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07-11-2019, 07:44 PM   #1
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Which modern Pentax lens has the nicest focus damping?

Of all the lenses I own, it's the DA 35mm limited. But I don't own most of the spendiest lenses. What's been your experience?

I started shooting on Super Takumar screwmount lenses and I always appreciate it when a lenses focus ring turns with a certain... panache.

07-11-2019, 08:32 PM - 1 Like   #2
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I'm really happy with the manual focusing on the D FA* 50/1.4. Honestly, I haven't found anything about this lens that I don't like.
07-11-2019, 08:34 PM - 4 Likes   #3
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D FA 100mm f2.8 Macro WR is very nice to focus manually....
07-11-2019, 09:39 PM - 2 Likes   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by pepperberry farm Quote
D FA 100mm f2.8 Macro WR is very nice to focus manually....
Yes it is. Another macro with nice manual focus is the FA* 200/4 Macro. I'm not sure if that still classifies as modern though.

07-11-2019, 11:21 PM   #5
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DA 35 macro, D-FA 100 macro (already written).
07-12-2019, 04:46 AM   #6
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That's a tough one. I've tested almost everything made by Pentax over the last few years.

If you include the still-in-production FA lenses, we have to make some room for the FA Limited (the 43 is so light that dampening isn't as nice, but that's not a fault of the lens). The 31 in particular feels good. The FA 50 macro isn't in production any more but it's another great choice.

As for more recent lenses, certainly the DFA 100 macro WR figures on that list, near the top. The 70-200 and DFA 50 are pretty good too. The new DA 11-18 is surprising on this regard, especially with the clamp. The DA 35 macro Limited is pretty cool too. Lastly, I'm partial to the AF rings on the 60-250 and 150-450, even though they're not "the best" they're pretty good, helped by the relative weight of the glass they move.

Outside Pentax, the nicest I've used was the Laowa Venus 12mm.
07-12-2019, 04:59 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote

Outside Pentax, the nicest I've used was the Laowa Venus 12mm.


if we are going to move outside of Pentax glass, the Rokinon/Samyang 85mm f1.4 has a sweet helical....
07-12-2019, 05:41 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by pepperberry farm Quote
D FA 100mm f2.8 Macro WR is very nice to focus manually....
I agree, I have DA 35 macro Limited and DFA 100 macro WR. Both have nice well damped manual focus. I also find the DA* 200 and DA* 300 have nicely damped large manual focus rings. My basis for comparison is my strictly manual focus M 50mm f1.7. For all of my other modern lenses I just stick with autofocus only.

07-13-2019, 03:56 AM   #9
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Da* 11-18/2.8
07-13-2019, 04:13 AM   #10
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Of the Limiteds (I have them all), the DA15 and FA77 are my favourites for manual focus. The FA31 is the worst, but the DA10-17 takes the cake as the worst of all. I hope the new HD version shares the improved build of other recent refreshes.

All that said, the DFA*50 is a cut above any other autofocus lens I have used. The DFA*11-18 is no slouch though.
07-13-2019, 07:09 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
...The FA31 is the worst, but the DA10-17 takes the cake as the worst of all....

the zoom ring on the 10-17 isn't any great paragon of tactility, either....
07-14-2019, 01:46 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by selfnoise Quote
Which modern Pentax lens has the nicest focus damping?
If you can consider my "Ladies" as modern, the Pentax-A* lenses are pretty good... well when your compare them to Takumar, K and M series they are modern.
3 Days Ago - 1 Like   #13
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The DFA 100 Macro and DA 35 Ltd are the best I've run across. DA* 300 isn't bad either, but it doesn't quite match those macros.
3 Days Ago - 1 Like   #14
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I mostly use K series manual lenses that have been CLA’ed and re-greased. With those sublime lenses (and a few Takumars) as my standard I can’t say any modern lens is a standout. I only had the DFA100 Macro for a few weeks and was disappointed with the build quality and focusing feel, so I sold it. Admittedly I had high expectations that weren’t met - higher than “near Limted.”

Of the FA Limteds I most like the 43. My copy of the 31 is very nice but always use it manual anyway because it back-focuses in AF.

The DA Limiteds are all OK (but the pancakes are a bit fiddly), the 15 is pretty good, and I agree the 35 Macro is the best.

The DFA50/1,4 is about as good as it gets - for a modern lens - and the 70-200 is also very good, but I didn’t like the 15-30. I thought it was dry and tight and rather unpleasant to focus manually and especially to zoom - and I thought it should always be used manual, so it was a disappointment. I sold it, also. The 24-70 is my workhorse AF lens for K-1 - but I’ve never manual focused it.

For a kit zoom I think the DFA28-105 is actually rather pleasant to use as a manual lens (perhaps versus a low bar).

Sometimes I think about selling everything but the K-1, a few film cameras and the manual lenses. I’m just cranky that way. Especially recently.

Last edited by monochrome; 3 Days Ago at 07:17 PM.
2 Days Ago   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
I'm really happy with the manual focusing on the D FA* 50/1.4. Honestly, I haven't found anything about this lens that I don't like.
Look, I didn't want to create seperate thread about this but can you tell the same, my lens has very smooth focus ring, I can say smoothest than any lens I have ever touched, without any sort of backlash or gap, but sometimes I feel slight effect of ring engaging elements or quick shift mechanism, because when I go past distance indicator and going back - this effect disappears. Maybe I'm too much paranoiac but... Can't do anything to myself
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