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05-13-2012, 03:21 PM   #1
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LENSES! How confusing...

There is so much to learn about lenses! I bought my K-5 about 2 months ago (first dslr camera), and I've been reading tons of stuff about lenses. I'm in no way able to spend a ton of money right now for super good lenses, but I know I need something better than the kit lens.

I guess what I need to know first is which lenses will fit the K-5 easily and which would need adjustments or not work right? I have read some articles, and I'm confused a little bit, it says the K-5 is a KAF2 mount, correct? If I purchase an older used lens on ebay that just says "K Mount" will it fit? I'd like to get a better all purpose lens, and maybe a cheap zoom lens to play around with. I love the idea of being able to use the cheaper old lenses, but I'm not sure where I will get into needing adapters and needing to change things to make them work, so right now I'd just like to find a few things that will JUST WORK. lol... I'm learning... slowly...

Thanks!

05-13-2012, 03:25 PM   #2
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These three articles will answer all your questions:
The Pentax Camera Lens Compatibility Chart
Pentax K-Mount Lenses Explained: The differences between various Pentax lens series
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-lens-articles/110657-how-use-meter...k-x-k-7-a.html

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05-13-2012, 03:30 PM   #3
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Thanks!
05-13-2012, 04:04 PM   #4
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The threads that Adam has provided is wonderful material that provides a lot of explanations. However, here are some short answers.
  • If I purchase an older used lens on ebay that just says "K Mount" will it fit? - Yes, just stick to K mounts now - any and all of the K mounts will work.
  • I'd like to get a better all purpose lens, and maybe a cheap zoom lens to play around with. - the Kit lenses. They are really very good for what they are. They are zoom, auto focus, auto aperture, and provide a lot of bang for the buck, and you can get kit lenses for at little as $40 - they are the best deal around to get started. Go through this thread, all the pictures are from the Kit lens. They are all great images.
  • I love the idea of being able to use the cheaper old lenses, but I'm not sure where I will get into needing adapters and needing to change things to make them work, so right now I'd just like to find a few things that will JUST WORK. - again just stick to the K mount lenses. They are the old K, M, A, F and FA, along with the DA, and DAL lenses. The M42 screw mount are the ones that need the adapter.



05-13-2012, 04:08 PM   #5
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Wonderful! Thank you!
05-13-2012, 04:14 PM   #6
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First: The kit lens is pretty good, just not perfect. It's a great learning tool, and some people never use anything else.

Next: ALMOST anything alleged to fit Pentax bayonet (PK) cameras will work somehow on your K5. The exceptions are 1) a very few Vivitar and other lenses with an oversized aperture-link shield, and 2) a very few Ricoh-compatible lenses with a "Ricoh pin" which can get stuck on the camera. Both of those, the shield and the pin, are easily removed.

But: Various older lenses, what we call M-type, won't have full functionality. This has to do with aperture automation, where the camera stops-down the lens to a desired aperture setting. It can still be accomplished, in Manual mode via the Green button -- it's just not automatic.

And: Adapters for M42 and other screwmount lenses like Takumars are no big thang, but they do take a bit of getting-used-to. Don't worry about them at the moment. We'll tell you ALL you need to know about them as you get comfortable here.

With any of the above, feel free to ask about specific lenses and problems. That's what we're here for.

I have a zillion lenses, all accumulated in the last 4 years. 95% are MF (manual-focus) prime (fixed focal length) lenses, not AF (autofocus), not zooms. MF is fun. MF lenses can be bargains. My average AF lens cost me over US$300. My average MF lens cost me US$15. Big difference, eh? Before long, you'll be full of optical expertise too. Have fun!
05-13-2012, 04:25 PM   #7
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Thanks! You guys are great! I know it probably gets old getting the same questions over and over from newbies, but it really helps to have someone explain things sometimes in simpler terms than trying to weed through the million articles to find bits and pieces of what you're looking for. I'm definitely going to get a prime lens or two to play around with. I have some friends that are into photography but they use Canon, and for some reason I was drawn to the Pentax. This forum is very helpful! Seriously, why do people think to be a professional photographer, you have to use canon or nikon? I've seen some amazing stuff come from pentax users! I can't wait til all the manual settings no longer confuse me, lol...
05-13-2012, 05:03 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by laughlady99 Quote
Seriously, why do people think to be a professional photographer, you have to use canon or nikon? I've seen some amazing stuff come from pentax users!
Many members here are working pros. Our Benjikan shoots covers for Vogue, Elle, etc. Many work with Pentax medium-format cameras, the old 645 and 67 and the incomparable 645D -- REAL professional stuff for top studio and outdoors work.

