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05-02-2016, 02:43 PM   #1
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SMC Pentax-D FA 645 55mm F2.8 AL [IF] SDM AW on 645 Film Bodies

Hi,

I have a 645N II lying around and I want to buy this lens to use with that body. I wonder did any of you here do the same thing?

I read somewhere that the lens will only manual focus only and I will only be able to use P and Tv modes. This is not a real issue for me cause I only use this lens for landscape so a slower approach is actually very welcome. What I am curious is the IQ especially on film. Any comments/photos would be very appreciated.

Thank you!!

05-02-2016, 03:35 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by fleetwoodjazz Quote
Hi,

I have a 645N II lying around and I want to buy this lens to use with that body. I wonder did any of you here do the same thing?

I read somewhere that the lens will only manual focus only and I will only be able to use P and Tv modes. This is not a real issue for me cause I only use this lens for landscape so a slower approach is actually very welcome. What I am curious is the IQ especially on film. Any comments/photos would be very appreciated.

Thank you!!
I am fairly certain that your 645N II has auto focus capabilities and so does the lens you mention. It is a newer design, is auto focus, and has an aperture ring. I shoot the older 645 that is manual focus only and it works fine with the 45-85mm D-FA lens, manual focus of course.
05-02-2016, 04:33 PM   #3
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Hi,

I read this in the Review section and I assumed that the 645n II won't auto focus with this newer lens? It also doesn't look to have an aperture ring so it's not clear to me if I can do other modes rather than P and Tv.

I actually do plan to move to digital one day so I prefer newer lenses. For the moment, I will carry on using films until it gets too expensive. I remember that this lens is optimized for digital, not sure if it means any issues on film (especially corners).

Thanks!
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05-02-2016, 04:34 PM   #4
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Here it is:

The lens covers the full 645 format and can thus be used on 645 film cameras as well as on 645 digital cameras.

The lens has a built-in motor (SDM) for the autofocus function. On a 645 film camera the lens can be used in manual focus mode only, and only in P and Tv exposure modes due to the lack of an aperture ring.



Read more at: SMC Pentax-D FA 645 55mm F2.8 AL [IF] SDM AW Reviews - 645 Wide-Angle Primes - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

05-02-2016, 05:37 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by fleetwoodjazz Quote
I read this in the Review section and I assumed that the 645n II won't auto focus with this newer lens? It also doesn't look to have an aperture ring so it's not clear to me if I can do other modes rather than P and Tv.
The info in the review database is correct. The older film cameras aren't able to control SDM focusing motors. The same goes for K-mount lenses.

Since there's no aperture ring, the camera will assume the lens is set to the "A" setting at all times. There's no way for you to input a custom aperture value since 645 film bodies have no on-camera aperture dials.

The new HD D FA 35mm, on the other hand, would support AF and all shooting modes on the 645 N II- that's because it has an aperture ring and relies on screwdrive autofocus, rather than an in-lens motor.

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05-02-2016, 06:34 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
The info in the review database is correct. The older film cameras aren't able to control SDM focusing motors. The same goes for K-mount lenses.

Since there's no aperture ring, the camera will assume the lens is set to the "A" setting at all times. There's no way for you to input a custom aperture value since 645 film bodies have no on-camera aperture dials.

The new HD D FA 35mm, on the other hand, would support AF and all shooting modes on the 645 N II- that's because it has an aperture ring and relies on screwdrive autofocus, rather than an in-lens motor.
Hi Adam,

Thank you for clarifying. In that case, I assume that since there is no way to control the aperture, the most manual mode I can do is Tv. Hence, to get the aperture that I like, I simply change the shutter speed until the camera meter indicates the aperture that I target? It's kind of annoying since using a handheld meter is useless as the camera only follows its built in meter.

I actually stop at 55mm rather than going wider. I dont find slr a useful tool for wider than 35mm (35mm equivalent) since distorsion and vignetting (when using filter) become rather problematic for the kind of photography that I do. I'm sure that many users are happy with the HD D FA 35mm lens though.

Thanks
05-02-2016, 06:37 PM   #7
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Why not just buy a used A 55mm f2.8? Under 200 bucks from KEH with a 6 month warranty https://www.keh.com/shop/pentax-55mm-f-2-8-smc-a-lens-for-pentax-645-system-58.html
05-02-2016, 06:57 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by fleetwoodjazz Quote
Thank you for clarifying. In that case, I assume that since there is no way to control the aperture, the most manual mode I can do is Tv. Hence, to get the aperture that I like, I simply change the shutter speed until the camera meter indicates the aperture that I target? It's kind of annoying since using a handheld meter is useless as the camera only follows its built in meter.
That's correct. But you should be able to control the exposure fairly well, since you can always dial in an exposure compensation, and the camera should let you pick a shutter speed that will result in underexposure.

Alternatively, used 645D's are starting to become fairly cheap if you want full control


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05-03-2016, 05:28 PM   #9
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Hi,

Thank you all for your replies. I think I can live with the limitations provided the IQ is really great.

I come from mamiya 67 background so really automation is not what I need or want. The cost of a digital 645 is not an issue either, but film will stay with me for as long as I can still afford it.

I think I will go ahead buying the new 55mm since it looks like IQ is much improved compared to the old version and just in case I have to switch to digital later, it will still serve me just fine.

Thanks!!
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