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Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 13 Hours Ago  
DFA*50 1.4 coming
Posted By normhead
Replies: 2,719
Views: 205,738
My only real issue withe 50 1.4 is it's not macro. I do a lot of pseudo macro. I take my 18-135 or on the K-1 the 28-105, the 60-250 and one more lens. That lens has to do macro. Most recently my DFA 100 macro was bought specifically to be that lens. I'd love to have a 1.4 lens along, but with the 50 1.4 that would be trading one capability for another. That would be solved by one little spacer ring like extension tube, but Pentax has also neglected the little necessities that turn a basic system into an awesome system. With one little half inch extension for macro, that new 50 could be awesome, although given my shooting preferences, I'd still rather have the 85.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 14 Hours Ago  
Primary lens, 300 or 400?
Posted By normhead
Replies: 72
Views: 1,457
This is making me wonder what it would be like going out with my A-400 and 1.4. I haven't used that lens much lately. I'm not sure I ever used it with the 1.4.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 16 Hours Ago  
DFA*50 1.4 coming
Posted By normhead
Replies: 2,719
Views: 205,738
The whole thing about Pentax having more dedicated APS-c lenses than anyone else comes back to bite us. Now we have less modern FF lenses than anyone else. The 15 year gap between the FAs and DFAs is causing pain. And Pentax's tardiness getting into full frame remains an issue, just for that reason.

But in a crunch, you just accept the weight, buy what you need, and get'r done. Something is always better than nothing. I can carry an extra pound and a half. I just don't want to.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 17 Hours Ago  
Lens advice: 31mm limited vs. hd 35mm f2.8 macro limited
Posted By normhead
Replies: 17
Views: 756
With my Sigma 8-16 also rectilinear, if there are people in the image they have to be in the centre of the image, where they look at all and skinny, at the edges, they are short little fat people. My wife won't even let me take a picture of her with it unless she's close to the centre of the frame.

These lenses are hazardous to your well being. Tess stands over me and makes sure any short fat Tess's are deleted, or I'd post examples.

I note that the Sigma 8-16 is now over $1000 CAD as well. It's big thing? It's corrected down to 12mm, which is pretty impressive. Really impressive for buildings. Not so much for portraits. Maybe it's the 31's rep that is the problem here. If you just think "the 31 is a great lens" without checking what people use it for, you may have bought the wrong lens.

My first rule of the review section, is find someone who shots what you shoot. Find out what pictures look like what you want to shoot, buy that lens. Looking at a few 31 images used a group portrait lens might have saved some again here. SO my advice would be , back up, use a 50, or back up even more and use a 70.

But folks who do this kind of shooting on a regular basis probably have better ideas. It's definitely a known issue. When I do group beach shots etc, of my camping buddies, you can see Tess weaselling her way to the centre of the frame, by nook or by crook. It doesn't matter what lens I'm using , she doesn't take chances.Pity the should who get's in her way.

Her refrain is "What kind of photographer are you? You knew that was going to make me look short and fat."
I set of shrug and say " I was thinking about other things."

If you are shooting people, don't imagine for a second this kind of thing won't be taken personally. :D

You will be hated. :D

If shooting wide angle, that thing about not having your subject in the centre of the frame? Corp in post. Don't shoot that way.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 1 Day Ago  
Primary lens, 300 or 400?
Posted By normhead
Replies: 72
Views: 1,457
I'm pretty sure the ones I looked at were over $1000, maybe more. It was a long time ago.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 1 Day Ago  
DFA*50 1.4 coming
Posted By normhead
Replies: 2,719
Views: 205,738
Wow, that might be like the third time in 8 years anyone said anything like that. :D
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 1 Day Ago  
DFA*50 1.4 coming
Posted By normhead
Replies: 2,719
Views: 205,738
How about a 1DXII

Canon 200-400mƒ4 with built in (flick a switch) 1.4 TC

Canon 800 ƒ5.6


With everything on sale right now, if I buy today, I save a couple thousand, but it does come to about $40,000 CAD. :D

And of course I;d have to have a 70-200 and 1.4 as well as some kind of 24-70 type lens, and a couple of sherpas to carry all that stuff.

