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02-14-2011, 04:11 PM - 1 Like   #16
Ira
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
I was waiting for you to respond .

To each their own, but I find swapping lenses quickly with a screwmount adapter (esp. from screw to nonscrew) really cumbersome. I'd buy a 50 1.4 SMC tak if I found one for a good price, but I really value ease of use. I'm one of those guys who would pay a lot more for the A version of a lens. I hate stop-down metering my K55. It's worth it, for now, but I generally think that the first manual prime someone buys should be a little easier to use than M42.... especially if the lens does not expose properly (like all non-A lenses do on my k20d)...

YMMV, but if I am shooting a moving target, I only want to worry about focus, not focus, stop down aperture, and exposure errors...
1) M42s expose perfectly in M mode, so that's a non-issue. And Av is damn good, although I don't use it. So how exactly are M42s more prone to exposure errors?

2) If you want to say you don't want to deal with manual focus, that's one thing. But the time it takes to screw the lens in there has nothing to do with it.

3) Even with A auto exposure lenses, you still have to think about what you're doing before pulling the trigger. Doing this in M mode with manual M42 lenses and just hitting the Green button (or ev+- buton on the K-x) doesn't require any more time. And as a matter of fact, it's faster and more accurate than Av mode and using compensation, plus AE lock.

4) It takes about 15 seconds to unscrew an M42, and 15 seconds to screw another one back in. I doubt many great photographs were taken by someone able to swap out lenses in 10 seconds total with a K mount, and let's face it--that's impossible anyway. The time difference we're talking about here is SECONDS, and if you needed that kind of turnaround, you would use a zoom.

The point is, while it may seem cooler and faster to click in a K mount lens, you're only taking about a few seconds difference in the shooting environment compared to M42--not to mention how long it takes you to juggle the lenses, and the fact that the build quality and resistance to rough handling is crap on the newer lenses compared to the M42s, which are built like tanks.

02-14-2011, 04:33 PM   #17
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My first manual prime was the M 50 1.7. For around 50-60$ you cannot beat it. The IQ is great, not good but great. It renders some photos that can rival FF cameras (my opinion from comparing some photos to my friends 5D Mk II).
02-14-2011, 04:56 PM   #18
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My experience with this type of lenses include the A 1.7/50 and K 1.8/55, the first of which is fully automated and much easier to control and I believe it is generally sharper too, despite all this 9 out of 10 times I use the 1.8/55. make your own conclusions.
I can also recommend any variation of the Helios 44, a marvelous lens that can be had for scraps

Last edited by Pablom; 02-15-2011 at 09:46 AM.
02-14-2011, 06:27 PM   #19
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I'm with boriscleto and eddie1960 -- get the whole set! You can never have too many lenses. If you can't find K or M versions in your price range, get M42's. I don't want to restart the adapter wars, but I and others here use cheap clone adapters with the clip+screw removed, the adapter being tightened onto the screwmount (use a rear cap as a wrench) and left there. After awhile, you'll forget that it's a screwmount lens.

What primes to have? 28's, 50's, and 135's are cheapest, followed by 24's, 35's, and 200's. Fast glass is nice, especially 50-55/1.4-1/7's or the incomparable Helios-44 58/2. Shall I tell aqain how I got a Tomioka 55/1.4 for TWO BUCKS?!? 28's and 35's and 135's, and to a lesser extent 24's, are available in f/2.8 for not very much. Those same focal lengths in f/3.5 are often cheaper, sharper, and smaller/lighter. Notice that I didn't mention the 85-105mm range. Those tend to be more expensive also. But they're great to have.

Once you start buying cheap old primes, you will want more. Welcome to LBA (lens buying addiction). You are doomed.

02-15-2011, 12:32 AM   #20
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I think you're absolutely right to go for some manual lenses in those FLs - the 50 will be REALLY sharp, and fast, and also useful for portraits, and a 35 or 28 very useful for general photography and landscapes.

I'd recommend any of the following:

Pentax 50/1.7: good value very sharp all-rounder.
Pentax 50/1.4: better-performing (though the speed is a red herring - it's soft wide open).
Ricoh Rikenon 50/2: REALLY sharp and REALLY cheap - not noted for bokeh though, and beware the "Ricoh pin" on the Rikenon-P version!!!
S-M-C Takumar 35/3.5: REALLY sharp (the Pentax/Takumar f3.5s are sharper than the f2.8s).
Vivitar (Komine) 28/2.8: excellent value (Komine identified by 28...... serial number), the Close Focus version is something of a gem.

Note that accurate focusing the 35s and 28s can be a real problem, owing to their FLs and apertures. For landscapes this shouldn't matter, as you should be using hyperfocal focusing (but note that the lens markings should be used for this purpose as a guide only!).
02-15-2011, 04:36 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
3) Even with A auto exposure lenses, you still have to think about what you're doing before pulling the trigger. Doing this in M mode with manual M42 lenses and just hitting the Green button (or ev+- buton on the K-x) doesn't require any more time. And as a matter of fact, it's faster and more accurate than Av mode and using compensation, plus AE lock.
Not the k20d - tends to underexpose at wide and small apertures. This goes for all M lenses. I've missed a *lot* of shots with the k55 for this very reason. I didn't have time to chimp, and they all came out next to black.

