Pentax *ist DS Compatibility with Older Pentax Lenses

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Larry R Harrison Jr, Dec 5, 2004.

  1. I was told by my mother that she is giving me some of her new husband's
    older Pentax 35mm equipment to me for Christmas. I do not know what the
    models are, whether it's something back in the ME Super/Super Program days
    or newer equipment. I just don't know.

    I am curious--what is the *ist DS's (and *ist D) compatibility with older
    Pentax lenses? I realize I don't know what year/designation these lenses
    are, but if anyone has a table of the types and how compatible they are with
    the *ist DS, that would help a lot.

    By compatibility, I mean--does it meter at all, meter but only in
    classic-center-weighted mode, or what exactly.

    If there is enough compatibility, I MIGHT consider an *ist DS when I get
    this equipment if it's nice and compatible enough. So I'm curious what the
    compatibility is with the different types (and model years).

    Larry R Harrison Jr, Dec 5, 2004
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  2. Larry R Harrison Jr

    Pete D Guest

    Generally they will work if they are electronically automatic. Just remember
    the x1.6 conversion factor. That aside suitable Sigma lenses are reasonabley
    priced anyway.

    I also have been looking at the *ist DS and they are very nice, I really
    like the slightly smaller size compared with the D70, 20D, etc.
    Pete D, Dec 5, 2004
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  3. Larry R Harrison Jr

    Charlie Self Guest

    Pete D responds:

    The camera accepts ALL K mount Pentax lenses, but doesn't work full auto with
    all of them.

    The Pentax web site has more info, but it seems to be down right now.

    By the way, the conversion factor is 1.5, not 1.6.

    Charlie Self
    "Ambition is a poor excuse for not having sense enough to be lazy."
    Edgar Bergen, (Charlie McCarthy)
    Charlie Self, Dec 5, 2004
  4. Larry R Harrison Jr

    JohnR Guest

    Check here. Perhaps the best Pentax site around.

    AFAIK, you need at least A series lenses (introduced in the early 80's) for
    automatic exposure. The A series has a contact pin that allows the aperture
    to be read electronically from it. The previous M series lenses and older
    don't have the pin. These older lenses relied on a mechanical coupling to
    the camera to read the aperture. The digital SLRs don't have it as most
    (all?) of the newer film bodies as well.

    Of course the F series autofocus lenses and newer will provide the best
    compatibility (all metering modes and such)
    JohnR, Dec 5, 2004
  5. Larry R Harrison Jr

    Mark Roberts Guest

    All autofocus lenses are fully compatible (obviously).

    The "A" series lenses will meter in all modes and allow all forms of
    autoexposure, but the (again obviously, I hope) won't autofocus. If you
    want the camera to take photos with the lens off the "A" setting you
    need to activate a special setting via a submenu (and this stays in
    memory after the camera is shut off so it's a one-time-only change).

    The "M" and "K" series lenses will work as manual focus lenses if you
    activate the aforementioned submenu setting to permit the shutter to
    fire when the lens isn't set to "A" (since these lenses don't *have* an
    "A" setting). Metering is centerweighted only and is accomplished by
    pressing the green button on the ist-D or the AE-lock button on the

    I use my K-series 15mm f/3.5 frequently on my ist-D.
    Mark Roberts, Dec 5, 2004
  6. The Sony CCD used in Pentax, Nikon D100, D70 and the Maxxum 7D all have a
    1.5x FOV crop. I am using Pentax M lenses some as old as 1980 on my *ist D.
    These work on M in a stop down metering mode.
    Darrell Larose, Dec 5, 2004
  7. Larry R Harrison Jr

    Pete D Guest

    Personally I would not use the older lenses unless it was something like a
    fixed 400 or 500 like I had for my very old now KM that I bought new a long
    time ago.
    Are you sure, the DS uses a new CCD doesn't it, have to go and check now!
    Pete D, Dec 6, 2004
  8. Larry R Harrison Jr

    Charlie Self Guest

    Pete D asks:
    Well, that's a choice, not a limitation in the camera system.
    Yeah, I'm sure. At least on mine.

    Charlie Self
    "Ambition is a poor excuse for not having sense enough to be lazy."
    Edgar Bergen, (Charlie McCarthy)
    Charlie Self, Dec 6, 2004
  9. Larry R Harrison Jr

    Pete D Guest

    I was really making the comment that a good camera like these should be used
    with lenses that will keep up with the high perferomance of the camera and I
    don't think the manual lenses do that.
    Yeah they are both 1.5 and they use the same CCD.
    Pete D, Dec 6, 2004
  10. Larry R Harrison Jr

    John Bean Guest

    That's a strange thing to say. Other than the obvious fact that there's no
    AF available to a manual lens, what other aspects of performance do you
    think it's likely to lack?
    John Bean, Dec 6, 2004
  11. Larry R Harrison Jr

    Mark Roberts Guest

    Nothing! Many of the old manual focus lenses are superb. I know of
    someone who's modified several of them to work with his Canon 1D-II:
    Mark Roberts, Dec 6, 2004
  12. Larry R Harrison Jr

    -T- Guest

    most of the Af lenses also got a very poor or no indication of hyperfocal
    distance, smth wich makes it more difficult to maz calculate dept of view
    -T-, Dec 9, 2004
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