Why the Canikon myth? Because Canikon have spent vast piles of cash on propaganda. Yes, in some areas, Canikon gear IS necessary, and Canikon HAVE built professional support networks that Pentax has neglected. But professionalism is in the head, not in the tools. And many Canoneers happily use (and abuse) Pentax lenses.

Since Ricoh bought Pentax last year, things are looking up. We can expect Pentax to once again be a leading professional brand. Real Soon Now...

05-13-2012, 05:21 PM   #9
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Great to hear! I know all the workshops I've seen are geared toward canon or nikon users, but I think most of that information can be applied to any dslr. I agree with you, I guess I just needed to hear it, lol...
05-13-2012, 05:31 PM   #10
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Don't give up on that kit lens just yet. You can get some pretty darn good photos from it if you keep it in it's "SWEET SPOT".
Learn to get the most out of it while you save up your pesos for that high end lens. This article explains the strong points of the lens and what to avoid.
There are modes in the camera to compensate for the chromatic aberration and barrel distortion discussed in the article if they cause you trouble.

Pentax SMC DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL WR - Lab Test / Review

Photos from various versions of the "Kit Lens"
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/lens-clubs/45425-kit-lens-club.html
05-13-2012, 05:43 PM   #11
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Thanks for pointing me in the right direction! I will definitely keep using the kit lens, it certainly isn't terrible, I do get some pretty nice shots (in between quite a few bad ones right now), I tend to take quite a few at one time with a bunch of different settings and then not truly realize how I got those one or two good images, lol... I need to just sit one day and play with settings, I've learned this isn't just going to come easy like so many other things, I am actually going to have to put in some work and dedication to get it right!
05-13-2012, 07:47 PM   #12
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Evening, You have a wonderful body in the K5. I really doubt that you will need more than it can offer. The body for intense purposes is a professional body. The kit lens that Pentax provides tend to be better across the board than what Canon and Nikon provide with theirs.

There are a number of free downloadable utilities, along with the software that Pentax provides that shows some additional information (EXIF) embedded within the images. So if you have a number of similar images, one of which you really like, compare the information (focal length, aperture, shutter speed, ISO, etc.) across the various images. This may help you figure out what to do differently so as to improve the number of keepers....

05-14-2012, 01:33 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
First: The kit lens is pretty good, just not perfect. It's a great learning tool
There is no perfect lens, especially a zoom that designed to fit as an all-purpose-lens.
A 'Perfect' lens is another word for 'best-suited-for-this-shooting-condition'.

I still keep the kit lenses from film days: SmcTak 55/1.8, K55/1.8, M50/1.7...
05-14-2012, 01:52 AM   #14
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LensLady?

Hello Laughlady99, Welcome to the Forum!
Some good advice so far, I'll just throw in a couple of recommendations for you;
For a great walk-around (sometimes called "Street Photography") lens, check out the Pentax F 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5. Yes, this focal range is nearly covered by your kit zoom, but that's where the similarity ends. The F zoom is sharper throughout it's range, a full f-stop faster (needs less light) and goes to 70mm which means it's more useful for portraits and longer distances. Perhaps the most interesting feature is the "Macro" function. At 70mm, you can turn an additional focusing ring at the front for close-ups of flowers, insects and other tiny objects. While not quite a true dedicated Macro lens, it's still very good in this application. They usually run about $40-$50 USD on eBay.
It is auto-focus, auto aperture and fully compatable with your K-5.

Another great bargain in cost-to-performance ratio is the Pentax M 50mm f/1.7. While there's a bit of a learning curve to using the manual-focus, manual aperture lenses, once you get the idea, there's no looking back! You will develop a new standard for low-light photography and lens sharpness. About $50-70 USD.
For around $100, you can find a 50mm f/1.7 in the "A" series, which will provide auto-aperture, but it will still be manual focus.

Last, The Pentax FA 100-300mm f/4.7-f/5.8 telephoto zoom. Auto-focus, auto aperture, fully compatable. The great undiscovered bargain in Pentax telephoto zooms, good for sports, birding, wildlife and "reaching out" when you just can't get closer. Not a "fast" zoom by any means, but with higher ISO settings, nearly as useful. Be sure to get the silver version, not the black one. Auto-focus, auto aperture. About $100-130 USD.
Good Luck!
Ron
05-14-2012, 02:15 AM   #15
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For AF you could buy the FA50mm F1.4 to see if you like the range or let's say after you are comfortable with the camera, get the DA18-135. It is similar to the 18-55 but has a longer reach.

I own and use the DA*16-50 F2.8 as I need the constant aperture for my work, but for a beginner, the 18-55 will do its job well. When you want to play with teles, the DA50-200WR is another good option as it is weather sealed or you could get the non-WR DA50-200 which would be cheaper.

Welcome to the Pentax family and have fun with your new "toy"
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