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10-13-2015, 10:45 AM   #1
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What are your favorite lenses for sharpness?

I'd ask that we leave out the dedicated macro lenses, because they're specifically designed for that razor-edged sharpness. I guess what I'm asking is, what's your favorite "run of the mill" PENTAX lenses as far as every day shooting.... close-focus, landscape, still-life, etc.


I know what you're thinking already. What the heck is a "run-of-the-mill lens?" Let's say the M, A, F and FA series of lenses just for the sake of discussion. Do you have any particular favorites?


Here's mine: (As you will notice, I don't include any of the "Limited," or * lenses because they don't fit within my budget. So, I suppose that's why I asked about "run-of-the-mill" lenses.)


1. DA 50mm f:1.8
2. M 50mm f:1.7
3. M 100mm f:2.8
4. M 75-150mm
5. A 70-210mm
6. FA 35-70mm
7. FA 70-210


This is perhaps too broad of a subject, but.... just felt like starting some dialogue on the subject and see how my list compares to that of other Pentaxians.

10-13-2015, 11:04 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dewman Quote
I'd ask that we leave out the dedicated macro lenses, because they're specifically designed for that razor-edged sharpness. I guess what I'm asking is, what's your favorite "run of the mill" PENTAX lenses as far as every day shooting.... close-focus, landscape, still-life, etc.


I know what you're thinking already. What the heck is a "run-of-the-mill lens?" Let's say the M, A, F and FA series of lenses just for the sake of discussion. Do you have any particular favorites?


Here's mine: (As you will notice, I don't include any of the "Limited," or * lenses because they don't fit within my budget. So, I suppose that's why I asked about "run-of-the-mill" lenses.)


1. DA 50mm f:1.8
2. M 50mm f:1.7
3. M 100mm f:2.8
4. M 75-150mm
5. A 70-210mm
6. FA 35-70mm
7. FA 70-210


This is perhaps too broad of a subject, but.... just felt like starting some dialogue on the subject and see how my list compares to that of other Pentaxians.
My favorites are: Pentax 17-50mm, as a general local lens. When I travel I use 2 bodies, one has a Pentax 10-17mm,(which supplemented my 17-28mm) and the other main body(K-20) had 18-250mm Tamron, which does not work well with my K-5IIs, so it was swapped out for a 18-200mm Tamron. When I take my next big trip, I will supplement my Tamron for a Pentax 18-270mm. I do have an 28-300mm, but I think this is on the heavier side, and the lighter 200mm range is enough.
10-13-2015, 11:19 AM   #3
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since all these lenses on the list are not "highest level" in the product line, copy variation might be a bigger issue than those pro level lenses, although I have seen too many bad or not so good copiers in the * and limited lines.
That being said, among the lenses in the list, I have experience with 1, 2, 3, 6, and 7. DA 50/1.8 is definitely the sharpest lens. at F 1.8 it is obviously sharper in center than M 50/1.7, contrast is better also. Edge resolution is way way better than M 50/1.7 or 1.4, better than F/FA 50 1.7/1.4 when set at F 1.8.

Many positive review out there about the DA 35/2.4. I can confirm it is a very good lens, particularly if we talk about sharpness only. But I don't have an FA 35/2 to compare.

Being 100mm, the M 100/2.8 is natively sharp. A lot easier to design 100-135mm lens than wider lenses. But it is hard to compare to DA 50 since the FL is so different.

I noticed most lens on the list are in 35-200 range. to keep budget low, I will sugest: da 35, 50 and your M 100.
10-13-2015, 11:41 AM   #4
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Maybe the M120/2.8? It may not qualify as run of the mill, but it's certainly the sharpest 120mm lens I have.

The FA 35/2 is a good candidate.

10-13-2015, 12:01 PM   #5
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A50mm f1.4 is my sharpest glass. Works for anything, Landscapes, Portraits, Macro, Best little lens I've owned next to the K55 f1.8

Last edited by kmurphy220; 10-13-2015 at 12:01 PM. Reason: Missed a letter
10-13-2015, 12:04 PM   #6
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I know you mentioned that you don't want to consider macro lenses...but man the DA 35mm LTD was nice. I didn't find it brutally sharp. I also think it is an extremely versatile focal length on APS-C.
It is also quite affordable, especially 2nd hand
10-13-2015, 12:05 PM   #7
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Ah..... well :

My all time favorite is the DA*300/4.... superb in all aspects.
Then, my FA 31Ltd .... pixie dust queen.
My old "now-screw-drive" DA*16-50 ... always as sharp as a button (or a tack)!
and of course, the DA 15Ltd which, as mentioned in another thread, "blows my mind" !

Last edited by jpzk; 10-13-2015 at 12:14 PM.
10-13-2015, 12:08 PM   #8
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FA 31 / 77
DA* 50-135 surprisingly sharp too

10-13-2015, 12:11 PM   #9
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I've been very happy with the sharpness from the 16-85 since upgrading from 18-135.
10-13-2015, 12:12 PM - 1 Like   #10
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Sharpness is a bourgeois concept.
10-13-2015, 12:14 PM   #11
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I like to do mostly landscape and my two favorite lens for landscape is:
DA 35mm F2.8 limited macro (I know you said no macro, but I don't use this lens for macro, my FA 50mm F2.8 does that job when needed)
DA 15mm F4

My most used lens just to carry around is the DA 20-40mm.
10-13-2015, 12:41 PM   #12
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My run of the mill lens is FA100 macro. Because it is sharp. I have shorter lenses.
10-13-2015, 12:47 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dewman Quote
M, A, F and FA series
Within that I'd have to say F50 f1.7.
10-13-2015, 01:03 PM   #14
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all of my 'A' lenses are razor sharp:

A 50mm f1.7
A 200mm f4
A 35-105mm f3.5
A 70-210mm f4

and the DA 50mm f1.8 is pretty amazing, especially considering its price point...

my DA 10-17mm f3.5-4.5 FE produces pretty sharp and amazing colors.... and occasionally, I am pleasantly surprised when the planets align and my DA 18-250mm nails a shot....



but my macro lenses.... hhhmmmmmm.....
10-13-2015, 01:11 PM   #15
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<= Reeds thread title. Opens thread. Then sees: "leave out the dedicated macro lenses". And backs away again.
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