My Yearly Photo Statistics

year size (GB) keeps (file)
2003 0.5 1200 Got 1st camera
2004 2.5 4800
2005 2.7 3500
2006 10.1 4800 from 3MP to 5MP
2007 2.1 1200 Busy and Interest decrease
2008 1.3 664
2009 1.2 700
2010 1.8 600
2011 21.6 4300 Got 1st DSLR, K-x
2012 16.1 3000
2012-2013 film 56.7 2100
2013 14.3 2300 Bought K-01
2014 19.8 3000
2015 23.8 3000
2016 73.6 11,000 Burst Mode unlocked
2017 62 10,000

My Gear History

Film Camera
Phenix DC828 SLR battery install LR44 with flat side facing inside, opposite of K1000 battery install

Intro to Pentax System

interchangable digital lineup
645D, 645Z MF line
K1 FF line
K10D, K20D, K7, K5, K3 Hi-end APS-C line
K-01, KS1, KS2, KP experimental/trendy APS-C line
K100D, K200D, K30, K50, K70 affordable APS-C line
K110D, Km, Kx, Kr, K500 inexpensive APS-C line
  • my personal experience with different K-mount lens that I used or have interest in.
  • note 1: of course, there are more options, but I select them based on what I am interested and what is available to me.
  • note 2: these lenses are chosen based on budget of 500SGD around or under in the second hand market

WIP

  • to merge into this page
    • artwiki:camerawiki:pentaxwiki
    • artwiki:camerawiki:lensreview
    • artwiki:camerawiki:filmcamera

Wide Angle Lens (12mm-28mm)

Samyang 8mm f3.5 Fisheye
(ASP-C, manual focus, mfd 30cm, 7.5cm x 7.5cm, 400g, cheap good fisheye with good sharpness, version II got removable hood for clipped circle fisheye look on full frame sensor, while this is hood shaped look on full frame sensor)

  • My experience:
    • A fun lens and useful lens as well, good wide angle coverage and closeup ability.
    • my photo with it: flickr
  • useful situation:
    • capturing all the people closing to each other in a tight space, like bed, lift, crowd.
    • capturing all the environment and background behind portrait, like big dome ceiling
    • capturing landscape with a lot of cloud, as long level horizontally, it looks like no fisheye distortion effect
    • capturing wide angle macro shots, it can focus close to 30cm, and at f8, 5cm onward is actually in sharp focus because wide range of depth of field.
  • tips on using it:
    • the best sharpness is around f8-f11, f5.6 is also acceptable; thus indoor flash lighting required
    • focus ring can be set quickly at like 30cm, 70cm, 1m for quick manual focus.
    • fisheye can be better than normal perspective wide angle lens when capture people at edge of lens image circle, since it keep people still in a acceptable good shape
    • indoor shots always better with good flash lighting
  • web ref:

Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM
(ASP-C, auto focus, mfd 24cm, 0.13x, 555g, 10cm x 7.5cm, 2010, one of sharpest sigma wide angle lens)

Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6 EX DC
(APS-C, auto focus, 77mm, 470g, one of the cheapest good option for Pentax ultra wide)

  • my experience:
    • one of the cheapest good option for Pentax ultra wide, I used mainly for environment shots and indoor group flash lighting shots.
  • useful situation:
    • good for documenting style photos, like building, events, interior design.
  • tips on using it:
    • the edge will show noticeable softness, and you need to use floor or grass or non-detail content to cover up the edge weakness. otherwise, center area sharpness and average coverage is good sharpness at f8-f11
    • also people outside middle 1/3 area will get noticeable perspective distortion, like stretched
  • web ref:

Pentax DA 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 Fisheye (never tried)
(APS-C, auto focus, 320g)

Samyang 10mm f2.8 (never tried)
(APS-C, manual focus, 580g)

Pentax DA 12-24 f4 (never tried)
(APS-C, AF, 430g, 77mm filter, 8 blades, 0.3m)

  • my reading:
    • light weight ultra wide with fix f4 and filter support
    • Good sharpness, but bad CA

Samyang 14mm f2.8 (never tried)
(full frame, manual focus, 530g)

Pentax DA 15mm f4 (never tried)
(APS-C, 49mm, 190g small compact Pentax style)

Zenitar 16mm f2.8 fishey (never tried)

Pentax K 17mm f4 fisheye (never tried)

Tamron SP 17-35mm f2.8-f4
(full frame, autofocus, 77mm, 440g available 2nd hand only)

Pentax DAL 18-55mm f3.5-5.6
(APS-C, auto focus, 52mm, 200g, typical kit lens, new version DAL 18-50mm F4-5.6 DC is faster)

