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05-24-2019, 10:49 AM   #1
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Three Primes

In my lightweight kit I have the 21mm Limited, the 35mm f/2.4 and the 70mm Limited, but I might make some changes at some point. What would be your dream three prime kit? Doesn’t have to just be Pentax glass, anything in K mount is allowed.

05-24-2019, 10:56 AM - 1 Like   #2
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only three?
05-24-2019, 11:02 AM   #3
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I see the 21mm Limited in your original list, so I assume we're talking for APS-C sensors.

DA 15 Limited, FA 43, DFA 100 WR macro.
05-24-2019, 11:04 AM   #4
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Crop: DA 15 SMC, F 28 f2.8, DA*55 (could sub my Sigma 28 EX DG for the F 28 but the Sigma is large by heavy)

Full Frame AF Digital: Sigma 24mm Super-Wide II AF, FA 43, FA 77 (note that I own none of these, they just seem right)

Full Frame MF Film: Kiron 28mm f2 (I have one and may try to find a nice 24 f2 instead), M 50 1.7, Tamron 90mm f2.5 Adaptal Macro

05-24-2019, 11:55 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
I see the 21mm Limited in your original list, so I assume we're talking for APS-C sensors.

DA 15 Limited, FA 43, DFA 100 WR macro.
Yep, my lightweight kit is based around a K50. Might be upgraded to a KP one day.

DFA 100 WR is a good idea!
05-24-2019, 11:56 AM   #6
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As a K-3 shooter, I would currently rely on -- surprise, surprise -- the three primes that I happen to own: DA15, DA35 Macro, and DA50 (all smc versions). But I would happily add DFA100 Macro WR or DA70 for more telephoto and macro options. Even then, I would likely keep the DA50 on board, as it weighs next to nothing and does not take up much space.

The thing is, (a) I have stopped chasing the "ultimate three-prime kit" since I like to have a choice and being able to tailor my kit to the shooting occasion, and (b) I see no reason to arbitrarily ban zooms from my photo backpack, for that would mean leaving DA10-17 and DA55-300 at home, which cover the more extreme focal lengths quite well for my purposes.

I do get the charm of primes and would prefer them on many occasions, but adding a zoom or two to your kit can give you a lot more flexibility.

Last edited by Madaboutpix; 05-24-2019 at 12:02 PM. Reason: additional thought
05-24-2019, 12:09 PM   #7
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Agreed that a good zoom has its place. Take that 28mm option out of my crop kit and replace it with the 18-135 to make a much more all-around, do-all kit.
05-24-2019, 12:37 PM   #8
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1. SMC Pentax DA 15mm f/4 Ltd
A tiny but excellent wide-angle.

2. Rokinon 85mm f/1.4
A sharp lens that's great in both low light and normal light.

3. SMC Pentax F* 300mm f/4.5
My best lens; my favorite lens; my most used lens; and one of the finest lenses that Pentax ever made.

05-24-2019, 12:58 PM   #9
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do you go small?

DA 21 Limited, DA 40 Limited, DA 70 Limited


size does matter?

DA 14/2.8, Sigma 24/1.8 EX DG, Sigma 70 EX DG Macro



walking on the moon, where you won't care?

Sigma 20/1.8 EX DG, D FA 50/2.8 Macro, Tamron 72B


M42, all the way?

Soligor C/D 35/2 P, Super-Takumar 55/1.8, Tamron 52B
05-24-2019, 01:33 PM - 1 Like   #10
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For a small, versatile prime APSc kit, as already recommended:
DA21/3.2 Limited | DA40/2.8 Limited | DA70/2.8 Limited
If you don’t need reach you could get by forever with just these three lenses. Include the DA15/4 and DA35/2.8 Macro as adds-ins when you need them.

FF is more problematic. There’s new and legacy options - including legacy lenses in the list is wallet thinning.
FA31/1.8 Limited or HD FA35/2 | FA43/1.9 Limited or F50/1.7 | FA77/1.8 Limited | DFA 100/2.8 or F135/2.8
05-24-2019, 02:08 PM   #11
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Just did the walk to Everest Base Camp with the K-1. I Had and needed A28mm2.8. F50mm1.7 and FA100mm 3.5 macro. Also had and didn't need 24mm 17mm and Samyang 8mm. Thankfully the porters carried these!. So I prefer to stitch when I need wider than the 28mm and I am happy to crop into apsc format. So the 28mm pretty well covers 10mm to 40mm.
05-24-2019, 02:17 PM   #12
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I think I'd have to go with the 15 Limited, 43 Limited, and 77 Limited. Possibly swap the 43 Limited for the 31 Limited, but the 43 is a little smaller, and I'm looking at a lightweight kit. Would really be hard to go wrong with these. I like the DFA100 Macro too, but we're getting a bit bigger, and you can still fit all of the first lenses in big cargo pant type pockets. And sometimes breaking rules is nice, and if I were to toss a zoom into this mix, I'd be looking at my 20-40 Limited for a nice range and easy travel. Hhhhhmmmm. Looking at what I (and others) just wrote, there must be something about these Limited lenses. They keep coming up.
05-24-2019, 03:12 PM   #13
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Lately I've been going out with just two when I want to go out light with my K-S1... The SMC-A 24 2.8 and the SMC-F 50 1.7.

Sometimes I go out with just one - usually the Sigma Art 30 1.4, but if it's an all day kind of thing it might be the SMC DA 30 2.4 because it's sooo light.

Though if I do not want to go with just a prime or two and I know I'll be back before dark, the SMC DA 16-45 f4 always gets me the results that I want. Sacrilegious, right?
05-24-2019, 03:14 PM   #14
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My default kit with three primes is da 21, 40 and 70, as others that posted above. My favorite part about this setup is that it results in an easy to handle camera, and all lenses have built in hoods to protect the front element. Sometimes I use the da 15 instead of the 21, or bring all four. For landscapes, where I hike with the camera in the backpack and there's less emphasis on compact handling, I take my 16-85 zoom to avoid switching lenses too often, and usually add the 100 macro or 55-300 for extra reach. But I've also give just two days primes to save weight.

Last edited by aaacb; 05-24-2019 at 03:20 PM.
05-24-2019, 03:45 PM - 1 Like   #15
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Assuming you're talking about a crop camera, the DA Limited 21/3.2, 40/2.8 and 70/2.4 make a ridiculously compact and potent three lens kit.

But my favourite combination of the DA 15/4.0 Limited, FA 31/1.8 Limited and FA 77/1.8 Limited - you get a great flare resistant landscape lens with unique starbursts, a stellar fast normal with unrivalled bokeh for its focal length, and one of the greatest portrait lenses going around, all still in remarkably compact formats.
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