Pentax glass...what is good?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by iamcombat, Mar 20, 2010.

  1. iamcombat

    iamcombat TPF Noob!

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    I have a Pentax K-x and it's pretty versatile as far as different lenses that it can use and I've been looking on ebay for some older manual focus lenses but I'm unsure exactly what is good and what isn't.

    I know the 50mm lenses are all generally the same and there isn't a huge difference between each version.

    I saw a Pentax Super Takumar 85mm F1.9....the condition of the lens looks excellent and I'm pretty sure I can use the cameras auto settings with this one but wasn't sure if this was a good one or not....

    What other lenses should I look for? I don't have a ton to spend but all I have is the kit lens...which is decent but I'd like something a little better. I mainly do portraits and landscapes so the 85mm if it's a good lens...would be perfect for me.
     
  2. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    "Pentax Super Takumar 85mm F1.9"... Takumar M42 Screwmount is not automatic on your camera and will require an K-mount -> M42 adapter. It is a very good lens and is in high demand among us Takumar users. There's a auto-manual switch on Takumar screwmounts that make it convenient to manually stop down the lens just before tripping the shutter.

    Also, please be aware that there are several versions of the similar Takumar lenses. Takumar, Auto-takumars, Super Takumar, and SMC Takumars. The SMC versions were the latest with the best coatings. The SMC version of the 85mm is pretty expensive by screwmount standards. I have a bunch of Super Takumars that have a different look because of the older coatings

    This was posted in another thread regarding the settings I needed to make on my camera to make it work (Samsung GX-1L which is a Pentax *ist DL2 clone). Your camera is newer so things might have changed:

    "* All my old lenses work Both K and KA even though the camera sepecifically mentions only KA and KAF. There are few settings that got the manual k-mounts without the "A" setting on the aperture work. 1) "AE-L on M expr" needs to be set to 2 to allow the "AE-L" button function as the stop-down metering in aperture priority. 2) "Use Aperture ring" has to be set to 2 to allow you to use lenses even though they are not set in the "A" setting. 3) Move the switch from "AF" to "M" or else the camera will try to focus prior to letting you trip the shutter. 4) The camera has to be set to full "M" manual mode. Once you set 1 and 2, you can leave it that way even though you switching between AF lenses and Manual K-mounts. Once all set, you basically focus, set your aperture via the lens ring, hit AE-L (stops down and sets shutter), and then press the shutter. Works pretty seemlessly. I got a kick out of mounting my older screw mount M42 lenses too."

    My advice (unless you have a specific interest in M42 takumars) is to stick with the K-mount lenses. Pentax has maintained backwards compatibility by including the mechanical linkages in their new bodies for auto aperture stopdown and metering. I'm pretty sure that the K-x also includes these linkages. They also will not require an adapter thus making it easier to switch between lenses (M42/Kmount adapter attaches to the body). It will be like shooting with lenses made for your camera sans autofocus.

    Couple links for you to read:

    AOHC website

    Welcome to Bojidar Dimitrov's Pentax K-Mount Page

    also checkout the pentaxforums.com which has a lot of screwmount and manual kmount users.

    Lenses that I like and used:

    SMC Takumar 50mm f/1.4
    SMC Takumar 55mm f/2
    Super Takumar 50mm f/1.4 (be aware of some yellowing.. fine for B&W shots)
    SMC Takumar 85mm Takumar f/1.9
    Super Takumar 35mm f/2 (mine is slightly warm. I've never had the SMC version)
    SMC Takumar 135mm f/3.5

    For K-mounts.. the latest versions with the "A" to support auto metering are easier to use. I like the 40mm Pancake... 50mm f/1.4 of course. Can't remember what else at the moment.. haven't used K-mounts in a while. My (adaptall) Tamron 90mm f/2.5 Macro gets used a lot.

    Again.. most of this is subjective. Do research... Some even like the look of the older uncoated or single coated lenses (warmer)


    Super Takumar 500mm f/4 (yeh!)... but that's mostly because I wanted it. A bit unwieldy.
     
  3. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Btw... your camera is a x1.5 crop sensor... 85mm might be long for portraits depending on your tastes. You might just want to start the latest SMC version of the K-mount "A" 50mm f/1.4.
     

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