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02-21-2007, 03:51 PM   #1
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making sense of Pentax's lens series

I have a Pentax K100D. I gather that almost anything WILL work, but that some lenses from Pentax will work better or with more automatic features than others, some are designed specifically for digital SLRs while others are not, etc. But I can't figure out the series letters that Pentax gives the lenses, to wit:

SMCP-FA
SMCP-FA-J
SMCP-DA
D-FA

Is there a chart somewhere that I could refer to to decode these product names and get an idea of which lenses are to be preferred to which others?

Thanks,

Will

02-21-2007, 03:56 PM   #2
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I'm trying to find the chart for you. I found the compatibility chart...

The Pentax Camera Lens Compatibility Chart

I'll re-edit when I find the one you are really searching for.

Alv.

EDIT:

Here's the other link I found (also courtesy of Mo).

Pentax Lenses Explained
02-21-2007, 03:58 PM   #3
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I believe the FA-J lenses, don't have aperture rings on the body of the lens, all set on the camera.....
02-21-2007, 04:03 PM   #4
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Original Poster
Alvin,

Thanks for that chart, but it just makes my head spin! :-)

I found this chart on Pentax's web site. It's a bit more helpful, but it still doesn't really tell me what the letters mean. And if I read this chart correctly, it's telling me that DA and FA-J lenses are "not recommended" for use with the K100D, which just doesn't sound right at all.

Why cant this be simpler?

Will

02-21-2007, 04:08 PM   #5
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I found a similar chart on Pentax Canada's website

Pentax Canada - Compatibility of Pentax Lenses

Both make no mention of the K100D. I am assuming that it should be the same as the *istDS. As such, the DA and FAJ are fully compatible, as denoted by the 1 on the chart's legend.

EDIT - I read further down the list...the K-Series you are looking at refers to the old K series film cameras. I made that mistake too. Looks like they haven't corrected the chart yet

EDIT #2 - The *istDS shares the same lens mount as the K100/110D (KAF2)

Last edited by Alvin; 02-21-2007 at 05:01 PM. Reason: KAF2 Mount - is on *istD/DS/DL and K100/K110D
02-21-2007, 04:57 PM   #6
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K = The first K Mount lenses.
M = The 2nd generation (more compact lens bodies to go with M series slrs)
A = Inclusion of "A" on aperture ring. (This lets the camera decide aperture through electronic contacts. So you can use say...Shutter priority and program modes)

F = first generation autofocus (inclues "A" position on aperture ring
FA = 2nd generation autofocus

FAJ = Loss of aperture ring in favour of lower production costs and a more compact design (aperture is now permantly in "A" setting.)

DA = basically FAJ but made specifically for the smaller image circle of digital slrs.

FAJ and DA lenses are fine with your K100D. Think of FAJ and DA as the same "species" of lens. Both have no aperture ring. All aperture changes are done through the camera.

So you are fine. The FAJ and DA are fully functional on your K100D.
02-21-2007, 05:05 PM   #7
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There's one more!

DFA = Basically re-badged FA lenses (the currennt macros differ in optical design, BTW)

Adam
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02-21-2007, 05:11 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mo Quote
There's one more!

DFA = Basically re-badged FA lenses (the currennt macros differ in optical design, BTW)
DOH! Beaten to the punch! Nice catch, Mo!

02-21-2007, 05:25 PM   #9
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Shouldn't this be stickied to the lens forum?
02-21-2007, 06:51 PM   #10
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huh, isn't this the lens forum?
02-21-2007, 08:54 PM   #11
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Yep, but not stickied!
02-21-2007, 09:26 PM   #12
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If this is not stickied, perhaps a link placed to the chart in the lens review database would be nice?
02-22-2007, 12:28 AM   #13
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c'mon basically rebadged? What about quick-shift?
02-22-2007, 07:18 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
Alvin,

Thanks for that chart, but it just makes my head spin! :-)

I found this chart on Pentax's web site. It's a bit more helpful, but it still doesn't really tell me what the letters mean. And if I read this chart correctly, it's telling me that DA and FA-J lenses are "not recommended" for use with the K100D, which just doesn't sound right at all.

Why cant this be simpler?

Will
Alas, The chart which Pentax publishes is not correct, and (even more) confusing. That's one of the reasons that we went through the effort of getting it all down in the tables linked to in Alvin's post above.

As for what the letters mean? They made some sense initially, but Pentax then messed it up:

No letter (we call them "K"):
The original K bayonet lenses. Manual focus, Manual exposure, Av exposure.

"M":
Same as K, but more coMpact - were introduced with the ME and MX cameras.

"A":
Same as "M" and "K", but added Aperture Automation.

"F": Same as "A" but added autoFocus.

"FA" Samer as "F" but added powerzoom.

Then Pentax goofed up and started calling all what should have been "F" lenses for "FA", powerzoom or not.

"FA J": Same as FA but has no aperture ring

"D FA": Same as "FA", but optimized for Digital.

"DA": Same as "D FA", but Digital only, not suitable on film cameras. No aperture ring.

Last edited by Ole; 02-24-2007 at 09:41 AM.
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