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10-08-2020, 08:56 AM   #1
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Dilemma lens match for KP: HD Limited OR Full frame ???

Hello everyone! this is my opening thread since I just joined the forums!

I have had the KP for a few months now and although I have a big variety of old and new Pentax lens I have been thinking investing on lens, BUT...I cannot decide if I should invest on DA HD or to buy a full frame lens (dealing with the crop)

mind you that my work includes both studio and outdoor shoots..

My mind is pretty fixed on buying the latest 16-85 HD but I'd like to hear y'alls opinion!

Thanks!!!!


Last edited by NikoGkotsis; 10-20-2020 at 10:28 AM.
10-08-2020, 09:15 AM - 1 Like   #2
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There was a time - just after the K-1 was announced - when it was widely thought that the market would be flooded with APS-C lenses, the value of which would plummet as a result. Because of this, many folks at that time suggested buying only full-frame capable glass in order to avoid big losses and prepare for the mass exodus from APS-C to full-frame. Hindsight, though, has shown those fears to be unfounded. Lots of people still shoot - indeed, want to shoot - APS-C cameras, and demand for DA lenses remains strong.

Given that, you should base your choices on the focal lengths and aperture ranges that work best for you, rather than worrying too much about which format the lenses are designed for. DA lenses - especially zooms - tend to have focal lengths optimised for APS-C, whereas F, FA and D FA lenses are in the same way optimised for 35mm "full frame" (though many of them have plenty of utility on APS-C). If you're looking at a zoom lens, then I'd recommend you go with a DA such as the 16-85 you mention.

Last edited by BigMackCam; 10-08-2020 at 09:32 AM.
10-08-2020, 09:38 AM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
There was a time - just after the K-1 was announced - when it was widely thought that the market would be flooded with APS-C lenses, the value of which would plummet as a result. Because of this, many folks at that time suggested buying only full-frame capable glass in order to avoid big losses and prepare for the mass exodus from APS-C to full-frame. Hindsight, though, has shown those fears to be unfounded. Lots of people still shoot - indeed, want to shoot - APS-C cameras, and demand for DA lenses remains strong.

Given that, you should base your choices on the focal lengths and aperture ranges that work best for you, rather than worrying too much about which format the lenses are designed for. DA lenses - especially zooms - tend to have focal lengths optimised for APS-C, whereas F, FA and D FA lenses are in the same way optimised for 35mm "full frame" (though many of them have plenty of utility on APS-C). If you're looking at a zoom lens, then I'd recommend you go with a DA such as the 16-85 you mention.
awesome!!!! I totally agree!!! thank you so much
10-08-2020, 09:51 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by NikoGkotsis Quote
or to buy a full frame lens (dealing with the crop)
Not sure what you mean here. All full frame lenses will work just fine on APS-C, there is no 'crop' issue. The problem is that (for example) a lens like the DFA 28-105 is not particularly wide on APS-C.
I shoot K-3II and K-1II. I do swap lenses back and forth but generally the DA 16-85 lives on the K-3II. If you are planning a move to FF in the near future it makes sense to plan ahead with your lenses but if not then go with what works. And the DA 16-85 works very well.

10-08-2020, 10:10 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Not sure what you mean here. All full frame lenses will work just fine on APS-C, there is no 'crop' issue. The problem is that (for example) a lens like the DFA 28-105 is not particularly wide on APS-C.
I shoot K-3II and K-1II. I do swap lenses back and forth but generally the DA 16-85 lives on the K-3II. If you are planning a move to FF in the near future it makes sense to plan ahead with your lenses but if not then go with what works. And the DA 16-85 works very well.
I had the chance to play with a full frame lens and also I bought a Nikon af mount adapter and used a 28-85 Nikkor lens on my KP (not really impressed to be honest but worth the try) and I feel that Id prefer to "master" the 16-85 or even a fixed lens than invest in a FF right now...

Thank you as well for your wisdom!
10-08-2020, 10:21 AM   #6
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A 55-300 PLM would be the perfect companion to the 16-85.
10-08-2020, 10:21 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by NikoGkotsis Quote
I feel that Id prefer to "master" the 16-85 or even a fixed lens than invest in a FF right now...
I think that is a good move. APS-C is not going anywhere. Pentax just released a brand new DA*11-18 for it. I doubt they would have green lighted that lens if they were planning to back away from APS-C. And FF is not a magic wand, yeah it is nice in some situations but I still use the K-3II probably 30% of the time because its the better camera for that particular task.
10-08-2020, 10:26 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by timb64 Quote
A 55-300 PLM would be the perfect companion to the 16-85.
that one is literally under the 16-85 on my wish list hahah

10-08-2020, 10:31 AM - 1 Like   #9
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My recommendation for lens collecting is always the same. Start with one lens, in your case the 16-85 is a great starting point. Go shoot pictures with it. When you shoot some pictures you are "almost" satisfied with, but oh, they could be better if only...whatever. Then buy a lens that is good at that specific "whatever". If you find you are shooting into the sun at 16mm and have flare, and wish it was better, then the DA15mm Ltd. will be your next lens. If you find you just want to get closer images of an insect, then a Macro will be your next lens. If you really wish you had a wider aperture to get faster shutter speeds in low light, or to reduce DOF, then a large aperture prime will be your next lens. If you want something incredibly wide, the 10-17 may be perfect for you.

