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11-15-2012, 03:37 PM   #1
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Help with Panagor Auto Macro Converter

I have been wanting to start playing with macro photography with my K-30, and just bought a Panagor Auto Macro Converter on Ebay. It arrived today and looked good both cosmetically and optically so I hooked up a Pentax-A 50mm f/2.0 lens to it and took some shots. I had previously set up my K-30 to use with a manual Series 1 Vivitar 70-210 zoom, using the green button to stop the lens down for metering, so I expected this converter to work the same way. I don't really understand what an Auto converter is as opposed to one that is not auto. I guess I thought this would let the camera close the aperture using the "Green Button" as it did on the Vivitar Zoom. The first shots with the converter and lens wide open had a really narrow depth of field, so I decided to stop down the lens. Nothing happened. So I took the converter and lens off the camera and inspected it. The aperture lever on the back of the lens itself works fine to open the lens when the aperture ring is set to less than full open. With the lens on the converter, the lever on the back of the converter does the same thing and seems to have a normal amount of "spring" to it. But in looking at the lever on the back of the converter that would come in contact with the camera body, I notice that the lever does not stick straight out of the back of the converter like it does on my other lenses. It seems to be bent in 2 different axis. The rectangular lever is either bent or was made not straight. It would seem difficult to bend it that way because you would be bending the metal lever against the thicker dimension of the metal like bending a bar edge-wise. It is also not quite parallel to the curve of the lens barrel. Due to the first bend, the lever contacts the camera body lever as you tighten the lens/converter down when installing them on the camera body, causing the aperture to open on installation even when the aperture ring is stopped down. Is this thing broken, or was it intended that the lens aperture should always be fully open when using this converter. Any help would be appreciated. See photos for details. And then to top this hassle off, another Vivitar zoom lens I also found on Ebay arrived and the same lever is apparently faulty so the lens stops down when you move the lever by hand but is really slow to spring back. Maybe I have had enough of FLEABAY purchases!!!!!

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11-15-2012, 03:51 PM   #2
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That arm definitely looks bent, it should work just like a normal lens if everything is right, wide open for focusing and composing, stopping down for the shot. Have you tried bending it back? Those levers aren't usually very strong, I've had to bend a few before.

Was it this one?
Panagor Auto Macro Converter Lens Japan for Pentax K5 K7 KR KX PK Mount | eBay

It looks a little tweaked in his picture too.
11-15-2012, 04:20 PM   #3
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Yes it was that one. I sent a note to the seller, so I'll see what he has to say. I don't know if it is something he owned and used or just something he bought in a lot out of a re-possessed storage unit or some such. That is the problem with buying camera gear on Ebay. It seems like half the time the seller doesn't know much about what they are selling. On the Vivitar lens, the lever works to close the lens aperture and springs back, but the aperture blades don't spring back open as they should. You have to open them back up with the aperture ring, which moves them fine in both directions Too bad, as that was a really clean lens optically and cosmetically and the results were about as good as with my Series 1 Tokina Vivitar Zoom 70-210mm f/3.5. This one with the problem is a 75-205mm f/3.8 Kiron built Macro Focusing Zoom, but not a Series 1 (perhaps prior to that).
11-15-2012, 04:34 PM   #4
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I just found this link to a similar convertor that shows what looks to be the same skewed aperture lever. Hopw someone who has used one of these sees this post.
Auctiva Image Hosting

11-15-2012, 04:45 PM   #5
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The slow aperture blades on zoom is a common problem in Kiron lenses it seems, I've heard of more than a few Kiron made 24mm and 28mm lenses having slow aperture blades. Not much that can be done about it except for disassembling, cleaning and properly lubricating the blades, not something that would make economical sense on a lens like that. It isn't just Kiron though, many lenses from the 70s and 80s develop this problem.
11-15-2012, 04:57 PM   #6
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I'll do you one even better. How would you like to have the same full capabilities you have when you mount that A-50mm directly on your K-30?

Go to this post
Then after reading the text, scroll down a couple posts for pictures. You'll see my fully functional Panagor Auto Macro Converter with my A-50mm f/1.7 mounted.

With the fast, simple, fully reversible mods to the body and to the macro converter, all you need to do is set the lens in the 'A' position with infinity focus, adjust the converter to the desired magnification, and like most macro photography, focus by moving the camera until the subject is in focus. The only use of the green button is to re-program it for depth of field preview purposes. You can set both shutter and aperture from body - and use P-TTL flash as desired.
11-15-2012, 05:45 PM   #7
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Thanks Jim for the ideas. I don't know what I was(n't) doing, but now the Panagor Macro Converter is working fine on my K-30 with the Pentax-A 50mm f/2.0 lens. I just set the aperture on the lens to what I want, use the Green Button for stop down metering and DOF preview, and fire away! It is slick and easy. I just need to get a better 50mm lens now. I must have been PWHUA earlier this afternoon. That comes from a story a former policemen landlord made to me while we were conversing about a passing motorist who, he said was DWHUA (Driving With Head Up A**). Well, this afternoon I must have been Photographing with HUA, because I just could not get this combo to work, and now it works fine! My Bad. Thanks all.
11-15-2012, 05:51 PM   #8
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If that is the same as the Vivitar one you should enjoy it, I use mine with a Pentax M 50mm f1.4 and it does amazingly well. Put some extension tubes between it and the lens and you can go way beyond 1:1. I think I was somewhere around 3:1 macro with about 55mm of extension.

11-15-2012, 05:55 PM   #9
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Yeah, those "ideas" together take all of a half-hour to do, and I have never found a reason to un-do them. It sure is nice being able to treat the lens/converter combo exactly the same way as the A-series lens alone. I don't have to deal with the green button nonsense for setting exposure, just depth of field previews, and I can use P-TTL flash.
11-15-2012, 06:25 PM   #10
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I was watching that listing and meant to bid on it when I got home from work, but plumb forgot. So congratulations! I'm especially happy the winning bidder is a fellow forum member.
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