Best Pentax Lenses (Current and Upcoming)

Best Pentax Lenses Compared

Pentax LensMax ApertureMin ApertureFocal LengthMin. Focus DistanceView AngleFilter ThreadWeightBest Price
Telephotof/1.4f/2255mm1.48'28.6°58mm13.23 oz$546.95
SMC DAf/1.8f/2250mm1.48'31.5°52mm4.3 oz$116.95
HD DAf/2.4f/2270mm2.3'23°49mm4.6 oz$421.95
DA Lf/2.4f/2235mm11.81"44°49mm4.4 oz$146.95
HD DA Macrof/2.8f/2235mm5.5"44°49mm7.5 oz$421.95
D SMC FA Macrof/2.8f/32100mm11.81"24.5°49mm12 oz$446.95

Let’s dive directly into the best Pentax lenses currently available (or jump down to the new and upcoming 50mm and 11-18mm Pentax lens releases).:

1. Pentax Telephoto 55mm f/1.4 DA* SDM

Auto-Focus Lens for Digital SLR

Pentax Telephoto 55mm f/1.4 DA SDM Autofocus Lens + UV Filter + Microfiber Cloth...
  • Pentax Telephoto 55mm f/1.4 DA* SDM Autofocus Lens Brand New w/ All Manufacturer Accessories
  • Ultraviolet UV Filter
  • MicroFiber Cloth

This Pentax prime lens has a fixed focal length of 55mm and a maximum aperture of f/1.4. This is a DA* lens meaning it has been designed exclusively for the crop sensor Pentax systems.

This lens gives the advantage of longer effective focal length that comes because of the crop factor. Pentax’s crop factor of 1.5x render the lens’ effective focal length as 82.5mm. The focal length becomes almost perfect for portrait work.

The maximum aperture of the lens is f/1.4. That is two- thirds of a stop faster than f/1.8 and therefore would allow more light to enter the camera for a given scene than what comparable f/1.8 50mm primes would allow you to.

The lens has a 9-blade aperture diaphragm. That is perfect for shooting those nice rounded out of focus effects and creamy smooth background blur. Internal construction consists of 9 elements arranged in 8 groups. The lens has no image stabilization built-in.

2. Pentax SMC DA 50mm f/1.8 Lens

Another prime lens and this one is a standard focal length of 50mm.

This lens too is compatible only with the crop sensor Pentax cameras. When mounted on something like a K-70 or a K-3 Mark II you get an effective focal length of 75mm (1.5x crop factor). That should be good enough for shooting decent portraits.

An f/1.8 lens is slightly slower than an f/1.4 lens (like the one we just discussed above). But in practical sense it is good enough for most lighting situations. It is also good for the purpose of producing those beautiful bokeh (creamy out of focus effects) that we see in portrait photos.

The construction of the lens includes a total of 6 elements arranged in 5 groups. The aperture diaphragm is controlled by 7 blades. There is no image stabilization on the lens. But you wouldn’t necessarily miss that because at 50mm if you shoot slightly faster than 1/50 sec your images will be tack sharp anyways.

3. Pentax HD DA 70mm f/2.4 Limited Lens

Pentax K-Mount HD DA 70mm f/2.4 70-70mm Fixed Lens for Pentax KAF Cameras (Limited...
6 Reviews
Pentax K-Mount HD DA 70mm f/2.4 70-70mm Fixed Lens for Pentax KAF Cameras (Limited...
  • High-grade multi-layer HD (High Definition) Coating. Equivalent to 105mm in 35mm film format.
  • Quick Shift focus system. Maximum magnification: 0.12x
  • Super Protect coating of the front lens element for effective protection against dirt and finger marks
  • 9 blade diaphragm for stunning bokeh
  • Unique super-compact design in two colors

The Pentax HD DA 70mm f/2.4 is a prime lens designed for the smaller crop camera system of Pentax. This lens has a fixed focal length of 70mm. Because of the crop factor of 1.5x, this lens becomes the equivalent of a 105mm focal length lens mounted on a 35mm camera. That makes it the right focal length for shooting portraits with a crop camera.

The maximum aperture of the lens is f/2.4. Reasonably fast and should be able to handle moderately low light situations well. But not the type of lens you would want to shoot in dark situations.

The lens’s aperture diaphragm is made out of 9 blades. The internal construction is composed of 6 elements arranged in 5 groups. The lens comes with a high grade multi-layer HD coating and Super Protect Lens coating.

4. Pentax 35mm DA L f/2.4 AL lens

This is 35mm lens is designed for the APS-C (crop system) cameras that are developed by Pentax. The effective focal length of the 35mm lens is equivalent to that of a 52.5mm lens mounted on a 35mm camera.

The internal construction of the lens includes a total of 6 elements arranged in 5 groups including an aspherical element. This takes care of aberrations. There is also a Super Protect coating which prevents the lens from gathering dust or smudges. It also repels water which makes it ideal for shooting in outdoor environment.

