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09-10-2011, 09:18 AM   #1
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Series, which is the best?

Out of all the series of lenses for Pentax, overall which ones are people most happy with? from K & M up to DA*. Which ones are the most useful, durable, ergonomic, practical, and produce overall as a series the best image quality? I have read the user reviews and I know there are a variety of good and bad lenses from all series but which series as a whole is the overall best?

09-10-2011, 10:00 AM   #2
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The answer is: yes.

Yes, all series have good and bad entries. But overall? K may be most rugged. DA and FA may be most optically sophisticated. K and A may be most desired for MF. This is rather like asking, What is Porche's best line of cars? The answer is: yes.
09-10-2011, 10:19 AM   #3
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Well if you happen to find a lens you dont care for, I would be happy to take it off your hands especially if it is a WR version

09-10-2011, 10:27 AM   #4
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There won't be an official answer to your question. Of course people can offer you their opinion, but their experiences may be different from yours. My advice is to do some research and pick some lenses that will get the job done best for you. If you're concerned about sticking with a specific series, don't be. Use the proper tool to get the job done.

If you're not sure where to start just pick up a few well-regarded lenses from each series and try them out. If you buy the nice ones and don't like a lens, you could sell it for near what you paid. The best way for you to find what you're looking for is experience, so don't be afraid to experiment with different lenses.

09-10-2011, 10:41 AM   #5
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I'll vote FA*/FA Limited as the best series.

1. These lenses were part of the Japanese engineering marvels that produced markedly better color rendition than the previous A* lenses. This isn't a mix of some lenses designed or made by other companies and branded Pentax. To me, these are the last pro level Pentax series designed by Pentax in-house engineers and built in Pentax facilities in Japan. No viet, phillipino, korean or other "labor cost" construction.

2. They are all full frame capable, have aperture rings and work splendidly on every camera in the Pentax lineup. Shoot film...shoot digital...

3. Though Pentax has always been a company that markets toward the "smaller and lighter is better" crowd, the FA*/FA Limited lens series went ahead with metal barrels and glass elements making these products heavy and substantial.

4. The silver color is freakin' beautiful though a bit soft. These lenses don't look like every other lens in the industry. With the possible exception of Leica, these are the only lenses in the industry designed to fit cosmetically with the silver finish bodies which Pentax still rolls out as limited editions.

5. These lenses are fine performers wide open as so many tests document, but these lenses also seem to avoid diffraction problems better than other brands and other Pentax series. This allows for the use of smaller apertures for more depth of field--particularly in landscapce shooting situations where the "pixie dust" color rendition combined with better dof equals a very high level of landscape proficiency.

6. Sharpness and microcontrast combine for a visual sharpness that really sings. Editors love images that come through these lenses.

7. Bokeh from the series is legendary and arguably better than any other brand either then or now.

8. I own a pile of FA* and FA Limited lenses and owned and paid off products are way better than "dream" products or stuff I may talk about owning.
09-10-2011, 11:47 AM   #6
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No such thing as a best series - you can pick up excellent lenses in every one of them.......just check the user reviews and see for yourself
09-10-2011, 01:41 PM   #7
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FA Limiteds.

End Thread/
09-10-2011, 02:52 PM   #8
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I agree with Ron Boggs and TOUGEFC that the FA*/FA Ltd series are very highly regarded and have outstanding IQ.

While all Pentax lenses series have some outstanding lenses, it is amazing to see the on-going interst for the FA* lens series despite being discontinued. Look at the prices for the FA*85mm and FA*300mm in the markeplace.... In the same thread, the FA lenses are consierd by many Pentaxians and non-Pentax users as some of the best lenses across al brands. One discussion pointed to the FA31mm f1.8 Ltd as the 'best' lens ever-made....

I would encourage every one to read the following article printed in 2002:

The Best (Autofocus) Lenses Money Can Buy
"The very best AF SLR lenses made today are the Pentax [FA] Limiteds. There are only three, and they have focal lengths apparently chosen by means of occultish numerology: there's a [FA] 31mm f/1.8 wide, a [FA] 43mm f/1.9 "true" normal, and a [FA] 77mm f/1.8 short tele.
All three are utter standouts optically. With the vagaries of personal taste taken into account, no lens, however deluxe, can be called the "best" for everyone, but the Limiteds are certainly among the best.
Popular Photography in its March 2002 issue called the Pentax SMC-FA 31mm Limited one of the greatest prime lenses it had ever tested (the other two were the Voigtländer Heliar 50mm f/3.5 and the Nikon Nikkor 45mm f/2.8P Tessar-type. This wasn't clear in the issue itself, but I contacted the Editor, Jason Schneider, who confirmed it).
When it comes to the best autofocus lenses in the world, whether for a viewfinder camera or SLRs, it's still Zeiss and Pentax, baby, same as the old days."

Food for thought...

Last edited by hcc; 09-10-2011 at 10:34 PM.
09-10-2011, 08:07 PM   #9
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thank you! that helps alot everyone
09-10-2011, 08:15 PM   #10
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I just wish they would come out with a WR LTD
09-11-2011, 03:41 AM   #11
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A's have always served me well, especially the star variety.

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