Reality Check: How usable are legacy lenses on modern Pentax dSLRs?

Discussion in 'Pentax' started by doug elick, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. I've been a luddite and have held off buying a dSLR for quite some time. That plus the never ending "feature creep" that kept me wanting the next great thing. The reality is that the style of color shooting I would have used a 35mm camera for is finally dead to me due to the economics/availability of film and processing. I eyeballed the K5II and came *so* close to pulling the trigger, but held off. The K3 however might tip the scale and if its low light / high ISO performance is at least equal to the K5II, it'll be highly compelling.
    I know that on paper, with a few exceptions, all the old Pentax lenses will work on their modern bodies, but I wonder how friendly the workflow is when using old "M" lenses though. The lack of AF is inconsequential to me, but if I can't get into a "groove", I won't use the lenses and I'm not ready to give up on my small stable of old Pentax glass. For example, of all my cameras/lenses including Mamiya and Rollei MF, the 50mm SMC Pentax-M f1.4 is my absolute favorite - quite literally I'd move it from my trusty 28 year old K1000 to the K3. Those of you with experience giving new life to your old glass by using it on a modern body, how has it worked out for you? How well does Pentax implement/support stop down mode? An afterthought or well married to the "UI"?
  2. There are numerous considerations for old lenses. Modern AF DSLR cameras do not, typically, have anything but a ground-glass type focusing screen. Some of them have focus assist indicators which let you know when you're in focus. The bigger thing for older glass is the crop factor. Your 50mm is now a 75mm. If using legacy glass is important to you, you may want to wait and buy the Sony a7. With an adapter you'll get full-frame coverage from your older lenses, as well as focus peaking to assist focus.
  3. Hi Douglas,
    Many of the folks who frequent this forum use legacy glass with their Pentax DSLRs and I'm sure they will offer experience-based feedback. In general, old lenses work well, and the bright Pentax viewfinders facilitate accurate focus. In addition, newer DSLRs have LiveView which use the LCD to ensure pinpoint focus accuracy.
    Unlike say a forthcoming Sony model priced in the thousands of dollars, you don't need any bulky adapter to use your Pentax "M" lens in any modern Pentax DSLR.
    I've used M, A, and M42 lenses on my Pentax DSLRs with generally very good results. I find the M glass to be the most problematic because the camera relies on stop down metering using the Green button. It's easy to do, but I find the results off by a couple of stops and have to do some trial-and-error. M42 and A lenses, however, have more accurate metering and the ease of using the camera wheel to control aperture in AV mode.
    Image quality wise, all older Pentax glass produces acceptable results. I have a K-3 coming soon and expect my 30-year old SMC Takumars to render better than ever.
    Hope this helps,
  4. I'm willing to use M lenses for thoughtful, non-rushed shooting. I have a M macro (100/4) and for the kind of macro shooting I do it suits my needs. I prefer A lenses for ease of metering or if I'm in a less-relaxed shooting scenario (models, animals, kids, sports, etc) I want all the automation help I can get. But shooting the M lenses definitely has it's place in my repertoire, albeit a small one.
  5. Simple answer: the reason to go with a modern camera involves using modern lens systems that are designed to work well with that system.
    Complex answer: Many of us enjoy fussing about and using old lenses on modern digital bodies, but we do this for FUN, not for serious applications for the most part.
    Caveat: Never buy any new system based solely on compatibility with any older manual-focus lenses.
  6. Doug,
    The question is, what kind of "groove" do you enjoy now with your K1000? Do you shoot handheld? Do you rely on capturing the "decisive moment"? Do your subjects include anything unpredictable, like people having their portraits taken?
    If you answered yes to any of these questions, I can't recommend you use your legacy lenses with a new DSLR. This is my experience having tried to do so over a long history of DSLRs, up to my current K5. The DSLR focusing screens just aren't made for manual focus. They are optimized for "brightness" and don't accurately show focus below say f/4. Which means, when using an f/2.8 or f/1.8 or f/1.4 lens, you are unlikely to ever get the darn thing in focus.
    There are two solutions to that -- change the focusing screen for an expensive replacement, designed for manual focus. I did that, but was never comfortable that it was actually as accurate as I wished. The other option is to use Live View, which is a great feature for subjects that stay still. But the fact that the mirror has to flip up, then you focus on the screen, then you press the shutter release, and the mirror has to flip back down, then flip up, then the shutter opens... it's not instantaneous, and it's really tricky to do hand-held.
    The only digital Pentax that has been PERFECT with manual focus lenses is the K-01. I find manual focus shooting on the K-01 to be a match made in heaven. The camera has no viewfinder, therefore "Live View" is always on and there is no mirror to flop about. The addition of "focus peaking" gives you a nice visual indication of where exactly the focus snaps in. The shutter fires instantly without having to wait for the mirror, and has a nice solid "snick" sound to it. Best of all, the image quality from the K-01 is even better than the image quality from my K-5. I think that's 1/2 because of the inherent IQ, and 1/2 because I can always get my focus critically sharp with the K-01.
    If you want to go for a full DSLR with optical viewfinder, I strongly recommend you use autofocus lenses. The DSLRs are great cameras with auto focus. I just can't recommend them for manual focus. My manual focus lenses are used on my LX with 35mm film, or on my K-01.
  7. stemked

    stemked Moderator

    Hi Douglas.
    I used to use any number of screw mount lenses on various bodies. The lenses that I used the most were 40mm f2.8 M pancake, a couple of Russian lenses (85 f2 and a 15mm fisheye) and 500mm f4.5 Takumar. I have subsequently sold the 500mm (I purchased a 600mm A lens) and 85mm, and rarely use the pancake or fisheye. However, I do not find it especially hard to use those lenses.
    The switch from film to digital for me is still an on-going process I have to admit. I loved geekdom of the different films and the discipline behind the shutter knowing I had to pay for that shot twice through the film and processing. The transition now is that I take a lot more images. I worry sometimes that it leads one to be sloppy in their photography as you know that 1 out of 100 will be excellent (exaggerated) and that you can tweak images in software. I do very little post processing and I can see that those who do have images regarded much higher than my own. But as far as the experience itself it's still the same. I do appreciate that we generate a lot less harmful toxins than we did in the old days which is obviously a good thing.
    I'm rambling, but I'm sure you'll be fine. The K5II is an excellent camera and a steal; I'm sure the K3 will be an equally loved camera. Once you factor in the savings from film and processing the price of the Pentax dSLRs will seem very manageable. And the ability to change an ISO on the fly is a real pleasure when you recall that we had to get through the roll first to change ISOs.
    You at least had the discipline to control yourself on bodies. I have two Super Programs, an LX, an MX, and my wife's ZX-5n and K1000 along with a 67. The LX, MS, and K1000 still get some use but it's hard to sell the other cameras for price of a movie ticket.
  8. Perhaps I should have set the stage a bit better. I do have a Panasonic Lumix as a "carry about" camera and am very pleased with it in that role. It's generally sharp and produces a color palate I find pleasing. However, I detest menu diving and shutter lag annoys me even more. The final straw is I *hate* looking at a display to frame a photo. I do have a "hand me down", 1st generation digital Rebel, but I can never click with that camera - again, I hate having to dig into menus or switch control mode contexts to get to basic settings like aperture and shutter speed. I'm not actually a luddite, I'm a tech worker who just doesn't want to feel like I'm operating a computer while practicing photography - the interface should assist me, not get in the way. I have a brand new GoPro Black Hero 3+; for its designed task, it's a brilliant little bit of gear.
    I never upgraded from the modest K-1000 because it did everything I needed. Sure, the center weighted meter could be fooled, but it wasn't hard to eyeball a scene and compensate as needed. Lack of AF was never an issue; I'd guestimate my subject, preset the exposure and prefocus using hyperfocal distance. The only features I missed on the K-1000 was DoFP and possibly MLU, but the deficiency was forgiven since that camera has been a flawless companion for nearly 30 years. Ignoring the Lumix and Rebel, the K-1000 is the only camera I own with a meter of any kind. I seem to do fine with the Rolleicord IV, C330 kit and RB67 kit - they just aren't very portable and their advantage for color photography is slipping. For B&W work, I'll stick with the medium format gear and the K-1000 for fun.

