What's your favourite lens and why?


Link Posted 10/01/2016 - 21:29
Just a bit of fun to generate some debate, what is your favourite lens and why is it your favourite? We're talking Pentax or Pentax fitting lenses here. I will give you a starter for 10:

Pentax-M 28mm F3.5

It's my favourite because:

1. It's a superb landscape lens, it captures colours and details brilliantly

2. It is the best lens I have for rendering Greens, saturated and vibrant but still natural

3. It is not a zoom, it makes me think

4. It is not AF or auto aperture, it makes me think

5. It was cheap (30)

6. It is beautifully made

7. It delivers great results

Let's have your thoughts on your own favourites!


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Link Posted 10/01/2016 - 21:35
For general use my favourite is the SMC Pentax-DA 18-135mm - gritty, sharp, weather resistant....super.

For tonal quality, but not as versatile as the zoom, then the SMC Pentax-FA 43mm f/1.9 Limited. It has the "look" that i like.
Best regards, John


Link Posted 10/01/2016 - 23:55
the M 50mm 1.7

I shoot this lens for film portraits, Its THE best Pentax lens ever!
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Link Posted 11/01/2016 - 01:17
It isn't fast by any means but I just adore the preset Takumar 1:5.6 200mm
The colour rendition blows your mind when photographing flowers. It will go as close as 7feet and is sharp enough to crop to show quite small insects
It is remarkably small, all metal construction and it balances well on the end of a K5. It cost about 20
Like David's M 28mm, above, being all manual, it makes you think and consider what you are doing

For versatility, the SMC A 1:2.8 50mm macro is phenomenal. I use it as a walkabout lens and it will deliver quality images from 6inches to infinity
Both the *istDS and the K5 are incurably addicted to old glass

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Link Posted 11/01/2016 - 01:34
For me I have 3:
Tamron 90mm f2.8 Probably the sharpest lens I own, and just all round super, big strong and pretty good macro also.
Pentax DAL 55-300 Same as above really. Very sharp and little purple fringing CA which I absolutely hate.
Pentax 35mm f2.4 Good prime and excellent for video work. In that the focal length just suits the type of video I like to take.

I have the 50mm f1.7 A but I just don't find the Pentax APS-C bodies are up to focussing on it unless I'm in live view, in which case it's not held very stable. I do wonder if I should upgrade it to the newer model, but I keep this one for extension tube work as it has a real manual aperture ring.

Of note is that non are weather sealed. Which really does make me question the need for a feature I'm always banging on about to others... I keep the 'kit' lens for this, and I do think it's pretty good, (MUCH better than the kit lenses other brands offer) but it's not fast.
Last Edited by richandfleur on 11/01/2016 - 01:36


Link Posted 11/01/2016 - 06:36
SMC Pentax F35-70mm 1:3.5-4.5

Compact, rugged and solid. Pairs well in weight and size terms to the gripped K7. Snappy AF that doesn't hunt, even when in 'macro' range (it's not quiet though).

Extremely versatile and sharp over the whole range ..... from landscapes at 35mm at F9 through to close-ups at 70mm 'macro' at F5.0. Good portrait lens too at 70mm, especially indoors at around f5.6-f7.1 with flashes.

Very handy 'macro' setting which gives 1:4 close-ups ... Easy to flick intro and out of, plus AF remains quick and solid even with a flower filling the whole frame.

Overall nice natural colour and contrast rendering, very little aberrations and flare is ok with a hood. Almost nothing not to like about it ... Well, not at the 35GBP price !
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver
Last Edited by McGregNi on 11/01/2016 - 06:41


Link Posted 11/01/2016 - 08:28
davidstorm wrote:
Just a bit of fun to generate some debate, what is your favourite lens and why is it your favourite? We're talking Pentax or Pentax fitting lenses here. I will give you a starter for 10:

Pentax-M 28mm F3.5

If you like the M version you'd probably love the K version even more, the results are along the same lines but with better contrast and colour and often a nice 3D look. It is a lot bigger and heavier though (and harder to find and more expensive).

