Pentax DA Primes?

Started 4 months ago | Discussions
unhappymeal Contributing Member • Posts: 700
Pentax DA Primes?
1

Hey all,

Is there a line-up of DA primes that matches something like the the XF f/1.4 and f/2.0 primes? I'm thinking of 16 mm, 23 mm, 35 mm and 50 mm? I tried to do some digging and it seems to be a mixed bag on what's available with SDM vs screw drives on the Pentax side.

Thanks!

Smitty1 Senior Member • Posts: 2,150
Re: Pentax DA Primes?
4

unhappymeal wrote:

Hey all,

Is there a line-up of DA primes that matches something like the the XF f/1.4 and f/2.0 primes? I'm thinking of 16 mm, 23 mm, 35 mm and 50 mm? I tried to do some digging and it seems to be a mixed bag on what's available with SDM vs screw drives on the Pentax side.

Thanks!

No.

Pentax relies on a number of aging DA lens designs that were given the lipstick treatment several years ago.

There are also Limited primes that might suit you, but they are all screwdriven and again mostly aging designs. Some people consider it character while others just consider it dated.  Most are pretty sharp in the center though and stopped down okay.

Fuji made it a plan to design a modern series of lenses across the board. Ricoh/Pentax decided to give new coatings to old designs and introduce new designs here and there (which are far larger than the old style compact primes).

OP unhappymeal Contributing Member • Posts: 700
Re: Pentax DA Primes?
1

Smitty1 wrote:

unhappymeal wrote:

Hey all,

Is there a line-up of DA primes that matches something like the the XF f/1.4 and f/2.0 primes? I'm thinking of 16 mm, 23 mm, 35 mm and 50 mm? I tried to do some digging and it seems to be a mixed bag on what's available with SDM vs screw drives on the Pentax side.

Thanks!

No.

Pentax relies on a number of aging DA lens designs that were given the lipstick treatment several years ago.

There are also Limited primes that might suit you, but they are all screwdriven and again mostly aging designs. Some people consider it character while others just consider it dated. Most are pretty sharp in the center though and stopped down okay.

Fuji made it a plan to design a modern series of lenses across the board. Ricoh/Pentax decided to give new coatings to old designs and introduce new designs here and there (which are far larger than the old style compact primes).

Darn. The KP looks like a really compelling body, but I'd like to build a nice set of primes.

Heliar Regular Member • Posts: 212
Re: Pentax DA Primes?
1

unhappymeal wrote:

Hey all,

Is there a line-up of DA primes that matches something like the the XF f/1.4 and f/2.0 primes? I'm thinking of 16 mm, 23 mm, 35 mm and 50 mm? I tried to do some digging and it seems to be a mixed bag on what's available with SDM vs screw drives on the Pentax side.

Thanks!

Pentax DA lineup doesn't really have lenses of such max aperture, except DA* 55mm F/1.4. It is pretty darn good lens though, even though it has the old SDM drive.

For other focal lengths, there are limiteds. Small, nicely made, but much slower than the Fujiluxes and Fujicrons. Also, almost all of them are not WR and have screwdrive AF (except DA 20-40, but that one is a zoom), which is horrible for video work, but I guess Pentax isn't really meant for video;). Some of those limiteds may feel a little dated optically (like DA 21mm) but lenses like DA 70mm and DA 15mm have a cult following. DA 35mm Macro is also an underrated gem.

For budget oriented, the plastic fantastic "unlimited" DA 35mm is superb value.

 Heliar's gear list:Heliar's gear list
Pentax K-1 Pentax smc FA 31mm F1.8 AL Limited Pentax smc FA 43mm F1.9 Limited Pentax smc FA 77mm 1.8 Limited Pentax smc D-FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR +6 more
xmeda
xmeda Senior Member • Posts: 1,457
Re: Pentax DA Primes?
2

unhappymeal wrote:

Hey all,

Is there a line-up of DA primes that matches something like the the XF f/1.4 and f/2.0 primes? I'm thinking of 16 mm, 23 mm, 35 mm and 50 mm? I tried to do some digging and it seems to be a mixed bag on what's available with SDM vs screw drives on the Pentax side.

Thanks!

