Best Lens for Pentax K70

Article by Matic Broz May 23, 2021

Best Lens for Pentax K70

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This is a heavily curated list of the best lens for Pentax K70.

Note that the list consist of DA lenses, which were designed specifically for Pentax APS-C cameras, which include Pentax K70.

Since you’re using a crop-sensor camera, to get the realistic focal length, you need to multiply each focal length with a factor 1.6. For example, this mean that you 17-70mm lens is going to translate into 26-107mm.

Now, let’s get right into it.

Best lens for Pentax K70:

IMAGEPRODUCTFEATURES
Pentax 17-70mm f4 DA SMC AL IF SDM smallPentax 17-70mm f/4BEST OVERALL
  • Silent AF
  • Sharp & contrastful
  • Great optics
  • Excellent image quality
Pentax DA 35mm f2.8 Macro HD smallPentax 35mm f/2.8Best Macro
  • Small and compact
  • Great build quality
  • Ergonomic
  • Great image quality
Pentax-DA-11-18mm F2.8ED DC AW smallPentax 11-18mm f/2.8Best Wide-angle
  • Fast aperture
  • Great build quality
  • Sharp
  • Weather-resistant
Nikon 50mm f/1.4GPentax 50mm f/1.8Best portrait
  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • Very fast AF
  • Image quality
Pentax HD DA 55-300mm f4-5.8 ED WR smallPentax 55-300mm f/4-5.8Best telephoto
  • Weather-sealed
  • Affordable
  • Image quality
  • Gast focus
Pentax SMCP-FA 77mm f1.8 smallPentax 77mm f/1.8
  • Beautiful bokeh
  • Lightweight
  • Robust
  • Lowp rice
HD Pentax-D FA 28-105mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR smallPentax 28-105mm f/3.5-5.6
  • Very sharp
  • Nice bokeh
  • FFast & silent AF
  • No flares
Pentax 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 ED AL smallPentax 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6
  • Sharp
  • Lightweight
  • Versatile
  • Compact
Pentax 16-50mm f2.8 ED AL IF SDM smallPentax 16-50mm f/2.8
  • Weather resistant
  • Well-built
  • Central sharpness
  • Good image quality
HD PENTAX-DA 21mm f3.2 AL Limited smallPentax 21mm f/3.2
  • Beautiful starbursts
  • Small and compact
  • Great colours
  • Good image quality

1. Pentax 17-70mm f/4 SDM

Pentax 17-70mm f4 DA SMC AL IF SDM thumbnail

Compatibility: Pentax K
Minimum Focus:
  0.28 m
Filter Diameter:  67 mm
Diameter × length:  75 x 93.5 mm (3 × 3.7 in.)
Weight: 485 g (17.1 oz.)

SMC Pentax-DA 17-70mm f/4 AL IF SDM is part of Pentax APS-C format DSLRs. The lens has a KAF3 mount and, unlike other Pentax cameras, does not have an AF coupler.

Pentax 17-70mm cover the most useful focal lengths of 17-70mm, 35mm equivalent to 26-107mm, which makes it a perfect lens for general photography. This range is especially good if you are interested in distant as well as close-up photography.

You will find the control over the lens intuitive thanks to a ergonomically positioned zooming ring and a manual focus ring. This system, although silent and reliable, is not the quickest to lock on. The lens has a filter size of 67mm with an SMC coating and an additional SP coating on the front that makes the lens easier for you to clean. Pentax 17-70mm uses Pentax SDM (Super dynamic motor) for focusing.

The lens has an extremely good central sharpness that peaks at f/5.6 so SMC Pentax-DA 17-70mm f/4 AL IF SDM is a good choice if you are interested in macro photography. However, the lens has some CA towards the edges that you can easily fix in the post-production.

All in all, SMC Pentax-DA 17-70mm f/4 AL IF SDM is a good choice for you for a wide range of uses, from a close-up to macro photography. It might be even better than lenses of the same range with wider angles or better sharpness.

2. Pentax 35mm f/2.8 Macro HD

Pentax DA 35mm f2.8 Macro HD thumbnail

Compatibility: Pentax K
Minimum Focus:
  0.14 m
Filter Diameter:  49 mm
Diameter × length:  63 x 46.5 mm (3 × 3.7 in.)
Weight: 215 g (7.6 oz.)

