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12-13-2013, 12:15 PM   #376
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QuoteOriginally posted by northcoastgreg Quote
The DA* 55 f1.4 was Jun Hirakawa's last Pentax designed lens. Last I checked, that was the highest scoring Pentax lens over at DxO. But Hirakawa didn't design the lens to score high at DxO.
Anyone know the release dates of lenses after that. I was actually wondering because it might corroborate that story about his retirement. I.e., if lenses after that did unusually well in DxO (for Pentax) from the surviving designers.

I haven't noticed anything aesthetically bad w/ the latest ultra sharp magic pixie dust lenses from Canikon though. They just look bloody sharp w/ a lot of microcontrast (which I think is a big part of the aesthetics, though you don't the in-lens PP vignetting w/ them).

12-13-2013, 12:33 PM   #377
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenyee Quote
Anyone know the release dates of lenses after that. I was actually wondering because it might corroborate that story about his retirement. I.e., if lenses after that did unusually well in DxO (for Pentax) from the surviving designers.

I haven't noticed anything aesthetically bad w/ the latest ultra sharp magic pixie dust lenses from Canikon though. They just look bloody sharp w/ a lot of microcontrast (which I think is a big part of the aesthetics, though you don't the in-lens PP vignetting w/ them).
I think they are all OK. The one thing I would say is that the out of focus rendering of the FA limiteds can be pretty special.

I do doubt the story about the scoring better in DXO Mark. Hoya just didn't release any super fast, super sharp lenses. Everything nice they released (DA *55, DA *60-250) was pretty much started under Pentax. Hoya releases were rebadges or, adding sealing (WR versions of existing lenses, DA 18-135, DA 35 f2.4, DA 50 f1.8). If you want to do well on DXO Mark, you need fast lenses with good light transmission and sharpness and that is what they weren't turning out.
12-13-2013, 12:58 PM   #378
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimmyDranox Quote
Kunzite, in this world, there are not many 100% reliable sources, on net or elsewhere. So everything, including what I know, is not 100% proof.

That's why I don't participate in long debates. I express my opinion once, and that's all.
I never asked for a 100% reliable source; the situation is the complete opposite, no source whatsoever was specified.
I'm not interested in determining who's right and who's wrong either, and I wouldn't mind if the engineers-fired-because-they-refused-to-make-Canikon-like-lenses theory would be proven to be well-founded (note that I'm not saying 100% certain). However, it appears that's not the case.

By the way, this is the translated technical report I'm talking about. I know it's better suited to the SLR lenses area (maybe it was already posted there), but since we started talking about Jun Hirakawa...
1.jpg (image)
2.jpg (image)
3.jpg (image)
4.jpg (image)
Translation done by nottoohairy / DPReview.

Rondec, that's exactly why I don't buy it, either. Lens development was in a sharp decline after the 2008 peak, the last Hoya-era high end K lens being the 2009 15mm f/4 Limited. Jun Hirakawa's last lens was announced in 2008, like all the other DA*s.
It all looks like cost cutting, not internal rebellion.
12-13-2013, 01:24 PM   #379
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
I never asked for a 100% reliable source; the situation is the complete opposite, no source whatsoever was specified.
I'm not interested in determining who's right and who's wrong either, and I wouldn't mind if the engineers-fired-because-they-refused-to-make-Canikon-like-lenses theory would be proven to be well-founded (note that I'm not saying 100% certain). However, it appears that's not the case.

By the way, this is the translated technical report I'm talking about. I know it's better suited to the SLR lenses area (maybe it was already posted there), but since we started talking about Jun Hirakawa...
1.jpg (image)
2.jpg (image)
3.jpg (image)
4.jpg (image)
Translation done by nottoohairy / DPReview.

Rondec, that's exactly why I don't buy it, either. Lens development was in a sharp decline after the 2008 peak, the last Hoya-era high end K lens being the 2009 15mm f/4 Limited. Jun Hirakawa's last lens was announced in 2008, like all the other DA*s.
It all looks like cost cutting, not internal rebellion.
saved those figures. nice info. thanks!

At this point, I will be happy even if PENTAX come out a nice 35mm film camera.
Film is not dead yet!

