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08-28-2019, 08:51 PM - 1 Like   #16
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I too get inconsistent results with mine. Sometimes rich vibrant colours other times just black & white. I thought I'd nailed it at one point, different cameras at least seemed consistent, but one day they all swapped round. Worse still, the problem seems to be contagious, my FA43 has started to behave the same!

Seriously, I'm rediscovering my old vintage M42 glass as I attempt to perfect a three prime travel kit. The results from my SMC-T 20 & 24 have a very different rendering I won't try to describe.

I've never had a problem with M series glass but I've been using it so long I wouldn't perhaps notice any particular traits. Metering with the green button will change your technique (does it default to centre-weighted?). You might be seeing some flare issues but SMC-M coatings were easily up there with the best in their day and doubt if anything more than very minor tweaks have been achieved since.

08-28-2019, 09:36 PM - 1 Like   #17
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When I started with digital I went for Pentax because of the ability to use legacy lenses which were great quality and much cheaper than the DA lenses. Now, to me anyway, that big price advantage has shrunk considerably with the demand created by the FF K1 introduction. I also found the lack of a decent manual focusing screen to be very frustrating. IMO the modern lenses ease of use and used pricing outweighs the advantages the legacy glass once had.
08-28-2019, 10:20 PM - 14 Likes   #18
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Because taking into account real world measures of weight, size, performance, tactile experience, handling, character as well as price, they punch far above their weight (and price... )







08-28-2019, 10:26 PM   #19
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I have no problem using older lenses, including 1960's glass. The reasons could be many, but more likely it is (veiling) flare. Flare was mentioned already, but to be specific: are you using lens hoods?

08-28-2019, 10:46 PM - 4 Likes   #20
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I like looking on Flickr at various old lenses in the search engine. Its amazing what I find from the very Lowliest of lenses.
Its clear to me that if I cant take a $10 Sears 28mm or 50 mm lens and get some "Sweetness" out of it......Then the only one to blame is myself for not knowing enough.
Somehow many of us have fallen into the Trap that its all about the Camera and lens.....the best equipment equates to the best images.
Unfortunately that matters very little in reality and all that happens is Images are still lacking , even if its a $2000 lens versus a $5 lens.
Its about YOU.....the Photographer !
08-29-2019, 12:01 AM   #21
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Pentax HD FA 50mm 1.4 $1,500AUD.
Pentax A50 1.4 $150.00AUD.
Even if I had the money would the HD be a ten times better lens? For some maybe. But not for my purposes.
08-29-2019, 12:18 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by robgski Quote
I can only suggest practicing using the legacy glass in Program Mode, Av Mode, and Manual mode, to see if there are any noticeable differences in the images.
You cannot use Program mode with M series lenses. The camera will default to Av mode.

The only way to properly use K and M series lenses is to use Manual exposure, and meter with the green button. Using Av mode will not allow use of the set aperture
08-29-2019, 12:47 AM   #23
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It is always a pleasure to read Steves comments, has he ever time for sleeping? New lenses are not bad, but are they value for money? Only if money is not a problem- I Am a member of the Danish Photo Historical Society. One of the members has made many tests with legacy lenses on his Sony alfa. His conclusion is very clear. Many well regarded manual lenses perform badly on digital.Especially the wide angles. My own best example is a Soligor 20 mm , decent on film, but a disaster on k30 and kp.
It seems that we have to test the individual camera/lens combination, my favourite is m42 super Takumar 135 mm 2,4 and 1o5 mm 2.8 smc

08-29-2019, 12:49 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by lakeshore Quote
Why persist in using legacy manual lenses?

I have a number of M series lenses and when I use them my shots lack consistency. The colours seem more faded etc.

Do I just need more experience in using these lenses? Are there some tricks to using them of which I am not aware?

My DA lenses seem to give me more consistent results, better colour saturation etc. They are also easier to use.

Thoughts?
Newer lenses will give more consistent results due to better coatings and auto-focus. Older (manual focus) lenses will require a lot more practice to get consistent results from as you will need to learn their limitations and how to work with them and to focus manually on a modern camera, something which can be very hard to do.

