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08-20-2013, 06:38 PM   #1
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Question about SMC Pentax-A 35-70mm F4 lens

Hi, first post, and sorry for the really newbie question but I need some help.

I foolishly bought this lens a couple of years ago hoping it would work for my camera, it fit the body, but some important capabilities weren't supported. Now I'm trying to get back into photography and I need a 35mm body to fit this lens. I snooped around on the lens database, but didn't really know what I was looking for. Pointing me in the right direction would be really helpful. Thanks in advance!

08-20-2013, 07:45 PM   #2
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Hi, pattygs. If I were you, I'll start by searching Pentax Forums Lenses for the SMC Pentax-A 35-70mm F4 lens and then, review the Pentax camera manual I own (No manual? Search the Internet for a pdf copy of it and look for the Pentax A Lenses manual pdf as well). My guess is that the lens can work when the aperture ring is set to "A" on all Pentax DSLR cameras when set to manual focus, all *ist, PZ, SF and A series 35mm film SLR cameras and (I believe) any other Pentax M and K series 35mm film SLR camera when the aperture is on any setting other than "A". Enjoy the lens!
08-20-2013, 08:01 PM   #3
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You might want to try this:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-beginners-corner-q/110658-using-ma...x-dslrs-f.html

Unless that "important capacity" is autofocus.

If you're looking for a film camera, there are loads of them for under $50
pentax body in Film Photography | eBay
08-20-2013, 08:39 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by pattygs Quote
Hi, first post, and sorry for the really newbie question but I need some help.

I foolishly bought this lens a couple of years ago hoping it would work for my camera, it fit the body, but some important capabilities weren't supported. Now I'm trying to get back into photography and I need a 35mm body to fit this lens. I snooped around on the lens database, but didn't really know what I was looking for. Pointing me in the right direction would be really helpful. Thanks in advance!
Here's some info on lens/camera compatibility:
The Pentax Camera Lens Compatibility Chart

If it's an A lens, it supports all the shooting modes on a DSLR (just not autofocus). Keep the aperture ring on "A" at all times.


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08-20-2013, 09:08 PM   #5
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IMHO it would be better to get a modern digital lens designed for APS digital cameras... that covers the desired range, such as any one of the 16-50, 17-70, 16-45, 18-55, 18-135 lenses available.
08-21-2013, 12:27 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by pattygs Quote
Hi, first post, and sorry for the really newbie question but I need some help.

I foolishly bought this lens a couple of years ago hoping it would work for my camera, it fit the body, but some important capabilities weren't supported. Now I'm trying to get back into photography and I need a 35mm body to fit this lens. I snooped around on the lens database, but didn't really know what I was looking for. Pointing me in the right direction would be really helpful. Thanks in advance!
35mm body - do you mean film?

If not, don't let the lens dictate your camera choice; it's not that good and certainly not an investment.

Go for a modern digital SLR (dSLR) body within your budget, ideally with a modern lens too, but others have pointed out that this lens will work with modern dSLRs.
08-21-2013, 03:50 PM   #7
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The OP speaks about the SMC Pentax-A 4/35-70.
This is an A lens, and (except AF) it supports every mode and possibility any Pentax K mount camera ever offered.
The reverse is not true: K and M series bodies do not support everything this lens offers (no auto aperture modes).

I own this lens, and, despite its focal length range isn't what's frequently needed for APS-C, optically its is one of the best lenses Pentax ever offered.
Very sharp even fully open, no visible decrease in border sharpness, and a really superb macro capabilty (IQ wise).
The only drawback may be length and weight (the SMC Pentax-A 3.5-4.5 of the same time is much lighter and shorter, and IQ only slightly worse. I would compare the 3.5-4.5 with the highly praised SMC Pentax-F 3.5-4.5/35-70.
08-21-2013, 05:06 PM   #8
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There's quite a few very good Pentax 35mm film cameras that support the "A" lens feature - I'd look for a Pentax Super Program, a Pentax PZ-1p (or PZ-1) or possibly a Pentax LX if your budget stretches that far. Even a pretty basic camera like the P3n would work. Good luck - lots of choices out there!!

08-21-2013, 06:42 PM   #9
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Well, after reading the reviews on this site, I think I'm going to go for a Super Program as my new 35mm film camera (you learn something every day). Thank you all so much for your helpful replies, that lens compatibility chart was exactly what I was looking for!
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