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01-15-2012, 09:25 AM   #1
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Lenses for Pentax KX (35mm SLR)

I have recently inherited a Pentax KX along with three lenses; an SMC Pentax 55mm lens, an Avanar macro zoom multi coated 75-205mm lens with a Vivitar 62mm UV-HAZE (Which I assume is a filter), and a Vivitar 200mm auto telephoto lens.

I noticed that the Pentax lens fits and works perfectly, while the other two fit in the camera body but do not lock into place. I am very new to SLR photography, and I would really appreciate it if someone could explain to me which lenses I can use with this camera, and do they have to be Pentax lenses or can I use other brands?

Thanks

01-15-2012, 10:07 AM   #2
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Other brands can be used if they have the K-mount, like your Pentax lens has. I do not know these lenses so cannot help there.
01-15-2012, 10:23 AM   #3
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Hi Julia. Welcome to Pentax Forums. The KX and the SMC Pentax 55/1.8 are both excellent products and both are highly respected by the film users on this site. The Vivitar 200 is also a decent lens while the Avanar is a consumer zoom and may be fine or not so fine. Neither of the other two lenses will lock on the camera? Are you sure they are K-mount? The mount type should be stamped on the mount face or on the lens body. It should say Pentax-K, PK, PKA, or something similar.

In any case, I would be hesitant to mount either lens until you can confirm its compatibility.

As for the KX's general lens compatibility...It will work with any K-mount lens that has an aperture (f/stop) ring and any M42 screw mount lens (with adapter) that has a Manual/Auto switch on the side of the lens barrel. This includes lenses by Pentax, Ricoh, Cosina, Chinon, (and other camera makers) and almost all 3rd-party lens makers. The choices are huge.

Going forward, one thing to consider is the condition of the camera. If it has not been in active use, it is likely that the light seals and mirror bumper have not been replaced in a long time. These are made of a foam material that degrades and gets sticky with age. Bad mirror bumper is particularly problematic since the gummy junk can be flung onto the focus screen and mirror surface during the exposure cycle and is hard to remove without scratching. Both can be replaced as a do-it-yourself project or you can spend about $50-$75 to have the camera cleaned, lubed, and adjusted (aka CLA) to bring it into top-notch shape.

I usually recommend Eric Hendrickson (LINK) for this job. He serviced my KX and is a pleasure to deal with. His rates, work, and terms of service are tops. You may also have your friendly local camera repair give you a quote.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 01-15-2012 at 10:29 AM.
01-15-2012, 12:35 PM   #4
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Hi Steve, thank you so much for the reply. Firstly, the two lenses have no mention of Pentax or K anywhere, however it does say Olympus on the cap. I guess I should then assume that these lenses were not meant for this camera. Secondly, I have used the KX with the 55mm lens and everything appears to work, and the pictures came out fine, but I will investigate on the condition of the mirror bumper.
Thanks!

01-15-2012, 01:32 PM   #5
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Hi Julia: Congratulations! My KX is my favorite camera (I've had it since 1977).

Here are a few more resources for you -

Reviews of the KX by users on PentaxForums (including stevebrot's excellent, comprehensive post)

SMC Pentax 55/1.8 Lens Review If you have the f/2 version, the review is just below the 55/1.8, but they are essentially the same lens - the f/2 just has the widest aperture disabled.

Very nice .pdf scan of the KX Manual, if you need it, from www.pentax-manuals.com.

That website also has the manual for all the K-series lenses that will include your lens
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