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HD Pentax-D FA 15-30mm F2.8 ED SDM WR Review RSS Feed

HD Pentax-D FA 15-30mm F2.8 ED SDM WR

Sharpness 
 9.4
Aberrations 
 8.7
Bokeh 
 8.0
Autofocus 
 9.1
Handling 
 7.8
Value 
 8.1
Reviews Views Date of last review
27 82,182 Fri March 27, 2020
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
96% of reviewers $1,331.13 9.00
HD Pentax-D FA 15-30mm F2.8 ED SDM WR

HD Pentax-D FA 15-30mm F2.8 ED SDM WR
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HD Pentax-D FA 15-30mm F2.8 ED SDM WR
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HD Pentax-D FA 15-30mm F2.8 ED SDM WR
supersize
HD Pentax-D FA 15-30mm F2.8 ED SDM WR
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Description:

The HD Pentax-D FA 15-30mm F2.8 ED SDM WR zoom lens was announced in February 2016. It complements the D FA 28-70mm F2.8 and the D FA* 70-200mm F2.8 zooms so that Pentax users have access to fast F2.8 pro level zoom lenses covering the entire range from 15 mm to 200 mm.

On a full frame DSLR the field of view covers that from extreme wide angle to moderate wide angle. The lens can also be used on DSLRs with an APS-C size sensor, but the field of view is much reduced. The HD Pentax-DA* 11-18 mm F2.8 or the smc Pentax-DA 12-24 mm F4 are the better (and lighter) options for APS-C shooters.

The 15-30 mm zoom features nine rounded diaphragm blades for smooth Bokeh and it has a number of seals making it weather resistant. The front element is SP coated which helps repel water drops and grease. The lens also features Quick Shift. The lens hood is an integral part of the lens barrel and filters cannot be used due to the massive, protruding front element.

The lens has a built-in SDM autofocus motor and no provision for screw drive autofocus. Autofocus is thus available only with the K10D and K100D Super, and all newer cameras. The lens has no aperture ring and is primarily intended for use on DSLR cameras. It can be used, though, on film cameras that have P and Tv automation or where the aperture can be controlled by an e-dial on the camera. On film cameras focusing is manual only.

At 1040 g/36.7 oz. this lens is a bit heavy.


HD Pentax-D FA 15-30mm F2.8 ED SDM WR
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
No
Diaphragm
Automatic, 9 blades (rounded)
Optics
18 elements, 13 groups
Mount Variant
KAF3
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F2.8
Min. Aperture
F22
Focusing
AF (in-lens motor)
SDM
Quick-shift
Yes
Min. Focus
28 cm
Max. Magnification
0.2x
Filter Size
Internal Focus
Yes
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 86-50 ° / 77-44 °
Full frame: 111-72 ° / 100-62 °
Hood
Built-in
Case
S120-160
Lens Cap
O-LW98A
Coating
HD,SP
Weather Sealing
Yes (WR)
Other Features
Internal Zoom
Diam x Length
98.5 x 143.5 mm (3.9 x 5.6 in.)
Weight
1040 g (36.7 oz.)
Production Years
2016 to present (in production)
Pricing
$1296 USD current price
$1449 USD at launch
Engraved Name
HD Pentax-D FA 1:2.8 15-30mm ED SDM WR
Product Code
21280
Reviews
User reviews
In-depth review
Notes
No filter thread

Features:
Supersonic AutofocusQuick ShiftWeather SealedInternal FocusingInternal ZoomingAutomatic ApertureFull-Frame Support
Purchase: Buy the HD Pentax-D FA 15-30mm F2.8 ED SDM WR
In-Depth Review: Read our HD Pentax-D FA 15-30mm F2.8 ED SDM WR in-depth review!



