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03-15-2010, 12:49 AM   #1
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Pentax FA power zoom lenses and digital SLR

Hi , I have the early style power zoom FA Pentax lenses (35-80 and 100-300). I understand the power zoom function won't work with digital SLRs but could somebody confirm which digital SLRs these lenses will work on. I understand I can attach the lens and zoom manually, is this correct? Thanks in advance.

03-15-2010, 10:17 AM   #2
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i thought the K10D supported PZ... maybe i am wrong..

And btw, how much more battery this feature consumes?
03-15-2010, 10:48 AM   #3
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You can attach it and use it normally (eg, without the gimmicky power zoom function, but with full autofocus and autoexposure functionality) on all Pentax DSLR's.
03-15-2010, 10:52 AM - 1 Like   #4
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I once had a few power zoom lenses (part of a package I bought from an estate sale) but I don't like power zoom (I still have my Minolta 7xi) so I turned that feature off (by pulling the zoom ring back IIRC).

The K10D body does support basic power zoom feature. The lens does zoom when you twist the power zoom ring. But the "advanced" features are not supported. For example, it does not keep the relative size of the object constant in the frame when the object moves.

04-19-2010, 02:14 PM   #5
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I think power zoom works with K-7 & K-X

I found this older thread and I am trying to get it restarted. Not because I want to know if the FA power zoom lenses will work with my K100D but because I want to USE the power zoom function with a Pentax digital body. I think I have read reviews stating that the FA power zoom lenses DO work with 2 or 3 of the newer Pentax digital bodies. Are my conclusions correct?? How well would the power zoom function when using the K-7 and K-x bodies in movie mode??
04-19-2010, 02:44 PM   #6
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the power zoom itself will function on the K100Ds, K10D and all later cameras, as it requires the electrcial contacts for power of the KAF2 mount on the bodies that support HSM.

Aside from having the motor driven zoom, non of the other features, such as image size tracking, preset focal length or zoom during exposure function.

The zoom function in movie mode is interesting, I had not thought about that
04-19-2010, 02:49 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by kacansas03 Quote
How well would the power zoom function when using the K-7 and K-x bodies in movie mode??
The basic power zoom function will work.

But you will record the noise from the zoom motor, unless if you use an external mike.

I myself find power zoom annoying in general: too jerky, difficult to control. I prefer manual zoom.
04-19-2010, 03:10 PM   #8
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As I recall from testing the 250-600m f/5.6 back when it was first launched (c. March 1993) the screwdriver AF of the PZ-1 didn't keep up well with the power zooming, which lead to even more focus hunting, and which left the distinct impression that Pentax's image-size tracking mode was a useless marketing gimmick.

Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but there never were any coreless motor AF lenses with the power zooming feature.

04-19-2010, 04:07 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
the power zoom itself will function on the K100Ds, K10D and all later cameras, as it requires the electrcial contacts for power of the KAF2 mount on the bodies that support HSM.

Aside from having the motor driven zoom, non of the other features, such as image size tracking, preset focal length or zoom during exposure function.

The zoom function in movie mode is interesting, I had not thought about that
Are you sure about that for I think I saw in my owners manual or camera manual at least in all the paper work that came with my K100D that it does Not support the FA power zoom function but does support the other functions of the lens such as aperture and auto-focus. Were you trying to say that the camera bodies you listed do not support power Zoom??
04-19-2010, 04:13 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
the power zoom itself will function on the K100Ds, K10D and all later cameras, as it requires the electrcial contacts for power of the KAF2 mount on the bodies that support HSM.

Aside from having the motor driven zoom, non of the other features, such as image size tracking, preset focal length or zoom during exposure function.

The zoom function in movie mode is interesting, I had not thought about that
Yeah, I think it would be interesting in movie mode. I have another brand of P & S camera that does movie mode but no where near the resolution and that thing does support zoom while recording a movie. That function has been of real use in 2 or 3 movie situations and also been of no use at all in 2 or 3 movie situations. In general I am simply awful with a video camera mostly because of zoom functions. I think having a K-x body with movie function with manual zoom lenses may actually help me make better short video's because I would not have a power zoom function available with the current bunch of lenses that I own which will mount up and operate well on the K-x.
01-08-2011, 06:19 AM   #11
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I am really confused. Some of the different responses:

It works on the K10D, but not others.
It works on all the current Pentax digital cameras.

And I have also read (can't remember where) that it uses the same contacts as SDM lenses, so can be used on any camera that supports SDM.

But on the pentax website it states:
Q: Are the Power Zoom functions available on certain PENTAX lenses supported with our DSLRs?
A: No.




Power Zoom and PENTAX DSLRs | Pentax Support

And from the specifications of the k-r (and k-x is the same):
SDM function: Yes
Power zoom function: n/a

Has anyone used the power zoom on a k-r (or k-x or k-7) and can you confirm that, contrary to the Pentax website, the power zoom can be used?

(I take it everyone agrees that the power zoom lenses can be used as standard zoom lenses on all the current cameras.)
01-08-2011, 06:32 AM   #12
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Hi,

I may have just found the answer:

I have just found this on another forum (sorry).
I cleaned the power zoom (PZ) contacts on my FA*80-200mm f2.8 and now it (the PZ) works with my K10D, K20D, and K-7. It does not work with my K2000 or the K-x.

And looking at the specifications of the K-7 on the pentax website it states:
SDM function - Yes
Power zoom function: Yes
(Though I assume, as people have said, this will be with limited features).

So looks like it works on K10D, K20D, K-7, K-5, but not the K-x or K-r.
11-29-2012, 11:53 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by rob_k20d Quote
Hi,

I may have just found the answer:

I have just found this on another forum (sorry).
I cleaned the power zoom (PZ) contacts on my FA*80-200mm f2.8 and now it (the PZ) works with my K10D, K20D, and K-7. It does not work with my K2000 or the K-x.

And looking at the specifications of the K-7 on the pentax website it states:
SDM function - Yes
Power zoom function: Yes
(Though I assume, as people have said, this will be with limited features).

So looks like it works on K10D, K20D, K-7, K-5, but not the K-x or K-r.
Wikipaedia states that Pentax KAF2 mounts have two extra internal pins/connections to enable power zoom functionality. Pentax specs state that the K-r has a KAF2 lens mount. However if you read the specs from the photoblog website about the lens it states that power zoom functionality is not supported. My question, having just purchased a K-r is, why not? Why place a bayonet mount with this capability in a camera and then make it unusable? I don't get the reasoning behind that. Anyone able to solve my bafflement?
11-30-2012, 12:16 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by NorbertR Quote
Why place a bayonet mount with this capability in a camera and then make it unusable? I don't get the reasoning behind that. Anyone able to solve my bafflement?
Those contacts are also used for lenses with internal focus motors. They probably thought it would not be worth the time and money to make the power zoom feature work on the lower end cameras, even though the physical part of it is there. As rare as this question is shows that it is not a highly in demand feature, so they are spending their money wisely on features that will sell cameras.
11-30-2012, 01:06 AM   #15
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Power zoom works on the flagships, but that's just that - the "power zoom" function only, none of the fancy others in the PZ/Z bodies (so that means those switches on the lens are useless)

I've tried it on video with the FA 28-105 PZ on a K-7, a slight turn makes the lens zoom in slowly.. would've been good if the K-7 supported AF-on-demand during video and if the lens itself was a constant 2.8, not the very restricting f4-5.6
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