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10-30-2015, 12:38 PM - 4 Likes   #1
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Some news from the Quebec city photo expo

I've just come back from a photo expo/show in Quebec city. Two Pentax/Ricoh reps, nice talks, plenty of time since I got there at the opening of the first day.

I'll post pictures (test shots mainly) later this evening if I can.

First, I got to handle the new 24-70. Wonderful build quality of course, lighter than I expected, a bit large for my taste. Focuses VERY fast, as fast as the 16-85 which is presently my reference.

Second, I got to test the 70-200!

The rep said it was a "near-final" prototype of the lens, with AF being the only difference. It was very fast already, and seemed very accurate also. The lens felt well balanced, when no camera is attached it can stand on its (large) foot without tilting. I took several test shots wide open. If AF is better on the final product, it's going to be a winner.

The rep said it would be available in a few weeks. I said I'd post this info on pentaxforums, he said "no problems"... he seemed pretty confident.

The only downside is that the lens is HUGE. And heavy. I have no problems handling my 60-250 without a tripod or other support, but with that lens it would be impossible, except in very bright sunlight for short periods of time. Price is supposed to be 2500$ CAD.

I took a few pictures of the lens with my DA40, and after testing all those DC lenses, screw-drive felt weird...

They also had the 150-450, smaller than I would have thought, and the 20-40 which I tested. It let me confirm that I chose well with the 16-85, it suits me better.

The guys there had an old but perfectly preserved Takumar lens, and it attracted a lot of attention, surprisingly. Last year they were pushing the Q, this year a lot of energy was put on the Theta.

There was a 560 mounted on a gimbal, an impressive lens, sturdy and light! AF was good even in the low light of the building, but only a K-5 was attached to it, not the best tool to really convince people the AF is top-notch.

Full frame will launch in Spring, not before, according to these guys. They didn't seem to like that...

I got to play with other products, of course. I a nutshell : Canon and Nikon still felt boring. Sony's products has a distinct "modern" look and feel to them, but I didn't like the ergonomics. Fuji's X cameras felt nice, well thought-off, a lot of customization, large EVF. The lenses felt cheap (I'm sure they aren't) and the products in general felt ok, but not as easy to handle as a Pentax.

A fun time at the show! Feel free to ask more questions.

10-30-2015, 12:42 PM   #2
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I wish I was on that side of the country right now ...
10-30-2015, 12:46 PM   #3
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I should have taken a day off to get there from my place: 2 hours drive away!
10-30-2015, 12:47 PM   #4
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Very nice!
So they didn't exhibit the K-1(?) even under glass this time? Did you ask them what's the trick of the screen?
Anything about Q system? we need a faster prime and a better standard zoom, and a macro lens. pixel shift on Q?

10-30-2015, 12:56 PM   #5
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I'm assuming they would not talk at all about the FF, even about the snafu of its early unveiling.
10-30-2015, 01:38 PM   #6
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Thanks for the report. It's good to see that the 70-200 is close to ready. Obviously, it's a newer design, with built-in AF drive, but I'm interested to see how it stacks up against the FA*80-200/2.8, including weight-wise. The FA* lens is no lightweight, either, at 1.51 kg. Would you think this new lens is even heavier than that?
10-30-2015, 05:20 PM - 1 Like   #7
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by jpzk Quote
I should have taken a day off to get there from my place: 2 hours drive away!
Still going on until Sunday!

QuoteOriginally posted by grahame Quote
So they didn't exhibit the K-1(?) even under glass this time?
No, but it's a pretty small shows, I'd say. I wouldn't have expected it.

QuoteOriginally posted by grahame Quote
Did you ask them what's the trick of the screen?
Wouldn'T say

QuoteOriginally posted by grahame Quote
Anything about Q system?
didnt ask, some models on display, less than last year, they were going strong on the Theta, apparently it's already being ordered more than they expected. It's pretty large, larger than I expected.

QuoteOriginally posted by sholtzma Quote
I'm assuming they would not talk at all about the FF, even about the snafu of its early unveiling.
"It's going to be great, innovative, we can't wait to start selling it"...

QuoteOriginally posted by RobA_Oz Quote
The FA* lens is no lightweight, either, at 1.51 kg. Would you think this new lens is even heavier than that?
Considering the 60-250 is about 1,1 kg, I'd say the 70-200 is heavier than 1,5 kg. Definitely hard to handhold.

Now, for some pictures! Click on them for full-size, and please remember those are handheld, ISO 2000 on the K-3, under low light. Most shots are wide open, my Smugmug gallery will tell you all the EXIF you want to know... Center AF for all.

