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03-27-2016, 04:00 AM   #1
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K1 - prime lens set - Samyang or FA ltd?

Okay assuming I am going to buy the K1 (looks likely at the moment) I am going to need lenses for it. My usage would be mostly landscapes in conjunction with my 645Z/28-45. I'm trying to decide if I just get the 2.8 zooms (15-30, 24-70) or whether I do something different and go for a nice set of primes. I am aware of the three amigo's but have no personal experience with them. I know they were designed for film a long time ago but they seem to have a good reputation. There is also the new irix 15mm that will soon be available, so that and the three amigo's would fill my most used focal range. There is also the sigma 35mm which is very tempting but bigger and sigma don't seem to have any other new generation primes for K-mount (yet).

However I was looking at the samyang website today and realised they actually have an outstanding range of primes available for K mount. I think they have a A setting on the aperture ring which lets them work as well as pentax lenses albeit without the AF? So I could get the 14, 35, 50, 80 and 100 macro and have a great set of primes for landscapes and nature. I don't mind manual focus as it would be a tripod based shooting and I will keep some Canon gear for when I need AF.

Again I have no experience with the Samyang gear so was wondering what people think of them - particularly sharpness and CA. The 14 seems popular.

Thoughts? I realize no one has tried these lenses on a K1 but they work similarly on Nikon or APS-c pentax.


Last edited by Gyroscope; 03-27-2016 at 07:09 AM.
03-27-2016, 04:07 AM   #2
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Get the 24, too. ☺

I have it, the 14 and 85.

I use them on Pentax APS-C and Sony FF.
03-27-2016, 04:52 AM   #3
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I recently bought my first Samyang 24/1.4 in preparation for the K-1 and while waiting for the lens I stumbled upon some negative tests where they talked about the focus ring having a large slack, and markings being way off and all kind of problems. Of course I didn't see any of those reports before ordering the lens.

Anyhow, the lens arrived and it seems I got lucky, or the testreporters where unlucky, my lens seems flawless. Absolutely no slack in the focus ring. Nice long throw for manual focusing, the marking is accurate. Stopped down to 4-5.6 it's really sharp (and I'm a proud pixel peeper) over the entire APS-C frame on my K-5, better then my 21 limited which is a little soft on the right side even when stopped down. It's surprisingly good already at 1.4 although not perfect, at 2.8 it's very good.

And it does have an A setting (with a lock so you don't accidentally turn the ring away from the A-position) everything except entering focus length and setting focus works as usual. I will definitely look at Samyang for the next lens as well.
03-27-2016, 05:26 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gyroscope Quote
I think they have a A setting on the aperture ring which lets them work as well as pentax lenses albeit without the AF?
Yes. Except maybe the telescopes and mirror lenses that are above 300mm. And I'm not sure about the 24mm f3.5 Tilt/shift.
I have Samyang 14mm and its a great lens. Sharp, full of detail, nice contrasts. It has its downsides, though. Mostly it was an issue of QC, and maybe it has been improved since.. But many of us had to return a copy, some even two, until getting one that isn't decentered. Of course decentering is a big problem for UWA lenses in general.
There is a Samyang lens club thread on these forums, with plenty of photos taken with pretty much all Samyang primes for K-mount, from 8mm to 135mm.

I carry around a kit of primes. Usually its Samyang 14mm, DA 35mm f2.4, DFA 100mm macro. Sometimes I switch them around, of course. For example, I might take 28mm or 50mm with me, or the 50-200mm on the rare occasion I would require telephoto above 100mm. But the Samyang 14mm is with me pretty much always, unless I am really really struggling with weight (its a big lens). I am more of a wide angle shooter, and would actually like to switch the DA 35mm for something a little wider, but its just such a great, affordable lens its difficult to find a good AF replacement (and I do want AF in that range, whereas at 14mm you can learn zone focusing and hyperfocal so MF is not a big problem)

QuoteOriginally posted by Gyroscope Quote
So I could get the 14, 35, 50, 80 and 100 macro
Do note that 85mm is notoriously difficult to focus on modern DSLRs. Modern viewfinders are small, optimized for composition and then using AF, not for MF. The focusing screen is optimized for f2.8 and slower lenses, not for super fast primes. So if you really want to use just a lot of MF primes, you might want to also get a focusing screen or viewfinder loupe. Plenty of thread about this, but nobody did it yet with the K-1, obviously.
Also note that Samyang lenses often have miscalibrated distance scale on focusing ring, so you might have to adjust it. I don't think they have DoF scales, at least my 14mm doesn't (but I learned hyperfocal through trial and error). Just wanted to let you know these things ahead of time, so you can make a good decision.
Oh, and one final thing lol Samyang is also sold under other names like vivitar, rokinon, bower, proOptic, falcon, Walimex.. and sometimes more than one is available in the same region, at different prices. Optically they are all identical. Vivitar sometimes has a different focusing ring texture


Last edited by Na Horuk; 03-27-2016 at 05:37 AM.
03-27-2016, 05:41 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gimbal Quote
I recently bought my first Samyang 24/1.4 in preparation for the K-1 and while waiting for the lens I stumbled upon some negative tests where they talked about the focus ring having a large slack, and markings being way off and all kind of problems. Of course I didn't see any of those reports before ordering the lens.

