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PENTAXians..... tell me about your favorite lenses

Discussion in 'Pentax K-01 Forum' started by Luke, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    OK, the FA77 limited is out. I see what others do with it and it's clearly a gem...maybe if I stay with the system long term.

    How would go about building a SMALL system to cover most of your bases. I have the 18-135WR and plan on using that for awhile until I map out a game plan. The WR is why I'm buying into it and the range covers all I need. I understand the trade-off in such a wide focal range and I've seen samples and I'm fine with it.

    I also have an old 50mm f1.4 Super Takumar that I will try on it too. I've loved shooting with on my m43 bodies and the focus peaking of the K-30 should only add to the pleasure in using it.

    So that's what I have to start. What I'm looking for is some suggestions to fill out the kit. I'm tempted by the Bigma for it's outrageous focal range and I can find the lest generation used for around $800, but I think I'll wait on that one until I decide if I'll be a lifelong Pentaxian. I think a fast constant zoom for the most commonly focal lengths might be handy, but maybe the 18-135 is good enough for a walkaround and spend a little extra on a great prime in the mild wide to normal range. Keeping in mind that I have the 50mm perhaps a high quality longer zoom. And this is where is gets dicey......how much to spend for how much performance? I also like macro and wouldn't mind getting the best one I can afford....especially if it's also great at non-macro. Maybe something longer like a 90 or 100mm macro that can be a fast tele as well?

    Let's hear your suggestions. And if this is impetus for you to clean out your lens closet, feel free to shoot me some private messages with enticing prices :wink:

    Thanks for your time and your input.
     
  2. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    Other than the DA70/2.4, my favorite lens was the FA35/2. Still available new for $399 at BH even though it's officially discontinued. Performance very close to the much revered and much more expensive FA31/1.8. Also has an aperture ring for adapted use in other mirrorless systems. Lens is not a pancake, but still fairly compact. Highly recommended!!
     

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  3. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    For fast short tele and also a macro, there's the FA100/2.8WR. The construction is awesome. All metal and weather sealed. This lens should be a limited. But for whatever reasons, it's not. Super sharp lens. For normal distance photo, the AF is ok. But for short range, it can hunt a bit. And it sounds like a dentist drill. Great lens nevertheless.
     

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  4. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    Have you always had the K30 or new toy?
     
  5. JJJPhoto

    JJJPhoto SC Regular

    71
    Jun 12, 2012
    My favorite Pentax lenses (other than the FA77) are as follows ... and all of these can be found on the used market most of the time for reasonable prices if you want to build a solid kit of quality primes.

    DA 40mm f/2.8 Limited pancake ... surprisingly small and surprisingly stellar:
    IMGP0103-L.

    DA* 55mm f/1.4 ... my go-to portrait lens indoors when the 77mm is a little too long:
    [​IMG]

    FA 135mm f/2.8 IF ... I always thought it was an odd focal length on 35mm film but on DSLRs with APS-C sensors it's a perfect replacement for a 200mm f/2.8 prime:
    [​IMG]
    IMGP0077-L.

    Even though they aren't Pentax specific, I also love the Sigma Aspherical 14mm f/2.8 EX or the Sigma 8mm f/3.5 fisheye for dramatic wide angle compositions:
    IMGP3317-L.
    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    The flip-flopper strikes again. Weather resistant bodies...... K-30 $600 (new), OMD with grip ($950 used). Since my X100s is my main rig, i thought I'd lower my investment in my back-up set-up (before the OMD becomes worthless (God have you seen what E-P3 go for these days?).
    I actually was reading one of your reviews on the Pentax Forums today....it didn't click until I saw a photo of a BBQ sign and then right below it a picture of your lovely bride. I know there's tons of K5 shooters and other PENTAX heads here so I though it get some more streamlined and focused opinions here.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Biro

    Biro SC All-Pro

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    Luke... i've been a Pentaxian for more than a decade. I currently have the K-5 and K-01, but I also have owned a K200D, a K100 Super and an *ist. Without a doubt my favorite lenses are the DA Limited primes: 15/21/35/40/70. These lenses alone keep me from dropping the Pentax system.

    Don't want to spend that much yet? No problem. The DA 35 f/2.4 is a fine lens as is the DA 50mm f/1.8 (but you have 50mm covered). I think, however, that the DA 18-135mm is a great way to start. You might as well have a decent kit lens with a flexible focal range and weather-resistance to match the body.

    A constant-aperture lens? Frankly, I advise avoiding the DA* 16-50mm f/2.8. It's too expensive for what it offers and you essentially need to buy a brand-new example to insure you won't have SDM issues. Instead, I'd pick up the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8. It's a solid lens with its only fault being a slightly noisy auto-focus system. Here's a review you may find of great interest:

    DA* 16-50mm vs. Sigma and Tamron 17-50mm F2.8 Comparison - Introduction - PentaxForums.com

    From the third-party ranks, I suggest you take a look at the Rokinon/Bower/Samyang et al manual-focus lenses for Pentax. These Korean lenses are well-built and offer great optical quality. They're a bit on the large side but, in return, so are their apertures. Bonus: These lenses are chipped and have electrical contacts in Pentax K-mount so that you'll have metering/auto-aperture. All you'll have to do is focus.

