Pentax K lenses on K10

By: KenParkes 5963 days ago
Long in the tooth and short on knowledge here. I have a number of primes for my ME Super cameras. For the last twelve months I've been playing with a Canon A95 to try digital. I like the freedom to mess about free of charge and have decided to commit to digital. I was considering a Nikon but along comes the K10 with anti-shake which is going to be really useful, now and in the future, and reviews seem good. But a camera shop chap seems to think I would get few of the facilities digital offers with old lenses. I can see that autofocus is out but what else will I lose? I suspect I'm being gently eased to Nikon or Canon to suite the shop's agenda.
Thanks for any advice.

By: johnriley 5963 days ago
The Pentax K10D is a superb camera and the image stabilisation will work with all lenses, even screw thread ones! If you buy this, then the kit lens is a good one and well worth the very few extra pounds it will cost. Why move to Canon or Nikon when you are so familar with pentax - the K10D will fit into your existing way of working very easily.

Now the older K bayonet lenses are also all useable, but with some limitations. If you have any A series lenses or later (with a A on the aperture ring) then they will be fully compatible. Earlier K and M series lenses can be used with stop down metering in Aperture priority and manual modes. They are excellent lenses and although modern digital-designed lenses will be better the old ones are very worthwhile using. The 50mm lenses make superb 75mm-equivalent portrait lenses.

If you stick with Pentax you can use your existing lenses as well as buy newer ones if you wish. There is no benefit in changing to Canon or Nikon, and in fact I don't think that would serve you as well.

By: KenParkes 5962 days ago
Thank you for your trouble John. That's what I wanted to hear - the loss of my two macro lenses and a converter was a stumbling block for me.

By: slowhands 5955 days ago
It's worthwhile to read the comparative reviews of the Pentax K10D before you buy one. It's quite good in many ways, especially the built-in anti-shake feature, but does not have the good high ISO performance of the Canon XTi, nor the build quality of the Nikon D80, for example. Those qualities might not be so important to you as using your old lenses. So read a few reviews and decide if you can live with the issues (sub-par sharpness on JPEGs, but not RAW, poor auto white balance with incandescent light, having to raise the flash to enable the focus assist lamp, to name a few).

Remember that digital sensors are about 2/3 the size of 35 mm film (with a few exceptions), so your lenses will show an apparent decrease in viewing angle compared to what you are used to on 35mm (equivalent focal length increases 50%). That can be good or bad.

The build quality of those old Pentax manual focus lenses was superb, solid metal. I like that, and you don't find it in the most modern lenses. But the convenience of auto focus + auto exposure makes them far more convenient and fool proof for most users.

If you have some really nice K lenses, long and fast, or macros, they will be stellar on the K10D, but slower to use. (Even the early screw mount lenses will mount, with available adapters, but they require a lot of tedious manual effort using them.) I use manual focus on macro with my trusty old Nikon 105mm f4 macro lens on my Nikon D70, and I am very satisfied with the lens for that use. You almost always use manual focus with macro anyway, and often stop down to get depth of field. So there is a case where it makes perfect sense to use older glass, at least to me.

As a side note, I am sure Nikon and Canon will introduce anti-shake into their bodies too, at some future date. Now among DSLRs only the Pentax K100D and K10D, the discontinued Minoltas, and the Sony A100 have the feature, but it's so compelling that the Big Two must add it. In that sense Pentax is way ahead, for now.
By: IanA 5955 days ago
Despite the opinion of the previous poster, the K10D is easily as well built as the D80 from Nikon and is, in fact, approaching the build quality of the D200!

Canon and Nikon build vibration reduction/Image stabilisation into their lenses and I doubt they will change that in the foreseeable future as it enables greater correction than the in camera system. It is handy, but don't think it is the be all and end all that some make it out. With Macro work, you'll still be better off with a tripod!


By: photog73 5954 days ago
I am also on the point of buying a dslr. I have put the K10D at the top of my list. The only reservation I have is the somewhat higher noise at ISO 1600. It is not as bad as it might be, however. I more serious reservation I have re the Nikon D80 is a problem described on Thom Hogan. He has posted high ISO moderate to long exposure night shots showing two (2) flare areas at the top of the frame. This from the bottom of the sensor, of course. The cause appears to be some hot component near the sensor that causes local heating.
I am going to go with the Pentax.
Ron McDermott (photog73)
By: audrie 5940 days ago
I am a little late on this, but thought it might help others new (as am I) to the forum who are backtracking the posts.

