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07-17-2021, 07:32 PM   #1
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Best Pentax Outfit for Landscapes?

Hi all,

Iím primarily a landscape photographer, and my goal for putting together a Pentax outfit was to balance these priorities:

ē Image quality (full frame vs APC-C, and lens quality)
ē Weight
ē Focal length coverage from ultra wide (less than 24mm) to super telephoto (longer than 300mm)

So here is what I came up with:

Bodies: K-1, and KP



Lenses: 15-30mm 2.8FA
28-105mm FA
60-250 F4*

My rationale is that that 16-35mm and the 28-105 give my solid coverage all the way to medium telephoto (105mm).

Beyond 105mm I have two options:

ē The K-1 and the 60-250, which gets me to 250mm (although not thrilled with the image quality)

ē OR the KP and the 60-250, which gives me superb quality and significantly longer reach, albeit with an APC sensor.

I also have the 24-70 2.8 FA, but I donít think I lose too much IQ going with the 28-105, especially at medium apertures that I use for landscapes, and I really like the weight advantage of the 28-105.

Thoughts? Any other Pentax options that might better meet my objectives above?


Last edited by GregL564; 07-18-2021 at 04:40 PM.
07-17-2021, 08:07 PM - 9 Likes   #2
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I don't have a K-1, but I do have a couple of KPs and I like to shoot landscapes whenever I can, mostly nature stuff. Lately I haven't really been able to get to any landscapes besisdes the beach in the bright daylight, so I'll use some examples from Spring.

I have these lenses that I may use: Pentax DA 35mm F2.4, DA 18-135mm, Pentax SMCP-DA* 300mm f/4, HD Pentax DA 15, F 1:1.7 50mm, F 35-70, Sigma Macro 50mm 2.8, HD DA 55-300mm f/4.5-6.3 ED PLM, Tamron SP AF Di 90mm f2.8 macro, HD DA 20-40mm, Sigma Macro 50mm 2.8, Pentax SMC 55/1.8, Super-Takumar 1.4/50

For landscape use the number one is the HD DA 20-40 Limited, it is superb in every aspect. If I need to go longer the 55-300 PLM does an excellent job, or occasionally the DA*300. Wider my only choice is the HD DA 15 Limited, which is excellent. Before the 20-40 I had a Sigma 17-50 which was very good but it could not come close to the IQ of the 20-40. Before the 15 I had a Tamron 10-24, after getting the 15 I decided the IQ of the 15 was better than having the extra width of the Tamron.

Here's one with the 20-40 shooting straight into the sun, not perfect but you get an idea of what it can do:


Another with the 20-40:


One with the 55-300:


Here's one with the DA*300 capturing some distant sunray illuminated fog:

Last edited by ramseybuckeye; 07-17-2021 at 08:15 PM.
07-17-2021, 08:52 PM - 2 Likes   #3
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If I'd be buying a Pentax kit, knowing what I now know, it would be:
- PENTAX K1 (good image quality + in body image stabilization)
- D-FA 21 ltd (to be released sometimes in the future)
- D-FA 28-105
- D-FA 70-210
Done.
07-17-2021, 09:19 PM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
If I'd be buying a Pentax kit, knowing what I now know, it would be:
- PENTAX K1 (good image quality + in body image stabilization)
- D-FA 21 ltd (to be released sometimes in the future)
- D-FA 28-105
- D-FA 70-210
Done.
I concur. Might add the DA* 300mm, and the DA 16-85mm (for the KP).

07-17-2021, 11:31 PM - 1 Like   #5
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My 'go to' kit for K3 - Sigma 10-20, Pentax 18-135, Pentax 55-300. Give results that please me, and the Sigma lets me crop to panoramic if I wish.
07-18-2021, 02:37 AM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
If I'd be buying a Pentax kit, knowing what I now know, it would be:
- PENTAX K1 (good image quality + in body image stabilization)
- D-FA 21 ltd (to be released sometimes in the future)
- D-FA 28-105
- D-FA 70-210
Done.
But you can substitute the KP for the K-1, because the parameters you mentioned are the same for the KP, which is a brilliant camera!
07-18-2021, 02:55 AM - 1 Like   #7
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Prior, one of my favorite lens combos for landscape was my K3ll with a Sigma 10-20mm, Sigma 17-70 DC, F 35-70mm & my F 70-210mm, which sometimes I still use. Now I pretty much use my Apsc camera combos for nature photos.

