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09-21-2009, 10:54 AM   #1
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What are your 3 favorite lenses?

Why? If you'd like to join in please attach your favorite photo from each lens illustrating what you love about it (Pentax has too much great glass to pick only one... though I do mean any brand lens!).

Last edited by Leya216; 09-21-2009 at 11:22 AM. Reason: Yup- I meant ANY brand lens...
09-21-2009, 11:10 AM   #2
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For me, best lens is DA*55/1.4 I have a DA*16-50 and DA*50-135 whose are nice too.
I like FA35/2 but now, I'm looking for FA31/1.8....

DA*55/1.4 :
09-21-2009, 11:21 AM   #3
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EDIT: I forgot to say what I love about each lens.

My favourites are definitely my 50mm F1.4 Asahi Pentax A. I love its tack sharp images, even wiiiide open! The bokeh can be busy sometimes, but if handled right, the bokeh is textured, but silky smooth:

My Sigma 10-20 (You said 3 favourite lenses, not specifically 3 Pentax lenses!) 10mm is a whole lot of fun to shoot with. Enough said:

And my DA* 50-135 F2.8. This is my workhorse lens. If I want a great shot with as little as work as possible, this is the one I pull out. It's silent, fast and with the lens hood mounted, it always impresses the clients with its sleekness:

And if the Sigma doesn't count as a Pentax lens, then my runner up would be my 100mm F2.8 Macro. The only sharper lens that I own is my Asahi 50mm. This lens is stupidly sharp. Ridiculous, even. The autofocus is finicky at macro distances, but excellent in all other situations, like in portraiture.

I love these lenses immensely.

Last edited by Dubious Drewski; 09-21-2009 at 11:36 AM.
09-21-2009, 11:23 AM   #4
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Original Poster
I was just enjoying your 10-20mm photos on the other thread. AMAZING!

09-21-2009, 11:59 AM   #5
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My three favourite lenses – tough call. I have a lot of lenses but I’ll limit my list to the ones I currently own, have used a lot and reach for most often.
Surprisingly, they are all older manual focus lenses. In no special order:

SMC Pentax K 300/4

This one might surprise a few of you. It is much maligned by some due to CAs/PF and lack of a tripod collar but I like it a lot.
It has produced some of my favourite images and isn't that the ultimate goal?

SMC Pentax K 200/2.5

This lens is very versatile and I use it frequently when shooting in dimly lit auditoriums and gyms. I also use it for outdoor sports,
nature shots, football, rugby, field hockey, soccer etc. This lens has lots of reach and is fast enough to deliver in difficult
conditions. The SMC K 200/2.5 is my all time favourite manual focus lens. Come to think of it it is my favourite lens of any type or focal
length period. It is a bit heavy but feels great in the hand. This was the fastest 200mm lens Pentax ever made and delivers sharp,
contrasty images with great colour. If I were forced to keep only one lens this would be the one.

SMC Pentax A 100/2.8 macro

This is a really sharp macro with a fairly fast maximum aperture. It will provide life-size images without extension tubes.
It also doubles up as a good portrait lens in a pinch but might be a bit too sharp for some folks in this regard. No AF but
this is not really an issue for a macro to my mind.

That’s my list for what it is worth.

Tom G

Last edited by 8540tomg; 10-02-2009 at 01:12 PM. Reason: typo
09-21-2009, 02:49 PM   #6
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1. Pentax A* 200mm f4 Macro: It's a great FL for insect shots, reproduces colors very nicely, and is super sharp. Macro photography is my favorite genre so this tops the list.

2. Pentax FA* 85mm f1.4: Great bokeh, sharp even wide open, perfect colors, and well controlled CAs.

3. Pentax DA* 16-50mm f2.8: Weathersealed, another lens with perfect colors(as far as I'm concerned), sharp, and quiet.

I'd post some photos with these lenses but unfortunately I only have internet on my phone.
09-21-2009, 02:51 PM   #7
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+ FA 77mm f/1.8 LTD

+ FA 35mm f/2

+ DA* 50-135mm f/2.8
09-21-2009, 03:05 PM   #8

Easy choices...

