Advise on Best Lens for Pentax K5


#1
Been taking photo for 1 year with KX and upgraded to K5. Have a Pentax 35mm 2.4 and a Sigma 70-300 APO. Would like to purchase another lens the best that money can buy. Any suggestions? Must be sharp as a priority and if possible focus fast. Any brand and for portraits. Any suggestions?
 

zoom3

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#3
Well, since your criteria is any brand which is sharp, fast and for portrait, it will have to be the Sigma 85mm F1.4. And if want to stay with Pentax brand, then the FA77.

I don't know that part about the best that money can buy though.....I don't know what IT might be but I'm sure Pentaxians here will love to tell you about IT. For me, the above two are the best that I can afford :bsmilie:
 

poseur

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Jul 27, 2009
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#4
I fell in love with my DA40XS...its cheap n magical.
 

#5
Well, since your criteria is any brand which is sharp, fast and for portrait, it will have to be the Sigma 85mm F1.4. And if want to stay with Pentax brand, then the FA77.

I don't know that part about the best that money can buy though.....I don't know what IT might be but I'm sure Pentaxians here will love to tell you about IT. For me, the above two are the best that I can afford :bsmilie:
I agree ... Sigma 85mm F1.4 is :thumbsup:
 

felixcat8888

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May 8, 2005
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#6
Pentax DA*16-50mm F2.8 is another lens you can consider. Sigma 17-50 F2.8 or the Tamron 17-50 F2.8 are others you can consider too.

Pentax
FA31mm F1.8
FA43mm F1.9
FA77mm F1.8
FA*85mm F1.4

Sigma
30mm F1.4
50mm F1.4
85mm F1.4

Are others you can consider too.
 

gtl1987

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Oct 28, 2008
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#7
I would go for the tamron 17-50mm. The Pentax is way too expensive. Or maybe a FA31mm?
 

pinholecam

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#8
Been taking photo for 1 year with KX and upgraded to K5. Have a Pentax 35mm 2.4 and a Sigma 70-300 APO. Would like to purchase another lens the best that money can buy. Any suggestions? Must be sharp as a priority and if possible focus fast. Any brand and for portraits. Any suggestions?
Don't think there is a lens that is the best.

DA*50-135/2.8 - is WR, very sharp and 50-135mm are all suited for portraits; AF not that fast though
Its has a range of focal lengths at f2.8 which you currently don't have, so I think its a good option.
Otherwise, a 70-200/2.8 from Sigma or Tamron can do too.

Else, just get the FA77ltd.
Its for sure one of the best I've used.
 

#9
Thanks everybody, I'll consider a 77Ltd or Sigma 85mm.
How about one that is less than 50mm? I'm torn between the FA31 and 43 ltds. I also heard pretty rave review of the Pentax 40mm 2.8 and 50mm 1.4.
 

chiangkxv

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Jul 5, 2008
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#10
Thanks everybody, I'll consider a 77Ltd or Sigma 85mm.
How about one that is less than 50mm? I'm torn between the FA31 and 43 ltds. I also heard pretty rave review of the Pentax 40mm 2.8 and 50mm 1.4.
Other than during my landscapes shoot, the 31 Ltd is pretty much always on my cam. But since u already have the 35 2.4, the 77 ltd (or something in that range) is a better choice if it serves your shooting genre.

I love Pentax primes because they are small and compact. They make shooting a real pleasure.
 

SyncGuy

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#11
PentaxK5 said:
Thanks everybody, I'll consider a 77Ltd or Sigma 85mm.
How about one that is less than 50mm? I'm torn between the FA31 and 43 ltds. I also heard pretty rave review of the Pentax 40mm 2.8 and 50mm 1.4.
Honestly, start off with the fa31 and fa77.. They're good enough... The 50s? Bah... Use that FL to play ard with various lenses... :D
 

zoom3

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#12
Thanks everybody, I'll consider a 77Ltd or Sigma 85mm.
How about one that is less than 50mm? I'm torn between the FA31 and 43 ltds. I also heard pretty rave review of the Pentax 40mm 2.8 and 50mm 1.4.
I see that you already have the 35mm. Do you use it much? If you do, then you can consider the FA31 as an upgrade now or in the future. If you don't use it much, then can consider the 50mm
 

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pinholecam

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#14
Thanks everybody, I'll consider a 77Ltd or Sigma 85mm.
How about one that is less than 50mm? I'm torn between the FA31 and 43 ltds. I also heard pretty rave review of the Pentax 40mm 2.8 and 50mm 1.4.
35mm is too near to 40mm and 43mm for me to recommend it to you w/o reservations.
Otherwise, the 43ltd is a fantastic lens.
Probably the best lens between 35-50mm that you can own without costing above $900+
Very sharp, very usable focal length, small and portable.
Not to mention that its exquisitely done in Pentax Ltd build quality.
 

pscion12

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#15
Well OP, depends on your portrait style. Do you like head and shoulder shots like Peter Hurley? Environmental portraits like Arnold Newman? Outdoor? Indoor? Working distance? You like to use flash like the strobist? or natural light?

