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01-01-2019, 02:33 PM - 1 Like   #46
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The 24-?mm is going to be more versatile, for use with both FF and APS-C. On the latter, 24mm still provides moderate wide angle, where 28mm would provide none. Any f/2.8 zoom lens will be on the large and heavy side. I have 3 shorter f/2.8 zoom lenses, my very long-time Tokina ATX 28-70mm f2.6-2.8 pro II, my long-time FF Sigma 24-60mm EX DG, and this past year, the for APS-C Sigma 17-50mm EX DC. The Tokina lens is seldom used due to the WA lack. I get fine results from both Sigmas, and choose which depending on whether I will need wide angle with a little more reach, or much wider angle with less reach. How often do I use these lenses? Basically when I need the f/2.8 speed they offer.

Otherwise, why carry the added weight? If I need only a moderate FL zoom range for all around people shots and scenics, it is largely my DA 20-40mm Limited, due to its lightweight compactness, along with very sharp image quality. But for all-around versatility, like going from a squirrel to a cow, for instance, and mixing in some people shots, it is hard to beat the DA 18-135mm lens, especially for the price. Its image quality is much better than generally thought. I suggest the OP visit the neighboring thread, "Which K-70 package?" to see some sample photos by Des on p. 2 which really tell a story of versatility and quality. Even its Bokeh is quite decent. Both its range and its quality, let alone its fast, accurate AF, is better by far than the kit lens.

Of course, the FA 77mm LTD can deliver outstanding bokeh and great refined image quality, along with its fast aperture (I've long had this lens too), but a prime lens will not suffice for the various needs the OP has in mind. This is why we have cameras that can allow changing lenses.


Last edited by mikesbike; 01-01-2019 at 02:46 PM.
01-01-2019, 02:39 PM - 1 Like   #47
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More options to consider.
As previously mentioned....seriously consider the Pentax 12-24 for your K5, a very good lens I have had the pleasure of using but not owning. The one I do own that I would recommend is the DA 21mm, can't say enough good things about this little guy.
Uncle Vanya makes a good point with the 50-135, beautiful lens, but that then gives you overlap on your 55-300 which I understand is also a great lens.
PS: Not sure if anyone has mentioned the DA* 16-50, another lens in our stable, which sits on my wife's K3, another excellent lens, but maybe out of your price range. The 16-50 is a versatile, fast, high quality lens.

Last edited by Mallee Boy; 01-01-2019 at 02:56 PM. Reason: see PS
01-01-2019, 03:58 PM   #48
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You guys are making it so hard! But I love the opinions and the experience accounts with each lens you all are suggesting. Every time I read a new post it sends off another thought of "hmm, that's something to consider". I think I want it both ways - a fast lens, superb image quality, and the ability to choose different focal lengths....looks like its going to be a zoom. I want it all!!
01-01-2019, 04:17 PM - 1 Like   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by FenderGirl Quote
a fast lens, superb image quality, and the ability to choose different focal lengths....looks like its going to be a zoom. I want it all!!
Yes, the 24-70 fits that bill, but it is bulkier than the alternatives and heavy. That's important for you to consider.


The Tamron 28-75 is not weather sealed, but has close to the quality of the Pentax (on the left of the photo below) for less cost and weight.

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01-01-2019, 04:58 PM - 1 Like   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Yes, the 24-70 fits that bill, but it is bulkier than the alternatives and heavy. That's important for you to consider.