    On a basic level, if I were designing a camera, it would be a fully manual, mechanical camera with digital sensor that represents a great value. I do not practice "spray and pray" photography and I've found the fuzzy logic between my ears to be quite sufficient. I have a few photos that one might call, "decisive moment" images, but I got them because I was prepared, not because I had a megabuck camera. My reasons for considering the K3 (or perhaps K5II) are because of their fully expressed manual controls and their sensor and processing capability which for a lack of better terms, represent the equivalent of excellent "film". Yes, a good AF and auto-exposure system will be nice to have, but they will be necessary to get the job done maybe 10% of the time or less. All I really want is great glass and a great sensor in my hands; I'll take care of the rest.
    Douglas Elick
    P.S. I thought I read the K3 will do focus peaking - something quite handy when using manual glass, I imagine. I take it the K5II cannot?
  9. The final straw is I *hate* looking at a display to frame a photo.​
    I pretty much share the spirit of your statement. The Q, because it is so tiny, is as tolerant as I can handle with a non-optical viewfinder--and I've tried the highly praised ones out there. I make an exception for the better LiveView implementations because I only use them in static tripod-mount situations. Brings to mind my 4x5 shooting.
    Thanks for sharing more of your requirements. I think the K-3 or K-5II would serve you well.
  10. If you like doing it the old way, why not stick with film?
    It's certainly well suited for your way of working, although it is true that some of the later ones are polluted (OPE, POE, etc.) with features like AF and AE. Good scanners are not cheap, but are cheaper than a whole new camera system. Film, especially larger format film, still is in the competition for resolution, although for 35mm-format I think digital is higher resolution/image quality these days.
    Why characterize using AF cameras to their fullest as "spray and pray"? You are free to shoot as you please, why the chip on your shoulder?
    There are very few AF, AE digital SLR cameras that cannot be used in completely manual mode. If all you want is digital sensor, then just turn off the features you don't use. It wouldn't cost Pentax Ricoh Imaging Company any less to make a camera nowadays without those features.
    I still think that modern lenses will in general be improved over the old film-targeted lenses as there are some physical differences in design for digital sensors. The AF can be turned off, as I say, and time has marched on with new and better lens designs, especially in zoom lenses.
    BTW, others can answer about the old lenses on Pentax bodies, but there are very inexpensive K>EOS and M42>EOS adapters that will work on any Canon EOS "full-frame" digital body (with the exception of some rear-projecting wide angles) in full metering (stopped down) mode.
  11. there are very inexpensive K>EOS and M42>EOS adapters that will work on any Canon EOS "full-frame" digital body (with the exception of some rear-projecting wide angles) in full metering (stopped down) mode.​
    This is inaccurate information. Very few K-mount lenses will work in non-cropped Canon bodies. I speak from personal experience here. Certain M42 lenses will work in non-cropped Canon bodies. I speak from personal experience here. Most of these lenses will work in my Canon 7D with adapters.
  12. I misspoke on K to Canon 5D and later, since the aperture lever is often a problem there and full compatibility involves something I don't like to do either - actually modifying the lens.
    However, I have literally over a hundred M42 lenses that work just fine with no modification, especially if you get the adapter with the flange for the automatic diaphragm.
    The problem with the wide-angle M42 lenses is mirror/lens "interaction", but the vast bulk of M42 lenses work just fine on all Canons.
    A list of incompatibilities with the larger mirror 35mm sensor Canons can be found at
    It is true that the Canon APS-C ("crop") bodies are almost universally accepting of M42, at any rate, as well as Nikon, etc., because the mirror is smaller. Of course, shooting on the smaller sensor necessarily involves cropping the lens by a 1.6X factor.
  13. JDM - you answered your own question. Color 35mm film no longer has a clear advantage over digital. Add in the economics and there's why I'm finally considering a nice dSLR; I stated this.
    I did not characterize AF cameras as "spray and pray"; rather, that it is not my style. AF is nice, but is not a primary purchasing concern. No chip at all - to each his or her own.
    You are correct that most SLRs can be used in manual mode, but the way controls are implemented on various models vary like night and day. Since I've already stated I hate menu diving and appreciate having all the basic functions expressed in real tactile controls, I think it's fair to say a good many SLRs could be eliminated by this criteria alone, wouldn't you agree? Pentax SLRs have been known for their particularly good ergonomics and workflow, which is why I'm strongly considering, "staying in the family" so to speak.
    As for the idea that old lenses are to be relegated to the dustbin of history, I disagree. Time might march on, but a great lens formula remains so regardless. Of course I'd augment any new dSLR with modern lenses, but since I've stated I have older glass I'd like to continue using, it's rather silly to suggest I make a choice that abandons the ability to choose the best of new and old lenses. Sure, newer designs might be engineered specifically for APS-C, but does that necessarily automatically mean they're superior? I don't think so. An APS-C prime only has to cover that rather small area, but my old f1.4 50mm for example, had to be reasonably sharp, wide open, out to the far edge of a 135 frame. On an APS-C camera, if anything, that small sensor will be in the sweet spot. But of course pleasing ultra-wide angle formulas for small sensors are completely different animals that are more difficult to economically realize. As for zooms, in general I'm sure most are better these days, but there were some gems even in the days of flying dinosaurs. Like everything in life, there are trade-offs.
    Nice tripod by the way; we have something in common apparently. I love my Tiltall.
  14. I used many MF lenses on Pentax DSLRs and there are just two advantages to using MF K lenses on Pentax DSLRs: IBIS and the lack of need for an adapter. Sony DSLRs will give you IBIS but you'll need an adapter. Canon will need an adapter and will offer no IBIS, but you may be able to use a FF camera (see caveat mentioned earlier in thread - some K lenses can hit the mirror of FF Canon DSLRs). MILCs offer the best focusing helpers but still need an adapter - some have IBIS and they come in MFT/APS-C/FF formats.
    If you are considering M42 lenses, I find the experience on Pentax DSLRs the least desirable as it requires an adapter and the operation of that adapter is more inconvenient than on other platforms (see details below).
    Here are the problems you can/will hit with M42/K lenses on Pentax DSLRs:
    • M42 adapter is a camera adapter, not a lens adapter - it makes the camera an M42 camera instead of making the lens a K lens. This means that you cannot easily switch between an M42 lens and a K one. This not a problem on any other platform. I wrote a longer post on this aspect here - that one actually has a follow-up linked at the bottom.
    • Some third party K lenses have problems with modern K mounts. Problem #1 is Ricoh pin - just do a search for it, problem #2 is Vivitar flange - a metallic piece of the mount that was added by Vivitar to some of their lenses and that needs to be removed to be able to mount the lens
    • The K mount in DSLRs is crippled - it lacks a coupling that permitted film cameras to read the selected lens aperture - that means that you must use K or M series lenses in manual aperture mode - this is not a worse experience than on other cameras, but it is a missed opportunity where Pentax DSLRs could have offered a distinct advantage but they don't.
    The best way to use these lenses, however, is on MILCs. DSLRs all have one big issue: with manual aperture, if you stop down the lens, the viewfinder will darken. With MILCs, you'll always see the image according to the exposure settings. I know you mentioned you want a different shooting experience than on your Panasonic - you should look at models with a viewfinder and pick the sensor size you prefer - for such lenses I would look at the newly announced A7/A7R Sony cameras. MILCs also allow you to adapt any legacy lenses, not just Pentax one. The caveat for A7/A7R is that their performance with legacy rangefinder lenses remains to be proven.
  15. Time might march on, but a great lens formula remains so regardless.​
    An optical formula is just one part of a lens and may no longer be great on a capture medium that it was not designed for. Coatings, for example, are also very important and they make a difference in modern lenses. And the digital medium stresses lenses differently than film. For example, a challenge for FF sensors is that they need to capture light well at the borders of the frame. Film wasn't picky about the angle of incidence of light, but digital sensors are. This has led to optical designs that try to project light perpendicularly on a sensor. Some lenses still perform very nicely on digital, especially on cropped sensors where the above issue is minimized. It remains to be seen how well future FF sensors will enable legacy lenses to perform.
  16. As for the idea that old lenses are to be relegated to the dustbin of history, I disagree. Time might march on, but a great lens formula remains so regardless.​
    I never said anything like "dustbin of history". If I felt that way I hardly would have collected over 200 lenses in all kinds of mounts (see my many posts on Classic Manual Cameras &c, for an example see ).
    Nonetheless, aside from primes, the vast majority of even the classic zoom lenses are no longer so good as newer lenses especially given the special demands of digital sensors, as I already said too (no doubt exaggerated by people who want to sell you new lenses).
    However, much as I love old Double Gaussian and Sonnar lenses, the golden age of lens design is NOW.
  17. I don't think it makes much sense to buy a $2000 camera to use a $200 lens, namely the M 50 f1.4.
    If it were my money and I were looking to recreate the K1000 experience digitally, I'd go for an Olympus EM-1 with Panasonic Leica 25 f1.4. Set the menus once, lock in ISO 200, and put it in manual mode, single shot. You have twin control wheels to set aperture and shutter and you can even select centerweighted metering if you want, instead of modern evaluative metering.
    I've used Pentax M and K lenses on Canon and M4/3 bodies. I find the M4/3 bodies the best for legacy lenses, mainly for live view/ EVF and focus peaking and as Laurentiu points out you don't have to worry about the viewfinder darkening as you stop down. Main problem is the crop factor is 2x.
  18. Geoff - A $2000 body mated to a $200 lens makes perfect sense if it does what I want it to. I'll reiterate that the purchase of a dSLR will of course represent entering into a full system. I fully expect to purchase modern lenses over time, but budget is a concern. Since the modern dSLR is more than just a film transport, I want to get the best body I can afford and mate lenses I acquire over time. Lets not forget there's a huge used market and I already have a stable of older Pentax lenses. Since I couldn't care less about AF functionality, the only criteria I have is how well a particular chunk of glass does its job on the camera. The longevity of the K-mount system is attractive to me - I don't have terribly deep pockets.

