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02-27-2014, 08:08 PM - 1 Like   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by oxidized Quote
The K-30 has an amazing sensor. IF anything the 20-40 doesnt match it's capacity.


QuoteOriginally posted by Kozlok Quote
For the price of the 20-40, you would be better off getting the 16-50. Better images, and still WR. Personally, I think a better way to spend your money would be to get the 18-135 for wet days, and a nice fast prime (or 2). The 18-135 will be $400, another $500 for the new version of the Sigma 30/1.4 (in a month or so). Add in the DA50/1.8 for another 180, and for $1080, you've got a set of lenses that will absolutely be better than the 20-40.


As someone who actually has the 20-40 and who has used the 16-50 and the DA primes in the focal range of the DA20-40 it is no slouch and competes easily with all of the lenses suggested. Whether you want to spend the money on it is another question. Is it too good for the sensor no. Is it too much to spend on a lens maybe. Is it right for you maybe. There are plenty of lenses in this focal range. But they will not be WR (except for DA 16-50 and 18-135), smallish, metal bodies, so if that is important to you then you only have a few choices. Look at images....at full size....find the flaws and determine whether they will inhibit your photography.

PM me if you want more personal experience from me about the lens and why I didn't choose to keep the options that are suggested.


Last edited by Dice; 02-27-2014 at 09:10 PM.
02-27-2014, 08:13 PM - 1 Like   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by kentishrev Quote
With my Pentax, I have the 18-55mm kit lens and the DA 50mm f1.8. I'm looking to build a full range and am considering (not all at once), the Sigma 10-20mm, the Pentax Limited 20-40mm, and the new Pentax WR 55-300mm. Eventually perhaps a Ltd 43mm also. I would be hoping at some time in the future to upgrade the K-30 body, but not for a while yet.

By my reckoning, this SHOULD give me all the coverage I might need, with the best glass in my favoured range. However, I recognise that the k-30 is not top of the range. Am I wasting money with the 20-40mm? Will I get the best out of it? Or should I stick to something cheaper?
QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
To answer your question, no, a lens can't be too good really. The best L lens on a Canon Rebel will beat the crap out of a 1D with a 28-300mm, just to give one example.

The 20-40mm will give you better image quality than the 18-55mm, but so would something like a Sigma 17-70mm, which I highly recommend.

To answer your fundamental question, it's as Adam said: NO, you're not wasting your money by getting top quality lenses on an entry-level body - especially with Pentax, which has the best entry-level cameras around.



I must have spent 5 to 10 times the price of a K-30 in lenses for my K-x. I finally upgraded to a K-5 and got little benefit in increased IQ. Top quality lenses were not only a good use of money, they're the main factor that made me enjoy my photography (and get better results).


I agree with Adam's statement that the DA20-40 might not be the best way to spend that money. I would instead look at a DA*16-50, or even an FA20-35 (both of which I have/had). The DA16-45 could also be a realistic choice. If you do go with the Sigma 17-70, I believe the latest version is the best one.

And I don't think the Sigma 10-20 (either version) is all that good. You'd be better off with the aforementioned DA*16-50/2.8, then adding a Sigma 8-16 later if you want to go really wide (or cross your fingers that the upcoming Samyang 10/2.8 will turn out good). The Sigma 8-16 is much stronger from 10 to 16mm than any 10-20ish lens I can think of.


QuoteOriginally posted by Dice Quote
Look at images....at full size....find the flaws and determine whether they will inhibit your photography.

Absolutely - in the end, make sure you look at images from the lenses after (or even before) getting other's opinions. We mainly give you ideas on what to look at.


My favorite sources for Pentax images are:

PENTAX : Select a PENTAX interchangeable lens camera or a lens model

Full-size sample photos from Pentax 16-45mm F/4

Pentax smc P-FA 20-35mm f/4 AL Lens Sample Photos and Specifications



Finally, would you mind sharing what Nikon lenses you had (and what body)? I'm guessing that you didn't have some of the better longer lenses, like the 85/1.8G or a 105. I think if you get a DA*50-135 or FA77 you'll change your mind about staying within the 20-40mm range.

At this point my recommendation would actually be to get a DA*50-135 and a DA16-45. The reason is the DA*50-135 is a standout choice in its range, whereas there are many more options (all of which are compromises) in the 16-50mm range. The DA16-45 is very good at a reasonable price. Then take some time and evaluate your options for other lenses like the Sigma 8-16, FA*24, DA35/2.4, and DA*16-50.