Anyhow, the lens arrived and it seems I got lucky, or the testreporters where unlucky, my lens seems flawless. Absolutely no slack in the focus ring. Nice long throw for manual focusing, the marking is accurate. Stopped down to 4-5.6 it's really sharp (and I'm a proud pixel peeper) over the entire APS-C frame on my K-5, better then my 21 limited which is a little soft on the right side even when stopped down. It's surprisingly good already at 1.4 although not perfect, at 2.8 it's very good.

And it does have an A setting (with a lock so you don't accidentally turn the ring away from the A-position) everything except entering focus length and setting focus works as usual. I will definitely look at Samyang for the next lens as well.
I have a 14/2.8 in the K mount. So far, I've been using it on a Sony a7mk2, but I plan to use in on a K-1 soon. Build and image quality are very good, but the markings are off as others have mentioned (at least when used on the Sony via an adapter). The only place really notice this is with astrophotography. If I set the lens to what is marked as infinity, the stars are out of focus. Not a big issue (I'm careful to focus with live view), but one to be aware of (after all, how often do you really focus by lens markings?). As to whether this problem affects lenses other than the 14mm, I don't know.

I don't mind that it's manual focus, but I do wish that the lens was chipped to make shake reduction and post processing easier.
03-27-2016, 05:41 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
I don't think they have DoF scales, at least my 14mm doesn't (but I learned hyperfocal through trial and error)
The 24/1.4 does have a DoF scale though.
03-27-2016, 05:43 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gimbal Quote
The 24/1.4 does have a DoF scale though.
Oh yeah, interesting. Wonder why the 14mm doesn't have it..
03-27-2016, 06:06 AM   #8
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Samyang 135mm!! It is stella! if you are after superb optics, then its a must, especially for the price. Here is but one of the many good reviews of it....



03-27-2016, 06:37 AM   #9
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Since you are using a tripod and the K-1 has focus peaking the Samyangs are a great option. I truly like the output from the 8mm fisheye that I have, sorry I have no others to write about. I would look at actual users reviews as a little more realistic than "professional" reviews, where they can make a tiny shortcoming into a reason to trash the lens. It seems many of those reviewers have a favorite that has no peers in their eyes, so the review is somewhat pre determined. I have none of the FA Limiteds either, though I would love to have them.
03-27-2016, 06:56 AM   #10
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First off: yes, the K-mount Samyang lenses all have the "A" aperture setting -- don't be fooled by product photos, as far too often sellers will just use a photo of the Canon EF-mount version (which doesn't have it) because they don't know any better or can't be bothered.

Personally, the only Samyang lens I have is the Rokinon-branded version of the 35mm f/1.4 AS UMC. It's faster than any other lens I have by half a stop, which combined with its normal field of view on APS-C makes it well suited for indoor shots. Packed it on my last Walt Disney World trip for just that purpose and it did well -- but I don't have most of those shots up on the web anywhere since they were just snapshots of us, like posing with Chef Mickey at his restaurant in the Contemporary.

Examples I do have include this, this, and especially this. It also does nice starbursts, certainly more impressive than the FA 43/1.9 Limited.

That said, there's no getting around the fact that it's still a much bigger lens than any Limited and it still doesn't have autofocus. I have an aftermarket super precision matte focusing screen from Focusing Screen that helps with focus quite a bit, and it wasn't a huge problem on the WDW trip, but the size is still there.

And I think that's the main compromise to consider here across the whole line of lenses: do you accept extra weight and bulk (and cheaper-feeling construction) for optics that are better corrected, or are you more willing to put up with some quirks (like the FA 77/1.8 Limited's purple fringing and the FA 43/1.9 Limited's field curvature) for premium feel, compact size, and undefinably pleasing rendering?

For comparison, here's an indoor portrait and a posed outdoor shot that I took with the FA 43/1.9 Limited, as well as this shot of nothing in particular that nevertheless has what I feel is a nice look to it.
Also, here's the outdoor portrait that convinced me never to sell that FA 77/1.8 Limited.
03-27-2016, 08:33 AM   #11
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I had the 8mm fe for awhile and was quite happy with it. Would buy Samyang again.

One concern is that Pentax says the focus screen is not changeable on the K-1. What that means for manual focus is unknown.
03-27-2016, 08:57 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
One concern is that Pentax says the focus screen is not changeable on the K-1. What that means for manual focus is unknown.
Really? But do they mean just... "officially not interchangeable", but you can still do it if you don't mind possibly losing warranty.. or do they mean impossible to do? Because Pentax recommended not to change it on past DSLRs as well, but it was still possible to do (albeit had its own risks and complications)
03-27-2016, 09:31 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gyroscope Quote
K1 - prime lens set - Samyang or FA ltd?
This is the dance where my "Ladies" step in...
03-27-2016, 09:58 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gyroscope Quote
Okay assuming I am going to buy the K1 (looks likely at the moment) I am going to need lenses for it. My usage would be mostly landscapes in conjunction with my 645Z/28-45. I'm trying to decide if I just get the 2.8 zooms (15-30, 24-70) or whether I do something different and go for a nice set of primes. I am aware of the three amigo's but have no personal experience with them. I know they were designed for film a long time ago but they seem to have a good reputation.

Thoughts? I realize no one has tried these lenses on a K1 but they work similarly on Nikon or APS-c pentax.
Speaking of FA Ltd.........I, IMHO, find that the FA 31 and FA 43 both work well on my Sony A7 II. I also have the Pentax-DA 35mm F2.8 Limited Macro. It also is excellent on the Sony FF. I see no reason that they should not be fine on the much-anticipated Pentax K-1.
03-27-2016, 12:13 PM   #15
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the three amigos and no thing else!!!
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