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09-29-2013, 02:58 PM   #1
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Recommendation for K-5iis Lens Set


New to forum. After selling my old (film) Leica and set of primes, have moved to K-5iis.
Looking for help on choosing a set of high quality primes, and a zoom for when I travel. Coming from
the quality of Leica glass, looking for top recommendations for lenses. Fortunately collectors pay
crazy amounts for Leica kits, so luckily have money to get the best possible--I plan to keep
for a while. I do a lot of street shooting, so looking for as close to equiv. of 50mm full frame?
Suggestions? Also want to get equiv of classic set of primes, and a zoom (doesn't have to be
super long).

Do street, lots of work in landscapes of the Southwest, some portrait.

Thanks much, I feel very fortunate in finding the world of Pentax.

09-29-2013, 03:06 PM   #2
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The DA or FA Limiteds are good Pentax primes.

Tamron 17-50, 28-75 and 70-200, Sigma 17-50 and Pentax 12-24 are good zooms.
09-29-2013, 03:23 PM   #3
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Pentax DA * 16-50
Pentax DA * 50-135
Pentax DA * 55

You will not have any complaints with a DA * lens
09-29-2013, 03:25 PM   #4
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The Pentax FA31mm f/1.8 Limited ASPH is an excellent choice - it possesses optical characteristics similar, and in certain aspects superior to the Leica M- summicron 35 f/2

The Pentax FA77mm f/1.8 Limited also has qualities comparable to the Leica M-summilux 75mm f/1.4

As for the Zoom lens, the Sigma C series 17-70mm or the upcoming 18-35mm f/1.8 might be worth a look.

Last edited by Digitalis; 09-29-2013 at 03:31 PM.
09-29-2013, 04:11 PM   #5
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If it has "Limited" in the model name you can't go wrong

09-30-2013, 08:34 AM   #6
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That 31mm is hard to argue with - I don't have the money for one, but I'd like to play with one sometime. An alternate is the 35mm limited or even its inexpensive non-limited version.

I do have a Sigma 28mm macro f1.8 and while I bought it for close work, I'm pleasantly satisfied with it as a general-use lens. It's responsive and sharp.

If you plan to be outdoors a lot and have a reasonable expectation of inclement weather, a DA 18-135 is a lens to seriously consider. Yes, it's not a * series lens, but it's been a good all-around performer for me.
09-30-2013, 09:54 AM   #7
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Welcome to PF and bonjour from France ... I have the 77/1.8 and love it ... also my D FA 100:2.8 Macro WR is great for much more than just macro work ... please post us an image or two soon ... Salut, J
10-02-2013, 01:06 AM   #8
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Welcome to the forum, like you I parted with my Leicas a good few years ago and I will admit at times I still miss the compact and quiet nature of them for street work.

Nowadays, I have now gone a lot wider with street work and use my "Good Lady" (SMC Pentax-A 20mm F2.8) or my "Mistress" (SMC Pentax-A 15mm F3.5) almost extensively.

I already know I'm sad to name my lenses, just before you say anything.

10-02-2013, 01:42 AM   #9
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DA 21mm limited f/3.2 - super compact, focusses quick and close, sharp everywhere beyond f/5.6, perfect starbursts. 31.5mm FF equivalent. A bit of barrel distortion but great colours and rendering.
FA 31mm limited f/1.8 - fast, sharp, sublime bokeh, and compact for what it is. 46.5mm FF equivalent, so essentially normal. Practically perfect in every way.
Those two plus the magnificent DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 for weather resistant travel and you're pretty much set. Pair it with the DA* 16-50mm f/2.8 for a two lens kit of pure awesome.

If you want to complete your prime kit the FA 77mm limited f/1.8 is the perfect portrait prime and at f/4.0 is the sharpest lens I have. The quality of its bokeh is legendary.
The DA* 55mm f/1.4 is also an excellent portrait lens which equates to around the classic 85mm on FF. The bokeh is a bit more hit and miss compared to the FA77, but it can be wonderful.
The FA 43mm limited f/1.9 is a wonderful lens on film, but is somewhat limited on APS-C: not quite normal, but not quite long enough.
10-04-2013, 06:15 PM   #10
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Welcome to Pentax. We have tons and tons of primes here and you won't be disappointed if it's street that you're after

Digitalis' recommendations are excellent if you're into Leica glass. FA 31 is probably the ultimate street lens for FL that approximates 50mm.

If you dont want to spend that much, you may want to look at Sigma 30 / 35 mm, FA 35, DA 35/2.4 and the DA limited 35 macro as well. All of them have good and bad points. I personally had the FA 35 and loved the lens, but honestly never took it out for street shooting. It's a little "neither here nor there" for that purpose and I feel that sometimes it's not bokeh-y or 3-D enough for people shots when I want it to. Your shooting style may be different though.

For a prime kit with consistent excellent performance I recommend the DA limiteds. DA 15 and DA 70 are the two jewels of the DA limited line imo, excellent rendering, size, build, shooting experience, etc etc everything.

OTOH DA 21 lim has excellent focal length (close to classic 35mm), and DA 40 is possibly the most compact slr lens ever produced (I enjoy this using lens very much, but the result can look very digital sometimes).

I recommend all these digital generation lenses but to be honest my personal favourite normal lens is the Super Takumar 35/2 (the cheap older version that has a bad rep). I dont know why but I just really like that lens' rendering.

For standard zoom I recommend either the new Sigma 18-35, or Tamron 17-50, unless you definitely need weather sealing then it's DA* 16-50 / 18-135. There are tons of other options for standard zooms but imo those two lenses are the standouts.

For fun I definitely recommend the takumars (most fun lenses I've used in photography). You can pickup a set of 24mm, 50mm, and 105/150mm for around $200.

Last edited by Andi Lo; 10-04-2013 at 06:29 PM.
10-05-2013, 11:34 PM   #11
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Also if you are willing to extend you search for Manual focus lenses the Pentax 50mm f/1.2 is a lens that should be at the top of your list.

This lens is superbly sharp at any aperture smaller than f/2.8, at f/1.2 It isn't the Noctilux* - but is has a distinctive charm to its rendering that is almost impossible to find elsewhere. The FA31 comes tantalizingly close.

Here is an example of the image quality the 50mm f/1.2 delivers at f/1.2 on the Pentax K5IIs:

( Vignetting in this image is used for effect - at most you can expect about -2.5 EV fall off in the corners at close focus distances @ f/1.2)

*though having said that, the all spherical lens design does give this lens qualities reminiscent of the Leaica M-Noctilux 50mm f/1.0, rather than the Leica aspherical Noctilux 50mm f/1.2 that preceeded it and the current aspherical f/0.95 Nocltiux.lenses

Last edited by Digitalis; 10-06-2013 at 07:18 AM.

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