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05-01-2014, 07:25 AM   #1
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What lens do I get next?

I'm ready to put in my order for a K-3. Any recommendations on next lens (or two) to consider?

Current lenses:

Asahi Pentax Super-Takumar 50mm F1.4 **
Pentax DA*55mm F1.4 SDM
SMC Pentax-M 50mm F1.7
Fish-eye-Takumar 18mm F11 **
Super-Takumar 135mm F3.5 **
Pentax DA 55-300mm F4-5.8ED
Pentax DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6AL II
Rokinon 1:4.5 80-200mm

** Inherited from my dad

I plan on using my k200D as my primary body for my screw-mount lenses so I don't have to keep taking the adapter in and out when I'm out shooting.


I want to know what lens to consider next. There's a fellow Pentax aficionado on Flickr who does wonderful things with a variety of lenses. In particular I've noticed his work with a Pentax DA* 50-135mm F2.8 SDM which I think might be a good addition. Thoughts and recommendations, please.


Last edited by Violet; 05-01-2014 at 07:59 AM. Reason: additional info
05-01-2014, 07:32 AM   #2
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wow, great kit right out of the gate!
for the screwmount adapter issue, another way to go is to just buy an adapter for each lens and semi-permanently attach them, removing the lock clips if you like. Sue beats having to fiddle with the adapter as much if you switch lenses often.
good luck.
05-01-2014, 07:43 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikeSF Quote
wow, great kit right out of the gate!
for the screwmount adapter issue, another way to go is to just buy an adapter for each lens and semi-permanently attach them, removing the lock clips if you like. Sue beats having to fiddle with the adapter as much if you switch lenses often.
good luck.
Great idea on an adapter for each lens. Thanks. Never thought of doing that. It would make it much simpler.
05-01-2014, 08:01 AM   #4
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Personally, I'd focus on replacing the kit lens (the DA 18-55). Options would be the DA*16-50 f2.8 or Tamron 17-50? f2.8. You might also look at the DA 10-17 fisheye as it's a really great lens for ultra wide angle.

05-01-2014, 08:10 AM   #5
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I'd look into getting the Pentax DA 35mm F2.4
Of course, this all depends on what type of photography you're into.
However, it looks like you need a good 35mm prime lens that has autofocus.
The only lens you have that covers this range is your 18-55mm. The 35mm is a serious upgrade to that 18-55mm.
Plus, you'll love shooting wide open at F2.4

Considering you can pick up the Pentax 35mm prime for around $139 (US) right now (Amazon); Its seems ridiculous not to get one.
05-01-2014, 08:11 AM   #6
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You already have 3 good 50mm lenses so no need to add another in that range. I guess it comes down to what you like to shoot (and of course budget).

You don't have anything wider than 18mm. I like wide angle so that's the first lens *I* would add. In my case I bought the Tamron 10-24 (for versatility) and later Samyang 14mm (for sharpness wide open for astrophotography). The DA15 and Sigma zooms are also good choices.

There's also no macro in your collection. The DFA 100mm WR or a used non-WR 100 (same optics) are compact and very sharp.

3rd lens (yes, you said 1 or 2, but prioritize based on what *you* like to shoot) would be a longer zoom. I am happy with my Sigma 50-500 OS. It's heavy but the ability to do a 50mm landscape in the middle of 500mm wildlife shots is very nice. The DA 300 plus 1.4 TC (which I don't have) is lighter and reportedly sharper than the Sigma, but then you might need to carry your K200D as a 2nd body adding to the total weight.

It all comes down to: how do your current lenses limit your photography?

---------- Post added 05-01-14 at 11:13 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by blackcloudbrew Quote
Personally, I'd focus on replacing the kit lens (the DA 18-55). Options would be the DA*16-50 f2.8 or Tamron 17-50? f2.8. You might also look at the DA 10-17 fisheye as it's a really great lens for ultra wide angle.
The 16-50 is another excellent suggestion, especially if your current 18-55 is not a WR version. It's liberating to shoot in rain and snow with less worry about ruining equipment.
05-01-2014, 08:15 AM   #7
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Consider a photography vaca to see which lens you need

Hi Violet.
As has already been suggested you've got a nice kit already. Since you're thinking 50-135 you've got some serious change burning a hole in your pocket . Maybe spend the money on a trip to place where you can take your 18-55, 55-300 and DA 55. Take hundreds....no thousands of images. Take notes of where you were held back by your kit, or where you needed something else. Study the exif of the images you captured and analyze what focal length you primarily shoot at and then you might be in a better position to figure out where your holes are or where your photography can be improved.

