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Thread: Recommended short telephoto lenses for Pentax?

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    Senior Member Amin's Avatar
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    Recommended short telephoto lenses for Pentax?

    Well, I GotDPI'd again and bought a K-5 .

    Choosing lenses has proven more difficult than I had anticipated, and I was hoping to get some lens guidance, specifically for a short tele. My priorities are lens size/weight (smaller is better), bokeh rendering (less bright/double edges better - don't care about number of blades/shapes or cat's eye), control of longitudinal CA (glaring bokeh CA is a pet peeve), and lens speed (f/2.8 or faster).

    Based on tons of sample images, I don't love the 77/1.8, and for that price, I would have to love the rendering. I'm more positive on the samples I saw from the 70/2.4 and would love to get some specific input regarding that lens. Minimum focus distance will be a bummer since I'm so used to getting as close as I like with the Pana Leica 45, but I can get over that.

    I'm considering the Sigma 50/1.4 (found samples here), and I love the rendering. It's a heavy lens, though, and I always worry about focus accuracy with Sigma lenses.

    Willing to consider zooms, possibly Tamron 17-50. I had the Canon version of this lens 3-4 years ago. Has the formula changed at all? Anyone using this lens with Pentax?

    Are there other options I should be considering? My mind keeps coming back to the DA 70/2.4. Seems like all this talk about Limited lenses has taken hold.
    -Amin Sabet

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    Re: Recommended short telephoto lenses for Pentax?

    I have been using the Sigma 70/2.8 Macro lens with great results...see my pics on my "backyard fence" thread. I also have the 70/2.4 DA lens which is very nice, small, compact, sharp...but...does not focus close enough...Sigma beats it hands down. Sigma is also great for portraiture, other more than macro settings...read the reviews on B&H, Pentax Forum, etc. They all rave about this lens.

    The 90mm Tamron macro gets excellent reviews.

    Roy Benson

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    Re: Recommended short telephoto lenses for Pentax?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amin View Post
    Well, I GotDPI'd again and bought a K-5 .

    Choosing lenses has proven more difficult than I had anticipated, and I was hoping to get some lens guidance, specifically for a short tele. My priorities are lens size/weight (smaller is better), bokeh rendering (less bright/double edges better - don't care about number of blades/shapes or cat's eye), control of longitudinal CA (glaring bokeh CA is a pet peeve), and lens speed (f/2.8 or faster).

    Based on tons of sample images, I don't love the 77/1.8, and for that price, I would have to love the rendering. I'm more positive on the samples I saw from the 70/2.4 and would love to get some specific input regarding that lens. Minimum focus distance will be a bummer since I'm so used to getting as close as I like with the Pana Leica 45, but I can get over that.

    I'm considering the Sigma 50/1.4 (found samples here), and I love the rendering. It's a heavy lens, though, and I always worry about focus accuracy with Sigma lenses.

    Willing to consider zooms, possibly Tamron 17-50. I had the Canon version of this lens 3-4 years ago. Has the formula changed at all? Anyone using this lens with Pentax?

    Are there other options I should be considering? My mind keeps coming back to the DA 70/2.4. Seems like all this talk about Limited lenses has taken hold.
    Amin,
    Congratulations for your new K5. I have been quite pleased with the 70mm limited. Like most of the limited lenses there is a bit of CA, but not objectionable and easily dealt with in Lightroom by simply applying the provided lens profile for the 70 limited. Sample below and more in my pbase gallery.

    Best regards,
    Carl

    Carl
    Gallery

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    Senior Member Amin's Avatar
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    Re: Recommended short telephoto lenses for Pentax?

    Roy, I will look more into the Sigma macro. I had come across that recommendation in my research but didn't fully explore it.

    Carl, that is a great portrait, and I'm off to check out your PBase.

    Thank you both!
    -Amin Sabet

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    Re: Recommended short telephoto lenses for Pentax?

    The DFA 100mm f/2.8 WR macro may not be as compact as for example the DA 70mm, but otherwise it's a great lens. One of my better ones definitely.

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    Senior Member Amin's Avatar
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    Re: Recommended short telephoto lenses for Pentax?

    Thanks, emr. I'll take a closer look at that one too, although I think anything over 80mm is probably too long for much of my people photography.
    -Amin Sabet

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    Re: Recommended short telephoto lenses for Pentax?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amin View Post
    Well, I GotDPI'd again and bought a K-5 .
    Amin....me too......Jono (and Carl) should get a commission. Any camera that can make Ithaca winters look good is a winner in my book

    Keep this thread alive please.....I too am looking for that portrait prime.