12-13-2013, 01:53 PM   #380
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Yeah, I know, film is not dead - it just smells funny
12-13-2013, 04:17 PM   #381
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
Lens development was in a sharp decline after the 2008 peak, the last Hoya-era high end K lens being the 2009 15mm f/4 Limited.
But after that release, there were new lenses for other formats, like Q and 645.
12-13-2013, 07:33 PM - 1 Like   #382
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
I never asked for a 100% reliable source; the situation is the complete opposite, no source whatsoever was specified.
I'm not interested in determining who's right and who's wrong either, and I wouldn't mind if the engineers-fired-because-they-refused-to-make-Canikon-like-lenses theory would be proven to be well-founded (note that I'm not saying 100% certain). However, it appears that's not the case.

By the way, this is the translated technical report I'm talking about. I know it's better suited to the SLR lenses area (maybe it was already posted there), but since we started talking about Jun Hirakawa...
1.jpg (image)
2.jpg (image)
3.jpg (image)
4.jpg (image)
Translation done by nottoohairy / DPReview.

Rondec, that's exactly why I don't buy it, either. Lens development was in a sharp decline after the 2008 peak, the last Hoya-era high end K lens being the 2009 15mm f/4 Limited. Jun Hirakawa's last lens was announced in 2008, like all the other DA*s.
It all looks like cost cutting, not internal rebellion.
Thanks Kunzite

I've compiled the original scans and English translation of the Hirakawa Jun article into a single PDF for everyone.

The pdf is here.
12-14-2013, 02:11 AM   #383
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gray Quote
Thanks Kunzite

I've compiled the original scans and English translation of the Hirakawa Jun article into a single PDF for everyone.

The pdf is here.
Thanks. I'm glad I managed to find it again

QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
But after that release, there were new lenses for other formats, like Q and 645.
Yes, indeed, the two D FA645 lenses (the 55 and the 25) should be considered high end; but the Q ones, not so much. This way we'd have one high end lens per year, between 2009-2011.
I'm not sure when they were developed - the 645 was first shown to the public in 2005, but after being practically re-done (with different electronics and more than double the resolution) it saw the market 5 years later.

12-14-2013, 02:36 AM   #384
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Hoya releases were rebadges or, adding sealing (WR versions of existing lenses, DA 18-135, DA 35 f2.4, DA 50 f1.8).
Except for the 18-135 which didn't exist at all and came straight to DC/WR version
12-14-2013, 04:21 AM   #385
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QuoteOriginally posted by thibs Quote
Except for the 18-135 which didn't exist at all and came straight to DC/WR version
True, but it certainly doesn't fit the bill of a lens "designed to score highly on DXO Mark tests."
12-14-2013, 05:30 AM   #386
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QuoteOriginally posted by northcoastgreg Quote
The DA* 55 f1.4 was Jun Hirakawa's last Pentax designed lens. Last I checked, that was the highest scoring Pentax lens over at DxO. But Hirakawa didn't design the lens to score high at DxO. That's just something that happened adventiously;
How do you know about the motives of Hirakawa?

Forgive me if I'm wrong, but this seems to me another piece of speculation. Monochrome may remember the rumour 100% correctly, but it still remains a rumour. I've read about it then, but also remember that no one ever knew anything definitive. To the best of my knowledge no authoritative account of what happened between Pentax and Hirakawa has ever been published. Just people speculating this and that.

FWIW, I love the 43/1.9 and 77/1.8 and very much agree with the design philosophy to fine tune the lens according to aesthetic considerations as opposed to optimising performance for certain optical benchmarks. However, I do not like the rendering of the 55/1.4. It may be Hirakawa's work but it appears to me too much emphasis has been given of improving performance at f/1.4 compared to the FA 50/1.4 and too little consideration was given to the quality of the bokeh. Some people like it, I personally find the 55/1.4's bokeh unappealing.
12-14-2013, 05:30 AM   #387
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
Yes, indeed, the two D FA645 lenses (the 55 and the 25) should be considered high end; but the Q ones, not so much. This way we'd have one high end lens per year, between 2009-2011.
I'm not sure when they were developed - the 645 was first shown to the public in 2005, but after being practically re-done (with different electronics and more than double the resolution) it saw the market 5 years later.
Well the Q Prime 01 lens is to be considdered as a very good lens I think. For the system it's build for I think that it even is a high grade lens.
12-14-2013, 06:34 AM   #388
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
How do you know about the motives of Hirakawa?

