Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
10-05-2013, 08:53 AM   #1
New Member




Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 3
New Camera for Old Lenses

I have a Pentax MX, vintage 1978, that I used for years until it needed fixing. That was a few years before Digital Photography became the norm.
I also have a number of "Pentax" lenses: 28mm, 50mm (standard), 150mm, 300mm, belows unit and a Vivitar 2x adapter.

I'm going to get back into photography again after retiring for good. I have absolutely no idea which DSLR Pentax
would accommodate my lenses. The entire filed of photo equipment has passed me by.

Would some kind soul give this old fart a clue or two as to which model(s) I should be looking at?

rooster

10-05-2013, 09:03 AM   #2
New Member




Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 3
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by r00ster Quote
I have a Pentax MX, vintage 1978, that I used for years until it needed fixing. That was a few years before Digital Photography became the norm.
I also have a number of "Pentax" lenses: 28mm, 50mm (standard), 150mm, 300mm, belows unit and a Vivitar 2x adapter.

I'm going to get back into photography again after retiring for good. I have absolutely no idea which DSLR Pentax
would accommodate my lenses. The entire filed of photo equipment has passed me by.

Would some kind soul give this old fart a clue or two as to which model(s) I should be looking at?

rooster
I should have added my "Pentax" lenses all have 'bayonet mount'.
10-05-2013, 09:04 AM   #3
Moderator
Racer X 69's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: The Great Pacific Northwet
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 8,832
Welcome to PentaxForums r00ster!

QuoteOriginally posted by r00ster Quote
I have absolutely no idea which DSLR Pentax would accommodate my lenses.
One of the neatest things about Pentax cameras (at least since the introduction of the bayonet mount) is that any K mount lens ever made will attach to and work on any camera that has the K mount. This include the Ricoh cameras and some other camera makes (I forget which ones, but have seen them mentioned here).

The current models available that interest me are the K5, K5II and K5IIs. There is also the K30, and the recently K50 and K500 models.

There is a great area on this forum, that has very good information about the various models and youcan compare 3 of them side by side. t has helped me to "catch up" too.

Go here: Pentax Cameras | Pentax K-50 vs. Pentax K-500 vs. Pentax K-5 II / IIs - Pentax DSLR Comparison - PentaxForums.com
10-05-2013, 10:17 AM   #4
Loyal Site Supporter




Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Tumbleweed, Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,001
Welcome to the Forum!!!

Racer posted a great comparison link, and you come to the forum at a very interesting time. Pentax is in the process of rolling out some new camera models, where by they discount the current models. Also, your selection options are somewhat based on how you expect to use the camera.
  • K30 - It is going out of stock, based on the K5 with in some sense a couple fewer features, but if you plan to do any video, is a somewhat better selection. For folks with manual lenses, it has focus peaking that will help you obtain better manual focus a bit easier. if you are budget constrained and if you are going to ONLY use your manual lenses (focus peaking). A quick look shows you can get one for around $550 with a kit 18-55 lens
  • K5 - It has gone out of stock (replaced by the K5II and K5IIs) and is essentially the basis for this entire camera family. Pentax did a wonderful job on this body and it is a classic. Has a couple of more technical qualities than the K30. Price wise the K30 and K5 are going to be the best bang for the buck. It looks like you can pick up a body only (no lens) for $640
  • K5II and K5IIs - These have been out a bit over a year now, and add a couple of fixes to the K5 - only if you use auto focus lenses. Their pricing is currently dropping in anticipation of the announcement of the K3 - perhaps as soon as next week. You can pick up a K5II for about $810 with a kit 18-55 lens.
So what should you do and how do you choose - other than by budget.

I think that the K30 would be the best all around choice. It comes with a kit lens so that you can use both auto focusing and manual focusing lenses to their best advantage. The price is also extremely good.

The K5II is excellent too. What you get with it is the ability to auto focus in near dark conditions. That is the plus, the downside is that it does not have focus peaking and you would be up to your eyes to do the manual focusing.

Personally, I would go with the K30, and also pick up a Pentax 2 year extended warranty (total of 3 years) for an extra $20. Save what additional funds for a trip with the camera to take pictures somewhere.....



10-05-2013, 11:34 AM   #5
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Nanaimo, British Columbia
Photos: Albums
Posts: 328
I love my K-30. I was in a similar situation to yours except it was my wife who had old lenses. I was simply new to photography except with point and shoots. My experience over the past year and the challenges that I have found would have me sticking closely to what I did.

