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02-19-2014, 10:23 PM   #1
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Looking for digital Pentax body compatible with zX-M SLR film lenses?

I need help buying my first digital Pentax camera. I mainly use my Pentax ZX-M film camera and have 6 different lenses. I want to buy a body that is compatible with my film lenses. This is my hobby, maybe one day I might turn it into something else cross fingers, but for now I would use it mainly for taking pictures of my girls at home, and when we go out. I need something that is not to complicated to use, but at the same time I love playing around with a pictures, and ISO's on my film and am looking forward to a digital version.

Does anyone have any ideas on which camera would best suite my needs? Price range I would like to stay around is 500.00, although it would depend if I buy the body alone, or purchase a kit with a digital lens.

02-19-2014, 10:29 PM - 1 Like   #2
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All Pentax DSLRs have the same lens compatibility: they natively support all K-mount film lenses. M and K lenses can be used with stop-down metering only, but all other lenses (A, F, FA) will work just like they did on your film camera, w/ full AF and AE functionality.

For a first DSLR, I'd recommend getting the K-500, which is currently on sale for $449 (with kit lens):
Pentax K-500 Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens

Pentax K-500 Review - Introduction - PentaxForums.com

You could also get the K-30 or K-50 if you want weather sealing, though the K-50 isn't currently on sale, and the K-30 is last year's model (basically the same camera). Here is a specs comparison:

Pentax Cameras | Pentax K-500 vs. Pentax K-50 vs. Pentax K-30 - Pentax DSLR Comparison - PentaxForums.com

Hope this helps

Adam
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02-19-2014, 10:29 PM - 1 Like   #3
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All Pentax DSLRs are compatible with film camera lenses. Although, compatible cameras need special settings to make them work with the lenses. Ie, M lenses, and M42 lenses. With M lenses you need to change a setting in the camera to be able to use them. With M42 lenses you need an adapter to mount them to the camera.

Here's a link to let you read for more info.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/58-pentax-beginners-corner-q/110658-using...x-dslrs-f.html

That's what I get when I can't type faster than Adam.
02-19-2014, 10:35 PM   #4
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Although you've already received the *right answer* from Adam & photolady, I wanted to add that this is one reason that Pentax was attractive. One can have a blast (& spend all their pocket money!!) buying legacy film era lenses from eBay & thrift/pawn shops & garage sales.

So, which film lenses you got? Wanna sell some? ;-)

02-19-2014, 10:47 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by dansamy Quote
Although you've already received the *right answer* from Adam & photolady, I wanted to add that this is one reason that Pentax was attractive. One can have a blast (& spend all their pocket money!!) buying legacy film era lenses from eBay & thrift/pawn shops & garage sales.

So, which film lenses you got? Wanna sell some? ;-)
I actually bought a lot deal on eBay about 6 years ago and have no idea on value or if they are considered good lenses. All I know is that they have been all I have needed for my film prints.

Quanta ray 85-210 mm F:3.8 Macro
Five star 35-75mm
This lens just says: multi coated f= 70-210mm
Vivi tar 135 mm telephoto
Pentax 50 mm
02-19-2014, 10:48 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
All Pentax DSLRs have the same lens compatibility: they natively support all K-mount film lenses. M and K lenses can be used with stop-down metering only, but all other lenses (A, F, FA) will work just like they did on your film camera, w/ full AF and AE functionality.

For a first DSLR, I'd recommend getting the K-500, which is currently on sale for $449 (with kit lens):
Pentax K-500 Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens

Pentax K-500 Review - Introduction - PentaxForums.com

You could also get the K-30 or K-50 if you want weather sealing, though the K-50 isn't currently on sale, and the K-30 is last year's model (basically the same camera). Here is a specs comparison:

Pentax Cameras | Pentax K-500 vs. Pentax K-50 vs. Pentax K-30 - Pentax DSLR Comparison - PentaxForums.com

Hope this helps
This is awesome information, I was looking at the kx model because it said it was the easiest to use, but I will look into the other models you mentioned super excited to research my next investment thank you
02-19-2014, 10:52 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by photolady95 Quote
All Pentax DSLRs are compatible with film camera lenses. Although, compatible cameras need special settings to make them work with the lenses. Ie, M lenses, and M42 lenses. With M lenses you need to change a setting in the camera to be able to use them. With M42 lenses you need an adapter to mount them to the camera.

Here's a link to let you read for more info.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/58-pentax-beginners-corner-q/110658-using...x-dslrs-f.html

That's what I get when I can't type faster than Adam.
How do I know which type of lens I have? I don't see m lens on any of mine... Would it say so on the lens?
Thank you
02-19-2014, 11:00 PM   #8
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Next to the larger number on the aperture, if there is an "A" there it isn't an M lens, if there is no "A" there, it's an M lenses. Meaning, with an A lenses you don't have to do any camera settings so it will work with a DSLR, but if the lenses doesn't have the "A" on it, then the manual lenses just needs some settings in the camera for you to use it.

