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12-03-2011, 01:46 PM   #1
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Old Pentax lenses worth getting DSLR?

I have a film KX that has been sitting in a case unused for several years. My main interest is in the lenses. I have four Pentax SMC lenses: f4/300, f2.5/135, f1.8/55, f3.5/28, plus a Vivitar f2.8/70-210 zoom. They also are sitting there unused, of course. I have various point-and-shoot digitals cameras but have never bought a DSLR.
Thanks to this forum I know that I can use these old lenses on a new DSLR, with some limitations. What is your opinion about buying a used Pentax DSLR so I can use these lenses? Or should I spring for a new Kr?
Are these lenses good enough to warrant buying a camera so I can use them? I am not a really serious photographer but it seems a shame not to use these lenses. I'm somewhat nervous about buying a used camera unless it's from a dealer or similar reliable place.
Alternatively, approximately how much could I get if I tried to sell all four lenses on eBay or this forum?
Thank you. I am brand new to the forum.

12-03-2011, 01:57 PM   #2
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Yes, those are absolutely some nice lenses, well worth getting a new or used DSLR to use them with. They will have to be used in manual/green button mode, but that's not a big deal (to me). I've had good luck with used cameras purchased here on the forums, but you can also try KEH or other vendor. They may offer some type of warranty, I'm not sure. You can check the lens reviews section of the forums for some ballpark pricing. Oh, and welcome to the forums
12-03-2011, 02:12 PM   #3
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You have some excellent lenses here. Yes go for it, i mean a new K-r, but also take a kit lens 18-55mm to give you the same field of view that the 28mm had on film. Remember a DSLR sensor is 24x16 mm where a film frame is 36 x 24mm.

The kit lens will be the every day lens, your other lenses for portrait, and telephoto. I have the 135/2.5 and 300/4 also and they are really good. The 135 especially is about the best you can find at that focal length

Selling the lenses should not be a problem, the 300/4 and 135/2.5 will get you perhaps 300 and 200 respectively. The zoom about 75-100 and the other two lenses about 30-50 each

Last edited by Lowell Goudge; 12-03-2011 at 02:32 PM.
12-03-2011, 03:01 PM   #4
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I'll ditto all the above. Those are some very nice lenses. They will all work fine on any modern Pentax dSLR, with manual usage only. They will also fetch nice prices on eBay. I'll guess that these are all K- or M-series lenses, labeled as either SMC or SMC-M. If any are labeled SMC-A, they are worth even more. If you need money, sell them. If you don't need money, buy a Kr and exploit them!

12-03-2011, 03:09 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
You have some excellent lenses here.
You'll find very broad agreement with Lowell on that point! These are all well worth hanging on to, if you enjoy shooting manual focus prime lenses. Or you can sell them. Lowell's estimates on the prices are on the conservative side -- you might get a bit more, as long as they are in nice condition.

Based on my experience I'd say you can buy here on the forum Marketplace with complete confidence. Just check the seller's feedback. eBay is a bit more of a gamble.
12-03-2011, 03:29 PM   #6
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It also depends upon where you live. Normal prices can swing by about 50%.
12-03-2011, 03:38 PM   #7
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Yes, it's worthwhile. A K-x would also be a good choice. The upgrades in the K-r over the K-x mainly affect auto-focus, and some people even prefer the K-x's image quality. You may even want to change the focusing screen, which I found very helpful for manual focus. This is the one I put on my K-x: Focusing Screen

In fact, anything from the K10D or K100D on up would give you nice results (K100D Super if you plan on getting some of the better modern lenses in the future). So, really, you don't even need to invest as much as a K-r or K-x costs - although I believe they are the best-value DSLRs on the market, and come surprisingly close to the K-5 in performance.

And I'd have to agree - the Marketplace on this forum is a good place to buy used cameras.
12-03-2011, 03:40 PM   #8
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Thank you to all for your thoughts. I shot manual focus and exposure for years with the KX so I'm okay with that. I'm definitely leaning toward keeping the lenses and buying a Kr.

This forum is a great resource. It's amazing what's on here. I have another dumb beginner question but first I'll see if I can find it on previous threads.

12-03-2011, 06:45 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by MWhitejr Quote
Thank you to all for your thoughts. I shot manual focus and exposure for years with the KX so I'm okay with that. I'm definitely leaning toward keeping the lenses and buying a Kr.

This forum is a great resource. It's amazing what's on here. I have another dumb beginner question but first I'll see if I can find it on previous threads.
The only dumb question is the one you fail to ask
12-03-2011, 11:57 PM   #10
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Just a note on manual focusing; it might not be as easy as with the old KX as there is no split prism screen in the view finder. There are 3rd party screens on the market to fix this omission.

And yes, I would definitely go for it. When somebody gave me some old M42 lenses for my birthday, it actually brought back the fun in photography for me.
12-04-2011, 12:37 AM   #11
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I wouldn't buy a DSLR just to use those lenses, but I'd buy one because they're great tools. Having the lenses is just icing on the cake.

I also second or third the notion that you should have a modern autofocus lens to use for every day use, and to get acquainted with the new camera. Manual lenses aren't hard to use with Pentax DSLRs, but you should really learn all the features before venturing into that territory.
12-04-2011, 02:02 AM   #12
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If your in the market for a DSLR I wouldn't hesitate to use those great lenses. If you think you'd get more use from a point and shoot or bridge camera, sell the lenses, I know I would LOVE to take 3 of them off your hands.. (300/135/55.. I already have the 28mm).
12-05-2011, 11:02 AM   #13
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Hi MWhiteJr and welcome to the forums. I'll second what everyone else has said. To paraphrase one on of my friends "Them is some damnfine glass". Here are two examples
K 135 F/2.5


K 300 F/4.0


NaCl(they get the job done)H2O
12-05-2011, 12:13 PM   #14
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Yes you should get a digital for use with the lens you have.The biggest problem with using them are focus as modern dslr's have a small junky viewfinder compared to older film cameras.Don't know about other models but a K-X has a focus assist indicator which is pretty accurate or you can use live view with a magnified view to work around the not so good viewfinder.You would be amazed at how little light it takes to get a good picture without flash on these modern cameras.If you are going to get back into using a camera a lot I would suggest a K-X or K-R unless you wanted to spend enough for the K-5.
Jake
12-05-2011, 02:51 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Chex Quote
If your in the market for a DSLR I wouldn't hesitate to use those great lenses. If you think you'd get more use from a point and shoot or bridge camera, sell the lenses, I know I would LOVE to take 3 of them off your hands.. (300/135/55.. I already have the 28mm).
This is the best advice. Remember, you are on a Pentax DSLR (mostly) forum so you are getting the opinions of people would love pentax DSLRs and their lenses, old and new. If you aren't really looking for a DSLR I'd definitely go used if at all. I've see the K10d for 200 here. The K10D is the oldest and therefor cheapest of the "pro" level cameras.

Alternatively if you cant make up your mind and dont need the money, hold onto those lenses. Their market value isn't going down.
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