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09-04-2015, 08:48 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentakxian Quote
It is the K 50 1.2 for me.
me too - just used it for single in august - with very spectacular results

09-04-2015, 09:04 PM   #17
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I had an old Vivitar preset 85mm lens with crazy glow wide open. That lens was something else.
09-04-2015, 10:12 PM - 2 Likes   #18
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FA*300mm f/2.8 ED [IF]
FA*200mm f/4 ED macro
A*135mm f/1.8
FA*85mm f/1.4
A/K 50mm f/1.2
K 28mm f/2
09-04-2015, 10:13 PM - 2 Likes   #19
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I can vouch for three that have been mentioned so far; the dreamy SMC 50 f/1.2, SMC 55 f/1.8, and definitely SMC 85 f.1.8 have that creamy bokeh especially at or near full aperture. The SMC 30 f/2.8 is one of the sharpest lenses ever made and exceptional characteristics of the SMC 35 f/3.5, SMC 105 f/2.8 and SMC 135 f/2.5 are often raved about. Although I have some great M lenses also, there is a build quality, balance, and general feel to the original K lenses that sets them apart. Some of the M optics were technical improvements for sharpness and especially contrast that probably suited the tastes of many in the `70s and `80s for the tendency to shoot mostly slides. The painterly magic in images shot with the earlier lenses and seldom seen since keeps the K lenses popular and the manual handling is a small price to pay for their beautiful and rare renderings.

09-05-2015, 12:08 AM   #20
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Bang for buck I would say the 55mm 1.8 is hard to beat. At F8 it gives nice sharp edge to edge as well. The 44-2 is also good if you dont mind leaving the Pentax realm.
09-05-2015, 05:23 AM   #21
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you may also want to peruse the Lens Clubs and see which pictures strike you and the corresponding lense...
09-05-2015, 05:25 AM - 1 Like   #22
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Not a list of the overall best K-mount lenses, but my choices of lenses restricted to what the subject line specifies:

K 28/2
K 55/1.8
K 85/1.8
K 135/2.5

A 28-135/4
A 35-105/3.5

FA* 80-200/2.8

All of the above "paint" beautifully.
09-05-2015, 07:01 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentakxian Quote
It is the K 50 1.2 for me.
My favourites are-
K50/1.2 K30/2.8 Super Takumar 1.9 and the Helios 44M2 pre set

09-05-2015, 07:14 AM - 1 Like   #24
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If you can find one, the 30mm f/2.8 is a truly outstanding lens.

SMC Pentax 30mm F2.8 Reviews - K Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
09-05-2015, 10:48 AM   #25
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In addition to the already mentioned:
K35/3.5
and maybe the M85/2 as well...

Seb
09-05-2015, 11:13 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by bassek Quote
In addition to the already mentioned:
K35/3.5 ...

Seb
I considered adding the K35/3.5. My personal experience - perhaps just with my copy - leans to noting it for outstanding sharpness and color rendering (especially reds) and less so for OOF areas and 3D projection. While it is a great lens - perhaps the best Pentax 35 ever - I had thought those qualities outside the desired characteristics.
09-05-2015, 01:42 PM   #27
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Profound thanks to everyone for such a teriffic response - I've discovered lots of real gems in here!
I'd be really interested to hear if any of the F or FA lenses share some of the characteristics mentioned (for instance what about the 31mm Limited - & I've read about the FA 20mm f2.8 exhibiting "pixie dust"!). Also, loads of brilliant recommendations for nifty 50's, I would be keen to learn of some additional focal lengths, especially telephoto.
And finally are there lenses for the 645 or 67 that might display these qualities (the one I hear about frequently is the 105mm f/2.4 for the 67)
Thank you again

---------- Post added 5th Sep 2015 at 01:55 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
K28/2 (Joint Pentax/Carl Zeiss creation with 3D results)
K50/1.2 (Best bokeh @ f1.2)
K85/1.8 (Soft focus effect)

Phil.
Thank you - fascinating to discover the K28/2 was a joint CZ/Pentax project - this appears to be the same lens design as the highly coveted "Hollywood" Distagon in CY mount! I will definitely have to hunt one out...& the 50/1.2 which seems to garner many mentions. There seems to be a number of 85's listed, f/1.8, f/1.9 & f/2 - would be interested in learning about the differences.

---------- Post added 5th Sep 2015 at 02:01 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by From1980 Quote
I can vouch for three that have been mentioned so far; the dreamy SMC 50 f/1.2, SMC 55 f/1.8, and definitely SMC 85 f.1.8 have that creamy bokeh especially at or near full aperture. The SMC 30 f/2.8 is one of the sharpest lenses ever made and exceptional characteristics of the SMC 35 f/3.5, SMC 105 f/2.8 and SMC 135 f/2.5 are often raved about. Although I have some great M lenses also, there is a build quality, balance, and general feel to the original K lenses that sets them apart. Some of the M optics were technical improvements for sharpness and especially contrast that probably suited the tastes of many in the `70s and `80s for the tendency to shoot mostly slides. The painterly magic in images shot with the earlier lenses and seldom seen since keeps the K lenses popular and the manual handling is a small price to pay for their beautiful and rare renderings.
Your gorgeous depiction of the K lenses certainly has me sold on them! (That said I am quite fond of 70s aesthetics too!)
09-05-2015, 10:39 PM - 1 Like   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentax_rob Quote
And finally are there lenses for the 645 or 67 that might display these qualities (the one I hear about frequently is the 105mm f/2.4 for the 67)
Thank you again
For the 6x7 system:

67 55/4 last version. (Sharpest 6x7 lens)
67 75/2.8AL (Best all around 6x7 lens)
67 100/4 Macro (Incredibly sharp macro with 1x magnification)
67 120/3.5 Soft (Beautiful soft dreamy images, fun lens to use)
67 165/4 Leaf Shutter (Top notch sharp portrait lens)
67 200/4 last version (Sharp short telephoto/portrait)

Phil.
09-06-2015, 12:17 AM - 2 Likes   #29
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How come no mention of the 31, 43 and 77? They're film era aren't they? Just because you can buy them new doesn't mean they are modern!


mmm...K's......K30/2.8, K50/1.2 & K85/1.8


Last edited by noelpolar; 09-06-2015 at 04:27 PM.
09-06-2015, 12:29 AM   #30
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The best three for me would be SMC Pentax-A 50mm F1.2, SMC Pentax-A* 85mm F1.4 and SMC Pentax-A* 135mm F1.8.
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