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Senior Member

Registered: February, 2018
Posts: 168
Lens Review Date: March 27, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Only modern UWA lens with WR
Cons: Heavy

Everybody who has reviewed this lens has commented on the heft of this lens. Allow me to add: coupled with a K1, this lens is an absolute pig. After receiving this in the mail (bought from another forum member), I went out to a park and did some landscape shooting. I carried my K3 with the 60-250 f/4 with me for telephoto work, and that set-up was practically non existent. I handheld my K1 with this lens, and my forearm was getting achy after awhile. I’ve shot this lens before and was blown away with the optics, but I’ll edit my review depending on what I see with what I just shot. My one “gripe” with this lens is the fine focus ring. On my DA* lenses, you can feel when the fine focus is at the apex, this one, I don’t get that subtle tactile feedback.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2020
Location: Southern New Hampshire
Posts: 4

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 16, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $850.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Outstanding Sharpness, Contrast & Color, WR, Silent Focus, Manual Focus Ring Close To Camera Body
Cons: A Tiny Bit Heavy, (but it's worth the results)
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-1   

First of all, I know this is my first review post and all, but people that dragged this excellent lens' overall rating down under '9' should be slapped with a 2x4. You all knew this lens was a bit weighty before the purchase, Pentax didn't give them away for cheap, and handling might be challenging.


As far as performance, I found the AF SDM to be exceptionally quiet and without a hunting issue in all four auto-focus modes on my K-1. It focused just a bit long out of the box, but easily resolved with a Focus Pyramid® & the fine-tuning focus adjustment in the K-1, then saved to memory.

The lens paralleled the focus results from the testing from Imatest*, as I found the IQ around the frame tobe pretty decent for a zoom lens from around f/5.6 to f/14. However, you will begin to notice that softness starting to manifest in the far corners the tighter you zoom in, or the more you open it towards f/2.8 from f/5.6, or inversely,the tighter the aperture above f/14 you go towards f/22, at any distance.


Since this lens will primarily be utilized for landscapes, I will be using the K-1's Live View in conjunction with its Peak Focus feature, and at x16 for critical focusing purposes. AF is fine, but for those shots that you only get one attempt at (such as a visit to Alaska's Yukon, Kodiak Bears chasing salmon in a stream, Close-ups of Glaciers, Humpbacks breaching, Denali on a clear day, Native Alaskans in their habitat, The Aurora Borealis with the Milky Way as a backdrop, Astro photography with absolutely NO LIGHT POLLUTION, Puffins, Dall sheep, and Sea Lions along the coast line, and hundreds of other once in a lifetime shots). Everything will be bracketed at +/- .7EV x2 for 5 shots total in RAW and JPEG, and uploaded twice a day to my 2TB Adobe Cloud Server. For shots without motion, since most will be taken on a Benro TMA37AL tripod with a G3 low profile head anyway, I'll probably take several Pixel Shift shots to get the sharpest images I can on my 256GB SanDisk cards.

I'm using the Benro FH100M2B and FH100M2V4 100x150 Master Filter Frame Holder systems with 10 different Grad ND filters with holder frames. Plus, I'm attempting to design a special 1/2" to 5/8" wide ring that will fit externally over this lens' flower lens shade; as snug as the lens cap does. On that ring I will incorporate a connector to mount a Benro Master Filter Frame Holder. However, I may need to go to the 150x170mm size for this lens. I'm hoping I can utilize the 100mm unit and design it around that.


I'll also be carrying a backup body since I'm leaving nothing to chance for this trip with my wife. She'll be using the K-3.

OK, I've obviously digressed WELL away from a lens review, but this is me... Back to the point....

One statistical anomaly I immediately noticed here was that out of 25 reviews, there were 4 problematic lens'. That's 16%, which is a higher than average shrinkage rate. Tossing an average of 16 out of 100 lenses could mean having an issue with production, assembly, or to a much lesser degree...handling during transportation.

This lens is an admirable performer, and definitely worth the investment. Sure, Tamron makes some very sharp lenses too, especially if you get one where everything was done JUST RIGHT. I have such a lens, an LD Di SP 70-200mm f/2.8 [IF] MACRO A001P.

It's one of the sharpest lenses in my arsenal. But, I firmly believe this Pentax 15-30mm wide-angle full-frame zoom is highly versatile, and just what the doctor ordered.


