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01-22-2012, 08:59 PM   #1
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3rd party lens question

Hopefully a simple question: When I'm browsing 3rd party lenses is there any way for me to tell just by looking at the lens name and model number if it will fit my camera? I restricted to exclusively consulting the lens database hosted here? (Not that that's a bad resource...I just thought there should be some way to tell just by looking at the lens name and number). For example, I'm sure I've looked at some 3rd party lenses, and they specify "k-mount" which I know is a Pentax mount. However, I have also browsed several 3rd party lenses in the database hosted here, and many of those lenses do not state "k-mount" in their name/model information. How does one shop for lenses, if they're not sure what to look for in the identifying information.


01-22-2012, 09:14 PM   #2
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Unfortunately, many third party lenses have the same model designation irrespective of the mount, so you need to read the specifications or advertisements for the lens to find out if it is available in K-mount.
01-22-2012, 09:32 PM   #3
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Yup. For example, if you wanted a sigma 17-50mm, when buying it you would have to check that it's for the Pentax mount. Usually there's sticker on the box (if you're in a store) or an indication in the product description (if you're browsing on online retailer).

Unfortunately the name itself doesn't tell you whether or not it's a Pentax lens, or whether or not it's even available for Pentax, for that matter.

In any case, our third party database here is complete as far as new third-party lenses go, so it's definitely a valuable resource!

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01-22-2012, 09:41 PM   #4
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Modern Pentax dSLRs used the K mount, also listed as Pentax bayonet mount.

Most 3rd party suppliers incl Sigma and Tamron would list these as Pentax mount, meaning Pentax K mount bayonet.

Hope that the comment may help and add to th earlier posts.

Last edited by hcc; 01-22-2012 at 10:50 PM.
01-22-2012, 11:33 PM   #5
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Third-party lensmakers are third-party because they make lenses for various mounts, not just one brand. Zeiss and Tokina made PK-mount lenses until recently, but no longer. The most prominent that we deal with now are Tamron, Samyang, and Sigma. Sigma is nutzer than others because they have their own proprietary mount, as well as making lenses for many other mounts. The only brand of lenses that you can KNOW will fit on Pentax cams, is Pentax. (And some of those are for Q or 645D.) For all lenses, check the mount.

NOTE: Some third-party lenses are gems. Some first-party lenses are crap. What are second-party lenses?

Last edited by RioRico; 01-22-2012 at 11:44 PM.
01-23-2012, 01:43 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
The only brand of lenses that you can KNOW will fit on Pentax cams, is Pentax. (And some of those are for Q or 645D.)
Or if you're buying old stuff, those Auto 110 lenses, which I almost bought a full set of on accident at a flea market before I knew what an Auto 110 was.
01-23-2012, 02:19 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
NOTE: Some third-party lenses are gems. Some first-party lenses are crap. What are second-party lenses?
Lenses that the user manufactures.
01-23-2012, 04:31 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by alphanerd Quote
QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico:
What are second-party lenses?
Lenses that the user manufactures.
Hay, I have some of those! Well, sort of. Build this setup: +10dpt 49mm closeup meniscus; 42-49mm step-up ring; M42 bellows; M42-PK adapter. Put them together and we have an uncorrected 100/2.2 objective, soft and dreamy for portraits. Don't fret over the image edges. Second-party lensmakers never worry about edges.

01-23-2012, 07:48 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
What are second-party lenses?
Aren't some Pentax lenses basically re-branded Tokina lenses? Maybe we can call those "second-party" lenses. Not really third-party, but not exactly first-party either in the strictest sense.
01-23-2012, 07:55 PM   #10

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Tokina? I have the Pentax-branded 18-250, which is a Tamron lens. Although possibly the Pentax version has Pentax SMC coatings that the Tamron version doesn't? At the time I bought it, I figured the Pentax version would hold its value better just for the name.

But to the original question, don't assume anything. And if it is an older lens, make sure it doesn't say Pentax SCREW mount rather than bayonet, although you can use screw mounts with an adapter. Any newer lens will be in the database...
01-23-2012, 08:22 PM   #11
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If you're going to check out lenses that aren't made by the big players, it's best to learn to recognize your lens mount. Request pictures if you're buying online. In person, you can obviously try them out. Just be sure examine any differences between the genuine pentax lens and the third party one closely. There's the story of the Ricoh pin and I think it's vivitar that has a well known scraping issue. I'm sure there's probably some lesser known issues with lesser known lenses.

Hmm, I think I may have one that isn't in the database. Haven't gone through and eliminated the possibility of a rebadge yet though.
01-23-2012, 09:09 PM   #12

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There's a trap for the unwary
wanting to mount a third-party M42 screwmount lens
on a full-frame Pentax M42 screwmount body (like the Spotmatic):
At infinity focus, some lenses can foul the mirror.
I had this problem with an ISCO Westron 35/2.8.

In the other direction, some websites used to illustrate
a Zeiss ZK lens made for the Pentax K-mount
with a Nikon rabbit-ear version,
making you think it wasn't a lens for a Pentax.

So the original question is by no means a simple one!

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