I've fixed this with Sigma 18-35/1.8, Sigma 17-50/2.8, FA*24/2, FA35/2, DA40/2.8, FA50/1.4, and DA70/2.4

-- hide signature --
 xmeda's gear list:xmeda's gear list
Casio QV-R40 Casio Exilim EX-Z110 Olympus XZ-1 Olympus Stylus 1s Pentax K20D +31 more
Richard B.
Richard B. Veteran Member • Posts: 5,873
Re: Pentax DA Primes?
13

The DA Ltd primes are 15mm f4, 21mm f3.2, 35mm f2.8 macro, 40mm f2.8 and 70mm f2.4. They are best for their small size, beautiful all metal construction and outstanding image quality. They have formed the core of my shooting set up for the last years. I have no plans to change that.

-- hide signature --
 Richard B.'s gear list:Richard B.'s gear list
Pentax K-5 IIs Pentax smc DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited Pentax smc DA 17-70mm F4.0 AL (IF) SDM Pentax smc DA 55-300mm F4.0-5.8 ED Pentax smc DA* 60-250mm F4.0 ED (IF) SDM +7 more
ozdean
ozdean Forum Pro • Posts: 26,217
Re: Pentax DA Primes?
2

Totally agree they are GEMS.

-- hide signature --

Regards Dean - Capturing Creation
N.B. All my Images are Protected by Copyright

 ozdean's gear list:ozdean's gear list
Pentax MX-1 Pentax K-5 IIs Pentax K-50 Pentax smc DA* 55mm F1.4 SDM Pentax smc DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited +13 more
zakaria
zakaria Veteran Member • Posts: 5,186
Re: Pentax DA Primes?
1

ozdean wrote:

Totally agree they are GEMS..

+1

-- hide signature --

Regards Dean - Capturing Creation
N.B. All my Images are Protected by Copyright

-- hide signature --

pentaxian .

 zakaria's gear list:zakaria's gear list
Nikon D750 Fujifilm X-H1 Pentax K-1 II Pentax smc FA 31mm F1.8 AL Limited HD Pentax DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited +7 more
DougOB
DougOB Senior Member • Posts: 1,781
Re: Pentax DA Primes?
1

Richard B. wrote:

The DA Ltd primes are 15mm f4, 21mm f3.2, 35mm f2.8 macro, 40mm f2.8 and 70mm f2.4. They are best for their small size, beautiful all metal construction and outstanding image quality. They have formed the core of my shooting set up for the last years. I have no plans to change that.

Yup, agreed.  These lenses have made many travels with me.

If you want a fast lens with in-lens motors then that is fine but it is a different set of lenses altogether.

Doug

 DougOB's gear list:DougOB's gear list
Pentax K-01 Pentax K-3 Pentax Q-S1 Pentax K-70 Pentax KP +32 more
Smitty1 Senior Member • Posts: 2,150
Re: Pentax DA Primes?
1

unhappymeal wrote:

Smitty1 wrote:

unhappymeal wrote:

Hey all,

Is there a line-up of DA primes that matches something like the the XF f/1.4 and f/2.0 primes? I'm thinking of 16 mm, 23 mm, 35 mm and 50 mm? I tried to do some digging and it seems to be a mixed bag on what's available with SDM vs screw drives on the Pentax side.

Thanks!

No.

Pentax relies on a number of aging DA lens designs that were given the lipstick treatment several years ago.

There are also Limited primes that might suit you, but they are all screwdriven and again mostly aging designs. Some people consider it character while others just consider it dated. Most are pretty sharp in the center though and stopped down okay.

Fuji made it a plan to design a modern series of lenses across the board. Ricoh/Pentax decided to give new coatings to old designs and introduce new designs here and there (which are far larger than the old style compact primes).

Darn. The KP looks like a really compelling body, but I'd like to build a nice set of primes.

Over the past several years a few of us have been harping on that. The simple addition of in-lens motors would make a lot of the DA primes more compelling imo. If they threw in weather sealing it would be great too. But sadly it doesn't seem a reasonable expectation.

They took 2 or 3 years to release a huge 85mm f/1.4 as they fill out the full frame lineup painfully slowly.

DA lenses seem to be taking a back seat for now and probably a couple of years at least.

Some of the current pancakes and squatty primes are nice though if you don't mind black and decker sounds out of your camera.

Brentliris Veteran Member • Posts: 4,143
Re: Pentax DA Primes?
6

IVe had the DA 15 old and new version, the DA 21 and the DA 70 for years now. When I look at images I've taken with them I've found theY are excellent performers. Recommended. Primes  in this form don't benefit as much by in lens motors as they are so small and light there's not much weight  in the glass elements to be moved around. Especially the 15mm and 21mm have a very short throw so they are fast focusing enough imo. I rebought the DA 15 in the new HD version and it is a real improvement compared to the old version. Now I will finally be receiving the HD 21mm after my original version broke recently. The image quality is up to the standards of the KP standard of resolution...

