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09-06-2012, 09:14 AM   #16
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Trust me, I love the pentax implementation with the green button. It is overall much faster than say using a match needle and moving a shutter dial. I generally use center weighted and I usually just use what it comes up with as a reference point and adjust shutter speed based on experience. For my style of slow and methodical shooting this approach does in no way slow me down and is very analogue to my experiences with film and metering on older manual bodies. It was just such a revelation when I plopped the M glass onto my zx-7 and realized that it will meter automatically. I was really blown away that it just worked, then I started thinking about my experiences with the k1000 and started to try to work out how the mount registered the aperture dial.

Thanks for all the answers!! Photography has sure come a long way in the last 20 years, that's for sure!

09-06-2012, 09:26 AM   #17
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And sure, I understand that pentax wants you to move on beyond 30 year old glass and buy the latest and greatest. Too bad they have some real classics out there with nothing to match them in their current lineup. Long glass and wide angles they once had are now missing. If they came out with a 2.5-2.8 28mm that is at least as sharp as my M28 3.5 and put it in a metal body I would buy it in a heartbeat. I don't think we are going to see lenses made of metal like that anymore, and that's a shame. I like some zeiss lenses. Its way too bad they are rare and cost an arm and a leg due to demand. Its also too bad they abandoned kmount. Pentax still has some really nice lenses. I just wish they made more. The lack of options is certainly keeping them from being even a consideration for a lot of pros. I'm just going to keep with pentax till they quit making bodies. Then, maybe I will have to consider brands I have long disliked and that will be a sad day. The marriage of old glass with modern bodies has been very enjoyable to me. Those lenses all have looks that cannot be reproduced with newer glass. Hopefully I can paint light with my lenses for a long time. I'm also loving that I can use all these lenses with film. Sorry for the ramble. This forum has been great. I'll quit pestering you guys with questions for a while......
09-06-2012, 11:31 AM   #18
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I am less concerned about the construction materials of a lens than performance. I have had plastic mount lenses and plastic body lenses now for between 10 and 20 years, and although I do not deliberately treat my equipment roughly it is not pampered either.

As for optical designs, I feel they have let things slip a little. This is true not only at the wide end, but also the long end.

look at the early lens line ups they had, we had a 15mm rectilinear in full frame back as far as screw mount, yet today, the widest available prime is 14mm, where for the same field of view we should have 10mm. look at the long end, we have nothing at all past 300mm. and fast zooms only go to 150mm. And then there is lens speed. there are very few ultra fast pentax lenses today, compared to the old days.

this is what drives the old lenses.

time to step it up -
09-06-2012, 12:12 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by elliott Quote
Interesting thought, it would be terrible for so many reasons though. Most of all it would introduce annoying shutter lag. Also, with stop down metering you get center weighted metering, so if you want to meter off something that isn't in the center, you're out of luck. How would I disable this feature easily so I'm not metering before every single shot when light conditions aren't changing, yet still be able to quickly meter when the light does change?

If you think using the green button is unnecessarily hard, then maybe you should not bother with manual lenses to begin with. It is by far the simplest solution without adding hardware cost, it isn't like the button is inconveniently placed either, you can easily press it without taking your eye away from the viewfinder and it is so close to the rear dial that I can hit it without even taking my thumb away from that either. It becomes a reflex, you don't even think about it after a while.
Well, if they made this a menu option, then we could both be satisfied. But now you got me thinking about how far they could really carry this capability ....

The stopdown metering need not introduce any additional delay. All the body needs to do is change the order of what it already does today in one shutter release operation. Just stop the lens down, then meter, flip the mirror, and trip shutter. Instead of: meter, then stop the lens down, flip mirror, and trip shutter. Maybe I got a couple things crossed up here, maybe stopping the lens down and flipping the mirror are probably done simultaneously today to save time, but anyhow, the action doesn't need to be two discrete steps, even if it introduces a little additional delay because the stop-down and mirror flip are handled sequentially. I doubt there are any other mechanical gears used to control the sequence of these operations, and if they are all timed electronically, then doing this would not add any manufacturing costs whatsoever to the camera!

Also, they could make this feature "timeout", so that if you pressed the green button within the last 10 seconds (or whatever you programmed in there), then pressing the shutter release button could fire the shutter without re-metering. But if you (or should I say "I") haven't pressed the green button in at least 10 seconds, then stop down meter before firing the rest of the sequence.

They could even make the half-press work like metering and AF does today (which is already customizable!). Stop down meter on a half press, but lock in that metering (whether it keeps the lens stopped down to minimize shutter delay or unstops the lens to make it easier to recompose) while the button is kept half-pressed.

None of these rely on mechanical couplings or add to production cost. I don't hate the green button, perhaps the same way that a prisoner doesn't necessarily hate the prison guards. Rather, why not integrate stop down metering better, if mechanical coupling is so inconsistent and expensive.

I can't imagine that Pentax engineers have not already considered ideas like these.

09-06-2012, 12:51 PM   #20
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It all boils down to money. Pentax could have made their better bodies fully k mount compatible with a simple menu option and the aperture lever just as Nikon has. I can understand leaving it out of the entry bodies, but mid range and higher cameras should have it. The aperture lever can't add more than 10 dollars to the total cost of the camera. The K10D and the D200 came out at the same time, had similar features and I believe the same sensor. The Nikon supports legacy lenses and the Pentax does not. They figure if you are willing to buy a decent camera you'll spring for a few lenses also.
09-06-2012, 12:57 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mattco26 Quote
It all boils down to money. Pentax could have made their better bodies fully k mount compatible with a simple menu option and the aperture lever just as Nikon has. I can understand leaving it out of the entry bodies, but mid range and higher cameras should have it. The aperture lever can't add more than 10 dollars to the total cost of the camera. The K10D and the D200 came out at the same time, had similar features and I believe the same sensor. The Nikon supports legacy lenses and the Pentax does not. They figure if you are willing to buy a decent camera you'll spring for a few lenses also.
Nikon can support legacy lenses because the lens design is such (specifically aperture control) that they can do so reliably. I am not sure the K and A series lenses and mechanics permit this, they are more of a simple on off switch. Yes adding aperture coupling would solve the issue, and I believe if they ever come out with a full frame body, that will be one of the mandatory requirements. should be any way on the flagship product. as you say entry level is one thing but the flagship should do it all. And while we are at it, the flagship should also support TTL flash, not just P-TTL.

maybe what we should do is start a flagship body thread. not a K-Something thread trying to guess the name, but just list the mandatory needs for the flagship, to me, open aperture metering in Av mode, and TTL flash are the two biggest needs. everything else, pentax has just about right.
09-06-2012, 02:50 PM   #22
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I also wish for a non-crippled mount, but there just is no incentive for Pentax to support this, for the same reason that they don't support better integrated stop-down metering. If Pentax releases a FF body with a crippled mount, will that stop people from buying it, or will they make that up in additional FA lens sales? Consider the level of acceptance of the current crippled APS-C offerings, and general satisfaction from the user community regarding the green button as a work-around -- and we all bought into it.

The profit is in selling lenses, or in selling bodies which cause people to buy more lenses. There are manufacturers who make bodies and lenses, one manufacturer (Sigma) who also makes lenses for other companies' bodies, and of course there are a few manufacturers that only make lenses. But no one makes just bodies. (Maybe some esoteric super high-end stuff that doesn't count as mainstream.)
09-06-2012, 04:54 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tanzer Quote
I also wish for a non-crippled mount, but there just is no incentive for Pentax to support this, for the same reason that they don't support better integrated stop-down metering. If Pentax releases a FF body with a crippled mount, will that stop people from buying it, or will they make that up in additional FA lens sales? Consider the level of acceptance of the current crippled APS-C offerings, and general satisfaction from the user community regarding the green button as a work-around -- and we all bought into it.

The profit is in selling lenses, or in selling bodies which cause people to buy more lenses. There are manufacturers who make bodies and lenses, one manufacturer (Sigma) who also makes lenses for other companies' bodies, and of course there are a few manufacturers that only make lenses. But no one makes just bodies. (Maybe some esoteric super high-end stuff that doesn't count as mainstream.)
Isn't that pretty much what I said?

They value lens sales more than a reputation of supporting legacy lenses. Although I think they should stop advertising legacy lens support as a feature since it's true in a very misleading way. Nikon sells a much higher volume of everything, so for them having a reputation of supporting customers who have made lens purchases is more important than the extra lens sales crippling their higher end cameras would generate.

09-06-2012, 10:18 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mattco26 Quote
Isn't that pretty much what I said?
Yes. And I agree the mechanical coupling would only cost a few bucks. But I was adding that Pentax has room to greatly improve their support for legacy lenses, without using any additional mechanical parts whatsoever. In other words, their decision not to support legacy lenses has nothing to do with increased production costs, as others have suggested. It is purely a strategic decision to sell more lenses, by making old lenses less useful.

Bonus points go to Pentax for selling us a green button instead, and calling it an enhancement. Super bonus points for convincing people that things just can't get any better than this, and that Ricoh really does care about the longevity of K and M lenses.
09-06-2012, 10:50 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tanzer Quote
Yes. And I agree the mechanical coupling would only cost a few bucks. But I was adding that Pentax has room to greatly improve their support for legacy lenses, without using any additional mechanical parts whatsoever. In other words, their decision not to support legacy lenses has nothing to do with increased production costs, as others have suggested. It is purely a strategic decision to sell more lenses, by making old lenses less useful.

Bonus points go to Pentax for selling us a green button instead, and calling it an enhancement. Super bonus points for convincing people that things just can't get any better than this, and that Ricoh really does care about the longevity of K and M lenses.
Of course they want to sell new stuff, they kinda need to if they want to stay in business. If they really wanted to screw over the legacy lens owners, they could do FAR worse than require an extra button press to use a certain series of lenses. Keep in mind, FA lenses are mostly out of production, they are legacy lenses, yet are still 100% supported by every Pentax DSLR. They aren't doing anything to limit the people who paid big money for A* glass so they can sell some DA* glass, are they?

