Dead AF on DFA* 1.4

Started Jan 4, 2019 | Discussions thread
Dericali Regular Member • Posts: 209
Re: The Thrilling Conclusion

Adam007 wrote:


Let's say you were at a photography event with 100 other photographers. Inexplicably, they are all using prime lenses, and the conditions require people to switch lenses frequently. What percentage of photographers, in your opinion, will replace front and rear caps every time they put a lens back into the sling bag or lens pouch - a process they might repeat dozens of time before packing everything up for the day?

If you think the answer is more than 10%, then we simply disagree. Northrup had a video about ignoring your front cap, and the inimitable Ken Rockwell has said the same thing. Whether or not they are right is beside the point; this perspective isn't exactly coming from Mars.

You might be conflating optimal practice with typical practice, in your appeal to "common sense". For all kinds of reasons, it's obviously safest to replace both caps every time. But down here on planet earth, it is down to manufacturers to take note of the fact that this doesn't happen very often. And I'm going to reiterate what I wrote a month ago - this rear contact design is susceptible to damage in a way that other Pentax designs aren't. My FA Limiteds weren't exactly cheap - but they don't suffer from this problem. I'm sure there is a technical explanation for why Pentax has moved in this direction. And I'm sure someone at Pentax pointed out the risks of doing so.

To an extent difficult to gauge in an online conversation, the difference between us appears to be one of emphasis. I agree that using the caps is the safest approach - scratching the rear element, fingerprints, carrying dirt near the sensor - these are all good reasons to be careful. Had I done that, there would be no discussion from me on Pentax's design choices. Getting a tiny and ridiculously fragile, yet vital, contact caught by the soft material of a camera bag interior was, until now, not some obvious risk one should consider when handling lenses normally.

I don't see pros changing lenses a bunch at shows. However let's say that they are. If they're putting the lenses into a bag where each lens is partitioned by soft dividers, e.g. as in the low pro back packs, then it's possibly fine as a temporary measure. If they're jangling against other lenses or hard objects then I'd say they're nuts. It also depends if the bag /sling is being thrown around etc.

What kind of show is that they don't have a few extra minutes in a day to take gear of their gear? Is it a war zone, or is it a boring AF trade fair?

And remember that replacing rear caps is super easy because every lens has the same fitting one. If you get into the habit of changing the rear caps, you're going to take about an extra second per lens.

When I look at the metal contacts on the new Pentax DFA lenses, they don't look fragile, and they look a lot like the contacts on other lenses like the Canon EF mount. I don't think they would easily get damaged if you're sliding them into a soft part of a bag, but it could happen if you grated them on the zip or something.

I''ve never worked with a pro that put lenses in a bag uncapped. Leave them around uncapped when using them on a shoot, sure, but not put them, front or back uncapped, in contact with other things. Maybe you got some advice to the contrary - and maybe this advice came from people you respect, and are even widely respected (Northrup isn't) - but that doesn't stop it being bad advice.

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