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05-21-2012, 11:29 AM   #1
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Pentax K-r + old K-mount zoom lens?

Ok, i'm a newbie with DSLRs, I now have my first ever SLR and it's a Pentax K-r. I could have checked this earlier prior to buying a lens, but being the spontaneous person I am, I bought it and thought about it later. I bought a Chinon 1:3.3 200mm lens.

It has a K-mount and it fits on my camera, but I set all the settings so it should work according to this guide here, but is the zoom supposed to work on it? I mean the ring that i normally turn to zoom in and out (similar to the one on my 18-55mm) isn't zooming, the main object in the photo stays the same size. It's just focusing when I turn the ring and I can't focus on anything on the screen closer to two meters. The smaller ring on it is for the aperture.

Does the lens not work at all on my camera or can I get it to work by changing the settings or something?

I feel quite stupid asking this.

05-21-2012, 11:52 AM   #2
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THat's a prime lens, not a zoom, so what you're turning is the focus ring. A prime lens will only be one set length, in this case 200 mm.
05-21-2012, 12:04 PM   #3
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What kind of photos would one use this kind of a prime lens for?
05-21-2012, 12:07 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by KRLove Quote
I feel quite stupid asking this.
Not really stupid, just you have not used a prime before. My wife did the same thing the first time I handed her a camera with a prime affixed. She had never used a camera without a zoom lens. Took her quite a while to understand as the concept was totally foreign. And took me far too long to understand that she really was confused, not pulling my leg. It wasn't my finest hour.......

05-21-2012, 12:09 PM   #5
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It depends on what focal length. This one is one I would use for wildlife myself.
05-21-2012, 12:14 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by KRLove Quote
What kind of photos would one use this kind of a prime lens for?
Well, it is a 200mm fixed focal length tele-photo. So you use it for pictures that you want to take at 200mm.

Here's an example, suppose you have a zoom lens with a range of 18-200mm, fairly common on digital. The lens you have takes pictures at 200mm, so if the zoom is set at 200mm then the field of view will be the same as your theoretical zoom.

Back in the day, all lenses were primes. You carried around a set that let you get the images you wanted and changed lenses when you needed to. Then zooms came out and most folks moved to them because you can get a range of focal lengths in a single lens, where you would have had to carry 4 or 5 primes around. Take a look in my signature, that is my collection of prime Takumars.

The advantage of a prime is that in general at a given focal length and for a given quality of lens the prime will give you better image quality than the zoom because the zoom lens has to make compromises to be able to move the lens elements to cover all the focal lengths. This does not mean that a cheap prime will always be better than a top of the line zoom, but with glass of equal quality the prime will almost always be better.
05-21-2012, 12:27 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Not really stupid, just you have not used a prime before. My wife did the same thing the first time I handed her a camera with a prime affixed. She had never used a camera without a zoom lens. Took her quite a while to understand as the concept was totally foreign. And took me far too long to understand that she really was confused, not pulling my leg. It wasn't my finest hour.......
Great that i'm not the only one who has had this weird conception, makes me feel better knowing it's not just me. Thanks for the support here, I was a bit afraid that I would have been told to go to some beginners corner somewhere to ask these questions

That actually made a lot of sense and now i got what it really does. Thanks.
05-21-2012, 12:53 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by KRLove Quote
told to go to some beginners corner somewhere to ask these questions
Well, we do have a beginners forum if you want to post there but there are no restrictions. The only plus is that simple questions asked there are then easier to find for someone else that wants the same question answered. But outside of that, no worries. This is one of the friendliest forums I have ever been involved with, very few axes to grind and everybody willing to help. Hey, with Pentax's market share we need everyone we can get.

Also, here is a link to a Chinon 200mm lens, this one says f/3.5 so maybe not exactly the same as yours but it might have some info for you. In case you did not know this site maintains a review database of all Pentax and Ashai Optical lenses as well as many third party lenses that will fit Pentax. Always take a look there before buying a lens, might save you some grief. And do not hesitate to ask, somebody probably already has one of just about anything you could come across.

05-21-2012, 02:24 PM   #9
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What to do with a fairly fast 200mm lens: First, be aware that its AOV (angle of view) is around 8 degrees on your Kr, pretty narrow. Next, look at the lens markings and see what its closest focus distance is: probably around 3m (10ft) or 3.5m (~12ft). Together, these numbers mean that your subjects will be in a narrow slice of vision and no closer than a few paces away. Put the lens on your camera and look through it without snapping the shutter; just get a feel of what is in its range.

What I do with such a lens: I'm no birder and it's a bit short for that anyway. On the street, I shoot people from a distance, faces from not so far; architectural details, especially windows, doorways, signs; roadway action, etc. It's good for compressing stacks of similar objects, like fence posts or parked cars or pedestrians. It's good to shoot a full moon right on the horizon, framed by trees or structures. It's not bad for sports action, especially if you prefocus at locales where you know action will occur, and/or use CIF to SNAP! when a subject comes into focus. If I were more paitient, I'd sit outside on my back porch and shoot the squirrels, deer, turkeys, rabbits, other critters than traverse my meadow and surrounding forest.

Hope this helps!
05-21-2012, 03:52 PM   #10
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Does the lens have an 'A' setting (auto exposure) on the aperture ring (the collar around the base of the lens with the numbers on it)?

If not the lens will be stuck at f-stop 3.3 - the maximum aperture. If you want to stop the lens down you will have to go into fully manual mode. This will also require going into the menus and changing a couple of settings to allow the use of this type of lens.

Of course, you can leave the camera in Av mode or auto exposure, and leave the lens at f3.3 while you get used to it. Possibly the best idea if you are new to this! :wink: But the lens may not be that sharp at that setting, and the depth of focus in your pictures may be too narrow.
05-21-2012, 03:56 PM   #11
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Another advantage of prime lenses is the aperture is generally larger than the aperture on zoom lenses. This means your lens can let in more light than a zoom.
This is what the 3.3 number on your lens means. The smaller the number, the larger the aperture.
One advantage of this is you are able to focus on something and make everything in the background look blurry.
This is generally done to isolate or accentuate what you are focussing on.

Set your lens to 3.3, go outside and focus on something about 6-10 feet away such as a tree branch.
Take a picture and see how the background looks. This generally works best if there is some distance between the branch and the scenery behind it.
05-22-2012, 01:19 AM   #12
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QuoteQuote:
Does the lens have an 'A' setting (auto exposure) on the aperture ring (the collar around the base of the lens with the numbers on it)?

If not the lens will be stuck at f-stop 3.3 - the maximum aperture. If you want to stop the lens down you will have to go into fully manual mode. This will also require going into the menus and changing a couple of settings to allow the use of this type of lens.
No it does not, it has markings from 3.3 to 16. I already set the settings like in this guide on how to use an older lens manually. (Using Older Lenses with the PENTAX K-x | Pentax Support).

Thanks a lot for the tips, I found them very helpful!
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