Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
01-17-2021, 04:42 AM - 1 Like   #1
Pentaxian




Join Date: Feb 2015
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 8,409
My choice of prime lens kit for Pentax K1

I could have bought the famous D-FA * 50 and D-FA * 85 lenses, but my choice was different, I opted for the HD FA 35 f2 (discounted since it was open box, part of a K1+HD35 bundle, the user sold the HD35 since he already had an FA 35 f2), old D-FA 50 macro f/2.8 (old stock from a deal who stopped selling Pentax) and "old" D-FA 100 macro f/2.8 (I already had it for my K3), and will likely never buy the D-FA* primes.

Of course those macro lenses aren't as fast as the new primes, BUT:
1) I can do macro shot at 1:1 magnification, even the new Canon RF macro prime aren't 1:1, only 1:2
2) On top of macro I can also shoot people, wide open with the 50 and 100. f2.8 aperture is adequate for shooting people, I mostly use f/4 to have DoF ~30cm, deep enough to have nose eyes and ears in focus.
3) Price: a lot cheaper than the DFA*. For the price of one DFA*50 (not to mention the DFA*85), I bought my 3 primes to cover from 35mm (moderate wide), 50mm (standard) to 100mm (short tele).
4) Sharpness from wide open, I can shoot wide open, those macro are sharp edge to edge. On the DFA50 macro, the center is sharp and there's basically no difference between corners and center.
5) Macros are virtually free of distortion, no need to apply distortion correction, and if I stitch images my stitching software enjoys the lack of distortion (shows in panos).
6) FA 35 2 is sharp as well, maybe not wide open, but at f2.8 yes.
7) They are very small and light weight! The 3 primes together don't weight more than a single DFA*50, I can have the three primes in my bag replace a standard zoom, swap them at wish, no need to carry an extra bag.
8) Screw drive focuses quickly, even with macros, for distant subjects (non macro) it's almost instant focus & lock.


Of course , they aren't weather sealed, and screw drive AF, they have CA (corrected in post) , but given the price + macro capability, sharpness and weight, it's hard to spend more on the larger lenses that don't do 1:1 macro.

P.S. Looking forward to a D-FA 21 limited (small) to cover the UWA range, and complete my kit


Last edited by biz-engineer; 01-17-2021 at 05:00 AM.
01-17-2021, 06:25 AM   #2
Pentaxian




Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 1,785
This is one valid configuration, not per se better than any other.
Typically you expect a fast aperture option of three amigos, a smaller aperture smaller footprint print line (th3 original three amigos) and some macro options,

The DFA* line is not really for walk around, the ltds are nice, but not super fast or allow macro, the 50/100 macros do macro well, but have smaller apertures and strengths. The AF of the macros is very loud, ltds are not sealed, ... price is acceptable for any particular lens.

You need them ALL.
01-17-2021, 08:29 AM - 1 Like   #3
Pentaxian




Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Northern Michigan
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 4,651
I won't be getting any of the DFA* primes either, because they're best suited for fast aperture work, which I rarely do. I have a mixture of limiteds and macro. I have the newer, WR version of the DFA 100 and the older FA 50 Macro. Admittedly, I don't use the 100 much for general work. At longer focal lengths I find I need the flexibility of a zoom. I'm more comfortable with primes in the wide angle to normal range. I have the FA 31, FA 43, and the aforementioned FA 50, and if I need to go wider, I can always bring along an M 20/4.

What I particularly appreciate about the Pentax macros is that, even though their very sharp, they still render reasonably well and are therefore can be used for general photography without any worries. That's not always the case with other brands, where the macros can render clinically and other flat side. Even the FA 50, as sharp as it is, renders nicely, and the DFA 100, DA 35 Ltd, and even the old A 50 Macro are even better in this respect.

With the FA 50 Macro:

01-17-2021, 08:48 AM   #4
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
UncleVanya's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2014
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 18,647
The macro lenses selected have an excellent reputation for sharpness and are great options if very fast apertures arenít required in your photography. The major downside I find with these two D FA macros is that thereís no focus limiter, which makes general purpose use a little frustrating at times due to missed focus taking a long time to recover from. The lack of a focus limiting often annoys me when I use my D FA 100 WR on my K-3.

I loved my copy of the SMC FA 35/2. Optically it was nearly on par with my FA 31/1.8, better on the edges actually and smaller. So I can see why the HD version of this lens would fill that need on the K-1.

