Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home

Show Printable Version Search this Thread
06-10-2017, 05:35 PM - 1 Like   #1
New Member

Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 1
Digital body to replace film body but keep lenses

I have the zx-30 camera and want a digi that can use the same lenses. Any suggestions

06-10-2017, 05:39 PM   #2
Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
MarkJerling's Avatar

Join Date: May 2012
Location: Wairarapa, New Zealand
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 20,406
Welcome to the forum Denise.
Any Pentax DSLR will allow you to use your old lenses. For the older M-42 screw thread ones, you'll need a cheap adapter. The K-mount ones will work without any adapter. The K-1 is Pentax's only fullframe camera but any of the crop mode bodies will work as well.
Kind regards,
(New Zealand)
06-10-2017, 05:41 PM   #3
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
jatrax's Avatar

Join Date: May 2010
Location: Washington Cascades
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 12,991
Budget? Features? And what lenses do you have?

Most any modern body will work. KP, K-70, K-3II, K-1............

One of the strengths of the Pentax K-mount line is backwards compatibility with lenses. I have a 135mm built in 1957 that works just fine on my K-1.
06-10-2017, 06:32 PM   #4
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
Alex645's Avatar

Join Date: May 2015
Location: Kaneohe, HI
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,526
To me, here are the main decision points for you. Keep in mind that the ZX-30 was an entry level light weight at only 360 grams.

a) Do you love and wish to maintain the same angle of view such that your 28, 50, or 85mm still has that same framing? If so, the Pentax K-1 is your only option. Pros: Arguably the best non-medium format Pentax camera made. Cons: Price and weight at 924 grams (nearly 3x the weight of the plastic ZX-30).

b) You're not that concerned that with a crop frame APS-C sensor there is 1.5x factor on your angle of view? In other words your 50mm will now look like what you used to get at 75mm? This is more of a concern if you tend to shoot more wide angle and actually an advantage if you shoot longer focal lengths for portraits, sports, wildlife, etc. Then I'd suggest the Pentax K-S2 as the lightest DSLR option at 618 grams (a little less than double the weight of the Zx-30). Also this will be your least expensive new DSLR option.

c) If you go with the K-S2, and you do wish to shoot wide, I'd spend a little extra to get the kit 18-55mm weather sealed zoom. That 18mm will give you an angle of view just a little wider than your 28mm on the ZX-30. If you're more of a 24mm fan on the ZX-30, then you have to get down to at least 16mm on an APS-C camera.

06-10-2017, 07:08 PM   #5
Site Webmaster
Adam's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 51,595
The K-70 is a solid starting point, I'd say. How heavily do you plan to use the camera?

Also, as far as zooms go, I'd strongly recommend at least one from the digital era, such as the 18-135mm. They crush comparable film-era lenses in terms of both image quality and usability.

Adam Webmaster (Site Usage Guide | Site Help | My Photography) server and development costs are user-supported. You can help cover these costs by donating or purchasing one of our Pentax eBooks. Or, buy your photo gear from our affiliates, Adorama, B&H Photo, KEH, or Topaz Labs, and get FREE Marketplace access - click here to see how! Trusted Pentax retailers:
06-10-2017, 07:11 PM   #6
Site Supporter
Site Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 456
With no budget, I'd suggest the K-1. As for aps-c, it might be best to look at the semi-pro grade cameras like the K-5, K-5ii's, K-3's. I believe that the better build and 14 vs. 12 bit raw are worth it in the long run. Right now I'm shooting a used K-5iis and loving it.
06-11-2017, 07:57 AM   #7

Join Date: Mar 2015
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 6,381
QuoteOriginally posted by kernos Quote
With no budget, I'd suggest the K-1..
You do mean no budget LIMITATIONS, don't you?

06-11-2017, 10:58 AM   #8
Site Supporter
Site Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Southeastern Michigan
Posts: 4,552
The ZX-30 being a lower, inexpensive entry-level auto-focus (AF) film body does reflect what you are used to using. It has scene modes and plenty of automation, but can be used in manual modes. The entry-level current Pentax DSLR bodies are far better in build quality and in capability. You don't give us exactly which lenses you have, but since your camera is of the "crippled" aperture control design, unable to function using a lens aperture ring, I assume your lenses are commensurate with your camera- no aperture ring, AF lenses.

