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02-17-2010, 10:07 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by eyew Quote
Spotted the Helios 44-2 f2.0 for $20, bought it and before I even got my adapter from ebay, spotted the 50mm M f1.7 for $50 and also bought it.
...
Not sure when I'd use the Helios now that I've got the f1.7 really, with the hassle of the adapter...
Good price on the Helios (mine was US$19). I keep a cheap adapter fixed to my Helios 58/2, so it's just like using any other M lens on my K20D. As you can see, those lenses are slightly different birds. In the 135 FF world, it's going from 75 to 87mm. The Helios is either a bit more intimate, or lets you work from slightly further back. How to use it? Mount different lenses on different days, shoot all day with just one. Note the slightly different approaches you'll take with each.

Alas, I've ended up with 10 lenses in the 50-58mm range: Pentaxes, Meyers, Russians, a Zeiss, a Chinon. More, counting enlarger lenses for bellows-mounting. All but the FA 50/1.4 were pretty damn cheap. It's hard to give each its fair share of usage (except an Industar-50 that I'd just as soon detonate). Don't be like me. Stop at six or so.

02-18-2010, 12:07 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
I keep a cheap adapter fixed to my Helios 58/2, so it's just like using any other M lens on my K20D.
Sorry if this is diverging from original post but am interested to see how you leave it on and mount.

I bought this cheap $10 adapter from ebay with the intention of just leaving it on the Helios.

I had quite a hard time mounting it when on the Helios. Found some Youtube videos showing the process of how others were putting on the adapter on the body first, then putting on the Helios.

Is your adapter similar ?
02-18-2010, 12:57 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by eyew Quote
Sorry if this is diverging from original post but am interested to see how you leave it on and mount.

I bought this cheap $10 adapter from ebay with the intention of just leaving it on the Helios.

I had quite a hard time mounting it when on the Helios. Found some Youtube videos showing the process of how others were putting on the adapter on the body first, then putting on the Helios.

Is your adapter similar ?
I have a similar adapter. You need to remove the spring clip on the adapter, otherwise the adapter can't come off unless the lens is removed first. Without the spring clip, there's technically nothing keeping the adapter in place except friction, but I've found that works fine for my Super Takumar. If you're not comfortable with the tightness of the adapter on your camera, don't do it.

I put the adapter on the lens with a touch of blue thread locker compound. Now the adapter stays put on the lens, and I can use the lens like a K-mount lens. In the future, if I want to remove the adapter from the lens, I'll just have to use a bit of force to break the hold of the threadlock and then clean the threadlock off.

Some people drill a small divot into the lens where the camera's retaining pin should be to ensure the lens will stay in place. That way the release button on the camera works as intended. I haven't found it necessary to do that.
02-18-2010, 01:28 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by GoremanX Quote
You need to remove the spring clip on the adapter, otherwise the adapter can't come off unless the lens is removed first.
For some reason I thought that was required (for focusing to infinity ?) as I had found cheaper adapters which didn't have that but was advised it could not do that. Think it was sth like this one ? If it makes it easier to mount / dismount, I'm all for it...

Again, apologies if I am hijacking this thread.

Edit: Just noticed the spring clip is screwed on so unscrewed it to try and it's much better ! Now to get some blue thread locker compound to make it stay put... Thanks for the tip !


Last edited by eyew; 02-18-2010 at 01:47 AM.
02-18-2010, 01:51 AM   #20
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Thank you guys very much for the help, I just bought the 50 mm M 1.7 from Ebay for 50 bucks. I cant wait.
02-18-2010, 01:56 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digital Dustin Quote
Thank you guys very much for the help, I just bought the 50 mm M 1.7 from Ebay for 50 bucks. I cant wait.
That one will probably give you the best bang for your buck Dustin, congrats.
02-18-2010, 02:02 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digital Dustin Quote
Thank you guys very much for the help, I just bought the 50 mm M 1.7 from Ebay for 50 bucks. I cant wait.
Post us some nice pics on the fifties association thread :-)
02-18-2010, 04:32 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digital Dustin Quote
Thank you guys very much for the help, I just bought the 50 mm M 1.7 from Ebay for 50 bucks. I cant wait.

Well done, you wont be disappointed.

Just a couple of pointers. I dont know what camera you are using but you will probably find that the "grren button" metering will not yield accurate results all the time. You should get into the habit of using the histogram display to check your exposure and adjust shutter or aperture respectively. Actually this is no bad discipline as if you are serious about your photography you should be checking the histogram after any shot.

