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04-13-2012, 03:08 PM   #1
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Best lens

I was just wondering which cheap or low end lenes will bring out the best from the K5 sensor

04-13-2012, 03:19 PM   #2
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It really depends on what you are going to use it for and whether you feel comfortable with used lenses. A good mid range lens, if you don't mind the weight, is the Tokina AT-X AF PRO 28-80 F2.8. They sell for sub $400(Seen some sub $300) on EBAY.

If you like primes, the Pentax SMC DA Macro lens 35mm f2.4 is a bargain lens. Durability is so so, but the image quality is amazing. New they can be had for under $200 on the web.
04-13-2012, 03:35 PM   #3
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For MF I can suggest several like the SuperTak 55/1.8 or SuperTak 50/1.4 but you need the M42-PK adapter for them. In the K mount range you could start with any of the 50/1.7s as they are very well thought of generally. In the AF range there are 3 that come to mind immediately - the new DA35/2.4 is a terrific and inexpensive little lens (around $200 now new), the FA50/1.4 is fast, accurate, and can get the shots in low light as can the older F50/1.7 each of which runs between $240 and $300 used.
04-13-2012, 04:21 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by reed_page Quote

If you like primes, the Pentax SMC DA Macro lens 35mm f2.4 is a bargain lens. Durability is so so, but the image quality is amazing. New they can be had for under $200 on the web.
I'm guessing you're refering to the SMC Pentax-DA 35mm f/2.4 which is not a macro lens.

If the OP is looking for a great zoom upgrade from the kit lens, I've used the DA 16-45mm f/4 on my K-01 (same sensor as K-5) and it performs very well. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone looking for a multipurpose, affordable upgrade to the kit.
In general with Pentax's currently available lenses, anything with a DA* label or a "Limited" label should perform excellently on the K-5, assuming of course you have a properly functioning kit. Also all the D-FA macro lenses.

If those lenses are above your budget, there are some great DA and FA primes currently available, namely the aforementioned DA 35/2.4 as well as the FA 50/1.4 (I think it's still available new). For zooms, you can't go wrong with the DA 16-45 f/4 and if you need more speed, the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 is said to be superb.

If you want to go used, I highly recommend browsing the excellent Lens Review database here at Pentax Forums.

04-13-2012, 04:33 PM   #5
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For me it are these: Tamron 28-70 f2.8 (great contrast and sharpness, not the fastest AF and is a little noisy), Tamron 90mm f2.8 macro (sharp and has good Boked, also a bit noisy), Sigma EX 50mm f1.4 (Great sharpness, great contrast, silent and Fast AF, good build quality, sharp at f1.4 and excellent bokeh), Sigma 8-16 HSM f4.5-5.6 (Superb image quality and contrast, excellent build quality, fast AF), Pentax DA*300mm (Good overall image quality, average contrast (for my taste), excellent build quality).
04-13-2012, 04:46 PM   #6
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It's a Pentax K5, you could put the top of a beer can on it and it would take a good pic !
Any Takumar or Manual Pentax lens ( A if possible ) are not too expensive and easy to find.
The trick is learning how each one is used to get the best out of it. I have a 100 year old Agfa lens adapted
to a M42 tube and it will take beautiful pics. ( When I use it right )
It's all for fun anyways.
04-13-2012, 04:54 PM   #7
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Now that there is the DA 35 f/2.4, there is one of the best value for money AF lenses available on just about any system. Its IQ is simply breathtaking , especially at f/5.6 to f/8. I've found it hard to give up even though I already have the FA 31 and 43...
04-13-2012, 06:22 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Swift1 Quote
I'm guessing you're refering to the SMC Pentax-DA 35mm f/2.4 which is not a macro lens....
You are correct. The SMC Pentax-DA 35mm f/2.4 is not a macro.
It was just my micro brain wishing it was a macro lens.

Still, IMHO the best prime lens for the price.

04-13-2012, 08:20 PM   #9
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The best bargain (used) Pentax lenses that I know of:

* SuperTakumar 55/1.8 (about US$50+) or 55/2 (under US$20) -- the 55/2 is THE low-price leader!
* F35-70, smallest zoom Pentax ever made, fastest AF, sharp as a bag of primes, costs about US$50.
* FA100-300/4.7-5.8 (silver), about US$100; are no better AF long zooms anywhere near that price.

