We have a giant master list of what we feel the best budget lenses are for every system, and you can find that here, but in this post we wanted to highlight our picks for the best budget lenses for the Pentax system.
Pentax 50mm F1.4
Most Pentax users will know from reading and research around the interwebs that Pentax’s strength lies with their prime lenses. For portrait shooters using their APS-C sized DSLRs (not that Pentax makes a full frame at the time of writing this posting) this will be your ideal focal length because of how flat the lens will render the image when combined with the sensor. The faster aperture of the Pentax 50mm F1.4will mean that if you have an older DSLR that you won’t always have to raise the ISOs to nuclear meltdown levels.
If I were to recommend one lens to get, this would be it.
Pentax 35mm F2.4
The Pentax 35mm F2.4is a lens that will give users an approximate 50mm field of view. As the ultimate street photography lens for APS-C DSLRs at this price point, you’ll perhaps want to set your camera to aperture priority and leave it wide open at F/2.4 in order to capture all you’ll need for your street scenes. Perhaps this is what gives it loads of value at this price.
Pentax 40mm F2.8
Pentax’s line of Limited lenses are coveted by all Pentaxians. Having an affordable option in this small package will make you the cool kid on the block amongst your Pentaxian kin. The Pentax DA 40mm f2.8pancake will be a must-have option for photographers that like to remain discrete or those that always want to keep their cameras on them. Without a larger prime or a bulky zoom lens, you won’t have any excuse to have your camera on you at all.
Third Party Lenses
Tokina 11-16mm F2.8
One of the biggest complaints about this list used to be its lack of zoom lenses. If you’re looking for one, then consider the Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 offering. It’s perfect for APS-C users who want wide angle photos–which means your landscapes will look that much more epic.
Rokinon 14mm F2.8
If we had to choose a single wide angle prime to stick with it would be Rokinon’s own 14mm f2.8. With a wide field of view at 14mm and an f2.8 aperture, there is no reason not to spring for this lens. Sure, it’s manual focus only, but if you’re using a lens like this then you’re usually focusing out to infinity anyway.
Tokina 12-28mm F4
Of any of the wide angle zoom lenses we’ve tested, this one had to be the most fun. Mount it on a camera, put the camera on a tripod and get to the nearest coastline to shoot the sun as it’s about to go down. The colors, sharpness, and price of this lens are all very pleasing.
Rokinon 85mm F1.4
If you want an f1.4 lens designed for portraits, this is the most affordable one to get. Wide open, the lens is a bit soft. But once you stop it down a bit, it begins to sing with sharpness. Like other Rokinon lenses, it is manual focus only. But man, that bokeh is glorious.
Sigma 30mm F1.4
APS-C camera users who want a fast 50mm field of view (approximately) will be super surprised by Sigma’s new 30mm f1.4 offering. What’s even cooler is that you can use it on a full frame camera–but don’t expect the image quality to be just like that of an APS-C camera’s due to how this lens was designed.
Looking for more?
These are just our picks for the top budget lenses for the Pentax system in general, if you are looking for good lens options with a specific photographic specialty in mind we highly recommend checking out some of our other lens recommendation posts like: Review: Pentax K-1, Review: Pentax 15-30mm f2.8 ED SDM WR (Pentax F).
If you are looking for more budget recommendations for another system make sure and check out our full listing, here.