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10-05-2011, 03:15 PM   #1
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Moving from Pentax ES to K-r?

I was about to buy (horrors?) a Canon G13, then remembered I have a mint (sticky shutter) Pentax ES stashed away, with a set of mint screw-thread SMC Takumars, including the 1.4/50, 2.8/35, 1.8/85, 2.8/105, 2,5/135, and 4/200.

After a few hours looking over this great forum, I'm now thinking of a Pentax K-r. I would appreciate your opinions if you think this is a good choice, or would you recommend something else? (cost is a factor - $700 is indeed about tops).

First, may I ask a 'check' on my understandings? Please correct anything wrong:
1. I can use my M42 lenses in Aperture-priority mode (Av?) after buying the Pentax-made K to M42 adapter, and setting 'aperture ring' so I don't get an F--
2. Given the size of the APS-C sensor, the ES/35mm 'visual perception' of the M42 lenses on a K-r will be about 1.5x focal length the ES perception. That is, my K-r 2.8/35 image will 'look like' - from a perspective standpoint - much like an ES 'normal' lens on an ES - i.e. about 52mm. My 1.4/50 should make a nice 'portrait' lens - about 75mm. My 1.8/80 a 'longish' 'flatter' portrait lens - 120mm. Am I thinking correctly? Or correct me..
3. As far as M42 'light gathering' ability - whether ES or K-r - it makes no difference. F4 is F4 in either case.

Now a question - the Takumars are of course single focal length - non-zoom. The Canon G13 has both a mechanical zoom, and then a further 'digital zoom' - coming, of course, at the expense of sharpness/resolution.

Can I 'digital zoom' on the K-r (or another model?) with my single-focal length Takumars? I realize this comes at a cost of resolution and sharpness, and is not at all ideal. Yet it would be nice to do in certain situations so as not to need to change lenses. Thoughts? Suggestions?

Any and all suggestions greatly appreciated - particularly corrections to any misunderstanding, and alternate suggestions to the K-r

Thanks for your help.

Chris

10-05-2011, 04:18 PM   #2
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The lenses are pretty usable on DSLR. Optical performance is excellent. Three possible concerns:
  • The viewfinder is smaller, not quite as good and optimized for autofocus lenses, compared to your ES, so manual focus is harder. As a compensation, the AF sensors are still active so they can help show when they think something is in focus.
  • There's no actual aperture connection, so you have to focus wide open, then stop down to your chosen aperture yourself (either with the aperture ring or Auto/Manual switch on the lens), then maybe meter or adjust and shoot.
  • The on-camera flash will always fire at full power and be blocked by the two larger lenses. A shoe-mounted flash can't use the P-TTL features but some models work OK.

But some people do only use these lenses, and many people use a mixture of different types, so the concerns are not insurmountable.

With the Takumar sharpness, the large (compared to P&S) sensor and so many pixels, you can easily get away with a version of "digital zoom". I just crop the photo on my computer. I can successfully crop 50-60% of the photo and still print a decent enlargement print like 8x10; no one can tell except me. I am not sure if the K-r allows you to crop in-camera.

Another option you have is to sell the Takumars. They are worth a lot, especially the 85mm.
10-05-2011, 04:31 PM   #3
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1. Using Manual Lenses On Pentax DSLRs F--
2. Yes, you're thinking correctly
3. Yes, f/1.4 is f/1.4 and will meter as such

as answered above, digital zooming is simply cropping the image. You can do this to any digital image from any digital camera, I do it all the time in PP to fix compositional errors and straighten out horizons. My old K-x pictures look pretty good blown up to 13x19 on my wall, despite being cropped, so i'm sure you won't notice any major drop in IQ.
10-05-2011, 04:51 PM   #4
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ES to K-r

Thanks for the info everyone!.

First, I rarely, if never, use flash at all. so not a problem.. I assume I can disable it totally?

Second, selling the Takumars. Never. The feel of using them brings up the 'O-word'...:>) Always has.

Zoom - post-processing cropping.. Understood.

Do you think the K-r is my right choice? Any alternates, with reasons why?

Thanks for your help.

Chris

10-05-2011, 06:41 PM   #5
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Unless you can put up the money for the K-5, the K-r is the best choice I would say. A budget version would be to go for a K-x, but from what I understand the K-r was a significant improvement from the K-x.
You will get used to using the Tak's on the digital camera fast I would think.
Autofocus confirmation work with any manual lens as well, but you might consider getting a split-prisma focus screen (someone with a K-r help me, does the K-r allow you to change focus screen? I never tried out a K-r that much that I thought of checking if one could switch the focus screen.). I've used that on both K20D/K-7/K-5 and it helps a lot. It is fun to let someone who came into SLR's after the digital revolution try it...they don't understand what the strange thing in the middle of the viewfinder is .

I got an ES a while ago for my SMC Tak's. Love that camera. A nice set of lenses you have there. Only missing a 28mm...
10-05-2011, 07:15 PM   #6
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Those lenses will work very well on a k-r. You could also look for a used k-x at slightly less money but as stated the k-r is a definite improvement. The k-5 is a lot more camera but is also more expensive.

Stop by the Takumar Club if you have not already. Lots of good advice on using them, and some real enthusiasts posting there.
10-05-2011, 07:21 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by cahudson42 Quote
Thanks for the info everyone!.

First, I rarely, if never, use flash at all. so not a problem.. I assume I can disable it totally?
Yep, just leave it down.

I forgot another limitation. The camera needs aperture information to do a lot of clever things, like multi-segment metering, modes other than M or Av, bracketing, and other features. So some of those clever things will be tough or impossible with M42 lenses.

QuoteQuote:
Second, selling the Takumars. Never. The feel of using them brings up the 'O-word'...:>) Always has.
Sorry I mentioned it.

