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12-16-2013, 02:24 PM   #406
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
I would be interested to know: complaints by whom?

What people expect from a $700 lens — a bokeh at the level of a $5000 lens? Or that a 55mm lens has the bokeh of the 105mm or 135mm lens? I'd really love to see all those who complained about it big time, to ascertain is their opinion worth listening at all.

It seems people stubbornly forget these days that lens design is increasingly a matter of rude compromises and a result of severe cost reduction, much more so than 30 years ago. And that it is a darn good luck that at least Pentax is willing to do something else considering enormous constraints on the budget in view of economic times. At least to me it seems that they would rather economise production of cameras, but still retain the flexibility to give users better and more unique lenses.

After reading many complaints on the net, to me it seems everyone would love to have a Pentax lens that behaves like a 50mm Summicron, or like that new uber-xpensive Zeiss 55mm, but that is costs 1/10 of their price. Right?

Well, there is nothing wrong shooting with a plastic Holga. By the way things are moving, in a decade or two it is perhaps all we'd get from any camera manufacturer.
Class A really doesn't like the DA *55. Not the rendering, not the bokeh, not the sharpness. I personally like it and in the focal length, the only options that are better are the Voigtlander 50mm f1.4 (manual focus, not available new in k mount) and Pentax A 50mm f1.2 (same as the Voigtlander). The 55 does have fairly busy bokeh wide open, but it isn't bad stopped down to f1.8 and it is the sharpest Pentax lens I have used -- sharper than my FA 77.

As you say, life is about compromises. If you want an auto focus lens in this focal length, it is a really nice option.

12-16-2013, 03:20 PM   #407
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It could be any of those things….. the technical end of lens production has apparently advanced so much, that things are possible now that weren't even possible in the past…. and quite possibly there should be a pie chart with all those things and a few we don't know about dividing up the pie with all the factors affecting modern design. It would be so cool to have someone who works in design at Ricoh/Pentax do one. Inquiring minds want to know.
12-16-2013, 03:59 PM   #408
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Class A really doesn't like the DA *55. Not the rendering, not the bokeh, not the sharpness. I personally like it and in the focal length, the only options that are better are the Voigtlander 50mm f1.4 (manual focus, not available new in k mount) and Pentax A 50mm f1.2 (same as the Voigtlander). The 55 does have fairly busy bokeh wide open, but it isn't bad stopped down to f1.8 and it is the sharpest Pentax lens I have used -- sharper than my FA 77.

As you say, life is about compromises. If you want an auto focus lens in this focal length, it is a really nice option.
I don't have a 55.

The bokeh looks fine to me (but not superb), the rendering looks fine to me. The test results show poor sharpness below F/4.

It's also not... heavy, but certainly not light, either.

To me it was a non-starter because of the SDM issues. The SDM issues seem to have sorted themselves out, though, so if Pentax makes a FF I might consider it.

Last edited by ElJamoquio; 12-16-2013 at 05:05 PM.
12-16-2013, 04:23 PM   #409
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote

There could be numerous reasons beyond merely the dismissal of lens engineers that Pentax does not design lenses to the old standard today - or that Hoya wanted them not to. There could be numerous reasons engineers were dismissed beyond mere salary economics. perhaps Hoya fuigured out that to bring precision manufacturing processes to lensmaking so that Pentax could win DXOMark tests would require gobs of capital - so they sold the entire company.

I don't know - do ya think?
Asahi Optical which became Pentax was — as it name suggests — an optics company. Despite designing cameras, we may assume majority of their workforce were optics engineers. If they needed to cut the jobs for mere salary economics, they'd economise within the largest group of employees, I'd suspect, no?
Besides, we indeed don't know details, and it's worthless presuming anything sinister or vile. Last information I've heard is that they are hiring again; but not advertising so loudly that an average idle grandma hanging around PF would be fully briefed about it.

