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10-24-2008, 12:55 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by RaduA Quote
IMO the only real competitor for the DA* opticaly is the new Sigma
What about Voigt 58mm? I'm considering a fast portrait prime for the distant future, and the comparison I'm waiting for is DA*55 vs Voigt58 (optically, extra features aside).

10-24-2008, 01:38 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by ariahspam Quote
What about Voigt 58mm? I'm considering a fast portrait prime for the distant future, and the comparison I'm waiting for is DA*55 vs Voigt58 (optically, extra features aside).
Hi, Ariahspam!

In fact all current designs (incl our 50mm variants, Nokton, Canon 1.4, Zeiss 1.4) are all based on Zeiss planar design (7 elements/ 6 groups). The Nokton is a very nice lens but I don't think it will hold a candle to the DA*55 for design reasons especially at wider apertures.
Canon 1.8 is a 6/5 design with 5 blade aperture . Newer designs (Canon 1.2 and Sigma 1.4) are 8 elements / 6 groups designs with an aspherical element. The recently announced Nikon 1.4G is a 8/7 design. All those 4 lenses are from the last generation and the rest should be outclassed in terms of border resolution, CA, color/contrast at wide open. At least this is the theory.
The new DA* 55 is a different 9 elements / 8 groups design. Anyway I have very high hopes for this lens.

Regards,
Radu
10-24-2008, 08:00 PM   #18
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Was there today and will be there tomorrow... It was interesting at the Pentax booth. All the regular faces almost are gone, part of the restructuring and sending the repping out to a 3rd party company. I only saw one of the usual office personnel that I talk. Meet with and got to play with a few things (tomorrow will be the macro flash and the DA*55mm today was the 17-70 and 60-250 both great lenses. The latter has a massive patruding barrel when zoomed to 250mm, but is not too heavy IMHO. Not more than a 70-200 F2.8 at least.
Overall impression was rather dismal compared to years past I must say. I know Photokina was a boom for them and maybe they are just coming down from that "high" but we shale see. First time in my life though that I have ever seen pentax as a true underdog at the show as the staff was lacking enthusiasm (I got the feeling that many were "forced" to be there) and the booth was almost identical to last year... oh and Mark D wasn't there to pump in his energetic stance to photography and the brand.
Now if they could just get the enthusiasm that I see at every other booth and they would be right back in the game.

Oh and anyone planing on going tomorrow, PM me with your cell I can get it at the show, Planing on a few beers and good Irish pub-grub after
10-24-2008, 10:18 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by RaduA Quote
Hi, Ariahspam!

In fact all current designs (incl our 50mm variants, Nokton, Canon 1.4, Zeiss 1.4) are all based on Zeiss planar design (7 elements/ 6 groups). The Nokton is a very nice lens but I don't think it will hold a candle to the DA*55 for design reasons especially at wider apertures.
Canon 1.8 is a 6/5 design with 5 blade aperture . Newer designs (Canon 1.2 and Sigma 1.4) are 8 elements / 6 groups designs with an aspherical element. The recently announced Nikon 1.4G is a 8/7 design. All those 4 lenses are from the last generation and the rest should be outclassed in terms of border resolution, CA, color/contrast at wide open. At least this is the theory.
The new DA* 55 is a different 9 elements / 8 groups design. Anyway I have very high hopes for this lens.

Regards,
Radu
Hi Radu,

When I read your reply.. I realized 'ariahspam' is such a weird nick... so I went and modified my signature.

Back on topic, well it is true that the Voigt is soft at wide apertures, but isn't this desirable for portraits? Voigt's boke is nice except for boke from metallic reflections. Let's hope DA*55's boke stands up to everything and, well if price drops to 450 approx then it would be a no-brainer over the Voigt.

Anyways, aside from theory, a side by side comparison is something I'd like to see as they will be exposed to subjective comparison for each person to decide which rendering they like the most.

Of course I'm not understimating DA*55, only that I think the Voigt58 is, at least optically, a worthy competitor.

10-24-2008, 11:47 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by architorture Quote



zeiss 28mm f/2: not amazingly impressive in 2 minutes of use. very heavy (feels unbalanced on my 10d imo), focus ring a little too tight, and bokeh not so impressive, based on very limited testing (~5 shots). wide open and still even at f/2.8 oof highlights are nasty - ringed and with a bullseye in the middle. they said i was the first pentax camera of the day at ~1:30 pm .
f/2


f/2.8

Thanks for the report Archi, so I can assume from this you'd rather have the 31 limited over the 28mm Zeiss?
I love the tactile experience of using the Nokton, so would assume the Zeiss brings this to the comparison over the 31mm, but the 31 has many other advantages (exif data, weight, price, AF, two colours (lol)).
If I could only be persuaded the 31mm renders better than the 28mm my choice will be made...
10-25-2008, 12:19 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by ariahspam Quote
Hi Radu,

When I read your reply.. I realized 'ariahspam' is such a weird nick... so I went and modified my signature.