*This data was sourced and added to his HD Pentax-D FA F2.8 15-30mm ED SDM WR Review article from May 18, 2016 in ePHOTOzine.


. . Falcon
   
Junior Member

Registered: December, 2018
Location: Telemark
Posts: 43

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 8, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,075.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharpness, focal range
Cons: Size?
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 6    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K-1   

I'm surprised this doesn't get a higher score on this forum. It now has a 8,9 average.

The sharpness is brilliant. The build quality is really good allthough maybe a point lower than the 70-200.

It handles direct sunlight extremely well, probably the best i've seen and the images are the sharpest I've ever seen on a wide angle zoom for ff.

Nikon let me use their 16-35 mm a while back testing their D850 and that is also a great lens. However, with the weatherproofness and speed of this one I think I would prefer the Pentax / Tamron one. The sharpness is quite similar, and that is a good testament to the Pentax lens since the 16-35 is regarded as sharper than the nikon 14-24mm f/2.8.

Overall a great lens I use it for landscapes and night shots in urban environments. I'm trying to upload photos on this forum but Im completely lost as to how to do it.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: March, 2010
Location: Vermont
Posts: 894

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 30, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,300.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Constrast, stellar optics, WR, F/2.8
Cons: Big and heavy
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-1   

This is my K-1 go-to lens for astro, architectural, and landscape. Sharp, excellent contrast, WR, and fast auto focus. The cons are the weight and size, as well the challenge of using ND filters. Other than that a very versatile lens with very pleasing results.


IMGP5498 by David Carman, on Flickr

IMGP0562.jpg by David Carman, on Flickr
_IMG6807 by David Carman, on Flickr
   
New Member

Registered: April, 2017
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 12
Lens Review Date: November 28, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,200.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: If you get a good copy (I returned TWO!), Excellent sharpness - especially on edges - compared to other options like FA20-35
Cons: QC issue? Two copies found SOFT at 20mm f8 compared to old-tech like FA20-35. Third copy was good- easily besting the 20-35 on edge performance, CA, and general rendering.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 6    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 8    Value: 7    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-1   

I started a thread at https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/398239-pen...ml#post4830454 to discuss my findings on this lens -- disappointing performance at ~20mm f8 in CENTER compared to my older (and much much lighter, smaller) FA20-35 at 20mm f8 under careful test (tripod, e-shutter, delay timer) conditions both inside at ~10' and outside at infinity. I really really wanted to love this lens, and have similar experience to NORTHCOASTGREG below! Maybe I should try again, but twice-failed seems really odd to me. Maybe I just have a "golden" FA20-35 and my expectations are too high. But you be the judge (I posted image comparisons at the link above.

I am returning this product and will try ordering a THIRD time. If my opinion changes, I will report back.
________________________________________________

UPDATE - third lens received, tested, and passed muster.. "if at first you don't succeed, try, try again...". (Thank GOODNESS for easy-peasy no-cost-to-me return via Amazon). Seems odd that I received TWO problematic lenses (second one was even worse than first). But the third one is good, and in line with what other (glowing) reviews report, like NORTHCOASTGREG et.al. At 15mm, wide open, I do find some coma on stars in all corner areas (radial away from center) - I'll have to do some head-to-head compares with my beloved Rokinon 14, but my intent was to switch to this 15-30 for all astroscape. I haven't tested the 20-30mm range - perhaps improved and that gives great option for astroscape framing..
   
Pentaxian

Registered: February, 2010
Location: Eureka, CA
Posts: 4,162

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 16, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,150.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Optically splendid, sharp, contrasty, superb color
Cons: Size, weight, no filter rings
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K-1   

I bought a version of this lens back in early February but had to return as a consequence of bad decentering, particularly noticeable at fast apertures. A few months later I bought another version. This one is, fortunately, free of any major defects.

