Round One Finalists

There can only be one! On to the knockout rounds!

By cjfeola in Pentax Lens Tournament on Oct 17, 2014
Round One Finalists

Voting is complete in the nomination round of our Greatest Pentax Lens Tournament. With 661 votes placed for 95 different lenses, the FA 31 Limited finished first overall with 69 votes, almost tripling the second place in the Normal category held down by the FA 43 Limited.

Second overall was the FA 77 Limited with 59 votes to lead the Short Telephotos, followed closely by the DA 15 Limited with 52 votes, which did more than triple the 15 votes of the DA 21 Limited in the wides. The DA 300 ruled the telephotos with 40 votes.

With the nominations over, we move to the knockout rounds. First up: The top seeds each face off against the eighth seed in their category. So the DA 15 faces the DA 14/2.8 in the first Wide battle; the FA 31 is challenged by the DA 55/1.4 in the Normal category; and the DA 300 and A* 200/4 Macro throw down to see who advances to the next round. In the Short Teles, meanwhile, top seed FA 77 awaits the results of a play-in round among four tied for eighth: M 85/2, M 100/2.8, FA 28-70 and the 645 FA 120/4 Macro. 

Several Pentaxians asked if zooms weren't at a disadvantage in the nomination round. Probably, but that may well be reversed in the knockout rounds. Sure, you might think the DA 300 is the epitome of telephotos. But if you could only have one, would you go for the performance of the DA 300 or the versatility of the DA 60-250?

Some of the most interesting battles will be in the middle of the field, where fourth and fifth seeds face off. The DA 12-24 goes against the DA 10-17 among the wides, and the Super Takumar 50/1.4 and A 50/1.7 split 31 votes 16/15 among the normals. Perhaps the most interesting contest will be in the Short Teles: fourth seed FA 85/1.4 pulled in 13 nominations to 11 for the A* 85/1.4.

What makes for the greatest lens of all time? For some, it's not the rare glass. Listen to Pentaxian bradshea on the M 50mm F2.

"The lens that launched a thousand photographers. Cheap yet sharp and well built, this entry level optic made every K1000 sold capable of killer shots. Without lenses like these there would be no photographic hobby."

Truth, just like we know the aforementioned K1000 may not be the most advanced Pentax camera of all time, but is there one more influential? 

More interesting facts from nomination round:

  • By category, Pentaxians nominated 17 wides, 30 normals, 15 short teles and 33 telephotos
  • There were nominations for APS-C, Q System, 645, 6x7, M, A, K, Super Takumars, and M42 screw mounts
  • There were no nominations for the Auto 110
  • Two medium format lenses made it through to the knockout rounds: the 6x7 165 LS sits in 7th among the Short Teles and will face the FA 100/2.8 Macro in Round One; in the same group, the 645 FA 120/4 Macro is tied for eighth

Now I could be wrong, but it sure seems Pentaxians are passionate about their glass. Here's Pentaxian wheelerp on the DA 10-17mm F3.5-4.5 Fish-Eye.

"What??? A fish-eye? Don't knock it 'till you try it. This lens is fun. In a city-type location you can create some crazy, distorted views of the world. And in a nature setting, without many straight lines, you can create some stunning and dramatic photos. Photo quality is good, overall. It does, however, make the usual Pentax focus noise. What is especially great about this lenses is that you have to switch your brain off the automatic setting and it makes you think."

Finally, Pentaxian Daedbird on the glories of old glass.

"A* 85mm 1.4: This lens demands a higher price than its AF replacement, the awesome FA* 85 1.4. Why? Like all A* lenses, it is super sharp, its fast, and its built well. If Pentax ever thought about reproducing manual focus lenses, they should make this one, and they could sell it for more than $1,000. A* 135mm 1.8: The clarity, the speed, and the length make this one of the most sought-after Pentax lenses of all time....."

Knockout Stage

Now that the seedings are set, we'll proceed to the knockout rounds: In each category, the first seed will face the eighth, two will face seven, and so forth. We'll replace the leaderboard with a graphic of the tournament brackets, and update it after each match. Voting for each match will be open for 24 hours and announced in advance. The winning lens in each match goes to the next round; the loser goes home. The champions of each bracket will face off in the Final Four: Best Wide-Angle vs. best Telephoto, and best Normal vs. best Short Telephoto. The winners of those two contests will then face off to be named the Greatest Of All Time.

Once our champion lens has been crowned by the residents of PF, we'll move to the giveaway, which will start in November.  More details on that will be posted once our lens tournament wraps up.

There can only be one!

With the nominations over, we're saying goodbye to 63 lenses that didn't make the cut. Here's the leaderboard showing the final standings:

Final Nomination Leaderboard

To cut down on the size of the table, we've excluded lenses that only received one nomination.

  Lens Votes Lens Votes
1 DA 15/4 Limited 52 FA 31/1.8 Limited 69
2 DA 21/3.2 Limited 15 FA 43/1.9 Limited 25
3 FA* 24/2 13 DA 35/2.8 Macro 22
4 DA 12-24/4 8 Super Takumar 50/1.4 16
5 DA 10-17/3.5-4.5 Fisheye 7 A 50/1.7 15
6 FA 20/2.8 5 M 50/1.7 13
7 K 28/3.5 3 A 50/1.2 11
8 DA 14/2.8 3 DA 55/1.4 7
  17/4 Fisheye 2 FA 50/1.4 6
A 645 35/3.5 2 FA 50/2.8 Macro 5


M 50/1.4 5
FA 35/2 4
DA 35 2.4 3
DA 40/2.8 XS 3
DA* 16-50/2.8 2
K 50/1.2 2
Super Macro Takumar 50/4 2
M 50/2 2
K 55/1.8 2
Short Telephoto
Lens Votes Lens Votes
1 FA 77/1.8 Limited 59 DA* 300/4 40
2 D FA 100/2.8 Macro 31 DA* 60-250/4 17
3 DA 70/2.4 Limited 14 DA* 50-135/2.8 14
4 FA 85/1.4 13 FA* 300/4.5 9
5 A* 85/1.4 11 DA 18-135/3.5-5.6 9
6 K 85/1.8 6 K 135/2.5 8
7 67 165/4 LS 3 FA* 200/4 Macro 7
T8 M 85/2 2 A* 200/4 Macro 7
T8 M 100/2.8 2 DA* 200/2.8 6
T8 FA 645 120/4 Macro 2 A* 135/1.8 6
T8 FA* 28-70/2.8 2 DA 55-300/4-5.8 6

F* 300/4.5 4
FA* 600/4 3
  FA* 250-600/5.6 3
67 M* 400/4 3
  M 135/3.5  2
  645 FA* 300/4 2
  FA* 80-200/2.8 2
  A* 1200/8 2
  Takumar 67 600/4  2
  A 35-105/3.5 2
  Q 06 2
  FA* 200/2.8 2
  A* 400/2.8 2

Don't recognize some of these lenses?  Look them up in our lens database!

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