    I certainly understand that time marches on and one risks irrelevance by ignoring it. That being said, for many, many years, my choice for a portable camera was a 35mm SLR with a tack sharp, fast 50 - the aesthetic grabs something deep inside me. Of course I never have nor am I going to askew wides, teles, zooms, etc, but whatever system I wind up with, I very much want the equivalent of that fast 50. It represents a big dilemma since APS-C changes the FOV, rendering my M 50 into a short tele. What modern Pentax prime would give the equivalent perspective of a 50mm while remaining tack sharp and fast? I prefer available light photography and the prospect of a fast prime on a body/sensor combination that can produce finer resolution (less grain or noise at high ISO) than any film ever could is really exciting to me.

    I suppose I should have prefaced all of this by saying my photography has been in the doldrums the past couple of years. The prospect of augmenting my modest stable of cameras with a good dSLR is exciting. I gravitated towards MF for a good while, but I'm missing the 35mm "style" and want to get back to it.
  19. It is apparent that you know your requirements and I think you will enjoy whatever camera you end up with.
    What modern Pentax prime would give the equivalent perspective of a 50mm while remaining tack sharp and fast?​
    I enjoy using 35mm focal length lenses on a cropped sensor lens. Though I have not used the classic "M" and "A" 35mm Pentax lenses, they receive very high rankings on the lens database at Pentax Forums. The f2 version may be tough to find, but it may meet your needs quite well. Obtaining the newer FA 35mm f2 would be easier, but the manual focus ring on some FA lenses is awkward.
    I should mention the SMC SuperTakumar f2 and f3.5 35mm lenses. They have great reputations and are very affordable. Of course you need an adapter. I find the argument that newer lenses=better to be untrue for all cases personally. Sometimes I prefer the rendering of the SuperTakumar lenses, especially regarding color. I also enjoy that the rendering seems to reflect human design values rather than the clinical digital precision of some newer lenses.
    More recent are the two DA-type Pentax 35mm offerings. The cheaper f2.4 AL is highly regarded. I don't know how manual handling is with this one. The pricier DA Ltd. f2.8 Macro I've used for a few years now and think it is outstanding. Being a true macro lens, the focus throw is longer and thus easier to use manually.
    • M42 adapter is a camera adapter, not a lens adapter - it makes the camera an M42 camera instead of making the lens a K lens. This means that you cannot easily switch between an M42 lens and a K one. This not a problem on any other platform. I wrote a longer post on this aspect here - that one actually has a follow-up linked at the bottom.
    This can be hacked.
    I have taken away the small springs that lock the adapter into the body and I put one adapter per lens, they all had effectively become K mount lenses. But after some time I gave away the K10 on which they worked better, and on the K5 they only work at full aperture and therefore don't allow good metering (unless I am missing something).
    Moreover, as someone already said, the angle of incidence on the sensor does matter, and therefore the splendid 15mm M gave quite poor results, on a par or worse than the 12-24 zoom, so I sold it. The 50mm f 1.4 is great, but I have an A that works better for me.
  20. What modern Pentax prime would give the equivalent perspective of a 50mm while remaining tack sharp and fast?​
    Here are two more options next to those already mentioned. The FA 31/1.8 Limited is a splendid lens worth its price. And if you want something faster, check the Samyang 35/1.4.
    This can be hacked.
    I have taken away the small springs that lock the adapter into the body and I put one adapter per lens, they all had effectively become K mount lenses.​
    To make the hack complete, you also need to drill a hole in the lens mount so it can catch the K mount pin lock. I know all this, but on other systems (Nikon being the only notable exception) you don't have to do any such thing - the adapters adapt the lens just fine.
    and on the K5 they only work at full aperture and therefore don't allow good metering​
    The metering on K10D didn't work that well either - I always had to adjust it as I adjusted the aperture. Which program mode were you using?
  21. I have too much that I want to write but I just don't know where to start as many people have many valuable inputs. Pentax have done a reasonable job with the KAF2 mount, at least we can all make use of the K, M and M42 mount and use them well. Two caveats to note on current Pentax digital:
    • Need of green button in metering for the K and M lenses
    • Crop factor with 1.5 of your focal length in APS-C sensor. Your 50mm is like a 75mm in the field of view when mounted on the Pentax current digital body

