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12-11-2017, 10:56 PM   #1
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Another "which lens for the K-1?" thread

Hi, Sorry for yet another of these type of threads, but...
I'm nearing the purchase of a K-1 to augment or possibly replace my K5-IIs. I enjoy landscape/outdoor photography and do very little indoor or portrait shots. On the K5 my go favorite lens is the DA15 but I also have the DFA 100 for macros (currently the DFA 100 is my only FF lens).
My original thought was to purchase the K1 with the FA 31, given that I already have the DFA100 and that I might eventually add an UWA lens like the Samyang 14.
Since then I've read that the 28-105 is really quite good and can be had currently at B&H as a package for only $300 more than the K1 body alone.
The problem is the k-1/28-105 package + FA31 really strains the limits of my budget.
One other factor is that if I buy the K-1 body separately it currently comes with the grip included.
So it comes down to:
k1 + grip + FA31 vs K1 + 28-105 and look for a used FA 31 down the road

12-11-2017, 11:11 PM   #2
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It's a tough call, but if you're getting the K-1 for its image quality it would make sense to go for the prime first. I wouldn't worry too much about the deal because you can get one but not both, and the value is comparable.

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12-12-2017, 12:09 AM   #3
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I'd say, no advice will serve. Only the personal feeling is the right one.
12-12-2017, 12:20 AM   #4
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If you want a UWA, there's an IRIX 11mm "Firefly" version f/4 on sale at Adorama for $489 here: IRIX 11mm f/4.0 Firefly Lens for Pentax DSLR Cameras - Manual Focus

12-12-2017, 01:36 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by timfrommn Quote
Similar to you, I came from a K-5 - the first version in my case. As such, you shouldn't hesitate to continue to use your APS-C lenses in crop mode: You'll not sacrifice any quality in comparison. In fact the my HD DA 15mm still sees some use in square crop mode - there's simply almost nothing matching its performance against the sun, even having accumulated several new lenses. The strategy then could be to acquire excellent full-frame lenses for exactly those situations, for which you hope to boost the optical performance most. E.g., if you shoot people in available light, the DA 100mm WR will do for tight portrait shots (and yes, it does serve well for that purpose), while you may acquire a new bright lens like the 31mm LTD for full-body shots ... If however your primary concern are landscape shots, by all means do get the wonderful D-FA 28-105mm and use your DA 15mm meanwhile for ultra-wides with pixel shift.
12-12-2017, 01:45 AM   #6
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It all comes down to personal preference in terms of zoom vs. prime. I prefer primes first of all for their image quality but mostly because they limit me and thereby push me to be more creative in terms of composition and to move around and be less lazy.

I started my K-1 kit with the Sigma 35mm and have since added the DFA 100mm WR and an old Tokina RMC II 17mm. At the moment I’m pretty happy with these three. But the Tokina will be replaced by a modern wide angle prime when my budget allows. I shoot mostly landscape, astro, portrait and street and have not felt limited by my three prime kit just yet.

So if I were you, I‘d get the 31mm Limited along with the K-1.
12-12-2017, 02:48 AM - 1 Like   #7
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I wouldn't want to be without any of them, but if I had to choose between the 28-105 and the 31 I'd go with the 31. Together with the 100 you'll have a fabulous kit.

I prefer using primes when I can, but when I need a zoom the 28-105 does a wonderful job. I find it nice and sharp at all focal lengths and apertures.

The hardest to replace will be the DA15. It's quite unique in being such a tiny UWA, super flare resistant, and wonderfully contrasty. The DFA15-30 looks like a fantastic lens, but it's huge (and expensive). My solution has been to get an A20/2.8. It's quite light and compact, and performs well. Not quite as the DA15, but I enjoy using it. (I have a few shots from the 20 here: Pentax-A 20/2.8 | Flickr)

I have no experience with the Samyang 14mm, but those who have it seem happy enough.
12-12-2017, 05:35 AM   #8
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You could use the DA 35mm F2.4 AL on the K-1. it's cheap and works great. There is no real ultra wide modern prime for the K-1 except from third party MF offerings (Samyang, Irix). Those are on the roadmap. Your Legacy alternatives are the Pentax-m 20mm F4, Pentax-a 20mm F2.8 and Pentax FA 20mm F2.8.

12-12-2017, 05:45 AM   #9
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Both the 28-105 and 31 are great on the K1. If I had to break down my kit to just two lenses that I would carry everywhere it would be these two. Probably you should try get both. Question of which one to get first.

I would recommend the zoom first because it's a much lower initial outlay, and it's cool to use the K1 with a modern lens with modern focusing drive etc. It's also go more versatility, and is fractionally wider. The 31mm you're more likely to find second hand, if you want to go that route.

Buy it as a kit lens with the K1 and don't get the grip, which has negligible value to my mind, and I think you will need to buy a second battery on top.
12-12-2017, 06:15 AM   #10
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I am not a grip guy. I have one for my K-3 and I don't use it. It is nice to have just in case I need extra power but I really never do. So the group for the k-1 seems like just extra weight to me. You have to decide if it is something you need.

Another option to consider is the FA 35 F2 this overlooked lens is much cheaper than the FA 31, better built than the DA 35 F2.4, fully full frame, and while it isn't quite the same as having the 31 it is still a lovely bit of glass.
12-12-2017, 07:12 AM - 1 Like   #11
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I really didn't even enjoy my K-1 until I got my DFA 28-105. My original zoom was my FA 35-80... which gave me some awesome images, but not enough range. SO a DFA 28-105 for $300, That's a deal. I paid a lot more.

But if you are a prime guy, that of course is blasphemy. My most used primes on my K-1 ar the FA 50 macro, and DFA 100 macro for walk around lenses DA*200 and Tamron 300 telephoto lenses and a DA*60-250 which is normal to telephoto on a K-1.. I own but rarely use a couple of 35mm lenses like the 35 2.4 but I prefer the 40XS to them.

So based on my usage I'd be looking 28-105 and 40 XS, although the FA 50 1.7 is also a great low light lens on the K-1 and not as expensive as many other options to get to 1.7. The DA 50 1.8 is an even cheaper low light option.

But when the K-1 goes out the door, it usually has the DFA 28-105 on it.

So, I'd get a DFA 28-105, FA 50 1.7 or DA 50 1.8 for low light situations immediately and look for a 31 second hand if I wanted to go that route.

Last edited by normhead; 12-12-2017 at 07:22 AM.
12-12-2017, 08:12 AM   #12
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for $300 more to get the DFA 28-105, it is a great deal, if you decide not to keep it, let me know, I will buy it from you at cost and post.
12-12-2017, 09:12 AM   #13

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QuoteOriginally posted by timfrommn Quote
... landscape/outdoor photography and do very little indoor or portrait shots ... k1 + grip + FA31 vs K1 + 28-105 and look for a used FA 31 down the road ...
If you don't care about the grip (I don't), go with the 28-105 first. It's versatile, sharp, weather resistant, and compact. I have zero image quality concerns with my 28-105. IMO the FA 31 only benefit over the 28-105 is when you need a very wide aperture, uncommon for landscapes.

You can add the FA 31 later. Or, maybe after using the K-1 w/ 28-105 for a while, you might opt to prioritize some other focal length instead of 31mm.
12-12-2017, 11:25 AM - 1 Like   #14
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Thanks for all the responses and information. I went ahead and ordered the kit with the 28-105 lens. In addition to the arguments made here, what tipped me towards the zoom is that it appears that I could probably save $300 on the FA31 by going used in the future, and as was pointed out, the grip is probably overkill for my usage.
12-12-2017, 04:08 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by timfrommn Quote
the grip is probably overkill for my usage
I think you did well. I'll add that since you like landscape and outdoor photography, you probably move around, and for me, I don't want the extra weight of the grip. The K1 fits the hand nicely, so if you're not after extra battery capacity, I think it would be just more to lug. Also, if you later decide to go for the 15-30, which I love, you'll find the 28-105 picks up at the perfect spot.

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