RE: would a new full frame Pentax DSLR support legacy lens

Started Aug 19, 2012 | Discussions
peter_8422
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RE: would a new full frame Pentax DSLR support legacy lens
Aug 19, 2012

Gracious members of the Pentax Forum....

I'm sure this question has been asked in the past.

As a collector of Pentax glass from the early 70's K series, A* series & FA series lens

If Pentax were to unveil a full frame DSLR.... would these series lens accomodate this camera and provide FF capabilities?

Chance favours the prepared mind

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Wheatfield
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RE: would a new full frame Pentax DSLR support legacy lens
In reply to peter_8422, Aug 19, 2012

Yes, in the same way present DSLRs support them.

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leopold
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RE: would a new full frame Pentax DSLR support legacy lens
In reply to peter_8422, Aug 19, 2012

Yes Pentax is very good at keeping backward compatibility and those A* performs very well on APS-C sensors... well all the * series lenses !!!!

We all wait to see what Pentax will announce at the Photokina, but nobody knows if a FF will be the big news from Pentax.
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Pentax_Prime
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RE: would a new full frame Pentax DSLR support legacy lens
In reply to leopold, Aug 19, 2012

There is no FF coming from Pentax at Photokina.

leopold wrote:

We all wait to see what Pentax will announce at the Photokina, but nobody knows if a FF will be the big news from Pentax.
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Gerry Winterbourne
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Yes but ...
In reply to peter_8422, Aug 19, 2012

peter_8422 wrote:

As a collector of Pentax glass from the early 70's K series, A* series & FA series lens

If Pentax were to unveil a full frame DSLR.... would these series lens accomodate this camera and provide FF capabilities?

The lenses would fit the mount and would cover the FF sensor as long as SR wasn't used. Some of them, though, might only just cover the frame so there could be some hard vignetting in the corners when using SR.

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Pentax_Prime
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Wrong
In reply to Gerry Winterbourne, Aug 19, 2012

Incorrect; every K, A, and FA series lens will cover the 35mm frame with no "hard vignetting" involved. SR has nothing to do with frame coverage.

Gerry Winterbourne wrote:

peter_8422 wrote:

As a collector of Pentax glass from the early 70's K series, A* series & FA series lens

If Pentax were to unveil a full frame DSLR.... would these series lens accomodate this camera and provide FF capabilities?

The lenses would fit the mount and would cover the FF sensor as long as SR wasn't used. Some of them, though, might only just cover the frame so there could be some hard vignetting in the corners when using SR.

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justin23
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RE: would a new full frame Pentax DSLR support legacy lens
In reply to peter_8422, Aug 19, 2012

I'm not in anyway belieivng an FF is coming anytime soon. there has always been one at the next show for the last 10 years.

As for compatibility, i'd find it hard to believe it wouldn't support all lenses. However there are many DA lenses that cover the frame, but i wouldn't be surprised if DA lenses are forced to use a DA mode.

Also the quality of old lenses vs a new designed for digital 35mm lense may not be as good and maybe thats the real issue. Maybe Pentax feels to release a new FF camera they need to release a few lenses and are not in the position to do so right now....

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rogerstpierre
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RE: would a new full frame Pentax DSLR support legacy lens
In reply to peter_8422, Aug 19, 2012

In theory, modern lenses designed for digital sensor, reduce the light incidence angle to minimize light loss, especially in the corners due to the fact that the light sensors (pixels) are deep into a well, and of course may have less contrast and more CA, although there are exceptions, and results shown on Nikon/Canon FF + old lenses, seem to show that some of these old lenses perform really well. This said, no vendor would release a FF camera without backing it up with some FF lenses in its inventory. In Pentax case, this is limited to FA, DFA lenses, but some DA lenses will cover the FF, but with significant vignetting perhaps. Hence, Pentax would have to release at least two new zooms to optimize the DA* zooms for FF.

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peter_8422
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RE: would a new full frame Pentax DSLR support legacy lens
In reply to rogerstpierre, Aug 20, 2012

I appreciate the input from all who responded....

I thought by now 2012 Pentax would have stepped up to the plate and unveil an FF DSLR..

What's up with Pentax anyway?

Chance favours the prepared mind

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rogerstpierre
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RE: would a new full frame Pentax DSLR support legacy lens
In reply to peter_8422, Aug 20, 2012

peter_8422 wrote:

I appreciate the input from all who responded....

I thought by now 2012 Pentax would have stepped up to the plate and unveil an FF DSLR..

What's up with Pentax anyway?