    I always prefer the A mount or M42 mount as the extra step in green button in stop-down metering takes away the pure joy of manual focusing lenses and it has become a chore in using MF lenses that don't have the A setting. Damn Pentax for the cripple KAF2 mount. I am grateful though I am a bit resentful for the need of that green button.
    When I branch out to the Sony NEX cameras with E-mount, all the adapters for Pentax K, M42, Leica M mount, LTM, M39, Konica AR, Canon FD, Tamron adaptall-2 and dozens of other lens mounts will just work with mostly a simple glass-less adapters. And guess what, there is no need for green button metering as metering will just work charmingly with aperture stopped down. If you love manual focusing lens, you will be totally surprised with how good those old lenses come alive with two features that Sony and perhaps others in Olympus and Fuji have added into MILC systems
    • Focus peeking with different color scheme
    • Manual focus assist with 4.8x or 9.6 times magnification
    With the combination of the two features, I use my NEX shooting using the LCD for the last 1+ years and it has worked well for me sans the EVF/OVF. Please take note that I am a casual shooter and my simple cheapo gear can make me just as happy as the more expensive gear. Of course I will prefer the upgrade to have a built-in EVF when the time comes for nex6/7 or the next alpha replacement.
    And with the availability of Metabones speedbooster and Zhongyi Lens Turbo adapter, my manual focus lenses retain close to its Full Frame 135 format field of views in the APS-C sensor NEX cameras. A 35mm is like a 37.8mm with the adapter and the LT adds one extra stop of light because of the focal reducer glass element in the adapter. But the caveats lie in degradation of corner performance as well as field curvature that may aggravate barrel distortion on the corners. Not all scenes are acceptable especially landscape but if center crop is your type of of picture, the Lens Turbo may be something to consider.
    Lens Turbo for Pentax K mount on bottom, Genuine Pentax M42 to K adapter hidden, Super-Takumar 35mm f/3.5 mounted on top.
    with Super-Takumar 35mm f/3.5, Lens Turbo, wide open in nex 5N
    And here is a picture from a similar set up but with a Super-Takumar 55mm f/1.8 wide open with Lens Turbo adapter
    with Super-Takumar 55mm f/1.8, Lens Turbo, wide open in NEX 5N
    In short, the Pentax current newer digital will serve you right in your use with the M 50mm f/1.4 but please take note that there are many other MILC type of alernative cameras that can just adapt to your old lens and perform even more magical that may surprise you in a good way.
  22. My DSLR is a Pentax K-x. I still shoot mostly with film but the K-x allows me to use many older lenses and has its IS built into the body. For portraits I like to use an old 50/1.7 SMC Pentax F. It's sharp and bright to look through. Auto focusing is reasonably fast and not too noisy. I use a 100-300 Sigma DL f/4.5-6.7. It's sharper at the short end but will make sharp images up to a certain size. For macro I will use either a 55/2.8 Vivitar or a 90/2.5 Tamron SP (52BB). The Tamron is especially good with the Pentax. I wouldn't use AF with macro lenses so I don't miss it. I use a 135/2.8 Promaster telephoto which focuses down to 1:5 on a regular full frame film camera. I get additional magnification with the APS size sensor. This turns the lens into a 200mm f/2.8 (202.5mm) with close focusing. The K-x allows me to use K mount lenses, M42 mount lenses, Vivitar and Soligor T4 lenses, Vivitar TX lenses, Tamron Adaptall II lenses and even the old Tamron Adaptall and Adaptamatic lenses. At some point I will find my 35/2 SMC Pentax M to use as a standard lens. The 18-55 kit lens is pretty good but its slow speed can force me to use a higher ISO setting if a tripod is not handy or practical.
    In the end you have to try each lens and camera combination to find out which older lenses work well with a particular DSLR or MILC. I saw an inexpensive adapter on eBay for using Minolta manual focus lenses on Pentax cameras. There is no glass in the adapter but I would have fun using some of my Minolta macro equipment, like the Auto Bellows III, with the K-x. I find manual focusing easy with the K-x and the focus confirmation helps too.
  23. @Jeff, I love my white K-x until it drops dead on me on the 9th month mark with dead SD card reader controller. CRIS dutifully fixed it up and mend the broken silver strips for me. I was at a loss with confusion at the time and I sold it and later got a used copy of K-7. There is no doubt if I have to revisit that decision, I would have picked K-x to stay. It is small, lightweight and a fun camera especially for travelling light with pancake types of lens in 15, 21, 35, 43 and 70. Yes, I did one travel trip with all the names mentioned.
    My K-x mounted with limited lenses
    K-x can work alright with manual focusing just like all other Pentax digital body but it has a lacking on AF point not lighted up after obtaining focus. It is unlike other Pentax body that a hexagon (symbol for AF confirmation) comes up while having the AF point stay lighted up after the beep. It takes me sometime to get used to.
    Pentax MX on the back
    I miss my white K-x very much .....
  24. I am selling this masterpiece of Kiron 100mm f/2.8 1:1 macro, the equivalent of Lester A Dine Macro cult classic. It has an A setting and it makes it less a chore in close up. I am not a macro guy and hence I am putting it in PentaxForums marketplace and it is soon getting into the 3rd page without any notice
    Manual focusing is the best with this macro on my K20D and K-x
    MF with K20D, hand-held
    missing sharp focus but I love the charming bokeh and color

