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06-05-2009, 04:19 PM   #1
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What manual lens?

Hi! I'm new to Pentax system. I'm into experimenting with old, manual lenses. After trying it with Canon and Olympus and feeling let down and disappointed, I'm ready to give Pentax a try. I just got a second-hand K10d and I'm impressed with the amount of control it gives the user as compared to Canon and Olympus. Also its compatibility to older lenses is better than the others. I'm about to start obtaining some older lenses but have no idea where to start. Bayonet, Screw, M, A, Limited or Takumars? Zooms or primes? Any suggestion will be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

06-05-2009, 04:40 PM   #2
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You really need to start by at least figuring out what sort of focal lengths you are interested in, what kind of budget you might have, etc.

But I can clarify a couple of things:

- there are no "Limited" manual lenses; these are all newer AF lenses
- M and A lenses (and FA and DA, including the "limited" series) *are* bayonet (aka K mount)
- takumars *are* screwmount (except the takumars that are specifically listed as bayonet or k-mount)
- "A" always beats "M" in terms of usability, since you at least get auto-exposure and a full-time meter reading, plsu full flash functionality. But they are also pretyt much always more expensive
- zooms or primes is a totally different question in general. But to the extent it has any relevance here, "most" older zooms are not as good as modern equivalents, whereas "most" older primes are.

The standard suggestion is to find some of the M or A series (or the older k-mount series lenses that were neither "M" nor "A" - just labeled Pentax, not Pentax-M or Pentax-A) primes in the particular focal lengths that interest you. The ones that are easily found and cheap (at least for the "M" versions) are 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 100mm, 135mm, and 200mm. A few older zooms *are* considered good, such as the M35-105/3.5 and A70-210/4 (I think).

See:

Stan's Pentax Photography

for lots of opinions on these. Mostly from the film days, so take the specific discussion of focal lengths with a grain of "crop factor" salt.
06-05-2009, 05:10 PM   #3
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Ditto what Marc said. I can also vouch for the quality of the A 70-210/4 it is indeed a stellar lens. Another decent "manual" zoom is the Pentax A 35-105, but my copy is a bit soft wide open but definitely very sharp by 5.6. There are also a double handful of "fast 50's" in takumar, K, M and A versions. If you get a Takumar you will need a screwmount to K mount adapter. Get the "officia" Pentax one. There are a bunch of third party adapters out there but the pentax is much better.

NaCl(hope that helps)H2O
06-05-2009, 06:28 PM   #4
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Ditto, ditto what Mark says...

Beyond the Pentax offerings are the whole range of third-party K-mount and screw-mount (M42) lenses. Almost all require stop-down metering on your K10D, but some are definitely worth the effort. Take a look at the various "club" threads under "Pentax SLR Lens Discussion" to see what I am talking about. There are literally thousands of lenses of various flavors and qualities and price that will work on your K10D. It is a pretty exotic world out there!

Steve

06-05-2009, 10:55 PM   #5
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A 50mm FA, A or M f1.4-f1.7 is must have for Pentax users. great performance for a budget price. also they are endless great third part lenses out there, load of fun and surprise just to try out different lenses. just my 2 cents
06-05-2009, 11:46 PM   #6
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It isn't fully automatic with older glass. Set it to manual and press the green button....take a shot and it will be under/over exposed. Then adjust the front wheel a click (or two) to the left or right depending on what you saw from the first pic and you will end up with a very pleasing picture. After that you'll know what the lens needs and it is simple. Older glass (if the right glass) is a pleasure to use.
06-05-2009, 11:55 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies! They're great help and clarified lots of points. Had a look at the "clubs" and liked them all! Very good pictures! The Takumars look good and versatile. Is it a wise choice to go that route? Is it easy to obtain adapters for my other two systems? What sort of price range should I be looking at? After looking at the pictures, I think the monster has been awaken and I'm sure the wife will not be happy. And while you're at it, give me advice on what to say to the wife just in case!
06-06-2009, 08:37 AM   #8
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Takumar lenses had several difference series. the most common one is "Super-Takumar", most 28mm,35mm,50mm,135mm are under $100.

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