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08-15-2011, 12:42 PM   #1
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35mm New member wishing to upgrade to digital

Hi my old MV and super A have laid dormant in the drawer since I aquired a cheap compact digital. I have now outgrown that and want to get use out of my old lenses.
I understand that all K M KA FA should work on most DSLR Pentax cameras. I presume some features will be sacrificed?
I would like to use my 35-70 with macro lens which is Autofocus as well as my other A series lenses.
Which camera body should I go for to use all the features of the mentioned lenses. Previously I preferred to use Programmed AE on my super A and use a Pentax AF280T TTL flash. I am aiming at the budget end of the market or even second user.

08-15-2011, 01:01 PM   #2
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With a few exceptions, all of your lenses will work fine with pentax dslr's including auto focus and auto aperture. One exception would be ricoh lenses. If they have a ricoh pin you must remove the mount and remove the ricoh pin or they will get stuck in the auto focus drive jamming the lens on the camera. There are some old lenses that had a very large shield going half way around the lens for the aperture lever. You have to cut that shield back for them to fit. I am probably up to about 30-40 lenses (been buying on ebay and have lost count, got 2 today). I only have 1 designed for digital lens (the kit lens) and the rest are old film lenses. All the rest (maybe 10 are auto focus) are old film lenses, some very old including tx and m42 mount (m42 requires a cheap adapter). They all work fine (had to remove the ricoh pin on 1). There are probably other limite here and there (the power zoom models will not have advanced power zoom function but still work fine).
As far as best body, I use an ist-ds so I can not tell you which is the best (but any should use old lenses fine).
In most cases, no features will be sacrificed. I'm sure others with more info on newer bodies can give more info.

one other limitation. Some older lenses that work fine with film don't have the resolution and contrast for high megapixel digital and will not perform like new lenses. Many will be fine. My ist-ds is 6MP and I tested and could not find 1 lens that did not exceed the resolution of my camera, but as I understand it can be a problem with higher MP cameras. There are other issues like flair with really old lenses that didn't have as good of coatings but that would have been an issue using those lenses with film too.

Last edited by ripit; 08-15-2011 at 01:10 PM.
08-15-2011, 01:41 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum, can you fix cameras as well as clocks?

As already said, most of your lenses will be fine with Pentax DSLR's, have a look at the lens review section on this site, as that will give you the heads up on what's what.

Most Pentax bodies could be good for our needs, have a look at second hand K10D or K20D's, again check out the camera section on this site to find something suitable for you at the right price.

Last edited by Kerrowdown; 08-15-2011 at 02:50 PM.
08-15-2011, 03:07 PM   #4
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Yes, your lenses will do fine. As for bodies: Many love the K10D sensor's renderings... at ISO-100, but faster is much noisier. The K20D is superb (that's my baby!) and semi-pro. For about the same cost, you may find a much faster Kx, small and agile and GREAT at high ISO. Take a look at the dSLR reviews here: All Pentax Cameras - Pentax Camera Reviews

Good luck!

08-15-2011, 03:10 PM   #5
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Original Poster
Yes, cameras too! just managed to breath life back into my old pentax super A with mirror lock up, but no luck so far with a similar problem on my MV, but time will tell. No mention of compatability with my old flash AF280T with digital.
08-15-2011, 04:17 PM   #6
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Use EXTREME CAUTION with flashes. Googleing that model flash someone said the trigger voltage was about 10v but I would double and triple check. Some older flashes can use several hundred volts trigger voltage. New digital flashes use about 5v. I have heard different stories about how much a pentax can take (unconfirmed stories that pentax engineers claim 300v is safe) but officially its only 12v or some low number like that. It wont work anyway. The ist series was the last ones that could use a ttl flash. Anything newer can only use a p-ttl flash. While an ist is an option if you can find one, I think I would much rather get a newer model with things like in camera image stabilization and better high iso performance.

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