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04-29-2019, 01:46 PM   #1
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Help me not to part with my beloved K-01

So I've owned and loved the Pentax K-01 brick for a good 6 years or so now but in that time my photography needs have evolved.

For some background, I only can afford to have one system and cannot afford the really amazing limited lenses or indeed something like the fabulous full frame K-1 (which would solve all my problems!).

After weeks of searching I've hit a dead end with the K-01 and that is the need for a good IQ, fast, wide prime lens that doesn't break the bank.

To date, my most used lens is an old manual prime 24mm f2.8 (with macro capabilities) which I seem to prefer shooting with as it's the widest I have. The problem is I really need something wider (between 14-18mm or thereabouts) with at least f2.8 (faster ideally) and ideally something with good low light AF speed on K-01.


The sheer cost of getting a lens of this type has got me thinking about changing systems altogether (for the same price as the lens I could get a used more modern system and still have change). I've even been considering the likes of the fixed lens Ricoh GR series which seem excellent, provide a fast-ish wide lens without much compromise to IQ. I've also been trying to think outside the box with eg. focal reducers, but see there is no such thing as PK-PK focal reducer which as I understand it would have helped lessen the APS-C crop factor and make my existing lenses more useful.


So if anyone can point me to some fast wide prime lens options within the $150-200 budget (used) that I may not have considered yet for the K-01 I'd be grateful as would ideally love to keep "the brick"!

04-29-2019, 01:51 PM - 1 Like   #2
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This 16mm F2 lens sounds like it might fit the bill:
Rokinon 16mm f/2.0 ED AS UMC CS Lens for Pentax K APS-C 16M-P

Another (admittedly more expensive) option would be the 15mm F4 limited, which is hard to go wrong with, even though it's a bit slower.

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04-29-2019, 02:11 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
This 16mm F2 lens sounds like it might fit the bill:
Rokinon 16mm f/2.0 ED AS UMC CS Lens for Pentax K APS-C 16M-P

Another (admittedly more expensive) option would be the 15mm F4 limited, which is hard to go wrong with, even though it's a bit slower.
Thanks Adam, it's a pity the Rokinon is manual focus, I've been really tempted by it (seeing as I MF quite a bit) and might still be tempted further if I knew it was a good fit (ie not too big) with the K-01 and had good IQ.

I've considered the Pentax 15mm f4 but to date have not found one within budget and would really really like something faster for low light indoor/moving subjects (not wanting to use flash).


The 21mm f3.2 is getting closer in terms of aperture but then pushes the focal length the wrong way.... this is the one I've been closest to buying on the used market.

I've considered some of the old glass vivitar/cosina 19mm f3.8 but IQ (from what I've seen) looks a bit below par and they're also quite slow...
04-29-2019, 02:13 PM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Penta Quote
Help me not to part with my beloved K-01
It would be my pleasure

Good glass remains relevant long after a specific model of digital camera has been superseded, or failed and become uneconomical to repair. I'm using glass from the 1950s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s and 10s on my DSLR and mirrorless cameras. They're all still relevant, they all give great pleasure and many give fantastic results. I can enjoy them whatever body I choose to put them on. Adding a great new (or old) lens to your kit is a long-term and versatile investment that will deliver enjoyment and value long after your K-01 has given up.

Of course, fixed lens compact cameras like the GR series have a huge advantage in terms of size and portability, making them ideal for certain situations and applications where your K-01 and SLR lenses would be less than optimal. So, the choice and justifications ultimately need to be yours and yours alone...


Last edited by BigMackCam; 04-29-2019 at 02:20 PM.
04-29-2019, 02:22 PM   #5
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I've found a cheap 1st generation Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4.5 DC Macro which is also tempting me but I'm concerned about the bulkiness on K-01, the handling and whether the K-01 would AF without issue? Also would IQ at wide end come close to a wide prime?


Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4.5 DC Macro Lens Reviews - Sigma Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database
04-29-2019, 02:36 PM - 1 Like   #6
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I'd recommend to check out DA* 16-50mm vs. Sigma and Tamron 17-50mm F2.8 Comparison Review - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews. The Tamron may fit your needs within budget, with some compromises but a lot of flexibility in return.
04-29-2019, 02:42 PM - 1 Like   #7
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It might be easier if you tell us which other options you've considered with costs that you find acceptable. That way, we can suggest alternatives within those cost boundaries. If you're considering a $150 lens for the K-01, but you'd also accept spending considerably more (as you'd have to) for a decent GR series camera, it's not really a fair or useful comparison. My point being, you're not going to get a $150 lens for your K-01 that's going to give you comparable results to a GRII, for example

Last edited by BigMackCam; 04-29-2019 at 02:52 PM.
04-29-2019, 02:50 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
It would be my pleasure

Good glass remains relevant long after a specific model of digital camera has been superseded, or failed and become uneconomical to repair. I'm using glass from the 1950s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s and 10s on my DSLR and mirrorless cameras. They're all still relevant, they all give great pleasure and many give fantastic results. I can enjoy them whatever body I choose to put them on. Adding a great new (or old) lens to your kit is a long-term and versatile investment that will deliver enjoyment and value long after your K-01 has given up.

Of course, fixed lens compact cameras like the GR series have a huge advantage in terms of size and portability, making them ideal for certain situations and applications where your K-01 and SLR lenses would be less than optimal. So, the choice and justifications ultimately need to be yours and yours alone...
Thanks Bigmack I can see you have a lot of experience with pentax gear and I appreciate what you say.


Only for the price of decent wide prime glass alone for the K-01 (and this hobby amateur) it seems that there are a few other very well respected aps-c mirrorless options out there on the used market that would fit my needs pretty well with eg.16mm AF pancake f2.4-2.8 and I would still have change to spare after selling my setup.


I'm really gutted I've got to the point I'm desperate enough to even consider trading in my Pentax gear for another system as I love it and have put so much time into trying to make it work but unless I can find something soon (I've wasted too much time dreaming already).


The only redeeming thing is that the K-01 in all her glory (and Pentax) keeps pulling me back...


FYI budget would be $200 if I found a lens that worked and kept the K-01 or obviously more if I sold all my current gear (K-01 + 4 lenses +) and got something else.

---------- Post added 04-29-19 at 10:53 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by JensE Quote
I'd recommend to check out DA* 16-50mm vs. Sigma and Tamron 17-50mm F2.8 Comparison Review - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews. The Tamron may fit your needs within budget, with some compromises but a lot of flexibility in return.
Thanks a lot I will check those out, hopefully handling/AF/IQ at wide end may be acceptable on K-01.

04-29-2019, 03:00 PM - 1 Like   #9
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What alternative system are you considering which provides a good, cheap, fast, autofocus wide prime?

I used the Sigma 17-50/2.8 on my K-01, and did not find the combination unwieldy at all. I'm pretty sure the 17-70/2.8-4.5 is smaller. I really enjoyed my K-01, but fast low light autofocus was not its strong suit. If your budget is really as limited as you suggest, you'll have to accept some compromises in your wish list.
04-29-2019, 03:05 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Penta Quote
Thanks Bigmack I can see you have a lot of experience with pentax gear and I appreciate what you say.
I have a reasonable amount of experience with a lot of equipment - Pentax certainly, but also Sony, and a smattering of others. I'm definitely no expert, though, but nor am I a complete beginner, and I'd like to help if I can

QuoteOriginally posted by Penta Quote
Only for the price of decent wide prime glass alone for the K-01 (and this hobby amateur) it seems that there are a few other very well respected aps-c mirrorless options out there on the used market that would fit my needs pretty well with eg.16mm AF pancake f2.4-2.8 and I would still have change to spare after selling my setup.

I'm really gutted I've got to the point I'm desperate enough to even consider trading in my Pentax gear for another system as I love it and have put so much time into trying to make it work but unless I can find something soon (I've wasted too much time dreaming already).
May I ask what the aps-c mirrorless camera and lens options are that you've considered, and what the additional cost would be if you sold your K-01 and used the funds towards that mirrorless purchase?

