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05-28-2018, 08:46 AM   #1
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Best digital camera to use with screw mount lenes

Hi, new to the forum. Long time Pentax film screw mount user. Thinking about updating to a used Pentax digital camera. I have 7 or so takumar and off brand m42 lenes and bellows set that I would like to use. I know stop down metering and an adapter ring will be needed. Does anyone have a recommendation for a model best suited for this? My son has a "kx" which I will try. Also what is the best adapter ring for infinity focus?. I used to use spotmatic 1 an 2.

Tnx, Bernie

05-28-2018, 09:05 AM - 1 Like   #2
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I use the Fotodiox and genuine Pentax adapters and have had no problems with either one. As far as cameras are concerned... that's going to be your preference, but I've found I like my K-1 with my Takumars the most, it's what I'm use to seeing on my film cameras.

I recently reviewed the Super Takumar 150 f/4 on the K-1, you can see it here
05-28-2018, 09:14 AM   #3
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Any Pentax DSLR will work, but I'd recommend one with a pentaprism viewfinder to aid manual focusing. Your son's K-x has the smaller, dimmer pentamirror viewfinder. I also recommend the genuine Pentax m42 adapter for trouble-free operation. The flange-type adapters work well, but don't allow for infinity focus.
05-28-2018, 09:57 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bernietech Quote
Does anyone have a recommendation for a model best suited for this?
The K-01.

It's designed around live view, which is the best mode for focusing and framing shots with M 42 lenses.
Also, there's no mirror to catch on lenses focused at infinity.
(For eaxmple, I have a very good German-made 35mm that would foul the mirror of my Spotmatic.)
QuoteOriginally posted by Bernietech Quote
Also what is the best adapter ring for infinity focus?.
Like Paul said, the original Pentax one.

05-28-2018, 10:09 AM   #5
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Regardless of model, consider installing a focusing screen intended for MF, like those from focusingscreen.com. I have a Canon 5D that I use for my M42 lenses and installing the S-type screen made a world of difference.
05-28-2018, 12:25 PM   #6
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Love my Taks on the K-1. Picture perfect.
05-28-2018, 05:13 PM   #7
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You make no mention of price range, or the focal lengths of you lenses; what you preferred subjects are; whether you tend to use zone focusing and small aperture, or large aperture and focussing aid on the screens; etc.

If looking for advice w/o any more direction, I would say:
-- A very capable but not very costly digital is where to start. I am partial to the K-5 which can be had used for about $250 to $300 from reliable source w/ 15-30 day return permitted, and 3-6 month warranty (I use KEH and B&H). I have a K-x and would not think it a great choice (I use it zone focussed w/ wide angle lens).
-- And I agree that the original Pentax adapter is safest, and likely later consider (if using a f/1.4 to f/2.8 aperture it is likely needed) a screen that is designed for wider aperture--with a focussing aid (split prism) if that is what you are used to.
05-28-2018, 08:00 PM   #8
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If you are on a tight budget, a K30 or K50 with aperture block failure is ideal. The camera will still work with M42 lenses just fine, and the camera is technically broken so should be cheap. The have Pentaprism, and focus peaking. 16 MP sensor is really a gem, too.

05-29-2018, 01:58 AM   #9
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Lots of good advice already, so I'll just say welcome to the forum.
05-29-2018, 07:30 AM   #10
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Thank you all for the welcome and comments.

If a moderator wants to move this thread to a more appropriate place, go for it. I was on my cell phone when I started it, now on my desktop and see more site options...

In general, the camera would be used for general use, the amateur stuff. I do have one specific task in mind, doing some close up work, mainly pocket watches. I do have a complete Vivatar bellows set up, extension tubes, and lens reversing ring.

Lens consist of Super Taks SMC 35, 50, 105, and 135 mm. Off brands, include 200 mm Sigma macro, and a Tamaron. I also have a 85-210 Vivatar series 1 with a Nikon mount, which I could convert to the screw or Pentax K, (I guess). I do have a Nikon F2 w a 55 mm Nikor lens. None of my film cameras have working light meters.

My son's kx came with two zoom lens, which are unknown to me, he is away and has the camera with him. When he gets back I will proceed with a plan, but will continue to do research, so keep comments and suggestions coming..

Thanks again,

Bernie
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