I had originally planned to avoid acquiring this lens, mainly due to the price and the size. I attempted to make do with the FA 20-35, which is, at least in terms of landscape photography, pretty decent. Indeed, at typical landscape apertures (f11-f16), there's little difference in sharpness between the old FA wide old zoom the DFA monster, excluding the far corners, where the new lens is significantly better. The main advantages of DFA 15-30 over legacy wide-angle zooms like the FA 20-35 involve, primarily, fast aperture performance and contrast and saturation. Landscape images taken with this DFA 15-30 just have more bite and richer color than what I was getting out of the FA 20-35. There is something to be said for the HD coatings, and for all that special glass (4 ED, 4 AL elements). This is the best zoom lens I have ever used. It's better than even the very fine DFA 28-105. Not necessarily sharper, but contrastier, with a richer color signature.

The size and weight of this lens is, of course, the main point of criticism. But as concerned as I was about the weight of the lens, it hasn't turned out to be as big a problem as I originally feared. I've bought a lens case for it, which I carry around my shoulders with a strap. Thus equipped, I hardly notice the weight. I suspect the weight of this lens is mostly a problem for those who have invested in the other f2.8 DFA zooms, along with the massive DFA 150-450. I have sedulously avoided the other DFA monsters, opting instead for the nicely compact DFA 28-105, along with some plasticky, weight-deficient legacy zooms (F 17-28 and FA-J 75-300). The DFA 15-30 is the only monster in my K-1 landscape kit, and that makes the weight manageable. I'll keep the FA 20-35 around for longer hikes and filter use. But for best image quality at the wide end of things, I will always reach for the DFA 15-30.

The lens produces fine starbursts when stopped down. Flare control is pretty good for an f2.8 zoom, but not perfect. The lens is reasonably sharp wide-open, but for best edge to edge sharpness, you do need to stop the lens down to at least f5.6.

Some example images, staring at f16, @16mm:



f10, 15mm:



f11, 30mm:

   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: June, 2009
Location: Tumbleweed, Arizona
Posts: 5,500

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 11, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, excellent contrast, excells in low light
Cons: It's ginormous, and costly (even on sale)
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 8    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K1   

I have had and shot this lens for a bit over a year. I have used this mainly for AstroLandscapes. The results in essentially total darkness are exceptional.



The lens is large, and when mounted on the K1 - the entire unit is large. There is no getting around that. What was staggering is the exceptional detail and color rendering the K1/15-30 combination provides.

I have also taken the lens on a 2 week trip to Alaska. With it being wide angle, I was even able to capture a breaching whale that should have been a telephoto shot - by cropping.

In reviews, it matches the Nikon 14-24/f2.8 Bottom line - I don't know how much more you can expect from a lens this wide.
_________________________

One additional interesting factor that I stumbled across. I prefocus in the afternoon before going out to shoot at night. I have found that I can focus at either 15mm or 30mm and while shooting, move between 15 and 30mm and still maintain focus. That is a large plus for me.

Also, the "Open Aperture" or the physical aperture area at 30mm is twice the area at 15mm. Essentially, you are doubling your light at 30mm than what you are getting at 15mm. This is another major reason why I acquired this lens. I wanted the freedom of a large view (at 15mm) but also wanted the larger aperture area at 30mm. This lens provided me with that capability. The downside is the constant aperture of f2.8 rather than f2, f1.8 or f1.4 - but you have to compromise. I'm very happy with the amount of light that I can collect at f2.8, so everything else is a bonus.

I have been able to use the AstroTracing on the K1 at 70seconds without really encountering any star trailing in the corners.
   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: September, 2018
Posts: 127

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 30, 2018 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $1,300.00 | Rating: 5 

 
Pros:
Cons: Handling, Size, Price
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 1    Value: 3    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K1   

Not much to add to the previous reviews except for one point. For some reason Ricoh has designed this lens with the focus the other or wrong way round. It focusses the opposite way to all the other Pentax lenses. I do find it surprising that this isn't included in the in depth review as it is so important to the handling of the lens. So although Tamron have removed their image stabilization mechanism and changed the coating, it seems they haven't changed the focus direction which has been a Pentax "standard" since the M42 days.

If you only ever use autofocus, it may not be a problem for you. However bearing in mind the angle of view, making sure that the autofocus is on the correct point can be more difficult than with a long lens. After many years of using Pentax glass, I instinctively focus in one direction which is the wrong way for this lens. So for me added to the bulk of this lens, it makes it unusable and I wish I had never bought it.
   
