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08-09-2010, 02:33 AM   #1
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Complete n00b to interchangeable lenses.

I've had 2 digital cameras in my life so far, first one was a little 2 megapixel travel camera that was useless. Then i purchased a Minolta Dimage Z1 for the 10x optical zoom and i had fun using the manual controls, playing around with exposure times, aperture settings, depth of field, ect...

I'm now going to buy a Pentax K-x, i know i'm getting into a camera where i can have MUCH more control over settings than either of my previous cameras, but if i don't know how to do it, i can learn it, thats what books and the internet are for.

My Question is, How do i tell what lenses will work with a certain camera BESIDES what the website says the lens is compatible with? What about in a local store, are there markings on the lens that would tell me if it is compatible? What kind of mount does the camera have?

I do a search on google for "pentax k-x compatible lenses" and all the results i get contain stuff like "k-mount" or "FX" lenses..... but there is no explanation as to what that means.

Can anyone point me to something i can read, or study? All brands of lenses, since i imagine that some lenses would be interchangeable between brands of cameras.

08-09-2010, 02:41 AM   #2
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Welcome !
I'm sure folks will be along shortly with links and good ideas
Get the standard 18-55 mm lens that comes with it. If you can get a good deal on the 55-300mm as a twin offer get that too. They are a fine place to start. The K-x is a very nice little camera.
Pete
08-09-2010, 02:46 AM   #3
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Well with Camera brands it's pretty simple

Pentax is for Pentax

Canon is for Canon

Nikon is for Nikon

Sony is for Sony

that's the easy part

There's third party brands like Sigma and Tamron that make lenses for all brands, but each mount is dedicated to one camera brand and can't just be swapped between brands.

Here's where it gets fun: Any lens that has ever been made for a Pentax camera will fit on every Pentax camera ever made, Nikon and Canon have switched their lens mounts over the years, forcing people to buy new lens collections but if you shoot Pentax then you can use over 50 years worth of glass on current dslr bodies

As for the identifying lenses, there's no tell tale sign on the lens itself but it's pretty simple, if has the Word "Pentax" on it then it's a Pentax lens and will work on any Pentax body, if it's a third party brand then on the box the lens will say "for Pentax" and will work on any Pentax body
08-09-2010, 03:03 AM   #4
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Here's a list of compatible lenses:

Pentax: Pentax Lens Review Database - Lens Listings
Third-Party: PentaxForums.com Third-Party Lens Review Database - Lens Listings


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08-09-2010, 11:10 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by future_retro Quote
Well with Camera brands it's pretty simple

Pentax is for Pentax

Canon is for Canon

Nikon is for Nikon

Sony is for Sony

that's the easy part

There's third party brands like Sigma and Tamron that make lenses for all brands, but each mount is dedicated to one camera brand and can't just be swapped between brands.

Here's where it gets fun: Any lens that has ever been made for a Pentax camera will fit on every Pentax camera ever made, Nikon and Canon have switched their lens mounts over the years, forcing people to buy new lens collections but if you shoot Pentax then you can use over 50 years worth of glass on current dslr bodies

As for the identifying lenses, there's no tell tale sign on the lens itself but it's pretty simple, if has the Word "Pentax" on it then it's a Pentax lens and will work on any Pentax body, if it's a third party brand then on the box the lens will say "for Pentax" and will work on any Pentax body
Ok, so there is NO lens made by first party manufacturers that will fit other first party cameras. What if i find a third party lens somewhere with no box or packaging, either a secondhand store or a family member, they don't know what camera it fits, is there an easy way to tell what camera it will fit?
08-09-2010, 11:22 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Silverkarn Quote
Ok, so there is NO lens made by first party manufacturers that will fit other first party cameras. What if i find a third party lens somewhere with no box or packaging, either a secondhand store or a family member, they don't know what camera it fits, is there an easy way to tell what camera it will fit?
Look for PK, PK/A (better) near the lens mount. Tamron and Sigma also have a selection of lenses for pentax. Their higher end zooms are particularly well made.

Be aware however.. SOME lenses though they are technically Pentax K mounts, have a pin that will cause them to get stuck on the camera. It seems to happen to a few newbies (to Pentax K mount) on a regular basis. These lenses are made for Ricoh cameras, which also uses the K mount (PK/A-R). See the forum threads recently on Stuck Lenses. These are Typically Sears branded lenses but may also cover the other major department stores (Wards, JC Penny, etc) of days gone by.

If you find a lens, and are unsure, just ask. There probably isn't a lens that Somebody here is inexperienced with.

08-09-2010, 11:46 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
Look for PK, PK/A (better) near the lens mount. Tamron and Sigma also have a selection of lenses for pentax. Their higher end zooms are particularly well made.