    I still am curious what others might think about the FA77.

    R

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    Senior Member Amin's Avatar
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    Re: Recommended short telephoto lenses for Pentax?

    Rich, it's amazing how much gear gets bought because of this site. If even 10% of it is purchased via the affiliate banners (hopefully more than that), it should add some nice support for our kind hosts.

    Looking forward to your K-5 photos!
    -Amin Sabet

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    Re: Recommended short telephoto lenses for Pentax?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich M View Post
    Amin....me too......Jono (and Carl) should get a commission. Any camera that can make Ithaca winters look good is a winner in my book

    Keep this thread alive please.....I too am looking for that portrait prime.

    I still am curious what others might think about the FA77.

    R
    Hi Rich and congrats for your K5. Jono is the chief instigator who drew me in with his lovely photos. Looking forward to seeing your work with the K5.
    Carl
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    Re: Recommended short telephoto lenses for Pentax?

    Hi Carl
    Quote Originally Posted by scho View Post
    Hi Rich and congrats for your K5. Jono is the chief instigator who drew me in with his lovely photos. Looking forward to seeing your work with the K5.
    Okay then, blame me why dontcha - and that's after I agreed to let you have half the commision as well

    Amin - sorry - I missed this thread.
    As for zooms - I'm not sure that any are perfect, but the 18-135 really is pretty good, and it has the advantage of being weather sealed and very compact. The 16-50 is very subject to sample variation - I think I've finally got a good one, but that's at the 4th attempt. Both of these lenses have good bokeh for their type . . . and both suffer from CA, if not catastrophically.

    the 100 WR macro is great for portraits, if a little long, but like many other macros it's really a pain if it decides to hunt back and forth from infinity to 2"

    Seems like the little 70 DA is calling you!

    all the best

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Recommended short telephoto lenses for Pentax?

    Good for you Amin. I was (still am) a Pentax user for many years. Last year I decided to give the m4/3 a try, and jumped with both feet in ;-)

    Although I like the GF1+20 combo, the resolution and the rendering properties of a nice Pentax lens is just not there.

    Of course, after the K-5 introduction (and the X100), the m4/3 has lost it's appeal ;-)

    I've tried many, many lenses on Pentax. Here is a list of the ones I liked;
    • FA 43mm F/1.9 Ltd - Simply the BEST rendering lens I've had on the Pentax mount.
    • DA 35mm F/2.8 Macro - also has great rendering properties. Read Michael Johnston's review
    • F* 300mm F/4.5 - You will LOVE it's small size and image quality
    • FA 20-35mm F/4 - Almost perfect, and very small.
    • A* 200mm F/4 macro - The reason I still have Pentax bodies ;-) may never sell it! The BEST macro lens (of any brand) I've ever used.
    • A* 85/1.4 & FA* 85/1.4 - Legendary but almost impossible to find
    • other lenses I would recommend: DA* 60-250/4, DA 15/4, FA31/1.8, Sigma 24/2.8 macro, Tamron 90/2.8 macro, FA* 80-200/2.8


    A few examples:

    FA 43mm Limited:


    F* 300mm:


    FA 20-35mm:


    A* 200mm Macro:



    And if you're new to Pentax, you can follow my Pentax News Aggregation site.
    .Sam.
    Panasonic GF1 & Olympus E-P5
    Photos: http://www.flickr.com/shadzee/

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    Senior Member Amin's Avatar
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    Re: Recommended short telephoto lenses for Pentax?

    Jono, thank you for the recommendations. I was following your reports about the 16-50, and the idea of having to try a few copies is a major turnoff to me. I always imagine that the big stores will have a bunch of lenses which have been screened and rejected by those who have more patience than I do to find a good copy and that therefore my chances of finding a good one are low. It's a shame that the Pentax 16-50 has this reputation for copy variability, because the equivalent lenses for Canon and Nikon do not.

    The 18-135 seems like a good and useful lens. You, Jim Radcliffe, and others are doing great things with it, though of course that is mostly up to your talent and not the lens.

    I think you're right that the 70/2.4 is calling me as a first lens pick. It's between that, the Sigma 50, and the Sigma 70 macro. I'm going to go with my gut and order the Pentax. Camera is arriving tomorrow, and I need a lens for it, so here goes. Thank goodness for Amazon Prime and $3.95 overnight delivery...