Chance favours the prepared mind

For a small company (relatively) struggling to survive (remember Pentax just been bought twice), FF is a pretty big gamble. Pentax has not been able to gain any significant share of the Pro Market ever, even at the top of its glory days. It is pretty obvious that the Pro Market is totally out of its reach (it's not just the camera, but the lenses and support network and infrastructure, flash system etc.; huge), so all that is left if the serious amateur market, and we don't know how important that is. It is therefore not surprising that Pentax is playing it safe for as long as it takes to come back into profitability and to gain a larger chunk of that market. If they run too fast into FF it may tip them over, if they don't move over to FF at some point, they may regress and loose market shares. It's pretty tricky I suppose.
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Petroglyph
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RE: would a new full frame Pentax DSLR support legacy lens
In reply to rogerstpierre, Aug 20, 2012

I've used some thirty year old glass designed for film on the K5. It was a PK/A 50mm f1.4 and the camera's results have been, shall we say, brilliant. All of my Tamron glass is digital full frame ready (90mm macro, 28-75mm, 70-200mm etc.) So bring it on Pentax, I'm ready for FF. There is also the FA 31mm, 43mm etc. etc. I'm sure I could get my hands on a copy when/if needed. Does it support legacy lens? My my.

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justin23
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RE: would a new full frame Pentax DSLR support legacy lens
In reply to peter_8422, Aug 20, 2012

They still had significant number of pros using medium format thus the 645D was produced. Also from various rumours Sony isn't doing that well in the FF market.

The FF market is quite small and I suspect Pentax are concerned about that and many other issues before they'd release a FF digital. Really the only reason people think they should release one is because they are using the K mount still.

Anyway we haven't really seen Ricohs influence as yet on Pentax. I suspect it will be more of the same.

peter_8422 wrote:

I appreciate the input from all who responded....

I thought by now 2012 Pentax would have stepped up to the plate and unveil an FF DSLR..

What's up with Pentax anyway?

Chance favours the prepared mind

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Gerry Winterbourne
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Re: Wrong
In reply to Pentax_Prime, Aug 20, 2012

Pentax_Prime wrote:

Incorrect; every K, A, and FA series lens will cover the 35mm frame with no "hard vignetting" involved. SR has nothing to do with frame coverage.

Oops. I was thinking about the effect of SR moving the sensor behind the mirror box. That is a factor in design of FF bodies with SR but applies equally to all lenses, not just legacy glass. Sorry about that.

Gerry Winterbourne wrote:

The lenses would fit the mount and would cover the FF sensor as long as SR wasn't used. Some of them, though, might only just cover the frame so there could be some hard vignetting in the corners when using SR.

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Rod McD
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Isn't there a conflict between legacy glass and profitability?
In reply to peter_8422, Aug 20, 2012

Hi,

Most of the pro-FF posters in this forum avidly want to use their legacy glass (myself included in relation to a small WR MILC FF). But isn't there a conflict here for Pentax? I don't manage a camera manufacturing company, and can't profess to really know the economics, but if the potential buyers of the bodies are largely going to use their existing lenses, Pentax won't be selling them any new glass. And surely that's where the profits are?

Food for thought, Rod

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miles green
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RE: would a new full frame Pentax DSLR support legacy lens
In reply to rogerstpierre, Aug 20, 2012

rogerstpierre wrote:

peter_8422 wrote:

I appreciate the input from all who responded....

I thought by now 2012 Pentax would have stepped up to the plate and unveil an FF DSLR..

What's up with Pentax anyway?

Chance favours the prepared mind

For a small company (relatively) struggling to survive (remember Pentax just been bought twice), FF is a pretty big gamble. Pentax has not been able to gain any significant share of the Pro Market ever, even at the top of its glory days. It is pretty obvious that the Pro Market is totally out of its reach (it's not just the camera, but the lenses and support network and infrastructure, flash system etc.; huge), so all that is left if the serious amateur market, and we don't know how important that is. It is therefore not surprising that Pentax is playing it safe for as long as it takes to come back into profitability and to gain a larger chunk of that market. If they run too fast into FF it may tip them over, if they don't move over to FF at some point, they may regress and loose market shares. It's pretty tricky I suppose.
--
Roger

Pentax also had a fair share of the medium format market, offering camera systems with excellent quality/price ratios. the 645 and 67 were used in studio and especially landscape photographers, pros and amateurs alike. My first serious camera was a Pentax 67. The slides are still amazing!

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leopold
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Good point Rod....
In reply to Rod McD, Aug 20, 2012

But the same was true with APS-C, sure you're lenses are not the same on APS-C while on FF you have the same mark as when shooting 35mm film.

Even then i think that new WA lenses will be needed for FF, it's the lenses that have more difficulties to perform on FF in the corners from what i've read in forums.

Correct me if i'm wrong.
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noel2
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RE: would a new full frame Pentax DSLR support legacy lens
In reply to rogerstpierre, Aug 20, 2012

The older A* lenses perform superbly with the APS-C of the K5. However, the reflectivity and high optical quality of the sensor surface compared to film emulsion can produce ghost images with some of those lenses that have a flat rear optical surface - that reflects some of the light back onto the sensor. As in the case of the A* 135 mm F1.8 shown below where the ghosts of the doubly reflected street lights are visible:

rogerstpierre wrote:

In theory, modern lenses designed for digital sensor, reduce the light incidence angle to minimize light loss, especially in the corners due to the fact that the light sensors (pixels) are deep into a well, and of course may have less contrast and more CA, although there are exceptions, and results shown on Nikon/Canon FF + old lenses, seem to show that some of these old lenses perform really well. This said, no vendor would release a FF camera without backing it up with some FF lenses in its inventory. In Pentax case, this is limited to FA, DFA lenses, but some DA lenses will cover the FF, but with significant vignetting perhaps. Hence, Pentax would have to release at least two new zooms to optimize the DA* zooms for FF.

