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06-05-2019, 05:02 AM   #1
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Best wide-angle lens for K-1?

Hi all,

I'd really appreciate it if someone would give me advice on the absolute best rendering wide-angle lens for landscape photography for my K-1 (preferably a full-frame lens). I now have my D-FA* 50 1.4 and want to only invest in the absolute best I can save up for. I'm looking at the HD Pentax-D FA 15-30mm F2.8 ED SDM WR but don't know if it's worth it. I'm not interested in auto-focus anyways since this will be for landscape photography so finely-adjusted slow photography will be the name of game I guess. Perhaps there's something in the vintage lenses by Pentax or other brands?

Any suggestions would be greatly, greatly appreciated

Much love.

06-05-2019, 11:02 AM   #2
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The Pentax 15-30 is excellent, but a bit heavy, and a bit slow for things like Astrophotography. I find I'm using my Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG ART lens more often. Wish it was available in a 24 for Pentax.
06-05-2019, 11:38 AM   #3

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The A20, A24, and A35 always got very positiv reviews not only on this forum.

For 20mm, you could also look for the m42 East German Zeiss lenses. If "landscape" includes Architecture, the older 4/20 should be better than the newer 2.8/20, as it is said to be distortion-free. For decades the Zeiss 4/20 was the "standard" WA lens for architecture photography worldwide.

If you already own the (APS-C) 4/16-45mm: on FF it heavily vignettes at 16-19mm, and has its sweet spots (contrary to the kit zoom) at the short and long end. But at 20-21mm it should provide decent results on FF. I probably would not buy one just to try this out, but if you happen to own it anyway . . .
06-05-2019, 12:08 PM - 2 Likes   #4
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Yeah, nothing more obvious than the wide angle gap in Pentax's full frame lens line. Until Ricoh finally sees it, I opted for a good copy of FA 20-35/4, a gem of a lens, very good optically and truly portable (like in summiting glaciated peaks with it). I supplement the very wide angle end with a Rokinon 14/2.8: outstanding optics, poor mount tolerances that occasionally lead to electric contacts failure. Oh well, is still more than a gap stopper.

06-05-2019, 12:31 PM   #5
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Unless you dig up an A20/2.8 or a good FA20/2.8 the 15-30 seems to carry the crown ATM.
06-05-2019, 01:00 PM - 1 Like   #6
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From your description - not price, not tiny size, but sheer image quality - it's got to be the 15-30.

Last edited by clackers; 06-05-2019 at 05:02 PM.
06-05-2019, 01:19 PM   #7
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Maybe you find some surprising and interesting infos concerning possible FF usage in my notes about the DA*11-18.

Pentax Lens Review thread: HD Pentax-DA* 11-18mm F2.8 Reviews - DA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

A additional post with some examples in black & white:

And some color examples:

Hope you‘ll find what you‘re looking for!

Last edited by acoufap; 06-05-2019 at 01:31 PM.
06-08-2019, 11:08 AM   #8
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With the K1 you should get yourself the Pentax M42 converter anyway (the only one), this will allow you to navigate around dozens of great lenses at a fraction of any price, well under 50 quid, since nobody wants them... The Zeiss 4/20 is one, as mentioned above, as well as the WA Takumars such as the 28mm f3.5. In the mean time, you might also consider using your DA 50mm f1.4 in portrait mode to stitch 2 or more frames to make great, wide angle, landscape panoramas - just magical possibilities. You might not even need a WA lens if you do that, just crop as required...? Getting out of the rigid 2:3 or 4:3 formats is opening a door to discovery...!

Last edited by Rnovo; 06-09-2019 at 05:28 AM.
06-09-2019, 12:59 AM - 1 Like   #9
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Another vote from me for Pentax-A 20mm F2.8 known as my "Good LadyĒ

Or alternatively IMHO, for ultimate Architectural grade quality of wide angle, try the Pentax 28mm F3.5 Shift... my "Deviate Lady"
06-09-2019, 08:10 AM   #10
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I have been pretty happy with my Rokinon 20mm f1.8 lens that I got on sale. I never see used Pentax lenses around where I live.
06-09-2019, 07:47 PM   #11
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It doesn't get much use now that I have my Sigma 35 1.4... for no other reason except I find the quality vs simply stepping back a bit much better.

But prior to that... I really like the Sigma DG EX 17-35 2.8-4 (the older one is not the DG, and you can tell by the lens mount... new = 77mm). It's extremely versatile, as you can go wide at 17, especially if you want to really capture the scene or distort a really close subject, or you can use it at 35mm (which is why I initially got it, to stop me from wanting the 35 1.4) and experiment with being closer (like 50mm), but yet still have a bit of the scene present. With 2.8-4, it's really a fast lens even on the long(er) end. You can use it for Astro, and you can use it for getting in the moment shots. Probably the best part is how affordable it is. $250-350 is hard to beat. it checks a lot of boxes. The only real drawback is how rare it seems to be.
06-09-2019, 10:35 PM   #12
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I have battled with this dilemma for a while as I lost my FA 20, and had settled on a Rokinon 14mm f/2.8. It's decently sharp but it has strong barrel distortion and a boring colour rendition that needs some PP work to make its results pop. I'd say that in the absence of an FA or A 20mm lens, it would have to be the DFA 15-30. Nothing else like it.
06-10-2019, 02:16 AM   #13
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Oh my goodness! I love you guys so much. This is where Pentax truly shines. Not just in lenses and cameras, but the people who use the system. So much passion and willingness to help.

Thank you all so sooo much for your suggestions. I will indeed take another look and trial out a DFA 15-30 (thanks to all suggesting this lens)

Iíll try a DA* 11-18 since it looks incredibly sharp and resolves like no other WA Iíve seen before (thank you acoufap)

and also the suggestion of using an already top-notch lens in portrait mode for panoramics never even crossed my mind! What a great idea (thank you Rnovo). I havenít actually tried this ever before. Do you just use lightroom to stitch together? Can it be done in-camera?
06-10-2019, 08:17 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Unless you dig up an A20/2.8 or a good FA20/2.8 the 15-30 seems to carry the crown ATM.
The A20/2.8 is excellent, the A24/2.8 is also very good. I canít speak to the FA20/2.8 but I do have the FA24/2 and while I enjoy using it, it is a bit soft around the edges.
The 15-30 would be my choice. Optically it is excellent though somewhat large.
06-10-2019, 11:20 AM   #15
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I recently tried Samyang 24mm f/1.4 for infrared and while it did not work there very well I noticed it easily surpasses 15-30 when stopped down to f/5.6 or so in standard color photography.

There are however very bad copies out there.

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