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-   -   Any advice on a Pentax K mount short to medium zoom. (http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=71652)

SCOTFORTHLAD 03-21-2009 03:13

Any advice on a Pentax K mount short to medium zoom.
I have a Pentax K1000 SLR with a 50mm/F2 lens,and was thinking of adding a short to medium telephoto zoom for occasional use.My only experience to date with such zooms are the Tamron adaptall 2 lenses.If anyone has comments on the zooms which Pentax produced I would be interested to hear them.

ChrisN 03-21-2009 03:28

I've concentrated on the excellent Pentax prime lenses for my needs, so can't offer any suggestions based on experience of the Pentax zooms.

However the standard reference is Bojidar Dimitrov's Pentax K-Mount Page.

There is also a database of lenses, with user reviews, on the Pentaxforums site, here.

rover 03-21-2009 03:31


I have followed Chris' advise regarding Pentax. He has not steered me wrong. Google the term "Stan Pentax" for Stan (I forget his last name)'s page which is a collection of user comments regarding lenses. I have found this a good resource too.

rover 03-21-2009 03:32


There it is.

Merkin 03-21-2009 04:16

In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that I am vehemently opposed to zoom lenses of any type, and my number one recommendation to you would be the 100mm f/2.8 pentax prime.

With that said, if you do choose a zoom, don't choose one where you do the zooming by sliding the lens barrel in and out like a pump action shotgun. The 'dust pump' design does just what its derogatory nickname indicates, it draws dust inside the lens body. The design where you rotate a ring to adjust the zoom is far better. Also, be sure to get one with a fixed aperture throughout the range of focal lengths, and be willing to accept a relatively small maximum aperture, as well as a decrease in sharpness compared to primes. Another thing to consider is that since old pentax lenses work with current pentax dslrs, and (my guess) 8 out of 10 dslr users are mainly zoom lens users, the pentax zoom prices are pretty high right now. Something like an 85 or a 100 mm prime would definitely cover, with a minimal amount of foot zooming, most, if not all, of your short/medium telephoto needs, especially if you use a fine grained film that can stand up to a bit of cropping if necessary. In addition, I would recommend sticking with either pentax or ricoh lenses. Loads of companies made lenses for the K mount, some are great, and some are pretty horrible, but the learning curve for figuring out which is which beforehand is much steeper than sticking with the main brand lenses, because a lot of the time, different lenses under the same brand (vivitar comes to mind) were actually manufactured under contract by different companies at different times.

hans voralberg 03-21-2009 04:32

Pentax DA* 16-50mm f2.8. nice lens, versatile range, decent max f-stop ;) The only problem I have with it is it's big ;)

SCOTFORTHLAD 03-21-2009 11:47

Thanks everyone for the thoughtful and kind advice.It is very much appreciated.:)

cmedin 03-21-2009 17:39

The DA 16-45/4 is the most underrated lens Pentax makes IMO. Mine was wonderful, tack sharp and great color/contrast.

lewis44 03-21-2009 17:48

Some time ago, I had a Pentax *istD. I used only MF "A" Primes on it with one exception. That was a Pentax "A" 35-70 f4 Zoom lens. I was very happy with the image quality from that lens and while it is an inexpensive lens, I would recommend it w/o qualification. Loved what I got from it. As for AF Lenses, I never used one.

FA Limited 03-21-2009 18:10

most of the posts here seem to have ignored that you're using a K1000. check out the A70-210 f4, or the cheapie A35-70 Macro

BTMarcais 03-21-2009 18:14

I was just thinking the same thing... The 16-45 and 16-50 are digital only lenses...
I'd think about the A35-105 as well, but for a cheapie, that 35-70 isn't bad...

Michael Da Re 03-21-2009 18:17

1 Attachment(s)
How timely is this thread? I just picked this up at a Flea market today for $40.00 and was wondering about which prime lenses were good. Thanks for the link to Stans Photography Rover. It will come in handy.

Attachment 68484

cmedin 03-21-2009 18:20


Originally Posted by BTMarcais (Post 1017822)
I was just thinking the same thing... The 16-45 and 16-50 are digital only lenses...
I'd think about the A35-105 as well, but for a cheapie, that 35-70 isn't bad...

Sorry, saw the 16-50 post and my mind wandered.

For film/full frame Pentax, I'd stick with primes. They really didn't make any good zooms.

ChrisPlatt 03-21-2009 18:23

I too recommend the SMC Pentax-A 35-70mm f/4.0 lens.
My wife used one for years as her main lens on a K1000 and got many excellent images.
If you already have a Tamron mount for Pentax K the Adaptall 2 35-70mm f/3.5 Model 17A is very nice.
For use with a K1000 I would avoid AF lenses and anything with a variable maximum aperture.


John Robertson 03-21-2009 18:24

I have had a 40-80 Pentax K zoom for years, its a really nice sharp lens and can often be found at very reasonable prices.

Jerry Thirsty 03-21-2009 18:27

I would have to second the recommendation for the Pentax-A 70-210/4.

ChrisPlatt 03-21-2009 18:32


Originally Posted by cmedin (Post 1017826)
For film/full frame Pentax, I'd stick with primes. They really didn't make any good zooms.

I prefer fixed focal length lenses ("primes") but the two Pentax zooms I have owned were superb:
SMC Pentax-M 75-150mm f/4.0 and SMC Pentax-A 35-105mm f/3.5


dap 03-21-2009 18:38

I would look for an A 35-105/3.5. It offers a nice range, constant aperture, very good image quality for a zoom from this time period, and is built like a brick s***house (although this comes at a price - it is a pretty heavy lens). If I could only have one manual zoom lens for a Pentax it would be this one.

That being said I don't have any experience with the 35-70 that several people have recommended.

hans voralberg 03-21-2009 19:34

LOL something must be very wrong with me, some how my brain translated K1000 = DSLR, my bad.

imajypsee 03-22-2009 12:06

35-105 f/3.5
I use the 35-105 f/3.5 on the K10D and have found it to be a wonderful lens
crisp and sharp as any prime
both of these were made at wide open aperture

I used to have the 35-70 f/4 but gave it away because the 35-105 covers the same focal length; here's an example of the 35-70

Mary in SW Florida, USA

squirrel$$$bandit 03-22-2009 16:28

The A 35-70, the one with the constant aperture, is indeed a tremendous bargain. I also recommend the A 70-210...don't get the Takumar, get the A one. Really great zooms for the price, and the former is very compact.

titrisol 03-23-2009 00:37

vivitar series 1 are very good zooms, same with the Tokina zooms.

I bought a new(er) Sigma zoom 28-80 and a 100-300 which allow AF and I found them to be very good. I bought those for my Father-in-law K100D and they worked flawlessly, and even came with a MZ-7 for me!

SCOTFORTHLAD 03-24-2009 11:48

In the end went for the Pentax M 75-150 F4,having seen a nice one at a fair price.:)
It's not as short as I first planned,but on reflection I should try harder to keep using the 50mm standard lens.
The zoom will help me with portraits and informal shots of the grandkids,plus at the long end should help me with my pictures of merchant ships in the Port down here.
On top of which it's performance is highly recommended in almost every refence I've seen both on RFF and elsewhere.:)

Thanks again everyone for the helpful comments.

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