Pentax’s HD PENTAX-DA 35mm f/2.8 Macro Limited lens is a high-end lens that costs around £570. When mounted on a Pentax Digital SLR, this compact macro lens has a 35mm format lens equivalent of 52.5mm, and it also works with Pentax K-mount camera bodies. The build quality is excellent, and it only weighs 215g thanks to its light aluminium build.

The filter ring does not rotate, a feature that you will find very helpful when using polarizing and graduated filters. Manual adjustments are fun as manual focusing is very smooth with a Quick-shift focusing system. However, watch your fingers as the MF ring rotates during AF. AF lacks the focus range limiter so the lens struggles to obtain a lock; however, it locks onto subjects at normal distances very quickly. Also, the limited working distance of the lens might shade your subject when shooting from greater distances.

Central sharpness is outstanding which peaks at f/4 and CA towards the edges is also well-controlled. Diffraction, however, reduces the sharpness to fair levels at greater f-stops with increased CA towards the edges.

To sum it up, HD PENTAX-DA 35mm f/2.8 Macro Limited lens is a fine choice for macro photography thanks to the incredible short minimum focus distance – 14 cm. If you love to shoot in the light outside, the circular hood of the lens is a great accessory. Given its performance and build quality this lens is an excellent value for your money and one of the best macro Pentax K70 lens.

3. Pentax 11-18mm f/2.8

PENTAX-DA11-18mmF2.8ED DC AW thumbnail

Compatibility: Pentax K
Minimum Focus:
  0.30 m
Filter Diameter:  82 mm
Diameter × length:  90 x 100 mm (3.54 × 3.94 in.)
Weight: 704 g (24.8 oz.)

Pentax-DA 11-18mm f/2.8 ED DC AW is part of the Pentax new generation star series. This lens is only compatible with Pentax APS-C DSLRs and provides a 17mm-27.5mm equivalent (in 35mm format).

The lens is weather-resistant and has a Focus Clamp Mechanism that allows the autofocus to easily lock onto the subject. If you’re shooting outdoors, the lens’ metallic frame structure and built-in heating device system are both useful features that will improve optical performance. It ensures excellent imaging performance in high-grade digital photography by delivering high-resolution, high-contrast images without blurring at the edges. An Aero Bright II Coating has been applied to benefit contrast and colour accuracy, and the optical design incorporates a series of spherical and low dispersion elements to help control distortion and colour fringing for improved sharpness and clarity.

The central sharpness is exceptional which peaks at f/2.8 with negligible CA towards the edges. CA is also very well controlled for a super wide-angle zoom.

Although the lens is heavy, weighing about 700g its high resolution and high contrast imaging performance and AW feature make it an excellent choice if you are interested in landscape and astrophotography. With the shortest focal length of 11 mm, Pentax-DA 11-18mm f/2.8 is the best wide-angle lens for Pentax K70.

4. Pentax 50mm f/1.8

Pentax DA 50mm F1.8 thumbnail

Compatibility: Pentax K
Minimum Focus:
  0.45 m
Filter Diameter:  52 mm
Diameter × length:  63 x 38.5 mm (2.5 × 1.5 in.)
Weight: 122 g (4.3 oz.)

Pentax SMC DA 50mm f/1.8 is a standard 50mm lens with a rather high price tag of £250, unlike other nifty fifty lenses.

The lens weighs only 122g, and the lens barrel and mount are made of plastic, which may be an issue if you change lenses frequently. Although the focusing is screw-driven, it is extremely fast and locks onto subjects in a matter of seconds. When using polarizing and graduated filters, the filter thread does not rotate during focusing, making it ideal. The MF is well-damped, but it rotates during AF, so be careful not to catch your fingers. After AF, you can make manual adjustments with the Pentax Quick-shift focusing system. However, the lack of a distance scale on the lens may deter you.

With a maximum magnification of 0.15x, this lens isn’t ideal for close-up photography. Central Sharpness is outstanding which peaks at f/5.6 with excellent clarity attained towards the edges. CA is very well-controlled and shows a very low level of distortion across the frame that should be no issue at all. The contrast levels remain good even if you are shooting into the light. 

Although, the price seems a little steep for a lens with a plastic mount barrel the lens delivers sharp results at every aperture. With negligible CA and excellent sharpness, the lens is best suited if you are into portrait photography with Pentax K70.

5. Pentax 55-300mm f/4-5.8

Pentax HD DA 55-300mm f4-5.8 ED WR thumbnail

Compatibility: Pentax K
Minimum Focus:
  1.40 m
Filter Diameter:  58 mm
Diameter × length:  71 x 111.5 mm (2.8 × 4.4 in.)
Weight: 450 g (15.9 oz.)

