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02-21-2019, 07:20 AM   #1
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Budget APS-C wide landscape lens below $200

Fellow Pentaxians,

I will be very structured and brief. I am looking for a budget landscape lens with a good resolving power.

Camera: K-5
Focal distance: 28mm +-10mm
Speed: irrelevant, need resolving power not speed
Mount: K, M42 or any convertible to K
Price on eBay: 100 USD +-100USD (I am assuming that when sold privately, it will be 25-50% cheaper.)

My research yielded as best candidate: SMC Pentax K 28mm f3.5 (~200 USD in good condition on eBay)

I need to beat: SMC Pentax-DA L 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL


What are your suggestions? Thanks.

Billdotjr

02-21-2019, 07:32 AM   #2
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There is an m28mm on the market place for $45. A lot less than $200.
02-21-2019, 07:57 AM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by swanlefitte Quote
There is an m28mm on the market place for $45. A lot less than $200.
Which m 28mm? There are four m 28s: an f2 version, two f2.8 version, and a f3.5 version. I've owned the first version of the m 28/2.8 and the K 28/3.5. The m 28/2.8 is a nice enough lens as far as it goes, it's as sharp as the K 28/3.5, but it's not as contrasty and the rendering is rather generic. Images from the K 28/3.5 just look better and there's no getting around it.

If you're going for an inexpensive M series 28mm the one to get is the f3.5 version. While it does quite match the K 28/3.5, it's a fair bit contrastier than the M 28/2.8 and produces better looking images.
02-21-2019, 08:01 AM - 1 Like   #4
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The best budget landscape lens for crop is the 16-45mm. Its now under 200 used which for the quality of lens is amazing.

02-21-2019, 08:04 AM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by billdotjr Quote
I need to beat: SMC Pentax-DA L 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL

What are your suggestions? Thanks.

Billdotjr
That is a rather low target. Almost anything is better than that. When I purchased my K-30, it was kitted with a lens like that, and I purchased a 18-135 almost immediately. I have become convinced that UWA is best for most landscape situations. My choice is a Sigma 10-20, but exact choice would depend on your exact standards {including price expectations}.
02-21-2019, 08:06 AM   #6
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Not sure which 28 it is. Just pointing out the cheaper option. Others are much better qualified on quality than I am.
02-21-2019, 08:20 AM   #7
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If you can stretch your budget a little more I would look for used DA 15 and/or 21 Limiteds. For wide landscape photography these would be top notch high quality lenses. I also like the DA 16-85 but this would be considerably more costly as already posted if you can find a used 16-45 that could also be a great option. It depends one whether you want a zoom or a prime.
02-21-2019, 08:30 AM - 1 Like   #8
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I will be facing some heavy household investments this year, so that is where most of my budget will be going. But still, I do not want to give up and I am looking for the best value for the money I can spend...

02-21-2019, 08:34 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by billdotjr Quote
Focal distance: 28mm +-10mm
28 as expressed in FF
or 28 as per apsc?

da16 45 resolves very well..
02-21-2019, 08:45 AM   #10
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You might find a Samyang 16mm in that vicinity. A very capable lens.
02-21-2019, 08:48 AM - 1 Like   #11
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DA 35mm plastic fantastic. And F/2.4 is fast enough for astro stuff
02-21-2019, 08:50 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by billdotjr Quote
...Focal distance: 28mm +-10mm...
That range goes all the way to 38mm. The DA 35 f2.4 can be found for < $100 new and my recollection is it's a sharp lens. I have no direct experience with it, though.

This thorough review documents mentions sharpness at the edges, very useful for landscapes. Pentax-DA 35mm F2.4 AL Review - Sharpness | PentaxForums.com Reviews

IMO 28mm is more normal than wide on APS-C, and 35mm is definitely normal. I wonder if maybe you got confused by FF "equivalence".
02-21-2019, 08:51 AM   #13
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Have a read of this thread, covers the same discussion..

Kiron 28mm F2 MC or SMC K Pentax 28mm F3.5 ? - PentaxForums.com
02-21-2019, 08:55 AM   #14
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There is a very CHEAP manual focus DA* 16-50 for sale in the marketplace. It is just SLIGHTLY over your budget. The owner failed to convert it to SDM (likely due to the fact that the gear he has is too new to do the conversion). Even as a manual focus only lens it would be a nice option. The DA* 16-50 has a reputation for being a little soft at 16mm but that is relative to the rest of the range. It doesn't rival the DA 15 in flare resistance but it is a good lens in general and one I would be happy to use for most landscape work. I have never used the DA 16-45, but friends who switched to the DA* 16-50 from the 16-45 thought the DA* was better at all focal lengths but there is the buyers bias to overcome.

As for manual focus - branch out and look at Vivitar and other options and you will find a lot of 28mm options cheap. 28mm however is not very wide.

For one more data point - at 24mm the DA 18-135 is a very very fine lens. Far better than the 18-55. Bear that in mind when selecting your lens as well.

---------- Post added 02-21-19 at 11:01 AM ----------

There's also this... and many others :
[Near MINT] Pentax SMC PENTAX 24mm F2.8 Lens For K Mount From Japan #10122 [Near MINT] Pentax SMC PENTAX 24mm F2.8 Lens For K Mount From Japan #10122 | eBay
02-21-2019, 09:09 AM   #15
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28mm on a crop Pentax is not wide, it's almost perfectly normal, which is why I love 28's on crop.

I would be looking at manual focus primes to try and meet your cost target which I read is $100ish. Sigma Super-Wide II's are around there. The later AF versions go for more.

If you want to spend $200ish USD the possibilities open up a lot. I'm wondering if cosmetically challenged early DA 21's would fall into that range. Samyang 14's would. Maybe a Samyang 16 would as well, I never really tracked that lens much on the used market. Some flavors of Sigma 17-70 should. Not sure if I've seen used Pentax 18-135's in that range.
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