Back on topic, well it is true that the Voigt is soft at wide apertures, but isn't this desirable for portraits? Voigt's boke is nice except for boke from metallic reflections. Let's hope DA*55's boke stands up to everything and, well if price drops to 450 approx then it would be a no-brainer over the Voigt.

Anyways, aside from theory, a side by side comparison is something I'd like to see as they will be exposed to subjective comparison for each person to decide which rendering they like the most.

Of course I'm not understimating DA*55, only that I think the Voigt58 is, at least optically, a worthy competitor.
Hi, Dani! (btw, it seems much better this way )

I agree with you 100% in saying that we don't make pictures with the theory but with lenses. The Nokton is a very nice lens and I contemplated buying one except that the price in Europe is not that smaller compared to what I pay for the DA*55. In Germany it is about 350 Euro plus shiping so I wouldn't save a lot. In the US the situation is probably much different (I guess it's 379 USD and the Pentax 700-800 USD). About the bokeh I have great hopes in part based on the 9 rounded blades (again from what I know only the new Sigma has this in the 50-60 mm fl).

Time will tell.

Regards,
Radu
10-25-2008, 05:00 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by RaduA Quote
Hi, Vinzer

I bet there will be a lot of FA50 for sale soon. I know for sure that mine is si I'll bet you won't find it difficult to get one (either new or used).

Regards,
Radu
Hope it also forces FA 50 prices to go down. I'll be waiting with open arms for the onrush of FA 50s.

I still hope I can nab a DA* 55 in the future. That really looks to be one fine lens.
10-25-2008, 08:29 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by RaduA Quote
...About the bokeh I have great hopes in part based on the 9 rounded blades (again from what I know only the new Sigma has this in the 50-60 mm fl).

Time will tell.

Regards,
Radu
I see in even the Pentax literature of the 55/1.4 that bokeh is associated while describing their curved blades. I have to admit a sense of frustration with # of blades becoming a status quo equated with 'bokeh'. Let me explain:

The aperture can regulate the amount of bokeh seen (stopping down expands depth of field) and the number of blades influences the shape (increasing roundness) of bokeh highlights, all of this only when the lens is stopped down. The wider the aperture, the less influencial the effect. At f1.4, the aperture has no effect on the light passing into the lens at all.

Quality of oof area (bokeh) is strictly a matter of optical formula.

In the end, the new 9 element optical formula of the DA* might show us something, I'll also await with curiosity.

(FWIW, I prefer pentagonal (5-blade) highlights best)

QuoteOriginally posted by lbam Quote
Thanks for the report Archi, so I can assume from this you'd rather have the 31 limited over the 28mm Zeiss?
I love the tactile experience of using the Nokton, so would assume the Zeiss brings this to the comparison over the 31mm, but the 31 has many other advantages (exif data, weight, price, AF, two colours (lol)).
If I could only be persuaded the 31mm renders better than the 28mm my choice will be made...
Both are strong optics. Best to ask which way you prefer to work - manual focus or AF? I'd say if you prefer the Nokton's manual focus or if you value close focus type work, the Zeiss is in a league apart. If you rely on AF as your main way of working, of course, the 31 is the more useful lens. Aside from company name, Exif should be fine for Zeiss and Voigtlander lenses (for lens, it reads 'A series lens')

10-25-2008, 09:36 AM   #24
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The bokeh of DA*55 is another than FA50. I like it.
Contrast is very high, but all photos are back focused and blurred.
10-25-2008, 09:45 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by RaduA Quote
In Germany it is about 350 Euro plus shiping so I wouldn't save a lot. In the US the situation is probably much different (I guess it's 379 USD and the Pentax 700-800 USD).
I somehow thought the DA*55 was going to be 600usd hehe so I guess we really want DA*55 to be superior in all terms. And yes, it sucks having to pay more... but the average salary in Europe is proportional to one in the US? At least in my country it is not, so I'm going to great extremes only to get a basic setup, but this lens is something I'm definitely buying in the far future if it holds up to the expectations.

QuoteOriginally posted by thePiRaTE!! Quote
The aperture can regulate the amount of bokeh seen (stopping down expands depth of field) and the number of blades influences the shape (increasing roundness) of bokeh highlights, all of this only when the lens is stopped down. The wider the aperture, the less influencial the effect. At f1.4, the aperture has no effect on the light passing into the lens at all.

Quality of oof area (bokeh) is strictly a matter of optical formula.
Thanks for the insight. It makes sense.

