Pentax KP Review
The Pentax KP deserves to be used with sharp, high-performance lenses. Below are some of our recommendations specifically for the KP from among Pentax and third-party lenses that are currently available. Learn more about each lens in the linked in-depth reviews.
Pentax KP with D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro
- Everyday walkaround: DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6
This zoom features a convenient focal length range and impressive image quality for the price, along with weather sealing. The lens has silent autofocus provided by the built-in DC type motor. The high-ISO performance of the KP makes the somewhat slow F4 maximum aperture at the long end less of an issue (unless you seek a shallow depth of field where a faster F2.8 zoom lens would be the better option).
- Telezoom for action photography and travel: DA 55-300mm F4.5-6.3 ED PLM WR RE
This telephoto zoom has the fastest autofocus of any Pentax zoom lens thanks to its built-in PLM type autofocus motor. This makes it the best choice for action photography. This lens is also an ideal companion to the above mentioned 16-85mm lens for a two-lens travel kit due to its compact size and low weight. The stellar high-ISO performance of the KP lets you cope with the slow F4.5-6.3 maximum aperture range of this lens.
- Wide zoom for landscape: DA 12-24mm F4, or Sigma/Tamron variants
It's hard to go wrong with the Pentax 12-24mm for wide-angle shooting. Corresponding Sigma and Tamron lenses (either 12-24mm or 10-24mm) are more affordable alternatives.
- Compact prime lens kit: DA 15mm F4 Limited, DA 21mm F3.5 Limited, DA 35mm F2.8 Macro Limited or DA 40mm F2.8 Limited, and DA 70mm F2.4 Limited
This set of compact and lightweight DA Limited prime lenses are ideal companions to the KP. With the small grip on the KP the resulting kit is quite compact. The image quality of this set is excellent.
- Portrait lens: DA* 55mm F1.4
This is a classic portrait lens with a focal length designed for APS-C cameras.
- Macro: D FA 100mm F2.8 WR
The D FA 100mm macro is among the sharpest lenses in the current Pentax lineup. It offers 1:1 magnification, weather sealing, and a compact form factor. If you plan to use close-up accessories such as extension tubes or bellows, consider getting a lens with an aperture ring such as the older non-WR version of this lens, or the D FA 50mm macro. The Tamron SP AF Di 90mm F2.8 Macro is a worthy alternative to the Pentax macro lens.
We feel that any one of the above lenses are a great match for the KP because they are all compact and lightweight for their range thus matching the KP well, and reasonably priced for their quality at that. Many more lenses are of course available like the top shelf DA* 60-250mm F4 fixed aperture telephoto zoom, the equally excellent D FA 150-450mm F4.5-5.6 super telephoto zoom, and the legendary film era FA 31mm F1.8, FA 43mm F1.9, and FA 77mm F1.8 Limited prime lenses, all three of which balances well on the KP. You can see what else is out there in the Pentax lens database, and in the third party lens database. Also, don't miss our in-depth lens reviews.
If you would like further lens advice, don't hesitate to post your questions in our Pentax lens forum.