    This one with white K-x
    with K-x in f/5.6, should have tried wider aperture
  25. I have the Vivitar version of the Kiron lens. It's marked 100mm f/2.8. I have two of them in Canon FD mount. It's heavy but goes to 1:1 (full frame) without an extra tube. The Tamron works well but the Adaptall II mount for Pentax KA cost much more than other Adaptall II mounts I have bought. I also have the very light 100/3.5 Vivitar macro in KA mount, along with the 1:1 close-up lens/adapter which fits on the front. If a used K-x in good condition and at a good price shows up I may get it as a back-up. The white version looks pretty.
    • Need of green button in metering for the K and M lenses
    I completely forgot about this chore, although I mentioned the mount crippling in my post. I just forgot what the exact experience was with these lenses now that I have no longer used one on a Pentax DSLR in more than a year. This problem pretty much undermines the fact that you don't need an adapter on Pentax cameras - I'd rather use an adapter and get automatic metering than be able to mount the lens directly but then have to fidget with the green button.
  26. @Jeff, we have so much in common. I have a Cosina 1:1 macro adapter that is likely similar to macro adapter that comes as a matching pair with your very light 100mm f/3.5 macro in KA mount in 1:2 close up.
    One of the macro lens that I love with great manual focusing ring and with A setting is the Pentax A 50mm f/2.8 1:2 macro. The Pentax K 100mm f/4.0 1:2 macro is even better than the 50 as the longer throw and the unique K mount build quality is better than the A version, but the green button takes away some of the joy in using the K-mount lenses.
    Pentax A 50mm f/2.8 1:2 macro + Cosina 1:1 macro adapter
    Pentax A 50mm f/2.8 1:2 macro + Cosina 1:1 macro adapter

    I am a fan of adaptall-2 lenses and one of my favorite is the tamron 90mm f/2.5. However, I much prefer the color and sharpness on the Vivitar/Kiron better, the tamron tend to have more CA unless stopped down. At one time, I have 4 copies of the tamron adaptall-2 p/k-a adapters and I can easily go out with 2 adaptall-2 lens without the need of mounting/dismounting.
    My Tamron adaptall-2 17mm f/3.5 is on sale as well in PF marketplace now onto 3rd page, here is a picture with it mounted on my K-7
  27. @Laurentiu, how can you forget this chore. No punt intended. We both know how good the alternatives are. If I start over again, I will have a EM-1 and A7. The green button usually comes as second nature after some use after a week but when I branch out to MILC, this has become an issue with me as I much prefer the experience with A mount. However strange it may sound, the original K-mount type of lenses that are not marked without the M on the labeling are always better and unique. The focus throw is top notch if you ask me. And the very best in the focus throw that I have used are the Pentax K 100mm f/4.0 and the Pentax 645 A 120mm f/4.0 1:1 macro, actually all the Pentax 645 manual focus lenses are excellent as there isn't a green button on the big brother.


    @Jeff, as much as I love the K-x white, I think you are better off with a used K-5. With the coming of K-3, the Pentax loyal user base are dumbing the K-5 for < $500 a piece. If you have tried any of the K-5, K5 II and K5 IIs variants, you will fall in love with the shutter. It is gorgeously quiet and it is one of the BEST thing from Pentax. And if K50 is quiet as well, I will suggest in looking for a white K50.
  28. For the OP, you could avoid the extra bells and whistles and get a used Pentax *ist DS. They have one in excellent condition at KEH for about $100. Throw in an S type focus screen and you are pretty much set using your old manual lenses. You can even use the pop up flash for fill flash if you so desire, something the later models can't do with non-A lenses. Menu diving is pretty much limited to changing the ISO or the flash exposure compensation. It'd be a reasonable way to see if Pentax DSLRs work for you.
  29. I very much appreciate all the input I've received thus far. The thought of a used body is intriguing, but I'm not just looking at this as only a way to emulate manual work in the digital world. Yes, the ability to manually control the camera (w/o digging into menus) is paramount, but advances such as high effective ISO, in body IS, high pixel count, greater bit depth (14 vs 12), etc. that a newer model brings are important aspects as well. I truly am looking at this as an investment in a system. I want to be able to use older lenses, but not necessarily be *forced* into it.
    I looked at the A7's specs and it is truly impressive. I like the rangefinder look 'n feel and the FF sensor, but there are some deficiencies to me. Namely, there are currently only 4 lenses available, the the max effective ISO is much lower and it's more expensive than the K3 with the 35-135 kit lens to boot. I'm not sure how I feel about the electronic viewfinder too, but at least it has more than a display. As someone with limited funds (many Pentax limited lenses cost a significant chunk [or more] than the yearly budget I've allotted for photograpy), I'm looking for the "jack of all trades" and view the purchase as a long term investment. The K1000 has been my primary 35mm camera for almost 30 years! I know the lifecycle of a digital camera is less than the mechanical wonders of yore of course, but you can see where I'm coming from. If money was no object, I'd *leap* at a 645D, but high value is quite important. Why do you think I'm still a fan of Pentax? When I can afford a digital camera that can match the beautiful creamy tone the RB67 loaded with a nice slow B&W film carefully developed in Rodinol and printed with love can produce, then I'll finally let go of film.
    I know the lifecycle of a digital camera is less than the mechanical wonders of yore, of course, but you can see where I'm coming from. Heck, given the resonable success I've had with the modest, "give away" Rebel Digital, the prospect of tossing a K5 II or K3 (if its high ISO specs live up to the hype) onto my f5 10 inch telescope is almost mouth watering. I've read snippets that it might be possible to use the camera's sensor shift to compensate for short term drift - is this true ?!?
    Given my shooting style, the prospect of a a fast lens on a body with built in IS and extremely high ISO also means I could chuck my flash unit for all intents and purposes - it would fry a dSLR anyway (modified V283).
    Please keep your thoughts and experiences coming. I have much to think about. It seems I make a major photographic gear purchase every 10 years or so and need to make sure that what I finally invest in not only performs well but is enjoyable to use. I'll admit it and say I indeed suffer from gear lust and a new piece of kit can inspire me to get out and brave the elements/crowds/etc. Some of my favorite medium format photos were taken with my first MF camera, a modest Rolleicord IV. Exploring uncharted territory was invigorating.
  30. Whatever you pick, Doug, I can almost assure you that after a brief learning curve you will find your photography invigorated. One can do so much with digital files these days. Even the process of shooting without thinking of volume cost is freeing. Can I make 20-30 attempts at light trails - sure. And if none of them work, delete and move on. Or maybe I can blend four together and make something amazing.
    I held on to my film cameras for a lot longer than anyone else I know. But at a certain point I just had to admit that shooting digitally made more sense for me.
  31. @Douglas, you will be very welcome to join us in the Pentax family that extends to digital. If you are into starscape shooting, MattB in our forum has this wonderful article
    and I forget the link of a site with some great pentax fan who shoot various night scenes using Pentax with huge telescopes. I will update you when I find the link. In the mean time, you can visit this timelapse video to see my inspiration. Some great Pentax member did this with K-5

    Pentax K5 -- Milky Way Timelapse 2013 by pentaxguyz (can't embed here)