Since I already own an FA 31 and FA 77 and FA 50/1.4 as well as F 50/1.7 and DA 55/1.4 I would probably lean towards a three lens kit using these - taking the 55/1.4 over the other normal lenses. But the combo you picked likely has higher resolution than the one I would pick.

I think that kit you picked will be a great one.

01-17-2021, 09:28 AM   #5
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
BigMackCam's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: North-East of England
Posts: 16,042
That's a nice, well-thought-out prime kit, biz.

I don't own a full-frame K-mount camera, but I use both the HD FA35/2 and D FA100/2.8 WR on my K-3 with very satisfactory results. I've even considered the D FA50/2.8 before now, but the HD DA35/2.8 fills that niche for me well enough on APS-C.

These lenses all have their limitations, as you rightly point out, but they're perfectly reasonable trade-offs considering the size and price of each. The FA35/2 quickly sharpens up, even at just f/2.2, but yes - by f/2.8 it does very well indeed. The The Tamron 90/2.8 is a nice alternative to the D FA100, and has a focus limiter. I use it on my full frame A-mount gear, and actually prefer it ever so slightly to the Pentax lens... but the difference is pretty minimal. Both are great, neither is perfect.

I have absolutely no doubt that the D FA*50 and 85 are worth every penny, and if I was looking for the ultimate in image quality with size and cost being lesser considerations, I wouldn't hesitate to buy them. As always, every lens comes with compromises, and we choose those that suit our individual needs best...
01-17-2021, 09:34 AM   #6
Pentaxian




Join Date: Feb 2015
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 8,409
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
The major downside I find with these two D FA macros is that there’s no focus limiter, which makes general purpose use a little frustrating at times due to missed focus taking a long time to recover from. The lack of a focus limiting often annoys me when I use my D FA 100 WR on my K-3.
I haven't had experience any AF hunting with either the 50 macro or 100 macro with the K1, except in Live View where the focus goes from the far to near back and forth if there isn't anything with enough contrast in the focus area. Perhaps AF behavior is different on the K3.


For macro I prefer to use the 100. For the 50, I consider the macro capability as a bonus. It spent quite some time to compare the FA 50 with the DFA50 macro. The FA 50 being a bit soft wide open, I though I would stop it down anyway, so I chose the DFA50 instead because it is good right from wide open. I also like the size of the DFA50 macro better on the K1, and the focus ring is large, easy to handle. Also , on the FA50, the hood moves when focusing (if it's like with the FA35), whereas the hood is fixed on the 50 macro. I like to handle the DFA50 macro better than the FA35. When I use the FA35 I just hold the camera with one hand, or avoid to hold the lens because the hood extends when focusing. Live View AF with the FA35 (screw drive) is brutal, when I tried the first time I was holding the camera with the right hand and my left hand on the FA35 I felt the lens moved my hand when I focused.

---------- Post added 17-01-21 at 17:42 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
I've even considered the D FA50/2.8 before now, but the HD DA35/2.8 fills that niche for me well enough on APS-C.
Of course , the FA 35 on apsc is like the 50 on FF, the normal lens. The idea is also to have space between FL , so that stitching a couple of verticals fill the gap between two primes. 3 primes from 35 to 100 covers pretty much everything (if only using primes). The advantage of those primes is that they are significantly sharper corner to corner than the 28-105 or 24-70. Those macro primes with pixel shift produce razor sharp images (for big prints ) and they are relatively inexpensive, if we dont mind the plastic/screw drive construction.
01-17-2021, 09:48 AM - 3 Likes   #7
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter




Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Quebec City, Quebec
Posts: 2,247
If you are into "landscapes" in well-lit conditions, you should investigate the DFA 28-105 mm HD zoom. It is not very expensive and each time I use it on the K1, I am amazed at the results.

Regards

@ 28 mm


@ 105 mm


@ 28 mm


@ 28 mm

Last edited by RICHARD L.; 01-17-2021 at 12:58 PM.
01-17-2021, 09:55 AM   #8
Pentaxian




Join Date: Feb 2015
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 8,409
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by RICHARD L. Quote
If you are into "landscapes" in well-lit conditions, you should investigate the DFA 28-105 mm HD zoom. It is not very expensive and each time I use it on the K1, I am amazed at the results.
I have the DFA28-105, it's sharp from about 40mm to 70mm, sharpest middle of the range. So my DFA50 macro wasn't a must have, except it does 1:1 and f2.8 that the 28-105 can't do. The 28-105 at 28mm is Ok but a little fuzzy toward the edges.The 28-105 is great when I don't know what I'm going to shoot, the 35 is compact and great for some street photo. The use the 50 and 100 macro for stitching, especially because it looks like zero distortion help the stitching process. The 28-105 has some mustache distortion that the stitching software can't correct 100% , so the stitching isn't as perfect as with the macro lenses.