24-70 24mm



24-70 70mm



24-70 24mm



24-70 70mm



70-200 70mm



70-200 200mm







And last, two body shots of the 70-200 taken with the DA40.



10-30-2015, 08:13 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
"It's going to be great, innovative, we can't wait to start selling it"...
That's what I like to hear! Thanks for sharing.

10-30-2015, 09:18 PM   #9
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Nice report...thanks! I also have the 60-250mmD* and love it, but would sell it and purchase the 70-200mm now that my kids are not playing sports every weekend. Why? It's a f/2.8, and assuming it is sharp wide open it will be a go to lens for portraits. Perhaps not if it weights THAT much, but we'll see. The size and weight is what you expect with glass that lets in so much light with the typical pro build.
11-02-2015, 06:20 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by quant2325 Quote
Perhaps not if it weights THAT much, but we'll see. The size and weight is what you expect with glass that lets in so much light with the typical pro build.
I'd say it's probably a bit heavier, but not much, than the Tamron 70-200. It's metal, so there's that. Comparable to the Nikon 70-200 from what I've seen, the main difference is that the Nikon gets narrower near the body, while the Pentax has a fixed diameter. I see it more as a sports lens (with a monopod) than a portrait lens, but that's just me. I'd choose the 50-135 for portrait myself.
11-02-2015, 06:27 AM   #11
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I think it looks big and heavy. If you want the best, you have to sacrifice something to get better performance. With this lens it's carrying more weight.
11-02-2015, 06:41 AM   #12
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I swear, when I can afford it, I'm going to have to pick up that 24-70...
11-02-2015, 10:56 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by totsmuyco Quote
If you want the best, you have to sacrifice something to get better performance. With this lens it's carrying more weight.
Actually, comparing it with the 60-250 (I can't believe I forgot to shoot a side by side pic) convinced me of why I like APS-C.

QuoteOriginally posted by WillWeaverRVA Quote
I swear, when I can afford it, I'm going to have to pick up that 24-70...
That one looks very exciting, especially in the studio.
11-02-2015, 11:05 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
I've just come back from a photo expo/show in Quebec city. Two Pentax/Ricoh reps, nice talks, plenty of time since I got there at the opening of the first day.

I'll post pictures (test shots mainly) later this evening if I can.

First, I got to handle the new 24-70. Wonderful build quality of course, lighter than I expected, a bit large for my taste. Focuses VERY fast, as fast as the 16-85 which is presently my reference.

Second, I got to test the 70-200!

The rep said it was a "near-final" prototype of the lens, with AF being the only difference. It was very fast already, and seemed very accurate also. The lens felt well balanced, when no camera is attached it can stand on its (large) foot without tilting. I took several test shots wide open. If AF is better on the final product, it's going to be a winner.

The rep said it would be available in a few weeks. I said I'd post this info on pentaxforums, he said "no problems"... he seemed pretty confident.

The only downside is that the lens is HUGE. And heavy. I have no problems handling my 60-250 without a tripod or other support, but with that lens it would be impossible, except in very bright sunlight for short periods of time. Price is supposed to be 2500$ CAD.

I took a few pictures of the lens with my DA40, and after testing all those DC lenses, screw-drive felt weird...

They also had the 150-450, smaller than I would have thought, and the 20-40 which I tested. It let me confirm that I chose well with the 16-85, it suits me better.

The guys there had an old but perfectly preserved Takumar lens, and it attracted a lot of attention, surprisingly. Last year they were pushing the Q, this year a lot of energy was put on the Theta.

There was a 560 mounted on a gimbal, an impressive lens, sturdy and light! AF was good even in the low light of the building, but only a K-5 was attached to it, not the best tool to really convince people the AF is top-notch.

Full frame will launch in Spring, not before, according to these guys. They didn't seem to like that...

I got to play with other products, of course. I a nutshell : Canon and Nikon still felt boring. Sony's products has a distinct "modern" look and feel to them, but I didn't like the ergonomics. Fuji's X cameras felt nice, well thought-off, a lot of customization, large EVF. The lenses felt cheap (I'm sure they aren't) and the products in general felt ok, but not as easy to handle as a Pentax.

A fun time at the show! Feel free to ask more questions.
Thanks for the report. I'm glad to hear that Ricoh Imaging Canada is showing signs of life.
11-02-2015, 11:15 AM   #15
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I figured I had the 24-70 range covered for FF with my Tamron 28-75 but I have to say this one looks damn sexy. Tempting!
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