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miles green
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Of course!!!
In reply to peter_8422, Aug 20, 2012

Petroglyph wrote:

I've used some thirty year old glass designed for film on the K5. It was a PK/A 50mm f1.4 and the camera's results have been, shall we say, brilliant. All of my Tamron glass is digital full frame ready (90mm macro, 28-75mm, 70-200mm etc.) So bring it on Pentax, I'm ready for FF. There is also the FA 31mm, 43mm etc. etc. I'm sure I could get my hands on a copy when/if needed.

I also use legacy glass: A 50mm f/1.2, Pentacon 135mm f/2.8 (M42 mount, the "bokeh monster"), A* 200mm f/4 macro. They are stellar. All three are extremely sharp. The A* in particular will easily outresolve the K5, even wide open. The other two are moodier wide open and razor sharp at f/5.6. For reference, they easily outclass my Sigma 70-200 f/2.8.

I also have the 3 amigos (31,43,77) which perform equally well, or better. But the best thing about any of these lens is their rendering.

A FF camera will bring new life to them. Low mpx will be nice for darker scenes, but i have no doubt that legacy glass will also shine on a 36mpx FF camera and even more.

Pentax still produce full frame 31, 35, 43, 50, 50 macro, 77, and 100mm macro lens to support an eventual FF camera. That's already 7 lens. I think they would do really well if they could launch a DFA* 24-70 f/2.8 and announce a DFA* 16-35 f/2.8 and a 70-200 f/2.8.

The sea of legacy glass out there is not necessarily a bad thing: someone with a drawer full of Takumars, SMC-Ms and SMC-As and a Canikon APS-C DSLR and APS-C lens collection is better off chosing Pentax full frame than sticking with his current brand... That way all the focal lengths will be covered and upgrading to autofocus weatherproofed zooms can be done without rushing.

For the record, if Pentax ever launches a FF camera, I'll get one immediately.
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rogerstpierre
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RE: would a new full frame Pentax DSLR support legacy lens
In reply to miles green, Aug 20, 2012

miles green wrote:

rogerstpierre wrote:

peter_8422 wrote:

I appreciate the input from all who responded....

I thought by now 2012 Pentax would have stepped up to the plate and unveil an FF DSLR..

What's up with Pentax anyway?

Chance favours the prepared mind

For a small company (relatively) struggling to survive (remember Pentax just been bought twice), FF is a pretty big gamble. Pentax has not been able to gain any significant share of the Pro Market ever, even at the top of its glory days. It is pretty obvious that the Pro Market is totally out of its reach (it's not just the camera, but the lenses and support network and infrastructure, flash system etc.; huge), so all that is left if the serious amateur market, and we don't know how important that is. It is therefore not surprising that Pentax is playing it safe for as long as it takes to come back into profitability and to gain a larger chunk of that market. If they run too fast into FF it may tip them over, if they don't move over to FF at some point, they may regress and loose market shares. It's pretty tricky I suppose.
--
Roger

Pentax also had a fair share of the medium format market, offering camera systems with excellent quality/price ratios. the 645 and 67 were used in studio and especially landscape photographers, pros and amateurs alike. My first serious camera was a Pentax 67. The slides are still amazing!

Very true, forgot about that, I should have been more specific: 35mm SLR Pro-market, of which Pentax never had a strong hold.

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MPrince
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RE: would a new full frame Pentax DSLR support legacy lens
In reply to peter_8422, Aug 20, 2012

In the past, Pentax has made it clear to anyone who was listening that it had no plans to introduce a 135 format DSLR, and Ricoh, to my knowledge, has not said or done anything to indicate a change in plans.

IMO, that's good. Pentax is too small to compete effectively in a market that commands only a tiny slice of the DSLR pie. Pentax should stick to what it does best, fill a niche in the APS-C market. (That niche, again IMO, is serious advanced amateurs who want to do more with a DSLR than point and shoot, but who don't derive significant income from their photography and therefore don't need/won't pay for pro-level customer service & support).

In the event Pentax elects to introduce a 135 format DSLR, it would most likely continue the use of the K-mount, rendering legacy glass useful. But it is also possible (however unlikely) that, since many DA lenses won't fill the image circle of a 135 format sized sensor, Pentax could introduce a new mount, and a range of new lenses for that mount. After all, introducing a 135 format DSLR probably would not drive new lens sales for Pentax since there are millions of legacy lenses out there right now.

Bottom line: enjoy the products that exist today. Tomorrow will arrive in due course and will take care of itself.

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