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05-17-2012, 05:33 AM   #1
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Compatability of modern Pentax lenses on old (35mm film) Pentax bodies

Hi everyone,

I'm looking to buy a new DSLR camera, and my interest went in the direction of the Pentax K5 (Most affordable weatherproof DSLR I've seen, and it felt very nice when I tried it out in a local store).

However, I am also into film photography, and I'd prefer to use the same lenses on both bodies.

So my question is: If I buy a K5, and current Pentax lenses, are there any options for me for Pentax film bodies? And if so, what options are these?

05-17-2012, 06:34 AM - 1 Like   #2
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i find this site extremely helpful explaining which lens can be used for which systems...good luck
The Pentax Camera Lens Compatibility Chart
05-17-2012, 06:46 AM   #3
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Most Pentax-DA lenses can't cover full-frame, a few of the telephotos can. Pentax-D FA lenses can cover full-frame. Pentax-FA J lenses cover full frame, but can only be used on "program" bodies that can directly control aperture, since they have no aperture ring. Pentax-FA, Pentax-F, and Pentax-A lenses can be used on all film bodies. The Pentax-M and Pentax "K" lenses (no A setting on aperture ring) can be used on all film bodies that don't have a "crippled" mount. (The later ZX autofocus bodies have a crippled mount, as does the *ist.)
05-17-2012, 07:42 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Origineelreclamebord Quote
are there any options for me for Pentax film bodies? And if so, what options are these?
If you are asking about the bodies available, there are none, new. However, there are any number of good bodies available used. You can check the marketplace here on PF or try an auction site. Which one to get depends on how much automation you want / need.

Go here for information on all Pentax cameras. Note that Pentax made M42 mount cameras prior to moving to K mount in I think 1975 and those are still around and being used as well.

As already noted above all Pentax lenses EXCEPT the DA series will work on film as well. Within the limitations of the lens and camera combination. By that I mean an AF lens will not Auto focus if the camera body is not auto focus. And a manual focus lens will not AF just because the body is AF. Some of the DA lenses will cover the entire frame on film as well but not all by any means. Here is a thread discussing which DA lenses might work on film.

05-17-2012, 12:14 PM   #5
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Thanks for your replies

So if I understand it correctly:

- Any K-mount (including KAF2) will fit on any K-mount body (though the older K-mount bodies can't use any of the automated functions).
- Any K-mount lens fits on the K5 (albeit some can only be used in completely manual mode).

If so, then I have another question... Is this with or without adapters?
05-17-2012, 12:56 PM   #6
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any K mount lens (new or old) can be used on your K5. that is very handy when it comes from moving from film to digital. as for new lenses on old mounts, the new DA (II) lenses won't fit well.
05-17-2012, 01:02 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by gilsouthwood Quote
any K mount lens (new or old) can be used on your K5. that is very handy when it comes from moving from film to digital. as for new lenses on old mounts, the new DA (II) lenses won't fit well.
Thanks for clearing that up

So then my choice is either use modern lenses for my modern DSLR and a modern type SLR (KAF2 mount, MX-6 and such), or to use old lenses for my modern DSLR and an old type SLR (older K-mounts, K1000, MX etc bodies), or to accept that I need two sets of lenses?
05-17-2012, 04:12 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Origineelreclamebord Quote
If so, then I have another question... Is this with or without adapters?
No adapters needed for any k-mount lens. k-mount is k-mount.

If you get into older Pentax / Asahi lenses with M42 mounts then yes you need an M42 to K-mount adapter. That opens up an entire world of M42 lenses both Pentax and numerous other manufacturers. The registration distance for M42 is the same as k-mount so they work without optical correction.

05-17-2012, 04:19 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Origineelreclamebord Quote
So then my choice is either use modern lenses for my modern DSLR and a modern type SLR (KAF2 mount, MX-6 and such), or to use old lenses for my modern DSLR and an old type SLR (older K-mounts, K1000, MX etc bodies), or to accept that I need two sets of lenses?
Sort of. The only lenses you will have issues with are the DA series and the FA J series as they do not have aperture rings. They must be controlled by a camera capable of that. But if you get FA series or F series they will work on just about any camera. For example I have the F 35-70 and the F 70-210, they are both great lenses and work well on both film and digital. They will work on both older SLR's (because they have an aperture ring) and on newer ones. And they work fine on modern DSLR's as well.

The same is true of the FA series and there are lots of used FA lenses out there. Pentax still makes three primes in that series (FA 31, FA 43, FA 77) and lots of zooms available used.

