Consolidating my lens collection . Good Idea?

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Link Posted 06/01/2014 - 07:24
Hi all, through my years with Pentax several lenses I eventually put together this 8-lenscollection:

SMC DA 15/4 Limited
SMC 'K'20/4
SMC 'K'30/2.8
SMC FA43/1.9 Limited
SMC 'K'50/1.2
SMC 'K'85/1.8
SMC FA 135/2.8
SMC DA 17-70/4

I am more-less decided to let go of zoom, although it is nice lens, versatile and silent focusing - I use it less and less, it is big and prefer primes.
I will definitely keep FA135/2.8 as my longest telephoto and probably DA15/4 as my widest lens for landscape and street photography. Now I am toying with the idea of replacing both K30/2.8 and FA43/1.9 by one SIGMA 35/1.4. Similar idea is To replace K50/1.2 and K85/1.8 with something like FA77/1.8 or maybe DA*55/1.4. But I am definitely decided that I cannot keep both FA43/1.9 and K50/1.2.
Undecided on K20/4 though - nice solid lens, I am keeping it because it is fullframe lens, however after DA15/4 it doesnt see so much use. But If I go for SIGMA 35, I would like to replace this with FA20/2.8 as it shares same filter size as Sigma.

Now my PROPOSED setup:

SMC DA 15/4 Limited
SMC 'FA'20/2.8
SIGMA 35/1.4
SMC FA 77/1.8 or K 85/1.8 (DA70/2.4, DA*55/1.4)
SMC FA 135/2.8

So, what do you think about this plan? I have to say AF is not that important to me, but a welcomed bonus. Anyway I will miss those great maunal 'K'series lenses. Though decisions... Martin
Last Edited by kingfisher on 06/01/2014 - 07:28


Link Posted 06/01/2014 - 08:37
You are almost certain to regret losing lenses that will go for low amounts and will be difficult to replace with ones in similar condition. Unless a lens is absolutely, totally and certainly redundant I would not let it go.

I also wouldn't mix in that Sigma lens, there are better options in the Pentax range, not least the 31mm Limited.

PS I think your poll is too simplistic to answer. Life rarely has black or white choices like that.
Best regards, John
Last Edited by johnriley on 06/01/2014 - 08:38


Link Posted 06/01/2014 - 08:42
You said "AF is not that important to me", but your PROPOSED setup seems AF only. You have to admit the convenience of AF

Sigma Art 35/1.4 is a great lens! Maybe you should wait for Sigma 18-35/1.8 Although it is not that size-friendly...

My preferred setup will be:
Sigma 18-35/1.8 (or DA 15/4 + FA*24/2)
SIGMA 35/1.4
SMC DA*55/1.4
SMC FA* 85/1.4 (or DA70/2.4)
SMC FA/F 135/2.8

BTW, interested in K50/1.2 and K20/4. Maybe we can do part-exchange. Please let me know if you decide to put them up for sale


Link Posted 06/01/2014 - 09:03
Thanks for your advice John, I am pretty sure I will miss some lenses, but what is the point of having them all and not using them? I am still not sure if I will go with this plan, therefore I made up this thread. I wonder what better lenses than Sigma 35 would you suggest? I had FA31 before, nice lens, but maybe better on film than on digital. Still Sigma is supposed to be at least as good as FA31 - huge, sure, but with IF and HSM and could be get for less.


Link Posted 06/01/2014 - 09:07
Hi Pengbai .... that is nice setup too, but much more expensive
I am not convinced that I will let go of that K20/4, but K50/1.2 is likely to look for new home. It is a bokeh machine, but so is the K85/1.8 and FA43/1.9 is too close focal lenght to that 50mm... if it goes for sale I'll let you know.


Link Posted 06/01/2014 - 09:37
I've tested the 31mm Limited on a K-5 and it out-resolved any of the DA Limited lenses, so I think it works well on digital. It's beautifully made as well.
Best regards, John


Link Posted 06/01/2014 - 10:39
Unless you need the money for something else I'd keep the lenses you have. If you dispose of any, there will always be an opportunity to use them in the future. That's when you'll regret parting with them.


Link Posted 06/01/2014 - 10:48
"I also wouldn't mix in that Sigma lens, there are better options in the Pentax range, not least the 31mm Limited."

At a price John, at a price. The FA31 is expensive but I love mine.

" I had FA31 before, nice lens, but maybe better on film than on digital"

Now I can't think why that would be so. Mine performs well on my K-5.