  • My experience:
    • a typical kit lens, good performance at f8, I use it mainly when traveling lightweight and convenient, good in good lighting condition, 55mm is weak in sharpness, but enough sharpness for travel photos at f8. Best part is that it is the only cheap lightweight lens for Pentax mount for you to shoot at 18mm and at f8 it is good for its purpose. However, if you can get the new DAL 18-50mm F4-5.6 DC, it is same image quality but in a much more compact form and it focus faster and silent. The other alternative, Pentax DA 18-135, Tamron SP 17-50mm, Tamron SP 17-35mm, Sigma Art 18-35mm f1.8 are either more expensive or heavier or bigger comparing to it for travel purpose.
    • my photo with it: flickr
  • web ref:

20mm Prime Option (never tried) (full frame)

Pentax DA 21mm f3.2 (never tried)
(APS-C, auto focus, 49mm, 140g, small compact Pentax style)

24mm Prime Option (never tried)

Vivitar 28mm f2.8
(full frame, manual focus, 49mm, compact metal lens like Pentax, but as solid build feel as Pentax )

Pentax M 28mm f2.8
(never tried or I forgot)
(full frame, manual focus, 49mm, 156g compact metal Pentax lens)

Pentax A 28mm f2.8
(full frame, manual focus, 49mm, 170g, compact metal Pentax lens)

Miranda 28mm f2.8
(full frame, manual focus, 49mm, compact metal lens, as solid feel as Pentax M serias)

  • My experience:
    • solid metal compact lens, as solid as Pentax M lens, color feel is just right, not warm not cool feel. I used it for general shooting on APS-C lens (since it is equiv. 42mm on APSC), and tele-macro extension convertor for extreme 5:1 macro, good color even using with flashing lighting (just tiny bit fringe), comparable to film era lens purple fringe with flash.
    • my photo with it: flickr

other 28mm prime option

Sigma ART 18-35mm f1.8 (never tried)
(APS-C, autofocus, 72mm, 810g, new ART range lens from Sigma)

  • My reading:
    • it is just too heavy for its range, but it serves for its purpose in certain situation like low light indoor and outdoor bokeh
    • it is popular for its sharpness and CA control and cheaper f1.8 option comparing to FA 31mm f1.8

———————————
Other wide angle lens I used but not recommended

Standard Range Lens (35-70mm)

Pentax FA 31mm f1.8 (never used)
(full frame, auto focus, 58mm, 345g)

Vivitar 35mm f1.9 (never used)
(full frame, manual focus)

Pentax DA 35mm f2.4
(full frame, auto focus, 49mm, 124g, best cheapest lightweight compact lens for Pentax)

  • My experience:
    • good focus speed, compact lightweight for every day use, good 50mm field of view on APS-C Pentax camera, and 35mm documenting style field of view on Pentax MZ serial film camera or full frame DSLR.Sharp wide open and good color feel even when using with flash lighting, f4 onward is razor sharpness across the frame. At f2.4, it gives good depth separation for full body portrait even on APS-C body, and good bokeh for half body portrait even on APS-C body.Thus, it is regarded as plastic fantastic. (I found it is fine for its plastic mount and body build, still feel solid). Also this lens is the only DSLR lens got many color version, like white, gold, silver, and more fancy colors.
    • as the 18-50mm range is covered by too many compact zoom options, unless I want to travel super compact, I use zoom more often
  • useful situation:
    • full body portrait
    • half body portrait

Pentax DA 35mm f2.8 Macro (never used)
(full frame, auto focus, 49mm, 215g, 1:1 macro)

Pentax FA 35mm f2 (never used)
(full frame, auto focus, 49mm)

  • small, sharp and fast 35mm, from film AF era

other 35mm prime option

  • M 35mm f2
  • A 35mm f2.8

Samyang 35mm f1.4
(full frame, manual focus)

Sigma ART 35mm f1.4 (never used)
(full frame, auto focus, 67mm, 660g)

  • my reading: big and heavy, while it is sharper, faster, cheaper than FA 31mm f1.8

Pentax DA 40mm f2.8 XS
(full frame, auto focus, 52g, lightest pancake Pentax lens)

  • My experience:
    • lens front cap too small, a bit worry of losing it, wide open purple fringe can be as bad as film era lens, otherwise, good shooting angle will make good sharp photos. Compact and always on camera. shoot from f5.6 onward, no more purple fringe, and can shoot anyway you like.
    • my photo with it: flickr
  • web ref:

