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05-29-2010, 12:30 PM   #1
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Old Analog Lens Is It Usable?

I have an old (2001 vintage) (never used) lens from a Pentax Analog camera I own. Has anyone had a positive experience using an older lens on a new Digital camera.
I am debating buying a Nikon with a lens or a Pentax body only. I do not have a lot of money so this is an important decision for me.

Thanks

05-29-2010, 12:42 PM   #2
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All old Pentax lenses work with the modern DSLRs. You should be more specific about which lens and camera you actually have, though.

Also see here for a listing of all Pentax lenses, new and old alike: Pentax Lens Review Database - Lens Listings
05-29-2010, 03:28 PM   #3
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Yes if you could tell us a little more information, there are many really friendly people around the forum as well as very useful information to digest.
But for all the good reasons to choose a Pentax camera, please do not pick Pentax solely because you already have one lens. There are many reasons Pentax may have an economic advantage over some other competitors but if you have very little money and choosing Pentax just because you already have a lens, this may not make (cents) sense.
If you already have a nice lens; one you will use often and one you are familiar with, that would certain go in the list of advantages for you to buy a Pentax. But no matter what your economic situation is, a camera that you will not use is, of course, a waste of money.
Many of us hope you will carefully consider Pentax ultimately but at least handle and use as many models you may have in your budget to help your decision.
05-29-2010, 04:09 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nowhere Matt Quote
Yes if you could tell us a little more information, there are many really friendly people around the forum as well as very useful information to digest.

But for all the good reasons to choose a Pentax camera, please do not pick Pentax solely because you already have one lens. There are many reasons Pentax may have an economic advantage over some other competitors but if you have very little money and choosing Pentax just because you already have a lens, this may not make (cents) sense.

If you already have a nice lens; one you will use often and one you are familiar with, that would certain go in the list of advantages for you to buy a Pentax. But no matter what your economic situation is, a camera that you will not use is, of course, a waste of money.

Many of us hope you will carefully consider Pentax ultimately but at least handle and use as many models you may have in your budget to help your decision.
Amidst the exuberance of the (sometimes irrationally) loyal Pentaxians, here we find Matt: a voice of prudence, reason, and consideration for the neophyte.

Even if this one lens is a fine one and is of outstanding value on a new Pentax, the OP may be better off selling it here (or somewhere else) and investing in the camera that's the best overall fit.

I have no nominations as we don't know enough.

In case someone wonders where my heart lies, I spent today at the British Museum wearing a new Blackrapid Double - a K-X on one hip and a K-7 on the other. Life is good.

05-29-2010, 04:21 PM   #5
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The identity of the old lens is critical in determining how useful it will be on a new body. Please let us know.

Oh and welcome to the forum.
05-29-2010, 04:34 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by llwil2003 Quote
I have an old (2001 vintage) (never used) lens from a Pentax Analog camera I own. Has anyone had a positive experience using an older lens on a new Digital camera.
I am debating buying a Nikon with a lens or a Pentax body only. I do not have a lot of money so this is an important decision for me.

Thanks
That is not old ! I have a K10D and still use lenses that I bought over 30 years ago.
05-30-2010, 06:10 AM   #7
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Old Analog Lens

The lens I have is Pentax FA 1:3.5-5.6 (28-80). I only own a Nikon P90 which has a fixed lens. I do not own any other lens or cameras. I am on a tight budget and was thinking about buying a used Pentax body.

Thanks Linda
05-30-2010, 06:27 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by llwil2003 Quote
The lens I have is Pentax FA 1:3.5-5.6 (28-80). I only own a Nikon P90 which has a fixed lens. I do not own any other lens or cameras. I am on a tight budget and was thinking about buying a used Pentax body.

Thanks Linda
That lens will work perfectly on a Pentax digital body.

The only major difference will the the field of view. The lens will act as like 42-120mm lens in this regard, due to the cropped sensor of the digital body. This is the same with most manufacturers digital bodies.

05-30-2010, 07:03 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by llwil2003 Quote
The lens I have is Pentax FA 1:3.5-5.6 (28-80). I only own a Nikon P90 which has a fixed lens. I do not own any other lens or cameras. I am on a tight budget and was thinking about buying a used Pentax body.

Thanks Linda
It's a below average lens, you can read a review on this PentaxForums site:

Pentax Lens Review Database - SMC Pentax-FA 28-80mm F3.5-5.6 Lens Reviews

Many older Pentax lenses are jewels, but this is not one of them.

