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01-14-2022, 10:41 AM   #1
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Wide Angle Pentax for K-1 Landscape

Hey everyone,

One of my 2022 New Year's Resolutions was to get into a creative outlet for a stress outlet. I have formed a list of what I want to develop better as a photographer.

What I have and what I am looking for (since everyone asks). I have a K1, currently I plan on getting FA 31 and FA 85 1.4. I currently use my DA 15 on crop as my landscape lens. I love the DA 15 so much, but using crop doesn't use the full potential of the K1. (I know some of you may suggest just getting a K3 or K3ii instead, which is a possibility). I want to use pixel shifting. So here is what I am thinking:

SMC K 20 F4
FA 20 2.8
FA* 24 F2
(maybe) SMC M 20 F4

Or

When money affords me DFA 21 2.4.

I want something that does landscapes very well, but brings forth a beautiful character - not just sharpness, but a wow to a picture. I think the DA 15 is one of those lenses. The characteristics of the FA 24 seem similar to the DA 15 - focus on rendering not sharpness. But the FA 24 pictures that I've seen around the internet aren't that great compared to the DA 15. And even though an amateur, I've taken stellar pics with my DA 15.

The K 20 is hard to find in good condition for a reasonable price. I've read that the FA 20 is great, but doesn't have a special character. The FA 24 has special character but isn't sharp for across the frame. I really feel like I want the SMC K 20, but I haven't seen enough field samples. And yes I'm good with the difference between 24 and 20mm.

But I am considering holding out for the new DFA 21 2.4.

Let me know what you all think.

01-14-2022, 10:49 AM - 1 Like   #2
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I want to see where this goes and I want to ask some questions to help narrow down some things for folks that might make suggestions.

What's your budget like?
Are you okay with a big/heavy lens or are you looking for a lighter solution?
Are you interested in astro photography or not?
Are you wanting something kind of common / easy to find or are you okay with searching for a bit?
Are you okay with using a zoom that doesn't cover the full image circle of the sensor for some of the zoom range of the lens? (Thinking about the DA 16-45 and how it's said to not really work well from about 22mm and wider, as an example)

Last edited by pres589; 01-14-2022 at 11:00 AM.
01-14-2022, 10:49 AM - 1 Like   #3
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The A20 is out there also, at f/2.8. I'd prefer the 20mm in some form but for now the F17-28 fisheye is holding down that spot. It's quite decent, and when shot with horizon centered it can do nice landscapes.
01-14-2022, 11:04 AM - 3 Likes   #4
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Well....for you I'd recommend waiting on the 31 and instead get the 15-30, unless you are size/weight restricted. This lens will put you through all the FL's you mention on the wide end, and competes very favorably with all of those primes. It's a surprising lens, and every pro who's ever said anything about it has had nothing but praise. I can attest that it is a great lens. It is a chunk, though.

01-14-2022, 11:40 AM   #5
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Budget - Could be enough to buy DFA 21 or 15-30 (Thanks Texandrews for the suggestion). But I have to wait a bit for that.
Weight/Size - I'm not sure I want the big heavy new dfa's. Still mulling this one.
Astro - I'm certainly interested in it, but I would have to learn (which I'm OK with).
Searching - I'm OK with waiting but it has to be worth the wait
Zoom not covering - ISH. I really like the 20-40 limited in this respect. HOWEVER, my issue is that the quality of those images are degraded and that could be an issue for landscape.

The A 20 - Yeah between that or the FA - to me I'm good with either. I think the 17-28 is out for me.

The 15-30 intrigues me a lot. I'm a prime guy not just by preference, but really due to character. I've seen some crazy good pictures from the 15-30, and you have me considering it. But doesn't it sound fun shooting something from 1976ish and making a masterpiece out of it?

I think I want a bit lighter though. Which is why Pentax primes are listed. Although I'm already stewing on that 15-30 because I've been blown away by what it does.
01-14-2022, 11:42 AM   #6
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I have the same dilemma. Just don't want to lay out for the new 21. So currently have a Rokinon 15mm, FAJ 18-35 and Sigma 24mm. Also the 24-70. Naturally still have the DA 15 for aps-c
01-14-2022, 11:53 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kwong Quote
So currently have a Rokinon 15mm, FAJ 18-35 and Sigma 24mm.
I have the Rokinoion 14 2.8, FAJ 18-135 and Sigma 24. Weird eh?

01-14-2022, 11:54 AM   #8
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I have no glass to suggest that I have first hand experience with that really fits what you seem to be looking for. I think the M 20 f4 is good glass, especially for the size and cost, but I don't know of anyone using them for astro. I think optically it outperforms my Tamron 17mm f3.5 so it's hard to recommend that lens. For general walk-around, my Tokina 19-35 f3.5 is pretty decent and they're not expensive and offer AF. The Samyang 14mm f2.8 is supposed to be very good for astro and is crazy wide (not always a benefit) but it's kind of large and I don't carry it often. It barely gets used and I think a lot of folks have these same opinions about that lens.