    Sam, thanks for sharing your experience and the beautiful photos. I think it is almost impossible that Pentax will replace Micro 4/3 as my primary kit. I really do love what I've got but just looking for some variety to keep things fresh . From what I've seen, the 43 Limited is a real winner, but that's an awkward focal length for me. I'll be sure to check out your site!
    -Amin Sabet

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    Re: Recommended short telephoto lenses for Pentax?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amin View Post
    Jono, thank you for the recommendations. I was following your reports about the 16-50, and the idea of having to try a few copies is a major turnoff to me. I always imagine that the big stores will have a bunch of lenses which have been screened and rejected by those who have more patience than I do to find a good copy and that therefore my chances of finding a good one are low. It's a shame that the Pentax has this reputation for bad copies, because the equivalent lenses for Canon and Nikon do not.
    Well, I used to have problems with Nikon lenses (3 17-55 before I got a good one). It's not so bad if you have a patient, local dealer (which I have) - they just sigh when I come back with another questionable lens and change it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amin View Post
    The 18-135 seems like a good and useful lens. You, Jim Radcliffe, and others are doing great things with it, though of course that is mostly up to your talent and not the lens.
    I understand that photozone are going to give it a drubbing - but I like mine, and it's nicely made, and so convenient. Jim likes his as well . . . and he's a hard task master!

    Quote Originally Posted by Amin View Post
    I think you're right that the 70/2.4 is calling me as a first lens pick. It's between that, the Sigma 50, and the Sigma 70 macro. I'm going to go with my gut and order the Pentax. Camera is arriving tomorrow, and I need a lens for it, so here goes. Thank goodness for Amazon Prime and $3.95 overnight delivery...
    Good luck with it - I'll be fascinated by your response (could be expensive!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Amin View Post
    Sam, thanks for sharing your experience and the beautiful photos. I think it is almost impossible that Pentax will replace Micro 4/3 as my primary kit. I really do love what I've got but just looking for some variety to keep things fresh . From what I've seen, the 43 Limited is a real winner, but that's an awkward focal length for me. I'll be sure to check out your site!
    Sam - what Amin said - except that for me the K5 really has replaced m4/3 . . . and NEX

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Recommended short telephoto lenses for Pentax?

    Sam

    Great shots!

    The 43mm lens is so good, it is worth getting used to the focal length. And it doesn't cost as much as the 31mm!

    Mine is getting more use now than it ever has, thanks to the K5. I have had it for over 25 years, got it originally for my film Pentax camera. I notice that the serial number is only in 4 digits ...

    I did need to apply +10 AF adjustment though ...

    Lee

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    Re: Recommended short telephoto lenses for Pentax?

    Carl

    Beautiful portrait. I think you have your own pot of Pentax 'magic dust' and sprinkle it quite liberally ... of course it's the photographer that counts more than the 'magic dust'.

    Lee

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    Senior Member Amin's Avatar
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    Re: Recommended short telephoto lenses for Pentax?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    ...It's not so bad if you have a patient, local dealer (which I have) - they just sigh when I come back with another questionable lens and change it....
    None of my local dealers carry Pentax .
    -Amin Sabet

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    Re: Recommended short telephoto lenses for Pentax?

    Hunts in Boston carries some lens, but not much.

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    Senior Member Amin's Avatar
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    Re: Recommended short telephoto lenses for Pentax?

    Quote Originally Posted by ecsh View Post
    Hunts in Boston carries some lens, but not much.
    Thanks for mentioning that. I called and they didn't have the K-5, so I incorrectly assumed no lenses.
    -Amin Sabet

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    Re: Recommended short telephoto lenses for Pentax?

    Congrats on the K-5 and DA70! Join the club. Although at this time, I'm not sure if I'll remain in the club for much longer. I'm loving the IQ and features of the K-5. But not too crazy about the bulk and weight. Maybe I was getting too comfortable lugging the GH2 around.

    Speaking of short tele, I really like the 100 WR Macro. Awesome sharpness. Smooth bokeh. And the build quality of a Leica -- I kidd you not. I'm comfortable saying that the 100 WR is better built than my DA21 and FA43.

    As for your question about the Tamron 17-50, I just did a comparison of the Tamron 17-50 vs. Sigma 17-50 over at Pentaxforums. The copy of the Tamron that I got had focus problems at 17mm and 50mm when used wide open. The Sigma proved to be sharper at all lengths and apertures. The Sigma AF's was right on every time too. And the Sigma's HSM motor is very very quiet. Unfortunately, the Sigma is also $200 more than the Tamron, fatter, heavier, and kinda overpowers the K-5 body. The Tamron is much more well balanced size wise.

    I will likely return both and get the 18-135 instead (if I keep the K-5).

    http://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/p...-os-hsm-4.html
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