I bought the K-30. It's a nice starter camera that is not too challenging to learn (the basics) but still allows me to continue to learn from it a year in. I expect it'll keep me happy for some time. I also picked up an 18-55 WR lens as well as the DA-L 55-300mm.
I am guessing that your old lenses are manual focus and I have found 2 continued challenges with those. It's a challenge in those situations where you just need to get a quick shot off. Manual focus takes some getting used to and is never as quick (except in really low light) as auto focus. You also lose the advantage of the EXIF information when you are trying to learn your camera. If you aren't sure what EXIF info is, basically, every shot taken will contain information on the settings used - it's nice to see that shot that worked out perfect was taken at 1/180 at F1.8 etc. With an older manual lens you will not see what the aperture was set to. Depending upon your experience, this might not matter, but it was certainly helpful to me.

You already have the advantage of some nice primes so a couple of economical zooms give you that extra convenience and the WR lens allows you some confidence to still be able to take photo's during those meaningful occasions where the weather does not co-operate.

You should also be aware that due to "crop factor" your lenses will not the same as they were with the Film body, but 1.5x larger, ie, 28mm on an normal D-SLR would be equal to 42mm, 50mm would be equal to 75mm on your old body.
10-05-2013, 11:50 AM   #6
Site Supporter




Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Texas
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,116
I went the same route after retiring, but I had both old Pentax and Leica lenses. I found all dSLRs expected users to use autofocus lenses, so the viewfinders are pretty poor for old manual focus lenses, especially the "APS" or "cropped" (smaller than 24x36 frame) sensors, where the viewfinders are like looking at a tiny image through a tunnel. a big disappointment compared to the MX. Unfortunately, Pentax makes no "FF" dSLRs. So I stayed away from digital for a long time.
But then Leica came out with their M9 rangefinder, which operates identically to my old film Leicas, and takes all the same old lenses. It is stii the only digital that is just like using manual film cameras.

However, I also wanted to use my Pentax lens collection, so after they came out with the K-5 I bought one. Yes, it does work with all my old MX lenses, and after I put in a different focusing screen I can focus pretty well. The camera itself is very nice, and can make great images. Yet the small sensor means my 35mm "wide angle" now has the same perspective as a 50mm on film, so your 28mm won't act very wide either. None of the Pentax dSLRs have a mechanical linkage to the aperture setting on SMC-M lenses, so you have to meter stopped-down. (Works well with the SMC-A lenses with an A on the aperture ring, which are sensed electrically.)
So, yes - you can use your old lenses on a new Pentax and get great pictures. But it is a bit of a pain to those of us that grew up with MX era film cameras. So I still shoot mainly film SLRs, and my digital Leica rangefinder.
The real good news is that Eric Hendrickson has been fixing film Pentax cameras since Honeywell days, and can make your MX good as new quite cheaply, and film and good processing and scanning to digital are still available.
10-05-2013, 02:33 PM   #7
Pentaxian
Just1MoreDave's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Aurora, CO
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 4,815
The MX is a lot smaller than any current Pentax DSLR. A really quick size comparison with my K-7 plus M50/1.7 and MX with an M50/2. The K-7 is pretty close on size to all the current models:

10-05-2013, 03:03 PM   #8
New Member




Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 3
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by TomB_tx Quote
I went the same route after retiring, but I had both old Pentax and Leica lenses. I found all dSLRs expected users to use autofocus lenses, so the viewfinders are pretty poor for old manual focus lenses, especially the "APS" or "cropped" (smaller than 24x36 frame) sensors, where the viewfinders are like looking at a tiny image through a tunnel. a big disappointment compared to the MX. Unfortunately, Pentax makes no "FF" dSLRs. So I stayed away from digital for a long time.
But then Leica came out with their M9 rangefinder, which operates identically to my old film Leicas, and takes all the same old lenses. It is stii the only digital that is just like using manual film cameras.

