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05-03-2010, 11:05 PM   #1
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Pros/Cons of using medium format lenses on Pentax DSLRs?

Just curious as to why people use medium format lenses on Pentax DSLRs, they're more expensive, heavier, generally slower, no auto focus or aperture and require an adapter.

I understand that you get a bigger "sweet spot" of sharpness with medium format lenses but what else?

Is a medium format's 50mm f2.0 brighter and faster than a 35mm's 50mm f2.0?

05-04-2010, 12:04 AM   #2
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Actually not many people use MF lenses on Pentax DSLRs.

People who do because they already have MF lenses. I don't think anyone would buy MF lenses with the purpose of using them on DSLRs.

A MF 50mm F/2.0 is not brighter and faster than a 35mm format 50mm F/2.0, or an APS-C format 50mm F/2.0.
05-04-2010, 12:23 AM   #3
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I've heard they're really sharp.
05-04-2010, 02:16 AM   #4
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A friend of mine, quite successful in architectureal photography, is using Pentax 67 glass on his Canons, ranging form 1DMKIII to the 5DII (or however Canon name their things). He always says, the Pentax lenses have a much nicer rendering (colour, uniformness, contrast and "3D-rendering"), apart from being tack sharp. I think, more or less the only Canon lenses he is still using (he has a lot of "L" glass) are the new shift/til lenses, of which he is full of praise.

I personally use only Pentax 35mm lenses, but are actually making an adapter to use my Mamiya lenses and I also got a back for my 4x5 to use my K20 as a digital back for the LF lenses. So I hope to gather some first hand experience, as soon as I find the time to do so.

Ben

05-04-2010, 02:58 AM   #5
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As weird as this may sound, medium format lenses do seem sometimes a nice option -- e.g. a 2.8/180 Zeiss Jena in pentacon mount (for which you get easily K adapters) is better corrected and will deliver more than, say, a M 4/200, for equivalent budget (cheeeep). Also taking in account that other nice lenses in this range (Voigtländer 180mm, A* 2.8/200 ED) go for 500$+ if you can get them...

Last edited by danielausparis; 05-04-2010 at 03:11 AM.
05-04-2010, 03:13 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by SOldBear Quote
Actually not many people use MF lenses on Pentax DSLRs.

People who do because they already have MF lenses. I don't think anyone would buy MF lenses with the purpose of using them on DSLRs.
Yes they do, me for one, and what's more I even prefer buying MF lenses as they have less inside to break.
05-04-2010, 03:31 AM   #7
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One of the reasons i use them is at some FL they work out a little cheaper if you dont need autofocus. Focus confirm blip still work too.
300mm F4 in 67 is around $300 and it is well sharp and heavy, which at that FL stops vibration a bit too.
Of course I have a 67ii so it makes sense to use a lens you already have !!
Cheers Neil
05-04-2010, 09:56 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by danielausparis Quote
As weird as this may sound, medium format lenses do seem sometimes a nice option -- e.g. a 2.8/180 Zeiss Jena in pentacon mount (for which you get easily K adapters) is better corrected and will deliver more than, say, a M 4/200, for equivalent budget (cheeeep). Also taking in account that other nice lenses in this range (Voigtländer 180mm, A* 2.8/200 ED) go for 500$+ if you can get them...
Saw a Pentacon outfit on Ebay at a decent price with all those Zeiss Jena/sonnar lenses at f2.8, hence why I'm tempted into buying a collection of medium format lenses.

Perhaps I should ask this question in the medium format section, they would know more about these lenses.

05-04-2010, 10:21 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by hangu Quote
Saw a Pentacon outfit on Ebay at a decent price with all those Zeiss Jena/sonnar lenses at f2.8, hence why I'm tempted into buying a collection of medium format lenses.

Perhaps I should ask this question in the medium format section, they would know more about these lenses.
At least the 180/2.8 is a wonderful lens. Just make sure it is a later multi-coated version. The mc is really an advantage with these lenses.

Another one to consider is the 300/4. It's massive, but just sharp.

Ben
05-04-2010, 10:50 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
At least the 180/2.8 is a wonderful lens. Just make sure it is a later multi-coated version. The mc is really an advantage with these lenses.

Another one to consider is the 300/4. It's massive, but just sharp.

Ben
Thanks for your advice, Ben. I'm trying to pick out a few of those lenses to try out for fun, but I have no idea what they're worth? Any idea on what would be considered a good deal?

Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar 180 f2.8
Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 80 f2.8
Carl Zeiss DDR MC Biometar 80 f2.8
Jena BM 120 f2.8
Jena Flektogon 50 f4
05-04-2010, 12:36 PM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by hangu Quote
Thanks for your advice, Ben. I'm trying to pick out a few of those lenses to try out for fun, but I have no idea what they're worth? Any idea on what would be considered a good deal?

Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar 180 f2.8
Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 80 f2.8
Carl Zeiss DDR MC Biometar 80 f2.8
Jena BM 120 f2.8
Jena Flektogon 50 f4
Of these the 80mm ones would be my least favourite ones. Not bad lenses, but just somewhat boring. The Flektogon has a nice colour rendering and the images have a "feel" to it. The 180mm Sonnar is a classic - but I really would emphasize the need for the mc version. The 120mm might come out expensive, as it is somewhat rarer.