Everyone says Canon's don't have enough dynamic range. My Canon shooting wildlife buddies do just fine. It's the guys who shoot landscape and wildlife that are switching ti Nikon. The tracking on that 1Dx 200-400 with 1.4 combo is simply amazing. It will accurately track while zooming. Try that with any Pentax I've ever used.

Look at what is available from Pentax of that stuff and you realize why I won't use Pentax and "pro" in the same sentence. That being said, with my shabby little $5k Pentax set up, I often match those guys when it come to final output, and with the K-1, if conditions are right, I will exceed their output. I have a couple buddies with Nikon kit, also quite impressive. For wildlife and sports my impression is Canon still has a slight edge if you have the big bucks. If someone asked me for some images and offered to pay me a grand, I'll just shoot with my Pentax stuff. It's all about what the customer has the rght to expect for the price he pays.

So far, I haven't met even one of the "big boys" shooting Sony, or Pentax for that matter.

Hopefully this post will get some of the detractors off my case about being a Pentax fanboy. :D

I love my Pentax gear, but just out of force of habit I try and keep up with what's going on in the industry.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 1 Day Ago  
Primary lens, 300 or 400?
Posted By normhead
Replies: 72
Views: 1,457
The A* 300 2.8m looks awesome.

I'd save my pennies for an F 1.7 AF adapter though. That type of lens is what that adapter was designed for. For birding you'll need it.

Some recent K-3 plus Tamron SP AF 300 2.8 images.... with the F 1.7x AF adapter...

2018-01-16-feeder-creatures-1 by Norm Head, on Flickr

2018-01-16-feeder-creatures-5 by Norm Head, on Flickr

2018-01-16-feeder-creatures-3 by Norm Head, on Flickr

2018-01-16-feeder-creatures-4 by Norm Head, on Flickr

2018-01-16-feeder-creatures-2 by Norm Head, on Flickr

I would expect the A* 300 to be nearly identical if not better, and the limited AF is way more useful than a lot of posts would lead you to believe. However, without the 1.7x AF adapter it's not much of a birding lens. With it, 510mm ƒ4.5 for under $1000. With all due respect that's to die for. Ignore what's been posted above, if you can land that combo, you'll be way ahead of what other companies have to offer. It will be so good Iwould advise getting the 300, live with it while you have to, and buying the 1.7x when you can. I do use the 1.4 on my 300, but for birding, you really want the 1.7, and you definitely want the AF from the AF adapter. Those small birds do hop around, and the 1.7x has enough range to let you follow with AF in many situations.

That combination is the birder on a budget's dream. I would have gone for it, but I couldn't find an A*300. Where else are you going to get 510mm ƒ4.5 for less than $1000 with a useful but limited AF function? . You aren't. I don't care what brand you choose, what kind of old glass you dig up, from what company. All the above mentioned cheeper options from other companies won't touch this combo in IQ or capability. A no brainer if there ever was one. It is one of the regrets of my life that I never found this lens at a decent price.

Take it from a guy always trying to do things on the cheap. Don't listen to what those big spenders think they have to have. :D

P.S, The Sigma 500 ƒ4.5 is $5k just for comparison's sake. The IQ will be comparable.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 1 Day Ago  
Sorry Sony, your pixel shift doesn't rock
Posted By normhead
Replies: 28
Views: 1,510
I hate that. people who are so good you have to force yourself to listen to their obnoxious selves.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 1 Day Ago  
DFA*50 1.4 coming
Posted By normhead
Replies: 2,719
Views: 205,738
I still keep up even at my age. If someone were to offer me a big wildfire job tomorrow my first trip would be to Henry's Toronto. I love my Pentax gear, but if dollars are on the line, you gotta do what you gotta do.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 1 Day Ago  
DFA*50 1.4 coming
Posted By normhead
Replies: 2,719
Views: 205,738
OK since we're getting snotty here, Kenspo who I assume is trotting out the Pentax party line, said some where that the 50 1.4 was needed when there was a 55 1.4.because we needed modern glass for modern sensors. He didn't actually say the 55 is obsolete;te, but he did imply we need better. Sorry if I simplified so much your complex brain couldn't comprehend.

