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02-11-2007, 11:16 PM   #1
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Can someone help me with lens acronym definitions?

Is there a table of lens acronym definitions somewhere? I've been away from the Pentax world since the K1000 days. My first camera was an SP1000. I loved the old spotmatics and still have an SP1000, SP F, SP II, and an old Asahiflex.

I find myself owning a K100D, the 18-55mm kit lens, and the 50-200mm zoom. I need another lens or two but I don't know what the acronyms mean.

Here is the best I can figure out from what I've found online.

smc = super multi coating
M = M42 mount
K = original K mount
KAF = K with auto focus
KAF2 = K with auto focus and mechanical aperture sensing
A = Automatic? I'd guess M42 lenses that can meter at full aperture?
F = Auto focus
FA = Auto focus and ?
D = APC-C sensor optimized
DA = APC-C sensor optimized and ?

ED = extended definition
Limited = mid range -> better than an undesignated lens but not as good as the ED series
IF = infrared


Here's an example:

smc P-FA 300mm F2.8 ED (IF)

super multi coating
P = ?
FA = auto focus and whatever A means
ED = extended definition
IF = infrared capable


another example:

smc P-DA 70mm F2.4 Limited

super multi coating
P = ?
DA = APS-C optimized and whatever A means
Limited = a mid range lens (better than those with no designation but not as good as ED lenses)


?


Last edited by Tom Brown; 02-11-2007 at 11:47 PM.
02-12-2007, 12:25 AM   #2
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For a detailed info on Pentax K mount lenses and the different series, check out this very useful web site:

Pentax K-Mount Lenses and Lens Accessories

A lenses have a lockable "A" settings in the aperture to allow the camera to control the aperture. I don't think there is a D lens, only DA - reduced image circle for digital SLR.

ED means extra low dispersion element glass; using a specially formulated glass material to reduce color aberrations. It only indicates the type of element used, and it does not represent a lens series.

IF means internal focusing - the barrel will not extend or change in length when focusing.

Limited - is one of the best series Pentax has produced; though Pentax has used a "*" (star) to designate its best quality lenses.

The P letter is not an official part of the lens name - probably represent "Pentax" in some retailers' catalog.
02-12-2007, 12:52 AM   #3
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Thank you. I really appreciate it.
02-12-2007, 04:18 AM   #4
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I always find "Limited" a bit of a laugh. It's not just a Pentax thing, there's also the Jeep Cherokee Limited for example. To me "Limited" means it's limited in functionality (e.g. a speed limiter on the car). I think this is a big marketing faux pas; certainly far bigger than "*ist".

I assume they mean "Limited Edition", but is it really? What is the maximum issue size? I think they would probably be had under trades description for that as well, so maybe they should be "Special Edition" or something like that?

Although I am never so swayed by good or bad marketing (I hope), I can certainly understand if some people wouldn't be seen with a "limited" product - it sounds like a bike with training wheels (or stabilisers as we used to call them - I never had any).

Simon

02-12-2007, 08:38 AM   #5
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Tom, what you've found is a bit off. Here's a quick breakdown:

smc P-FA 300mm F2.8 ED (IF)

SMC= Super Multi Coating
P= Pentax
FA= name of the series
ED= Extra-Low Dispertion glass element(s)
IF= Internal Focusing


K = original K mount with mechanical aperture sensing
KA = K mount with auto-aperture support
KAF = K mount with auto-aperture support, auto focus, and mechanical aperture sensing
KAF2 = K mount with auto-aperture support, auto focus, mechanical aperture sensing, and electrical contacts for power zoom

All the lenses have open-aperture metering unless "manual diaphragm" is specified.

K = original series of lenses
M = successor to the K series
A = Automatic aperture
F = Auto focus
FA = Next-gen auto focus lenses, originally all with power zoom
D-FA = Current series of lenses for both film and digital
DA = Current series of lenses that only work on APS-C DSLRs

Adam
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02-12-2007, 09:12 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Simon Quote
I always find "Limited" a bit of a laugh. It's not just a Pentax thing, there's also the Jeep Cherokee Limited for example. To me "Limited" means it's limited in functionality (e.g. a speed limiter on the car). I think this is a big marketing faux pas; certainly far bigger than "*ist".
Pentax Limited Lens series means limited production, not limited quantities. And it also represents special qualities and design philosophy. The lens are made from metal barrel, special hoods are designed, and all came with a lens bag. Extra attention is paid at the production. The design of the limited lens also aims at specific lens quality such as the brokeh. They are charged premium price for the quality.
02-12-2007, 10:23 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by nosnoop Quote
Pentax Limited Lens series means limited production, not limited quantities. And it also represents special qualities and design philosophy. The lens are made from metal barrel, special hoods are designed, and all came with a lens bag. Extra attention is paid at the production. The design of the limited lens also aims at specific lens quality such as the brokeh. They are charged premium price for the quality.
No question about that, just a questionable name! Limited has negative connotations.

Simon

Last edited by Simon; 02-12-2007 at 10:25 AM. Reason: Expanding
02-12-2007, 11:30 AM   #8
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I think what they mean is actually "Limited Edition", but opted for an abbreviation "Limited" changing the meaning along the way. I agree with you that "Limited" is not the best choice. Following their own tradition of "Special Edition" or "SE" camera bodies, I think something like "DA 40 SE" or "DA 40 Special Edition" would have looked much better. Oh well... fortunately it is not "DA 40 *ltd"! :-)

-= IVAN =-

02-12-2007, 01:04 PM   #9
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What about AL? What does it mean?

Also, my manual cites four series of lens, three of which are unknown to me.

DA - we've covered that
D FA - ?
FA J - ?
FA - How different from F?
F - The first auto focus lenses?
02-12-2007, 01:40 PM   #10
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F - First auto-focus lenses
FA - Like F, but lens now communicates focusing distance to camera
DFA - Like FA, but with extra coating on the rear element to help with flare on digital cameras. Can still be used on full-frame cameras (ie 35mm Film)
FA J - Like FA, but without an aperture ring. Generally thought to be junk.

I believe AL means the lens has an aspherical element.

QuoteOriginally posted by Tom Brown Quote
What about AL? What does it mean?

Also, my manual cites four series of lens, three of which are unknown to me.

DA - we've covered that
D FA - ?
FA J - ?
FA - How different from F?
F - The first auto focus lenses?
02-12-2007, 01:57 PM   #11
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Thank you so much.

You gents are a classy lot.
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