    Another third-party prime to consider is the Sigma 30mm f/1.4. It's not really cheap (in the $400 range new) but it's tons cheaper than the $1,000 FA 31 f/1.9. Edges/corners can be a bit soft with the Sigma but it's something that's really overstated by many. Center sharpness is very high. Besides, if you're shooting people, softer edges is not a problem, right?

    Finally, at the longer end, I recommend (depending on your priorities) the D FA 100mm f/2.8 WR macro and the DA 55-300 f/4-5.8. This last lens is a relatively inexpensive consumer lens but its a good piece. Try to get the DA version with metal mount rather than the DA-L version with plastic mount.

    Of course, there are tons of Pentax legacy lenses out there but you'll have to ask someone else about them because I have little first-hand knowledge. I hope this helps. Feel free to ask more questions.
     
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  8. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    Oh yes, my days in the Pentax forum when I owned a K5 (speaking of flip floppers)!!! BBQ (other than my then girlfriend and now wife) seems to be a re-occurring theme in a number of my photos.

    I had issues with the AF accuracy on my K5 (particularly with the 18-135, DA15/4, and DA55/1.4), which ultimately resulted in selling all the Pentax stuff off and heading back to m4/3. However, after seeing the resolution on the K5IIs, I'm sometimes tempted to flip right back again (along with the Nikon D7100)! The K5 was the one camera in which I had no complaints about the user interface -- ample of buttons, knobs and switches that are all logically located.

    I bought, used, returned or sold a bunch of Pentax lenses during my tenure with the K5: DA14, DA21/3.4, DA55/1.4, FA35/1, FA43/1.9, DA70/2.4, FA100/2.8WR, 18-135; Sigma 17-50/2.8, Sigma 18-50, Tamron 17-50.

    GetDPI also has (or had) a healthy dose of knowledgeable Pentax shooters there.

    Did you get the blue K-30? :)
     
  9. Rich M

    Rich M SC Regular

    162
    May 2, 2011
    Hawaii
    There are SO many good lens to choose from......most small and compact. Right now I am putting a three lens travel pack together for a trip to Chile. Joining the K-5iiS are the DA* 50-135/2.8, the DA 15/4 and the ultra sharp DA 35/2.8 macro. (I am still somewhat surprised at the lack of love for the iiS......it is a MAJOR upgrade to the K-5......my all-time favorite dSLR).

    That being said, when I'm at home, my "walk around" lens is the weather sealed DA* 300/4.

    p195204499-5.
     
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  10. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    I was briefly tempted by the Crystal Blue Persuasion
    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/2821Jvnaeg8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    but eventually I decided to go with the stormtrooper white and black. I'd get the brown one if there wasn't such a price hit for the imports.
     
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  11. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Sue
    Thats a bit of a shame. I had issues too, but wasnt in a position to flipflop like the rest of you, and kept my K-5. The most recent firmware update has my AF accuracy sorted, PDQ. Love it.
     
  12. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Sue
    I can NOT keep up with you. For some reason I thought you had a K-01. sighhh.

    Recommendations. The DA limiteds as someone already said (I have the 15 and the 35) If you want WR, theres a nice 100mm macro which is WR. I'm saving for it. Also, the DA*55mm f/1.4 is to die for. and weather sealed. I'm also trying to acquire cheaper manual lenses. From Korea the Horusbennu 50mm f/1.7 isnt bad for $56. I also recently (relatively speaking, it was a few months back) acquired a K55mm f/1.8 which is just lovely. Heavy though, being all metal construction.
     
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  13. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    Amazon and BH allowed me to try many of the lenses out. After a couple of trades, I eventually only had to sell the K5 and the FA35/2, although at a loss.

    Rich, have you had any moire problems with the K5IIs?
     
  14. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Sue
    You walk around with that????? Its a monster!
     
  15. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    Good work out!
     
  16. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    I'm not specifically looking for any heavy lenses, but if there's a great one that is a bargain, I'll consider it part of my new "workout" regime. I ain't going to "no" gym. But I like walking with a camera.
     
  17. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    Sue, your shots with that Horusbennu from when you first got it stuck in my mind, but I think I'm pretty good at the 50mm length.

    And thanks all for your input. You people (are great/need to find some more hobbies).
     
  18. john m flores

    john m flores SC All-Pro

    Aug 13, 2012
    Based on the stuff that you shoot and post on Flickr, I'd suggest the DA35 F2.8 Macro Limited. With the APS-C crop factor it's a normal lens, real sharp, with great Pentax colors. Overall a great walkaround lens

    7315995110_6f9ec0acd9_c.
    Man Haircut 15. Woman Haircut 20 by john m flores, on Flickr

    7315992846_f79545c9ed_c.
    Tarantino Shoe Repair by john m flores, on Flickr

    7335523752_2ec56f7b96_c.
    The Orchid Greenhouse at Duke Estate by john m flores, on Flickr

    7167490803_f3f9a15dd3_c.
    The Orchid Greenhouse at Duke Estate by john m flores, on Flickr

    Great, now I feel stupid for selling mine...
     
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  19. Rich M

    Rich M SC Regular

    162
    May 2, 2011
    Hawaii
    Armando.....I have tried and tried, but I can't seem to find it. Fabric....screens.....no moire.
     
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  20. Rich M

    Rich M SC Regular

    162
    May 2, 2011
    Hawaii
    Sue....it's all relative......:biggrin: