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Pentax Lenses Explained
Posted By: MrApollinax, 06-24-2009, 09:34 AM

This is the companion page for the mosphotos.com compatibility matrix. This page explains the differences between the Pentax Lens lines:

Pentax Lenses Explained (LINK)
  1. Pentax SMC
    • The first generation of manual focus lenses
    • Manual aperture
  2. Pentax-M
    • The second generation of manual focus lenses (generally smaller than K lenses)
    • Manual aperture
  3. Pentax-A
    • The third generation of manual focus lenses
    • Automatic aperture setting is available
  4. Pentax-F
    • First generation autofocus lenses
    • Automatic aperture setting is available
    • One zoom lens features the power zoom function*
  5. Pentax-FA
    • The second generation of autofocus lenses
    • Automatic aperture setting is available*
    • Certain zoom lenses feature the power zoom function**
  6. Pentax-FAJ
    • A small series of 3 autofocus zooom lenses
    • Automatic aperture setting is available, but there is no aperture ring
  7. Pentax-DFA
    • The current generation of autofocus lenses (for Film & Digital SLRs)
    • Automatic aperture setting is available, and there may be an aperture ring
  8. Pentax-DA
    • The current generation of autofocus lenses (only for APS-C Digital SLRs)
    • Automatic aperture setting is available, but there is no aperture ring

The above list is only a summary of what is on the page linked. The actual page has MUCH more details and remarks on the different lens types.
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07-03-2009, 09:02 PM   #2
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If the categorization is based on functionality (e.g., AE, AF and zoom modes) it seems strange to segregate the "non-SMC" lenses from the first generation manual focus class based on coatings or lack thereof.

This seems to add to the confusion of which older lenses work on which bodies. Especially so in the link.

H2
07-03-2009, 09:38 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by pacerr Quote
If the categorization is based on functionality (e.g., AE, AF and zoom modes) it seems strange to segregate the "non-SMC" lenses from the first generation manual focus class based on coatings or lack thereof.

This seems to add to the confusion of which older lenses work on which bodies. Especially so in the link.

H2
The categorization is based on the series, as defined and released by Pentax. Note that these are all K-Mount lens series' - the M42 (screwmount) lenses that preceeded the SMC Pentax (K) lenses are not included.

Doesn't seem at all confusing to me.
07-05-2009, 09:08 AM   #4
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Beggin' your pardon - I didn't see any text reference on either page that delimited the data to K-mount lenses even if it was implied by the exclusion of M42-mount lenses.

Assuming that this data was intended as a useful reference for newcomers as well as grey beards, I still believe at least a footnote to that effect would be in keeping with the apparent intent of the article. (Links to sites with similar info on lens catagories would also enhance the usefulness of this article.)

Within that context and used as a reference source, the statement "The first generation of manual focus lenses" certainly encompasses many M42-mount SMC and non-SMC class lenses.

There are many basic questions asked in the general forums that would benefit from being referred to a Wiki-like standard resource and it would help if that standard was as explicit as possible.

H2

07-05-2009, 09:18 AM   #5
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Hmmmm.... didn't realize that there was confusion on this point.

Pentax SMC = "Pentax K" series. SMC is what Pentax named the series of lenses and was the first generation of Manual K-bayonet style lenses. This was pointed out in detail in the page linked under the Pentax-M remarks. Also the page linked has this at the bottom of the page:

QuoteQuote:
Conclusion:

A, F, FA and D FA lenses work on all Pentax bayonet cameras ever produced (exception: A lenses do not work on the MZ-60/ZX-60).

FA J and DA lenses work on cameras which have Tv and Program auto-exposure mode. Av mode and manual exposure is supported on some of these camera bodies. DA should only be used on digital cameras with an APS C sized sensor (16 x 24 mm).

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.
I had thought that most of this stuff was pretty clear. I used it when I was a beginner and I found it consise and easy to follow.
09-16-2009, 08:28 PM   #6
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The Pentax Lenses Explained page has just been updated with the new (yet vastly unchanged) DA-L series, as well as with other technologies such as SDM.

Pentax Lenses Explained

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04-07-2010, 11:54 PM   #7
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Thank you for a very informative guide, Adam and to the OP, MrApollinax.
07-04-2010, 02:34 PM   #8
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wonderful guide...

... to a rather confusing system for newbies.

My favorite part:
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.

I'm sure I'm not the only recent purchaser of a K7 who mistakenly thought we'd need WR lenses for weather sealing. That's wonderful.

But I notice that the section on FA Star lenses doesn't mention weather sealing -- so the star means different things with different letters, eh?

07-04-2010, 02:49 PM   #9
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From my understanding that is correct. Keep in mind that the F and FA lenses were all created for film cameras prior to Pentax marketing full weather sealing as a stock option in their digital bodies.
01-17-2016, 08:34 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
The Pentax Lenses Explained page has just been updated with the new (yet vastly unchanged) DA-L series, as well as with other technologies such as SDM.

Pentax Lenses Explained
This site might need some slight update: not all DA lenses have Quickshift. For example the DA18-250mm and DA18-270mm do not support Quickshift.

My 5 cents.
01-21-2016, 08:42 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by hcc Quote
This site might need some slight update: not all DA lenses have Quickshift. For example the DA18-250mm and DA18-270mm do not support Quickshift.

My 5 cents.
Let's blame Tamron for that

But good point- I'll make sure it gets mentioned.

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