To answer some of the questions and comments..
Why looking only in Pentax primes for a K mount system?
Why shouldnt I? Is there something wrong with pentax? I would much rather trust that pentax would make a quality product rather than vivitar or any of the other aftermarket manufacterers.
"Exactly, the BIG advantage of K-Mount lenses ( and M42 ) is that there is a huge range that works on ALL K-Mount bodies."
I dont know why you would call it a "huge range" of lenses when there hardly any on the market.
Lets see.. a search for 85mm primes sold on ebay.. I came up with a handful of pentax K/KM/KA's and TEN TIMES that amount in Nikkor AI/AIS mount. AND the Nikkor's were generally cheaper! And it seems to me that there are more good Pentax M42 lenses on the (used&inexpensive)market right now than K mounts. What happened pentax?
"In the world of Canon FD/FDn lens system, the prices are even lower. "
Yes, that is what im into for the moment. (another discussion entirely)
"high artistic qualities"
Thats what my LF stuff is for.
I see a couple possible reasons for the dearth of K-mount lenses on the used market:
The first and most obvious reason, as has been stated previously, is that Pentax owners aren't willing to let go of them.
Another reason that is probably helping dry up the market is Canon EOS. There are adapters available for K-mount lenses to EOS cameras that allow the EOS user to retain infinity focus. There are also EOS adapters for M42, Nikon, Contax, Olympus, and probably others. EOS users cannot easily adapt Canon FD to their systems, so they look elsewhere. Quite a few of these folks are discovering that AF isn't the entire world, and that they can pick up premium MF glass for cheap. There's lots of EOS users out there, especially of the digital variety . . .
Q : 'where are all the nice pentax K lenses?
A : in my photobag...
"...If you can not stand the rustle of the leafs, then do not go in to the woods..."
(freely translated quote by Guido Gezelle)
PS: English is only my third language, please do forgive me my sloppy grammar...
I'm trying to scoop up cheap Nikons now. Building that kit back up is going to be a very, very hard thing to do. I feel your pain.
No idea what's going to happen next, but I'm hoping it involves being wrist deep in chemicals come the weekend.
Used my Pentax M42 adaptor on my Richo. I have not a great need for Pentax lenes anymore. M42 for K1000, Ricoh KR-5 Super II. Even an adaptor for my FD cameras. This day and age you do not have to stick with 1 brand. Pentax has a Takumar lens that is top of the line
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If using an adapter one must use stop-down metering or use a handheld meter. (correct me if i am wrong)
Certainly not ideal and not something I am willing to sacrifice.
If I wanted to use M42 lenses I would buy a M42 camera. (i have one BTW, and its just not for me)
Does anyone know if Pentax slowed production of prime lenses in favor of zooms when they came out with the K cameras?
No, they made mostly primes from the introductory K era (1975-77) through the M era ('77-'84) to the end of the A era ('84-'88 or so). Those families of lenses are all manual focus, and zooms from those eras (especially M and K) are relatively rare. The great majority of K, M, and A lenses are gorgeous, excellent, manual focus primes. With the autofocus era, however, the emphasis did shift to zooms, but Pentax still maintained a capable stable of primes.
Originally Posted by darinwc
They're all great lenses, and one of the reasons I love Pentax.
Just in the unlikely case that someone has managed to miss it:
http://kmp.bdimitrov.de/ has the most complete list of K-mount cameras and lenses on the internet.
-- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
If you're talking about the high-end ED Pentax glass or the legendary lenses like the SMC-A macros, K-mount prices have always been correspondingly higher than Nikon or Canon gear. Pentax 35mm use among pros peaked with the Spotmatic and screw mount lenses of the 1960's and has been losing market share almost ever since. Exotic Pentax lenses are relatively rarer than Nikon or Canon, even though the ordinary K-mount lenses were sold in vast quantities.
The 200mm SMCP-A* f/4 Macro is one such lens, often selling these days for north of $2K when they come up, which is perhaps once or twice a year. They were extremely rare even when new in 1988, too-- something like only 4 had ever been imported into the USA, I was told by a Pentax regional rep back then. Catalog price in the day was, IIRC ~$750. But just try finding one. The non-ED 100mm SMCP-A f/2.8 Macro commonly sells well used for two to three times what I bought mine for in Mint condition two decades ago (at $250, it's been one of my top money-making lenses through the years.)
That said, of the better "ordinary" primes, the Pentax SMC-A 50mm f/1.4's can be found on eBay all day long selling for right around $100 and will hold it's own with normal primes of any make or model. The build quality and smoothness of the focusing helix is second to none. The manual focus 24's are equally fine and commonly found for $200 at auction.
The bigger question may be finding a manual Pentax body that still works. Most all 25-30 year old LX's will have the infamous sticky mirror issue by now if they haven't had recent service. The Motordrive LXs that still function are few indeed. The PZ-1s were reasonably good bodies but not pro level gear as they had no dust sealing and 3.5fps motordrives. Pentax dropped the ball on bringing out an LX replacement, IMO. Nikon F5s and Canon F1s are now flood the market and may represent a better bargain, even though they're each nearly half the weight of an Abrams tank.
Pentax did have quite a following among pros for its medium format bodies. The 645N and NII take not only all the Pentax 645 lenses, but with an adapter all the P67 lenses with full open-aperture metering function . There are also a number of ED teles available. These bodies and lenses are plentiful and cheap and among the best values to be found anywhere in photography just now.
Last edited by Pupfish; 01-27-2009 at 05:01 PM. Click to view previous post history.
The time to buy relatively cheap (and plentiful) Pentax lenses was about five years ago, when they had pretty much lost the prosumer market with the ZX/MZ series and hadn't yet developed much presence in the digital market. When the *ist DS came out, the price was attractive enough to get a new crowd interested and lens prices and scarcity went up. Pentax has been revamping their lens line, but to some degree this has made demand for the old lenses even worse, because they've dropped the aperture ring and designed exclusively for APS-C sensor coverage. Now you have the people that want to hedge their bets against a full-frame dSLR competing with people that want backward compatibility with their film cameras competing with dSLR users who just want an 85/1.4 (or whatever) any way they can get it.