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07-22-2010, 09:20 PM   #1
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Anyone use old manual lenses with the new Pentax digital cameras?

Hi everyone,

I just got my hands on a nice Tamron Adaptall 2 80-210 F3.8-4 CF TELE MACRO (58) and shot a roll (or two ) of film with it with my K1000 today and I love it. Can't wait to get the film developed!

In order to economize when I finally get a Pentax DSLR (as I put aside what I can as a graduate student on a stipend) I will be buying lenses that are both compatible with the new DSLR (I'm considering a K-7) and my K1000 as per the links from the beginner's forum. Can anyone give me the specifics on metering limitations with certain old manual lenses? And if anyone shoots pictures with this combination, can you furnish me with examples?


07-22-2010, 09:25 PM   #2
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Oops, I didn't see the link on the top of the Beginner's Forum. However, I still don't know how the pictures would look.
07-22-2010, 09:37 PM   #3
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The first link will tell you all of the limitations of shooting a Manual lens but I can tell you that the photos will turn out just as good as they do on film. There should be no difference in IQ, but the focal length will be different. I think it's a 1.5x factor. So that 80-210 on film will be a 120-315 on digital.
07-22-2010, 10:00 PM   #5
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Thanks a lot! The pics look great!

Once the negatives I took today are developed and scanned I'll be sure to post a few photos.
07-23-2010, 06:11 AM   #6
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Yes. One of the main reasons many of us frugal bastards stick wit Pentax. So we can continue to use most of our old manual lenses from our days in high school.
We console ourselves, sitting silently alone with the smug fact that we can still choose from a wide selection of glass constructed back in the 60's.
It's kind of our thing.
07-23-2010, 06:41 AM   #7
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Do I use old manual lenses with the new Pentax digital cameras? Well, let's see: my database says I have about 75 lenses I can mount on my K20D, not counting those that only go on bellows or tubes. Of those 75, just five (5) are 'modern' AF lenses. The rest are old manual glass. So yes, old lenses are rather usable.

We spent yesterday at Kit Carson Pass and Lake Tahoe. From my carry bag I picked some old glass for the day's shooting: Pentax SMC-M 28/2.8 and Zenitar 16/2.8 (PK mount); Nikkor 85/2 (slightly modded AI mount); heavy Vivitar 200/3.5 (T1 mount); Super-Takumar 35/3.5 and Macro-Takumar 50/4 (M42 mount); and Industar 50/3.5 and Jupiter-11 135/4 (M39 mount). All are manual focus, with manual/preset apertures. I had a couple AF lenses in my backup bag but didn't use them, no need.

Do we use old glass with new K-cams? Yes, sometime to excess. Sure is fun!

Last edited by RioRico; 07-23-2010 at 06:52 AM.
07-23-2010, 03:47 PM   #8
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Old manual lenses are all I use right now with my K-x, but mainly because I can't afford a newer AF lens like I'd like to have in the 300-500mm range. So I stick with the 50mm and 135mm lenses I have from my film days. I put the DAL 18-55 kit lens on that came with the camera about once every couple of weeks, it lasts 10 minutes maybe...The manual lenses work really well, I'll still keep and use them even if I get a half dozen new ones.

What do the pictures look like? Check the "Post Your Photos" section of the forums and look for threads posted by me or any of a dozen others using K-x cameras. Virtually everything I've posted except the first week I had the camera has been with older manual K mount lenses, and some of the shots from the past 2 weeks are better than anything I ever got with film, even though I got some quite nice shots in days gone by. The K-x is getting me magazine quality shots with lenses made over 30 years ago. Several other people are also using K-x cameras with manual lenses, just poke around and you'll find them, and all the pictures I've seen so far are very nice. Many of them I don't think I can match...

So the short answer, Yep they work great. Thing is, the person behind the lens has a lot to do with it too...
07-23-2010, 04:13 PM   #9
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Yeah, gotta agree with Paleo Pete's approach and what others have mentioned.
Being a frugal bastard, I enjoy using older manual lenses. Sure I'd enjoy an AF lens for certain types of photography but their costs I can't justify at this point. I got the much maligned kit lens, and I like it but that's about it for AF lenses in my bag.

I prefer to buy/use/test manual lenses in a number of focal lengths as much as possible. My thinking is that many of the optics of manual lenses worked great on film, and there is no reason for it not to fit the digital age. One doesn't need the latest, greatest thing for a good capture.

Just wait till you discover the Russian lenses or the East German gems.
There is still a whole world of good and affordable lenses out there. For me, that has been one of the joys of shooting with Pentax.
07-23-2010, 04:22 PM   #10
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I use primarily old glass. (I did just get the DA 15mm Ltd recently, which is a ton of fun, but I mostly shoot Ks, Ms, and As.) I swapped my stock focusing screen for a Katzeye split prism which makes this even nicer. But I love the look of vintage glass.
07-23-2010, 05:19 PM   #11
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I use a few "old" lenses, at last count I had 12 M42 Lenses, 9 Kmount and 4 KA mount Manual focus lenses,

I also have 2 FA zooms, one FA-J zoom, 2 sigma autofocus zooms and a tamron AF zoom.

With the exception of my sigma 10-20mm lens all are full frame coverage, and can be used on both film and digital., the 10-20 vignettes at 13mm.

I did not intend to have almost exclusively full frame lenses, it just worked out that way, although I still have 3 film bodies starting with a KX and ending with a PZ-1.

I use all my lenses, and switch continually between MF and AF. It all comes down to a single question, what do I want to shoot with today.

Many of the old lenses are very fine optical designs, the onlyu caution is that some lenses might have parts that cause internal reflections off the sensor. I have one like this, that I corrected by using flat black acrylic paint, and another forum member had an issue with a medium format lens adaptor that had a shiny interior causing internal reflections so you need to try before you buy.
07-23-2010, 05:35 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by TexasLangGenius Quote
And if anyone shoots pictures with this combination, can you furnish me with examples?

I use nothing but old MF gear. Even for the product pics on our store's site.

All shot with my DSLR and a $75 MF lens.
07-24-2010, 05:58 AM   #13
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It might be easier if you asked if there was anyone on this board who DOESN'T use old Pentax glass with their DSLR. Backward compatibility is one of the strong points of the Pentax system.
07-24-2010, 07:57 PM   #14
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Well, I didn't expect this kind of response to my initial inquiry. It's good to know that one I purchase a Pentax DSLR that I, the graduate student, don't have to spend any more money than I have to.

And it all started with a need for a hobby to get me out of my apartment on the weekends (I wanted to go old school and start with 35mm). My K1000, along with my Soviet Kiev rangefinder and the as of yet not purchased DSLR, will be snapping many photos in the years to come.

As soon as I figure out how to play with digital images a little more I'll post some pictures I took at Avery Island, Louisiana with the K1000.


Last edited by TexasLangGenius; 07-24-2010 at 08:02 PM. Reason: minor grammar errors

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