QuoteQuote:
Zoom - post-processing cropping.. Understood.
It is possible to do this in-camera, with more options than I thought. Just in case anyone wanted to know.

QuoteQuote:
Do you think the K-r is my right choice? Any alternates, with reasons why?

Thanks for your help.

Chris
The lenses will actually work on a Canon DSLR as well, so you could look at those models. Nikon registration distance is too long for M42 lenses so you'd have trouble with infinity focus. I don't know about Sony; the lenses should work on mirrorless, 4/3 and other cameras too but with different "crop factors" depending on sensor size. You have a lot of choices here.

Within the Pentax line, your budget means the only new option is the K-r. For the Takumars, it's all about the sensor anyway; you can get more features with other models but some features are wasted on M42 lenses. Like autofocus points displaying in the viewfinder - not going to help you. The K-x is a good alternative to save money; the rear screen is not as good, and that's your user interface, so it's a tough choice. I would leave room in the budget to get the "kit lens", the DA-L 18-55mm f3.5-5.6. You may want it for anything wider than "normal". It's way cheaper than any one of the Takumars that would give you wide angle.
10-10-2011, 06:32 AM   #8
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Thanks again everyone for the great advice. I'm saving my pennies for the K-r..:>)

I did briefly consider a Canon, but with their anti-shake being lens-based rather than Pentax in-body, ruled it out. I had also read somewhere that certain Taks (short focal length? the 28mm maybe?) could interfere with the Canon mirror and damage the camera. (anyone know for sure, and which ones?)

K-r it is..:>)

10-10-2011, 07:54 AM   #9
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The Canon mirror issue is mostly with their large sensor models, the 5D and 1D series. They also mean a higher camera-buying budget. Smaller APS-C sensors mean smaller mirrors, so other models are usually OK. The Canon lens mount does everything electronically, so the camera doesn't expect pins or levers to be protruding into the mirror box.
10-11-2011, 07:23 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by cahudson42 Quote
then remembered I have a mint (sticky shutter) Pentax ES stashed away, with a set of mint screw-thread SMC Takumars, including the 1.4/50, 2.8/35, 1.8/85, 2.8/105, 2,5/135, and 4/200.
That's a cracking line-up of old Taks... I'm genuinely jealous!!

K-r would be a good addition... I'm not sure I'd even bother with the kit lens, so you may be able to find a 'body-only' deal...

I shoot a Kx and the Kr's visible focus indicators will be a plus for you... I wish!
Might be worth considering a OM-E53 magnifier also... I'm a glasses wearer and find it invaluable... Especially when manually focusing...

All the best
10-12-2011, 04:13 AM   #11
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A K-r with the kit lens would be a good start. This gives you the wide angle as well as one AF lens, but your collection of M42 lenses is very nice especially if they are SmC takumars
10-14-2011, 05:47 AM   #12
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How much is a body-only-K5 in the US?
10-14-2011, 06:21 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by DaveHolmes Quote
How much is a body-only-K5 in the US?
$1,100 to $1,200.
10-16-2011, 10:00 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by cahudson42 Quote
2. Given the size of the APS-C sensor, the ES/35mm 'visual perception' of the M42 lenses on a K-r will be about 1.5x focal length the ES perception. That is, my K-r 2.8/35 image will 'look like' - from a perspective standpoint - much like an ES 'normal' lens on an ES - i.e. about 52mm. My 1.4/50 should make a nice 'portrait' lens - about 75mm. My 1.8/80 a 'longish' 'flatter' portrait lens - 120mm. Am I thinking correctly? Or correct me..
Just to pick wee tiny nits: It's field-of-view (FOV), not perspective. Perspective is ONLY controlled by distance from lens to subject. Using various lenses on various cameras at the same distance, perspective remains exactly the same. The FOV changes because the smaller frame sees a smaller bit of the projected image.

Case in point: Back in the day, I had a half-frame (135/HF) Olympus Pen-FT SLR, with a frame virtually the same size as an APS-C sensor. The Pen-FT uses a vertical porroprism rather than a horizontal pentaprism, so without twisting the camera, its images are 18x24mm portrait mode. I got a 135/FF T2 Spiratone 400/5.6 lens and slapped that baby onto the Pen-FT. I thought, "Hay! This is just like having a 600mm lens!" I quickly learned otherwise. It was just a 400mm lens with the image edges chopped off, 1/4 each from both sides.

That's all the smaller frame does -- it chops-off the image margins.

You *will* get a change in perspective if you try to fill different-size frames with the same image. To maintain the FOV, you'd need to change the lens-subject distance, and *that* alters perspective, including the mythical 'flattening' of subjects. A subject is flattened when you move further away, whether with a long or short lens. Avoid flattening by staying close. But don't bump into noses!
__________________________________________

BTW that's a damn fine set of Takumars. Let me know if you get tired of the 35 and/or 85, OK? Thanks!
10-23-2011, 06:08 PM   #15
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One item that you will absolutely need is a M42 to K mount adapter. Just go out and order the genuine Pentax one - $30. Everything you need to know is here on this link....I also have the AutoTak 85/1.8 and its a wonderful lens - nothing but glass and metal. My only problem is that I shoot during the evening so removing the adapter becomes something of a small problem (in the dark). So, I am thinking of just picking up an additional adapter for my lenses and removing the little clip and leaving the adapter on the lens full time - thereby making it almost a K mount lens. I did go out and find a Contax Zeiss 85/2.8 lens that I converted to a K mount. Now, with two wonderful lenses (each has their own character) I don't know which one to shoot with first.

Also, Eric can remedy that sticky shutter on your ES for you....

Last edited by interested_observer; 10-23-2011 at 06:19 PM.
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