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12-18-2007, 03:15 PM   #1
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Will these problems be fixed on the new models?

Hello again

I have, as usual, a very specific question:

No pentax DSLR can sense the aperture of older lenses (-K and -M series), due to that they don't have the mechanical parts to do so, they only have electronic sensors for this if I have understood this correctly.

Does anyone have a clue if this will change with the new models? (Sure doesn't make the headlines in threads like "what do you think will be the features of the new pentax KwhateverD")

Not making -K and -M lenses fully compatible from the first digital models I would call a clumsy mistake by pentax. It can't be that expensive to build in? Or is it? Did this work properly with the latest film SLRs by pentax by the way? Or is it purely a digital phenomenon?

Any thoughts on the metering problem that the K10D suffers? Again with -K and -M lenses? Will this (by my viewpoint) HUGE error be fixed on the new models?

Cheers

12-18-2007, 03:43 PM   #2
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Not making the bodies fully compatible with -K and -M lenses cannot be called a clumsy mistake on Pentax's part. It was a deliberate design compromise. The lenses are still somewhat usable, but the way they are supported encourages the acquisition of new lenses.

FWIW, I don't believe the mechanical aperture coupling is ever coming back. We are lucky to be able to use old lenses on our new digital bodies, but surely Pentax wants us to buy new lenses (especially as the lens lineup gets fleshed out). Pentax cameras still have the best backwards compatibility of all DSLRs.

As for the stop-down metering problem, let's hope it is fixed. The source of the problem is known, after all (the focusing screen).
12-18-2007, 03:44 PM   #3
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Isn't it clear by now that this mechanism will never be bought back, ever.
12-18-2007, 04:22 PM   #4
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You are fortunate that you can even get to use the K & M series legacy lenses, which are more than 25 years old!

Any camera company naturally wants to move their product to the consumer, be it bodies or lenses. Their resources will naturally be focused on current products rather than support for older and discontinued equipment. Time to move on with the times...

12-18-2007, 06:28 PM   #5
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Some of very last film cameras- the MZ/ZX 50, MZ/ZX 60, and *ist, I believe- lacked the aperture feeler.
12-19-2007, 12:20 AM   #6
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MZ-30 as well and BTW the MZ60 couldn't even use A lenses so be happy

Frankly, except maybe in a top of the range, Pro Body, the aperture simulator is dead, period. IMO it would be wise to enable it in a Pro body, depending on price of course but nothing can be said for now.
12-19-2007, 01:10 AM   #7
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I understand that pentax wants us to buy new lenses but I don't think most people would use older lenses even if it was fully compatible. The people I have spoken to all look at me strange when I pull out some old metal bar, the interest for older lenses just isn't there. Therefore I'd say it's quite safe for pentax to fix this problem and still sell just as many new lenses, making me and a few other persons go "YAY!!! now I can use my old lenses again".

Bottom line, very few would end up NOT buying a modern AF lens anyway.

Would you stop using and buying modern zooms/primes if this was fixed? So why not just let the individual photographer decide what lenses to use and not force them to use newer lenses?
12-19-2007, 01:28 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jimfear Quote
Would you stop using and buying modern zooms/primes if this was fixed? So why not just let the individual photographer decide what lenses to use and not force them to use newer lenses?
But let's say you are the boss of Hoya/Pentax, and you know that you need to add, say $50, manufacturing cost to each and every camera you sell for this extra feature (labor cost for mechanical feature is expensive, especially this assembly process is not shared by any other camera models). And you know that this extra cost would not bring in any new customers or new sales - would you do it?

If I were the boss, the decision is very simple really.
No.
Not worth it at all.

And in this age of cut throat pricing and dropping profit margin, even if the extra cost is $10 per camera, it is still not worth it.

12-19-2007, 05:19 AM   #9
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Pentax DSLR's are fully compatible with lenses that dates back to 1982 (the A serie was introduced then). That is more than most other camera makers can claim! Even multisegment metering, P-TTL flash and the full auto exposure modes works.

Pentax DSLR's are fully compatible with 25 year old lenses, this is quite fantastic.
No, I don't think Pentax will stretch this compatibility to lenses that are 30 years or more.
12-19-2007, 05:49 AM   #10
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As the boss of Hoya/Pentax I would probably not do anything about it either, or maybe I would, it's more a goodwill thing and happy customers equal more customers (I think... oh I hate economic thinking). I also think of this as a sort of scam and sales trick "best backward compatibility" and all, not that I'm not very happy for knowing I CAN use older lenses on new bodies. Anyway I would be glad to pay the extra $10, $20 or even $50 that would be added to the final price. In a top of the line camera at a price of probably $2000-4000 that isn't very much.

