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05-02-2008, 08:04 AM   #1
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Question about Pentax Film Camera

I am new to digital SLR photography. (I've owed a digital point and shoot for a couple of years and a film SLR for about 35 years.) In January I purchased a Pentax K10D when it went on sale prior to the introduction of the K20D. I really like this camera and am enjoying it greatly. One of the selling points for purchasing a Pentax camera was the statement by the salesman that eventhough Pentax camera changes, the old lens will usually fit on the newer cameras.

So assuming that (1) I don't want to purchase a second digital SLR, (2) I want a back-up/alternative camera for situations where I don't want/have time to change lens, (3) I can pick up a Pentax film SLR camera on E-Bay for a song and (4) that the digital lens I have for my K10D will fit on this film SLR (even if they don't retain full digital functionality.) Does anyone have any suggestions for what type of Pentax film SLR I should look for on E-Bay?

I have a 32 year old, well-used Minolta XE-7 (with some nice lens) that would be almost free to a good home if anyone is interested. But I don't want to lug around two complete camera systems, just to have two cameras. But it seems to me that if I could pick up a cheap used Pentax film SLR, then just carrying around that body and using the digital lens, might make for an inexpensive solution for those rare occurance when I don't have time or don't want to change lens, but do have time to switch cameras.

Or am I, as I frequently am, delusional and coming up with a solution that is far more complicated than required to solve what is essentially a non-existent problem?

EDIT: I posted this on the digital SLR forum because I was hoping that digital SLR users might have better insight on which film SLR cameras would work best with digital lens.

Last edited by ncinpa; 05-02-2008 at 08:14 AM.
05-02-2008, 09:03 AM   #2
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My own opinion, stated here too many times already, is a PZ-1 or PZ-1p

The reason is simple, it is virtually a film version of a K10D right down to the dual thumb wheels.

It has a great viewfinder, and one advantage over the K10D, in that it has a fully functional mount, which means it can meter correctly in apature mode with early K mounts that have mechanical apature.

It has TTL flash, so if you get an AF540FGZ it will work and be interchangeable on both cameras.

The PZ-1 can also use FA-J lenses (i.e. the "crippled" K mount) and there are many kit lenses like the FA-J 18-35 which make a great ultra wide for film.

All you really need to do, when selecting lenses is to insure all your lenses are full frame. That limits you a little, but not too much.

In my collection of lenses, which is presently 14, 8 MF 6 AF lenses, only my sigma 10-20mm zoom is not full frame.
05-02-2008, 09:09 AM   #3
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For convenience's sake, I'd suggest you concentrate on two classes of cameras:
- autofocus, if you want to retain AF
- K-A compatible manual focus, if you want to retain auto exposure modes, though with manual focus.

Of autofocus, I have the ZX-10 which I like, though the 'in', 'top' camera would be something like the XZ-5...

Of the manual focus, I have the Program Plus which I also like, a lot, though there are other 'in' 'top' bodies I'm sure will be suggested to you.

All film cameras work with digital lenses, though if your lens doesn't have the aperture ring one of the auto-exposure models would do better. The K-A and autofocus cameras will allow at least some compatibility there.

The other thing is some digital lenses will vignette - with a bit of searching you can find which ones do and which ones don't. Many zooms for example will vignette at the wide end but not towards the long end.
05-02-2008, 09:25 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies.

I already have the lens, so I'm looking for is a compatible body.

The lens I have are: (1) FA50/F1.4, (2) DA*16-50/F2.8, and (3) DA 50-200/F4-5.6.

I guess I should have put that information in the original post.

05-02-2008, 09:39 AM   #5
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A quick check of E-Bay suggested that used PZ-10's and ZX-10's were going for about $10 to $20 for the body only. Used ZX-50's were going for abot $20 to $30 for the body only. Couldn't find any PZ-1p's on E-Bay.

Do these prices sound right for a used, but fully functional camera body?
05-02-2008, 10:16 AM   #6
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I find that era cameras are shockingly low priced these days: they suffer from being too new, too '80s/90s (not retro enough).

Here, in case you need to check for mount compatibility:
The Pentax Camera Lens Compatibility Chart

Don't take all those red Xs too seriously on the DA lenses - most will work just fine, they just aren't GUARANTEED to meet all image criteria across a full frame.

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