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03-08-2016, 09:24 AM   #1
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Which lens should be my first?

Hi all, my order is in! and I'm wondering which first lens I should purchase to go with my K-1? I shoot mostly people / portraiture and tend to like primes. Out of all the K-1 samples videos I like the images from the Adorama preview
So I'm thinking the 100mm macro could be useful. As an ex Canon user I was thinking you guys may know of some secret gems that I should consider.

Thanks

03-08-2016, 09:24 AM   #2
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FA Ltds?
03-08-2016, 09:27 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by bertwert Quote
FA Ltds?
Thanks could you be more specific? The different Pentax model numbers are definitely confusing to a newcomer
03-08-2016, 09:31 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by creative69 Quote
Thanks could you be more specific? The different Pentax model numbers are definitely confusing to a newcomer
Yep sorry:
FA 31/1.8 Limited
FA 43/1.9 Limited
FA 77/1.8 Limited

03-08-2016, 09:31 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by creative69 Quote
So I'm thinking the 100mm macro could be useful. As an ex Canon user I was thinking you guys may know of some secret gems that I should consider.
That is a great lens. Can't go wrong with it. Though, it is super sharp and has an almost clinical precision, so it might be a bit too much for portraiture (where you often want a lens with a lot of character, nice skin tones, a lens that doesn't brutally show every single wrinkle, blemish)
Also to consider are DA* 55mm f1.4 and FA 77mm ltd. These are the main Pentax portrait primes. They render skin tones nicely, they have nice bokeh, and they have really nice character to them.
If you want some budget primes that still deliver great IQ, think about the DA 35mm f2.4 and DA 50mm f1.8. These can both be found for really low prices, but they are both from a lineage of good quality lenses. I expect Pentax will soon re-make them as HD DFA versions.
Congrats on ordering the great camera! Pentax has many special primes. You can check the current lineup (and past lenses) here: Pentax Lens Search | PentaxForums.com
Just check Pentax K, choose the approximate focal length, choose In Production and Image format FF.

Edit: If DA and FA are confusing, here is the scoop. Pentax has lenses in series, generally one series at a time. M was the first (preceded by just "Pentax" lenses, which are now called Pentax K, as they were the first K-mount series.), then A (this one is back when auto-aperture was added), then F (this is when AF was added), then FA (90s, 2000, these and all later have full automation on modern Pentax DSLRs), then DA (these are optimized for digital, they might have slightly different lens coatings and lack aperture ring, DoF scales due to shorter focusing throw), and now DFA. All of these are K-mount and will work on your modern Pentax DSLR to the best of their capabilities (for example, a lens from the 70s, before AF was invented, will not gain AF)
All except some DA lenses are FF compatible. Here is a user generated list of DA lenses that are compatible: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/54-pentax-lens-articles/31629-da-lenses-f...ts-thread.html
There are also other resources. The PentaxForums has a list, as does the official Ricoh thingy. I prefer the test shots taken by users.

Last edited by Na Horuk; 03-08-2016 at 09:38 AM.
03-08-2016, 09:31 AM   #6
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Pentax Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
Here is the FA 77mm: SMC Pentax-FA 77mm F1.8 Limited Reviews - FA Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
03-08-2016, 09:32 AM   #7
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A normal prime.
40mm-55mm range, good low-light capabilities (f/2 or better).
my 2c.
03-08-2016, 09:46 AM   #8
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I would consider the Sigma 85 / 1.4

03-08-2016, 09:47 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
That is a great lens. Can't go wrong with it. Though, it is super sharp and has an almost clinical precision, so it might be a bit too much for portraiture (where you often want a lens with a lot of character, nice skin tones, a lens that doesn't brutally show every single wrinkle, blemish)
Also to consider are DA* 55mm f1.4 and FA 77mm ltd. These are the main Pentax portrait primes. They render skin tones nicely, they have nice bokeh, and they have really nice character to them.
Thank you for the detailed response! Yes I have seen some impressive images with the DA *55 but I'm still yet to ascertain if its a true full frame lens? i.e no crop mode needed.
03-08-2016, 09:47 AM - 1 Like   #10
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The 100 Macro WR was pretty much made for the K-1 (though it could be argued it was really intended for the abortive MZ-D), but it has two problems. The first is in regard to portraiture - macro lenses are said to show people's flaws too well to be portrait lenses (YMMV).

