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02-24-2017, 10:07 AM - 2 Likes   #571
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The meat of Norm's above comment (rendering and luck) is part of why I don't think Pentax will rework the FA Limiteds with modern coatings, WR barrels and focus motors. First, that's too much work - just start over with a clean sheet. Second, by definition a reworked FA Limited is something other than one of the Princesses.

I think they'll keep making them exactly as they are until they run out of glass blanks or people stop buying them. Same with the FA 35 & 50 and DFA Macros.

02-24-2017, 10:29 AM - 5 Likes   #572
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
And as has been pointed out countless times, lenses like the 31 and 77 are loved more for their handling of out of focus areas than they are for their sharpness. My Sigma 18-250 could never match my DA*60-250 for bokeh, even shot at the same FL and aperture. That's why we still have the 60-250 and gave the 18-250 to my daughter in law. Digitalis once posted a comparison of the 31 and Sigma 30 1.4. There was a very subtle difference in OoF areas in favour of the 31. That's why the 31 is highly regarded and the 30 1.4, not so much. What many seem to fail to understand is that the differences between average lenses and really good lenses, can be very subtle. If you're looking for a huge difference with lenses made in the last 10-15 years, you probably won't find them. And I guarantee you, if Pentax could do what they did with the 31 and 77 with every lens, they would have. There seems to be an element of luck involved. You're much better off to buy what's really good, than hope something better will come out. The odds are seriously against that, although, it could happen.

Or buy what has the aperture and FL you need and don't worry about pixie dust. There's more than one way to think about lenses.
Exactly!

Yet pixie dust is really a matter of engineering and physics. The shapes of the bokeh, color casts, color fringing around bokeh, "busy" bokeh etc. are all predictable consequences of the lens design, manufacturing techniques, and materials. It's simply a matter of the designer looking into it (and having a company that's willing to pay the development and manufacturing costs to build in pixie dust).

Whether a lens designer spends time optimizing the design for pixie dust or devotes it to corner-to-corner DXO MTF resolution is the bigger issue. (And whether the market rewards companies who try to win the DXO game versus the pixie dust game is an even bigger issue). It seems that Pentax already has competitive options for pixie dust lenses and is now trying to fill-in it's offerings on the big-aperture, DXO/MTF side of the spectrum.

And maybe they are being extremely clever about it. One could describe their intended lens line up as:

31Pixie, 35DXO, 43Pixie, 50DXO, 77Pixie, 85DXO
02-24-2017, 10:54 AM   #573
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QuoteQuote:
・High-performance Star (★)-series lens with high-resolution , high-contrast images and beautiful bokeh (defocus) effect
Pentax answer to this question in the announcement, they do target a good contrast and a good bokeh too. The price and the size are the cost trying to shine in both resolution, contrast and rendering.
02-24-2017, 11:00 AM   #574
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
Here are a few, shot by yours truly. Be sure to click the images to get full res.

In a studio setting, both at F5.6





Handheld, at F3.5 (the focus point was not perfect in this case, but since we've been splitting hairs :P look at the hair above the head)



another handheld at F3.5. Not a good example for sharpness but good for rendering:



More than the brutal sharpness, however, enjoy (I think) examples of why I think the 77 is a superb lens, sharp or not. The bokeh, the rendering, the out of focus transition, the colours.
Thank you lovely shots, I'll have a look at the full res files when I get to the computer. However the shot of otus I linked was wide open, I really like how shallow dof portraits look and that's what I'm looking for)

02-24-2017, 11:01 AM - 1 Like   #575
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
if Pentax could do what they did with the 31 and 77 with every lens, they would have. There seems to be an element of luck involved.
And some Jun HIrakawa involved, too.

QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
whether the market rewards companies who try to win the DXO game versus the pixie dust game is an even bigger issue
You nailed it.

QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
I don't think Pentax will rework the FA Limiteds with modern coatings, WR barrels and focus motors
WR and new focus motors could be done without touching the optics. Caotings, not so much.

QuoteOriginally posted by awscreo Quote
Thank you lovely shots, I'll have a look at the full res files when I get to the computer. However the shot of otus I linked was wide open, I really like how shallow dof portraits look and that's what I'm looking for)
I'm not sure I have samples at F1.8, but I'm sure the ens clubs and lens photo archive could provide some. Regarding the out of focus rendering however, I for one think the two last images show what to expect from the 77.
02-24-2017, 11:03 AM - 1 Like   #576
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
And some Jun HIrakawa involved, too.
Ya I was thinking that too, but there's a dude who claims Jun Hirakawa accomplished nothing during his time at Pentax, I was trying to avoid him by not mentioning Hirakawa.

I just find that kind of lunacy extremely distasteful.

If Hirakawa had only designed the 77, he'd still belong on the designer hall of fame.