If you have not done manual focus before you will find it needs a bit of practice. Using the 50mm at wide open (1.7) your DOF will be thin and will punish any focus innacuracies. But you will end up a better photographer as a result. Long term you might think about getting a split-prism focus screen for your camera. Manual focus with these is much easier.

02-18-2010, 08:29 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digital Dustin Quote
Thank you guys very much for the help, I just bought the 50 mm M 1.7 from Ebay for 50 bucks. I cant wait.
I did last night as well haha. Wonder if we were bidding against each other...
02-18-2010, 12:01 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by eyew Quote
For some reason I thought that was required (for focusing to infinity ?) as I had found cheaper adapters which didn't have that but was advised it could not do that. Think it was sth like this one ? If it makes it easier to mount / dismount, I'm all for it....
To be able to focus to infinity, the adapter needs to sit flush with the camera's lens mount. That means the adapter can't use the camera's built-in retaining mechanism, which is on the front surface of the camera, hence the added spring clip on the side.

The second adapter you just pointed out has a flange on it that prevents the lens from sitting against the camera's surface, so the lens-to-sensor distance is off by a bit, thereby preventing infinity focus. However, this flanged adapter can make use of the camera's retaining mechanism, so the camera's release button functions as expected and no separate spring clip is required to lock the adapter into place.

So it's not the spring clip that's required for infinity focusing, it's the flush mounting.

QuoteOriginally posted by eyew Quote
Again, apologies if I am hijacking this thread.
I'm pretty sure this has been covered to death in other threads In the future, if in doubt, it's probably best to start a new thread. But since this is the beginners' forum, the admins are typically more lenient.
02-18-2010, 01:44 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by pschlute Quote
Well done, you wont be disappointed.

If you have not done manual focus before you will find it needs a bit of practice. Using the 50mm at wide open (1.7) your DOF will be thin and will punish any focus innacuracies. But you will end up a better photographer as a result. Long term you might think about getting a split-prism focus screen for your camera. Manual focus with these is much easier.
Read this review that the lens is supposedly better at 2.0 - Pentax 50mm f/1.7 SMC-M
I am finding it hard to focus without split-prism - rely on the green hexagon a bit...
02-18-2010, 02:18 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digital Dustin Quote
Thank you guys very much for the help, I just bought the 50 mm M 1.7 from Ebay for 50 bucks. I cant wait.
Nice. You'll have to shoot it wide-open on Av or do stop-down metering, but still nice.

If you want to upgrade to a Pentax-A 50mm 1.4, let me know. I just might be willing to part with mine.
02-20-2010, 11:21 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digital Dustin Quote
Well I'm super addicted already and I really want a "fast 50" but I have been struggling on which one to get. Should I get the M,A or F? All this technical lens stuff gives me a headache. I tried doing a search here but almost every single thread ever in the history on this forum has '50mm' in it.
Start with a M 50mm f2 (about $20) to see if you like shooting manual. Then move on to an auto lens. I really use the primes that I have just for fun, If I have something serious to shoot, I use the 16-45 DA. Primes are nice and loads of fun, but you are relegated to a single focal length. On the other side of the coin, image quality (IQ) is usually better.
02-21-2010, 01:47 AM   #29
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nifty fifty's forever

As mentioned above, I have a slew of 50-58mm lenses. My first and fave is the FA 50/1.4. My Helios 58/2 and a few 55's (Takumar f/1.8 and f/2 and Chinon f/1.7) are faster than any of my other 50's (except a Meyer f/1.8) - Zeiss and Meyer f/2.8's, Russian and Meyer f/3.5's. (And that sticky Russian Industar-50 and the SuperTak 50/2 will likely be sold down the river.) My FA 50/1.4 makes me think, "WHAT could be better than this? WHY should I buy another fast 50? Is ANYTHING optically superior?" Of course, if an f/1.2 pops up in front of me, I might be tempted...

I guess my point is, the FA 50/1.4 has spoiled me. It CAN be run manually. It DOES rate better than almost any other 50 from anywhere, anytime. Now if I was just starting, only had a kit lens, and a 50-55mm around f/1.7-f/2 was available for under US$50, I'd snatch it. A 20-buck Helios would definitely grab my attention. But as it is, I'm spoiled. (Put aside those memories of tiny 135 Kodak Retina I and Voigtlander folders, when 50/3.5 seemed luxuriously fast. Mama, don't take my Panatomic-X away.*)

*Pan-X: B&W film, ASA 32, nearly grainless, almost perfect.
*Also, sneaky reference to Paul Simon's KODACHROME song.
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