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10-23-2008, 06:44 PM   #1
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PDN PhotoPlus Expo 2008 - long winded, rambling recap

I went today! i thought i would provide some thoughts/comments etc from my experience there as a pentaxian.

fyi: i don't think this post will be well organized, i just want to convey my thoughts before they are lost. all shots are k10d raw pef, processed in acr, but very minimally. exif should be intact. non-lens test shots are with fa35f/2.


i saw ned bunnell - did not meet him or anything, just saw him at the booth. also saw kerrick james and i think julie quarry (both sponsored/spokepersons). the pentax booth has the best seating that i saw - some great comfy chairs/couches.

no sign of da*30 or da15 limited - the booth attendants did not have much info (i maybe even knew more than a couple of them thanks to the inter-tubes and this forum), though one said da15 should be by christmas, i think, maybe. da*55 should be available by then also - they've had some delays with that lens.

all the other items were there. k2000 is very small, not exactly compact though b/c of the grip, etc. but small - a little too small for me (i can almost palm a basketball). (olympus e-420 is how i think small should be - no grip, like older slr's (cough...MX...cough). tried it, also too small for reall comfort, but its small in a more useful way since it has no grip). it lacks a number of controls i'm used to on the k10d that i don't think i would want to lose. the new gui for menu's and info screen is a nice improvement.

speaking of small, olympus had their micro-4/3 prototype on display. that looks really cool. i don't think it was any bigger than a canon g9.


sdm is not what it should be, imo. i had not used an sdm lens previously. it IS very quiet and smooth, but just as slow as screw-drive and no more accurate, based on my limited, non-comprehensive experience.

da*60-250 looks gigantic. i did not try it. i think i would rather get the 300, which is also quite large. 50-135 is really, really nice to hold, use (if only it had ring-drive focus motor...). k20d DNG files were noticeably slow to write on my sandisk 2gb extreme III card, versus k10d PEF's which are fine.

i was really hoping i could test out the da*55, and it happened! they had non-final/pre-production units the guy said, so be aware that that may affect my comments. it feels great on the k10d in terms of balance and size. mf feel was quite nice, a little looser than fa-limiteds i think, but noticeably damped (in a good way). better than focus ring on fa35/2 - loses the scratchy feeling, and not loose like that is. much better than da17-70 which was AWFUL - it's like the focus ring is just sitting loose around the outside, and it has maybe 1.5-2 inches of travel, yikes! focus on the 55 was not so great - slowish and not very accurate (hopefully b/c it was pre-production, hopefully). the pictures: really nice, when in focus. f/1.4 bokeh has double-lined watercolor look common to fast 50's, but stopped to f/2.4 (and maybe wider, too) it becomes much smoother. 3d look, smooth background, looks to resolve a lot... summary: i want it bad, but i hope the focus isn't as mediocre as it seemed.



f/1.4


f/2.4




fa31 and fa77: awesome! if you can afford it, BUY them! i wish i could get them. they are amazing. focus ring was not as great as i was expecting, but still much smoother than other AF lenses i have used.
fa77 @ 1.8


fa31@1.8



@2.8


i overheard a rep say that the optio w60 was the first product that hoya had substantial input on/influence over. i wonder how much they were part of k2000?

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


new leica slr: looks amazing. body size is not all that big, but sensor is huge. however, lenses are giant. i don't know why. they looked much bigger than my 645 medium format lenses. rep said summer 2009, price "competitive with medium format cameras/backs".



metz flashguns look pretty good, they feel well put together. very few buttons on the back, so might be a little complex to change settings.

amazingly there was no panasonic booth!? i wanted to check out the lx-3. and the g-1, but they were a no-show for some reason.

photoshop cs4, lightroom 2: look really nice! definitely some impressive stuff. as somebody next to me watching some demonstrations said: "i'm sold".

the novoflex items were very impressive. if you need an expensive ball head the magic ball looked really cool and solid. if you're into spherical panoramas, their stuff looks awesome, so solid, precise, well-thought-out. the new panorama=Q 6/8 base looks really nice. gotta love that German engineering. if only it all wasn't so expensive. if they make anything of the type you need and you are willing to spend what they ask, i wouldn't even think of buying from anyone else.

10-23-2008, 06:58 PM   #2
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metz

Thanks for the interesting report.

QuoteOriginally posted by architorture Quote
metz flashguns look pretty good, they feel well put together. very few buttons on the back, so might be a little complex to change settings.
It's not really complex, but it is a bit clunky. You press two of the buttons simultaneously to get to a menu of options which you then scroll through. Despite the oddity, overall the UI is easier to pick up than that of Sigma flashes, which had me scratching my head and resorting to the manual over and over. The Metz manual is basically optional.
10-23-2008, 07:19 PM   #3
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Pentax at Photo Plus Expo currently in progress in New York City. Oct 23 - 25






Hi Pentaxian friends,


Photo Plus Expo is one of the most Important Event in Photography: October 23-25, 2008. Located at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City the show boasts a huge expo floor, hundreds of exhibitors, thousands of new products and a conference with over 100 seminars, and most importantly, Pentax is exhibiting big time.


As promised yesterday, a downloadable pamphlet about the new K2000 DSLR is available here.
K-2000 Pamphlet



Pentax has a large booth (No. 936) on the floor. If you live near New York City, maybe should go. You'd get to hold and try all the latest equipment and lenses. You can talk with Pentaxians Photographers. Here are a few pictures of Pentax presence at the show.







This is the stage where Pentaxian Photographers present their work and explain the virtues of Pentax DSLRs and equipment.



On the background screen , you can see Mark Dimalanta, one of the Pentaxian Photographer.




