Pentax KMount Lenses

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by Vautrin, Jun 20, 2010.

  1. Vautrin

    Vautrin No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hi,

    So I bought a Pentax K1000 for cheap at a flea market and I love it.

    But although the lens it came with (50mm f2) is sweet I'd kind of like to get a few more primes, or perhaps a zoom.

    Looking on ebay there are a LOT of K mount lenses from all different manufacturers.

    Anyone have any comments on which lenses / manufacturers are good / bad?

    Are the russian fisheyes good? What about the 28mm?

    Just curious because although the lenses for the k mount seem pretty cheap, I don't want to waste $50 on a lens....

    Thanks,

    Dan
     
  2. guitstik

    guitstik TPF Noob!

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    Some times the "cheap" off brand or discount lenses are the best ones. There aren't really that many lens manufacturers around and small companies that wanted to get into selling or making cameras had some one else make the lenses and some time even the camera, like Sears. The best thing to do when you find a lens on "flea"bay is to Google it and do your home work. If you do it right, you can end up with a really good lens that other people would pass up because it doesn't have name recognition.

    Another option would be to check out adapters that will allow you to use other camera lenses with your k mount. You can get those fairly cheap. the good thing for you is that the K mount selection is rather plentiful and you can get lenses cheaply.
     
  3. Orrin

    Orrin No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    For the best quality, I would stick to the SMC-Pentax lenses. There should
    be plenty of them available. Besides E-Bay, you might want to check the used stuff at B&H and other reputable dealers.

    That being said, I use a 70-150mm Vivitar Zoom quite a bit, mainly because it has a close-focus ability (1:4) without the need for adapters.
     
  4. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Stick to the SMC (Super Multi Coated) Pentax prime lenses. These old optics are still very good even by todays standards. Zooms are ok but really don't compare to the advances in optics for zooms in the last couple decades.

    I collect these lenses and most are good performers. For street, the 40mm pancake is one of my favorites as a street shooter.

    Outside the Pentax brand:

    * Tamron 90mm macro with the K-mount adaptall. Wonderful Macro and smoooth bokeh.
    * Vivitar 70-210 series one. THese went through several slight design changes you can read about here: Vivitar 70-210 Series 1 Macro Zoom Lenses - Mark Roberts Photography
    * Zeiss lenses are also good and obtainable brand new. Warning .. very expensive.
     
  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Kiron made a nifty 70-150mm f/3.8 that was stellar and also a 70-205 I think it was...some of the Kiron zooms were actually pretty good. You can search on the manual focus forum for info about older lenses in K-mount. If my memory serves, the Kiron 70-150 f/3.8 was also sold under license to Vivitar. SOme of the better 1970's K-mount zooms from Kiron and Vivitar had matched teleconverters or matched multipliers in the old marketing parlance,and those were respectably good performers with the specific lenses they were designed for.

    In the off-brands, there are a boatload of Asanuma, Quantaray, Soligor, Sears, and many,many other brands in popular lengths like 28mm f/2.8 and 135mm f/2.8. Have fun!
     
  6. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Probably correct as they were the manufacturer of the 1st version of the 70-210 Vivitar Series 1.
     
  7. Stratman

    Stratman TPF Noob!

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    Another option is to get some old Takumar screw mount lenses and a GENUINE Pentax M42 to K mount adapter. I use the Takumars on my digital Pentaxes, and, when you get it right, they are fantastic lenses, and you will not believe the build quality of the Takumars. Like a freakin' tank, all metal and glass. I have a Super Takumar 28 F3.5, a 35 F3.5, a 55 F1.8, and a S-M-C 200 F4, and all of them are sharp as a tack, and render good colors. Now to get my Asahi Pentax S1a that I just won on eBay for $19.99 INCLUDING shipping, and try out my Taks on a camera made to use 'em!!
     
  8. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yup... that's an option.. Just be aware that M42 lenses do not auto stop down the diaphragm while mounted on a K-mount body. Many also find screwmounts a royal PITA if you find yourself switching lenses a lot. I find it actually more enjoyable to use M42 Takumars on screwmount Spotmatics. This way the lenses stop down as intended.

    There are also several Takumars...

    TeleTakumar, Auto Takumars
    Super Takumar
    Super Multi-coated Takumars.

    The ones to get are the SMC Takumars which have superior coatings and have the best image quality. They are also the most expensive.

    Find yourself a "clear" SMC 50mm f/1.4 and you will be amazed of just how sharp these lenses can be. The only issue is that the coatings are slightly unstable thus "yellow" over time. Do some research on google if you go this route. SMC 85, 28, and 135mm is also good. The Super-Takumar 35mm f/2 is great BUT flares like crazy if shot against a bright point of light (again coatings).

    Oh... and I have this on display next to my cabinet.... Sorry, I get excited over Takumars and I just want to show off lol :

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Stratman

    Stratman TPF Noob!

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    Here are a few Takumar shots....

    Super Takumar 55mm F1.8

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Super Takumar 35 F3.5

    [​IMG]

    S-M-C Takumar 200 F4

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Vautrin

    Vautrin No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    When you say it doesn't auto stop down, you mean that if I say I want to shoot at f22, it'll still shoot at f2? How do you fix that?

    Also, what is that giant lens?
     
  11. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    First, realize that most SLRs have the lens at full open aperture setting and stop down the lens automatically just moments before a picture is taken. This allows for easier focusing because the lens is allow maximum of light into the prism/mirror viewfinder.

    M42 lenses (except aperture preset types) have a pin on the back of the lens for this function. When the pin is pushed in the aperture diaphragm stops down to whatever aperture is set on the aperture ring. When released, the diaphragm opens up full (unless it is one of the early auto takumars). M42 mount cameras such as the Asahi Spotmatics have a lever that pushes on this diaphragm when a switch the camera body is activated which also activates the in camera meter. At the time, this was a selling feature of these cameras... its crude by todays standard but it works.

    When M42 lenses are mounted on non-M42 camera, this pin isn't engaged at all. This means you need to manually open up the lens to full open aperture setting, focus, manually stop down the aperture (using ring), then trip the shutter to take the photo. Some M42 lenses, which include most Super/SMC-Takumars, have an Auto-manual switch which makes it a little easier. It means that you can flip the switch to Auto to open up the lens, focus, then switch to Manual to stop down the lens, then trip the shutter. Be aware that not all M42 lenses (different brands) have this switch. As such, you'll have to open up and stop down the lens via a turn of the aperture. This can be annoying to some photographers as you don't have anyway to preset the lens to a desired aperture (you count clicks of the aperture ring).

    In comparison, the K-mount lenses replaced this with a lever that activates the aperture diaphragm. All modern Pentax Kmount cameras (including new DSLRs) have the aperture arm in mount to engage this lever. Thus, using these lenses are more "natural"/"seemless" as AF K-mount lenses.. just without the AF feature. The modern K-mount also included ways for the camera automatically set the aperture of the lens while the lens is in "A" mode.



    The lens picture is a Super-Takumar 500mm f/4.5. Its the 2nd longest lens make under the Takumar branding. Its not a common lens to find on the market. The longest lens, 1000mm, is fairly rare especially with the tripod lens specifically designed for the lens. Its a huge heavy and difficult to use, but optically very good!
     

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