Older Pentax primes


tobybarker

Link Posted 19/09/2013 - 18:39
Having just seen this vid on using older lenses on newer cameras

Using Old Pentax Lenses on Newer Pentax Cameras:

I see that they can be picked up cheaply on ebay. What are the pitfalls on picking up a few cheaply? will they be any better (or worse) than my kit lens on my K30? That is to say, will a 50mm old lens (in good condition) produce very different shots than a modern stock lens?
Trevor Smith

Pentax K30
My Flickr
My web page
Last Edited by tobybarker on 19/09/2013 - 18:41

sbrads

Link Posted 19/09/2013 - 19:03
Most old Pentax primes are manual focus, certainly the cheap ones are. As long as that's OK, then yes the good ones are better than the kit lens and obviously much brighter having wide apertures. K and M lenses are MF and manual exposure or green button stop-down metering, later A lenses are auto exposure but still MF.

One example I can give is that my SMC K55/1.8 on a K-30 shows a lot more fine detail on distant landscapes than does my year old DA35/2.4, perhaps not a good comparison because of the different focal lengths, but it's impressive. It's not just sharper, you can see things that just don't even exist on the 35/2.4 or my Sigma 17-70, both of which are good examples, nowt wrong with them comparing to others. The only 18-55 kit lens I've had was from 2006 and the Sigma was a lot better than that, but newer kit lenses are supposed to be better than that 2006 one.

One area some old primes may be less good in is contrast, not all are equal to lenses using modern coatings. 50 and 55mm lenses would be a good place to start, they give good contrast once you've stopped down slightly and are really excellent by f2.8.

andrewk

Link Posted 19/09/2013 - 19:05
The answer to your question varies with the lens make, model and condition. I'd be tempted to start with just one lens and see how you get on. Some old lenses are great - but many will be worse than the kit lens.

A Pentax SMC M (or A) 50mm f/1.7 manual focus lens is cheap and better than the kit lens at f/5.6 but not much different at f/8 onwards - a good sample is definitely worth the effort.

Pitfalls? Don't buy anything that's been in someone's loft for years. Fungus is your problem there. It may or may not affect picture quality, but there is the potential for passing it on to your other lenses. A lens with fungus is worth just about nothing - so avoid!

Andrew
Flickr photostream

davidstorm

Link Posted 19/09/2013 - 23:03
sbrads wrote:
Most old Pentax primes are manual focus, certainly the cheap ones are. As long as that's OK, then yes the good ones are better than the kit lens and obviously much brighter having wide apertures. K and M lenses are MF and manual exposure or green button stop-down metering, later A lenses are auto exposure but still MF.

One example I can give is that my SMC K55/1.8 on a K-30 shows a lot more fine detail on distant landscapes than does my year old DA35/2.4, perhaps not a good comparison because of the different focal lengths, but it's impressive. It's not just sharper, you can see things that just don't even exist on the 35/2.4 or my Sigma 17-70, both of which are good examples, nowt wrong with them comparing to others. The only 18-55 kit lens I've had was from 2006 and the Sigma was a lot better than that, but newer kit lenses are supposed to be better than that 2006 one.

One area some old primes may be less good in is contrast, not all are equal to lenses using modern coatings. 50 and 55mm lenses would be a good place to start, they give good contrast once you've stopped down slightly and are really excellent by f2.8.

Very good advice here. Also, contrast is not really an issue as it can be increased later. The SMC K55 F1.8 is a gem of a lens, as is the Pentax-A 50mm F1.7 (although the build quality on this one is not so good). Others worth looking out for are the Pentax-M 50mm F1.4 and a real cracker is the Pentax-M 28mm F3.5 (this is rarer and better than the 28mm F2.8 variant, but not too hard to find). A really cheap one that is plentiful and produces fine images is the Chinon 50mm F1.9.

Regards
David
Flickr

Nicola's Apartments, Kassiopi, Corfu

Some cameras, some lenses, some bits 'n' bobs

JonSchick

Link Posted 20/09/2013 - 06:57
As for the real cracker of a 28/3.5 mentioned above, I concur....and I have one for sale. PM me if you're interested (and sorry for the shameless plug!). Jon
Jon

Some occasional random stuff at The Photographers Block: link

RussV

Link Posted 20/09/2013 - 15:19
I've got a variety of old Pentax primes and they all give good results, my SMCA-28mm F2.8 is particularly good. As said already, condition is important, I'm fortunate enough to have owned all but one from new.
www.russv.me.uk
Last Edited by RussV on 20/09/2013 - 15:21

tobybarker

Link Posted 20/09/2013 - 18:37
thanks to all
Trevor Smith

Pentax K30
My Flickr
My web page

JonSchick

Link Posted 20/09/2013 - 18:45
Trev - you'll find they work well with an adapter on your Olympus too (I think you have live view?). I used some great legacy lenses on an E-1 and the results were lovely (best being from a Pentax 135/2.5 SMCK which became a rather fast long telephoto on the four thirds camera).
Jon

Some occasional random stuff at The Photographers Block: link
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