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06-18-2017, 07:44 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
a) Fenwood is correct: Zeiss lenses are the sharpest; no comparison.
b) I donʻt think most of the responses were saying that Pentax or Sigma lenses are sharper than Zeiss.
c) Our recommendations are suggestions of better glass (than what the OP currently uses) that are currently sold new. In other words, what is the best that Pentax offers for FF or other K-mount primes like Sigma.

If pixel peeping were the ultimate goal of photography, weʻd all be in debt for a Phase One or Hasselblad with Zeiss primes. Pretty cool that Fenwood found a hybrid solution with an adapter, and I suppose the OP could consider the pros and cons of that too.

Right, I totally agree.

The OP asked "What is the sharpest lens compatible with my K1?" As you say, the key word is "compatible".

The only Zeiss lenses that are compatible out of the box with the K1 are a few of the Zeiss Classic Line of ZK lenses. Very few were made, they stopped making them years ago, and used ones are hard to find.

But if one is willing to "adapt" the latest Zeiss Milvus lenses to Pentax K mount (I've done over 20 such adaptions), then you will end up with a lens for your K1 whose sharpness is supreme (although it will be heavy/large/expensive/manual-focus/with limited exif info recorded).


Last edited by Fenwoodian; 06-18-2017 at 09:01 PM.
06-19-2017, 01:37 AM   #17
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One thing that never gets mentioned in these threads is Schneider Kreuznach. Does anyone even have experience with them? They are (used to?) be available in Kmount, at a price much higher than Zeiss
https://www.pentaxforums.com/userreviews/schneider-prime-lenses-c111.html
I don't mean the rebadged lenses
06-19-2017, 01:48 AM - 5 Likes   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by bigoak Quote
What is the sharpest lens compatible with my K1?
oh, this question...Again.

If you are reasonably unconstrained by financial limitations I'd recommend getting lenses from the Carl Zeiss Otus* lens line, or as Fenwoodian has suggested: Milvus lenses converted to K mount - but remember your technique will ultimately limit what your camera/lens system resolves, if you have sloppy technique the results will be less than their best. Also bear in mind these lenses are tested with charts - flat objects, that are placed right smack in the middle of the focal plane**: what happens outside of that plane can be very different between different lenses and sometimes the sharpest lenses can have harsh bokeh - an unfortunate trait many Zeiss lenses have.

QuoteOriginally posted by bigoak Quote
SOOC jpeg.
There is your problem. you can have the sharpest lens on the planet OOC jpegs aren't going to be able to convey that well enough - you need to shoot raw, and learn how to sharpen and process your images properly.

QuoteOriginally posted by Fenwoodian Quote
the Zeiss Milvus 85 1.4. I own it and nothing else compares
The Zeiss Otus APO-Planar 85mm f/1.4 beats it, according to LenScore ratings - I will admit to being less than knowledgeable when it comes to the Zeiss milvus lenses, I have no idea of the design concept behind them. I have not tested the Milvus 85mm f/1.4 on my bench, but I use the Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 lens on my Nikon cameras and it is spectacular. It is one of the sharpest lenses I have ever tested.

QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Schneider Kreuznach.
I have some of their older lens designs in my 50mm lens collection - optically they are run-of-the-mill Zeiss Planar/Distagon clones. Their current line of large format lenses are superb...but the degree of precision design and production comes at a steep cost. Their T/S lenses are based on older designs and are said to produce optical performance that is on equal footing with similar T/S offerings from Canon and Nikkor.


*The F mount variants with manual aperture controls are best suited for adapting to K mount, though these lenses are exclusively designed for manual focus. I have been using the Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 OTUS for commercial work.I don't like using it for personal work, I take issue with the lenses rendering - it is... boring. The Leica APO-Summicron M is just as good optically but has more character, and like 50mm lenses of Leica pedigree: it has a distinct optical signature.

** Unless they are tested on an optics bench - which removes the camera from the testing altogether, and produces a reliably accurate reflection of optical performance.

Last edited by Digitalis; 06-21-2017 at 03:30 PM.
06-19-2017, 03:31 AM   #19
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I would think the DFA 100 Macro WR should be included among the sharpest lenses available for Pentax.

