K Series vs Ltd.


Link Posted 03/06/2013 - 09:18
I often find myself preferring older lenses, particularly K series, over modern lenses. I don't know exactly why, I just gravitate towards them.

I'm not a fan of lens test charts or performance metrics, I'm only interested in the results I can achieve in the field. I've never really compared them side by side with the same subject, so the other day when I found myself down by the river and happened to have old K and new Ltd in the bag I thought I'd try the same scene with them both.

Here are the results. It's not at all a scientific approach as the modern lens is a fair bit wider than the old, so it's not a like for like comparison or particularly meaningful. Nevertheless I found it interesting and I thought the old lens held up alright. Click through for nice detail:

You can see some of my photos here if you are so inclined
Last Edited by DrOrloff on 03/06/2013 - 09:19


Link Posted 03/06/2013 - 09:48
Hmm, first the Limited and second the K? Only say that because of contrast and richer hues that I find when I compare the Limited's to the K's. Easily fixed with a bit of PP
Dig in though (which I haven't done) and you'll see extra detail.
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Link Posted 03/06/2013 - 10:08
That is often what I hear that the contrast of the older lenses just doesn't match newer lenses. You find extra detail with the modern lenses too?
You can see some of my photos here if you are so inclined


Link Posted 03/06/2013 - 10:19
I'm looking at a set of shots from yesterday. There was a K and an FA43 involved amongst some other lenses , the FA stomps all over them detail wise, better micro contrast. It is such a monster of a lens in such a tiny package.
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Last Edited by robbiec on 03/06/2013 - 10:21


Link Posted 03/06/2013 - 11:44
There's a good shootout on Ricehigh's site.....

Pentax FA 43/1.9 Limited, Pentax FA645 45/2.8, Canon EF 40/2.8 STM; Tested on a Canon 5D3 135 Full Frame Body.

Even on FF the corner detail on the 43mm is amazing.
The 645 lens is also very good.

Half Man... Half Pentax ... Half Cucumber

Pentax K-1 + K-5 and some other stuff



Link Posted 03/06/2013 - 16:11
First is a K series and second a Limited - maybe a 15mm?


Link Posted 03/06/2013 - 16:40
I know!
This space deliberately left blank.


Link Posted 03/06/2013 - 17:18
I prefer the first image. On my monitor it seems to have better contrast, more details and nicer colours. I would not be surprised if the first image is taken with a K-series lens. Possibly K30 f2.8 or K28 f3.5...

Waiting for DrOrloff to reveal the lenses used!




Link Posted 03/06/2013 - 18:46
First is much better IMO.

Please unveil the answer which is taken with K lens? Do you mind giving aperture used in these two images respectively as well?



Link Posted 03/06/2013 - 19:04
According to the EXIF the first one's a K or M lens (focal length not indicated) and the second a DA 15mm f4.

The first one looks a bit sharper but the exposure time is a third of the DA one, so it isn't an exact comparison.

John K
John K


Link Posted 03/06/2013 - 20:04
Foliage moves quite a bit so a faster shutter speed will lead to sharper images.
Best regards, John


Link Posted 03/06/2013 - 21:20
I'm looking at these on an iPad so can't gauge the differences as well as those of you looking at larger screens. The first does appear slightly sharper and its colours are more pleasing (though I've an inkling that those in the second might be more 'realistic'). What aperture were these shot at? The DA15 is a little soft wide open and does improve on being stopped down... as would any lens, but I've found the 15 does buck up more than the others I'm familiar with.
Regards, Christopher



Link Posted 03/06/2013 - 21:56
My eyes must be different to everyone else's. The second image looks both more nicely rendered and sharper tome - I've just taken the images as presented though and not opened them up in an editor for critical viewing.


Link Posted 03/06/2013 - 22:13
I like them both. Don't tell us the 1st one, DA15, cost 10 times as much as the second one.?
[i]Bodies: 1x K-5IIs, 2x K-5, Sony TX-5, Nokia 808
Lenses: Pentax DA 10-17mm ED(IF) Fish Eye, Pentax DA 14mm f/2.8, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8, Pentax-A 28mm f/2.8, Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.2, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-FA 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7, Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8, Sigma 135-400mm APO DG, and more ..
Flash: AF-540FGZ, Vivitar 283


Link Posted 03/06/2013 - 23:56
The first was taken with the K30 f2.8 (well done Bjørn) and a needle and thread applied to the results. The second the DA15 (at f16). Can't tell you what the aperture was on the K.

As I said, not a scientific test and of course two very different focal lengths. I prefer the results from the K30 in this instance. The shutter speeds didn't make that much difference, hardly any given the conditions. The K30 wasn't a tenth the price of the DA15, but it was a tenth the price of am FA31 and it is more than a tenth that lens.
You can see some of my photos here if you are so inclined
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