Just an idea.
05-01-2014, 08:21 AM   #8
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New leses

I own two lenses that I have been very pleased with, and which might be good additions for your collection:

Tamron 17-50 f 2.8 (constant), and there is a Sigma equivalent that also receives excellent reports.
Sigma 30 mm f 1.4, fantastic street lens or low-light lens for inside events.

I also like my Pentax 10-17 fisheye lens, which is great for the fishy effects and doubles as a decent wide angle at the longer end.

Replacing or supplementing your 18-55 kit lens certainly is not an emergency since it is in and of itself a fine lens. However, I might suggest that you have a look for the SMC Pentax FA 24-90mm f 3.5-4.5. This lens is not much mentioned, and may be a little difficult to locate, but if offers really excellent image quality with extra range over the 18-55 and only a little loss at the bottom end.

All three of the lens mentioned above are around the $300 to $400 level in the used lens market.

05-01-2014, 08:27 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Violet Quote
I want to know what lens to consider next.
DA21 Ltd. Then the DA70 Ltd. Then the DA15 Ltd ....
05-01-2014, 08:48 AM   #10
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First off, thanks for prompt replies.

Yes, the kit lens is not my favorite and no, I don't believe it's a WR. Yes, it should be replaced. The DA*16-50 f2.8 does sound like a good option (nod to blackcloudbrew and deadjohn). Would there be a difference in quality between it and the Tamron lenses, the 27-50 f2.8 or the 10-24 mentioned above?

If you take a look at this set on Flickr (Edit: Flickriver version), you'll get a good sample of what I like to shoot. I should also mention that I like to shoot with natural light even in low light conditions.

The macro and wide angle recommendations are of interest as well. Dice, I must confess that I mentioned the DA* 50-135 before checking the price (cough). Since I've just ordered my K-3 from B&H, that's probably not on the immediate must-buy list.

theraven871, the DA 35mm F2.4 sounds intriguing and I will check into that.

Last edited by Violet; 05-01-2014 at 09:32 AM. Reason: additional info
05-01-2014, 08:55 AM   #11
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You might want to check this great lens comparison out as well.

DA* 16-50mm vs. Sigma and Tamron 17-50mm F2.8 Comparison - Introduction - Pentax Camera Forums
05-01-2014, 08:58 AM   #12
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ivanvernon, thanks for your recommendations. I'll be checking them out.

kh1234567890, I sense a preference for primes, especially limited primes. Sounds good to me! I will look at them and consider what might be a fit.

blackcloudbrew, thanks for pointing out that comparison. I'll check that out right now.
05-01-2014, 09:09 AM   #13
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I also recommend the Limited series of primes. I really enjoy using my DA 15 and 35 Macro Limiteds. Both are very sharp, have excellent color rendition, and flare resistance. Good luck with whatever you choose.
05-01-2014, 09:26 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Violet Quote
kh1234567890, I sense a preference for primes, especially limited primes. Sounds good to me! I will look at them and consider what might be a fit.
I hate physically big lenses. Seriously though, your line-up has a gap at the wide end, except for the DA18-55. Not that there is anything wrong with that, if it is a good one like mine. The trouble with getting a Limited is that you end up buying another one, and another one ...
05-01-2014, 09:36 AM   #15
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You are really lacking on the wider end. But from your comments it seems like you go long more than you go wide, so your interest in the 50-135 is interesting even though you already have that range covered. It just seems like you prefer to shoot in that range. If that is the case, and the size of the 50-135 isn't an issue, that's always a good option - despite the redundancy with what you already have, you'd be adding flexibility and IQ (other than at the 55mm length, of course - it doesn't get much better than that DA*55!). But at the cost of having to carry a big heavy lens with you.

On the wider end, I'd also first consider what I want - primes or zooms.
If zooms, there's good options out there like the Tamron 17-50, the Sigma 17-70 and the Pentax 17-70, or even a used Pentax 16-45, which a lot of people love and can be had cheap.
If primes, the DA 21 and either the DA 35 2.4 (very good, very cheap) or the DA 35 2.8 Limited Macro (even better, though it costs quite a bit more) would be a good place to start. After you have experience with those, you will be able to tell if you long for an even wider lens, or if those are just right for you.
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