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09-01-2008, 03:53 AM   #1
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Third party lenses that don't focus in the wrong direction?

please dont flame if this is in the wrong place or its been covered elsewhere (I couldnt find it)

am interested in getting one or two older/more unusual used MF lenses for my K10D (most likely 24mm or in the 85-135mm that work nice wide open). While there do seem to be plenty to choose from 'out there', many I have seen on Ebay etc focus the wrong way compared to my Pentax/Voigtlander - my little brain can't cope with that and I don't want to spend half my life searching for stuff that works backwards


Stuff I have seen that focuses the right way:
Vivitar Series One PK fit

Stuff I have seen that does not:
Vivitar Series One M42
Zeiss Jena M42
Kiron PK fit
Zenitar, Helios and most of the other Russian stuff
Meyer M42

Stuff I dont know:
Soligor
Hoya
Contax/Pentacon M42

09-01-2008, 05:51 PM   #2
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I have both a Vivitar (not Series 1) 35/2.8 and a Vivitar 85-205/3.8. Both focus the "wrong way", but I never noticed it until I checked both lenses just now to respond to your post. Now that I know they focus the "wrong way" it will probably start bothering me. Get ready for the flame - it's coming.
09-01-2008, 06:13 PM   #3
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I have a fair amount of older manual focus lenses, and only one focuses the wrong way. That being an OLD manual focus Sigma 28 - 84 f3.5 - 4.5 (or something like that)
And in that case the IQ makes the little hassle worth the extra effort.
09-01-2008, 07:14 PM   #4
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Become blissfully ignorant...life gets easier.

09-01-2008, 08:13 PM   #5
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Which direction is the "right" direction?

Looking at my M42 and K mount lenses, infinity is on the left of the distance scale. This seems natural to me, since I was taught to hold the camera with my left hand UNDER the lens and focus from infinity IN to snap focus. It is easier to rotate the focusing ring counterclockwise with my hand in this position.

Yet Karen Nakamura, who has a massive webpage on street photography using legacy cameras here Photoethnography.com - Photoethnography Equipment suggests Pentax M42 lenses rotate the wrong way.
"The thing I find most annoying about Pentax lenses is that they are mostly left-focusing (infinity at left) while most of the world is right focusing (infinity at right).* If the optics on the SMC Takumars weren't so stellar, I'd be sore pressed to use them.

* Just to be contrary, Nikon is also left-focusing. Canon, Zeiss, and Leica are right focusing." - Karen Nakamura, Photoethnography.com, on her equipment page for Takumar lenses.
IMHO Pentax and Nikon are right to be left-focusing, and Canon is wrong to be right-focusing :ugh:
09-02-2008, 05:42 AM   #6
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Who cares on which side is infinity? If something that I'm shooting is not in focus, it's not always easy to see if it's back or front-focused, so there's high chance of turning focus ring in opposite direction than needed. So in that case it doesn't matter is infinity on left or right
09-02-2008, 10:14 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Spex Quote
Who cares on which side is infinity? If something that I'm shooting is not in focus, it's not always easy to see if it's back or front-focused, so there's high chance of turning focus ring in opposite direction than needed. So in that case it doesn't matter is infinity on left or right
This is not a viable option for wildlife and sports. If the lens focuses in a direction not consistent with all your other lenses, and is a manual focus lens, you will miss many shots. I also object to zoom rings that go the wrong way. I don't want to go wider when I am trying to zoom in on a soccer player.

One old curmudgeon's take on this.
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