....even on film, they were sharp mostly in the middle..

It takes a lot of glass to make the entire frame sharp..hence the big heavy Canikon lenses. Even Nikon's 1.8 lenses are much bigger than our Ltds for the same rason.

It's all a tradeoff...edge sharpness, speed, weight, cost...pick 2.
Very true!

Back in the film days vignetting was highly appreciated. A good lens was supposed to show vignetting. And the borders were supposed to be soft, because that's where the out of focus parts of your picture were anyway. And sometimes I even agree, such characteristics is where the 3D-look comes from. And the FA-'s reputation for performing better on real-world examples then on flat test-charts confirms it.

That's what I like about a device like the A7(r). You can use the Zeiss 55 1.8 with ultramodern optics (Sony Lens: Primes - Sony FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* SEL55F18Z (Tested) - SLRgear.com!) with no CA, no distortion, and very good sharpness. But also still enjoy the character of older lenses.
12-12-2013, 05:47 AM   #342
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
Very true!

Back in the film days vignetting was highly appreciated. A good lens was supposed to show vignetting. And the borders were supposed to be soft, because that's where the out of focus parts of your picture were anyway. And sometimes I even agree, such characteristics is where the 3D-look comes from. And the FA-'s reputation for performing better on real-world examples then on flat test-charts confirms it.

That's what I like about a device like the A7(r). You can use the Zeiss 55 1.8 with ultramodern optics (Sony Lens: Primes - Sony FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* SEL55F18Z (Tested) - SLRgear.com!) with no CA, no distortion, and very good sharpness. But also still enjoy the character of older lenses.
Vignetting is easy to fix in post or, even automatically with in camera lens corrections. This actually seems to be the "modern" way -- just look at Olympus and Panasonic for examples of companies that "fix" their lenses flaws in camera.

But, I think that the flaws of the FA limiteds are often overstated by those who have not used them on film. And they are relatively modern designs, coming from the late 90s/early 2000s, unlike some of the ancient lenses used by Canon/Nikon that have their roots in the 70s!
12-12-2013, 06:08 AM   #343
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Vignetting is easy to fix in post or, even automatically with in camera lens corrections.
Blurry corners and borders aren't though. What's gone is gone. That's why I'm more a fan of adding vintage characteristics in post (if/when desired) then trying to undo them in post.


QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
But, I think that the flaws of the FA limiteds are often overstated by those who have not used them on film.
When using them on a 5DII they perform very nicely. There is softness in the corners and borders though. But I'll say again, that's part of their unique rendering.
12-12-2013, 07:24 AM - 3 Likes   #344
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At least used on APS-c a lot of those soft edges are cropped off. People demanding FF coverage for their older Pentax glass, should be careful what they wish for. That being said, my 18-135 theoretically has terribly soft edges, describes as coke bottle bottoms, yet of the 20,000 images taken with this lens, the apparently soft borders was an issue in maybe 2 or 3 images. People forget, the way Pentax designed lenses was a design philosophy. "Lenses designed for the way people take pictures, not to do well on numeric charts." And while we can't expect everyone creeping into Pentax land to understand the merits of that design philosophy, Pentax lens designers certainly did. I just find it odd, that folks now attribute the Pentax look to some kind of trade off, an un-intentional side effect of the desire for lighter smaller lenses. On the same site where people have to switch to Nikon or Canon to get better rendering in their out of focus areas. Pentax has always said, they didn't deign for test charts, although that changed with the DA* 60-250.

It's somewhat ironic. That so many buy into Pentax for the price and old glass, that so many didn't realize was designed with a different design philosophy, and they squawk like a bunch of chickens when they find out Pentax was never just a Canikon clone. But Pentax FA glass, was designed to have a centre as sharp as any available and edges that gave smooth bokeh, because it was a bit softer. Those who take pictures in a style for which it was intended love it. For those technical lenses, appropriate to architecture etc. may have to look somewhere else, like Sigma or Tamron for their lenses. Or just switch to one of the companies that have designed for even performance on a test chart as part of their design philosophy for years.

Just with my experience with the "horribly soft" 18-135 @ 135mm, I can see what the Pentax engineers understood. If Pentax traded centre sharpness for edge sharpness in this image… it certainly worked for me.



