Pentax power zoom lenses?

Started Jan 29, 2010 | Discussions
MusicDoctorDJ
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Pentax power zoom lenses?
Jan 29, 2010

I was asked a question at the store today about Pentax power zoom lenses and if they would work on a Pentax DSLR.

I know that Minolta tried them in the early days of auto focus, but have never heard of any Pentax lenses with power zoom.

Anyone here know anything about them, if they are indeed out there somewhere?

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J. D.
Colorado

brandrx
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Re: Pentax power zoom lenses?
In reply to MusicDoctorDJ, Jan 29, 2010

MusicDoctorDJ wrote:

I was asked a question at the store today about Pentax power zoom lenses and if they would work on a Pentax DSLR.

I know that Minolta tried them in the early days of auto focus, but have never heard of any Pentax lenses with power zoom.

Anyone here know anything about them, if they are indeed out there somewhere?

The Pentax FA*80-200mm f2.8 that I have is a Power Zoom (PZ) lens. All I know about this PZ lens is that it (the PZ) doesn't work on any of my DSLR's. K10D, K20D, K2000, K-x, or K-7. Otherwise the FA*80-200mm f2.8 lens is one of the best I've ever used.
http://www.bdimitrov.de/kmp/lenses/zooms/long/FA80-200f2.8.html

I seem to remember someone talking about another PZ lens. Perhaps in the 28-105mm range...or something like that.

Cheers.

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Ron - 'We don't have time to go take pics this afternoon Carl.'
Carl - 'What do you mean? It will only take 1/1000s.'

'Keep your eyes looking forward. However, glance back now and then to see where you've come from. It will put a smile on your face.' ~ brandrx

Ron ~ Retired.

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robert james
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Re: Pentax power zoom lenses DO work on K20D, K7
In reply to brandrx, Jan 29, 2010

Four major Pentax power zoom lenses:
80-200/2.8 (beyond awesome)
28-105/4-5.6 (excellent)
28-80 (avoid)
28-70/2.8 (excellent)

ALL work, in terms of zooming in and out via the motor, with my K20D. FOR SURE.
I assume they also work on the k7, but not the k-x.

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Ryhfeed
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Re: Pentax power zoom lenses DO work on K20D, K7
In reply to robert james, Jan 29, 2010

All power zoom lenses from pentax: FA28-80, FA 28-105, FA70-200, FA80-200, FA 100-300, FA 250-600 (yummy...) work fine on my K10D, K20D & K7. IF they ar not working on a pentax camera with SDM contacts either the lens or the camera is faulty.

Good Luck! / T

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Ryhfeed
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Re: Pentax power zoom lenses DO work on K20D, K7
In reply to Ryhfeed, Jan 29, 2010

Ryhfeed wrote:

All power zoom lenses from pentax: FA28-80, FA 28-105, FA70-200, FA80-200, FA 100-300, FA 250-600 (yummy...) work fine on my K10D, K20D & K7. IF they ar not working on a pentax camera with SDM contacts either the lens or the camera is faulty.

Good Luck! / T

Yeah, i forgot the excellent FA 28-70 also works fine.

T

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LKeithR
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Re: Pentax power zoom lenses?
In reply to MusicDoctorDJ, Jan 29, 2010

All Pentax Power Zoom lenses...

-SMC Pentax-FA 28-80mm F3.5-4.7
-SMC Pentax-FA 28-105mm F4-5.6
-SMC Pentax-FA 70-200mm F4-5.6
-SMC Pentax-FA 100-300mm F4.5-5.6
-SMC Pentax-FA* 28-70mm F2.8 AL
-SMC Pentax-FA* 80-200mm F2.8 ED [IF]
-SMC Pentax-FA* 250-600mm F5.6 ED [IF]

The power zoom function on my FA 28-105 and FA* 80-200 works fine on my K20D as well. Remember that you have to slide the zoom ring "forward" to expose the "Power Zoom" marking on the lens and activate the power zoom. I believe in the original configuration the power zoom was meant to track a subject (maintaining FOV?) but I don't think it ever lived up to expectations and certainly that part doesn't work on the K20D...

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brandrx
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Cleaned the contacts on the lens.
In reply to brandrx, Jan 29, 2010

brandrx wrote:

MusicDoctorDJ wrote:

I was asked a question at the store today about Pentax power zoom lenses and if they would work on a Pentax DSLR.