Now Full frame seems to give me the FOV I had been missing from my film days so with my K1 my combos for landscapes are Sigma 17-35mm, Fa 28-108mm, F 35-70mm, F 70-210mm or DFA 70-200mm 2.8. The F series I really like the colors they render.

QuoteOriginally posted by AfterPentax Mark II Quote
But you can substitute the KP for the K-1, because the parameters you mentioned are the same for the KP, which is a brilliant camera!
Afaic not really, similar parameters mean not so much in this usage your dealing with two different cameras that the lens will not capture the the same. One is still dealing with an Apsc narrower field of view and to render the same captured view one would need to drop to a wider angle angle. For landscapes in the Pentax line up the K1 is tough to beat not only fov wise but the but the larger sensor captures more light and detail.


Last edited by Oldbayrunner; 07-18-2021 at 03:29 AM.
07-18-2021, 03:43 AM - 1 Like   #8
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in my case, the gear I take depends on where and how I'm going.


1. Lots of hiking, climbing (expedition) - K1 + 20mm Voigtlander + 31mm + 50mm Macro + Gitzo Traveller 0 + single-row pano gear
2. moderate hiking - K1 + 20mm Voigtlander + 31mm + 50mm Macro + 60-250 (modded for FF) + Gitzo mountaineer 2 + Multi-row gear

3. Car - K1 + all limiteds + 24-70 + 60-250 + P645 A* 300mm + Gitzo systematic + Multi-row pano gear
07-18-2021, 03:45 AM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
If I'd be buying a Pentax kit, knowing what I now know, it would be:
- PENTAX K1 (good image quality + in body image stabilization)
- D-FA 21 ltd (to be released sometimes in the future)
- D-FA 28-105
- D-FA 70-210
Done.
I'd love to get my hands on the 21mm, and compare it with the Voigtlander 20mm F3.5.
07-18-2021, 03:56 AM - 2 Likes   #10
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The landscape camera would be the K1, but with a modern lens like the DFA 28-105. But I would recommend the KP with the 16-85 instead, wider view, lighter, zoom *5, and excellent IQ.

Add the 55-300 PLM and you're set.

The 60-250 has excellent IQ, but it is heavy, slow focusing and prone to SDM failure, and cannot be converted. The 55-300 PLM is better in many ways for APS-C usage.
07-18-2021, 04:45 AM   #11
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
If I'd be buying a Pentax kit, knowing what I now know, it would be:
- PENTAX K1 (good image quality + in body image stabilization)
- D-FA 21 ltd (to be released sometimes in the future)
- D-FA 28-105
- D-FA 70-210
Done.
The 21 is definitely on my list the moment it becomes available!

---------- Post added 07-18-21 at 04:47 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by DWS1 Quote
I concur. Might add the DA* 300mm, and the DA 16-85mm (for the KP).
Yes, I would stop at the 70-210 but I want something at the longer end. The 300mm would do the trick in that case. I also have the 16-85 mm and will bring it along on long trips just to have a complete APC kit if needed.

---------- Post added 07-18-21 at 04:52 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by GregL564 Quote
The 21 is definitely on my list the moment it becomes available!

---------- Post added 07-18-21 at 04:47 AM ----------


Yes, I would stop at the 70-210 but I want something at the longer end. The 300mm would do the trick in that case. I also have the 16-85 mm and will bring it along on long trips just to have a complete APC kit if needed.
I never considered the 20mm Voigtlander as an UWA prime. That might be a great option until the new 21mm appears. Thank you!

---------- Post added 07-18-21 at 04:54 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Bertrand3000 Quote
The landscape camera would be the K1, but with a modern lens like the DFA 28-105. But I would recommend the KP with the 16-85 instead, wider view, lighter, zoom *5, and excellent IQ.

Add the 55-300 PLM and you're set.

