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07-12-2009, 02:48 AM   #1
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MF lens virgin

Hello,

Actually, I'm a born-again virgin. I've used my dad's soviet era Zenit-E with a Helios 2/58 a few times.

Anyway, I've been playing with my K-7 for a few days now and the great viewfinder has inspired me to manually focus my DA primes (21, 40, 70). Although they aren't made specifically for MF, I've gotten some good results. I'm thinking of getting an MF lens to refine my technique.

I see lots of MF lens posts on this forum, but it seems as if most lenses require adapters and many don't automagically meter properly (I mostly shoot Manual so this is not a problem).

My question: Given my current lenses, what portrait MF lens would be a good place to start?

My budget is about $300. A lens that works without any modifications would be ideal.

Adam

07-12-2009, 03:31 AM   #2
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For the $300 budget you should be able to get a few primes, A or M mount Pentaxes. A fast 50@ f1.4, a 28mm @ f2.8 and a 135mm lens @ f2.8 with some change left over.
07-12-2009, 04:11 AM   #3
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Thanks for the suggestions. I just found out that my Helios is M42 mount, so I've ordered a M42/K adaptor.

Manual lenses make LDA affordable. ALBA?
07-12-2009, 04:46 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Photong Quote
Thanks for the suggestions. I just found out that my Helios is M42 mount, so I've ordered a M42/K adaptor.

Manual lenses make LDA affordable. ALBA?
good decision!
If you do not mind / like using manual focus lenses you will find that there is a host of very good lenses to be had for not much money and Pentax IMHO is the best dSLR to use M42 lenses on. However be aware, they are heavily addictive!

The Helios is a fav. of many, a lens with a strong 'personality', great for portraits, and strong 'characteristics' of old lenses make them so much fun.

07-12-2009, 05:21 AM   #5
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Since you'll be picking up a screwmount adapter, do yourself a favor & get a 55mm f:1.8 Takumar to use as a portrait lens (crop factor puts this lens at 82.5mm). Once you experience the optical & build quality of the old Takumars (especially the highly addictive butter smooth focusing of a good example..... never bettered by any brand in the history of photography) you'll be hooked. These can be had for around $50, one of the best photographic bargains ever.

Last edited by raymeedc; 07-14-2009 at 06:55 AM.
07-12-2009, 05:38 AM   #6
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Hope you ordered the genuine Pentax M42 adapter, the cheap made in China Ebay ones will lose you infinty focus. Going M42s as well as Pentax mount is a great choice.
Here's a challenge, see how many lenses you can get for that $300 budget. Shipping will cost you more then a lot of the lenses if you buy wisely. Cheaper buys on Ebay usually mean you will end up with orphan SLR bodies like old Zenit, Praktica and early Pentax bodies accumulating.
07-12-2009, 05:57 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by xjjohnno Quote
Hope you ordered the genuine Pentax M42 adapter
Excellent advice. Besides this, many people have difficulty removing them from the body. Original Pentax adapters are usually a good deal more ($40-$50), but well worth the extra cost.
07-12-2009, 06:08 AM   #8
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The adaptor I ordered says "M42-Pentax Japan" on it, so I assume genuine Pentax. Then again, I live in Taiwan, so "genuine" doesn't really mean much. Either way, I can't wait to put that Helios on it. My dad used it on the Zenit-E to take pictures of me when I was a baby. Next week I'll be in Poland, 30 years later, with a chance to take pictures of him with the same lens. I can just imagine the glass thinking "I've seen this guy before on the other side".

Switching to Pentax (from Canon 350D and it's manual-focus-unfriendly viewfinder) bears unexpected fruit!

07-12-2009, 06:12 AM   #9
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Does this look like the real thing?



Adam
07-12-2009, 08:37 AM   #10
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Does not look like my genuine one, had a quick look in situ on my K20, it says Pentax at the top, Japan at the bottom.
The genuine one comes in a nice green sleeve and does not need the tool to unlock. You may be alright though, some of the 'spurious' adapters have issues with focusing at infinity. Only way to find out is give it a try.
Next you'll be looking for a split prism focusing screen and then you are completely knackered
I got hooked in Febuary with a freebie Chinon 50 f1.9... now I have 9 mf lenses and i'm only starting off
07-12-2009, 09:47 AM   #11
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there are lots of things yoou can get, and it depends upon whether you want to really start to build a collection of K mount lenses, or getting just one lens.

For portraits, if you want to get a new lens, you can go for a jupiter 9, (85mm F2) or one of the new samyang/bower/vivitar et.al... 85mm F1.4 lenses. I went for the vivitar version of the samyang because it came as a KA mount, as opposed to manual aperture like the jupiter 9. Either of these will use up most of the budget.

If you want to play in the used market, there are a lot of great pentax lenses, from the 50mm F1.4, 85mm F1.8, 100mm F2.8 M series, 105mm F2.8 K series and the 135mm F2.5

You should be able to get a 50mm, 100 or 105 mm and 135 mm all within your budget. (i.e. a set of 3 for 300-400) The 85mm F1.8 is hard to get and will cost all of your budget or more.


You can also look at the AF lenses like the 77 limited, but at double the budget

There are also pentax 85mm f1.4 lenses but these all start at more than 3 times your budget.
07-12-2009, 10:37 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Photong Quote
Does this look like the real thing?



Adam
this adapter looks fine to me.
as do quite some offers at .bay, as long as it locks well inside the camera's K mount, that is without an outer flange, it should perform well.

Do you still have that Zenit-E? maybe worth taking with to Poland!
07-12-2009, 10:50 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Photong Quote
Does this look like the real thing?



Adam
Here is my GENUINE adapter. No tool needed whatsoever to take it off. VERY EASY to use!

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07-12-2009, 11:01 AM   #14
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Thanks for all the helpful information guys. I'll try the above adaptor. I actually saw the green sleeve genuine one with "Pentax" on top (no Asahi, although they make good beer) and "Japan" on the bottom. I'll give that a shot if the Taiwanese fake genuine Japanese one fails.

I still have the Zenit-E with the Helios attached. I'm not sure if I'll take it to Poland (I can't afford film processing). I haven't tried taking the lens off yet, but the camera doesn't seem to have a lens release button. Is it just a matter of brute force?

Adam
07-12-2009, 11:08 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Photong Quote
Thanks for all the helpful information guys. I'll try the above adaptor. I actually saw the green sleeve genuine one with "Pentax" on top (no Asahi, although they make good beer) and "Japan" on the bottom. I'll give that a shot if the Taiwanese fake genuine Japanese one fails.

I still have the Zenit-E with the Helios attached. I'm not sure if I'll take it to Poland (I can't afford film processing). I haven't tried taking the lens off yet, but the camera doesn't seem to have a lens release button. Is it just a matter of brute force?

Adam
Asahi was part of the OLD Pentax name.
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