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05-23-2014, 05:28 PM   #1
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Rediscovering the joys of photography

Hi everybody! I'm a 68-year old retiree with a failing Pentax K1000 SLR from the "film era" (!!) and four snap-on lenses. I'm afraid the camera body is toast (light leak, among other things), but the lenses are in excellent shape. I'm hoping someone can point me in the direction of a good, basic Pentax DSLR camera that will accept those lenses (SMC Pentax-M 50mm, Vivitar 28mm wide-angle, Tokina SZ-X 35-70mm, and Vivitar 70-150mm close focusing auto zoom) without costing me half my pension!! Otherwise, it's back to eBay for another K1000. As much as I've enjoyed that old Pentax from my college days, I think I'm ready for digital at this point...

05-23-2014, 05:39 PM   #2
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Welcome Andy! Your lenses will definitely work with modern pentax dslrs. You can get a K50 or K500 (with a 18-55 costs $400) if you are budget conscious. This is a great place to rekindle your interests.
05-23-2014, 07:05 PM   #3
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I use plenty of manual lenses with my K-50, and while a few of them require a few nudges to work properly, the results are every bit as good as what I get with my newer lenses. I have the F/1.7 version of your 50mm -- one of my absolute favorites. I also have a close focusing Vivitar 70-150 (may be the same model as yours) and that's a lens that required a little fiddling to get to work (had to remove the rear element cover because the flange that protects the aperture lever was too wide to mount properly to the camera), but once I removed that rear cover -- worked just fine, with great results. Before you go out and buy a brand new camera body -- be sure to look in the Marketplace on the forum. I see lots of fair prices on used bodies (wish I had come here before I bought my I've seen a number of K-5/II models for less than what I paid new for the K-50) and honest descriptions on used lenses. I've picked up a couple of nice lenses for a lot less than new, and both experiences have been excellent.

Last edited by esrandall; 05-23-2014 at 08:22 PM.
05-24-2014, 12:36 AM   #4
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Welcome to the forum I can't wait to hear about your experiences

05-24-2014, 02:23 AM   #5
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Welcome Andy.

QuoteOriginally posted by AndyPanda45 Quote
I'm hoping someone can point me in the direction of a good, basic Pentax DSLR camera that will accept those lenses (SMC Pentax-M 50mm, Vivitar 28mm wide-angle, Tokina SZ-X 35-70mm, and Vivitar 70-150mm close focusing auto zoom) without costing me half my pension!!
One of the great things about Pentax is that they have stuck with the K-mount since the mid-1970s. I used to have a Canon SLR with FD mount lenses. When Canon turned its back on that mount tens of thousands of FD lenses more or less became paperweights.

All of your lenses will work with any Pentax DSLR with an APS-C sensor. They will also work on the mirrorless K-01 (which also uses an APS-C sensor).

With an adapter, K mount lens can also be used with the mirrorless Pentax Q cameras (smaller sensor) and with the medium format 645 cameras (larger sensor) but unless you have a special reason to do so, don't worry about them.

All the Pentax DSLR cameras allow manual exposure readings for manual aperture lenses like the Pentax M series. Pentax APS-C cameras from the K10D and K200 onwards have a dedicated button (the green button) that makes this easier. (Instructions on using the green button are here: ) For that reason alone I would suggest you look at one of those models.

For a list of Pentax DSLR models and a summary of their features, see here:
All Pentax DSLRs from the K100 onwards have image stabilization in the camera. That means you can use a slower shutter speed without incurring blur than would otherwise be the case.

Have a look in the marketplace on this site or sites like KEH or Adorama and you will find out the rough prices of each model on the secondhand market.

I'd say first work out which features and specs matter the most to you. For example, the sensor pixel count ranges from 6 megapixels for the *ist and K100 to 24 megapixels for the K-3. Cameras from about the K-20 (?) onwards can take videos as well as still photos. Recent models let you take pictures in jpg and RAW format at the same time. And so on.

Once you have worked out your minimum requirements, look for the most recent camera with those specs and features that you can afford. Each model generally added more features than the one it replaced.

If you have a particular budget in mind, ask here and you will get lots of suggestions!

My comment is that recently superceded models are generally excellent value. For example the price of the K-5IIs and K-30 has dropped since they were replaced by the K-3 and K-50 respectively. But even if you only want to spend less than say $150 or $200, you can still get a very good camera.

When I switched to digital in 2007 after 25 years of film cameras, there was a bit of a learning curve. But mainly I was astonished at what the digital camera could do.

Last edited by Des; 05-25-2014 at 03:30 AM.
05-24-2014, 07:28 PM   #6
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I too came from a K-1000

Pentax K-3, K-5, K-30, K-50 etc. cameras work fine with old K mount lenses. I too came from a K-1000 and bought a K-30 (before the K-50 came out).
Took this with an smc Pentax-M 1:2 50mm (Asahi Optical Co.).

You do have to select the focal length manually and enable the aperture ring. Then you only have to remember how to take pictures with manual settings (it was about 15 years since I used the K-1000 on a regular basis)

Last edited by kiberkli; 03-30-2016 at 08:40 PM.
05-25-2014, 02:32 AM   #7
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Welcome to the forum and to many other like minded souls, enjoy your time here.
05-25-2014, 02:35 AM   #8
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Bonjour from France and welcome to PF, Andy ... hope to see some images soon ... Salut, J


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