No one from Pentax has bothered to clarify which lenses are modern lenses for modern sensors, the new coming lenses definitely are. They've left it up to us to interpret. That being the case, I'm offering my interpretation.



A little name calling to spice up your day?

Are you 5 years old?
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 1 Day Ago  
DFA*50 1.4 coming
Posted By normhead
Replies: 2,719
Views: 205,738
From my observations, a bit of micro-contrast improvement can be observed pixel peeping but would probably make almost no difference to a print. Especially in 30mm type lenses where the difference between DA 35 2.4 plastic wonder and a more expensive 35 tends to be minimal. It's nice to have that bit of extra micro contrast, but I doubt you would notice it day to day. I know my Tamron90 has roughly the same lw/ph and slightly better micro contrast at 90mm than my DA*60-250, but the 60-250 is already excellent, and it wouldn't be worth my while to take it off the camera to shoot with the 90 unless I wanted macro.

So my answer would be, small difference in micro contrast are probably barely visible to the naked eye. Throw in a lens like my Sigma 70-300 and then you'll actually see the difference, but you might still like the 70-300 image. Differences in quality are much more noticeable in telephoto lenses. A DA 35 produces some really good images, and that's fairly typical of the wide end. You're not going to improve that much on the images taken with your 30-55mm lenses going from cheap to expensive.

We can only hope the new 50 1.4 breaks the trend and is noticeably better than the old 50 1.4. It certainly looks to be a very good lens. But that's a tough focal length to improve based on what's already out there. Given the expected price it may well be the big improvements will be in adding water resistance and the new silent motor. I'm expecting a slightly improved DA*55 1.4. I do find it slightly disingenuous of Pentax to be hinting that the 55 is obsolete so soon after it's release. If it was the greatest thing since sliced bread a couple years ago, how can it be so bad now?
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 1 Day Ago  
Lens advice: 31mm limited vs. hd 35mm f2.8 macro limited
Posted By normhead
Replies: 17
Views: 756
Digitalis once did a review comparison of the 31 and Sigma 30 1.4. Personally I ;ike the 31, but not everyone was on the same page. The whole thing that comes up with the 31 is the price. Is the little bit better worth the whole lot more money?
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 2 Days Ago  
DFA*50 1.4 coming
Posted By normhead
Replies: 2,719
Views: 205,738
But they did, on the 15 ltd, 21 ltd, the 35 2.8, the 40 ltd.the DA 70 2.4 the 16-85 and the DA 55-300 ƒ4-ƒ5.8/

So if there is a colour change, why are those lenses not affected? When Pentax released the HD coatings they claimed it reduced the trasmision loss from the coating from about 4% to about 3.5% or something like that, I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong. It was never indicated cost was a factor (not surprising of course).

So the colour change thing really doesn't hold up. And the cost thing is suspicious. It may be cheaper, but supposedly it's better optically. And if that's so and there has been a 31 ltd production run since 2016, why would they change the 21 ltd coating, but not the 31 ltd coating if they had the choice? Are you saying they changed the formula for the 21 ltd to accommodate the new coatings?

I'm just looking at what they've done and tried to draw conclusions. The stuff you're putting out there needs sources.

Just, "I know guy who knows a guy" would be a good enough source for me.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 2 Days Ago  
DFA*50 1.4 coming
Posted By normhead
Replies: 2,719
Views: 205,738
No , but it could be true. That's all we are saying here. There is however evidence that their hasn't been a production run of SMC glass since 1213, and probably quite bit before then. As I said, the only question is, has all FA stock been previously assembled, or are they still doing small hand assembled batches. The dates of manufacture for SMC glass, are pretty much known as to when the last batches were run. HD started in 2013. Just that gives you frame of reference for understanding how many production runs Pentax has pm a year,, how many old designs, how many new designs, and therefore a sense of "are they ever going to make the lens I want?" and the odds around that.

