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03-25-2016, 01:38 PM - 1 Like   #1
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New glass - old glass. Which lenses should Pentax revisit?

Before going any further I'd urge members to read this . . .

The Problem with Modern Optics ? YANNICK KHONG

This supports the notion that, rather than going to all the trouble and expense of designing new lenses for the K-1, Pentax should revisit old designs since discontinued from the manufacturing line, not least because new glass for digital seems not all that it's cracked up to be. Certainly this has been my experience with the expensive Sony Zeiss primes, which also suffer dreadful QC (I mean really bad, like I want to cry bad).

So which lens designs should Pentax revisit? The FA's, the A*'s the FA*'s? Which ones?

How could Pentax improve these lenses for digital (i.e., ELD elements, lens coatings etc), getting rid of the purple stuff (CA/LoCA) without affecting their character?

What other qualities should the updated versions have (i.e., weather sealing, focus limiters, in-lens stabilisation for the long glass . . . )?

Could some of them be corrected to be genuine apochromatic lenses? Like those £5000 Leica 50/2's and the rather lovely Zeiss 135/2.


Love to hear members thoughts on this. I have no clue as to coatings and the effects of special elements, combinations of elements and really technical lens stuff. Interested to learn.

03-25-2016, 01:47 PM - 3 Likes   #2
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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

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03-25-2016, 02:02 PM   #3
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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
03-25-2016, 02:10 PM   #4
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I'm thinking . . .

FA*24/2
FA31 (lose that hood! I can't put filters on it, using an extension ring causes vignetting!)
FA43
FA77
FA50/1.7
FA*85/1.4
A*135/1.8

. . . also the D-FA Macro 100/2.8 WR . . . needs a focus limiter and needs to get rid of the dreaded purple.

All weather sealed.
Updated coatings perhaps, dunno which, or why or for which one. Totally confused by all that.
No idea about changing out elements for ultra low dispersion, fluorite and aspherical elements. Well beyond my double digit IQ.

03-25-2016, 02:29 PM - 2 Likes   #5
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D-FA* 28mm F/2
D-FA 31mm F/1.8 LTD
D-FA* 35mm F/1.4
D-FA 43mm F/1.8 LTD
D-FA* 50mm F/1.2
D-FA 77mm F/1.8
D-FA* 85mm F/1.4
D-FA* 135mm F/1.8
03-25-2016, 02:54 PM - 4 Likes   #6
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Pentax is very close to "having it all" -- i.e. IMHO it makes sense for lens manufacturers to offer two "styles" of each prime lens for two different shooting styles/markets:
  • bulky, WR + silent AF + (plastic body?) + (slightly faster?)
  • small/lightweight, metal, lens aperture settings, manual focus override, screw drive

to wit: the new IRIX 15mm and 11mm are offered in two trims at two different price points.

Michael
03-25-2016, 03:40 PM   #7
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Pentax needs a 24mm lens.
03-25-2016, 03:45 PM   #8
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I would add a D FA* 20mm f/2ish and 24mm f/2ish.

03-25-2016, 03:47 PM   #9
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Read a couple of entries from that blog some weeks ago, and it definitely managed to convince me.
That explains the astoundingly 3D picture that I get once in a while with my Pentax SMC 55/1.8
03-25-2016, 04:01 PM   #10
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I would be down for a revamped 105mm f2.8. it would make for a good portrait lenses.
03-25-2016, 04:11 PM   #11
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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
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...
03-25-2016, 04:14 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by LensBeginner Quote
Read a couple of entries from that blog some weeks ago, and it definitely managed to convince me.
That explains the astoundingly 3D picture that I get once in a while with my Pentax SMC 55/1.8
Yup, I knew there was a reason my old M42 glass et.al cranked out the best of pics, but Mr. Marketing man at ynoS (along with S. Huff Esq.) convinced me the latest/greatest was better, at astoundingly, painfully huge cost! Mini Otus this . . . best 35/1.4 EVER! that . . . Less is definitely more as it so happens regards elements/groups.

This applies to the FA Limited's too. Being "old skool" film glass design they give pop and bring great delight. No flatness there. I guess it also applies to many of the older designs as suggested by Yannick's article.

Considering the reality of all this, perhaps Pentax flogging the new bodies off the back of using the old lenses really is a winner in practical terms, although convincing Joe McFatWallet of this is a bit of a challenge. Getting the hell away from absolute sharpness to the exclusion of all else is a healthy mindset. If Pentax can take this on board and revise their old designs for digital without losing their character they may save themselves a lot of development cost and at the same time produce glass that produces fabulous photos.

Last edited by HopelessTogger; 03-25-2016 at 04:59 PM.
03-25-2016, 04:55 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
Pentax needs a 24mm lens.
My SMC-A 24 2.8 is always in my bag even with the K-3. It has been near to my favorite lens on film (FF) for many years (decades). Add the A 50 f1.4, A 135 f2.8 and maybe even the wonderful small 200 f/4. On my K-3 this is a fabulous hand-holdable 300 equivalent. Those 4 lenses are my film kit with my MX (w/winder) right now, though I can certainly simply swap the MX for the K-3. The K-3 bag usually has these in it: DA 15 Limited, DA 35 macro Limited, jDA 70 Limited and DA18-135 WR.

Last edited by jeverettfine; 03-25-2016 at 05:02 PM.
03-25-2016, 05:03 PM   #14
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It's worth reading this blog series and the comments sections too . . .

Lens Articles ? YANNICK KHONG
03-25-2016, 05:12 PM - 1 Like   #15
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Interesting article, glad I have all those Takumars to try.
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