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11-09-2010, 09:39 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
I actually do not find this to be the case with most of Pentax's slower primes (e.g., the whole DA limited line) they do get sharper as you stop down, but they are pretty sharp wide open, just like the 35 2.4.
However, the DA limiteds are relatively expensive for "slow primes." You would expect them to have more engineering to make them sharp wide open. On the other hand, the DA 35 is more targeted at the 50mm f1.8 crowd. My experience with the Canon 50mm f1.8 is that it doesn't really sharpen up well till about f3.5, making it effectively a much slower lens than it is. The Nikon 35 mm f1.8 really seems to sharpen up by f2.8.

It isn't to say you can't shoot these lenses wide open, but I think that less engineering went in to the designs and they are much less useable wide open than the DA limiteds.

11-09-2010, 09:40 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by junyo Quote
Not sure of your point here; the tradeoff is fundamentally the same. "So you can use lower ISO" is the exact same reason fast glass has always been useful. And it's not like we haven't seen these arguments before (let's not forget the advertising of "grain-free ISO800 speed films, and the last few generations of print film with enormous exposure latitudes).

But the fact remains, for a given EV/ISO combination, faster glass offers a wider range of f stop/shutter speed combinations.
Point is simple - you needed f stop before, now you can bump the ISO. ISO 800 is very limiting compared to the current generation's 256,000. In the film days, if you wanted to shoot in a Jazz club, you better has an f1.4 camera. Now you could easily get away with a 2.8. It's nice to have the flexibility, but you don't need it like you used to.
11-09-2010, 09:44 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
However, the DA limiteds are relatively expensive for "slow primes." It isn't to say you can't shoot these lenses wide open, but I think that less engineering went in to the designs and they are much less useable wide open than the DA limiteds.
The DA limiteds are also absurdly compact. I think we are arguing the same point here, but let's just agree that most fast glass holds little advantage over a DA limited after you stop them down to equivalent aperture... the question is, how often do you really want to shoot wide open with an f1.4?

The FA limiteds, for example, are about 1 stop faster and do get a little sharper than the DA's at equivalent apertures. A little. They cost 2 times as much. Same goes for a lot of Canon's L series glass.

It's humorous to read all these posts about "I bought the FA 50 1.4 and it's really soft wide open". That's f1.4 for you. If you want that softness (and it does have its applications) buy a 1.4. However if you want DOF and to shoot in low light, ISO really makes things possible that were simply impossible in the film era!
11-09-2010, 09:58 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hypocorism Quote
Well said. High ISO is and always will be a trade off, no matter how much Pentax tries to make it the new pissing contest after megapixels.
I'm sorry, what? Pentax started the hish ISO pissing contest?

Sure it wasn't the D3, or the 5DmkII, or the D700, or the 1DmkIV, or the D3s...?

Pentax was the last company to cave in to the whole "No one cares about low ISO IQ anymore, and everyone just wants to shoot available light in a dungeon" mentality. Canon and Nikon have been driving this machine hard, ever since they noticed that no one cared about Megapixels anymore. Pentax has always been lagging behind in this respect. So, just because they finally said, "Ok, everyone wants high ISO, so we'll do that", and then proceeds to release the best performing aps-c sensor ever, now they started the pissing contest?

11-09-2010, 10:26 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by FullertonImages Quote
So, just because they finally said, "Ok, everyone wants high ISO, so we'll do that", and then proceeds to release the best performing aps-c sensor ever, now they started the pissing contest?
very true. That seems to be Pentax's strategy... wait a generation, and then kick ass with a new release. Remember when the k20d came out, it had the most megapixels in ASP-C at the time. Of course it did not last long, but they did that after Canon / Nikon were pushing things up and up for a while.

IMHO, they have ISO flat out covered at this point. Improvements will be made, but I really hope they *continue* to improve the AF system. I have every confidence that AF will be the focus of the K-3, and we will see a marginal (if at all) improvement in ISO. Realistically, we don't need it either. 16 MP is plenty, too.

