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01-05-2011, 11:12 PM   #1
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Just purchased a PENTAX-M 50mm f/1:1.7 SMC, have some questions

Have to say I love these forums. Tons of and tons of helpful informative posts, and everyone here seems very knowledge and helpful.

After some silly initial concern about the AF on my recently aquired K-r, I have have really fallen head over heals for it. I am getting great pictures with it and have tons of fun shooting and reading everything I can about how to work my camera. One of the big draws for me to get a Pentax over the other guys is the ability to use vintage glass with it. I was in the market for a good portrait lens and after reading lots of reviews here I picked up a PENTAX-M 50mm f/1:1.7 SMC off ebay for about 40$, it's in the mail as we speak. I am very excited to crank the aperture all the way open and take lots of shallow dof pictures of my friends and family. I am also excited by the prospect of using a manual focus lens, sounds like fun.

I wanted to ask a few questions about the lens just to make sure I understand it correctly.

1. I can use this lens with any adapter? Just screws on?
2. I am under the impression this lens will only work in manual and aperture priority mode, am I correct?
3. Will my meter work correctly with this lens, or do I need to learn to eyeball it?
4. Will the AE-L, focus check botton work with this lens?
5. Will I want to invest in a Katzeye for my view finder, or should I be able to make do with the one I have?
6. Anything else I need to know about using older pentax lens?

I also wanted to ask for suggestions for other cheap lenses I could get that would help me replace my kit 18-55 lens. Thinking I could use something a little wider than the 50mm for landscape and such. I am excited to start collecting vintage glass for this thing!

Thanks

01-05-2011, 11:47 PM - 1 Like   #2
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1)
It's a M lens, so K-mount and will work without adaptor.
2)
It will not work in Av, at least the camera does not have a means to know which aperture you have set and therefor can't calculate the correct shutter speed automatically.
3 and 4)
Not sure; I have the lens but have hardly used it. If I recall correctly, you have to use the DOF preview to measure and adjust but I might be wrong.
5)
A split prism will make life easier but there are lots of people who live without it

With regards to the second question, a 28mm will make a quite nice general purpose lens and a 20mm will make a nice landscape lens; the latter is a personal opinion and others might tell you that you need wider. Check out how you take landscape photos with the kit lens so see which focal length will fit you best (check the EXIF data for that).
01-06-2011, 01:11 AM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Metalwizards Quote
Have to say I love these forums. Tons of and tons of helpful informative posts, and everyone here seems very knowledge and helpful.

After some silly initial concern about the AF on my recently aquired K-r, I have have really fallen head over heals for it. I am getting great pictures with it and have tons of fun shooting and reading everything I can about how to work my camera. One of the big draws for me to get a Pentax over the other guys is the ability to use vintage glass with it. I was in the market for a good portrait lens and after reading lots of reviews here I picked up a PENTAX-M 50mm f/1:1.7 SMC off ebay for about 40$, it's in the mail as we speak. I am very excited to crank the aperture all the way open and take lots of shallow dof pictures of my friends and family. I am also excited by the prospect of using a manual focus lens, sounds like fun.

I wanted to ask a few questions about the lens just to make sure I understand it correctly.

1. I can use this lens with any adapter? Just screws on?
2. I am under the impression this lens will only work in manual and aperture priority mode, am I correct?
3. Will my meter work correctly with this lens, or do I need to learn to eyeball it?
4. Will the AE-L, focus check botton work with this lens?
5. Will I want to invest in a Katzeye for my view finder, or should I be able to make do with the one I have?
6. Anything else I need to know about using older pentax lens?

I also wanted to ask for suggestions for other cheap lenses I could get that would help me replace my kit 18-55 lens. Thinking I could use something a little wider than the 50mm for landscape and such. I am excited to start collecting vintage glass for this thing!

Thanks
1. Just shove it on like any other lens, remembering to set the camera to M. When you switch the camera on, it will prompt you to specify the focal length of the lens, so that the shake reduction operates correctly. Without that the camera has no way of knowing.
2. In AV it will meter (not focus), but permanently wide open. Quite nice if that is the effect you want (i.e. very shallow DOF)
3. Put it in M, set the aperture with the ring on the lens, then press the button on the camera (can't remember which one it is on the KR), and that should roughly set the appropriate shutter speed.
4. Don't know
5. A Katzeye helps but you can survive without it if you make use of the focus confirmation light in the VF. Trap focus is also a very useful technique (see various threads on this).
6. Trial and error is your friend. I also have an M28/3.5 which works well and is not as tricky to focus; an M100 2.8 which is an excellent lens, and various others.

M lenses produce good results; they are also very nice to use, and teach you a lot in the process. And they don't cost much. Have fun.

Tim
01-06-2011, 02:28 AM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteQuote:
1. I can use this lens with any adapter? Just screws on?
2. I am under the impression this lens will only work in manual and aperture priority mode, am I correct?
3. Will my meter work correctly with this lens, or do I need to learn to eyeball it?
4. Will the AE-L, focus check botton work with this lens?
5. Will I want to invest in a Katzeye for my view finder, or should I be able to make do with the one I have?
6. Anything else I need to know about using older pentax lens?
1,2,3 are sufficiently answered already.
4. Yes, you can use AE lock in Av mode but not in M. Not on the K5 anyway (no point to it since you are setting everything manually in M). If by focus check, you mean Optical Preview, yes, there is a way to program your green (?) button for that function. If you mean a focus confirmation beep, again, yes. Set your camera to allow Catch In Focus in the Custom menu (I think), leave it on AF-S and it will not take a photo unless focus is confirmed. Just like an AF lens. Hold down the shutter button while turning the focus ring, and when focus is confirmed, the camera will take the photo.
5. The Katzeye is nice to have but confirm you actually need something like that before spending the $100+ on one.
6. They are addictive once you learn how to use them.



01-06-2011, 05:32 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Jus to add a comment about metering. You should test the lens with your body at each aperture by shooting a uniformly lit surface(block wall or paved road) and measure the greyscale value of the images shot. Note 110-120 is correct exposure and each 40 greyscale represents one stop over/under. By doing this simple test you will know how to compensate for any metering errors due to the lack of an aperture coupling in the digital body
01-06-2011, 07:57 AM - 1 Like   #6
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Use stop-down metering in M-mode with the M 50/1.7 on your K-r for best results. Av mode will result in the lens always shooting wide open and is not recommended. Metering with legacy glass on your K-r should be relatively accurate compared to earlier Pentax bodies.


Steve
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