If it bothers you this much, the answer is simple, sell your M and K stuff and spend a few dollars for A stuff. You can still feel good about yourself for sticking it to the man and keeping Pentax from forcing you to buy new stuff and you get automatic metering that works perfectly. Then, if Pentax ever does bring out a body that has this old aperture coupling you will save tons of money because you won't have to buy it, so you won't fall into that trap either.
09-06-2012, 11:03 PM   #26
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In the early ist's:
The electo- mech for the AF drive and the flash capacitors took over the space that was occupied by the "uncrippled " mech coupling.
The sturdier sensor structure and the motherboard extension for the I/o sockets took over the left side film cavity.
Was there ever a film camera with all of { AF drive + inbuilt flash + "uncrippled"} ? - I don't know.

When you think about it, the 2 little film spools that held 3.6 GB of chemical pixels, and the thin piece of film between them had to be replaced by: sensor, mount, mother pcb, and card drive, and all the buttons, and 4 AA batteries
Quite amazing they did it in early 2000's before the phone tech evolved. The Pentax ist ds is a little bigger and heavier than the Pentax MX mainly by the difference in the batteries.
09-06-2012, 11:58 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by wombat2go Quote
Was there ever a film camera with all of { AF drive + inbuilt flash + "uncrippled"} ? - I don't know.
Most of the AF film bodies had flash and the aperture simulator.
No reason to leave them out, except forcing loyal pentax customers to throw away their pre-A optics.

Most people don't know, or don't remember anymore, that the *istD came to market without light measurement for pre-A optics.
But I suspect that the dissapointing sales, even from the loyal pentax users, forced them to make the firmware which introduced the 'green button' workaround.

And I suspect that when eventually an 24x36 pentax K mount is introduced, more crippling is ahead.
It is the moment they have to introduce a lot of new lenses, a very good opportunity to do such a crippling.
09-07-2012, 06:06 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by elliott Quote
Of course they want to sell new stuff, they kinda need to if they want to stay in business. If they really wanted to screw over the legacy lens owners, they could do FAR worse than require an extra button press to use a certain series of lenses. Keep in mind, FA lenses are mostly out of production, they are legacy lenses, yet are still 100% supported by every Pentax DSLR. They aren't doing anything to limit the people who paid big money for A* glass so they can sell some DA* glass, are they?

If it bothers you this much, the answer is simple, sell your M and K stuff and spend a few dollars for A stuff. You can still feel good about yourself for sticking it to the man and keeping Pentax from forcing you to buy new stuff and you get automatic metering that works perfectly. Then, if Pentax ever does bring out a body that has this old aperture coupling you will save tons of money because you won't have to buy it, so you won't fall into that trap either.
Uh, the coupling we are talking about allows metering on ALL K-mount lenses, including K- and M-. The A-lenses are about supporting program exposure modes, it has nothing to do with the metering. Try the M lenses in your sig on an old film body.
09-07-2012, 06:21 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tanzer Quote
Uh, the coupling we are talking about allows metering on ALL K-mount lenses, including K- and M-. The A-lenses are about supporting program exposure modes, it has nothing to do with the metering. Try the M lenses in your sig on an old film body.
I know how they work on film bodies, they do quite well on the K1000 and Super Program. I'm talking about a modern DSLR though, which is what this thread is about. If I'm using 40 year old lenses with a new body, I expect some limitations, the green button happens to be a very minor limitation that is easy to live with.

Wonder how many Spotmatic owners complained when the K series came out, even though they could get a cheap adapter to use the old lenses, they didn't have the convenience of the lever to actuate aperture pin. Maybe Pentax should add this to the next DSLR to make M42 users happy.
09-07-2012, 06:33 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tanzer Quote
Uh, the coupling we are talking about allows metering on ALL K-mount lenses, including K- and M-. The A-lenses are about supporting program exposure modes, it has nothing to do with the metering. Try the M lenses in your sig on an old film body.
no this is not quite correct or perhaps accurate enough. The coupling we are talking about allows open aperture metering of Non A lenses, on A or later bodies,

A lenses are not just about supporting program modes, they are about controlling the aperture setting through the camera body, even when the camera is in manual mode. This change took place in about 1982/3

This is why pentax has elected to delete the coupling from the bodies. They made the change starting with the *istD film camera because the lenses no longer even had aperture rings, starting with the FA-J lenses. How long do you retain a function for which you do not produce any longer, lenses or bodies that require it.

One other thing to point out, even on an FA-J lens, or a DA lens, there is still a pin in the location where minimum aperture would be on the uncrippled mount. the reaspon for this pin is so that if you actually do put this lens on a pre A body, it will meter correctly and shoot at minimum aperture.
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