The Tamron 28-75 is not weather sealed, but has close to the quality of the Pentax (on the left of the photo below) for less cost and weight.
Great choice above if you want it all.. the only draw backs are it's pretty heavy and will take some space in your camera bag.
01-01-2019, 06:07 PM - 2 Likes   #51
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FWIW, , the FA 77mm is an incredible lens, whether you have any interest in street or portraits, whether formal or informal, [IMG][/IMG] still life "fine art" [IMG][/IMG] or even faux-macro [IMG][/IMG]
01-01-2019, 07:32 PM - 1 Like   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by FenderGirl Quote
looks like its going to be a zoom. I want it all!!
Just make it a star or a Limited, and you can't go too far wrong.
01-02-2019, 05:57 PM - 1 Like   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by FenderGirl Quote
You guys are making it so hard! But I love the opinions and the experience accounts with each lens you all are suggesting. Every time I read a new post it sends off another thought of "hmm, that's something to consider". I think I want it both ways - a fast lens, superb image quality, and the ability to choose different focal lengths....looks like its going to be a zoom. I want it all!!
And this depends on what focal lengths you need to have available, and how fast the lens? There is no perfect lens for all needs. The Pentax DFA 24-70mm f/2.8 will give you some wide angle at its shortest setting with APS-C use. It is made for FF use, where it would provide a much wider angle. Of course no problem using it on APS-C bodies where you'd get less wide angle. But with its hood on, it weighs around 2 lbs and is 4.3 inches long without the hood, has a front circumference of 82mm for any filter you might use, and has around $1,000+ price tag. I'm sure a good multi-coated circular polarizing filter of 82mm will be quite costly also. Distortion is very high at 24mm as is wide open vignetting (darkening of image corners), which is to be expected of such a lens.

But do you really need to have f/2.8 speed? The beauty of APS-C is moderate size. The DA18-135mm is only 3 inches long without hood, just a 62mm filter size, weighs under 1lb. with hood, and is priced well under $500. Wide open between 18-70mm, already a much greater zoom range than the DFA lens, it will be at f/3.5-4.5, or about one stop slower than the DFA lens. This means it will need to have the ISO doubled in lower lighting to get the same shutter speed, which will increase noise. For example, If the DFA lens wide open can use ISO 1600 to get the needed shutter speed, the DA 18-135mm lens, wide open from 18-70mm will need ISO 3200 to get the same shutter speed. Your kit lens, however, and many other shorter zoom lenses, will already be at f/5.6 wide open at 55mm, which will require ISO 6400, where noise increase with the K-5 will definitely be significant.

The DA 18-135mm, however, exhibits somewhat lower vignetting and distortion at its widest angle, which is a lot wider than the DFA lens, and at 24mm, which is the DFA's widest, this DA lens comes in at very low distortion and vignetting. What many of us do is get the zoom lens that best suits our needs. It might not be the fastest available, unless that is what we need. If not the fastest, for low light and other fast-aperture needs, we obtain one or more fast primes, which are faster than most fast zoom lenses. Like the FA 35mm f/2, a FF based lens, or the cheaper DA 35mm f/2.4 prime lens. For moderate telephoto there is, of course, the superb FA 77mm f/1.8 Limited.

If requiring a shorter pro-style zoom lens of f/2.8 aperture for APS-C, there are alternative lenses like the very nice Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC. It is 3.6 inches long without hood, and weighs just 1.24 lb. with a common filter size of 77mm. No weather sealing, but otherwise a well-built lens with fine performance. I have one for low light and fast action shooting when needed. Its price at B&H has been running at $369. Sometimes a fast prime lens will not cover situations where one needs to constantly change the focal length, so a fast zoom lens is the only answer.


Last edited by mikesbike; 01-02-2019 at 06:11 PM.
01-02-2019, 07:51 PM - 2 Likes   #54
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It can be a difficult decision narrowing down choices for lenses. It makes it even harder when Pentax has so many nice options (* and Limited). I suggest starting with the decision of a prime or zoom. Primes have a wider maximum aperture, higher IQ, and a lower price-point. Zooms are convenient and versatile. Personally I've always preferred primes. Your current collection and experience showing kit lens-photos says you prefer zooms. Are you wanting to refine your collection of zooms, or expand your experience with a nice prime? One thing for sure, you're moving in the right direction spending a little more on a premium lens.

I like the idea of suggesting an FA Limited. Any of them. You won't regret it and you can't go wrong with any of the three. On APS-C my most-used lens is the FA 43. On FF (film and the K-1) it's the FA 77. Even though the FA 43 is my all-time favorite Pentax lens, I would suggest the 31 or 77 over the 43 due to your FA 50. The FA 50/1.4 and FA 43 are very different lenses, but the other two expand your lineup a little better. Your $500 gift card won't cover the entire purchase, so I'd sell the other two 50s (A and M). If you haven't taken a look through this thread, you might want to start saving up for the other to FA Limiteds: The FA Limited Club - PentaxForums.com.