Pentax M 35-70mm f2.8-3.5
(full frame, manual focus, 58mm, mfd 1m, 470g, sharp, fast and great Pentax metal lens, only available 2nd hand)

  • My experience:
    • great portrait lens from film era, great wide-open sharpness at both end, and color rendering is pleasant as it can get, no fringe or color cast. Fast aperture for smooth bokeh and great portrait background separation. Only drawback is it is weight, also it is 70mm when contracted, and 35mm when extended, that is why I shoot at its 70mm most time and 35mm only some of the time.
    • my photo with it: flickr
    • useful situation:
      • telephoto candid portrait shots
      • half body portrait at 35mm f2.8

Pentax FA 43mm f1.9 (never used)
(full frame, autofocus, 49mm, 155g)

Phenix 50mm f1.7
(full frame, manual focus, 49mm, 200g, original version of current re-branded HorusBennu 50mm F1.7 MC)

Pentax M 50mm f1.7
(full frame, manual focus, 49mm, 185g, solid metal compact Pentax lens, only available 2nd hand)

Pentax M 50mm f1.4
(full frame, manual focus, 49mm, 235g, solid metal compact Pentax lens, not lightweight , only available 2nd hand; make sure check rear element screw tight when you buy 2nd hand)

Pentax K 50mm f1.2
(full frame, manual focus, 52mm, 385g, solid metal fastest pentax lens, not heavy but you feel the weight, only available 2nd hand)

  • My experience:
    • one of the only two f1.2 true Pentax lens, you buy it for its f1.2 and Pentax name, that is it. At f1.2, it is sharp for its purpose, center portrait shots, otherwise, it is dreamy comparing to M 50mm f1.4 wide open. It has better solid look than its later A 50mm f1.2 version, (A 50mm f1.2 is sold metal as well, just it is A series design look) I shoot it mainly wide open in both sunlight and dark night, for its bokeh rendering. However, the difference between f1.4 and f1.2 is tiny, and you really have to check side by side to appreciate it. It is indeed a bit much smoother bokeh. However, the purple fringe wide open is more obvious than M 50mm f1.4, of course, you need to avoid back-lit situation to control it well.
    • my photo with it: flickr

Pentax DA 50mm f1.8
(full frame, auto focus, 52mm, 122g)

  • My experience:
    • bad focus speed as the extension of focus element go front and back along too much distance when focusing. sharpness at f1.8 is good for its purpose, center portrait, otherwise, shoot f2.8 for overall good edge to edge sharpness. It use 52mm filter thread, which not matching the typical Pentax small compact 49mm filter size.
    • while at least, it is the cheapest 50mm f1.8 Pentax option, and available new and with auto focus, mostly importantly it is sharper plus cheaper than all old Pentax 50mm lens.
  • useful situation:
    • full body portrait
    • half body portrait

Pentax FA 50mm f1.4
(full frame, auto focus, 49mm, 220g)

  • My experience:
    • better than I expected, good separation and color for portrait, great thing is 49mm filter size and it is small, fit most Pentax filer size with a single 49mm ND filter for sunlight wide open shots.
    • I sold my big Sigma 50mm f1.4 for this FA 50mm f1.4, the biggest reason is its small size, Sigma 50mm is just too big

Sigma 50mm f1.4 EX DG HSM
(full frame, auto focus, 77mm, 500g)

  • My experience:
    • good silence focus and center sharpness wide open, wide open can have little bit purple fringe color cast under bridge lighting condition. f2.8 onward give good overall sharpness and purple fringle resistance. It is heavy, so I use it only when shooting mainly for its purpose. Bokeh rendering and depth of field control is extremely good, even on APS-C Pentax cameras.
    • my photo with it: flickr
    • useful situation
      • full body bokeh portrait
      • half body bokeh portrait

Other 50mm prime option

Pentax DA 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 WR DC
(APS-C, auto focus, 62mm, 400g, weather sealed)

Tamron SP 17-50mm f2.8
(APS-C, auto focus, 67mm, 440g, fast and sharp cheap lens for Pentax APS-C DSLR)

Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM C
(not tried yet) (APS-C, auto focus, 72mm, 470g)

other standard zoom range option

———————————
Other standard angle lens I used but not recommended

  • Sigma 50mm f2.8 1:1 Macro (full frame, manual focus, AF version also available)
    • my experience: a cheap 1:1 macro at 50mm, but its purple fringe make it hard to use with flash lighting
    • web ref:
  • Pentax Takumar-F 28-80mm F3.5-4.5 (full frame, auto focus, only available 2nd hand)
  • Phenix 28-135 f3.8-5.2 macro 1:4 (full frame, manual focus, famous old China brand, only available 2nd hand)
    • my experience: my father's lens, film era manual focus lens, good for its range during its time, M type Pentax mount lens, heavy for modern use.
    • my photo with it: flickr
  • Tamron SP 28-75mm f2.8 (full frame, auto focus, f2.8 constant fast zoom)
    • my experience: good film era auto focus f2.8 constant fast zoom, however, it is only good for film era, for DSLR, it is a bit soft at 75mm wide open, and overall the resolution wide open is just like that. Good for its price, but the modern Tamron SP 17-50mm f2.8 is just better at the same price.

