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12-03-2010, 03:59 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by yyyzzz Quote
You can use *ist DS to shoot great photos. You can also use the vast majority of older Pentax (K, M, A) lenses to get fantastic pictures.
I don't think anyone's arguing against that, but some people need more resolution than an *ist DS can deliver, or more resolution than some lenses can deliver. The fact is that the 16 MP sensor on the K-5 will easily outresolve certain older (and newer) lenses.

12-03-2010, 05:12 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Erik Quote
I don't think anyone's arguing against that, but some people need more resolution than an *ist DS can deliver, or more resolution than some lenses can deliver. The fact is that the 16 MP sensor on the K-5 will easily outresolve certain older (and newer) lenses.
Mm, there's also that Oh YES! that happens with a piece of glass, isn't there? Some lenses you have to test out the wazoo before deciding if it's to your standards, but sometimes you get one where you pop out the first test shots and all of a sudden, Oh YES! and then decades from now they have to surgically remove it from your clutches before they can fit you into that burial tux, and whoever inherits it will have to keep going back to your headstone to dig the thing up when they want to use it.
12-03-2010, 05:24 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
I just let go of a rare A 35mm f/2 because on the K-5, it just shows how hopelessly outclassed it is compared a modern designed optic like the DA 35mm. The ability to resolve fine detail with the K-5 is stunning and old legacy junk just won't hack it. It just reinforces my preference on not keeping old lenses anymore. Just my personal opinion.
That really doesn't prove much since the M/A35/2 was not a very successfull lens solution, outclassed by both the K35/2, K35/3.5, FA35/2, DA35ltd and probably also the DA35/2.4. There are dogs in all lens generations.
12-03-2010, 06:00 AM - 1 Like   #19
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As to the questions posted: Have lenses advanced as much as cameras? Not by a long shot. Although today's computers allow for better designs, particularly of zooms, and coatings have come a long way, the understanding of optics hasn't undergone and significant changes. The theory and practice of recording light, though, has.

Is it worth it to use old lenses on a current camera? Sure. Absolutely. Or no, absolutely not. That's a value judgment. You have the lenses; take some pictures with them. If they meet your needs, then they are worth it. If they don't, they aren't. We can't tell you where you'll come down on that line.

That said, I can say a few things that might help you decide. the primary reason to avoid old lenses is due to the automation of new lenses--aperture and focus. Which has nothing to do with optics. Newer lenses make taking pictures easier because of these features. However, they'll also remove you from part of the process of deciding how to capture the image, which might make you a worse photographer, which will always be the primary limitation.

Most new lenses fail to out-resolve even 10 megapixel DSLRs wide-open. If you shoot mostly at large apertures, I don't think "old" versus "new" is really the question.

Although I don't have a K-5, I expect to keep my older lenses, even the ones substantially outclassed by newer lenses. Why? Because some of them produce a look that I enjoy. I like the images they produce. They may not be all-purpose, but they are worth keeping and using. Do I also use current lenses? Yes, but that's because I like having an autofocus option.

12-03-2010, 11:31 AM   #20
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I realize the temptation, after spending close to a grand for a new lens, of wanting to believe it is much better than legacy lenses that cost much less. But there is NO clear divide in IQ of old and new lenses, except at extreme wide angles where digital sensors do not work well with old designs. Mediocre lenses such as the A or M 28mm f2.8 might disappoint on the k5, but any of the old 50mm lenses can provide high IQ, as can many other well-regarded old lenses, both Pentax and third-party. In general, zooms have improved, but good old ones such as the adaptall-2 sp tele-zooms still shine, albeit at great weight and bulk.
12-04-2010, 01:48 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by JonPB Quote
As to the questions posted: Have lenses advanced as much as cameras? Not by a long shot. Although today's computers allow for better designs, particularly of zooms, and coatings have come a long way, the understanding of optics hasn't undergone and significant changes. The theory and practice of recording light, though, has.

Is it worth it to use old lenses on a current camera? Sure. Absolutely. Or no, absolutely not. That's a value judgment. You have the lenses; take some pictures with them. If they meet your needs, then they are worth it. If they don't, they aren't. We can't tell you where you'll come down on that line.

That said, I can say a few things that might help you decide. the primary reason to avoid old lenses is due to the automation of new lenses--aperture and focus. Which has nothing to do with optics. Newer lenses make taking pictures easier because of these features. However, they'll also remove you from part of the process of deciding how to capture the image, which might make you a worse photographer, which will always be the primary limitation.

Most new lenses fail to out-resolve even 10 megapixel DSLRs wide-open. If you shoot mostly at large apertures, I don't think "old" versus "new" is really the question.