If you're leaning toward a premium zoom, there have been many great suggestions here. The 20-40 is nice, the DFA 24-70 or Tamron 28-75 are great options. I wouldn't consider the 16-85 a premium lens, but it does offer you a focal range you currently don't have. If you get the 16-85, I'd suggest selling your 18-55 and 28-105. If you get the 24-70/28-75 I'd suggest you sell your 28-105. If you get the 20-40 I'd say sell your 18-55 and 28-105. Of course you don't have to sell any of your lenses, but once you start collecting higher-end lenses, you won't reach for the others very often, if ever.

K10D and FA 43




K-1 and FA 43




K10D and FA 77


K-1 and FA 77
01-03-2019, 07:48 AM - 2 Likes   #55
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Everyone has a favourite lens, and given the exact same circumstances would buy a different lens next. But, it sure is fun shopping and helping other people spend their money.

Based on the images so far, I'd pick the 77, which will never probably happen (for me) because I have a Sigma 70 macro that I hardly ever use, a Tamron 90 macro and Pentax 100 macro, a DA*60-250, and the DFA 28-105. I just have too many great lenses in that focal range. But there's a reason it was voted the best Pentax lens of all time by us forum members. (Of course I voted for the 31 ltd, which I also don't own but I digress)

If I knew then what I know now, I would have the FA 50 macro and DFA 100 for macro, pass on the Sigma 70 and Tamron 90, and get the 77. But, I'd be missing out on two great lenses. This is how people end up owning every lens out there.

Last edited by normhead; 01-03-2019 at 08:06 AM.
01-03-2019, 08:03 AM - 1 Like   #56
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If portrait photography and objects against blurred backgrounds is what you're chiefly interested, then a fast zoom with telephoto reach or a fast telephoto prime would be the wisest choice. Zooms to consider would be the aforemention Tamron 28-75 2.8 or the Pentax DA* 50-135. The Pentax is a bit on the pricey side. For primes, the best options would be the FA 77 and the DA 70, with the FA 77 being a bit on the pricey side.
01-03-2019, 08:20 AM - 3 Likes   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by northcoastgreg Quote
If portrait photography and objects against blurred backgrounds is what you're chiefly interested, then a fast zoom with telephoto reach or a fast telephoto prime would be the wisest choice. Zooms to consider would be the aforemention Tamron 28-75 2.8 or the Pentax DA* 50-135. The Pentax is a bit on the pricey side. For primes, the best options would be the FA 77 and the DA 70, with the FA 77 being a bit on the pricey side.
From that selection, the DA*50-135 would be the forum pick, just based on past conversations. I'd also ad the Sigma 70 macro if you can find one or Tamron 90 macro. The Sigma 70 is the common lens used by Imaging Resources for sensor tests, because it is available on the most platforms (and like most macros, very good edge to edge) , but it's one of those Sigma oversized lenses, big but sharp really smooth out of focus areas, and the Tamron 90 macro is also very highly rated on every platform and very sharp. My first choice after kits and my fast 50 was a second hand Tamron 90 macro. (Bought form a guy who's brother wanted him to switch to Nikon so bad, he bought him a complete Nikon camera system.) My wife commandeered it as her walk around and almost never lets me use it. Sometimes a lens can be too good for your own good.

Last edited by normhead; 01-03-2019 at 10:03 AM.
01-04-2019, 04:58 AM   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikesbike Quote
The DA18-135mm is only 3 inches long without hood, just a 62mm filter size, weighs under 1lb. with hood, and is priced well under $500. .
The 18-135mm WR is my "walk-around" lens, and has been the only zoom lens I've taken on vacations or business trips. I spent 6 months away on business, and had to travel light, the 18-135mm and the DA 40mm XS were the only two lenses I took due to lightweight and high performance. Another attraction was the weather dealing of the 18-135mm, which made for worry-free use in the harsh environment I was in. This lens also has quite a devoted following on PF, as this long -running thread demonstrates. Used copies are available under US $250 here on PF, so it's a low price for a high quality multipurpose lens.
01-04-2019, 08:37 AM   #59
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Just in case you have interest in the Pentax 24-70, it has an advertised reduction in price on it currently. Please see the shortcut below.

Pentax HD Pentax-D FA 24-70mm f/2.8ED SDM WR Lens 21310 B&H
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