February 2016 Update: Hmmm, more lens buying confessions. I committed the mistake of casually looking around Ebay over the Christmas holiday break and we know where that leads. Another couple of Pentax M series lenses: a M 120mm F2.8 (rather an unusual focal length that one) and a M 35-70 F2.8-3.5 zoom which I don’t really need but though it might be useful for my son to use on a Sony A7 he recently acquired. I also got my M 35mm F2 lens professionally cleaned before Christmas as some oil has gotten onto the aperture blades and made them sticky and not close down properly. Now works very nicely.

September 2014 Update: Oh dear, I need to update this list yet again after a moment of Ebay weakness! New tripod and a manual focus 400mm telephoto to be added to the list.

February 2014 Update: Oh dear, I need to update this list yet again after a moment of Ebay weakness!

For those interested, my current use camera gear comprises:


Pentax K-3 24 megapixel dSLR

Pentax K-x 12.4 megapixel dSLR (in retirement)

Samsung NX1000 mirrorless APS-C camera with 20-50mm kit zoom and 30mm F2 pancake lens.

Lens – Auto-Focus

Pentax DA 10-17mm F4 fisheye zoom

Tamron 17-50mm F2.8

Pentax DA-L 18-55mm F3.5-5.6

Pentax FA 20-35mm F4

Pentax DA 55-300mm F4-5.6

Pentax F 50mm F1.7

Pentax FA31 Limited F1.9

Pentax FA43 Limited F1.9

Pentax FA77 Limited F1.8

Lens – Manual

A fair swag rather extensive collection of the Pentax M series lenses that were in production from circa 1979 to 1982.

M 20mm F4.0

M 28mm F2.8

M 28mm F3.5

M 28-50mm F3.5-4.5

M 35-70 F2.8-3.5

M 35mm F2.0

M 50mm F1.7

M 85mm F2.0

M 100mm F4 Macro

M 120mm F2.8

M 135mm F3.5

M 200mm F4.0

M* 300mm F4.0

M 400mm F5.6

Other Bits and Pieces

Pentax AF 540FGZ  flash

Vanguard ABEO Pro 283AT Tripod with BBH-200 ball head

Cullman Nanomax 260 Tripod with Manfrotto 494RC2 Ball Head

Manfrotto 776YB Monopod with Manfrotto 234RC head

Circular Polarising Filters – 40.5mm, 52mm and 67mm

Assorted UV Filters and step up rings

Assorted lens hoods

Fotodiox Pentax K to Sony E adapter (so I can play with my manual lenses on my son’s Sony A7)

Samsung Pentax K to Samsung NX adapter (so I can play with my manual lenses on my Samsung NX1000)

2 thoughts on “Gear

  1. terry

    Nice set up! Great line up of manual lenses. I’m trying to cover the broad gamut of Pentax offerings – still shooting on a variety of K and M bodies. Struggling down the wider end of the lens offering – where did you pick up your 20 f4 ?

    1. aussiesouthlander Post author

      Ooh, where did I get the M20/4? It was from Ebay – one of the Austrian (yes Austrian, not Australian) regular sellers …Fotomart or something like that I think.

      The M20 can create some wonderfully intense colours, different to the rendering style of the rest of the M primes I have. In some ways it makes me think it is the rightful grandfather of the very popular DA15/4. The final photo in this post Dutch Tall Ships (In the Twilight Zone) is with the M20/4. You can see how much more intense the blues are. It’s not heavily post processed to get that effect – it was obvious out of the camera.

      You might want to keep an eye out on the Pentax Forums site. I’m southlander on that site. Their secondhand market is pretty active and I do see the occasional M20/4 pop up. Some wide K series glass gets traded there but it seems to have become fairly tightly held. A local Adelaide forum member I know and have met had a K200/2.5 for sale last I looked (not that 200 is wide of course). I sort of know who the regulars are on that site, so if you see something of interest there, contact me and I can give you my 5 cents worth on whether the seller would appear to be reputable.

      Of the M28’s, I prefer the 3.5 version. The M28/2.0 is as rare as rocking horse mature. I’ve stopped looking but I was only seeing one every year or so at USD400+ pricing which I just couldn’t justify. There’s meant to be some Zeiss heritage in that and the K28/2.0.

      My M35/2.0 has some sort of problem that makes it soft – maybe a little haze on the rear element, I’m not sure. I may get it professionally cleaned and see if that cures the softness, although in its current state it makes for a very nice soft effect on flower and foliage close ups. I’m almost thinking I should keep it as it is for its rendering when used that way. Of all the secondhand lenses I’ve acquired, it’s the only one with any sort of a problem. Not a bad win/loss ratio in my view.

      I have had a couple of lenses which I suspect had been through the hands of Canon users. Canon users need to adjust the Infinity focus calibration to compensate for a slightly different register distance and when the lens is on-sold, they have no way of knowing how to reset the Infinity calibration back to Pentax settings. Fortunately it is a simple process to remove the front ring of M lenses and get to the required adjustment screws. The M20/4 I have I suspect may fall in this camp – it wasn’t massively sharp at far distances although fine out to middle distances – and I’ve recently had a go at recalibrating the infinity setting. I haven’t used it in anger since to know if this fiddling about had made a real difference in normal use.

      The M lenses have come from both near and far. A few examples. The M50/1.7 has been mine from new – it came with the ME Super I bought as a student. The M135/3.5 is my father’s from new and the M28-50/3.5-4.5 is as well. The M100/4 Macro came from a Pentax Forums seller up in the Canadian Rockies half way to Alaska. The M200/4 from a Ebay seller in Portland Oregon. M85/2 from a Gumtree seller in Sydney. The M35/2 I think was Ohio. The M*300/4 was from a local Pentax shooter here in Adelaide (also a Pentax Forums member) and is ridiculously sharp if technique is good – I will do a post on that lens at some stage, I’m that impressed. Come to think of it, I should do some posts featuring my whole M series family.

      I went a bit berserk acquiring lenses while the Aussie dollar was near and over parity with the US dollar. I took full advantage of my temporarily enhanced purchasing power knowing it couldn’t last for long.

      I think the FA series of lenses will work on K and M film cameras albeit with manual focus, as they still have an aperture ring. I’m very impressed with my FA20-35/4 (admittedly on APS-C) which would give you great flexibility at the wider end with film. About as compact and light as a modern 18-55 kit lens. Sharp and a nice natural rendering of colours without being over-contrasty like some of the digital era lenses. Not that easy to find but they stayed on sale in Japan long after they left other markets so they can be found with Japanese and Korean Ebay sellers. Probably highish USD300’s in price.

      Good luck filling out your lens line-up.


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