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04-08-2016, 11:40 AM   #106
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mothballs Quote
Why throw the baby out with the bathwater? There are some very very excellent film era lenses that would need relatively minor adjustments...
Sure, no argument. And Pentax is still making the FA Limted lenses. But when you start with "relatively minor adjustments" how minor are we talking? A small change causes other factors to have to change. An element in an old lens made with glass that is no longer available means a change to something else. Many companies know how to make a 50mm lens, right? So why is the new Sigma 50mm so different? Sure doesn't look much like my Pentax-F 50mm f/1.4.................

I'm sure not saying they are going to forget everything they know about optics. But I also do not think we are going to see any old designs just get copied. We have the knowledge and tools to do better and will.

05-01-2016, 02:18 AM   #107
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
I think all modern lenses (except budget or compact designs) should minimally be equipped with silent AF and weather sealing. The roadmapped DFA primes look promising:

2016 Pentax Full Frame Lens Roadmaps - CP+ 2016 | PentaxForums.com
New FF primes are not yet here. Opposite to DA primes, we can expect that D-FA primes will be large aperture and thus fairy large. Performance should be very nice, price quite expensive. I am more interested in primes than zooms, too bad we only have new zooms at the moment - noz all of which are Pentax designs.
05-01-2016, 05:17 AM   #108
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QuoteOriginally posted by zapp Quote
Performance should be very nice, price quite expensive. I am more interested in primes than zooms, too bad we only have new zooms at the moment - noz all of which are Pentax designs.
But those zooms are still rated very highly, even if they are collaborations.

And yes, FF glass will probably be bigger than the APSC glass, but I hope Pentax will continue its lineup tiers. I like that there are Limited lenses, which are compact and have wonderful lens character, and then * lenses, which are large, fast aperture, lots of features (WR, QS,..). This gives options to everyone.
Luckily, lots of the current FA, DFA, and even DA glass seems to work well on FF format, not to mention older film era lenses and third party glass. So even among the currently available lenses, there is quite a lot of choice.
06-02-2016, 07:30 AM   #109
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There is no way a manufacturer is going to start from scratch designing a new lens. Optical design is a very mature field and the differences are rather small and start with known formulas. Witness Zeiss and the Planar. Planars were terrible lenses when first designed over 100 years ago until they learned to coat them. Computer designed aspherical elements and advances in optical coatings are the real contributors to improvements in lenses, not new designs.

06-21-2016, 12:51 PM   #110
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
I would really like Pentax to revisit cult classics. I'm afraid some of them are no longer deemed competitive, though.. Like Pentax K 35mm f3.5, K 28mm f3.5 - interesting lenses, but the aperture would be considered far too slow for today's standards.
SMC Pentax 28mm F3.5 Reviews - K Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
This. The K-series was really Pentax's heyday, before they cheapened the designs and lightened the build quality.

QuoteOriginally posted by Tan68 Quote
Unless they become the FF equivalent of the small DA Ltd lenses.. The 35/2 is not large, so I figure adding screw drive to your f/3.5 lenses needn't make them much larger.

However, I am afraid too many people would think f/3.5 is too slow and would opt for larger lenses with silent drives and weather sealing. I figure most will not care about 'small'.

I hope Pentax does, in some way, continue to entertain the idea that small aint bad. Do the world need another f/1.8 WA lens with seals and motors? Think of a few small lenses for the children with kittens...
It's about sharpness, not speed. The f/3.5 lenses are sharper wide open than most f/2 lenses stopped down. Unless you really need the extra stop and a half, they are a better choice.

QuoteOriginally posted by KDAFA Quote
And soul, rendering character, are difficult (or sometimes plain impossible?) to measure, so they tend to get dismissed in all the interest for numbers. But it's real, it's there, and adds tremendous value to a picture.
As someone once put it, they don't think it be like it is, but it do.

Leica glow is spherical abberation. Smooth bokeh can be produced with defocus control or apodization elements. "3D effect" is the result of good microcontrast and good lighting.

I don't deny that certain lenses have something people define as "character", but it's definitely possible to optically analyze what's going on and replicate it in another lens. There is no "magic fairy dust element" in a lens.

It's fine to like the rendering characteristic of a lens, but don't over-romanticize it. It's perfectly possible to set an atmosphere with a new superlens, or even a crappy old lens. Historically most photographers have worked with something like a triplet, Tessar, or Planar, and that's that.

---------- Post added 06-21-2016 at 04:08 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
They still couldn't sell an HD A50/1.2 low enough to affect the clearing prices of the legacy lenses. It isn't a bubble. People aren't buying them today to flip next month at a 25% profit. They're only $600 tops and they don't actually SELL above that. Some crazy Korean Buy It Now trolls might list higher, or Kevin, but that's a wish and a prayer.

