My Favorite Lens: the Pentax DA* 50-135mm

By rortiz in Favorite Lenses on Oct 22, 2011

I don't have a large collection of lenses but I think I have a good range to choose from: A50 1.4, DA* 16-50 2.8, DA* 50-135 2.8, DA 18-55, DA 18-135 and a DA 55-300. My favourite by far is the DA* 50-135mm 2.8. This lens is very sharp, in fact if you look at the reviews, some say that the lens performance is not too far off primes in the same focal lengths.

This lens is the first new DA* lens I've ever owned. It is internal focusing so you don't find the centre of gravity shifting every time you change focal lengths. The standard lens hood does a fine job keeping stray light out of the lens elements. The focal length is short enough for candid portraits or even street shots and long enough so that you can throw the background out of focus at a whim. The balance of this lens on my K5 with battery grip is superb. It feels like the whole kit was designed to be perfectly matched.

The aperture is fast, specially coupled with the great low light capabilities of the K5 sensor. I find the bokeh very pleasing and flattering when the lens is used for portraits. Colour rendition is fantastic.

I use this lens for everything! Most enjoyably, I use it to shoot motorsports. I am currently shooting dragsters and the focal length is ideal to keep at a safe distance away from the monsters to thunder down the Sydney International Dragway but close enough for the experience to be very personal. Enjoy the photos!

Black Thunder
Top Fuel

More by forum member AOShep

My arsenal of lens choices is rather limited both by financial concerns and my wife’s veto power. So a new king of the hill will have to wait for the time being.

To this day, I have never regretted getting the DA* 50-135mm. I chose it based on reviews and its continuous f/2.8 aperture. It was the one lens that filled most of my lens needs at the time.
I use this lens so much you might think it was the only lens that I own. Not true, but it is so much better in quality and reliability that I will put up with its range limits rather than taking time to switch lenses. Occasionally I will truly need something wider, longer, or faster and be forced to dismount the 50-135.

I shoot everything of significance with this lens: school portraits, drama, soccer matches, basketball games, track meets, weddings, candids, wildlife. If this were the only lens I owned, I could live with it and still be happy.

More info about the DA* 50-135mm

My Favorite Lens: the Sigma 70mm Macro

By baro-nite in Favorite Lenses on Oct 22, 2011
I don't have a lot of lenses, nor do I know enough to evaluate a lens technically. But favorite lens? That I can answer.  Although my sig now shows a handful of K- and M-series primes, I haven't had these long enough for any of them to claim the place of favorite. In another few months I might have a new favorite. But for years my favorite lens has been the Sigma 70mm f/2.8 EX DG macro.

I bought my K10D -- my first and only DSLR -- in 2007, with the kit lens plus the DA 50-200. A few months later I bought the Sigma. I didn't buy any more lenses till this year, so for a long time I only had three lenses to choose from. And most often that choice would be the Sigma, my highest quality lens and the one best suited to one of my favorite subjects -- wildflowers.

The lens is solidly built and looks and feels like a well-engineered tool for precision work. Not lens as art object, but a dependable working tool. It's fast enough to produce a bright image in the viewfinder, critical for macro focusing, and is a true 1:1 macro when needed. The working distance at 1:1 is quite small, so this isn't the best choice for insect macro, but for general close-up photography it handles well and is very versatile. I can't compare it to other macro lenses, but it has a reputation for top-notch sharpness even by macro standards and it has never disappointed me in that regard. Pleasing bokeh, also important for macro and close-ups.

70mm on APS-C is a generally useful focal length, so I also use the lens for other subjects, even landscapes.

More info about the Sigma 70mm

My Favorite Lens: the Pentax DA* 16-50mm Limited

By RossCo in Favorite Lenses on Oct 22, 2011

My favourite lens is my DA* 16-50. I carry it everywhere. It is sharp and has fantastic colour.

I use it for landscapes, and travel photography and it is my carry around lens. Sometimes I even take pictures of people with it.

I use it almost every day.

I bought it over the kit lens, and the DA 17-70mm and the DA 16-45mm because I wanted a faster lens.

More info about the DA 16-50mm

My Favorite Lens: the Pentax FA 43mm Limited

By Ash in Favorite Lenses on Oct 22, 2011

I'm torn between three lenses for this title of 'favourite lens', namely the Pentax FA 100 f/2.8 macro, the FA 43 f/1.9 Limited and the Tamron 70-200 f/2.8, but since portraiture is my favourite genre, it is only fitting I choose the lens that does this genre justice for me...

Prior to the purchase of this little gem, I wondered how much better portraiture could truly be than what I'd already been producing with the FA 50 f/1.4 lens. I was well pleased with the FA 50's ability to thro backgrounds out of focus pleasantly, but felt the colours, contrast and texture rendition of subjects could have done with a boost. Enter the FA 43 f/1.9 Limited.

It surprised me with how striking the results turned out for such a small and 'slower' lens. As opposed to the FA 50 f/1.4, it is sharp and has very little loss of overall image quality when used wide open. Love at first shot. Now it's a go to lens for reasons even beyond its size and IQ.

Practical and amazing images every exposure.
A very special, and legendary lens.

FA 43 Ltd at f/2

FA 43 Ltd at f/4.5

FA 43 Ltd at f/5.6

Post by forum member Chex

This, out of my line up of lenses is a no brainer! Hands down it's my FA 43mm Ltd for it's decent speed, unparalleled sharpness (especially @ f4) and amazing FA-LTD rendering. I usually end up using this for everything from portraiture to landcapes and Pano's and long exposure shooting, even water drop photography! This lens spends the most time on my K-5 by far, probably 60 % of all my K-5's shots or more. It's simply hard to beat its tack sharp resolution and the way it renders it's images. Those are things you sure can't "fix" in PP work!

I was lucky to pick this lens up PERIOD, when my K-5 order came in, my 18-135 rainy day lens did not come in at the same time. So the shop owners father (and former shop owner) came down and brought down his 43ltd he was willing to part with since he moved to a Nikon FF (he still won't tell me what other goodies he has in Pentax). So I gladly picked it up that day and have been thankful ever since... sure I could have grabbed a SMC tak 50mm f1.7 or 55mm f1.8 to at least have a lens to play with, but I'd done my homework on the base Pentax lens lineup thanks to this forum! So now between this, my SMC Tak 28mm f3.5 and my Tamron adaptall 23B (60-300mm), I'm covered until my budget allows.. FA 77 might be my "next favorite lens" when I get one.. insatiable LBA!

More info about the FA 43mm

My Favorite Lens: the Pentax M 50mm F1.7

By GabrielFFontes in Favorite Lenses on Oct 22, 2011

My favorite lens is the Pentax-M 50mm F1.7. Yeah, I know its a simple and cheap lens, but that doesn't matter. You can create stunning super-sharp images with it. But it isn't all about sharpness. The solid metal feeling leaves no doubts : its built like a tank. I can use it for anything, and when i attach it to my camera, then this lens become my eye. And its a superhero eye!
This little tank can be used for anything. I can walk around with it with no problems, take some portraits, use for street photography...anything! I bought on eBay for $40. I couldn't have spent the money better. The manual focus is amazing. When you hit the shutter button, and review the pic you know its yours. You made that. Manually. (well, not entirely, but that's ok).

Texture. That's it.

Raining colors.

More info about the M 50mm F1.7

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