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10-11-2006, 07:07 AM   #1
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Lens maze

Where can I find information that explains the variety of lens mounting offerings from Pentax (eg.: FA, KAF, AF, etc.). With the genesis of the digital SLR, I am quickly getting confused (never was much at technical/mechanical stuff). I would like to continue using my older lenses as well as acquire new ones that would be suitable for both digital and film as much as possible.

10-11-2006, 08:45 AM   #2
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Try this link

Try this link. I believe it will answer your questions

http://mosphotos.com/plensesexplained.htm
10-11-2006, 03:07 PM   #3
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here you can find plenty of information.
10-11-2006, 05:35 PM   #4
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They're both good links - thanks. I like the quick look I had at the first link, nuce presentation and I think whoever it is, is a member here, 'cause they have a link to here.

I must revisit both, first chance I get.

10-12-2006, 04:46 AM   #5
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Here is a quick run-down (I hope I don't make any mistakes. If I do, please feel free to correct me):

There are only two types of mounts to Pentax SLR and dSLR cameras, M42 screw mount (which you will need an adaptor to work on the dSLRs) and K mount.

K - the original K mount (K and M lenses) , manual focus and maual aperture

(By the way, I read somewhere that the letter 'M' does not stand for manual but something like miniturization, ie the lenses from M series are designed to be small and compact)

KA - K mount with auto aperture (A lenses), manual focus

KAF/KAF2 - K mount with autofocus and auto aperture (F and FA lenses)

DA lenses are similar to F/FA lenses but without the aperture ring and they have got QuickShift built into them.

KAF3 - the new mount with USM(??)

cheers
Kenny


QuoteOriginally posted by mysterick Quote
Where can I find information that explains the variety of lens mounting offerings from Pentax (eg.: FA, KAF, AF, etc.). With the genesis of the digital SLR, I am quickly getting confused (never was much at technical/mechanical stuff). I would like to continue using my older lenses as well as acquire new ones that would be suitable for both digital and film as much as possible.
10-12-2006, 05:08 AM   #6
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Although I visited those two other sites it was quick. What I always see that's missing are pictures of the rear of the lenses, to identify the mounts.

One question which people seem to shy-away from answering is: How do you tell the difference between a Pentx bayonet mount and the bayonet mount made for other cameras.
10-12-2006, 07:27 AM   #7
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Original Poster
Thanks, All. Another question(S): What about quality of the lens; is there any difference in optical quality from one type of mount/configuration to another? Are older lenses 'better' than new ones. or vice versa? Are they still completely glass? Whew, maybe that's too much to ask!
10-12-2006, 06:10 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by mysterick Quote
Thanks, All. Another question(S): What about quality of the lens; is there any difference in optical quality from one type of mount/configuration to another? Are older lenses 'better' than new ones. or vice versa? Are they still completely glass? Whew, maybe that's too much to ask!
Yes, that's a lot of questions and with no simple answers.

Stan's site contains user opinions on the various, mostly older, lenses. You may want to take a look:

http://stans-photography.info/

Personally I value user experience like on that site higher than cold resolution data.

As for your questions:

"is there any difference in optical quality from one type of mount/configuration to another?"

"Are older lenses 'better' than new ones. or vice versa?"

There is no specific trend or pattern. Some sources say that the lens coating as been improved over time, and in some cases the optical formula has apparently been tweaked over time leading to an ever so slight improvement. Consult Stan's site for examples. On the other hand you can also find some not-so-good FA lenses, where their older "F" or "A" counterparts are better.

"Are they still completely glass?"

I haven't seen any information from Pentax about this. But I read recently that aspherical elements in modern lenses are typically molded plastic, because it is prohibitively expensive to produce an aspherical glass element. I assume that all spherical elements are glass.

Perhaps someone else in ths foum would know?

10-13-2006, 04:46 AM   #9
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There is reall no fast rules to tell if a lens is good or not but as a very general rule, the more expensive a lens is, it is most likely to be better. Note: I am not saying cheaper lenses are not good. To give you an example here are 4 lenses in from different eras:
- DA 50-200/4-5.6
- FA* 80-200/2.8
- F 70-210/4-5.6
- A 70-210/4

Price-wise:
FA* 80-200 > DA 50-200 > F 70-210 > A 70-210

Performance-wise:
FA* 80-200 > A 70-210 > F70-210 >= DA 50-200

Age of the lens:
A 70-210 > F 70-210 > FA* 80-200 > DA 50-200

Hope that helps

Kenny

QuoteOriginally posted by mysterick Quote
Thanks, All. Another question(S): What about quality of the lens; is there any difference in optical quality from one type of mount/configuration to another? Are older lenses 'better' than new ones. or vice versa? Are they still completely glass? Whew, maybe that's too much to ask!
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