Last edited by normhead; 02-24-2017 at 11:12 AM.
02-24-2017, 11:24 AM   #577
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QuoteOriginally posted by mee Quote
Can and do! I'm sure it hurts sales... the difference is a Canon or a Sony can afford it...

I suspect it would crush tiny Pentax right now...
I'm not sure it would. The adapters would likely be all manual focus (few adapters on the market support AF, and as I understand it, it's often slower than native), and they'd lose their WR, a big Pentax selling point.
02-24-2017, 11:28 AM   #578
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QuoteOriginally posted by pres589 Quote
There's so much more to a lens than comparing line pairs or brick wall charts. A better comparison would be two well trained, experienced photographers walking together through a few different areas shooting pictures. One with a K-1 and a 77 Ltd, the other with an 85 Otus and, I don't know, some camera that you can mount that on that compares to the Otus. Come back with their resultant shots and compare.

It would be an interesting test. It would also be a little silly since you can't buy an Otus that mounts to a Pentax, and vice versa with the 77 Ltd. So a thought exersize and maybe a way to compare a classic Pentax lens with a modern Zeiss. What would be more useful perhaps would be this upcoming DFA*85 that is getting talked about now. That would help someone considering a platform change or stepping up to serious pro-level hardware a chance to see what Ricoh's offering the world.
I'd settle with an example of wide open portrait with K-1 and 77 ltd, just to compare with the image I've linked.

02-24-2017, 11:34 AM   #579
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I can't imagine the FA*85 being changed all that much for the digital age... it's a lovely lens that is plenty sharp and has a wonderful rendering....
02-24-2017, 11:38 AM   #580
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
And some Jun HIrakawa involved, too.


WR and new focus motors could be done without touching the optics. Caotings, not so much.


COATING is just like a bit of sugar on the cake. It is important, but not that much.

The reason why there si no FA* glass any more probably is in LEAD and other "hazardous substances" reduction. Yes there are exception for lenses and for example Zeiss happily continues to use leaded glass which has better optical performance, but it seems that in Japan they are taking this more seriously than requested by ecoterrorists.

Same applied for thorium doped elements in old Takumar lenses..


Anyway it would be great if Pentax could produce at least some limited amount of K28/2, A*85/1.4, A*135/1.8 and A*200/4 Macro every year. Possibly add some FA* like FA*24/2 and FA*85/1.4. Even though they probably will be very expensive, they could drag enthusiasts starving for excellent images.
02-24-2017, 11:39 AM   #581
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The reason why the lens is big, could it be contain a sort of optical stabilization that works together with the IBIS ? Could be shooting in the dark without tripod?
02-24-2017, 11:40 AM   #582
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QuoteOriginally posted by SBeck Quote
I can't imagine the FA*85 being changed all that much for the digital age... it's a lovely lens that is plenty sharp and has a wonderful rendering....

No film on this planet has some comparable parameters to 6.6 um pitch digital sensors. Which is current edge in 24mpix APS-C and will be reached by 50-55 mpix FF cameras very soon.


But yes, FA*85/1.4 is piece of quite good optics.

---------- Post added 24-02-17 at 07:42 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
The reason why the lens is big, could it be contain a sort of optical stabilization that works together with the IBIS ?
no way



50/1.4 lens with optical stabilizer would

a) have horrible image
b) be huge, heavy and extremely expensive if image quality should match at least sigma 50/1.4
02-24-2017, 11:59 AM - 1 Like   #583
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
The reason why the lens is big, could it be contain a sort of optical stabilization that works together with the IBIS ? Could be shooting in the dark without tripod?
More likely is that the DFA*50 f/1.4 uses the same distagon-style retro-focus design found in the:

Zeiss Otus 55/1.4:


SIgma 50/1.4 Art:
02-24-2017, 12:44 PM - 1 Like   #584
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
The reason why the lens is big, could it be contain a sort of optical stabilization that works together with the IBIS ? Could be shooting in the dark without tripod?
I think they designed such a big lens to increase its image circle way above 24x36 mm to use only the best, core part of it to obtain sharpness from border to border. Also they might made it with real aperture of 0.7 or so and diaphragmed it down to 1.4 to decrease aberrations.
02-24-2017, 12:50 PM - 1 Like   #585
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QuoteOriginally posted by awscreo Quote
I'd settle with an example of wide open portrait with K-1 and 77 ltd, just to compare with the image I've linked.
I think the reason you won't get many responses here is that many of us here find that kind photo annoying, and I wouldn't remember it if I'd seen it.You are one of the rare individuals who is caught up in one of the functions I would call "the idiosyncrasies of cameras.". The fact that shooting a 1.4 lens wide open is possible, doesn't make it necessarily a good thing. But if you like that, you might have to become the expert. We await your results.

The reason I can't link to a photo like that is, I don't think it's a good image.

But hey, that's just me... carry on as before.
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