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04-16-2008, 10:37 AM   #1
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Looking for a noob's guide to pentax glass...

I've been searching around but I haven't found what I'm looking for. My google fu is strong but there just seems to be a large amount of info on the different lenses with large variation on IQ, price etc. I was hoping you all could share some of your reference links for the lenses where I can read up and fuel my LBA.

04-16-2008, 10:39 AM   #2
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Pentax Lens database


Wishful thinking.
04-16-2008, 11:08 AM   #3
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if you're into old lenses, this is a good place too. but hasn't been updated in 5+ years
Stan's Pentax Photography

and some resolution tests as well
http://www.takinami.com/yoshihiko/photo/lens_test/index.html
04-16-2008, 11:25 AM   #4
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Thanks for the links guys. I was looking for something even more noob than these links as well. Like what is the difference between F, FA, FA-J or DA and DA* lens. Or something that a beginner like myself can use as a reference which older lenses work well with the new DSLR bodies.

If i search on craigslist i can find a bunch of old K1000's and lenses but I am unsure if what I am seeing is of good value to me.


Again thanks for helping fuel my budding LBA!

04-16-2008, 11:30 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by MrApollinax Quote
Thanks for the links guys. I was looking for something even more noob than these links as well. Like what is the difference between F, FA, FA-J or DA and DA* lens. Or something that a beginner like myself can use as a reference which older lenses work well with the new DSLR bodies.

If i search on craigslist i can find a bunch of old K1000's and lenses but I am unsure if what I am seeing is of good value to me.


Again thanks for helping fuel my budding LBA!
if you're familiar with the different modes, this is a nice page
Summary of the K-Mount Evolution, Names, and Features

basically all pentax lenses work on a DSLR without an adapter, except the screwmount lenses. However the F__ or D__ are autofocus and auto exposure, A__ are auto exposure only. with the "K" or "M" lenses, you'd have to choose the aperture and ISO and get the camera to stop down to determine the appropriate shutter speed.
04-16-2008, 11:49 AM   #6
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That page is an awesome resource! Thanks!
04-16-2008, 12:18 PM   #7
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How I re-learned about Pentax

From my own experience: I'm not saying this is what YOU should do, but this is what I did. It has taken three years to get to the point of buying a new digital body - until March 08 I just added MF lenses for the film bodies I already had in the closet.
  1. Buy the 50mm f/1.4 of your choice to take pictures with and nothing else, at first. Many here would recommend the FA 50/1.4 for under $200 from reputable sellers new. Take pictures.
  2. Read everything you can on this and other Forums, internet, books, magazines - read and read some more on Pentax. Take more pictures.
    1. especially product reviews of more recent releases from photo magazines (online) that often start with a history of the K-Mount, but certainly explain the (when written) current technology. These go back to the early 2000's online
  3. Make and save a few broad eBay Searches that will capture lenses by category. Many here will help you construct these if necessary, or PM me for mine. If it is cold and rainy I search Pentax and start at the top. Sort by most recent listing first. Take more pictures. Search groupings:
    1. Screw-Mount Pentax lenses
    2. K-Mount SMC K, M & A lenses
    3. K-mount F and FA (generally FF autofocus) lenses
    4. K-mount D-FA and DA (generally APS-C autofocus) lenses
    5. Screw-mount bodies
    6. K-Series bodies
    7. M-Series bodies
    8. LX (& 67 and 645 if Medium Format interests you)
    9. PZ, ZX, MZ, *ist series film bodies, etc.
    10. *ist, K Digital bodies
  4. Once Weekly review each of these searches and read the text. You will actually learn a lot about Pentax that way, and get a sense of relative price and value. Once monthly review completed listings for each search to pick up listing and quality patterns (good and bad sellers and buyers). Take more pictures.
  5. Review same at reputable online used and new equipment dealers.
  6. Begin to decide what your lens needs and wants are based on your reading and picture taking.
  7. Make a prioritized list of lenses, new and used, that you would like to own to create the images you want to create - on this forum I learned that is called a lens roadmap.
  8. Using what you have learned about price and value, price your roadmap and buy your second lens - etc.
If that sounds like a long time and a lot of work, it is. Like I said, it may not be the right way for you, but it is what I did.
04-16-2008, 01:51 PM   #8
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Good advice monochrome,
I'd agree the traditional learning approach is the best - you'll know what a good lens is just by the name very quickly this way. You can't go wrong with the FA 50/1.4 however - don't be fooled by its price - its IQ and low light ability are very hard to beat...

04-16-2008, 02:12 PM   #9
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Monochrome, that's such a great post that I hardly want to object to any part of it. I will only say that I think 50mm is too long and that as a first and only lens (on a 1.52 crop sensor) a 28mm is the perfect normal to get. Unfortunately not so easy, as there are none currently made.

But everyone seems to recommend the new 35mm limited macro, and that is close. That way you get a lot of flexibility in photo taking without resorting to a zoom. And a very good lens that you cannot blame for any mistakes or imperfections!
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