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08-12-2010, 01:55 AM   #1
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Manual lenses

As a relative newbie to the DSLR world would I be in over my head buying some old m42 lenses and using them with my K-x via an adapter ring?

They are old Takumar lenses (3.5/28 and 1.4/50) that I can get locally for a pretty good price and I've been wanting a cheap prime or two.

What challenges might I run into?

Thanks

*I've learned a ton just reading through old threads on this forum

08-12-2010, 02:05 AM   #2
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None. Simply, like anything else, just make sure they're in good shape, fungus & yellowing seem to be the main issues.
Cheers, Pickles.
08-12-2010, 02:08 AM   #3
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The Pentax screwmount lenses are certainly usable on your K-x, and some (like the 50/1.4) even provide exceptional image quality at a really low price.

You'll want to get the M42 to K adapter from Pentax (or you can get a cheapo one, but it won't allow you to focus to infinity).

As far as using the lenses goes, it's pretty much the same as M and K lenses. See here for info on M and K lenses.

Finally, I've written an article on manual metering, which you might be interested in checking out. Hope this helps!

Adam
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08-12-2010, 03:52 AM   #4
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in terms of challenges, the biggest issues are going to be focusing, and metering.

I have put a split image into my K10 and am getting one for my *istD because they are much better than the stock screen for achieving focus.

with respect to metering, you should test each lens, using a uniformly lit uniform color surface such as a paved road or block wall, and run through the entire aperture range of the lens.


Then measure the greyscale value of the shots using a photo editor. This will give you the best indication of how the camera meters at each aperture, and you can then pick an exposure compensation value that gives you good results across the whole range

08-12-2010, 05:13 AM   #5
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Even n00bs can use manual lenses! Here's my contribution to the subject:

PAWNSHOP LENSES (and other used lenses) - A Buyers' Guide
08-12-2010, 09:40 AM   #6
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Go for it!
08-12-2010, 12:12 PM   #7
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As noted above, the main issue with your K-x will be attaining accurate focus. The only other thing to note is that your camera will meter most accurately in M mode with green button to capture the correct exposure. Av mode may also be used, but be prepared for significant exposure issues at wider apertures in that mode.


Steve
08-12-2010, 01:26 PM   #8
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thanks everyone, how is the 3.5/28 lens? I've heard great things about the 50's, but I may just skip the adapter and find a 50 that fits w/out the adapter

08-12-2010, 04:12 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by chucuyuco Quote
thanks everyone, how is the 3.5/28 lens? I've heard great things about the 50's, but I may just skip the adapter and find a 50 that fits w/out the adapter
The 50mm 1.4 m42 Super Taks and Super-Multi-Coated-Taks (plus a ton of other m42s) are pure magic. So don't skip the adapter. It's the best 30 bucks you'll ever spend, plus shipping. (Hah!)

Go visit the Takumar Club in the Lens Club index to decide for yourself.
08-13-2010, 01:35 AM   #10
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Hi, chucuyuko. I think everyone agrees - you should go for it! You won't be disappointed, provided you check the lenses over carefully before purchase.

Just a few things I should like to point out though:

If the lenses are the S-M-C versions, the Auto/Manual switch will not work unless the camera is mounted on a camera (or you depress the almost-invisible tiny pin on the mounting flange at the base of the lens). So don't be put off by this.

If you buy the genuine Pentax adapter, then you're guaranteed not to have any problems mounting M42 lenses on your camera*. They're more expensive, but don't suffer from the design flaws of the cheaper alternatives, so don't need modifications etc.

The 50mm f1.4 certainly has got a very good reputation, and actually so does the 28mm f3.5 - in fact it's held by some (many?) to be rather better than ANY of the f2.8 versions of Pentax/Takumar 28mm lenses. But the focal length and aperture count against it when it comes to focusing (I don't trust any of my camera's focus indications when using manual lenses, but some people recommend use of "catch-in" focus).

Anyway, for something like landscapes, it's good practice to stop down and set the lens to a conservative hyperfocal distance, using the scale on the lens barrel. (The hyperfocal distance is that which just includes infinity in the DOF, and so maximises DOF - and by conservative, I mean ensure that infinity is included by a reasonable margin.)

I would certainly go for the 50mm f1.4, if the price is right, but it's worth bearing in mind that a PK-mount lens will be slightly easier to use (having an automatic stop-down to the selected aperture). Since good quality 50mm PK lenses were churned out by the millions in the 80s, you could easily pick one up for next to nothing.

By far the best sharpness per dollar (or pound, in my case) of ANY lens is, IMO, the Rikenon 50mm f2. This comes in 3 flavours, the plain Rikenon, the XR-Rikenon and the Rikenon-P. The XR is the biggest and heaviest, the -P the lightest. My copy of the -P is slightly less sharp than the other two (so is about equal to the Pentax M 50mm f1.7), and you should be aware that the -P MUST have its pin removed before attempting to mount on a Pentax autofocus camera!!! (This task is dead easy, but MUST be done!)

Just another note about 50mm lenses in general: unless you have to, don't use it wide open - they're all, in my experience, pretty soft unless stopped down a little, and of course DOF may be shallower than desired.

*Having stated that the genuine Pentax M42 adapter is foolproof, I have to say that there's one area the cheaper copies may have an advantage: some former Communist bloc lenses (CZJ not included) have a raised flange at the base, and this makes them a loose fit using the genuine adapter. I had to make up a plastic shim to take up the slack for these lenses.
08-13-2010, 01:47 AM   #11
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If using Takumars means being in over your head, then I am in over my head. Fortunately, you soon develop gills.
08-13-2010, 05:02 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by chucuyuco Quote
thanks everyone, how is the 3.5/28 lens? I've heard great things about the 50's, but I may just skip the adapter and find a 50 that fits w/out the adapter
Dont skip the adapter!


the 28mm/3.5 was the first takumar I bought and its awesome

08-13-2010, 05:05 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
Go visit the Takumar Club in the Lens Club index to decide for yourself.

here is the direct link to the Tak club , 342 pages of it!

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/31601-takumar-club.html
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