If they do that, then we're gonna hear that Pentax started a pissing contest with AF speed . Hey, why not complain about Pentax starting the compactness trend? When Pentax releases an EVIL, the whole EVIL industry will be their fault too I suppose.

If only Pentax had that much actual power in the markets. That would actually make me very happy.
11-09-2010, 12:17 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by FullertonImages Quote
I'm sorry, what? Pentax started the hish ISO pissing contest?

Sure it wasn't the D3, or the 5DmkII, or the D700, or the 1DmkIV, or the D3s...?

Pentax was the last company to cave in to the whole "No one cares about low ISO IQ anymore, and everyone just wants to shoot available light in a dungeon" mentality. Canon and Nikon have been driving this machine hard, ever since they noticed that no one cared about Megapixels anymore. Pentax has always been lagging behind in this respect.
I think that's an unfair assertion.
If Pentax had the same financial power and sheer manpower to churn off the best performing gear even before the technological advancements became commercially viable, and they still lagged behind the competition, then the above criticism has merit. But the comparison between Pentax and the big boys is more like David and two Goliaths. Come on: 3% market share, and you want them to be on the ball with the finest technology on par with the omnipresent rivals with all their cameras and lenses?

For the capability Pentax have, they have done surprisingly well, winning awards for *most* of their camera models, and producing lenses with the finest IQ and build quality whilst keeping them compact and light. That's where Pentax is excelling - and they don't need hundreds of camera models to do so.
11-09-2010, 04:12 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
Point is simple - you needed f stop before, now you can bump the ISO. ISO 800 is very limiting compared to the current generation's 256,000. In the film days, if you wanted to shoot in a Jazz club, you better has an f1.4 camera. Now you could easily get away with a 2.8. It's nice to have the flexibility, but you don't need it like you used to.
Not really,because that increase in ISO isn't free, no matter what camera makers say. TANSTAAFL. That bump in ISO comes at the cost of noise. Substitute "grain" for "noise" and the situations are analogous. I only threw out 800 because that was the "grain-free" barrier I remember. If you were willing to put up with some grain there were 6400 speed films, and T-Max can be pushed beyond belief. A lot of the push for mainstreaming the 400 and 800 speed films was because of zooms and cheap slow glass, same as now. But we all have to acknowledge that bumping ISO is a balancing act that comes at the cost of baseline image quality. If DOF isn't critical and 1.4 keeps me at 6400 rather than 256k (or at least gives me the flexibility to decide that, rather than be forced into it) then a 1.4 lens delivers a demonstrably better image than 2.8 lens of the same quality.

I really don't want a camera that can deliver a picture in forseeable conditions at it's max capacities, I want overhead. Even if I never use 1.4, I want it available.

Last edited by junyo; 11-09-2010 at 04:18 PM.
11-09-2010, 04:30 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
Point is simple - you needed f stop before, now you can bump the ISO. ISO 800 is very limiting compared to the current generation's 256,000. In the film days, if you wanted to shoot in a Jazz club, you better has an f1.4 camera. Now you could easily get away with a 2.8. It's nice to have the flexibility, but you don't need it like you used to.
Well the new K-5 and K-r do allow a higher threshold to be able to get a decent shot because of the high ISO capability that previous Pentax cameras struggled with. However that still doesn't negate the need for fast lenses as it allows for a brighter viewfinder, DOF effects and it helps the camera's AF. It definitely benefits the threshold of hand holdability when the ambient lighting is very low.
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/1253653-post36.html

QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
The DA limiteds are also absurdly compact. I think we are arguing the same point here, but let's just agree that most fast glass holds little advantage over a DA limited after you stop them down to equivalent aperture... the question is, how often do you really want to shoot wide open with an f1.4?

The FA limiteds, for example, are about 1 stop faster and do get a little sharper than the DA's at equivalent apertures. A little. They cost 2 times as much. Same goes for a lot of Canon's L series glass.

