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03-22-2018, 08:59 AM   #1
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Looking for A series lenses with similar rendering to the FA 43 limited

Am looking for a Pentax lens to mount on my Sigma SD Q H camera. Am looking for a smaller lens which can be general purpose which has a similar rendering to the famous FA Limited series. Interested in a wide angle, and short telephoto.

03-22-2018, 09:09 AM   #2
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These two are quite good optically:
SMC Pentax-A 20mm F2.8 Reviews - A Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
SMC Pentax-A 50mm F1.2 Reviews - A Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

There's also the 50mm F1.4 which is not far removed from the 1.2, but lacks the extra pixie dust. The 50mm F1.2 is similarly priced to the 43mm F1.9. Any reason you don't want to get the latter?

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03-22-2018, 09:59 AM   #3
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Sorry but "smaller lens which can be general purpose which has a similar rendering to the famous FA Limited series" it's an oxymoron

I can confirm, the (many) 50 f1,4(s) are good, the 50 f1,2 is stellar and far superior but pixie dust is only inside the Limited lenses... maybe you can found some particles in the k 28 f/3,5...
03-22-2018, 10:00 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
These two are quite good optically:
SMC Pentax-A 20mm F2.8 Reviews - A Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
SMC Pentax-A 50mm F1.2 Reviews - A Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

There's also the 50mm F1.4 which is not far removed from the 1.2, but lacks the extra pixie dust. The 50mm F1.2 is similarly priced to the 43mm F1.9. Any reason you don't want to get the latter?
Thanks Adam. I have to butcher the aperture lever and flange which sticks out controlling the auto aperture control and make the lens a manual only lens in order to have the PK mount fit the SA mount of the Sigma. In other ways they are the same. So I was just trying to find a less expensive solution as this will destroy the resale value of any lens I "modify". I already tried this on a cheaper non A zoom lens and it works fine. (A cheap one) Now I know how to do this a little more professionally.

The reason is I want a smaller lens on the camera, rather than the weaponized versions of the Sigma Art which are like taking a gym class with you for the day.

03-22-2018, 10:07 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikeodial Quote
Thanks Adam. I have to butcher the aperture lever and flange which sticks out controlling the auto aperture control and make the lens a manual only lens in order to have the PK mount fit the SA mount of the Sigma. In other ways they are the same. So I was just trying to find a less expensive solution as this will destroy the resale value of any lens I "modify". I already tried this on a cheaper non A zoom lens and it works fine. (A cheap one) Now I know how to do this a little more professionally.

The reason is I want a smaller lens on the camera, rather than the weaponized versions of the Sigma Art which are like taking a gym class with you for the day.
In that case you should have a lot more flexibility, including the M and K series, perhaps even M42 if it's adaptable?

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03-22-2018, 10:41 AM - 1 Like   #6
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The A* lenses are exceptional but they cost as much or more than the limited series. Thinking of small primes I wonder if you have considered the DA 40? It is a limited and based on an optical design that is essentially full frame. The lens has proven to be quite capable on the Pentax K-1, and prices seem pretty modest.

Other smallish lenses:

DA 35 f/2.4, FA 35 f/2 - These are either full frame (FA 35) or just about full frame (DA 35), Neither really has the "pixie dust" of the limiteds but they are very sharp and not too expensive.

All the 50's. M, K, Takumar, Super Takumar, SMC Takumar... tons of these and lots of interesting rendering. The M42 ones will have the benefit of not having to butcher them.

Most of the 35's are interesting but some are quite pricey.

28mm f/2.8 isn't too expensive but nothing like the limiteds unless you snag the f/2 version and then people will roast you if you remove the aperture lever - not to mention the expense!

Your best bet is to browse the lens reviews section and hunt some of the cheaper smaller primes and look over the sample photos.
Pentax Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
03-22-2018, 11:12 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
The A* lenses are exceptional but they cost as much or more than the limited series. Thinking of small primes I wonder if you have considered the DA 40? It is a limited and based on an optical design that is essentially full frame. The lens has proven to be quite capable on the Pentax K-1, and prices seem pretty modest.

Other smallish lenses:

DA 35 f/2.4, FA 35 f/2 - These are either full frame (FA 35) or just about full frame (DA 35), Neither really has the "pixie dust" of the limiteds but they are very sharp and not too expensive.

All the 50's. M, K, Takumar, Super Takumar, SMC Takumar... tons of these and lots of interesting rendering. The M42 ones will have the benefit of not having to butcher them.

Most of the 35's are interesting but some are quite pricey.

28mm f/2.8 isn't too expensive but nothing like the limiteds unless you snag the f/2 version and then people will roast you if you remove the aperture lever - not to mention the expense!

