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03-28-2014, 09:49 AM   #1
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Pentax Helicoid Question

I was looking for some extension tubes to use with my Asahi Pentax f4 macro 100mm lens.
I came across this Pentax Helicoid - first time I've seen one.
Would it work well with my lens to get closer in, like extension tubes would ?


Last edited by Michael Piziak; 03-28-2014 at 11:18 AM.
03-28-2014, 09:57 AM   #2
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Yes, but the main difference is that extension tube gives a "static extension" : if you use 10mm extension tube, the extension will always be 10mm.

With helicoid, you have a ring that allow you to extend or rectract that extension, like a focusing ring. See : https://www.pentaxforums.com/accessoryreviews/pentax-helicoid-extension-tube-k.html

Am i clear ?
03-28-2014, 10:01 AM   #3
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Yes, it is basically a variable length extension tube. Not as extendable as a bellows unit but certainly not as bulky or fragile. There are probably weight limits on the helicoid.

This is a somewhat rare item so expect the final bid to be pretty steep.
03-28-2014, 10:07 AM   #4
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Does the Helicoid go between the lens and the camera?

03-28-2014, 10:38 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Michael Piziak Quote
Does the Helicoid go between the lens and the camera?
Yes, just like any extension tube. Only difference is you can change the length of this one where regular ones are fixed. No contacts on this one, though depending on your lens that might not matter to you.

Another option is a Vivitar 2x macro tele-converter with the glass pulled out. Does the same thing as the one in your link, but has contacts and is usually a lot cheaper than the Pentax one which a collectors item at this point.
03-28-2014, 10:42 AM   #6
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Yeah, the helicoid doesn't have contacts and I think no aperture mechanicals at all -- when mounted it will hold the aperture lever so that it will stop down as you turn the ring. You can expect final price to be in the $80-$120 range. ($75 would be a deal.)
03-28-2014, 10:44 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Does the same thing as the one in your link, but has contacts and is usually a lot cheaper than the Pentax one which a collectors item at this point.
I never really understood why people would want to just collect old camera equipment instead of using it, but I guess people collect all kinds of things.
03-28-2014, 10:50 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Michael Piziak Quote
I never really understood why people would want to just collect old camera equipment instead of using it, but I guess people collect all kinds of things.
You will find the Vivitar (also under name Panagor and maybe others) with and without contacts (and also in m42 mount), so if looking for that one pay attention...

03-28-2014, 11:03 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Michael Piziak Quote
I never really understood why people would want to just collect old camera equipment instead of using it, but I guess people collect all kinds of things.
03-28-2014, 11:12 AM   #10
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Helicoid Uses

I have this bit of kit and whilst it's normal use is in place of extension tubes (vonBaloney is right about the contacts) it is also very useful as a tool to help attain focus during prime focus photography.
03-29-2014, 08:44 AM   #11
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It went for a lot less than I would have expected. I hope the winner is happy.
03-29-2014, 08:47 AM   #12
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See? Prices are going down...just a year ago that would go for $100 easy...
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