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06-01-2015, 06:30 PM   #1
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Pentax SMC A80mm F4.7-200mm F5.6 Zoom Issue

Hello Everyone,

I'm brand new to the world of Pentax. I'd previously been a Nikon guy, but the crippling prices of Nikon glass and a few other issues finally drove me away. I was advised by an acquaintance to give Pentax a try. I'm now the very happy owner of a K-01 and already have begun to get much better photos than I had with my previous Nikon D200 or D3100.

Anyway, I have the stock pancake lens that came with the K-01 but I decided to look around for a zoom lens. I found one at a local Pawn America and they're willing to bargain on the price since they've been sitting on it for a long time. It is an SMC Pentax-A 80-200mm f4.7-5.6 zoom lens. I found the entry page for it here and checked out the specs. I also looked over the lens and everything looked great. It even came in the original box with the old Pentax lenses catalog from 1983.

I brought my K-01 in and attached it and the first thing that happened was a message from my camera asking me to input the focal length. I'm confused now. I thought since it was an autofocus lens, that the camera and lens would automatically communicate? I went ahead and dialed in the focal length and then discovered that it would only be a manual focus. I double checked the box and lens body to confirm that it was an auto-focus lens and it is. But, there is no auto focus happening.

I'm very green with Pentax so maybe I did something wrong? I like the lens, but I'd prefer to have the option to use the auto focus when I want. I don't mind manually focusing the lens, but I already found that I'd definitely need to use a tripod as my hands shake too much to get the absolute sharpest photos I want.

Is there any advice from the experienced or pros here? I'm all ears! Thanks!

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06-01-2015, 06:57 PM   #2
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That's not an autofocus lens, just auto aperture. DA, DFA, FA and F lenses are autofocus.

If you want a little more reach I can recommend the 18-135mm for the K-01. The camera otherwise struggles with longer screwdrive lenses.
06-01-2015, 07:00 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
That's not an autofocus lens, just auto aperture. DA, DFA, FA and F lenses are autofocus.
QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
That's not an autofocus lens, just auto aperture. DA, DFA, FA and F lenses are autofocus.
Thanks Adam. I really need to read up on Pentax and become more familiar with the nomenclature. I still like the lens. I will have to grab a tripod when I use it.
06-01-2015, 08:27 PM   #4
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Amazing to see one in mint condition like that. But as Adam noted it is a Pentax-A lens and those are not auto-focus. The 'F' series was the first to use AF. If you do get the lens you need to make sure the aperture ring is in the 'A' position so that the camera can see the lens. Otherwise you cannot control the aperture from the camera.

Look here for info on the lens series: Pentax K-Mount Lenses Explained: The differences between various Pentax lens series
Also here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/58-troubleshooting-beginner-help/49283-us...ces-about.html for the beginners guide to all things Pentax.

---------- Post added 06-01-15 at 08:30 PM ----------

If you are looking for bargain AF glass for Pentax try this pair:
SMC Pentax-F 35-70mm F3.5-4.5 Reviews - F Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
SMC Pentax-F 70-210mm F4-5.6 Reviews - F Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

They both compare favorably with modern glass and usually go for very little money.

06-02-2015, 08:12 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Amazing to see one in mint condition like that. But as Adam noted it is a Pentax-A lens and those are not auto-focus. The 'F' series was the first to use AF. If you do get the lens you need to make sure the aperture ring is in the 'A' position so that the camera can see the lens. Otherwise you cannot control the aperture from the camera.

Look here for info on the lens series: Pentax K-Mount Lenses Explained: The differences between various Pentax lens series
Also here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/58-troubleshooting-beginner-help/49283-us...ces-about.html for the beginners guide to all things Pentax.

---------- Post added 06-01-15 at 08:30 PM ----------

If you are looking for bargain AF glass for Pentax try this pair:
SMC Pentax-F 35-70mm F3.5-4.5 Reviews - F Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
SMC Pentax-F 70-210mm F4-5.6 Reviews - F Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

They both compare favorably with modern glass and usually go for very little money.
Thanks jatrax! Those links were especially helpful with deciphering the different lenses for Pentax. I've bookmarked them and will be referring back to them frequently till I have them memorized.

I've been finding a fair number of mostly manual focus lenses for Pentax at shopgoodwill.com and might have a lead on a few decent ones. If it weren't for the price of shipping, Goodwill would be practically giving them away. I'm starting to notice that there are probably a fair number of Pentax lenses at the local pawn shops so I think my decision to come over to Pentax will reward me richly. The prices seem rather low on a lot of the lenses.

I only have one regret so far with Pentax: I only wish I'd switched over to it much sooner!

Thanks everyone!
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