Junior Member

Registered: January, 2017
Posts: 45

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 6, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,620.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Fantastic quality
Cons: Very heavy and cumbersome. Front element exposed.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 8    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K1   

Well, I took the plunge! Very, very expensive, but it was frustrating having only the 28-105 and 200 f2.8 (and the Samyang 14mm) full-frame. It arrived yesterday. Wow! It is SO heavy and bulky! Was it a mistake?

This morning I took it out, a walk of around four miles. When you get used to it, it is fine. I have a neck strap, and support it with the other hand to take the strain while walking, but will investigate a harness for longer walks. The exposed front element is my only real worry, but there is no way round that one.

The pictures have the 'wow' factor: it's the only lens I've liked immediately on first use. Focusing is lightning fast, and while there is obviously distortion towards the edges at 15mm, it's much less than I expected. I have no regrets at all in buying this, though I'm selling my Samyang 24TS, Samyang 14mm and Pentax 12-24 to offset the cost. I would actually have preferred it as f3.5 or f4 to reduce the weight (and price!). With the KP, this and my 10-17 fisheye (lovely lens too) will deal with all the focal lengths I need.

I'll post some photos soon. The ones I've done are fine, but I'm sure there is better to come!
   
Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2011
Location: Niagara
Posts: 3,085

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 5, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,500.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: weather sealing, coatings ,image quality, f2.8 aperture , silent A/F!
Cons: size, expense, filter limitations

After owning K-5 IIs, and shooting DA 15, DA 21, DA 12-24, Rok 8mm and a number of legacy primes I have found that in comparison the D-FA 15-30 on Full Frame Sensor yields excellent image quality. I have put it to use for occassional Astro Landscapes, and event photography. Although I regularly carry it in my bag, it does not get as much use as say the Ltd primes did simply because of its enormous size. The use of filters makes it even LARGER. Fotodiox Wonder Pana demonstrated here with 145mm pinch cap and free arc filter frame.
Wonderpana 145mm cover and Freearc frame. by Matt, on Flickr

Depth of Field in close focus situations can be very narrow considering such a wide field of view... at MFD:
When I turned away.. by Matt, on Flickr
Columbine in the woods by Matt, on Flickr

I particularly have appreciated the benefit of the f2.8 aperture, making full use of it during some night sky photos. The following image did not use Astrotracer function
Milkyway Cascade into a derelict church. by Matt, on Flickr

The lens delivers the dramatic, as you'd expect from any Ultra Wide
Thunder head over HMCS Haida by Matt, on Flickr

The Day is done. by Matt, on Flickr

Finally, to review this lens and not mention the weather sealing and fabulous coating technology would not do justice to the benefit of being a part of the Pentax system. IT is weather sealed, and the coating as you can see in the image below do a remarkable job of shedding water (as well as dust etc).
   
Pentaxian

Registered: July, 2011
Posts: 1,662

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 30, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Great performance
Cons: very large filters only, big, long
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K1   

This lens lives up to all the reviews around for Pentax/Tamron design. Wide open you get very sharp images in the center - only extreme corners appear soft. Stopped down you cannot complain at all. The lens turns in oppossite direction compared to Pentax lenses - minor issue. Filter holders are available, but you have to invest in a 150mm system. While great, the lens is rather long and bulky. I cannot blame this lens for a non-available prime in Pentax land, but for me a smaller prime in the 18-20 mm (something recent - not an old FA design) range would be much more useful. If you need 15-30mm, go for it. Price is right for a 2.8 with sealing.
   
New Member

Registered: December, 2014
Posts: 10

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 15, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,500.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: well built, a joy to use, wr, sharp!!!, colors, contrast
Cons: big, heavy, expensive and big filter solutions, some flare issues in special situations
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: k1 and k3II   

Superb workhorse lens for landscape photography. It just delivers. Basic pros are the relevant ones: excellent sharpness, contrast and color. Most sharp around f5.6, but over all very good sharpness from f2.8 until f16.

