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09-21-2018, 08:44 AM   #1
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Which 3rd party PK lenses you treasure the most?

I am always curious to see which are the favourite lenses of other forum users, and why they love them.
So I'm asking you which third party PK lenses you are proud of.
It would be nice if you specify the reason. It has not to be necessarily about sharpness, or bokeh. Rarity, ergonomics, beautiful build, etc. are good reasons as any other.
Please try to limit the number to a maximum of five.
If the thread encounters your favour, I will post another one about M42/adapted lenses.

In the meantime, I will give a good though about my choice

cheers
Paolo

09-21-2018, 09:02 AM   #2
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Tokina 20-35 F3.5-4.5
I love the range on full frame. I liked it so much I had my first one cleaned when I noticed it flared more than it should (oil deposits on internal elements).
Then, when it was knocked out of my hands and bent, I bought another one...

-Eric
09-21-2018, 09:06 AM   #3
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Tamron 90 for Tess, Tamron SP AF 300 2.8 LD [IF]
09-21-2018, 09:37 AM   #4
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The Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f1.4. Built like a tank, outstanding IQ, an exceptional lens.
The VL58mm is FF, MF, fast and very reliable.

09-21-2018, 09:37 AM   #5
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as much as you don't care for it, Paolo, I love my Porst 55mm f1.2.... the color and surprising sharpness of it...

also, my Tamron 72B (90mm macro) because it was/is the first lens that captured pictures that surprised/impressed me....

and my current odd-ball favorite, the Vivitar (Komine) 55mm f2.8 Macro... how could this heavy, 670* winding-barrel film-era lens be soooooooo sharp?

there have been some also-rans, honorable mentions, etc... but these three will always stay with me....
09-21-2018, 09:53 AM - 1 Like   #6
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My favourite AF K-mount lens, even including my lovely Pentax glass, is the humble Tamron 28-75 f/2.8. It's my "go to" lens... It's by no means a stunning lens in any way, but I really like the rendering and - although not wide enough for many when used on APS-C format - I find the focal length range perfect.

In manual focus, I have a few that I rather like - but my favourites are both Soviet models... The VarioZenitar-K 25-45mm f/2.8-3.5 (a quirky but fantastic little zoom lens) and the "plastic fantastic" Zenitar-K2 2/50mm, both of which are impressively sharp and render very well indeed. They work well on both APS-C and full-frame, in different applications of course.

If you choose to do an M42 thread, I'll have to make a proper list. There are many that I treasure
09-21-2018, 09:53 AM - 1 Like   #7
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From 1981 till about 1987, I read nearly every single lens test in German magazines.

For this era, the results were roughly the same.
Of all the 3rd party brands, the only one maker who always was very near to the original "big five" lenses (Canon,Minolta,Nikon,Olympus,Pentax) was Tokina. And, disregaring the coatings, quite often equal.
And nearly always the worst (but also the cheapest) were Makinon lenses.
Sigma, Tamron, Vivitar, Soligor varied quite a lot.

What seemed strange (at the first glance) was the fact, that Tokina AT-X lenses seemed to lag behind.
But their advertisements from the start of this series reveiled the reason:
AT-X ("advanced technology") were lenses where one or more characteristics were new and/or unique at the time the lenses were introduced. It did NOT mean the over-all performance was the best available.
I found this to be very true after buying the just introduced AT-X 2.8/35-70. It was very sharp, but showed significant loss of contrast at F2.8. But then I needed the 2.8 for my auto flashes, which did only offer auto mode at selected aperture values (dependent on ISO).

Later Tokina added the AT-X Pro series, which were really meant to compete with the lenses of the Big Five. And they did.

I used to own many Tokina lenses, and the one which impressed me most was the Tokina RMC 3.8/75-150, bought used in 1982 for small money. Maybe I got an exceptional good copy, but with slides I could not see any difference to Pentax prime lenses. Unfortunately, for the PK-A mount Tokina replaced it by the 70-210, which is only at a part of its range up to the older lens design.
I have not used the 75-150 with digital (yet), as I gave it to my sister after purchasing the 70-210.
09-21-2018, 09:59 AM   #8
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I don´t have a lot of them, since almost all my PK lenses are Pentax branded.
Not a zoom fan, but when I bought my Pentax M 50mm f/1.7 it came with a Vivitar 75-205mm f/3.8 as a pack.
Used it several times mostly when I travel, as it covers a nice tele range and it never dissapoints.

09-21-2018, 11:12 AM   #9
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Second round.