I don't pretend to know all the ins and outs of Pentax lens design. But I know there was a design philosophy that apparently cost a lot of Pentax engineers their jobs, when Hoya wanted to make them Canon, Nikon, Sigma clones. And that as one who has some edge sharp glass that performs well on the test charts, the world will never see glass like the old FA glass again. The design team chose not to change philosophy to the Canikon model and were fired.

Pentax engineers were clearly looking at other factors besides the measuables.. distortion, CA and edge sharpness. I think they were looking at how those effects could be combined to produce an image that would be pleasing for 90% of what most photographer took pictures of. Exactly what they were looking at we'll probably never know. But I suspect they were looking at things like, how pleasing are the images rather than how sharp is the glass.

I have a Sigma 8-16, sharp edge to edge, distortion corrected etc. but my wife hates the picture taken with it. If she's not right dead centre, they actually distort how she looks. She looks much more natural with an uncorrected lens. Your eye is not used to seeing uncorrected images. They don't look natural. The human eye is one lens, and the brain is used to seeing a certain amount of field curvature and softness at the edges. Only in this day and age of technology that ignores human form would you even have to make this statement.

SO now you get people complaining about soft edges, as if there is something wrong with that. Use the glass for what it was designed for, and you won't have issues with soft edges. Especially, if you just throw out the numbers and start shooting. Because their are qualities in these images, my guess is, you aren't ever going to see again, in new lenses.

And I'm going to say right up front. If you don't appreciate those qualities, you shouldn't be a Pentax shooter. The goal was never to be Canikon clones, especially in the area of lens design., but to be a unique company with a different philosophy. It would seem, a lot of people just don't get that, and continue to harp on the "center sharp, edges not so sharp thing." There is a lot more to a lens than sharpness. It's unfortunate that so many come with the attitude that equal sharpness across the frame is a goal worth attaining, per se. Maybe, maybe not. I fail to see why a style of lens that is more desirable shooting buildings with straight lines on one plane should be considered the best type of lens for everyone.

The old Pentax guys knew they weren't. That's the Pentax "thing". Those who came to Pentax with knowledge of the product, always knew that. Leaving it to for those who have most of their experience with other systems to say "hey something's different". Yes something is different. But that doesn't mean the old users want it changed. And why the new comers would want every lens to be a heavily corrected -sharp edge to edge, technical marvel, that doesn't take realistic looking images , I have no idea. It's part of the "everyone has to be the same" philosophy that got the Pentax design team fired. If you're taking pictures of buildings with straight lines, use the Sigma 8-16, if you're taking pictures of people use the 10-17 fisheye. You'll have a lot more fun that way. And don't let anyone convince you you only need the Sigma. Its a technically better lens, but it doesn't appeal to the human aesthetic when used for images of people.

And if you really think the old Pentax design team was wrong… there are lot's of other companies that think the way you think, enjoy them.. Too bad you can't enjoy the Pentax guys, but, there's absolutely no pay off in wishing Pentax was the same as all the others. They weren't. Intentionally. It's not that they were wrong, it's that they were different.

After paying a lot for a heavily corrected lens with low CA and next to no distortion, and looking at the images, all I can say is, "you folks are being conned." As a walk around lens with people in the frame, it's an inferior lens. Excelling on the tech specs on the test charts does not make good people lenses.

Last edited by normhead; 12-12-2013 at 07:55 AM.
12-12-2013, 07:37 AM   #345
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
Blurry corners and borders aren't though. What's gone is gone. That's why I'm more a fan of adding vintage characteristics in post (if/when desired) then trying to undo them in post.



When using them on a 5DII they perform very nicely. There is softness in the corners and borders though. But I'll say again, that's part of their unique rendering.
I think what is nice is that if you want clinical edge to edge sharpness, you can get the Sigma 35 f1.4 or Sigma 85mm f1.4, whereas if you want Pentax rendering and borders aren't that important the FA 31 and FA 77 are quite nice. From what I have seen, at least with regard to sharpness, the new Sigma lenses measure up quite well against the best that Canon/Nikon offer.

That said, I own the 31 and 77 and will be quite satisfied with them on full frame.
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