Helios 44m 58mm F2 / Cosina 55 1.2 TIE for 1st

Tair 11A 135 2.8 2nd

Vivitar 28mm F2.8 close focus 3rd


Last edited by Igilligan; 09-22-2009 at 01:04 AM.
09-21-2009, 03:20 PM   #9
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1. Helios-44K-4

2. Tamron 90mm f/2.8 AF Macro / Tomioka-Yashinon 60mm f/2.8 Macro (M42) (TIE)



3. Pentax DA 70mm f/2.4 Ltd.

Last edited by deadwolfbones; 09-21-2009 at 03:26 PM.
09-21-2009, 05:55 PM   #10
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Hey MCR, the DA*55/1.4 seems to be a winner. I was curious when the first tests were undecided for this lens, that's usually a good sign
for me. Unfortunately the price of that lens is not so undecided .-(

Deadwolfbones, last shot with the two dogs is really classy.

Leya 216, thanks for asking the question and including alternative glass! My photography is heavily gravitating towards 'long bokeh', good
skintones and 'the perception of roundness', so here goes:

#3: Carl Zeiss Jena MC Sonnar 3.5/135 - a color bomb and a bokeh wonder, right from f/3.5 (this one could be f/3.5, not sure)

#2: A legend with rather tough look here: Leica Summicron R 2/50 1st version. Many people stop searching here but...

...#1: Mamiya Sekor SX 1.4/55 a.k.a. Contarex Planar a.k.a. Rolleinar-MC. For me: The best in bokeh, full open and 3D. Simply the best.

All pics from K100D. Keep them coming, Georg (the other)

Last edited by georgweb; 09-22-2009 at 05:57 AM.
09-21-2009, 06:20 PM   #11
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Man...that's a tough one. I don't use any legacy I'll stick to what I have/own.

I love everything about this lens. The only thing I would change, if I could, would be to add quick shift focusing.

Damn...this is tough.... uhhhh

Workhorse lens that is amazing in every way...and was only $200. If I could change one thing that would be a proper OEM hood (that reversed for storage).

When I got this lens I a fun lens to play with. When I got to using it I realized that it is a serious piece of equipment that is extremely capable. At 10mm and at 17mm it's like having two separate prime lenses - one fisheye and one near rectilinear. Amazingly versatile and striking images abound.

09-21-2009, 07:11 PM   #12
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Mine must be:

Sigma 17-70 : jack of all trades, very sharp with beautiful colours. It's my "always on" lens.

Pentax F50/1,7: so sharp, light, fast, convenient, fast to AF. gotta love it.

Pentax FA50 macro. Amazing in all regards. Nuff said.

Runner-up : Vivitar series 1 70-210 f3,5. Best contrast and saturation I've seen, its weigth and MF means it's not used often.
09-21-2009, 09:16 PM   #13
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FA 77ltd - If my copy had dropped through a dimensional doorway into Middle Earth,
Frodo would have cast it into Mount Doom along with the One Ring. Some objects
just have too much magic for the world.

DA 35ltd - shows you in no uncertain terms what the best of the DA line brings to
the table - undiluted contrast and punch strong enough to kill.

M 85 f/2 - This lens just has it. For me. Others don't get it. Maybe I don't get it.
I don't care, it makes my top 3.


DA 35

M 85

09-21-2009, 11:46 PM   #14
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I suppose these are the three lenses I'd give up last if forced to give any up. Basically, I picked the lenses I seem to get the most "keepers" from...

Tamron SP AF 70-200mm - stellar sharpness and a great range for landscapes - plus it's the perfect lens for candids of my son!

Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Macro - again, sharpness, bokeh, great portraits too...

DA* 16-50mm - I suppose I need something that's not telephoto . Lovely rendering from this lens.

09-22-2009, 12:13 AM   #15
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Three lens?

+1 Pentax DA* 16-50 f/2.8
+1 Pentax DA* 50-135 f/2.8
+1 Sigma 10-20

Basically, the three lens that I have at this point. I really want to get my hands on DA35 macro, and DA40 but maybe later down the road.

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