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Digital Camera Bodies that Can Use Manual Pentax Lenses

written by: SparkKD•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 2/24/2010

This article is aimed at camera buyers who have used manual Pentax lenses in the past and have a sizeable investment in them, and are now looking for a suitable DSLR camera body with which they can use their manual Pentax lenses.

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    Pentax Lenses

    As digital imaging technology and camera lenses have improved over time, so has the line of Pentax lenses. From the manual Pentax lenses which were available initially to the autofocus lenses which are in vogue today, there has been a sea-change in lens technology.

    However, there are many of us who have invested heavily in camera lenses such as the manual Pentax lenses and would like to use them with newer DSLR's.

    This buying guide is aimed at such individuals, who would like to purchase a suitable camera body (DSLRs for manual Pentax lenses).

    The manual lenses which have been taken into consideration are:

    • smc-Pentax (First Generation of Manual Pentax Lenses)
    • smc-Pentax-M (Second Generation of Manual Pentax Lenses with Manual aperture setting)
    • smc-Pentax-A (Third Generation of Manual Pentax Lenses with Automatic aperture setting)
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    Pentax DSLRs for Manual Pentax Lenses

    Pentax K-7 DSLR Camera Body 

    Pentax's compatibility of new and old cameras and lenses is unparalleled in the photo industry. The Pentax DSLRs (all digital camera bodies) are all compatible with the entire range of Manual Pentax lenses (which use FA, F and A mounts).

    For a good Pentax DSLR for beginner photographers, please read the review of the Pentax K200D DSLR.

    If you have manual Pentax lenses and wish to purchase a more advanced Pentax DSLR Camera Body to use them with, then the Pentax K-x DSLR and the Pentax K-7 DSLR camera bodies are highly recommended.

    Note: Pentax DSLR's now have Shake Reduction (Image Stabilization) incorporated into them and can be used with older manual lenses too. For the SR to function effectively, the focal length of the prime lens fitted needs to be selected in the camera options. For a zoom lens, either the shortest or the longest focal length is selected based upon which end of the range your shooting at.

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    Using Manual Pentax Lenses with Other DSLR Camera Bodies

    Manual Pentax lenses can be used with non-Pentax DSLR camera bodies (such as Canon or Nikon) by making use of a suitable lens adapter.

    What is a lens adapter? A lens adapter is a mechanical ring which allows the use of a lens on a camera body for which it was not designed.

    Using such a lens adapter will facilitate the usage of manual Pentax lenses (all three generations) with Nikon, Canon, Sony, etc. DSLR camera bodies.

    Amongst the Canon cameras, the EOS series is best suited for manual Pentax lenses.

    Lens Adapters can be purchased based upon your combination of Pentax lens and DSLR body from vendors such as Amazon, eBay, CameraQuest, BHPhotoVideo, and so on.

    For photographers looking to purchase a DSLR body to use with their collection of Pentax lenses, the following series of reviews may be useful: