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11-05-2010, 04:05 AM   #1
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Do you think in the long run, DA lenses are a bad buy? Size of CCDs in the future

So I bought my K100D refurbished without lenses, because we had manual lenses from a k1000 from 20 some years ago.

Then I bought the kit 18-55mm DA lens. And just recently I purchased it's counterpart 50-200mm DA lens.

As you know these lenses are designed specifically for the APS-C CCD cameras. In theory they could work with a film camera, but obviously no aperture control; most importantly though the DA lenses will not fill the entire 35mm frame; because they are designed to work with the smaller CCD size.


And so this got me thinking. Why are CCDs the sizes that they are? Why are they not equivilant to 35mm? Is this a restriction due to cost, or a technology barrier? I am pretty sure there are DSLRs out there that have CCDs with an exact 35mm equivilant. So this must be a cost restriction?

Do you think this barrier, whatever it is, will be broken in the future to the point where an exact 35mm equivilent will become standard for all new dslrs?

Think of LCD tvs - 4 years ago, they had them in stores sure, but they were thousands of dollars. Today, you can't buy any tv that isn't a flat screen anymore, and they start in the hundreds of dollars for very large screens. That wasn't really a technology barrier (although I'm sure they've streamlined the manufacturing process since then), that was a cost supply/demand barrier.

My point? I have 6 lenses that work with film and dslrs - mostly all manual, one with an automatic aperture setting. I have 2 DA lenses which will only work with DSLRs with a APS-C CCD.

What are we going to be talking about 10 to 20 years from now? Will I still be sitting here playing with my manual lenses, and discarding my DA lenses because they only worked with the cameras of '00s? Or, is the size of APS-C ccds just the way it is because of some physical law that I am not familiar with?


I think Pentax was brilliant to make one mount (k mount), and only one, so that the barrier of entry becomes broken down overtime because, well, you can use any lense ever made for that mount, and it's still relevant without having to buy adapaters for each iteration of their mounts. And looking at it that way, the DA lenses being specific to CCD sensors disspoints me.

Then again, I don't like how there is no aperture ring either. I don't understand why they couldn't have kept the "A" option and allowed for manual intervention of aperture settings. There by allowing new lenses to be backward compatible with old camera bodies like the K1000....maybe they will change that in the future too....


Last edited by Capslock118; 11-05-2010 at 04:14 AM.
11-05-2010, 04:15 AM   #2
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well, i think, that if pentax eventually release a fullframe camera there will be an option for DA lenses in a way, that camera will automatically crop every picture taken. it would be like using APS-C cameras. this function is already in nikon. so i don`t have any problem with da lenses. but i prefer FA lenses.)
11-05-2010, 04:17 AM   #3
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Who knows what the cameras we will be shooting with twenty years from now will look like? My feeling is that SLRs in general will eventually go away replaced by other, smaller form factor cameras. As to the reason why sensors are the size that they are, a lot had to do with economics and technological feasibility when the first digital SLRs were created. Now, it primarily has to do with cost -- APS-C sensors are pretty good and relatively cheap. Full frame sensors at least till recently have required stitching and cost more over all to make.

I wouldn't worry about whether your lenses would work on a full frame camera. As long as Pentax uses a K mount, they will work fine, even if some amount of cropping is required to obtain a decent photo. Most full frame cameras have the option to automatically crop to APS-C size anyway.

In the "Old Days" hobbyists tended to use 35 mm film, while professionals tended to gravitate to large and medium format cameras. The same thing is happening today with full frame and APS-C. With mirrorless cameras on the horizon, who knows what will happen, but it sure will be interesting.
11-05-2010, 05:50 AM   #4
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Normally, the trend should be towards smaller cameras and, thus, smaller sensors. K-5 already makes possible the APS-C / full frame comparison in terms of image quality... EVIL, rather than full frame, is the future.

I'd say: try a DA ltd. and be impressed.

Another thing: not all APS-C sensors are CCD. The new generation of Pentax cameras (K-x, K-7, K-r, K-5) have CMOS sensors.

11-05-2010, 05:56 AM   #5
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Just about everyone is starting to get away from aperture rings. It's not uncommon at all for even FF lenses to not have them now.
11-05-2010, 06:08 AM   #6
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Just about everyone is starting to get away from aperture rings. It's not uncommon at all for even FF lenses to not have them now.

Yeah, I just don't like that at all in my opinion. I generally shoot in M mode, and I find that using the dial to scroll through aperture sizes is more of a pain than to just use the ring.

Not to mention, in my view, I have my right hand to adjust shutter and take the photo and hold the camera body, AND press the ok button to disable AF (or enable, i havnt figured out which way I like it yet). I have my left hand to hold the lens, focus, zoom if using one, and set aperture.

So thats 4 tasks with my right hand and 4 tasks on the left hand if there is an aperture ring. If no aperture ring it is then 5 tasks on the right hand and 3 tasks on the left hand.

I like balance - plus - I think it's fun to use an aperture ring over an electronic dial on the camera body - and faster. I'm not a pro, so what do I know?
11-05-2010, 07:43 AM   #7
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I, too, mourn the loss of the aperture ring. I still like to keep my older film bodies in the mix, and no aperture ring means it won't work on any body before the SuperProgram.

Yes, most of the DA Ltd primes I've tried are quite useful on film. There is a great thread on this from a while back. Surprisingly, even the DA 55-300 does well on FF at most apertures on cameras which don't need aperture rings.

That being said, I still think the DA Ltd lenses were a good buy. The combo of the DA primes and the K-x is my favorite travel kit so far.
11-05-2010, 08:55 AM   #8
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It looks to me as though APS-C has enough of a future to make DA lenses still a good buy. Let's see what the future brings, 5 - 10 years from now.

11-05-2010, 09:34 AM   #9
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QuoteQuote:
What are we going to be talking about 10 to 20 years from now? Will I still be sitting here playing with my manual lenses, and discarding my DA lenses because they only worked with the cameras of '00s? Or, is the size of APS-C ccds just the way it is because of some physical law that I am not familiar with?
Not trying to be a smart-ass here (well, kinda ), but what will we be driving in 20 years? Gasoline may not be available as everything may be electric or fuel cell. If you needed or wanted a new car today, would you forgo buying it because in twenty years it may be useless?
Besides that, if you buy, say a DA35 Limited today, and Pentax puts a FF on the shelves December 1st, the pictures you take at Christmas with the DA35 on your K100D will be just as good as the ones you take at Thanksgiving. The availability or unavailability of a FF will have no effect whatsoever on your system.
The point is, you may miss out on a whole bunch of great shots based on speculation as to what the future may be.
11-05-2010, 09:59 AM   #10
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If you needed or wanted a new car today, would you forgo buying it because in twenty years it may be useless?
Perhaps a good point, I buy used cars though .

Also my point was that I have fully functional manual lenses which I use with my DSLR (my M 50mm 1.4 takes better shots than my 18-55 DA btw ) today, and maybe the DA lenses may not work when they get to the age my manuals are now.

To use your analogy - lenses and camera bodies are two seperate things. The car is to the camera body and the lenses are to the cars wheels....I can buy 40 year old tires, or find them in a scrap yard, if I really wanted to.

Electric car, hydrogrogen car, nuclear car, they will all still need wheels; unless of course we develop floating cars.
11-05-2010, 11:14 AM   #11
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If pentax releases a full-frame camera, they will still release ASP-C. Full frame cameras are pretty big and not exactly consumer-friendly, so I would not worry too much about them going away. What we need to hope for is that EVIL cameras retain the ASP-C format in pentax land, as that would be a possible way for them to get us to re-buy lenses.

I don't see ASP-C going anywhere in a long time. Also, the DA 40 + 70 are full frame compatible .
11-05-2010, 12:40 PM   #12
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APS-C is here to stay.
Pentax has not only invested in its development, it has refined its output very well with each generation of sensor. After only 9 or so years of commercial production, Pentax has an APS-C camera with a sensor that easily rivals film resolution and exceeds film ISO performance convincingly.
Pentax has moved into the digital era reasonably well, and done so without full frame.
So DA lenses are also going to stay as far as I can see - and Pentax continues to excel in producing niche compact crop lenses that have exceedingly excellent IQ.

DAs are not designed for FF, and in my mind they don't need to - Pentax is getting things right with APS-C.
11-05-2010, 05:56 PM   #13
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I'm pretty sure anyone waiting for a Pentax 135 format DSLR (what people mistakenly refer to as full frame), they are going to be sorely disappointed.
I expect Pentax has decided to leapfrog the 135 format with the 645.
It;s pretty unlikely that they will try to support 3 formats, especially when in the real world, 135 offers very few advantages at this point.
11-06-2010, 04:27 AM   #14
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You can buy DSLR's with a 36mmx24mm sensor since the year 2002. Some of these will take Pentax K-mount and M42 lenses via an adapter. All of these (afaik) have CMOS sensors except the Leica M9 with a CCD, which is a rangefinder camera.

You can buy even larger digital units for medium format systems since 1992. Afaik all of these are CCD sensors.

I think a refurbished K100D + manual lenses is an excellent idea. My only DA lens is the 18-55 and I'll not get any other DA lens for the reasons you have mentioned.

Best, Georg
11-06-2010, 05:09 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
APS-C is here to stay.
Pentax has not only invested in its development, it has refined its output very well with each generation of sensor. After only 9 or so years of commercial production, Pentax has an APS-C camera with a sensor that easily rivals film resolution and exceeds film ISO performance convincingly.
Pentax has moved into the digital era reasonably well, and done so without full frame.
So DA lenses are also going to stay as far as I can see - and Pentax continues to excel in producing niche compact crop lenses that have exceedingly excellent IQ.

DAs are not designed for FF, and in my mind they don't need to - Pentax is getting things right with APS-C.
I could not have said it better - spot on IMHO.


wll
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