Or to put it another way, my desire for a new light weight 20mm prime given that the 50 and 85 are announced, new 35s 40s 70s 135s 20s and 24 are not announced. So if my guess is right and those will be the next 6 primes, the next year will be for producing 50s and 85s, we are almost guaranteed a 35 and 135 will come before the 20 and 24 we are looking at at least 2 years away before a 20-24 is even considered, And probably 3 or 4 before it arrives, if all my assumptions are correct, and they actually are going to produce those lenses. There could just as easily be a 22, a 28, a 30 1.4, a macro of some kind, a 150 or 180, there pretty much be any dam thing because they currently have almost nothing. But with shocking developments like the DA* 11-18, I don't think anyone has a clue what they're thinking. Why would they have 8-12 equivalent lens available in APS-c when most landscape people would prefer to shot UWA with a full frame? It's mystifying. The APS_c crowd already has the 12-24. They are duplicating APS-c lenses while ignoring UWA on FF, to me it makes no sense.

I just have to be positive and assume they re doing the best they can with what they have to work with. And given falling DSLR sales, what they have to work with is likely to include fewer production runs over the next 10 years, than there were over the last 10. Given that at least 20 viable lenses, both zooms and primes that would fill gaps in their line up are conservatively needed, at 2 per year, what are the odds fo them coming out with your dream lens? You are much better going with what's already out there, than dreaming about what might come.

Or to be even more to the point, if I really want a modern UWA I just have to cough up the doh for a 15-30 and quit dreaming about something else. Apart from the weight thing it sounds fantastic. There is probably no 15-30 ƒ4 ) -r 20 3.5 or 24mm coming, There are too many other gaps to fill and too few resources to fill them with.

Pentax should tap into Zeiss like Sony and Panasonic did. It might be their last shot at actually having a line up of modern lenses where a photographer can go too work with glass, all less than 10 years old in ti's design and concentrating more on the efficiencies of small scale production runs. More smaller shorter runs, more fvarities of glass a year, instead of long runs producing glass to last 10 years in a warehouse.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 2 Days Ago  
DFA*50 1.4 coming
Posted By normhead
Replies: 2,719
Views: 205,738
This all goes back to the notion that FA ltd are assembled from old stock. I think we can assume that any lens since the DA 560 in 2013 has been HD. Components manufactured before that were SMC. With the lenses like the 21 ltd that have both SMC and HD versions, there was a second manufacturing run since that time. SMC lenses released since 2008 were sell offs of old stock, not new production runs, and that would include all the FA lenses.

That gives you a really good indication of how many manufacturing runs Pentax has going. Probably not more than 4 -8 per year/ or 4 at a time, of which 2 are old designs and 2 are new ones. You would guess given market share, Nikon or Canon would have up to 8 times that many. Hence the shortage of selection in modern Pentax glass.

At that rate, not only do they have a lack of new designs, they have no chance of catching up. Their new designs will no longer be considered "modern" by the time they've hit all the bases to fill out the line up.

What they've done is probably the best we could hope for. 15-450 covered in high quality zooms with a few modern primes thrown in. If you take that production as a base line, Pentax would need 20% more market share to go to 5 production lines instead of 4. So long story short, Pentax modern designs will always be behind the big boys. and they will lose ground year after year, At current market share they don't have the capacity to pull even forget about surpass anyone. They simply can't afford to run more production lines with this amount of market share. New lenses can only hurt sales of older lenses of which they still have stock. The pie is too small.

You gotta be happy with what you have. With two or three new designs a year, the odds of them getting to less popular UWA designs anytime soon is really poor. Too bad the new UWA is APS-c. It's hard to imagine that many shooters are going to be completely happy, without relying on some older pre-2008 glass.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 2 Days Ago  
DFA*50 1.4 coming
Posted By normhead
Replies: 2,719
Views: 205,738
The guy did say it was the best wedding video he'd ever seen. I wonder if the next time they want to watch it, the technology will still be there to view the DVD?