Last edited by DSims; 02-27-2014 at 09:00 PM.
02-27-2014, 08:53 PM - 1 Like   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by starbase218 Quote
Also, according to this review, the 20-40 isn't actually as sharp as maybe it should be (price and specs-wise).
If you look beyond the verbiage,
and study the actual measurements in that review,
you will see that the DA 20-40 zoom
provides more than 90% of the edge resolution of the FA 31
at f/8 at all of its focal lengths.

So I have to ask: how sharp do you expect a compact zoom to be?

The raw files with the DA 20-40 on my K-50 often exceed 20MP,
providing a performance comparable to Zeiss lenses on that sensor.

---------- Post added 02-27-14 at 10:00 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by kentishrev Quote
Am I wasting money with the 20-40mm? Will I get the best out of it?
The answers to those questions depend on your photographic skills and needs.
The lens itself can deliver.

---------- Post added 02-27-14 at 10:05 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
I agree with Adam's statement that the DA20-40 might not be the best way to spend that money. I would instead look at . . . an FA20-35.
The DA 20-40 is a modernized, weatherized, ruggedized APS-C version of the FA 20-35.
I seriously contemplated getting an FA 20-35 for a while,
but decided to wait once the DA 20-40 appeared on the roadmap.
02-27-2014, 09:12 PM - 1 Like   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
you will see that the DA 20-40 zoom
provides more than 90% of the edge resolution of the FA 31
at f/8 at all of its focal lengths.
Sorry, but I just can't help thinking no one sould buy an FA31 to shoot at f/8 all day.

Nevertheless, I'm afraid the DA20-40 may suffer a similar fate to the DA*16-50 - it can be hard to swallow its price tag when the images from it don't display an immediately obvious advantage. That doesn't mean it's the wrong lens to buy. In fact that's the very same reason I waited too long to buy a DA*16-50! But I was very happy when I finally did, because it relieved the pressure to try to fill that entire range with good quality primes.

02-27-2014, 09:28 PM - 1 Like   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
I'm afraid the DA20-40 may suffer a similar fate to the DA*16-50 - it can be hard to swallow its price tag when the images from it don't display an immediately obvious advantage.
Well, I don't have a DA*16-50,
but the very first ten images from my DA 20-40 certainly
"display[ed] an immediately obvious advantage"
-- the kind of rendering you get from the very best primes.
02-27-2014, 09:55 PM - 1 Like   #21
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Lenses last forever. I'm using two 1976 M series lenses regularly, and a Tak 55/1.8 occasionally. The K-3 might out resolve them, but just barely, I think. They will still work, anyway, so I can use a new camera body, and still use the same lenses.
02-27-2014, 10:54 PM - 1 Like   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by kentishrev Quote
I have a K-30. All is good, I love the camera and I have slowly found myself leaving my Nikon behind now. I'm going to invest....

For my earlier Nikon kit, I had a range of lenses that covered the 18-300 range, but I took most within the 20 - 50 range.

With my Pentax, I have the 18-55mm kit lens and the DA 50mm f1.8. I'm looking to build a full range and am considering (not all at once), the Sigma 10-20mm, the Pentax Limited 20-40mm, and the new Pentax WR 55-300mm. Eventually perhaps a Ltd 43mm also. I would be hoping at some time in the future to upgrade the K-30 body, but not for a while yet.

By my reckoning, this SHOULD give me all the coverage I might need, with the best glass in my favoured range. However, I recognise that the k-30 is not top of the range. Am I wasting money with the 20-40mm? Will I get the best out of it? Or should I stick to something cheaper?
I started 10 years ago with the *istD and when I started out I had the kit lens and used my older MF and AF lenses from my PZ1

This worked well as my kit lens at the time was a 18-35 lens, so when I shot , or really wanted wide angle, I used the 18-35 on my PZ1 and longer lenses on digital. Slowly, I bought some new lenses, starting with a sigma 70-200/2.8 and a sigma 1.4x TC. Then, when I got my K10 I added a sigma 10-20, the last addition was the tamron 28-75/2.8

I am now shooting with the K7 and K5, but guess what. I am still using lenses that I bought between 8 and 10 years ago. I have absolutely no regrets in buying lenses that out performed the *istD. The fact is, they still out perform my present bodies. So what! I will keep my glass a lot longer than the bodies. My film experience proved this out, lenses that I bought in the early 1980's are actually still pretty good, and I have even gone out to build a collection of M42 lenses because even 50-60 year old glass (except for coatings) performs pretty good even on the latest and greatest DSLR. Just go to the takamar lens club for an example.

