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07-16-2014, 04:22 AM   #1
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New MX - can I use any lens?

Hi all,

I have owned a K-30 for the last year or so, and really enjoyed learning the skills of photography. I was encouraged to get a film camera too, to practice the art of (forced) careful composition and other exposure features.

My MX has arrived - a few tiny dents but looks good and seems to work - although of course the true test of that is 36 exposures away.....

I have several lenses for my K-30, including following:

20-40 Ltd

FA 50 1.7

DA 50 1.8

58 1.4 (Voigtlander)

55-300 WR (latest version)

100 WR Macro (latest version)

135 M

Whilst I recognise that, of course, there is no AF working on the MX, is there any reason why I shouldn't be able to use any of these lenses on the MX? I know the DA is 'optimised' for Digital, but does that mean it won't work on film? I really don't want to have to find out the hard way....


07-16-2014, 04:39 AM - 1 Like   #2
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#1 to look for is an aperture ring on the lens. Without it you can only shoot wide open, which is pretty useless in most situations.

And be aware that some lenses won't cover the full 35mm film frame, most likely the "DA" ones.
07-16-2014, 04:49 AM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by kentishrev Quote
I know the DA is 'optimised' for Digital, but does that mean it won't work on film? I really don't want to have to find out the hard way....
As above, the issue with DA-series lenses is that the image circle might not cover the entire frame, and that the lens will always stop down to the smallest aperture when you shoot. The FA50 and M135 will be fine, and I assume the Voigtlander will be also.
07-16-2014, 04:50 AM - 1 Like   #4
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As said, you need the lens to have an aperture ring or you will only be able to shoot wide open, and the MX having a fastest shutter speed of 1/1000th, this can become problematic...
The lens not having an aperture ring in you list are : 20-40, DA 50, 55-300, D-FA 100 WR.

As for the fact that DA lenses cover or not the 35mm image circle, you can go there : to know what each lens does.

FA 50 1.7 will work perfectly. I use the same lens on my MX.
Same for the M 135mm

I don't know for the 58mm, but based on what Google shows, I would say it's gonna work nicely too.

Edit : baro-nite was faster...

Last edited by nass_43; 07-16-2014 at 04:52 AM. Reason: baro-nite was faster...
07-16-2014, 04:51 AM - 1 Like   #5
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while you can technically use any of the K-mount lenses on a film body, its definately a case by case basis when it comes to digital lenses on a film body. I've used the 35mm 2.4 thats out now with minimal vignetting, but my 18-135 at 135 has HUGE vignetting. I go by what you see in the viewfinder is what your film will see, theory. Just my 2 cents, im sure someone with WAY more experience will chime in with better info, though. Good on you for shooting film btw. I starting about the same as you. I had a K-r first, then a K-30, then a buddy got me into film and since then ive gotten a K1000,MX, ME, ME super, Program Plus, PZ-1P, and a LX. Film is definately a way to hone your eye for photography. Anyways, hope this helps and happy shooting!
07-16-2014, 04:59 AM - 1 Like   #6
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Yep, some older cameras don't yet have things like AF and auto aperture. For those, your lens needs to have a focus ring (I think all Pentax lenses have this) and an aperture ring (some DA lenses do not have this)
You can check what the camera supports in the camera section:
Pentax Film Cameras - Pentax Camera Reviews and Specifications

MX is here: Pentax MX - Pentax Manual Focus Film SLRs - Pentax Camera Reviews and Specifications

The FA 50mm, Voigtlander 58mm and M 135mm should work perfectly well. You should be able to safely mount any of the other K-mount lenses, but you might not be able to set aperture, use metering, and other such things
07-16-2014, 05:55 AM - 1 Like   #7

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Photos using the Pentax MX at 18mm

(Top) SMC Pentax DA 1:3.5~5.6 18~55mm (Note the image circle and the purple cast around the edges)
(Bottom) SamYang 1:4.0~4.5 18~28mm ( A 35mm KR mount from the 1980's)
Attached Images
07-16-2014, 09:34 AM - 2 Likes   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by kentishrev Quote
I really don't want to have to find out the hard way....
To summarize the above comments with a specific focus on your MX:
  • Any K-mount lens with an aperture ring will work
  • A K-mount lens without an aperture ring may be usable in bright light, but only fully stopped down and with risk of vignette

Have fun. I think you will be very pleased with the Voigtlander 58/1.8 on the MX.


07-16-2014, 03:00 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by hks_kansei Quote
#1 to look for is an aperture ring on the lens. Without it you can only shoot wide open, which is pretty useless in most situations.
With an MX (and any other non-program camera), when using a lens without an aperture ring (or one with the aperture ring set to 'A'), the lens will always be stopped down to minimum aperture - not wide open. The metering will register the minimum aperture because the lens still has an aperture simulator.

EDIT: The aperture will be wide-open for focusing & metering, but will always close to minimum aperture (f22 or so) during the exposure.


Last edited by johnha; 07-16-2014 at 03:02 PM. Reason: Clarification RE: open aperture metering & viewing

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