I know that Minolta tried them in the early days of auto focus, but have never heard of any Pentax lenses with power zoom.

Anyone here know anything about them, if they are indeed out there somewhere?

The Pentax FA*80-200mm f2.8 that I have is a Power Zoom (PZ) lens. All I know about this PZ lens is that it (the PZ) doesn't work on any of my DSLR's. K10D, K20D, K2000, K-x, or K-7. Otherwise the FA*80-200mm f2.8 lens is one of the best I've ever used.

I cleaned the power zoom (PZ) contacts on my FA*80-200mm f2.8 and now it (the PZ) works with my K10D, K20D, and K-7. It does not work with my K2000 or the K-x.

Cheers.

-- hide signature --

Ron - 'We don't have time to go take pics this afternoon Carl.'
Carl - 'What do you mean? It will only take 1/1000s.'

'Keep your eyes looking forward. However, glance back now and then to see where you've come from. It will put a smile on your face.' ~ brandrx

Ron ~ Retired.

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MusicDoctorDJ
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Re: Pentax power zoom lenses?
In reply to MusicDoctorDJ, Jan 29, 2010

Cool!

Thanks for the info.

They are going to bring the lenses in this weekend and I'll try them on my K10D.

Of course, since Pentax pulled out of the stores last summer, I can't sell them a new Pentax, but at least they'll know how their old lenses will work on a DSLR.

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J. D.
Colorado

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KentG
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Re: Pentax power zoom lenses?
In reply to LKeithR, Jan 29, 2010

No that function does not work on any of the more modern Pentax cameras, either film or DSLR. Just the power zooming function.
Kent Gittings

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Joseph Tainter
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Re: Pentax power zoom lenses?
In reply to MusicDoctorDJ, Jan 29, 2010

Several of the PZ lenses were optically superb. Buy them for that, not for the ability to power zoom. You will soon discover that PZ is just a gimmick that drains your battery. How hard is it to zoom a lens with your hand?

Joe

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LKeithR
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Re: Pentax power zoom lenses?
In reply to Joseph Tainter, Jan 29, 2010

Yeah, the FA* 80-200, for example, is a stellar lens but when I got mine I didn't even realize it was a power zoom till after I had played with it a bit. It's an "interesting" feature but I never use it...
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headmj
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Re: Pentax power zoom lenses?
In reply to Joseph Tainter, Jan 29, 2010

I never considered teh power zoom a gimmick. I got my first one with my PZ-1p and have loved the feature since. I wish thay still made it.

Mike

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st_martin
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Re: Pentax power zoom lenses?
In reply to MusicDoctorDJ, Jan 29, 2010

MusicDoctorDJ wrote:

Anyone here know anything about them, if they are indeed out there somewhere?

They are indeed out there. The first cameras I know of that employed it were the Z/PZ series introduced with the KAF2 mount in 1991. There were a number of neat features, but I don't know how well they worked. The most interesting one to me is Image Size Tracking. I almost got run over by a horse in a parade in NW Arkansas one time because I tried to do IST on my all-manual MX. It would have made a great shot (very pretty lady in bright colorful costume riding a beautiful horse), but I was unable to both zoom correctly and focus in time. I noticed the danger I had created by the look of alarm on the pretty lady's face, and jumped out of the horse's path just barely in time. Of course I missed the shot. I saw an interesting use of IST in the movie 'The Graduate'. Hoffman is running up a hill to get to the church to stop his love from marrying someone else. He stays the same size in the image, and the scenery around and behind him rushes away behind him. It looks like he is staying in one place and it is the scenery that is moving.

With the advent of the MZ/ZX series in 1995 all of the functions of PZ except for Power Zooming and Auto Lens Retraction (the lens is automatically zoomed to its shortest physical length when the camera is turned off) were dropped. My MX-S works this way, as do my K10D and K20D. The zoom has two speed levels, which makes it easy to control. It does zoom faster than I can do it by hand. I wish they stll made it, particularly because of IST. I use PZ always on the one lens I own that allows it.

Bojidar has posted detailed information on the Power Zoom feature at
http://www.bdimitrov.de/kmp/technology/K-mount/Kaf2.html

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labnut
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heaven forbid
In reply to MusicDoctorDJ, Jan 29, 2010

Power zoom? Heaven forbid!
I have power zoom on the lenses for my Minolta 5xi film camera.
I have never stopped hating this feature.
Nothing can match the immediate direct effectiveness of manual zoom

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lime500
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Re: Pentax power zoom lenses?
In reply to MusicDoctorDJ, Jan 29, 2010

Gobble gobble gobble. That's what Power Zoom does to your battery. Also makes the lens bulkier and heavier than it would be otherwise.

Quite fun, though. Might be good for video (if using an external mic).

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Chau D
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Re: Pentax power zoom lenses DO work on K20D, K7
In reply to robert james, Jan 30, 2010

How do you "activate" the power zoom on a K20D? I mean what button you need to press?
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Lance B
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Re: Pentax power zoom lenses DO work on K20D, K7
In reply to Chau D, Jan 30, 2010

Chau D wrote:

How do you "activate" the power zoom on a K20D? I mean what button you need to press?

No need to press any button. The power zoom function should work by slightly turning the zoom ring. If it does not work, then you need to move/slide the zoom ring forward/away from the camera so as the words 'Power Zoom' are showing. This will enable the power zoom function only. With the zoom ring toward the camera so as the words 'Power Zoom' are not seen, the zoom ring functions just like a normal zoom, ie you have to move the zoom by hand.

The power zoom has 3 speeds, 'slow', 'medium' and 'fast' zoom speeds. I love the power zoom as it makes it faster and easier to zoom whilst concentrating on the subject matter.

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Wil
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Lance B
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Re: Pentax power zoom lenses?
In reply to headmj, Jan 30, 2010

headmj wrote:

I never considered teh power zoom a gimmick. I got my first one with my PZ-1p and have loved the feature since. I wish thay still made it.

I agree wholeheartedly. The power zoom feature makes for very steady zooming without losing your subject matter and focus. Sometimes, when using a manual zoom lens and needing to twist your hand around the lens to zoom, you can sometimes lose your subject matter and focus point. You then sometimes need to refocus and therefore miss valuable seconds. I wish power zoom was a function/option on the modern lenses too.

Mike

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Lance B
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Re: Pentax power zoom lenses?
In reply to st_martin, Jan 30, 2010

st_martin wrote:

MusicDoctorDJ wrote:

Anyone here know anything about them, if they are indeed out there somewhere?

They are indeed out there. The first cameras I know of that employed it were the Z/PZ series introduced with the KAF2 mount in 1991. There were a number of neat features, but I don't know how well they worked. The most interesting one to me is Image Size Tracking. I almost got run over by a horse in a parade in NW Arkansas one time because I tried to do IST on my all-manual MX. It would have made a great shot (very pretty lady in bright colorful costume riding a beautiful horse), but I was unable to both zoom correctly and focus in time. I noticed the danger I had created by the look of alarm on the pretty lady's face, and jumped out of the horse's path just barely in time. Of course I missed the shot. I saw an interesting use of IST in the movie 'The Graduate'. Hoffman is running up a hill to get to the church to stop his love from marrying someone else. He stays the same size in the image, and the scenery around and behind him rushes away behind him. It looks like he is staying in one place and it is the scenery that is moving.

With the advent of the MZ/ZX series in 1995 all of the functions of PZ except for Power Zooming and Auto Lens Retraction (the lens is automatically zoomed to its shortest physical length when the camera is turned off) were dropped. My MX-S works this way, as do my K10D and K20D. The zoom has two speed levels, which makes it easy to control. It does zoom faster than I can do it by hand. I wish they stll made it, particularly because of IST. I use PZ always on the one lens I own that allows it.

I would love the power zoom feature on the modern lenses, too. I have the FA*80-200 and the FA*28-70 and love the feature.

Bojidar has posted detailed information on the Power Zoom feature at
http://www.bdimitrov.de/kmp/technology/K-mount/Kaf2.html

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awaldram
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Re: Pentax power zoom lenses?
In reply to KentG, Jan 31, 2010

KentG wrote:

No that function does not work on any of the more modern Pentax cameras, either film or DSLR. Just the power zooming function.
Kent Gittings

one PZ feature that does appear to function is auto retract .

i.e when you switch the camera off the lens retracts to its smallest length.

weird how reports seem to indicate its non-functional on the Kx , I thought the features available only required the power supplied from the Pz contacts which would imply it would work on all SDM bodies.
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