*from what I've read* the Samyang 24mm f1.4 might be worth looking into. Ref: The prime of astrophotography: the Samyang 24mm f/1.4 ED AS IF UMC
01-14-2022, 12:15 PM - 1 Like   #9
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Several thoughts come to mind.
  • Stitching - With stitching, you can increase your detail with longer focal lengths, and still get the wide-angle perspective. Shooting with a wide-angle lens, you really need something in the foreground to anchor the eye. By stitching a pano with a longer lens, you can "shoot over" the immediate uninteresting foreground and still capture the scene with additional detail.
    • I also have the old K 28mm shift lens. When you do a shifted stitch using this lens, the field of view is that of a 15mm focal length, but with the detail and crispness of the 28, without the need to anchor the foreground. Also, the glass on the shift lens is oversized and designed to retain the corners and edges.
    • Additionally, I've found that you can shoot a scene (from the same exact location) both with a wide-angle lens, and a longer more normal lens - but stitched. The two images will be slightly different in terms of the perspective captured. The wide-angle will tend to have a more "scrunched" up feeling, while the more normal stitched pano - will have a more "expansive" look and feel.
  • I have both the 15-30 and the 31 Ltd. The 15-30 is excellent but does have some softness even at 30 when compared to other lenses, like the 31 (yea, I know a zoom vs a prime). I happened to compare the 15-30 and several other lenses at 28mm - including the 28-105 kit lens, and I was very surprised that the 28-105 was substantially sharper than the 15-30. Yes, the 15-30 at 15 will get you the wide-angle.
  • Pixel Shift - I've tried this with landscapes at golden hour. Even though absolutely nothing in the landscape was moving - the sun was with the shadows. The changing light has the same effect as "motion" with pixel shift. Every scene is going to be different, but it's something to take into consideration.
  • Astro - I also do a fair amount of astro. I've somewhat slid away from the 15-30 to the Zeiss 25/2.8 ZK for the additional sharpness of the prime. I'm somewhat thinking about the 21/f2.4 - but I would really really want a faster aperture. f2.8 has been good enough, but for that size of money - I would really like some additional light. There is the Irix 30/f1.4, but it has some coma and some vignetting that you can reduce by stopping down - but then you lose light.
  • Also, Irix has some additional wide-angle lenses 11/f4 and 15/f2.4 that are full-frame. The Rokinon 14/f2.8 seems to be ok - however, their 24/f1.4 has a history of build/quality control problems with decentering

01-14-2022, 12:32 PM - 1 Like   #10
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I had tried many ultra wide prime and zoom lenses on my K-1/K-1M2 except the latest 21mmLE; From the rare Tomioka 21mmf3.5 M42, Rikenon 18mm, to Yashinon DS 20mm, Takumar SMC20/24, Pentax K &M 20/24, A/FA 20, FA24mmf2; Rollei 25mm 2.8 M42; Fujinon 19mm in M42; converted Contax 25mm f2.8 and FAJ, FA20-35, DFA24-70 etc; My pick will be: for low barget prime, Takuma 20mm f4.5 (non SMC mark); M20mm f4; barget zoom, FAJ18-35 or Sigma 12-24mm f4-5.6 (if found one in cheap price); medium barget; FA20mm f2.8 or FA 20-35mmf4; Rollei 25mm f2.8 in M42 (if can find one); High barget; Leica R 21-35mm f3.5-4 (convert it into PK mount). Regarding the only Pentax star marked ultra wide prime lens, FA * 24mmf 2, Conside its price, I found its performance is not good enough.
01-14-2022, 12:33 PM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by zbrueningsen Quote
Let me know what you all think
Forgive me for being controversial.

You mention some excellent lenses here. i own the FA 31mm and the DFA 85mm. Also the FA* 24mm and the M 20mm. The 31mm and the 85mm both have a unique rendering that will add a something extra to your pictures if you choose the aperture and focus point correctly, together with the composition.

But what will really bring a "wow" to your images is not the lens, but is you. You say you like the DA15mm, so use it in crop mode (or crop after) and concentrate on your lighting and composition. If you get those right you could use a shoe box with a milk bottle as a lens and get a good result.
01-14-2022, 12:51 PM - 1 Like   #12
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Lower budget option: M 24/2.8. Stopped down it's nice and sharp, I really like mine even though I don't get to use it all that often these days because I mostly use longer focal lengths. It has a slightly narrower field of view than DA 15 on apsc (84 deg diag vs 88 deg diag, based on info from the PF lens reviews)
01-14-2022, 12:51 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by zbrueningsen Quote
Let me know what you all think.
Depends if you plan to use and stack filters for landscape photography and/or long exposure. The DFA15-30 requires a specific filter holder, but can use 150mm filter kits. The D-FA 21 restricts what filters can be mounted on the lens, but can work if you don't plan using ND or ND grad filters.
01-14-2022, 01:08 PM - 2 Likes   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by aaacb Quote
Lower budget option: M 24/2.8
Not as low budget as shoe box and milk bottle
01-14-2022, 01:18 PM   #15
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The M-series 24mm f2.8 doesn't exist, right? There's the K version and the A version but no M. There's the 20 and two slightly different 28 f2.8's in the M series.

Sigma's Super-Wide II 24mm f2.8 reviewed quite well when it was new and the manual focus version seems to cost at or under $100 USD in good condition.
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