Be aware however.. SOME lenses though they are technically Pentax K mounts, have a pin that will cause them to get stuck on the camera. It seems to happen to a few newbies (to Pentax K mount) on a regular basis. These lenses are made for Ricoh cameras, which also uses the K mount (PK/A-R). See the forum threads recently on Stuck Lenses. These are Typically Sears branded lenses but may also cover the other major department stores (Wards, JC Penny, etc) of days gone by.

If you find a lens, and are unsure, just ask. There probably isn't a lens that Somebody here is inexperienced with.

Thanks for the advice, after some searching these forums and dpreview i found a bunch of pictures of the offending pin and will be on the lookout for lenses with the visible pin which i will remove before using.
08-09-2010, 02:34 PM   #8
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As already mentioned, some are marked PK on the lens mount or just below the aperture ring. Many are not, and the best way to ID is to look at the mount itself. Check this link

SLR Lens Mount Identification Guide

and they have nice pictures of them all, and a note about the KR lenses as well. Those can be modified, someone posted a thread about it not long ago, you'll have to do some poking around here on the forums.

Anything that says PENTAX, of course will fit. With an adapter, screw mount lenses can work. I have the adapter and will be keeping an eye open for lenses, might be fun to tinker with.

Lenses that fit Pentax were made by Vivitar, Tamron, Samigon, Panagor, Makinon (I have a 135), and several other 3rd party manufacturers, if it's not marked, check the link above and look at the mount. I think my now junk 70-210 is a Panagor or Samigon, can't remember.

Also in years gone by, Pentax made SEARS cameras. I think the KX and K1000 were both stamped Sears, but actually Pentax cameras. You have to watch Sears lenses though, some of those will have the KR mount that will lock up on the camera. Other companies made Sears lenses, but I think Ricoh and Mamiya made most of them. I have a 80-200 on order, got it rally cheap (under $25), can't wait to try it out. I've verified already it's a K mount, not KR...So Sears lenses may also fit. But be careful, you don't wanna get bit by that KR lens pin...

08-09-2010, 05:08 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paleo Pete Quote
As already mentioned, some are marked PK on the lens mount or just below the aperture ring. Many are not, and the best way to ID is to look at the mount itself. Check this link

SLR Lens Mount Identification Guide

and they have nice pictures of them all, and a note about the KR lenses as well. Those can be modified, someone posted a thread about it not long ago, you'll have to do some poking around here on the forums.

Anything that says PENTAX, of course will fit. With an adapter, screw mount lenses can work. I have the adapter and will be keeping an eye open for lenses, might be fun to tinker with.

Lenses that fit Pentax were made by Vivitar, Tamron, Samigon, Panagor, Makinon (I have a 135), and several other 3rd party manufacturers, if it's not marked, check the link above and look at the mount. I think my now junk 70-210 is a Panagor or Samigon, can't remember.

Also in years gone by, Pentax made SEARS cameras. I think the KX and K1000 were both stamped Sears, but actually Pentax cameras. You have to watch Sears lenses though, some of those will have the KR mount that will lock up on the camera. Other companies made Sears lenses, but I think Ricoh and Mamiya made most of them. I have a 80-200 on order, got it rally cheap (under $25), can't wait to try it out. I've verified already it's a K mount, not KR...So Sears lenses may also fit. But be careful, you don't wanna get bit by that KR lens pin...
Some Sears lenses will fit, others won't. I've had 2 different copies of the 135 f2.8. One worked great without modification (K10d) and the other wouldn't even go on the camera (though it came with and worked on an ME Super).

08-10-2010, 10:11 AM   #10
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As mentioned, any Pentax-compatible lens ever made will fit on any Pentax dSLR. As mentioned, the Ricoh Pin should be avoided. HOWEVER, I now have a few lenses (mostly Sears, with one Focal / K-Mart) which are KR, but the pin doesn't protrude, and they are NO trouble on my K20D nor ZX-M. And as mentioned, many third-parties sold glass mountable on Pentax SLRs, and most are compatible, and some are more compatible than others. And yes, you need to research and study and ask questions to find out which work best.

MOUNT DEFINITIONS:
M42: the old Praktica-Pentax screwmount, 42mm in diameter -- adapter required
PX: Pentax M42 mount -- abbreviation seen on some lens bases and adapters
M39: a 39mm screwmount semi-standard -- avoid these until you know more
K-mount: the now-standard Pentax bayonet mount, in its several variations
PK: Pentax K-mount -- common abbreviation
KA or PK/A: K-mount with aperture automation
KR or PK/R: Ricoh-compatible, with troublesome pin
KAF, KAF2: K-mount with focus automation (AF)

IDENTIFYING COMPATIBLE LENSES: Cheap macro tubes with PK mounts are sold on eBay. How cheap? Try US$7 shipped. These are modular, with thin mount adapters screwing into generic tubes. I carry the thin adapter section in my day bag. If I encounter a thrift-shop or yard-sale lens that might be Pentax but I'm not sure, I just whip out that adapter and try it on. And I usually follow my own advice: PAWNSHOP LENSES (and other used lenses) - A Buyers' Guide
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