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06-23-2018, 07:35 AM - 3 Likes   #1
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Breaking Out of the Vintage Glass "Dark Side"

The only reason I stayed with Pentax , and have always come back to Pentax was...….. the Lenses.
I still have several from my late teens in High School, and acquired a bunch more due to LBA until the numbers have become "absurd"......lol.

However..... recently I began using FA and DFA lenses and wonder what Decade (or century) Ive been hiding in for the last twenty years or so ?
Have I just been kidding myself over vintage Legacy Glass being Soooo Good...….for way too long ?
Does shooting Only Legacy glass somehow make me a more traditional Photographer ?
How badly have I limited myself by using only Legacy Glass ?
Does being a Legacy Prime Purist benefit me in ANY way ?


Honestly ? Does anyone really enjoy swapping out Primes continually ?
Im getting Tired of it !
Im the one always saying....."Hold On"....."Wait"....."give me a second to change lenses"...… "now Don't Move"...…..its UGLY !
My Landscape Photography has improved......But everything else has become a Hassle and a Big Pain !

Somehow I keep thinking that what I started out trying to "BE".... and had idealized myself as being a Manual Mode Purist.....has in reality been mixed in with a healthy dosage of Vintage Glass LBA , and vintage Prime Lens buying OCD.
Ultimately......I have limited myself and not grown at all !

I resisted "change" for so long.....and I don't know why ?
15 years behind the rest of you on digital bodies ?
10 years behind on PP and photoshop ?
5 years refusal to use modern coatings and lenses ?

This hasn't helped at all , and has really hindered me...…..until now !

Just what have I become ?
Another "Old Photography Duffer".... stuck on Vintage Glass from 3 decades ago that will Not accept change ?

Adam..... was the one that did a Review of the DFA 28-105 lens and got me started on this "Change" Im going through.
And a simple purchase on E-Bay of a DA 20-40 limited 2 days later did the rest , all this was what got me to actually think about lens choices !

Ive gone from 63 lenses (that's Right , NOT a Typo) in my FF Kit......Down to 10 (two of which are recent offerings) !
In my APS-C kit Im down to 6 lenses Total , with one Currently offered model lens.

Its very Painful in one way freeing myself from LBA , and Vintage Glass Prime addiction...….but in another way its quite "liberating" and I wonder why I didn't do this at least a decade ago ?

Has anyone else had to go through the growing pains like this at an older age ?

The "Pain" of selling a SMC-K 50mm f1.2 and a SMC-A 50mm f1.2 lens was the absolute hardest to handle.....However I think it was worth it...….I DONT Need either (never did). The rest is easy from here on out.


Last edited by Ronald Oakes; 06-23-2018 at 10:49 AM.
06-23-2018, 07:51 AM - 2 Likes   #2
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I haven't precisely gone through this but shades of it resonate.
06-23-2018, 08:16 AM - 3 Likes   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ronald Oakes Quote
Has anyone else had to go through the growing pains like this at an older age ?
Hmmmm......,

In general, I am not adverse to accepting new technology. I eagerly took up digital at first opportunity with my only limitation
being financial. In fact, that continues to be the biggest limiting factor.

BUT, I love vintage manual focus lenses. I did not care for the trend towards plastic as the AF era dawned, and thus
continued to use manual glass until I bought my first DSLR in 2007. I still own far more MF than AF glass. This has nothing
to do with being a purist. I use my AF lenses when they are the right tool for the task. My DA15 is the widest lens I own, so
is the natural choice when I need wide-angle. But I prefer the tactile feel of old brass & glass, and so continue to use vintage
lenses for the sheer joy of it. I have never felt stuck on the gear I use; I choose the tools I enjoy using, budget allowing.
Were I given a $10,000 photography shopping spree, I would immediately go out and buy a bunch of modern gear including
bodies and AF lenses but also track down long lusted for old glass like the A200 macro.
06-23-2018, 08:26 AM - 2 Likes   #4
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My principal hobby is using K manual lenses, formerly mostly on KX, MX and LX, now on K-1. I do that because that’s what I want to do.

I also have the FA Limiteds because they are, and some modern lenses because they are, but I shoot manual because I want to.

06-23-2018, 08:31 AM - 1 Like   #5
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As just said, it's horses for courses for me.

Where I'm shooting static, or close up, I prefer "old" prime glass, that river and mountain aren't going anywhere. Quality, definition, at a price i can afford. I'm sure the very latest glass from Pentax is great quality too but my budget is limited (no pun intended).
However, waving a very long manual focus lens around after a small bird gets very old very quickly, zooms like the 55-300 PLM are much better at this sort of thing - for the way I shoot.
And the walkaround zooms - for me either a Pentax 16-45, Pentax 18-50 RE, Sigma 17-70 or Sigma 18-125 depending on weather and anticipated needs - are a godsend when I don't want to pack a whole kit.
06-23-2018, 08:36 AM - 3 Likes   #6
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I think everybody has their own journey with photography, and that usually - or, at least, quite often - involves some changes of equipment and process, with a few "lightbulb moments" along the way that are personal to the individual. I only got into photography properly within the last ten years or so, and I've gone through a few of those changes and realisations along the way. It's all part of the fun
06-23-2018, 08:40 AM - 3 Likes   #7
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Ack, freedom from LBA? Could that even be good at all?

