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01-31-2009, 06:21 PM   #1
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Screwmount vs. K-mount

Hey there,

I know this must be a pretty n00b things to ask but I haven't seen any mentioning of it yet while searching.

First, I must admit, I think I have what everyone else seems to have or maybe admit too. LBA! Does that mean Lens Buying Anonymous? Just curious, still working on all the abbreviations.

I've been looking into getting the sought after Vivitar Series 1 lens and I came across one that is in screwmount on ebay. Don't know if it's still there though.

I was wondering if there is any advantages or disadvantages between the two?

Thanks
Steve

01-31-2009, 06:54 PM   #2
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LBA = Lens Buying Addiction
01-31-2009, 07:03 PM   #3
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I assume the "two" you are referring to are K-mount vs. screwmount (M42) lenses.

Although I don't own one, people rave about the screwmount Takumars (SMC and otherwise). I understand some of the Vivitar Series 1's are very good. I do own one screwmount lens: a Mamiya-Sekor 400mm, which I use with a (genuine) Pentax screwmount to K-mount adaptor. Once on the camera, it is fine. Neither metering nor focusing is particularly difficult with my K10D. But getting it on is kind of a hassle; getting it off is worse. After unscrewing the lens, you have to depress a little spring on the adaptor and unscrew the adaptor. The adaptor is fairly narrow and somewhat difficult to maneuver - but maybe it is just me. My K-mount lenses are a snap to mount and unmount. Depending on what kind you have, you'll get different functionality from the camera.

LBA means Lens Buying Addiction and it is a virulent disease!
01-31-2009, 07:05 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by zoeybird Quote
LBA! Does that mean Lens Buying Anonymous?
No. That's where you attend the meetings. LBA is Lens Buying Addiction.

QuoteOriginally posted by zoeybird Quote
I've been looking into getting the sought after Vivitar Series 1 lens and I came across one that is in screwmount on ebay.
I was wondering if there is any advantages or disadvantages between the two?
Thanks
Steve
The advantage is that you can use the screwmount on your Spotmatic and your K Mount caneras with an M42/K adapter.
You say: "I don't have a Spotmatic."
I say: "Yet!!!"

There is another condition around here which is also contagious. It's called CBA.

01-31-2009, 07:42 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by MikeW Quote
LBA means Lens Buying Addiction and it is a virulent disease!
A disease to which there is no cure for and rarely goes into any type of remission. Good thing it is almost always non lifethreatening. (till the wife finds out) Honey, I've had that lens for years!
01-31-2009, 08:16 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by wlank Quote
No. That's where you attend the meetings. LBA is Lens Buying Addiction.



The advantage is that you can use the screwmount on your Spotmatic and your K Mount caneras with an M42/K adapter.
You say: "I don't have a Spotmatic."
I say: "Yet!!!"

There is another condition around here which is also contagious. It's called CBA.
yeah tell me about that 2 dslr's 2 film slr's and thinking of getting a third have to put all those lens on something now don't we?
01-31-2009, 08:24 PM   #7
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I agree with MikeW. I've just sold my only screwmount and would be surprised if I ever get another.

Optically, many of the screwmount lenses are very good and they're pretty inexpensive. The genuine Pentax adapter works just fine but installing and removing it is kind of a pita--a semi-delicate operation with the camera open to the elements.

I think using K-mount and screwmount lenses on the same body is difficult. If I were interested in these lenses I'd probably dedicate a body to it with the adapter more or less permanently installed.
01-31-2009, 09:01 PM   #8
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I have 3 Super Takumar Lenses aka. M-42 or Screw Mount. I love them all, they are very very good on IQ, and worth every penny you pay for them. IMHO

02-01-2009, 12:29 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by dadipentak Quote
Optically, many of the screwmount lenses are very good and they're pretty inexpensive. The genuine Pentax adapter works just fine but installing and removing it is kind of a pita--a semi-delicate operation with the camera open to the elements.
I can't understand how people have trouble installing and removing the adapter. Pinch it between your thumb and the nail of your forefinger, give it a 1/4 turn and whip it right out. To put it on, stick your forefinger and middle finger inside to just above the first joint, bend your fingertips out of the way, line up the dot, and twist it right on. Takes mere seconds to do either one.

QuoteQuote:
I think using K-mount and screwmount lenses on the same body is difficult. If I were interested in these lenses I'd probably dedicate a body to it with the adapter more or less permanently installed.
You've hit the nail on the head right there.

The problem that most people have, I think, is that they get just one or two that don't really cover the range of their shooting needs and consequently end up having to swap back and forth between M42 and K-mount. That would be a royal pain in the butt. If a person had a full range of M42 except for one lens that was in K-mount, it would be just as annoying to swap that K-mount as it is for the other more normal situation of having a range of K-mounts and having to swap one M42 in and out of the mix. So the problem is not some inherent fault of the M42....it is a problem of mix-n-match and the associated aggravation.