The Samyang UMC 50/1.4 is $369. The Pentax SMC A50/1.4 is $125. I think the price ratio would hold 2x for 1.2 lenses new vs. legacy, at least, so $1,200 or more for a manual focus, manual aperture A50mm f/1.2 re-run. $1,800 if built to Limited or * standards.

If we want to talk stupid high clearing prices, let's talk A*85/1.4 with hood and caps.
Yeah, the 50/1.2 is just scarce. It was an expensive lens and not that many were produced and sold compared to the 50/1.4s. It's not scarce in absolute numbers, but there's not enough to go around relative to the number of people who want it.

Forget modern lenses, personally I think 50/1.2s are actually the epitome of "bland, boring lens". It's the same Planar optical formula as a 50/1.4, except pushed so fast that the corners turn into mush. OK, whatever floats your boat, I'm not paying $600 for that. A 35/1.4 beats 50/1.2 any day of the week for low-light shooting, and there's tons of good-looking short-tele lenses for portraits.

I could see the merit of owning something like a 50mm f/0.95, but practically speaking I know the 35/1.4 is still just as good in the role and doesn't cost as much as a full P645Z setup.

The A* lenses are pretty overpriced in general. They're nice lenses, but they're very scarce and not worth the prices they go for. I'd rather shoot a K135/2.5 or a Nikkor 105/2.5 and keep the money in my pocket.

I would actually put the K28/2 in the same boat. I'd love to own one, but I can't justify it. The K28/3.5 is fantastic too, and much more reasonably priced. Oddly, the K28/2 and K35/3.5 are dirt cheap in their P67 incarnation - you may know it as the Pentax 67 55/4 and the P67 75/4.5.


---------- Post added 06-21-2016 at 04:18 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by mee Quote
Petapixel ran that article 2 weeks ago. Comments section rips it to shreds.

The Problem with Modern Lenses
This is absolutely pathetic, guy's blaming the lens for differences in lighting and small variations in focus placement.

The comparison with "flat nose and head" is different because the background in the second is farther behind and thus is more out-of-focus, meaning the subject is more isolated. And sure, defocus-control lenses isolate the subject from the background very sharply - but wasn't he just complaining about modern characterless super-lenses?

The one thing I will say is that I think aspheric elements can sometimes give funky bokeh. Not nervous, not ringed, just "weird" somehow. Might be something to do with apodization caused by light passing differently through the aspheric elements or something. Could just be a lack of spherical abberation, or all in my head.

Last edited by Paul MaudDib; 06-21-2016 at 01:34 PM.
06-21-2016, 01:48 PM   #111
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@Paul MaudDib

The left side of my brain agrees generally with your thoughts on prices, output* and value. The right side of my brain says, "Who cares? Shoot the scarce lens because you can."



* My K35/3.5 and K28/3.5 images are generally 'better' (color, contrast, subject separation) than K35/2 and K28/2. I have attributed this to my desire to use a wider aperture than optimal (when possible) on the faster lenses - because I can; or maybe that I'm not good enough for the lenses.

OTOH maybe it's the lenses after all.
06-21-2016, 01:52 PM - 2 Likes   #112
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mothballs Quote
Except Zeiss is still using the Planar as a base for practically everything. Just tons of refinement.

Why throw the baby out with the bathwater? There are some very very excellent film era lenses that would need relatively minor adjustments...
Even Pentax is still using the Planar as a base. Every 50/1.4, 50/1.8, 50/2, 55/1.8, or 55/2 lens is a Planar at its heart. Pentax used to have some other designs back in the Asahiflex days - the 58/2.4 was a Heliar type and the 58mm f/2 was a Sonnar type.

The fact that coatings were finally coming of age was a major reason why the other types died out. They had fewer air-glass interfaces and so tended to flare less and lose less contrast. Once coatings fixed this problem with the Planar's many air-glass interfaces they faded away.

They seemed to work particularly poorly as SLR lenses, as there are some rather good Heliar and Sonnar lenses for rangefinders and LF cameras.

QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
But are they taking any of the film era lenses and re-using the optical formulas? I don't think so. They might start with the old formula, or maybe not even bother. A lot of that old glass was very good, and still is if you overlook the issues such as fringing, flare and CA. I have and use a lot of old glass but look at the relatively simple optical formulas of those lenses compared to the really complex ones being used on modern glass. (For better or worse based on the arguments on this forum )
I think any new glass is mostly going to start from scratch as far as the optical formula goes. We have better design tools, different glass, different ways of forming optics, different requirements for digital sensors, and even new environmental rules all of which means nostalgia is fine but they are still starting over as far as R&D is concerned.
A lot of the modern lenses are essentially direct descendents of the film lenses, sometimes with few changes other than slapping a screwdrive on the focus mechanism. There would probably be some tweaks, but also probably less than you would expect.

