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12-31-2009, 05:17 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by keyser Quote
I don't buy new Pentax lenses because... I own a Pentax film camera. Funny, but the backwards compatibility is what's stopping me from investing in any modern Pentax glass. (I don't have a dSLR).

My cameras are aperture priority, so the lack of an aperture ring kills it straight away. Couple that to the small image circle cast my *most* new Pentax lenses and you have a real problem. The other two big companies classified their small image circle lenses as being lesser in some way. Yes, the quality of image is there, but it was achieved at a cost and that should be acknowledged.

If pentax had continued to offer an aperture ring, they could have offered a simple dSLR that mirrors the simplicity of film. On the left shoulder of the camera you would set your ISO to a specific value, or auto. On your right shoulder you do the same with shutter speed. Finally you set your aperture on the lens.

If all three are set to auto, you get everything set for you, otherwise the camera works out the correct settings based on the values which have been set. It's this kind of simplicity of design that made Pentax top dog in the 60s-80s.

Of course, due to shortsightedness on the part of Pentax in its lens design, this product can't be made now!
The bottom line of this post is that you are not a Pentax customer, you are a used camera equipment customer.

12-31-2009, 05:48 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
The bottom line of this post is that you are not a Pentax customer, you are a used camera equipment customer.
Or a film camera owner that has been disenfranchised by his brand! It should be pointed out that the same thing happened users of every other 35mm SLR brand and for most of them many years earlier. No one should expect that a lens maker would continue to support older mounts forever, though it would be nice!

Steve
12-31-2009, 06:13 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Or a film camera owner that has been disenfranchised by his brand! It should be pointed out that the same thing happened users of every other 35mm SLR brand and for most of them many years earlier. No one should expect that a lens maker would continue to support older mounts forever, though it would be nice!

Steve
Exactly! I'm not a Pentax new equipment customer because they don't make any lenses that I can use. There is not a single modern lens that will work on my camera, crippled or otherwise.

I can buy equipment used.... but that's the point of this thread... Pentax don't have any thing they can sell and therefore I'm a customer they can't monetise. The comeback is for me to get a Pentax digital rig but I still won't buy a lens I can't use on my film camera.

Even Canon sell full frame lenses for older film cameras, going all the way back to 1987.
12-31-2009, 06:38 PM   #19
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QuoteQuote:
Even Canon sell full frame lenses for older film cameras, going all the way back to 1987.
There lies your answer.


cheers

Neil

12-31-2009, 07:08 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by keyser Quote
Exactly! I'm not a Pentax new equipment customer because they don't make any lenses that I can use. There is not a single modern lens that will work on my camera, crippled or otherwise.

I can buy equipment used.... but that's the point of this thread... Pentax don't have any thing they can sell and therefore I'm a customer they can't monetise. The comeback is for me to get a Pentax digital rig but I still won't buy a lens I can't use on my film camera.

Even Canon sell full frame lenses for older film cameras, going all the way back to 1987.
I feel your pain, though I must point out...
  • FA 35/2
  • FA 50/1.4
  • DFA 50/1.8 Macro
  • DFA 100/2.8 Macro
  • All three Limiteds
All of these lenses have full functionality with all K-mount cameras and are available through the Pentax Web store. The catalog is somewhat larger in Japan where you might add:
  • FA 20-35/4
  • FA 28-105/3.2-4.5
  • A 35-80/4-5.6
  • A 50/1.2
  • FA* 600/4 (special order)

Canon has an extensive lens offering, but none sold in the US will fit the FD mount cameras (1987 and older, the same vintage as most aperture priority Pentax cameras).

Regarding Nikon's backward compatibility, all except the current "G" series lenses should be backward compatible to earlier bodies (good work, Nikon!).

Sony (Konica/Minolta)...Ha! Ha! Ha!

Olympus...Ditto

So in practical terms, you are in a better position with Pentax than vintage Canon film shooters and a much better position than vintage Konica or Minolta or Olympus film users who are completely orphaned. Also in practical terms, you have to ask why you would WANT to buy any of the current DA line-up. The selection and quality of used product is superior!