I especially like the part where the bridesmaid stepped on the Bride's trail. There was some real slapstick there. Showed from three different angles. I'd watch it again just for that. :D

The hubby thought it was really funny, the bride, not so much, but she didn't ask to have it removed. :D

Sometimes I think I'm funnier than everyone else does. :D
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 2 Days Ago  
DFA*50 1.4 coming
Posted By normhead
Replies: 2,719
Views: 205,738
Since the limited are all hand assembled, my assumption is that they are assembled in small numbers to meet current demand, as needed. If you aren't doing an all machine production run, there is probably little cost benefit to assembling those lenses before there is a demand for them, and it would certainly mean less money tied up in the warehouse waiting for buyers.



Manufacture, or assemble? And how would we know?

The current 31 ltd listed at B&H, is SMC, the glass at least was manufactured while pentax was still doing SMC coatings. All the newly manufactured lenses are HD.

As well all the DA*s are SMC. All the DFAs are SMC but the 5 recent ones are HD. My guess is all lenses designed and manufactured after the HD DA 560 have been HD, while all lenses from before that have already been ground and coated, and will remain SMC until current blanks are gone. I really don't see Pentax going back and forth on their production lines producing both SMC and HD lenses on different days. Just a guess, but a guess with evidence to support it.

I'd give it at least a 70% chance all current production runs are with HD coatings. SMC are all being assembled from pre-manufactured glass.

As far as I know there is not even one lens that has been manufactured with both SMC and HD coatings. Another reason to believe the coatings have already been applied, and that new coatings are not being applied to older glass, or older coatings are not being applied to newly manufactured glass.

You can almost say, SMC, manufactured before the HD DA 560, HD, manufactured after the HD DA 560. There is not a shred of evidence that there is a coating facility still doing SMC coating. SO we know all FAs and Das were manufactured before 2013. When they were assembled is the only question.

Since the limiteds are hand assembled. whether or not they are assembled to meet demand or were all assembled at time of production is open to question. assembly line produced models I think you have to assume the entire production was done at time of manufacture, including assembly.

By my count, there are 9 HD lenses released including the 560, which we can round off to 2014, making a little over 2 releases a year. That would seem to be it for Pentax's production lines for APS-c and FF combined. People should temper their expectations with that knowledge.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 2 Days Ago  
DFA*50 1.4 coming
Posted By normhead
Replies: 2,719
Views: 205,738
I got my FA 50 1.7, which I still use and travel with fairly often. There's the DA 50. I also have the FA 50 macro 2.8 and there the FA 50 1.4.

It may be the most popular focal length, but there's also a lot more lenses that cover it. Although PLM versions of every consumer grade lens would be awesome. Forget SDM.

I Just don't see any sign that's going to happen. When the 55-300 PLM was released there was a lot of hope. I could see going for a whole PLM line-up. Then nothing. Now I'm completely asleep in terms of paying attention to that issue.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 2 Days Ago  
DFA*50 1.4 coming
Posted By normhead
Replies: 2,719
Views: 205,738
I'm starting to go with the theory that part of the Pentax strategy is to liquidate the apparently mountiain of 31 ltd, 43 ltd, 77 ltd., FA 50 macro, DFA 100 macro and 200mm ƒ2.8, and other older lenses in the catalogue. Especially the limiteds are probably assembled on demand, and the material costs are covered, just assembly waiting to happen. That is a terrific business model for a business you bought and now have to recover the purchase cost. I'm convinced a large part of the value of pentax was glass blanks lying around in a factory/warehouse somewhere.

They have to have the new lenses, but they'll make money on the FLs not covered by the new lenses. The 85 replaces the older FA*85m the 50 replaces the older 50 1.4. But those are going to be commercial quality lenses. Those looking for consumer quality glass, can look at the used market, there is lots of it.

My FA-J 18-35 will do me until a new 20 prime comes out. If it's 5 years, I don't really care. If I get desperate then an off brand 20mm manual focus lens will do.