Link Posted 06/01/2014 - 11:01
Here you can find a thread discussing DA 31 vs Sigma 35 Art:

If you wanted something smaller you can find used copies of FA 35 2.0. Very close to the 31mm in performance….

Pentax Photo Gallery


Link Posted 06/01/2014 - 11:58
I wish i could have that choice to make

My only comment is that Sigma lens is an absolute peach of a lens. A friend who shoots with Nikon can't praise enough. He gushes about it everytime we go out. And relatively speaking it seems well priced.


Link Posted 06/01/2014 - 15:19
Giorgio, thanks for the link

Wadna, John....I know it is wonderful lens, I used to own it for almost a year, however while it has great bokeh for wide angle, really nice colour rendering and almost no CA, it lacks sharpness when focused on infinity - at least my copy did. For closeups it was flawless, but my copy wasn't very strong performer when focused close to infinity even at f8 - so it is not so universal as I need....and very pricey. But I will do some test shots with my friends FA31, so I am not going to write it off yet


Link Posted 06/01/2014 - 15:29
You must have had a damaged lens then, because it was exceptional when I tested it.
Best regards, John


Link Posted 07/01/2014 - 12:26
I would go the following:

DA15 f/4 (Fantastic little lens)

FA28 f/2.8

FA31 f/1.8 in preference over Sigma Art 35 (size and focus accuracy winning for 31)

A50 f/1.2 vs FA43 vs K50 f/1.2 vs DA*55? A is better than K, small differences but they all add up, extra blade, no need for stop down metering, 1/3 aperture increments. DA* has weather sealing and slow if accurate AF. For portraiture the DA* is better than the 50s and 43 but I don't think it sharpens up as much stopped down, has some PF wide open too. 43? if I have a lens that always returns a keeper, it is the 43. Colours, micro contrast, sharpness, 3d.. 43 has it all in a small discrete package.

FA77 f/1.8 instead of K85 f/1.8 (77 stomps all over the 85, beg, borrow and steal one for a week and you will know what I mean)

FA135 f/2.8

I have the 31, 43, A50 f/1.2, DA*55 and 77 and if I was to sell them off for some reason it would be in the following order: 55, 50, 31, 77, 43

Good Luck with the revamp
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[url= Corrigan]ppg[/url]
Last Edited by robbiec on 07/01/2014 - 12:42


Link Posted 07/01/2014 - 12:59
I don't really see that the proposed changes will bring a significant difference, aside from autofocus.

The FA31 is superb, the K30 is not far short in my opinion - supposedly the original design for the FA31 was based on the optical formula of the K30. It was overruled for a wider max aperture.

I mostly (but not always) prefer the 77 to the K85 but I don't think the difference is that great.

The Sigma does look very good indeed but is a big lump as a walkaround compared to Pentax options.

15-20-30 is a good lens combination for wide to wide/normal prime coverage.

The K50 is a 1.2 so will do things other apertures won't.

43mm is a bit too close to 50 but it is a great lens and your autofocus option.

I wouldn't change anything apart from the zoom.
You can see some of my photos here if you are so inclined


Link Posted 07/01/2014 - 21:05
DrOrloff wrote:
I don't really see that the proposed changes will bring a significant difference, aside from autofocus.

I'd agree. You have what I'd consider to be a good line-up there, but ultimately it depends how you'd like to work. I still shoot film, as such my preference would be to keep the FA43, but if shooting mostly APS-C, I'd prefer to keep the 50/1.2 (the 43 seems an odd 65mm equivalent).

I've just refreshed my lens line-up, I went for: FA28/2.8, FA35/2, FA50/1.4 & FA20-35/4, the reasoning:

- 28/2.8 - wide angle for film, 42mm for APS-C (40mm is my favourite focal length).
- 35/2 - fast-wideish for film, fast enough 50mm for APS-C.
- 50/1.4 - fast 50 on film, portrait lens on APS-C
- 20-35/4 - primarily the wider end for film.

Add to this my M40/2.8 for that 40mm on film and my DA17-70/4 for wide-angle on APS-C (although probably would prefer the DA15) and I've covered most of my needs on digital and film. The only problem being I've spent my K3 budget in the process...

I wanted to keep it all film capable (aperture rings) and the FA's seemed the best choice (they still manual focus reasonably well on manual focus cameras).
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Last Edited by johnha on 07/01/2014 - 21:09
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