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01-21-2011, 01:13 PM   #1
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m42 lens

A friend has just given me a box of camera bits, some pentax flash units, filters, tamron adapter, screw mount adapters, lens caps etc there is also a photax paragon 135 lens. Would it be useful to keep? What kind of images would it be good for?

Ita also has a slider switch with an A and M, what is this for?


Last edited by fourfivesix; 01-21-2011 at 01:21 PM.
01-21-2011, 01:58 PM   #2
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Never heard of the lens, but don't use any of the flashes yet:

Just one click can fry your camera because of their trigger voltages.

I'm on my iTouch now and don't have the link, but I'll post the voltages link when I get back.

But like I said, do NOT try any of those flashes yet until you know they're safe!!!
01-21-2011, 02:02 PM   #3
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The A/M switch is for auto/manual aperture. If it's M42, you'll have to set it to M. (Which means you turn it so the M is visible, and you don't turn it in the direction of the M.)

And of course, you'll need one of those K-M 42 adapters he gave you to mount it.
01-21-2011, 02:06 PM   #4
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the flash guns are pentax 160af think they are quite old

01-21-2011, 02:15 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by fourfivesix Quote
A friend has just given me a box of camera bits, some pentax flash units, filters, tamron adapter, screw mount adapters, lens caps etc there is also a photax paragon 135 lens. Would it be useful to keep? What kind of images would it be good for?

Ita also has a slider switch with an A and M, what is this for?
Def. don't use those flashes - they will fry your camera. You can use them with remote triggers, though, or with a high voltage adapter... but don't use them for now.

Don't know anything about the quality of the lens itself, but fast 135mm lenses (usually f2.8) were THE classic portrait lens. They have some other uses as well - get creative! It will be closer to a 200mm equivalent on a crop camera, though - good for any short-tele stuff.

To explain the A/M switch - On a modern lens, the aperture stays all the way open until the second you press the shutter switch. This lets a lot of light in, and makes composition and focusing easier, since its easier to see. It also makes focusing with a split ring or prism easier, since those go black if the light gets low. In modern lenses, there's a little arm that swings over and pushes a little arm on the back of the lens, actuating the aperture. It also means you need to use a Depth of Field Preview if you want to see how the focus will actually look. This will close the aperture blades but still show you the view through the finder.

On the oldest lenses, though, aperture was pre-set. You move the ring, and the aperture blades closed. There was an intermediate step on M42 lenses, before bayonet mounts became popular - the auto aperture system. There is a pin sticking out the back of that lens. On old m42 cameras, when the shutter was pressed, a lever would flip forward and hit that pin, which would stop down the blades. Only the most expensive cameras did that, though, so the lenses could work either way. In A mode, the blades don't close until that pin gets pressed. In M mode, the blades stop down like the older pre-set lenses.

Modern SLR's don't have the lever to actuate that pin - they use a different lever arrangement that is more reliable and durable. This means you have to use M mode, otherwise you will always be shooting wide open.
01-21-2011, 04:12 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by fourfivesix Quote
A friend has just given me a box of camera bits, some pentax flash units, filters, tamron adapter, screw mount adapters, lens caps etc there is also a photax paragon 135 lens. Would it be useful to keep? What kind of images would it be good for?
The A/M question was answered. You've been truly warned about those flashes -- even if their battery compartments aren't corroded out, never let them touch a modern camera anyway; always use a remote trigger.

All the rest of those bits are of some use, and that Tamron adapter (if it's Adaptall) has some value. Filters: if they're UV/skylight, use them for target practice. B&W filters (Red, Yellow, Green, etc) can be some fun to play with.

Paragon lenses are usually quite decent -- made by Cimko maybe. Does it say PMC? What is its serial number? I usually only see Paragons in Nikon mount. Yes, 135mm is a bit long for portraits on an APS-C dSLR, unless you want the flattened-features effect -- and some peoples' features NEED to be flattened! Use it for faces on the street, peering into windows, concerts, etc.
01-21-2011, 04:13 PM   #7
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Making a blanket categorical statement that those flashes will fry the camera is just wrong, wrong, wrong. It is entirely possible that some or all of them are entirely safe to use. Without even knowing the models it is impossible to say. It is vigorously advised to individually test the trigger voltage of each unit with a digital multimeter before using them.
01-21-2011, 04:32 PM   #8
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The AF 160 has a trigger voltage of 3.8v. Should be perfectly safe.

PENTAX AF 160 - Pentax Accessory Review Database - Flashes, Grips, Camera Bags

Photo Strobe Trigger Voltages

01-21-2011, 06:12 PM   #9
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correct me if im wrong but hasn’t it been tested and decided that pretty much all Asahi Pentax flashes safe to use on Pentax digital SLRs, as they all have trigger voltages within the acceptable range? vie used Asahi Pentax flashes as old as the ‘Super-Lite II’ on my istD with no problems to the body. I killed a flash though from overworking the very old electronics. but im fairly certain that all useable Asahi Pentax flashes are ok on Pentax digital SLRs.
01-21-2011, 06:39 PM   #10
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The rectangular bodied AF160sa flash o/c trigger voltage
I just measured 2 of them, each about 5.3 V

The pear shaped AF16 and AF160 vary between about 11 and 14 Volt.

The best of that bunch is the AF16 which came with a socket and X cable. This allows off camera flash on a dslr with a 2p adaptor
01-22-2011, 07:43 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
correct me if im wrong but hasn’t it been tested and decided that pretty much all Asahi Pentax flashes safe to use on Pentax digital SLRs, as they all have trigger voltages within the acceptable range?
According to the voltage list, you're correct.
01-22-2011, 12:21 PM   #12
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ricorico the serial number for the lens is 590458

as for the flash i'm confused?
01-22-2011, 12:54 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by fourfivesix Quote

as for the flash i'm confused?
The deal with the flash is this:

If you look at the link for the strobe voltages and scroll down to Pentax, you'll see YOUR flash is lifted as safe. Others say "Your call," because there are variances in the trigger voltage as measured by the site's visitors who test their particular units and post the results.

Now, some models of flashes have HUGE variances between trigger voltages, even those made the same year, same month, same DAY! One unit might read 4 volts, and another is 100! (Burn camera, burn.) Same exact flash, but one with the deadly 100. (Just using 100 as an example.)

So...

It is always best to test yours with a voltmeter, which is dirt cheap to buy and real easy to borrow, for the peace of mind. I KNOW that my old Sunpak 555 is safe, so I didn't bother. And according to that list, you have nothing to worry about either.
01-22-2011, 01:52 PM   #14
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Great thankyou
01-22-2011, 07:31 PM   #15
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Its not necessarily true that a single click will fry the electronics.

When I first got my K10D, without thinking, I put my old Vivitar 283 on it and took a few shots; more than 1, less than 20. I really don't remember exactly how many I took.

Then, in a bit of a panic, I remembered about the trigger voltage and took the flash off the camera. When I measured the trigger voltage, it was more than 100 volts. Definitely unsafe.

However, that was three years ago, and I have not noticed any problems with the synch of external flash. I have a new flash, a Promaster 5500 (trigger voltage is safe) and a set of "poverty wizard" radio slaves. Everything works just fine.

I still would most whole-heartedly agree with the advice to avoid using any flash on a dslr until you have measured the trigger voltage. Then, only use it if the voltage is safe, preferably less than ten volts.
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