pentax – How do I tell if a lens is compatible with a given camera body?

The first task you have to figure out lens compatibility is to find out what lens mount your camera body uses. Pentax 35mm film SLRs and dSLRs use the Pentax K mount.

The second task is to find out what lens mounts the lenses are using, and whether or not it’s Pentax K. That may be harder than it sounds :). But all of the lenses on your list are from 3rd party lens manufacturers (i.e., not someone who makes the same brand of camera), so you have to be extra careful because 3rd party lens manufacturers like Sigma often make the same lens in multiple mounts. And a brand like Vivitar is often used to rebrand many different generic lens manufacturers. You’ll probably have to google each lens model specifically, or look very closely at the sale listings to see if they’re Pentax K. And you may also want to consult a visual lens mount guide like this or this.

The third and final task is to find out how much function the lens will give you. There are often reasons 3rd-party lenses can be found super-cheap on the used market, since OEM camera manufacturers have no vested interest in maintaining compatibility with 3rd-party lenses for functions like autofocus. And a mount like Pentax K or Nikon F, which have been around for decades often can encompass a myriad of quirks and incompatibilities as the mount and its electronic communication has been modified through the years. Googling “Pentax Lens compatibility” resulted in this chart, which charts out Pentax lens compatibility by specific Pentax bodies. And Ricoh themselves have a chart on the functional differences between versions of the K-mount.

It may come down to individually googling each lens with “K-x” to see if someone has mentioned the lens works or doesn’t work (or how much), but it may also be you’re just out of luck and will have to buy the lens to see if it works.

lens – Lenses for Pentax K-X

I’m about to buy a Pentax K-x camera with a pentax 18-55 lense for 50 euros.

I also found a few lenses, quite cheap but I don’t know if they are comaptible and if they are not, what should I look for ?

The lenses :

  • Vivitar 70-150mm 3.8 for 8 euros

  • Sigma 70-210mm for 10 euros

  • Sigma zoom 35-70mm 2.8-4 and sigma zoom 80-200 4.5 multi coated for 30 euros

  • Makinon 200 mm 3.3 for 20 euros

Are they compatible with the K-X ? and which one would be better to buy ?

Thanks !

film cameras – Is a sticking mirror latch lever a likely cause of a winding issue on a Pentax ME Super? What else could it be?

I’ve recently added a Pentax ME Super to my (ever growing) SLR collection.

This one appears to have had minimal use, but it has an issue with the advance lever which I think I know the cause of, but as I’ve never owned a Pentax before, I would like to get some opinions on whether I’m on the mark with this one.

The camera was bought from a charity shop, and has some marking on the body which looks as though it’s been carried around a lot, although internally the pressure plate and winding mechanism looks pristine, so I suspect it’s had light use only.

When I initially received the camera, the mirror was stuck in the up position, which was caused by a degraded mirror damper – it was essentially a thick paste.

I gently pushed on the edge of the mirror, and it flipped down with no resistance from the mechanism. I’ve since replaced the damper and the light seals, and they all seem to be fine.

When I first cranked the advance lever, there was no resistance or sound from the mechanism, and the lever would advance and return to the initial position without cocking the shutter.

After about 20 to 30 actuations of the lever, the mechanism started to operate, and I was able to fire the shutter, although it would take between 5 and 15 operations of the lever to cock the shutter.

I continued gently operating the mechanism, until after some 30 minutes, the shutter would cock and fire every time, however it doesn’t feel as though there is a great deal of resistance from the spring when winding. When I compare it to my Yashica or Fujica bodies, it’s a lot smoother.

I had initially believed that the camera was suffering from the stuck mirror latch lever issue as outlined in the video by Fix Old Cameras found here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJUeXlA2qjM

Currently, the camera is somewhat functional, however the issue has not entirely been resolved.

In its current state, I have the issue that if I leave the camera overnight with the shutter uncocked, when I come to operate the lever the following day the first actuation of the crank does nothing. I cannot fire the shutter at that time, although I do feel some resistance from the spring when I operate the lever.

Actuating the lever the second time does cock the shutter, and I can then consistently operate the winding mechanism and fire the shutter first time with each crank after that time.

I have tested this every day for the past 2 weeks, and it does seem to be a repeatable issue.

The fix outlined in the video is to apply a small amount of lubricant to the bearing on which the mirror latch lever hangs.