Really that's been the story thoughout the process of lens development. What happens when you split the triplet's rear element into a doublet? Why, that's a Tessar. Replace the triplet's single front and rear elements with doublets? Well, that's a Heliar. Lens design has some specific rules and the modifications that can be made are pretty straightforward. There's a fantastic chart of the various lens families somewhere on MFLenses, but I can't seem to dig it up.

You can go hog wild and computer-optimize radical new lenses, but people don't seem to like that. If you want it, just buy Sigma.

---------- Post added 06-21-2016 at 05:04 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
@Paul MaudDib

The left side of my brain agrees generally with your thoughts on prices, output* and value. The right side of my brain says, "Who cares? Shoot the scarce lens because you can."

* My K35/3.5 and K28/3.5 images are generally 'better' (color, contrast, subject separation) than K35/2 and K28/2. I have attributed this to my desire to use a wider aperture than optimal (when possible) on the faster lenses - because I can; or maybe that I'm not good enough for the lenses.

OTOH maybe it's the lenses after all.
My understanding/theorycrafting here is that speed tends to introduce abberations. The faster you go, the farther you are away from a theoretically-perfect pinhole aperture. Similarly, going farther away from a normal lens tends to be trickier too.

You have a certain number of element surfaces that you can use to focus the light. When you use your element surfaces to try and intensify the light or bend some insane field-of-view onto the film, you can't spend them correcting abberations as easily. So the slower lenses have less abberations to correct and more ability to correct them. Obviously, more elements gives you more ability to bend the light, but increases weight, cost, and complexity. And even with Super-Multi-Coating, at some point you will start to lose some contrast and flare-resistance.

In particular the SMCT 35/2 and K35/2 and it just never seemed worth it. It's not that great wide open compared to modern lenses and you're giving up the incredible contrast/resolution of the f/3.5 lenses.

The K28/2 is a Distagon, it's supposed to be a very nice lens, it's just way too expensive for what it is. The P67 55/4 is also a Distagon and doesn't cost an arm and a leg. The K30/2.8 is also much more affordable.

Last edited by Paul MaudDib; 06-21-2016 at 03:27 PM.
06-27-2016, 01:13 PM   #113
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Other than advances in coatings, the biggest improvements have been computer designed asperical elements. An asperical lens was hugely expensive to make back when they had to be hand ground, but computer guided molding/grinding changed that as well as being able to predict the result through computer analysis. Improvements in glass quality also was a big factor. Much of this is why modern zooms are so very much better. Even the entry level consumer zooms are better that most designs of 30-40 years ago. I remember when Leitz produced their glass at high altitude (Switzerland I believe).

06-28-2016, 04:08 AM   #114
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeverettfine Quote
Other than advances in coatings, the biggest improvements have been computer designed asperical elements. An asperical lens was hugely expensive to make back when they had to be hand ground, but computer guided molding/grinding changed that as well as being able to predict the result through computer analysis. Improvements in glass quality also was a big factor. Much of this is why modern zooms are so very much better. Even the entry level consumer zooms are better that most designs of 30-40 years ago. I remember when Leitz produced their glass at high altitude (Switzerland I believe).
It was not only that they had to be hand ground, but the curvature was calculated by hand also. And the numbers all changed if you changed the refractive index of the glass. Before the computer, lens design was a long drawn out tedious process. Designing multi element lens can take thousands of calculations. Make it a zoom lens and the number of calculations goes up by several factors. Imagine sitting at you desk all day with a slide ruler working this out. And every 15 minutes the big boss walks in asking "Are we there yet?".

There is a reason that zoom lenses were for consumers only back in the day. Pros would not touch them and zoomed with their feet. The fact that some of these old lenses are as good as they are is a testament to their designers who literally racked their brains working out the curves and glass formulas. If you coat a lens, all the numbers change a tiny bit too. Computers have been a godsend to the optics industry.
07-05-2016, 07:43 PM   #115
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QuoteOriginally posted by gaweidert Quote
It was not only that they had to be hand ground, but the curvature was calculated by hand also. And the numbers all changed if you changed the refractive index of the glass. Before the computer, lens design was a long drawn out tedious process. Designing multi element lens can take thousands of calculations. Make it a zoom lens and the number of calculations goes up by several factors. Imagine sitting at you desk all day with a slide ruler working this out. And every 15 minutes the big boss walks in asking "Are we there yet?".

