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12-04-2017, 04:51 PM   #1
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Camera hobbiest wanna be

Hi, I was thinking about buying a camera. I used to be into it on a small scale. I have a old Pentax ZX-50. Did fine for what I wanted for years ago. Now a days I use my cell phone to take pictures. It takes pretty good ones. I was digging around and found my old camera. Even have some rolls of film. This got me to thinking. Can the lenses and flash work on a digital camera? All the camera shops I used to know are gone so I thought I could ask here. Can these lenses and flash be used on a digital camera? If so, which ones and what would be the better one for a low key hobbyist? Not looking for crazy expensive or complex. Thanks, Greg

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12-04-2017, 05:00 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum Greg.

To answer your queries: Yes, your lenses will work on any Pentax k-mount digital camera without adapters and on some other digital cameras with adapters.

The flash is a bit more difficult to give a good answer: Many older flashes have a high trigger voltage that can fry the circuits in a new digital camera. I don't know if your flash would be one with a high trigger voltage, but I would not risk it. That's not to say you can't use the flash remotely using radio triggers - just not on the camera body hotshoe. Someone other members may know if that flash is safe on camera or not.
12-04-2017, 05:04 PM   #3
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The lenses, most certainly. I have a copy of the 35-80mm that I use on both my k-50 and my k-3II. I used to own a copy of the FA 80-320mm. Pentax can use any of its previous series lenses (adapters are available for m42 and older lenses, as well as 645 and 6x7). I don't know about the flash though.
12-04-2017, 05:10 PM   #4
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You came to the right place, Greg. You will find answers to your questions all around you here on the forum as well as lots of friendly advice and information.
Also, if you so choose, you can find members selling used cameras and lenses if you want to start your digital photography with a small budget or jump in with some new equipment.
Welcome to the forum!

12-04-2017, 05:45 PM - 1 Like   #5
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Welcome, Greg

Your lenses will work just fine on modern Pentax DSLR cameras. You need to bear in mind, though, that most of those cameras have an APS-C size sensor, which is smaller than 35mm film. As a result, they will crop the image from the lens, compared to your old 35mm film camera. The K-1 is what's often referred to as a "full frame" camera, meaning the sensor size is the same as 35mm film, so on that camera the lenses will work in exactly the same way as your ZX-50.

Plenty of enthusiasts (me included) use older lenses like these on modern APS-C and full-frame cameras, with great results
12-04-2017, 05:49 PM   #6
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Thanks. I am excited the lenses are able to be used again. So what direction would be good for me as far as a compatible Pentax body? Or which for should I go to to ask that question?


I was looking at a Pentax Kx DSLR W a small linse that is in really really good condition. Does the "K" mean that this camera is a K-mount camera? What type of price is fair for one of these?


Thanks
12-04-2017, 06:29 PM   #7
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Check out this page to compare various models. Pentax KP vs. Pentax K-70 vs. Pentax K-1 - Pentax Camera Comparison - PentaxForums.com
All Pentax DSLRs with "K" in the model name are k-mount, yes. Kx is quite an old model. You would do better with something a bit newer like a K-5 or a K-3.

See price trend here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/camerareviews/pentax-k-x.html
12-04-2017, 06:51 PM   #8
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Lots of good info here. I will have to do some more reading. That K-1 is pretty pricey. I am sure it is worth it. How much does the picture get cropped if it isn't a full frame camera? Is it worth using the older lenses?

12-04-2017, 07:21 PM   #9
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Welcome

Check out the reviews of the Pentax dslr camera bodies under " cameras " above

Then look at the various pentax cameras being offered for sale in the market place if you are interested in used equipment

Adorama and B&H support the forums and are sources for new

Since you live in the US, there are companies from which you could rent Pentax equipment from should you wish to try something out before buying

Borrowlenses.come

Lensrental.com

I have used Lensrental.com in the past

Last edited by aslyfox; 12-04-2017 at 07:28 PM.
12-04-2017, 11:02 PM   #10
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Hi from Australia, and welcome to the Pentax forums. Good to have you aboard.
12-04-2017, 11:04 PM   #11
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Try this site for more info on the flash: Photo Strobe Trigger Voltages
Pentax is pretty tolerant compared to most brands but I'd keep it in the single digits myself.

As for the lenses - yes they work. On all but the K-1 or a film camera they will appear to be longer telephoto lenses than you are used to. This isn't because they are magically longer but by cropping only the central portion of the frame using a smaller sensor the perspective is different and you see less widely with them. Do not be fooled any lens of the same focal length will do the same. So an APSC 35-80 and a full frame 35-80 look the same on the APSC camera - both being narrower in view than on the older 35mm film they were designed for. For simplicity (not accuracy) you can mentally think of these lenses as about 1.5x longer than you are used to. Again they haven't changed focal length but that will help you get an idea of how they will perform. Additionally the smaller sensor yields more depth of field so you will need very fast lenses if you want thin depth of field.

Your 35-80 is roughly speaking a normal to short telephoto, your 70-200 is roughly speaking a short tele to moderate tele. You will want to eventually find a much wider lens if you like wide angle - 18-55 lenses serve the same function that 28-80 lenses served on film. The 35-80 you have would need to be replaced with a 24-50 or so to get similar coverage. Personally I would use what you have before springing for anything new unless you get a deal including some lenses.