Although I don't have a K-5, I expect to keep my older lenses, even the ones substantially outclassed by newer lenses. Why? Because some of them produce a look that I enjoy. I like the images they produce. They may not be all-purpose, but they are worth keeping and using. Do I also use current lenses? Yes, but that's because I like having an autofocus option.
This is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks!

I'd be very interested in a comparison between new and old on the K-5, too!
12-05-2010, 05:49 PM   #22
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I've got a LOT of old glass that I'll be taking through it's paces on the K-5 very soon:

17/4 SMC Fisheye
35/2 SMC Tak
50/1.4 SMC Tak
85/1.8 SMC Tak
300/4 SMC Tak
500/4.5 SMC Tak

I'll be happy to post when I have taken and processed some shots. Early shots from the 17 and 85mm lenses on a recent outing are extremely promising, and showing that all the advantages of the k-5 apply as much to old glass as new.

I do still have my K10 sitting around, though I'm loath to do comparison shooting...
12-05-2010, 07:08 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by d.bradley Quote
I've got a LOT of old glass that I'll be taking through it's paces on the K-5 very soon:

17/4 SMC Fisheye
35/2 SMC Tak
50/1.4 SMC Tak
85/1.8 SMC Tak
300/4 SMC Tak
500/4.5 SMC Tak

I'll be happy to post when I have taken and processed some shots. Early shots from the 17 and 85mm lenses on a recent outing are extremely promising, and showing that all the advantages of the k-5 apply as much to old glass as new.

I do still have my K10 sitting around, though I'm loath to do comparison shooting...
That's excellent news!!!
Will you be doing some head to head comparo's with the K-5 and other camera's using the same glass?

12-05-2010, 10:01 PM   #24
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I'll try and do some testing, but I must admit I'd rather be out shooting the real stuff than setting up stale comparison scenes.

I shall do my best to oblige, will report in when I have some more shots under my belt.
12-05-2010, 10:13 PM   #25
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Here is another example with my Vivitar 70-210 3.5, Honestly I am getting incredible quality out of it, I zoomed in on this one and its sharp as can be and the detail is great.

Settings:

1/250 second
ISO 100
202 mm
F-stop 3.5

Post processing: Just some contrast etc... corrections(It was fine out of camera though, just me being picky)
01-23-2011, 08:31 AM - 1 Like   #26
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so the K5 has more resolution that 35mm slide film?

if the older glass was good enough for slides that got projected up to 30 feet across, Id say they should be just dandy on a K5 sensor
01-23-2011, 08:43 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by dude163 Quote
so the K5 has more resolution that 35mm slide film?

if the older glass was good enough for slides that got projected up to 30 feet across, Id say they should be just dandy on a K5 sensor
Good Point...
01-23-2011, 08:45 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by dude163 Quote
so the K5 has more resolution that 35mm slide film?

if the older glass was good enough for slides that got projected up to 30 feet across, Id say they should be just dandy on a K5 sensor
+1. While I don't have the K5 yet, I just don't get the idea why people think old lenses that once called top-notch are no longer capable on the K5. Maybe, this is a simply a great marketing tactic from Pentax to have people to get rid of their older glasses and buy new ones
01-23-2011, 11:36 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Douglas_of_Sweden Quote
That really doesn't prove much since the M/A35/2 was not a very successfull lens solution, outclassed by both the K35/2, K35/3.5, FA35/2, DA35ltd and probably also the DA35/2.4. There are dogs in all lens generations.
Nice to read that my only M-lens is the M35/f2 dog
01-23-2011, 12:03 PM   #30
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How many megapixels worth of resolution is enough? I know the K-5 has a slightly higher resolution sensor than it's predecessors, but in a way this seems perfunctory, and vastly less important than the improved dynamic range and its high ISO performance. Was the resolution in the K-7 or K-20 era sensors inadequate for your needs? I guess I just can't wrap my head around why - if it's even true - an old lens' inability to squeeze crisp sharpness out of every last pixel of a 16.2MP sensor will matter if it will print to most conventional print sizes - and probably even pretty large ones - with almost indistinguishable clarity as an older sensor. i.e., how often are you going to make prints where those few extra pixels actually matter, anyway? Maybe by asking that question I am revealing my ignorance to the masses at PF, in which case I gladly invite an educational rebuttal, but I really am bewildered as to why concerns regarding the maximum attainable resolution of a lens' image projected onto an APS-C sensor would make anyone want to wholesale abandon a collection of otherwise fine and beloved tools with which they are very comfortable and had until this point been very happy with?

My recommendation would be to actually use the old lenses you own on the K-5 for a bit and see if their performance is so woefully inadequate that they require replacement with lenses that cost half as much or more as the camera itself did.
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