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05-19-2015, 07:37 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by rob8888 Quote
Problem is they're a discontinued line now. The suggestion is a 28-45mm, but it's a major commitment for wilderness photography (which may involve 10 days or more lugging). That would push me back my old Canon kit which I don't want to do!
that's what they told you after they couldnt fix the 25?

05-19-2015, 01:23 PM   #17
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Well it went to Japan and apparently had the PC board replaced but it's still doing the same thing on arrival back. The aperture unit seems the dodgy bit to me. So likely to go back again. Not ideal at all.
05-21-2015, 04:20 PM   #18
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Yeah the DA25mm is definitely now discontinued like the earlier DFA25mm. I asked for a replacement when mine was playing up . I asked if I could exchange for the newer zoom.. but the dealer was more interested in repairing the DA25mm. Initially I chose the DA25mm over the zoom purely because I wanted the widest lens for my 645Z. Its a shame that there are so many issues with their widest lens, Im sure that the whole market of DSLR shooters that are jumping or considering the leap into the MF world will be miss those wider field of views. I know I sure did initially. Good luck with your lens mate, I'm sorry you have to go through all this..
05-22-2015, 05:42 PM   #19
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I concur with your sentiment on the 25mm. I'm falling in love with it the more I get used to it it's traits. Who knows, maybe a decent independent lens maker might step into the fray? Won't hold my breath. Rob

05-22-2015, 06:01 PM   #20
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I got two as a preemptive measure. I liked mine so much and I knew it would be discontinued. I thought chances that Ricoh/Pentax would re-introduce it wouldn't be as high, and if one of them would go to repair I'd still have a back-up. There was a short window of time they sold them at a discount, and I took advantage of that opportunity. Think about the camera price! In comparison, the 25mm doesn't look too bad.
05-22-2015, 10:29 PM   #21
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So Lacunapratum, you're basically telling me that I can't get a warranty replacement because you were a greedy, well organised, thinking ahead type of person. I've taken you from my Xmas card list and won't be cat sitting for you anymore, even if you asked very nicely ;->
05-23-2015, 04:54 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lacunapratum Quote
I got two as a preemptive measure. I liked mine so much and I knew it would be discontinued. I thought chances that Ricoh/Pentax would re-introduce it wouldn't be as high, and if one of them would go to repair I'd still have a back-up. There was a short window of time they sold them at a discount, and I took advantage of that opportunity. Think about the camera price! In comparison, the 25mm doesn't look too bad.
Wow, 2 of them! That makes me feel better that I am on an economy gear trip. Now I can tell my wife that I know of someone way more spendy than I. Thanks for that.
05-24-2015, 11:49 PM - 1 Like   #23
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Guilty as charged. Or charged as guilty. Either way.

That's why you are still married, Al. I had that happen already twice, says the girlfriend, me or the 25mm, well, I have two 25mm lenses. .

For me its a flashback to my years as a photojournalist in the 80ies. My wide angle lenses were 28mm and 20mm (35mm Minolta way back), and I'd carry a 100mm macro for portraits, and sometimes a 300mm. Well, the 645D and more so even the Z allow you to have a similar set of three lenses in a shoulder bag. Either 25, 55, 150 or 25, 120, 300, or 25, 90, 200. Theoretically, I could also pack the 28-45mm, but it's too clumsy. I sometimes do, but it's really big, and I do see myself wanting to tape those additional degrees of wideangle onto the edge of the frame. 28 is like 22mm on 35mm film, and 25 is like 19mm. Two or three millimeter difference - does it matter? Yes, it does. It is the difference between something looking still almost regular vs. showing some extreme perspective. 25mm (19mm) is a real news-type lens. 28mm (22mm) is almost regular. Not really. But you get my point.

My other medium format system (sort of like another girlfriend), the Rollei Hy6, never got their wide angle range off the ground. I fell out of love with them because of that. They just lost it. You need a real wide angle. Both 35mm lenses fill in nicely for the medium wide angle, the 28mm. But how about the really wide end? I am afraid both Rollei and Pentax (Ricoh) have been taken over by some technocrats, bean counters, you name it. Not photographers. Well, I wish there was some thinking ahead anywhere. I just panicked when I realized this was going to be it. The end of the wide angle range for Pentax medium format. I was worried they'd go the same way as Rollei. Just paranoia. But for real: the zoom is not an alternative.

For some reason I can't really understand why Pentax built some internal default self-destruct mechanism into those lenses, letting you know that it was their last shot. They either had problems with picture quality (not mine), or diaphragm, or simply fell apart without warning. Sort-of like: this is it. This is the end of our wide angle adventure. Then they put a 5K sticker on it. My first lens simply has manual focusing issues, more play in the manual focus ring than it should. Autofocus is spot on though, and manual focus works, but not very neat. Pentax probably thought: let's build in some tricks, make them nervous, and see whether they smarten up and buy two of them. Like the grand slam. 10K for a great picture if the lens works. Then they would be sitting there in some skyscraper office in Tokyo and laugh at us, being so obsessed with the idea of using the 645D/Z like a real camera.