The 60-250 has excellent IQ, but it is heavy, slow focusing and prone to SDM failure, and cannot be converted. The 55-300 PLM is better in many ways for APS-C usage.
The 55-300mm PLM is on my list, for sure. Kicking myself for letting a few used ones go by on the Marketplace a few months back.

Last edited by GregL564; 07-18-2021 at 04:51 AM.
07-18-2021, 07:12 AM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by GregL564 Quote

Bodies: K-1, and KP



Lenses: 16-35mm FA
28-105mm FA
60-250 F4*

Thoughts? Any other Pentax options that might better meet my objectives above?
What is this FA 16-35 you mention? Did you mean the DFA 15-30?

The dfa 15-30 is a rather large lens with limited filter options, however it has excellent image quality. On the KP it is a bit large and not nearly as wide. You might want to consider the DA 11-18 f2.8 as a alternate option when traveling lighter (or the 12-24). The lens performs well at 18mm on full frame by most accounts and is superb on a crop sensor.
07-18-2021, 07:23 AM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by GregL564 Quote
...

• The K-1 and the 60-250, which gets me to 250mm (although not thrilled with the image quality)
...
I couldn't help wondering whether you've gone through the autofocus fine adjustment ("calibration") procedure? If it works great on the KP but not on the K-1, that suggests that it's the relationship between the camera and the lens that's at fault, not either one specifically.

Also, have you considered the use of a teleconverter?

By the way, having similar interests, myself, I'll tell you what I use. I ditched the KP for landscape use - I mostly use it for birds, flowers, bugs (macro) and indoor use, though it's formidable with the 11-18 DA* on it. But for mountains, woodlands, and such, I use the K-1 (original) with the following:
Irix 11mm f/4.0;
HD Pentax-D FA 15-30mm F2.8 ED SDM WR;
HD Pentax-D FA 24-70mm ED SDM WR Lens;
HD Pentax D FA* 70-200mm f/2.8 ED DC AW;
HD Pentax D FA 150-450mm; and
Pentax DA 560mm F/5.6 ED HD AW.
Obviously, I would be fairly selective depending on where I'm going, and seldom take more than three lenses with me at a time, only one of which would be one of the longer jobs (too much weight otherwise).

Last edited by dlhawes; 07-18-2021 at 07:32 AM.
07-18-2021, 07:29 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by dlhawes Quote
I couldn't help wondering whether you've gone through the autofocus fine adjustment ("calibration") procedure? If it works great on the KP but not on the K-1, that suggests that it's the relationship between the camera and the lens that's at fault, not either one specifically.

Also, have you considered the use of a teleconverter?
The 60-250 vignettes a bit much on full frame if the baffle isnít modified, maybe thatís the issue.
07-18-2021, 09:21 AM   #15
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It sounds like you want to do wide landscapes, but also want to do some detail work. Good thing you are willing to use two cameras. IMO, the DA 21mm is a great lens, definteniy the best wide AF lens I own. I've tried out the DA 15mm and it is tempting, but Was not willing to pay the price.

I've rented the DA 10-17mm for use on APS-C, and it produces some great images, though it is FE at 10mm, at 17 it is a nearly distortion free UWA which is easily corrected both by composing well and using software correction

QuoteOriginally posted by vijaykishan Quote
in my case, the gear I take depends on where and how I'm going.
This is my priority as well, for weight and distance and other life support. Ultimately, it's because I'm either hiking for the sake of hiking, maybe to reconnoiter an area for a later planned shoot, but I want a camera to capture anything I come across. I take my K-1 everywhere, and since I do not own the 28-105mm, I find myself using either a Pentax FA 24-90 IF AL, or a ProMaster Spectra XR 28-200. On a full frame camera both are wide, but not ultra wide. When I'm hiking, I am not in the mood to stop every 50 meters and change lenses, and neither is my hiking companion.

For a planned landscape shoot, I'll use the 24-90, sometimes I use the 18-135mm WR, or a Tak 17mm FE on the K-1 to take everything in. I have been successfully used an FA 77mm and a Takumar Bayonet 135 mm and stitched them, so I try to make do with the lens I've chosen for the day.
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