A 35mm film frame is 36(W)x24(H)mm in size. Typical Pentax DSLRs, even some advanced professional-style models, use a sensor of APS-C size, 24(W)x16(H)mm. This means, looking out of the camera from the sensor, the view will not be as wide. Therefore, the resultant image that fills up the picture does not include the outer portion that would be there with your film camera, if using the same lens and focal length shooting the same scene at the same distance. This is often referred to as a "crop" mode sensor compared to your film or a "full-frame" DSLR which has a sensor the size of the 35mm film frame (and is larger, heavier, of professional build and design and quite expensive). It means in practical terms, the APS-C picture omitting the outer portion is giving a result similar to using a lens of a more telephoto focal length on your film body. The difference is about 1.5x so if you have a 28-80mm zoom lens for your film camera, using it on an APS-C DSLR will present images more like using a 43-122mm zoom lens would on your film camera. Some advantage there for getting closer telephoto zoom images at the long end, but 43mm at the short end does not provide a wide angle. More like a semi-wide normal angle. But this can be compensated by using a wider angle zoom lens taking the 1.5x factor into account, where an 18-50mm lens would provide a similar field of view to the 28-80mm lens on your film body.

Many people who also have older film bodies with shorter zoom lenses like 28-80mm choose to keep such a lens for still using film, and get another appropriate lens for their DSLR, but still use their telephoto zoom lens like a 70-300mm from their film kit on their DSLR.

Right now there are some very good deals offered for Pentax DSLR new cameras. I just checked B&H and see that a K-S2 with a very compact zoom lens kit can be had for $549. That body alone has been currently at $500, so you get the lens for only $49, which if bought separately costs about $300! This camera can produce excellent imaging even if using an ISO setting as high as 3200. That would be like putting ISO 3200 speed film into your camera! It is being phased out and replaced by the new K-70.

The K-70 is better for shooting advanced RAW images for more refined ability to make changes in photoshop post process. It can produce quality at an even higher ISO. It has other refinement upgrades as well. Both models are built similarly and have a pull-out articulating back LCD screen so you can use it to shoot from extreme angles and positions instead of using the viewfinder. The viewfinder on both is of high-grade professional quality. The build and features of both are far better than what you are used to with your ZX-30. The K-70 body is at $600 but is offered with the outstandingly well-built DA 18-135mm lens (like having a 28-200mm lens on your film body) at $870, a great deal because you get the lens for only $270! This lens usually costs $477 separately, though now on sale for $399.

Both cameras and both lenses are built with weather sealing (WR). So if you are shooting and it starts raining- don't worry. And you can shoot pics of the kids splashing in the pool or under the sprinkler. It would cost around $2,000+ for a WR setup in other brands!

I hope this info is of help to you.

Last edited by mikesbike; 06-11-2017 at 01:37 PM.
06-11-2017, 12:56 PM   #9
Site Supporter
Site Supporter

Join Date: May 2015
Location: Hampshire
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 892
As has been mentioned, all the Pentax DSLRs should let you use your old film lenses and as you have not stipulated a budget so I am going to recommend you consider buying used.
Keep an eye open for something from the earlier entry level cameras from K100D through to the K-r. If you can find one that has been looked after complete with the kit lens and manual for less than $100 it is a good way to enter the world of Pentax digital. Having firmed up on what you would like from a digital SLR after using it, get something else and either keep your original purchase as a back up or pass it on to someone else looking to move into digital from film. You may even get your initial outlay back selling it!

Last edited by Skodadriver; 06-11-2017 at 12:57 PM. Reason: Missed a word out.

  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
body, film body, k-mount, lenses, pentax lens, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
People Alina - Film & Digital (but mostly film) and a cautionary tale alan_smithee_photos Post Your Photos! 9 01-23-2015 05:45 PM
got T-MAX developper, but not fixator ... any way to replace it for few days ? aurele Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 25 01-21-2013 06:40 AM
K100D dying, but what body to replace it with? vmax84 Pentax DSLR Discussion 21 02-10-2012 04:00 PM
Do you have lenses with focusing problems in digital but not with film? Pentakun Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 5 06-15-2008 05:21 AM
Ready to replace my 18-55, but with which lens? JeanneB Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 19 09-17-2007 05:18 AM

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:11 AM. | See also:, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]