Price wise I am not up to date as I bought mine years ago. Nowadays there seems to be a hype around anything with a Zeiss or Jena in the name, so some sellers are asking mad prices. My personal limits would be:
180/2.8 MC ± 200 Euros
120/2.8 ± 160 Euros
Flektogon 50/4 ± 150 Euros

But only that much if the lenses are in excellent condition. But to be sure, just do a search in ebay and compare the BIN prices or auctions just before ending time.

Ben
05-04-2010, 06:28 PM   #12
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An advantage of MF lenses is the abillity to use a tilt or shift adapter. I have a Pentacon 6 _ K mount tilt adapter that works decently. Lenses are enormous, though.
05-04-2010, 06:50 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nick Siebers Quote
An advantage of MF lenses is the abillity to use a tilt or shift adapter. I have a Pentacon 6 _ K mount tilt adapter that works decently. Lenses are enormous, though.
Any photos I can see with the tilt adapter? I've been interested in it...
05-04-2010, 08:57 PM   #14
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QuoteQuote:
hangu Just curious as to why people use medium format lenses on Pentax DSLRs, they're more expensive, heavier, generally slower, no auto focus or aperture and require an adapter.
I shoot with MF 67 lenses on my K20d. I have posted this elsewhere @ the forum, but will run through it again. I have coupled the SMC 6 x 7 165mm 2.8 to my Tamron BBAR MC7 SP 2x tele, along with 67 to k adapter. This gives me a 330mm f 5.6 lens. I'll, for example, compare it to my (just sold) K300 f 4.


First myth: 67 lenses cost more than K-mount. While this may be true in general, it surely is not true in this particular case. I bought the 67 165mm for under a $100. The Tamron adapter came in another deal for a Sigma 400, for free. The 67 to K adapter I have used on several lenses, so I would not place its $70 cost all on this lens setup, since I derive more utility with it out of other setups. So, for less than $100, I have a Pentax 330mm 5.6--Show where I can buy better, for less?
Second Myth: 67 lenses are heavier. My Pentax 330mm 5.6 is actually lighter than my K 300 f4 was. Sure the K 300 is a stop faster. But 1 stop faster is all the K 300 had to offer over the Pentax 330mm
Third Myth: Manual focus is inferior to Auto focus. There is a small minority of the shooters out there who actually prefer shooting MF over AF--believe it or not. I am not trying to say there is no place for AF in my shooting; rather, I am trying to say I prefer manual focus over auto focus. I truly relish in the fact that I, and not the technology, am responsible for the focus of my shot.
Fourth Myth: Auto metering is superior to manual metering. Again for the same reason laid out in the 3rd myth, I prefer manual metering. I love spinning the K20 wheels and adjusting the focus ring--it brings much more meaning to my shooting than does simply pushing a button. Can anyone else out there relate to this? Sure, if I did this for a living, with a paying customer as a boss, I would have to accommodate. But that is just it--I do it for love. For this reason, i do not think, even if I got good enough, I would ever do this for a living--that would ruin it for sure.
Fifth Myth: Adapter shooting is inferior: Why is the Takumar Club the most popular club here???

BONUS: The Pentax 330mm 5.6 has a tri-pod mount built into the 67 to K adapter--the K 300 f4 had no tri-pod mount.


Back to my hybrid MF, Pentax 330mm 5.6. I love the extraordinary bokeh long lenses bring into close up shots. The K 300 had a CF distance over 12 feet I believe. This MF setup allows me to CF down to 5.25 feet--this is an exceptional ability, particularly for under $100, and it provides exceptional BOKEH along with it.
Finally though. as usual, the proof is in the pudding, or IQ. this $100 MF hybrid setup provides superior IQ to the K300. That, in itself, is enough to justify shooting with it. The shots need no PPing and are very sharp.
Of course, there are intangibles as well. What else is LBA all about--it is not about rational behavior. It is simply cool shooting MF lenses on crop sensor.
But the number one reason for shooting MF lenses on Pentax crop sensor is---drum roll please........................................................BECAUSE YOU CAN! Reasons like this, which defy reason, is the reason I came to Pentax in the first place. I much more easily could have followed the C or N herd.
If none of this works to convince you I have a God given right to shoot MF lenses on crop sensor, then look at the pics below, which I have already scattered throughout our forum--btw, no PPing here, just converted/downsized Raws with slight sharpness compensation for DSing--shots range from 2.8 to f16 on the aperture ring & no cropping.








Also, though i do not understand the laws of physics involved, the shots I take at very small apertures do not seems to suffer much from diffraction, at least in no way to the degree my ff and crop sensor lenses do. I shoot the Pentax 330mm @ f 16 on the aperture ring and get great dof, with great IQ.

Last edited by Jewelltrail; 05-04-2010 at 09:05 PM.
05-04-2010, 09:05 PM   #15
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It's possible you're getting confused by the multiple meanings of "MF". Lots of DSLR owners use manual focus lenses and refer to them as MF lenses. Relatively few, however, use medium format lenses (also referred to as MF by the few who do use them). So it's possible you've seen references to people using MF lenses and incorrectly assumed they were talking about medium format?
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