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Old Jan 3, 2012, 3:09 PM   #1
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Default Old for new?

I have a Pentax MZ-50, pre-digital but with it I have a Sigma hyperzoom macro 28-200mm 1:3.5-5.6. I want to keep the camera but on which digital slr camera could I mount the lens?
I am retired on a fixed income and am thinking along the lines of a D80/90 or similar. I imagine I'll have buy second hand if I go along these lines. The other option is a 4/3 olympus with an adaptor.
Any ideas?
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Old Jan 3, 2012, 3:38 PM   #2
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How about a Pentax dSLR since it's a Pentax mount (K mount) lens? ;-)

But frankly, I would not base a purchase decision on that lens. If you wanted to use with anything other than a Pentax K-Mount camera, then you'd need to buy an adapter for it, and the adapter would probably cost more than the lens is worth, and you'd probably have issues with focusing to infinity, metering and more if you try to use it on cameras other than Pentax (since you're probably need an adapter with optical elements to allow focusing to infinity with some of the other popular camera mounts, degrading optical quality even more)..

Assuming it's an Autofocus version, you could buy one for around $72 in Excellent Condition with a 6 months warranty from a reputable vendor. Here's an example:


In anything lower than excellent condition, you can pick one up for around $50 from a reputable vendor including a warranty. A dealer has to make money on one. But, for most practical purposes, it's virtually worthless.

IOW, it's not a very good lens for use with modern digital cameras (it's considered to be soft and flare prone on higher resolution digital cameras).

For smaller prints, perhaps it may be something to use. But, I'd suggest ignoring that you have that lens at all, and base any purchase decision on what you want in a camera, versus going to any effort to use a lens like that.

BTW, one other thing you may want to be aware of is that you'll need to multiply the focal length of a lens by 1.5x to see the equivalent angle of view you'd have using the same focal length on a 35mm camera, because the APS-C size sensor in entry level dSLR models is smaller than 35mm film.

For example, a 100mm lens on a dSLR model with an APS-C size sensor (entry level Pentax, Sony and Nikon dSLR models) would give you the same angle of view as 150mm lens on a 35mm camera.

So, a lens like that 28-200mm would give you the same angle of view as a 42-300mm lens on a 35mm camera.

That means it probably starts out too "long" on it's wider end for many subject types (family groups indoors, buildings, etc.), since you may not be able to back up far enough to fit what you want into the frame.

That's one reason most "kit" lenses for camera with APS-C size sensors start out at around 18mm now (giving you the same angle of view you'd have using a 27mm lens on a 35mm camera).

Bottom line... if you really want to use that lens, I'd go with a Pentax dSLR model, so that you don't have to worry about buying an adapter to mount it. which would probably cause even lower image quality due to optical elements to allow infinity focus on anything other than a Pentax K Mount camera anyway). IOW, it would not be worth the effort to try and use it with another camera mount.

It's a very low quality lens anyway, and the focal range is not very useful on a dSLR model. So, I would not base any purchase decisions on having it, and find a dSLR you like and use a kit lens with it instead of that one.
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Old Jan 3, 2012, 4:30 PM   #3
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Thanks, back to the drawing board. It's one of many ideas I've had.
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Old Jan 4, 2012, 10:13 PM   #4
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If you are on a fixed income and look to buy most, if not all of your stuff used I would recommend going with Pentax. Even the older models are excelent and a used Kx can be had in the States for under $400. But the big advantage is that all the old auto focus PK glass will work so you have a huge selection of lenses to choose from. Like Jim pointed out above, the quality will suffer some compared to the newer glass but i have taken many good pics with an old FA 100-300 zoom, albeit with a bit of post processing to sharpen things up a bit. Don't be scared away from using old lenses, but i would try to stick with either primes or zooms with a limited range (2-3x).

As for 4/3rds while I love the quality of the image Olympus cameras produce they are not a great choice on a fixed budget. Not many lens choices and the ones that are really good are quite expensive. You could use a PK lens on the 4/3rds system ( I have many times and the adapters are cheap and have no optics but focus to infinity is hit and miss with them) but Olympus has lousy results at higher ISO settings and with old glass you can't shoot wide open if you want to get good results, hence the need for higher ISO settings. That said my E-1 is a great camera for macro work where ISO100 is all you need and the 2x crop factor comes in handy.

Hope this helps some. If your eyes are good enough to do manual focusing there are many fine old lenses that can be bought cheap. I have a personal liking for the old Tamron Adaptal SP lenses. Have 5 of them and 4 are razor sharp.

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