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02-23-2010, 01:40 AM   #1
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Pentax K-X: Flash/Len Compatibility

Hi all,
I'm really very new to dSLRs and had not even own one dslr camera but after reading so much, I had more or less decided on pentax k-x due to its very good reviews.

However, I have some questions and do appreciate that you guys can help me out even if it sounds really silly to you :ugh:

1) If I want to use an external flash, must I only buy pentax flash? Or can I just buy any flash in the market to hook onto my pentax k-x's body?

2) Same question here to switching lens. I have read up and I know that adapters for pentax do exists but is there a wide variety of lens that I can mount onto my k-x without the need of adapters?

3) I'm from singapore and a lot of people suggested me getting a canon or nikon camera because of their wide range and availability (lens, etc). Are pentax stuffs limited or very much expensive compared to canon's and nikon's?

I do not wish into getting something only to regret in future since a dslr is not cheap (so does their accessories).

Once again, many thanks for all the help I can get.

02-23-2010, 02:33 AM - 1 Like   #2
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1) You don't have to buy a pentax flash; check out If your question implies that you want to use a Nikon or Canon flash, I'm not sure how to answer; I doubt that it will provide full functionality. I have used a very old Metz 45CT1 (bought somewhere in the 80s) on my K10D; indeed with limited functionality but it did the job.
Yes. Adaptors are only required for lenses that don't have the Pentax K-mount bayonet. See Camera Lens - Official PENTAX Imaging Web Site for a list of currently available Pentax lenses; Sigma, Tamron and others also make lenses with the Pentax bayonet.
I don't think Pentax lenses are more expensive than similar quality Nikon or Canon lenses. The choice in Pentax lenses is more limited compared to Nikon or Canon but the basics for the normal user are fully covered (from 10mm to 300mm).

I suggest that you go to some shops and see what the availability is of Pentax gear and its costs in your area. Compare it to some similar Canon and Nikon setups including some future extensions (e.g. a flash) that you think are needed.
02-23-2010, 02:40 PM   #3
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Basically, the flash or lens doesn't have to be made *by* Pentax, but it should be made *for* Pentax. Should be clearly marked in the description of the item. For "autoflash" units, you don't need one specifically for flash, but the level of automation is nowhere near what it is with dedicated flashes (google the term "auto flash" for more info, orcheck out any book on photography).
02-23-2010, 04:27 PM   #4
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Im also curious about what Pentax lenses can be used on the KX/K7s. First it would be helpful to understand what type of mount these cameras have? the name/classification i mean? I know all Pentax lenses are compatible, but they seem to have different names like bayonet and screw on or m, k mount..? i could be wrong just dont know them all or how many there actually are, or what the mounts look like. In searching for used older lenses online, which was a buying point for me,all the lens options and the bargains to be had on the older stuff... What should be the important aspects in a lens when looking for one that will work well with these cameras? What is really a bargain? I mean ive seen some selling for 20.00 that are considered vintage. I understand your dealing with manual focus, but im sure there is some nice older glass to play with if you knew what you were looking for. thank you

02-23-2010, 06:12 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by jas Quote
Im also curious about what Pentax lenses can be used on the KX/K7s. First it would be helpful to understand what type of mount these cameras have? the name/classification i mean?
They have what's called the "crippled" KAF2 mount.

The "crippled" part means that to meter with older manual lenses (those without an "A" setting for aperture), you must press a button. This isn't onerous, but it's definitely less nice than continuous metering. This is because the older lenses required a physical linkage to determine the set aperture, and as a cost-savings and simplicity measure, that's been dropped.

So the basic thing is: lenses with an A setting (or designed-for-digital lenses with no aperture ring at all) are more convenient than the older "M" lenses, but the older ones will still work.

The second thing to know is that even older lenses are "screw mount", instead of "K mount" (which is a "bayonet" mount the twist-lock thing). These lenses require an adapter to mount.

There's some other novelties and quirks, like power-zoom lenses from the 1990s (which work but can't be power-zoomed), and some concerns about the Ricoh-branded RK lenses, but really the above two things are the most important.

You can learn a whole lot on Bojidar Dimitrov's Pentax K-Mount Page maybe start with
Pentax Lens Terminology and Summary of the K-Mount Evolution, Names, and Features .
02-23-2010, 08:34 PM   #6
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But the short answer is that there is screw mount (aka m42) and K mount (aka bayonet) and no other for Pentax. The screw mount is much older, and screw mount lenses require an adapter. The K-mount has been around for about 35 years, and unless a lens for Pentax says it is screwmount (or M42), then it is K mount. All else is just slight variations on the basic idea of K-mount - slight but poentially important variations if you care about auto focus or exposure - but still, K-mount, meaning it fits the camera with no adapter.
02-23-2010, 10:52 PM   #7
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Thanks guys, both those replys helped greatly and in the correct order. The very informative and detailed then the translation in laymans Im off to read up in the links Matt provided. Thanks again.


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