My solution was to get a range of Takumars that fill my needs, and I just swap from M42 to M42, which is no particular hassle.

Most people think the adapter is something they add to the camera so they can use M42 lenses. I think the adapter is something I remove from the camera so I can use K-mounts (not a common occurrence).
02-01-2009, 05:48 AM   #10
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Precisely as Mike says. I find no problem with the M42 adapter on any K mount camera, getting it on or off.

The solution is as he says as well: one can build a M42 lens library very cheaply both Takumar and third party, and once one has a few there's no big deal. You pretty much decide before going out what you want to take with you, K's or M42s. And then just take one or the other.

I've gone with my 16-45 plus 103a adaptall with the k-a mount + a M42 film cam with a couple of Takumars, but that was because I don't have good ultra wides in M42.
02-01-2009, 09:45 AM   #11
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Another potential problem with using M42 lenses on a K Mount camera:

When changing from M42 to K Mount lens, the adapter is
QuoteQuote:
prone to 'pop' out, and being round, like filters and lens caps, they like to roll.
I was reminded of this to my cost yesterday, when mine rolled off of a railway platform and onto the track. Luckily (and this is generally not something I'd advise), this was a back-of-beyond railway terminus (Looe, UK), one platform, train once a blue moon, and the adaptor was right by the buffer stop, so after duly checking for trains I hopped down to get it!
So, unless you are careful, you could get run over by a train.

On the positive side many of the longer telephoto M42 lenses are all metal and very heavy. If you are attacked by mutant ninja Nicankons they are an excellent defensive weapon. I believe Mike Cash is an expert in this technique as well as an excellent photographer.
02-01-2009, 10:49 AM   #12
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I didn't see this mentioned here, but many M42 lenses have either a manual aperture, or they are "aperture preset".

This means the aperture can be stoped down without input from the camera.

The benifit is that the lens can be used in AV mode and the camera will meter corectly (well, within the limits of metering variation caused by the focus screen, but that is another topic)

If you compaire this to an SMC-M lens (K mount), the camera stops the lens down at the moment just before the shutter trips. This is after the camera has metered the sceen. The result is that if you use the M lens in AV mode, it will underexpose at all apertures except wide open.

For this reason, I find using M42 lenses a great deal more versitile then the K or M lenses.

There is also the fact, that many unique and interesting lenses were never made in K mount.

For example, I put together a series of Soviet era lenses that I call the "Russian Limiteds"

MIR 1-B 37/2.8 replaces the FA31 (+6mm)
Industar 50/3.5 replaces the FA43 (+7mm) - it's also a pancake lens like the DA 40!
Jupiter 9 85/2.0 replaces the FA77 (+7mm)

This series of lenses aproximates the range of the FA limits, they are fun to use, they smell like gun oil, and they cost me 1/10 of a true FA limited set.

I really think there is no true benifit of M42 lenses over K mounts. What I think it really comes down to, is the personality of the photographer and how he/she like to use their equipment.
02-01-2009, 11:04 AM   #13
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OK, I admit to being kind of obsessive about size & weight. But my impression is, when people say one of the things they love about the Takumars is that they are "built like tanks", I tend to take that pretty literally, and the Takumars I've handled in pawn shops and so forth seem to bear that out. My manual focus primes are all M and A series, which work perfectly well for me and from what I can tell seem to average maybe half the weight of the corresponding Takumars - but it's not like I've done an exhuastive comparison. Am I wrong about this?
02-01-2009, 11:46 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
OK, I admit to being kind of obsessive about size & weight. But my impression is, when people say one of the things they love about the Takumars is that they are "built like tanks", I tend to take that pretty literally, and the Takumars I've handled in pawn shops and so forth seem to bear that out. My manual focus primes are all M and A series, which work perfectly well for me and from what I can tell seem to average maybe half the weight of the corresponding Takumars - but it's not like I've done an exhuastive comparison. Am I wrong about this?

I don't think of my Takumars as being "built like tank". To me they are beautify made precision optical instraments. The focus is smooth, the aperture is precise, they are built like no other lens you can buy new today. They are just slightly heavier then a comparable M lens.

My Jupiter 9 on the otherhand, is built like a tank. Very heavy, very stiff focus, strange aperture preset function, lots of exposed screws, and like I've said before, it smells like gun oil.
02-01-2009, 12:00 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
OK, I admit to being kind of obsessive about size & weight.
Yes, they tend to be heavy.

My shooting mostly involves shooting from my truck or short jaunts on foot using my car as a moving "base camp". So when I'm hoofing it I take a couple of primes with me for relatively short distances and it is no big deal. The vehicle takes care of hauling the whole heavy bag around for me. If I want to take a strobe or some other small accessories, I transfer them from my main bag into a fanny pack just for that excursion from the car.

There's no way in hell I would haul my whole range of Takumars around with me on foot all day. I'm not in that kind of physical condition.
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