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Alternatives

Surprisingly, Pentax currently offers only one other medium telephoto (non-macro) lens in its lineup. Surprising because pretty much every other manufacturer saturated this segment with at least 3 and sometime as many as 5 different options (for example, Canon currently offer 3, while Nikon offers 4 medium telephoto lenses). For Pentax users it's only smc FA 77mm f/1.8 Limited - a solid lens by itself, albeit a little bit outdated. Naturally, you don't have to be limited only to the current lineup and that's where Pentax shines, since pretty much every lens it manufactured in the past is fully compatible with the new generation of digital SLR cameras. Amonng the 'oldies' take a look at the smc FA* 85mm f/1.4 and the smc FA 100mm f/2.8. Now, if you don't mind having a macro in your lens, then the currently produced smc D FA100mm f/2.8 Macro is also worth considering. Outside of the Pentax camp, Sigma's 70mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro and Tokina's AT-X AF PRO-D 100mm f/2.8 Macro are two other alternatives you might want to evaluate.

 

Recommendation

Pentax smc DA 70mm f/2.4 Limited is a 'well-rounded' medium telephoto, with many strong characteristics and very few issues. Come to think of it, there are no major gaping issues with the lens - color fringing and somewhat low level of contrast at closeup distances can be fixed relatively easily, and so there is no point in dwelling about these issues too much. Image resolution, low vignetting, low distortion, excellent build quality and compact size are all major advantages. The price is also decent, although not very aggressive, which is pretty much the case for most Pentax lenses, which benefit from a relatively low level of competition from independent lens manufacturers. So all in all, the smc DA 70mm f/2.4 Limited is a pretty solid choice that is certainly worth your attention.