Pentax HD DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED WR comes with a 5.5x zoom providing a 35mm-equivalent focal range of 84.5-460mm. 

With the lens hood attached, it weighs just about 502g which balances quite well with the Pentax K-5. High-quality plastic is used for most of the lens barrel, along with a metal lens mount. With no internal focusing feature, the lens barrel needs to be extended to focus and zoom. The HD coating minimizes flare and ghosting in addition to the SP Protect coating which prevents dust and oil. 

Even though the focusing ring rotates during auto-focus, your fingers still won’t get in the way as it moves. The minimum focus distance is 1.4m which you will normally find in such types of lenses. Furthermore, The Quick-Shift feature allows you to change to manual focus at any time. 

The substantial zoom range is accompanied by two extra-low dispersion glass elements that allow minimal chromatic aberrations and intensifies overall sharpness and clarity. At maximum aperture, the sharpness achieves amazing results in the centre as well as the edges. Distortion is well controlled and uniform across the frame.

For sports and wildlife photography, this lens is a pretty decent buy and falling under a reasonable price bracket makes it stand out. Pentax 55-300mm f/4-5.8 is the closest you will come to budget telephoto lens for Pentax K70.

6. Pentax 77mm f/1.8

Pentax SMCP-FA 77mm f1.8 thumbnail

Compatibility: Pentax K
Minimum Focus:
  0.70 m
Filter Diameter:  49 mm
Diameter × length:  64 x 48 mm (2.5 × 1.9 in.)
Weight: 270 g (17.1 oz.)

This limited edition hand-assembled Pentax SMCP-FA 77mm f/1.8 lens is designed for film. When used on an APS-C format DSLR, the focal length equates to a 35mm-equivalent of 115.5mm. 

Weighing just about 270g, the lens is made of high-grade aluminium giving an attractive appearance. Its compact shape will help you to fit the lens firm and smooth onto the camera and the built-in lens hood is surely mesmerizing. 

The lens pull-out is quite smooth with negligible vibration control. The focusing is quick and accurate and you can fine-tune the lens AF on the K-5 and other recent Pentax DSLRs. You may consider getting hold of this lens if you are into moving wildlife photography considering the fast and accurate AF mechanism. 

Suitable for close sports, selective landscapes, and still life photography, this lens gives you much better control of CA even at the edges, unlike similar zoom lenses. There is absolutely no visible flare and thanks to the 0.03% pincushion distortion, you can hardly observe any sort of distortion. The minor details are handled perfectly, and its maximum aperture of f/1.8 works outstanding even in low-light conditions. 

All things considered, this lens offers a complete package and surely is one of the best Pentax lenses. The design, build and image quality are all amazing. The only thing that you would want to consider is affordability.

7. Pentax 28-105mm f/3.5-5.6

HD PENTAX-D FA 28-105mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR thumbnail

Compatibility: Pentax K
Minimum Focus:
  0.28 m
Filter Diameter:  67 mm
Diameter × length:  75 x 93.5 mm (3 × 3.7 in.)
Weight: 485 g (17.1 oz.)

Compatible with full-frame K-mount DSLRs, the HD PENTAX-D FA 28-105mm f/3.5-5.6 ED DC WR lens looks much like the APS-C format zooms from Pentax. Compares to its predecessors, this lens is lighter, more compact, and less expensive. 

The wide zooming ring circling this 440-463g lens gives a good grip and is made with good quality plastic. You will find it comfortable using the narrow and close-to-the-body manual focusing ring. Thanks to the eight seals within the WR lens, splashes of water won’t be a hurdle for your shoot.

The AF system is compatible with minimum K10D and will require at least a firmware 1.3 to operate. The lens has a Quick-Shift feature and the Supersonic Direct-Drive Motor gives you fast focusing. The nearest you can focus is about 0.5m, a 0.22x magnification. 

The HD multi-layer coating reduces flare, reflections and provides good colour and contrast. Chromatic aberration is well controlled in the centre as compared to edges, while the sharpness is high and evenly matched throughout the frame on most of the settings. The out-of-focus area in the image looks quite attractive and smooth. 

Overall, you will get a hassle-free, smooth, and well-balanced product. Although the aperture range is more limited than some other alternatives, the lens performance, low CA values, and lesser distortion surely make up for it.

