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12-30-2013, 08:51 PM   #1
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Need help picking a camera

Hi Guy's and Gal's

I am a little confused about which Pentax DSLR to purchase. I will give you a little background,
I don't shoot sports, I mostly use old M42 lenses and may get a prime later on.

In my research I noticed that using M-42 lenses the K-30 and K-50 have a problem with metering in manual mode (Green button)
although I could use Apt mode OK. The K-5 11 really looks like a very good canditate (Does it inhibit the same problem as the K-30 and K-50?)

I would love to get the K-3 but is out of my ballpark price wise. Any help is appreciated.
I know that these old lenses will not resolve as well as modern lenses but I have seen a lot of examples that say otherwise.


Here are the list of M-42 lenses I have.

Helios 40-2, Helios 44-6, Pentacon 135 2.8 (Bokeh Monster 15 blades, Pentacon 29mm, Ensinor 24 mm 2.8, Ensinor 135 Macro,
Vivitar 70-210 Series 1 (Kiron)

I have shot these lenses usinf a Sigma-SD-9

12-30-2013, 11:22 PM   #2
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I've had no issues shooting with manual lenses on my k5, but with the k5 you don't get focus peaking.
12-30-2013, 11:27 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bonavista Quote
Posts: 2 | Likes: 0 Need help picking a camera Hi Guy's and Gal's I am a little confused about which Pentax DSLR to purchase. I will give you a little background, I don't shoot sports, I mostly use old M42 lenses and may get a prime later on. In my research I noticed that using M-42 lenses the K-30 and K-50 have a problem with metering in manual mode (Green button) although I could use Apt mode OK. The K-5 11 really looks like a very good canditate (Does it inhibit the same problem as the K-30 and K-50?)
All Pentax DSLRs behave in the same way with manual lenses. I'd recommend the K-30/K-50 or K-3 as they've got focus peaking, unlike the K-5. If you only plan on using M42 lenses they can of course also be adapted on Canon DSLRs and used on lots of other mirrorless cameras as well.

Adam
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12-31-2013, 07:56 AM   #4
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Thanks a lot guy's this really helps.

12-31-2013, 08:32 AM   #5
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I use M42 lenses frequently on my K-5 II - e.g., Takumars, Helios, Pentacon, Mamiya-Sekor.

I find that the metering is more accurate than on my previous K-5, although I may need to compensate up to +/- 1 EV with certain apertures on some of the lenses. I don't find it to be an issue though, and thoroughly enjoy the Takumars.

The M42 lenses generally do not work with the Green Button stop-down metering, as they lack the needed diaphragm control mechanism. One composes and focuses wide open, then manually stops down to take the shot. If the lens has a 'manual-auto' switch, keep it in Manual position and the camera on Av. The camera will automatically meter.

You have several very nice lenses that should work very well on a modern Pentax dSLR. I've never experienced any issue with the resolving capability of these old lenses. For example, see my recent post in the Takumar Lens Club.

Hope this helps.

- Craig
12-31-2013, 09:57 AM   #6
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M42 lenses work fine with stop down metering. That is how you have to set the exposure is with the lens stopped down.

I also don't know why in Av mode you are using the Green Button. As soon as you touch the shutter release and then start turning the aperture ring, the camera is constantly metering and changing the shutter speed accordingly automatically. Just watching the change in the shutter speed in the viewfinder is a good way to get the lens stopped down to improve the DoF while at the same time not letting the shutter speed drop too low for the focal length you are using or action you are seeing.

All cameras no matter what the make or model meter wrong much of the time. Learn to picture a gray-card in your head and compare it to the scene you are looking at and then make the necessary exposure compensation adjustment. Barring that, or in addition to that, learn to use histograms. Once you start doing those two things your exposure problems with any lens you use pretty much goes away.

There are no difficulties or magic to using old lenses on our Pentax DSLR's. None at all...except for the Ricoh pin issue.
12-31-2013, 04:43 PM   #7
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I vote for K30, I love mine. I use it with M42 lenses a lot, no problems. I normally use my own metering, after around 35 years with a camera in my hand, I can look at the ambient lighting and usually get pretty close. One test shot, readjust if necessary and I'm off and rolling. 90% of the time I don't have to readjust. I've tried the green button a few times, didn't have any complaints. I always shoot in M (Manual) mode. As already mentioned, with manual lenses you preset the aperture then use the green button for metering. My K30 does a better job than the K-x did.
12-31-2013, 04:48 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paleo Pete Quote
I vote for K30, I love mine. I use it with M42 lenses a lot, no problems. I normally use my own metering, after around 35 years with a camera in my hand, I can look at the ambient lighting and usually get pretty close. One test shot, readjust if necessary and I'm off and rolling. 90% of the time I don't have to readjust. I've tried the green button a few times, didn't have any complaints. I always shoot in M (Manual) mode. As already mentioned, with manual lenses you preset the aperture then use the green button for metering. My K30 does a better job than the K-x did.
AGREE, iI don't use MF lenses that often but the K-30 does fine with the green button, Pete uses them all the time and is a master of manual lenses. The K-50 is basically the same so it should work as well. BTW, I think you have to use manual mode.