I don't think of myself as a "purist". I have a mixture of vintage and modern lenses, probably about half AF and half MF. Almost all are primes. When I first bought a DSLR the vintage MF lenses were a money thing, but I have broadened out quite a bit since then. I don't find myself changing lenses very often, I tend to mount a lens and keep it on for a while. Granted having a 3rd body would be a good thing, though. I find shooting vintage lenses a nice change of pace, each lens has it's nuances, in general IMO the vintage lenses are more "interesting" than the modern lenses. And yes some of it is just novelty or nostalgia. I will say, that when I am travelling light I will probably pick a few modern AF lenses to take. As tvdtvdtvd pointed out, if I had a bunch of money to spend on camera equipment it would be a mixture of modern gear and some key vintage lenses that I have lusted after.
06-23-2018, 08:56 AM - 1 Like   #8
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Unfortunately.....I got STUCK in the Prime Rut so to say.
I Didn't use what was needed for the situation and it became NOT fun anymore.
I still love my primes , and have no plans on getting rid of about 15 of my SMC-A and SMC-K lenses..... Im Prime covered.....lol.
But that will be it for me.
Anything purchased from here on out will be at the least what I consider modern lenses such as FA , DA , and DFA series.....mostly zooms.
I didn't even know until 8 months ago that I could select a focus point on my K-3II for a DFA lens......lol.
I don't really have much money either , but after a while buying /selling / collecting lenses.... it gets to where its Self Perpetuating.
Auctions , Goodwill , Estate sales , and Yardsales have been very productive for me.

06-23-2018, 08:57 AM - 2 Likes   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ronald Oakes Quote
The only reason I stayed with Pentax , and have always come back to Pentax was..... the Lenses.
I still have several from my late teens in High School, and acquired a bunch more due to LBA until the numbers have become "absurd"......lol.

However..... recently I began using FA and DFA lenses and wonder what Decade (or century) Ive been hiding in for the last twenty years or so ?. . . .

some folks might consider the F and FA series to be old school since they were developed for film cameras as compared to the D FA, DA, DA L and DA XS series
06-23-2018, 09:01 AM - 1 Like   #10
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63 lenses? I thought I had it bad. Honestly for me, I went with legacy glass (and still do) for economy of aquiring the lenses. I really love the K series lenses. They are as well made as the limited's. I looked at other brands of camera but the ability of using legacy lenses sealed the choice for me with choosing Pentax. I have a mix of legacy and limiteds (all purchased used). Some overlapping focal lengths. I like the differences in rendering between newer and older lenses. Gives me more choices. There is no wrong answer here for lens choices. Each to his own. Like previous poster said, if I had the money to spend, I would have ALL of the current Pentax lenses, but alas, it is just a hobbie for me.

Last edited by 7.62lew; 06-23-2018 at 09:06 AM.
06-23-2018, 09:03 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aslyfox Quote
some folks might consider the F and FA series to be old school since they were developed for film cameras as compared to the D FA, DA, DA L and DA XS series
I Know.....lol.

---------- Post added 06-23-18 at 09:10 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by 7.62lew Quote
63 lenses? I thought I had it bad. Honestly for me, I went with legacy glass (and still do) for economy of aquiring the lenses. I really love the K series lenses. They are as well made as the limited's. I looked at other brands of camera but the ability of using legacy lenses sealed the choice for me. I have a mix of legacy and limiteds (all purchased used). Some overlap. I like the differnces in rendering
I know what You mean and have the SMC-K well covered in Primes.
I never used a Limited until 2 months ago.....started realizing I was missing alot !
Then I used a DFA 28-105 on a trip last year and actually had fun !

Please don't Laugh too hard....about 2.5 years ago I took my K-3II and my Prime kit of 24mm , 28mm , 35mm , 55mm , and 135mm on a Cruise !
Lets just say I DIDNT do very well and ended up real frustrated in the end.
My landscapes are great , but I virtually have no other images from the trip.
How I wish I had even a F28-80 on that one !
06-23-2018, 09:30 AM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ronald Oakes Quote
I Know.....lol.

---------- Post added 06-23-18 at 09:10 ----------

I know what You mean and have the SMC-K well covered in Primes.
I never used a Limited until 2 months ago.....started realizing I was missing alot !
Then I used a DFA 28-105 on a trip last year and actually had fun !

