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02-15-2020, 01:03 PM   #1
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About the lenses


Though I'm not new to pentax, I'm a new guy here. I consider myself a hobby/amateur photographer. I have a K-7 I bought a while back ago. Recently I've been shooting again, understanding a whole lot more about the range of this camera.

The one thing I struggle with is to understand about the lenses. What does all the abbreviations mean and to differ the quality lenses from more low-end. Are there any articles here to enlighten me on this subject?


02-15-2020, 01:34 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Here you go: Pentax K-Mount Lenses Explained: The differences between various Pentax lens series

Here's something of a summary from that page:

Lens Name Suffixes
The following abbreviations are used in lens names:

AL: Aspheric Lens. Special lens elements that improves the optical quality. Particularly valuable in wide angle lenses.
AW: All Weather. The highest degree of sealing against dust and rain.
DC, PLM or SDM: The lens has a built-in motor for autofocus (K10D, K100D and newer cameras can take advantage of this).
ED: Extra-low Dispersion. Special glass material which helps reduce chromatic aberration. Particularly valuable in tele photo lenses.
IF: Internal focusing. Focusing is achieved by moving lens elements within the lens. The lens barrel doesn't move. IF lenses generally focus faster than ordinary lenses.
RE: Retractable lens. The lens collapses in length when not in use.
XS: Lenses with an exterior design by Mark Newson matching the Pentax K-01. Works like an ordinary DA lens.
WR: Weather Resistant. The lens is sealed against dust and light rain.

A, F, FA and D FA lenses work on all Pentax bayonet cameras ever produced. Exceptions: 1) A lenses do not work on the MZ-60/ZX-60, 2) the D FA 100mm F2.8 WR and newer D FA lenses have no aperture ring which restricts their use on some film cameras.
FA J, DA and DA L lenses only work on cameras which can control the aperture (since these lenses have no aperture ring). DA lenses should only be used on cameras with an APS-C sized sensor (16 x 24 mm) with the exception of the DA*200mm F2.8, DA*300mm F4, and DA 560mm F5.6, which can also be used on 24 x 36mm full-frame cameras.
DA lenses having the KAF4 mount only works on cameras which can control the aperture electronically (K-50, K-S1, K-3 and newer).
M and K lenses work on all cameras except the MZ/ZX-30, MZ/ZX-50 and MZ/ZX-6. They work with limitations on the *ist film camera. They work with stop-down metering on the *ist D series and K series digital SLRs provided that a custom function is set appropriately.
02-15-2020, 01:38 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Welcome! You can start by clicking on Lenses at the top of the page.

Don't worry too much about acronyms and abbreviations on the lenses. Pentax has never been big on those although this seems to have changed recently.

The top end Pentax lenses usually have a star (*) or Limited in the model name.
02-15-2020, 02:39 PM - 1 Like   #4
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Welcome to the Forums. Your questions have been answered already but I am sure that once you start looking around on the "Lenses" section you will have many more. Enjoy the learning experience here.

02-15-2020, 03:31 PM - 1 Like   #5

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Welcome to Pentax Forums.
02-15-2020, 03:40 PM   #6
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I thank all of you. I understand this a bit more now.
02-15-2020, 04:11 PM - 1 Like   #7
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Welcome to the forums,

lots of friendly members and knowledge can be found there

QuoteOriginally posted by Wasp Quote

The top end Pentax lenses usually have a star (*) or Limited in the model name.
Sub-categories: DA* (professional), DA Limited (high-end pancake) and DA L (budget kit) . . .

DA* Lenses: The DA series includes a number of "star" lenses (DA*) with top notch optical and mechanical engineering. All DA* lenses have the Quick Shift focusing system . . . and - despite not having the WR designation - are also weather sealed. . . .

Sub-category: D FA* (professional grade). . .

Three FA "Limited" lenses were made available in 2001 . . .

The FA series also includes 11 "star" lenses (FA*) that employ the finest of Pentax optical and mechanical engineering.

FA Limiteds: FA Limited Three single-focus lenses with distinctive focal lengths to deliver a truthful sense of texture and stirring visual expressions. - 31mm, 43mm and 77mm

FA Limited | PENTAX Limited Lens Special Site | RICOH IMAGING

DA Limiteds: DA Limited A lineup of compact APS-C-format lenses featuring outstanding portability and distinctive, stylish exterior designs. - 15mm, 21mm, 35mm macro, 40mm 70mm and 20-40mm in either SMC or HD lens coating

DA Limited | PENTAX Limited Lens Special Site | RICOH IMAGING

Last edited by aslyfox; 02-15-2020 at 04:22 PM.
02-15-2020, 04:18 PM - 1 Like   #8
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Someone will say xxx lens is the worst Pentax lens, someone else we say they love it. There is a lens review section that is useful, I think it was mentioned above. There are also many threads about individual lenses, and threads with photos taken with them. Plus about ever picture in the site has an exit link, or clicks to offsuite hosting with exit available. Plus if you want opinions, start a thread and ask, you will get lots of opinions,

02-15-2020, 04:30 PM - 2 Likes   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
. . . Plus if you want opinions, start a thread and ask, you will get lots of opinions,
that might be a slight understatement
02-15-2020, 06:46 PM - 1 Like   #10
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Welcome to Pentax Forums. You have received plenty of good Information but be sure to spend some time reading through the abundant discussion treads and reviews.
02-16-2020, 08:37 AM - 1 Like   #11
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