In most situation flares are no issue. Especially wide open there seems to be no issue at all. The lens renders wonderful wide open against the sun. When you go for shots against the sun wide a closed aperture, the more you close ist, the more issues may be visible. But if you know that you can check and correct your settings.

Sunstars: The lens is able to produce nice stars between f13 and f22, but because of the flare issue I use to stay between f13 and f16. The stars are only clear and nice when the sun just appears behind an object or the horizon. When the sun rises higher it seems to be less nice in rendering the star in my view, so do not let the sun be too big for the purpose.

Filters: Big end expensive solutions - but they work quite well. I just tried the Haida system and it is well built and easy to use (but big of course).

Overall a wonderfull lens! I really do enjoy working with it.



For more pictures taken look here:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/143898035@N07/
   
Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2011
Location: 5th floor
Posts: 1,372

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 11, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $999.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Crazy sharpness in center
Cons: Size
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 7    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-1   

I am really conflicted about this lens. The sharpness in the center is superb as everybody say. For all practical purpose I imagine most people will use the 15mm end more so than 30. So, is it better to carry 15/2,8 (or faster) or a equivalent, or this? The thing is gigantic, ginormous. The contrast between the sizing of K-1 and this is so vast that it affects handling. The lens tends to aim down if I am not careful and mindful because of the weight of the lens. With a battery grip and this lens will weigh almost as much as 645d + 55/2.8. I guess this is the cost of carrying FF. It was in some ways counterproductive as since I have acquired this lens I found myself going more and more to GR . . . . . The lack of ability to take on filters at ease is not a game changer but it is annoying for sure too.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: July, 2007
Location: North West UK
Posts: 382

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 13, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,600.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, rendition, speed, AF
Cons: It is a bit big and heavy (and then some), expensive compared to the Tamron but not when compared to CaNikon
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 7    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-3 K-1   

I have got this as an insurance replacement to my very worthy Tokina 20-35mm ATX-Pro F2.8 (which is in itself a cracker), with a bit of Guiltiness due to the cost. But then again the insurance is new for old and this lens is the ONLY replacement for the Tokina for Full Frame Pentax.

What do I think? Well first impressions is that it is huge! Physically it is twice the dimensions to my APS-C version, the Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6. But then again it is F2.8 all the way through and because of this, it is the size it is. Mind you, The Tokina was no featherweight.

Now Image quality. Well it has only been a couple of days and played with APS-C and FF, but this thing is sharp! Contrast is superb too.
AF is snappy as well.
Metering is spot on too, unlike my APS-C version, the Sigma, which seems to underexpose these days.

Downsides?
No ability to take filters!
Heavy!

Is it worth it? Well yes. It maybe a Tamron in a Pentax frock, but that does not mean it is not any good. Shame it is priced 50% more than the Tamron one for CaNikon. On the other hand, it is still a monster performer that is worthy of use with any Pentax Body. It is that instant sharpness out of the box that impresses.
   
Senior Member

Registered: January, 2016
Location: Tampa Florida
Posts: 287
Lens Review Date: June 9, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,150.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness. Great focal range. Near silent autofocus. Constant fast f2.8
Cons: Can't take screw on filters requires an expensive filter system made for just this lens.

The best option if you are looking for ultra wide angle. Really the only option if you want autofocus. It's big and heavy (very large) but you can tell that it is a high quality pro lens. It's a Tamron rebadge but that's ok because it is a great well regarded lens on other systems. Unfortunately requires a special filter system made just for this lens (can not take screw in filters). It has a built in lens hood which is nice and I like the push on lens cap. It's weather sealed and the front elements has a special coating that makes water just bead right off. It is sharp edge to edge. It is a great landscape lens and I highly recommend it if you are looking for a wide angle lens. It is very convenient having the zoom and since it is such an amazing lens it's image quality is as good as any prime. It isn't cheap but a fantastic lens if you can swing the price.
Add Review of HD Pentax-D FA 15-30mm F2.8 ED SDM WR Buy the HD Pentax-D FA 15-30mm F2.8 ED SDM WR



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