    And I am total amateur with meteor shooting. I attempted empty meteor shots with plane crossing patterns using image stacking way back in 2009 with K20D and DA 10-17mm fish-eye -- the equivalent of FA 17-28 fisheye

    My failed attempt is documented in this blog post
  32. Can't embed the video inline, one needs to visit the youtube link that I provide above. Sorry!
  33. This guy's work is fantastic and out of the norm and I can't be more proud seeing the work made with Pentax gear. If anyone that has interest in night sky photography and shooting MilkyWay, you can draw the inspiration from these two places that I dig out from my bookmarks. The first link is my favorite as the AstronoMike has been using Pentax gear along with his Telescopic tool to open our visions to the distant galaxies -- amazing work
  34. I think it's inevitable that I'm going to wind up purchasing either a K5II or K3 with the 18-135. The question becomes, "Does the K3 represent $600 worth of performance and future proofing over the K5II?". I wish the DxO and Dpreview reviews were available now!
  35. I will be honest to say that getting the K5II is crazy nuts given what is promised in K3 but again, this is all subjective and there is no right or wrong purchase decision. We can only know so much in advance. What seems right can happen to be totally wrong in another's person perspective and experience. But if I put myself in your shoes to look for a new K5II, I would rather look for a good used K-5 as people are dumbing K-5 left and right for about $500 a piece with shutter count less than 10K or about 1 year old.
    But getting K-3 at this time can be crazy nuts too. Unlike the introduction of K5II after K5, the changes are minor and K5II come out with much less user griefs as what happened to users with K5 introduction plagued with serious sensor stain issue. Many members should still remember the sensor stain which plagued the initial introduction of K-5 with sensor stain issues recorded on every single picture captured with the sensor. The same caution should be taken on K-3 as many of the new features and new innovations are first time especially on the new sensor, new image processor, and the new AF system among others. I will suggest paying close attention to user reviews and problems in and have a feel and draw inputs from Pentax users. I will be closely watching on the side-line as I for one won't jump on K-3 until the first update on FIRMWARE and that Lightroom or ACR has the native support of K-3 raw files.

    Just my personal perspective
  36. The question becomes, "Does the K3 represent $600 worth of performance and future proofing over the K5II?".​
    Considering how infrequently you cycle through digital cameras. . .I don't think you'll notice that $600 over the lifetime of your using the K-3. Of course it is smarter to wait for user feedback on new models (of course I am ignoring my own advice here).
  37. Sorry to be blunt -- the 'crazy nuts' that I refer to are the brave souls among the Pentax community who dare to take the plunge as early adopters. I salute to all the brave ones especially MattB and ME. Can't wait to hear from them on their unboxing event.
  38. Oh, I've been reading the Pentax forums with great interest. From what I can tell, the consensus is that roughly speaking, the K3 image quality is better than the D7100 and though no slouch, behind the D600. And that the K3 is a quantum leap in speed/responsiveness over its predecessor. And finally that it could be a bit noisier than the K5II, but it's not exactly apples to apples since it's a 24 MP sensor. The example photos posted and the 100% crops show how the resolution is bordering on outright silly/crazy. They have to be bumping up against the lens itself in that regard.
    The whole noise question concerns me the most, since I enjoy available light and will be using this for astrophotography (on a scope) from time to time. Certainly the higher MP sensor would give me more room to crop.... I've also seen charts from the K5 that show it has more red sensitivity compared to Canikon cameras, which would explain why folks are getting impressive results when capturing H-alpha nebulae with unmodified cameras.
  39. Well, we'll see how well those old lenses work on a new K3 (in conjunction with the 18-135)....
  40. Douglas,

    Congrats. We will share notes.
  41. Congratulation Douglas. Can't be happier for you. And you have made the major stride crossing the bridge and we can share the joy in both film and digital
    To each their own, I still bear my dream of developing my own photos in a darkroom setup in a storage room above my detached garage. I splurge into film occasionally and I always admire at my friends who take great photos on b&w with films. Welcome to the Pentax digital family.
  42. We can go through this together. Hopefully we will look back on it fondly. :)
    I look forward to trying mine out for the Ison appearance!
    Oh, and the 18-135 is a fine lens for what it is. I like having the weather sealed option in a lot of situations and IQ is not bad at all.
  43. I'm still not giving up on my Rolleicord IV, C330 kit and RB67 kit. But those are machines that lend themselves to specific cases. 35mm (and now digital) is the "jack of all trades".
    I have a ton to learn. Does the K3 have a built in intervalometer? Is the ground glass changeable? Is it possible to power it externally (think time lapse)? Can the HDR function be used in conjunction with time lapse? *Is my old Macbook up to the task of 24 MP RAWs*? This will give me a reason to once more establish a relationship with a good photo processor in town (there are only two left!) since I'm just not going to dork with high end ink-jet. I've still yet to run the Ektar 100 I have in my freezer through the RB67 or C330.
  44. Douglas, I have strong interest in your C330. But I am glad that my past bid for C330 was lost to others. I have way too many gear and close to 1/3 to 1/4 of my gear are still film related and I am a total stranger to films as I am someone trying to go back from digital to analog to find my lost film roots in childhood.