There are 6 diaphragm blades that constitute the aperture diaphragm. The lens does not have image stabilization. But as long as you shoot at a shutter speed of one over 35 you should not experience any image blurring.

5. Pentax HD DA 35mm f/2.8 Macro

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Pentax K-Mount HD DA 35mm f/2.8 Macro 35-35mm Fixed Lens for Pentax KAF Cameras...
5 Reviews
Pentax K-Mount HD DA 35mm f/2.8 Macro 35-35mm Fixed Lens for Pentax KAF Cameras...
  • Macro, offering 1:1 image magnification ratio. Ultra-sharp, macro for close up photography
  • High-grade multi-layer HD (High Definition) Coating
  • Equivalent to 53.5mm in 35mm film format. Quick Shift focus system
  • Super Protect coating of the front lens element for effective protection against dirt and finger marks
  • 9 blade diaphragm for stunning bokeh

Another 35mm lens from Pentax, but this one’s a macro lens. The lens has a fixed focal length of 35mm and is optimized for the APS-C (DA) sized crop camera systems designed by Pentax.

Maximum aperture of the lens is f/2.8. When working with small subjects the lens has to be close to the subject. Something that this lens and every other macro lens is designed for. But that evidently means that you also block away some amount of light with the lens / camera set-up and your body.

A fast aperture ensures that you are able to utilize the available light and produce a good exposure even when you are shooting from a close distance.

The minimum working distance of the Pentax HD DA 35mm f/2.8 Macro is 5.5″.  The lens is a true macro one as it is capable of producing a 1:1 life sized representation of a subject on to the sensor. If you are interested in macro photography this lens will give you reasons to smile. 9 blades produce the aperture diaphragm.

Internal construction of the lens constitutes 9 elements arranged in 8 groups. The lens comes with a high grade multi-layer HD coating which ensures that ghosting and flares are suppressed. Additionally, the lens comes with SP Protect coating as well. This particular coating will repel dirt, oil and finger prints which are normal when the lens is used over a period of time.

6. Pentax-D SMC FA 100mm f/2.8 WR Macro Lens

The Pentax-D SMC FA 100mm f/2.8 WR is a macro lens. This lens too, has been designed for the APS-C crop sensor Pentax cameras.

The lens has a focal length of 100mm, which when mounted on an APS-C camera becomes the equivalent of a 150mm lens mounted on a 35mm camera. This is a versatile lens, suitable for shooting life sized (1:1) macro photography as well as for shooting portraits. It performs as a general purpose prime telephoto lens as well.

The Pentax-D SMC FA 100mm f/2.8 WR is a well-built lens. It comes with good weather sealing (no less than 6 weather seals inside) on an aluminum body.

Additionally, the lens has what is known as Pentax Super Protect multi-layer coating which ensures that the lens is able to suppress surface reflections, UV light and therefore improve the overall sharpness of the images produced.

Internally, the lens has a total of 9 elements arranged in 8 groups. Lens diaphragm is constituted by 8 rounded diaphragm blades. Rounded bladed are primarily the best when it comes to creating those soft out of focus effects.

New and Upcoming Releases

Pentax currently has several lenses that are in the pipeline. Some of these are in the testing phase while others are waiting to be announced. Here are a few of such lenses:

7. HD Pentax – D FA* 50mm f/1.4 SDM AW

This star series lens has been designed for the full-frame Pentax cameras, the likes of Pentax K-1. This lens takes full advantage of the full-frame sensor. Star series lenses are known for their superior build quality and the HD Pentax – D FA* 50mm f/1.4 SDM AW is no different in that regard. This is an all-weather construction. You can work in dusty, wet and humid conditions and the lens will have no issues coping. The perfect walk around lens for full-frame shooters.

The large f/1.4 aperture means the lens is going to be perfect for low light shooting as well. The lens’ auto-focusing motor has been upgraded. It now features the newly developed ring-shaped SDM (Supersonic Direct-drive Motor). This motor is faster, quieter and locks focus accurately (or so Pentax claims).

8. HD Pentax DA* 11-18mm f/2.8

This is the second lens that was announced along with the 50mm f/2.8 that we read about above. This lens too, comes with the * series sign. That suggests that this is a well-built lens as well. This particular lens, unlike the one we discussed above, is designed for the APS-C sensor powered Pentax lenses.

This is a zoom lens. The focal length range is 11 – 18mm. When mounted on a crop sensor it becomes the equivalent of a 16.5 – 27mm lens mounted on a 35mm system. That evidently makes the lens a good wide angle suitable for landscapes, seascapes and other wide angle shots.

F/2.8 is the largest aperture on the lens and it is constant across the focal length range which makes it ideally suitable for the purpose of shooting in low light. Though for landscapes and seascapes and those sort of things you will not need to shoot wide open.

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