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05-09-2011, 09:21 AM   #1
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Lens help needed

Hi fellow Pentaxians,

While I am not new to Pentax or SLR photography, I have been away from the hobby for some time having been lured away by the convenience of point and shoots.

My Pentax beginnings go back to my Honeywell Spotmatic which I still have as well as my SF1 and new K-5.

I have a number of lenses from my older Pentax cameras and I am curious about their use with my new K5. I do have a Pentax m42 to K type mount adaptor.

The m-42 lenses are as follows:
Super -Takumar 1:1.4/50mm serial 1344020
Soligor Wide-Auto1:2.8 35mm serial 681978 (German distributor?)
Auto Spira-tel 1:2.8 135mm serial 196641E (Spiratone-NY distributor?)
Vivitar Wide-Angle 24mm1:2.8 serial 3704748 auto
Vivitar 85-205 1:3.8 serial 22013235 auto

The F type lenses are as follows:
Pentax smc-f 1:1.4 50mm serial 1026040
Pentax smc-f zoom 1:3.5-4.5 28-80 serial 1263283
Pentax smc-f zoom 1:4-5.6 70-210 serial 1269984

I am unable to find my f 100-300 zoom and f wide angle.

I have a DA 18-55mm zoom f/3.5-5.6 serial5278229

I am considering the DA 55-300mm zoom as my next lens purchase.

Any help and or candid comments concerning the above lenses would be greatly appreciated. Please feel free to be frank.

Thank you very much,


Last edited by SEWIS; 05-09-2011 at 10:15 AM.
05-09-2011, 09:58 AM   #2
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Nothing there of value... Ship it to me and I'll give you a tax slip;-)

You've got a nice collection of glass there. Everything will work just fine with the adapter and the 50mm 1.4's are gems.
05-09-2011, 10:14 AM   #3
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You should look into placing the lenses and there serial numbers on to the serial number data base. Just look it up on the site and add them.

BTW nice collection of lenses and it is great you are getting back into SLR picture taking!
05-09-2011, 10:17 AM   #4
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I have the Tamron 70-300 zoom and want to replace it with the DA55-300 - I've settled on that as the best choice right now. I don't think there's a better broad-range zoom without spending a bunch of bones. I rented the DA* 60-250 once and it was just too heavy to lug around for any length of time.

I'll bet you're missing that 100-300 zoom right now, too!

05-09-2011, 12:30 PM   #5
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Since you have the adapter, you might as well try the M42 lenses. Quality should be OK. You might conclude that using them is just too much trouble, or have fun using them. The autofocus lenses from the SF1 are completely compatible with the K-5, so you can use all the modes and features.

Since the sensor is smaller than a 35mm film negative, both sets of lenses will appear to be slightly longer on digital than film. Imagine taking an 8x12 film print and cropping it so you have a 5.333x8 print. It only matters if you were very used to using a particular focal length on film. On film, 50mm used to be normal, larger focal lengths were telephoto, and smaller was wide-angle. On the smaller digital sensor, normal is something around 33mm. Remember that all lenses still have the same focal length measurement that they used to. Since the sensor "sees" only the center portion of older lenses, an older lens with poor corner sharpness might be OK on digital.

The only one of your lenses that I use myself is the SMC Pentax-F 70-210mm zoom. I think it's pretty good and one reason I don't have the DA 55-300. The SMC Pentax-F 50mm has the same optical formula as the FA version sold today. If you find your 100-300, it's huge compared to the DA 55-300.
05-09-2011, 05:05 PM   #6

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Oklahoma USA
Posts: 1,502
Personally I would find M42 lenses just too annoying to use with a DSLR for general photography, particular since almost all your lenses overlap what you have in newer mounts. There's no harm in trying them but make sure you don't miss pictures while fiddling with the lenses. I like my 100-300F despite the negative reviews here on the site, but it is annoying large (it zooms internally, making it less compact that most comparable lenses.) If I didn't have a 50-200DA, I'd want something between the 18-55 and the 100-300. I owned a new 55-300 briefly, but my copy underperformed both my 50-200 and 100-300 (I'm guessing the 55-300 suffered from decentering.) If it had performed decently, it would be a good replacement for the 50-200 and 100-300. Whatever you buy, test it carefully when you receive it. If nothing else, your old lenses can serve for comparisons when testing any new lenses you buy.

05-09-2011, 06:19 PM   #7
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Original Poster
Thank you all for your input. I think that I will try all the lenses on the k5 at some time just to experiment. Yes, I do miss my F100-300 lens. It was a great lens that I enjoyed using with good results. Good advice on testing a new lens immediately. It has been quite a while since I have used some of the m42 lenses. I hope that I can find the instructions on the Vivitar wide angle.

I have heard that some of the older glass was of very good quality.
05-10-2011, 10:15 AM   #8
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I'll plug a reminder that you can rent lenses to see if they perform well for you. A rental or two is worth it before buying a particularly expensive lens, for sure.


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