    I don't have the Rolleicord but the Rolleiflex Automat MX-EVS. It was unfortunate it had alignment issues between the two lens that I have to sell it at a loss. It was one of a kind shutter experience -- very quiet and yet intimately known to its use for its photographer. The build and turning crank is unique and last through ages
    My wet printing from a film development class on the back of Rolleiflex
    I use a CD box simulating the film plane in testing the alignment between the receiving and taking glass -- very fun project.
    And now I settled with a less intriguing but still lovely TLR with Yashica MAT 124G
    The metering surprisingly works but after a year or two, it no longer budge.
  45. An Ektar 100 picture that reminds me of the anti-newton ring glass that I need for scanning negatives with my limited home scanning with a Canon F8800 flatbed
    Ektar 100, Pentax 645N and FA 45mm f/2.8, home scanned, developed likely by Dwayne's Photo in Kansas
    The digital may have surpassed the color film for flexibility and versatility in post processing but I always find the pellet from some of the color films like Ektar and Portra along with unique Slides just as appealing and unique in their own rights. Of course, I love more on the true B&W films along with my favorite C41 jounralistic film with Kodak BW400CN
  46. I'm hanging on to the MF gear primarily for B&W work.
    That's a shame about your Rollei. People shouldn't dork with lenses unless they know exactly what they're doing. My 'cord has a f3.5 Schneider Xenar - if one works within its limitations, it's a great lens. Be aware of flare and don't expect miracles wide open and it won't disappoint. Honestly, choice lenses on the C330 system are no slouches either - again, understanding the limits of their coating tech, etc. they're damned sharp - the black 180mm tele for example is such a specimen. I really enjoy the C330 the most when compared to the Rollei and RB67 in terms of usability and workman like reliability. The Rollei excels at light, unobtrusive street photography and the build quality is awe inspiring, but you have one focal length. The Rb67 gives you that beautiful big negative, but it's big, heavy and HEAVY (did I mention it's heavy?). Plus, it's kind of quirky. And I have a "thing" for TLRs.
    Basically, a clean C330F is a solid workhorse that will win no awards for style, but should someone attempt to mug you, you could beat them senseless with it and then proceed to photograph the gruesome results afterwards. BTW, once you experience the joy of flash sync at 1/500 with a dead silent leaf shutter, 1/buzzillion speed focal plane shutters seem annoying.
  47. Is my old Macbook up to the task of 24 MP RAWs*?​
    It should but it depends on how old you are talking about in digital dog years. If you are talking about the original white Macbook (my son has one handed down two generations in our home) then it is questionable. I guess we forgot to mention the real downstream costs of buying a new DSLR :0
    If you have a newer Pro model and able to run 10.7 (Lion) then you should be just fine. The biggest impact to your operations will be storage. If you don't have an external FW drive consider getting a 3TB one. They are affordable these days. How much RAM is in your laptop?
    Shooting DNG instead of PEF will enable you to get very good results when you get your camera. You'll have to wait a short while until Adobe and Apple upgrade their profiles to include the K-3, depending on the particular post processing software you favor. This will fine-tune the processing.
  48. My Macbook is a unibody Macbook (not pro). Dual core 2.4 GHz, 4 GB RAM, 10.7.5; it's no spring chicken. A new machine is in my future anyway - dealing with GoPro video in "Protune" mode spitting out 1080P/60 (or higher!) - up to 45 Mb/Sec bitrate - presents a challenge for this machine and a bigger one to my patience.
  49. Douglas, you should consider Adobe Lightroom as your digital dark room...
  50. I'd say start out simply at first. Employ the software supplied with the K-3, of course. Then a basic modification "darkroom" such as Adobe Photoshop Elements- I think version 12 is out, and have not yet heard how it is. Many of us have jumped right into an expensive "pro" photoshop software, then found we still prefer to use our basic one nearly all of the time. I'd say shoot JPEG images at least for a while to get used to dealing with digital imaging and advance from there, as your needs dictate.
    The K-3, like the K-5, has a marvelous control layout, for efficient fingertip control of metering, exposure, etc. etc. Don't overlook the presence of the Pentax Hyper system for both "P" Program mode and for "M" Manual mode of operation. In (Hyper) "P" mode you can adjust aperture or shutter speed on the fly without having to switch to Av or Tv mode first. You can first quickly use the on-body meter control to switch to spot meter to take a reading of a certain area, hit the AE lock button to lock exposure, then adjust aperture or shutter speed as you wish. Upon hitting the green button, full automatic "P" operation is instantly restored.
    In (Hyper) "M" mode, you can likewise switch to spot meter, and take instant meter readings around a scene by just hitting the green button, whereupom both aperture and shutter speed will be immediately set for correct exposure of that spot. From there you can make adjustments of a preferred aperture or shutter speed by using the thumb and finger dials. You can hit the AE Lock button right after getting exposure set from using the green button. This will allow you to adjust aperture with the thumb dial while the shutter speed will automatically follow that change to preserve the exposure! Same with the aperture if you choose to change shutter speed.
    This is a remarkably fast and efficient system, with on-body controls, no menu involved. It is unique to Pentax. I think you will love your new camera. I also own that Pentax DA 18-135mm WR lens. I find it to be a very fine and useful lens, well-made with excellent handling. Very versatile. As to your original question, I have used my Pentax DSLR bodies with my old "M" lenses successfully. You have to first enable aperture ring use in menues. You can set exposure quickly in M" mode by using the green button as usual. The exposure is off by a different degree at various aperture settings, but you get a feel for this after a little experience and you soon learn to compensate which is fast with your thumb and finger dials.
    We don't yet know for sure how the K-3 will compare in noise performance to the K-5, which is excellent. But I have little doubt that you will find it to be superior to film in grain at higher ISO use.
  51. Thanks for the advice, I quite appreciate it.
    I'm not completely green to digital image processing; I used the Canon and have been playing with images for Astrophotography. Since they're free, I already have IRIS, Gimp / UFraw, Raw Therapee and will check out LightZone. I'll probably wind up with Lightroom, but I'm not sure about full on PS - I'll be blunt and say most of what I see done with PS is not photography at best, garish crap at worse and I want nothing to do with it (please, I'm not trying to start a holy war in this thread). Lets just say I'm on the "FoundView" side of the scale - just tweaking the gamma, saturation, sharpness, etc. If I can't find inspiration in the world, I'm doing it wrong.
    I'm hoping the K3 isn't behind (to far) the K5 as far as DR and noise are concerned.
  52. On a side note, one of the things I miss in our digital world is film grain. There is merit in salt 'n pepper grain, weird bokah, flare, skewed colors, long toe curves, etc. I miss Kodachrome, Verichrome Pan, Ektachrome...
  53. I have the K3 in hand! Bwahahaha! I have to say I like the kit lens, but I really got spoiled by my f3.5 35-135mm and f1.4 50mm. The A zoom is easy to use; the M lenses take a little more work, but the green button or even better stopping down using the DoF preview on the power switch makes metering pretty easy. And the old M 2.8 28mm is pretty much a pancake prime on this body.
    Of course I sit here with a brand new camera and it's dark and rainy outside. Still, I'm STOKED!
  54. I'm happy for you. Mine must have been sent from B&H by packet boat via Tierra del Fuego as it won't be here until next
    week. And I ordered three weeks ago. Errrrgh.