There is a reason that zoom lenses were for consumers only back in the day. Pros would not touch them and zoomed with their feet. The fact that some of these old lenses are as good as they are is a testament to their designers who literally racked their brains working out the curves and glass formulas. If you coat a lens, all the numbers change a tiny bit too. Computers have been a godsend to the optics industry.
And the task was made even more difficult by the understood requirement that a scene in focus at one focal length had to be in focus at every focal length, because in the days of MF, no one wanted to refocus every time s/he zoomed in or out. With modern AF, that is no longer a consideration.
07-06-2016, 04:18 AM   #116
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QuoteOriginally posted by reh321 Quote
And the task was made even more difficult by the understood requirement that a scene in focus at one focal length had to be in focus at every focal length, because in the days of MF, no one wanted to refocus every time s/he zoomed in or out. With modern AF, that is no longer a consideration.

And that is why the old Tamron 70-210 F3.5 lens is such a joy to use. Both focus and zoom are controlled by one wide ring. You can wrap your hand around it and keep a good grip on the lens while controlling both focus and zoom. Fast to zoom and fast to recover focus. For a long time it had a reputation of being the best zoom lens ever made. I love the way the lens handles. Mine was pretty much always on one of my film cameras, "Macro" capabilities too.

FWIW most of my photography is still done using manual focus. My keeper rate is much higher simply because what I want in focus is in focus. And some lenses like my Pentax 55-300 do not seem to lock focus on anything. Even a flat wall. That critter is always searching. It has very good optics, but I think it's main goal in live is to drain all the juice from the battery that it can. If I had paid full price for min rather than the great deal I got on it from B&J a few months ago I would have returned it and gotten my money back. As it is I consider it a pretty much a manual focus lens.
07-06-2016, 08:33 AM   #117
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Yes to the above! We are in a time when a Zoom lenses are generally considered BEFORE any prime, except for certain specialist situations. Still, the lens designers have not figured out how to do a 24-105 f/1.4 zoom with the current restraints of lens mount diameter etc (it would also be very large and VERY EXPENSIVE).
Why not produce f3.5 or f4.0 primes again? The primary utility of a large aperture is to gather more light into the viewfinder in low light situations. Have not most people discovered the joy of "live view" when you can't see your image with your naked eye? The enormous increase in iso we have with digital cameras also counters the need for a very large aperture...4.0, 5.6, even 32 can be hand held with an 8000 or 16000 iso. Robert Capa would have loved it. Get the image and to hell with the quality of it. Can you imagine what he would have thought of a K-3 with a wr lens? The image is everything. Look at all the artists using Holga cameras etc.
08-03-2016, 04:48 PM   #118
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Here's my take...

QuoteOriginally posted by HopelessTogger Quote
The flattening of modern lenses or the death of 3d pop

The flattening of modern lenses or the death of 3d pop ? YANNICK KHONG



This Yannick Khong chap is making so much sense. Ricoh/Pentax should read his blog before they follow the rest of the industry in making ultra sharp/ultra flat boring glass for their new high megapixel K-1.


It's all nonsense to me. I'm sticking with Zeiss, and Leica, and just converting the Leica to fit. They have always had superior optical designs that people try to imitated but never duplicated. . .


If I see one more landscape photographer's work of rocks in water in the foreground, and a snow covered mountains in the background, I think I will just vomit. They are all over processed until it's so high contrast and saturated nothing looks real. All this auto this, and auto that...These fools are just taking snapshots anyhow, it's not going to matter what lenses they use because their photos, along with their photoshop skills will not be remembered anyway.
08-04-2016, 05:48 AM   #119
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimBrennan Quote
It's all nonsense to me. I'm sticking with Zeiss, and Leica, and just converting the Leica to fit. They have always had superior optical designs that people try to imitated but never duplicated. . .


If I see one more landscape photographer's work of rocks in water in the foreground, and a snow covered mountains in the background, I think I will just vomit. They are all over processed until it's so high contrast and saturated nothing looks real. All this auto this, and auto that...These fools are just taking snapshots anyhow, it's not going to matter what lenses they use because their photos, along with their photoshop skills will not be remembered anyway.
I agree.

Zeiss Distagon T* 2/35 on K-1 with Singh-Ray Gold 'n Blue . . .


https://www.flickr.com/photos/56053365@N07/26796327873/in/album-72157668085157790/
08-07-2016, 04:27 PM   #120
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picked up a FA* 85mm f1.4 which i guess is a pretty old lens. i've been blown away by my test shots and will be using it at a shoot tomorrow. why isn't pentax still making this lens? paid 995usd (with the current exchange rate) and it's definitely worth it. I might pick up an SDM version if they made it but the screw focus isn't bad at all really.
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