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02-27-2009, 10:12 PM   #1
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Safe for my K200D?

Sorry to sound like a noob here, but I just wondered if it would be safe to put a piece of tape over the electrical contacts on my K200D. The piece will have a little bit of foil to depress the "'A' lens detector". The reason I want to do this is to allow my M-50mm f2 to have auto exposure. If this is a bad idea, what should I do then? 55mm f2 M42? A-50mm f2? Each one is cheaper than a repair bill.

(Yes, I know that electrical contacts can be cleaned with a pencil eraser.)

Thanks!

02-28-2009, 08:09 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by MaxwellL Quote
Sorry to sound like a noob here, but I just wondered if it would be safe to put a piece of tape over the electrical contacts on my K200D. The piece will have a little bit of foil to depress the "'A' lens detector". The reason I want to do this is to allow my M-50mm f2 to have auto exposure. If this is a bad idea, what should I do then? 55mm f2 M42? A-50mm f2? Each one is cheaper than a repair bill.

(Yes, I know that electrical contacts can be cleaned with a pencil eraser.)

Thanks!
One method that I've used successfully with my M50 f/2 is to raise the aperture to f22 before mounting it to the camera. Mount the lens with the lens cap off so that you can see the aperture blades. Twist the lens as far as you can before the aperture blades start to move. You can then select your aperture and have the result immediately apparent in the viewfinder rather than having to press the green button and have the body stop down the lens.

There's two major downfalls though: 1) The lens is not locked on to the body. I know a few other guys have likely dropped a lens or two, so extreme caution is advised.

2) When using a smaller aperture, the image in the viewfinder might be very difficult to focus with.

As far as I know, there's really no reason to short the contacts on camera, as the lens is doing that already against the metal mount. The "A lens detector" pin won't let you stop down the lens any differently than normal operation. Now if you want to disable AF on an AF only lens, that's a different story.

Good luck!
02-28-2009, 11:02 AM   #3
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I'd go with the "A" lens if I were you. The A50's are still quite cheap, and the 1.7 in particular is is enough better and close enough in price to be worth holding out for. And the "A" lenses will give you *true* automation, where the aperture stays wide open while focusing and so forth - plus, I think, give you access to more metering modes, p-TTL flash, etc. The various methods of faking Av mode are nowhere near a effective - they force you to focus stopped down (or focus open then stop down manually), they limit your metering and flash options, etc). Not worth it, in my opinion, when the solution is a Jackson or two away.
02-28-2009, 12:04 PM   #4
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It's safe but it won't work. Even a more elaborate and costly solution, like replacing the M mount with an A mount, doesn't work. The reason is that the aperture lever motion is slightly different between M and A lenses. Moving the aperture lever the same distance on each type results in different apertures. While you can trick the camera into thinking the lens is an A version, it can't move the aperture lever the correct amount. You end up with incorrect exposures and less convenience than you were looking for. The best solution is an actual A lens.

02-28-2009, 04:05 PM   #5
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Thank you guys! I guess that I will either keep what I got, or get an A lens. But, for ~$50, which is the cost of a good A 50mm, I could get a F 80-200 4.7-5.6 for some bird shots. Short, I know, but it would be a start.
03-03-2009, 09:07 PM   #6
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as an aside, i do this with aluminum tape that is used for external duct/roofing work. It works well, and it goes on the lens rather than the contacts so if you switch between manual m42s and k-mounts often like I do it works well. Just have to keep an eye on the tape to make sure it doenst gum up. I haven't had any problems yet, but i would hate to have a piece of tape fall on my sensor or mirror.

-southy
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