As for bodies - I like the 16mp series of cameras - Sony's 16mp sensor was pretty remarkable. The K30, K500, and K50 are older intermediate or beginner bodies that might fit your needs. The K-5, K-5ii, K-5iis are pro bodies that use the same sensor. Of all of these only the K50 can be used with the latest lens technology but that technology is only found in 1 or 2 lenses and is not likely to spread like wildfire - so you have plenty of other lenses to use. The K-5iis is probably the most desired and either K-5ii and the K-50 have the best AF of the bunch.

What's your budget? Perhaps we can help you select the best features and tell you the tradeoffs.
12-05-2017, 06:22 AM   #12
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Lots of advice already given so Iíll just say welcome to the forum.
12-05-2017, 07:22 AM   #13
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Those are F and FA-series autofocus lenses, so for a Pentax DSLR just park the aperture ring in A and leave it there; control the aperture through the camera full-time. Effortless.

However, if you want to do macro with film-era extension tubes, or just have a play around in full manual for curiosity's sake, those aperture rings will come in handy. And then you need this guide.

Regardless of the field of view a digital camera offers you vs. film, I would use what I had at first (and it covers quite a wide range), and then think about where it wasn't meeting my needs before I rushed out and bought anything else. Uncle Vanya is right about one thing - if you go Pentax digital you will probably eventually want a wide-angle APS-C lens (unless you buy the very expensive K-1, but you already said you didn't want fancy or pricey). You could invest in (say) the 16-85 zoom, which would match up nicely against the wide end of your 80-320.


Be aware that if you get the film camera out of mothballs and fire it up, the newer digital-era DA lenses will work with it mechanically and electronically, but almost all of the zooms and many of the wide primes will not cover the entire film frame.

I don't own the Kx but I do have a much older *istDS, and that can still do some fantastic work; I see no issue per se in buying older cameras if money is tight. Depending on your budget, though, you might want to go for something newer and much more modern, and much good advice has already been given here. Once you get to the K-5 and the cameras derived from it, however, there is a HUGE leap in capability.

Bear in mind if considering a K-50, that it has a well-known failure mode in the aperture control element, so you may be taking a chance there. I have a K-5, bought new when it was still the best Pentax had, and it still remains a great camera. The -ii and -iis are better, but they weren't enough better for me to buy a whole new camera for the smaller improvements when I'd only just coughed up for the original.

If you get a K-5iis in good shape, you may never need to buy another digital camera again as long as it lives.
12-05-2017, 07:24 AM   #14
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Well, I was thinking I would go somewhere around $300 - $500 max for a used very good condition user friendly but yet more opportunity to learn on camera body. I would like durable, weather/water resistant as i am a outdoors person. Compact and point and shot capable along with manual options. It would be something that would get used everyday. I don't want new unless it would be some killer deal.

The K-5 models looks interesting. I would be interested in a K-5IIs model. I read about it. It seems to be along the lines of my interests. I will browse around for prices. What would be a good price just so I know. What are things I should watch out for or pay attention too?

Thanks again. Some really good info here from you folks.
12-05-2017, 07:45 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by heep70 Quote
Well, I was thinking I would go somewhere around $300 - $500 max for a used very good condition user friendly but yet more opportunity to learn on camera body. I would like durable, weather/water resistant as i am a outdoors person. Compact and point and shot capable along with manual options. It would be something that would get used everyday. I don't want new unless it would be some killer deal.

The K-5 models looks interesting. I would be interested in a K-5IIs model. I read about it. It seems to be along the lines of my interests. I will browse around for prices. What would be a good price just so I know. What are things I should watch out for or pay attention too?

Thanks again. Some really good info here from you folks.
to help you out as you were told earlier by MarkJerling, there is a nice tool under " Cameras " above where you can compare side by side various Pentax K camera bodies

here it is set up for the camera bodies mentioned by Uncle Vanya

K 5 II s, the K 5 and the K 5 II

Pentax K-5 IIs vs. Pentax K-5 vs. Pentax K-5 II - Pentax Camera Comparison - PentaxForums.com

it includes links to the " in depth review " of each

here is a link to the "user reviews " of each camera body

Pentax K-5 IIs - Pentax K-mount DSLRs - Pentax Camera Reviews and Specifications

Pentax K-5 II - Pentax K-mount DSLRs - Pentax Camera Reviews and Specifications

Pentax K-5 - Pentax K-mount DSLRs - Pentax Camera Reviews and Specifications

since these are all out of production, you may get lucky and find some " Old new stock " never sold, or an " experienced " model for sale

I would check the Market Place here, B & H, Adorama or KEH.com or other " sources "

perhaps I have been lucky but I have never had a bad experience with my limited purchases from forum members via the Market Place

best/good price - that is in the " eye of the beholder "

what to look for - condition of course, battery grip and shutter count IMHO, YMMV

I had a K 5 II + Pentax battery grip bought new/old stock in October 2015 and loved it but recently sold it ( about 8,000 shutter activations ) when I took the opportunity to buy from B & H a K 3 II + Pentax battery grip for $7.00 over the price of the K 3 II alone.
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