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10-25-2010, 04:02 PM   #61
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Thanks again, these Taks look awesome! I will no doubt be picking up a few one day in the near future. But I have blown my lens budget in the last couple of days, hahaha! Don't even have my camera yet. I picked up an A 50/1.7, and then I've got two of the more current AF lenses to get me started. I sure hope I end up loving the K-7, LOL.

10-25-2010, 09:56 PM   #62
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Not to hijack but I'm new to the DSLR world (getting a k-x soon) and I'm also looking at some inexpensive manual lenses. I'll have the kit lens but I'm thinking about the A 50/1.7 and the A 28/2.8 to start with. These seem like good focal lengths to start with and then add in a couple of primes to get a more complete set later.

And then continue to dream about getting a DA 15mm although I could get the DA 21mm instead. But that's another discussion altogether.
10-25-2010, 10:38 PM   #63
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A28 and A50 would seem like a great way to get started. For longer focal length primes the Pentax-M lenses are much more available, or, the longer A-series primes are quite hard to find - and I would expect quite expensive if found. So, if you want to have only one alternate "mental model" for working with the camera you might still consider the M-series. Then again, the added convenience of the A-series is at its best around these focal lengts where you can make use of flash automation.
10-26-2010, 08:33 AM   #64
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Yes, A-series are more convenient, and expensive, but beware that some A-series zoom aren't well thought of. And M-series are less convenient, and cheaper and more available, and are well built. And screwmount Takumars are maybe more convenient than M-series, and are available, and often at decent prices, especially the fabled 55/1.8 -- I saw one of those NOT SELL for US$10 yesterday!

The 'kit' I got with my K20D were the DA10-17, DA18-250, and FA50/1.4. My first used-prime purchases to fill-in the lineup were an M42 Vivitar-Komine 90/2.8 macro and Vivitar-Kiron 24/2 and M42 Super-Takumar 35/3.5. What I'm likely to carry now are the 18-250 and FA50, and a Zenitar 16/2.8, Tamron 28/2.5, modded Nikkor 85/2 or M42 Meyer Trioplan 100/2.8 or the Viv macro, and maybe the gem of an M42 Tele-Takumar 200/5.6.

These primes are all faster and/or sharper than the zooms at those focal lengths, or provide something the zooms can't. They also tend to be small, and pretty cheap. Those are my criteria for a lens: it needs speed and/or sharpness and/or character and/or special utility, and small+cheap helps.

10-26-2010, 09:01 AM   #65
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There is a lot of excellent information in this thread and after reading through it, I am still a tad confused. I have the SMC Pentax-M 1:2 50mm and the SMC Pentax-A 1:2 50mm (which has the A ring). When I mount the Pentax-A on my K20D and turn it on, I get the screen asking for the focal length which I understand is normal, and I input 50mm. However, I don't get this screen when I mount the Pentax-M. I get the info screen and a blinking "F" in the LCD panel on top of the camera, so I'm obviously not doing something right. I know that the blinking means the camera has no idea of the focal length, but how do I enter that info if it doesn't ask? Also, if I want to shoot totally manual, my understanding is I turn the mode to "M", switch the focus mode lever to "M", and use the front and rear dials (wheels) to enter aperture and speed. Is this correct? I haven't been shooting in manual, but really need to start doing so -- I think. Thanks in advance.
10-26-2010, 10:59 AM   #66
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QuoteOriginally posted by cardinal43 Quote
There is a lot of excellent information in this thread and after reading through it, I am still a tad confused. I have the SMC Pentax-M 1:2 50mm and the SMC Pentax-A 1:2 50mm (which has the A ring). When I mount the Pentax-A on my K20D and turn it on, I get the screen asking for the focal length which I understand is normal, and I input 50mm. However, I don't get this screen when I mount the Pentax-M. I get the info screen and a blinking "F" in the LCD panel on top of the camera, so I'm obviously not doing something right. I know that the blinking means the camera has no idea of the focal length, but how do I enter that info if it doesn't ask? Also, if I want to shoot totally manual, my understanding is I turn the mode to "M", switch the focus mode lever to "M", and use the front and rear dials (wheels) to enter aperture and speed. Is this correct? I haven't been shooting in manual, but really need to start doing so -- I think. Thanks in advance.
You have to activate the manual lens option in the menus before you can use non-A lenses. Once you do that it will do the same thing as it is now doing on your A model.
10-26-2010, 11:12 AM   #67
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Cardinal, the menu setting is "Use Aperture Ring--Permitted."

You'll still see the F--, but it shouldn't flash.
10-26-2010, 11:34 AM   #68
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
You should also consider the A version of the f/1.7. Much better than the f/2.

More info on K-mount lenses.

Pentax K-Mount Lenses and Lens Accessories

Measured Resolution Numbers

I don't know the exact focus throw for the 50, but it is more than 180 degrees.
+1. There is no point in getting an f2 when the f1.7 can be had.

