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10-09-2013, 08:39 AM   #1
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K3 and legacy lenses

One of Pentax's strength has been the ability to use a wide range of excellent lenses from the film era, but I just can't help wondering whether those days might be over with the arrival of the K3 and the 24Mp sensor. As sensor technology advances, the demand for better optical quality becomes more pressing and it might be that the older M and K lenses may not cut it with the arrival of this new camera. The problem is, are the Pentax range of digital lenses up to the best of the competition and is the choice sufficient to match the likes of Canon and Nikon? What do you think?

Apart from the above concern, I am pleased to see that Pentax is continuing to develop outstanding DSLRs that are, at the least, the equal of the two big names.

Ray

10-09-2013, 08:46 AM   #2
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I wouldn't worry about it. It's been established that the K-3 will have the same level of functionality with M and K lenses as the K-5/II/IIs (albeit in the form of the "crippled" KAF3 mount). Compatibility with past lenses is one of the things that makes Pentax great, and I don't see Ricoh changing that any time soon (though un-"crippling" the mount would be nice...). The older lenses are still quite capable of producing IQ that rivals modern lenses.
10-09-2013, 08:51 AM   #3
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I think its perfectly fine.

Put together the 18-55 and 55-300 WR and you have a "beginners option"

Put together the 16-50 and 50-135/60-250 DA*s and you have a "Semi-Pro" option.

This covers the range for most people. Add in the primes and third party options for the real pro's and the geeks (like me) and we are good to go.
10-09-2013, 09:31 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by WillWeaverRVA Quote
I wouldn't worry about it. It's been established that the K-3 will have the same level of functionality with M and K lenses as the K-5/II/IIs (albeit in the form of the "crippled" KAF3 mount). Compatibility with past lenses is one of the things that makes Pentax great, and I don't see Ricoh changing that any time soon (though un-"crippling" the mount would be nice...). The older lenses are still quite capable of producing IQ that rivals modern lenses.
+1 to that

10-09-2013, 10:08 AM   #5
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Also, since many of the older lenses are weaker at the corners, the K-3 being APS-C is a good thing.
10-09-2013, 10:30 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by elliott Quote
Also, since many of the older lenses are weaker at the corners, the K-3 being APS-C is a good thing.
I think that is overstated, and possibly just untrue. The corners are cut-off, true, but the center is magnified so you see the flaws there even more pronounced. I'm guessing most legacy lenses that are FF capable look better on FF (if you use the whole frame, more or less).
10-09-2013, 10:41 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by rayhf1485 Quote
One of Pentax's strength has been the ability to use a wide range of excellent lenses from the film era, but I just can't help wondering whether those days might be over with the arrival of the K3 and the 24Mp sensor. As sensor technology advances, the demand for better optical quality becomes more pressing and it might be that the older M and K lenses may not cut it with the arrival of this new camera. The problem is, are the Pentax range of digital lenses up to the best of the competition and is the choice sufficient to match the likes of Canon and Nikon? What do you think?
Ray
Ray you have really got it wrong! Sure some old manual lenses will not cut it but many will. For just one example, the K-series 28mm f3.5 will outresolve most any modern Pentax lens and can withstand a lot more megapixels than just 24. There are many, many more. You just have to know your lenses! Why in the world do you think Canon FF users use Pentax legacy lenses? (They go to the trouble to shave of the rear tabs to avoid the mirror colliding with the back of the lens. Why go to that level of effort if it isn't worth it.) As megapixels increase many legacy lenses will go up in value (it's happened already.) It's the only sane way to go. Will you buy the new Zeiss 55mm f1.4 for $4000.00 or settle for the Rikenon 55mm f1.4 (made by Tomioka) for $150. The Rikenon is not on the same level as the Zeiss but it's killer high rez believe me.

There are so many great legacy screw mount lenses made by Rikenon, Yashinon, Carl Zeiss, Schneider, and countless Russian lenses that will love the K-3. Let's not forget Taks. Too many brands to mention. Know your lenses!