02-19-2014, 11:02 PM - 1 Like   #9
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Without knowing your lenses, just a warning that you might need to do some surgery on your lenses.
For lenses with PK/R mount, check for the Ricoh pin; the pin might get stuck in the camera mount. Do a search on this forum and on the web.
Some lenses have a shield that protects the aperture lever; this shield might be too big and as a result uou can't mount the lens.

I'm not aware of issues with original Pentax lenses, but that's not a 100% guarantee. Post a list of your lenses (complete description like Pentax F28-80/3.5-4.5), people might be able to advise if you're going to need to do some surgery or not.

//edit
I see you posted the list while I was typing
02-19-2014, 11:05 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by photolady95 Quote
Next to the larger number on the aperture, if there is an "A" there it isn't an M lens, if there is no "A" there, it's an M lenses. Meaning, with an A lenses you don't have to do any camera settings so it will work with a DSLR, but if the lenses doesn't have the "A" on it, then the manual lenses just needs some settings in the camera for you to use it.
Three of mine say mc, one says SMC, and the other one just says auto zoom

---------- Post added 02-20-14 at 01:18 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Midnit_kos86 Quote
Three of mine say mc, one says SMC, and the other one just says auto zoom
These are my lenses: I'm assuming the last one is the only A lens

Quanta ray 85-210 mm F:3.8 Macro
Five star 35-75mm 1:3.5-4.8 MC
This lens just says: multi coated f= 70-210mm 1:4.0auto zoom
Vivi tar 135 mm 1:2.8 MC telephoto
SMC Pentax-A 50 mm 1:2
02-19-2014, 11:22 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Midnit_kos86 Quote
Three of mine say mc, one says SMC
Yes, those letters mean, mc = Mulitcoated, and SMC = Super Mulitcoated. But the letter A would be near where you turn the Aperture ring, next to the f number like, 22, or 32.
02-19-2014, 11:33 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by photolady95 Quote
Yes, those letters mean, mc = Mulitcoated, and SMC = Super Mulitcoated. But the letter A would be near where you turn the Aperture ring, next to the f number like, 22, or 32.


---------- Post added 02-20-14 at 01:50 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by photolady95 Quote
Yes, those letters mean, mc = Mulitcoated, and SMC = Super Mulitcoated. But the letter A would be near where you turn the Aperture ring, next to the f number like, 22, or 32.
Duh, yes I see it now, - thank you so if no A it's an M and needs camera settings adjusted. I hope to get this all figured out...eventually
02-20-2014, 12:06 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Midnit_kos86 Quote
so if no A it's an M and needs camera settings adjusted
It's not as complicated as you might think it is. But yes, if there is no A then it is strictly a manual lens. Some A lenses are manual focus too.

When you get your Pentax DSLR, that link I gave you about how to shoot those manual lenses has all the info you need to start using them with your new camera.
02-20-2014, 06:59 AM - 1 Like   #14
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Welcome to the forums. The K-500 (along with the rest of the industry) has gotten so affordable, and the K-500 and K-50 offer so much value, that there isn't a better time to transition to digital.

After you get settled in, you may find that you will need/want to pick up one or two wide angle lenses to supplement your collection. Most DSLRs in the industry have sensors which are cropped by 1.5x relative to the 35mm film size, which effectively pushes your whole lens collection in the telephoto direction. IOW, a 35 mm lens is now considered to be the new normal, rather than a 50 mm lens. As another example, the Pentax DA21 Ltd is a good wide angle lens, similar to what a 33mm lens would produce on film.

The PF membership loves to talk about lenses, so you will have no shortage of suggestions, when you are ready to go there.
02-20-2014, 10:04 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tanzer Quote
Welcome to the forums. The K-500 (along with the rest of the industry) has gotten so affordable, and the K-500 and K-50 offer so much value, that there isn't a better time to transition to digital.

After you get settled in, you may find that you will need/want to pick up one or two wide angle lenses to supplement your collection. Most DSLRs in the industry have sensors which are cropped by 1.5x relative to the 35mm film size, which effectively pushes your whole lens collection in the telephoto direction. IOW, a 35 mm lens is now considered to be the new normal, rather than a 50 mm lens. As another example, the Pentax DA21 Ltd is a good wide angle lens, similar to what a 33mm lens would produce on film.

The PF membership loves to talk about lenses, so you will have no shortage of suggestions, when you are ready to go there.
Feeling very welcome here like I should have noon here all along
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