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DxOMark recommends lenses for the Pentax K-3

By dpreview staff on Jan 13, 2014 at 19:31 GMT
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The Pentax K-3 was a justified winner in our reader poll for the Best DSLR of 2013, and now our friends and collaborators over at DxOMark have been looking into how various lenses score on it. In the process, they've also reviewed many of Pentax's lovely 'Limited' primes in their latest 'HD' incarnations. See the links below for DxOMark's reviews.  

 
 
 Pentax Lens reviews 
 DxOMark Review: Best lenses for the 24M-Pix Pentax K-3
 DxOMark Review: Pentax HD DA 21mm f/3.2 AL Limited
 DxOMark Review: Pentax HD DA 40mm f/2.8 Limited
 DxOMark Review: Pentax HD DA 15mm f/4 Limited
 DxOMark Review: Pentax HD DA 35mm f/2.8 Macro Limited
 Other recent DxOMark reviews
 DxOMark Review: Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L IS USM
 DxOMark Review: Canon EOS M2
 DxOMark Review: Samsung NX1000 and NX1100
 DxOMark Review: Panasonic DMC-FZ70
 DxOMark Review: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10

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Pentax K-3

Comments

Total comments: 28
Joe Ogiba
By Joe Ogiba (3 months ago)

"DxOMark recommends lenses for the Pentax K-3"
Really ? I thought the K-3 body alone would be good enough ;)

0 upvotes
shutterbobby
By shutterbobby (3 months ago)

Look at the test for DA*300--2 different results?? one in this for the K3 & one before..sorry but I really don't trust DXO,and the DA*300 is a very sharp lens--wonder if they work out of Colorado ;)

0 upvotes
completelyrandomstuff
By completelyrandomstuff (3 months ago)

I was worried about all those tests when I was switching from olympus to Pentax and I found out it's better to look at user reviews.

Since the HG zuikos were supposed to be among the best, I was worried that any other system would be a step down. From my experience the better lenses from Pentax's line up are just as good, for my use at least, as HG zuikos (never used SHG though). They are definitely capable of producing good quality images.

2 upvotes
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (3 months ago)

It shouldn't come as such a surprise to find that all of the major manufacturers are capable of making very good lenses. It certainly seems odd to discount lens tests because of this.

0 upvotes
Gary Martin
By Gary Martin (3 months ago)

Pentax lenses are designed to be compact, and the price is a higher-than-average amount of field curvature. The DA15 and DA21 are good examples of that. And field curvature isn't good for resolution tests. Fortunately, I don't find it as a big problem when shooting, since it's rare that my subjects lie in a flat field. But a landscape photographer looking for a sharp horizon on the edges of the frame should choose aperture and focus point with extra care.

2 upvotes
completelyrandomstuff
By completelyrandomstuff (3 months ago)

I am not discounting lens tests. I think that the image quality improvements become irrelevant at some point and I am hypothesizing that most new lenses are beyond that point. Lens tests are alright, but I found that people made great shots and enjoyed their experience with mediocrily rated lenses as much as those that were rated well.

0 upvotes
wherearemyshorts
By wherearemyshorts (3 months ago)

.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
bossa
By bossa (3 months ago)

I can attest that the Pentax 40mm is pin sharp wide-open, unlike the DX0 Mark test results show. I cannot understand how DX0 Mark continually gets substandard test scores for Pentax lenses. Lenstip scores the DA*55 at almost 50 lpmm, one of the sharpest 50's they've tested and yet DX0 Mark gets different scores.

Another site has the canon and Pentax 40mm on about even pegging re' resolution but the Pentax has better CA but worse in the Bokeh department.

http://www.photozone.de/pentax/630-pentax40f28?start=1
http://www.photozone.de/canon-eos/772-canon_40_28_apsc?start=1

Comment edited 33 seconds after posting
9 upvotes
Silvarum
By Silvarum (3 months ago)

Probably because DxOMark tests only one lens and only one time. These tests are as useless as they can be. I find user reviews much more informative.