So the final conclusion...if you want the best selection of new glass for a vintage film body...Shoot Nikon.

Steve
12-31-2009, 07:24 PM   #21
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The Nikon angle is interesting. While the AF lenses have never had "rabbit ears" the aperture rings on the primes at least have always included dimples for a machinist to drill and tap them so rabbit ears could be mounted. Which means a modern AF-D lens could be used on an original F having a Photomic finder. An F with a non-metered finder can shoot a modern Nikkor prime as-is.

Canon on the other hand made a mistake in my opinion by completely ditching their old FL/FD mount. The twenty-two years since 1987 is a brief period of time in terms of camera gear lifespans.
12-31-2009, 07:51 PM   #22
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Wow, you can still get A series lenses? (in Japan at least) I guess the manual focus crowd haven't been completely forsaken!

So I can go into a store and pick up an FA series lens? An FA 35 would be quite an nice addition to my lineup...
12-31-2009, 08:24 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by keyser Quote
Wow, you can still get A series lenses? (in Japan at least) I guess the manual focus crowd haven't been completely forsaken!

So I can go into a store and pick up an FA series lens? An FA 35 would be quite an nice addition to my lineup...
As far as North America is concerned, you can get the FA 35/2 online at the Pentax Web store. As far as I know, that is the only place unless you find someone with new old stock. Pentax is no longer supplying it to dealers here. I use my FA 35/2 on my film cameras with good results, though the focus ring is a little clumsy when the supplied hood is mounted.

Steve

01-01-2010, 04:24 AM   #24
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You can get the FA 35mm, the FA 50 and the three limiteds new here in japan in retail stores. And a lot of takumar, M, and A lenses flying around. Not that cheap though...
01-01-2010, 08:51 AM   #25
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I'm P'd off as well, now that I think about it I can't use ANY Automatic lenses on my PZ-20 film camera, WITHOUT removing my screwmount adapter
This has got to change, if Pentax doesn't fix the situation I'll demand the $45 back I paid for the camera.
After all, I may just miss one shot in my life due to this obvious error on their part
if you haven't figured it out, I'm kidding. Although I've never snapped the shutter with any fully automatic lens on it, it'll work with most current lenses. Which isn't bad for a 15 year old camera.
01-01-2010, 09:37 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
As far as North America is concerned, you can get the FA 35/2 online at the Pentax Web store. As far as I know, that is the only place unless you find someone with new old stock. Pentax is no longer supplying it to dealers here. I use my FA 35/2 on my film cameras with good results, though the focus ring is a little clumsy when the supplied hood is mounted.

Steve
B&H was listing the Samsung version (with delay) and on ebay I have seen several sellers with the Samsung (before christmas). I was seriously considering this for my next purchase but went with the DA 16-45 f4 and an AF-360FGZ for the same money instead.
01-01-2010, 10:49 AM   #27
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I just bought an FA 77mm ltd about a month ago because I'd be able to use it on my dSLR's as well as my MZ-3, SuperProgram and K2's. I was originally leaning towards the Da 70mm ltd, but since the prices had closed in on the FA, I went with it.
01-01-2010, 11:28 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by keyser Quote
I can buy equipment used.... but that's the point of this thread... Pentax don't have any thing they can sell and therefore I'm a customer they can't monetise. The comeback is for me to get a Pentax digital rig but I still won't buy a lens I can't use on my film camera.
Seems the obvious solution is to get a film camera that doesn't require an aperture ring. Shouldn't cost more than $50.
01-01-2010, 12:51 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
The lunatic fringe is getting a little crowded these days. With the exception of the DA 18-55 kit lens, every lens I own will mount on and function properly on any of my K-mount bodies. I get some sort of perverse pleasure (lunatic aspect of this thing) when I shoot the FA 77/1.8 Limited and FA 35/2 on my KX or the 40 year-old Auto Rikenon 50 on the K10D. It is also pretty cool to go from camera to darkroom to film scanner to printer or Web without having to mess with wet-chemistry printing.

