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12-04-2017, 05:05 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by cmohr Quote
I have to say, The DFA 50mm/2.8 Macro is pretty darn sharp, I use it for product shots all the time, and the results are just fabulous in arong the f8-f14 range , also the slective f2.8 shots are also great.
Seconded! (FA50/2.8 is reportedly 110 lpmm @f/8 on TX400)


Last edited by monochrome; 12-04-2017 at 08:27 PM.
12-04-2017, 05:26 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
Have there been any "objective" tests with something like the Sigma 35mm or the Pentax macros + the K-1?
DXOmark has not kept up with testing the K-1, but with the best Pentax sensor in their tests, the K-3 with the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art lens was much sharper than the second rated lens, the DA* 55mm.
12-04-2017, 05:49 PM   #18
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sharpest prime lens

The Pentax-D FA 50mm f 2.8 macro wins most of the sharpness resolution tests that I have seen reported. I have not actually tested it, but my Tokina AT-X 90mm f 2.5 macro appears almost as sharp as the 50mm 2.8 macro.

In medium format, it would be interesting to see resolution/sharpness tests for the 645 90mm f 2.8 macro and the A or FA 120mm f 4.0 macro.
12-05-2017, 02:06 AM   #19
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cheap, flexible, fast, dreamy Bokeh and very sharp FF zoom. Better as a lot of modern FF Zooms in this range! SMC Pentax-M 1:2.8 35mm - 1:3.5 70mm (all the way f2.8, only at 70mm it is f3.5)
Ricoh should make it with AF.

12-05-2017, 03:38 AM   #20
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For zooms, I would say the DFA 70-200 at f8.

For primes either the DFA 100 macro or the DFA 50 macro are brutally sharp from about f4 on.
12-05-2017, 04:48 AM   #21
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I will side with previous posters who have nominated several macro lenses. The sharpest lenses are the sharpest regardless of the body that holds them: SMCA 50mm f2.8 macro, the current da 100mm f2.8 macro, the legendary 200mm f4 macro in either manual SMCA or autofocus versions, Voigtlander 125mm f2.5 and numerous other macro lenses are the sharpest lenses available in K-mount. One of these + tripod + pixel shift will record as sharp and detailed an image as it is possible to get with a 36mp FF digital camera.
12-05-2017, 05:41 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
I would unscientifically nominate the D FA* 70-200mm. Some pretty insane image quality!
Is the 70-200 sharper than any of the Three Amigos? I know zooms have made great progress in the past years but are the sharpest zooms really sharper now than the sharpest primes?

No one has mentioned Zeiss primes. Only older models are available in K mount but they were/are of legendary sharpness.
12-05-2017, 09:58 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by wanderer2 Quote
Is the 70-200 sharper than any of the Three Amigos? I know zooms have made great progress in the past years but are the sharpest zooms really sharper now than the sharpest primes?

No one has mentioned Zeiss primes. Only older models are available in K mount but they were/are of legendary sharpness.
I have both the DFA 50 and 100 macro as well as the Zeiss Distagon 21 and 25mm. Which is the sharpest? I don't know, I have not conducted any scientific test and in the field there are too many variables for me to sure. I guess I don't really care - each lens has it's own characteristics and they are all capable of great images. I am always amazed by the sharpness of my old K35mm f3.5 too. They are all better than me.

12-05-2017, 11:41 AM   #24
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Samyang 135/2 in K-mount takes the cake here. Maybe a tie with Zeiss 135/2 Leitax converted if that is allowed.

Samyang: https://www.lenstip.com/442.4-Lens_review-Samyang_135_mm_f_2.0_ED_UMC_Image_resolution.html
Zeiss: https://www.lenstip.com/388.4-Lens_review-Carl_Zeiss_Apo_Sonnar_T*_135_mm_f_...esolution.html

Now, hurry, run to a shop for 135/2 Samyang. It is perfect pixel shift lens.

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12-05-2017, 01:41 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by wanderer2 Quote
Is the 70-200 sharper than any of the Three Amigos? I know zooms have made great progress in the past years but are the sharpest zooms really sharper now than the sharpest primes?

No one has mentioned Zeiss primes. Only older models are available in K mount but they were/are of legendary sharpness.
I guess that's something we could do a controlled test on, but as far as real-world sharpness goes I'm sure it would be hard to tell them apart. You can definitely feel the bulk of the zoom, though

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12-05-2017, 01:59 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by wanderer2 Quote
Is the 70-200 sharper than any of the Three Amigos? I know zooms have made great progress in the past years but are the sharpest zooms really sharper now than the sharpest primes?

No one has mentioned Zeiss primes. Only older models are available in K mount but they were/are of legendary sharpness.
The 70-200 is pretty impressive with regard to edge sharpness across the range, even from wide open. The FA 77 and FA 31 are a bit weak in the corners at f2.8. I haven't shot the FA 43 so I don't know about that.

I will say that at f8 or f11 you'd probably have a tough time telling all of these apart. To me, what really separates top end lenses isn't so much sharpness, but more things like micro contrast, out of focus rendering, colors, and the ways that lenses deal with transitions from in focus to out of focus.
12-05-2017, 02:00 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
I guess that's something we could do a controlled test on, but as far as real-world sharpness goes I'm sure it would be hard to tell them apart. You can definitely feel the bulk of the zoom, though
Ooh, follow up question, gram for gram which lens is the sharpest? Who scores the highest (Line Pairs) / (Photo Height * Lens Mass) ? I'm thinking the DA40 xs is in with a chance for the K-mount.

12-05-2017, 02:05 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by wanderer2 Quote
No one has mentioned Zeiss primes. Only older models are available in K mount but they were/are of legendary sharpness.
There are a lot of super sharp lenses that almost nobody actually has. The DFA 100mm is very sharp and is the sharpest lens in a lot of people's kits, but its not the sharpest lens ever. Sigma 35mm, DA* 55mm, Samyang 135mm are probably the sharpest, relatively easily obtainable lenses. Sigma 70mm macro might be super sharp, but its kind of rare because it went out of production long ago. The Zeiss lenses are really rare, as well. They cost quite a lot, don't have AF, are no longer in production.. so very few people can vouch for their optics. I assume they are amazing, but never had the pleasure. And nobody mentions the Schneider Kreuznach lenses (I mean the real ones, not the rebadges), because they cost even more than the Zeiss lenses! Never seen a review of them. They might be sharper still, but we will never know.

For most of us, the Limited and * lenses are as sharp as we would need.

QuoteOriginally posted by BrianR Quote
Ooh, follow up question, gram for gram which lens is the sharpest? Who scores the highest (Line Pairs) / (Photo Height * Lens Mass) ? I'm thinking the DA40 xs is in with a chance for the K-mount.
Haha yes, the 40mm XS is probably the sharpest lens for this format ever made, if you rate it by weight or size! Even without the super compact size, I still find it quite sharp and good for landscapes
12-05-2017, 05:28 PM   #29
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For the sharpest UWA lens it's hard to go past the Irix 15mm f2.4. I have owned some very good lenses but, his one is the sharpest lens for landscapes that I have used. For portraits the Sigma 85mm is about as sharp as it gets.
12-07-2017, 03:14 AM   #30
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Pentax 50mm f/2.8 macro lens with 7 elements in 6 groups are sharpest AF lenses produced in K mount. For some reason I prefer FA version over F and D-FA.
Very hard to compare that lens to Sigma 35 f/1.4 and D-FA 70-200 because of different focal lengths and type of lenses but I think that 50mm is the sharpest of those three in most optimal conditions.
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