10-26-2010, 11:35 AM   #69
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QuoteOriginally posted by Todd Adamson Quote
Thanks again, these Taks look awesome! I will no doubt be picking up a few one day in the near future. But I have blown my lens budget in the last couple of days, hahaha! Don't even have my camera yet. I picked up an A 50/1.7, and then I've got two of the more current AF lenses to get me started. I sure hope I end up loving the K-7, LOL.
Just remember that with m42 lenses, M type and K type lenses, the Green Button is your friend.
10-26-2010, 12:27 PM   #70
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@ Docrwm & Ira:

I should have mentioned that "Use Aperture Ring" was already permitted (or so I thought), and this is why I could not figure out it was blinking. Tried a couple of Takumars (1.8 55mm and 3.5 28mm) and they would not work either. And the s/r wasn't turned on. WTF?? Went back through the menu and found out that the aperture ring wasn't permitted. Corrected that, and everything is OK now. I have no idea how that was changed, but when I was changing something else I must have removed the permission. Anyway, thanks for your quick replies.
10-26-2010, 12:28 PM   #71
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QuoteOriginally posted by Todd Adamson Quote
So, would THIS be the one to get?
Yes, that's the one. Note that it stays on the camera and the lenses screw into it. You can't easily mix screw mount lenses and bayonet lenses during the same shoot. You either shoot with M42's or Pentax K mounts, but not both (or at least not easily)
I'd like to plug a series of manual focus exercises that I've found work very well. They are boring, and in the beginning require a bit of time, but I've found them to be quite effective. They were written up with the idea that you don't really need a split focus screen to get excellent manual focus results. They can be found here

NaCl(boring yes, but they work)H2O
10-26-2010, 12:42 PM   #72
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Yes, A-series are more convenient, and expensive, but beware that some A-series zoom aren't well thought of.

*snip*
However there ARE some A series zooms that are excellent performers and are as good as anything out there today. Admittedly not a lot of them but I can think of two just off the top of my head that have excellent IQ. I'm thinking primarily of the Pentax A 70-210 f/4.0 and the Pentax A 35-105 f/3.5. Neither is terribly fast but both have excellent color rendition (esp the 35-105) are nice and contrasty and have excellent bokeh (esp the 70-210) in addition both have a "macro" function, actually more a close focus function but still very useful. The 35-105 "macro" even works thru the whole zoom range, which is quite nice. The 70-210 close focus is only available at 70mm.

NaCl(just to set the record straight)H2O
10-26-2010, 02:12 PM   #73
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QuoteOriginally posted by cardinal43 Quote
@ Docrwm & Ira:

I should have mentioned that "Use Aperture Ring" was already permitted (or so I thought), and this is why I could not figure out it was blinking. Tried a couple of Takumars (1.8 55mm and 3.5 28mm) and they would not work either. And the s/r wasn't turned on. WTF?? Went back through the menu and found out that the aperture ring wasn't permitted. Corrected that, and everything is OK now. I have no idea how that was changed, but when I was changing something else I must have removed the permission. Anyway, thanks for your quick replies.
Tom,

I had the same things happen. If you go to the reset to factory settings or its equivalent then you have to reinitialize the "Use Aperture Ring" permission. Ran into that this past weekend after resetting because I could not find a particular setting that I HAD to have changed quickly earlier that day.
10-26-2010, 02:15 PM   #74
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QuoteOriginally posted by NaClH2O Quote
Yes, that's the one. Note that it stays on the camera and the lenses screw into it. You can't easily mix screw mount lenses and bayonet lenses during the same shoot. You either shoot with M42's or Pentax K mounts, but not both (or at least not easily)
I'd like to plug a series of manual focus exercises that I've found work very well. They are boring, and in the beginning require a bit of time, but I've found them to be quite effective. They were written up with the idea that you don't really need a split focus screen to get excellent manual focus results. They can be found here

NaCl(boring yes, but they work)H2O
Thanks for all the help. I thought I saw someone say that you can mount an adapter to a M42 mount lens semi-permanently and then it will work like a K mount. Is that not possible or a bad idea?
10-26-2010, 04:35 PM   #75
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
I thought I saw someone say that you can mount an adapter to a M42 mount lens semi-permanently and then it will work like a K mount. Is that not possible or a bad idea?
At the risk of re-starting the Adapter Wars, here's my take: 3 or 4 types of M42-PK adapters exist, with a great range of costs. These are:

1) The Official Pentax adapter, safe and boring and expensive. I say boring because it's best left in the camera, and you get to spend time (un)screwing lenses. I own one.
2) Cheap clones of (1), often badged as Bower. Cheap and exciting and YOU MUST REMOVE THE SCREW+CLIP OR YOU WILL GO APESH!T! Best left on the lens. I own dozens.
3) Cheap safe flanged no-infinity-focus adapters. Best for closeup and macro gear where you don't care about infinity, and some telephotos that focus past infinity. I own a dozen.
4) I have heard of (but not seen nor tried) an expensive adapter that safely allows aperture automation. I need to look into this further.

NOTE: I own many of types (2) and (3) because as well as being good serviceable adapters (and CHEAP, usually under US$5), they're also handy for modding some non-Pentax-compatible lenses. I only do minor surgery. But I digress.

The type (2) or Bower adapter arouses much controversy here. Unmodified, it is a pain and a disaster. Modified, I have had zero (0) problems with any. I put these on screwmount lenses, and generally leave them there. I use the rear lens cap as a wrench for tightening. I may put a piece of metal tape at the appropriate place under the adapter to enable Catch-In-Focus for that lens. Some of these have been in place so long that I've almost forgotten the lenses aren't K-mount.

The type (3) flanged adapter poses no problems. On a long lens, loss of infinity focus isn't severe. On a 200mm lens, far-focus drops to 100+ yards, no big deal if I'm shooting closer stuff. Some of these adapters are raw steel, some are painted black. I file away a bit of paint at the appropriate place to enable Catch-In-Focus.

* If you only have a few screwmount lenses and you don't intend to interchange their use with K-mount glass on the same day, the type (1) Official Pentax adapter is best.
* If you have MANY screwmount lenses and you wish to use some of them and some K-mounts on the same excursion, the type (2) is great. Ten of them at least.
* If you do any macro/close work with screwmounts, directly or with tubes and/or bellows, or if you have the odd lens that focuses past infinity, the type (3) is wonderful.

That's my story and I'm sticking with it.
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