8. Pentax 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6

Pentax 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 ED AL thumbnail

Compatibility: Pentax K
Minimum Focus:
  0.40 m
Filter Diameter:  62 mm
Diameter × length:  73 x 76 mm (2.9 × 3.0 in.)
Weight: 405 g (14.3 oz.)

Pentax 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 ED AL lens sports the new DC motor. It uses the KAF3 mount therefore, it has no AF drive shaft and hence it supports only the newer generation of Pentax DSLR bodies ranging after the K10D.

The lens weighs 405g and offers a focal length that is equivalent to 27.5-207mm.

The Pentax Super Protect coating makes cleaning the lens easier by repelling water and dust. Instead of being on the front, the manual focusing ring is on the back of the camera.

The SDM System is built into the lens, allowing for smooth and quiet auto-focusing. You won’t run into a situation where the lens doesn’t come into focus as soon as you move it. The metal bayonet in this lens locks into a more firm position when compared to older lenses.

Treated with SMC coating, it gives full light transmission and high contrast images. 18mm is the point where you will get the most out of this lens. Taking into account the chromatic aberration, the centre is very well controlled but the edges could still be improved. Some barrel distortion is quite easily observed, which can come under better control at 35mm. 

In conclusion, if you want to shoot general pictures and portraits, you will enjoy this lens as it has amazing handling and gives visually appealing images.

9. Pentax 16-50mm f/2.8

Pentax 16-50mm f2.8 ED AL IF SDM thumbnail

Compatibility: Pentax K
Minimum Focus:
  0.30 m
Filter Diameter:  77 mm
Diameter × length:  84 x 98.5 mm (3.3 × 3.9 in.)
Weight: 485 g (17.1 oz.)

A gold ring around the lens barrel indicates that the Pentax 16-50mm f/2.8 ED AL IF SDM is one of Pentax’s premium optics. The lens has a standard zoom built-in and can be used for a variety of tasks.

The weight of around 600g is ideal for an optic with a constant f/2.8 aperture. The lens barrel is made of high-quality plastics, while the lens bayonet is metal. The internal focusing feature allows focus without the need to rotate the filter thread. The auto-focus motor, supporting a silent feature, is quick in locking onto subjects. The Quick-Shift Focus System in the lens allows instant switching from AF to manual. But if you are more into manual focusing, you should note that there is a considerable amount of play in the focus ring that makes manual focusing a bit difficult.

The central sharpness is highest at maximum aperture, but towards the edges, you can call it fair. The further you zoom, the better control you get over the chromatic aberrations. The lens has proved to resist flaring quite well and retaining contrast levels even while taking pictures in light.

At the end of the day, if you wish to place the subject in the centre of the frame, Pentax 16-50mm f/2.8 ED AL IF SDM is a good option for you with a reasonable price compared to similar lenses.

10. Pentax 21mm f/3.2 Limited

HD PENTAX-DA 21mm f3.2 AL Limited thumbnail

Compatibility: Pentax K
Minimum Focus:
  0.20 m
Filter Diameter:  49 mm
Diameter × length:  63 x 25 mm (2.5 × 1 in.)
Weight: 140 g (4.9 oz.)

HD PENTAX-DA 21mm f/3.2 AL Limited lens is part of Pentax’s premium limited lens line. When mounted on a Pentax Digital SLR, this wide-angle lens has a 35mm format lens equivalent of 31.5mm, and it also works well with smaller K-mount cameras. The build quality is excellent, and the lens weighs only 134g, making travel easier for you.

The filter ring does not rotate, a feature that you will find very helpful when using polarizing and graduated filters. Manual adjustments are fun as manual focusing is very smooth with a Quick-shift focusing system. However, watch your fingers as the MF ring rotates during AF. Although AF is screw-driven, it locks onto subjects very quickly.

With a maximum magnification of 0.17x, this lens is, perhaps, not the best fit for shooting close-ups. The Central sharpness of this lens is very good throughout and peaks at f/8. CA is well-controlled with very low levels of fringing that is difficult to spot. However, distortion is reasonably high for a lens of this type but it can be corrected in the software.

The rectangular shade on the lens added with a wide-angle lens and easy handling makes this lens a perfect fit for people into outdoor and landscape photography.

Conclusion | Best Lens for Pentax K70

To sum up the list of the best lens for Pentax K70:

Now I’d love hear from you. Which lens did you chose for your Pentax K70?

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