Since the meter is "wrong" it can be a pretty big deal when you need to work fast, and an extra few seconds might mean the moment is gone.

The Takumars are some of Pentax's best lenses, but they can be frustrating for newer photographers.

QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
4) It takes about 15 seconds to unscrew an M42, and 15 seconds to screw another one back in. I doubt many great photographs were taken by someone able to swap out lenses in 10 seconds total with a K mount, and let's face it--that's impossible anyway. The time difference we're talking about here is SECONDS, and if you needed that kind of turnaround, you would use a zoom.
I imagine this number would increase if you were to unscrew a tak and then they adapter, and then snap in a k mount.

In any case it does take longer and I find it a pain in my rear. I'm an internet kid - no patience.
02-15-2011, 05:25 AM   #22
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The 50mm 1.4 is my first M. I nearly toss it out my window. Being from a generation of sophisticated full-automation, I guess manual lenses are just too much to comprehend
02-15-2011, 06:02 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
Not the k20d - tends to underexpose at wide and small apertures. This goes for all M lenses. I've missed a *lot* of shots with the k55 for this very reason. I didn't have time to chimp, and they all came out next to black.

Since the meter is "wrong" it can be a pretty big deal when you need to work fast, and an extra few seconds might mean the moment is gone..
The desire to use some of my cool, 30 year old lenses the way they were intended is part of what got me shooting film again. I understand that the K7 does the M and K metering better, but you do have to be thinking a bit more to be using one of these lenses on a K10d/20d. I really like the look of the result from a K10d and an M/K lens--something intangible there--but I have to keep the K10d always on manual focus and meter. If I'm using an aperture 2.8 or larger, there will be some compensation. The meter can be pretty useless at F16 or smaller. However, at the most used apertures (F4/5.6/8) most of my older lenses don't need a lot of exposure tweaking--not a lot more than we should be doing anyway. Flash I do with an older flash, a radio trigger and bounce or bracket. The on-camera flash is not all that useful, as it will be completely manual.

I enjoy using the manual focus, manual exposure lenses for contemplative and aware photography. It is the way I learned 35+ years ago. However, for a first manual lens, I'd stick to an A lens which can be used with all of the camera's features except for autofocus.

02-15-2011, 06:50 AM   #24
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I agree with everything Ira has said. Yes, it's easier to swap K-mount lenses than it is to swap between the M42 screwmounts, but I don't really find this turnaround time terribly field relevant. As Ira said, if time was a very critical factor for you in switching between focal lengths, a zoom would probably be most appropriate anyway.

The one real downside to the Takumars relative to later generations of lenses is that it can take a while to switch between a Takumar and K-mount lenses, as the K-M42 adapter must be removed or replaced. For this reason I was compelled to continue buying Takumars rather than newer MF lenses as I fleshed out my kit, and because of the rising prices, this may not always get you the best value at all focal lengths. I will note, however, that I just switched to the official Pentax adapter from a 3rd party piece of crap that requires a tool to remove, and I am surprised at how fast and fluid it is, so maybe this will not be a problem anymore.
02-15-2011, 07:38 AM   #25
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+1 on using the official adaptor. i have one and it's a piece of cake to remove and put on
02-15-2011, 09:27 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by v5planet Quote
The one real downside to the Takumars relative to later generations of lenses is that it can take a while to switch between a Takumar and K-mount lenses, as the K-M42 adapter must be removed or replaced.
That's what I was talking about. His other lens is K-mount.

I think a lot of the tak-love was pre-price hike. I think the compatibility with Canon cameras really made them scarce. It's often easier to find an early K mount lens than the equivalent screw-mount.

I still think it's worth while investing in an A lens... at least for the first one.
02-15-2011, 10:23 AM   #27
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m42 adapter on lenses

QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
I'm with boriscleto and eddie1960 --.....I and others here use cheap clone adapters with the clip+screw removed, the adapter being tightened onto the screwmount (use a rear cap as a wrench) and left there.......
I'm one of the others.. a $10.95 adapter from Fotodiox works well: Fotodiox

Remove the clip, screw the adapter onto the lens and leave it there. You'll soon forget it is a screw type lens. You may want to put metallic tape on the lens base so the camera mount's electrical pins make contact.

Dave

PS I like KA type lenses too.
02-15-2011, 07:23 PM   #28
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i agree with paperbag, was there a time recently when these lenses gained serious popularity? everyone on here seems to think you can find one for quite cheap. may still be true but for a manual lens over 20 years old, i see them on ebay for "buy it now" $150. seems to me that people are on to the takumar secret. what do you think, is it easier to get a good deal on this forum or ebay?
02-15-2011, 11:06 PM   #29
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My first manual prime was a M50 1.7 - I had no clue as to how to use the darn thing and then it was just like a disease. You seem to constantly find these great treasures all over the place. You end going on here a lot to research them up. I got a K28 3.5 soon after the 50 and just recently I got a S-Tak 35.

Either 35 or 50 you'll have fun and learn what you like or don't like. As everyone has pointed out you can get both relatively cheap with a little more hunting than before.
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