I used to get consistent results from MF lenses on my K200D with it's Katzeye screen as I could focus them very well, but Katzeye is gone and my K-3 has the standard screen in it and the live-view focusing is not the best. MF lenses are easier to use on my mirrorless Fujifilm cameras than they are on Pentax DSLRs.

They are more difficult to use, but old MF lenses can provide a more involved photography experience as well as excellent results, but they take a lot more work.
08-29-2019, 01:57 AM - 3 Likes   #25
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Because most modern glass is boring
08-29-2019, 02:07 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by niels hansen Quote
It is always a pleasure to read Steves comments, has he ever time for sleeping? New lenses are not bad, but are they value for money? Only if money is not a problem- I Am a member of the Danish Photo Historical Society. One of the members has made many tests with legacy lenses on his Sony alfa. His conclusion is very clear. Many well regarded manual lenses perform badly on digital.Especially the wide angles. My own best example is a Soligor 20 mm , decent on film, but a disaster on k30 and kp.
It seems that we have to test the individual camera/lens combination, my favourite is m42 super Takumar 135 mm 2,4 and 1o5 mm 2.8 smc
Do note that the Sony A7 series of cameras have a very thick filter stack and it does affect the quality on the edges even more.
I have compared my A7 with Kolari thin filter mod to my brother's un-modded A7 and there was a difference.
The interesting thing is that I find that my old K mount wides perform better on the K1 resized down to 24mp vs my modded A7.
That said, if only based on a technical standpoint on sharpness on the edges, modern wides do generally perform better.


Nothing is free though imo.
The modern wides (and in fact most of the modern tack sharp lenses) are also often larger and heavier.
In many real world uses, the edges don't contain visual elements (sky, grass, distant horizons) that need to be as sharp or that the edges have horizons which are not that clear anyway due to atmospheric haze.

The oddity to smaller lenses are the ultra wides in 14-15mm focal length.
The Laowa 14/2.8 for example is sharper all thru and smaller than the venerable A15/3.5
Quite the same can be said about the Irix 15 and Samyang 14/2.8 too.
08-29-2019, 02:19 AM - 2 Likes   #27
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There's good and not so good examples within both the old Manual types as well as newer AF lenses ...... we should try to ensure we get hold of the good ones if we can! For me, on a limited (zero now!) photography budget, my legacy manual focus lenses provide a route to top quality IQ without the expense. In general I have found it important to use lens hoods which can improve contrast, but also I recomend RAW captuure and careful editing to get the best out of the image files with old legacy lenses.


Here's a link to a photo thread of mine on PentaxUser.com, all shot with the M75-150 F4.0 .... I simply can't afford a modern zoom that could come anywhere near these sort of results, and these are taken with a 10 year old camera, the K7 .....


Kensington with the M75-150
08-29-2019, 04:41 AM - 2 Likes   #28
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Older lenses do vary in IQ due to accumulated insults of dust, fungus, scratches, and fogging of the cement between the grouped elements. A good copy, however, can produce stellar, sharp, saturated images.

But the biggest issue an APS-C shooter faces is that these lenses project a full-frame's worth of light into the mirror box of the camera. A lot of bright sky or even the sun might be in the full-frame image but not noticeable in the viewfinder or live view. That extra light can bounce off the tidbits and surfaces of the mirror box and reduce contrast and saturation. A good lens hood or hovering hand can help cut the excess light.

Yes, legacy lenses can be harder to use but then that can be part of the fun challenge. Moreover, the ergonomics of a really solid old lens with nicely greased helicoid can make manual focusing feel so much better than using newer plastic lenses.
08-29-2019, 04:48 AM - 3 Likes   #29
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I responded to a post 3 years ago from the same user on the same topic.
If he is still rationalizing, it sounds to me as though he should sell the works. There is no amount of navel gazing that can cure that feeling of “it would have been better if”.

Now if he is situated in Lakeshore, Ontario he ought to send a PM and I will help him find a home for is unsatisfactory glass.
08-29-2019, 04:51 AM - 7 Likes   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by D1N0 Quote
Because most modern glass is boring
^ this guy gets it ^


Pentax K-1 - SMCP-K 50mm f /1.2
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