|image from pentaxforums.com|
And so my next wide-angle lens is one that I've contemplated several times - the DA 10-17mm fish-eye. Despite the field coverage it's small and light, fast enough, and has Pentax goodies like quick-shift. It's not weather resistant but no extra-wide lenses are right now except the DA16-85.. and that wasn't available for the trade offer that I received. Users state that at 17mm it's barely a distorting lens at all compared to 'straight' 17s; we'll see about that soon. I really liked the 17mm SMC fish-eye in the past; now I'd have it again and a lot more!
Given the 10-70 and 50-135, the 20-40 is the ideal fit for me. Not yet though, as I caved and bought the absurd-bargain DA17-70. It's larger and heavier than I'd wish, and not truly WR (with just one seal), but it's a nice solution for the sub-$250 price. And if rains come hard I still have the underrated 18-55WR lens. At some point I will acquire the 20-40, but in the meantime I shall put the 17-70 through its paces to see how it compares to other copies.
Now that I look closely at the pentaxforums ratings, I see the only DA zoom lens less liked than the 17-70 is.. the WR kit lens (and the type-1 kit). That's silly and absurd for several reasons - one of which is that the 18-55II non-WR lens gets better ratings than its optically-identical WR version! And both are preferred over the 17-70 with f/4 at 50-70mm, a bit wider wide angle and silent SDM motor?? Yes that motor is a fine source of fear and doubt in the Pentax world, but let's be real about it. I do recognize that value affects ratings; for its average price of $475 I suppose that the 17-70 is a 'weak' lens .. especially if I had paid full price and the focus motor failed. Also - why am I working at this when even I want to dump this lens!
So the Big Three (plus 2) kit right now is DA 10-17fe, DA17-70, and DA*50-135
with DA18-55wr and DAL55-300 in reserve.. plus K24, A50/2, A100/4 1:2 & M135 primes
plus the NX300 + 16/2.4, 30/2 + K-adapter for small-cam shooting and panorama stitching!