For new consumer glass there is the excellent 28-105, and whatever old glass is still around. Assuming that new consumer glass would be better than older high end glass, like the DA*60-250 is probably a big mistake.

With a larger format, everything has to be bigger and more costly. That's just just physics. The Pentax and Tokina 20-35s, the 24-50s the old M and K 20s, eetc.are there for consumer quality glass. The Samyang/Rokinons are there for people who want more. It's not like we don't have options. Just not options people find appealing. My poorly rated 18-35 is so rarely use, because I don't have enough call for the focal length, I probably wouldn't buy a really high end 20. The cost per image taken would be prohibitive. many times my 18-35 doesn't come out of the bag, because it's not needed. The odd shot has too much distortion to be useful, but it's surprising what you can get out of such a lens. For the hobbyist, that's part of the challenge.
Forum: Lens Clubs 2 Days Ago  
The 300mm plus lens Club discuss your long lenses.
Posted By normhead
Replies: 27,341
Views: 2,342,389
Looking good there luftuss. Don't you love how the snow turns the world into a studio with a white back drop and the snow acts as a huge reflector for even top to bottom lighting? My favourite time to shoot birds is with snow on the ground or back ground.
Forum: Pentax K-1 2 Days Ago  
Post your K-1 pictures!
Posted By normhead
Replies: 14,156
Views: 1,230,089
I was looking at this image thinking "this looks diffraction limited or has been photoshop "watercolour" filtered. Then you click on the flickr link, and it looks a little better, then you click on the "plus" and you see it has amazing detail. The downsized forum version doesn't come anywhere close to doing it justice.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 2 Days Ago  
DFA*50 1.4 coming
Posted By normhead
Replies: 2,719
Views: 205,738
My last wedding I had 3 different video cameras set up, 3 video guys and a stills guy. Since you want video and still taken at the same time, I don't see how you get around that.

My cousin, "the photographer" for rich and famous weddings in Seattle, used to have as part of most packages a 36x24 canvas wall mounted image in an expensive frame. I'm sure a 24 MP camera would not be the best for that.

But then most wedding photographers don't have that kind of clientele. It all depends on what kind of wedding photgrapher you are. When they camera out, Nikon D4s low light cameras were the craze for shooting receptions and the mingling before and after the weddings. These phases just come and go. The most used camera for weddings as far as i can tell, are canons and they just keep chugging along despite very few new bells and whistles. Just good solid all around performance in their professional models.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 2 Days Ago  
DFA*50 1.4 coming
Posted By normhead
Replies: 2,719
Views: 205,738
My advice would be don't take advice from professionals who work in an area that will be different than your own. Whatever line of work it is, it will have demands that are different than yours.

Its odd that when Winder above discusses the K-1 and A9, he doesn't mention image quality. Pentax classified it as field camera. Winder purchased it as a wedding camera. That's all you need to know about why he had to switch. If you buy gear based on the advice of professionals, you will end up with gear inappropriate to your needs.

Most professionals I've met have a great deal of problem understanding that. They tend to be so locked into their own world, they aren't really capable of understanding the more relaxed, "just dong this for fun" attitude of advanced amateurs, or of other professionals working in different areas of endeavour, like wild life or landscape. They buy gear specialized to what they are doing, then assume that everyone else needs what they need.

For me this conversation has been going on for 50 years. Same conversation 5-10 different wedding photographers.

Wedding photographers are great at giving advice to other wedding photographers. After that, they are just guys who have way more expensive gear than the average photo enthusiast, and have a professional duty to make sure the clients and everyone else knows they have the best gear for the job.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 3 Days Ago  
Is the Pentax HD DA AF Rear Converter 1.4x AW OK with the FA* 300 F/2.8?
Posted By normhead
Replies: 17
Views: 592
I actually told folks the 1.4 didn't vignette with my Tammy, and sometimes it doesn't. I've never narrowed down the factors as to why it does and why it doesn't. So, you're right, you really have to try it on the lens. All I know is somedays I feel lucky, and I put it on the K-1. Sometimes it vignettes, sometimes it doesn't. I should keep better track of the results.
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