What to avoid: most A-type zooms. Pentax squeezed out a few turds there. Read the lens reviews.
04-13-2012, 08:25 PM   #10
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I would have to say one of my personal favorites - the Vivitar 70~210 2.8-4.0 (Komine, Ver. 3 rev. 2); one of the sharpest lenses I have seen...
04-13-2012, 08:27 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
What to avoid: most A-type zooms. Pentax squeezed out a few turds there. Read the lens reviews.
With the exception of the great Pentax-A 35~105 3.5, a truly stellar performer...
04-13-2012, 09:31 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Swift1 Quote
I'm guessing you're refering to the SMC Pentax-DA 35mm f/2.4 which is not a macro lens.

If the OP is looking for a great zoom upgrade from the kit lens, I've used the DA 16-45mm f/4 on my K-01 (same sensor as K-5) and it performs very well. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone looking for a multipurpose, affordable upgrade to the kit.
In general with Pentax's currently available lenses, anything with a DA* label or a "Limited" label should perform excellently on the K-5, assuming of course you have a properly functioning kit. Also all the D-FA macro lenses.

If those lenses are above your budget, there are some great DA and FA primes currently available, namely the aforementioned DA 35/2.4 as well as the FA 50/1.4 (I think it's still available new). For zooms, you can't go wrong with the DA 16-45 f/4 and if you need more speed, the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 is said to be superb.

If you want to go used, I highly recommend browsing the excellent Lens Review database here at Pentax Forums.
Unfortunately the words "Cheap" and "Low End" are not in the DA* and "Limited" lexicon. Actually the 18-55 kit zoom is not that bad for a "cheap" lens and is rated much higher than other kit zooms out there. If you have one stick with it until you have saved enough pesos to buy a higher level lens. If you don't have one you can get one new on amazon from about $125 to $150 new. I would say that's a pretty sweet deal for a new lens that comes with a warranty.

here are some sample photos with the 18-55 from the forum page...pretty impressive shots from a lens under $200.
The Kit Lens Club!

These reviews will tell you where the sweet spot is for the lens and give you suggestions for it's best use.
You can turn on "Distortion Correction" and "Lat-Chromatic Ab Adj" to compensate should it give you trouble, (page 218, K5 Manual).

Pentax SMC DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL WR
Pentax SMC DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL WR - Lab Test / Review

Pentax DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL
Pentax SMC-DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL - Review / Test Report

Last edited by SuperK5; 04-13-2012 at 09:36 PM.
04-13-2012, 09:36 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by SuperK5 Quote
Unfortunately the words "Cheap" and "Low End" are not in the DA* and "Limited" lexicon. Actually the 18-55 kit zoom is not that bad for a "cheap" lens and is rated much higher than other kit zooms out there. If you have one stick with it until you have saved enough pesos to buy a higher level lens. If you don't have one you can get one new on amazon from about $125 to $150 new. I would say that's a pretty sweet deal for a new lens that comes with a warranty.

here are some sample photos with the 18-55 from the forum page...pretty impressive shots from an under $200 lens.
The Kit Lens Club!

These reviews will tell you where the sweet spot is for the lens and give you suggestions for it's best use.
You can turn on "Distortion Correction" and "Lat-Chromatic Ab Adj" to compensate should it give you trouble, (page 218, K5 Manual).

Pentax SMC DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL WR
Pentax SMC DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL WR - Lab Test / Review

Pentax DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL
Pentax SMC-DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL - Review / Test Report
You can also get the DAL and ver I models on the marketplace for around $40+shipping.
04-13-2012, 11:01 PM   #14
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The new 40XS perhaps to add to those already
04-14-2012, 03:37 AM   #15
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You have to figure out which focal lengths work for you if you opt for primes.

For outdoors, 50-55mm works quite well for me as a standard lens as I have the space to move around to frame the shot. On the cheap, a M50/1.7 can give brilliant results on the K5 (from experience); I paid roughly US$30 for mine. The other M lens that I have used is the M120/2.8; going price is higher but I was lucky and paid about the same as for the M50/1.7. Also with very nice results.

No experience with other cheap lenses on the K5. I still have to put my M42s to the test on the K5.
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