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08-15-2012, 12:25 PM   #1
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Which Pentax lenses are FF compatible?

When Pentax announces its first Compact FF SLR with K-mount, I'm under the impression many of my lenses will be compatible (old zeiss m4's/fa's etc.)

Will the Da LTD lenses cover the full frame sensor?

I am interested in the da 35 macro ltd over the fa due to the superior build quality and I know the fa 35 was built for FF, but what about the da version?

I'd hatethe feel of the plastic FA lenses, but I'd also hate to have to turn around and buy a newer version in 6 months.

08-15-2012, 12:33 PM   #2
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Officially the DA lenses are not FF lenses. Some DA lenses, none of the wide angle ones, have been found to cover a FF sensor with little or no vignetting.
08-15-2012, 12:33 PM   #3
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I suggest reading https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/31629-da-lens-...ts-thread.html

Here's one post with pictures for the DA35Ltd
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/31629-da-lens-...tml#post300374
08-15-2012, 12:36 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by nmrecording Quote
I'd hatethe feel of the plastic FA lenses
I have a few FA lenses and they feel solid enough to me... However I believe the DA35Ltd is FF compatable...

08-15-2012, 01:14 PM   #5
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Ah, it appears a few of them do work per this thread you posted, alphanerd, but unfortunately the 35 macro ltd is not one that works well (@f11) Thats a mighty stop down for backwards compatibility. I may just wait for September to see what Pentax unveils. Too bad cuz LBA is tearin me apart.

@Dave, the FA lenses seem very black and white with build quality. Some of them are stellar but the fa 35 feels more like a consumer grade lens with large price tag (for prime). Sure it it a sharp lens, but the one I felt had loose focusing and felt very wobbly, plastic housing felt cheap. The fa 31 feels stellar but its also 2-3 times the price. With that being said, 35 is really the range Im looking for- just blows my mind that for $500 you get great IQ and low quality build.

Do any of you have any comments regarding the fa 35 / da 35 comparisons? The pro/ EX line of Sigma lenses I own are FF compatible/nice build quality, but I prefer to stick with Pentax if possible just to support the company..

Last edited by nmrecording; 08-15-2012 at 03:25 PM.
08-15-2012, 02:20 PM   #6
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The current Pentax SMC DA 50mm f/1.8 is compatible with full-frame.
08-17-2012, 02:20 AM   #7
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I don't notice any difference in build quality betwwen my FA35 and FA28 or FA50 except for the fact that the 35 comes with its own lens hood which is plastic and my 28 and 50 have metal hoods from ebay (have often considered replacing the plastic hood).... But in terms of the 'actual' lenses I reckon the BQ is very similar if not equal to the 50 or 28...
08-17-2012, 09:59 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by DaveHolmes Quote
I have a few FA lenses and they feel solid enough to me... However I believe the DA35Ltd is FF compatable...
No. DA35/2.8 is APS-C lens.

08-17-2012, 10:17 AM   #9
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All lenses prior to the DA line are FF compatible.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/31629-da-lens-...ts-thread.html
See above thread link for DA lens tests on FF SLRs.

The DA 35 F2.8 Ltd Macro is not FF compatible.
The DA equivalent to the FA 35 F2 is the DA 35 F2.4. That lens is FF compatible.
08-17-2012, 10:25 AM   #10
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Having an image circle big enough is not enough, is it? It needs to maintain sharpness in those areas that are unmasked on an FF. Isn't that the real question?
08-17-2012, 10:40 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by vonBaloney Quote
Having an image circle big enough is not enough, is it? It needs to maintain sharpness in those areas that are unmasked on an FF. Isn't that the real question?
Falk's thread covers that.
08-17-2012, 04:57 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by vonBaloney Quote
Having an image circle big enough is not enough, is it? It needs to maintain sharpness in those areas that are unmasked on an FF. Isn't that the real question?

That is indeed the real question. All DA lenses are designed for the cropped sensors. That doesn't mean that some don't cover a larger image circle (eg some K-mount lenses covers the 645 format; that doesn't make them 645 compatible lens mount aside). In fact, it may be cheaper to design a lens for a larger image circle with a bit relaxed performance parameters (sharpness; vignetting; abberations) in the corners than a higly corrected optic that precisely covers the smaller format.
All Pentax K-mount lenses pre DA are FF but designed for film; hence, they may not perform that well on high resolving digital. Lenses have a lifespan of at least a decade normally. That means that any current FF lens and future ones need to be good enough for FF camera a decade from now to be viable. If Pentax do release an FF camera sometime in the future they will relese a new series of FF lenses with a different name than DA.
08-17-2012, 07:17 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by nmrecording Quote
@Dave, the FA lenses seem very black and white with build quality. Some of them are stellar but the fa 35 feels more like a consumer grade lens with large price tag (for prime). Sure it it a sharp lens, but the one I felt had loose focusing and felt very wobbly, plastic housing felt cheap.

Do any of you have any comments regarding the fa 35 / da 35 comparisons?
My FA 35 is not loose as you describe. It has a plastic barrel but is very tight, the same build quality as my FA 50mm 1.4. And tack sharp, even wide open. Sharper than the DA 35 macro from any reviews I've seen, a stop faster, better bokeh and FF compatible. The DA 35 Ltd is more contrasty and has macro ability. The extra stop was the main reason I chose the FA 35 and I've never regretted that decision.
08-18-2012, 03:56 PM   #14
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but be aware that "FF compatible" does not equal "great in FF". E.g., folks have said the 43Ltd has pretty soft corners, but this is masked by use on APS-C...
Pentax hasn't gone to the steps Canikon have done w/ their latest FF lenses which are sharp to the edges. And even then, the new sensors are showing weaknesses in the redesigns like the expensive Nikon 14-24 which has bad edge sharpness on the D800 :-)
08-20-2012, 09:32 PM   #15
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Thanks for replies guys. I am pretty sold on the FA just for the FF capabilities, with or without FF edge sharpness to corners... The rest of my Zeiss lenses are built for FF, so just in the event they go that route, I dont want to have to scramble to replace again.
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