So what we have concluded now is that we will probably never see the mechanical senor again. But how many would like to have it? I'm interested to know what the support would be.

Can I make a Poll about this or is it just administrators that can make polls?
12-19-2007, 06:09 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by RMabo Quote
Pentax DSLR's are fully compatible with lenses that dates back to 1982 (the A serie was introduced then). That is more than most other camera makers can claim! Even multisegment metering, P-TTL flash and the full auto exposure modes works.

Pentax DSLR's are fully compatible with 25 year old lenses, this is quite fantastic.
No, I don't think Pentax will stretch this compatibility to lenses that are 30 years or more.
Yes indeed, but why not every K lens made? Are M42 lenses fully compatible by the way? I don't care much for flash this and multisegment metering that (no disrespect Raphael), simple spot or center weighed metering would do just fine. Having to push a button to check the exposure, not being able to compose and take a light value at the same time, impractical. It's almost the same as not being able to use them at all, if you understand what I mean?
12-19-2007, 07:41 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jimfear Quote
Yes indeed, but why not every K lens made? Are M42 lenses fully compatible by the way? I don't care much for flash this and multisegment metering that (no disrespect Raphael), simple spot or center weighed metering would do just fine. Having to push a button to check the exposure, not being able to compose and take a light value at the same time, impractical. It's almost the same as not being able to use them at all, if you understand what I mean?
Seriously, you should be asking this question 25 years ago. If you know the rationale why Pentax introduced the A series lenses back when the Pentax Super A (aka Super Program) and Pentax Program A (aka Program Plus) SLR cameras were introduced, you will have figured out why use of M42, K and M series lenses requires the pressing of the AE-L button to determine a stop down meter reading on the current DSLR cameras.

Basically, A series lenses allows fully-programmed exposure control (aperture & shutter speed controlled by the camera). To do this, the lenses have the A- setting on the aperture ring to enable control of the lens aperture by the camera body. The M42, K and M series lenses could never allow such auto exposure or automation, so if you really understand this, it would be very obvious that what you're asking can't be done.

If you compare Nikon for example, you can mount an AIS manual lens on a D70/D50/D80/D40 but there is no exposure readout. Only the more expensive D200 allows that. As for Canon, they completely abandoned their breech-lock FD lenses when they went AF. So count your blessings the Pentax legacy lenses can be used and you can get an exposure reading, albeit in M mode.
12-19-2007, 07:53 AM   #13
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Creampuff- Jimfear is talking about being able to have open-aperture metering, NOT P or S mode. I owned a Super program- and I had no problem with aperture priority or manual modes, with full metering capabilities.
12-19-2007, 08:37 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by JMS Quote
Creampuff- Jimfear is talking about being able to have open-aperture metering, NOT P or S mode. I owned a Super program- and I had no problem with aperture priority or manual modes, with full metering capabilities.
Please read the Wiki entry under KA mount
Pentax K mount - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Open aperture metering? If my memory serves me, that was available from the ES Spotmatic cameras onwards...

Of course your Super Program will work in Av or M mode. But how the Super Program operated is a little different from preceding cameras that merely offered aperture priority. With the A-setting the aperture could be set by the camera body steplessly within the lens aperture range. This has a bearing on all auto exposure modes, even Av and relevant to today's DSLRs.

Last edited by creampuff; 12-19-2007 at 10:12 AM.
12-19-2007, 09:38 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
Of course your Super Program will work in Av or M mode. But how the Super Program operated in Av mode is a little different from preceding cameras that offered aperture priority. With the A-setting the aperture could be set by the camera body steplessly within the lens aperture range. This has a bearing on all auto exposure modes, even Av and relevant to today's DSLRs.
Wrong. The Super Program had no mode dial like today's cameras. On the camera body, you switched between manually selecting the shutter speed, and on the lens, you selected "A" or the desired f-stop. In Av mode, it used the aperture readout from the lens tab. Replacing the tab reader would replace this function. However, and I might be wrong on this point, the SDM/PZ contacts prevent the tab reader from being placed there.
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