Lenses are, or should be a lifetime investment

Last edited by Lowell Goudge; 02-28-2014 at 12:37 PM.
02-28-2014, 12:46 AM - 1 Like   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
Well, I don't have a DA*16-50,
but the very first ten images from my DA 20-40 certainly
"display[ed] an immediately obvious advantage"
-- the kind of rendering you get from the very best primes.
I'm glad to hear this. I just haven't seen it yet in any images from this lens.

And neither did I have a great first impression when I got my DA*16-50. In fact I was disappointed to see just how much CA/PF and other flaws it showed at f/3.2 and f/3.5. But then I realized that I'd become so accustomed to using good quality primes that this was just the cost of having a zoom in this range. So I decided to accept this fact, and then I was happy with it (because the overall images came out good, especially if I usually stopped down to at least somewhere between f/4.5 and f/3.5). But that doesn't make it as good as the primes - on the contrary, it proves that it's not.


Likewise, I'm pretty sure the DA20-40 can't match any of my primes between 20 and 43mm. In fact, the only one it really even has a chance to match is the FA20/2.8, because it can't even match the aperture of any of the others - not even the moderate aperture of the FA28/2.8.


So about the only way the $900-1000 DA20-40/2.8-4 is going to impress me is through its images - and it's failed to do so thus far. But I'll keep looking at its photos - I haven't written it off yet.

02-28-2014, 07:33 AM   #24
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Wow, turn my back for 5 minutes and the answers come thick and fast.

Looked at more pictures, tests and reviews.

Narrowed choice to two, and checked out the DA* 16-50mm and the 20-40mm this lunchtime. Both are beautiful lenses.

On the K-30, the DA* 16-50 was a bit of a beast, and felt very heavy. But the AF was amazing. The 20-40 was just stunning to use, although you noticed the AF more.

The store agreed to match a lower price I'd seen elsewhere, and I eventually went for the 20-40.

Now just need to take another 9,500 photographs, and I may start to get better.
02-28-2014, 07:46 AM - 1 Like   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by kentishrev Quote
Wow, turn my back for 5 minutes and the answers come thick and fast.

Looked at more pictures, tests and reviews.

Narrowed choice to two, and checked out the DA* 16-50mm and the 20-40mm this lunchtime. Both are beautiful lenses.

On the K-30, the DA* 16-50 was a bit of a beast, and felt very heavy. But the AF was amazing. The 20-40 was just stunning to use, although you noticed the AF more.

The store agreed to match a lower price I'd seen elsewhere, and I eventually went for the 20-40.

Now just need to take another 9,500 photographs, and I may start to get better.
It doesn't take as long as you might think... post some images for us, there aren't many on the forum taken with that lens. inquiring minds want to know.
02-28-2014, 08:21 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
It doesn't take as long as you might think... post some images for us, there aren't many on the forum taken with that lens. inquiring minds want to know.
I will post images soon. I'm just worried that the WR is SO good on this lens that the pixie dust can't get in.

Thanks to all for the advice and support (on this and other threads).
02-28-2014, 08:49 AM - 1 Like   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by kentishrev Quote
I eventually went for the 20-40.

Now just need to take another 9,500 photographs, and I may start to get better.
I hope you enjoy it as much as many of its other users do!

Here's one place to post images (even if the web doesn't do the lens full justice):

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/122-lens-clubs/247859-da-limited-zoom-clu...ml#post2720341
02-28-2014, 11:25 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
If you look beyond the verbiage,
and study the actual measurements in that review,
you will see that the DA 20-40 zoom
provides more than 90% of the edge resolution of the FA 31
at f/8 at all of its focal lengths.

So I have to ask: how sharp do you expect a compact zoom to be?
If it costs as much as the 20-40 and has an aperture of 2.8-4, I expect it to be very sharp. To each his own, but I don't intend on spending over 800 euros to get a 20-40mm lens that I have to stop down to f/8. At that price, I expect it to be super-sharp 1 stop down from max aperture, and very sharp wide-open.

QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
The raw files with the DA 20-40 on my K-50 often exceed 20MP,
providing a performance comparable to Zeiss lenses on that sensor.[COLOR="Silver"]
I find that hard to believe, since the K-50 has a 16MP sensor.
02-28-2014, 12:10 PM - 1 Like   #29
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I'd look at the DA21 ltd or DA35 ltd over the 20-40mm option. I think those would do very well on the K30.
Though I am interested to hear your experience with the 20-40...
02-28-2014, 12:39 PM - 1 Like   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
I'd look at the DA21 ltd or DA35 ltd over the 20-40mm option. I think those would do very well on the K30.
Though I am interested to hear your experience with the 20-40...
I agree as one who owns both the 21 and 35 Macro Limited. I currently shoot a K30 and the camera loves both those primes.
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