A couple of weeks ago I bought a K10D as my first dSLR with a used SMC-A 28-135 f4. The lens works great with the K10D, only focusing is manual when the aperture ring is set to "A". If your lenses are earlier, then you are familiar with working completely manual and there should be no problems for you--I have used my lens in manual mode without any issues from the camera. The first time you mount a manual lens, you must go into the custom camera menu and set "allow aperature ring" to yes. For some strange reason the camera ships with use of manual lenses turned off by default.

According to what I have read, the older lenses' main weakness is the lack of coatings for digital. I agree as I have experienced strange chromatic aberrations in a few shots even on cloudy days. But I also read that using a lens hood (which I don't have yet) will correct most of that.

Another 'tip': I read elsewhere that when inputting the focal length for the image stabilizer (which you must do manually for manual focus lenses) set it to the focal length just longer than the actual focal length of the lens and the image stabilization will work better. Again I agree that this seems to improve the performance of the image stabilizer with my lens, but the EXIF data will report the focal length you set. Also, since I am using a zoom lens, I find it faster to just turn the camera off and on when I change focal length as the first thing that comes up is the input screen for the focal length setting, rather than navigate the menu to the same screen.

Hope someone finds this useful.
By: johnriley 5940 days ago
Audrie, many thanks for your input.

It is true that some older lenses do not fare too well on digital because of colour fringing (chromatic abberation). Digital lenses have a telecentric design which ensures better compatibility with the sensor.

However, as we are only using the centre of the image circle because of the smaller digital format we are using the best part of the lens's field.

50mm lenses are particularly impressive on digital, making lovely 75mm-equivalent portrait lenses.

A lens hood will reduce flare and should always be used wherever possible (the same effect as shielding our eyes from the sun with our hand) but will not improve lens defects.

Hope that helps!

By: photog73 5940 days ago
ALWAYS use a lens hood when you are shooting. A caution with wide angle lenses. use dedicated hood to avoid cutting corners.
By: audrie 5939 days ago
Thanks, Ron, that is excellent advice. My lens did not come with a hood since it was used. I am still tracking down the one that fits. But during my search I did run across a web site that has patterns/instructions for making temporary lens hoods, which I will do as a stop gap until the dedicated hood turns up. It is at The temporary hood hopefully will help with the aberrations, though it will not be as protective of the lens as the Pentax hood will be.

Back to the subject of manual lenses, I also forgot to mention that manual lenses (K,M) on the K10D cannot use the matrix metering, only the center weighted metering.
By: photog73 5939 days ago
audrie & others
I have found secondhand shops a rich source of Sigma lenses. I got a 28-90 (equivalent 42-135) which is quite useful with my SMC 18-55. I also got a 100-300 so now I only need to find a good 11-22 or similar. Both of these zooms support all of the automatic features of the K10D. Cost of each about $70 Australian.
BYW you may find a lenshood that has lost its lens!
By: KenParkes 5934 days ago
Well I took the plunge last week and parted with 800GBP for the K10, some memory, a case and yet another card reader. Of course you wouldn't expect me to admit that I'd made a bad decision even if I had. But in fact I'm delighted with it. The kit lens is a bit bendy round the edges but my old 50mm Macro is a revelation. All I need now is some decent weather - endless rain here in Cumbria and I can't bear to put all those seals to the test just yet.

Haven't got into picture tweaking on the desktop yet. Is the Pentax software really as dire as some claim?

Many thanks for all your input.

By: johnriley 5934 days ago
If you can get a copy of Photoshop then all the teaking you could ever want or need will be at your fingertips. The Pentax software is very basic.
By: photog73 5933 days ago
Hello all
I also bit the bullet and bought my K10D a week ago. I have spent the past week testing the features and building my confidence level to the point where I did not feel the necessity of inspecting the review and histogran after each shot. On Sunday I spent a long day on Queensland's Gold Coast mainly between Miami and Coolangatta About 150 DNG RAW files and only four (4) showed blown highlights in PSCS2. All of these were recoverable in CS2 without any heroics.
Image quality is superb (and in the 1970'2 I used Hasselblad and Mamiya RB67 and had my own automated processing!
I shot P with the camera configured to select the fastest shutter speed consistent with the aperture being within the lens sweet spot.
BTW have all PSCS2 downloaded ACRRAW 3.7 including the plugin that supperts the K10D natively?
By: photog73 5933 days ago
How do you post photos on this forum?
Incidentally do you know why these are known as forums. Apparently some are forem and some are agin'em ...
By: johnriley 5933 days ago
Very droll, Ron....If you want to post pictures may I suggest the sister site to this one and for all things Pentax the other sister site See you there?

By: vmazzoni 5541 days ago
Please.Where can I find in Miami, a Pentax 100mm F2.8 Macro lenses?

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