lens manufacturers


Link Posted 11/04/2004 - 18:29
Are brands like Sigma, Hoya, Vivitar etc of equal quality, or should I stick to Pentax made lenses. Do any of the other more renowned brands make Pentax-fit lenses?


Link Posted 11/04/2004 - 18:59
I have used a lot of different makes of lens, and would have saved a fortune if I'd stayed with pentax right from the start. With a few exceptions, I do not believe from my own experience that independent lenses are either made as well or perform as well as the pentax ones.

There is another good reason for sticking to Pentax lenses - all the aperture rings turn the same way and all the focusing rings do as well. This means better ergonomics and consistency when changing from lens to lens. Also, the Pentax range has more or less the same colour balance across the lenses - some independent lenses will be cooler and others warmer in colour rendition.

My advice would be stick to Pentax and enjoy the results!
Best regards, John

George Lazarette

Link Posted 11/04/2004 - 23:28
JR's advice is spot-on. A few years ago it would have been very expensive to buy Pentax lenses only, but thanks to the Internet (and Pentax's policy of keeping to one lens mount) it is now possible to pick up very good lenses second-hand on Ebay and elsewhere.

The M lenses in particular are good value because so many of them were sold, and there is no shortage of them (well, most of them) on the second-hand market.

However, a small number of Pentax cameras don't work properly with the older lenses because they have a "crippled" version of the K mount. These are the MZ30, 50 and 60 and *ist. If you have one, and want to explore the wide world of older Pentax lenses, swap it for something else.

Common, and therefore cheap (but excellent), M lenses are the 28mm f2.8, the 50mm f1.7 and f2, the 75-150mm f4 zoom, the 135mm f3.5, and the 200mm f4. Also common are the 50mm "A" lenses. Any of these would be a good buy.

Autofocus lenses are more difficult to come by, and most of the ones on sale are 28-80mm variants, which many people may already have.

There are some good non-Pentax lenses, but I, like JR, have decided on a "Pentax-only" policy in most circumstances. An exception might one day be a big telephoto, where the cost of a Pentax would be hard to justify (though it won't stop me trying!).

Happy hunting.


Link Posted 12/04/2004 - 11:43
I have to agree with JR.

However, I do have three very nice Tokina lenses from their AT-X range: 20-35, 28-70/f2.8, and 24-200. All are very good lenses indeed. A little on the cool side, but sharp and with little distortion. I would recommend them all. I have found them excellent.

However, I have recently got an SMC-F 50/f1.7 and an SMC-F 100/f2.8 macro. And I they are mind blowingly good Definitely worth the extra investment. Now the zooms hardly get a look in

If you have a manual focus camera - definitely research the Pentax lenses and get one second hand, you'll not be disappointed. If you have autofocus, again, try and get Pentax glass (though some of the entry level Pentax lenses are not that amazing).

And I can't resist more Pentax glass...

(For gallery, tips and links)
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