A da* 50-135 will give you the most flexibility. If you like body shots like those of The Sartorialist, a 50mm or 55mm f1,4 will be useful.

My take is, since you already have a 35mm and a 70-300mm range covered, why not get the not so expensive fast 50mm? (always good to have one fast lens) that way you can put aside some money if you need to get flash stands or softboxes, ringlights or whatever that you might want to use. Plus you will already have 35-300mm range covered pretty nicely.
 

#16
Thank you guys. Valuable info. Agree with the posts. Went to Amazon to do some further research as this is what I gathered. Let me know if it is true
1. I really love the reviews on the DA* 50-135. Definitely a buy without question except the motor (SDM) breaks down easily. Wonder if it is true?

2. FA 31mm much sharper than 43mm, hence the price premium.

3. I would like a fast lens but seems that the F1.4 lens are soft wide open and sharpest at F2 and above.
 

N-user

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Mar 11, 2006
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#17
Thank you guys. Valuable info. Agree with the posts. Went to Amazon to do some further research as this is what I gathered. Let me know if it is true
1. I really love the reviews on the DA* 50-135. Definitely a buy without question except the motor (SDM) breaks down easily. Wonder if it is true?

2. FA 31mm much sharper than 43mm, hence the price premium.

3. I would like a fast lens but seems that the F1.4 lens are soft wide open and sharpest at F2 and above.
Not a Pentax user... use to be one... but anyway.... Q1.... unless so "lucky" or you use it so extensively, our normal usage think wont break down so easily..... Q2.... wait for Bro here to advise you... :p.... Q3... it is true for most fast lens lar.... at f1.4... most if not all will be soft at f1.4.... :sweat:
 

Yamakasi

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Jan 26, 2008
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#18
I have been using my DA*50-135 for past 1.5 years..no issues with SDM yet..I suspect that it 'cld be' a problem with the earlier batches but with the newer lenses..it is a non issue..if u are really worried..maybe you can get an extended warranty with it

I have both the 31 and 43..and i dun think 1 is sharper than the other..i happen to like the pics from FA43 more..its just that the FL is not something i use regularly on dslr..i use it on film mostly
 

pinholecam

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Jul 23, 2007
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#19
1. I really love the reviews on the DA* 50-135. Definitely a buy without question except the motor (SDM) breaks down easily. Wonder if it is true?
>> AFAIK, lots of folks here have been using theirs for quite a few years w/o issue. My bro has one and used it for a long time too.
The lemons seemed to be early batches and more common in the US (where you see most of the complaints)
Sometimes I wonder if the same lemons get passed around there due to their lax product return laws.
I'm sure you've heard of the stories of this sort
Eg.
Uni student "buy" high end Tux, use it for DnD, then return it as using "no questions asked" return conditions.
Fella 'buys' video cam to record his sons 1st b'day, then returns it as 'unsuitable' once the event is over and its purpose is served.
etc

So imagine you end up getting that '2nd hand' video cam sold as 'new'

Anyway, buy ext warranty if you want to dbl confirm



2. FA 31mm much sharper than 43mm, hence the price premium.
>> I've not compared. Won't bother to. Both are pretty sharp from wide open.
Sharpness is not the only thing on a lens.
The FA ltds are a balance of size (just look at the humongous Canikon lenses), build quality, bokeh, fast aperture, contrast and sharpness.
IMO, FA31ltd is a rather fast wide angle lens on FF. Hence the price delta.



3. I would like a fast lens but seems that the F1.4 lens are soft wide open and sharpest at F2 and above.
>> All lenses (with some exceptions) are softer wide open regardless of brand. Most cases at wide open, the lenses have a lack of contrast and can benefit from the use of a hood.
IMHO, you need to be realistic on the expectation on sharpness. At the end of the day, its the picture as a whole that counts and a lens at f1.4 may just help you achieve that look you are trying to achieve. No point just looking for sharpness if the picture/effect is not as pleasing.
 

pscion12

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Jan 28, 2004
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#20
Adding to pinholecam's comment, just because a lens has f1,4 on it doesn't mean you have to shoot at f1,4. Its more like if you need it, you can use it in a pinch and usually how this kind of lens were design means that it reaches its optimal performance faster. Stopping it down a little will also improve overall contrast, sharpness and quality of the bokeh as well.

But then again bokeh is becoming too overated nowadays, there is more to a picture than having most of it out of focussed. For example, Ansel Adam and his F64 group (google it).

Look also at Arnold Newman's portraits, not much bokeh there but....oh man...his composition and creativity shines through. I wish I can have at least a tenth of his talent and vision.


So i leave you with a quote


"There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept." -Ansel Adams
 

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