Your best bet is to browse the lens reviews section and hunt some of the cheaper smaller primes and look over the sample photos.
Pentax Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
Thank you, I have been trolling over there, and have a couple of 50s myself already. Unfortunately, when I used Pentax bodies I became addicted to the three amigos, (the FA limiteds) but can't bring myself to think about buying one then butchering it. Plus I have to learn to frame in the "dark" with the lens being stopped down in the EVF only on my SD Q H. It's quite a trade-off.

Sigma has some nice lenses, but they are SOOOOO BIG. Will keep looking and see if its worth the effort to make the change. There are some problems using M42 adapters with the Sigma SA mount, and I don't want to risk damaging the electronics or the IR filter which the camera has very close to the lens mount.
03-22-2018, 11:17 AM - 2 Likes   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikeodial Quote
I have to butcher the aperture lever and flange ....
Could you maybe buy some other lenses to do this with then? Or better yet, get a Pentax body, and use the lenses without doing this?

03-22-2018, 11:28 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikeodial Quote
Thanks Adam. I have to butcher the aperture lever and flange which sticks out controlling the auto aperture control and make the lens a manual only lens in order to have the PK mount fit the SA mount of the Sigma. In other ways they are the same. So I was just trying to find a less expensive solution as this will destroy the resale value of any lens I "modify". I already tried this on a cheaper non A zoom lens and it works fine. (A cheap one) Now I know how to do this a little more professionally.

The reason is I want a smaller lens on the camera, rather than the weaponized versions of the Sigma Art which are like taking a gym class with you for the day.
I have a ’butcherd’ K35/2 that’s looking for a good home . . . *

* re-reading, I see you specified A lenses. Never mind.

.:

Last edited by monochrome; 03-22-2018 at 03:44 PM.
03-22-2018, 11:37 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikeodial Quote
Thank you, I have been trolling over there, and have a couple of 50s myself already. Unfortunately, when I used Pentax bodies I became addicted to the three amigos, (the FA limiteds) but can't bring myself to think about buying one then butchering it. Plus I have to learn to frame in the "dark" with the lens being stopped down in the EVF only on my SD Q H. It's quite a trade-off.

Sigma has some nice lenses, but they are SOOOOO BIG. Will keep looking and see if its worth the effort to make the change. There are some problems using M42 adapters with the Sigma SA mount, and I don't want to risk damaging the electronics or the IR filter which the camera has very close to the lens mount.
You might be able to remove the aperture lever rather than cut it... . When I use lenses in stop down mode - I focus and frame and then turn to the aperture needed rather than trying to focus and frame in the dark. I'm not sure if that's helpful or if you tried it and hated the workflow. You can also declick the aperture if you don't care about which specific aperture you are on - that makes it a quick twist to set exposure and dof and go, but it does mean you are clueless unless you look at the lens as to what f/stop you have picked.
03-22-2018, 12:46 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by pres589 Quote
Could you maybe buy some other lenses to do this with then? Or better yet, get a Pentax body, and use the lenses without doing this?
Yes, I already have too many bodies lying around the place ... if you know what I mean. My wife wants me to sell them, so I am trying to get more to go out than come in.
03-22-2018, 07:34 PM - 1 Like   #12
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The A28 f2 is awesome as is the K30 f2.8


A28 f2


K30 f2.8
03-23-2018, 05:20 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikeodial Quote
I have to butcher the aperture lever and flange which sticks out controlling the auto aperture control and make the lens a manual only lens in order to have the PK mount fit the SA mount of the Sigma.
A naive question... If you're (rightly) wary of going down that path, why are you not considering changing for a different camera body? It would probably be much less expensive and more rewarding.
03-23-2018, 05:38 AM - 3 Likes   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikeodial Quote
Am looking for a Pentax lens to mount on my Sigma SD Q H camera. Am looking for a smaller lens which can be general purpose which has a similar rendering to the famous FA Limited series. Interested in a wide angle, and short telephoto.
Here is how the FA Limited series' designer, Jin Hirakawa, designed the lenses in that series:

Lessons from a Legendary Lens Designer | Photographic Ideals, Basic Principles | The Northcoast Photographer

Because of the way the Limiteds are designed, I'm not sure you could get comparable rendering with anything but the Limiteds.
03-23-2018, 05:51 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by pete-tarmigan Quote
Here is how the FA Limited series' designer, Jin Hirakawa, designed the lenses in that series:

Lessons from a Legendary Lens Designer | Photographic Ideals, Basic Principles | The Northcoast Photographer

Because of the way the Limiteds are designed, I'm not sure you could get comparable rendering with anything but the Limiteds.
That was my experience also, when I had the Limited in my collection. Very interesting article. Thanks.
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