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08-14-2012, 09:03 PM   #1
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Telephoto lens for Pentax ist DS

Hi Folks,

I'm wondering if anyone can help me by recommending a telephoto lens that would be compatible with a Pentax ist DS.

I have looked online as to what lens mount I have but I am finding it confusing working through compatibility issues.

I'm after say around a 50 - 500 lens.. or 150 - 500. I thought the Sigma ones would do the trick but have found that you lose functionality (auto focus etc)

I'm only a bit of a beginner, but had a few lenses for an MZ 50 that worked for me and picked up the ist DS a few years ago and found they were compatible. Am now just dabbling with wildlife photography and would like a super tele.

Any help REALLy appreciated!

08-14-2012, 09:23 PM   #2
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The *ist DS does not have connectors for the newest type of AF drive. Pentax calls this SDM. Only a few Pentax lenses are SDM-only. Most either still have screw-drive (works on the DS the same as any other Pentax DSLR) or have dual drive. When a dual-drive lens is used on the DS, it uses the screw drive mechanism, not the SDM in-lens motor. Pentax lenses to avoid are the DA 17-70mm f4 zoom, the DA* 55mm f1.4 and the DA 18-135mm f3.5-5.6.

I don't know much about the Sigma line except they call their in-lens motor system HSM. It uses the same power connectors that your DS doesn't have. I don't know if Sigma has any remaining screw-drive lenses. Older non-HSM Sigma models should work.

If you can see a photo of the lens mount, you can see where the screw drive should be.
08-15-2012, 12:19 AM   #3
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If you need to use SDM-type lenses you could get a K100D Super or later model.
08-15-2012, 01:20 AM   #4
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Thanks, But I have the *ist DS and a couple of other lenses for it, that are compatible. To start again would render those lenses probably useless coz of the different mount... No I'm just after a super telephoto lens for wildlife and just need advice on one that may work with it...

08-15-2012, 02:00 AM   #5
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Basically you need to look for the long sigma lenses that do not have hsm in their title. Those include the 50-500, 135-400 and the 170-500.

You mentioned having to start over with lenses if you upgrade from the DS...any k mount lenses will work on any pentax body. The ds is well beyond its years, an upgrade to something like the k-x would be relatively cheap and quite worthwhile.
08-15-2012, 02:22 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Defman Quote
Thanks, But I have the *ist DS and a couple of other lenses for it, that are compatible. To start again would render those lenses probably useless coz of the different mount... No I'm just after a super telephoto lens for wildlife and just need advice on one that may work with it...
No so. Any newer (than the *ist DS) body will work with your existing lenses. Backwards compatibility is common to all Pentax SLR/DSLR bodies, so buy something later than your existing body and all older lenses will work with it.

You'll find that the K10D body onwards will support SDM (or equivalent) lenses.

Choices by age (assuming the same body id as here in the UK) - K10D, K100D Super, K200D, K-20D, K-m (K2000), K-7, K-x, K-r, K-5, K-01, K-30.
08-15-2012, 04:18 AM   #7
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A Sigma 70-300 APO-DG from Amazon at $230.00 should do very nicely.
08-15-2012, 04:30 AM   #8
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"Bigma" could be good. The newest version of it.

08-15-2012, 05:02 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stickl Quote
"Bigma" could be good. The newest version of it.
That will only AF if the OP upgrades to a more current camera. The older version had nothing wrong with it anyway, if the OP decides to keep his IST DS.
08-15-2012, 05:31 AM   #10
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You may try eBay and look for older, compatible (non-HSM) lenses with screw-driven AF-motors such as this one:

Pentax / Samsung DSLR fit Sigma 170-500mm AF 0085126733452 | eBay

These are heavy beasts and many dealers won't ship worldwide, but wit a bit of patience you might find one near your own place?
08-16-2012, 02:26 AM   #11
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Thanks folks... that gives me an idea as to where I need to go.. Yes, an upgrade would be nice.. in an ideal world, but at the moment, funds won't stretch.. although it is food for thought. The advice has been great. Thanks to all! Really appreciate the help!
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