My favourite is the DA 35mm limited without a doubt. Though I love the feel of the old manual lenses, the DA 35mm wins through sheer image quality. Just amazing.

Here's mine at the head of the DA limited pack.

DA limiteds: 15mm, 21mm, 35mm, 70mm
by Jonathan MacDonald, on Flickr
Pentax hybrid user - Digital K3 & K200D, film 645 and 35mm SLR and Pentax (&other) lenses adapted to Fuji X digital
Fan of DA limited and old manual lenses


Link Posted 11/01/2016 - 10:32
Second vote for the DA35 Macro Ltd. Stunning quality, tiny and convenient, very versatile. Perfect holiday lens. Perfect studio product shoot lens. Perfect woodland walk lens...

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Link Posted 11/01/2016 - 10:46
3rd Vote for the DA 35mm Macro Limited.

It's only got one fault - it isn't WR


Link Posted 11/01/2016 - 11:17
It's hard to beat the 18-270. Compact with excellent resolution. No need to lug around a lot of stuff and keep wondering which lens to use and regretting one's choice.


Link Posted 11/01/2016 - 13:21
I prefer to use light compact lenses most of the time, so the Pentax DA Ltd primes are my usual choice and, of those, the 35 and 40 are probably in use most - more or less standard lenses for APS-C, beautifully made, and amazing image quality.



Link Posted 11/01/2016 - 14:59
I don't have a single favourite lens as it depends on what I'm doin. However, for what it's worth I'd pick three - two of which are previously mentioned above.

1) Pentax DA 18-135 as put forward by John. I agree with everything he has to say about it - a much underrated lens (IMHO)

2) Tamron SP 90 F2.8, as put forward by Rich. Super sharp and lovely to use.

3) Probably my favourite - Vivitar 28mm F2.8 (Komine A03) version. All metal and built like a tank, great colours, lovely feel, close focus, really sharp - just a pleasure to use. I'm not even sure how long I have owned it - probably from the early 80's. There are lots of versions of this lens, but the general concensus is that this (the A03) version is the best. You can also get an F2.0 version which is very highly regarded elsewhere!

K-5iiS; K-r; ME Super; ME; DA* 16-50 f2.8; DA 18-135 WR; DA 55-300 WR; HD DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited; FA 50mm f1.4; A50mm f1.7; DAL 18-55mm; M40mm f2.8; + assorted non-Pentax lenses

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Link Posted 11/01/2016 - 15:18
Well if we're allowed to choose more than one, then the slightly less versatile (than the 35 macro), but utterly brilliant FA77 ltd would have to be in there.
Every time I stumble across a shot with this lens it just jumps out at me.
This shot was hurriedly-taken; I just stood my daughter out of the hubbub under the trees on a drizzly day and pow! job done. It's like she was in a studio.

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Link Posted 11/01/2016 - 17:04
It would have to be my FA*300 F4.5.
It's light and small for a telephoto.
Sharp from wide open.
Fast af especially with the newer pentax bodies.
Never noticed any CA or flare.
Owned and used it regularly for over 20 years since new, So reliability must be at the top even if it fails tomorrow (but I hope that doesn't happen )

Drawbacks, lacking dedicated tripod mount (I use a Canon 70-200 F4 version), and would like a closer min focus or auto focus extension tubes (c'mon pentax, I've got the 1.4x conv, now I just want the tubes and would be very happy).

It's the reason I still shoot Pentax, I haven't found such a lens in any other system.
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Last Edited by walt on 11/01/2016 - 17:07


Link Posted 11/01/2016 - 19:52
I seem to spend much of my photography efforts shooting shooting small & modest sized stationary objects both indoors and outdoors. Therefore my most used and favourite lens is the D-FA 100 Macro of which I have the Samsung badged version. I have never considered replacing it with the newer WR varient. While WR might be useful outside I worry about the loss of the aperture ring.

However for a general walk-about lens and for photographing the young grandchildren then the DA35 Macro limited is my next most used and favourite lens. It is a lovely lens, both build and performance wise, and I feel that being small makes the camera less intrusive.

Last Edited by GlynM on 11/01/2016 - 19:53
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