However, I also wanted to use my Pentax lens collection, so after they came out with the K-5 I bought one. Yes, it does work with all my old MX lenses, and after I put in a different focusing screen I can focus pretty well. The camera itself is very nice, and can make great images. Yet the small sensor means my 35mm "wide angle" now has the same perspective as a 50mm on film, so your 28mm won't act very wide either. None of the Pentax dSLRs have a mechanical linkage to the aperture setting on SMC-M lenses, so you have to meter stopped-down. (Works well with the SMC-A lenses with an A on the aperture ring, which are sensed electrically.)
So, yes - you can use your old lenses on a new Pentax and get great pictures. But it is a bit of a pain to those of us that grew up with MX era film cameras. So I still shoot mainly film SLRs, and my digital Leica rangefinder.
The real good news is that Eric Hendrickson has been fixing film Pentax cameras since Honeywell days, and can make your MX good as new quite cheaply, and film and good processing and scanning to digital are still available.
WOW!;

You fellows have given me a lot to think about; a lot to learn. I was hoping/assuming my SMC-M lenses would
be more 'backwards compatible' than they are. No mechanical linkage -> Stopped Down metering would be
a PITA. So would getting comfy with significantly different viewfinder vs image 'crop factor'.

I want to give y'all a special thanks for your input. It qualifies as 'above & beyond'.

Until the initial shock has abated, I'm leaning towards contacting Eric Hendrickson to see if he would be willing to refurbish my MX. If memory serves, there is just a problem with the shutter button ... shutter release cable got pushed too hard.

What's the best way to contact him?

rooster

10-05-2013, 05:13 PM   #9
Site Supporter




Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Texas
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,116
All Eric's info is here: Home
10-05-2013, 06:42 PM   #10
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Nanaimo, British Columbia
Photos: Albums
Posts: 328
Just to add to this.

My main walk around lenses are my manuals and I've never used one on a film camera. I also take 99% of my shots through the viewfinder and have no issues with that. What I see through the view finder IS the shot I take.

Where I find them challenging is when I am not taking a static shot. ie, a bird flying from a bright back ground to a dark background and both focus and metering change. 75% of the shots I take are never burdened by the need for an auto focus lens.
10-05-2013, 09:23 PM   #11
Site Supporter




Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,241
I love my pentax Dslrs but I find Pentax-m lenses are extremely user friendly on Sony Nex cameras with the addition of a pentax adapter. I have a Nex 5n but if I knew how much I would enjoy this camera I would have gotten the Nex 6 for its digital viewfinder and flash hotshoe. The Nex displays life through the Pentax-M lens aperture as it is set so you will know pretty much what your photo will look like before you take it. These are pics of m42 pentax mounted on my nex





10-06-2013, 08:44 AM   #12
Moderator
Racer X 69's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: The Great Pacific Northwet
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 8,832
QuoteOriginally posted by Sliver-Surfer Quote
I love my pentax Dslrs but I find Pentax-m lenses are extremely user friendly on Sony Nex cameras with the addition of a pentax adapter. I have a Nex 5n but if I knew how much I would enjoy this camera I would have gotten the Nex 6 for its digital viewfinder and flash hotshoe. The Nex displays life through the Pentax-M lens aperture as it is set so you will know pretty much what your photo will look like before you take it. These are pics of m42 pentax mounted on my nex




I find it so amazing the places that Pentax lenses turn up!
10-06-2013, 10:07 AM   #13
Site Supporter




Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,241
QuoteOriginally posted by Racer X 69 Quote
I find it so amazing the places that Pentax lenses turn up!
I have a KX a K20D and a K5 love them to pieces but they are difficult with manual lenses out of the box because the focus screens are usually poorly calibrated(I shimmed my kx But my other two I focus a tad behind where the viewfinder focussed area apears. The nex was purchased after I bought a Pentax-Q. Pentax Q was so horrible with adapted manual lenses, so I did some research and chose the Sony nex 5n for the availability of adapters and the fact I could add a digital vf.
10-11-2013, 12:57 PM   #14
New Member




Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: calgary ab.
Posts: 13
I have a K100 and a Kr and I still use all my old screw mount lens
10-11-2013, 01:12 PM   #15
Pentaxian
Lowell Goudge's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 15,314
Find a good condition *istD

It will use your lenses to the fullest, including flash
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
camera, lenses, pentax, pentax help, photography
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Buying a new camera (already have some old lenses) lorenz Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 11 10-26-2012 06:41 AM
old K-5 issues but new to me.. new-camera envy? jimr-pdx Pentax K-5 2 07-30-2012 01:59 PM
Old film camera/lenses canajuneh Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 7 03-16-2012 07:39 AM
New Camera, new lens, old TC Basie Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 4 10-30-2011 01:24 PM
Using old lenses on new digital camera sissy64sonny Welcomes and Introductions 9 06-05-2010 10:03 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:07 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top