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05-31-2016, 04:12 PM   #1
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I've got the body, and some legacy lenses... What's next?

Hi all,

A while back, I decided to give pentax legacy glass a try, as I was playing around with a K50. After cycling through some lenses, I'm left with:
Pentax-A 135mm f/2.8
Pentax-M 85mm f/2
Pentax SMC 50mm f/1.4
Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4

I also have a Pentax-F 50mm f/1.7 on the way.

After buying a simple adapter, and using these lenses on a Sony A7II, I love the 135, and 85, while the legacy 50's I'm luke warm on. (Their size is great, but it's hard to compare to the Sony/Zeiss 55mm F/1.8, and I wasn't expecting much given the price difference). However, I normally like having two bodies, and decided on getting a K-mount camera after selling the k50 to a friend, so...

... I took the plunge and found a K-1, and it's on its way.
I've been looking at lenses for it, including the FA limited models, and now I found out about the ZK lenses and voigtlanders. I'm honestly unsure of where to go from here, as to whether its worth replacing my current primes, and if so, how to deal with the fact that the ZK and Voigtlanders are hard to find, and they have a tendency to step on each other, in terms of focal length offerings. I shoot a lot of portraits on the street and some fashion, so I like a focal length between 35mm and 200mm. I generally prefer primes to zooms, and I'm okay with manual focus, though I prefer to AF and then adjust with MF. I'm really looking for a minimum of solid center sharpness, creamy to pleasant bokeh, a fast aperture, and the pentax color rendering/ zeiss contrast is a toss up for me. I'm happy with 2 or 3 out of the 4, and stoked about getting all of that in a single package. I'd also like to try and keep lens cost below 1k per lens.

The other sad part is that my general use for these is at comic conventions, where lighting is erratic and sometimes horrendous. I don't really have a chance to "test" one, until I'm using it in the field. I'd really like to have my ducks in a row to the best of my ability before heading out to the convention space.

What's the verdict? Keep my legacy glass as good enough? Or strive for some better lenses, and if so, which ones?


Last edited by brokeh; 05-31-2016 at 04:21 PM.
05-31-2016, 04:35 PM   #2
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Yes good enuff, shoot some pics and enjoy
05-31-2016, 04:46 PM   #3
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You might think about something in wide angle, in the mid twenties to early thirties. Otherwise 50, 85, 135 is a pretty good spread in the normal to long end (though you may well be oversupplied with fifties, depending on the uses to which you intend to put them). Keep them - they should serve you well.

The natural Pentax choice which suggests itself is of course the FA31/1.8, but that one is expensive, pushing close to your (presumably US dollar) 1K limit for a single lens. I've turned it down twice - once because I didn't know what I was refusing, the second time because I had already accumulated so many other lenses around this focal length that I simply couldn't justify the cost to myself (especially when I was literally carrying with me a whole heap of other lenses I'd barely even used yet).
05-31-2016, 06:29 PM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
You might think about something in wide angle, in the mid twenties to early thirties. Otherwise 50, 85, 135 is a pretty good spread in the normal to long end (though you may well be oversupplied with fifties, depending on the uses to which you intend to put them). Keep them - they should serve you well.

The natural Pentax choice which suggests itself is of course the FA31/1.8, but that one is expensive, pushing close to your (presumably US dollar) 1K limit for a single lens. I've turned it down twice - once because I didn't know what I was refusing, the second time because I had already accumulated so many other lenses around this focal length that I simply couldn't justify the cost to myself (especially when I was literally carrying with me a whole heap of other lenses I'd barely even used yet).
I actually bought those older 50's just to try out since they were dirt cheap. I held a kind of head-to-head with them, and found I preferred the A model, but my friend was hankering for it, so I let him have it. The F was to try out the AF, to see if I preferred the AF or MF. I wanted the 1.4 to 1.2 range because I do a lot of low-light shooting, but I found the 1.4's to have REALLY distracting bokeh. It almost looked like an oil painting to me:



You are correct, btw, 1k USD.

05-31-2016, 09:12 PM   #5
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If I were you, I'll keep the Pentax-F 50mm f/1.7, Pentax-M 85mm f/2 and Pentax-A 135mm f/2.8. Now, If I can trade up the M 85mm f/2 for an A or FA 85mm lens, I'll go for it.
05-31-2016, 10:36 PM   #6
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A little off topic, but, I love your user name Welcome to the forum, bokeh bro.
05-31-2016, 11:00 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by j0n4hpk Quote
If I were you, I'll keep the Pentax-F 50mm f/1.7, Pentax-M 85mm f/2 and Pentax-A 135mm f/2.8. Now, If I can trade up the M 85mm f/2 for an A or FA 85mm lens, I'll go for it.
That's what I'm thinking, for now, but I would like a faster 135 and 85 down the road. I think the 1.8 on my Sony 55 is about perfect...

---------- Post added 05-31-16 at 11:00 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by johnyates Quote
A little off topic, but, I love your user name Welcome to the forum, bokeh bro.
Thank you
05-31-2016, 11:42 PM   #8
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Consider the DA*55 f1.4 or Voigtlander Nokton f1.4 instead of the two fifties you're not keen on, and for that wider lens you're talking about, either the FA31 or Zeiss 35mm f2 (should be available new).

06-01-2016, 12:19 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by brokeh Quote
I've got the body, and some legacy lenses... What's next?
Go take pictures...

Seriously shooting with what you have for a wee while will highlight to you any short comings you have, so that you can address that on a known need basis.
06-01-2016, 01:10 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by brokeh Quote
hoot a lot of portraits on the street and some fashion, so I like a focal length between 35mm and 200mm.
I tried out my da70 on a K1 this weekend. Sweet. MF is nice, but sometimes you want AF. And it has quickshift. 70 on FF also allows to be a bit closer to the person vs apsc. It's a nice focal, nice rendering, sharp, affordable but 2.4...

I also played with the FA31 on the FF. Very nice, except that it has no QS. But 31mm is a bit of a do-it-all focal length which you seem to be missing out on today.
06-01-2016, 03:35 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by grispie Quote
I tried out my da70 on a K1 this weekend.
Vignetting issues, or no vignetting issues? I couldn't see any on film, but I messed up focus on two of the three trial shots (wide open and f/8) so I can't regard those as a certain result.
06-01-2016, 04:03 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
Vignetting issues, or no vignetting issues?
I didn't see any. Maybe some is there, but it must be minor then. I only noticed fast AF & much easier bokeh effects because of fov on ff..

Well, you will get some at 2.4 but easy to correct and at f4 gone..

Last edited by grispie; 06-01-2016 at 04:24 AM.
06-01-2016, 05:38 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by grispie Quote
Well, you will get some at 2.4 but easy to correct and at f4 gone..
For portrait work wide open, depending on the photographer's style, a tiny bit of vignetting is arguably welcome.

Otherwise, good to know. Thanks.
06-02-2016, 10:19 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Consider the DA*55 f1.4 or Voigtlander Nokton f1.4 instead of the two fifties you're not keen on, and for that wider lens you're talking about, either the FA31 or Zeiss 35mm f2 (should be available new).
I tried looking up a Nokton, but could only find the M43. Did they make these in K mount, or do I need another mount plus adapter?
06-02-2016, 10:26 AM   #15
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don't find more excuses to buy lens, LBA is bad, really bad go shoot some nice photos like the one above, the distracting bokeh is because the background is too close to the subject in your photo, either you get closer to your subject or shoot with your 135mm, you might see a difference
I shot the photo below with a 50mm 2.8 :

Last edited by redcat; 06-02-2016 at 10:32 AM.
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