It's humorous to read all these posts about "I bought the FA 50 1.4 and it's really soft wide open". That's f1.4 for you. If you want that softness (and it does have its applications) buy a 1.4. However if you want DOF and to shoot in low light, ISO really makes things possible that were simply impossible in the film era!
Most lenses are sharpest about 2 stops from the maximum aperture. A lens with a larger maximum aperture will have peak sharpness at a wider aperture than a slower lens. Plus the wider range of aperture that a fast lens has can be a benefit, particularly in dwindling light situations. What you mention about the FA vs DA Limiteds and about fast glass holding little advantage over a DA Limited is debatable. Just wondering if you have tried an FA or DA Limited to come up with your position.


Last edited by creampuff; 11-09-2010 at 04:39 PM.
11-09-2010, 04:36 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
I think that's an unfair assertion.
If Pentax had the same financial power and sheer manpower to churn off the best performing gear even before the technological advancements became commercially viable, and they still lagged behind the competition, then the above criticism has merit. But the comparison between Pentax and the big boys is more like David and two Goliaths. Come on: 3% market share, and you want them to be on the ball with the finest technology on par with the omnipresent rivals with all their cameras and lenses?

For the capability Pentax have, they have done surprisingly well, winning awards for *most* of their camera models, and producing lenses with the finest IQ and build quality whilst keeping them compact and light. That's where Pentax is excelling - and they don't need hundreds of camera models to do so.
I think you misunderstand me. I wasn't trying to knock Pentax, and saying they have been lagging behind in a shameful manner. I agree that they are tiny, and are doing an amazing job of keeping up with, or even leading the pack.

What I was trying to say was in response to the other comment that Pentax is the driving machine behind the high ISO wars. It has been canikon that has been driving that war between each other, and pushing the current mentality that high ISO performance is the most important thing a camera can have.

What I was saying is that Pentax, wasn't driving that mentality. But rather, they maintained longer than most other companies that low ISO IQ is the most important. But no matter how impressive the low ISO results were, all any mag, users of web trolls could say about them was, "Oh, but the high ISO isn't as good as the CaNikon 4DmkVIs." So Pentax finally said, "Fine, we'll start prioritizing high ISO and deliver what everyone wants."

I was saying that is was a matter of priorities, not technical inability, that kept them lagging. And that they most certainly haven't been driving the high ISO war.
11-09-2010, 04:47 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
Most lenses are sharpest about 2 stops from the maximum aperture. A lens with a larger maximum aperture will have peak sharpness at a wider aperture than a slower lens. Plus the wider range of aperture that a fast lens has can be a benefit, particularly in dwindling light situations. What you mention about the FA vs DA Limiteds and about fast glass holding little advantage over a DA Limited is debatable. Just wondering if you have even have an FA or DA Limited.
I just went through this with someone else. I'm not willing to do it again. The FA's are better, they are faster. They are much more expensive (Pentax's equivilent of Canon's L glass). Most people shooting Canon do not need L glass. Most pentaxians do not need FA LTDs. They might want them, and that is fine. They render beautifully. Notice how the thread title says "is 2.4 the new 1.8?" Not 1.2. 1.2 is also absurdly expensive. Is it useless? NO. Is it necessary? Not really, anymore. Before you required it, film speed only got you so far. Sensor speed is beginning to enter night-vision territory and things are only going to get better with time. 1.8 was kit-lens territory back in the film days. Now we have the 35 2.4, which is positioned quite a bit like a kit lens. It's not the fastest, but the difference in max sensor ISO from the entry level Pentax camera is miles above the fastest film one could buy in the film days (and you get to develop for free ).

The sharpness comparison between the FA's and DA limited is slightly misleading because everyone is going to care differently about how important lens sharpness is over 2000 lpmm. It's a little like saying everyone needs a tube amplifier and an all-analogue sound system. Are there recorded differences between CDs and DVD Audio? Yes, but most people don't care. They're happy with their MP3's!

So you might want a faster lens. That's fine. But you don't really need it anymore. 2.4 is still relatively fast - the fastest zooms are 2.8 and they have become wildly popular. Primes will always have their place, and so will fast apertures, but their place may well shrink with time.
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