01-17-2021, 10:00 AM   #9
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
UncleVanya's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2014
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 18,647
QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
I haven't had experience any AF hunting with either the 50 macro or 100 macro with the K1, except in Live View where the focus goes from the far to near back and forth if there isn't anything with enough contrast in the focus area. Perhaps AF behavior is different on the K3.
I had the k-1 for about a month and experienced the missed focus issue using the viewfinder. It wasnít a constant problem, but it did happen. This was mainly an issue when changing from one extreme to another as I recall. But if this isnít an issue for you thatís awesome.

As for the FA 50/1.4, I agree completely that the macro 50 is much sharper.
01-17-2021, 12:29 PM   #10
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
cdurfor's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Washington, DC
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 576
FA-31mm. I have spoken...
01-17-2021, 01:12 PM   #11
Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
NoCo Pentaxian's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Colorado
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 71
I'm with you on having a macro-centered kit with versatility. I added the 150 F2.8 Irix Dragonfly for when I need something with reach. Upside: It's so sharp that on a K-1 you can crop the heck out of an image and still get a sharp shot. Downside: It's big and heavy, so it's not a walkaround lens but one that is toted around in my backpack when I'm out in the wild and need a bird or critter shot. I'd heartily recommend it.
01-17-2021, 01:56 PM   #12
Pentaxian




Join Date: May 2016
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,549
Different kit but some of the same reasons (3, 6, 7): I use the FA 43 and DFA 100 macro on the K1ii. And yes, I'm hoping to get the upcoming DFA 21mm limited, the 21mm-equivalent perspective of the GR III and wide angle adapter has really grown on me.
01-17-2021, 02:58 PM   #13
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
vector's Avatar

Join Date: May 2015
Location: Alberta
Posts: 284
My K1 kit is similar. HDFA 35mm for wide, FA 50mm F1.4 normal (swapped for FA 50 macro when desired) and my new FA 77mm (swapped for Tamron 90 macro when desired). I don't shoot much wider than 35 very often but I do own an F 28mm and a samyang 14mm if I ever feel the need, but I don't always bring them along. I have been eyeing that DFA *50 for some time because I shoot so much with my 50's but so far I can't swallow the price size and weight. I don't feel I have enough wide open shots in my library to justify the desire for that extra sharpness wide open, but LBA keeps me looking and WR and DC focus is desirable. My current stable of 50's is plenty good from f2 which is often too shallow anyway. My apsc kit is comparable DA21 DA35 DA50 with a DA15 for wider when desired. I have Tamron F2.8 zooms and they come out for events and family stuff when convenience is more important, but I mostly shoot these primes now.
01-18-2021, 08:46 AM   #14
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
UncleVanya's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2014
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 18,647
QuoteOriginally posted by vector Quote
I have been eyeing that DFA *50 for some time because I shoot so much with my 50's but so far I can't swallow the price size and weight.
Adorama has a used d fa 50 discounted. You might look and be tempted.
01-18-2021, 10:37 AM   #15
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
vector's Avatar

Join Date: May 2015
Location: Alberta
Posts: 284
QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Adorama has a used d fa 50 discounted. You might look and be tempted.
Haha, you can always count on this forum to stoke the flames of LBA. Definitely tempted, but will probably sit on it. I recently got an FA77 that I need to put to more use before I add something new. A DA*300 is on my radar too and would actually add something new to my lens collection not to mention the arrival of the K3III so a DFA50 might have to wait.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
bag, course, d-fa, edge, f/2.8, fa, fa35, focus, hand, hood, k-mount, lens, lenses, macro, pentax lens, primes, sharpness, slr lens, time, weight
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
prime, prime, everywhere a prime... pepperberry farm Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12553 11 Hours Ago 10:09 AM
Help me refine / critique my kit choice... AmaZing Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 16 08-11-2016 09:36 AM
What would be your Choice? Complete Ricoh GR Kit or Pentax Q7 Complete Kit? Senduy Pentax Q 12 04-25-2014 01:13 PM
LENS choice to complement my Kit for new usage Rampage2k5 Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 7 08-04-2013 06:59 PM
Best choice for a long, prime portrait lens? m88k Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 23 08-11-2010 03:13 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:49 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top