QuoteOriginally posted by thePiRaTE!! Quote
In the end, the new 9 element optical formula of the DA* might show us something, I'll also await with curiosity.
Well, after all it IS the first DA* prime! We have to set our bar high and Pentax has to jump it. Also impatiently waiting for DA*30 specs!
10-25-2008, 10:25 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by thePiRaTE!! Quote
I see in even the Pentax literature of the 55/1.4 that bokeh is associated while describing their curved blades. I have to admit a sense of frustration with # of blades becoming a status quo equated with 'bokeh'. Let me explain:

The aperture can regulate the amount of bokeh seen (stopping down expands depth of field) and the number of blades influences the shape (increasing roundness) of bokeh highlights, all of this only when the lens is stopped down. The wider the aperture, the less influencial the effect. At f1.4, the aperture has no effect on the light passing into the lens at all.

Quality of oof area (bokeh) is strictly a matter of optical formula.

In the end, the new 9 element optical formula of the DA* might show us something, I'll also await with curiosity.

(FWIW, I prefer pentagonal (5-blade) highlights best)



Both are strong optics. Best to ask which way you prefer to work - manual focus or AF? I'd say if you prefer the Nokton's manual focus or if you value close focus type work, the Zeiss is in a league apart. If you rely on AF as your main way of working, of course, the 31 is the more useful lens. Aside from company name, Exif should be fine for Zeiss and Voigtlander lenses (for lens, it reads 'A series lens')
Hi, Kelly

The bokeh preferences are a matter of strong personal opinion I think. In the end many aspects (both measurable or subjective) of a lens can be judged wildly different by 2 persons. Considering the amount of experience and skill you have I have no intention to argue with you (especially since I agree with everything you said). The DA* 55 seems a very promissing lens let's hope it will deliver.

Regards,
Radu
10-25-2008, 10:44 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by ariahspam Quote
I somehow thought the DA*55 was going to be 600usd hehe so I guess we really want DA*55 to be superior in all terms. And yes, it sucks having to pay more... but the average salary in Europe is proportional to one in the US? At least in my country it is not, so I'm going to great extremes only to get a basic setup, but this lens is something I'm definitely buying in the far future if it holds up to the expectations.

In the developed contries of EU the salary is at least on par with american wages. In Romania the average salary is about 500 Euro (about 800 USD). But we also pay the value added tax of 19% so this counts too in the final price.

Thanks for the insight. It makes sense.

Well, after all it IS the first DA* prime! We have to set our bar high and Pentax has to jump it. Also impatiently waiting for DA*30 specs!

Technically it's the third DA* prime (after DA* 200/2.8 and 300/4) but those two probably had some ancestors in the Pentax history for design inspiration.
Regards,
Radu
10-25-2008, 10:45 AM   #28
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I also attended the Photo Plus Expo. I met and spoke with Julie Quarry after one of her presentations. Like someone else in this post said, Kerrick James and Julie Quarry's photography is inspiring. I missed Kerrick Jame's presentation as I was attending a different one, but I hope other attendees had a chance to see it.

This was my second time attending the Expo and my first visit to B&H. They have quite a set up! I purchased a small item and from the time I asked a sales rep for assistance to receiving the product, it took about 5 minutes.

I hope everyone who attended enjoyed themselves!
10-25-2008, 11:24 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by lbam Quote
Thanks for the report Archi, so I can assume from this you'd rather have the 31 limited over the 28mm Zeiss?
I love the tactile experience of using the Nokton, so would assume the Zeiss brings this to the comparison over the 31mm, but the 31 has many other advantages (exif data, weight, price, AF, two colours (lol)).
If I could only be persuaded the 31mm renders better than the 28mm my choice will be made...
It is one of my clear favourites the 28/2 from zeiss and I would consider it a very real rival to the FA31.
Contrasty, excellent colour, pleasing renderings and that wonderful smooth manual focus feel I just adore. Not to mention rock solid build.
I am however glad I do not have to choose between the two, very difficult it would be.

Now bear in mind that I use it on 35mm and I have heard from a couple of APS-C users now that they dislike it, so there is a chance this is one of those rare lenses that actually works better on 35mm than APS-C...
10-25-2008, 06:24 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by lbam Quote
Thanks for the report Archi, so I can assume from this you'd rather have the 31 limited over the 28mm Zeiss?
I love the tactile experience of using the Nokton, so would assume the Zeiss brings this to the comparison over the 31mm, but the 31 has many other advantages (exif data, weight, price, AF, two colours (lol)).
If I could only be persuaded the 31mm renders better than the 28mm my choice will be made...
i used the zeiss for all of 2 minutes, so i can't say i'm an authority on it (likewise for the 31), but yes, i would definitely rather have the 31 over the zeiss 28.

btw, i went back to the zeiss booth and asked about the focus ring feeling stiff (esp, compared to their 85mm), and the rep tried it and said that they are the "same" but 28mm lens has smaller lens barrel, so is harder to turn. he may be right, but that is a rather technical interpretation, imo. they should make it so the feel is the same, not the friction coefficient or whatever they did.
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