Pentax K+ Multi-Mount

By PF Staff in Influential Photo Gear on Feb 20, 2013
Pentax K+ Multi-Mount

Today, I will introduce the piece of “gear” that has been most influential to my photographic journey to date. It cannot be bought commercially as it is a self-modified piece of equipment. I call it the Pentax K+ Multi-Mount, a modification of my Pentax K-x camera mounting ring that now lets me mount lens from Nikon F-mount, Olympus OM-mount, Contax/Yashica C/Y-mount and Konica AR-mount in addition to all my Pentax-K lenses.

How K+ Multi-Mount was made

On the front, you cannot see any difference from the usual mounting ring because my modifications were done on the underside of it. After unscrewing the 5 screws that held the mounting ring to my K-x and flipping it over, I filed away some of the metal that were previously at the brass-yellow areas seen below using a Dremel tool. The reason is because these areas were thicker than other mounts so I had to file them down by a few millimeters, flushing it with the non-protruding areas of the ring. There was not much precision required (or possible), only steady hands to ensure an even surface after filing, sufficiently deep and smooth enough to mount all the lenses. Some trial and error is definitely required by mounting the different lenses directly on it. Once tested to accept all lenses, it was time to screw it back to my Pentax K-x.

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Using the K+ Multi-Mount

To enable secure locking, I made a notch in a red plastic sticker and pasted it on the lens mounting area of each adapted lens as shown below.

Each different mount lens required different mounting position, some at 3 o'clock while other may be 7 o'clock, except Nikon which coincidentally is the same position as Pentax. Operation-wise is same as Pentax M42 screw mount lenses; Manual mode, Manual focusing and Green button stop-down metering.

Why did I make the K+ Multi-Mount

Jealously. That was the reason I embarked on this project as I wanted to mount lenses of different mounts/makes like what Canon, Micro Four Thirds, NEX and other MILC owners have been doing so easily with adapters. I was so envious of them that I had to do something to make things work out for myself.

The influence of K+ Multi-Mount?

The journey leading to the creation of my K+ mount played its largest influence in my photographic journey. I learnt 3 things from it.

1. Venturing out of the Pentax circle and experience excellent lenses from other makers like Nikon, Olympus, Contax, Yashica and Konica. My current favorite lens are:

  • Nikon's Nikkor AF-S 28-70mm F3.5-4.5. Sharp zoom lens.
  • Olympus's OM Zuiko MC Auto-Macro 50mm F3.5. For macro shots on a small budget.
  • Yashica ML 50mm F2. Almost pancake size.
  • Konica Hexanon AR 50mm f1.4. Close focus only but very sharp at wide-open.

2. Gained tremendous knowledge on the design of cameras, how film register distance affects focusing zone and its ability to focus to infinity, lens locking method and surprising facts of cameras and their makers. Here are some to share:

  • Nikon's F mount mounting direction is anti-clockwise, different from others.
  • Olympus's DOF (Depth Of Field) preview function designed into every OM lenses.
  • Yashica's lenses ability to mount on Contax SLR and their sharing of technology.
  • Konica's outstanding quality lenses was used by Japan Industry Ministry to judge produced lenses from other manufacturers.

3. Learned to bid on/buy used cameras and lenses cleverly (read: really good and cheap) with limited budget from Ebay and ship them back to my country where such deals were rare.

Lastly, I am happy to share my shots here taken with my adapted lenses!

Taken with Nikon Nikkor AF 28-70mm F3.5-4.5 D on the Pentax K-x.

Taken with Konica Hexanon AR 50mm F1.4 on the Pentax K-r.

Taken with Yashica ML 50mm F2 on the K-r.

And finally, an adapted lens family shot:

You can also see more photos of these lens on my Pentax DSLRs:

Finally, if the comments/interests in my K+ Multi-Mount are highly positive, I will seriously consider fabricating it professionally for more Pentaxians to enjoy this modification too!

-Alston (Gnarelsek)

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