My queries relating to this are:

  1. Do the symptoms I have described above sound consistent with a sticking mirror latch lever, or might they be symptomatic of a different problem?
  2. Are there any other common issues which might cause this problem, bearing in mind that the camera might have been stored for a long time with the mirror stuck in the up position due to the degraded damper?
  3. Has anybody else had a similar issue with an ME Super, and how successful were your attempts at resolving the problem?

Apologies for the length of the post – I’ve tried to be a thorough as I can in describing the issue, but if I have missed anything that is useful in making a diagnosis, I would be happy to provide details.

I’m really keen to get this camera working properly, and I could likely use it as it is but I don’t want to end up with a dropped frame every time I take it out from having to cock the shutter twice on the first shot of the day.

It was an incredibly cheap purchase. £35 for the body, a stunning f1.7 50mm, an equally stunning f2.8 28mm, and possibly the only 80-200mm that I actually like (other than the battered Sigma I have for a Nikon).

Any help that anybody can offer would be very gratefully received.

dslr – Fujifilm X-T20 vs Pentax K-3 II. Am I missing any significant differences?

First things first: you close with

How good do the pictures look on them? (Cause that’s what matters…).

Both of these cameras are capable of amazing, grade A+++, top-notch, award-winning, superlative images. This is in fact true of any mainstream brand-name largish-sensor camera today — review sites that try to tell you otherwise do so largely because they’d have no readership if they didn’t stress important crucial differences to agonize over.

My advice to you is to stop agonizing and pick one. You’ve got the basic differences down. I’ve used the Fujifilm X-T10 (as well as the X-T2) , and the Pentax K-5II (and many of its predecessors) extensively, and I can very confidently say that you can be extremely happy with either.

You’ve got the differences down pretty well. There are two more worth mentioning, both in the Pentax column.

First: in-body image stabilization with Pentax, which can be quite a boon especially with Pentax’s lovely prime lens lineup. You’ve spec’d out the Pentax with an 18-135 lens — if you switch to the 18-135mm Fujifilm lens, you get OIS, but raise your initial cost by a full 50%, and there’s just no way to get OIS in a portrait prime. So, there is that to consider.

Second: battery life. This is an inherent disadvantage of mirrorless (since the sensor and an LCD screen need to be active much more often), and Fujifilm has chosen a rather small capacity battery. This isn’t crippling, but I’d recommend at least one spare battery for a Pentax setup and three or four spares for Fujifilm.

All in all, I understand the problem deciding, because there isn’t a clear single winner when you add everything up — but again, that’s because both are winners. As full disclosure, I switched from Pentax to Fujifilm myself, but if someone waved a magic wand at me and compelled me to switch back, I wouldn’t be devastated or anything. They’re both great systems.

If you’re really not leaning one way or another, and won’t be satisfied taking a coin flip, one option is to rent each for a couple of weeks to really get a feel for each. (I recommend two weeks rather than one, because otherwise you’ll be caught in first impressions, which sometimes differ from familiar use.) LensRentals.com is basically the industry gold standard here (not affiliated, just a happy occasional customer), and you can rent the either setup (including a charger and an extra battery for Pentax and two extra for Fujifilm) for about $250. That’s not an insignificant outlay, but if you’re worried about having “grass is greener” regrets after your purchase, it might be worth it.

The one final bit of advice I’d give is that to get the most from either, you really will want to move on from the kit-style zoom lenses. Both systems have beautiful prime lenses that, really to me, are key reasons to pick these over other systems. In fact, personally, I’d suggest skipping the zooms entirely and starting with, say:

  • Pentax DA 21mm f/3.2 AL Limited + DA 50mm f/1.8 + DA 70mm f/2.4 Limited

  • Fujifilm XF 23mm f/2 R WR + XF 50mm f/2 R WR + maybe (see note below) XF 80mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro

— or even stretching for one the fancier primes in the system you choose. You’ll almost certainly grow beyond the kit zooms you’re looking at now, but these lenses you’ll be happy to keep forever.

The 21/23mm lenses will give you a field of view similar to what is typical of cell phones, and then you have the other lenses when you want to “zoom in” for more close-up detail. (Unfortunately, Fujifilm does not currently have anything like Pentax’s 70mm or 77mm lens — it’s kind of a gap in the lineup from my point of view; there’s a nice 80mm but it’s large and expensive.) This advice may seem a bit limiting, but in practice it’s not really important to have smooth coverage of every focal length, so a setup like this can be just as versatile and you get faster aperture and lighter smaller lenses with higher optical quality for the price level. And it’s not just me with this kind of recommendation — see the (in)famous “Letter to George” article from Michael Johnston.

