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02-11-2016, 11:04 AM   #1
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Not so many third party lenses

Hi! I recently purchased a K-3II. I'm very happy with it

The thing is that I'm currently looking for lenses, and can't find more alternatives than Pentax itself (expensive), and a very few Tamron and Sigma zoom lenses.
I switched from Canon and the difference in lenses availability is -let's face it- big and more new lenses are being produced by Sigma, Tamron, Tokina, etc for Canicon.
Photo magazines have big ads from these companies offering their wonderful new lenses, but sadly not for Pentax mount...

I don't regret switching to Pentax due to it's high image quality and features (pixel shift resolution is superb) but this lens thing is bugging me a little.

What are your thoughts about this?

02-11-2016, 11:26 AM   #2
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Sigma and Tamron don't feel there is enough market to make lenses in K-mount.
02-11-2016, 11:27 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by NewPTXuser Quote
What are your thoughts about this?
What lenses are you looking for? I find most areas covered adequately, though in some cases you need to look at the used market. No, you do not have the wide range of choices other brands have but I've not found much that you cannot cover if you look.

Tilt/shift is mostly missing and so is 150-600 but otherwise? Tell us what you need, I suspect you will get plenty of suggestions.
02-11-2016, 11:30 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by NewPTXuser Quote

What are your thoughts about this?
Look into older 1st party lenses. K,M,A, F, FA, etc..

02-11-2016, 11:33 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by NewPTXuser Quote
The thing is that I'm currently looking for lenses, and can't find more alternatives than Pentax itself (expensive), and a very few Tamron and Sigma zoom lenses.
Well, if you also look at used lenses, you will increase your range of choices...
02-11-2016, 11:33 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by NewPTXuser Quote
What are your thoughts about this?
I agree with jatrax - what are your current and potential future needs?

There are plenty of contemporary lenses, which are complemented by older and perfectly-decent autofocus or manual-focus choices.

- Craig
02-11-2016, 12:06 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by NewPTXuser Quote
Photo magazines have big ads from these companies offering their wonderful new lenses, but sadly not for Pentax mount...
You have zoom capability from 12mm to 450mm (10mm if you include fisheye), and a fair selection of primes ranging from 14mm up to 560mm, a large number of the zooms and many of the primes are weather-sealed, and everything you can put on a Pentax body is image-stabilised. That's just with current production lenses.

On top of that, there is the used market. Every lens Pentax/Asahi Optical Corp. has ever made can be mounted on your new camera and used, with at most a simple thread-mount adapter for the pre-1975 stuff (try doing that with Canon), and AF confirmation works without any fancy chip in the adapter (I know; I do it regularly). And all of that is image-stabilised as well, right back to the very first Takumars.

Remember that a lot of these new third-party lenses are on the big and heavy side, and not necessarily weather sealed; how many can you carry around with you all day, for how long, and in what conditions?

You have better gear than some of the great names in photography ever enjoyed. Pick what best suits your needs (we can help you there if we know what sort of photography you do), get out there, and use it.

It would be interesting to know what you think you're missing. The decision to switch is ultimately one for which the photographer themselves is fully responsible, and they need to consider very carefully what they are looking for in the new system, whether the new system fully provides that, and what they might be losing if they go over.

Consider and then buy what you need; don't pine piteously for what you only want.
02-11-2016, 12:26 PM   #8
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Even if Tamron, Tokina, and Sigma are ignoring K-mount Samyang isn't. Modern manual focus primes from 8mm to 135mm, even a 24mm Tilt/Shift.

02-11-2016, 12:58 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
Modern manual focus primes
Some might call that a contradiction in terms, but I'm just fine with it. It just demands a little more effort on the part of the user.
02-11-2016, 01:27 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
Some might call that a contradiction in terms, but I'm just fine with it. It just demands a little more effort on the part of the user.
Nothing contradictory about a manual focus lens with modern optics equivalent to a current auto-focus lens. It just makes them less complicated and less expensive
02-11-2016, 01:28 PM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by NewPTXuser Quote
I don't regret switching to Pentax due to it's high image quality and features (pixel shift resolution is superb) but this lens thing is bugging me a little.
This spotty K-mount support from 3rd-party makers has been a recurring complaint, though Pentax is not alone in that regard. Doing a little creative filtering with the B&H listings for third-party lenses, I got the following breakdown:

SLR
Canon: 126
Nikon: 128
Sony A: 76
Pentax: 50
Sigma SA: 36
Four Thirds: 9
T-mount 7
Contax/Yashica: 2
M42: 2
Mirrorless/Rangefinder
M4/3 : 41
Leica M: 40
Sony E (APS-C): 31
Fuji X: 28
Sony E (FF): 19
Samsung NX: 13
Canon EF-M: 10
Leica (LTM): 1
Leica L (APS-C): 0
Leica L (FF): 0
Nikon 1 : 0
Pentax Q : 0
Samsung NX-M: 0
Translation? Pentax SLRs get as much 3rd-party coverage as native Sony E or Olympus (4/3 & M4/3).


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 02-11-2016 at 01:42 PM.
02-11-2016, 01:39 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
Modern manual focus primes
QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
Some might call that a contradiction in terms, but I'm just fine with it.
There are plenty of examples of modern manual focus primes (B&H lists 267 for SLRs and 263 for mirrorless/rangefinder), so if some consider that a contradiction of terms apparent those folk have not been shopping lately.


Steve
02-11-2016, 02:12 PM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by NewPTXuser Quote
Hi! I recently purchased a K-3II. I'm very happy with it

The thing is that I'm currently looking for lenses, and can't find more alternatives than Pentax itself (expensive), and a very few Tamron and Sigma zoom lenses.
I switched from Canon and the difference in lenses availability is -let's face it- big and more new lenses are being produced by Sigma, Tamron, Tokina, etc for Canicon.
Photo magazines have big ads from these companies offering their wonderful new lenses, but sadly not for Pentax mount...

I don't regret switching to Pentax due to it's high image quality and features (pixel shift resolution is superb) but this lens thing is bugging me a little.

What are your thoughts about this?
Sigma has dropped the ball lately- their Pentax lens lineup used to be larger than the genuine lineup, but unfortunately way more lenses have been discontinued than introduced in the past few years.

If you're looking for more affordable alternatives to expensive modern lenses, the second-hand market is the way to go. Also, Rokinon/Samyang have lots of high-performance manual focus lenses that might be of interest.

Adam
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02-11-2016, 03:24 PM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by bertwert Quote
Sigma and Tamron don't feel there is enough market to make lenses in K-mount.
There has been a conspiracy theory that Sony's stake in Tamron is one reason why Tamron stopped releasing new lenses in K-mount some years ago. (That is, Sony didn't want to help Pentax sell more cameras.) But I don't buy it. I think Bertwert is right and it is a purely commercial decision. If the K-1 goes gangbusters or Pentax otherwise increases market share, third party makers would get back on board.

A few years back, there were big holes in Pentax's own lens lineup and we heard plenty of naysayers saying "Pentax is doomed". Ricoh has plugged most of the gaps with some fine new lenses, with more to come (e.g. something like the Tamron 15-30 f2.8). As people have said, the gaps that remain (or will remain) are for specialised needs (for example, a longer macro than the superb DFA 100, a longer zoom than the 150-450, really fast wide primes).

I think what we miss most from the shortage of third party choices are more affordable alternatives to the Pentax range amongst new lenses - e.g. Tamron/Sigma 70-200 f2.8, Tamron 16-300, Tamron 200-500, Tamron/Sigma 150-600. Just as one example, the Tamron/Sigma 150-600 is about half the price of the Pentax DA 150-450.

Yes you can dip into the second-hand market for say a 70-200 f2.8 but that isn't a complete answer.

Last edited by Des; 02-11-2016 at 07:50 PM.
02-11-2016, 09:58 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
If the K-1 goes gangbusters or Pentax otherwise increases market share, third party makers would get back on board.
I believe you are correct. There was a tremendous upswing in 3rd-party K-mount support back in 2006 with the release of the K10D and K100D. I would expect that the new FF body will have very broad coat tails.

I also believe you are correct regarding Sony and Tamron. As noted in my post above, 3rd party support for Sony E is no better than Pentax K.


Steve
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