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Thursday, September 14, 2006

The World's One and Only?!?

Along with the K10 yesterday, Pentax also introduced its third prime DA, making Pentax the only manufacturer in the world that allows its customers to purchase a basic 3-lens set of prime lenses (wide, normal, and moderate tele) made for digital sensors. (I put that phrase in italics not because I think it's so great, but because it amazes me that no other manufacturers bother to provide something so basic.)

The new lens is a 70mm ƒ/2.4 and, like the previous DA's before it (the 40mm and the 21mm), is a pancake.



Blogger stevierose said...

Well, Mike, this may sound strange--but the fact that Pentax has provided these three lenses and what looks like it may be a real "large glass pentaprism with 95% coverage" may actually pry me away from Canon EOS after 15 years. I think these Pentax folks have really put some thought into how to differentiate themselves from the pack with a few very nice touches that will appeal more to photographers than pixel peepers. Here's hoping the noise level is well controlled at ISO 400 and 800.

7:55 PM  
Blogger Daniel Liu said...

It's cool, but I still don't see the point of having a 40mm digital lens. I think 5-10mm shorter and it'd sell like pancakes. And am I the only one that thinks it looks weird when the grip extends farther than the lens? Oh well, the past few days have made me glad I bought an *istds a week before the minolta 5d came out...

8:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am very, very tempted by this. Those three primes (and perhaps the Sigma 30/1.4 just because I love that lens) and that body seems like a dream come true.

If real reviews don't have any nasty surprises regarding high-ISO noise, my Canon is going on the block this winter.


8:24 PM  
Blogger StephaneB said...

I agree and when you go through the K10D details or hold a K100D, you can't help to remember that phrase you used, John: "I love the way those people think". It is the same when I use my 645Nii, pure joy, they *must* have photographers involded at design stage, not just for the final tests.

9:38 PM  
Blogger tienvijftien said...

Pentax is really gaining momentum - as far as I can tell, indeed with - already said earlier - touches and details on their camera's that will draw a specific crowd away from the innovation-deprived 'eyes-closed' successors of CaNikon. Who undoubtly on diverso photofora will continue to say: not enough lenses, not enough support, small brand, blablabla.
Whereas Minolta was the underdog before, I think Pentax might be the 'new Minolta' - innovation where it counts. Now lets wait for the quality reviews.

2:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Mike what about Alpha with 20mm f2.8 - 28mm f2.8 - 35mm f1.4 and 50mm f1.4.

3:59 AM  
Blogger Thomas said...


"But when it comes to the best autofocus lenses in the world, whether for a viewfinder camera or SLRs, it's still Zeiss and Pentax, baby, same as the old days."

© Mike Johnston 2002

You're prescient; any stock recommendations?

1:27 PM  
Blogger thiago said...

Hey Mike!
Greetings from Brazil! It's so cool to have found your blog, after reading some of your texts at Luminous Landscape!

Regarding the Pentax, I couldn't agree more. I myself, being a Nikon shooter, got pretty interested in the upcoming K10D, with all those features and especially price. Which made me investigate Pentax glass...

Wow is all I could say. I'm definitely a prime shooter in the wide to short tele range, and Pentax is the only manufacturer I see offering this for an APS-C camera.

I'm especially interested in the 14 and 21 DA lenses. Those are beautiful Pentax-exclusive lenses that the other manufacturers could bother making, but I guess all they release for APS-C is zooms. Oh well... :-(

3:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If they bring out a small sized SLR like the panasonic/leica digilux 3, I'm sold.

The size of a 1970's amateur SLR... it would fit in a pocket on holiday, with these pancakes

4:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a pancake to my Pentax ME. That was very small for a SLR and it was great fun and often used. The shortcomings - so what!

5:36 PM  
Blogger David A. Goldfarb said...

Hmmm...a very compact Pentax SLR with a small sensor and a choice of compact prime lenses. This sounds very familiar...

5:40 PM  
Blogger Adam McAnaney said...

Ha! I was just considering buying a Pentax 110 yesterday. Perhaps I have Pentax on the brain? Or maybe I just can't wait until the K10D is available...

6:45 PM  
Blogger D. Kreithen said...

Uh, Pentax already has released a number of digital bodies that are the size of 70s era SLRs. The current K100D is 130mm x 92.5mm x 70mm. The Pentax MX was 136mm x 83mm x 49mm. The handgrip accounts for the difference between 70mm and 49mm in the one dimension. The previous *ist series was of similar size.

8:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd say the lenses you get are the DA 14mm, 21mm, and 70mm. That's an equivalent of 21mm, 31mm, and 105mm. The 40mm would be so much better as a 35mm. I prefer a "wider" normal, not the "tighter" normal that the 60mm-equivalent provides.

I've got my K100D, I'm now saving for the lenses.

9:44 PM  
Blogger arbus said...

The DA 21 is the lens I've been wishing that Olympus would make. As "obsolete" as my E-1 is, there is still a lot to like about the camera.

I'm very tempted to get a K10D and the 21. This seems like an awesome "carry anywhere and all the time" combo.

10:47 PM  
Blogger zzzzz said...

The more I hear about this, the more I'm interested in it. I've always had a soft spot for Pentax, but having just invested in a Canon 30D (my first DSLR) I don't see picking up one of these anytime soon. I've been drooling over prime lenses lately too...

11:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here, those can't be no proper lenses, they got no apature ring! Seriously, what have these companies got against apature rings....I feel like grabing the designers, showing them one of their great lenses from the past and saying "make it look like this so us poor dumb dinosaurs can operate it" If they are charging four or five c-notes for these things, then they can doggone make them work like real lenses. I know I sound like a grump, but if they can sell a complex multi-element zoom lens for $100, then why do these have to be five times the price?

12:19 AM  
Blogger RobertoC said...

Very interesting set of lenses indeed.
But, is there any environmental-sealed lens in the Pentax portfolio? You get a fully sealed body, and there is no competitor for that within four times the price. But what for, if the rain can leak from the lens? Am I missing something?

9:01 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

If I buy the new Pentax, Mike, it's all your fault.

10:34 AM  
Blogger Mike Johnston said...

"If I buy the new Pentax, Mike, it's all your fault."

I can live with that. (s)


11:33 AM  
Blogger Paul Stenquist said...

Hi Mike,
I came close to moving to Canon a few years back. I'm now very happy that I didn't. The K10D is everything I want in a DSLR, and the new glass is superb. I used the DA 12-24/4 for a magazine shoot of a home interior, and the results were great. I'm looking forward to more primes from Pentax with ring-motor autofocus.
Paul Stenquist

1:52 PM  
Blogger Jeremy said...

The introduction of this lens was made known since March this year. Nobody paid attention:

4:39 AM  

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