-- hide signature --

Reflections, understandings, discoveries and intimations..

 Brentliris's gear list:Brentliris's gear list
Pentax smc DA* 55mm F1.4 SDM Pentax K100D Super Ricoh GXR S10 24-72mm F2.5-4.4 VC Ricoh GXR Mount A12 Pentax KP +19 more
MaKeR Contributing Member • Posts: 815
Re: Pentax DA Primes?
3

The DA Limited primes are the ticket if your highest priorities are size and durability, not large aperture, silent focusing, or the ultimate in image quality, although they are quite okay in that, too. They all take 49 mm filters, which further saves on bulk, weight, and cost. And they all come with metal hoods, which are not removable on the 15 and 35 so you'll never lose those two and they are instantly deployable.

Although they aren't weather-sealed, they are great for travel. I've taken mine to over 5000 metres in the snow of the Himalaya, had them in blowing pumice sand in Iceland, a dust storm in Nepal, and one of them fell out of my camera bag and tumbled down a 20 metre rock face without damage (I later used that one a lot in Nepal).

yardcoyote Forum Pro • Posts: 12,845
My KP primes
5

The KP is such a worthwhile camera, but you definitely aren't going to find a rational collection of primes for it, comparable to the ones you find in Fuji. (I shoot Fuji too, so I know exactly what you are talking about.) But there are good primes out there that make beautiful music with the KP, particularly if you make up your mind to embrace the screw drive (more on that later) and don't insist on everything being dedicated DA.

Garden macro is one of my passions, so the lens that's on my KP most of the time is the D/FA 100mm f/2.8. Great lens, great match for the camera, and the whole thing is reliably weather resistant. I can't imagine a day when I don't have a KP just so I can use it with this lens in the garden. The 100 is also a fine general purpose telephoto, and it even performs credibly as a portrait lens.

Otherwise I have the DA 21mm Limited, the DA 35mm macro Limited, the FA 43mm Limited, an ancient FA 50mm f/1.4 from the film era, and the DA 70mm Limited. My favorites are the 43 ( funky) and the old 50mm.

The secret weapon for the KP, though, is the prime thats not a prime-- the 20-40mm Limited zoom. I am not a zoom person at all, but this one is an exception. Pretty, tough, and surprisingly useful, I use it sometimes for travel and walkaround in bad weather and am always pleased with the results.

I have no problems with the screw drive. A DSLR is an old school tool and I don't expect it to be sleek and silent. The bitterest disappointment in my modern Pentax experience was the failure of the SDM in my DA 55mm. I considered this an essential lens. Even reconditioned it was expensive, and losing it was a real blow. I may still have it repaired, but I doubt I will ever trust it fully. I loved it as a lens - it was an outstanding museum performer- but nowadays I use the 43. Or a Fuji.

-- hide signature --

Instagram: @yardcoyote

 yardcoyote's gear list:yardcoyote's gear list
Fujifilm X10 Fujifilm X100T Fujifilm X-Pro1 Pentax K-5 IIs Fujifilm X-M1 +18 more
Brentliris Veteran Member • Posts: 4,143
Re: Pentax DA Primes?

Reading the OP's original post he was looking for very fast glass primes. So the lens I bought not long ago the DA * 55 1.4 SDM is a good example of a prime that would fit the bill. I enjoy using it nice ergonomics on the KP well balanced. The SDM on my example works great and is silent on the the KP and focuses fast and accurately.

I think the newly updated DFA 35mm F2 would be another good choice. Image quality forom this lens was always very very good. It's got upgraded coatings which really really is something that has a strong influence on resistance to flare and improved micro contrast and color rendition not weather sealed though.

DFA 100 2.8 macro is excellent on the KP or any other APSC body as a mid tele and it focus accurately and fast imo.

-- hide signature --

Reflections, understandings, discoveries and intimations..

 Brentliris's gear list:Brentliris's gear list
Pentax smc DA* 55mm F1.4 SDM Pentax K100D Super Ricoh GXR S10 24-72mm F2.5-4.4 VC Ricoh GXR Mount A12 Pentax KP +19 more
Phil A Martin Senior Member • Posts: 1,407
Re: Pentax DA Primes?
5

I'm having trouble understanding what "dated optically means"? Especially when half the Pentax world appear to be chasing increasingly esoteric M42 Takumar lenses, whilst others complain about perfectly good lenses, just because they are last years design. And don't mention the hoards of Sony A7 users, using all sorts of adapters in search of the elusive and perfect vintage primes.

