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01-29-2013, 07:43 PM   #1
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Focusing on Pentax K-Mount only - Or what should I do with my M42s

To cut a long story short: I mostly shoot digital, but recently I got interested in shooting film, too. Alas, it's a bit ironic that I have accumulated a venerable collection of PK and M42 glass and cameras. But it's getting a bit too much before I have even started...

So when I went to my Pentax dealer today, I saw a K-Mount Exakta 24mm f/2.8 for 39 (less than the lens cap!). The Exakta would fill the gap of wide angles in my Pentax fullframe repertoire, and although it's got mixed reviews (from raging to raving) the thought crossed my mind: Why don't I just sell my M42 lenses?*

For Pentax K-mount I have a MZ50 and a MX Super to mount:
- Miranda 50mm F2 (my first ever prime, I kinda like it!)
- Pentax M 50mm F1.7 (with a few specks inside)
- Pentax M 135mm F3.5
- Ricoh 200mm F4 (apparently a rebadged Pentax M 200mm)
- Sigma Zoom 28-105mm F3.8-5.6

For my Practica MTL5 on M42 there's:
- Pentacon (Orestogon) 29mm/2.8.
- Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 35mm 2.4
- Pentacon (Meyer Oreston?) 50mm f/1.8
- Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar 50mm 2.8
- Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar 135/3.5
- Practicar 135mm 2.8 (Unfortunately not made in GDR and kinda jammed)

I prefer my MX Super over the MTL5. At the same time, many of the lenses are duplicates at a focal length. I have three 135mm lenses, and about five at 50mm (including my Sigma for digital). I don't think there's any point keeping them all, and maybe I should just switch to the K-Mount? Then I could use all lenses on my K5 without the need for an adapter.

The situation is a bit complex, as I'm in the process of moving, with parts of my lenses - including my M42 adaptor and my beloved Flek - in storage for a good few weeks, or even months. But either way, I'm sure it cannae go on like this, I have to figure out what lenses to keep. After all it's not about the lenses, but the photos. And I want to go out and take real photos, not just samples to compare lenses...

I haven't even had the chance to try out all of my M42s properly yet, to figure out whether I become attached to them. So far, my impression is that I really, really like the Flektogon, and I'm tempted to keep it even though that's got a decent resale value. I also like the rendering of the CSJ Tessar, and as they don't go for much I might as well keep it. But then, I already have a DA35, and maybe it would be better to just get rid of all of them and invest the money into the DA35mm Ltd Macro. I'm even less sure about all the other M42 lenses... tricky, tricky.

So far, a few sample shots:

The Oreston at a double exposure. This was pushing the film a bit, but I really just wanted to fill the roll to see whether my Practica was working:




Here's the Flektogon in Edinburgh:




I have also done a few boring comparison shots between the Flektogon and the DA 35. (I have a few more shots of these but have a hard time figuring out the aperture for comparison shots, or distinguishing the Tessar and the Flektogon, as I've been using both at the same time)

I must say I prefer the Flektogon - not just from these photos - but from the general handling, the bokeh, depth of field (seems shallower), manual focus, build quality, etc. I wonder how it would measure up against the Pentax 35mm Macro Limited. There's an old dpreview thread saying the Flektogon kills it, but there's no direct comparison.

So... how do you go about testing a large number of lenses. Do you go out and shoot them, then play it by the ear, or do you do proper comparison shots? Is convenience (one mount to rule them all) a good reason to sell gems like the Flektogon? Or should I keep one or two M42s?





01-29-2013, 10:43 PM   #2
dms
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A minor suggestion if the 29mm (or 35mm) M42 lens does stop down when used with the adapter (e.g., setting lens at f/8 it is actually stopped down). Is so you may find shooting with in on digital, in AV mode, rather convenient. For street shooting (with zone focusing) I find it very fast--I often prefer using an M42 takumar 28mm this way--to any of my K lenses.
01-30-2013, 12:32 AM   #3
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I've actually been acquiring more M42 lenses.

In the last few weeks I've bought a Super Tak 35/2, a Sears 55/1.4, a S-M-C Tak 35/3.5, a S-M-C 135/3.5 and a Spotmatic F with a Super Tak 35/3.5. For now I think I'll just leave the adapter in my K1000 until I get the Spotty CLA'd.
01-30-2013, 02:10 AM   #4
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Still looking for more m42 lenses

01-30-2013, 02:52 AM   #5
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I see, in the end you will have me convinced I need to keep my M42s, and buy a Pentax M42 camera as well, to balance out the bodies... Bloody LBA!


QuoteOriginally posted by dms Quote
A minor suggestion if the 29mm (or 35mm) M42 lens does stop down when used with the adapter (e.g., setting lens at f/8 it is actually stopped down). Is so you may find shooting with in on digital, in AV mode, rather convenient. For street shooting (with zone focusing) I find it very fast--I often prefer using an M42 takumar 28mm this way--to any of my K lenses.
Yes, the Tessar, Sonnar and the Flektogon work fine this way as they allow for manual control over the aperture. Which is why I was finding the Flek such a pleasure to use. When I took it out with my DA35, the Flek's handling was in many ways better. It's just the messing the adapter etc. that was a bit inconvenient. The Practicar does not, but I think the aperture pin has some issues on its own. I have yet to try out the others.
01-30-2013, 10:26 AM   #6
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I started with film and had some K mount primes, but had some holes in my K mount line up. I initially filled those holes tin M42 lenses, but as time passed, I found myself deciding that for some things I liked to have a different look than standard SMC K mount lenses, so I have gradually filled out an M42 kit and a K mount kit separately. I do not own any M 42 film bodies, but use my K10 as an M42 DSLR due to a failure of the AF drive and lens locking pin.

I still shoot film occasionally using my PZ1, but mostly use the K mount primes on my *istD, because it supports TTL flash.

This is in addition to my AF lenses that get used on thenK7 and K5

What's wrong with multiple lens kits any ways?
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