What could possibly be next...carbon printing?...

Steve
That's the name of the game!

I just don't like AF...sorry, Pentax. I don't use it all that often.
QuoteOriginally posted by keyser Quote
Backwards compatibility is a bit vague I guess; I'm talking here about the backwards compatibility of new lenses on old cameras, rather than the backwards compatibility of new cameras to old lenses.

It's been said many time that camera companies make their money selling lenses, not bodies. Why then, do they insist on producing a whole generation of lenses that for various reasons can't be used properly on any film camera?

I do also have a PZ-70 which has aperture control in camera, but why would I use that when I can simply use the aperture ring on the lens? It makes sense to have ISO and shutter speed on the body, but as each lens can have a different min/max aperture, the lens is the most logical place to put this control.

I figure that the enormous popularity of the FA-J line proved people didn't want the ring

I guess that maybe I belong in the 'fringe' with Ryan!

I'm not an old-school photographer (I just like old school gear), but manual control through a convoluted series of button presses does not seem like an intuitive interface to me.
The part I bolded...how many film cameras are being built today? Leica and Rollei and company are about the only ones. Holga, I guess

The whole Canon EF/Nikon AI thing is discussed later on
QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
The bottom line of this post is that you are not a Pentax customer, you are a used camera equipment customer.
I'm guilty of it. I don't have enough money for the latest and greatest and I like a manual focus ring better than AF.

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
So in practical terms, you are in a better position with Pentax than vintage Canon film shooters and a much better position than vintage Konica or Minolta or Olympus film users who are completely orphaned. Also in practical terms, you have to ask why you would WANT to buy any of the current DA line-up. The selection and quality of used product is superior!

So the final conclusion...if you want the best selection of new glass for a vintage film body...Shoot Nikon.

Steve
Leica M mounts swap back and forth between film and digital (I pretty sure?). That would really be the only other game in town for a "single" film and digital system using the same lenses.

Well, that would be ignoring the fact that it's an RF and has all the shortcomings an SLR doesn't (lens selection, parallax, the "SLR" focusing, etc)
01-01-2010, 02:32 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
The aperture control is also more precise and repeatable between lenses than with the aperture ring.
QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I am curious about this statement. Not critical, just curious. I would expect the exact opposite, certainly as compared to the aperture ring and particularly between lenses. I always figured that the mechanical tolerances for aperture control through a few degrees of travel of a short arm translated through a 90 degree bend would have to be pretty high to give any real precision and/or accuracy. For that reason, I have always had pretty low expectations of the "A" series and higher lenses when it comes to aperture control.

On the other hand, I know that you have extensive experience both using and dissecting a broad range of lenses. Care to explain?

Steve

(Am not particularly impressed with the aperture cam mechanism of my PKA Adaptall-2 mount...)
Now that I read it again, it needs some qualifications. I was thinking of two points that don't apply to every lens or camera combination.

First, the aperture rings rarely click at every possible half-stop, so using just the aperture ring, you sometimes will not have a setting where you need it. I'll agree that a 20 year old A50/2 only dropped twice may not hit every third-stop between f2 and f2.8 with perfect accuracy, but the ring only clicks at each full stop. If you want f2.4, the camera body can probably do that at least as well as trying to put the ring between clicks. On many lenses, the ring clicks at an unmarked position - e. g. the M50/1.7 clicks between f1.7 and f2.8 (probably f2). An A lens doesn't have that ambiguity.

Second, on a crippled-mount body, the lenses with an A position work like they were designed to in the A position. That is, having the aperture adjusted by the lever. Once you go off that A position, the mechanism within the lens is used. It is probably more a feeling than fact that these may produce different results. I haven't tested it myself. If you're not using a crippled-mount body, it probably doesn't matter as much.

I think the statement would be harder to defend if I had not included the qualifier phrase "between lenses". That's where the first point can be important. On the lens tests I've done, I always find some lenses without a setting at certain apertures. But if I had a lot more "A"-type lenses, I might be complaining about the false impression of accuracy given by the viewfinder numbers.
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