AP Test of 12-24 and 50-200 lenses


johnriley

Link Posted 20/10/2007 - 11:09
The new AP arrived on time today, thank goodness the Postal Strikes seem to be calming down or over.

A very interesting review of the Pentax and Samsung 12-24mm and 50-200mm lenses, very complimentary and with some fascinating comments.

We here seem to think the lenses are a Tokina/Pentax design. Geoffrey Crawley thinks they are a Schneider design.

GC reports the coatings are of different colours, but give virtually identical transmission qualities. The Schneider allows slightly more transmission, which he puts down to Schneider coatings being applied.

The distortion figures for the 12-24mm are astounding - virtually zero at the mid-point of the zoom.

The chromatic abberation curves are also amazing - the RGB curves are pretty much identical at most focal lengths.

Whilst some of GC's assumptions seem very much at odds with what is generally believed, the lens measurements made reveal two very high quality optics with no difference in performance from the Pentax or the Schneider versions, for obvious reasons.

Very interesting indeed - well worth buying a copy of AP to read it.
Best regards, John

Clarky

Link Posted 20/10/2007 - 11:42
Thanks John some good info
Camera:|K-7|
Pentax Lenses:|DA12-24/f4 ED AL|DA35Ltd Macro|FA31Ltd|FA77Ltd|FA50/1.4|F70-210|FA20-35 f4/AL|A*200/f4 Macro ED|A50/1.7|A50 Macro f2.8|1.7xAF adapter|
Voigtlander|125/f2.5SL Macro APO Lanthar|
Sigma Lenses:|EX DG 100-300 f4|2X & 1.4X TC|
Flashes:|AF540FGZx2|RingFlash AF160FC|

stevejcoe

Link Posted 20/10/2007 - 11:53
Good to see the lenses getting a positive review.

From a business perspective it makes sense for Pentax to form alliances and it really does not matter whether it is Tokina, Schneider or Tamron for that matter. Reduced development costs and time to market are very important.
I would be concerned for the long term if Pentax outsourced all design work and lost this core competence.

The point about coatings is interesting and if true goes against the generally held belief that Pentax have superior coating technology.

I am not sure if Pentax reserves its latest/greatest coatings for the * or Ltd lenses. Anyone know?

niblue

Link Posted 20/10/2007 - 12:01
stevejcoe wrote:
The point about coatings is interesting and if true goes against the generally held belief that Pentax have superior coating technology.

These days I think all the manufacturers have good coatings. I use a mix of 3rd party and Pentax lenses and have seen no evidence that Pentax lenses are more flare resistant than the others. I've actually been very impressed at how flare resistant both my two widest lenses (Sigma 10-20, Pentax 10-17) are.

Reuben0

Link Posted 20/10/2007 - 12:54
johnriley wrote:

We here seem to think the lenses are a Tokina/Pentax design. Geoffrey Crawley thinks they are a Schneider design.

GC reports the coatings are of different colours, but give virtually identical transmission qualities. The Schneider allows slightly more transmission, which he puts down to Schneider coatings being applied.

...

Whilst some of GC's assumptions seem very much at odds with what is generally believed, the lens measurements made reveal two very high quality optics with no difference in performance from the Pentax or the Schneider versions, for obvious reasons.

Well I think GC is talking out of his proverbial

I've had at the same time both the Samsung and Pentax variants of the 50-200 (sold the Pentax one now) and they are IDENTICAL, apart from the rubber grip. I don't know how GC measured the "colour" of the coating, but it looks identical to my eye. Performance was also identical as far as I could tell. Even the cardboard box and packaging is the same, apart from branding differences.

It's also far from being a "very high quality optic"! It's an ok zoom which is very good value for money, but definitely not "very high quality". This is confirmed by every test I've ever seen of it...

I look forward to reading the review for myself

R

johnriley

Link Posted 20/10/2007 - 14:26
Quote:
It's also far from being a "very high quality optic"!

All I can say is that we have two of these lenses (50-200mm) and also the 12-24mm and they all deliver excellent results. It will no doubt be possssible to get a bad one, but that applies to everything, Leica included.

As for GC, we will all need to read it and draw our own conclusions. What he says in some things does seem at variance with the received wisdom.
Best regards, John

Hythloday

Link Posted 20/10/2007 - 15:56
johnriley wrote:
Geoffrey Crawley thinks they are a Schneider design.

I have been trying to find some information about the link Schneider Kreuznach and Samsung. It was not difficult to find it. It is on www.schneiderkreuznach.com . Unfortunately for you, this page is in German:

http://www.schneiderkreuznach.com/samsung/objektive_samsung.htm

DA12-24mm
DA50-200mm
DA18-55mm
D-FA100mm macro
FA35mm
DA10-17mm

are in fact all Schneider Kreuznach designs. Pentax hardly developed any lenses themselves. Practically all lens expertise has been bought from Schneider Kreuznach, Tokina, Tamron.

johnriley

Link Posted 20/10/2007 - 16:01
Can somebody provide a summary in English?
Best regards, John

Hythloday

Link Posted 20/10/2007 - 16:06
johnriley wrote:
Can somebody provide a summary in English?

