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09-27-2013, 07:49 AM   #1
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Third Party Lenses

Hey Everyone,

Very new to DSLR photography and even newer to this forum. I sort of understand what I'm looking for in terms of lenses when I purchase them from Pentax, but what about third party companies? I understand Tamron makes some lenses that fit my K-30, but what designation am I looking for to make sure it fits properly?

I live in New York and often frequent B&H and they have a rather extensive used section which I'd LOVE to take advantage of.

09-27-2013, 08:05 AM   #2
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They usually just say "for Pentax." It's usually pretty clear when you see the listing at any store. If it says "for Canon," obviously, it won't work. Pentax has been using the same mount (K-mount) since 1975. Anything made after that will work, no adapters needed.

M42-mount lenses (those are the really old ones) will work with a simple adapter.

Sigma is also a prominent third-party lens maker, though some of their higher-end lenses are not available for Pentax.
09-27-2013, 08:16 AM   #3
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Tamron's macro lenses are well-regarded, and Sigma has a lot of nice K-mount lenses. They should also show a P/K or similar designation on the rear mount plate.
09-27-2013, 08:22 AM   #4
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Third Party modern lenses (not all available new and not all models) for Pentax are made by Sigma, Tamron, Zeiss, Voigtländer, Tokina, Samyang/Rokinon/Vivitar/Bower and probably someone I forgot. Generally look for something like "For Pentax", "Pentax K", "K-mount", "Pentax KA" or similar and you will find the right ones. If you're unsure ask the seller and/or the forum.

09-27-2013, 08:22 AM   #5
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HA! I'll make sure not to jam a Cannon lens on my K-30.

I guess I was getting confused by some of the terms like "Bayonet" and "Screw mount" and "APS-C"
09-27-2013, 08:27 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by JonnyStew Quote
HA! I'll make sure not to jam a Cannon lens on my K-30.

I guess I was getting confused by some of the terms like "Bayonet" and "Screw mount" and "APS-C"
The K-mount on your camera is a bayonet mount (it has a bayonet fit :P ). Screwmount, or more exactly M42, is the older Pentax mount that screws on the camera that you can buy an adapter for and many of the lenses are dirt cheap but performs really well. APS-C is the size of you sensor and every M42 or K-mount lens will cover your sensor, the issues comes with bigger sensor sizes.
09-27-2013, 08:36 AM   #7
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Yep, it will probably say "For Pentax" on the box. Or it might say K mount. Or PK (as in, Pentax K) or even RK (as in, Ricoh K), or ZK (Zeiss K) = these three are all markings for essentially the same mount. Currently, Pentax, Tamron and Sigma make K mount lenses. And Samyang (which also sells under the brand names Rokinon, Bower, Vivitar, Falcon, ProOptic, Walimex, and some others). Zeiss used to make K mount lenses, but they stopped a couple years ago. There are some odder brands that still make K mount, like Zenit, Peleng, Mitakon, Horus Bennu,.. these tend to be cheap and not the highest quality, but some produce decent image quality.

There are also some "universal" mounts, which come with adapters for every brand mount. Adaptall is a popular one and you can adapt it to Pentax K easily.
Similarly m42 screw mount was popular before the bayonet mounts took over, and you can find many m42 lenses on the used market. A simple adapter lets you use these lenses on your camera. Of course, without any kind of automation - these lenses predate auto metering and auto aperture and auto focus.

If you look at even older lenses, many brands used to make K mount lenses, and some lenses were sold under many names. Feel free to look at the lens review database on this forum for a list of all sorts of third party lenses from way back when. Its great if you learn what your mount looks like btw. You just have to learn the size of the mount and the position of the flanges and aperture level relative to the red guiding dot.
09-27-2013, 08:46 AM   #8
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Thanks everyone! This was a huge help...

09-27-2013, 08:49 AM   #9
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Check' em Out!

Hello JonnyStew, Welcome to the Forum!
Now that you've gotten some good advice on the legacy PK mount, you can save yourself some wasted time, $$ and effort by checking the Lens Reviews and lens samples, here and other online sites. Say you're looking for a 100mm telephoto or a wide angle prime (single focal-length, the opposite of a zoom, which is a variable focal-length lens) and want some semi-objective opinions. Why is one lens $75 and a similar lens from another maker $400? The review will specify if it's auto or manual focus, auto aperture or manual, the maximum aperture, a modern design or older, and perhaps most useful: Actual user reviews and sample photos. Of course, there's liable to be a single '2' rating among all the 8's and 9's, maybe a bad copy or something to look out for. Perhaps it's just a disgruntled user or even an inexperienced novice's first try. Taken as an overall viewpoint, they can be very helpful!
JMO,
Ron
09-28-2013, 03:05 PM   #10
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Screw mount is an older type of mount, where you literally screw the lens onto the camera, giving it many more than one turn. There is no lens release button, you just screw it on or off. It takes a while and no modern camera uses it anymore, but you can use screw mount lenses on your Pentax if you buy the right adapter. Most common is the m42 screw mount, and you need m42 to K adapter to use m42 lenses. There is a genuine Pentax adapter and there are many off-brand adapters, some good, some bad. There are many threads about this, just search.
Bayonet is the modern type of mounting a lens - where you align the dot and twist only a couple degrees until it clicks into place. And to remove the lens, you have to press the lens release button. This is more convenient and it has all sorts of things like automatic aperture, automatic focus, digital lens information, etc. Pretty much all DSLRs use bayonet mount - Canon, Nikon, Sony, Sigma, each has its own, and they are not compatible with each other, even though sometimes they are very similar. Some can be adapter to others, but not always easily. Its complicated, dont worry about it.

Some lenses are marked as APS-C: this has nothing to do with the mount, but the camera senzor size. APS-C (crop) is slightly smaller than FF (full frame, equivalent to 35mm film). This means it doesn't need the same size image circle. If you imagine a lens projecting an image onto a canvas, it will be a certain size on the canvas. Crop sensor is a smaller canvas, so it uses less of the image circle. Crop sensors are so popular these days, that there are lenses that project an image circle that fits a crop sensor, but wont fit an FF sensor (on an an FF sensor, the lens would simply make an image with very low quality, dark edges). At the moment, all Pentax digital cameras are APS-C. But if you put an APS-C lens on an older Pentax film camera, it might have dark edges. A normal FF lens will work on both - only a part of the image it projects will not be used by an APS-C sensor. The thing is, APS-C lenses, because they only need to produce a smaller image circle, can be smaller and might be easier to make.
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