Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home

Show Printable Version Search this Thread
01-01-2012, 11:01 AM   #16
Site Supporter
patrick9's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Murfreesboro Tennessee
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,353
QuoteOriginally posted by SteveM Quote
Great thread, but I wonder why I find things to be the opposite from everyone else
I don't follow. From what I read here the consensus is m over AF . Unless you mean the general photographers not answering here. I have an AF on today as I am participating in another sites challenge[ best photo's from your worst lens] Mine happens to be one of the two AF lenses I own.

01-01-2012, 11:41 AM   #17
Site Supporter
Pepe Guitarra's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: California
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,060
Original Poster
After all this is a thread of the Pentax photo forums, photographs are welcome.

Here is my son learning the use of a manual Sears PkA 135mm f2.8, the one with the soft focus macro. I shot it with my K5 and my Russian Tair 11A 135mm f2.8 lens.

01-01-2012, 11:43 AM   #18
Senior Member

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: NC
Posts: 206
A number of reasons:
bang for buck - let's face it, $1k for a 50-135 2.8 that will probably experience SDM failure isn't a winning proposition for those who don't make real $ from their pictures. It let's some of us get some very nice glass optically speaking, or to fill in a 'gap' for much lower cost vs new, if a new equivalent is even available in some cases.

Try before you buy big - Not sure if a prime or specific focal length or range is for you, before buying that $500+ modern lens? Find the same in a MF variant for pennies or dimes on the dollar, and give it a try. I've been trying to sort out my longer term lens strategy, picking up an old Tokina 28-70 2.8-4.3 for < $50 lets me see if I can live with the range of the well regarded Tamron 28-75 f/2.8, and also gives me some faster glass than the kit lens for DOF and low light. Picking up a lower cost M or A 50mm f/1.4-1.7 is a good way to see if you might want to invest later in an FA50.

Not everything requires AF - landscapes, stills, macros, some (most?) portraits certainly don't, in which case, you may have a better optical solution for sometimes significantly lower cost available to you, if you're willing to forego autofocus.

I'll admit, it's also kind of nice - some of the older metal lenses are so much more solid feeling, with focus rings that simply glide in your fingers, compared to some plastic lenses that lose nearly all tactile enjoyment, and feel as if they'd break or crack much easier. They also obviously have some different optical qualities, some perhaps preferable. While I expect that I will probably sell off my Tokina 28-70 once I pick up the Tamron 28-75 f/2.8, I doubt I will ever part with my SMC-A 70-210 f/4.0, unless at 10x the cost, a DA* 60-250 f/4.0 eventually convinces me otherwise.
01-01-2012, 11:44 AM   #19
Site Supporter
Pepe Guitarra's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: California
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,060
Original Poster
This is one his shots.

Here is me shooting my Russian Tair 11A. My son shot this wide open with a Kx and a Sears PkA (Ricoh pin out) 135mm f2.8 Macro.

01-01-2012, 11:48 AM   #20
Site Supporter
Pepe Guitarra's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: California
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,060
Original Poster
The new Pentax convert.

This is Jr. again shooting the Pentax Kx with the Sears lens.

01-01-2012, 12:11 PM   #21
Veteran Member
RioRico's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Limbo, California
Posts: 11,264
QuoteOriginally posted by patrick9 Quote
QuoteOriginally posted by SteveM:
Great thread, but I wonder why I find things to be the opposite from everyone else
I don't follow. From what I read here the consensus is m over AF . Unless you mean the general photographers not answering here.
Various of us need and use different tools for different purposes. If I were a paparazzo or wedding togger or PJ or field-sports shooter or otherwise recording action, and I got paid for it, I'd want the fastest, most agile AFs available. For other specialized work, I'd want specialized workhorse gear. Those are just bread-n-butter issues. But most of us here, those with time for these forums, have other needs and desires, often constrained by budget and unconstrained by time. We're the MF crowd.

I have a travel scenario: When moving around, I depend on the DA18-250 and Tamron 10-24 and FA50/1.4. When I get somewhere, I wander with those general lenses for a day, scoping-out the possibilities. Then I use various old MF primes to go beyond the travel kit's capabilities. And I'll spend a day or two maybe with just a clutch of 50s for probing various possibilities: K50/1.2, CZJ Tessar 50/2.8 (12 iris blades), MacroTak 50/4(1x), Chinon 55/1.8, Helios-44 58/2 -- each has its own flavor. Or I'll go Teutonic and use only German glass for a day, Meyers and Ennas at 35-50-100-135-180-240mm. I have time and space to explore.

But if I was working, I'd probably depend on Tamrons: 10-24, 28-75, 70-200, the workhorses.

Last edited by RioRico; 01-01-2012 at 12:24 PM.
01-01-2012, 02:10 PM   #22
Veteran Member
Voytech's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: NY/NJ
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 952
With a plethora of mf lenses and just recently having acquired only my third AF lens, I agree with nearly everything said here.

