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09-14-2010, 08:04 PM   #1
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Can I use my Dslr Pentax lenses on a film SLR?

I have had a K-x for about 9 months now. I have 2 dslr lenses and 2 old k mount lenses. My sister just purchased a used Pentax P3 for a photo class. I was wondering if I can use my Dslr lenses on it?

She has kept it at school the few times Ive visited so I havent been able to play with it, arggg! But I assume she was sold a basic lens of normal focal lengths. I want to throw on my Sigma 50mm to see how well it works. I told her to try to find a Pentax if possible. The photo store around here scoops up all the used ones during the summer, reconditions them, and then sells them fairly priced to students. If your looking for a decent film camera, Id try a store this time of year. You may get lucky.

09-14-2010, 08:18 PM   #2
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Absolutely- all Pentax K-mount lenses can be used with your DSLR (and m42 screwmounts can also be used as well, but they will require an adapter).

See:
Pentax K-Mount Lenses Explained: The differences between various Pentax lens series
Comprehensive Pentax Lens Listings - Pentax Lens Review Database
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-lens-articles/110657-how-use-manua...7-k-x-etc.html

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09-14-2010, 08:21 PM   #3
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Geez... I thought I misread the question and deleted my post. But I think it's you Adam who misread.

You can use your DSLR lenses on a film SLR as long as it has the aperture ring on it (this is the surest way to know if it's a full frame lens in my opinion). Modern DA lenses are designed for the cropped APS-C sensor so will produce vignetting on a full film frame.

Also, because of the lack of the aperture ring, I think it may not stop up properly, but please correct me on this point if I'm wrong.

Last edited by Nachodog; 09-14-2010 at 08:42 PM.
09-14-2010, 08:34 PM   #4
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You're right, I misread- I answered the question the other way around.

I also have a link with the answer to the intended question, though, and here it is: The Pentax Camera Lens Compatibility Chart

Short answer: yes, you can use them, but it's neither practical nor recommended. See the chart for details. (and the above post )


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09-14-2010, 08:36 PM   #5
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I've been beaten to it, But I was going to say probably not. I'd guess, due to sensor crop, you'll have vignetting and, without an aperture ring, trouble stopping up and down for metering/focusing.

Maybe not though. It might be worth trying a frame or two, if not an entire roll of film, to find out.
09-14-2010, 11:01 PM   #6
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The lens will mount properly
I'm not sure if that sigma has aperture ring though. If it doesn't then you have to rely on the camera P mode.

Give it a try and check for vignetting. The Pentax 18-55 works properly and there is no vigneting from 24mm onwards
Other than that I use FA/M/K lenses in the DSLR
09-14-2010, 11:47 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies, yes the Sigma does have an aperture ring on it, so thats good. I also wanted to ask if Id get AF on one of the lenses but I was pretty sure that wont happen. Ill have to take it out and shoot some pics with it. It will be weird not being able to see what they look like, whether they are even vignetting or not until I get the film developed. Havent had to worry about film for 10 years.
09-14-2010, 11:58 PM   #8
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If it's an AF, non HSM lens, then you'll have AF on the film body as well. This is also specified in the chart I liked above- just look at the end of each cell- it'll say either mf or mf/af.


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09-15-2010, 01:19 AM   #9
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For info, my daily camera is a Pentax Super Program (non autofocus film camera from teh early 80s) I use it with either the FA43/1.9 ldt or the FA31/18ltd with full compatibility and splendid results.

Those 2 lenses were the last developped for film with the FA77/1.9ltd, released in the early 2000. They are still produced by Pentax.

The problem with camera like the Super Program is that they need the the aperture ring on the lens to have Av mode (Shutter priority and Program mode will work without)

So basically if you can live without it, you can use DA70/2.4, DA*55/1.4 etc as those DA cover the Full Frame, but anything wider than DA40 will produce heavy vigneting. Adam's chart is very informative about the limitation and compatbility issue.

Please note that no other brand offer such compatility. Nikon comes as second but before putting any old lens on a body, you have to go first through pages of compatibility issues, and the way round is even more a headache. One of the great reasons to stay with Pentax.
09-15-2010, 03:59 AM   #10
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The p3 is manual focus REVIEW HERE
HOWEVER it has a nifty depth of field preview button that can help you see how the picture will look like before you press the shutter

It will also meter the light properly for you. I have the P30t which is very similar and is a champ!
09-15-2010, 05:23 AM   #11
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Some full-format auto-focus lenses do work quite well on older film cameras. I used my 90mm Tamron Macro Di on an LX and it worked great. BUT -- that lens does have an aperture ring and a manual focus ring that can be engaged.
09-15-2010, 11:38 AM   #12
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When I got my K10D, three years ago, I put the 18-55mm kit lens on my Pentax SF1 film camera, just for fun.

At 18mm, there was very noticeable vignetting. I estimate that the image circle of the lens is about 30mm at that FL. The image was round on the ends, but flat on top, meaning that it was more than the 24mm height of the film image, but smaller than the 36mm length. Consider it a poor man's fisheye.

At 55mm, there was no vignetting, and no noticeable barrel distortion. I think that the shortest FL I could use, without vignetting, was about 30mm. I didn't do any pixel peeping to check for edge sharpness.

The P3 was a manual focus camera, designed for A-series lenses, with the electrical contacts, so an aperture ring is not absolutely necessary.

Nachodog, Pentax did make a few full-frame, autofocus lenses without aperture rings. These are the FA-J lenses.
09-15-2010, 06:47 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by noblepa Quote
Nachodog, Pentax did make a few full-frame, autofocus lenses without aperture rings. These are the FA-J lenses.
Cool! Didn't know that. I'll check them out in the database!
09-15-2010, 08:18 PM   #14
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DA lens, aperture ring or not - you may still be able to use it on a film SLR just fine, depending on the lens and the film SLR body in question.

The Super Program and newer can set the aperture without needing an aperture ring - a lens without an aperture ring is effectively the same as a Pentax-A (or F, FA...) lens with the ring set to the 'A' setting. If you can use the body to set the aperture you're all good.

The next consideration is whether the lens will appropriately cover the 35mm image circle. Even if it's a 'DA' lens it may still cover the 35mm frame OK. Look for a thread by falconeye named "DA lenses on full frame" or similar. Some of the DA* lenses are actually rated for full frame according to their lens patent!
The longer the FL the more likely that coverage will be OK, and in my experience with the DA35 Ltd the focus distance also plays a part.
So the DA*300 I would expect to work well, but the DA15Ltd I wouldn't even try
09-15-2010, 08:30 PM   #15
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I don't have a lot of them and this is a garbage scan but..

DA*50-135 on Pentax MZ-S. Couldn't tell you what the actual FL was but it is most likely wide open at f2.8. That, since I didn't know how to control the aperture (sort of) on that camera without an aperture ring.



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