Telephoto Lens (70-300mm)

Pentax DA 70mm f2.4
(APS-C/Full frame, auto focus, 49mm, 130g, removable slide hood and cap)

Pentax FA 77mm f1.8 (never used)
(full frame, auto focus, 49mm, 270g, slide hood)

Samyang 85mm f1.4 (never used)
(full frame, manual focus, 72mm, 513g)

  • my reading:
    • cheapest brand new lens for portrait and fast f1.4 aperture, if you are ok with manual focus, great sharpness and rendering at its price

Helios 40-2 85mm f1.5 (never used)

Vivitar 90mm F2.8 Macro 1:1
(full frame, manual focus, 62mm, mfd 14cm, 480g)

Tamron SP 90mm f2.8 Macro (never tried)
(full frame, autofocus, 55mm, 400g)

Pentax DFA 100mm f2.8 1:1 Macro WR
(full frame, autofocus, 49mm, 340g, weather proof)

Pentax M 135mm f3.5
(full frame, manual focus, 49mm, 270g, slide hood)

Pentax A 135mm f2.8
(full frame, manual focus, 52mm, 340g, slide hood)

other 135mm prime option

Pentax M 200mm f4
(full frame, manual focus, 52mm, 400g, slide hood)

Pentax DA* 50-135mm f2.8 WR (never used)
(APS-C, autofocus, 67mm, 765g)

Pentax A 70-210mm f4
(full frame, manual focus, 58mm, 680g, slide hood)

  • my experience:
    • best 70-200mm for Pentax manual focus lens, but only good at its era, in digital, it can give good color rendering and sharpness, but focus at 200mm f4 is hard with the hand shake at distant subject
    • it is heavy and long
    • it give good macro ability with extra turning into macro mode
    • my photo with it: flickr

Tamron SP 80-200 f2.8 LD (never used)

Tamron SP 70-200mm f2.8 Macro
(full frame, autofocus, 77mm, 1.1kg)

  • my experience:
    • it is a heavy lens, but actually when using it, you will focus more on focusing with it than its weight
    • it is sharp and good rendering even wide open, it was widely considered as faster than DA 50-135mm f2.8, at the same time, it is one of the cheapest option in its class to end all other choice
    • shooting at f2.8 is hard already on APSC to get a sharp on focus, however, once focus is right, it is good sharpness, actually I shoot f5.6 most time to keep whole body depth in focus while let the focus system have a bigger margin to play with

Pentax DA/DAL 55-200 f4-5.6
(APS-C, autofocus, 49mm, 235g)

  • my experience:
    • most un-popular lens, just go for the DA/DAL 55-300mm f4-5.8 lens, unless you want 49mm filter size lens

other 200mm prime and zoom options

Pentax DA/DAL 55-300mm f4-5.8
(APS-C, autofocus, 58mm, 425g)

  • my experience:
    • cheapest with good quality super-telephoto zoom for Pentax APS-C cameras, delivery good sharpness at f11.
    • focus on the slow side,
    • good for nature photography
    • my photo wit it: flickr

Vivitar 100-300mm f5
(full frame, manual focus, 62mm, 800g)

  • my experience:
    • ok sharpness for its age, it is long and a bit heavy, but relatively small than f4 options
    • also it has macro ability with a bit over turn
    • my photo with it: flickr

Sigma 70-300mm f4-5.6 DG OS
(full frame, autofocus, 62mm, 610g, optical stabilized)

  • my experience:
    • good sharpness and optical stablized
    • less noise and faster autofocus than DA/DAL 55-300mm, but it is heavier and bigger
    • cheaper than pentax 55-300mm and better than tamron 70-300mm

other 300mm options

Super Telephoto Lens (300-800mm)

Pentax F* 300mm f4.5 (never used)
(full frame, autofocus, 67mm, 880g)

Tokina RMC 400mm f5.6
(full frame, manual focus, 72mm, 900g)

