The Online Photographer

Check out our new site at www.theonlinephotographer.com!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

CameraLabs.com on the Limiteds


Gordon at CameraLabs.com has posted a nice video overview of the Pentax 40mm and 70mm Limiteds, which, among other things, gives you the best idea short of seeing them in person just how small these lenses actually are. It's part of a more complete suite of Pentax reviews.

Posted by: MIKE JOHNSTON, thanks to Eolake

Featured Comment by Jeff Kott: "I recently acquired the K10D and the six Pentax limited lenses. After about a month of use I will probably be selling the DA 40 and DA 70 because I find I am using the 43mm ƒ/1.8 and 77mm ƒ/1.8 instead.

The 43/1.8 is not that much bigger than the DA 40, but you gain over a full stop and the 43mm is sharper than the 40mm at ƒ/2.8. I have started using the lens hood from the DA 40mm on the 43mm. The DA 40mm lens hood makes the 43mm very compact and it works great with the APS-C sensor. My never leave home without it camera is the K10D plus 43mm with the DA 40mm lens hood attached in a Lowepro Sliplock 50 pouch. BTW, the DA 40mm lens hood is available separaely from B&H.

"Similarly, the 77/1.8 Limited isn't that much bigger than the DA 70mm, but you get an extra stop.

"The 40mm and 70mm focus a little quicker than the 43mm and 77mm and have the quick shift focus option. But, for a minimal increase in size, I'll find myself going for the wider aperture of the 43mm and 77mm."

5 Comments:

Blogger Awake said...

I don't get it... if you are using an SLR, minor variations in lens size are not all that important, and certainly lenses that are even twice as thick wouldn't make much of a difference. But as the reviews show, the smaller lenses are not outstanding examples of optical performance, so what is the point of trading off lens performance for questionably useful weight and size savings?

12:58 PM  
Blogger Clayton said...

I Second everything Jeff Kott said. I too have a K10 with the 43 and 77 Ltds (and also the 31mm). I would add one more important thing: these are full frame lenses from the film era. Not only are they faster, the image circle is bigger. So the APS capture area is in the central sweet spot, well away from the edges and any potential degradation from vignetting, softness or distortion. I've found the image quality from these to be superb.

Regards,
Clayton


Info on black and white digital printing at
http://www.cjcom.net/digiprnarts.htm

3:43 PM  
Blogger Clayton said...

Reply to Awake:

"as the reviews show, the smaller lenses are not outstanding examples of optical performance"

Actually, these lenses are very good. I was disappointed in the You Tube piece because he focused almost toatlly on their size and didn't mention their fine optical qualities.

It wasn't a real lens review and the only mention of optical quality was to point out the minor CA of the 70 which I think occurs only at some apertures (I haven't used the 70, but there are people in the Pentax forum who actually prefer it over the 77). In that sense IMO the piece falls into the back-handed compliment category. It's too bad that people should come away with a low opinion, just based on that one comment.

Anyone who is truly interested should do some research and find out what these lenses are all about. Read some real reviews.

Our own Mike Johnston pointed out in one of his Luminous Landscape columns that the full frame Pentax Ltds (31, 43, 77) are among the finest prime lenses ever made (my own experience bears this out - they outclass the regular Pentax primes [which are very good] which I used for years - I sold my entire collection of them after comparing with the Ltds on the K10). These newer "digital" versions with smaller image circle are also very fine lenses and deserving of their good reputation. Again, do some real research.

Regards,
Clayton


Info on black and white digital printing at
http://www.cjcom.net/digiprnarts.htm

5:18 PM  
Blogger Clayton said...

Reply to Jeff,

"My never leave home without it camera is the K10D plus 43mm"

I agree the 43 is a wonderful all purpose lens. I recently returned from a 12-day photo expedition hunting landscapes in Utah with the K10 and the 31/43/77 Ltds. About 75% of the pics were with the 43, and about an even split of the remaining 25% with the 31 and 77. It's a fantastic lens.

A few of my pics are on line now, all taken with the 43.

http://www.cjcom.net/canyon-a.htm

Regards,
Clayton


Info on black and white digital printing at
http://www.cjcom.net/digiprnarts.htm

5:34 PM  
Blogger Fernando said...

Awake:
"But as the reviews show, the smaller lenses are not outstanding examples of optical performance"

You mean these reviews?:
photozone review:"The Pentax SMC DA 40mm f/2.8 leaves little to be desired in terms of optical performance and build quality. It is capable to produce very sharp images across the frame straight from the max. aperture. Distortions are marginal and CAs are a non-issue. Vignetting is quite pronounced at f/2.8 but not a show-stopper. The bokeh (out-of-focus blur) is pretty smooth."

pop photography review:"SQF numbers show unusual sharpness. Slightly better than the comparable Nikon 45mm f/2.8P Nikkor AI-S, the Pentax pancake's SQF performance falls in the Excellent range at every aperture and magnification. DxO Analyzer 2.0 tests found slight barrel distortion (0.20%), which is average for the class. Light falloff was gone by f/4, also average. At the close-focusing distance of 15.7 inches, its magnification ratio is 1:8.2, better than the Pentax 43mm's 1:12.4, but not the equal of Nikon's 1:7.4."

"minor variations in lens size are not all that important, and certainly lenses that are even twice as thick wouldn't make much of a difference"
Maybe not for landscape, but for some uses, like street photography and candid, they do make a difference. You won't know until you try it.

8:49 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home