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Old Oct 4, 2006, 8:59 PM   #1
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Since I don't own any of these yet, mine are all M42's. I was wondering what is the difference as far as the way they function on the Pentax DSLR's. I know they are both manual focus, but wasn't sure about the other functions like aperture control or image preview- Bruce
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Old Oct 4, 2006, 10:31 PM   #2
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The main difference is the way they handle exposure.

M lenses require you to set the aperture on the lens, not the camera. There are no electronic contacts, just the lever that will allow the camera to stop down the lens when you shoot. So you use M mode, set the aperture ring, push AE-L to temporarily stop down the lens to meter which will allow the camera to set the shutter speed, focus and shoot (there are some variations to this, but this is the basic way). If you have the camera set to anything other than M the camera will leave the lens wide open.

The A lenses have an A settingon the aperture ring. Set the lens to that and the camera can control the aperture. You can use P, Av, Tv modes and the camera will operate the lens the same as it does for a DA lens (i.e., if you use Av mode and have the camera set to f8, the camera is able to communicate with the lens, set the aperture and meter automatically). No need to use M mode and use AE-L button to meter. As you pointed out, you have to focus manually.
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Old Oct 4, 2006, 11:13 PM   #3
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Thank you, I have a much better understanding now of the differences between the two. You explained it very clearly- Bruce
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