The right lens to add to the 16-85 is a very personal choice. No one will give you the right answer until you can verbalize what it is you want that is different than what the 16-85 provides. For me, if I could only have one prime lens, it would be either the Sigma 30/1.4 or the Zeiss Pancolar 50/1.8. Others will think those are insane choices, and choose something else. It's all about what you need to take the photos that fit your vision.
10-08-2020, 10:36 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kozlok Quote
My recommendation for lens collecting is always the same. Start with one lens, in your case the 16-85 is a great starting point. Go shoot pictures with it. When you shoot some pictures you are "almost" satisfied with, but oh, they could be better if only...whatever. Then buy a lens that is good at that specific "whatever". If you find you are shooting into the sun at 16mm and have flare, and wish it was better, then the DA15mm Ltd. will be your next lens. If you find you just want to get closer images of an insect, then a Macro will be your next lens. If you really wish you had a wider aperture to get faster shutter speeds in low light, or to reduce DOF, then a large aperture prime will be your next lens.

The right lens to add to the 16-85 is a very personal choice. No one will give you the right answer until you can verbalize what it is you want that is different than what the 16-85 provides.
like I mentioned previously I do product photography as well as portraits so I need something that can fit both. Now, I already have a few subject-specific APS-C lens but none are HD. That element is my "new" requirement since I just bought the KP, I'd like that extra clarity that my current variety of lens can provide.
10-08-2020, 10:55 AM - 1 Like   #11
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HD is a coating. It eliminates flare in bright sunlight. It does not add clarity to the lens in any other situation. Most Pentax DA primes are quite sharp, whether the old SMC version or the newer HD versions. Sharpness is the same between the two coatings, except in bright sunlight, flare is better with HD.

Tell us which lenses you already have. Show us a photo that you've taken, that you want to be "better", and tell us what specifically would have made it better in your opinion. Then we can start to recommend choices.
10-08-2020, 01:07 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kozlok Quote
HD is a coating. It eliminates flare in bright sunlight. It does not add clarity to the lens in any other situation. Most Pentax DA primes are quite sharp, whether the old SMC version or the newer HD versions. Sharpness is the same between the two coatings, except in bright sunlight, flare is better with HD.

Tell us which lenses you already have. Show us a photo that you've taken, that you want to be "better", and tell us what specifically would have made it better in your opinion. Then we can start to recommend choices.
So.. I can list the lens I have but the lens I am using the most (and the lens id like to upgrade) is the factory 18-55mm smc da II that came with the K20D when I bought it. I never had an issue with them but now with the KP I'd love to upgrade to a similar or longer zoom lens. that's why the 16-85 seems ideal to me.

I also have:
SMC DA 50mm f1.8
SMC 50mm f1.4 (Asahi)
SMC DA M 28mm (Asahi)
Sigma 70-300mm
10-08-2020, 02:09 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by NikoGkotsis Quote
similar or longer zoom lens. that's why the 16-85 seems ideal to me.
Your choices are the 16-85 or the 18-135. Both have fans and both have pluses and minuses. I prefer the 16-85, my wife likes the 18-135. Some days my shots are better, some days hers are.
10-08-2020, 02:57 PM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Your choices are the 16-85 or the 18-135. Both have fans and both have pluses and minuses. I prefer the 16-85, my wife likes the 18-135. Some days my shots are better, some days hers are.
To be fair, there are other options in the "similar to longer" range...

HD DA20-40 - narrower focal length range, DA Limited build and rendering, weather resistant
Sigma (or Tamron) 17-50 f/2.8 - fast, constant aperture allowing for lower ISO / faster shutter speed / lower-light work, great IQ
Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4 - faster variable aperture, great IQ
Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 - a fast, constant aperture beast, not without its AF concerns, but superb IQ

10-08-2020, 03:05 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
o be fair, there are other options in the "similar to longer" range...
Of course. I only use Pentax glass so I often forget there are other viable alternatives. The DA 20-40 is an option but for the mentioned use case I would think it is too short. The OP mentioned product and portrait images so (for me) the 20-40 and the 18-35 would not be choices. Those with a different style might think differently.
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