Are you looking for the best lenses for the Pentax K-3 camera in 2021?

If you feel as if you have achieved everything possible with the kit lens and want to expand, you came to the right place.

best lenses for Pentax K-3

For shooting wildlife, landscape, portrait, and macro photography at the highest level, one needs to be equipped with suitable optics.

Although K-3 is a reliable camera with its 24.4 Mpx APS-C CM

OS sensor, autofocus system with 27 points, and 8.3 fps continuous shooting, it is still a camera that relies on lenses for the best photographic experience.

If you are wondering which lenses fit your Pentax K-3 in the best possible way, keep on reading. I have done thorough research to bring you the five best lenses for Pentax K-3.

LensTypeShop now
Pentax 50mm f/1.4PrimeShop now
Pentax 12-24mm f/4Wide-AngleShop now
Pentax 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6All-in-oneShop now
Pentax 55-300mm f/4.5-6.3TelephotoShop now
Pentax 100mm f/2.8MacroShop now

Best Prime Lens for Portraits


1. Pentax 50mm f/1.4

SMC Pentax FA 50mm f/1.4 allows extra-fast shutter speeds with perfect control of field depth. With an angle of view of 47 degrees and a weight of only 7,8 OZ, the lens represents a compact solution for portrait photography.

This prime lens for Pentax K-3 takes good photos, but you always want to use a good hood, since the front element is well-exposed to extraneous light, if you wish to great contrast.

Generally speaking:

The image quality is excellent, particularly in low-light and high contrast environments. Fringing is barely noticeable, and it only occurs in outdoor light.

The f/1.4 aperture allows photographers to take photos in unusually low-light situations without a flash, not to mention remarkable bokeh effects.

For portrait photography, the large aperture will enable me to capture the slightest changes in my subject’s emotions. I did interior photo shootings with this lens and was impressed with the outcome.

Although the lens is made of plastics, it feels solid in the hands.


  • Fast shutter speeds
  • Great contrast
  • Excellent image quality


  • Made from plastic

Best Wide-Angle Lens for Landscapes


2. Pentax 12-24mm f/4

Pentax DA 12-24mm f/4 ED AL is an excellent lens for taking fantastic pictures of landscapes and structures.

First and foremost:

The angle of view at 12 mm is incredible, and the distortion is minimal. At 24 mm, a moderate wide-angle, there are no optical faults, like color fringing at edges or high, unnatural contrasts.

The lens is made mostly out of plastics, yet it feels solid and well made. It is also lightweight, so it is easy to carry around.

The focusing system is internal, and the lens barrel does not extend. On the other hand, manual focus is operating quite smoothly.

The focusing distance is 30 cm, making this wide-angle lens for Pentax K-3 an excellent choice for both interior and landscape sessions. I was satisfied with the image quality.

All of the images came out well exposed and with a decent number of small details. I am content with the sharpness, even at the maximum aperture.


  • Very sharp
  • Contrast is relatively high
  • Color rendering is consistently good


  • High price

Best All-Around lens for everyday photography


3. Pentax 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6

Pentax HD DA 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6 has a new HD coating for optimization of light transmission and minimizing reflections.

The lens is weather-resistant as well, while the SP coating protects the glass elements. The autofocus system is fast and silent, but the internal focusing shortens the sufficient focal length to focus closer.

The built quality of the lens is quite excellent. The materials feel rugged and dependable, and the design does not seem cheap.

Pentax lens in the matter is the short zoom lens, which means you will be able to shoot landscapes, streets, architecture, and much more while getting phenomenal results. The image quality is better than satisfactory.

Images come out nicely exposed and with an extraordinary level of sharpness. For me, the main point of this all-around lens for Pentax K-3 is its versatility.

I used it for various types of photography, and it performed well in all cases. Although the aperture is not so wide, don’t let it deter you from buying.

Bottom line:

Throughout intensive testing in all light conditions, the lens gave good results in low-light situations. And since the maximum aperture is set at a high notch, you can count on consistent sharpness throughout the whole shooting range.


  • Weather-resistant
  • Very sharp
  • Color saturation


  • Small amount of distortion

Best Telephoto Lens for Wildlife Photography


4. Pentax 55-300mm f/4.5-6.3

Pentax HD DA 55-300mm f/4.5-6.3 ED PLM WR Resets a short minimum focusing distance at 0,95 m, while the electromagnetic diaphragm control system ensures quiet sound operation during video recording.

The lens has a weather-resistant construction with a super protective coating of the lens front surface.

I was mostly impressed by the color rendering of this Pentax K-3 telephoto lens, which is exceptional in all regards. Images were well saturated, with natural colors and fine details.

Of course:

The sharpness is excellent as well. I didn’t have any problems with sharpness, even at f/4.5. Image quality is good throughout the zoom range. At 300 mm, I was able to spot softness at the very edges of images, but I had no trouble correcting it in post-production.

The matter lens is my favorite solution for numerous applications, but especially for long-range and fast-moving actions.

Autofocus is responsive and accurate, with virtually zero hunting. When you need to change to manual, it is easy to grab the focus ring without switching.

From an ergonomic perspective, it is not too heavy, though it packs a severe zooming capability. However, for a more intense photo session, I recommend having a tripod.


  • Weather-resistant
  • Razor sharp images
  • Amazing bokeh


  •  Aperture could be wider

Best Macro Lens for Macro Photography

 Pentax 100mm f2.8

5. Pentax 100mm f/2.8

Pentax 100mm f/2.8 WR D FA SMC is a weather-resistant lens, with an incredibly rounded aperture. The lens blades work in favor of a beautiful defocusing effect at wide apertures.

Super coating on the front repels dust, water, and grease, which will mean many photographers who often get their gear dirty.

Of course:

The lens features a maximum 1:1 image magnification ratio. I was delighted with the physical manufacture of the lens. 

The primary material is metal, and though I was not gentle while testing this Pentax K-3 macro lens, I didn’t face any damage. The pictures taken with this lens came out pretty crisp and clean, with excellent brightness and a fair amount of details.

Due to its extreme focus throw, it can hunt now and then, but that is the only objection so far. 

I tested the lens for its portrait capabilities, and I was not disappointed with the results. The subjects in focus are sharp, while the background is smoothly defocused.

When I used it for purely macro work, I was content with the results. Images were clear, with no visible distortions. I mainly shoot small insects and flowers, and if your definition of macro photography aligns with mine, you will be happy by purchasing this lens.


  • Detailed images
  • Great build focus
  • Bokeh effects


  • Focusing at night

Best lenses for Pentax K-3 – Wrapping Up

Pentax is well-known for being just a slightly different camera manufacturer from other major players in the industry.

I am especially fond of features such as weather resistance and nicely made viewfinders.

K-3 is quite a good camera that packs some of its predecessors’ best features and improves it further. As owners of this camera know, it is a powerful piece of hardware, yet it can be pushed further even more. Pick out any lens from the list and get going.

Hopefully, this article will help you get the best possible lens for Pentax K-3 within your budget.

However, if you are still not certain which lens to choose, feel free to post a comment below. I will do my best to further help you with any questions.

Happy shooting!

These are 5 MUST-HAVE lenses for Pentax K-3 [In 2021]
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These are 5 MUST-HAVE lenses for Pentax K-3 [In 2021]
Discover the best lenses for Pentax K-3 to start shooting much better photos in 2021. Read this ultimate lenses buying guide to learn more.
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