5 upvotes
walberty
By walberty (3 months ago)

They highlighted the DA 55-300 sharpness profile as "complex" and that it was very sharp at 300mm. If you look at the field map at 300mm it is sharper in a large central area than the DA 300mm at the same F stop. This has been known for years by Pentax users as the lens to get on a budget if you want a sharp 300mm lens. Same goes for the DA 16-50 that is known as sharp, but only when stopped down a bit and this was reflected in photozone's test of it. Also the 16-45 does well, another good zoom. To me some of their ratings seem spot on.

0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (3 months ago)

Silvarum - lenstip does the same. Problem with DXO is that their testing methodology is next to complete unknown. As far as they did brilliant work with camera tests - their lens tests are complete garbage.

I pick lenstip any time over DXO for lens reviews.

Comment edited 48 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
completelyrandomstuff
By completelyrandomstuff (3 months ago)

I found Photozone to be very accurate. They sometimes test more than one lens too.

1 upvote
LensBeginner
By LensBeginner (3 months ago)

Nice test!
Thanks!

0 upvotes
PolarHki
By PolarHki (3 months ago)

This is interesting, but DxO only measures the technical capabilities of a lens, with a focus on sharpness. Sharpness is important, but not all. The "character" each lens, how it reproduces colours, how is its bokeh, how it renders textures, etc is also important, and not really taken into account here.

2 upvotes
JEROME NOLAS
By JEROME NOLAS (3 months ago)

Pentax has the worst lens line up. The odd focal lengths, too slow, too expensive. Will they ever change? What's wrong with almost all lens makers(Sony are you listening?) At least Sigma tries harder!!!

2 upvotes
TadekH
By TadekH (3 months ago)

Hmmm what about 77 and 31mm... These are superb lenses.

3 upvotes
Brett St Pierre
By Brett St Pierre (3 months ago)

Traditionaly with the Limited lenses Pentax labels the lens the actual focal length (e.g. 31mm or 77mm) rather than round the number to 75mm or 30mm as other makers do (and Pentax does for it's standard lenses). Of course 43mm on full frame was the 'true normal' being the diagional of 24mm x 36mm frame. The slower apertures of some (e.g. 21mm F3.2) are a design compromise to make a very small and light lens... obviosuly an area Pentax sees as a niche in the DSLR market. And in many cases these lenses perform wide open where some people won't use their faster primes wide open due to poor performance at wide apertures.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
7 upvotes
Cameracist
By Cameracist (3 months ago)

Jerome, what lenses are you missing? Particularly!

0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (3 months ago)

Jerome - in Pentax lens lineup the funniest thing is a fact that they offer more pancakes than any mirrorless system out there.

0 upvotes
JEROME NOLAS
By JEROME NOLAS (3 months ago)

I want 24mm (36mm eqv.) f1.8,so I can switch to Pentax... even if I am waiting for 20-40mm lens test...

Comment edited 32 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
BorisAkunin
By BorisAkunin (3 months ago)

Well, there are the Sigma f/1.8 primes (20, 24 & 28mm)...
(And the 18-35/1.8)

0 upvotes
completelyrandomstuff
By completelyrandomstuff (3 months ago)

Jerome, there is a lens like this. You have to buy it used, but it's a * lens so it should be very well built. Photozone says the corners are not fantastic, but people love it, so it's probably not an issue.

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (3 months ago)

Not surprisingly, the pancake lens performance is not impressive. But at least they are small.

2 upvotes
Silvarum
By Silvarum (3 months ago)

Just go and take some pictures using pancake lenses instead of looking at some numbers. Then we'll talk about impressive.

4 upvotes
Kipplemaster
By Kipplemaster (3 months ago)

I haven't used the Pentax 40mm but can confirm that that Canon 40mm is very sharp, even wide open at f2.8. The DXO results don't seem to reflect that.

0 upvotes
Donald B
By Donald B (3 months ago)

after the best lens recommendation, you have listed the 4 worst lens for viewing scores ?

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Edgar Matias
By Edgar Matias (3 months ago)

Nice to see Pentax getting some well deserved love.

Eventually it pays off to try harder than the incumbents.

12 upvotes
chlamchowder
By chlamchowder (3 months ago)

The image of the K-3 is really nice.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 28