But even with this advice, the real last word is the same as the first: stop worrying and, as the metaphor goes, pull the trigger (or, perhaps we should say, click the shutter). Pentax or Fujifilm, zoom or prime, it’s all great and the better thing is to get started.

pentax – What happens if I press the film rewind button early?

I don’t know about this particular model, but in all my film cameras advancing the film (by pulling the film advance lever) resets the film release lock. Depress shutter with cap on, then advance again. You should see the winder turn, indicating the film is advancing. That should be enough to keep you shooting. (I’m assuming from your post, that you don’t have a motorized drive). You won’t lose the last frame provided you have not rewound the film at all.

EDIT: Corrected as per comment below (whuber)

Pentax 67 on a Berlebach tripod Model 8043?

From the Tripod link:

Load capacity (kg) 8

From this random link about Pentax 67 lenses, the heaviest 165mm lens is:

SMC Pentax 67 165mm f/2.8 .. 0.835 kg

From Pentax 6×7 wiki, the camera:

weighing 2.3 kilograms (5.1 lb) with the plain prism and standard (105
mm f/2.4) lens

From the same lens link, the 105 f/2.4 lens weighs 0.59 kg, so your maximum camera + lens weight is: 2.3 – 0.59 + 0.835 = 2.545 kg. This is well within the load capacity of your tripod.

However the stability of the camera is also going to depend on the tripod head that you use. You will need to select a head with a suitable load capacity (and the weight of the head itself needs to be included in the total tripod load). While not absolutely necessary, a tripod head will allow you to easily aim the camera at your subject.

Finally I note that on that tripod link it says:

This product is no longer stocked and therefore cannot be purchased
until further notice.

So maybe you need another tripod selection????

tripod – Pentax 67 + Berlebach Report 8043?

From the Tripod link:

Load capacity (kg) 8

From this random link about Pentax 67 lenses, the heaviest 165mm lens is:

SMC Pentax 67 165mm f/2.8 .. 0.835 kg

From Pentax 6×7 wiki, the camera:

weighing 2.3 kilograms (5.1 lb) with the plain prism and standard (105
mm f/2.4) lens

From the same lens link, the 105 f/2.4 lens weighs 0.59 kg, so your maximum camera + lens weight is: 2.3 – 0.59 + 0.835 = 2.545 kg. This is well within the load capacity of your tripod.

However the stability of the camera is also going to depend on the tripod head that you use. You will need to select a head with a suitable load capacity (and the weight of the head itself needs to be included in the total tripod load). While not absolutely necessary, a tripod head will allow you to easily aim the camera at your subject.

Finally I note that on that tripod link it says:

This product is no longer stocked and therefore cannot be purchased
until further notice.

So maybe you need another tripod selection????

wildlife – I miss my Pentax Spot-o-Matic but must choose a camera for amateur nature photography; get a new iPhone or an actual camera?

I need help deciding between a phone and an actual camera for amateur nature photography. I need something that can be ON by the time I’ve raised it and quick to focus when I’m in a hurry, and will be able to manage residual motion when I don’t have time to steady myself because the thing’s gonna fly away any second.

The main constraint is that I am relatively poor (by choice) and so this needs to be an either-or situation.

My background and context in photography come from these three cameras:

  1. Asahi/Pentax Spot-o-Matic with I think f/1.8 50 mm I didn’t care about grain, I shot kilograms of high ASA film, developed the B&W myself and dropped the ASA 400 Ektachrome off at the corner drug store. I was so happy with my photos!
  2. Sony DSC DSC-W55 (2007, 7.2 megapixels, NO Manual Mode, 3× optical zoom) ugh.
  3. iPhone 6 vanilla (i.e. no photo app, lots of fumbling with screen controls)

Case in point. I think this orange dragonfly species is either a younger version of the red or a cousin, but they are much, much more sensitive to motion and get spooked at much farther distances than the red one:

All photos from iPhone 6.

I have lots of blurry pictures of very colorful lizards running away because they’ve noticed that I’ve gotten too close, and some beautiful birds recognize my gaze and flee when they are only 100 pixels tall.

I need to decide soon if I should upgrade to an iPhone 11 or 12 with their better cameras than the 6 and actual optical zoom, or buy a used or new point-and-shoot or better actual camera.

Question: What are the key points I need to consider when choosing a point-and-shoot that I can use quickly with a fast lens (low f/no) and is also fast to focus and control, (used or new) and how can I compare that to getting an iPhone 11 or 12 with its better camera and optical zoom? Are there specific types of features that will allow people like me to shoot jumpy, skittish wildlife at a farther distance than I can do with my current phone?