Brentliris Veteran Member • Posts: 4,143
Travel champ DA limited primes
1

I'd like to add that the pentax series of DA ltd is the ultimate lightweight setup if you like a DSLR form factor.

I have the Pentax lenscase version 2 and you could fit the whole series in HD 15,21,40,70 DA ltd in there with the DA 35 macro mounted on the camera and have a adequate to excellent IQ with relatively fast aperture compared to a travel zoom.

The benefit of the small size of the lenses makes the camera and lens seem less intimidating to locals or security at museums og botanic gardens and children dogs or other animal animals and the elderly.

If you want to use them in the rain it is at your own risk but I have taken to carrying the camera under my bulky raincoat and pulling it out for the shot drying it out and then sliding it back under the jacket. Don't put undo pressure on the lens barrel though..

A small tripod for night shots an off camera flash system for portrait or macro/product photography would mean you could do serious work if it came up whereever you ended up.. Airtravel is one thing where bulk of kit needs to be kept at a minimum.

-- hide signature --

Reflections, understandings, discoveries and intimations..

 Brentliris's gear list:Brentliris's gear list
Pentax smc DA* 55mm F1.4 SDM Pentax K100D Super Ricoh GXR S10 24-72mm F2.5-4.4 VC Ricoh GXR Mount A12 Pentax KP +19 more
Heliar Regular Member • Posts: 212
Re: Pentax DA Primes?

Phil A Martin wrote:

I'm having trouble understanding what "dated optically means"? Especially when half the Pentax world appear to be chasing increasingly esoteric M42 Takumar lenses, whilst others complain about perfectly good lenses, just because they are last years design. And don't mention the hoards of Sony A7 users, using all sorts of adapters in search of the elusive and perfect vintage primes.

It means not on the same level of resolving power and aberration correction than what contemporary designs have. Simple as that.

Obviously, not everyone cares about those things, like the 'takumar seekers' you mention. I assume however that the OP does, as he uses Fuji xf lenses as a baseline for comparison.

 Heliar's gear list:Heliar's gear list
Pentax K-1 Pentax smc FA 31mm F1.8 AL Limited Pentax smc FA 43mm F1.9 Limited Pentax smc FA 77mm 1.8 Limited Pentax smc D-FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR +6 more
ogl
ogl Senior Member • Posts: 1,787
Re: Pentax DA Primes?

xmeda wrote:

I've fixed this with Sigma 18-35/1.8, Sigma 17-50/2.8, FA*24/2, FA35/2, DA40/2.8, FA50/1.4, and DA70/2.4

Only 70 mm is close to fast DA. The rest lenses are not DA or DA40/2.8.

 ogl's gear list:ogl's gear list
Pentax K-5 IIs Pentax smc FA 31mm F1.8 AL Limited Pentax smc FA 43mm F1.9 Limited
cport Forum Member • Posts: 67
Re: Pentax DA Primes?
2

unhappymeal wrote:

Hey all,

Is there a line-up of DA primes that matches something like the the XF f/1.4 and f/2.0 primes? I'm thinking of 16 mm, 23 mm, 35 mm and 50 mm? I tried to do some digging and it seems to be a mixed bag on what's available with SDM vs screw drives on the Pentax side.

Thanks!

Lens offers of Fuji and Pentax are different - Pentax does not have 18/2, 16/1,4, 23/1,4 etc. Fuji does not have limiteds, which are so unique from several points of view. Fuji is quite appealing for mid-range focal lengths but is not that appealing for wide-angle or longer lenses (DA 200 or DA 300). Or if you want to have weather sealed wide angle F2,8 combo  with Fuji? Sell your kidney to buy x-t3 with 8-16 and you still do not have any filter solution.

So I have Pentax because of something, still I would like to have some Fuji lenses (23/1,4 ). Your preferences, your options.

 cport's gear list:cport's gear list
Ricoh GR III Pentax KP Pentax smc DA 10-17mm F3.5-4.5 ED (IF) Fisheye Pentax smc DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited Pentax smc DA 40mm F2.8 Limited +4 more
Phil A Martin Senior Member • Posts: 1,407
Re: Pentax DA Primes?

Software can deal with colour aberrations quite simply and most cameras have it already built in, at least with Jpegs, as for increased resolution, to what ends are people using this? If they print (and probably most don't) I suspect many in this group rarely print larger than A3, the majority probably only A4. So to what use are they putting this extra resolution? Pixel peeping the whiskers on kittens and other favourite things no doubt.

Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads