using old pentax film SLR lenses with a DSLR camera body

Started Mar 28, 2011 | Discussions
markwills
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using old pentax film SLR lenses with a DSLR camera body
Mar 28, 2011

I am new to the DSLR scene, having purchased a sony a390 a few weeks ago.

My dad has an old 35mm film SLR camera, with a variety of lenses (including zoom/macro and wide angle). I believe that these lenses have a Pentax K bayonet mount.

Can these old lenses be used with a new DSLR camera, and if so which one?

I have had a look at the pentax website, and it would seem to suggest that they could be used with the Pentax K-X DSLR. Does anyone have any experience with doing this kind of thing? Would anyone suggest a different camera body?

I appreciate that due to crop factor, the focal distances on the old lenses would not be directly comparable when used on a DSLR camera.

 markwills's gear list:markwills's gear list
Sony Alpha DSLR-A390 Sony SLT-A58 Sony DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM Tamron AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro +6 more
Brydzo
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Re: using old pentax film SLR lenses with a DSLR camera body
In reply to markwills, Mar 28, 2011

If the lenses have Pentax K bayonet mount they will work with ALL Pentax cameras (SLR & DSLR).

For a Sony body you will need to buy an adapter for pentax mount. I don't if all the measuring will work though.

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zakaria
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Re: using old pentax film SLR lenses with a DSLR camera body
In reply to markwills, Mar 28, 2011

markwills wrote:

I am new to the DSLR scene, having purchased a sony a390 a few weeks ago.

My dad has an old 35mm film SLR camera, with a variety of lenses (including zoom/macro and wide angle). I believe that these lenses have a Pentax K bayonet mount.

Can these old lenses be used with a new DSLR camera, and if so which one?

I have had a look at the pentax website, and it would seem to suggest that they could be used with the Pentax K-X DSLR. Does anyone have any experience with doing this kind of thing? Would anyone suggest a different camera body?

I appreciate that due to crop factor, the focal distances on the old lenses would not be directly comparable when used on a DSLR camera.

If you have FA* ,A* or fa ltd s then you have a treasure.
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Kp0c
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Re: using old pentax film SLR lenses with a DSLR camera body
In reply to markwills, Mar 28, 2011

These lens would work on any Pentax digital body. Pentax takes pride in the fact that they kept compatibility with old lenses throughout the years. Also, a lot of old lenses are very well regarded among photographers.

If you would take the time to list the lens you have, I'm sure some of us would be happy to let you know how good your lens are.

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Wallace Ross
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Re: using old pentax film SLR lenses with a DSLR camera body
In reply to markwills, Mar 28, 2011

Well seeing as you already have a new camera. The short answer is they will not work with the one you have. I hope you enjoy your new camera and have fun with photography it is a great creative outlet. Perhaps the lenses will be useful in the future but which ones they are greatly determine wether it is worth keeping them or not.
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hanhait
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Re: using old pentax film SLR lenses with a DSLR camera body
In reply to markwills, Mar 28, 2011

As for the crop factor: Pentax lenses will work on the K-x and all other digital bodies currently sold, as if they had a 1.5x longer focal length. So a 50 mm lens will look like a 75 mm on film when using it on a ASP-C DSLR (but it 'is' still a 50 mm).

For the lens types:

  • they will work - with some limitations - on all Pentax APS-C camera's on the market and older models (K-100D, *ist-D etc)

Limitations are:

  • for -M lenses: no autofocus, no automatic diaphragm, but Pentax has a tric for setting the shutter time once you selected the diaphragm. Also you can still use the focus-indicator.

  • For -A lenses: the automatic exposure works fully

  • For -FA and newer lenses: both autofocus and exposure work fully.

To buy a K-x just for this purpose when you have already the Sony 'm not sure I would recommend, but if you have joy already just in the feeling of re-using the old glass then you will not be disappointed. You can also look for an older second-hand model.

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markwills
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Re: using old pentax film SLR lenses with a DSLR camera body
In reply to hanhait, Mar 28, 2011

Thank you very much for all the replies.

The Sony is for me and I have my own lenses for this. I am not planning to use my dad's lenses on this, nor to interchange our lenses. I am just checking whether he can use the old Pentax K lenses with any of the new Pentax DSLR bodies, as he is ultimately planning on getting a DSLR and would like one that allows him to use his own lenses.

They are all manual lenses (purchased 25 years ago) and I will see if I can find the model numbers. On the zoom lens, for example, you have to set the focal length and aperture on the lens itself. The old 35mm SLR camera had an indicator in the viewfinder which would notify the user when the combination of focal length and aperture gives the correct exposure. Would the DSLR camera be able to do this with the older lenses? Or would it be pure guesswork?

The K-X comes with an 18-55mm kit lens, which he could also use (presumably this would have autofocus etc etc).

 markwills's gear list:markwills's gear list
Sony Alpha DSLR-A390 Sony SLT-A58 Sony DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM Tamron AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro +6 more
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AlainCo
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Re: using old pentax film SLR lenses with a DSLR camera body
In reply to markwills, Mar 28, 2011

Markwills,

Assuming your father's lenses are all manual focus lenses, you might consider presenting him with a second-hand "expert" body (K10D, K20D, or even ist-D), which pentaprism would allow him to focus much more effectively and comfortably.

Cheers,

AlainCo
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UtahManSir
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Re: using old pentax film SLR lenses with a DSLR camera body
In reply to markwills, Mar 28, 2011

markwills wrote:

Thank you very much for all the replies.

The Sony is for me and I have my own lenses for this. I am not planning to use my dad's lenses on this, nor to interchange our lenses. I am just checking whether he can use the old Pentax K lenses with any of the new Pentax DSLR bodies, as he is ultimately planning on getting a DSLR and would like one that allows him to use his own lenses.

Cool.

They are all manual lenses (purchased 25 years ago) and I will see if I can find the model numbers. On the zoom lens, for example, you have to set the focal length and aperture on the lens itself. The old 35mm SLR camera had an indicator in the viewfinder which would notify the user when the combination of focal length and aperture gives the correct exposure. Would the DSLR camera be able to do this with the older lenses? Or would it be pure guesswork?

Actually Pentax has made this easy, you put the camera in M mode on the dial, enable use of aperture ring in the menu, then set the aperture on the lens, and push the Green Button which will stop the lens down and take a meter reading and set the shutter speed for you. You can then vary the shutter speed with the rear dial. Very simple, I use my older lenses all the time.

The K-X comes with an 18-55mm kit lens, which he could also use (presumably this would have autofocus etc etc).

Yes it is a pretty good lens as Kit lenses go, he will find that his old primes (if they are good ones) will perform better than the kit lens at times.

Do post the Focal Length and aperture etc... as listed on the front ring of the lens, we will be happy to let you know which ones to really try to use!

Lloyd

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