The other problem is that because the majority of its focus range is in or near the macro zone, it tends to hunt very badly when shifting from near to far targets, or when the edge of the subject is ambiguous and the AF module locks on to the background. Fortunately it has QuickShift, which means you can dial the focus in roughly without switching to MF and then half-press the shutter button to snap to the exact focus. This is all bitter-experience stuff.

That being said, once you get past those issues it has excellent image quality and is AFAIK Pentax's only WR macro lens, an advantage when it comes to scrabbling through the undergrowth photographing things that slither and creep (which is more or less what it's optimised for). The other thing is that if you ever decide to get into Pentax film bodies - specifically those which offer program, aperture and shutter priority modes along with AF - it will of course be as suitable for them as it is for the K-1.

For a portrait prime, you may be better off going for the 77mm FA Limited; for a general purpose prime, the 43mm Limited is the way to go. If you want fast, the 50mm FA f/1.4 is guaranteed full-frame (there is ongoing debate about the DA* 55mm), does nice work (IMHO), and is still in production (as well as cropping up at good prices on the Marketplace here). If you want the fastest there is in K mount, you have to go manual focus - 50mm f/1.2 Pentax A.
03-08-2016, 10:45 AM   #11
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Hi and welcome to Pentax!

For portraiture, check out the FA77 f1.8 LTD. If ever there was a lens made for portraiture, this is it! It's superbly sharp (in a way that favours portraiture), has lovely bokeh, gorgeous colours, superb micro contrast.

But over and above all that, it's got what we in the Pentax community call "pixie dust". There's a certain magical touch it gives to images - very hard to put in words but it's there, and certainly noticeable, and makes a picture stand out in a very special way that's hard to replicate otherwise.

For an excellent standard, normal lens, I would recommend the FA43 f1.9 Ltd. The description given above perfectly fits the FA43 LTD as well, and for that matter, the FA31 LTD also, if you're interested in a wide angle. The 77, 43 & 31 were designed to be a trio. In the Pentax community we call them the "Three Sisters" or "Three Amigos".
03-08-2016, 10:45 AM   #12
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Sigma 85mm https://www.flickr.com/groups/1619491@N24/
77mm LTD https://www.flickr.com/groups/1417012@N20/pool/
03-08-2016, 11:03 AM   #13
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As a 645Z owner, have you considered using an adapter for your current lenses with the K-1?

Ultimately it's a decision between cost, convenience, and quality. If cost and convenience are paramount, then the soon to be released PENTAX-D FA 28-105mm f/3.5-5.6 ED DC WR Lens for $500 is the way to go.

If convenience and quality are paramount, then the Pentax-D FA 24-70mm f/2.8ED SDM WR Lens for $1300 is a great first lens.

Personally, quality is paramount for me, more than convenience or to some degree cost, so I would work on building toward 3 primes. In order of my acquisition stages:

1) Pentax SMCP-FA 43mm f/1.9 Limited ($460)
2) Waiting for the FF 20-21mm prime. Until then, Pentax HD D-FA 15-30mm f/2.8 ED SDM WR ($1450)
3) Pentax SMC D-FA 100mm f/2.8 WR Macro ($370) or Pentax SMCP-FA 77mm f/1.8 Limited ($700)
03-08-2016, 11:11 AM   #14
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For portraiture i will go with the Sigma 85mm / FA Ltd 77mm / and perhaps the DA* 55mm ( it is supposed to work with FF too )... a 100mm macro could be nice to make closeups... If you are looking for zoom, the 70-200 f2.8 is a most have lens for portraiture
03-08-2016, 11:42 AM   #15
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FA 50 1.4 if you don't want to deal with manual focus. Lots of nice manual focus 50mm primes from Pentax over the years. I have a M series 50mm 1.4 that I've used to capture some nice images with but I don't find it enjoyable to focus unless I have a lot of time to grab the shot. There's also the plastic built DA 50 1.8 which sells for about $100 USD right now, new, and it reviews really well. In some ways I regret not getting this lens but I wanted that lower f-stop.

I'd also consider a Helios 44, maybe a 58mm f2 job, for "fun" portrait projects. Never held one so grain of salt, others can chime in.
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