Last edited by jeff knight; 10-09-2013 at 01:35 PM. Reason: Mistake
10-09-2013, 11:03 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeff knight Quote
Too many brands to mention. Know your lenses!
Oh please cease and desist!! You're making me long for the full Monaghan's Cult Classics pages of old, not just the static and partial archive offloaded to Fred Miranda.

10-09-2013, 11:24 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by rayhf1485 Quote
One of Pentax's strength has been the ability to use a wide range of excellent lenses from the film era, but I just can't help wondering whether those days might be over with the arrival of the K3 and the 24Mp sensor. As sensor technology advances, the demand for better optical quality becomes more pressing and it might be that the older M and K lenses may not cut it with the arrival of this new camera. The problem is, are the Pentax range of digital lenses up to the best of the competition and is the choice sufficient to match the likes of Canon and Nikon? What do you think?

Apart from the above concern, I am pleased to see that Pentax is continuing to develop outstanding DSLRs that are, at the least, the equal of the two big names.

Ray
A lot of other brand users adapt old Pentax manual lenses on their modern cameras.
Either the lenses do just fine or the users aren't that picky about the IQ.
10-09-2013, 11:48 AM   #10
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I thought I read KAF2 in the spec sheet, not KAF3?
10-09-2013, 12:07 PM   #11
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It really depends on how large you intend to print. 24MP allows you to make larger prints if your lens will resolve enough detail. It won't make old lenses any worse, but the lens may become the limiting variable in the equation. If you could make an acceptable 11x14 print with a certain lens on the K5, you'll be able to make an acceptable 11x14 with the same lens on the K3. Now will you be able to make an 18x24? Maybe, maybe not.
10-09-2013, 12:15 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by maxfield_photo Quote
It really depends on how large you intend to print. 24MP allows you to make larger prints if your lens will resolve enough detail. It won't make old lenses any worse, but the lens may become the limiting variable in the equation. If you could make an acceptable 11x14 print with a certain lens on the K5, you'll be able to make an acceptable 11x14 with the same lens on the K3. Now will you be able to make an 18x24? Maybe, maybe not.
But, people already make much larger prints using less than 16mp, so why would 18x24 be a limit any way

At some point to view a larger print you need to step back, and lens resolution will not be an issue any way unless you view a huge print from 12 inches, and at that point you need to shake your head side to side just to take it all in. Let's get real, they are making a 24MP to stay current, the 16mp of the K5 is already more than enough even for most pros and serious armatures.

I can remember a time, not so long ago, where some mags drew a limit at 10mp and above. This was only to block shooters of first generation DSLRs who were still producing excellent work but some j&(&@$$ thought 10mp for a 4 inch print in a magazine printing at 300 dpi was necessary
10-09-2013, 03:22 PM   #13
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legacy lens

You are missing the point of using older lenses. They are just plain old fun to use! If the 24mp does not hold up just dial down the quality and shoot away . Enjoy your old lens . Just grabbed my 35-105 f3.5 a few days ago and had some fun shootng a demo project at my airport . Quality is pretty good even at crop .
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10-09-2013, 03:34 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wired Quote
I thought I read KAF2 in the spec sheet, not KAF3?
Yes, it is KAF2. And I would bet the better Takumar, K, M and A lenses will resolve 100% of the sensor capability. (Disclaimer: Just my opinion, based on reading ancient PDML resolution tests for standard Pentax manual focus lenses).
10-09-2013, 04:59 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Yes, it is KAF2. And I would bet the better Takumar, K, M and A lenses will resolve 100% of the sensor capability. (Disclaimer: Just my opinion, based on reading ancient PDML resolution tests for standard Pentax manual focus lenses).
Oh I don't doubt the resolving capabilities. But it was my understanding, and I think I'm wrong, that KAF2 allowed metering without stopping down.
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