If using the same lenses on both film and digital is important then stick with F or FA series lenses and you will be good. Others will work but you will need to pick a film body first to see what features it has before determining what other lenses will work with it.
05-17-2012, 04:27 PM   #10
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As several have noted, just because a modern lens physically fits on an relatively modern film camera doesn't mean it will make sense to use it, since most modern lenses are APS-C and most film cameras are 135 format - meaning they won't cover the whole film frame. The idea of the "crop factor" is usually discussed in terms of how it narrows the FOV when going from 135 to APS-C,and that never makes the lens unusable (just different), but the reverse is unfortunately not true. If the lens is designed to project only an APS-C image, then sticking a piece of 135 film behind it is just going to give you an APS-C-sized circle within the 135 frame, surrounded by a lot of black.
05-17-2012, 08:19 PM   #11
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A brief summary:

* Any M42 screwmount lens (like the Takumars) will fit on any PK body, with an adapter. But some auto-only M42s (like Fujis and some Meyers) will only work with the aperture wide-open, unless they're modified. The mods are simple and easy.

* Any K-mount lens of any kind will fit on any PK body, with no adapter needed. However, some few Vivitar and other lenses have an oversize aperture-link shield; and some few Ricoh and compatible lenses have the "Ricoh pin". Both are a bother. Both are easily removed.

* Any lens is limited by its own and the camera's functionality. Lenses without aperture rings won't work well on bodies lacking A-type contacts. AF lenses will only AF on AF bodies. APS lenses will vignette on FF bodies. Lenses without A-type contacts lack aperture automation on "crippled-mount" dSLRs.

But within these limitations, a huge variety of lenses can be used on both modern dSLRs and older film bodies. Be sure to check the lens databes here, and don't hesitate to ask here about specifics.

Last edited by RioRico; 05-17-2012 at 08:27 PM.
05-18-2012, 03:48 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Origineelreclamebord Quote
Hi everyone,

I'm looking to buy a new DSLR camera, and my interest went in the direction of the Pentax K5 (Most affordable weatherproof DSLR I've seen, and it felt very nice when I tried it out in a local store).

However, I am also into film photography, and I'd prefer to use the same lenses on both bodies.

So my question is: If I buy a K5, and current Pentax lenses, are there any options for me for Pentax film bodies? And if so, what options are these?
The best body to go for in my opinion would be a PZ-1 or PZ-1p. Great ergonomics, supports all but HSM lenses, and dual thumb wheels like thenK5. It is a little bigger though, being really a full sized body.

As for lenses, except for HSM lenses where the older FA simply won't recognize them, you should consider staying with full frame lenses, or lenses where the performance has been checked on a film body for covage. There's a thread that discusses DA lenses used on film cameras. Many work fine, but especially some wide to normal or ultra wide zooms vignette for about the bottom 30% of the focal length range. For sigma lenses consider lenses with a suffix DG or nonsuffix at all. Avoid the DC suffix as that is for ASP-C sensors. D stands for digital, meaning coatings on the rear element to avoid possible reflections and loss of contrast due to the shiny surface of the sensor filter. G is full frame C is smaller frame, no suffix means the lens came out in the before digital era. With Tamron you want lenses designated di, not dii. Similar to sigma di are full frame, dii are reduced format sensor lenses.

In Pentax anything in the F, FA range or DFA range are guaranteed to cover the full frame, DA lenses are for reduced sensors, which is where the forum thread comes in relative to coveragentests
05-19-2012, 03:14 PM   #13
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So from what I understand, (some of) the modern Pentax lenses (the ones cucrently for sale for the DSLR lineup) are not FF (as there are no FF Pentax DSLRs (yet)), and therefor will show a (rather prominent) vignet effect on the film cameras?

So how about the last line of film bodies (MZ/ZX series) that use KAF, KA2 and KAF2 mounts (according to the specs on the Pentax website)? Do these all have those issues as well?

Because in that case, it might be worthwhile getting the K5 with a kit lens, keep on using my Olympus OM-1 for the time being while I really dig (very) deeply into what lenses could proof a good purchase for a film and a digital Pentax body...
05-21-2012, 09:11 AM   #14
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Yes. There is a thread somewhere here showing samples of the DA lenses on 35mm film cameras so you can see for yourself how much vignetting. Some DA lenses turn out to be reasonably useable, others not so much.

Whether the cameras uses K, KA, KAF, or KAF2 mount is irrelevant to the question of vignetting. Your still using the same lens and projecting the image onto the same rectangle of film. the only difference between mounts is in how much exposure automation you get (and in the specific case of using a lens without aperture ring on a pre-A mount, the fact that you can't control aperture *at all*).
05-23-2012, 12:43 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Yes. There is a thread somewhere here showing samples of the DA lenses on 35mm film cameras so you can see for yourself how much vignetting. Some DA lenses turn out to be reasonably useable, others not so much.

Whether the cameras uses K, KA, KAF, or KAF2 mount is irrelevant to the question of vignetting. Your still using the same lens and projecting the image onto the same rectangle of film. the only difference between mounts is in how much exposure automation you get (and in the specific case of using a lens without aperture ring on a pre-A mount, the fact that you can't control aperture *at all*).
So how about the K-mount lenses that were sold with the film cameras at the time (or sold seperately at the time for those film cameras)? Surely those have to be FF, or at least not have any of the vignetting issues the current lenses may have on those film cameras?
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