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06-19-2017, 02:51 PM - 2 Likes   #31
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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 can't comment on the 43 specifically as I don't own it. But I will say this... *please* don't become obsessed with sharpness if you're not already. I'm not saying it's an entirely-unimportant factor, but overall rendering characteristics are, IMHO, much more significant. Some of my favourite lenses don't have the best resolution figures, and some of my sharpest lenses aren't necessarily the best when it comes to an overall look and feel of the images they produce.

I've seen some truly beautiful images others have produced with the FA43. Without even knowing its resolution measurements, I wouldn't hesitate to buy it if the focal length applied to my needs at the time.

Interestingly, I was at a large photography show here in the UK some months back, and I was talking to one of the guys on the Ricoh / Pentax stand. He said that, since the release of the K-1, they are selling more FA43 lenses than they had ever expected...

06-19-2017, 04:31 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by bigoak Quote
SOOC jpeg... manfrotto 210 tripod and wired remote; i'm not new to this...
I had a quick look through and didn't see this question asked/answered: Since you were using a tripod, did you ensure SR was switched off?
Just in case a simple answer can prevent you spending thousands that don't need to be spent.
06-19-2017, 06:32 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
FA 43mm is the most 'normal' of them
The Pentax FA43 special in Leica thread mount is surprisingly popular third party lens among Leicaphiles - it is praised for its unique rendering and it is sought after among Leica Monochrom photographers. Though the most common complaint about it is the oddball focal length, which doesn't suit standard RF framelines*. An accessory viewfinder with 43mm framelines has to be used for precise composition.

*standard framelines being 28/50 35/90 75/135 - some photographers just use the 50mm framelines and leave everything outside that frame to chance.

Last edited by Digitalis; 06-19-2017 at 06:44 PM.
06-19-2017, 06:47 PM   #34
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I do have the 14mm Samyang, 35mm Sigma Art, Pentax D FA 50mm Macro and Pentax D FA 100mm Macro ... all sharp, great for landscape or fashion.

They say the Samyang 135mm f2 is just as sharp as any of them.

06-20-2017, 02:49 AM   #35
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Thanks to everyone who responded to my question about the three Limited lenses. It's much appreciated info.
06-20-2017, 03:07 AM   #36
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Everybody knows that some good old film-era lenses are affected by problems that were still there using film, but were not as evident.
CA and vignetting can be disturbing, though most of the times it's easy to deal with them in PP.
After this introductory bla-bla, and with all the due respect for state of the art sharpness, I confess that shooting with my new K-1 has brought me to opposite considerations.
Being a fan of vintage lenses, I don't own many uber-sharp optics, but I have a few of them, and when I decide to put to use my sharpest glasses, I'm often not impressed by the results.
Some of my lenses seem to be great if I go to 200% and pixel peep, looking for subtle details, but when I look at the whole image there is something wrong. I don't like the overall rendition and the transition from in-focus to OOF, the bokeh is ugly and the sunbursts look "artificial".
One example is the Sigma EX DG Macro 2.8/50mm. It is quite sharp, not as much as recent Zeiss optics, but I'm sure it still outresolves the 36Mpix sensor at central apertures. Though for some applications the minuses far outweight the pluses.
According to my taste, I'd never choose it for "general use".
My shooting experience with the K-1 seems to indicate that the new full frame by Ricoh-Pentax mates very well with the best vintage glasses.
Many times I consciously "shoot for bokeh", or choose to have a very thin DOF. Fast primes are the tools of choice.
Not much choice though (pun intended). The only brand new lenses that come to my mind are the Samyang 50mm, 85mm and 135mm, the Venus 105mm.
There are a few wides too, but I wouldn't use them very much (too short for most of the pictures I take).
In all sincerity, the lenses I appreciated the most since I bought the K-1 are quite old, and still competitive even shot wide open.
Down to pixel level their limits become evident, but really... it's not that terrible! You pay a small price in resolution and micro-contrast, to get a smooth, pleasing rendition.
I've been so impressed by a few vintage glasses that I'd never choose a sharper one. Which is good, as I already buy too many old lenses; can't start chasing ultimate sharpness, it would be a disaster!

If anybody got curious, these are the lenses that impressed me the most since I acquired the K-1:
Revuenon (Tomioka) 1.2/55mm
Leitz Summicron Canada 2/90mm (leitaxed)
Sigma Apo Macro 5.6/180mm
Tamron SP "Anniversary" 2.5/180mm

All of them are sharp enough, at least according to my taste/needs, have a great "pop" and a smooth bokeh, and have good ergonomics. The first two are in PK mount, and I use them in AV (I always shoot the 55mm wide open). The others are PKA, allowing to use almost all the functions of the camera.
I use all of them wide open, sometimes stopped down half or one value.
If the technique is not sloppy (not to be taken for granted! ), a straight conversion from Lightroom reveals a good amount of fine details, even scrutinized at pixel level.
Of course a side-by-side comparison with a picture taken with a state-of-the-art lens would show a visible difference. Though if we apply some corrections in PP and print the picture, even at generous size, I'm not sure which one would be chosen by the casual viewer.
I'd place my bet for the less sharp, smoother one!


Last edited by cyberjunkie; 06-20-2017 at 03:21 AM.
06-21-2017, 01:01 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fenwoodian Quote
I am one of the few here who has actually shot most of the lenses that you mention. The underlying issue here is that the Zeiss lenses you shot on your Canon camera are, as a group, sharper than the lenses you've used on your K1 camera.

The folks in this thread who are recommending Pentax 31,70, 77, Sigma 34 etc have likely not shot top of the line Zeiss lenses. The better Zeiss lenses outperform the aforementioned Pentax/Sigma lenses (all of which I have owned and tested on my K1). Unless a photographer has shot numerous Pentax, Sigma AND Zeiss lenses on a K1, how can they possibly claim that Pentax and Sigma lenses are sharper than Zeiss lenses?

The 100 Zeiss Milvus you shot on Canon will of course better the DFA 70-200, and 100macro. Also, the Zeiss 21 you shot on your Canon will beat the 24-70 and Zeiss 25 you shot on your K1.

So you see, it's not a fair comparision because the lenses you were shooting on your Canon were better lenses than the lenses you were shooting on your K1.

The sharpest and overall best single lens on the K1 according to my hundreds of tests and LenScore is the Zeiss Milvus 85 1.4. I own it and nothing else compares, nothing currently from Pentax/Sigma or anyone else. But I'm the only one who knows this because I believe that I'm the only one in the world who has converted this Milvus lens from Nikon F to Pentax K mount (according to owner of Leitax).

You seem to like wide angles lenses too. The Zeiss 21 is readily available in the Nikon ZF mount and is easily converted to Pentax K mount. This lens will shine on your K1, I know, I've owned 2 of them. I have never personally tested the Pentax 15-30 lens, but many excellent photographers here on this forum claim it's great on the K1, and I believe them and have been quite impressed with the images they've posted. That would be a wide angle you just might want to consider too.

The Zeiss Milvus 18/2.8 (all new design) and the Zeiss Milvus 50/1.4 (all new design) are highly rated world class lenses, and are able to be converted to K mount using Leitax adapters. I've owned most of the Pentax 50's and none have impressed me enough to keep them. Also, I've owned two copies of the Pentax FA 20mm f/2.8 lens and it's not as sharp as the Zeiss Classic 21mm lens (and the new Milvus 18/2.8 is said by some to be even sharper than the Zeiss 21mm lens).

I don't think it's realistic to expect the yet-to-be-released, new roadmap Pentax lenses to be world beaters. Ricoh just announced they are in big financial trouble. Let's hope the new lenses are everything and more, but given that we've heard no recent news on the status of these new primes and the recently announced Ricoh deep financial problems I don't think I'd be waiting for these yet to be released lenses.

Your best option now for the best sharpness lies with Leitax adapting Zeiss Milvus lenses (assuming that you are OK with manual focus).

Until recently, I was a Fuji, Nikon and Canon shooter. I own two K1's and strongly believe that Pentax K1's are the best camera out there. In another forum a member compared K1 pixel shift images to Fuji GFX (medium format) images. His conclusion was that the K1 images were sharper! You made a wise choice in buying a Pentax K1. When you find the right lenses to go with it you too will become a K1 believer.
Fen, you know I don't mind MF. Do you really think that the new DFA primes will be let downs sharpness wise? I remember that glorious rendition and resolution from my Milvus 100 and crave that for macro/landscape. Honestly I can't complain about my DFA zooms for people photography.
06-21-2017, 01:59 AM   #38
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The DA*55 is pretty sharp on the K-1. If you like pixel peeping, this can be downloaded from flickr at full size.

Not that there's anything wrong with my FA31, FA43, A50/1.2, FA77, DFA100, DFA*70-200 or DA*300 either. All can fully resolve my K-1 when I get it right.

06-22-2017, 05:52 AM - 2 Likes   #39
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I always try to urge people to remember that long shots are rarely going to be tack sharp. Our eyes and brains are good at ignoring things the camera will record - like haze, wind effects, heat effects etc. I'll often get a shot of an aircraft obviously in focus but sadly soft, then remember the plane was likely a half-mile away - or more.

JPEG processing and in-camera sharpening of images is another warning.

I have zero complaints about sharpness with my K3II and FA100 f2.8 macro. Zero. Performance of my 55-300 at distance - well, it's a budget-friendly lens...
07-03-2017, 01:42 PM - 1 Like   #40
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I wonder if this is a case of the camera needing to be more sufficiently stabilized for the focal length and shutter speed used. Or perhaps of SR needing to be turned off when tripod mounted.

I've shot close to 100K images on a 6D using 100+ Pentax lenses. I shot about 55K images on my pair of K-1's, which I of course use much of the same glass on. I also do astrophotography and routinely push resolution to the limit. I have yet produce any photo results where my 6D outperformed the K-1. (The 6D does has better video at top resolution in ALL-i mode in good light.) Now I will say that when the K-1 first came out, I falsely thought that it was not as sharp as it really was when I zoomed in all the way using live view. It was only when I realized that the K-1 has a much higher zoom ratio in live view that I realized it was a misconception on my part. With the same glass the K-1s outperforms the 6D in nearly all respects. The 6D is only better at lower weight, some video modes ...and autofocus when using native lenses.

Sharpness is not always the more important quality to me, but since you are asking, the sharpest lens I have is an exceptional A50 2.8 Macro. (but it does not have as good of contrast as the modern equivalents.) I suspect that factors other than the bodies are causing the differences you are seeing.
07-06-2017, 12:13 PM   #41
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found my huckleberry. Sigma 35 art. This is an amazing piece of glass. got it refurb on sigma outlet for ~600. highly recommend if you've got a K1.
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07-06-2017, 01:05 PM   #42

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QuoteOriginally posted by bigoak Quote
...Sigma 35 art...
I'm glad you found a lens you like.

QuoteOriginally posted by bigoak Quote
...i'm rocking the 24-70, DFA*70-200, 100macro, zeiss zk 25, and samyang 14 ... What is the sharpest lens compatible with my K1?
The 100 macro (DFA 100 WR, or older model?) is razor sharp. Are you using autofocus or manual? If AF check fine adjustment for front- or back-focus. If you can't get a sharp image using zoomed in liveview, then your lens might be defective.

The Samyang/Rokinon 14 is a sharp lens. Two factors might make that less so:
1) Poor quality control. Early models had a few decentering complaints.
2) It's tough to get perfect focus with such a wide lens. Everything sort of looks in focus.
07-11-2017, 01:24 AM   #43
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I sold the 31mm limited for the Sigma 35. And the Samyang 135mm is absolutely amazing, especially for the price. I'd love to see some dng samples from a converted Milvus prime. I have the same 55mm f1.2 as Paolo and I agree it's special. Wide open it's almost like a soft focus lens but still sharp. The diffusion looks lovely, especially for skin tones. And stopped down it was sharper than my Pentax 50mm fa af. I'd be curious to see samples from the other lenses mentioned.

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