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06-15-2018, 12:21 AM   #1
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~ 28-105mm lenses for manual film cam

Willing to buy ~28-~105 zoom lens for my film Pentax P30t for about 100$ (20$). Hoping to get AF camera someday, that's why I'm looking at AF lenses too. I can get Sigma 28-105mm F2.8-4 for 80$, but according to its reviews image quality of this lens isn't really impressive. Another option is
SMC Pentax-A 35-105mm F3.5 - really good lens as I see, yet it's kinda heavy. I'd like it to be my travel lens, so it's slightly a problem. Apart of these two, there are numerous zoom lenses without detailed description, so what do you think should I get? Maybe there are some "hidden gems" like lenses with adequate quality for reasonably sharp film pics? I need your help, guys.

06-15-2018, 12:33 AM - 1 Like   #2
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IMHO all of the film-era autofocus zooms in that range are more or less "meh", so this really narrows down the choices. The F 35-105mm is among the better ones, and I can definitely recommend the A version despite the weight.

Here are your first-party choices, ordered by user rating:

Legacy Zoom FA, F, A, M Series Lenses between 20mm and 135mm |

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06-15-2018, 12:55 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
The F 35-105mm is among the better ones
And it's still possible to use it in manual mode? Sounds like a dumb question.
06-15-2018, 02:02 AM - 1 Like   #4
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I have the Power Zoom FA 28-105 f4-5.6
I had it years ago with an autofocus PZ-20, and I've used it with that and a K1000.
I sold it with the PZ-20 but recently bought another one as I needed that FL range and wasn't ready to give up the aperture ring on the new one.
It's a very nice walk-around focal length range, though it's a bit slow.
Compared to the new DFA 28-105, it's not in the same league, but it's fully compatible with the older K-mount cameras.

They tend to be inexpensive, especially if you don't mind the power zoom switch missing (which is common. on my old one, I covered it with black electrical tape)...


06-15-2018, 04:46 AM   #5
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Well thank you, think F 35-105mm will be my choice. Looks very interesting.
06-15-2018, 07:53 AM - 1 Like   #6
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The Pentax-A 35-105mm is my favourite out of my lenses around this zoom length. I also have a Tamron 28-105mm and a Pentax-F 35-105mm but even with the extra weight it would be used before the others.
My choice for a long zoom lens on holiday in Spain a few years ago was the Tamron SP 60-300mm which is pretty weighty but I had it on the camera with a neck strap and used one hand or the other to help support it throughout the days I used it. My wife had my 18-55mm in her handbag but refused to carry the Tamron so it stayed on the camera mostly.
06-15-2018, 08:08 AM - 1 Like   #7
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perhaps these might be of help

Pentax K-Mount Lens Series Explained: The differences between various Pentax lens series

In a nutshell

There are several series of Pentax K-mount lenses; the ones currently being produced include the DA (digital), DA L (cheap digital kit), D FA (full-frame, digital optimized), and FA (full-frame) series. While all Pentax K-mount lenses ever produced are compatible with all current Pentax DSLRs (in some cases with restrictions in that not all exposure modes of the camera are supported by old lenses), there are significant differences between each lens series and each has different features. Furthermore some of the newer lenses do not work with older cameras. We'll be exploring the differences between the various K-mount series lenses in this article. Read more about specific K-mount lens/camera compatibility here.

The DLSR designation below encompasses the mirror-less K-01.

Pentax K-Mount Lenses Explained: The differences between various Pentax lens series


Pentax Lens Compatibility Chart
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Pentax bayonet lenses labeled "SMC Pentax" are referred to as "K" lenses in the table below. Other Pentax bayonet lenses have the lens designation as a part of their name as in "SMC Pentax-FA."
Note that "star" lenses work like their "non-star" counterparts: DA* lenses work like DA lenses, FA* like FA, F* like F, A* like A, and M* like M.
Exceptions: FA and F "soft" lenses behave like M lenses in terms of metering.

The Pentax Camera Lens Compatibility Chart

06-15-2018, 08:33 AM - 1 Like   #8
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EDIT: Deleted, AF isn't part of the equation, I need to be more careful.

When I wanted this question answered, I got a Tokina 2.8~4.3 28-70 manual focus zoom. Have barely used it, seems like an excellent lens.

Last edited by pres589; 06-15-2018 at 11:09 AM.
06-15-2018, 11:07 AM - 1 Like   #9
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Pentax-A 35-105mm would be my favourite . A really underestimated zoom. I use it on the k3. For example:
Attached Images
06-15-2018, 12:11 PM - 2 Likes   #10
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I recommend the Tamron Adaptall-2 35-135mm f/3.5-4.5 (40A). Surprisingly good IQ for its age, zoom range, and price -- I think mine was $20. You do have to factor in the price of an Adaptall mount, but since you're using it on a film camera, you can get one of the P/K versions ($15-20) instead of holding out for P/KA ($30-40). It's a push-pull zoom, which is not for everyone.

Some samples:

I had the A 35-105 and wasn't impressed by it. It's possible this is due to copy-to-copy variation, or maybe my expectations were too high ("stack of primes", etc.), whereas my expectations for the 40A were low. Or maybe I was just having a bad week when I tried it, since everyone else seems to love it.

In any case, I would optimize for what you have now, and worry about AF if/when you do get an AF film camera. Most AF lenses, especially the kind of zoom you're looking for, are not especially pleasant to manually focus -- short focus throw, largely undamped ring, etc.

Last edited by tonezime; 06-16-2018 at 06:41 AM.
06-15-2018, 06:56 PM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by TwoUptons Quote
I have the Power Zoom FA 28-105 f4-5.6...
They tend to be inexpensive, especially if you don't mind the power zoom switch missing (which is common. on my old one, I covered it with black electrical tape)...
That's what I have too, except mine is really fancy because I filled the missing switch hole with epoxy. A very heavy lens and built to last except for the switch, which is completely unnecessary. The ugliest ones with switch parts flopping off are dirt cheap. Optically pretty good. Pentax sold another FA 28-105 f4-5.6 except not power zoom, which is lighter and made by Tamron I think. There is a third Pentax FA 28-105 which is faster and that's the latest, most desirable model.

There are a ton of lenses out there in that focal range. I bought and sold these for around the same $50 price:

Vivitar Series 1 28-105 made by Cosina - I forgot the aperture range but fairly fast. It's manual focus and KA mount. It was pretty good but I decided I wanted AF.
Pentax-A 28-135mm f4 - also manual focus, very large and front-heavy, with a 77mm filter, somewhat rare. Way too big for me, but a good performer.
Pentax-F 35-135mm f3.5-4.5 - sounds great on paper, something not quite good enough in person.

PM me if you're in the US and want to buy mine for cheap. It just sits in a drawer. It is almost certainly too heavy to ship outside the US economically.
07-04-2018, 09:01 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ymita Quote
I need your help, guys.
I'm curious -- what did you end up getting?
07-04-2018, 02:50 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ymita Quote
Well thank you, think F 35-105mm will be my choice. Looks very interesting.
there was a nice one on the forum here for $30 !
07-08-2018, 05:22 PM   #14
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I am selling my FA 28-105 Power Zoom. Very good lens but I don't need it as I have a newer DFA version. Contact me if you are interested.

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