06-19-2017, 05:55 AM   #20
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"Despite having 55% more pixels, my k1 seems less sharp at 1:1 than my old 6D. "


Read more at: best pixel peeper lens - PentaxForums.com

It could be the size of the pixels on the 6D are larger than on the K1 last time I looked the 6D had a pixel size of 6.55, not sure about the pixels size on the K1. Did you down load the pictures or are you going by the playback ?
06-19-2017, 07:44 AM   #21
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Manufacturer(s) of recent Zeiss Lenses

Just curious (and I know it's a bit off topic), but who is/are the actual manufacturer(s) of recent Carl Zeiss lenses? [I think that Cosina made at least some of the Zeiss ZK lenses -- but how about the rest of 'em?]
06-19-2017, 08:10 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote

The Zeiss Otus APO-Planar 85mm f/1.4 beats it, according to LenScore ratings - I will admit to being less than knowledgeable when it comes to of the Zeiss milvus lenses, I have no idea of the design concept behind them. I have not tested the Milvus 85mm f/1.4 on my bench, but I use the Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 lens on my Nikon cameras and it is spectacular. It is one of the sharpest lenses I have ever tested.

.

Indeed, the Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 lens is spectacular and tested to be sharper than the Zeiss Milvus 85.1.4. Unlike the Otus lenses, my experience with Milvus lenses is that they do not produce images that are lifeless and "boring". Rather on my K1's their colors/depth/bokeh are as good (or better) than those produced by the older Zeiss "Classic" line of lenses.

However, the Zeiss "Otus" ZF (Nikon mount) lenses can not be adapted to Pentax K mount using the Leitax adapter (at least Leitax does not recommend it and no one has ever tried it). The Zeiss "Milvus" ZF lenses are adaptable to Pentax K mount using Leitax adapters (I've done it, "Milvus" lenses are a bit more difficult/complicated to adapt then the Zeiss "Classic" lenses but it is certainly doable if you know what you are doing).

Last edited by Fenwoodian; 06-19-2017 at 10:46 AM.
06-19-2017, 08:42 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
oh, this question...Again.

If you are reasonably unconstrained by financial limitations I'd recommend getting lenses from the Carl Zeiss Otus* lens line, or as Fenwoodian has suggested: Milvus lenses converted to K mount - but remember your technique will ultimately limit what your camera/lens system resolves, if you have sloppy technique the results will be less than their best. Also bear in mind these lenses are tested with charts - flat objects, that are placed right smack in the middle of the focal plane**: what happens outside of that plane can be very different between different lenses and sometimes the sharpest lenses can have harsh bokeh - an unfortunate trait many Zeiss lenses have.



There is your problem. you can have the sharpest lens on the planet OOC jpegs aren't going to be able to convey that well enough - you need to shoot raw, and learn how to sharpen and process your images properly.



The Zeiss Otus APO-Planar 85mm f/1.4 beats it, according to LenScore ratings - I will admit to being less than knowledgeable when it comes to of the Zeiss milvus lenses, I have no idea of the design concept behind them. I have not tested the Milvus 85mm f/1.4 on my bench, but I use the Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 lens on my Nikon cameras and it is spectacular. It is one of the sharpest lenses I have ever tested.



I have some of their older lens designs in my 50mm lens collection - optically they are run-of-the-mill Zeiss Planar/Distagon clones. Their current line of large format lenses are superb...but the degree of precision design and production comes at a steep cost. Their T/S lenses are based on older designs and are said to produce optical performance that is on equal footing with similar T/S offerings from Canon and Nikkor.


*The F mount variants with manual aperture controls are best suited for adapting to K mount, though these lenses are exclusively designed for manual focus. I have been using the Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 OTUS for commercial work.I don't like using it for personal work, I take issue with the lenses rendering - it is... boring. The Leica APO-Summicron M is just as good optically but has more character, and like 50mm lenses of Leica pedigree: it has a distinct optical signature.

** Unless they are tested on an optics bench - which removes the camera from the testing altogether, and produces a reliably accurate reflection of optical performance.
great post, thx!

06-19-2017, 09:01 AM   #24
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I believe that I may have been one of the first people to use a Leitax Nikon F to Pentax K adapter on a Zeiss Milvus lens.

I just examined some photos of the lens mount on Otus lenses. It appears to me that the screw holes in the Otus mount are in the same positions as they are in Zeiss Milvus lens mounts. Therefore, even though Leitax officially does not claim that their adapters will work on Otus lenses, I strongly suspect that they would work!

So, if someone out there with a Zeiss Otus ZF lens wants to use it on their K1 camera, consider sending your Otus to me (with a Leitax F to K adapter) and I will install the Leitax adapter on your Otus lens at no cost. The process would be reversible - it would be easy enough to return your Otus back to the original F mount should you choose to do so in the future.

Just imagine, you'd be the only photographer in the world with an Otus lens on a Pentax K1 camera! Shoot that combination in the pixel shift mode and the detail/sharpness would be absolutely mind blowing! The Ultimate in sharpness to be sure, but like Digitalis says, the images it renders could be lifeless and "boring".'

Personally, producing images with ultimate/clinical sharpness that have a boring rendering is not my thing. I'm perfectly happy shooting Zeiss Milvus (a small step below Otus in sharpness) on my K1 and making images that have excellent (not the ultimate) sharpness yet with a more artistic rendering.

Last edited by Fenwoodian; 06-19-2017 at 11:06 AM.
06-19-2017, 12:42 PM   #25
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if you spend $4,000-$5,000 on a lens, it had better be pretty good.
06-19-2017, 01:09 PM   #26
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The FA Limited 31 and 77 lenses are mentioned two or more times in the posts above but not the 43 mm Limited unless I missed it. Is the 43 of lesser quality than the other two? I've usually seen all three of these listed together and described in highly complimentary terms, such as "legendary," and am considering buying them so I would appreciate any info. These would be for use on a K-1.
06-19-2017, 01:12 PM - 2 Likes   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
I have been using the Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 OTUS for commercial work.I don't like using it for personal work, I take issue with the lenses rendering - it is... boring. The Leica APO-Summicron M is just as good optically but has more character, and like 50mm lenses of Leica pedigree: it has a distinct optical signature.
This is where DXOmark and pixel peeping becomes a disservice. Rendering, character, or style are subjective and when it comes to esthetics, perfect technical scores do not equal what many have referred to on PF as pixie dust.

Back when I was a cinematographer, Zeiss was THE brand for analog motion pictures, in part because the camera original film negs were only the first gen. You really wanted and needed the sharpest glass because by the time you lost a generation in the release print (or many due to special effects), you needed the highest res original.

Love the brain trust here at PF. Priceless.
06-19-2017, 01:25 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by wanderer2 Quote
The FA Limited 31 and 77 lenses are mentioned two or more times in the posts above but not the 43 mm Limited unless I missed it. Is the 43 of lesser quality than the other two? I've usually seen all three of these listed together and described in highly complimentary terms, such as "legendary," and am considering buying them so I would appreciate any info. These would be for use on a K-1.


I think most say the 31 and the 77 are the best ones of the three. I love using the 43 on the k-1 though. usually stays attached unless id like to go wide, great size, and does a good job. Minor ca that is correctable in pp, and can be a little noisy during autofocus.


06-19-2017, 01:32 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by wanderer2 Quote
The FA Limited 31 and 77 lenses are mentioned two or more times in the posts above but not the 43 mm Limited unless I missed it. Is the 43 of lesser quality than the other two? I've usually seen all three of these listed together and described in highly complimentary terms, such as "legendary," and am considering buying them so I would appreciate any info. These would be for use on a K-1.
I believe the topic of this thread is "ultimate lens sharpness on the K1".

All of the FA Limiteds (I've owned multiple copies of each one) have beautiful renderings on the K1, but I would not consider their sharpness to be at the levels achieved by the better Zeiss or even some of the newer Sigma lenses.

I'm reading recent reviews about the new Sigma 135mm Art lens. Many are saying that it's got terrific sharpness (like the Sigma 50mm Art does). However, neither of these modern, extremely sharp Sigma lenses are available in K mount - nor am I aware of any practical means of adapting them to the K mount.

Last edited by Fenwoodian; 06-19-2017 at 01:39 PM.
06-19-2017, 02:42 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by wanderer2 Quote
The FA Limited 31 and 77 lenses are mentioned two or more times in the posts above but not the 43 mm Limited unless I missed it. Is the 43 of lesser quality than the other two? I've usually seen all three of these listed together and described in highly complimentary terms, such as "legendary," and am considering buying them so I would appreciate any info. These would be for use on a K-1.
Usually the term 'pixie dust' is used when discussing the FA limiteds. 31mm has an interesting wide angle view, 77mm is amazing for portraits. The FA 43mm is the most 'normal' of them - literally, its the normal FoV. And its the least expensive of them. So it is probably the least 'outstanding' of them. At the focal lengths between 40mm and 60mm there are many very sharp lenses available. Nifty fifites, premium fifties, fifties with odd or special character, macro fifties, you name it.. But it really comes down to what you want. Check out sample photos taken with the FA 43mm and decide if its rendering touches you or not; or rather, if its rendering is worth the price. Many people think it is
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