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Top 3 Lenses For Pentax K Mount Under $500

By Anthony Thurston on June 12th 2015

We are back today with another Top 3 lens post, but with Canon and Nikon both out of the way, it’s time to focus on the Pentax K Mount. Pentax may be on a bit of a downer lately, but with their first Full Frame DSLR on the way, things have the potential to be turned on their head.

The Pentax K mount is full of great lenses that can be had for under $500, but we are highlighting three that we feel stand out from the pack as both a great value and good performers.

1. Pentax HD DA 70mm F/2.4 – $496


Sure, it is JUST under the $500 limit for this post, but the Pentax 70mm F/2.4 is a beautiful low-profile lens that gives Pentax shooters an outstanding 105mm (35mm equivalent) portrait lens.

The 70mm F/2.4 features Pentax’s new HD coatings that help minimize flare and ghosting for enhanced contrast, clarity, and color fidelity. The 70mm F/2.4 also features a nine bladed aperture for a very nice Bokeh.

You can get your hands on the Pentax HD DA 70mm F/2.4 over on B&H now for $496.

2. Pentax smc DA 50mm f/1.8 Lens – $116


Are you noticing a theme here with 50mm lenses being on this list for every mount we have highlighted so far? That is because 50mm lenses offer some of the best price to performance value no matter what system you use. The Pentax 50mm F/1.8 is no exception.

The Pentax smc DA 50mm F/1.8 lens offers a great portrait and landscape experience to shooters looking to keep things small and light weight. The image quality is outstanding for the price and would be a great start for someone jumping into the K mount system.

You can grab your own 50mm F/1.8 over on B&H for just $116.

3. Pentax 35mm DA L F/2.4 – $146





Rounding out the Pentax Top 3 is the 35mm F/2.4; your best option for a ‘normal’ lens under $500 in the Pentax K mount. The lens offers that traditional 50mm FoV on 35mm or full frame sensors and offers another great price to performance value.

Together with the 50mm F/1.8, for less than $275 you can have two wonderful prime lenses to start your photographic journey. Not a bad price at all considering the excellent image quality you get. These would be enough to tide you over until you can upgrade over that $500 mark.

You can get the 35mm F/2.4 today over on B&H for just $146.

What are your top three Pentax K Mount lenses under $500? Do you agree with our list, or do you have your own ideas? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Joe Sharp

    Two more great lenses are: The 10-17 fish eye it is about $450 and I have had a ton of fun with it and it is tac sharp. Also the old M 50 F1.4 can be had on ebay for about $75 and the look is better than the DA 50 F1,8 if you have the time shoot totally manual.

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  2. Les Moyle

    I just love Pentax. I can put my 45 year old 50mm f 1.2 on my K3 and it just takes beautiful images and the best thing is the image stabilization works with any lens regardless of age.

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  3. Jesper Ek

    My first slr was a pentax. Loved it! Compact, metallic and all black.

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  4. Lauchlan Toal

    Pentax?! What’s next, the top 3 lenses for the Arca-Swiss M-Monolith 8×10? ;) Glad you didn’t just leave it at Nikon/Canon, thanks for sharing these lists.

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    • Matthew Saville

      Don’t worry, I’m sure we’ll cover all the other bases. Fuji, Sony…Oh wait, Sony doesn’t have more than two FE lenses under $500. Might have to wait a few months to write that article. Then again Canon’s list included a third-party lens, so maybe we’ll see a good list for Sony too.

      As far as being lightweight and yet still rock-solid, Pentax takes the cake by a long shot. Their all-metal Limited lenses are pretty incredible.

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    • Paul Monaghan

      I have to agree with Matthew.

      Pentax was my first DSLR, I then got a Nikon d3 and sold it after a year as I just never really liked it and then got some more pentax stuff ( I never did get rid of it).

      It’s nice that more people are starting to notice Pentax but they have always built great cameras and small lens way before all the Fuji hype so I wonder what took people so long to realise? :)

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  5. Matthew Saville

    *Grins mischievously* My Nikon friends are not gonna be happy when I review the K-3 II.

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  6. Joe Sharp

    I have the 50 and the 35 and have to say the 35mm F/2.4 is a crazy good lens at any price. I have a bag full of * lenses and the 35 ends up on my camera as much as any of them. The new HD lenses are also a great step up for pentax shooters. I do not have the 70mm because my 60-250* covers that and is the best portrait lens in the bag.

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  7. Jeffrey Kenerly

    Way to go Pentax, maybee rest will offer affordable glass. I think the word Prime, just means $$$. F-stop isnt that hard to do!

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