  55. I can smell the new camera here. I once blogged about the 28mm and 50mm as the pancake clones in disguise. They are indeed very thin and small primes that one can enjoy with compactness.
    Hope more good news to come from Pentax. The 20-40mm f/2.8-4.0 limited lens with weather sealing is a great lens to drool over. If I pick one prime to go out, it will be either the 21mm or the 31mm and this zoom cover my most used range. And this new zoom with weather sealing and limited build will get the Pentax core members invigorated.
    Maybe you can tell us more with what you like to shoot most and we can have a more follow up discussions on what lenses are among our favorites. My most favorite zoom in Pentax up to current time is the Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 -- it is the best zoom lens in terms of picture quality that can rival the best prime lenses. My most admired limited lens is the FA 77mm f/1.8, followed by 43mm limited. The DA 70 and 40 are just as good but I always prefer the FA limited for the possible Pentax FF in the future and the gain of speed in the old series. My most used limited lens is the DA 35mm f/2.8 macro as I am some weirdo who shoots lens and cameras just for the love of it. And my traveling must have prime is the DA 15mm f/4.0 limited. My bird shots and air show always go with F* 300mm f/4.5 and the ever wonderful AFA 1.7x TC. My event zoom are the trusty Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 and DA* 50-135mm. My most fun lens is the DA 10-17mm fish-eye -- it is always rewarding to bring it along on occasion and it excels at night with a tripod for the sky shots.
  56. Honestly, for many years the fast 50 was all I owned. And later a sort of fast 75 on a TLR. I think the limitation was useful in my formative years. I do find I gravitate towards fast lenses. Zooms are nice, but it's hard to swallow that f3.5-5.8 pill. I don't really do much action, do the AF system isn't that important to me. And honestly, in the past, i was all about prefocus, pre-exposure (hyper focal distance) and a good eye.
    I still love my 35-135 and see it edging out the kit lens at the far end since it's constant aperture even out to 135. I might walk the city with the f2.8 28mm "Wide" lens, since it'll more or less be a prime in APS-C land. I think my next lenses will probably be a fast, wide prime and perhaps somehow that goes longer than the 135. BTW, the K3 sporting the 35-135 is slightly reminiscent of my C330 - heavy!
    I have much to learn - the buzzilion options on the K3 and the digital darkroom workflow. I have a good textbook understanding, but have way too many holes in my knowledge. By the way, I concede my earlier statements about Photoshop, et al might sound acerbic or judgmental - that wasn't my intent. I'm just a little fed up with the artificiality I'm perceiving in today's world.
    I like to shoot architecture, nature, friends, weather, astronomical objects, whatever catches my eye. And I think most of the beauty I see is in the morning or evening light (or even night) when that fast lens is worth gold. I've never really thought about it - I've felt my "eye" coming back and have been tired of not having a good carry camera. I still have a love for B&W and MF cameras, but those have become a niche. I'm super excited to have a camera platform this versatile with such great sharpness and color rendition - and I can afford it!
    Now if somebody would just bring out a DTLR!
  57. First picture from the K3. Since it was dark and rainy, I grabbed a shot of my dog on the back porch. ISO 3200, SMC-M 50mm f1.4. Just a 60 watt light above. Processed with no sharpening or denoise in RRP 64

  58. [​IMG]
    I probably shot this with a manual 50mm without the A setting, very likely the M 50mm f/1.8. The background has great color and bokeh. It is a shame that I no longer have both lenses. One thing to suggest if you have not done so is to remember to purchase the 2 year extended warranty.

    It is currently out of stock but this is a must purchase for the new body to get some re-assurance in case something breaks in the first 3 years. I did have the unpleasant and hopefully unusual experience of 2 dead Pentax bodies with a dead K-x and a dead K20D back to back in 2010 and 2011. CRIS, the outsourcing repair service from Pentax at the time fixed them both like new. It was the GREEN button that killed my K20D indirectly. The K20D incidence happened in 3.5 year and the extended warranty got expired but I was pleasantly surprised how good CRIS revived it from the Pentax grave though I paid out of my own pocket for the repair. The Pentax service department is the notorious one to deal with but once the broken camera got over to CRIS, everything was dealt with professionally and I couldn't be happier to recommend straight dealing with CRIS when one's camera is out of warranty. Extended Warranty -- please remember.
  59. @Douglas, a great photo that you post. A lovely dog that I want to hug right the way. You should be proud of your K-3 and your great companion.
  60. Here's a photo I shot recently for this young lady's senior portrait with my K-5 and Sears 135mm f/2.8. We did most of the shoot with a Tamron 28-75 2.8 but I also wanted to get the 135 out for it's retro looking rendering. It took a moment to get the focus right on, but it worked pretty well for this I thought. I like the A series lenses so I can use my favorite mode Av which is what I was using here.
    Also, I just got my K-3, it's sitting here in front of me. Later today I'm going to a school production at my son's school so that will be it's inaugural event!
    Ergonomics feel great, like the K-5 but better.
    Hope yours comes soon, ME!
  61. Douglas, congrats on your new camera. Which 35-135 zoom are you using? The Pentax models I'm familiar with are:

    1. A 28-135/4
    2. A 35-105/3.5
    3. A 35-135/3.5-4.5
    4. F 35-135/3.5-4.5 (autofocus)

    1 and 3 are pretty rare
    2 is common and well-regarded but doesn't reach 135, only 105
    3-4 are variable-aperture, the autofocus F is relatively common

    The only constant-aperture model to 135 is the relatively rare 28-135/4.
  62. Yup, you're right, it's a f3.5 35-105 Pentax A. I shouldn't post late at night. Never the less, it's a big, heavy chunk of glass i quite enjoy.
    New lenses are ever sharper and contrasty, but sometimes that's not what I want. The f1.4 50mm wide open isn't bleeding sharp, but it has a lovely look to me. I should do a few tests with the 50mm and the kit 18-135 set to 50 (@ same aperture); maybe I'm full of it and I won't be able to tell if there's a difference, but my gut says there is.
  63. Douglas, that A35-105/3.5 has remained popular (for a manual focus zoom), I have one of these myself. If you like that
    approximate focal range on film, you might enjoy the autofocus FA 24-90/3.5-4.5 on your K-3. It is one of Pentax's best-
    performing zooms, and while it shares the A35-105/3.5's 67mm filter size, it's more compact and handles really nicely on
    DSLRs, sort of right-sized.
  64. I'm a bit late to the party, but I have a nickle's worth to add:
    I have the *istDS. I love the damn thing. I still use it. It's simple, but my biggest beef is that I'm required to menu dive a little more than the K10.
    The K10 is lovely and is a work horse. I have two of them and it has been lovely. I have issues with it, no doubt, but it's been reliable enough for paid work. I stay under ISO400 unless I have one of my experimental "fits."
    I use the DAL35/2.4 and the Jupiter9 85/2 for 99% of my paid work. They're obviously at very different points in the spectrum... The 35/2.4 is a modern lens with all the coatings and such. No Aperture ring, but Manual Focus is perfectly adequate for paid work. It's sharp enough to cut someone at f/4. The 85/2 is a M42 that I've perma-mounted the ring adapter to. It's finicky and weird and a gem for the patient-minded... and I STILL use it for paid work. It's mushy at f/2, but fairly good at f/4. Metering is generally +1 on the J9, but it is consistent.
    I used Lightroom 2.7 for a very long time and only recently upgraded to LR5. It's a noticeable change. I use LR for 99% of my work and rarely RARELY need to port something to GIMP for some very specific work. To date, there is nothing that GIMP can't do that I needed it to. I'm with the OP as far as Post-Processing-Minimalism. "If it needs more than 5 minutes of massaging I should have made a better photo to start with." But that motto isn't for everyone, nor should it be. I run Windows in a Virtual Machine ontop of Linux... I'm a touch annoyed by the processing time (exporting) of my photos with only 8GB and 3Cores@3.1GHz worth of number-crunching to push it through, but when I ran LR natively there was no noticeable difference. A C2D Mac might become frustrating if there are deadlines to meet, but if it's all "art" then there should be no need to worry.
    I don't shoot sports or events. Speed is only moderately important for focus. Clean, High ISO ability has only cursed me a few times, but it was REALLY bad when I stepped out of my comfort zone to shoot an Event... Clean Images at High ISO was necessary and the K10 doesn't have it. What I do is blend natural light with strobes for portraits... The combination above works well for that, but I'm far from a professional. I'm more of a "well-compensated free-lancer" in my spare time.

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