  • my experience:
    • heavy, big and long, good sharpness for its purpose, hard to focus manually with hand shake
    • my photo with it: link

other 400mm prime option

Tamron SP 500mm f8 Mirror (Adaptall-2 55BB)
(full frame, manual focus, 82mm, 600g)

  • my experience:
    • most light weight and compact option for this focal length range
    • best sharpness in the mirror class and good sharpness for most purpose, and the mirror donuts bokeh only shows in certain situation
    • focus is hard to tell whether in focus for distant subject, but easy to tell focus for close and medium range subject
    • also it has great macro ability, but due to fixed f8 mirror aperture, hard to get all in focus due to narrow depth of field
    • my photo with it: flickr

other 500mm option

other 800mm-1000mm option

———————————
Other telephoto lens I tried but not recommended

Tamron SP 200-500 f5.6 (Adaptall-2 31A)
(full frame, manual focus, 95mm, 2.7kg)

Teleconvertors, Extension Tube and Adapters

Raynox DCR-250 macro filter
(it can be used on any lens with 52-67mm filter range)

  • my experience:
    • cheapest and easiest and most popular way to go nature and general macro photography with great sharpness, can use on from medium format camera to small compact camera
    • with telephoto lens combo, it can go beyond 1:1 macro
    • with normal focal length range, it can go closeup shots
    • focusing is easy since your lens always control by camera with wide open metering and framing
    • no light loss
    • my photo with it: flickr

Vivitar 2x Macro Teleconvertor PKA
(works with any k-mount lens)

  • my experience:
    • cheapest and easiest way to go variable macro with good sharpness together with pentax lens, but hard to find in second hand market
    • focusing is easy since your lens always control by camera with wide open metering and framing
    • light loss at 2x time and more when extended
    • I got this in 2012.04, and I have tried 3 normal 2x TC already, but this one got the extension tube built-in that give it a macro feature;
    • the main reason I got this macro TC is to use with my 4-meter-minimun-focus-distance Tokina 400mm f5.6 telephone prime lens, because of its long mini focal distance, I have tried with a manual fix extension tube to get it around 2m, but you know, that tube is fixed, and with the tube, it stucks at close focus, can not focus infinity.
    • This TC can focus infinity (ref from steves digi forum), and has a gradient extension change, from 1:1 to normal (based on 50mm)
    • my photo with it: flickr
  • web ref:

Pentax Takumar A 2x TC
(works with any k-mount lens)

  • my experience:
    • cheapest way to try longer focal length with old super telephoto lens
    • while, it is too inconvenient to use when you need to take it out and put lens back
    • it magnify your image 2x times, at cost of image quality 2x loss and 2x light loss
    • my photo with it: flickr

reverse mount ring
(works with any lens with same filter thread size as the reverse mount ring)

  • my experience:
    • the super dirty cheapest way to try macro, or super macro
    • but it is just not so convenient and flexible and practical comparing to a dedicated macro lens
    • focusing is easy if you use another hand to hold aperture level open for metering and framing, or use a PK-NEX adapter with aperture control to hold it for u
    • great light loss since lens is reversed and not gathering but reducing light
    • my photo with it: flickr

extension tube
(works with any k-mount lens with aperture ring, or any k-mount lens if it has aperture linkage)

  • my experience:
    • since those cheap extension tube has no aperture linkage, so best with lens having aperture ring
    • also another cheapest way to try macro or just reduce old super telephoto's long minimum focus distance
    • it is good for staged or studio macro, or one with good hands
    • focusing is easy if turn wide aperture metering and framing and close down for shooting
    • light loss a bit when extended
    • my photo with it: flickr

tamron adaptall lens adapter

ND filter, CPL filter

haida ND filter

  • my experience:
    • WIP

Flash

More on my other page: remote_flash_trigger_and_high_speed_sync_supported_trigger

  • PTTL and No HSS flash (Pentax foot pins)
    • YN585EX: 380cny
  • no-TTL and force HSS flash (generic single pin)
    • 神牛 Godox TT600: 330cny (positioned like YN560IV)
      • (No HSS when mounted on camera though, as the TT600 are single firing pin; and most cameras stop sending signal through center pin when other pin has no contact, thus require a camera-pin-match support intermediate device to act as camera-to-flash translator ).
  • no-TTL and no HSS flash (generic single pin)
    • YN560TX: 180 (6 group remote control)
    • YN560III: 280
    • YN560IV: 330 (built-in 3 group remote control)
    • YN660: 360 (built-in 6 group remote control)

Flash Trigger

  • research on cheapest way to do high shutter speed shots with off-camera flash