12-31-2013, 04:54 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
Pete uses them all the time and is a master of manual lenses.
Wow thanks Tom. I thought the only thing I was master of was procrastination...I'll have to check mine tomorrow, I think you can use AV but not positive, it's been way too long since I tried it. Maybe only with K mount manual lenses, I can't remember...I know AV works with A series glass, I think it does with M and K but not positive. I'll have to check. I never use it and haven't tried in a year so...Anyway it seems I remember a while back in cloudy weather with a lot of wind I was using AV since the light was changing so quick, but don't remember what lens...but the M42 Vivitar 200 I think.
12-31-2013, 08:36 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by c.a.m Quote
I use M42 lenses frequently on my K-5 II - e.g., Takumars, Helios, Pentacon, Mamiya-Sekor.

I find that the metering is more accurate than on my previous K-5, although I may need to compensate up to +/- 1 EV with certain apertures on some of the lenses. I don't find it to be an issue though, and thoroughly enjoy the Takumars.

The M42 lenses generally do not work with the Green Button stop-down metering, as they lack the needed diaphragm control mechanism. One composes and focuses wide open, then manually stops down to take the shot. If the lens has a 'manual-auto' switch, keep it in Manual position and the camera on Av. The camera will automatically meter.

You have several very nice lenses that should work very well on a modern Pentax dSLR. I've never experienced any issue with the resolving capability of these old lenses. For example, see my recent post in the Takumar Lens Club.

Hope this helps.

- Craig
Very useful CAM
That answers the question for resolving power on these oldies but goodies. With the SD-9 it was shoot or miss but when I got a good one it was a very very good one.
By the way I am a Newfoundlander now living in Texas. Thanks so much for your help.
12-31-2013, 10:26 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paleo Pete Quote
I know AV works with A series glass, I think it does with M and K but not positive.
No, Av does not work with K and M lenses. There is one exception that I'm (since a few days, after a discussion in another thread) aware of and that's the K28/2.8 shift as it seems to be a preset lens.

So for K and M lenses, one has to use M unless one always wants to shoot wide open.
12-31-2013, 10:41 PM   #12
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Where's an explanation of stop down metering?
01-01-2014, 05:08 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by davids8560 Quote
Where's an explanation of stop down metering?
Not sure what you mean.

How it works or how you do it?

Stopping down a lens in general means not using the widest aperture.

The (modern) camera always measures the exposure with the lens wide open (or what it thinks is wide open).

With an A lens (or newer), the camera knows which aperture is set (and the widest aperture of the lens) and can adjust the shutter speed / ISO according to the selected aperture.

With a M42 / K / M lens, the camera has no knowledge of the selected aperture or the widest aperture, so can't adjust the shutter speed / ISO automatically in Av mode. Therefore in Av mode, the camera assumes that what it measured is what will be used and does not adjust anything; for that reason it will also not attempt to close the aperture while taking the photo.

With M42 lenses this is no problem in Av mode, because if you change the aperture it will physically change immediately, the camera will detect it and adjust shutter speed/ ISO thinking that it's wide open.

In M mode, you can use the green button (or optical DOF preview) to close the lens to its stopped down aperture and the camera will measure the exposure while the lens is stopped down. So now it can adjust shutter speed / ISO for correct exposure.

Note that the camera will never have a means to close a M42 lens; in M mode (just like in Av mode) it does not matter as the lens is already closed down and the camera thinks it has closed the lens down when it does the exposure measurement.

Hope this clears it up a a bit.
01-01-2014, 05:51 AM   #14
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Thanks for that info. You see, I'm basically unfamiliar with the term and the procedure.

I just hope New York State Law allows this sort of thing! 😃

Meanwhile, Happy New Year!
01-01-2014, 04:46 PM   #15
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I have to disagree. I checked with my M42 Lentar 135mm this morning, Av does work with it. Dimly lit kitchen, one low wattage light in the corner, set the K30 to Av and watched it change shutter speeds as I panned to and from the light source. Also opened and closed the aperture down to f8 and watched it change shutter speeds then too.

Now that it's been contested I'll have to check with a M lens too, but I'm betting it will work. If it works with an M42 lens that has no in camera aperture control, it should work with a M series lens that can use the camera's aperture arm. I'll find out soon as I get home.

But I do know this, it works with M42 lenses in Av mode, I tested that this morning.
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