Work? AF
Leisure? MF
Double leisure? MF on film

And as someone said, my cars are both manual as well. I like to be involved.
01-01-2012, 03:00 PM   #23
danielchtong's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 848
QuoteOriginally posted by baro-nite Quote
All that said, I'd love to try out some of the Limiteds. And I do really like my DA* 200, only wishing it were better for manual focusing. I've thought about "downgrading" to an A* 200, but the short minimum focus distance of the DA* is too useful.
I do have DA200mm & A*300mmF4
If you feel like using MF on DA200mm it is quite ok as its focus speed with SDM is superfast.
I am used to shoot bird in flight image with the MF A*300mm F4

B I F shots in city Sept 6 (Page 1) - Gallery - Manual Focus Forum

That has shown that MF guys are no slouch too

currently spending new year in Santa Clara

01-01-2012, 03:07 PM   #24
danielchtong's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 848
Case where MF has advantages over AF are :
- shooting in dark conditions where AF can't work
- shooting a very fast event which you are expecting and which you can pre-focus, and wait for the exact moment of the event. AF would ruin the timing
- shooting an image where the point of focus is outside the cluster of AF sensors (using AF to focus and then recompose is not accurate. The more you move the camera when recomposing, the worse this inaccuracy gets)
- tilt/shift work. There are no AF lenses which do this, afaik.
01-02-2012, 07:41 AM   #25
8540tomg's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Waterloo, Ontario
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 4,454
As Lowell noted most of us come to manual lenses from a variety of directions and reasons. In my own case I’ve been shooting Pentax since 1982 and acquired a number of K, M and A series lenses while shooting film. I stayed with Pentax when I went digital simply because Pentax let me continue to use these fine old lenses on their new cameras. The firm is to be commended for their commitment to backward compatibility. These fine old lenses deserve a better fate than the already overcrowded landfill.

I only have two AF lenses – the DA* 16~50/2.8 and the DA 70/2.4. Both are fine lenses but they are seldom the first ones I reach for when planning a shoot. For me photography is a hobby. I take it seriously but it is primarily a way to relax. I don’t want or need to live up to anyone’s expectations but my own. As I shoot wildlife and sports for the most part my longer telephoto lenses get the bulk of the work. As yet I don’t have the DA* 300/4 so my M 400/5.6 and K 200/2.5 are most frequently reached for. For birding I’m convinced AF has it advantages but manual focus also has its place. AF is often confused when birds hide amongst the branches. As good as it is AF can’t discriminate the way the human eye can – at least not yet.

After 3 decades of shooting manual glass I’m reluctant of give up total control to the camera’s on-board computer. When time permits I like the control Steve spoke of in his post. I know, based on experience, the look I will get from certain settings. As good as the on-board computer maybe it can’t read my mind. The build quality of the older glass is another issue. The older lenses are a joy to focus and there are no SDM motor failures with the old helicoid threads. There is just nothing to fail here unless you drop them on the cement.

In any case these are some of the reasons I continue to use older manual focus lenses. It is partly my long history with them and the fact they still work so well. That said I hope to add a few newer lenses as it is hard to argue with the convenience of an AF lens.

Tom G

Last edited by 8540tomg; 01-02-2012 at 02:00 PM.
01-02-2012, 11:09 AM   #26
Site Supporter
gofour3's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 5,339
I’m like the dog that was born with three legs, I’ve never owned a camera that supports AF so I don’t know what I’m missing or not missing.

To me it would seem weird not having to manually focus a lens as part of the picture taking process.


Last edited by gofour3; 01-02-2012 at 11:30 AM.
01-02-2012, 11:27 AM   #27
Veteran Member
Lloydy's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Shropshire, UK
Posts: 1,114
I started with old Canon A1 and AE1P cameras as my first SLR's, I'd had an Ilford Sportsman and a Minolta HiMatic to learn with, so I guess it was something I found natural as I knew no different. Until I bought an EOS600 ( film ) which I thought I liked, and I did in so many respects because it's a great camera that I still have. But it wasn't an engaging camera, I could get good pictures very easily. Nothing wrong with that, but I gradually lost interest in photography. I went digital with a Canon G3, another good camera which I still use, but not for taking the kind of pictures that I like to take for my pleasure.

I only bought my K10 because I was p'd off with the lag on the G3 when I used it for action shots. But the K10 was a revelation once I'd stumbled across a Helios 44m and got the adapter.
Since then I've accumulated about 40 mf lenses and find pleasure in the slower process of getting a picture, I like the feeling of control it gives me, which then extends to the composition. I find that I will walk away with firing the shutter if I don't like what I see now, instead of just machine gunning with an autofocus lens.

I honestly can't remember the last time my 50-135 DA was on the camera, and the kit lens ? I'm not even sure where it is.
01-02-2012, 04:32 PM   #28
Moderator PEG Judges
Kerrowdown's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Highlands of Scotland.
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 32,700
QuoteOriginally posted by baro-nite Quote
thought about "downgrading" to an A* 200
I've never heard this lens described in quite this way before, I'm just glad I downgraded a few other lenses to go with it...............

SMC Pentax-A 15mm F3.5, SMC Pentax-A 50mm F1.2, SMC Pentax-A* 85mm F1.4, SMC Pentax-A* 135mm F1.8, SMC Pentax-A* 200mm F2.8 ED.

01-02-2012, 05:17 PM   #29
Loyal Site Supporter
baro-nite's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: North Carolina, USA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 4,364
QuoteOriginally posted by kerrowdown Quote
I've never heard this lens described in quite this way before, I'm just glad I downgraded a few other lenses to go with it...............
Hence the scare quotes. Only thing I'd miss is the shorter minimum focus distance of the DA* 200. But I would indeed miss that. Were I convinced the A* has superior IQ to the DA*, I'd certainly make the switch. Love to see a comparison.

  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
da, das, hope, k-mount, lenses, manuals, pentax, pentax lens, sears, slr lens, son, yesterday
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Do you use only manual focus lenses?Do a lot of folks use only manual lenses? heralu Pentax DSLR Discussion 12 01-05-2011 04:06 PM
How to use old manual lenses w/ K-r? Martowski Pentax K-r 3 10-28-2010 10:53 PM
Manual lenses and the K-5 NaClH2O Pentax K-5 10 10-26-2010 01:49 PM
Manual lenses chucuyuco Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12 08-13-2010 05:05 AM
Help with manual lenses on K-x stonedes Pentax DSLR Discussion 3 02-08-2010 10:31 AM

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:29 PM. | See also:, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]