Film camera with DA/FA lens compatibility - what do you recommend?


Link Posted 11/09/2009 - 23:32
A question from a new member:

I have a K20D bought last year (excellent camera IMO), which I mainly use on manual setting and focus. I very occasionally do some film photography (slide or B&W) with an old 1970s Olympus RC35 (fixed-lens compact), & I'm thinking of picking up a Pentax body that can use the same FA & DA lenses as the K20. I'm happy to go fully manual (I grew up with a Praktica MTL3) and in some respects the ME Super appeals - but my guess is that the older cameras won't cope with lenses that lack an aperture ring (or at best will be stuck fully open). Can anyone advise which series started to have aperture controls in the body - and maybe suggest something suitable? My instinct is to go for simplicity and strength if any of the later models fit that description - it won't get used that often and I'd like it to last as long as my RC35.
K5IIs & ME Super with FA24-90, DA17-70, DA55-300, misc old primes; Fuji X20.


Link Posted 11/09/2009 - 23:36
Basically any A series or later Pentax body will enable use of program and shutter priority modes. The later MZ series cameras may be a better bet though, and of these the MZ-6 actually introduces aperture control by the camera body.

So I suggest the MZ-6. However, bear in mind that DA lenses may have a reduced image circle, so may give vignetting on full frame film bodies. Still worth a try, and some lenses will be better than others.
Best regards, John


Link Posted 12/09/2009 - 08:41
As John mentions, digital lenses can vignette. The plus side is you can usually see it in the view finder.

I carried out an experiment with my standard 18-55 digital lens on a P30 body, thread here, and was happy with the results. There are samples at the end of the thread.
Cheers, HG

K110+DA40, K200+DA35, K3 and a bag of lenses, bodies and other bits.

Mustn't forget the Zenits, or folders, or...

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Steve Chasey

Link Posted 12/09/2009 - 19:16
The MZ6 is a little less common than the the MZ50 - there are usually 2 or 3 available on E-bay at any one time. They don't fetch big money as a concequence of being in good supply. Designed for the "cripped" KAF lenses ie those with no aperature ring such as the DA & DA* lenses.

I've used one and found it reliable.

In the Pack - Gripped K5 (SE),K7 & K20, Gripped MZ-S(SE)& MZ-S,DA10-17, DA12-24, DA14, DA*16-50, 50-135, 60-250 & 300mm; FA31mm/43mm/77mm Ltds; Sigma 8-16, 135-400 & 150-500
Half Backs: K10+BG,DA16-45, DA50-200
Backs: LXs,Super As and lots of A, M & K lenses
Impact Subs: 28mm Shift, K 135-600 (the Banahan of Pentax zooms ), 400-600 Reflex


Link Posted 12/09/2009 - 19:49
To concur wuth Steve's point, I have an MZ-60. I would whole-heartedly recommend it. It's gives great results with my DA*50-135. Only cost me 20....


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Last Edited by Snootchies on 12/09/2009 - 19:51


Link Posted 12/09/2009 - 20:33
Many thanks for the advice. It looks as if the best option if I'm going to swap lenses between the cameras is an MZ6/MZ60 or similar (I had an MZ50 until the wind-on mechanism played up). The vignetting problem shouldn't be too much of an issue as I only have one DA lens (18-55) and my 'standard' FA zoom (24-90) should go wide enough for what I want with a 35mm.

K5IIs & ME Super with FA24-90, DA17-70, DA55-300, misc old primes; Fuji X20.


Link Posted 12/09/2009 - 21:34
The DA40/2.8 works quite well on film.


Link Posted 13/09/2009 - 09:10
You can use DA lenses with Z-1 or Z-1p with full compatibility.
The cameras are more expensive than Mz series (not Mz-S) but you have similar control with DSLR
Pentax Spotmatic SPII
Super takumar 20|28|35|55|105|135|200
Pentax 40|50|55|70-200 - Jupiter-37AM
Mamiya M645 1000S - Sekor 24|55|80|150|210

George Lazarette

Link Posted 13/09/2009 - 11:54
I second that. If you can find a Z1 or Z1-P you will find them to be most similar to a DSLR, but they will also use M and K lenses properly (unlike many later bodies).

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