During those times I followed their 645 lens listings or road maps to nowhere with some sense of anxiety. Well, first there was the D FA and all the debate over the end of full frame. The DA seemed a tad better. Logical choice. Then there were those roadmaps on which the D FA failed to show up, and that made sense. But to my disbelief the number of signs that the DA version was also deleted started to increase. First it was missing on some obscure sites in Japan. Well - probably they confused it with the D FA - so I thought. Then there were more and more lens listings posted without the 25mm DA. Then there was a short time it was available for discount, and then the price went up to $6K for the final ones.

Mine were about $4K each, still more expensive than a single Leica 24mm for $8K. I know the Pentax sensor is better. I envy those Leica owners at times. But then they only get one perfect lens for what they need. They'll never have the chance to worry about two that might fall apart every moment. Oh Pentax...

Well, I take the 25mm with me most of the time. Probably my favorite lens. Cats and girls come second.


Last edited by Lacunapratum; 05-25-2015 at 12:19 AM.
05-25-2015, 08:14 AM   #24
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Lacunapratum

Now there is an explanation! And thanks for it too.

Well, I love my 25 for all the reasons you state and maybe even more since I got about the last in the US. I bought one from B&H and the AF immeditaely stopped working which did not bother me since I often use MF anyway. But then I got to thinking about spending $5k on a lens that is not perfect at new. So sent it back, got a refund and then discovered B&H had no more. Discontinued.

I then went on a hunt and even called Pentax HQ CO and the guy was patient with me once he knew I wanted one, discontinued or not, and told me to check certain dealers who often in the past would stock that lens. I finally found one and it seems to work just fine.

This year I have many shoots scheduled during inclement weather, or in locals where waterfall spray will regularly hit my gear day after day. No worry with the 28-45 as I can easily clean the front filter. However, with the 25 that is not possible and even though I would like to take it on these adventures since it is also weather sealed like the 645Z and 28-45, I just worry about possible weather intrusion around the front element and having to repeatedly clean the front element which can become a delicate PITA versus cleaning water off a flat filter. I just trust if it craps out Precision camera will repair it. Then again, maybe not as I hear Japan was scrapping 25's that were returned for whatever reason, even with the AF motor not working like my first lens. Yikes!

Maybe I should just stop pampering it and use it the way I want. I just love shooting with super WA lenses of which I consider the 25 one. Even though 19mm equiv is not that wide, I love using 18mm (and in the past my 15/2.8 R lens) on 35mm FF cameras. If I had two I would definitely go for it.

Sorry to point you in this direction, but here are some examples of WA shots I like of which the majority are taken with 18mm on 35mm FF.


Louis Foubare: Making Every Minute Count

Last edited by algrove; 05-25-2015 at 08:36 AM.
05-25-2015, 08:29 AM   #25
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I for one sure would like Pentax to add a wider than 25mm lens to the roadmap.
05-25-2015, 11:13 AM   #26
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Interestingly, it's still listed on backorder at the web store:

smc PENTAX DA 645 25mm F4 AL (IF) SDM AW | Pentax
05-25-2015, 09:27 PM   #27
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I have the 28-45 and while huge, it does offer everything up to 45mm, so it gets used a heck of a lot. I too hope Pentax adds something like a 20 or 22mm prime to finish off the very wide end. The 28-45 is utterly spectacular though and they have shown the rest how to make a zoom that shoots with the quality of a prime. Distortion at the wide end is the only issue. Edge performance is spectacular.

The 25mm seems a problem child, with a lot of grumbles about curvature, edge performance at distance, faults etc. I can see why the extra 3mm appeals tho.
05-26-2015, 08:50 AM   #28
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I was told the reason the 25mm is discontinued was the company who supplied the front element can't anymore, can't remember why. And yes I have one. Keeping that front element out of harms way, though in theory, living in the UK we have several years to get a refund or replacement under EU law as long as it's a manufacturing fault, not mine! But I have insurance for that eventuality.
05-26-2015, 08:56 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by snapper99 Quote
I was told the reason the 25mm is discontinued was the company who supplied the front element can't anymore, can't remember why. And yes I have one. Keeping that front element out of harms way, though in theory, living in the UK we have several years to get a refund or replacement under EU law as long as it's a manufacturing fault, not mine! But I have insurance for that eventuality.
Perhapos that company was affected by the tsunami.
05-27-2015, 02:32 AM   #30
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Well my problem with the 2-3 stop exposure wander from f5.6-32 is now accompanied by the strange behaviour of the diaphragm starting off in a mid closed position from mounting, or sitting on the camera a while. I have to take a frame, or do a DOF preview to open it up again. Seems like my problems are around the diaphragm mechanism. A frustrating saga indeed. Rob
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