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12-12-2016, 09:29 PM   #1
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Need prime lens suggestion for K1

I have a 300mm Pentax prime and the Pentax 24-70mm for my K-1, but I need suggestions. I am tired for reading, searching and reading. I need a good prime that will let me do some landscape and portraits. What do I choose 31mm, 35mm, 43mm, 50mm, 77mm? I am all ears. Can only afford one more lens at the moment, because of the cost of buying the K1, the Prime 300mm and the 24-70mm, so which one should I go with? Thank you

12-12-2016, 09:41 PM - 1 Like   #2
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I have... FA31, FA50 f/1.7, DA*55, FA77. I had the FA43 and sold it because I hated it...more than I've ever hated any lens ever. For context, most of my shooting is models. (IG me at @m3_photo if you'd like to see)

The FA77 is _the best. Simply a marvelous lens with excellent sharpness, resolution, and a unique way of rendering textures. Just gorgeous. By far, my favorite lens. At about f/3.2 or f/3.5, it simply pops. A friend of mine noted its remarkable separation ("3D pop") and was amazed I hadn't blurred the background more. I shoot this lens whenever I have a chance.

The DA*55 is really close to the FA77. I use it when I want more negative space than the FA77, since I'd have to backup too far and lose my background blur, or when I'm inside (for bedroom/boudoir sets) because there simply isn't enough room for the 77. It really needs to be shot at f/2.8 or f/3.2 at the most or the rendering turns a bit pedestrian. Colors are superb with this lens. It also doesn't fringe like crazy like the FA77 does.

FA50 f/1.7 is a nice lens but I found it a bit too clinical and ordinary. It's a nice piece and very affordable. If it's all you know, you could like it, but when I was using it in tandem with the FA77, I found its rendering too simple. It was too easy for me to pick out which photos were taken with which lens and I found that undesirable.

The FA31...well, I loved this lens, especially on a crop camera. Mine was damaged when it fell out of the bag and hasn't been the same since. I need to recalibrate it and see I can restore its former glory. It's a wonderful lens although, to be honest, its performance on the K-1 isn't worthy of the high price. It's not a better performer than the 77 or the DA*55, both of which are quite a bit cheaper. It seems to lose something of its special rendering with the K-1.
12-12-2016, 09:41 PM   #3
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I think you should make a choice between landscapes and portraits. You have the 24mm-70mm and all the lenses you've listed save the 77mm are in the range of the 24mm-70mm. What exactly are you hoping to get out of this prime that the 24mm-70mm isn't giving you?

That being said if I could only choose one lens off your list it would be the 31mm or the 43mm.
12-12-2016, 09:49 PM   #4
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LeRolls was an FA77 devotee until he got the K-1and FA*85. He shoots a lot of models.

I personally owned the A* 85 and shot it on film. I never shot the FA* version nor the FA77 on film but the A* shares a lot in common optically with the FA77 so I own the FA77 and love it on my crop k-3.

I wish I had more to share.

12-12-2016, 10:05 PM - 1 Like   #5
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The FA77 was quite the contender on crop for me, but it hasn't seen much use for me on the K-1, since I usually prefer the D-FA* 70-200, so I'll vote for the FA 31 or 43.
12-12-2016, 10:14 PM   #6
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Landscape and portraits?

The DA*55, for mine, which makes an excellent single-lens walkaround.
12-12-2016, 10:52 PM - 3 Likes   #7
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This depends a lot on your shooting style. There are solid lenses in all of the FL you mention - but not clear one is the "best" - it just depends on your application and style. Your 24-70 is a pretty useful FL range for landscape work, and IQ is quite good (so I've heard, I don't use one), so not clear you'd gain much in terms of IQ for landscapes by getting a prime, unless you went wider than 24mm. I use the Fa 20 on the K-1 for a lot of landscapes and love it, but I tend to shoot wide. YMMV. Portrait work is where I really think you'd stand to gain by adding a faster prime to your zoom. Thoughts:

- Fa 31 - pretty wide for portrait work on FF, but IQ is really good (though I agree I was less impressed on K-1 than I was on crop sensor) and it's fast w/ beautiful bokeh if you wanted to shoot really wide portraits
- 35 mm - not sure which lens you're talking about here as there are a number of them - don't think any of the pentax ones (Da 35/2.8 macro, Da 35/2.4, Fa 35/2) are portrait standouts, there is also the Sigma Art 35/1.4 which I don't know much about
- Fa 43 - contrary to MadMathMind above, I have actually loved this on FF. I didn't like it much on crop, but the FOV for me on FF is just right at the sweet spot, and it's produced some beautiful portraits of my kiddos - though you'll be working fairly close to your subject. I was frustrated primarily by AF inconsistency on the crop bodies, but this is improved (though not totally resolved) on the K-1. When it hits, the images it produces can rival any other lens I've used.
- 50 mm - tons of options. I've used multiple 50/1.7's (A, F, FA), Zeiss ZK makro planar, and the A 50/2.8 macro. While good, there are other lenses on this list better for both portraits and landscape work. The Zeiss was stunning in every way, but I found the rendering a little cooler and more clinical than the best Pentax primes.
- Da 55 - fantastic on FF, really sharp and contrasty. I actually found it a bit too contrasty and liked the slightly lower contrast, warmer rendering of the Fa 43 for portraits, so I kept it over the Da 55. But depending on your style, the Da 55 could be an absolute winner.
- Fa 77 - stunning on FF, enough said. In the same league as the famous legacy 85's (Fa 85, A 85) for portrait work, per most around here who have used both (I haven't). I've also found the Fa 77 to be very strong for more intimate landscape details (at both close and infinity working distances).
- Fa 85 - a Pentax portrait legend, some say a hair above even Fa 77. I don't know but have one on the way, so will know soon

There are a number of longer options (but still substantially shorter than your 300) if you want to do more tight portraits or work from farther away. A 135/1.8 is legendary but costs a kidney to get. Samyang 135 is affordable and by all accounts an optical monster (if you don't mind MF). There are multiple well-regarded 200 mm primes (Da 200, Fa 200). I don't have experience with any of these.

If I had to choose one of the above:
- If you really want something that's as versatile as possible, for portraits and landscapes, I'd pick the Fa 43
- If you want the best portrait lens, I'd choose the Fa 77. Da 55 could be a replacement if you want something a bit wider.

Good luck,
Brandon
12-12-2016, 11:21 PM   #8
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Firstly, whats wrong with the 24mm on the zoom for landscapes? Its "superwide" and I personally hardly ever shoot wider.


Portraits I rarely shoot but 70-100 seems to be the FL that lots use.


How about a "stack of primes"??? The A 35-105 is of high quality and built like a tank with a low price.Ive recently given it a run on the K1 and its much better than the K50.

12-12-2016, 11:54 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by mhsp1948 Quote
I have a 300mm Pentax prime and the Pentax 24-70mm for my K-1, but I need suggestions. I am tired for reading, searching and reading. I need a good prime that will let me do some landscape and portraits. What do I choose 31mm, 35mm, 43mm, 50mm, 77mm? I am all ears. Can only afford one more lens at the moment, because of the cost of buying the K1, the Prime 300mm and the 24-70mm, so which one should I go with? Thank you
Considering the 'landscapes & portrait' requirements the norm would be to suggest something that would fall into the range of the 24-70, though to be honest that lens is capable of portraits and landscapes. If you're looking at a prime within that range then what focal length would you normally shoot landscapes at? The 28-50 range is going to provide you some good options and will work for portraiture too, though the wider choices would be better suited for environmental portraiture.

But as you have a gap between 70-300mm, I'd suggest that going longer is not just a better option for portraits, but also workable for landscapes. This will give you some decent options from 77-135 & 200mm in new lenses, and of course lots more if you're happy looking at used. The range up from 70mm will be fine for landscapes too, just not wide vistas unless you plan on doing some panos or you find a location that will work with a given focal length. There's a great thread here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/26-mini-challenges-games-photo-stories/32...andscapes.html that covers this very topic.

So whilst you're looking at some wider options the choice to go longer than 70mm is what I'd recommend.

Good luck with your decision.

Tas
12-13-2016, 12:45 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by mhsp1948 Quote
I need a good prime that will let me do some landscape and portraits
FA 77 is a no-brainer for portrait and perform awesome for landscape, I have both the 31 and the 77, the 31 is great for landscape, group of people or full body but FA 77 is for everything
12-13-2016, 12:52 AM   #11
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I generally use the limited primes, though as other people suggested, the best lens for you would be dependent on your application, and what focal length is best for it.

I mostly shoot people, not in a formal portrait style, but more documentary; reasonably close. I use mostly the FA43, or if I want wider (like for groups of people), the 31. 50mm seems a bit tight for me, but this is also perhaps from getting used to using the 31 as my standard lens on the APS-C cameras; the 43 is pretty much that same field of view when used on the K-1. I also like the 77 a lot, but I haven't used it much on the K-1 as it is a bit too tele for me, and not long enough for portraits or short-tele applications (as it was on APS-C). I feel like I should just put it on and use it if I have no particular application in mind, because I do think it makes great photos.
12-13-2016, 01:31 AM - 1 Like   #12
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Given that you have the 24-70 and 300, I reckon the DFA100WR would be a great addition to your kit. It fills a bit of the gap between 70 and 300, is weather resistant, a decent portrait lens and a FULL-ON MACRO!!

It's also a lot cheaper than some on your short list. Case closed.

I freakin' *love* the 31 and 77, though
12-13-2016, 01:33 AM   #13
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I'd stick in another vote for the FA43. I hated it on the k-3, but on the k-1 it's one of my most used lenses (not to mention tiny enough to take anywhere). As others have mentioned, if you are after a lens for portraits, the 77 is worthy of consideration. As for landscapes, I'd probably recommend the 24-70 you already have over the 31. Don't get me wrong, the 31 is a great lens, but I prefer it for group shots and low light work, over landscapes myself (that might also have something to do with its flare characteristics in the harsh Aussie sun).

As a slight curve ball, both of the DFA macros are great performers on the K-1.

---------- Post added 12-13-16 at 08:35 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
Given that you have the 24-70 and 300, I reckon the DFA100WR would be a great addition to your kit. It fills a bit of the gap between 70 and 300, is weather resistant, a decent portrait lens and a FULL-ON MACRO!!

It's also a lot cheaper than some on your short list.

I freakin' *love* the 31 and 77, though
QFT.
My most used lenses on the k-1 are the FA43, DFA100wr, and DA300.
12-13-2016, 01:41 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
Given that you have the 24-70 and 300, I reckon the DFA100WR would be a great addition to your kit. It fills a bit of the gap between 70 and 300, is weather resistant, a decent portrait lens and a FULL-ON MACRO!!

It's also a lot cheaper than some on your short list. Case closed.

I freakin' *love* the 31 and 77, though
Have you used the DFA100 for portraiture? I have one myself, but haven't used it for the purpose, and someone last week was talking down its use as a portraiture lens ('too harsh'). I'd be curious to hear from someone who enjoys using it for the purpose.
12-13-2016, 01:54 AM - 4 Likes   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by lithedreamer Quote
Have you used the DFA100 for portraiture?
Sure have. You can always soften a sharp image, but the converse isn't possible.
I'll dig up some examples and post them soon.

Here are three from before the K-1 era.






Last edited by Sandy Hancock; 12-13-2016 at 02:24 AM.
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