Please don't Laugh too hard....about 2.5 years ago I took my K-3II and my Prime kit of 24mm , 28mm , 35mm , 55mm , and 135mm on a Cruise !
Lets just say I DIDNT do very well and ended up real frustrated in the end.
My landscapes are great , but I virtually have no other images from the trip.
How I wish I had even a F28-80 on that one !
Yes, shooting all manual can be work and frustrating at times. If I really had to I could get by with 4 lenses (and really mostly 3). My DA21mm, DA35mm macro and DA*50-135mm, with my FA*300 4.5 thrown in occasionally.
06-23-2018, 09:36 AM - 1 Like   #13
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I don't feel that way at all.
Sure, it's very convenient to shoot with automatic AF zoom, but shooting with MF primes has its place, as others have said before me.
Not when you're in a hurry. Me being a little OCD on this matter, I note down the aperture for each shot (and then copy it in the exif), and fl for manual zooms. It's a chore, if you don't have the mindset.

But when I go out to enjoy myself, holding those cold, heavy metal barrels, hearing the aperture clicks, rotating the perfectly dampened focus ring, taking my time to focus and meter... it's nice. And the IQ is more than adequate.

So yes, perhaps I started with manual lenses because I already had those, I continued because the IQ was better than the kit zoom, but even if I had the best lenses in the Pentax lineup, I'd still find a place and time to shoot with them.
06-23-2018, 09:43 AM - 2 Likes   #14
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My current SMC-K line is down to 8 lenses that I consider my keepers.
SMC-K 20 4.0 (currently in Repair) , SMC-K 24 2.8 , SMC-K 24 3.5 , SMC-K 28 3.5 , SMC-K 35 3.5 , SMC-K55 1.8 , SMC-K 105 2.8 , SMC-K 135 3.5 , SMC-K 200 4.0.....all are used somewhat frequently.

In the SMC-A line.....Im down to 5 lenses that I consider my keepers.
SMC-A 24 2.8 , SMC-A 28 2.8 , SMC-A 35 2.8 , SMC-A 50 1.7 , SMC-A 135 2.8

In the Ricoh line I have 3 of the Pikenon XR lenses 28mm , 35mm , 50mm that Im keeping.
In the Ricoh line I also have 3 other lenses that are sharper than the Pentax versions such as the lowly Ricoh Rikenon 50mm 2.0 , the Ricoh Rikenon P 50mm 1.4 , and the Ricoh Rikenon P 50mm 2.0......all Keepers and they cost next to nothing.

I have a second copy coming of the DFA 28-105 from a PF member (first copy left in Baja Mexico last year on Angel De La Guarda Island on a rocky ridge) hope its still there in October when I go back......lol.
And I now have the DA 20-40 Limited that I absolutely love and its the lens that started this whole mess.

So Im down to 20 lenses now total and still a few more to possibly GO ! ........from a high of something like 63 !
Im liking the Freedom from the confusion and also the weight !

Last edited by Ronald Oakes; 06-23-2018 at 09:48 AM.
06-23-2018, 09:47 AM - 2 Likes   #15
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Starting out with a K1000 in the early 1980's in know how you feel. I eventually ended up with a Super Program in 1987. I resisted autofocus cameras and never owned an autofocus film camera. I did not enter the world of autofocus until the release of the K10D. By then it made no sense to keep trying to shoot film. When I got the K10D I only used my manual lenses on it. Eventually I picked a few autofocus lenses. Within a two years all my manual lenses sat. Once I aquired a few F and FA lenses my old manual lenses were regulated to the drawer. I did the manual thing for over twenty years and that was long enough. I wondered how much I missed out on by not getting some a newer lenses. Oh well that is life. Eventually I started getting some DA and DA* lenses. The DA*55 and DA*50-135 really made me realize what I was missing. Most my old vintage A lenses are gone. I only have the very first ones I bought with my K1000 out of sentimental ressons. Besides they are worth nothing anyway. With the DFA28-105 I simply have no desire to shoot any legacy glass I that range. The 50-135 beats out anything I had in that range back in the film days. Remember I said anything I had.

Of course now I have aquired way too many autofocus lenses since the K10D. In reality I probably only use about 20% of what I own on a regular basis. Personally I traded primes for zooms years ago. I missed too many shot because I either did not have the proper focal length or I had to change my lens. Growing on Lake Michigan you really wanted to advoid changing lenses on the beach at all cost. I used to carry a film changing bag in my camera bag for that reason. Boy did that get me some looks. Now when I look back I somewhat wish I had picked one of those autofocus film cameras back in the 90's. However, I enjoyed that Super Program so much I never felt the reason too. Now my eyes are much older and do not focus so well themselves. Bifocals are a pain at times and is nice to just let the camera do the work once in awhile. The only thing I still control is exposure. I have never ran a camera in full auto. TAv is my best friend.

There will always be the two camps of legacy and modern glass users in the world of Pentax and, well maybe that is what makes it so much fun.
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