In this view, you can see Julie Quarry giving her presentation, while the guy behind the listeners, with the red shirt, watches. That guy, is world known Kerrick James who is also a Pentaxian photographer. If you visit the show, you need to listen to the presentations. These photographers are inspiring. They will take the time to chat with you.

I will post more about the Photo Plus Expo as I get more news.

Thank you for reading,

Yvon Bourque
10-23-2008, 08:22 PM   #4
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Looks like a great show!

Did you get the discount codes for products from B&H? They usually hand the discount codes ,like PSNOV######## ,out at major events and they're usually another 10% or more off already low prices.

Can you post the B&H discount codes for new equiptment please or provide a handy link if one exists? I'm intersted in discount codes for pentax and canon

Thanks!


Last edited by Samsungian; 10-24-2008 at 04:32 AM. Reason: I Removed the original quote I reponded to per K100d request
10-23-2008, 09:18 PM   #5
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Samsungian, was it really necessary to duplicate the entire post for your comment? :S edit: thanks Samsungian

anyways ... nice reports! i've been asking everyone who's attended trade shows about the DA*55. it'd better be good for the MSRP That they're asking for it :| ... the double line bokeh seems quite strong at least in the background that you've taken it. i'm also quite mystified by why they've made the focus throw so short; i would guess that'd be to speed up AF but it seems that hasn't been the case in your experience.

glad you liked the FA Limiteds tho ... can't imagine giving mine up. nobody makes lenses that small, that fast, that well built, and with such high IQ

really looking forward to the Oly 4/3's concept ... they need to show some wide fast primes. the opportunity is definitely there

Last edited by k100d; 10-24-2008 at 04:14 PM.
10-24-2008, 03:38 AM   #6
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Architorture,

First and foremost thank you for the comprehensive report! I was impressed by the lack of color/contrast degradation of the new DA*55 @f1.4 compared to the second picture. If I understood correctly the comment about the short focus trow was about the DA17-70., not DA*55 isn't it?

Regards,
Radu
10-24-2008, 07:27 AM   #7
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Thanks for the report. I got all giddy reading it, really. The DA* 55 looks to be a keeper, though my funds would probably not allow me to get one this soon (as well as the FA Limiteds). I'll probably pick up an FA 50 for now and save up for the gems. I do hope the FA Limiteds would still be available new when I'm finally able to free up money for them.

Again, thanks for the good report.
10-24-2008, 08:06 AM   #8
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Thank you for the report - I have the pass and everything, but didn't make it there yesterday and won't make it today... so this is as good as having gone!

The only other thing I'd have looked for, and wonder if anyone who's gone may have seen: Did Fuji or Voigtlander or Cosina show the upcoming 6x7 folding camera?

10-24-2008, 08:20 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by vinzer Quote
Thanks for the report. I got all giddy reading it, really. The DA* 55 looks to be a keeper, though my funds would probably not allow me to get one this soon (as well as the FA Limiteds). I'll probably pick up an FA 50 for now and save up for the gems. I do hope the FA Limiteds would still be available new when I'm finally able to free up money for them.

Again, thanks for the good report.
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
10-24-2008, 08:49 AM   #10
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Thanks for your insight.
10-24-2008, 09:14 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nesster Quote
The only other thing I'd have looked for, and wonder if anyone who's gone may have seen: Did Fuji or Voigtlander or Cosina show the upcoming 6x7 folding camera?
i asked at the fuji booth about it, since it was not on show. the rep said it is a joint development btwn fuji and cosina, made by cosina. will be sold by fuji in japan, cosina in US (that's why fuji was not showing it). i don't remember him having any release date.
10-24-2008, 09:23 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by RaduA Quote
I was impressed by the lack of color/contrast degradation of the new DA*55 @f1.4 compared to the second picture. If I understood correctly the comment about the short focus trow was about the DA17-70., not DA*55 isn't it?
the consistency btwn the two may not be the lens. the exposure difference was iso 800vs1600 (which could affect color etc.) not shutter speed, and i actually adjusted them quite a bit in acr, since they were rather crappy straight - the f/2.4 shot was overexposed. this is how the two look with acr's default settings:


the way i wrote it, yes that is what i was intending to say. however, k100d is right, the focus throw is somewhat short on the da*55. for some reason it did not bother me as much, maybe because the rest of the lens was so fantastic, where as the rest of the 17-70 was a little junky (not everything).

Last edited by architorture; 10-24-2008 at 09:35 AM. Reason: add info
10-24-2008, 11:10 AM   #13
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Thanks a lot for taking the time, very interesting
10-24-2008, 11:37 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by architorture Quote
the consistency btwn the two may not be the lens. the exposure difference was iso 800vs1600 (which could affect color etc.) not shutter speed, and i actually adjusted them quite a bit in acr, since they were rather crappy straight - the f/2.4 shot was overexposed. this is how the two look with acr's default settings:

the way i wrote it, yes that is what i was intending to say. however, k100d is right, the focus throw is somewhat short on the da*55. for some reason it did not bother me as much, maybe because the rest of the lens was so fantastic, where as the rest of the 17-70 was a little junky (not everything).
I still don't find the f1.4 picture to be washed out in any way and a far cry from what my FA50 could do wide open. In the end this is the reason to buy a very fast lens. IMO the only real competitor for the DA* opticaly is the new Sigma and I fully expect it to better both that one and the Canon 50/1.2 (what's 2.5x the price where I live) from 1.4 upwards.

We'll see,
Radu
10-24-2008, 12:53 PM   #15
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Thanks for the shots from the DA* 55mm! I sold my 50mm 1.4 a few months ago in preparation for this lens!
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