12-16-2013, 06:10 PM   #410
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
Asahi Optical which became Pentax was — as it name suggests — an optics company. Despite designing cameras, we may assume majority of their workforce were optics engineers. If they needed to cut the jobs for mere salary economics, they'd economise within the largest group of employees, I'd suspect, no?
Besides, we indeed don't know details, and it's worthless presuming anything sinister or vile. Last information I've heard is that they are hiring again; but not advertising so loudly that an average idle grandma hanging around PF would be fully briefed about it.
We were speculating more about the change in lens design ethic and less about the hiring / firing decisions - except as they might have been causal regarding the design ethic change.
12-17-2013, 02:29 AM   #411
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IMO the only plausible design change requirement from Hoya was "make them cheaper".
OTOH, going digital changed some things.

Uluru, I'm not sure about the assumption that most of their employees were optical engineers... there are many things beside optical lens design they had to do, in order to put the products on the table.
12-17-2013, 02:43 AM   #412
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
We were speculating more about the change in lens design ethic...
I wasn't sure what PF users are exactly referring to, because the quality of Pentax lenses in digital times is better overall and embraces tighter tolerances than in the late film age.
The Golden age of film and MF lenses I won't mention or analyse, because everything was different then — and I'm not concluding it was better or worse — it was simply ... different.
12-17-2013, 04:20 AM   #413
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QuoteOriginally posted by ElJamoquio Quote
I don't have a 55.

The bokeh looks fine to me (but not superb), the rendering looks fine to me. The test results show poor sharpness below F/4.

It's also not... heavy, but certainly not light, either.

To me it was a non-starter because of the SDM issues. The SDM issues seem to have sorted themselves out, though, so if Pentax makes a FF I might consider it.
SDM is really not an issue with this lens. Haven't heard about significant failures, unlike the 16-50 and 50-135. As to sharpness, I am comparing it to the FA 77 and FA 50 and it is sharper at similar apertures than either of those.

12-17-2013, 04:38 AM   #414
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Pentax lenses has some unusual focal range, if we consider the products from other manufactures. In the same time, some very common lenses, like 70-200mm/f2.8, are missing from the products line. Anyway, we don't know the cause, but we can see the consequences. A relatively small number of new lenses made by Pentax in the last years.

Thank you God that the ''Hoya gap'' was short.
12-17-2013, 07:11 AM   #415
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimmyDranox Quote
In the same time, some very common lenses, like 70-200mm/f2.8, are missing from the products line. Anyway, we don't know the cause . . . .
Recent Pentax lenses in the K-mount have been designed for APS-C.
So instead of a 70-200/2.8,
you get a 50-135/2.8 as the APS-C equivalent.

Production of a good range of APS-C lenses
is one of the market strengths of Pentax.
12-17-2013, 07:20 AM   #416
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
I wasn't sure what PF users are exactly referring to, because the quality of Pentax lenses in digital times is better overall and embraces tighter tolerances than in the late film age.
The Golden age of film and MF lenses I won't mention or analyse, because everything was different then — and I'm not concluding it was better or worse — it was simply ... different.
Well we were kind of saying we miss the difference and we were discussing the nature of "quality," which in some ways we think is not better today. But you would need to read about 4 pages of interspersed posts to understand what we were writing about.

It's in the images, not the lenses themselves - designing lenses for the images, not for the tests, and for the taste of the viewer in image output, which likely has changed over time.
12-18-2013, 04:43 PM   #417
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unlikely for the FF next year but this is a trend. Maybe FF will be available in 2015 or later~
12-18-2013, 05:24 PM   #418
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QuoteOriginally posted by phoenix_xyh123 Quote
unlikely for the FF next year but this is a trend. Maybe FF will be available in 2015 or later~
Where did that come from? I thought we were at June to October 2014. Didd I miss something?
12-18-2013, 05:42 PM   #419
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Where did that come from? I thought we were at June to October 2014. Didd I miss something?
I don't think so. Of course, we won't know anything until a few days before the big reveal. I think a K3 with the larger sensor, IBIS resolved and the flash sync issue resolved as well. FA Limiteds get HD coatings and cosmetic updates, 2 f/2.8 zooms and the D-FA's - that should cover a lot of users' needs.

Of course I'm purely speculating.
12-18-2013, 06:00 PM   #420
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote

Of course I'm purely speculating.
Well ya, that's what we do here. Anyone expecting hard solid facts would have left pages ago.
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