A translation by Babelfish:

Also the best camera is only as good as their objective - applies to modern digitalcompact just like for semiprofessionelle mirror reflex cameras with highly soluble image sensors. For this reason Samsung begins in many digital camera models high-performance lenses of cutter cross after. DSLR and compact objectives of the record-suspicious Varioplan Ultrazoom in the semiprofessionellen Samsung Pro815 with an smallpicture-equivalent focal length range of 28 - 420 mm, over the highly soluble mini zoom shots of the Samsung NV Kompaktserie up to the exquisiten fixed focal lengths and zoom shots of the D-xenon and D-Xenogon-row for the GX Spiegelreflex cameras of Samsung: Cutter cross after vouches here as quality seal for best imaging capacities. With the development of modern zooms the decades of experience come to carrying, which are based among other things on the world-famous Variogon series. The more focal lengths in an objective to be united must, becomes the more aufwaendiger the correction of optical remaining errors. The employment of specialized computational programs on ultramodern computers and the know-how of cutter engineers vouch even with extreme zoom shot ranges and high-bright constructions always for optical completion. Also the cutter precision objectives consider to the circumstance that with the introduction of the digital photography the claims of quality rose to the optics of a camera enormously. A central meaning for new, still years ago inconceivable objective constructions like ultrakompakte cutter superzoom shot 2.8 - 4.0/28 - 270 mm in the Samsung NV7 OPS plays in the meantime the Asphaerentechnologie. Aspheric elements, how they are used in many cutter optics for Samsung, raise the leistungsniveau of a compact or a change objective clearly and permit bright, compact building methods without reductions with the image quality.

johnriley

Link Posted 20/10/2007 - 16:43
Well thank heavens for clarification... ...so far as I can see, and someone can happily correct me, nowhere does this advertising page claim that Samsung designed all these lenses. It says pretty much what I would have expected it to say, and a similar Pentax page could have probably said exactly the same.
Best regards, John

Hythloday

Link Posted 20/10/2007 - 17:25

Hythloday

Link Posted 20/10/2007 - 17:41
johnriley wrote:
Well thank heavens for clarification... ...so far as I can see, and someone can happily correct me, nowhere does this advertising page claim that Samsung designed all these lenses. It says pretty much what I would have expected it to say, and a similar Pentax page could have probably said exactly the same.

Samsung uses high-performance lenses from Schneider-Kreuznach in many of their digital camera models: zoom lenses the D-Xenon and D-Xenogon range for the GX SLR cameras from Samsung:

This advertising page is quite clear, all the D-Xenon and D-Xenogon lenses are from Schneider Kreuznach.

There are some mistakes in English. The German "von" has been translated in English by "from". The German preposition "von" clearly indicates "made by". The correct English prepositon is by.

I understand from this advertising page that the Samsung lenses have been designed by Schneider Kreuznach. They actually bear that name. When I put one and one together (just guesswork): The Samsung GX10 and the older models GX-1L and GX-1S were in fact Pentax cameras. Samsung had the lens designs for the lenses. And Samsung/Schneider Kreuznach licenced Pentax to produce the lenses:

"Cooperation for the benefit of end users: Schneider-Kreuznach has been cooperating closely with the Samsung technology group since 1995, thereby making Schneider professional lens systems accessible to hobby and amateur photographers."

http://www.schneiderkreuznach.com/samsung/index_e.htm

johnriley

Link Posted 20/10/2007 - 17:43
Thanks, that's better!

It's fair to say though that nowhere do they actually claim to have designed the lenses we are talking about. The wording is the usual wonderful marketing-speak and the technical stuff refers to lenses that Schneider undoubtably have designed and built themselves in the days when German manufacture was the norm for them.

Now we know the DSLR lenses are made in the Pentax factories in Vietnam.

The question really is were the designs Pentax/Tokina as we thought or were they Pentax/Schneider as GC seems to think.

We may never know for sure, although I have my own thoughts on it as I'm sure you all do as well.
Best regards, John

Reuben0

Link Posted 20/10/2007 - 17:53
johnriley wrote:
Quote:
It's also far from being a "very high quality optic"!

All I can say is that we have two of these lenses (50-200mm) and also the 12-24mm and they all deliver excellent results.

No disagreement with that John

I've taken a lot of good shots (mostly portraits) with my 50-200. It's got great contrast and good bokeh, but I just wouldn't class it as a "very high quality optic" in the technical sense of corner sharpness, vignetting etc.

R

Hythloday

Link Posted 20/10/2007 - 17:59
johnriley wrote:
Thanks, that's better!
Now we know the DSLR lenses are made in the Pentax factories in Vietnam.

The question really is were the designs Pentax/Tokina as we thought or were they Pentax/Schneider as GC seems to think.

We may never know for sure, although I have my own thoughts on it as I'm sure you all do as well.

I agree with your last statement. But from what I have read I am quite convinced that Schneider Kreuznach did the lens designs and Tokina and Pentax each manufactured the actual lenses in their own factories. The speed with which Pentax came with the DA lenses was amazing. Pentax was the last camera brand to jump into the DSLR market and had to set up a system.

The Samsung lenses are not called so, they are called Schneider Kreuznach:

Schneider AF D-Xenogon 2,0/35 Pentax/Samsung
Schneider AF D-Xenon 2,8/100 MakroPentax/Samsung
Schneider AF D-Xenon 3,5-5,6/18-55Pentax/Samsung
Schneider AF D-Xenon 4,0-5,6/50-200 Pentax/Samsung
Schneider AF D-Xenon 4,0/12-24 Pentax/Samsung

The DA16-45mm is called Samsung AF 4,0/16-45 Pentax/Samsung

We can safely assume that Pentax lenses are also named Schneider Kreuznach. Whether the lenses were designed by Schneider Kreuznach of by Pentax, I don't care. They are good lenses.

BTW: If you even come to Bad Kreuznach it is a lovely place to use your Pentax lenses. You will take many lovely pictures.
Add a Comment
You must be registered or logged-in to comment.