Tamron 17-50 for Tess, recently stacked up really well against the DFA 28-105 in comparison images, although I thought the 28-105 had better colour.
Simga 70 macro for me.

Third round
Sigma 8-16, a stellar lens, but I don't use it that much. But top of the pack when you need it. And that's all of them.
09-21-2018, 11:29 AM   #10
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The lubrication seems to be giving out, so focusing to infinity is becoming virtually impossible, but the Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7 kitted with my Super Program has always been a special lens to me.
09-21-2018, 11:46 AM - 2 Likes   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by pepperberry farm Quote
as much as you don't care for it, Paolo, I love my Porst 55mm f1.2.... the color and surprising sharpness of it...
It's not true that I don't care!
YOU, my friend from the Pepper Fields (seems like a name from a fairy tale, isn't it?) made me reconsider my judgement, and see why you are posting such nice pics shot with the same lens
In fact, I care so much that this time I brought it with me, leaving home the Pentax and the Revuenon.
Shooting with the Porst these days... and I found that it's pretty sharp stopped down, and that it has to be focused with great care, cause it's more 'dreamy' wide open, and that trusting the OVF is not the way to go. If such care is used, it fares much better than I though.

Well, let's see which could be my personal choice...
I decided to exclude AF zooms. I am quite satisfied with my Sigma HSM 2.8/28-70mm, Sigma HSM OS 120-400mm and Tokina 20-35mm, though I mostly use fast primes or old optics with "peculiar" rendering, so I will stick to them.

Tamron 2.5/180mm Anniversary (63B) [Adaptall-2 with PK/A ring] - sharp, fast, great bokeh, great build, beautiful lens
Sigma Macro MF 5.6/180mm - small, incredibly sharp, best bokeh for a macro
Revuenon/Tomioka 1.2/55mm - plenty of pixie dust, best OOF rendering (little LoCA) considering the focal, sharp enough for pixel peepers
Samyang 1.4/35mm - sharpest 35mm I ever tried, and better than the other Samyangs I own (24mm, 14mm, 85mm, in order of appreciation)
Tamron SP 2.8/70-150mm Soft Focus (51A) [Adaptall-2 with PK/A ring] - only SF zoom ever made, halation can be finely adjusted with diaphragm AND soft focus ring, beautiful build, rare (no examples currently on sale on Ebay, the last sale scored 735 USD!)

---------- Post added 21-09-18 at 09:10 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
In manual focus, I have a few that I rather like - but my favourites are both Soviet models... The VarioZenitar-K 25-45mm f/2.8-3.5 (a quirky but fantastic little zoom lens)

If you choose to do an M42 thread, I'll have to make a proper list. There are many that I treasure
The M42 thread will come

I thought the VarioZenitar-K would never surface on this thread!
I didn't use very much this lens, but it was part of the standard kit of my late partner, together with a Super-A and a Pentax-A 3.5/35-105mm.
Despite the more "difficult" focal range, the little russian zoom gave pictures on par with the "stack of primes".
I should find it and give it a chance on digital FF.
It's not a common lens, I haven't seen many on sale... but I suppose you have other interesting soviet lenses

Last edited by cyberjunkie; 09-21-2018 at 12:11 PM.
09-21-2018, 12:15 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by cyberjunkie Quote
It's not true that I don't care!
YOU, my friend from the Pepper Fields (seems like a name from a fairy tale, isn't it?) made me reconsider my judgement, and see why you are posting such nice pics shot with the same lens
In fact, I care so much that this time I brought it with me, leaving home the Pentax and the Revuenon.
Shooting with the Porst these days... and I found that it's pretty sharp stopped down, and that it has to be focused with great care, cause it's more 'dreamy' wide open, and that trusting the OVF is not the way to go. If such care is used, it fares much better than I though.
thank you for listening, even for a bit....

Pepperberry Farm - it's home for me, the missus, four dogs, and ten chickens....

Last edited by pepperberry farm; 09-21-2018 at 12:50 PM.
09-21-2018, 12:43 PM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by cyberjunkie Quote
The M42 thread will come

...

I suppose you have other interesting soviet lenses
A few
09-21-2018, 12:49 PM   #14
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My favorites so far are the Sigma 180 3.5 -- great macro, nice bokeh. Also, the Leitax adapted Zeiss 135/2 -- incredibly sharp with beautiful out of focus areas. I actually like it better than the Sigma but it doesn't have the close focusing so I end up using the Sigma more. I've also enjoyed working with both Lensbaby velvet lenses.
09-21-2018, 01:22 PM - 1 Like   #15
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Tamron 28-75mm f2.8.

Just put it in f4.0 and shoot away!
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