I should, at this point, add that I'm not a Pentax "fanboy" (I hate that word, but in this context it's useful). What I mean to say is, I'm not blinkered to other systems - in fact, I shoot Sony in addition to Pentax, and I'd quite happily shoot other systems too if they suited my requirements. I see nothing wrong with switching or adding systems. But, there are always many factors to weigh up. And the free market has a way of influencing the value of things (especially used) such that, if one option is significantly cheaper than another, there's typically very good reasons for that...
04-29-2019, 03:15 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
What alternative system are you considering which provides a good, cheap, fast, autofocus wide prime?

I used the Sigma 17-50/2.8 on my K-01, and did not find the combination unwieldy at all. I'm pretty sure the 17-70/2.8-4.5 is smaller. I really enjoyed my K-01, but fast low light autofocus was not its strong suit. If your budget is really as limited as you suggest, you'll have to accept some compromises in your wish list.
Thanks for your feedback on handling and I agree about the autofocus perhaps it's time for me to upgrade to a bigger body, something like the K-S2 which might handle low light AF better with the bigger zoom lenses? I just love the form factor and casual nature of the K-01 and a wide prime combo would be so perfect.

On the used aps-c mirrorless market the likes of Fuji, Sony are the main contenders that are making me consider going to the dark side (ie. life without pentax boo)
04-29-2019, 03:23 PM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Penta Quote
On the used aps-c mirrorless market the likes of Fuji, Sony are the main contenders that are making me consider going to the dark side (ie. life without pentax boo)
I must confess there's a little voice whispering "Fuji" in my ear as well, but given your budgetary constraints the total cost of a switch needs to be seriously considered. Totally your call though
04-29-2019, 03:30 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
May I ask what the aps-c mirrorless camera and lens options are that you've considered, and what the additional cost would be if you sold your K-01 and used the funds towards that mirrorless purchase?
Older Sony Nex series mainly although I know the cheaper glass (eg.16mm pancake) is probably not the greatest (a bit soft) but at least looks quite acceptable from what I've seen.


What's holding me back is the Sony software/menus/general handling look quite cumbersome/irritating compared with Pentax + IQ and moire filters vs K-01 turn me off...
04-29-2019, 03:43 PM - 1 Like   #14
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You should be able to find a used DA 16-45 for fairly little. I have not used it myself but it got quite reasonable reviews. It is an f4 lens. For a little more you could get a Sigma 17-50 f2.8. An excellent lens, my favourite for the K-01. One stop brighter than the DA lens and with a more modern focusing system. Slightly less wide and bulkier though.
04-29-2019, 03:44 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
I must confess there's a little voice whispering "Fuji" in my ear as well, but given your budgetary constraints the total cost of a switch needs to be seriously considered. Totally your call though
For sure the costs are leading me to pretty old bodies with the fuji system... and then the fuji lenses sheeesh they're in a whole different price bracket altogether!


If you haven't checked this guy out on youtube already (he's a big fan of the Pentax Q/M-X1/Ricoh GR), his M-X1 video got me frothing at the mouth and wondering whether this little brass Pentaxian wonder could be my dream camera/partner to the K-01:





---------- Post added 04-30-19 at 12:06 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by gylfimag Quote
You should be able to find a used DA 16-45 for fairly little. I have not used it myself but it got quite reasonable reviews. It is an f4 lens. For a little more you could get a Sigma 17-50 f2.8. An excellent lens, my favourite for the K-01. One stop brighter than the DA lens and with a more modern focusing system. Slightly less wide and bulkier though.



The 16-45's been on my wishlist for a few years now but does look quite bulky for K-01 (although IQ as you say seems excellent) and a bit slow for night, indoor, moving subjects without flash... the sigma/tamron 17-50 definitely looks more appealing in that sense and great to hear another success story handling with the K-01, thanks for the tips.

My first choice if I was going zoom (not fixed prime which I'd prefer) would be the pentax 18-135mm... it definitely seems like a keeper, nice size, good AF and overall excellent IQ (at least for what I need). I've found one at top end of my budget and have been ever so close... the only thing that held me back was the size vs small prime, handling (again being a zoom on the viewfinder-lacking K-01), and it's slower than I'd like. But I suppose beggars can't be choosers!

Thank you all for the much appreciated help, does anyone have experience with the 17-50 sigma/tamron vs Pentax 18-135 on the K-01?



Last edited by Penta; 04-29-2019 at 04:06 PM.
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