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08-16-2017, 05:36 PM - 1 Like   #1
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Pentax 15-30 for Pro Landscape - Travelling

SO i have been wanting to purchase K-1 to expand my landscape photography over my K3II. With K3II, I have got Sigma 10-20, P 16-50, 50-140, Sigma 24, Tammy 28-75, DA* 55, FA 77 ( DA 15-40-70 and Sigma 70-200 currently up for sale ). If I purchase K-1, I can use my FA 77, Sigma 24, Tammy and DA* 55. My only wide angle zoom will be P 15-30 which is quite heavy and large for hiking, travelling and using monster size 150mm filter adapter. My alternative for landscape I was thinking could be Sony + FE 16-35. Please help with decision.

Any suggestion in terms of alternative ? ( I don't want to use fixed manual Samyung , Rokinon or etc ) Also how difficult one has found hiking with this lens in the mountain , etc if any. ( I do own cotton carrier camera holster )
My alternative for landscape I was thinking could be Sony A7RII ( now $2300 at Abes of Maine) + FE 16-35. Please help with decision.

With Tamron 28-75 when rented K-1



Last edited by Pentax_WA; 08-17-2017 at 06:53 AM.
08-16-2017, 05:47 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentax_WA Quote
Any suggestion in terms of alternative ? ( I don't want to use fixed manual Samyung , Rokinon or etc )
The fast MF primes are pretty much the 15-30mm's only competition as far as modern lenses go, and if you want top-shelf image quality the new zoom is hard to beat. The K-1 combo is not that heavy, and for hikes I'd keep the kit size to a minimum if you do want to bring the 15-30mm.

If you want something lighter, maybe consider the FA 20-35mm F4?

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08-16-2017, 05:58 PM   #3
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I do a fair amount of landscape photography and after much consideration and experimentation I primarily use the D FA 15-30 for wide shots. It is heavy and gigantic, but I use a backpack and I've adjusted to the weight. My landscape kit is the K-1, 15-30, 24-70 and the 60-250. Yes, it's a heavy collection to carry and I'm not a large man or a young man. After buying the 15-30 and living with the size and weight a while, I jumped on a used FA 20 as an alternative. While this is a pretty good lens and it's small and light, it only gives me a slightly wider shot than the 24-70 and the IQ is not as good as the 15-30. So if I'm looking for any high quality shots I take the big lens. If I need to travel light, like when I'm go looking for shots on my bicycle, I do use a few small and light primes, i.e. 20, 35, 50 and 100. The size and weight of all of those combined are about the same as the 15-30. I've considered the Irix 15 mm but it's not a small lens and it only gives me 15mm without cropping. I also have the Sigma 8-16 which is close to FF at 16, but that's a considerable size and weight for just 16 mm shots. So when the shots are important, it's the 15-30. Good luck with your decisions.
08-16-2017, 06:04 PM - 1 Like   #4
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I looked at the 15-30 but the weight and filter size ( or rather difficulty in adding filters ) made me go with the FA 20-35. SO far I am happy with that. If Pentax comes out with a modern version I would buy it but I suspect even a new 20-35 will be much bigger and heavier than the FA version.

08-16-2017, 06:24 PM   #5
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I have the k-1 with the DFA 15-30mm and use it for landscape photography. I recently went on vacation hiking in the blue ridge mountains and brought along with the camera and the 15-30mm the DFA 24-70mm and the DA*200mm. I didnt have trouble with hiking with my gear. Get a good backpack to help with the weight and a good neoprene strap for comfort around your neck.
08-16-2017, 10:01 PM   #6

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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentax_WA Quote
Please help with decision.
If with the K3II you used the sigma 10-20 very often as your main lens for landscapes, then you know what it will be like to shoot with a 16-35 on full frame.
If not, it doesn't matter because by reading your words, I feel that you have an already born desire for the Sony option and you found a valid technical reason to select the Sony and not the Pentax.
What funny is that people focus on the size of the camera and not on the size of the camera + lenses.
If you take a Pentax DFA28-105 on K1, the lens is significantly smaller than the camera.
If you take a Sony FE16-35 on a Sony A7, the camera is significantly smaller than the lens.
The overall size in camera bag is same, except that the K1 is feels better and is easier to use vs Sony.
But usually, there is much more ads and social proofing on the Sony.
Isn't there is small void for a 20mm FF prime in the Pentax lens lineup? Ohhh no :-)

Last edited by biz-engineer; 08-16-2017 at 10:31 PM.
08-16-2017, 10:54 PM   #7
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I find the DFA 15-30 together with the DFA 28-105 and the K-1makes for an excellent travel kit. Not light, but manageable. Image quality is impeccable (although the 15-30 is quite flare-prone).
08-16-2017, 10:58 PM   #8
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I've settled on the DFA 15-30, 28-105 and the DA*60-250 (with baffle mod) as my hiking kit. Not exactly light weight, but tolerable. The 28-105 is, in my opinion, an excellent alternative to the 24-70 for use as a landscape lens. Quite sharp with good character, and significantly smaller & lighter.

08-16-2017, 11:13 PM - 6 Likes   #9
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I have now taken the DFA15-30 on two overseas holidays, and I love it. Sure it's heavy, but the IQ is fantastic for landscapes, it is fast enough to use indoors, and the lack of filters doesn't bother me.

Although I haven't done any real bush walking with it, my days often involved more than 10km of walking with about 7kg of camera gear. With a well-designed backpack like my Peak Design Everyday I would have no qualms at all.

Some landscapes (well, tourist snapshots with scenery in them):

Last edited by Sandy Hancock; 08-17-2017 at 04:14 AM.
08-17-2017, 04:05 AM   #10
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The DFA is really attractive. I never got one because I have a lineup of primes, but some of them are older and some are manual focus and some are APSC-only. That DFA doesn't have much competition, though the Pentax lens roadmap promises some wide angle primes will come out in the next year or two.
Tl;dr: If you have K-1, DFA 15-30mm is a great lens to cover the ultra wide range, unless you are on a budget or you enjoy slightly different lenses (like Samyang, which you don't want, so that's that)
08-17-2017, 04:20 AM   #11
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stupid question time

is the DA 16 - 85 mm zoom one of those DA lenses that would work with the K 1

HD Pentax-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

I have read that some do, at least to some extent.

I understand that it is a F 3.5 not a F 2.8 and thus is not a 1 to 1 comparison but just wondering if it might be an acceptable compromise?

[please be gentle]
08-17-2017, 04:33 AM   #12
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I'm settling in with the K1 and 15-30 with the Fotodiox Wonderpana 66 all mounted as fine for walking about and also carrying a 43 ltd, A50 and/or CZJ 58 and DFA 100. The key has been distributing the weight. I often grab a smaller over the shoulder bag for the extra lenses and carry the K1 with whatever is mounted seperate from everything else. I am looking at backpacks though for longer hikes and being able to carry everything together including my 150-450. Putting all that together in a messenger style bag does get difficult hanging off one shoulder for any long period of time.
08-17-2017, 04:48 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aslyfox Quote
Is the DA 16 - 85 mm zoom one of those DA lenses that would work with the K-1?
I haven't tested it, but I reckon we would have heard about it if it did.

The only DA zoom which really works on the K-1 is the DA*60-250 (once the rear baffle is removed).
08-17-2017, 04:51 AM   #14
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The 16-85 is really not good from what I remember seeing regarding use on a full frame camera. There are some crop-oriented zooms that do work through at least part of their range but this one seemed pretty not-good from what I remember.

To the OP, if I were in your position, I would start looking for something used. The 15-30 seems like an awesome lens but it's large by heavy by expensive (for my tastes, to each his own, YMMV etc). The old 20-35 if it's got to be zoom sounds nice. Or the FA 20 f2.8 prime seems quite nice. Sigma and Tamron both offered 17-35's back in the day although I don't think they're really great optically, just decent.

I have no opinion on the Sony side of your question. Good luck.
08-17-2017, 05:26 AM - 6 Likes   #15
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I also thought about choosing a lens for a wide angle after buying my k-1. For K-5 and K-3, I had a sigma of 10-20mm.
I checked my photos taken with sigma and found that most of the photo is taken at 10mm, which match to 15mm in full format.
Therefore, I decided that it is more right to buy the Irix 15mm and the D-FA-24-70mm, which is much more versatile, which I did.
I am very satisfied with the Irix, it’s very good, sharp lens, it does not have autofocus, but for the landscape and 15mm it does not matter.
For most my shots I set it on at infinity and set the aperture more than f5.6 to get every things in focus.
Build quality is superb, focus is smooth with clicks in at infinity. In addition, its front lens is not so convex, which allows the use of conventional screw-on filters.
I will give some examples of landscapes captured by this lens:

Last edited by Patriot; 08-17-2017 at 06:54 AM.

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