Forgive me if I'm wrong, but this seems to me another piece of speculation. Monochrome may remember the rumour 100% correctly, but it still remains a rumour. I've read about it then, but also remember that no one ever knew anything definitive. To the best of my knowledge no authoritative account of what happened between Pentax and Hirakawa has ever been published. Just people speculating this and that.

FWIW, I love the 43/1.9 and 77/1.8 and very much agree with the design philosophy to fine tune the lens according to aesthetic considerations as opposed to optimising performance for certain optical benchmarks. However, I do not like the rendering of the 55/1.4. It may be Hirakawa's work but it appears to me too much emphasis has been given of improving performance at f/1.4 compared to the FA 50/1.4 and too little consideration was given to the quality of the bokeh. Some people like it, I personally find the 55/1.4's bokeh unappealing.
Hirakawa's motives are clearly defined in his technical notes. Not only that, I've heard the " pictures design for the way people take pictures, not the test charts" line from the older Pentax reps, including an old guy from Japan who was at one of the Henry's EXPOsure shows a few years ago at the Pentax exhibit. The line was part of Pentax corporate culture. And was delivered with a certain degree of pride. I doubt that culture still exists, and I doubt that line is being repeated at this point.

Listen, you all can believe whatever you want, it doesn't bother me. My opinions are based on opinions gathered from talking to the few folks I've met who were familiar with Pentax culture. So, I'm not going to change them because of the opinions of those who have no such experience. It may not be they were fired. But they would have happily kept doing their jobs given a choice, and the old Pentax was a different place than the Hoya Pentax, so take out of it what you want. maybe if you don't read between the lines what I do, it's because you haven't read the same lines.

As for the 18-135, it has excellent centre sharpness all through it's range, even at 135mm it achieves excellent center sharpness @ ƒ5.6. If you look at the scores for the 31 limited, it has excellent centre and edge sharpness @ 5.6. The 18-135 has excellent centre and edge sharpness at 24mm. So with both lenses you have at different settings a different style of lens, offering the photographer excellent renditions of different styles depending on how the lens is configured. To me the 18-135 is the 31ltd of zooms… right in the Pentax tradition. Uncompromising when possible, sharp centre and soft edges when trade offs are required by design constrictions, as to tends not to be the case with manufactures like Sigma, who seem to go for a less centre sharp, but more consistent edge to edge philosophy.
12-14-2013, 08:03 AM   #389
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I so stated in my post that what I recall was at the time gossip - but it was gossip that I believe. Pentax has had a constant, strong retail presence in St. Louis (still does - everything is available in stores here and much is in stock; Pentax still supports Co-op local radio and TV spot ads, actually, on old-man classical music radio stations and re-run movie channels) and opinion such as what normhead writes has been part of the general fabric amongst the old heads here.

Of late, of course, everyone has gravitated to other brands because that's what buyers buy and sellers sell. Much of the Pentax discussion happens over the second-hand cases where I hang out. The "good stuff" stays under the counter and is shown to a select few who can afford it and who will appreciate it. Unfortunately for me the "afford" part is lacking. I sort of "rent" lenses for a year or two and then move on.

I think that's the best we're going to get out of this - we who have heard it from people we trust choose to believe it, but there likely won't ever be conclusive proof.
12-14-2013, 11:31 AM   #390
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Hirakawa's motives are clearly defined in his technical notes. Not only that, I've heard the " pictures design for the way people take pictures, not the test charts" line from the older Pentax reps, including an old guy from Japan who was at one of the Henry's EXPOsure shows a few years ago at the Pentax exhibit. The line was part of Pentax corporate culture.
This I believe.
But people don't do this as much any more IMHO...people do the LR thing, add vignettes in post, add gaussian noise to various layers and mask it, add noise to give it a "film look", etc.

If Hirakawa didn't agree w/ this, I can see how it would have gotten pretty ugly

That's not to say Bokeh is not important though...Sigma lenses regularly get ripped for "onion" bokeh...some older Nikon lenses also had noisy/jittery boken (not most of the new stuff though). And Nikon's 55/1.4 got ripped for being not sharp enough even though they tried for smoother bokeh.
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