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07-01-2018, 06:33 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Pentax lenses that are worthy of an A* or Limited designation but are not

I was recently in a thread titled 'Pentax * lenses do they live up to the reputation and why'. I wrote the following:I own two star lenses, the A* 300mm and DA* 300mm, plus the DA 20-40mm Limited. Each provides exceptional rendering and build quality. What's missing from the discussion is what other Pentax lenses provider similar qualities but are not labeled as such. Two such lenses are the K 30/2.8 and the M 35-70/2.8-3.5. I'm sure there are others but I just don't have experience with them. I guess that's a discussion for another thread.

Aslyfox suggested I start another thread on the subject, so here it is.

07-01-2018, 06:42 AM - 2 Likes   #2
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how about the Pentax 100mm macros in their various versions???

and the D FA 150-450mm zoom

I'm no expert just impressed by my D FA 100mm F2.8 macro and D FA 150-450mm zoom
any thoughts

go up to "Lenses " above to check them out
07-01-2018, 06:57 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aslyfox Quote
how about the Pentax 100mm macros in their various versions???

and the D FA 150-450mm zoom

I'm no expert just impressed by my D FA 100mm F2.8 macro and D FA 150-450mm zoom
any thoughts

go up to "Lenses " above to check them out
The 100mm macros have always been among the Pentax stars, in terms of performance, but not designation. The D FA 100/2.8 even more so.
07-01-2018, 07:04 AM - 1 Like   #4
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The one lens I've found to rival the quality of the FA Limiteds is my old SMC K 28 3.5. Although it's a slower lens, build quality is right up there, and it performs stellar on the K-1.

07-01-2018, 07:05 AM - 1 Like   #5
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I'm reminded of what focus helical should feel like every time I mount my copy of the A100mm/4 macro....
07-01-2018, 07:06 AM - 3 Likes   #6
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OK...a thread for lenses that aren't as fast as * lenses nor as compact or well-built as Limiteds ; in other words, lenses that we really like, but didn't pay a premium price for that are Pentax-branded. Knowing that legacy fast 50s (f/1.2 versions excepted) were generally sold at a loss, I nominate the two examples below. Both feature excellent, all-metal build, fast maximum aperture, and world-class optical performance at the time they were made.
Pentax-K 55mm f/1.8

Pentax-M 50/1.7
If made today, both would be priced and esteemed on the same order as the late and much lamented Cosina-made Zeiss and Voigtlander 50s.


Steve
07-01-2018, 07:10 AM - 1 Like   #7
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The M 20/4 certainly has all the hallmarks of a Limited. Several other M series as well, like the 40/2.8 (of course), the 85/2
and even the humble 50/1.7. The M100/2.8 could be a *. In the A series, the A50/2.8 Macro could also wear the * designation.
07-01-2018, 07:13 AM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
OK...a thread for lenses that aren't as fast as * lenses nor as compact or well-built as Limiteds ; in other words, lenses that we really like, but didn't pay a premium price for that are Pentax-branded. Knowing that legacy fast 50s (f/1.2 versions excepted) were generally sold at a loss, I nominate the two examples below. Both feature excellent, all-metal build, fast maximum aperture, and world-class optical performance at the time they were made.
Pentax-K 55mm f/1.8

Pentax-M 50/1.7
If made today, both would be priced and esteemed on the same order as the late and much lamented Cosina-made Zeiss and Voigtlander 50s.


Steve
I have never used the 55 but the M50 1.7 has been with me for 40 years. I continue to be astonished each time I use it.

07-01-2018, 07:15 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by twilhelm Quote
The one lens I've found to rival the quality of the FA Limiteds is my old SMC K 28 3.5. Although it's a slower lens, build quality is right up there, and it performs stellar on the K-1.
I was going to list the K28/3.5, but it's really not compact like a true Limited. Yes, it's small relative to other 28s of the
same vintage from other makes, but it's not really Limited small. I think the M series really brought in the Limited
design mentality, and perhaps the M28/3.5 could be branded as such were it made today, even if it's not quite
as stellar as the K.
07-01-2018, 07:16 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
OK...a thread for lenses that aren't as fast as * lenses nor as compact or well-built as Limiteds ; in other words, lenses that we really like, but didn't pay a premium price for that are Pentax-branded. Knowing that legacy fast 50s (f/1.2 versions excepted) were generally sold at a loss, I nominate the two examples below. Both feature excellent, all-metal build, fast maximum aperture, and world-class optical performance at the time they were made.
Pentax-K 55mm f/1.8

Pentax-M 50/1.7
If made today, both would be priced and esteemed on the same order as the late and much lamented Cosina-made Zeiss and Voigtlander 50s.


Steve

I'd agree with the K55 nomination, but in both the f1.8 and f2 versions - as far as I can tell, they are virtually the same lens...
07-01-2018, 07:17 AM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by pepperberry farm Quote
I'm reminded of what focus helical should feel like every time I mount my copy of the A100mm/4 macro....
After neglecting my A100/4 macro for a long time, I've recently been shooting with it as I document my mineral collection.
A joy to use, though my copy is noticeably less sharp than my A50/2.8.
07-01-2018, 07:18 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
OK...a thread for lenses that aren't as fast as * lenses nor as compact or well-built as Limiteds ; in other words, lenses that we really like, but didn't pay a premium price for that are Pentax-branded. Knowing that legacy fast 50s (f/1.2 versions excepted) were generally sold at a loss, I nominate the two examples below. Both feature excellent, all-metal build, fast maximum aperture, and world-class optical performance at the time they were made.
Pentax-K 55mm f/1.8

Pentax-M 50/1.7
If made today, both would be priced and esteemed on the same order as the late and much lamented Cosina-made Zeiss and Voigtlander 50s.


Steve
I was going to add my recently acquired K 50/1.2 to the list. I make the rules. Just kidding.
07-01-2018, 07:28 AM   #13
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A100/2.8 Macro could be justified a * badge on build, focus action and rendering but I feel Pentax have just raised the bar with the imminent release of the HD D-FA*50/1.4 and anything short of the exotica such as the FA*200/4 Macro will pale in comparison.
07-01-2018, 07:33 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by robbiec Quote
A100/2.8 Macro could be justified a * badge on build, focus action and rendering but I feel Pentax have just raised the bar with the imminent release of the HD D-FA*50/1.4 and anything short of the exotica such as the FA*200/4 Macro will pale in comparison.
If you look back through Kenspo's posts you'll see somewhere he mentions the DFA 100 macro is due for a makeover. Whether that was official from Pentax or just off the top of his head I don't really know.
07-01-2018, 07:53 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by tvdtvdtvd Quote
I was going to list the K28/3.5, but it's really not compact like a true Limited. Yes, it's small relative to other 28s of the
same vintage from other makes, but it's not really Limited small. I think the M series really brought in the Limited
design mentality, and perhaps the M28/3.5 could be branded as such were it made today, even if it's not quite
as stellar as the K.
I agree about the size not being Limited standards, but build and image quality are up there. I havenít had the opportunity to use the M version, so I canít comment on it (Iím working on filling in my K series).
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