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12-02-2023, 03:33 AM   #1
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Best Zoom Lenses for K mount

Hello!

I wanted to ask for advice, I know prime lenses are generally better than zoom lenses as far as image quality goes.

But I was wondering which zoom lenses for K mount would be the best since I would like to get a good option to use with my beloved MX.

Thank you in advance!

12-02-2023, 04:23 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Juan La Torre Quote
Hello!

I wanted to ask for advice, I know prime lenses are generally better than zoom lenses as far as image quality goes.

But I was wondering which zoom lenses for K mount would be the best since I would like to get a good option to use with my beloved MX.

Thank you in advance!
Have a look at Tamron Adaptalls. I have the 35-70mm on my MX and it is lovely. Also the 80-210 is superb . Adaptalls are cheap. My 80-210 with a mount was £9 and once you have the mount you can buy ones with less popular mounts much cheaper and just switch them they are all reviewed here also, some of the primes are just wonderful.

Tamron Adaptall Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database
12-02-2023, 04:43 AM   #3
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I always used to use the SMC Pentax-A 70-210/f4 on my MX and it performed very well. I still have both, although the MX could use a CLA now.
12-02-2023, 04:54 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cerebum Quote
Adaptalls are cheap. [/url]
Depends on the lens...the 35-105/2.8 isn't cheap...

The SP 35-80/2.8-3.8 is one of the best zooms of its class. The SP 24-48/3.5-3.8 is also very good when stopped down.

12-02-2023, 06:13 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cerebum Quote
Have a look at Tamron Adaptalls. I have the 35-70mm on my MX and it is lovely. Also the 80-210 is superb . Adaptalls are cheap. My 80-210 with a mount was £9 and once you have the mount you can buy ones with less popular mounts much cheaper and just switch them they are all reviewed here also, some of the primes are just wonderful.

Tamron Adaptall Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database
WOW, worth a try!!!
12-02-2023, 07:42 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
Depends on the lens...the 35-105/2.8 isn't cheap...

The SP 35-80/2.8-3.8 is one of the best zooms of its class. The SP 24-48/3.5-3.8 is also very good when stopped down.
The 80mm is a bit pricy too as is the 24mm doesnt the "SP" designation denote the highest quality? I really fancy a 24-48mm. Lovely lenses
12-02-2023, 07:59 AM - 3 Likes   #7
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My favorite lens with my MX is the Pentax M24-35.
Not much of a zoom range, but it is small and extremely well suited to the compact MX.
The later 24-50 is also nice, but it's not as small, so the ergonomics aren't as awesome.

I have a 28-70 Adaptall that is decent, but not as much fun (and obviously not as wide...)

Thinking about it, that's about the only zoom I use with the MX, preferring primes for longer stuff (the Rokinon 85mm f1.4 is fun with it)

-Eric

12-02-2023, 08:18 AM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by TwoUptons Quote
Not much of a zoom range, but it is small and extremely well suited to the compact MX
+1

It is no slouch when it comes to IQ either.
12-02-2023, 10:24 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cerebum Quote
The 80mm is a bit pricy too as is the 24mm doesnt the "SP" designation denote the highest quality? I really fancy a 24-48mm. Lovely lenses
I guess thatís fair, I paid $170 for the 24-48, but I only paid $42 for the 35-80.
12-02-2023, 11:18 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
I guess thatís fair, I paid $170 for the 24-48, but I only paid $42 for the 35-80.
I think my 35-70 is an MC. It was really cheap but its tremendous. The iq isnt up to the standard of the SP but we are talking pretty fine margins and they are all beautifully made. One I was surprised by was the 28mm f2.5. Some people really dislike that lens but i have found mine to be really nice. Its a bit soft in the corners but i think too much emphasis is placed on corner sharpness, particularly as the subject is rarely in the corner. One way in which film has changed me is the way I appreciate images. I no longer fixate on extremes of sharpness, although i still dislike iso noise. I never use to get the difference between noise and grain, but after developing expired films in rodinal or coffee i am a total convert
12-02-2023, 01:14 PM   #11
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The SMC-A 35-105mm f/3.5 is very well regarded as a "stack of primes".

The SMC-A 70-210mm f/4 Macro was already mentioned and is the tele equivalent of the 35-105. And then there's also a Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm f/2.8-4 lens that was is really good but even bigger than the Pentax 7-210 (there's other Series 1 lenses in that focal range but the 3rd version made by Komine is supposed to be the one to get - I don't know because I've been happy with my Pentax-A 70-210).

There was also a SMC Pentax K series 45-125mm f/4 that was well regarded and kept being sold well into the A series era.

For something a bit wider there was an FA zoom lens, the SMC FA 24-90mm f/3.5-4.5 that was very well regarded on film. Being an FA series, the manual focus ring isn't going to be as nice as something from the K, M or A series.

Similar in range the Vivitar Series 1 28-90mm f/2.8-4 is also really good, but also larger than other makers' lenses, but that's what most Vivitar Series 1 of that era were.

Finally, the SMC-A 24-50mm f/4 was also pretty well regarded even though it's a bit of a shorter range, but it might actually be a better compliment to a 70-210 range lens.
12-02-2023, 03:44 PM   #12
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Wow thank you so much everyone for all the answers and valuable info.

Amazing community, will look into all the options and choose one , or two 😜
12-02-2023, 04:06 PM   #13
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From my own collection of zooms that I use on my manual focus film cameras;

Tokina 19-35mm f3.5-4.5 (it's AF, don't worry about that part, it will work fine with your MX, I use it on mine)
Tokina 28-70 f3.5-4.5
Pentax M-series 75-150 f4

Each of these probably cost between $100 and $150 on the used market. They're decently compact (especially that 28-70) and all perform well. That Pentax 75-150 is especially good, wide open or not, but all three produce nice images. To get better zooms you would have to spend probably 2x more for a replacement for each, and end up with lenses that are noticeably larger and heavier.
12-02-2023, 04:29 PM   #14
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A 35-70mm lens is the classic 35mm SLR walkaround zoom.
My favorite is the Tamron Adaptall model 17A.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/userreviews/tamron-adaptall-2-35-70mm-f3-5-cf-macro-17a.html

Note the Pentax MX can use the cheaper, less trouble-prone Pentax K.M. model Adaptall adapter.
I advise using only the adapter made by Tamron, not one of the Chinese knockoffs.

Chris

Last edited by ChrisPlatt; 12-03-2023 at 09:59 AM.
12-02-2023, 06:25 PM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
The SMC-A 35-105mm f/3.5 is very well regarded as a "stack of primes".The SMC-A 70-210mm f/4 Macro was already mentioned and is the tele equivalent of the 35-105
I have both. The A35-105/3.5 is a wonderful lens, and truly is a stack of primes. It also lets you do close focus (around 1:4) across the full focal length, and sometimes you can nail the focus easier by adjusting the zoom slightly.

I've heard good things about the A70-210/4, and so it is possible my copy isn't as sharp, or I've not learned how to use it best. It does seem to drop off in sharpness above 180mm or so, at least for me. But neither are that expensive to buy, and you can often find at least one for sale here.
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