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02-21-2015, 06:07 PM   #1
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Greetings and Salutations From Washington State

Hello All. I am a lifelong amateur photographer, interested mostly in landscapes, nature, portraits, and various other still life shots. I do very little sports or other action photography. I'm happy to have found this forum, and am looking forward to sharing information with the many Pentax users obviously still out there. I am a soon-to-be "born again" Pentax enthusiast. My first SLR was a Pentax ME, followed shortly by an MX, and further still by a number of other models. By the early 1990s, however, I concluded Pentax at the time was in decline and likely a dead end, so I sold all of my pristine original equipment, and moved on. However, my old equipment created a lot of images and fond memories that live on, and right or wrong, I still have fondness for the brand. Therefore, I was delighted when Ricoh acquired Pentax, and the promise of a turn around was too great to ignore.

My current mainstay is a full-frame Canon EOS 5D Mark II DSLR, with a number of high-end L-Series lenses. This system is supplemented on occasion by a pro-level EOS 1V and an Elan 7e, both of which are film SLRs. I also have a Mamiya 7 II (6x7 format), which I like to experiment with from time to time.

I have been considering how to acquire and use some of the legacy Pentax (and other) glass out there. Much of it represents lenses I could not afford to buy "back in the day," but are now available at reasonable prices on the used market. I am also weighing alternatives for a second DSLR body: my top choices at the moment are mid-range Canon body, or the new Pentax K-3. The latter obviously requires buying into a second system, and all of the pros and cons that would entail. I can use vintage glass (from most of the major makers) on my Canon bodies by simply using adapter rings, and could probably do the same with a Pentax. However, the Pentax K-3 body looks very competitive, and may actually be better in many respects than its mid-range Canon equivalents. Decisions, decisions. As they say, "cest la vie."

This is some of the territory I hope to explore in this forum, and will look forward to sharing knowledge and information with everyone.

02-21-2015, 08:10 PM   #2
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Using legacy glass on my pentax bodies is something that I really enjoy. And there are so many great lenses in k mount or m42 available for so little.
A couple things I really like about using Pentax bodies for older lenses are:
Focus peaking where the in focus area has a shimmer to it when using live view to confirm what is in focus
In body stabilization works for ALL lenses mounted to the body - when using non chipped lenses just input the focal length when starting up
Green button metering - set the aperture on the lens, set the iso, then press the green button and the camera will meter where you're pointing the camera at. Simple!
Catch in focus - keep the shutter button pressed down and when the image is in focus in the center, it will fire.

Really, if you're mainly going to use this body for older lenses, maybe consider the k50 - it can be had for under $400 and it has all the features mentioned above. It has less mp than the k3, less solid construction, and AF isn't rated down to -3EV (-1EV instead), but it does make using older lenses very easy.

Good luck in finding answers and welcome to the site!
02-22-2015, 01:39 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMH Quote
I have been considering how to acquire and use some of the legacy Pentax (and other) glass
Welcome aboard, if your going this route... be soon, as now that Pentax FF has been announced, I'm pretty sure older glass will start to increase in value quite dramatically.
02-22-2015, 12:04 PM   #4
WMH
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QuoteOriginally posted by vagrant10 Quote
Using legacy glass on my pentax bodies is something that I really enjoy. And there are so many great lenses in k mount or m42 available for so little.
A couple things I really like about using Pentax bodies for older lenses are:
Focus peaking where the in focus area has a shimmer to it when using live view to confirm what is in focus
In body stabilization works for ALL lenses mounted to the body - when using non chipped lenses just input the focal length when starting up
Green button metering - set the aperture on the lens, set the iso, then press the green button and the camera will meter where you're pointing the camera at. Simple!
Catch in focus - keep the shutter button pressed down and when the image is in focus in the center, it will fire.

Really, if you're mainly going to use this body for older lenses, maybe consider the k50 - it can be had for under $400 and it has all the features mentioned above. It has less mp than the k3, less solid construction, and AF isn't rated down to -3EV (-1EV instead), but it does make using older lenses very easy.

Good luck in finding answers and welcome to the site!
The inherent metering capabilities, and internal image stabilization are two features that intrigue me about using Pentax bodies for old Pentax glass rather than simply adapting such glass to fit on my Canon bodies. Of course, Canon's IS (image stabilized) lenses are very good, but are often quite expensive. Vagrant10, thanks for the suggestion that I take a look at some of Pentax's other bodies.

I was unaware of Pentax's FF announcement prior to joining this forum, and I'm delighted to hear it. I would love to see Pentax return to the equipment market in a big way, under its new Ricoh management. I have noticed an uptick in old glass prices recently. That trend may continue as the brand regains momentum, and demand for new bodies grows.

02-24-2015, 05:01 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMH Quote
I have noticed an uptick in old glass prices recently. That trend may continue as the brand regains momentum, and demand for new bodies grows
Aye the prices I'm sure will rise, as demand for the older FF glass increases the nearer the FF camera launch gets.
03-06-2015, 02:18 PM   #6
WMH
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03/06/2015 Update -- After much research and soul-searching, I've decided against buying a Pentax K-3 body, and for about the same price, will opt instead for a micro four-thirds mirrorless system -- probably a Fuji, Olympus or Panasonic/Lumix. They can accommodate legacy lenses from most brands, while effectively doubling the focal length of full-frame lenses. For example, my Canon f2.8L 70-200mm zoom immediately becomes a 140-400mm lens, with the simple addition of a $25 adapter. Where else can I get such a long focal length of that caliber for only $25? Most higher-end models have in-body image stabilization, are weatherproofed, provide about 16 megapixels, etc. The bodies and lenses are tiny, lightweight, high-quality, and inexpensive compared to many of today's monster DSLRs, so they are great for traveling, rough field use, or use where you want your equipment to be quiet and discreet. Further, the electronic viewfinders provide an image of the actual photo rather than a mirror-reflection, so you can change focus or exposure settings before snapping a picture. There are certainly a number of other pros and cons with the micro four-thirds format, but I will still have my full-frame Canon equipment (and any legacy Pentax lenses I acquire) for "fine art" types of work, and any action photography I might pursue. I'd like to know if anyone on this forum has explored MFT format, and what they think of it.

Last edited by WMH; 03-07-2015 at 10:46 AM. Reason: Additional points
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