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06-08-2011, 12:43 PM   #1
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New lens on old bodies

I know that old K-mount lenses can still be used on the new digital bodies, and I do a lot of that. My question however is about the reverse, what happens when you fit a new "digital" lens on an old Pentax body. Will you still get full frame coverage of the film or not. I don't really mind about the loss of auto focus as I am so use to manual focus already. It won't damage the lens in anyway will it, I can't think of a reason why it would but rather be safe than sorry that is why I am asking.

I still shoot a fair bit in film and using a Minolta at the moment for film, although a nice camera I am looking to consolidate all my equipment to Pentax.

I have a shop nearby that still have a large selection of Pentax film bodies so my second question is which Pentax SLR body would you guys recommend ? I would prefer a fully manual camera as I find I learn more about photography when I actually have to set everything myself. If it makes a difference I normally use Ilford HP 5 as it is relatively cheap and easily available here.

Small little anecdote to end off this post, I recently went in to a "pro" photography shop to buy chemicals for developing, and the guy behind the counter asked me "Is there anything else I can get you maybe a digital camera", which I did not appreciate. But I then asked if they have any Pentax lenses full well knowing they don't and his response "You really are fighting the photography establishment" and that is just because I don't use Canon or Nikon. Needless to say I won't support them again

06-08-2011, 01:17 PM   #2
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Here's a nice chart with Pentax lens compatibilities: The Pentax Camera Lens Compatibility Chart

Most DA lenses will show severe vignetting/black edges on film, with the exception of primes such as the DA40mm limited and DA35mm, as well as zooms at the tele end. Since there's no aperture ring, however, Av mode will be unavailable on a lot of film bodes (and thus the lenses won't be usable on older manual bodies), as per the chart

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06-08-2011, 01:24 PM   #3
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Well, using new lense on old body is possible, but with some limitation

First : Lenses, without Aperture ring (like DAL or DA).
you can use theme fully, on body with KA mount. for exemple, i use my lenses on a Pentax SuperA (also called Super Program in the US). It propose a couple of speed / aperture. i can set speed, the body set the good aperture. It has a small LCD screen on top, so you can set the speed, without wathing into the body.
It has also some sort of LCD screen into the viewfinder, where it shows aperture / speed. you can enlight it, so you can see this in dark place

Second : some lense can handle FF, other cannot. But you can see it in the viewfinder
The lense kit 18-55 cannot handle FF, to much vigneting, even in the viewfinder.
But the DA(L) 35mm f2.4 seems to be hable to handle a FF. I will tell you this in 5 days because i tried i'm waiting for the film to be done

Last : if you have some A/K/M lenses, you can set the aperture directly on the lense, so no matter the body.

Last last : try to have a body with a lightmeter in the viewfinder, so it will be easier to do well expose photos.
06-08-2011, 02:59 PM   #4
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A lot of folks like the build quality and viewfinder of the Super Program / Super A body, and you can use DA lenses in shutter priority mode (Tv) with it. The Super Program also allows full manual control. Another (cheaper) option is the MZ-M / ZX-M body - very inexpensive, but it will handle all lenses as well as the Super Program.

06-08-2011, 02:59 PM   #5
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My PZ-1 is a good example of a camera that will AF and also let you use DA or D FA lenses which lack an aperture ring.

Unless you can afford an MZ-S (which I have not), I think you best bets are either the PZ-1/PZ-1p or the MZ-6/MZ-L/ZX-L. I have both and can't decide which I like better.

Last edited by DSims; 06-08-2011 at 03:07 PM.
06-08-2011, 04:20 PM   #6
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My SF10 can also make use a DA/ DAL lens although you lose aperture priority and manual mode, you still have programmed and shutter priority mode. The corners go dark at about the 20 mm setting but it works good otherwise. You have the autofocus as well.
07-24-2012, 05:42 PM   #7
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I recently tried to use my Sigma 50mm F1.4 HSM on my Super A. and it would not communicate properly with the body.

the minimum aperture it would set is F5.6.

does anyone know why this would be?

is there a fix?
07-24-2012, 06:21 PM   #8
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like DSims, I use a PZ-1, the fact is, I have never sold any of my gear, so I also have a Ricoh XR2s and a KX, but the PZ1 is my favorite.

As I have no HSM lenses I have no issues at all, but my sigma 10-20F4-5.6 darkens at the corners below 13mm. Otherwise no issues at all. My other main AF lenses are an FA-J 18-35 F4-5.6, a tamron 28-75F2.8 and a sigma 70-200F2.8, and all are full frame so I don't give anything up going to film.

07-24-2012, 08:50 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
like DSims, I use a PZ-1, the fact is, I have never sold any of my gear, so I also have a Ricoh XR2s and a KX, but the PZ1 is my favorite.

As I have no HSM lenses I have no issues at all, but my sigma 10-20F4-5.6 darkens at the corners below 13mm. Otherwise no issues at all. My other main AF lenses are an FA-J 18-35 F4-5.6, a tamron 28-75F2.8 and a sigma 70-200F2.8, and all are full frame so I don't give anything up going to film.
Re 10-20 Is that without the lens hood? My wife shot a part of a roll on here SF1n and there was vignetting although she said she did not see it in the viewfinder. I will be shooting the MZ5n this week so perhaps I will have time to try that out myself.
07-25-2012, 03:06 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by redrockcoulee Quote
Re 10-20 Is that without the lens hood? My wife shot a part of a roll on here SF1n and there was vignetting although she said she did not see it in the viewfinder. I will be shooting the MZ5n this week so perhaps I will have time to try that out myself.
I forget now, whether it was with or without. The vignetting was visible in the viewfinder
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