If you decided to buy a second hand Pentax digital body, many would come with a better standard zoom, eg the 18-55 zoom, which are good compared to the older 18-55 lenses of the competition.

As suggested by the others, going Pentax because of this 28-80 lens you found, is not a good reason...
05-30-2010, 07:51 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by llwil2003 Quote
The lens I have is Pentax FA 1:3.5-5.6 (28-80). I only own a Nikon P90 which has a fixed lens. I do not own any other lens or cameras. I am on a tight budget and was thinking about buying a used Pentax body.

Thanks Linda
Linda. This lens it passable at best. It was sold as a cheap "kit lens" with the cheaper film cameras.

I certainly wouldn't let it sway your decisions (it sort of if one camera came with a free lens cleaning cloth).

That said, both the Kx or the 5000 will take excellent pictures. However if you are looking at used bodies I think the Pentax offerings exceed the Nikon.

However keep on-top of your local Craigslist. I've seen very nice cameras go by for a song. Anything from the K10d or Nikon D200 era onways will take amazing pictures.
05-30-2010, 08:51 AM   #11
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You made a wise choice if not by pure chance coming to and joining this forum.
I am pretty frugal at times and arguably Pentax gives you great quality with a low cost to operate over the life of a camera. You say you would not like to spend a lot of money and many here will tell you Pentax has many cameras and lenses available, capable for any level of experience and a costs often lower than many of the other manufacturers. Pentax has great gear at good baragains.
Now the difficult part is deciding which Pentax. Look closes at your budget, look over what may be available at The Marketplace and then start comparing and shopping.
05-30-2010, 11:03 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by llwil2003 Quote
The lens I have is Pentax FA 1:3.5-5.6 (28-80). I only own a Nikon P90 which has a fixed lens. I do not own any other lens or cameras. I am on a tight budget and was thinking about buying a used Pentax body.

Thanks Linda
Morning Linda - Welcome to the Forums!

This really is a very helpful and friendly group. There is quite a bit of mutual assistance waiting in the wings. Here are a few ideas....

Since you are considering a used camera, you need two things. Your budget and what you want to do with the camera (general photography, landscapes, birding, etc...).

Places to buy a used camera - The forum has a market place and a wanted items area:Then there are always evilbay, craigslist and KEH (sells used cameras). Plus, these sites give you a view of current prices.The next thing is camera model - what might you be looking for. Here is a shopping list of sites offering the Pentax KX with kit lens - the low is $475 So, I would guess that would be somewhat your top end.The price for just the KX body only is around $470, so you wind up getting the kit lens for about $5.There also is a Craigslist utility called Craigslook that will search for you. So using the Pentax K100D model, you come us with a price of around $250.Pentax camera models:
  • *ist and the K110D - are digital cameras but do not offer image stabilization (IS) or shake reduction (SR). The other K models do offer IS or SR.
There are two lines of Pentax bodies - entry level and advanced level:
  • K100D, K100D Super, K200D, KM or K2000, KX - is the entry level sequence.
  • K10D, K20D and K7 - is the advanced level sequence.

hope that helps a bit...
05-30-2010, 12:23 PM   #13
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I'm moving this to the beginner's forum, as it seems more appropriate there. Do browse that forum, as well as the lens forum, and check out the dozens if not hundreds of exisitng threads discussing the use of older lenses. The one you have, BTW, doesn't really count as old - anything with autofocus is mdoern by Pentax standards, and will work *exactly* the same as any brand new lens.
05-30-2010, 01:16 PM   #14
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BTW, that's not an analog lens. FA lenses support AF, auto aperture, and MTF exposure mode. In addition, it's a full-frame lens, so it can be used with both film and digital.

The lens you have isn't seen as anything amazing, but it'll definitely work with full features on digital!

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06-01-2010, 04:20 PM - 1 Like   #15
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I was going to joke that "No, old lenses are no good, I'll dispose of that one for you" but then I saw which it was -- unfortunately, one of the most not-great lenses Pentax ever produced. Yes, old 'analog' lenses function just fine on modern digital SLRs. Usually. Many old lenses are real gems. I only own and use about 60+ of such. Even lenses that might be barely adequate on a FF (full-frame) camera can work quite well on dSLRs, since a lens's weakness is usually towards the edges of the image, which aren't used by a dSLR's sensor. But that FA28-80 is a dog.

Which doesn't mean you should throw it away. Keep it for iffy occasions, like dust storms and cattle stampedes and mosh pits. If it gets damaged, you won't mourn too much. I always keep a couple cheap lenses handy, just in case.
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